Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Eve 2009

Our weekly playdate got cancelled today, and as we all know plans change sometimes. Kids get sick, weather turns bad, or the car breaks down. Never fear though, I managed to quickly rummage up something else to do.

My original thought was that I would just continue on with a regular scheduled school day. Somehow the thoughts of a school day was not appealing to me and I knew it would not be appealing to Summer either, the day was going to be too beautiful to be couped up inside.

I decided since Toby had to go to work later on in the afternoon anyway, we would utilize our local park. The park is beautiful and I wonder why we don't go there more often. I guess there are just too many more places in the area to explore.

Toby decided to take his disc golf stuff. They have a wonderful disc golf course there. I never realized until today that it is also a perfect place to do some nature hiking. They have paved walking trails around all the park, but I prefer walking in the woods when at all possible.

The temps were perfect! No sweating today. We took Brandi with us again. It was entertaining to Summer and I to watch her try and cross the creek at the points where there wasn't a bridge available. She is so dainty and does not like getting her feet wet.

I don't know what the meaning behind a dog rolling in something, but here she is doing the dog thing:

A simple life long ago. When I come upon places like this I always try and imagine who lived there, and what they did:

Climbing the hill for a shortcut to the car:

Good throw Summer!

The butterflies, moths, and caterpillars have been out full force lately:

Watch out Summer!

My rock lovin' daughter was in hog heaven when we came across this pile of rocks:

Which way now dad?

On second thought I guess we did get some school in today - reading, science, and P.E.

The park also has a few stocked fishing ponds. Maybe next time we go there we will be equipped with fishing poles and licenses. :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday October 28, 2009

Here I am after my very busy day, able to work in some blog time. Summer is outside playing and Toby is occupied otherwise.

Not really much blog worthy happened yesterday but I did want put in a good word for a new restaurant we sampled. First, let me say that I have never been a Chinese food lover...or any Asian sort of food other than my sister-in-laws spring rolls.

That is until lately. Last week we ate at the China Center and had a delicious meal. Yesterday we tried a new establishment in North A. named HoHo Chinese BBQ. Now does that sound gross or what?? The restaurant has been there a few months but I could never bring myself to eat there because of the name. Somehow yummy Texas barbecue and Chinese food in the same sentence does not appeal to me.

Somewhere along the way I saw a good review of it. I decided it was worth a try. The word I will use to describe my meal is scrumptious! Summer was impressed with the tanks full of live sea creatures and the whole (heads, bills and all) roasted bbq ducks hanging up...hence, where the term BBQ must have came from.

Today after my early morning grocery store trip, we headed to Mayfield Park and Preserve. Since we had a late start in our day, we were searching for a new destination to explore that was close to home. I could have sworn we had never been there before but once we got there and started walking the trails I came to the conclusion that TOBY WAS RIGHT , we had been there before.

On a whim, we decided to take Brandi. I always feel like she might like to get out and explore sometimes too. Maybe not though...

Here are some picture highlights of our day:

These pretty yellow daisies are blooming all over central Texas:

White Peacocks chillin' on the porch:

I don't think Brandi liked the idea of going down the steps into the creek bed:

Look! We now have a little water back in our creeks! Summer and I had to take our flip flops off and wade through the mud....thank goodness for flip flops. :-)

After we left the park we had to swing by Home Depot. Here is Summer and Brandi riding in the germ-ridden car buggy:

As of this moment, tomorrow is a mystery.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday October 27, 2009

I would love to be able to blog about my day, but I don't have the time tonight. It's 10:00p.m and hubby is downstairs waiting on me to join him for our nightly T.V. time - the only time we have to spend together as a couple.

I also will not get a chance to catch up on my blog tomorrow morning like I sometimes do. After running all of our misc. errands today it got late in the day and I got out of the mode for my weekly grocery store trip.

My a/c went out in my car again and I was ready to get out of the hot Texas sun that was blaring into my car window. So, the gist is that I have to make my procrastinated grocery store trip early tomorrow morning.

I don't want my whole day wasted on "crap" stuff again tomorrow so I will make my trip without the family (which will make it alot quicker and easier.)

We are expecting rain on Thursday so my plan is to get some much needed and wanted outdoor activity in tomorrow after my grocery store trip before the rain shows up again.

But, as we all know plans change.........

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday October 26, 2009

Since Monday is our Friday, I am going to say "Thank God it's Monday." It turned out to be a rainy, wet, cold day so I didn't mind being couped up inside of the house all day. It was a school day and we were expecting the water softener installer.

Around 11ish the installer showed up. I have always been one of those people that wear my feelings on my sleeve, so when I opened the door to the installer all I had to do was look down at his feet and give him the look. He promptly offered to go get some covers for his shoes. Good boy.

Our school day went pretty smooth other than having to listen to the smoke alarms go off due to the installer guy welding pipes to hook up the water softener.

For anyone who cares (Angela), for dinner I made Macaroni Grill Garlic and Herb Chicken Penne. I don't like most boxed meals but the Macaroni Grill ones are pretty good and don't taste "boxy".

Although we had a pretty good school day, because of the installer it was pretty long because of all the interruptions. After dinner all I wanted to do was chill out with Summer and watch a chick flick together.

Other obligations were calling me though. I had to bundle up to get out and attend a 4-H meeting to turn in some info that was due. As I said before, I wear my feelings on my sleeve so I'm sure I appeared to be a crank box....especially since my full intention was to drop off my info and jet out of there only upon arriving to find out that I had not completed Summer's form correctly....grrrrrrrr.

Thank goodness the very nice 4-H leaders are not as bitchy as I am. They walked me through the process and smoothed my feathers down. After our meeting as a treat for our longer than anticipated ordeal, Summer and I treated ourselves to the Sonic down the street.

So now here I am enjoying the rest of my evening and being very grateful that tomorrow won't involve doing anything but exactly what I want to do.....oh, maybe not. I just realized I have to go to the grocery store tomorrow....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday October 25, 2009

I have to say today was a pretty productive day. I managed to get schoolwork done and a little bit of organizing and purging. We got our new flat screen via Fed Ex today - the one that came with our furniture deal we got.

If I were a T.V. person I would be in hog heaven. It looks much more impressive than it did in the furniture store on display. I can't wait to have family movie night now.

Our home is different than any other home we have ever lived in...we plan on staying here for a while so we are making it as comfy as possible. We have a list and we are checking it off. Actually, furniture wasn't at the top of the list, but we got a good deal so we hopped on it while we could.

We are cash basis folks. If the cash is not in the bank to pay for it, then we don't buy it. Houses and cars are the only things that get special financial treatment. As much as I would LOVE a brand new car, I will drive "Betsy", my 1994 Subaru until her or I croak.

Tomorrow we will have a water softener installed. There is a 90% chance of rain. I don't know how it always happens that when I will be having service people in my home it storms. I always have to be the uptight homeowner being anal about shoes and wiping feet, not the cute little homeowner offering tea and snacks.

Although I hated to spend the money on it, the water softener was a necessary evil. If I want my appliances and plumbing system to survive that is. The water in central Texas SUCKS, especially in Manor because we have well water. It's full of lime and hard as hell. It also leaves crusted up calcium deposits in my appliances and toilet bowls. I have had to chisel deposits out of my toilet bowls and my home is only a couple of years old. None of the commercial products budge it. You don't dare drink the stuff...

Well, I guess that's all the boring details I can give for one day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday October 24, 2009

Saturday is a school day for us. I had to chuckle to myself this morning. I sat around most of the morning preparing for our school day while Toby and Summer seemed to be oblivious. They were playing, roaming around outside, and leading their life as if there was nothing but the moment.

It seems that I am the only one in our household with schooling expectations. I felt like a ghost walking around reminding them that we needed to get school done while they just ignored me and went about their business. This is the story of my daily life during school days.

So now I am left with the overwhelming urge that I get when no one is cooperating and my exploring addiction is not being fed. After all, if we aren't going to do what we are supposed to do, why not go and do something we all want to do.

If it was totally up to me, we would be like those folks in the movie R.V....well, for the most part anyway.

We did manage to finish our school day. I still wonder who's expectations we are filling......

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday October 23, 2009

It was another perfect day. I guess it's all in a matter of perception if you consider a day perfect or not. Perfection can come in any form all in the way you look at it according to who is experiencing it.

Anyway, today was our annual
Austin Rock and Mineral Show.
We got smart this year and waited to go around lunchtime to ensure the masses of school kids were done and gone.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. Temps were in the 60's and the skies were blue...and guess what?? I couldn't get my camera to work. My batteries refused to cooperate. Austin is a beautiful city and it's an absolute sin not to go there armed with a camera. So, sorry no pics this time.

Summer came home with more rocks for her growing rock collection. After we got home we ate our dinner and watched this really boring video on the ecosystem. Well, I found it to be boring so I figured Summer was finding it just as boring. Guess not, she made us sit through the whole video.

After we ate she disappeared into her "office" as she has been calling her room for the past couple of days. In a little while I poked my head in to see what she was up to. She was sitting on her bed organizing her rocks and watching PBS. She has never spent much time in her room always preferring to be in the living room or outside.

The rest of the evening was spent doing our usual stuff - Summer playing outside with a whole herd of kids, and me balancing the checkbook, paying bills, and doing mundane chores.

I did get to use my new web cam. My brother and I had a nice conversation AND we can see each other now, which makes it much more personal.

That was our day in a nutshell.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 22, 2009....You Won't Believe It!

