Same job, different uniform.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Unneccessary headline of the day:

"Paula Abdul gets confused on 'Idol.'"

Couldn't it have just said: "'Idol aired last night"?

p.s. sayonara, Castro. Sorry, gf. Arch isn't going anywhere.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

American Idol 04/29/08

Please, America. Please.

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Coming Out Of The Webkinz Closet

My name is K--- and I have a Webkinz*. Before you judge me, I need you to judge Molly as well. She has 5,000 Disney figurines.

One of my daughter's preschool classmates brought her Golden Retriever Webkinz to school today and before I could stop myself, out came "I have that same exact webkinz!" A few moms heard me. It was not my brightest moment. I think that this isn't even one of those things were the kids will think I'm cool. They probably think I stole my daughter's toy.

I'm so ashamed. But, you would have to admit that my dog, Sadie, has THE coolest NYC loft style house. Oh, and her yoga outfit is wack. Sup. Sup with the wack webkinz, sup.

*If you don't know what a webkinz is, you purchase a stuffed animal pet and then register that pet online. Your pet is then able to interact in this online world of games, quizzes, jobs,purchasing food, clothing, rooms, decor,etc.


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The Eye of the Beholder

This afternoon I decided Wyatt and I needed to pick his room up. He has a train table in his room which was barely visible anymore underneath all the Legos, Lincoln Logs, broken Matchbox cars, wooden trains, wooden track, and various bits and pieces of detritus. I asked Wyatt to pick up any books scattered around the room and pile them next to his book shelf (4 year olds are hard pressed to return a book to a spot - ANY spot - on a book shelf in a manner in any way similar to the way it was before it was removed. I don't know if it is a manual dexterity problem or a mom manipulation problem . . . ). Then I had him put together a puzzle whose pieces were scattered beneath his train table.

While he did these things, I started in on the task of separating the toys from the . . . well . . . "not-toys." I began to move things into piles and find what I thought were logical places for them: a plastic container here, a drawer there . . . the trashcan. It was at this point that my 4 year old began to enlighten me.

His plastic army men were scattered all over the drawer of his train table. Scanning the room I spied a plastic container with an attached lid that formerly contained wet-wipes.

ME: "Wyatt, how about if I put your army men in here?"

WYATT: "No, Mom. That's my dog food container." [He has five stuffed dogs that, I forgot, get fed regularly from this container.]

ME: "Okay." [Scanning the room, I spy a shoe box that once held a pair of Cars sneakers. I pick it up.] Wyatt how about this for the army men?"

WYATT: "Well, that is what Dad uses to carry cars."

ME: "What?"

WYATT: "Dad uses that to carry cars when he travels."

ME: [Still a bit fuzzy on this.] "Oh."

After some convincing Wyatt did consent to let me use the Car-Travel-Case as an Army-Men-Storage-Unit. I move on to picking up and throwing in the trash things like old plastic drinking straws, half of the top of a cardboard egg carton, a 1" x 1/2" scrap of green paper. Eagle eyes catches me and carefully explains the purpose of all of it.

WYATT: [Pulling the straws out of the trash can.] "I use these for my trains. "

WYATT: [Picking up, but barely glancing at, the tiny scrap of green paper and holding it between thumb and forefinger.] "This is the corner of my directions to my Thoms the Train Legos." [HOW he can recall that this tiny, wrinkled, torn, and faded scrap of trash is the corner of ANYTHING - let alone specifically remember that it belongs to the directions to Legos that build a small Thomas the Train track and engine - is beyond me. But after careful examination, I find that he is correct.]

By this point he does not have to explain to me that the torn, half-top of the cardboard egg carton has purpose, meaning and a place in the complex infrastructure of his room and the microcosm of small town train life. I hold it up and ask: "Do you use this with your trains?" He replies simply, "Yes."

I'll find a place for it later - maybe on top of a train table or something.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26, 2008: Global Warming in Aberdeen

I have a feeling Julie Neidlinger feels my pain. Get your laughs at her Earth Day activities.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

The two Davids.

