Thursday, May 31, 2007

More Slacking

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Category: Slut Songs

OK, don't ask me why this whole subject is even going through my head, but did you ever listen to the lyrics of songs and think, "what were they thinking?"

I give you, Category: Slut Songs. Today's entry: "All I Want To Do Is Make Love To You," by Heart.

Look at the lyrics - this woman is married to... OK, she's in love with one man, and she seeks out some random stranger with whom to have sex so that she can have a baby... THAT SHE CAN RAISE WITH THE OTHER MAN. She tells the stranger not to try to find her - he'll live in her memory 4ever!

How is that a romantic song?

And what about that duet with Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow? They're apart for "three d*** nights," and already they are both in bed with other people? AND STILL PINING FOR THE ONE WHOSE PICTURE THEY PUT AWAY!!

If you know others, please share. I know I've heard other songs and thought the same thing, but I can't think of them right know. If I can remember them, I will post them. If not, maybe tomorrow's category will be "Slacker Songs." Sheryl Crow comes to mind for that one, too..... :)


The discussion about Kid Rock reminded me of another "slut song" - his little "Follow Me" is a classic "slut song": "I'm not worried about that ring you wear 'cause as long as no one knows then nobody can care?" YIKES!!

Sad Coincidences

I was on my way back to the office after a court appearance this afternoon, when Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" came on the radio.

It struck me that both Marilyn Monroe and Diana, Princess of Wales, were 36 years old when they died. Both died in August. Both died under suspicious circumstances. Both were memorialized by the same melody and many of the same words sung by the same singer (Elton John).

What's also weird is that my cousin was born on the same date as Diana, and her mother (my aunt) was born about a year after Marilyn Monroe. Granted, not spine-pricklingly coincidental but still a trifle weird, IMO.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Well, part of my recent mood swinging may indeed be hormonal..... I know. Just what you wanted to read right now. Sorry if you were eating - NOT! :)

What sucks is that my mother and my grandmother and my maternal aunt all had hysterectomies before they were my age. My grandmother is deceased anyway, so barring a seance (which I wouldn't try), I couldn't ask her, but still. My mom's answer to the questions about "changes" in certain otherwise fairly regular events was, "Well, I don't know what to tell you - I had a hysterectomy before I was your age, so I don't know..... You should make an appointment with your doctor and get a check up. You really should have them once a year...."


My aunt had a total hysterectomy at age 35 or 36 (I think - I either wasn't born or was only a baby). She had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and in those days (i.e., the 1960s), they did a radical mastectomy, total hysterectomy, and chemo and radiation. She is still around some 40+ years later, but I think her recollection of the care and maintenance of lady parts is probably a little outdated.

At age 31 or so, my mom had to have an ovarian cyst removed because it had ruptured, but she went on to give birth to my youngest brother a few years after that. The hysterectomy was when she was maybe 42. Her attitude, from what I recall, was "whew!" Again, not helpful.

Where is the freakin' manual when you need one?????

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


The words to the song "How to Save a Life" have been running through my head all afternoon. Maybe if I give them another place to continue playing, I can think about the fourteen things I have to do this afternoon before I leave:

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life.

Not sure why I'm being haunted by these words, now that I look at them in the light. It reminds me of the fairy tale Rumplestiltskin in that when the girl held captive to spin straw into gold finally called her captor by his name, he lost his power over her and disappeared. Maybe looking at the words robs them of their power to hold me?

Probably true of other things, too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Same Old, Same Old

One of the things that annoys me about reading or listening to other people's work is when I know I'm hearing a rehash of something they've done before. It isn't (necessarily) that it wasn't that good the first time, or that the subject isn't worthwhile. It's that if you're going to present something to someone else (or lots of someone elses), at least try to look at it with fresh eyes - to find something new in the subject that is worth exploring.

It's harder in some fields than others. I can do a motion or a complaint or a brief on an issue that is pretty much the same as the one I did on the same or a similar issue in a different case. I get that sometimes, there is little use in reinventing the wheel. By the same token, if I'm reading or hearing the same product from the same person over and over, I start to wonder if the writer or speaker has any other ideas - original ones, that is.