Yes folks, we stayed home all day long. It's rare for us to hang around the house on Toby's off days. Since Summer and I are usually confined to the house during our school week, we are always ready to get out and do something by our "weekend".

It was raining when I got up this morning so I couldn't really plan any outdoor activity as I had anticipated. I was actually enjoying sipping my morning coffee knowing that I had no expectations for the school, no planned activity, and enjoying a quite house while I chatted with my brother on IM.

My brother is one of the few people I enjoy having conversations with. I should have expected something was up with him though. He immediately informed me I was going to have a good day and had a lot of questions that seemed out of the norm for him.

When he told me I was going to have a good day, my first thought was that I was going to be able to see him somehow or another. Well, I am getting to see him in a sort of a way. Delivered by UPS today was a web best thing to the real thing. :-)

We had spoke about web cams in the past. Toby and I had researched web cams in the past, but I am certainly not an expert on devices of such and although Toby had selected one that may work for us, he didn't seem confident enough in his selection to make me want to rush to the register with it.

After Toby and Summer finally rolled out of the bed, they spent most of their morning outside making stakes for the back of our Halloween tombstones. The wind can get pretty rough at times and we have been known to find our possessions that weren't secured down the road somewhere.

I was very impressed when I walked out to check on them. Toby was sneaking some "schoolwork" in by implementing measurement and multiplication. He also had Summer using the jigsaw. I believe it's good for little girls to be as familiar with power tools and mechanics as it is for a little boy to be with laundry and cooking.

Spending time with daddy must have been very good for Summer. After they got through with the Halloween decorations she disappeared into her room for about an hour...very unusual for her to spend time in her room.

She had cleaned it up spotless! She even dusted. She also had created an imaginary business in there. She had it pretty elaborate - an area for snack food (she had real food in there..pretzels and raw spaghetti for her customers), she had a display of books for us to choose from and an area where we could read them, and she also signed us in and gave us punch cards which she punched out for us on our first visit.

Toby also got a lot of "spring cleaning" done. I think he secretly enjoyed not being dragged out of the house today. As for myself, I also got a lot of chores done I usually don't have time for like mopping, sweeping, and a little "spring cleaning" myself.

It turned out to be a good day just like my brother said it would be.....he ought to be a psychic!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday October 21, 2009

My full intention this week was to get in a good bit of outdoor activity. Both mine and Toby's waistline is beginning to suffer from lack of outdoor activity. Not that we have not had the desire, but the intense heat and drought of the past summer put a damper on most outdoor activity that did not include water refuge.

Finally we got some relief from the heat and then here comes the rain. I'm not complaining about the rain at all because it was way overdue - just saying it's not very conducive to outdoor activity.

Yesterday, we did manage to go check out one of our favorite spots before we went about our long list of errands that had piled up over the past week. We were very glad to see the creek had some water flowing through it. Hopefully we are on our way out of this miserable drought.

After our short walk (only about a mile) we were ready for lunch. We decided since we were not far from Austin's "Chinatown" - more like a China Center, we would grab us some authentic Chinese food. We picked a place called Wok on Fire.

Quite honestly the place looked a little hole in the wallish to me, but I guess you can't judge a book by it's cover. The food was the best and the owners were friendly and attentive.

After playtime we proceeded with our long list of errands.

Our list was long enough that we dragged it out into today. It really didn't matter because it was raining anyway. Today was very laid back and unrushed. We stopped in the Dollar Tree, browsed in Pier One Imports, and finished the day off with Wal-Mart...everyone's favorite place.(somebody needs to come up with an emoticon for sarcasm)

After we got home and dumped off all of our grocery stuff, we headed back into Manor to enjoy the Farmers Market activities. Summer won two sack races, got a free pumpkin and Toby and I came home with some delicious locally homemade tamales and salsa.

I have not decided what will be on the agenda tomorrow. As of this moment, I am looking forward to a relaxing evening with Toby tonight.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reincarnation As I See It

Most everyone knows of Facebook. It's interesting how everyone wants to be your friend on Facebook. On FB, folks I hardly remember want to befriend me. Other ones that never wanted to be my friend in the past come out of the woodwork. Then there are your estranged family members I never even knew I had. Family members of your spouses family members, friends of friends, etc., etc....

Then there are those few that have befriended me who played a part in my life's memories.

Tonight as I was checking my FB account I came across one of my best friends from grade school. She had posted some new pics so I began to look through them.

I have fond memories of us playing together. We used to build straw houses in the dirt on the playground at recess and lunchtime. We would take the worn soft pine cones from underneath the pine trees and sweep the dirt away to make different rooms of our "house". We looked forward to this activity every day. I can remember it as if it were yesterday.

My friend was black. It's funny how racism is learned. Even though my parents were never outwardly racist and always taught us to judge someone on an individual basis and not by skin color, in the early 70's it was not really acceptable to be hanging out with folks of a different skin color outside of school or church.

