Friday, November 13, 2009

Tarantula Hawk

Please do not read this post if you are squeamish. Or if you do not like bugs or spiders.

ok? Ready? If you are still with me, scroll on down.

This is what I encountered on the road yesterday as I was driving in my driveway. That's a waspy looking thing dragging a tarantula. Notice that the tarantula's legs are not curled tightly to its body. Know what that means? Yeah, the spider is still alive. Just paralyzed. Nice. I was fascinated by this scene because this waspy thing, which I later found out is a Tarantula Hawk, was dragging this huge tarantula - uphill. Backwards. Really, really fast. Like crazy fast.

Later while telling the story to King, I googled and found out the name of the waspy thing. Unfortunately, I was right. The tarantula was still alive. If you like gross stories about the animal kingdom and its subsequent brutality, read about the Tarantula Hawk. I'm sure boys will love this type of thing. Princess and I? Not so much. It's straight off the shelf horror fiction ... only it's real. Not fiction.

This is a photo I got off the web. Ya'll, the thing is huge. Yikes. So nice to know s/he lives in the neighborhood. Where my daughter plays. (shudder)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Thermostat or Thermometer

Standing at the pharmacy counter today, I pondered my social interaction in groups. I wondered, "Am I a thermostat or a thermometer?"

A thermometer: a person who reads the temperature of the group and observes. This could be a listener, an observer, a person who is simply a static part of the group.

A thermostat: a person who reads the temperature of the group and then acts as a catalyst to change the temperature. This is a person who either in a positive or negative way, influences the group to change. Is this the complainer who grumbles and makes everyone else uncomfortable? Perhaps the thermostat is a peacemaker who brings calm to the group. The person could be the "happy pill" for the group and brings the fun.

I think I am typically a thermometer. If I am ever a thermostat, it would be in a small eddy off to the side of the main group. I am attracted to groups of 2 where conversation can go to meaningful depths. I like to leave a social gathering knowing that I have had an interaction that is a blessing. I like to leave a person better than I found them. If I cannot have a meaningful conversation, then I tend to lurk in the background and watch ... observe.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Decisions and enchiladas

I have decided to ban myself from making decisions after 5:00 p.m. I am most definitely not making any decisions beyond Coke Zero or water, nachos or enchiladas, athletic pants or jeans.

Nope. Not gonna do it.

Because in the morning, after a full night of rest, I almost always feel differently about the situation. This leads me to regret the decision I made the night before in my tired state. I am much more gracious in the morning.

It's good to know my problem. It's hard to make good decisions when I do not even know the problem. Now, I know that I cannot make good decisions when I'm tired.

So, if you call me after 5:00? Don't ask my opinion.

Unless you want to know if you should eat nachos or enchiladas. Then? I'll help. I'll surely recommend my friend's Chicken Enchiladas. The. Best. Ever.


Chicken Enchiladas

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1.5 lbs total), cooked and shredded
(short cut: Honey Jalapeno Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shredded
Cheaper option: cook whole chicken in crockpot and shred meat)
1 T. butter
1 c. chopped onion (you can buy the fresh chopped onion in the produce section)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
8 oz. grated cheddar cheese
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 c. purchased green chile salsa (Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa is good)
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
4 t. ground cumin
Optional: 1-2 T. of sauce from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (it is spicy, so only a little of the sauce) Salt and pepper to taste
12-15 7" flour tortillas
10 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 c. whipping cream
1/2 c. chicken broth

Garnish possibilities: fresh sliced avocado, Pico, chopped tomato, fresh cilantro, guacamole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion and bell peppers until just soft, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add chicken, cheddar cheese, green chiles, green salsa, cilantro, cumin, chipotle chile sauce (if desired). Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Grease 10x15x2 inch baking pan or 2 smaller pans. Fill tortillas with filling, and place seam side down in pan. Sprinkle grated Monterey Jack cheese over enchiladas. (May be prepared to this point up to 1 day in advance. Cover and chill.)