What about other times, though? Is it enough to do what you've already done repeatedly/ successfully/regularly? By "enough", I mean in the sense of completeness, pleasure in a job well-done, or satisfaction. I'm beginning to believe that the true ability of staying the course has to originate in learning how to keep things fresh and new. The only question is how.

C.S. Lewis said, in the Screwtape Letters, that humans have a dread of "the same old thing." I think he made a very good point. I'll have to go back and read that book again to find out. That's one of the things I mean about finding something fresh and new about even the same thing over and over - if it's really good and if you look, you can see something you didn't see before that makes it meaningful or special every time you look at it or listen to it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Update on Joy

Just got a call from my mom. There is a family in their church that has recently started attending. They have seven kids and not a lot of money. The short version is that the home they had been living in (I think they were renting) got sold out from under them, so they had to find housing fairly quickly. The housing issue was resolved because another couple (unrelated to them) were going through a divorce and trashed their house.

As a result, this couple with the 7 kids was able to get something relatively inexpensively that needed a lot of work but not a lot of money. No appliances, though, including no refrigerator. Turned out, they were keeping their food in styrofoam containers - efficient enough but expensive because ice is so expensive.

An appliance dealer in town was made aware of the need and the opportunity to participate in a blessing - here's the cool part: his immediate response was, what do you need. He gave - GAVE!! - this family in need a scratch and dent refrigerator, brand new, out of his store. They just loaded it on the truck and took it over there.

A) How amazing God is!! He puts people who have together with people who don't have and meets needs in ways that allow others to share in His work.

B) How cool is it that God not only allows other people to share in His work and receive the blessing that comes along with it, but when people hear about it, they praise God for His provision.

C) How interesting it is that there are people out there like this guy with the appliance shop who have enough to share what they have with others as to God. I know if I had the resources to share with other people, my biggest temptation would be to do it out of my own strength and resources! Instead of God getting the honor and glory for the work, I would - not necessarily from other people, although that would be a danger, too, but in my own head.

What makes this truly cool is Kim's quote of the week that I posted earlier today - about pride. It isn't about the things or about the ability to do for other people; it's about an attitude of the heart in whatever state we're in, and that is from God.

Anyway, just had to share the good news - thanks to God for His mercy and provision, and for His demonstration of His love and care!!

Joy Comes in the Morning

Kim, at Hiraeth, has this "quote of the week" on her sidebar:

Grace has always seemed like an insult to the natural man. It cannot seem other wise since its principle design is to mortify the pride of man and display the glory of Christ. The grace of God which brings salvation does not look for righteousness from the sinner, but gives it to him. Grace is more than an objective fact presented to man; it is a subjective experience wrought by the Holy Spirit within the recipient.

W. E. Best, Studies in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ (emphasis original to the text).

That concept - that righteousness comes as a gift from God - goes against what we are told in our culture. We all have value, yes. We all have strengths and talents, of course. But the glorying in - the talking about our own righteousness as if we'd accomplished it ourselves is the pride.

I read something recently (I can't remember where) that in some other cultures, when a baby is born, the parents do not exclaim over how adorable the child is or how blessed they feel about the new arrival. Instead, they declare loudly and repeatedly how ugly and unworthy the child is, how the baby is another burden for them, etc. The explanation for this was that if they rejoiced in the baby, the gods (or fates or whatever) would be angry and jealous, and they would curse the child and the family because of their good fortune.

As Christians, we have a God who calls us to joy. He calls us to thanksgiving and to abundant life. We don't get any benefit from denying our enjoyment of the good things that come to us in this life; God wants us to find our joy in Him as the source of those good things.

The joy that comes from God isn't the "happiness" that we see in the world; it's deep and abiding joy. I wonder sometimes if "happiness" isn't the cheap substitute for real joy, and whether it wouldn't be better to be honestly sorrowful or grieved than to follow that social mandate to always be "happy."

Anyway, I said all of that to say that, in the however-long-it's-been since I started blogging, I've gotten to know people (some I've met but most I haven't) who have demonstrated grace and friendship and true "coming alongside" to share in a way that makes me more eagerly await heaven.

