Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Dad

This is one of my all-time favorite photos. It encompasses emotions sweet and painful. I took it on September 18, 2003 at Our Lady of Good Council Cancer Home (hospice). Sweet Girl was three and about to face something she had never imagined: A world without a grandpa.

My mom is home in Minnesota tonight and I am thankful that she has good friends. They are taking her out to dinner and keeping her company. This is important today. You see, it was three years ago today that my father passed away after his second battle with lung cancer. And the first time that I haven't been with her for this day.

Today has been a day of memories; reminding my dad to kiss me at my wedding when he handed me to Champs... Telling him to go away when he asked me "how long are you going to keep me here? The Practice is coming on!" and I was in my 15th hour of labor... learning to forgive him for being harsh when I needed gentle and common sense when I needed silliness... Calling him when I got the big promotion at work and explaining that no, I wasn't going to get my own office and laughing at his respose; "oh, too bad. I thought you'd finally have a quiet place to fart!" (yes, that was my father's favorite passtime. Isn't it the favorite passtime of every dad born in the 30's?).

I miss my dad. My mom misses my dad. And I know Sweet Girl misses my dad. Sometimes she sits in her car seat in the back when the two of us are running around town and quietly talks to him, telling him what her day was like and asking if he is watching her from Heaven. It is sweet and heartbreaking all at once. If I could bring him back, I would. But he is happier now, not suffering and not bearing the embarrassment of losing his independence, as he did for the last month of his life. That's all he lasted after he was put into hospice: just one month in a wonderful Catholic home where they took great care of him and tried to help him maintain his dignity. In the end, though, I believe he chose life - and death - on his own terms and decided that he was ready to go. He had three strokes within a week and passed on a Saturday. I wasn't there; I was home waiting for Sweet Girl to wake up from her nap before we went to see him. I still regret not being there, but I spoke to him the night before he died, and I will hold that moment in my heart forever. When I went to see Mom at the Hospice that day, I took his wedding ring off his hand and gave it to her to keep. Then I helped to clean out all his belongings.

My dad was a rough man who spoke little and shared less. However, he let us see little cracks in his demeanor that let me know he loved us - and loved us lots. In her eulogy, my sister wrote that my dad once said, "you can never love too much". I believe his words and hope that I can model them for Sweet Girl and somehow convey them to my Mom, even though she is three states away this day.

Bye Daddy. I love you.

Some comments from this post:
princssis said...
You mean we spent 1:14:37 on the phone tonight and you didn't mention this to me? I'm so sorry you aren't with your mom today.
I, too have been missing my dad lately. As you know, it was 7 years ago on Sept. 9th that my dad passed. I was there. Sometimes, I wish I hadn't been there, cuz he wasn't. I sometimes wish my last memory of him was not him taking his last breath, but the face to face conversation we had the day before.
CJ will, just out of the blue, get upset that his grandpas have both passed. He doesn't understand why they had to die before he really got to know them (he was 2 1/2 and 3 when they passed). Memories of them are fading for him. We need to get out the pictures again.

Ginger said...
He sounds wonderful. What a beautiful tribute to him. I especially liked the part about your own office being a quiet place to fart! :)

MissMeliss said...
What a beautiful tribute - funny and sentimental and sweet.

Anonymous said...
So sorry to read about your father. I can only imagine what it must be like. The story of SG talking to him brought tears to my eyes...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Good Morning Sweetgirlism, Part 2

This morning, Sweet Girl again came to cuddle and laugh with us. This happens every Saturday morning. I was getting dressed and had my back turned when I heard a toot. Champs said "oh, I hear a fluff up!" "Who did that fluff up?" I asked. "Was it Daddy?" Sweet Girl piped up and said, "No, I think it was the cat!" I asked, "Oh, why do you say that?"

"Because," stated Sweet Girl solemnly, "he's by the door and I saw a fluff up in the hallway!"

Ah, baby girl...

Here's the lone, but appreciated, comment from this post:

Geekwif said...
Seeing toots, huh? Now that could be an interesting power for one of the X-men! Or maybe an additional power for the Spleen in Mystery Men.

Friday, September 22, 2006

13 Things that kept me from posting until almost midnight...

Thirteen Things that kept me from posting until now...

1. Snuggled with Sweet Girl and Champs first thing this morning. So much humor to get my day started - and prompted me to write my first post of the day!

2. Took Sweet Girl and Comet to school and went off to my part-time job.

3. Worked for six hours. A wholesaler brought Starbucks coffee and muffins to our office. Now, I'm not much of a coffee fan at all, but those Starbucks folks know how to make a great pumpkin muffin!

4. Got home in time to meet Sweet Girl and Comet at the corner by their school and walk them home. Fun!

5. Took Sweet Girl home so she could spend a bit of time with her daddy before he went to work at 2:45. He works second shift, so that short time with her in the morning and afternoon is really important.

6. Went to Star's house to help her set up her own new blog, Lilone Tells it Like it is! Woo Hoo! Let's welcome a new blogger to our blogosphere, shall we?

7. Took Sweet Girl to Sonic for dinner. We shared a grilled chicken sandwhich, which was lovely, and she discovered the joys of an apple limeade.

8. Went with Sweet Girl to visit Star at the local library, where she works part-time.

9. Signed up for cards at aforementioned library. Sweet Girl got a tee-shirt for getting a library card in September. Also, everyone there was exceedingly nice to me, helping me pick out books, cd's, dvd's... fun!

10. Checked out an Alton Brown cookbook. Have I ever mentioned that I am a die-hard Good Eats fan? I love that show and I can't wait to dig into the book!

11. Spent 15 minutes trying to convince Sweet Girl that it was time to leave the library while proving to her that it wasn't by constantly stopping to look at all the pretty books available to check out. Libraries can be both hazardous to your health and very healthy for you at the same time.

12. Got Sweet Girl home and went through the Good Night process; PJ's, teeth, (tickling)hair, hands, (more tickling) face, music, bed, (still more tickling) prayers, kisses....

13. Spent a few minutes cleaning up the house then came out to my family room to spend the next little while with all you wonderful people.

Monday, September 18, 2006


You may have read about my garage sale. What I didn't say was that, during the garage sale, I also tried to pretend I was Super Woman. On Friday afternoon, Comet was over playing with Sweet Girl when two other girls in the neighborhood came over. Their mom followed to be sure it was OK for them to play together. I was fine with it since that kept Sweet Girl busy and allowed me to continue with the garage sale. I kept the windows open and the girls playing in the living room so I could hear them. Other than a few minor "do it my way!" disagreements, they had a wonderful time.