American Idol couldn't be getting a more marketable finale had they planned it themselves. Or have have they?

Is there any way this season could end with any other match up? They have the same first name! (I can already hear the commercials, see the headlines) One is young and sweet, one is a bad boy rocker who has been "humbled" by the experience! Who is left now that could honestly hold a candle to either of them once they're in the top three? No one.

Are you curious which singers could have given these boys a run for their collective money? Michael Johns or Carly Smithson. And which two contestants were (shockingly!) voted off early in the season? That's what I thought.

Not that I'm a conspiracy theorist. Who am I joking? yes I am, and especially about Idol. I have one for every season, except the first, because I didn't watch it. I'm not saying that the person with the lowest votes doesn't get sent home each week. I'm just saying that it's very rare for an Idol to win that the producers don't want to win. (Exception to the rule: Taylor Hicks, unless the producers really thought he had star potential, in which case I seriously question everything I believe to be true about American Idol)

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America got it wrong.


I say this every year about some contestant, and it rarely comes true, but I will definitely buy Carly Smithson's CD. I think the fact that I have her first album (and love it!) makes the promise slightly more believable this time around.

She'll be this year's Daughtry. Methinks her singing career is far from over.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Take it or leave it

It was a night of baring your inner most musical self. Each contestant's real skills were put to the test tonight like no other night before it. Here are my thoughts:

Syesha: One of the best overall performances of the night. Loved her dress. I agreed with the judges positive remarks. I still can't get into her, though.

Jason: Whoa, whoa whoa. I thought he did okay, but I have to suck air in through my teeth like Randy. Not delivering for me, tonight. That said. I like his style and he is one of those contestants who is a package, not just a voice.

Brooke: Mmmmmm If she goes home, it was a very ironic song choice. I thought, as usual, she did well at trying to draw the listener in. She and Jason were going to struggle the most tonight and I thought she did a better job than he. Loved the outfit and makeup. She gets the vote for most dramatic post performance moment when Paula paused for like, a coon's age, before she spoke.

David A: I love you, David, but you have got to do more on stage than raise your right hand half way up! I'm glad Lord Andrew Lloyd told to keep his peepers open.

Carly: Awesome! Love the dress, loved the voice, loved the smiles, loved everything. Loved it!

David Cook: Nice to see him step out of his inner turmoil, reluctant rocker shoes and showcase his vocals. He has some pipes and he, no matter how badly he needs a smugectomy, is the whole package.


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Monday, April 21, 2008

Picking a retirement location may be difficult

I was brushing my teeth and washing my face this evening while reading the latest issue of one of my subscription magazines. When I finished my bedtime routine, I closed the magazine and placed it half on top of the magazine my husband had last been reading in the bathroom. As I started to walk away I glanced down at the counter again and chuckled: I had put my latest issue of "Southern Living" on top of his latest issue of "The New Yorker." We may be at cross purposes . . . .

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The long and the short of it

A few weeks back, my four year old son was talking to my mother in law about my dad (who is 6'5") and my mom, (who is 5'1"). She was saying how nice they are and how nice it is that they get to travel up here for free on Southwest Airlines (my dad once worked for them). Wyatt responded by saying, "Yes, otherwise we'd never get to see the tall guy and the short gal."

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Words I love

Jolly    festive
ramble     bramble
splendor splendid

What words do you love?

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Indication #47 that you might be yelling at your child too much

This is Audrey's depiction of me, post this morning's outburst. What can I say? I was trying to focus on my core and do my pilates?! My aforementioned daughter of four years kept asking me question after question. As a result I might have slammed down the TV remote and asked for 15 minutes of non question asking time. Maybe the volume of my voice was elevated and maybe my blood pressure was soaring. Did guilt follow immediately? Yes. Why can't I just take a few deep breaths before I react. That is my new goal.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Family" conference

(Now imagine me pulling out paper mâche hand puppets, all you "What About Bob?" fans)

What if girlfriday went public? No, not shareholders. But what if we started using (gasp!) our real names? I'm going to predict Lois will object to this. Thoughts, other contributors/readers?