Combine cream and chicken broth and pour over enchiladas. Cover pan with foil and bake 30 - 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered another 10 minutes. Serve with garnish as desired.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's been one of those days.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This is evil personified. I have an unhealthy feeling about scorpions. This scorpion is just one of many that we have killed in our home over the past 4 months. I abhor scorpions. I'm neurotic about scorpions.

They hurt, for petesake. Have you ever been stung?

Not fun. At all.

This is the nicest picture of all of the scorpions that I have killed. I took a picture of the one that stung me earlier in the summer. His body bore the sign of my feelings towards him. I cannot find his picture, thus I will instead show you the one I killed yesterday afternoon. I had already started this blog post and got lost trying to find the first killed scorpion picture. In the meantime, Princess called me about a scorpion that followed her in the front door.

Part of my paranoia is that scorpions are just evil. They sting repeatedly for no apparent reason other than "it's what they do".

Makes me think of how I repeatedly make the same sinful mistakes over and over. I'm a bit like the scorpion and the frog. How I wish I wasn't.

The Scorpion and the Frog
A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too." The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"
Replies the scorpion: " I am a scorpion. Its my nature..."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Conference

I was the conference coordinator for the 2009 Periodic Paralysis Association Conference in mid-October. Here is our group photo.
The hotel upgraded my room to a VIP room. A nice little basket of fruit and cheese accompanied the room. And a letter.
"Welcome to the ____ Hotel! We are glad you are here representing the Periodic Paralysis Ass."

Me thinks someone did not learn how to appropriately abbreviate the word "association".

Bless their heart.

Friday, October 23, 2009


My driveway is 1/10 of a mile long and runs the length of the property. About half way down the driveway is a drainage culvert. There, on the road, coming out of the culvert was this little beauty. I managed to dodge him and stopped the car. I jumped out to take his picture and ... couldn't find him. Eeek. I looked around my feet and then realized that he was farther behind the car. In order to give you the correct perspective, I layed my Blackberry case next to him.
He's a big 'un.

Isn't it comforting to know these lurk in the dark?

Just a happy little thought on this Friday morning.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Christmas Lists

How do you facilitate gift-giving in your family for the holidays?

We started drawing names in our extended family many years ago. Now the grandkids are big enough to be part of the mix, so we all exchange names. The ideal is to have names exchanged by summer so that we can pick up presents as we see the perfect item for a great price. This does not always happen.

Ok, never.

Still, we aim to get the most for the best price. This year, the economy is pinching us, so we are being challenged to make as many gifts as possible. I suggested re-gifting, but that idea didn't catch on so well. I pity the person who has my husband's name. Guys are so hard to shop for, don't you think? It seems like it's either tools, electronics or hunting gear. All fairly pricey items.

Thus, the obligatory neck tie.

One man I know purchased a grey purse for every member of the family and then put the gift receipt in the purse. Guys and girls alike. He figured they would return their gift anyway, so he might as well make it easy for them. Too funny.'s wish list is a great idea for helping extended family who live far away. A couple of clicks and your shopping is done. Family used this last year for the King and he got a couple of things that he loves, like a guitar tuner and some other electronic gadget.

You may remember that I made aprons for friends and family last year. Any suggestions for sewing gifts this year? I'd love some fresh ideas. I have to get busy now or I won't get it all done by Christmas.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Curtis & Leroy saw an ad in the The Oxford Eagle Newspaper in OXFORD, MS. and bought a mule for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the mule the next day.

The next morning the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry, fellows, I have some bad news, the mule died last night."

Curtis & Leroy replied, "Well, then just give us our money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

They said, "OK then, just bring us the dead mule."

The farmer asked, "What in the world ya'll gonna do with a dead mule?"

Curtis said, "We gonna raffle him off."

The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead mule!"

Leroy said, "We shore can! Heck, we don't hafta tell nobody he's dead!"

A couple of weeks later, the farmer ran into Curtis & Leroy at the grocery store and asked, "What'd you fellers ever do with that dead mule?"

They said,"We raffled him off like we said we wuz gonna do." Leroy said,"Shucks, we sold 500 tickets fer two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898."

The farmer said,"My Lord, didn't anyone complain?"