At the same time, Star needed to take Orion in for a medical appointment. She realized it would take longer than she anticipated. She knew there was no way she could keep little Twinkle amused for that long, so I took Twinkle, too. Star brought over a pack-n-play and we made jokes about putting a "baby not for sale!" sign up. About that time, Grandma Dee came over to play "cheerleader" as she called it. Thank goodness; she was a wonderful backup. For the next few hours I ran back and forth between the house, customers and Twinkle, keeping everyone happy. Finally, though, Twinkle decided she'd had enough of my arms, her stroller and her pack-n-play. She wanted freedom! Thankfully, Star got home right about then to spring her daughter from garage sale prison.

After the two neighbor girls went home, I closed up the garage sale and moved everyone indoors - just in time for my two year old niece, Belle, to arrive. Princsiss was going to a Boy Scout event with CJ and AR had to work, so I took Belle for the night. I made Alfredo and rotini (or, as we call it in this house, "cheese and twisties") for the girls and grandma. After we ate, I tossed all three in the bathtub. Again, Grandma Dee was a life saver. She sat in and supervised general bathtub chaos while I put together some oatmeal, raisin and chocolate chunk cookies (chop up the raisins and chocolate - yum!). Once the cookies were in rotation, I started assembly line washing the girls and sending them out to the living room for pajamas and hair. They all smelled so good and looked so cute!

After that, Star arrived and took Comet home - and took Sweet Girl along for a sleepover. What a treat for SG - and me! Grandma Dee went home, forever in my debt for her help and that left me and Belle. By now it was 9:00.

Now, I figured that the time to rest had finally come and I could crash. I didn't count on Belle! I showed her Sweet Girl's happy little bed with the princess canopy and explained that she would be sleeping there.

Not so fast, Blond Girl.

Belle said, "butiwannatellyousumpin" - and pointed out the three books she wanted me to read. No problem. I opened the first one to begin reading and Belle chirped, "butiwannatellyousumpin". We needed to go to the living room to rock (in all fairness, Princssis did prep me for this - I just forgot in my garage-sale-induced stupor). We went to the living room to rock. And read. Belle then decided to curl up on the couch. By herself. This told me she was ready for bed, so I brought her back in and got her laying down.

Within moments of being tucked in, Belle popped back up - "butiwannatellyousumpin" - for a drink of water. I got her laying down again and immediately she was sitting again - "butiwannatellyousumpin" - for a dolly. Then - "butiwannatellyousumpin"- for a teddy bear and finally - "butiwannatellyousumpin" - for an extra blanket in addition to her own blankie. I gave her a firm kiss and told her "I want to tell YOU something. I love you. Good night!". She gave me that look that said she knew I was done, rolled over and went right to sleep like the little angel she is.

And I went back out to the living room and fell fast asleep in front of the TV until Champs got home from work.

And then we ate oatmeal cookies together.

I'm not sure if I proved to be Super Woman, but all in all I had a wonderful day and I learned that one house can hold a LOT of estrogen!

And here are some comments from this post:
Thumper said...
LOL...butiwannatellyousumpkin is way too cute :)
Oh, and I love garage sales. I usually make a small fortune when we have them, but now we have very little stuff to hold a sale :( I need to go buy more crap, so I can have another sale next spring!
Oh! And I'm here via Michele's this time, even though I peek every day :)

princssis said...
LOL - thanks for the laughs!
I knew just from the title what this post was about! I realized the other night that both of my kids have said that! Neither one will go on with what they have to say without you acknowledging you are ready to listen!
I'll have to use "butiwannatellyousumpin" as a scrapbook page title!
Thanks, too, for jumping at the chance to show off your super-powers. I had no idea you were going to be watching so many others when I asked if you'd watch Belle. I know you were very tired. I'm so glad, once she went to sleep, that she slept well for you!

utenzi said...
Your post, Blond Girl, reminds me yet again that I could never handle having kids. I don't have that kind of patience! *wow* Just the first "iwannatellyou" would have annoyed me--by the 4th I'd have been going out of my mind.
The cheese and twisties is more my speed. I made fresh mac&cheese twice this weekend. I start with a subtle roux and then add strong tasting cheese until it's fairly robust. Great stuff after you give it a day to form flavor.
Michele sent me to witness your heaven, BG, and what would be my Hell!

Carmi said...
You sounded pretty darn super to me. Anyone who could navigate this kind of day with your energy and creativity is aces in my book.
Can you help us with our next garage sale?

Michael Manning said...
I was laughing so hard at these appointed names--so celestial and the bath tub procedure so well organized. Then I see my friend Carmi has been by so I know this IS Good Humor! Great post!!! I admire your creativity in managing the kiddos! FUN!

Geekwif said...
Very cute.

kenju said...
The next time Belle comes over, do your "butiwannatellYOUsompun" a little sooner.....LOL

HolyMama! said...
i can't BELIEVE you did that much kid watching AND a garage sale! oh my gosh. total superwoman, bg. Total!
(i love it that you don't do beige. i'd never heard of the hair/shirt thing though. so i shouldn't be wearing brown tops, huh?!)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I'm SO Done!

Well, we had planned to have the garage sale from 3-6 on Thursday and from 9-6 Friday and Saturday. But by 1:00 today we were so picked over that we were selling .75 an hour and begging people to take things away. So I had Champs go take down all our signs and I started boxing things up. In the end, I went from 19 totes and more of stuff that I sorted through to four boxes of stuff to give away and ended the sale early. Not bad, really.

I've spend more time on the sale than my house this last week, so tomorrow will be spent reclaiming the house and putting away those things that I decided not to sell. After that I'll have maybe 4 or so boxes of nit-picky stuff to sort through and we will be truly "settled". Champs is overjoyed that his garage is finally his garage and he's out there as I type, reclaiming his space. There's a bit of stuff to store away, but in the end, we did really well at creating space for him - and my car! Not to mention that we made almost $500.00 in the process. Yeah, not bad at all.

My neighbor, Star, was invaluable through this. She helped me sort through boxes and kept saying, "do you really need that? Does it change your life?" Because of her I was able to really pare down on all the extras. I can honestly say that I won't miss anything I got rid of. Not only that, but she took Sweet Girl for an overnight and out for the day today so she and Comet could have some fun together. What a great neighbor!

There were three stories from the sale that taught me a lesson:
1. A woman came up to me and said, "See that lady over there? Well, I was picking out magnets to buy and she took two of them right out of my hand!" She didn't say anything to the woman, but I sure would have! Lesson here: If it's in your hand, it's your stuff. Protect it!

