Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
so that's it. that's my christmas wish. all i really want is peace.
and a GPS.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
i know that there are bad books out there... but i'm getting annoyed at how frequently i seem to be reading them. generally speaking, i find that an author who is listed as "bestselling" will be worth reading... on some level. not so in this case. in fact, i decided that if this particular author is a bestselling author, that holds out a lot of hope for anyone who wishes to be the same. and that, my friends, is about the only good thing i have to say about this particular reading experience.
the story is simple... kinda. a 20-something girl on her way back to her childhood home for christmas discovers a man in the middle of the road dressed as a Revolutionary War soldier. the man claims to be from that era, somehow lost in time. after much doubt and confusion, the girl and her family decide to try to get the guy back to his time. of course, in the meantime, they discover that their home just happens to be his childhood home. and then, coincidentally, they discover secret diaries that belonged to his sister in the attic (even though they'd lived in the house for 30 plus years. good grief). on top of that, the father (a mad scientist-type) and the mother (a hippy, anything's possible Catholic Wiccan - what the heck???) join forces to come up with a potion and radio frequency that will transport the lost soldier back to 1776.
the ridiculous story would have possibly been more palatable had the writing not been so trite and cliched. about a quarter of the way through, i knew i did not like the book but refused to stop reading simply for curiousity's sake - i wanted to see how much more ridiculous it could get. the snow storm of rose petals at the end sealed the deal.
i thought christmas fiction would be a nice "feel-good" addition to the holiday season. i'm not doing trying, but i really hope my next pick is better!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
i can hardly believe my little boy is 4 today. to some degree, i say that every time my kids have a birthday. but watching your youngest grow so fast is a bit unsettling.
lately, i find that he’s correcting me when i talk to him as if he’s “little.” and sometimes he’s the one teaching me the grown-up lessons.
like last week... he and i were on a quick shopping excursion to target to hit up some extra-appealing christmas deals. he was relatively patient while i searched for the right gifts (and then tried to hide them so he wouldn’t see them...) i promised him a snack if he was cooperative while i shopped, and he obliged; so we stopped at the target cafe on our way out. cookie for tucker. pretzel for me. as he sat and took tucker-sized nibbles from his giant cookie, all i could think about was how much i had to do that day... and how eager i was to get home and do it. my pretzel was gone in an embarrassingly short amount of time, but he was not even a quarter of a way through that cookie. i tried to encourage him to eat faster. i suggested he take it home with him. finally, i asked, “are you done yet?” to which my not-quite four year old son answered, “mommy, it’s not a race.”
it’s not a race.
about the same time, i noticed an elderly woman in a wheelchair nearby, waiting for her freshly ordered starbucks drink. i thought about the life she may have lived... children, grandchildren, great grandchildren. i bet she thought they’d never get out of diapers, never stop fighting, never pick up their dirty clothes, never finish their dinner. and then, suddenly,...
it’s not a race.
maybe if i slowed down a bit, it wouldn’t seem to go by so fast.
happy birthday, tucker...
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
i had read PS I Love You and really liked it (and not just because i loved, loved, loved the movie), so i thought i'd give another book by her a try. i did not love it. in fact, i'm not really sure i liked it. but you know that feeling when you're reading a book you don't want to put down and you eagerly wait for all your work to be done and the kids to be in bed so you can go read that book? yeah, well, i wasn't feeling it. in fact, i was feeling something more like, "i gotta finish this book so i can move on with my life." i know, i know, i'm allowed to not finish but i refuse. because sometimes books like this surprise you and then you're glad you stuck with it. i kept waiting for it to get good... but it was just too far-fetched for me.
i'm not a big fan of fantasy... and i think she was trying to combine contemporary chick-lit fiction with fantasy. the protagonist, Sandy Shortt, has an obsession with finding lost things and somehow ends up in this alternate universe where all the lost things go. i guess that sounds interesting, but there were too many loose ends left "undone" by the end. and i really never felt like the main character learned or grew through the challenge of the story.
oh well. i think i'd still like to read another of Ahern's books... just to give her a chance to redeem herself. if any of you have read her stuff, do you have suggestions?
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
start by dumping a good amount of baking soda in your drain (both, if you have a double sink). i probably use about 1/4 of a box. use your fingers to work the baking soda into the drain, then pour a good amount of vinegar down each drain (maybe a cup or two). quickly place the stoppers back in the drain - this allows the vinegar and baking soda to react and clean out the pipes. both ingredients also work to remove odors (and i hate any kind of odd odor - especially in my kitchen. multiple pregnancies seem to have left me with an incredibly acute sense of smell. it totally annoys my husband).
both companies make great non-toxic cleaning products as well as health and personal care items. and their stuff is super concentrated so you don't need much. that bottle on the left i have had for 2 years now... and i use it often.
this time, i used a bit of shaklee's Basic H concentrated cleaner. and i mean a bit. a couple drops in each sink...
the result is a clean sink in less than 10 minutes!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
well, this has been a long time coming.
i love dogs. i mean, i really love dogs. when we took our youth group on a missions trip to mexico, we made a border stop at walmart to stock up on gifts for the local children. the group bought crayons and candy. i bought dog biscuits for all the strays i had heard would abound.
early in our marriage i stressed chuck out every time we took a walk and i’d stop to talk to the neighborhood dogs. he was sure i’d get mauled.
suffice it to say, our 11 years of marriage has involved lots of pet-related debates, as well as on and off pet ownership. this time, it’s the real thing.
because, this time, i got MY dog.
i had been thinking about what i wanted. and what chuck did NOT like about dogs. he can’t stand the hair. and the poop. i told him there was not a bald, constipated dog breed out there. and if there was, we wouldn’t want it. but i know from childhood experience that there are small non-shedding dogs. (small dogs make small poop). so, a few months ago, i told chuck i had been thinking. and he totally surprised me by saying that he had been thinking, too.
so, i moved forward with the necessary research... knowing exactly what i wanted. and then, he shocked me even more by saying, “katie, you always loved that your parents actually bred dogs when you were a kid. why don’t you do that?” so, i did some more thinking. and some more research. (i like to research).
this week, we agreed that the time was right. i found the right dog... at the right place... for the right cost. and today, i made the drive with a wad of cash in my purse.
we joked about the fact that i was negotiating with a man whose last name was “stoltzfus” in lancaster county who had a distinctly pennsylvania dutch-sounding accent. but, i know from experience that not everyone named stoltzfus in lancaster is amish, thank you very much (i can just hear them now...) not to mention, what amish dog breeder is going to be advertising on the internet and taking phone calls.
well, i’ll tell you who - because i found him. tucker and i drove an hour north on winding country roads only to arrive at a farm. a farm that also had a one-room school house on its property. a farm with no electrical lines running to its house. and a buggy in it’s driveway. after a few minutes in the driveway, an amish woman about my age came out and told me that amos would be in from the fields in a few minutes. man, i can not tell you how much i wished i had brought my camera... except that, yes, i know that cameras are a no-no with the amish... but, come on. the irony.
so, after a few minutes, amos did indeed come along with a wiggly parcel wrapped in his coat. we chatted, i handed over the cash, he handed over the pup... and tucker and i made the hour long drive home... dodging buggies as we went.
the puppy is adorable, of course, but definitely smelled like an amish, farm puppy. the first thing we did when we got home was give her a bath. pictures and details will follow... but first, i’m waiting for my kids to come home from school and meet their surprise. they have no idea!
i’m still not exactly sure how the amish are on the internet...
Monday, November 9, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
i am really proud of his decision... and glad that he asked lots of questions first and then followed through despite what everyone else did. i look forward to watching him continue on this journey...