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Interesting, if only to me.

I have always tried to figure some sort of link between the guys that I like/date. One trend seems to be tall and skinny, but there have been many prominent exceptions to the rule. But this morning I had an epiphany whilst filing law documents: they all have had definitive, somewhat square jawlines. All of them. All the way back to kindergarten, or the homeschooler's equivalent of it.

Interesting. Again, if only to me.

So next time I fill out one of those stupid surveys that asks me "what is the first thing you notice in the opposite sex?" I will put jawline.


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Birthday at the White House

Something about this really touched me.

The crowd spontaneously sang "Happy Birthday" early in the ceremony, and a formal, more full-throated version came at the end.

Isn't that sweet? I think the fact that it was spontaneous makes it memorable.

Then Bush said:

"We need your message to reject this dictatorship of relativism and embrace a culture of justice and truth...In a world where some see freedom as simply the right to do as they wish, we need your message that true liberty requires us to live our freedom not just for ourselves, but in a spirit of mutual support."

Go Dubya.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Idol recap, 4/15/08

Who cares? Bring back Michael Johns!


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Matthew Perry Would Have Been Insulted

Okay, Okay. You may not really give a flying flip what my four year old daughter has to say, but I find her humorous.

"Is this Harry Underwoods singing?" Question regarding song by Carrie Underwood on the "Enchanted" soundtrack.

"That guy looks like Chandler." Commenting on a running man, more portly than Matthew Perry, at the park yesterday.

"Oh Lord of Glory!" Exclamation at the difficulty one has at cleaning off the mud of one's pink sparkly shoes after using them as ones gardening footwear of choice.

"These shoes have been out here for, like, twenty nine years!!!" Make sure you imagine the coordinating dramatic arm gestures while spewing about afore mentioned sparkly shoes being put out of commission due to mud issue.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wasn't Yours Like this?

A good childhood is like another planet, one with a sweet haze that blankets everything and puts it into a fourth dimension of reality that sticks with a person after they've left. As an adult, I have a vague sense of specifics and an overwhelming sense of there being some kind of added excitement and wonder to the most regular of things.

Julie reflects further on childhood.

Our version was: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Guard me Jesus through the night, wake me with the morning light. AMEN. (There was always an emphasis on AMEN.) I first remember praying this in the nursery in the basement of our house on Perry Drive.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Women sit or move to and from, some old, some young, the young are beautiful--but the old are more beautiful than the young.

I am anticipating a visit from my mother. It's been over three months since I've seen her and that's three months too long.

When she's here, we'll enjoy haunting Fritz's and Bourdon's, local rummage stores, long talks about light fixtures and paint colors, and the U.S. premier of Season Four of Doctor Who.

That's not what I'm pining over, though.

I felt oddly affectionate towards our friend's significant other tonight at dinner, when I considered the wrinkes around her neck. Missing mom, I mused.

Missing mom pulling her glasses up on her head so she can read the menu. Missing the smell of Pleasures when I hug her neck. Missing her kind, honest laugh when we tease her about age or housekeeping. Missing the chance to rub her feet while she reads a magazine. Missing snuggling up to her before I go to bed.

Wrinkles. Near-sightedness. Humility. Sore feet. Generosity of spirit.


I treasure the imperfections and improvements 55 years of living has produced in my mother. Remembering how she looked before she covered her grey is almost impossible. She must grieve this, but I don't. I think I just realized, it, too; looking at my new friend's neck!

Surely aging is something to be grasped, not merely endured! O that I and all the women of my generation would stop dreading what is simply beauty transformed; beauty realized.

O for jowels and wrinkles galore--if they mean wisdom and compassion and modesty.

I ask you: Who is more interesting? Kirsten Dunst or Dame Judi Dench? Olympia Dukakis or Natalie Portman? Maggie Thatcher or Kiera Knightly?

Whitman was right.
The old are more beautiful than the young.

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Spoiler: if you haven't watched American Idol yet, don't read this.




Are you freaking kidding me, America?

Michael Johns????