We always asked our parents if we could have a sleepover or visit each others home. There was always an excuse from both of our parents why we could not have a sleepover or playdate. Even though my dear friend and I never saw the color of each others skin, our parents did. I never realized until I was older why.....

As I was looking through my old school chums pics, I realized that the person I remembered and knew her to be was not the same person she is now.

That's when I started thinking about how much a person changes throughout their lifetime. From the time we are born to the time we die we can be millions of different people. From they way we look to the way we think we change from day to day, year to year in our lifetime.

If I were talk to my old friend today, although she would resemble the person I remember on the playground, she really is not. Her looks have changed, her thoughts, her ideas, her experiences through life make her a different person from who she it does with us all.

So I ask, is there not such a thing as reincarnation?? Or maybe it should be called transformation.....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday October 19, 2009

I had a much less emotional day today....that is until the moment of now while I am trying to construct this blog. It's amazing the things that will set people off. One of my pet peeves is being interrupted while I am focused on doing something.

Interruption is a loss of my's gone forever. Famous artists or writers surely are uninterrupted hermits that have no family or neighbors.

I have been reading a book called A New Earth. I actually had bought and "read" this book when it was first published. Quite honestly, it never resonated with me at the time. Matter of fact, I don't even think I ever finished the book. I ended up donating it to the Goodwill.

I don't even know what possessed me to have interest in reading the book again. Whatever the reason, I ended up renting it from my local library. Reading it a second time around is totally different from the first round. Every page makes total sense now. I get it.....I know the reason behind human madness now.

During my busy day there were a few things that I wanted to blog about but now it's late and I am tired and can't think of what they may have been.

Too bad you can't take pictures of what's on your mind and save them for later.

On a last note I will say that I am in real need of some outdoor nature activity. There is something about being outdoors that settles my soul. As much as I love my home, I loathe being inside for too long.

We have been living in Austin almost 2 years now and there are still tons of trails, parks and attractions that have yet to be explored. I am so glad we were brave enough to make that scary move to a faraway place. I have not regretted it for one day and I am having the time of my life!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 18, 2009

With the weather much cooler in the evenings, we have been sleeping with our windows open. I have to say, even though I love sleeping in a cold room I am not fond of getting out from underneath the warm blankets on a cold morning. It's usually the winter months that I tend to sleep in a little more. I am a bear in the cooler months.

This morning after I dragged myself out from underneath the warm covers I went about my usual routine of making coffee and taking the dog out to pee and poop only to find her huddled in the corner of her cage trying to avoid the little gift she had dropped off during the night....this I am sure is one of the reasons animal kennels were invented.

Once I got upstairs for my next morning ritual of checking my e-mail and forums I got a little surprise. My brother had taken on the chore of transferring our old home movies into Youtube. My trip down memory lane had me shedding both tears and laughter.

My little trip down memory lane left my already raging hormones in a frenzy. I already have had my mom on my mind a lot lately and my nightly dreams have seemed to have consisted of dreams of my grandmother on my dad's side, who I might mention is still alive and well but on her "last leg".

I have ended up making everything a really big issue today. If Toby opts to endure me until "death do us part" it will be a miracle.

My emotions today have consisted of hatred, anger, resentment, gratefulness, happiness, guilt, sadness, and back full circle.

Gotta love them female hormones. Here's hoping for a better tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Day at the Farm - October 17, 2009

Okay, I will be honest. We have been totally skipping school for the past week. I can't say that I am all that comfy with it. Summer on the other hand, seems happy as a pea in a pod. I guess if I had never had to do things that didn't appeal to me I also would be that happy.

I have been doing my best to involve her with daily adult learning activities like measuring, counting, reading, the unschooling handbooks speaks of. It still feels like laziness on my part to just let her do anything she wants to do and call it "learning."

I'm not sure if I can totally embrace the idea of unschooling. I can probably grasp parts of it....but, how in the hell do you learn things like division and multiplication or even what a noun, verb, or adjective without studying it. I just can't see how you can learn certain things without actually being "taught" them.

I rationalized "school" today by attending the Crow's Nest Family Fun Day. The farm is only a mile or two from our house and the farmers there are very friendly AND also homeschooled their children while they were growing up.

Before we left, Summer and I were outside enjoying the beautiful clear, cool day. The neighbor girl, Lesly was outside so we decided to ask her to join us at the farm. Although Lesly is only a year older than Summer, Summer enjoys the company of Lesly's 7 year old brother more often. To put it politely, Lesly is a little too "worldly" for Summer's liking. Summer is still a kid at heart and likes to play. Lesly is more...."mature" if you get my drift.

We had a blast. Here are some picture highlights of our day at the farm.