Curtis said, "Well, the feller who won got upset.. So we gave him his two dollars back." Curtis and Leroy now work for the government. They're overseeing the Bailout Program.

Moral of the story: Limit all US politicians to two terms. One in office One in prison.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Working from home

I cannot seem to kick this cold/flu thing that I have had since last Thursday! Both yesterday and today I thought I would go in to work and ... not. So, I'm working from home. I could have gone in today, but my voice is just not a pretty thing. I certainly don't need to be answering phones. They'd think I was a cross-dresser.

Yesterday I talked to the nurse from the doctor's office. I called on Friday because I felt HORRIBLE. I guess I didn't whine enough on the phone because she told me when she returned my call on Monday, "Well, you obviously don't have the flu and you are not very sick, so I can ask the doctor if he wants to prescribe some antibiotics."


My response, "Ma'am, I'm going to let that comment slide. No, actually I'm not. What factors did you use to determine that I am not and have not been very sick and that I indeed, do NOT have the flu??"

Her: "Weeeellllll. You just don't have the symptoms. And you haven't been sick long enough to have the flu."

(silence again)

"Ma'am, I have been sick since Thursday with fever, sore throat, body aches, fatigue and congestion. I'm now past the body ache part and over most of the fever. What symptoms do I lack?"

Poor thing. I should have cut her some slack. I didn't intend to be rude, but she was my lifeline to the doc. And as I told her, "I'm asking clarifying questions because you are my liaison to the doctor and if somehow you have garnered the idea that I have not been very sick, we need to keep communicating because I do not want you to go to the doctor and tell him that I'm not sick and am just calling for drugs."

All is well. They did call in a Z-pack. Now if I could just get my strength back from being sick, then all will be peachy.

Maybe I just need to eat a pizza with garlic-y breadsticks followed by chocolate cake with some hot cocoa. Comfort food for a sick body. Hey, that's a pretty good Rx. Maybe I should skip the nurse and prescribe my own meds...

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Dining Table

Remember that we sanded and painted our dining table? It's taken me a while to get pictures of the painted table. Here is the King's grandmother's dining table. Isn't it lovely? It's so chocolate-y that I want to lick it.


We went to Florida for the Periodic Paralysis Association conference last week. The conference was great! We celebrated the end of the conference (and Mommy's months of conference prep) by going to Disney for 3 days. Here we are with 3-4,000 of our closest friends, watching Fantasmic. I have a problem with the name of this show. It always makes me think of ... bedroom lingo and I haven't quite understood Disney's reason for naming this show with the ending "asmic".


"Cinnamon" the tiny little bear came with us for this Disney trip. He rode in Princess' pocket every day of our Disney adventure. He rode Splash Mountain. He rode Rockin' Rollercoaster. He even rode the Tower of Terror. But only once. Not even Cinnamon was enough comfort for Princess to ride the Tower of Terror more than once.

Mommy, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of the Terror. Dude. I could do that thrill over and over and over.

We had great fun. Then it was time to head home. Cinnamon took the trip in his sleeping bag (sock). It's a bear's life.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

We sold our house

We sold our house. I am happy. I am sad. I will miss my old house. I am super happy to be finished with it and happy to put the check in the bank. Woo-hoo!

I am the coordinator of the 2009 Periodic Paralysis Association conference. It is this weekend. I will be glad to sew a ribbon on that huge project! Woo-hoo!

We think we have found a new home. Woo-hoo! We are waiting to hear more from the home owners. It's an unusual deal where we asked them if they want to sell their house. It wasn't on the market. They said .... "for the right price". Cool! We looked at it and really liked the house. We'll see. We are not in a hurry. If you knew where we lived right now, you would be asking why we are even moving at all! Gorgeous place.

Princess got her new glasses. I still do not have a picture to show you. Nor do I have a picture of our newly refinished table. It's beautiful, by the way. Now I want to paint everything. I felt the same way when I got my label maker. I even wanted to label moving objects. Love it.

I've been reading the book "Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckley". I did not know Mary Todd Lincoln was so self-absorbed. I also did not realize that the Lincolns lost 3 out of their 4 sons! So tragic.