My friend's e-mail pretty much sums up my thoughts, or lack of them, because this just doesn't compute:

"Michael Johns?! What the *$%#@?!!???

I can hardly talk...I am in shock."

I wasn't even this disappointed when I threw my water bottle at my TV when Chris Daughtry was eliminated.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

I still haven't finished watching "Idol Gives Back."

But from what I've seen so far, this is my favorite moment. Dad Friday appreciated it also. We're probably the only two people in the country who caught it. Unless bro was watching. I'm going to assume he wasn't.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Idol round-up, 4/9/08

Michael Johns: He really can do no wrong in my eyes. "Look how pretty!"

Syesha Mercado: Don't sing Fantasia. Just don't do it. Especially "I Believe" of all songs.

Carly Smithson: Disappointing, and I'm bummed. I'm a big fan of hers. I also think Simon totally screwed her over when he told her she should be "worried." He does some serious Jedi mind tricks on American Idol voters.

Jason Castro:

David Cook: Again, disappointing. The song seemed indulgent, and he just wasn't spot-on like he usually his.

Kristy Lee Cook:
I hate to admit it, but this was one of my favorite performances of the evening. Perfect song choice, and I'm a huge Martina sucker, no matter how cheesy her ballads are.

David Archuleta: Now this David is another story. Simon's right, it's very strange that Robbie Williams' song "Angels" has never been as popular here as it should be. It is a superior pop song, if that's not an oxymoron. David nailed it, and I got those goosebumps again.

Brooke White:
Bland. If she was gonna sing Carole King, why didn't she pick "Where You Lead"? Anything that reminds me of Gilmore Girls will make me more inclined to vote for you.*

Whenever I find a website for the complete song list last night, I'll link to it. Watch Idol Gives Back tonight, and obey David Cook's hand -- Give back!

*That is, if I actually voted. I don't, so all of these contestants should be very concerned with what I have to say.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Charlton Heston, R.I.P.

Another giant has left the stage.

Charlton Heston died on Saturday. Like his friend, Ronald Reagan, he left us long before he passed, walking the quiet, awful, and silent corridors of Alzheimer's Disease. And, like Reagan, Heston lived a rich, extraordinary life.

He was an actor of epic proportions, tall, rugged, and unabashedly masculine. The roles he took on are the sort of roles that no one writes any longer. He was El Cid. Michelangelo. Ben Hur. Moses. And we believed him in those roles, because he carried the heroic within him.

He served in WWII, had a career unequalled in film, was president of the Screen Actors Guild (again like Ronald Reagan), marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. , traveled widely and wrote about it, and was President of the National Rifle Association, guiding that organization through difficult and troubling times. Through it all, he carried himself with grace, dignity, and an admirable civility, even when faced with graceless, undignified and notoriously uncivil detractors.

And yet it is true that he considered his family, his wife of more than sixty years, Lydia, and his two children, to be the most important parts of his life.

And so he goes to his rest. But we have the movies he left us and the example he set. And though many, many moviegoers love to repeat the line "Soylent Green is made of people! It's people!", my favorite line of his is from The Ten Commandments, when Moses stands before Pharoah and thunders "Let my people go!"

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

So, you say it was your birthday . . . .

well, it was my birthday too. And she forgot it just like she forgot yours. I peed on her floor this morning.

I would have had this note to you sooner, but without opposable thumbs it takes me awhile. I just wanted to wish you Happy Birthday. I was thinking of you all day yesterday. I guess I am officially middle-aged now (7 X 7). Oh, to be 25 again and running around my yard in Austin in that fabulous heat. (Whose idea was it anyway to move a Louisiana breed to Idaho? It's still 35 degrees up here at night. My arthritis can't take much more of this.)

I hope you got what you wanted for your birthday. I got the trots because my not so bright mother gave me a ham bone to "knaw" on about three days ago. Was she serious? Did she think I wasn't going to eat that? Hello! Does she even know who I am anymore?

