Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Out With the Old, In With the New

I'm really not great with too much change. I like what I like. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get used to something new; sometimes I am hesitant to try something new or different. I rarely re-arrange a room once I have it a way that I like.

I had my Blackberry Pearl for a year. When I did upgrade to that last year, I was very hesitant to get that phone. My previous phone was a flip phone, but the outside screen had cracked, and I had this horrible habit of trying to flip it open with one hand, but often did not succeed and ended up hanging up on people accidentally. There were things I loved about the old phone, and it took me about a week to really fall in love with my BB Pearl.

When the date approached for an upgrade availability, Robert suggested I get an iPhone. I kept wavering, thinking I would just keep my pearl and leave it at that. Several of my friends with iPhones told me I'd love it. The ads looked cool; they sure know how to market them. I went to the store a few times and played with 'em. I asked tons of questions of the salespeople; still, I wasn't totally sold on getting one. I checked out the Apple store website, read up on tips & tricks, and was about 75% sure I was ready to get one.

Saturday, when we were at the mall for the book signing, we went to the AT&T store and I decided to go for it. I even had researched what case I wanted for it, so after the AT&T store we went to the Apple store to get the case and a car charger I wanted. For good measure, I also picked up a non-glare screen film.

I don't think I had the phone for an hour when I was most decidedly very happy I got it. And Robert now has phone envy.

While the BB Pearl fit so well in my hand, the iPhone isn't too much larger, and fits my geeky personality very well.

The Christmas Sweater

Last Saturday, Robert and I went to the mall to meet Glenn Beck. Glenn is touring as part of "The Christmas Sweater" book tour. We got to the mall early, before Borders opened, to wait with others to get our pass for the afternoon signing. Happily armed with our Group A passes, we bought a few copies of The Christmas Sweater for Glenn to sign later.

After breakfast and a trip to a few stores, Robert and I settled into some comfy chairs at Borders to await Glenn's arrival. Robert began reading the book and I played with my new iPhone. About an hour before Glenn was due to arrive, we got into the line that was about to start weaving throughout the store. He was about 20 minutes late, but that didn't matter to his fans. As we looked down the aisle, Robert and I wondered how many people had come to this. From the color coded, lettered passes, we figured there were easily over 400 there.

When it was our turn, I snapped a quick pic of Robert after Glenn signed his book. Robert had just told Glenn they should have passed out tissues with the book.

I read the book this afternoon, and went through several tissues. It is such a deeply moving story; even if you aren't a fan of Mr. Beck, it will touch you in a profound way.

To see if the tour is coming to a city near you, visit his site.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Location: My kitchen
Time: 40 minutes ago
Players: Myself, Sarah (11), Doug (18)

Scene: Doug is at the breakfast table, doing something on his laptop (college paper?)
I walk in to put my coffee cup on the counter, notice the growing piles of dishes in both sides of the sink (which, by the way, drive Robert absolutely nuts), along with expanding dirty dishes on the counter next to the sink (which, by the way drives ME absolutely nuts). I empty one side, clean the sink, rinse, plug it, start the water and add detergent. As I add dishes to the water, Sarah wanders in to put another dirty bowl on the counter.

Sarah: "Why are you doing dishes?"
Me: "Because they're dirty"
Sarah: "No, why are you doing dishes?"
Me: "Because they're dirty and they are piled up in both sides of the sink"
Sarah: "No, why are YOU doing the dishes? Notice I am emphasizing the 'YOU'!"
Me: "Because they are dirty AND they are piled up in both sides of the sink AND no one else was doing them!"
Sarah: "Well maybe you should tell someone else to do them. Maybe no one noticed. I didn't notice. I could do them"
Doug: *laughs*, well snickers, actually
Me: "Well, if no one notices that both sides are piled up so they are putting them on the counter and they still aren't doing them and it drives me nuts, then I'm going to do them. Now go do whatever and quit nagging me."

I mean, really! How could you NOT notice them?

Besides, I have a method to my dishwashing that no one else in the house seems to get. They do dishes and put them in the drainer until the drainer is full, which often means there's still a half full sink of dishes in the suds. They often walk away, intending to come back later to finish them. Of course, most times, later doesn't happen, and in the meantime, more dirty dishes are put into the sudsy water, which by then is cold. So Robert or I have to stick our hands into cold water, undo the plug, let the water out, then start all over again.

My way is to put the dishes in the sink in backwards order of how I will rinse them, which is the order in which they will be rinsed and put into the drainer to maximize the dish drainer space so that all, or nearly all, the dishes will fit into the drainer and can air dry. Big plates, little plates, small bowls, big bowls, etc. Once those are all rinsed and put in the drainer, then I do the cups. My method means I can get the dishes done, arranged nicely in the drainer, and then go do something else. Like add a new blog post.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Journaling, Part 2

Long overdue follow-up to Journaling Part 1 from March.

Recently I had been going through my file cabinets and boxes and sorting through some needed paperwork, organizing as I set aside the papers I needed for some legal stuff. I sifted through and re-organized the file cabinet near the desktop & laser printer, the file drawer of the computer desk, then moved into the laundry room. Sorted and re-filed papers from the boxes of receipts, invoices, statements, and set things aside for the shredder. Re-organized the big 4 drawer file cabinet, starting from the top and worked my way down, pulling out the papers I was searching for, filing away the ones I wanted to keep but had no immediate need for.

After a couple weeks of this, I finally worked my way down to the bottom drawer. This drawer contains folders of the kids' school work: newsletters, awards, artwork and miscellaneous 'proud mommy' stuff. I had a new batch of papers to file away in there. This is a drawer I actually go through once or twice a year. Imagine my surprise as I reached Sarah's file folder to put some of her papers away and there, with a piece of artwork curled around it, I saw.... a book.

A book. Not just any book. A book with a light blue background. A book with some butterflies scattered across that light blue background.

As I pulled the book out, my face got warm and my eyes filled quickly with tears. My eyes are filling right now as I type this. This book, this 'not just any book', was my missing journal. The journal that contains the first year of William's life. The journal I have looked for, for five years. And here it was, in my hands again. I shook and cried big tears. Yes, I am that emotional.

I texted Robert immediately. I posted to my twitter page, and my facebook. I had been in that file so many times over 5 years. I swear, it was not in there before. The last time I recall seeing it was when we moved out of the house we were renting into our new home. It had been in my computer space, and I recall tossing it into one of the last boxes in the living room; a box full of items from the bathroom, and clothes from Robert's dresser. This huge box in a near empty house.

I didn't know how guilty Robert had been feeling in these past 5 years. He thought he accidentally threw it away when we moved. He admitted there were some boxes that looked like they only contained junk that he had the boys toss into the dumpster. I thought it was perhaps still in one of the boxes in the basement that I have not yet gotten to.

That night we opened a bottle of champagne we'd been saving. We put the kids to bed, then sat in bed, sipping champagne as we opened the journal and I began reading it aloud. We re-lived the moments 4 days before William's birth, and read well into the night, through tears and laughter, at the struggles and triumphs of the first year of William's life.

I should title that journal "A Year in the Life".