Animal Totems

I opened one of my e-mails this morning and this is what it read:

My dear Laura, by the time you turn 46, you could see a miracle happen in your life!

Yes, Laura! Since your birth in 1964, an invisible Divine Being has chosen to bestow on you a Secret Power that will give you Joy, Health and more Money.

And, to help you connect with this divine being -- your Spirit Animal Helper -- I want you to have this free gift:


I don't know about any spirit animal helpers. Lately I have had dreams of being trampled by a couple of horses, chased down by a wolf, and bitten by a snake.

I'll take the joy, health, and more money though. :-)

Friday, October 16, 2009

As of Late....October 16, 2009

O.K., I know I am being a real blogging slacker again. I have not been doing what I said I was going to do - keep a daily journal no matter how unadventurous and mundane my daily activity may be.

In all honesty, I am pretty proud of myself for keeping up with my blog as long as I have. I know it's not as fancy, elaborate, or well written as other blogs floating around out there, and I'm sure I will never earn a "Blogger of the Week" award, but that's never what I intended my blog to be in the first place.

I have always had a hard time sticking with something. I am one of those people that get real gung ho about an idea or project for a while and then promptly loose interest in a couple of months, or maybe even within a couple of days, only to move on to another project or idea that peaks my interest.

I think some people may label this sort of thing as ADHD or one of those other terms western world folk try to pin their idiosyncrasies on. I call it smart enough to know there are too many interesting things to learn and discover to waste time on any one thing for too long.

Once again, I am going to try and blog my daily activities.

Last night was pretty eventful. At bedtime Summer decides to go on a crying spree. I'll leave out all the horrid mommy details and get to the point. She was upset because we we are ridding our old furniture in order to make room for the new furniture we bought. She informed me that she does not like change and that even though she is looking forward to new furniture, she does not want our old furniture to go anywhere. If it was up to her we would be so lucky for her, I am quite the opposite.

*Sigh* She has had attachment issues since birth. This is one of those issues I can totally relate to. I can remember in elementary school I would not throw my paper bag that my mom sent my school lunch in because I felt like it was throwing a part of my mom and home away if I trashed it. I can remember clearly pining for my mom and my home when I was in elementary school.

My attachment was extreme but I was forced to have to deal with my "issues" early on when I had to enter school. Homeschool was not as recognized in those days and I'm almost sure my mom was one of those mom's who enjoyed the daily break away from her kids...especially one that was as fun as I was.

My mom told me stories of how I was almost "kicked out" of first grade because I cried the whole day. When she would pick me up from school each day I would have swollen eyes and a horrible headache from crying all day. No, I did not cry for just a day or two...I cried every day for my whole first grade year.

Yes, I can vividly remember those days even 40 years later. Of all the other parts of my life I have forgotten, these are the days I remember the most. The longing for my mom and home. I was a fish out of the water in school and every other place that did not include my mom, familiar people, or my home.

I guess eventually even if you don't like things, you get used to them. It took me a few years in parochial school, but I can remember some good memories of elementary school. I have to say that I went to an excellent Catholic school for my first 8 years of school. Up until my high school years I have a few fond memories of school.

These are the memories that make me half wish that I had sent Summer to "formal school" As Toby pointed out and kids are way different these days than they were back in our day, and not necessarily for the better.

Even though I had a tough time the first few years of school I believe that I learned to "suck it up and deal with it" by doing something that I didn't enjoy and was uncomfortable with. I think the experience of "school" made me a stronger person.

Hopefully I have not made Summer's life so comfy that she will not know how to deal with real issues when they arise.....

I know there is much more to report about, but this is the one that sticks out most in my mind for this post.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Memories From the Past - A True Ghost Story for Halloween

My younger teenage years were not the most joyous of my life. I had plenty of issues, both personal and psychological in addition to consuming my life around a psychotic boyfriend.

One of my only sane recluses was my best friend in high school, Tracie. Our very different and strange sense of humor kept both of us quite entertained most of the time.

One particular late night my family decided to go out for ice cream - if my memory serves me correctly. My grandfather who was living with us at the time was the only one home and he was in his usual sitting spot in the living room glued to the T.V. I took advantage of this opportunity of privacy and gave my friend Tracie a call.

Our only phone was located in the kitchen. Our house was set up in a way that the kitchen had three doors - a door to the outside, a door to my bedroom, and a door to the living room. In order to have privacy for my phone conversation, I closed all three of the doors.

As I was chatting away with her in our little closed off kitchen I got up to get me something to drink out of the fridge. As I was pouring myself a glass of tea I was aware there was an ever so slight dingling sound behind me. Chattering away with Tracie, I didn't take too much note of it at first.

Through my banter, I became aware of the dingling in the backround getting louder and louder. It's at this point that I turned around to see what all the noise was about. What I saw was very disturbing to me. The dingling noise that I was hearing was the kitchen utensils swaying back and forth on the hooks they were attached to on the wall. As I watched in confusion they kept swaying more and more dramatically as if there were a gust of wind blowing them.