2. I sold a bunch of rubber stamp sets at a great discount. Most of them were brand new sets. I put a sign on the table that read, "Stamp prices are firm. Thank you." Well, I had a lady come yesterday and tell me how she was going to use them for her church, etc., etc. She kept talking, asking prices and adding sets while I was trying to help other customers. In the end, she talked me down to $20.00 for 5 sets; three of them really large sets. It turned out to be $4.00 each average price for brand new sets that I paid $14.95 -24.95 for. After she walked away and I realized, I was so mad at myself for letting her bamboozle me. She came back today and said she was back for "another good deal". I explained to her that I had already marked the prices down for today and she would have to pay the price that was marked. I further explained the average price she had paid yesterday compared to the new prices I paid and pointed out that she wasn't paying tax or shipping. She actually got mad at me and huffed away. Lesson here: Don't let people turn your head with their intentions for your stuff. If it's worth the price, charge it or keep it. In the end, I kept my other stamp sets and I'll e-Bay them.

3. Champs was my "advertising executive" in charge of placing our signs on every major street corner and on the way into our neighborhood. I think I made 22 signs for 11 locations (one on each side of the street sign or telephone pole). He did a great job of placing them and I actually had a lot of folks tell me what great signs they were and easy to see. Today, Champs went to the store for some bags and came back absolutely fuming. Someone had taken down our signs, turned them around and written an advertisement for THEIR sale on the back of OUR sign! Oh, he was P.O.'d!! Of course he took it down. Later, he went back to put our sign back up. On the way home, he found that they had torn down our signs on another corner. That did it; he went to confront them. They tried excuses, but he had them dead to rights and they knew it. Lesson here: Pay for your own posterboard. If you're going to earn a few hundred on a sale, you can spend a few dollars to make your own freakin' signs!

All in all it was a great sale. We learned our lessons, made some money, got our garage back and Champs is happy that he'll never have to move all that stuff again. We also met a lot of great neighbors with kids and learned about a bunch of churches in our area. I'm glad it's done, but boy are we tired!

Here are some comments from this post:
Carmi said...
Isn't it sad how people reveal their nastiness in different ways? Garage sales, for some reason, have always brought out the worst in folks.
Still, we'd do another one in a heartbeat. Because for every yokel who tries to rip you off with the "it's for my church" sob story, or who blatantly steals/defaces your signs, there's a good friend who looks after your child and supports you all the way through.
The good always manages to win out over the bad. I loved this vignette, Blond Girl.

moon said...
I can so relate to your *lessons last post was about how Rude ppl are becoming. It baffles me.
To take them out of her HAND?!
Turn your signs OVER! omg...where were these ppl raised? Makes one shake their heads and totally appreciate those humans left that know BETTER.
Loved the post.

Shane said...
i guess 2 magnets in the hand 'aint worth 2 on the table.

Star said...
You have a neighbor named Star? How cool. Glad the sale went well. Sounds like you are well settled in.

kenju said...
I have had 5-6 garage sales over the years - and it sounds as if you are already an old seasoned hand at it too. You are right about people trying to gyp you down on good stuff. I let a good leather attache case go for $2 because I misunderstood what the woman was asking about (I thought it was an old suitcase). You have to stay on top of thieves too!

Geekwif said...
Arrgh. How sad that people are so dishonest, nasty and cheap.
I gotta say I'm impressed with you though even if I'm not so much with a few of your fellow "OtherStateians". You sold $500 at a garage sale! I remember doing garage sales with my mom when I was a kid and I doubt we ever hit $100. You totally rock!
Next time you're back here can I hire you as my personal garage sale consultant/organizer? :-)
P.S. Sweet Girl's got mail coming soon. Watch your mailbox!

princssis said...
I, along with the others, cannot believe how rude people have become! We even encountered rude boy scouts at the campout we went to this weekend!!! Just makes you wonder how these people were raised! No respect.
Anyway, thanks for keeping an eye on Belle, even while you had your garage sale! Although, I was sure there would be a story here about her. And, where is she and CJ on your sidebar?????? (I just have to give you a little bit of a hard time.) :)

jsdaughter said...
I'm glad your garage sale went well. Every time I have one, I say I'll never do it again.. lol

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Good Morning Sweetgirlism

I need to leave for work in 26 minutes and I'm still in my PJ's, but I couldn't let this one pass.

This morning, Sweet Girl came to snuggle with me and Champs as she often does in the morning. It is a nice way for the family to wake up. As we were cuddled together, Champs let go a bit of a toot. "Sweet Girl!" he said. "Hey, that wasn't me!" she chirped.

"Mama!" he pointed. "Uh uh, innocent!" I protested, giggling.

"Well then, it must have been Gus", said my husband.

At this point, Sweet Girl sat up and proclaimed, "No, it wasn't the cat. Cats don't toot. When they need to do that, they go into the potty and make a fluff-up. I know they do. I know all about cats!"

And here are some comments from this post:
Geekwif said...
Too funny! So, is a fluff-up the same as a toot? I've never heard that one before.

Thumper said...
She should come spend time with my cats. Max will not get on your lap, point his butt at your face, and cut loose. He *knows* what he's doing, and he's proud of it.
Maybe she can convince him a bathroom fluff-up is the way to go... ;)

Faith said...
Too funny. I always call a "toot" , "fluffing". As in " did somebody fluff"?

surcie said...
"Toot" and "fluff" up are much cuter terms than "farps", which is what my three-year-old son calls 'em.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

The Strength to Endure...

Yesterday, GiBee at Kisses of Sunshine related that she had visited Shalee's Diner. Shalee wrote a great post called "I Can Do All Things Through Christ". Shalee shared her month without coffee and challenged the rest of us to share how God has given us the strength to endure through... whatever ... and then to go to her blog and let everyone know we've posted. GiBee took the challenge and talked about her walk through infertility and the enlightenment she received at the end of the path.

Seemed like a good idea to me, so now I am accepting the challenge.

I have so many stories that I could share of God's mercy in helping me do "all things through Him who strengthens me". In hindsight, He got me through a painful, sometimes horrible, childhood without deep scars and with the understanding I need to forgive and, most of all, to not blame God for all that happened (just look at all the people shaking their fist at God because something devastating happened in their lives and you'll understand that this grace was a true gift to me).

I could share a lot of stories, but the one I will share tonight is how He gave me the strength to endure the longest - and possibly most misguided - wait of my life.

