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The idea is for a centralized grilling location for the cast, vendors and entertainers of the fair after hours… because wasting charcoal and a hot grill is a travesty, right?

So, here’s a picture of what I’m practicing with tonight: a pot of sausages, onions, squash, tomatoes, okra and corn.  I hope it turns out better than the campfire monkey bread I tried last time… LOL


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Today at the Park

Moira and I met a wonderful Dad and his daughter.  Since Moira had Jumpy, her kitten, with her… conversation ensued.   Dad explained to us that Ava had a cat at home whose name is Paca (sp?) – Swahili for “cat”.  And Ava is growing up bilingual… how cool is that?

Also found a woodpecker tree next to the playground which I hope to visit several more times this spring… I think there may be some babies up there.  Ahhh… spring IS in the air!

On the way home Moira says “Hey, look!  A granola tree!”  I say “You mean a magnolia tree?”  “No, it’s called a granola tree..(as we’re turning into our driveway) see!  A granola tree!”  LOL

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Doing all of my entry possibilities for this thing… it would be nice to not have to pull from a thousand different sources for lapbook learning…


Our Busy Homeschool:


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Not Alone In 22

I have now been in Rupp Arena (counting on my fingers here…) 2 times!  The first was while I was in college there, comp student tickets to the basketball game (I’ve never been a sports fan… it was more an “experience” kind of thing).   So, nosebleed section.  Maybe even above section 22, I don’t even remember.  All I remember  is having to stand the ENTIRE time.  Non-fan, here… standing,… not exactly the experience this young college person was looking for.  But, que sera…  I was there with my Dear Heart before he legally felt duty bound to take me places, so it was all good.

Flash forward to Saturday night.  I find myself again in Rupp Arena, only this time I SO want to be there!  This is the experience thing, the band fan thing, the youth group/being with my children thing.  This is the whole enchilada for me.  Were my Dear Heart there, it would have been near perfection, but he wasn’t.  So,  small rabbit trail from my primary intentions with this schpiel:  Third Day ROCKED!  Awesomness thumping through Rupp at, like 1000’s of decibels… or would something “replace your heartbeat” loud and thumpy be a bel?  (For an interesting  though highly mathematical look into the topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel  .)  Anyway, and regardless – I was totally into that concert.  My first really big concert experience.  Worth more than the $10 door price.  Really liked most of the bands last night – Fireflight, Sidewalk Prophets, Newsboys, New Song, 10th Avenue North.  But I have been a Third Day fan since, oh… I don’t know… the tweens were toddlers.   AND I GOT TO JUMP!  No wooden stage here to break down… so the thousands of screaming, rocking, arm waving, cell phone lighting fans had one less worry.  Side side note – who knew everybody and their uncle had a cell phone?  Well, I guess I did have some inkling, but I don’t really appreciate the device much.  So I just got to stand and appreciate it a little while being one of a handful maybe of non-cell phone holders in a sea of cell phone lightening bugs.  It was probably safer than holding up lit candles or lighters.  I felt safer, though not quite so cozy.  Anyway, I digress.

Like I said, the one thing that would have made it perfect would have been to have my husband there to enjoy the thumping with us.  He SO would have had more than a few words to say about all of the interjected “commercials” for this mission or that charity… but being the economist, he would have seen the logic, I’m sure.  So, as you can see, whether he knew it or not… he was there in spirit.  Because I was there.  A poem for your consideration by e e cummings:

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

I feel like I’m kind of in on this big cosmic secret that it’s somehow hard for a lot of people to hear or see or find.  Not that I’m anything intellectual – believe me, the stuff I think I know is hard won.  And it’s a secret that is there for public consumption.  Really.  You have to trust me on this.  I’m not incredibly philosophical… no great in-depths of knowledge or being in touch with ???.  It’s just this- the relationship that Tom and I started 22 years ago quickly evolved into one I was not willing to let go.  Within a year, even.  For him, it took much longer.  Now, on this side of continuing maturity, I know that I was a weak young person with only a fledgling degree of self-esteem.  I was the typical band geek/wall flower.  And when I was “good enough” for this one person, I wasn’t going to let him go.  There were several times, even after we were married, that it didn’t look good for us.  Things could have gone south pretty quickly.  And maybe even in his estimation, they had.  Maybe had I just accepted the “inevitable”, I would be a single mother right now.  And before you question or marvel at some strength levels, let me just say it wasn’t any amount of strength.  I don’t have it in me to be that strong.  I don’t even have great depths of patience.  What I guess I have is perseverance… the ability to just wait out situations.