Some of the things that have been coming to the surface in my life over the past few months have been challenging for me, and I've written about them here, rather than in private, because I've seen people respond with compassion and love. Those people have helped more than they know, and with the sharing of burdens there is a desire to also share joy. Today is a day with joy.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

What am I here for?

After all of the yammering about this or that event, the really troublesome issue comes out to this: If all of the things I thought my life was going to be and involve turn out to be wrong turns or detours, what really is my purpose?

Catechism's answer: The chief end of man is to glorify God and to serve Him forever.

That's a fine answer, but what is the practical outworking of that? How do I do that? I mean, it's a generic, ivory-tower concept - does that mean eschewing everything connected with the material world and devoting myself to good deeds like Mother Theresa or going to a mission field someplace far away, or what? I don't think so. Not that those aren't good things, but I haven't felt that call on my life.

Does it mean working day in and day out to achieve debt-free living? Still a good idea, but then what? What do you do when (OK, for me that is still an "if") you get all of your bills paid off, even the student loans and the mortgages? Then what?

I don't have children - which is probably a good thing in my case - and I'm of about the same mind about children as I am about missions: good idea, but not for me. There was a time I felt differently, but honestly, at 43 (and a half) years old, I'm too tired for children!

What is there about making a life worthwhile? 'Cuz here's the thing: other people may be content to just go through their lives working and paying bills and doing whatever they do, but I'm not used to that. There always has to be more, for me anyway.

When I moved here, in the back of my head, there was this thought that maybe living here on my own was the set of circumstances and attitude changes that would bring the One I'm Supposed To Spend The Rest Of My Life With into my life, and I'd meet him, get married, settle down, and live the life I was really supposed to be living. I would never have admitted that - not even at gunpoint - but that's what is supposed to happen, right? Single, getting to that age, find someone, etc. That's the script.

That was one part of the reasons behind my purchase of a residence - because, after all, who takes a 30-something (at that time) year old woman seriously unless she owns real estate? If she's just renting, she's either a gold-digger or she's hopelessly inept, financially, and not a good prospect. These days, we women have to be not only attractive, slender, and modest-but-with-sensual-potential, but we also have to have our financial s*** together. (The other part was that I needed to move due to Neighbors From Hell living upstairs, renting was as expensive as buying, and I only wanted to move once).

Except it didn't happen. None of it. The one I thought might be either the One or someone through whom I might meet the One not only turned out to be neither, he turned out to be nothing like I'd thought he would be (and now he's marrying someone else - who is divorced and has two kids already: the instant family concept).

None of the choices I've made to get where I ended up seem at all in line with what I wanted my life to be like in the four years it's been since I made this move in the first place. All things being equal, my life is at least half over, and I'm still not sure what I'm doing with it.

As of right now, I'm pretty well into screwing up my job - I have a certain amount of billable hours I need to put in to justify my continued existence. As of today, I'm far enough behind that I don't even know how far behind I am - except, I'm pretty sure I would have to bill (not work, bill) 200 hours a month to get caught up by the end of the year. If that isn't self-destruction in action, I don't know what is.

The struggle there, though, is why am I doing this anyway? I'm doing the same thing - at which I do not completely suck, which is always good to know - for more money than I've ever made in my life. The money I make pays my bills (or it would if I didn't keep spending more than I can afford). I joined the church I was talking about and started with choir practice on Wednesday night.

So why do I feel like chucking it all in the can and starting over?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Still shell-shocked

Today is a little better. I’m still sad, and I’m still a little hurt, but I feel like I have a little more perspective on it. It could just be that the family decided they wanted the service to be just for family. I can understand that – they might also include anyone at her church who was close to her, while I hadn’t seen her in three and a half years (even though I'd written to her monthly for how long now....). I can do my own thing as far as closure and remembering her life in a way that helps me, and that will be OK.

