29 September 2008

Urgent Prayer Request

I have a huge issue - I used an ATM machine on Saturday because I needed a little cash. (I only have a little cash.) When the cash and receipts came out, I pulled out quickly because I was in a hurry forgetting my debit card. I just talked to the bank to see if they could get it and the lady informed me that if the card is from another bank - it gets shredded. I really really really need that card to travel back home! Please pray.

25 September 2008

The Truest Love

Two of Kendra and Kaitlyn's dearest friends are Tayva and Jessie. Kendra has had a hard last couple of days for various reasons that ended in a good cry today. As soon as I left the room the girls descended on her and they have been laying in there for an hour or better reminiscing about old times, and laughing their heads off. You can love a boyfriends but that kind of love can be fickle - girlfriends are the truest love!

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Guess What Happened in the Night

We had a "get together" with some good friends tonight. People are piling up to sleep now in every nook and cranny of Lizbeth's house - but an hour ago we carried out a secret operative in another friend's yard. Look outside my dears - it might be YOURS.

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23 September 2008

At the Mall

Teenagers can find all sorts of things to get into!!
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22 September 2008

There Won't Be Much Blogging

This week is getting so crazy - invitations and opportunities to hang with some of the most awesome people - and quite a few that may not even know we're here yet. I feel pulled and torn. It is a great feeling - and terrifying. What if someone gets their feelings hurt, feels slighted, wants more of our time than we have to give. In fact, I'm supposed to be in FOUR different places right now! How do I manage this? I don't even think very sequentially, and tend to be the kind of person that goes where the wind blows me. (Thus Hurricane Ike's ability to blow me to WV by way of NC.) There are lunch dates and book discussions, parties and cookouts. One big huge problem is that last night I started to feel like I have gravel in my throat, my ears started to itch, and I was sneezing. I was hoping it was just being around some new animals at the Dimwhits Home for Freakish Animals but no such luck - I am definitely getting sick. But I'm also in denial. I am going to go go go until I crash. (A hospital stay might buy me a few more days anyway! ha ha)
Take care my blogging buddies - if you hear nary a word from me - you'll know why. There will be lots to tell later!

21 September 2008

Country Roads

So we thought since we were so far east that we had to figure a way to get up to WV to see our peeps while we were out this way. When Tina mentioned their Oktoberfest was happening this Saturday - I knew it was a good time to make the leap up. We only told a couple of people so it was great fun to surprise everyone. It was a bit overwhelming but totally AWESOME! More on this later - it's going to be a deliriously busy week!!
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20 September 2008

Me & Laurie.jpg

Last night we went to my niece, Haley's football game. It was fun - and the weather got pretty chilly. I had to borrow a sweatshirt. Laurie took this picture of the two of us. It is one of my all-time favorites!! Love you LJ!!
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19 September 2008

The Waiting Game

I have been waiting for 3 weeks for yesterday. It has felt like an eternity. I was to go to the GYN's office and get the results of my multiple tests. I am sure they don't have electricity nor a staff at the office to answer the phone. Phone calls don't even transfer to their answering service. Life is dramatically different than it was just those few short weeks ago. Most of my symptoms are still there - some are slightly worse and some are slightly better for reasons I know but can't explain. I just want to know what's going on one way or the other.
But Hurricane Ike changed things.
So I wait.

17 September 2008

Sometimes it Takes a Disaster to Clean Things Up

I know - easy for me to say right? My house is in one piece. All members of my family are intact. Life can go back to normal fairly easily once the electricity goes back on. The losses are few. The inconveniences are minimal. My kids and I aren't even at our house - so we haven't even given up more than a night's sleep. We are provided with a bed to sleep in, privacy, and creature comforts. But for me the prevailing thought in my mind the last few days was how no disaster swirling around me could ever compare to the disaster that I have felt for most of my life on the inside.
Relationships with family have always been awkward. The feeling of not really belonging with either side has always caused extreme discomfort. The fragility has been delicate to the point of apologizing for taking up space where someone else far more worthy might reside including in my own skin. I can't even begin to articulate the brokenness, shame, guilt, and fear that have surrounded me.
This visit with my family has been different than ever before. I know a lot of it is me. I am different. I have changed. As my friend Stephanie would say, "I've had the stick removed". I feel so cared for by my dad. I can't explain that - it isn't like he never tried to take care of me - but where it may have seemed obligatory before, it now feels like he wants to make sure we know we are loved here. My nieces and nephews have grabbed my heart in a new way, and Aunt Julie's heart is so full that it could burst at their songs, their antics, their toothless grins. My sister (I know you are reading Laurie!) and I are having absolutely so much fun together. She has me addicted to her favorite show "Prison Break" - but I just love hanging out with her.
Hurricane Ike brought not only the winds of destruction, but the winds of change.