It didn’t hurt that conversation became a skill that we figured out the more appropriate timing of.  Sometimes I do think it’s safer on a relationship to go to bed before the conversation.  I know that flies against popular advice.  And it was NOT easy when a conversation took days or weeks or even months to have.  But, I will say this also… that didn’t mean I went to bed angry.  I have cried in my pillow quite a bit.  And I have been disillusioned and despairing.  I don’t live in some rose-colored world.  But I just refuse to stay there.    And I refuse to let a conversation in my mind rob me of the possibilities.  But even in refusal, it’s not as heroic as all that.  It’s just living.  It’s going through the steps until the steps line up with a path that seems more certain – until the next fork, anyway.

For me, it doesn’t hurt that I’ve lived in my knowledge of Someone greater than me since 1980.  As I’ve walked, I’ve learned to recognize what aloneness looks like and feels like and what it does to me.

Forever seems so distant
Much further than today
You turn around and in an instant
You find that you are just as far from yesterday
The day it feels like winter
The night it feels like stone
You turn around and you remember
When you’re surrounded
You can still feel so alone

But it’s in between the start and end
I find myself once again
Questioning this place
Calling out your name
San Angelo

What do you know
And tell me do you have something to say
Don’t get me wrong
But I miss my home
And it feels like I’m a million miles away
San Angelo

Why do I ask these questions
How come I have these doubts
Cause I find every situation
It always seems to have
It’s way of working out

But it’s in between the start and end
I find myself once again
Questioning this place
Calling out your name

I had a conversation with my Dear Heart some years ago about the demands we put on people… it was a problem I remember him struggling with at the time and I had a “flash of brilliance” (few and far between).  But I think it sort of let us both off the hook with each other.  Being in some sort of relationship with someone (whatever type – work, parental, sibling, social, lover) doesn’t give either person the greenlight to put the other on a pedestal.  That person puts their pants on the same way I do.  They have the same multi-faceted kind of existence as I do… facets and thoughts and perceptions that I don’t share (not that I wouldn’t want to, but just factually don’t).  To ask them to deal with life the same way I do, or the way I imagine it should be, is putting a demand on them that they are probably not going to be able to live up to.  And so, who needs to build that kind of disappointment into their relationships?  Why do that to yourself?  There is ONE that I put all my eggs in the basket with, and that has brought me much peace in every other relationship.  That is one that I can’t teach you, I can’t convince you of… can’t even describe it very well.  I just know it’s there.  I’ve walked it, and the walking is the teaching of it.

I love my Dear Heart with a depth that boggles my mind sometimes.   I don’t know if I deserve his patience with me or his perseverance with every flaw that makes me, uniquely me.  But we have grown together over these 22 years and we have grown separately.   And it’s amazing how separately doesn’t equal  apart  by necessity.  And I think that it is only possible because I receive the love I give from Someone who suffered more.

Not alone in a thumping arena section 22… and not alone in 22 years.  And sometimes I stand amazed.

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Ahhh… Time to Process

Do you do that?  Process stuff in your head for a while, then want to put it all in print?  As of the past year or so I have not had time to put it in print like I was… FB has sucked me in TOO much (thank you to all of my FB friends who cajoled me into the FB world…).