The only thing is, I feel like I did – how many years ago? – when I had a similar experience with someone else. I hadn’t seen it coming at all, and then wham! Both situations came down to someone treating me as if I wasn’t worth their time for even the smallest courtesy - the whole "not-talking-to-you" thing is very immature, but it works. All I could do the last time was to withdraw to my own “safe zone” and wait until I felt healed enough to venture back out into the world. That’s how I feel now – fragile and stretched beyond what I can cope with on my own. I want to go home and cry, and I can't.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Better out than in

I wasn't sure about whether to talk about this or not, but being "a bear of very small brain," I decided it was better to get it out than keep it in.

This lady who is the last of a group of friends from 50-some years ago passed away April 9. Out of respect for the friendship she and her husband had with my grandparents, I stayed in touch with her after my grandparents both died and after her husband died. She wasn't alone, really. Her sons and their wives all retired and lived close by. They visited regularly and made sure she had everything she needed. I just stayed in touch because I'd always thought of her and her husband as my spare grandparents.

When she died earlier this year, her daughter-in-law called me to tell me that she had passed and that they hadn't planned when they were going to do the memorial service. She wanted to be cremated, so that was accomplished, but the family wanted a memorial service to celebrate her life, and they hadn't worked out the date yet because of everyone's schedules. She said she'd let me know when. They were still working on the obituary for the local paper here in Michigan, even though she died in another state, because there would be people here that knew her, etc.

Flash-forward 5 weeks, and the notice went in the paper May 16. The obituary finally was amended to add a photo on the local funeral home's website and the local paper in the state where she died was also amended. The date for the memorial service is this Saturday, May 19, which is not enough time for me to make plans to go, if I was planning to attend.

While I understand that the family may want this to be a private service, the daughter-in-law told me she would let me know. She didn't. I didn't get a call, a note, nothing. The only reason I found out was because I looked in the paper under the death notices and saw it there.

The thing is, it's OK that the connection I had to this family is gone - the grandparents were my grandparents' best friends for many years, and my grandfather always thought of the other man as his brother. They took vacations together, they prayed for each other, they were family.

It just hurts that no one told me, when the daughter-in-law said she would. This is the same woman that sent me their family Christmas newsletter I wrote about earlier, telling me that her son was getting married, so I trusted her to tell me what was going on, even if they had decided to just have the service for the family.

I tried to talk to my parents about it, but they just get bitter and snide, and I don't want that. I just want to express my own hurt about the situation without causing pain to anyone else, and then I can move forward.

Thanks, BTW, for listening.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

From the sublime to the ridiculous

It feels like the “hungry monster” has taken over my body – actually, it’s both the “hungry monster” and the “buying monster.” I want to go someplace and buy dinner – a nice dinner that includes a baked potato, some form of meat that is properly cooked (in other words, juicy and flavorful) and not reheated in a microwave, really good macaroni and cheese, and brownie with nuts and thick chocolate frosting.

Then, I want an iPod and/or a new cell phone. If I get just the cell phone, I want one that plays music and downloads stuff from the Internet and lets me email back and forth. I also want someone to download songs onto it, because I don’t know how to do this since I don’t already have one.

I also want all new clothes – yes, I would prefer that they be in a smaller size and that I would actually be able to fit into a smaller size, but I don’t really care right now. I want shoes that don’t have holes in the soles (or have to go someplace for half-soles where they will disappear for a week).

I want a new car that doesn’t have mismatched interior seats or peeling paint on the windshield wiper arms. I want one that has the logo/trim stuff intact – no missing grille trim, thank you. It has to have a CD player – or mp3 player (whichever is easier to deal with) – and all new clean stuff – it should also be self-vacuuming/cleaning, while I’m at it.

I don’t want my joints to start aching, and I’d like the pin in my wrist to stop hurting now – the rain is gone, and I don’t need the warning.

Most of all, I want my house to be clean when I walk in the door. I want the carpets vacuumed, the dishes done, the dust removed from all surfaces, the walls washed, the floors really clean, and the clutter gone. I want junk mail to dissolve into smoke when it hits my mailbox so that I don’t have to dispose of it when I get the mail. I want the furniture in my house to look pulled together – like the design was intended, instead of just happening on its own.

I want clean clothes, clean sheets, and fresh towels every morning. I want a clothes chute in my bathroom upstairs, so that I can put the dirty stuff in there and it will go straight to the laundry room in the basement. I want clean mirrors, clean vanities in the bathrooms, and clean tile that does not get grunge in the grout.