16 September 2008

Hurricane Sale

I have had the Master Plan on sale before - you can see it on my right sidebar. Normally it is $37.95. With the limited cash flow and no idea when our next paychecks will come in, I have decided to generate a little by having a sale. For a limited time, both the Master Plan and my newly released components which normally sell for $9.99 are on sale.
The Calendar Component is a dated calendar supplement for 2008-2009. It contains monthly, weekly and daily pages. The Budgeting Component contains all the information for planning your household finances. Both of these components are interactive like the Master Plan allowing you to fill in your personalized information and either print out the customized pages or use it solely on your computer.
Please send others my way. I have a pretty quick turn around and should be able to email the file within a few hours after purchase. (Usually I'm much quicker than that!)

15 September 2008

A Post Not From My Phone

Today is the first chance I've had to actually look at my blog. How funny it is to see that I virtually took you with me along the way. It is pretty difficult to type too much on that Blackberry QWERTY keyboard - but I tried to keep everyone that might care posted about what we were doing and where we were. I hope you enjoyed it more than I did! Just kidding - actually it was an adventure - and truth be told - I'm always up for anything that breaks up the monotony of my life - however I may rethink the whole hurricane/evacuation thing.
I am starting to catch up on sleep - got a solid 8 hours last night. I am still amazed and think it is a blessing from the Lord that the missed night of sleep didn't impact me harder than it did. I was tired - don't get me wrong. I got all the way to NC and pulled over to try to sleep - but I just couldn't - between the excitement of being "almost here" and the adrenaline and noise of the kids it just wasn't happening.
I spent the weekend off my computer. I got direct orders from my big boss not to worry about anything but my family for a few days - and I did just that. I enjoyed my family. We went to a football game on Saturday morning and celebrated Kullen's birthday that afternoon. Yesterday we went to church and I got to sit between my sister and my dad, and words can't describe that feeling of living an answered prayer.
In some ways it felt bad - I hate knowing that Travis has no electricity and for a time had no water while we are enjoying our family. It was his choice - but all the same my heart was with him all the way. There is still no electricity and the estimates tell us 3 weeks to a month. I hope it is an inflated estimate.
Watching the news this morning, I can't believe how many people refused to evacuate south of us. Where I live it may have been understandable - but on that coast, I just can't imagine.
More later - thanks for hanging with my singularly focused blog for a while.

14 September 2008

Mixed Blessings

One of the best parts about evacuating is that my dad sent us gas money so we could make the trip to NC to stay with them - but well out of harm's way. I have gotten to see all of my nieces and nephews except one. I took this picture of my niece Jenna and her two doughnut breakfast. She is a stinker - but I love her so much. She is six years old going on 26.
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13 September 2008

My Birthday Boy

He is eleven today!!! No hurricane can stop the passage of time!!

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One picture of the corner by our house. I know that pictures can't really tell the story. This is the corner by our house.
I am so overwhelmed by your love right now and thank you for it. My thinking is a little muddled right now - I can't even tell what I'll be doing tomorrow. I don't know where money is coming from even to get home from here. Sounds like it will be a while. Please be patient with me while the storm settles and I attempt to process what's happening and what is going to happen from here.
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12 September 2008

We Made It

Got to NC about 7 pm. Only 1 hour of sleep and yet I'm glued to CNN. Not sure what tomorrow will bring. Maybe I'm too exhausted to care. I really just want Travis to be safe. Also pray for the 22 people stuck on the freighter in the Gulf.
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Somewhere in GA

More sitting in traffic! And don't believe all you hear about southern hospitality - these people were brutal!
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Evacuation Blessings