After blinking a few times and trying to come up with a logical explanation for the movement I finally realized the untensils were swaying freely by themselves. I dropped my freshly made glass of tea and the phone I was holding to the ground. To this day I wonder if Tracie remembers this incident.....

I kept my eyes riveted on the swaying utensils that seemed to be swaying out of control. Every hair on my body stood up as I darted to the closed living room door to escape whatever unseen phenomena that was causing such a ruckus of the utensils.

Once I made it to the door, hair on end, and eyes still glued to the out of control utensils I grabbed the door handle and turned. In a state of fear I realized the door handle would not budge as if it were locked in position and the lights began to flicker. Take note that there was no physical lock on this particular door.

I stood there a few moments in fear trying to get the door knob to turn so I could escape the entity. Finally realizing the door was not going to open willingly and the utensils had managed to fling themselves off of the hanger, I finally managed a blood curdling scream. It's only at this point that the door I had been frantically trying to open, automatically released it's locked status and freely opened itself to me.

My poor old grandfather was in the living room watching T.V. as I came flailing through the door in a state of frenzy and panic. I don't really remember exactly what I said to him, but I do remember the look on his face as I came busting through the door. I am very surprised I didn't give him a heart attack.

It was also about this time that my parents and brothers showed back up after their nightly outing. After I explained everything that had happened my whole family looked at me as though I were as insane as I felt I was.

I don't know what it was in my kitchen that night, but whatever it was followed me around for a few months after that. No matter what room of my home I tried to hide from it I felt it's presence. It knocked on walls and closet doors and shuffled around behind me like a black cloud everywhere I went.

I lived in a state of fear during this time. I can't remember exactly how long this went on before it finally disappeared. I never discussed it anymore with my parents after the initial incident....they already thought I was crazy enough and I'm sure they would have just blown it off as just some more crazy stuff to have to put up with.

Back then, I was schooled but not very educated. This memory of that time of my life has stuck with me through all my years. A few years ago as I was doing a little research on my own about psychological phenomenons I came across the term poltergeist. Even though I had seen the movie "Poltergeist" I had never connected it to myself...after all Hollywood always exaggerates and dramatizes the truth.

"Poltergeist" is a German word meaning "noisy spirit." Current research indicates, however, that poltergeist activity may have nothing to do with ghosts or spirits. Since the activity seems to center around an individual, it is believed that it is caused by the subconscious mind of that individual. It is, in effect, psychokinetic activity. The individual is often under emotional, psychological or physical stress (even going through puberty). Effects can include rappings on walls and floors, the physical movement of objects, effects on lights and other electric appliances - even the manifestation of physical phenomena.

As I was reading the definition of a poltergeist I realized that what it was was actually myself.

Yes, the mind is a powerful thing. Use it wisely.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 11, 2009

Although I have bunches to chat about, I don't really have the time to make an in depth blog. Hopefully, by the time I get time to sit down and "chat" and I will not have forgotten everything that I wanted to say - which happens more times than I can say.

I did want to take just a moment to post hubby's new flash line. You can check it out here.

See ya soon!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Lately, we...meaning Summer and I, and been having a few issues with "school". It seems that I am not an interesting enough teacher to keep my child intrigued enough to pay attention. It also does not help that she is not mature or motivated enough to do it without my guidance.

Schooling at home is one of the issues that has been weighing heavy on my mind for the past year. I can't even tell you how many times that I have (a.) wished I had put her in formal school from day 1 and let her be someone else's problem or (b.) have thought many times about putting her in formal school therefore freeing myself and her from the torture of homeschooling (c.) wondered what in the hell ever possessed me to ever entertain the thought of homeschooling. After all, there is a very nice red elementary school just a couple of blocks up the road...

Yes, quite honestly homeschooling as of late has been a sore spot for us. I know it should not be. All the books say it's a wonderful experience for all family members involved and we will reap the benefits of a "home school" environment. If I look at the big picture we have so far...

Maybe I am too wrapped up in schooling my daughter in the traditional way....a school desk and a teacher chock full of curriculum ultimatums and expectations. My little checklist of things that need to complete before the day is over.

I don't know why I just can't let go. I have always found that she seems to excel in her learning when we are on breaks or vacations....when she is not being "taught".

I have thrown my hands up. It's not learning when both of us are miserable. I'm stressed and she isn't learning a thing because she is mad at me for "teaching" her.

I press on because of fear....fear that if I don't keep on top of "teaching" her she will end up like the the thousands of homeless folk at the Arch Center downtown or not be able to conduct herself as a contribution to society. Or maybe, that she will end up having to live with me the rest of her life because she didn't acquire enough education to get out and make a living for herself. Or even worst of all, that I will look like a bad mom because my kid can't even pass a college entrance exam.....after all, I won't be able to blame the public school system for my child's lack of education.

These are some of the issues that have been heavy on my mind lately. Then something happened. On one of my homeschool forums I saw a documentary on public schooled kids in America called Stupid In America. You can watch it here.

Now I know how the media can hype up issues. But having a grown son that was a victim of the public school Alabama I might add, I know from experience that the things that were being documented were in fact true.

I can't tell you how many times my son would come home telling me about movies he had watched during Science or Math class. Or how the football coach was teaching them English because there wasn't a proper English teacher for their class. I might add that my son went to one of the best public schools in our city.

Anyway, after I watched the documentary I didn't feel so much like a homeschool failure. Matter of fact I felt proud and honored to be a part of my child's education. After all, she can read above her grade level and she has a very creative mind.

I guess we are always most critical of the ones we love and expect more than the norm. Maybe in a way, they are a reflection of who we think we are. Maybe our expectation is more for ourselves than for them.

Just maybe, I should just sit back and enjoy watching her learn at her own pace and in her own way....hopefully it will not backfire on me. :-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 6, 2009

Yesterday was a very busy day. I like busy days but I prefer them to end by 4 or 5 in the afternoon. I like my evenings peaceful and restful.

We had our weekly playdate at the Children's Museum. The girls always have a blast at the museum....and Toby has been tagging along making it even more entertaining for the kids.

After playdate we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed home to rest a couple of hours before we had to go back into Manor for National Night Out and our 4-H meeting.

National Night Out was interesting. It' designed to heighten crime and drug awareness in your community. After living in our neighborhood for two years we have yet to see any crimes or drugs so I was curious to get some info on where this sort of thing happens in Manor.

After chatting it up with one of the police officers I found out that although there is petty crime in our area we certainly don't have to be worried about being gunned down. :-)

We enjoyed a free supper of hot dogs, chips, drinks and played on the adult exercise equipment at the park before we headed across the street to our 4-H meeting.

Summer really enjoys 4-H. She is not shy or insecure about standing up and speaking or answering questions....which is very surprising to me considering her personality.

Summer got nominated for 4-H princess. I knew with this being our first year in 4-H and the commitment that being a 4-H princess would take was not something Toby and I are ready for. Volunteering with 4-H events takes up enough of our free time.

Anyway, I didn't allow Summer to vote for herself (which was allowed) in hopes that she would not win....maybe next year when we are all a little more familiar with protocol.

The meeting was unusually long, and after our already long day we were all ready to get home. We grabbed a Sonic blast on the way home as a treat for a very long day.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Recently I saw where Obama is proposing public schooled kids have longer days and school years. It seems that U.S. public schooled kids are lagging behind educationally compared to other countries. As many things as I may agree or disagree with as far as Obama is concerned, this is one I question.

Does he really think that keeping kids in school for longer periods of time is going to make them any smarter....hmphhh..I think not. And does he really think that education is the most important issue our kids have these days?

I believe the problem with kids today is they don't get enough time to play or use their imagination.....even more so, they don't get enough time with their families.

What's even more odd to me is how the leader of our country thinks our kids problems lay solely on educational issues and they way to fix them is to cram the Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic down their throats. Whatever happened to emotional intelligence??

I remember one time I found one of my dad's very old school books. It was tattered and torn and was barely held together by the binding. I opened it up and flipped through it. I made note to him that I saw nothing that resembled Math or English in the book.

That's when he told me that "back in his day" they focused on teaching things like morality, respect, hard work, manners, responsibility, and integrity. As I flipped through the thick, old book their were large chapters on these qualities mentioned.

Just recently I read an article in the Elgin Courier. In certain schools in our area they are implementing the subject of Character. Here is a little of what the article suggested we could do individually...

We strongly encourage all communities to join in this message to our young people: Character does matter! We are asking you to:

1. Read a book to a child about the importance of honesty.

2. Talk to a class about why we must all be responsible.

3. Be a speaker for a class explaining why compassion is critical to society.

4. Place a flyer in your place of business showing that perseverance matters.

5. Donate a biography to a school library about a person who modeled loyalty.

6. Design a puzzle/game/skit related to justice and its place in our society.

7. Write a letter to the editor illustrating why self-reliance is a valued trait.

8. Ask your church members to visit with young people about self-discipline.

9. Start a discussion with co-workers, neighbors, family to emphasize integrity.

Maybe as a society if we start instilling some of these traits into our children our World would be just a little better place to live.

Sure, education is important...but I believe some things are more important.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fear Itself

We have all heard the saying.."There is nothing to fear but fear itself." Whether it be the Bible or some other resource I don't recall where that quote comes from. All I know is that it seems to have a core of truth to it.