While I’m at it, I want a new house – with an attached garage and maintenance. And, I want someone home when I get home – someone who asks about my day (or vice versa – if it’s a he and he’s out making a nice living to support all of the stuff I’ve already mentioned), and who cares about me. I want a fenced yard for Tanner to run in, with trees and squirrels and birds. So there. Too.

Sometimes, I just have to say these things. It doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for what I have, or that I don’t understand there are people in the world who can’t sleep because bombs are going off around them, or that what I eat in a day could feed a family of four for a week in some countries. It’s not that at all. It’s just that every now and then, my inner 3-year-old gets cranky, and this is what I feel like.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Finally Home - Jerry Falwell (1933-2007)

"But just think of stepping on shore and finding it heaven, of touching a hand and finding it God's, of breathing new air and finding it celestial, of waking up in glory and finding it home. Oh that would be glory to me."

As a Liberty University alumna, I was very sad to hear that Jerry Falwell died today. When I heard, I thought of W.A. Criswell - don't ask me why, because I don't honestly know - and in looking for the words to the hymn "Finally Home" (excerpted above), I found this quote:

Criswell suggested ministers use this prayer at a committal service: "Dear Lord Jesus, all that hands could do have we done. Where we leave off do you take up and take care. Watch over this hallowed place in holy remembrance until the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised in glory. Give us back then, these we have loved and lost just for a while. Bless the family that waits in earth until that triumphant day when we shall be joined together in heaven. Send us away to our homes and to the work that awaits us in thy love and grace, and in thy dear name, Amen."

The thing about Jerry Falwell is that people either loved him or hated him, but they knew how they felt about him. When I was in college, he was the chancellor of the university, but he also was the pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church - and since we all were students at Liberty, we were part of his congregation, too. He spoke regularly at Sunday services on "Liberty Mountain" as it was called, as well as at the church itself, and at chapel services during the week, so we saw him and heard from him more than one might see or hear from the chancellor at any other school.

In addition to church and chapel services, he also attended sporting events, concerts and other activities at the school when he was in town. I've said it elsewhere (and it bears repeating here) that my favorite memory of him is from a basketball game in the old gym. He was sitting in the very top row along the back wall with a group of students - he was still in his suit from whatever he'd been doing that day - with a necktie around his head like a bandana, banging on the air ducts to cheer for the team. My sister used to have a picture - I'll see if I can get a copy from her one of these days.....

He used to quote from the old testament: without a vision, the people perish. He certainly had great vision - he wanted to see us as graduates of Liberty University going out into the four corners of the world as "young champions for Christ." It wasn't about him or his own legacy; it was about spreading the gospel to a world that desperately needs it.

Because of his willingness to be a fool for the sake of the gospel, there is a university, a seminary, a law school and a church created and continuing with that goal in mind: to equip its students and parishioners to spread the gospel wherever we go.

Thanks, Jerry.

From: one of Jerry's kids

Monday, May 14, 2007

I Got Nothin'.......

It's just one of those days but I have nothing - not that I didn't have a good weekend (I did), but it just wasn't ... well, this is the deal.

Saturday, I slept in, got a few errands done, and went to work to get caught up on paperwork (which I did, mostly).

Sunday, I went to church, where I was officially welcomed into the church - they gave me a certificate and everything! - and I met my friend's mom and dad again. I didn't say anything to them about this, but they are much shorter than I remember! (I kid - they are probably about the same height, give or take an inch or two, but I am MUCH taller now).

Then, coolness of the cool, I installed my new/used seats in my car. I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but my darling doggums has a bad habit of biting the car when we go places. He gets agitated by the vehicles whizzing by, overpasses, signs, etc., and he sinks his teeth into the foam in the back seat and just shakes his head around dislodging said foam from said seat. It looked like something took a huge bite out of the back seat of my car.

Enter eBay - my favorite place! - where I finally found a replacement. You'd be surprised how hard it is to find parts for a 1998 Honda Civic (with gray cloth interior), but I finally found some. They were surprisingly easy to install, too. Once I got the seats in, I had to spray them with some of that spray foam deodorizer (I think it's Arm & Hammer), because I think the car they came from belonged to a smoker, but they look so much better than the old ones!!