A few hours into our laborious trek through Louisiana we remembered that our dear D (names removed for his mom's comfort) was staying at a college directly in our path!! How cool is that??? We're having an extended coffee break!
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11 September 2008

Road Trip Boredom

Kullen in Louisiana
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I'm Sure There's a Joke Here Somewhere

Such as how many DPS officers does it take.... (Ignore the bug splatter on the windshield!!). Just one tiny glimpse of our day. We just had to make way for 3 critical care ambulances to go through the center. We are in crawl and go traffic. Fun fun
I'd love to hear from you while I sit in traffic. I should be looking at the map but I'd rather be blogging!!
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Evacuating Again

The counties just to the south of us are being evacuated, as is most of the Gulf coast. This is absolutely overwhelming to go through this again. I really don't know what to do at this point. The worst part is that Saturday is Kullen's birthday. We were going to have a surprise party. (If you were invited to this - please know that we are postponing!) He hasn't had a really fun birthday since we moved. Dang! He already got his birthday gift - a new cell phone, but I'd still like to make his day special. Any ideas how to do this amidst a hurricane and possible evacuation?

10 September 2008

Amazon, not Amazing

I have always loved Amazon.com. Being a bit of a book junkie - I have found I can get the books I want there at a fairly decent rate. I don't love the $3.99 shipping charge, but having no libraries around, and preferring paperbacks that are already broken in (ie. used), it is a worthwhile charge to get mailbox delivery.
Today I decided for the first time to buy an MP3 album - Natalie Cole's new Still Unforgettable. It looked like all I had to do was download a downloader (say that 3 times real fast), go through the checkout process and I would be set to go! Not. Somehow the download stopped halfway through. I searched for access to the download again in my account and could not find it, so I tried to look at the FAQs about MP3 downloads that said I would have to contact customer service to get access to the download again. They had a handy dandy little button that said, "Call me" so I clicked it and within seconds my phone was ringing.
They said to call back in half an hour.
I did.
They said to call back in an hour.
I waited 3.
They said to call back in half an hour again.
One of the cool things about the MP3 download is that you have it quick. I need me some Natalie Cole! Waaaaahhh!
Anyway - not too impressed with this process thus far. Hopefully I can get some resolution, but it sure would be nice if they made it so you could get access to your downloads at least more than once on the day you make the purchase if problems such as these that arise.
Not too impressed yet, nope nope nope.

Duet - Walkin' My Baby Back Home

Why does music make me SO happy? I just love Natalie Cole - and especially the duets with her dad. How awesome is that? Here is the video for the headline song on the new album, Still Unforgettable that I just bought from Amazon.com. It is the first time I've done a digital MP3 download and I am pretty impressed.

You can't help tapping your feet and wanting to dance to this one!

09 September 2008

Counting My Blessings

I have some of the most terrific online friends in an online group. They have been teaching me to think about the things that are good in my life. Sometimes it has to come back to the basics of clean water, safety to sit on my front porch, blooming bushes. Then we have the luxuries of hot water, air conditioning, a vehicle, friends. Today I am feeling just a little under a cloud. Life is feeling a little deflated since all of our company is gone, and I am struggling to see these blessings. The thing I am most thankful for today are those friends who will always show me what I am having trouble seeing. RCU women - you rock!

07 September 2008

Deranged Love

I was reading this in The Four Loves chapter on Affection we are reading this week. It was pretty interesting....
If people are already unlovable a continual demand on their part (as of right) to be loved - their manifest sense of injury, their reproaches, whether loud and clamorous or merely implicit in every look and gesture of resentful self-pity - produce in us a sense of guilt (they are intended to do so) for a fault we could not have avoided and cannot cease to commit. They seal up the very fountain for which they are thirsty. If ever, at some favoured moment, any germ of Affection for them stirs in us, their demand for more and still more petrifies us again. And of course such people always desire the same proof of our love; we are to join their side, to hear and share their grievance against someone else. If my boy really loved me he would see how selfish his father is....if my brother loved me he would make a party with me against my sister....if you loved me you wouldn't let me be treated like this....