Well, I better go. There's someone walking on the path 50 yards from my back porch, so I need to go to the back door and bark like they are murdering someone in my living room. It's gets me lots of negative attention, but with the Earp boys running the show around here a Catahoula's gotta do what a Catahoula's gotta do.

Here's hoping you get a better birthday present from her than I did.

Love, Bluebelle

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Friday, April 04, 2008

And what a fabulous birthday girl she is

Molly McGee, you'll always be Teebs to me -- my partner in crime and the object of my phone-stalking. I love you!

"She wants fabulous, that's her simple request"

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Happy Birthday, Molly!!

You have a fabulous present waiting for you at our house. I'll give you one clue: It's not dilapidated lemon cake.


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". . . . .I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that . . . ."
Rick to Ilsa, Casablanca

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Snack Time

Shouldn't I get some sort of "Cool Mom of the Day" award for serving my four year old an afternoon snack of graham crackers dipped in hot fudge sauce?

I know, I know - I'm probably setting him up for diabetes or something, but he sure enjoyed it. The happy look on his face when I pulled out the treat was surely worth at least a few of the the future insulin shots.

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Another Reason To Tell Your Child To "Go Play Outside!"

Apparently there are some difficulties with the link. Maybe you have to sign up for the Pioneer Press to have access to certain articles, hence the reason the link worked for me. Apologies.

Here is the article:

Self-discipline, ADHD and the power of nature
By Maja Beckstrom
Article Last Updated: 04/01/2008 04:13:55 PM CDT

Girls who can see trees outside their apartment window have more self-discipline. And kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have an easier time focusing after spending time outdoors in spaces with greenery.
These are some of the findings from research conducted by Andrea Faber Taylor, who studies the benefits of nature to children at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a keynote speaker Friday at "Nature, Children and Families: A Necessary Connection," a conference at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Several studies since the 1970s have measured how natural spaces affect adults: Office workers who look out onto greenery like their jobs more and report greater life satisfaction. Patients whose hospital rooms overlook trees recover from abdominal surgery faster. Even photographs of nature have been shown to boost people's moods.
Now, Faber Taylor and Frances E. Kuo, director of the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at Urbana-Champaign, have found a similar relationship with nature and children. They studied kids at a Chicago public-housing development by measuring the amount of greenery children saw from their apartment windows and by testing participants' concentration and ability to control their impulses. They found the greener the view, the higher the girls scored.
Faber and her colleagues theorized boys were not affected by the view because girls spent more time indoors, both because their parents wanted to protect them and because they were expected to help out with younger siblings.
Why would a view of nature improve concentration and impulse control? Nature is what researchers call a "restorative environment" that can help people recover from the mental and emotional fatigue of staying on task.
"The leaves are kind of moving, there are maybe some squirrels and birds. It holds your attention, but it's not riveting," Faber Taylor says. "You can think about other things while you're looking. There is this opportunity for reflective thinking, and that in itself is restorative."
Faber Taylor's most recent work has been with children diagnosed with ADHD. She surveyed 500 parents about how different leisure activities affected the behavior of their children and found children had fewer ADHD symptoms after spending time on tree-lined streets, grassy back yards and parks as compared with indoors or outdoor spaces that lacked greenery.
Finally, another study about to be published looked at 17 grade-school children who took 20-minute walks in three different settings: a quiet downtown, a manicured neighborhood with trees and a large city park.
The children exhibited the fewest symptoms of ADHD after walking through the park.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

God Our Father, Once Again

Please pray for a beloved Episcopalian minister who married us last year.

Months after our marriage, and after he took a call to a parish in California, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. December reports were that the tumor was we hear it was not.

Either way, the chemo has taken its toll and his kidneys are failing.

There is no pretty, clever way to ask for these things but he and his young family need your prayers as preparations for calling hospice are made. There are readers of this blog I don't know or don't communicate with regularly who will pray and I am asking.


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I've become a belly sleeper.

Yep, I tend to sleep on stomach, instead of on my side or back.

But now I keep waking up in the middle of the night with upper limbs that have fallen asleep, and it's quite uncomfortable.

Is there a correct way to sleep on your abdomen and prevent this happening?

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