Our family is studying the book of Luke. Mark Driscoll is starting a new series. Check it out...

Our poodle is learning to use a doggie door. She's the cutest thing ever. I love how smart poodles are. She learned what to do in 15 minutes. Although she did get a little sick after eating so many blueberries. I've never known a dog who loves dried blueberries. She did anyway. She ate so many the other night that she is not interested in them currently. Now, if you offered her a Honey Nut Cherrio, that's another story...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dining Table

We have never been the DIY family, because life does not slow down long enough to take on extra projects. King is the Renaissance man. He can do anything.

However, we want to change a fews things as we sell our previous home and settle into our current lease house. We may continue leasing for some time or we may buy a new house soon. We are waiting for a house to open up close to school.
So, to make our home fun and different, our DIY project is the dining table! This is King's grandmother's table. See how the edge of the table is worn? She was a lady of great hospitality. So many bellies have rubbed this table that the varnish is worn off. I long to be like her and have never wanted to refinish her table. Now, I am ready.

As a family project, we sanded the table. No small chore. Last night Princess and I went to Home Depot and got paint. We took a candlestick with us to match paint. I am so glad we did. I thought the candlestick was a blackish color with some grey. Uh, no. It's a dark, dark brown. Cool. We were able to match the candlestick and painted the first coat last night. Princess picked the color! She did great.

Oh my. I LOVE the result. In direct sun, the color is a dark chocolate. In evening incandescent light, it's a brownish black color. Very cool. I will post pictures this week.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Princess is getting glasses.

I was in 10th grade and King was in 2nd grade when we received our first pair. We had her eye appt on Tuesday and ordered her glasses yesterday. Costco says two weeks. "Two weeks!", she wails. Drama. It probably will only take a week.

Her frames are adorable. She's growing so fast. The pictures above were taken in August 2008 and August 2009. In 365 days, she grew several inches. It's so amazing to watch her grow and become such a beautiful young lady.

I will post pictures when her glasses come in.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Remember that I fell down the stairs to the creek on Saturday? Silly me. I'm still sore where I am bruised. See my bruise from the middle of my arm to my elbow? That's the only bruise that is appropriate to photograph. :) I'm so thankful that I fell on muscle. I took most of the hit on my right side and all of my weight went bumpity bumping down the stairs on muscle. I totally would have broken my arm if I had fallen a little more to the right, on the bone in my forearm.

God is so good. I think this is the perfect example of giving thanks in all things. 1 Thess 5:18 says, "...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I could have really injured myself. As it is, I learned to avoid the mold on the steps, I did not break anything and all my aches can be relieved by Advil.

Thanks to Jesus!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


We have had a horrible drought and finally the rains came! It's rained 5 and 1/4 inches in the last three days. With much glee, we walked down to the creek to see how much the water had risen. The good news is that the creek is up ... way up. Still not running yet, but the fish, turtles and frogs are having a frat party down there.

The bad news is that I fell down the stairs to the creek. The steel stairs. Thankfully, I fell on the last section of stairs and I fell on muscle. I am a sore lady today!

Oh, and do you see that sad, pathetic little plant in the foreground? The plant has not appreciated the record breaking heat and drought. Let's hope God's showers bring it back from the dark side.

This is Princess' tent. I was trying to be brave. I am not a camping person ... even play camping.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fun Personality Test

UPDATE: I should add that we were goofing off at work because the lightening had knocked the power off. No computers were injured in the taping of this game.

Ok, my sweet friend gave me this verbal test at work today. Answer each question and THEN read the interpretation for your answers. Don't cheat. You'll laugh harder if you don't peek at the interpretation. I'll give you the questions and then tell you my answers and then give you the interpretations. Don't read ahead. :)


1. What is your favorite color?
2. Why is it your favorite color?
3. What is your favorite thing about nature?
4. Why is that your favorite thing about nature?
5. If you could have absolutely any animal for a pet, what would you choose?
6. Why would you choose that animal?

Ok, my answers:

1. Royal Blue
2. It's vibrant, bold and lively
3. I love the tropics and anything that is lush with foliage, green, bold colors
4. Because it represents living, thriving
5. Horse
6. Because it's useful and it's fun.