When I was a young child, I dreamed of becoming a wife and mother. Although I thought of careers (a journalist, medical examiner, teacher), the only skills I really pursued were cooking, cleaning, sewing and learning to run a house. I did this subconsciously for years and then, in my teens, fully acknowledged to myself that I really wanted, more than anything, to be a wife. At the age of 14, I was a Baptist and a new Christian. Our church held a missionary week event, where our pastor challenged us to get before God and find out what He wanted us to do - to discover our "calling". Now, I am sure he expected most of us to step forward to become a missionary or to serve the church in its missionary support, but I came away with something else. By the end of the week, I was convinced that God planned for me to become a pastor's wife.

No, I don't remember the particulars of that revelation.

Or how I came to the stunning conclusion.

But I knew it had to be a pastor for me.

From that time on, the only guys who I would even allow myself to become attracted to were those who were outgoing, evangelistic and who appeared that they might have "the call" upon them. I rarely dated. Part of this was because I was overweight and dumpy. However, the bigger part was because the guys were too "regular". My heart was reserved for only those guys who acknowledged a call of God on their life. The few times I let my guard down, I was pretty badly hurt and used, so that strengthened my resolve even more. I determined that I wouldn't date any man who wasn't clearly on the path, because every date that didn't lead to a commitment was just "practice for a broken heart".

From the time I was 18, I prayed constantly (ok, I probably whined more than I prayed) that God would bring me my pastor, already. Then something interesting happened. In my early 20's, I was very badly hurt by two pastors at my (independent charismatic, not Baptist) church. The rejection was cunning, complete and devastating. Not so much that I still didn't believe I was to be a pastor's wife, but enough that I no longer felt worthy to be anyone's treasured and respected wife. I was convinced that the man I married would be unfaithful, hurtful and a horrible husband, regardless of his life's calling. Not because he would be so horrible, but because I deserved so little.

But the desire to be married - and a pastor's wife - stayed with me. Kinda like an alcoholic's need for that next drink, I think.

In the aftermath of the season I'd been through, I attended a missionary college. Not to go be a missionary and not to find a husband, but just to refocus on God. While there, I met a guy who clearly had the pastor's call on his life - as well as the most beautiful blue eyes I'd ever seen. I fell hard. He wasn't the one, though, and gave me a lot of flack once he realized how I felt. Even though he so clearly didn't want me, it took me four years to get over him - I was convinced that he was "my pastor" and that God only needed to open his eyes and we'd finally walk down the aisle. Once I got over him, I spent the next couple of years wanting to be married, but fearing most guys and being the "bodyguard" for all my cute friends when we went out.

Finally, I had enough. At the age of 32, I laid it all down. Actually, I threw it down. I might have even been a bit rebellious about it - but I don't think so. I just decided that I could no longer stick to something that I thought I had heard 18 years earlier. I figured that either:

1. I had been right all along and God would bring the pastor in His own time whether I fretted about it or not.
2. I was wrong all along and God was just waiting for me to get over my bad self and let Him do His thing.

Guess which one it was?

Yeup. Number two.

Still convinced that I didn't really deserve a good man or a good marriage and deciding that a sheltered heart is just as bad as a broken one, I decided to quit having an agenda and a list of criteria and just have some fun. I spruced up. I went on-line and talked to people. I joined a bulletin board discussion from my local newspaper and went to meet groups of people to discuss beer.

I dated.

Without evaluating the gentleman's "calling".

I even went out with a divorced guy, one or two non-Christians and a bee keeper from Fargo named Arthur (yes, he was a geek). None of them were planning to be pastors. I didn't plan to marry any of them and I did not evaluate their life's work in the course of one evening.

And you know what I found out? Going out on a date - a single night out with a nice man - is a great way to find out that perhaps you are not so unworthy, so ugly and so awful as you thought. For the first time in years, I felt free, pretty and even a bit vivacious. I've always been outgoing, but this was the first time I ever felt that I could just be myself around the opposite sex.

In short, I dropped it all at God's feet and went for a walk.

And one month later, literally, I met Champs.

No, he is NOT a pastor - and he never will be, thank God. But he has a kinder and more unselfish heart than ANY pastor I have ever met. He is quiet where I am loud. He is sweet and strong and faithful. He treats me like a queen and would never betray me as I have seen so many other spouses do. And he has blown to smithereens my old fear that I was doomed to have as abusive a marriage as my parents and as bad as some of the others I had witnessed.

Looking back, I realize that I would have made a horrible wife when I was younger; I had to get past the pain of betrayal and the fear of commitment. So, did God help me endure? You bet He did. And He waited for me to lay down my agenda and let Him get on with His. If I hadn't let go of my own plans and misguided interpretation of His will, I really think that God would not have brought Champs to me when He did, simply because I wouldn't have looked at him and seen what I see now. I would have discounted him, which would have been my own tragedy.

In the long run, I am a better wife for the wait... And I am stronger, too.

So, yes, I can do all things through God who strengthens me... Even lay aside my own misguided tenacity.

(P.S. The reward for waiting? Well, in addition to my wonderful husband, there is also our little 6 year-old pixie, Sweet Girl. That smile of hers is reward enough!)

Here are some comments from this post:

srp said...
What an inspiring post. My brother sang a song in church about Moses. Moses thought he couldn't lead, couldn't speak, couldn't do anything God asked. God told him to take his staff and throw it on the ground. When he did God changed it into a serpent. Moses realized that with God's power behind him, he could do anything. We have to do the same thing.
I believe the last stanza of the song goes something like this:
What do you hold in your hand today?
To what or to whom are you bound?
God waits to show you the way.
Give it up.
Let it go.
Throw it down.

Brony said...
What a wonderful story of growth and discovery.
It is funny, I don't normally write about God or religion, but tonight I to found myself talking about the way God works.
I've never really thought of myself as religious, more spiritual, but the more I listen to myself the more I hear myself say words like blessings or blessed or God has or God did or God is... I think part of it was that I had to stop blaming God and start accepted who I am. See that my illnesses are not a burden, but a gift.

Geekwif said...
Ah, yes, I remember the beekeeper from Fargo. Now there's something to be endured! :)
Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Jeana said...
Wow, you had me completely absorbed. Thanks for writing about this. Excellent, excellent point. "I was wrong."

Shalee said...
I am shaking my head with a slight smile only because I relate so well with coming to God with my agenda. Too often do I present things to God with my strings attached, not really giving God the "authority" to be sovereign over all (including me). You totally nailed it with, "In short, I dropped it all at God's feet and went for a walk." I bet you had the most refreshing, eye-opening, wonderful walk all your life. I'm thrilled that you opened your heart to God's will, saw your worth and let Him mold you into the woman you are today. The added bonus of a precious daughter is like the honey from the honeycomb!
Thank you for sharing one of your stories of when God gave you the strength to endure.

