Wednesday, January 31, 2007

where my girls at...

Tuesday is chorus rehearsal night, and that usually means Collin and I stay home alone with our fingers up our respective noses while Michael runs off to make beautiful music without us. Tonight was a different story, though. I invited my favorite bitches and their offspring over for some old-fashioned hangin' out time. I am SO blessed to have the friends I have. I am doubly blessed that our boys all adore each other (although I'm sure each of the guys would take serious issue with my description of their friendship as adoration... oh well. They don't read this!).
My girlfriends and I hung out in the kitchen while I cooked up some Chicken a la Christina (also known as "Chicken Parmigiana") and spaghetti with red sauce (also known as "Ragu"). The boys played upstairs until dinner time, when they finally descended utterly ravenous from their video gaming. It was a happy, joyous moment for me... sitting at my dining room table with my very best friends and our sons. I have a bench seat on one side of my table that the boys all fit on. As everyone served themselves (I cooked... the least they could do was spoon up their own grub!), we chatted about our days, life in general and what lay ahead in the week to come. The boys cracked us, and each other, up. They sang the Spongebob "F.U.N." song for us. It was a magical night.
Thank God for my girlfriends. And for Tuesday nights. We're going to make a habit of this.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

it's all in the wrists...

I played Bunco for the first time last night. Analysis? It totally rocks.

My BFF and frequent partner-in-crime decided it would be fun for a group of us to get together on a regular basis. She and her husband came up with Family Bunco Night, to be hosted at their house once a month, where everyone in the family can join in the fun.

We all brought a food dish (or six) to share. I swear you would have thought we were holing up for a week-long Arctic adventure to count polar bears with all the food we had! No frozen wintry demise awaited us, however... this was just six families in sunny Florida getting together for a few hours on a Saturday night. Suffice it to say, though, we could have made it a week (or two even--with rations), had need be.

While the kids (TWELVE of them in all, mind you... ages 4-16) played upstairs, the parents took over the downstairs, chatting, catching up, and laughing really hard. We finally decided to get serious and start the Bunco game around 9:30. Having never played before, I was a little nervous about being able to keep up. Truth be told, I'm still scarred from the card-playing drill sergeants in college who swore Hearts would be a blast if I would just-friggin'-pay-attention. Needless to say, Nazi-style teaching tactics did little to leave me feeling encouraged and eager to learn any kind of card (or in this case, dice) game ever again. I seriously think the whole experience left me a little socially stunted. I suppose that's for me and a qualified therapist who accepts my insurance to work out at a later date, though. Anywho...

Bunco is different. There is absolutely ZERO skill involved with this gig. It's all luck and the roll of the dice. I liked moving from table to table and having different partners for every round. It was kind of like being at a swingers party, but minus the sex-with-strangers part. Plus, I got to take money home at the end of the night. How many swingers get to do that? Seriously. I'm asking. If there's money involved, I might actually be interested.

The kids had a great time, too. Believe it or not, with that many there, we did not see or hear from them at all that night. Don't get me wrong... we knew they were alive and everything. They came down for food, drinks, and once or twice to play catch in the backyard. What I mean though, is there was no bickering, or tattling, or emergent needs to visit a hospital. They all played together, had fun, and actually got along. Anybody ever hear of "Bunco Angels" before? If such a being exists, they were definitely with us. How else can you explain that many kids not breaking anything or killing each other? That's right. Miraculous.

If you've never done it before, give it a try. You'll love it! Bunco, that is. Not swinging. I don't know how you'd feel about that one. Just don't call me to share. I like the moderately naive little world I live in. They know me here.

Do I really have to wait a whole month before we get to play again?? Patience is a bitch.

Friday, January 26, 2007

i can't stop loving you...

We went to a phenomenal show this evening. The Fine Arts Center at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville is relatively new and amazingly beautiful. They have worked hard to bring top-notch shows to a city that sorely needs more culture.