So, I’m thinking that something I’ve added over the past year may be having a slight positive affect on my sinuses that I did not realize until this morning.  But this winter it has seemed that I make it through most nights – like 98% of them – breathing through my nose.  And as anyone with sinus/sleep issues can tell you, that’s a GOOD thing.  So I’m going to continue with the supplements and see how things go.  Added one the other day, so maybe I’ll make it back in a year to tell you IT has helped.  🙂

Sam has received his movie pick in from NetFlix – Spaceballs.  Oh, we’ve reached THAT stage of teendom.  *sigh*  Ok.  That’s alright.  I can handle hilarity… helps you live longer.  Just hope we can keep most of the plain ol’ crude humor in it’s place.  Yes, I know.  I’m a spoil sport.  But potty humor gets boring over time.  Hilarious in the short term and I have been known to laugh at most 1st or 2nd attempts.  But then you just crave a higher level of… funny.  Ya’know?  So, looking forward to watching this fun movie with them.

OK… you all have to tell me if you do this.  (And no, I don’t think I have millions of readers.  And yes, that means I know who Ya’ll are… so I’m expecting responses… in fact, as you’ll see, I need them.)  I crave to know about people.  Anything… everything.  Not everybody… there might be a person or two who reads this that I don’t want to know more about.  But I doubt it.  No, I’m not talking stalkerish kind of stuff here… and that’s, I guess, why I’m seeking company in this need.  Cause I’m really NOT one of those people you should be creeped out about.  But I absolutely LOVE knowing how my friends think through things.  How they feel about things.  What their preferences are.  And, if you know me… like, we’ve shared more than 1 or 2 conversations and I don’t inch towards the door after a minute, then you can most certainly consider yourself a friend of mine.  And fortunately or unfortunately for you, depending on how you feel about me, you’ll have to flat out tell me if you’d rather just be considered an acquaintance.  Cause I’m surely alright with that.  I don’t live under a mistaken belief that everyone loves me.

So, do you (yes, if you’re reading this, YOU) search out information on your friends?  Love to know as much as you can about them?  And a correlated question – do you consider yourself to have a lot of friends?  Or just many acquaintances?  And if you’d like to have the same from me, you know all you have to do is ask… or tell me.

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Just Gotta Write!

As I start this post (it may take me an hour or so…), Moira is content eating breakfast and watching Agent Oso, the tweens are getting going with breakfast and prep for the day, the snow is flip flopping between gentle currents of big, fat flakes and fast driving whirlpools and I am drinking my tea and needing to write.  There is practically nothing happening on Facebook, unless you count all of the game playing apps people are into.  I’ve already been to “visit” a new friend’s pages on FB (NO!  it is NOT stalking… it’s being curious, an interested friend, nosy… well, heck!  I don’t know what you want to call it, but I am a REFORMED stalker, thank you very much.  Besides, why would they fill out all of those “get to know me” memes if I wasn’t supposed to filter back through the last 8 years and get to know them? *sheesh*).

So, Moira slept through the night again in her own bed… that’s probably about 5 of the past 8 nights.  Yay! for my growing up “big girl”.  She just ran into tell me that “I spilled my orange juice, but I know what to do, but… someone’s in the bathroom”.  See, we try not to cry over spilled milk around here.  So, since we spill A LOT ~ thankfully mostly water- she has been told to go get a towel to soak it up.  Now, when she was first learning this, she had problems taking her attention from what she was doing to what she needed to do.  So, I would ask “What are you supposed to be doing?”  Thus, the “I know what to do” statement.  And thus, Mommy may have had a glaring light placed on one of her OWN little challenges.  Me?  Have problems doing what I’m supposed to be doing?  Naaaa…

She came to me soon after she woke up and told me “kissing little kid boys?… don’t do it… they don’t like it”.  This after she decided that since it was Valentine’s day yesterday she should kiss one of her little friends.  Where was I?  Enjoying dinner and a movie at our church… a youth fundraiser for their missions trip this coming summer.  What was the movie?  Fireproof, a story about a a married couple fighting in, through and to keep their marriage.  The movie was good.  Hearing from my older daughter that my younger daughter has decided to expand her affection-showing to kissing boys was not so good.  Hearing that one of the adults there may have over reacted a bit to this (it was her son), did not thrill me too much because that then means I have to correct the “well then, all the more reason for me to do it” concept in Moira’s brain.  So, I told her as basically as I could on the car ride home last night that I do not want her kissing her friends.  See?  No mention of boys… just friends in general.  Did I tell her why?  Because their Mommas don’t like it.