Susan said...
Oh my have no idea (wait, I bet you do) how much this touched me. At the end of your post, it was like DUH, give it to God.
I wish I was there to hug you and tell you thank you for sharing this. I felt like you wrote this just for me! ((((HUGS))))

Thursday, September 7, 2006

13 Things I Love About Champaign

Welcome to T13Two. Last week, I wrote my inagural T13 and listed 13 things that I missed about Minneapolis. I got so many comments from people who thought that I sounded sad. I didn't mean to sound sad; just to acknowledge that my life has changed. However, I want to point out that we are happy to be here in Illinois. There are some fun things about this state and our new city. I hope this seems more upbeat to all of you. My entries may be a bit longer this time and I apologize, but I wanted everything to be well explained. Therefore, I give you (in no particular order):
Thirteen Things I Love About Illinois:

1. Having Champs' family nearby. I love it. They've really made us a part of their lives. Champs' brothers call a couple of times a week to see how we're doing and Champs' sister, Princsiss, has been by a number of times to help and to visit. In contrast, my two brothers have not called or emailed or responded to any of my e-mails at all. I guess they really miss me, huh?

2. Having Grandma Dee and Grandma Nee nearby. Don't get me wrong; I miss my mom horribly and we'll get Grandma Bee out here hopefully by spring and then I'll have them all. In the meantime, though, these two ladies are so happy to finally have their son back in town and to have their Sweet Girl within drop-in distance. They've both already taken Sweet Girl for visits, trips, etc. I love it, and so do Champs and Sweet Girl!

3. Our new home. Although I miss my home in Minneapolis (not the rental hell we were in before we moved, but our real home), this is the nicest place you could ever expect to rent! We have three bedrooms, a kitchen with a brand new floor and refridgerator as well as a family room with a fireplace. There is a lot of space and the layout is very family friendly. Not to mention that this place rents for 200-400 less per month than it would be in Minneapolis!

4. Sweet Girl's school. When we first arrived here, she was assigned the only seat in the district at a school in a "shifty" part of town. I really didn't want her to attend that school. Well, when we ended up here, instead of the "Croach House", I applied to have her transferred to the school two blocks away. She got it! Although we want to eventually send her to a private school, right now all we can afford is public school and we're very happy that this is where she'll be.

5. Sonic! Wow. We sure didn't have Sonic in Minneapolis, and I didn't know what I was missing. The burgers are pretty normal; the sides are the same as any other fast food place. However, the drinks are crazy! My favorite is the Diet Cherry Limeade. It's all lo-cal and made with real limes and marachino cherries. YUMMY!

6. The people at my new job. Yeah, the pay stinks, but the people are great and I'm enjoying getting to know them. See, here's the thing; I worked for The Big Company in Minneapolis. Now I work as an employee of an advisor for that company. So, I know the products and lots of the processes. I know the correspondence standards and lots of tricks that they've never even seen. They are really glad to have me as an employee (I'm known as "the Home Office Gal"), but they can't begin to pay me near what I was earning as a corporate employee. Eventually I'll have to do something about this, but for now, it's allowing me to be home with Sweet Girl in the afternoons and to finally focus some of my time on the family. It's the first time since Sweet Girl was born that I've ever worked part-time!

7. Sweet Girl's new friend, Comet! (If you think about it, you'll guess her name pretty easily :-) Sweet Girl has been pining to have a friend in her neighborhood; something she has never had before. She'll never forget her best friend, Snow White, back in Minneapolis, but she wanted a friend right nearby, as well. There is a little first grade girl just down the street. She's the cutest little pixie. The girls would spend hours each day together if we let them. As it is, they do spend a lot of time together and I love having Comet show up at my door asking if Sweet Girl can come out to play. Shouldn't every child have that? Oh, and Comet has the cutest baby sister. I'll call her "Twinkle" - because she does!

8. My new friend, Star - Comet's mom, of course! Star is a stay-at-home mom who works a few evenings a week at the local library. When Comet saw Sweet Girl and told her mom that there was a new little girl in the area, Star made it a point to find me and introduce herself. Turns out we have a lot in common; we love crafts, our kids, books, and... talking! We trade off taking the girls and we both love having another mom who we can trust nearby. I take the girls to school in the morning on my way to work, and Star meets them after school. Star is exactly the right name for her; she shines and just makes you have to look!

9. Our neighborhood. This area is so calm and clean and the people are wonderful. We've met bunches of our neighbors. There is a park nearby and the homes are well-kept. It's just a very nice place to live.

10. Our "friends by association". We have had many people who know Grandma Nee Nee come and help us, or call us to see how we're doing. They've been amazing!

11. E-mail and high-speed internet! It keeps my Minnesota friends nearby. I've been so busy settling that I haven't written many emails yet, but Geekwif and I are in touch and I know I will be with others soon. I promise! (oh, and along with that high-speed internet comes cable TV. I love Alton Brown and "Good Eats"!)

12. My laundry room. OK, it's not a laundry room, it is a laundry closet with doors. However, it is in my kitchen and it makes doing the laundry so much easier! Here in IL, it is very very common to have only a slab or crawlspace foundation. There are very few basements here, which means that the laundry is always on the first level. Since we're in a rambler, that puts it in my kitchen and makes it very easy for me to keep up with the laundry. I used to do the laundry every weekend, but now I throw it in every couple of days. It's lovely!

13. Being able to get anywhere in town within 15 minutes. Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs are HUGE. That means that you can easily travel 45 minutes away for "normal" activities. If there is traffic (and there almost always is!), even a short commute can take a lot of time. That doesn't seem to be a problem here. The population of Champaign is only 39,500 and the three main cities together (Champaign, Urbana and Savoy) are probably only 15 miles square. It is simple and quick to get anywhere. There is heavier traffic during "rush hour", but it is nothing like it was in Minneapolis. I may miss the city and I may miss all the shopping options, but I don't miss the commute!

Here are some comments from this post:
N. Mallory said...
Moving long distances is always so hard. It's good that you already have things you love about your new home! I definitely empathize.

Geekwif said...
Ahhhh. Much better. I was beginning to worry about you a bit. Now I feel like you're settling in. I miss you and would love to see you come running back to MN, but since I know that's not going to happen I just want you to be happy where you are.

Tracie said...
Sounds like you are adjusting well and have lots of good things happening. Especially you and Sweet Girl already having made some friends.
Gotta love Sonic!....have you tried the strawberry limeade yet? It's even better than the cherry one!

Carol said...
Oh yes. Sonic rocks! We have one every few blocks here in Texas. We be a thirsty bunch, I guess.

Barbara H. said...
It is so hard to leave one place and get adjusted to another -- but there are things to love about each place. Glad you're finding some!