Ok, for the Interpretations:

2. This is how you see yourself
4. This is how you see God.
6. This is the spouse you desire

I laughed so hard. King is useful and fun.

So, my single friend who gave me this test also dislikes all animals. Bordering on hate. She answered that she'd like a dead deer on the wall for her pet. Why? 'Cause it's old and it doesn't bother her. She is either going to be single forever or marry a really old dude that has one foot in the grave.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Guess what?

I took a blog hiatus. I did not even plan one.

Lots happened over the summer.

King and I went on the South Beach Diet and have kept our weight off. That diet will kick your behind, but it works.

Princess rode horses almost every day. In July, she woke up at 5:30 am 6 days a week and was at the barn before sunrise. She's still leasing a horse, but the horse has changed. In the summer she leased a quarter pony named Spotty Showers. He's gorgeous, but has been mistreated in his past, so he has fear issues. He started spinning on his back hoof and throwing Princess when he would approach a jump. Flowers scare him. Crossrails scare him. Cavaletties scare him. The poor thing gets scared so easily. After 5 throws in three weeks, she was all done with riding Mr. Spotty Showers. She still loves him and he loves her. The silly horse is like a dog. He stole my heart ... he's soooo sweet. He's just very young and needs training before Princess can ride him again.

So, now she is leasing a "flea bitten gray" Arabian. He is ingloriously named, "Hippo". He's beautiful ... AND, he doesn't spin on his back hoof.

Today is King's birthday. Happy Birthday to Superman!
Oh, and we sold our house. We close on it the 21st.

It's been a good summer.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Woo-hoo" post

Well, it's been a while since I updated the blog!

The King's uncle (like a 2nd dad) passed away May 14th. We had the funeral and burial May 17th. We went to the church building to hang out with each other after the graveside/burial service. Thirty minutes later, I got the call that my Granny had just passed away.

It was a rough day.

We have hired a new employee and she began this past week. I am training her and she is smart and teachable. Everyone shout "Woo-hoo!" with me!

We list our house with a realtor this week. I had a garage sale this past weekend and worked my buns off. I made a little over $500 though. "Woo-hoo!"

We have huge, ginorous, killer software deadlines this week. Actually the deadline was this past week, but we couldn't get the software ready in time. The King is finishing testing tonight and will send it to HP tomorrow. All together now, "Woo-hoo!"

Princess is out of school! "Woo-hoo!"

I got two weeks worth of laundry done today. "Woo-hoo!"

We began our annual Summer Fun Fridays at our house. This past week was our first week of the summer. I pick up Princess' close girlfriends in the morning and bring them to our house to swim and play. I take them home just before dinner in the evening. Much fun is had by all.

The King found Princess like this the other night. She snuggled in bed with me, but sadly, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep. I guess she was tired, too.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I've been super busy and realized I haven't even blogged. wow.

Granny update: We went to see her the next day (on Friday and Saturday) after I last posted. She was not great when we got there, but by the time we left on Saturday at lunch, she was sitting up at the table in her wheelchair, laughing and eating a sandwich!

She's been doing better since her downward spiral that I posted about although she is not long for this world. Her mind has good days and not so good days ... mostly not so good. The past couple of days, she has been wandering around the house looking for her husband, Greatdaddy. When she can't find him, it makes her cry. Greatdaddy passed away about 5 years ago. Bless her heart!! Please pray for her to be peaceful in spirit, to feel Jesus' nearness (Isaiah 40:11) and to be pain-free until Jesus calls her home.

So! It's Mother's Day this weekend. Totally caught me by surprise. A couple of years ago we went bowling for Mother's Day with our small group. That was fun. I'm not sure what we will be doing for Mother's Day this year.

We leased Cougar, the little Arabian, for Princess for the month of May. Leasing a horse is a month to month situation, so we can try it and if it works for our family, we can keep leasing.

She is beside herself with joy. It's fun to see her so happy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sweet Granny UPDATE

I got a call at noon today with the news that my Granny is unresponsive and has been for 2 days. She is 93 and tired. So tired. Her pulse at noon today was 30 and her blood pressure was super low.

Look at that beautiful face. Can't you just feel her sweetness and love oozing from her? She's precious. She's my Granny. I love her forever.

Fly to Jesus, Granny. I don't want you to go, but I'll see you on the flip side...

UPDATE: she rallied tonight and I talked to her. She was incoherent, but at least I got to hear her soft voice and tell her I love her. I hope to get to see her tomorrow, Lord willing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Dentist

I had the illustrious privilege of witnessing a horse have its teeth floated. At least, I think that was what was happening. That's the horse's tongue the vet tech is holding in her hand. They sedate the horse and then file away.

I feel a little like this in the dentist chair. People are doing ungodly things to my mouth, the sedation is not enough and when it's all said and done my tongue doesn't fit in its proper place anymore.

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I don't even know how to title this post. We've just been very busy around here.

The King was gone to the NW states for a week and is now home. We got serious about putting our house on the market. We haven't lived in it for a year and have been too busy to navigate paralysis episodes, work and emptying our old house. Besides, I love that house and all our memories. It makes me a touch sad to button it up for another family. It's my house, afterall.

Ok, so maybe I need counseling in addition to the other things on my list. I'm really not as materialistic as I sound. Or maybe I am. Ugh. I think it's just that, as a woman, I have "nested" in that house and I hate to tear up my nest.

So, there are 5 other houses for sale on our street being represented by 5 different real estate agencies. We thought since we are one of the few 1 story houses in the entire (huge) neighborhood that we probably wouldn't have to list the house ... not yet anyway.

Sunday, 45 minutes after putting a FSBO sign in the front yard, we had a call. We showed the house 4 hours later. That was 4 days ago. It's only been 4 days, but this morning I began to contemplate our options. We got a call at noon today from a lady who is dying to look at our house. We show it tonight. It helps to have a one story house on a highly desired street. I really hope we don't have to list it.

In the meantime, we've put the steam on. We're trying to get the last of the stuff out of the house. If you have moved, you know the feeling we have right now. I'm better today, but over the weekend I wanted to pour gasoline on it and toss a match to the whole mess. Persistence pays off and we have a routine now. We have been going over every evening after work. We all three hit a room and work as a team. We are getting a lot done this way and we are teaching Princess how to work. It's amazing how we model a strong work ethic for her on a daily basis, but she still has to be shown HOW to work which, I guess, is pretty normal for kids.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I've read this before and each time it makes my heart thump and tears well in my eyes. In story form, this tells a more memorable truth than any amount of words I can share with Princess.


After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on-line. She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:

ByAngel213:Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!

GoTo123:LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you? Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?

ByAngel213:Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see anybody when I looked out.

GoTo123: Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?

ByAngel213: Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

GoTo123: Did you have a softball game after school today?

ByAngel213: Yes and we won!!

GoTo123: That's great! Who did you play?

ByAngel213: We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees. LOL

GoTo123: What is your team called?

ByAngel213:We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really cool.

GoTo123: Did you pitch?

ByAngel213: No I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!

GoTo123: Catch you later. Bye

Meanwhile.......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.

Her name: Shannon
Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
Age: 13
State where she lived: North Carolina
Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work He knew she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the eighth grade at the Canton Junior High School. She had told him all this in the conversations they had on- line. He had enough information to find her now.

Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ballpark that day. She didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games. Parents were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't be so overprotective.
By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her.

Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely.

He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the sudden fear she had felt.

After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her shirt. He knew he had found her.

Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks to Shannon's home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car.

Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to Shannon's house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.
"Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa.

"Sit down," her father began, "this man has just told us a most interesting story about you."

Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!

"Do you know who I am, Shannon?" the man asked.

"No," Shannon answered.

"I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123."

Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14. And he lives in Michigan!"

The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't true. You see, Shannon, there are people on-line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to injure kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to people on-line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. You named the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the position you played. The number and name on your jersey just made finding you a breeze."Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan?"

He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?"
She nodded.

"I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time on-line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there on-line. Before you know it, you have told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again. Tell others about this so they will be safe too?"

"It's a promise!"