Tonight's scheduled performance at Lazarra Hall was, "I Can't Stop Loving You: The Genius of Ray Charles". I noticed this production way back in August when the 2006-2007 season was released, and I knew the minute I saw the listing that this was a show I wanted to see.

My love affair with the music of Ray Charles goes back as far as I can remember. My mother used to remind me that no one needs to hear a four-year-old sing "Hit the Road Jack" four-hundred-eighty-seven times in a row. Four-hundred-eighty-six times? Not a problem. It's that last one that pushes you right over the edge apparently.

They say that what goes around comes around. This is another instance where "They" are evidently correct. When my own son reached the age of four or five, he, too, fell under the spell. At the time we would drive from our then-home in Silver Spring, Maryland, to Delaware on a monthly basis. The trip usually took about two hours, sometimes two-and-a-half. The entire ride we would listen to Ray's "Anthology" album. And I $#!+ you not, we had to listen to "Hit the Road Jack" at LEAST four-hundred-eighty-seven times a trip... but I loved every minute of it! :o)

"Can't Stop Loving You" is an amazing revue. There is no story line, just back-to-back knock-you-on-your-ass performances of Ray Charles' most popular songs. There are incredible dancers... a jaw-droppingly-talented 15 piece on-stage band... and vocalists that left you wishing you had half the talent they each had in their pinkie fingers!

The show was definitely stolen by powerhouse Nedgra Culp. Her show-stopping Ray-inspired performance of John Lennon's "Imagine" was unbelievable. I have to believe Ray and John were somewhere together, smiling as she sang. Former "Raelette" Regi Brown also gave an incredible performance with her rendition of "America the Beautiful". What better tribute to Ray, and to our country, than to have his version of "America" sung so splendidly. Truth Hurts turned in a wonderful performance as well, but it did appear at several times throughout the evening that she was "somewhere else" tonight. Chris Murrell's vocals were a joy, as were those of Terrence D. Forsythe. Both gentlemen took turns narrating the evening. Forsythe's voice had an ethereal quality to it, and if your eyes were closed, at times you would think Stevie Wonder himself had landed on the stage (I was not surprised to see that Stevie is one of the performers Forsythe had worked with previously). Ensemble productions of "Shake A Tail Feather" and "What'd I Say" were a blast, with the dancers coming into the audience and the cast getting everyone up on their feet. At the end of the night, we all agreed we had seen some amazing performances. We also agreed that our favorite song of the night was Mike Davis' "Busted". Mike definitely has Ray's sound down, and while everyone put on a fantastic show, his was the voice that most took you back to the first time you heard Ray Charles sing. With a deserted alley scene behind him, and no one else on stage, Mike sang it when he performed "Busted" . And that's exactly how you felt while you listened... THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a performance. (To see photos and bios for all vocalists, click here.)

The only disappointment of the evening was the audience. I couldn't believe how sparse the crowd was. They were also mostly old and white. Poles seemed to dislodge across the theater by the time the second act started... possibly because after really sexy performances of "Minnie the Moocher", "Makin' Whoopee" and "Fever", the cast threw in several numbers by the Beatles and John Lennon?? Not sure if there was a connection or not, but I felt REALLY sorry for the cast up to that point. At times they must have thought they were performing for a lukewarm can of sardines. I got a couple of stares for "Whoooing" while clapping. I stared right back. It was that kind of show. It's not like we were at the symphony... although truth be told, I would probably "Whoooo" there too.

An added bonus to the evening that has to be mentioned was the pre-show lobby performance by Outtasight, a group of talented student musicians from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine. (Note: Ray Charles attended FSDB as a young man.) I was absolutely blown away by these kids. The musicianship was amazing, but vocal performances by two young women within the group were unbelievable. I was literally moved to tears. Ask Michael.

Take a minute to see if "Can't Stop Loving You" is coming to your city soon. If it is, make a point to be there. And "Whoooo" for me, will ya?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

let's play survivor...