How does our dear author do that - word things in such a way as to say what you've been wanting to say your whole life? I have known people just like this - who I have ached to love in a way that would break through all of this, and yet their ravenous need incapacitates you to give at the level in which it would be recognized. It is important to know that this isn't my failure but perhaps something in that person that was broken long before I entered the world by way of her womb. Jesus, can you fix even this mess?
Reading C.S. Lewis is like theological crack - it stimulates so many thoughts and brings to the forefront so many things that lay internalized with seemingly no voice with which to come out. It is painful sometimes - like therapy - but it really helps me get my head on straight.

He's Gone

My brother Rob left at 4:30 this morning. I already miss him. We had a really nice time not doing much of anything - just hanging out. We watched movies, played games, ate good food. It was a lot like when we were younger. Our relationship was one of the worst casualties of our parents' divorce. We were scarred individually by it - but also our relationship was forever changed. I am thankful for any opportunity to reconnect with my brother. This weekend was a true blessing.

While he was here he told us SO many jokes - the best of which I will be hearing from my kids for months to come is this: What do you get when you cross a brown chicken with a brown cow? (Insert the tune bow chicka bow bow) brownchicken, browncow

He also does a hilarious impression of Bill Clinton that'll make you roll on the floor.

06 September 2008

I'm Game - One Word Meme

I got this from my RCU friend Paige's blog - it looked like fun - and since I don't have many words to spare - it seemed fitting. Why don't you try it? Yes YOU.

Not as easy as you might think. Now copy or forward to at least 10 people. Change the answers to suit you and pass it on. It's really hard to only use one word answers. Let me know if you're doing one! I'd love to see your answers!

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your significant other? verbose
3. Your hair? ponytail
4. Your mother? absent
5. Your father? crusty

6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? none
9. Your dream/goal? writing
10. The room you're in? bedroom

12. Your fear? uncertainty
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? thin
15. Muffins? maple

16. One of your wish list items? RV
17. Where you grew up? scattered
18. The last thing you did? dishes
19. What are you wearing? pjs
20. Your TV? off

21. Your pets? numerous
22. Your computer? companion
23. Your life? good
24. Your mood? sleepy
25. Missing someone? many

26. Your car? parked
27. Something you're not wearing? bra
28. Favorite store? Borders
29. Your summer? over

30. Do you love someone? many
31. Your favorite color? brown
32. When is the last time you laughed? minutes
33. Last time you cried? today
34. Who will repost this? unknown

05 September 2008

A Blog About Nothing Much

We have had one busy house in the last month or so. My brother is here and we are having a terrific time. He is so funny - and the laughter he brings is really good medicine. That has kept my mind off of my doctor's appointment on the 18th. I will be getting the results of all of my tests hopefully on that next appointment.
Tonight the kids had friends over to play some games. We played Psychiatrist, Silent Football and Apples to Apples. In Silent Football Kendra's cruel and unusual punishment when she lost the game was to go to our neighbor's house at 10 pm without explanation and sing "I'm a Little Teapot"! It was hilarious! We wore Uncle Rob out! He retired just a bit ago and I am on my way. Tomorrow my mother-in-law and her sister Julia are coming to have dinner with us. I am going to try and make these delicious looking coconut pastries for dessert. Yum.
Oh and don't forget to click on the link in the right sidebar to be a "follower". I really hate that term, but for the sake of the blog we'll just remember that you have a mind of your own and so do I and that this "following" just means we want to share keep up with one another!
I have a lot of thoughts right now but none that are terribly coherent. More later dear blogophiles!

Love Bugs Go Splat!

The lovebugs are so thick right now it sounds like rain! This is the view outside Rob's truck window! Ugh!

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04 September 2008

Politically Incorrect

Politically speaking, on some issues I'm finding myself too conservative for liberals and too liberal for conservatives. I am finding that I cannot even make many assumptions about myself. It isn't a matter of being double minded - but a split right down the middle. It comes down to weighing several issues that I am equally concerned about - one leading me one direction and one leading me the other. Oh Ron Paul, wherefore art thou?

03 September 2008

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

My brother, Rob! I can't wait. Not just for dinner but for a couple of days! He doesn't always make this goofy face - but he is known for his off the cuff expressions. He called the other day and told me three of the most hilarious jokes. He never forgets one. Rob was working in a shelter in Mississippi during Hurricane Gustav, and now has a few days off to come for a visit. My sister, Laurie and I were texting the other night during the worst of the storm for MS and saying how lucky the people were who were in that shelter with him. He is calm, assertive, outgoing, and probably had them all laughing their butts off. I can't wait to see my baby brother. He is only 15 months younger than me, but boy does he like to rub that in!