Southern Girl said...
Sonic rocks!! I'm having to stay away from it these days, but sometimes their onion rings just call to me. ;)

princssis said...
Great list! Makes me feel a little better about your move here. I'm so glad you've found Comet, Twinkle, and Star!
Now, I do have to correct you on something. According to the 'net, Champaign is not as small as you think. It's population for 2005 was about 71,500! Now, Urbana, was more like 38,500 and Savoy, 4,800. So, since they all run together, it like a population of 114,800!
Also, Champaign is 17 square miles with Urbana at 10.5 and Savoy at 1.5. All together, that's 29 square miles, nearly twice as big as you thought. So, Champaign is small, but not that small. (wink)

Courtney said...
Whoa, I was just searching TT's and see that you're in C-U! I live in Montana now, but I grew up in Chambana! Have you had a monical's pizza or Jimmy John's sub yet? I miss those!
Great list, by the way

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Blond Girl Update 8.4

I hope you all had a nice Labor Day weekend. It is past time for a Blond Girl update. I'll try to keep it quick, but it's been 4 weeks since my last update and I have a few pieces of major news. To avoid "favoritism", I'll give them to you in chronological order:

1. On August 12, I answered an ad, went for a visit and came back to Mom's house with... a cute little orange tabby kitten named Jack! We have known for awhile now that our cat, Gus, really needs a friend. The fact that he literally jumps up walls may have contributed to our decision. Champs is happy with us having another cat, but didn't want to deal with a kitten, Gus, and Sweet Girl's school schedule, so Jack is staying here with me until I go home for good in November. Until then, he's a little stowaway here at Mom's apartment. Mom's dog, Lucy, and Jack get along pretty well now, but you can be sure there were a few fireworks when the animals first met! Jack looks a lot like Gus, but with a white belly and legs, and with little mustache lines on his nose. He's pretty darn cute!

2. On August 17, Sweet Girl and I flew home to Illinois. I enjoyed a very busy weekend at home, getting our wardrobes switched from summer to winter and enjoying some time with Champs. We tried out a new restaurant, The Flat Top Grill. It was really nice – and a bit pricey. Like all good weekends, it ended too soon and I had to head home on Monday the 20th. The day was much like my mood – bleak and rainy! Even so, I got back to Minnesota safely and Sweet Girl got back into Illinois life with daycare and her friends. She started second grade on Friday the 23 rd – a date that seems early and foreign to most Minnesotans who are used to school starting after Labor Day. So far school seems to be going well for our little second grader. When I get home, I'm looking forward to setting up a desk area by my work desk so that she can do her homework after school while I finish up work.

3. I had a four-day weekend this last week; Friday was off for our entire class and then Monday, of course, was the Labor Day holiday. I really wanted to go home, but Champs and I decided that it would be better for me to stay in Minnesota and not spend 20 hours driving over the weekend and more than a hundred dollars on gas. As it turns out, I may as well have gone home. On Friday morning I had a two hour dental appointment during which I got a cavity filled and had a temporary crown put in. I'll get the permanent crown in two more weeks. On Saturday morning I went to go have breakfast with Geekwif and our friend Curly Girl (who was in town for the weekend). On the way there, I was tooling down the highway and suddenly realized I'd missed my exit. I was pretty much alone on the highway with no other traffic nearby to match and had my mind on other things and, you guessed it... I flew right past a state trooper. He hit his lights and I pulled over, gave him my license and registration, explained why and for how long I am in town and waited for the ticket - or, hopefully - warning to come. I knew I wasn't going that much over the speed limit.

Well, I waited and waited and it took more than 10 minutes. Just when I was beginning to wonder if he was ever going to come back, a tow truck pulled up in front of my car and backed up, boxing me in! I was in shock! I knew that I hadn't done anything to deserve an arrest or tow, but I had no idea what was going on. The trooper finally came over my car and asked me when I had moved to Illinois. I explained that I moved on August 13, 2006. "Well", he asked me, "are you aware that your MN driver's license has been canceled?" I just looked at him, bewildered. "Well, yes, sir" I explained, "I had to surrender it in Illinois when I got my license there." He then told me to get in the back of the patrol car (on the traffic side, I might add; he had his uniforms hanging up on the safe side) and showed me on the computer that my license had been canceled on October 30 because I didn't have a physician's statement on record for my diabetes. I explained to him that I had received the form to complete, but since it was due after my move date, I simply informed IL DOT of my diabetes and they said they would communicate with MN DOT. I went on to explain that my license was canceled after we moved and after I had gotten an IL license and that neither Minnesota nor Illinois had informed me that I had any requirement to complete in Minnesota. Unfortunately, the officer was unmoved by my plight and obvious distress over the situation. He wrote me a $175.00 ticket for driving with a canceled license (never mind the fact that I am legal to drive in the other 49 states) and had my car towed away. I had to pay $158.32 to pay for the tow, Geekwif and Curly Girl had to come to my rescue and drive my car back to Mom's for me, and to add insult to injury, instead of the nice cafe where we’d planned to meet for breakfast, we had to eat at Denny's. Yuck!

I spent both breaks and my lunch hour yesterday working on having my driving privileges reinstated so that I can drive again and then have the proof of the administrative error that I will need to fight the citation down at city hall. I had to write a letter explaining that I am no longer a MN resident and I wasn't at the time my license was canceled. After that, I called the citation office to request a hearing. I asked the citation clerk today if, once the city dropped the citation, they would reimburse me for the tow. He explained that I will have to figure out which state is at fault, get written proof of the error, take the offending state to small claims court to sue them and then pay the court costs. In other words, NO. So now, I can't drive and I have no extra spending money because I had to pay off the Guido who towed my car. Needless to say, I was completely blindsided by all of this. Thank God for Champs and his calmness; his understanding of the situation made it so much easier to handle! Like I said earlier, I wish I had gone home for the weekend. I could have helped my sister-in-law, Princsiss and her family move into their new home and I wouldn't have added to the state trooper's fund raising efforts!

4. Saturday wasn't completely awful, though. Later in the day, a wonderful thing occurred: I became a great-aunt. My niece, Ami (who lives in Phoenix), gave birth to an 8 lb, 1 oz baby boy named Adam Michael. He was 20 1/2 inches long and is a big baby. He's just a cutie pie with long fingers, big cheeks and lots of dark hair. My mom is flying out to Phoenix tomorrow to stay with my sister and help Ami get used to mommihood. She'll be there until Mid-October and I will have her place to myself and the cat. My brother Pat will be watching Lucy. I wish I could go with Mom to Phoenix for a couple of days to meet him, but I'm sure she'll come home with photos and stories galore.