I got to play with snakes today! A local park naturalist is offering these wonderful "Survival Training" classes for homeschoolers. Today was our first time attending, but we will definitely be going back. The lesson focused on snakes... and I got to hold a foot and a half long hognosed snake while the kids made their rounds. There was a baby hognose there, too, along with a ball python. My only disappointment for the day was not being able to see the ball python since I was busy with my hognose babysitting duties. I would certainly consider adding a snake to our home zoo (and most likely a ball python), if I could only find one that was a vegetarian...

Next month's class will feature geocaching. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

the only man who could ever reach me...

Have you heard about the Second Coming yet?!? What rock have you been hiding behind? Was it the one Tom Cruise rolled away from his tomb before being declared Scientology's Christ?

I've been thinking a lot lately about how open to interpretation matters of faith can be. How could we ever be convinced that our belief system is the one-and-only, divinely-inspired true religion? Especially when most Christians can't even agree on who has it right?

The best I can tell, there's something out there for all of us. For your reading enjoyment...

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Church of Buffett, Orthodox

The Church of the Blind Chihuahua

Church of Craft

The Church of Scientology

Landover Baptist

Westboro Baptist Church

XXX Church

The Church of the Sub-Genius

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Hey... according to Matt and Trey, they're the ones who got it right!)

The Church of the Swimming Elephant

The Church of Stop Shopping

Church of Fools

The Church of Google

The Most Holy Blessed Sacrament of the Church of the Runaway Bunny

Sunday, January 21, 2007

how i love a bowtie...

Tonight was the annual banquet for my husband's barbershop chorus. There was a decent dinner (if you like chewy, lukewarm steak), a "Year in Review", some pretty bad jokes, some pretty funny jokes, the Chapter Officer Installation, and the highlight of the evening--the announcement of this year's Barbershopper of the Year. Those of us "in the hobby" (did I really just write that? YUCK!) lovingly refer to the Barbershopper of the Year award as the "Bowtie". It's an incredibly clever designation, based, of course, on the acronym BOTY. Get it? BO-TY. Told you it was clever.

The BOTY is really not anything to laugh at or mock. My husband was nominated along with two other incredibly dedicated chorus members who exhibited amazing devotion to the chorus and its mission this year. The winner is selected by the full membership of the chorus. It was an incredibly wonderful honor for his chorusmates to elect Michael Barbershopper of the Year. It is a title that remains part of your legacy in the hobby... once a BOTY, always a BOTY. There was a plaque, and everything.

I'm very proud of Michael all the time. Tonight was simply his chance to be recognized by everyone else for the amazing things he does. It was a great night.

Friday, January 19, 2007

the dead dad club...

"I don't know how to exist in a world where he doesn't."
Welcome to the Dead Dad Club.
I hope you have never had to make the decision to end some one's life. I hope you never have to make the decision to end some one's life. If you want to know how it feels to do that, though, I strongly suggest watching Grey's Anatomy: Season 3, Six Days--Part 2.
As a bit of a disclaimer I must say I am an avid watcher of Grey's Anatomy. I love the characters, I love the story lines, I love the tender moments, I love the sordid tales... I love it all. It will help you to understand the impact of Six Days--Part 2 if you love Grey's, too. If not, go back at least to Season 3, Where the Boys Are and watch George's father's illness unfold. Some episodes are available free on ABC... older episodes can be downloaded at iTunes for $1.99 each.
In our house we use the DVR to record programs we don't want to miss. Grey's Anatomy is on that short list, so I rarely, if ever, am watching it on Thursday at 9:00pm EST with the rest of the world. I can't be bothered with waiting through the pesky commercials! Thanks to my trusty DVR, I fast-forward right past those and get straight to the good stuff. So today, on a Friday afternoon, I curled up on the sofa under my comfy quilt and pushed "Play". I had no idea what I was getting myself in to.
Moments that usually take our breath away are the unexpected ones... we don't see them coming. The same can be said of moments that rip our heart out through our throat and then show it to us. I want you to watch the show, so I'm not going to give a blow-by-blow of the episode. What I will explain is how hard I cried. In the privacy of my own family room, surrounded by happy thoughts and things, I spilled tears until there were no more to fall. I sobbed uncontrollably, transported back in time through a TV screen to a waiting room in Johns Hopkins Hospital almost nine years ago, when I was asked to sign on a dotted line saying it was OK to take my father's life let my father go. And as I continued to watch, unable to turn away, I was back in that hospital room as they turned off machines and the song of the heart monitor transformed from a syncopated rhythm into the lone note of a bagpiper bellowing "Amazing Grace".
In the time since my dad's death, I have never seen such an honest, moving and accurate portrayal of what it's like to reach the point where there are no other options... where letting go is the only choice.
As for the Dead Dad Club, any member will tell you it's an organization we hope you never have to join. If and when that time comes, though, we'll be here. Unfortunately, no one has the answer to that burning question, "How do I exist in a world where he doesn't?" That's a journey each of us has to go alone.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

losing my religion...

The issue of faith has been coming up a lot in my life lately. As a life-long Episcopalian, baptised, confirmed and married in the church, I have always had more liberal views of God and religion. The more questions I have had about what exactly I do believe, the more unsure I am of whether there is really a church "home" for me anymore.

I don't believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. I don't believe in a malicious, wrathful, vengeful God. I don't believe that we are born of sin, or that un-Baptised infants will languish in Hell if they die. I don't believe that Jews, or Muslims, or Buddhists, or Hindus, or Wiccans or anyone of any other faith or belief system is going to Hell because they were not Christians. For that fact, I don't believe in Hell. I don't believe in an eternal heaven, either. I don't believe that I can only talk to God through Christ. I don't believe there were dinosaurs on Noah's Ark. And I REALLY don't believe that three quarters of the people in this country believe as deeply as they do in something that for me raises way more questions than it poses answers to.
Here's what I do believe: I believe in a kind and loving God. I believe that throughout the centuries man has lived on this planet, God has sent many messengers to Earth for the purpose of bringing all humanity to Him. I believe that there is nothing, let me repeat, nothing any of us can do to separate ourselves from God's love. I believe that homosexuality is a human condition, not a condemnable sin. I believe that organized religion has been hijacked by the religious right. I believe the Bible contains some wonderful stories, but I also believe it has been raped by those who were entrusted with preserving it (ie. organized religion). I believe that the life I am now living is only a stop on my spiritual journey... I've lived other lives, learned many lessons, and will live again to continue my learning. I believe in a heaven where I will be together with all of my loved ones who have gone before me, where I will wait for the rest of my loved ones to join me, and where I will rest happily until it is my time to live again. I believe that all dogs go to heaven (cats, birds and pet mice, too). I believe in drinking, dancing and having a good time. To that end, I believe life was meant to be enjoyed.
In "The Runaway Bunny", by Margaret Wise Brown, with pictures (who some people apparently feel free to alter in Photoshop... the nerve!) by Clement Hurd, is a story about a little bunny and his mother. The bunny decides that he is going to run away, and no matter where he plans to go, how he plans to get there, who he plans to be once he's gone, Momma Bunny is going to be there, by his side, loving him all the while. That, in a nutshell, all the other stuff aside, is how I feel about our relationship with God. His love is the ultimate love. No matter where we go, no matter the path we take, no matter who we are, He loves us. Nothing we do will separate us from Him. That is why we call Him "Father". Thus... The Most Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Church of the Runaway Bunny.
Are you in search of a church home? Does TMBSHCRB sound like it might be the place for you?? Applications are currently being accepted. There is one requirement for membership, however: Follow the "Golden Rule" (Moses, Muhammed, the Mahabharata, Christ and Confucious all taught the same basic tenet). Be a good person; be kind to others and to our planet. God will love you anyway, but it will make it a lot easier for the rest of us to tolerate you.

Monday, January 15, 2007

i'm busted...