02 September 2008

Last Chance to Get the Master Plan Half Price

I just got a sale this evening and it reminded me that my planner, The Master Plan (on my sidebar to the right) is still on sale for half-price. It was supposed to be only for the month of August, but since the beginning of September brought a hurricane, I didn't really have that price change at the top of my list of priorities. For 24 hours only until 10 pm tomorrow night you can still get The Master Plan at half-price. After that, it returns to $37.95. Grab it now. I'll send it as soon as the sale goes through!


Kullen and I just decided that they are like red crack in a stick. What's up with that?

01 September 2008


Well Gustav has proved to be gustless, at least as far as east Texas is concerned. I know that Louisiana got slammed. I guess it would be inappropriate to thank them for taking the wind out of his sails. I am thankful nonetheless that it turned out not to be too much for us. House intact. Hubby safely at home in bed, possibly going to work tomorrow. Kids and I spent hours with Memaw Myrtice and Great Aunt Julia playing "Golf" (card game with 9 cards that Lizbeth taught us years ago) and Apples to Apples. There was chocolate. All in all not a bad deal.
I was displaced from my bed for a couple of days. Not growing up in a house of hunters, I laid near the hearth here last night under a deer head and fell asleep worrying about being impaled by the antlers if it fell off the wall in the middle of the night.
I just want to go home. It gives me great compassion for those who are not in their own beds tonight, and won't be "home" for a while to come. I have always wondered why people choose to live in areas that are often ravaged by tropical storms, near fault lines, etc. Now I know - it is because there is no place like home, wherever that may be.
Tropical storm Gustav has not blown through this area yet, but when he does, it is sure to be anti-climatic.


Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, what issues are passionate to you, or whether you are a Christian or atheist, most of us love our families dearly and will defend them till the death. This was a class act.
And why would republicans be "shocked" as this report indicates? Aren't most conservatives pro-life? Making no assumptions here - but I would say that pro-life says each life is precious. I just don't get it. Better hold on tight atop that high horse before you get knocked down.

Live Blogging Gustav

It has gotten significantly darker here in the past hour. I am at my mother-in-law's house which is only an hour north from where I live. I can't seem to think about anything but the weather, and yet it seems to be freaking me out. The local radio forecaster's report made my mother-in-law cry - something not easily done. CNN is listing it as a category 1 storm. I just want to go home. To increase the anxiety - I have not been able to reach Travis in the last hour. There is nothing to do but sit and wait for Gustav to show himself.
Update: 3:25 pm - just talked to Travis - he is fine.

You are the Dancing Queen

Yesterday afternoon when we arrived in town at my mother-in-law's to shelter from the hurricane, I decided to take the kids to see a movie - do something fun before getting stuck in the house for who knows how long. We have been waiting to see Mamma Mia - and it did not disappoint. All four of us came out of there singing - different songs - but still we were singing. It was amazing. I loved it. Here is my favorite sequence from the whole movie where Meryl Streep and her two lifelong best friends and eventually all the local women do a routine to "Dancing Queen".

I love the sisterhood of women! It's so awesome. It really amazes me that they did a musical using all the songs from ABBA. It didn't come off as cheesy either. I have to admit the first time I heard Pierce Brosnan start to sing - Bond, James Bond - I almost chuckled - but he pulled it off amazingly. The whole cast was spectacular. I can't wait to see it again.
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
Ooh, see that girl, watch that scene, she is the dancing queen.

I have to admit, this is a movie about a woman who was promiscuous in her youth and faced with the potential three fathers of her 20 year old daughter, who just wants to find "the one" before she gets married. There used to be a time when I would not have been able to see past the moral failures of such a story. I really hate looking back and seeing the old me and how much that self-righteous indignation kept me from others. The movie was a story about real people. I leave you with this quote: The universe is made of stories, not atoms. Muriel Rukeyser This is one of the stories.

Oh, and it's really keeping my mind off of the hurricane.