Thursday, April 09, 2009


I typically don't get into stereotypical bashing. However. I'm making an exception.

But, before I make my exception, let me make a tiny disclaimer. I love certain lawyers. I have a couple of lawyers that are near and dear to me... just precious.

But, the whole lot of 'em? Blech. Argumentative, bullying, unteachable, unwilling to listen, impatient and entitled. That pretty much sums up my customer support experience with lawyers. And sadly, I've listened to a bucketful of them.

Tuesday, I received a typical call from a lawyer. Instead of being like 99% of our customers, he asked his question and followed it by immediate, impatient, harrassing lanuage. He didn't even wait for an answer and then finished his tirade by asking if there was any live person at our company that he could talk to.

Um. (checking pulse in neck) Hello? Will I do?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I currently need to closely monitor all the ingredients in my food. Which means I am cooking everything from scratch. I am working 50-60 hours a week around paralysis episodes and daily migraines.

One evening last week I was so tired and grumpy. I asked Princess to make Angel Biscuits for dinner and being a kid, she was getting distracted and not working with diligence. I am not always patient with childishness. I should be, but am not. So, here I am tired, I have a migraine, Princess is goofing around and the window of opportunity for dinner is closing.

Then the dog pukes on the floor.

The yeast is ready to add to the other ingredients. I have to get the green beans going.

The dog pukes again. On the carpet this time.

I lost it and crabbed to Princess about her lack of diligence and her work ethic while I scoop up dog puke.

That's when it hit me ... "Would I want to be cooped up in a kitchen trying to help someone like myself?" My attitude was terrible. It didn't matter how I felt. I needed to apologize and be gentle and kind.

When I apologized to Princess, she forgave me so quickly. Like a child does. Then I realized that I really DO like childishness. I like the quickness to forgive. I like the unconditional love of a child. I like the playfulness of a child.

The rest of dinner prep was not easy, but was so much more pleasant because I chose to change my attitude and seek forgiveness.

Works for me!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Beautiful Girl, Beautiful Arabian

Riding a horse is not as easy as it looks. Riding English is especially hard. Princess looks great in this photo. Her heels are down, her shoulders are almost exactly over her hips and she's looking ahead. Her instructor calls this "driving the horse". Princess is doing a great job!

She's leaning too far forward and has her hands on Cougar's neck, but her eyes are looking forward and she's squeezing with her knees. Leaning forward shifts the rider's weight and communicates slowing/stopping to the horse.
Cougar has a very long mane. I love to see it fly when he goes over the crossrails. Princess has a pretty good "two point" position, but she has her hands on Cougar's neck. A no-no.

Princess's body is in a good "two point" position (except for those pesky hands on his neck).

I love to watch her ride. She has so much fun! She almost fell off 3 or 4 times this lesson, which is a record. She hasn't fallen off yet so far. Cougar will buck or rear if he has the inclination. He is good for her in that he doesn't let her get away with poor riding skills. She is good for him in that she doesn't let him cheat. Friday's lesson was frustrating and there were several tears shed on cougar's neck and a bit of railing towards him. Horse riding is a great way to toughen up a person and teach perseverance.
Princess's instructor says that horses wake up each day trying to figure out how they can cheat. I believe it. These pesky kids strap on a girth around their bellies, put a bit in their mouths, and then have the nerve to make them cantor and jump when they'd much rather be in the pasture with their muzzle in some soft grass.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Socialism and the Economy

Just how bad is the economy?

Bad enough that even the most arrogant, proud, independent of the animal kingdom has endorsed Obama and his socialistic ideas.

I give you, the cat.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Am I missing something?

This is teen fiction? A partially naked young woman on the cover of a book named "Untamed"?? Perhaps that describes our society ... untamed and haunted.

I thought teen fiction was this...

But, what do I know?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Little House

My MIL made this adorable ensemble for Princess. Princess loves history and has very much enjoyed the Little House books. She did comment after wearing this for a while, "Boy, all these clothes are hot!" Have I mentioned how thankful I am that we live in the 21st century?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Dairy-Free, veggie-free diet

I have wrecked my body with stress. I now have messed up my resting heart rate, blood pressure and am completely and utterly lactose intolerant, among other things.

It is wicked hard to find good tasting, dairy-free recipes. Come through for me, Weblings! I really need some ideas!

I can have sharp chedder and lactose-free milk. That's it for the dairy aisle. Oh, and Fleishman's no dairy margarine.

Ideas? Besides spaghetti and chicken fajitas and roast beef? I'm getting kinda tired of those.

Oh and I have another dietary restriction that prevents me from eating most green vegetables. So, salads are out. So are onions, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes.

Pasta, rice and potatoes are good for me. For more helpful tips, visit WFMW.


I have always longed to go to the Northwest USA. I love rain and the earth's reaction to rain. The lush forests and beautiful green lanscapes thrill me.

We are in the process of beginning a church plant and will be partnering with Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Thus, King has been making a number of trips to Seattle. These pictures are from his trip three weeks ago. He was dining on a boathouse. So beautiful. I hope to be able to join him this summer for a trip.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Do you ever ponder the evil in this world?

So, the alarm goes off at 4:00 a.m. and you stumble out of bed, grab your McDonald's uniform and get dressed. With puffy eyes, you walk into work, grab your headset and begin a new day's work at the drive through window. It's not a glamorous job, but it pays the bills. You're thankful to have a job these days.

And then. Lucifer's Posse comes through the drive-through lane and up to your window.

Deep breath, everyone. It's just a hamburger.

Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Police said a customer fired one or two shots into a Salt Lake City McDonald's after the driver of the car he was in was told the restaurant was not serving lunch yet.
Police said the female driver of a white Dodge Intrepid pulled up to the drive-thru and ordered from the lunch menu early Sunday but was told only breakfast was available.
Police said two men then got out of the car and one pulled a sawed-off shotgun from the trunk, shooting into the drive-thru window once or twice, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday. No one was injured.
The car then left the scene.

Youth Volleyball

Princess signed up for a youth volleyball team. It's a 6 week league played outdoors on grass courts. Here is Princess with her team on the first day of practice/play. She has two really good friends on her team.

After instruction for an hour, they play matches. It was a beautiful day and seems so idyllic.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What is wrong with this picture?

While watching horse riding lessons on Friday, I sat in my car with my notebook (computer) in my lap. It was a beautiful day and, smiling, I watched as a horde of 5 year old girls descended on the ranch for a birthday party. One mother/grandmother drove up next to me and unloaded her children. After making a few trips from the car to the picnic tables by the riding arena, she decided she was finally finished making trips back and forth.

At which point she held up her key fob and "beep-beep", locks her car. The one in the picture.

Alrighty then.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Purse Dump

Just ignore my red nose. If you've been around, you'll remember that I laugh and then cry when I really hurt myself.

I hit my head -hard- and needed to find some Advil. We were out of Advil in the medicine cabinet, so I told King to look in my purse. He's the king, afterall, and quite courageous. However, the line of courage was drawn at the contents of my purse. What is in that black hole of a purse?

Well, let's see:

1 wallet
1 bible
1 hand sanitizer bottle (warm sugar vanilla, of course)
3 packages of Eclipse gum (cinnamon inferno - cause I like it hot, baby)
1 bookmark
2 mints from Abuelo's
1 snack bar
1 chapstick
6 pens
1 pencil
1 set of keys
1 ipod holder, sans the ipod
1 Blackberry
1 upopened hand warmer, from a pkg of two
6 earplugs, running loose
2 earplugs, in their case
Can you tell I have migraines?
1 driving glove
3 coupons
9 receipts
5 unused napkins
3 used napkins
1 sad looking, partially used tissue
1 cookie cutter, ice skating boot-shaped
2 safety pins
1 loose penny
1 bottle of Advil
1 bottle of Phazyme
1 bottle of Excedrine
1 bottle of herbal pills
1 bottle of potassium cloride
7 packages of Lactaid
and 47 chip crumbs.

So besides being a migraine having, bible toting, drug carrying, Blackberry using, hand warmer needing, receipt storing lady ... I have a lot of stuff in my purse. No wonder the King did not venture inside.