Never mind the fact that we do not want to be swapping germs, 4 is not an acceptable age to be showing THAT level of affection and I do not like it.

I’ve told you that she’s  a social kind of person, right?  And you know she’s a hugger, right?  Both things I like, right?  But in this family we do not consider childhood the time to kiss or investigate girlfriend/boyfriend relationship kind of stuff… the stuff a LOT of people think is cute.  I don’t think it’s cute.  Over the long haul, I believe it sets everybody up to put too little concern into what should be long term commitments,  Is my 4 year old going to want to have what adults consider a boyfriend… no, it’s not a concept she’s acquired yet.  Will the people surrounding her think it’s cute one too many times?  Yes… and then I’ll have a much larger problem to deal with.  So, no, Braydon, she will not be kissing you again.  You’re welcome.

Watched Sleepless In Seattle a week or so ago and You’ve Got Mail the other night… I love those Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies.  But with my typing in conversation going on, I can’t get that dang “you’ve got mail” AOL tone out of my head.

So, it snowed again… enough to probably keep our dance friends from getting out today (they live in a rural area).  So, again, we’ll have to postpone.  *sigh*  I woke up this morning with a sinus headache going on… 6AM.  Went to use the loo (ha!  I’m going Brit on you!), went back to bed and laid there until 7.  Sinus headaches do not allow one to go back to sleep in the morning.  They beckon you to a nice hot cup of tea… which I had.  It’s still there and now I will reach for the sudafed.  And more tea.  I’m giving it  a half-hearted exploration of different herbals, supplements, teas and stuff with inflammation reducing effects to see if they help my sinuses.  As I have greatly reduced the amount of benadryl/sudafed I am taking, I don’t seem to have the sling-shot runny nose/stuffy head/ upper resp. infection thing happening… but I have awoke in the morning breathing through my mouth and I do not like that.  That says inflammation in my nasal passages to me.   Is it safe to assume that the things that help with inflammation in muscles (like for arthritis and stuff) will help with nasal inflammation?  Hmmm…

OK… so Moira is crying out from her bath… seems the water has gotten cold in the time that it has taken me to write this… be interrupted a million times… finish writing this.  I’m glad our livelihood does not depend on me making a writing deadline.  Whew!

Have a safe, good snowy day everyone!  And for my friends in NOLA, hope you are having a ball at Mardi Gras!

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I just woke myself up from one of the most surreal dreams I have had in a long time.  Kind of the type Scrooge had mixed with a little of Dorothy’s with several people wearing real faces… you know- from real life… downtown Tammy-land.  Freaked me out a bit and it took quite a bit to wake myself out of it.

What is that space called in the middle of the subway tracks… where if you fall, you die?  There’s a name for it and I can’t remember it right now… anyway.  I was in this train station sort of place, people waiting on both sides… crowding around really – watching, like egging a fight on.  Only the “fight” was a different group of people every time who would be attempting to cross the tracks.  They had it timed with the sound of the oncoming trains so they thought they knew when they could dart across.

So, one of these real life Tammy-land people had invited me to come to this place… really excited about it, he was.  But I get there and this person kind of nonchalantly makes it to the other side and leaves me to get across.   And I’m panicking and not sure if I can do it and missing home and my family.  A woman that I knew from many years ago, but hardly ever have contact with now, hands me a cell phone and tells me to call them and I end up timing the trains for myself and running across.   Only now it seems like this is the end of the dream… you know how dreams keep getting themselves flip flopped around after you wake.  But it seems like there was a much more relaxed beginning now that I’m awake.

Like I was tempted into this other place by thoughts that had played around in my brain when it was quiet, and this guy was just “real enough” to get me to go look.  Presenting me with all kinds of tempting reasons to stay… and it took me a while to make up my mind.  (I remember barely waking up to look at the clock in the dark.)  But in the end it just physically hurt to not be able to get home.  And when I woke up, a kind of deep sadness and regret and relief.

And this intense need to say “you were there! and you and you!”.   Sometimes I hate what my brain does to me when I’m not looking.

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