My husband "found" my blog.
Don't get me wrong... it's not like I've exactly been hiding it from him. What does he think I'm doing in front of the computer for hours on end?? If I could have been looking at porn all this time, instead of pouring my heart and soul into my writing... man, lost opportunities!
To my credit, I have mentioned my blog many times. It surprised me immensely to realize that my husband does not, contrary to my popular belief, hang on my every word. He's missed a paragraph or two of my rambling conversations with him when he's half asleep?!? Who'd have thunk it??
Of course the whole issue came up because he wanted to lodge a complaint. After reading my blog in its entirety, he felt the only times I mentioned him, reflected negatively on him. I politely suggested that in the future he refrain from questioning my devotion to our marital vows.
Actually, what I believe I said was, "Well then you apparently read my blog with the same amount of attention you give our conversations about my blog." Or something like that.
He certainly missed this entry in his perusals. The most important thing he missed, however, is what I don't write. You will find no husband bashing here. I wish the same could be said of other blogs out there. Sure we have our moments, like any married couple does, but there's no "scorekeeping" done... especially not on the world wide web for the wide world to see.
I love my husband deeply. I love the sacrifices he makes to afford us the life we have. I love the opportunities his hard work makes available to us. And I would love him just as much if we were living in a trailer somewhere eating potted meat on Saltine crackers. We were meant to be together. We were meant to honor each other. And thusly... no bashing here.
So, rest assured honey (and other readers). If any stories about you appear here with a negative connotation, it is simply for humor's sake. You know I can't resist imparting others with a good chuckle. In the meantime, I'll try to write a little more often about how wonderful you really are.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

blowing off steam...

My letter to

I recently selected your company for my son's Drug and Alcohol course, which as you know, is required by the State of Florida before he can apply for his Learner's Permit.

My son worked diligently away at his course. He would ask occasional questions when he needed clarification on something, so I checked in with him every now-and-again to see how things were progressing. Imagine my shock when he called to me from the other room inquiring, "Mom... what are the advantages of using drugs?"

Not wanting to jump to conclusions, but clearly surprised by his question, I went to see in what context this query was being asked. To find out that he was expected to list "10 advantages of using drugs" absolutely FLOORED me. As blown away as I was by the question, I was even more irritated to see the next part of the testing--answers others had submitted to that question.

Here is a sampling (direct quotes) of the *many advantages* of using drugs listed through your course: "You can be accepted by people you like.", "You can make money selling drugs.", "You can try something different and exciting.", "Your sexual experience can be enhanced.", "Using drugs can be a way to “get back” at your parents/authority figures.".

What possible purpose does this exercise serve? I've worked long and hard to get it through my just-turned-fifteen-year-old's head that there ARE no advantages to using drugs. His concerns about this question at least let me know my message was received. I will not be recommending your course to others for several reasons, this one chief among them.

Perhaps the time your students devote to coming up with 10 advantages to using drugs could be better served by requiring them to spend 10 minutes perusing "Faces of Meth" at or watching some of the videos at

Friday, January 12, 2007

the many advantages of using drugs...

As mentioned previously, my little boy is learning to walk drive. In the great state of Florida, that means successfully passing the required Drug and Alcohol Awareness class... and by "class" I mean 4 hours online (whether it actually takes you four hours or not) reading, taking "these-don't-count" quizzes and successfully passing an open book "this-does-count" final exam. After looking around a bit, I decided on the course offered by Ticket School. I should have looked a bit harder. (Note to Florida parents: Find a company that includes the Driver's Test with the D&A course, especially if your teen stresses over test-taking. Ticket School does not offer both. My not knowing he could take the test online now means Collin will have to take it at the DMV office, instead of having the option to take it in the comfort of his own home.)

It was my understanding the purpose of the Drug and Alcohol course was to educate and prevent drug use among teens. Silly me. Apparently part of the course is teaching kids how awesome drugs are. I kid you not.

While my wonderful son was taking his D&A course, he occasionally would need clarification on certain situations. We would discuss his question and then on he would go with the next part of his class. I got in the habit of checking in on him every now-and-again, too, just to see how things were progressing.

You can imagine my surprise when my precious baby fifteen-year-old called out to me, "MOM--What are the ADVANTAGES of using drugs?" Hawha?!?

Absolutely certain he must not be understanding the question (though I know he's the smartest being on the face of the planet), I went to see how he could have gotten this particular so wrong.

No mistake. He read the question exactly as it was written.

My son, as part of the Drug and Alcohol Awareness course he was required by the State of Florida to take and pass, had to list not just one or two advantages of using drugs, but ten. Yes, ten, as in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, TEN. The next part of the exercise was to list 10 disadvantages of using drugs. I'm not sure I understand what POSSIBLE purpose this exercise serves. Actually, I'm sure I don't.

As if the assignment wasn't ridiculous enough, what came next totally threw me for a loop. The following list appeared on my son's computer screen and was identified as "answers other course takers (reminder: mostly 15 year olds) recently listed" as their responses to this insane question:
  1. You can get high/feel good/have a sense of euphoria.
  2. You can be accepted by people you like.
  3. You can look cool.
  4. You can make money selling drugs.
  5. You can escape from your problems.
  6. You can try something different and exciting.
  7. Your sexual experience can be enhanced.
  8. Drugs can ease your pain.
  9. Using drugs can be a way to “get back” at your parents/authority figures.
  10. Drugs can relax you/help you to “mellow out.”

As a means of comparison, here are the recent responses listed for "10 Disadvantages of Using Drugs":

  1. You can be arrested/go to jail.
  2. You can lose your job or not get the job you want because you have a history of drug use.
  3. You can be disqualified from playing sports/getting into college.
  4. You might start stealing or prostituting to support your drug habit.
  5. You might experience a “crash” after the effect of the drug has worn off.
  6. You can develop a tolerance that will cause you to use more and more of the drug.
  7. You might contract or pass on a sexually transmitted disease when sharing needles.
  8. Withdrawal can be very painful and often involves nausea, vomiting, chills, and tremors.
  9. You can cause problems with your parents/family/others who care about you.
  10. You can die from an overdose, or after your heart has slowed down to the point of stopping.

Really?? We don't get to dying until #10? Is it just me or does this seem like a pretty lame list of disadvantages?

Disclaimer: I have never used any drugs that were not prescribed to me by a doctor. Never. I've never smoked pot. (Yes, REALLY.) I've never used coke, PCP, meth, or any other sundry of narcotics out there. Why? I grew up in a family of law enforcement officers, and among the many other reasons "not to" was the fact that drugs were always illegal. (I say it that way because I did drink before turning 21... but alcohol eventually became legal.) Looking back on things now, though, I think there was more to not using just because it was against the law. I heard so many stories from my father and uncles about drug users that I knew I never wanted that life for myself. If using just once could start me down that road, then I wouldn't use "just once". I wouldn't ever use. And I haven't. At this point in my life, it's become kind of a non-issue. Let's be serious... who STARTS using drugs at 35??!! That said...

Am I off base here? Is this an acceptable activity for a Drug & Alcohol Awareness Course for mostly fifteen-year-olds in anyone else's eyes?? One required by state law that I had to pay $39.95 for?? Here are my own responses...

10 Advantages to Using Drugs

  1. No more homework! Fortunately drug possession on campus is grounds for expulsion.
  2. You don't have to worry about finding one of those annoying "jobs".
  3. Instead of honest work, you can just steal stuff from your family, friends and neighbors.
  4. No more waking up early! You got kicked out of school and can't get a job. Why bother?
  5. You get lots of practice in lying and covering your tracks.
  6. You make lots of new friends (ie. police officers, bail bondsmen, your new cellmate "Tiny", your probation officer, etc.).
  7. You don't have to worry about your appearance anymore. Using drugs has an "aura" all its own.
  8. You can take up smoking cigarettes without that becoming the most detrimental thing you purposely do to yourself.
  9. You learn where all the local pawn shops are.
  10. You don't have to live with your parents anymore, since all they ever did was give you grief anyway.

10 Disadvantages to Using Drugs

  1. You could die.
  2. You could kill someone else.
  3. You could be killed by someone else.
  4. If you don't die, you might end up wishing you would.
  5. You could end up in jail.
  6. You could end up on the streets.
  7. You could die. (Did I mention that already?)
  8. Once addicted, the fight to recovery is a long, painful, grueling one. Not everyone comes out on top.
  9. You could lose everything... your family, your friends, your home, your health, your life.
  10. Permanent consequences for a temporary high never makes sense. And, oh yeah, you could die. (One more time... just for good measure.)

OK. I think I'm done now.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

whoomp... there it is!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Just in case you missed this story, there are still heroes among us. Could you... would you... have done the same thing? I'm still trying to decide.

Friday, January 05, 2007

it's a long and winding road...

"A strong man and a waterfall
always channel their own path." -Unknown

I've been updating my blog today after being unable to quell an insatiable need to expand my horizons and search out like minds. I still can't figure out if this obsession is due to the new year or my brush with death. Regardless, the drive is there and needs to be addressed.

Having been out of commission for the better part of a month, I spent time recently catching up with my multiple "Inbox"es (Inboxen?!!). This note from the Universe caught my attention...

"The one thing all famous authors, world class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common, Christina, is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things.

Yet still, they began their journeys.

You are so poised for greatness,
The Universe"

Like the waterfall, I guess it's time to carve out my own path. Besides, who am I to question the Universe?

Monday, January 01, 2007

fifty-two books to read on the shelf, fifty-two books...

One of my goals for this year is to read more. I'm going to shoot for a book a week, so we'll see how that goes. I can't promise I'll read one per week--some weeks are busier than others. The goal, however, is fifty-two books by December 31, 2007. I will update this list as I go...
  1. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
  2. Ya-Ya's In Bloom, by Rebecca Wells
  3. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes

shake it like a polaroid picture...

I have to admit, looking back at 2006 leaves me struggling with quite a few very diverse emotions. Happiness... we moved into our new home, Collin has grown from a wonderful little boy into an amazing young man, I made (or strengthened) some incredible friendships, Michael found success--both personally and professionally, my teen homeschooling group grew by leaps and bounds, my little brother got married, and the Gators made it to the National Championship, just to name a few. Regret... friendships I should have nurtured fell to the wayside, not spending the time I should have on homeschooling studies, missing my neices' birthday parties, not spending the time I should have on myself. Relief... FINALLY getting the most pressing of our house issues resolved, figuring out what was causing Casey's health issues, the 2006 elections, not dying, finding out that Grey's Anatomy re-runs would be aired before the rest of the season continued. Sorrow... losing my Aunt Phyllis, discovering my Aunt Jean had passed away in 2004, Michael being really sick in October, missing Mr. James AKA the "Waving Man of Sunbeam Road", finding out our friend Jane has pancreatic cancer. Pride... Michael named Interim Director of the Big Orange Chorus, Collin playing sports again and becoming the defensive all-star of his team, seeing Jax Home Schooled High Schoolers double it's membership from last year. Blessed... that my husband loves me the way he does, that my son has become this truly amazing young man, that I have a large and caring extended family, for the friends I have, for the life I am afforded, just to be.

Things I will do in 2007:

  • Love unconditionally.
  • Travel someplace I never planned on going.
  • Make peace with my body.
  • Go more places with my family.
  • Be a better teacher.
  • Read more.
  • Make more art.
  • Find more homeschooling moms like me.
  • Focus on the health of my family.
  • Do more to educate others about the ongoing genocide in Darfur.
  • Go to more concerts and live shows.
  • Go to the pool and beach more often.
  • Spend more time with my nieces and nephews.
  • Be a better me.

Things I won't do in 2007:

  • Blog about how I'm going to try to be more faithful about posting regularly.

Happy New Year.