5. Labor Day was very nice; I went to a thrift store sale and got a lot of great deals for next to nothing - a good thing considering the money I had to pay the towing company to get the zoom-zoom care out of hock. Later in the day, Mom and I went to my brother Pat's house for a barbecue cookout. It was nice to spend time with all of my family - except my niece Caitlin, who had just moved out to the University of Minnesota campus and was getting settled in.

6. One last piece of news and then I'll wrap this up. Although Mom will be out of the state for the next 5 weeks, she is also moving out of her second floor, one bedroom apartment into a first floor, two bedroom apartment. Since she can't be in two places at one time, my brother's will move her stuff and I will be getting her settled. She's got it good... she's moving, but doesn't have to move! Watch for more of an update on this later.

Well, that's about all the news I have for now. Other than missing Champs and Sweet Girl like crazy and still trying to learn all the intricacies of my job, I'm just living life. Feel free to drop me a hello note if you want. By my best calculations, I expect that my training will take around 25 - 31 weeks. I'm not even halfway there yet, and I am already beyond homesick. Any news or happy thoughts are always welcome!

So for now, Blond Girl signing off... Hugs to you all!

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Appearances can be deceiving

You've heard the cliches before; "look before you leap", "don't judge a book by it's cover" and the ever popular "things aren't always what they seem". As I have always maintained, cliches are coined for a reason - generally because they are TRUE.

I have had the truth of these sage words driven home to me a number of times since we moved. Well, three times, to be exact. I think you will enjoy these little vignettes (from, " A short, usually descriptive literary sketch") of my education.

1. April Freshness Can be Overrated.
At the beginning of all the unpacking, I opened a box of bottled items, stashing everything away in their appropriate spots. One of those items was a bottle of liquid acetaminophen for adults. It is called Apap Elixer and is essentially a stronger version of kid's Tylenol. It is actually cheaper than Tylenol, works faster and is better for a gastric bypass patient such as myself. I've been taking it for so long now that I no longer bother to measure. I know that two swigs is exactly the amount I need for relief of whatever.

A couple of days into settling, I stepped off our front deck and onto a large, sharp wood shard . I lightly twisted my ankle and hurt my heel where I landed on the wood. My ankle was soon better, but the pain in my heel intensified. Finally, I decided that I needed some Apap. I went to the bathroom and knocked back a quick swig. Right away, I knew something was wrong. With my mouth full, I looked down into the bottle. Instead of cherry elixir, I saw milky green liquid. And then I remembered: When I was packing my cleaning supplies, I was down to only about two cups of Downy softener, Mountain Spring scent. I didn't want to pack the large jug or throw away the Downy, so I had poured it into an empty Apap Elixir bottle.

I spit out the Downy and spent the next 15 minutes brushing my teeth, rinsing out my mouth with Diet Coke and drinking anything to take the flavor away. Downy may smell wonderful on my clothes, but let me tell you that it tasted horrible in my mouth! April Fresh, my hiney!

Later, I found a new bottle of Apap that I had packed with the other bathroom supplies. I opened it and checked it carefully before putting it in the bathroom medicine cabinet. And that's when I realized that I should have found it odd that, in a box full of laundry and cleaning supplies, I found one random bottle of medicine. Too bad it didn't occur to me when I first unpacked it....

2. The Upside Down Cicada.
According to the internet, there are something like 17 varieties of cicadas. One is a brown variety that is loud and harmless - but huge. Another is a black and white variety - also loud, harmless and huge. According to my research, these are not locusts. The 17-year cicada is actually set to emerge next summer, so while we've had a few "early ones", next June should be very loud.

One morning last week, Champs and I were taking Sweet Girl to school when I saw a black and white cicada upside down in a lawn; like it was standing on its head. I assumed it was stuck and showed it to Champs so he could rescue it (sorry, I don't touch bugs). As he nudged it out of the lawn, it gave a loud raspy buzz and then fell back, dead. Sweet Girl felt sorry for the "upside-down cicada" (I had to explain to her that "upside-down" was a position, not a bug species).

The next day, as we walked Sweet Girl to school, we again saw a bug; this time it was a classic brown cicada laying on the sidewalk on it's back. We passed it by and took the girl to school. On the way home, I stopped to nudge it. Based on its position and our experience with the previous bug, I was sure this one was dead. It was huge and interesting, though, so I thought to turn it over and investigate it. I stooped low over the big winged thing and nudged it over with my toe. As it rolled over and its wings were freed and its legs hit the pavement, it let out a huge rasping buzz and took to the sky, flying up to a tree. I let out the most blood curdling scream and danced in place, crying out "Oooo, that one was ALIVE!". Champs, in direct contridiction to his marital vow to protect me, stood laughing until tears ran down his cheeks as I danced and shook on the sidewalk. From now on, I will not nudge upside down bugs, regardless of how dead they may appear to be!

3. Sweet Girl's Bad Dream.
One day last week as Sweet Girl was getting ready for school, I was brushing her hair and she gazed up at me in the bathroom mirror. "Mom", she said gravely, "I had a bad dream last night." I crooned sympathetically and asked her what she had dreamt about.

"Well", said she very seriously, "there was this monster crap and it was scaring everyone. Everyone was screaming to get away." I held my breath for a moment to suppress my giggles and then said, "well, yes, honey, I am sure that was very scary. However, you know we don't say that word. You should say a monster poop".

Sweet Girl wrinkled up her nose, turned to look right up at me and said, "no, Mom... A monster CRAB."

"Oh, well", I weakly replied. "Yes, I can see how that would have been much scarier".

Yes, my friends, things are not always as they seem... so keep your eyes and ears open, your shoes on and your medicine cabinet properly stocked.

This is one of my favorite posts and generated a LOT of comments:
Prego said...
Reminds me of when my sister (true story) mistook Krazy Glue for her eye drops. Haw. Haw.
Later. I have to go take a monster crap. Oh.. excuse me. monster poop.
here via michele today. nice to see you again.

jsdaughter said...
I'm laughing so hard I'm having a hard time typing this comment! Thanks for sharing. I too am in Illini Heaven.. Small world :) Here via Michele..

Azgreeneyes said...
I'm sitting here lmao! Thanks for the late night grins! Here via Michele's...

Carmi said...
You are a wise Mom indeed. That's sage advice...I'll never look at the Downy in the same way again.
Thanks for popping by my blog. I'l so glad you're settling in and things are going well.

Geekwif said...
Yes, you are indeed the master. I bow....
#1 - Eeewwww!
#2 - Eeeeeeewwwwwwwwww!!!!!
#3 - HA! There's a big monster poo chasing me! I've had some scary dreams in my life, but that's...well...that's just...well...I don't know what it is, but it made me laugh pretty darn hard!