Recently, thanks to my crazy neighbor, I have noticed how much fear drives our daily life. I can see how fear keeps us from reaching our maximum potential in our human experience.

On a daily basis a typical human has many fears. Everything we do is entailed with fear. Just take notice for one day on how many times you let fear control your decisions. It will amaze you that you even go out of the house with all the fears that can consume a person in one day. There is a big difference between fear and caution. I think most people are fearful and call it caution.

Some examples I see daily are:

People are afraid to quit that job they hate because they are scared they won't be able to find another one. Or maybe even the fear of change scares them. They end up miserable and unhappy because of fear.

I see mothers so fearful their child will get hurt, killed, stolen, or even converted to a heathen by a non-Christian that they stifle them from many normal childhood experiences and hinder them from living, learning and experiencing....Poor kids.

There are some people that get stuck in their own little world and in a comfort zone that keeps them from growing to their potential. After all, is easier to be comfortable and lazy than take a chance isn't it???

People also fear change. Change or a different view of any kind will make people very uncomfortable. Fear becomes very evident where politics and religion are present. Matter of fact, religion and politcs both control the masses with fear and manipulation.

There are many fears from lightening to bugs. Fears are everywhere. I often think if we didn't have fear how far one could go....

"Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” Yes, most of our fears are learned in some sort of way by our loved ones or society.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Beautiful quote is it not??? Maybe from this day on we can all all try not to let fear take grip of our lives and let our light shine.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

These are the Best of Times...

Today was one of those busy days. Busy doing things that need to be done instead of wanted to be done. I had library books due back and also was in search of some I needed for Summer. There are just certain things I would much rather do by myself....going to the library is one of them.

I love the library, but my family does not share that same love. Toby and Summer spent their time distracting me by following me around arguing over who was going to get to play with Toby's Ipod Touch. I finally decided to take control and encourage Summer to find her a book to look at it while I was searching for what I needed. She found a book...a joke book. So, I still was finding it really hard to concentrate because then she was following me around asking me jokes....which I wouldn't ordinarily mind in any other circumstance.

I spent half my morning on the computer trying to find a solution to our scorpion issues. They seem to love to snuggle up under our covers with us at night and hang out in our bedroom. Toby got his first taste of a sting the other night while coming back from a midnight bathroom trip. When I saw the size of the one that stung him I hate to say I was glad it was him and not me this time. This year they seem to be worse than they were last year.

I really like to try and avoid using chemicals if at all possible. So after we left the library we headed to Home Depot in search of something to deter scorpions. Seems there is not much on the market for scorpions. Basically you have to kill their food source to get rid of them......I guess I better get use to our new "room mates" until I can come up with a solution.

Although Toby and I both still had tons of stuff to do when we got home, we had promised Summer a trip to the local park. I'm sure if there had been some neighborhood kids home for her to play with she would have forgotten about the promise.

Although Toby and I were dreading the park trip because of our awaiting to do list, we ended up having a good time. We even took Brandi with us.

Here are the girls sliding...

We walked the train tracks. Summer was having a blast collecting railroad little worry wort was also a little worried about getting stuck on the tracks while a train was coming...

I think Brandi was even enjoying her little excursion...

Sometimes when you expect to find the least amount of fun, you find the most.

Cameron Park Zoo in Waco Sept. 30, 2009

We decided to head north of Austin this week. Our destination was the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas. Instead of taking interstate 35 (I always find interstate driving boring)I opted to take the FM (Farm to Market) roads.

One of my favorite things about living in this area is the roads. You can drive miles and miles at high rates of speed on these FM roads without seeing anything but farms, crops, and cows and horses. It is the most serene driving. No traffic, no cities - except small towns you drive through in a blink, just scenery.

I have to say of all the cities I have visited in Central Texas, Waco would have to be at the bottom of my list of good first impressions. Their downtown was small but it had enormous buildings that lacked charm or architectural intrigue. There was nothing about downtown Waco that was alluring at my opinion. On a more positive note, as with most cities, I'm sure there are some hidden gems somewhere in their downtown area.

It's still a little warm here, but the zoo was mostly shaded so it wasn't so bad as long as you kept out of the sun. Here are some pics of our day at the zoo....

Although I had tons more pics, these are some of my favorites. I give the zoo a thumbs up. Summer must have really enjoyed it. More than once she spoke of moving to Waco to be near the zoo.

On the way to the zoo we had passed by the Dr. Pepper Museum. After our zoo trip we decided to stop in and check it out. Once we got inside we found out they would be closing soon. It wasn't worth forking out the price they wanted for the tour just to be able to stay 30 minutes. We decided to make the Dr. Pepper Museum another day. I did get a pic of Toby and Summer in front of the Museum....

We had a great day. As much as I love our "field trips" it's always just as nice to get home and relax after a long day.