That's it - that's all I have for today. Hope you all had a happy mother's day. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's Official

For those of you who have been following the bits and pieces I've posted about my search for a church home, it's official: I'm finally a member of the church I was talking about earlier. :)

The process for membership application in this church was fairly simple. Often, if you've been a member of one church and you decide to transfer, they can accomplish that by what's called a transfer of letter. Since it has been a very long time since I was a member of any church, in part because I would attend my dad's church wherever he went but also in part because I just stopped going when I started law school back in 1992 and never picked it up again (for reasons I've alluded to before), I couldn't get a letter from any church to allow me to do that.

Since I was baptized already back in 1970-something, baptism wasn't necessary. For these situations, this church had me do an interview with one of the deacons and one of the deaconesses, which I did a couple of Sundays ago, and then I gave my testimony on Wednesday night, telling them how I'd come to know the Lord as my savior and other things about my life since then.

It's always a little embarassing for me to do this because when I think about how much God loves me, how grateful I am that He sent His Son to die for my sins and that He raised Him from the dead, and what God has done in my life, I get drippy. I try to power through it, but I get choked up and emotional. I've been like this for as long as I can remember, so I should be more prepared when it happens, but I'm trying to work on it because it can be a little disconcerting (or distracting) for people watching/listening.

Anyway, I did it, and the people in the church who were there (which was only about 25-30 people) went through the process of asking that I be accepted into membership, voting on it, and voila! They will do a brief presentation on a Sunday after the morning service - I don't know when - but otherwise, that's it.

The really cool thing was that after the service last night, this woman came up to me and said, "I don't know if you remember me, but do I look familiar?" I looked at her face, and SHE WAS ONE OF THE GIRLS I'D GONE TO SUNDAY SCHOOL WITH 30-SOME YEARS AGO!!!! How cool is that?!?!? I knew right away who she was, and we hugged and laughed and caught up and just had a great little "old home week" moment.

I told my parents about it after church - called them to tell them first thing when I got home - and I couldn't remember her mom's first name (because I was never allowed to call grown-ups by their first names then), but my dad remembered.

Now, the thing I have to do is get involved in things at this church. I'm not in this just to be able to say I'm a member of such-and-such church. I want to do things - one of the reasons I didn't stay at this other church I'd attended for a while was because it was so big I got lost in it. They had 5 and 6 people lined up to do anything that needed to be done, and I felt useless and unnecessary. That won't be a problem in this church, but I need to sort out what I can do and what they need doing. On one hand, I want to be busy but on the other hand, I don't want to overextend myself.

Stay tuned..... :)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Don't say the "P" word!!

"P" is for "partner."

Who says lawyers, particularly partners, don't have a sense of humor? The top two guys on our letterhead are away for the week this week, leaving the third guy in charge. He sent this email around this afternoon (it was too funny not to share). Everything but the stuff in brackets is his - names have been changed to protect the innocent:


As most of you are probably aware, Mom and Dad ([Bill and Ted]) have gone to Germany for the week. While they would like everyone to think they are really working hard, we all know better. This is the first time that Mom and Dad have left us home alone since I moved in in 1999. In honor of their trusting us so much, I have created a group email that doesn't include either of them. From this email address, we can now send emails that doesn't include either of them.

First, I think we should have a birthday party for [Bill] tomorrow even though he won't be here. In honor of [Bill]'s birthday, we are having pizza and salad brought in for anyone that wants it tomorrow. Just let [Jane - office manager] know if you are attending by the end of the day so we know how much to order.

On Friday, we are having a denim day for no reason at all. It has been suggsted that perhaps we want to take up a collection for the devastated area of Kansas, but any donation is going to be voluntary.

That's it for now campers, but if you think of any other fun things while mom and dad are gone. just let me know.


The "denim day" reference is to the practice of some businesses (formerly ours) of allowing their employees to wear jeans to work in exchange for a contribution to an agreed-upon charity. Our office's "denim day" was suspended due to the practice of some staff members of wearing jeans with holes in them. Yes, it was an attorney; no, it wasn't me.

I love my job!!

Busy Hands

All things being equal this summer, this is going to be my new place to hang out:

I won't be a full-time resident - I'll be lucky if I get down there once a month during the summer! - but hopefully, I will leave sticky noseprints on the windows enough to feel comfortable calling it mine.

No, I did not win the lottery, and no, I am not moving in. I went by there on my way back from court to pick out a birthday gift for one of my friends at work, and I just decided (right then) that I would give this place a more prominent place in my life than it has occupied for the last several decades.

This is Pewabic Pottery. To quote from their website, "Founded in 1903 during the Arts & Crafts Movement, Pewabic is nationally renowned for its tile and pottery in unique glazes. Today it is a non profit ceramic art education center which welcomes 70,000 visitors annually."

The cool thing is they offer classes (which I am nowhere near ready to take) and they have a fabulous museum store, which is where I got my friend's birthday gift. I hope she likes it. She's from Cleveland, but she loves cool neat stuff, and since her husband designed their house like a Frank Lloyd Wright place (in keeping with the Arts and Crafts movement), I thought that a vase from Pewabic Pottery would fit into their decor as well as be a nice little thing for her to introduce her to the place if she isn't familiar with it.

Of course, the "pusher" in me thinks that if she gets hooked on it, too, I will have yet another partner in crime for trips to the museum, but we won't tell anyone about that, will we..... :)

Weekend Wrap-Up, or Adventures in DIY

Home redecorating/update is not for the squeamish, especially if you are a do-it-yourself type. The cardinal rules of such endeavors are these:

1. Measure twice
2. Anticipate everything
3. Don't assume the people who did it first did it right
4. The cost will be twice or three times what you expect.
5. If the question on your mind is "how hard can it be," you should not be doing anything yourself.

The rules are evolving, but those are the first ones that have found application in this latest project, to be known from here on as "The Powder Room Ponderable" or "PRP."

How this started was, I wanted a change in my powder room. In some locales, this is known as a half-bath, but powder room is closer to the mark because it's only about big enough to powder one's nose. Literally or figuratively speaking.

I chose Ralph Lauren Light Sky, which is a nice shade of light blue with just a hint of green. It's not teal, but it's not a clear blue, either. Anyway, since the walls in said powder room were already about the color of french vanilla ice cream, I decided to put a coat of primer on them so that my "light sky" wouldn't look muddy. Yellow base tends to make blues look more green than blue, which would defeat the purpose.

Having watched 'way too many episodes of Trading Spaces, et al., I taped my little powder room with blue tape around everything. The light fixture, the towel bar, the tile baseboard, the vanity, the switchplate and the doorjam. Miles of blue tape for a room that is barely big enough for me to turn around in.

Taping accomplished, I opened, stirred and poured a can of Kilz (white) - not even realizing that it might not be latex paint!!! In fact, it was oil-based paint. Did I have anything to remove oil-based paint from any surface? No. But I move ahead of my story.

You know those commercials where they say "there's the two-trips-to-the-home depot..."? I did that with just one day of priming my powder room. Four trips to the Home Depot later, and I have .... primed it. Two weeks ago.

Why has it taken more than two weeks to paint a powder room?

Rule numbers 2, 3 and 5.

When I decided to paint, I failed to consider what I ultimately wanted to do with the powder room, such as replace the vanity. Having completed the priming, I thought, "If I paint this wall this color, and then I pull the vanity away from the wall to replace it, I'm going to have a mess - why not just replace the vanity now? How hard can it be?"

First, the original contractors did not put the itty-bitty tiles on the itty-bitty tile floor all the way under the vanity. Which means that the cool vanity replacements that would otherwise work in an itty-bitty space like my powder room would require redoing the whole floor because under the vanity is an 8" x 24" rectangle of black wire mesh (that forms the base for the goo you spread on the floor before putting the tile on it). That rules out pedestal sinks of any type, as well as some of those nifty ones that sit on top of the flooring like a table.

Second, the space within which the vanity must fit (so that the door will open and close) is 24-25" wide (looking at the wall), with only 16.5" out from the wall, and about 28 or so inches tall. As a result, the faucet is set in the corner, which means that the plumbing under the sink connecting the faucet to the sink and the water source are over away from the center of the sink.

Since I am NOT going to put another sink in with a corner faucet, I need to be very sure about the plumbing in the new vanity/sink and that I have enough pipe in case I need to put a new pipe under the sink for the drain and/or the water faucet. Do I know anything about plumbing? No.

Third, the vanity/sink combos that are available may say "complete" for $199, "complete" means complete as to the vanity and sink. It does not include the faucet. Faucets are more money on top of the $199 you were going to spend on the vanity/sink combo.

So, I decided to just paint anyway. The vanity/sink combo will wait, and since it is bigger and taller than the one I already have, painting the walls won't hurt anything. Except.

Remember the oil-based versus latex paint issue I mentioned? The original wall color was latex. The primer was oil-based. The new wall color is also latex. The walls now have, instead of their previous smooth surface, a slightly rough texture on them which may be the result of putting oil-based primer on top of latex.

According to the Home Depot paint guy (PG, for short), you can put latex over oil, but it doesn't work to put oil over latex because the oil-based paint can cause the latex paint underneath to lift. PG said that it could also be that the nap on the roller resulted in too much paint being applied, which is what I'm crossing my fingers over, but we'll see.

The point is, the wall texture is not supposed to be rough; it's supposed to be smooth. (Sigh!)

And, the part of my brain that was busy taping everything in sight forgot that paint spatters on things in bathrooms, such as commodes. By the time I figured it out, the toilet had white paint spatters all over the bowl area. Yes, it is a white toilet, but spatters will collect dirt and germs, and what was I thinking. Back to the Home Depot, where another PG helped me find something that would remove oil-based paint from porcelain without taking the finish off said porcelain.

All in all, it might have been cheaper/easier/less stressful to have just moved.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Destination check, please?

What do you call checking email accounts more than 25 times in a day? I think I passed "obsession" miles ago, but I'm not sure where I ended up.

[The real quirk in this is that I'm not really sure what I'm checking for. It's not like I'm anxiously awaiting some message from someone on the Internet Superhighway (to continue the metaphor long beyond its usefulness)]. The weird part is, I'm getting so starved for email that I'm tempted to read those spam emails offering to make parts of the body I don't even have bigger just to see what all the fuss is about......


[WARNING - If you're easily grossed out, please don't read any further. Or at least, don't read any further while you are in places where other people might see/hear you].

Although Monday was a lovely day, Tuesday knocked me on my keister - literally. I was up all night turning my stomach inside out about once every hour (almost on the hour) from about midnight until about 6:00 a.m. I ended the last session sitting on the bathroom floor waiting to see if I needed to exert myself to move, or if it would be more efficient to try to die right there on the tile floor so as not to stain the carpet.

The thing is, this was just a flu - I hadn't done anything worth being punished like that! Really! Monday night being a school night, I did what I was supposed to do. I got home at a decent hour, after getting gas at $2.829/gallon (the cheapest price in the whole state, I later learned). I cooked, I ate dinner, I played with my dog and took him outside like a good mama should, and we went to bed by 11:20 p.m.

There was no evening wine and a movie with friends, no shots at Chili's after work, no booze of any kind - not even cough syrup. I'm not much of a drinker anyway, and I've never had a hangover, so I am not joking when I say I really didn't do anything that would lead me to expect all-night-hurling as the close to the evening's activities.

Further, I wasn't sniffling, I didn't have a tummyache, and I didn't feel unwell at all - until about midnight. It wasn't like I'd been unwell and then ate dinner on top of an upset stomach. This thing snuck up on me, beat the snot out of me and then sat there and chuckled while I ralphed all of the bile out of my liver.

About 18 hours later, it was over. Seriously. Weirdest thing ever. I felt well enough to totter down the stairs and drink some diet 7Up, which was probably not the best thing for me, but it was all I had that I figured would not make me instantly start heaving again. I slept, got up the next morning and went to work. Like nothing had happened.

Something is definitely wrong with the time-space continuum.......