Thumper said...
Oh man, my tummy was already a touch off before I read, with the smell of Downy still in the air from my son's doing of his laundry, I'm really queasy... :)

kenju said...
I sure hope you had no long lasting effects from the Downy. I once read that you should NEVER pour anything that isn't edible in to a bottle that holds something edible. Good case in point!
Thanks for the visit, BG, it's been a long time.

vanx said...
Check, check, and double check.~,:^)

C said...
Monster poop would be much scarier.

MissMeliss said...
Don't feel bad about swigging Downey....I once accidentally brushed my teeth with Ben Gay.

Tracie said...
I will never look at Downy the same way again! I bet that really was gross.
Watch out-those "upside down" bugs are really dangerous.
Monster poop! Too funny!

Tia said...
Hi BG, and thanks for stopping by my blog with "name advice" earlier! This post was hilarious!!! I can't decide if drinking Downy or being chased by monster poop would be the worst?.....

HolyMama! said...
this was a delightful post, although swigging downy sounds so bad. so bad i almost felt guilty at giggling over it - almost. :D

Suzy said...
Thanks for the Downy warning. I tend to do things like what you And then end up swallowing before I'm even aware that I did it. THATS the scary part. Oh, and monster CRAB....too cute!
Hope all is going well with the move!

Trish said...
This was hysterical!! wow girl do you have storiesto tell. You should seriously think of becoming a writer! way tooo funny!

Friday, September 1, 2006

13 Things I Miss About Minneapolis

Thirteen Things I Miss About Minneapolis:

1. Geekwif. Yes, I know she is not a thing, she is my best friend. Doesn't matter. I miss her and it's my list so there.

2. My Mom. Yes, she probably should have been first on the list, but I am working on a campaign to move her here to IL, so I know I'll have her back. Geekwif won't move to IL since she's busy building a new home in Wisconsin, so that's why she was first.

3. My job at The Big Company. I accepted a second part time job today. One will pay 13.00 an hour and the other 7.50 an hour. I'll work about 46-50 hours per week now and still come nowhere near to what I was earning at my old job. Yes, the employment thing is probably my only real concern in this move. Oh, and I miss my work friends like crazy, especially Smoothie and Naked Girl!

4. Benefits! Medical and Life Insurance! Auugh. Champs got a job with a sparse benefit package and it doesn't go into effect until 90 days. He has an eye disease and I have diabetes. As you can imagine, this leaves me a little, um, concerned. Again, miss the Big Company.

5. Tall buildings! The tallest building here is a 22 story hotel and it sticks up from the 3 and 4 story surrounding buildings like an obelisk. I grew up with a fantastic skyline, so this is still a bit of a shock.

6. The MTC public bus. Yes, I complained about it plenty when I was there, but it was relatively cheap and reliable transportation and gas costs money. We have the MTD here, but it is not as widely applicable as in Minneapolis. Oh, and I used to have the cost taken out of my paycheck at a great discount, and that's gone too. Bye-bye, MetroPass.

7. Money. OK, this one is temporary, since Champs is working now and I start my new part-time job on Tuesday. But we're paying rent on a deficit and it was really hard to watch a payday come and go without that happy deposit. Man, I love direct deposit! Especially since we are now three states away but still using our Minnesota credit union. I know, I know... I should change. But I've been a member there for 24 years and in this age of electronic everything, it should work once all the direct deposit is set up.

8. The worship at our church. Great musicians, great songs, great time to lose myself in gratitude to my God and to watch my daughter dance with joy. We haven't found that here yet, but we've only visited two churches, so I am sure it will take time.

9. Free local calls to my friends. Well, I have a cell phone with free long distance, so that's not too big of a deal - but I prefer the home phone over the cell phone, you know?

10. Cub Foods! The best supermarket ever, and about 21 or so in the metro area; 3 in close proximity to our home. County Market, which is owned by the same parent company, is a close second, but it's not quite as good.

11. Water! 15,000 lakes makes for a beautiful getaway at any time. I had two full-on lakes just a half mile from home in Minneapolis. Not here; they have a pond that they call a lake. It still makes me laugh everytime I see it.

12. Amy Monaghan (yes, you can follow the link to hear her music). She's an upcoming Christian artist who is wonderful. Her husband is in a great Christian rock band called the Wannabe Hasbeens (yes, songs there, too). I miss being able to go hear them perform. Amy's CD is wonderful, but I want to see her perform live again.

13. Multiple store branches. If you go to Famous Footwear in Minneapolis and they don't have the size you need, they call another store the next city over, have them hold it for you and you go get it. Not here. One branch. If they don't have it, you go to another store. It's that way with all the stores except Wal-Mart. We have two of them, one at each end of the city.

Well, that's my list. I'll post again soon with a more entertaining offering. I have some stories to relate, I'll tell you!

Here's some comments from this post:
Shannin said...
Hey, BG!! I miss our walks, too. And the weather is getting so nice! I remember when I first moved to MN how flat it seemed! I'm sure as you get to know more people it will become easier. Thinking good thoughts for you and the family...

Geekwif said...
Awww. You miss me? I miss you too. I want my friend back. And my goddaughter. I drive by your old house now and then and miss you. It's much sadder now than before. Then, I knew that even though you weren't in that house, you were just a few miles away. Now, you're WAY far away. :-(
As for #5, I'm not a huge fan of tall buildings myself. I prefer tall trees, but I must admit we do have a particularly lovely skyline here.
All in all, I believe this is a very nice first T13, even if it is a little sad. I'm looking forward to having you back in blog world (and many more Thursday Thirteens!) now that you're beginning to get settled in your new home.

Suzy said...
Awww.....I'll be praying for you, girl! I know, a move isn't easy, but God has big plans for you in this, right?
Your first TT looked great...loved the post and it make me feel so thankful for the blessings I have. Sorry that things are sad for you right now. It will come around. I know it will! =)

Tracie said...
Very nice first TT! Sad, but nice. I hope that you are able to get adjusted and that everything will fall into place for you all (especially with that whole direct deposit money stinks!)

Carmi said...
We added an unlimited long distance plan to our home phone. And when I'm feeling particularly geeky, I use Google Talk's voice chat feature. I'll be using it when I travel again next week. Freaky stuff!
This entry reminds me so much of when we moved to London. It was a strange city, far from home, and we knew no one here. It took a while, but eventually we grew roots and came to like this place.
Technology helps.

bluesphee said...
You should listen to Sufjan Steven's album Illinois. Then you'll think Illinois is cool: