Friday, June 22, 2007

Point to Ponder

This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

Philippians 3:13 (KJV)

Tonight I had an argument with my husband. It began with a playful remark that apparently offended him, and came totally out of the blue. So, I got "dismissed" with a wave of his hand and turning the radio off completely. I felt very disrespected. This "dismissing" of me is an attitude I have talked about with him previously. This time, his daughter and her friend were present. He didn't speak to me for hours, then he went up to bed. I wanted to resolve things because I was truly only being playful, so I went up to talk to him. Instead of resolving this, he brought up another argument over a completely different issue that several of us were having, and he attempted to compare the two situations. They are apples to oranges, though. Totally different situations. Needless to say, the problem was not resolved tonight, either, and probably became worse.

This scripture, I am hoping, will help us to forget what has happened and move on to the future without another incident like it. I pray for the wisdom and the words we both will need to resolve this conflict, leave it in the past, and go on with our happy lives. Please include me in your prayers as well.

July 4th Giveaway


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Eccentric, or just Different?

Peculiar, unusual, odd, strange, weird, bizarre.
Departing from conventional or established norms or patterns.

Aren't we all eccentric by these definitions... at least some of the time?

I've never thought of myself as eccentric. I would say that I have some strange or unusual habits or behaviors, but I do not see them as bizarre. Perhaps others would.

Here's one. When I have my meal, if I am going to eat dessert, I must save some of my entree or bread to eat after my dessert. I don't like to end my meal with a sweet taste in my mouth. Another thing some may find unusual is that I have to have a little carbonated soda (usually Sprite) in my wine, or I won't drink much of it, if any. I also cut both spaghetti and salad with a knife. My husband thinks I'm crazy for cutting spaghetti! I just like to take rather small bites instead of slurping up long strands of noodles. I also don't like eating cold ketchup. I'd rather store the bottle in the pantry rather than the fridge.

Recently, my daughter got gum stuck in her hair. Everyone asked me if I used peanut butter to remove it, and my terse reply was, "Absolutely not!" I will eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches occasionally, but I have a strong aversion to the smell of peanut butter on hair. Go figure! I blame it on the smell of certain hair products my students have used over the years. It reminds me too much of stale peanut butter, and I can't imagine putting peanut butter on the hair on purpose!

I don't like to dry my clothes completely in the dryer. I prefer to fluff them up in the dryer for a few minutes with fabric softener then let them hang to complete drying. And... a strange habit of mine is that when I step into the shower, I have to wash my hair before I do anything else. The reasoning for that is simple. If I don't, I will forget if I washed it or not! Hence, my name "Forgetfulone."

Perhaps these are peculiar, perhaps weird, possibly normal depending on who's judging the standards, but I guess these would qualify as my eccentricities.

Monday, June 11, 2007

R & R

Wow! What a relaxing weekend, up until the night before we came home when I got sick. But that doesn't change the fact that my husband and I got away from it all and enjoyed each other's company for an entire weekend - away from the noise, away from traffic, away from phones, away from computers, and away from all the stresses of life. Yes, all of them.

My dh and I went to the Texas Hill Country Friday and came back Sunday. We rented an adorable cottage with a bedroom/living room/kitchen, and jacuzzi on the porch. It was so peaceful! We stayed in the town of Wimberley, but we also visited Dripping Springs, Driftwood (where I actually found a winery that makes a wine I like, not being a big fan of wine and all), Canyon Lake, and San Marcos, all beautiful scenery.

We climbed Mout Baldy, a mountain of prayer, and caught a pretty sunset. We also visited Hamilton's Pool, which is not a pool at all, but fresh water from the icy Perdenales River. I wonder why they call it that? It's a nature preserve. We hiked about a quarter mile to this glorious lagoon surrounded by a cave and a 45 foot waterfall. It was awesome. The water was muy frio, but we braved it and swam. Wonderful! (The picture doesn't do it justice. It is much larger than it appears, and you can barely see part of the cave in the background and on the left.) We also ate a variety of barbecue items from The Salt Lick, which has been featured on the Travel Channel. But most of all, we enjoyed some quality time with each other. Of course, we saw deer running freely, and there were a lot of shops, but we didn't spend too much time there. We just relished in the sheer beauty of our surroundings, the kind of beauty that makes it impossible to deny that God made all of these wonders. It was just so nice to NOT have to be anywhere at any certain time. We got to enjoy eachother.

Monday, June 04, 2007

My dream house (well... almost)

Funny we should be talking about the city mouse and the country mouse this week, as I've given a lot of thought to where I want to live, and I believe I may have found my dream house (well, close enough) yesterday. It is ideal in so many ways.

There is a dramatic two-story entry with wood flooring. The formal living room is off to the left (which I would convert into an office for myself) and a formal dining room to the right (which would most definitely be used frequently). Both have triple crown molding and chair rails to add that decorative touch. Directly in front of the entry is the stairway, which I will get to in a few moments. If you go past the stairway, you enter a large family room with built ins and a few niches placed throughout for artwork or show pieces. The family room can hold a 60 inch TV easily, with room to spare, and it also has a granite-surrounded wood and gas burning fireplace. The family room looks onto the back yard where there is a large area for grilling or chilling with your family and friends. (More about the back yard in a moment, too). If you enter the formal dining room instead of going through the entry to the family room, there is an entrance to a fabulous kitchen with granite countertops and under-cabinet lighting. The kitchen is spacious with a generous-sized island in the middle. At the far end of the kitchen is the breakfast area, easily suitable for a table for four. There is a three car garage to the left. upon entering the breakfast area, there is a door to the right which opens to a huge laundry room. Past the breakfast room is a downstairs guest bedroom complete with private bathroom. The guest room has bay windows with a view of the back yard.

Back at the entry way... just past the stairs and to the left is a hallway with a linen closet and half bath with decorative pedestal sink. The hall leads in the opposite direction to the master suite, large enough for a king-sized bedroom set and a sitting area. The master bathroom is gorgeous with an oversized shower stall, double sinks, marble counters, a vanity area, a large linen closet, jacuzzi bathtub (that I could surround with candles for a relaxing evening), and a GINORMOUS walk-in closet. The sitting area of the bedroom also has bay windows looking out onto the sparkling swimming pool and spa set with natural stone and using the latest salt-water technology. The entire bottom floor has large windows with double-paned glass, a money-saver here in Texas during our long, hot summers.

Back at the entry way again, and this time up the stairs, there is a game room with plenty of room for billiards, air hockey or ping-pong, as well as tv, gaming systems, or whatever the children fancy. And did I mention that the house is pre-wired for surround sound both up and downstairs? Down a short hall to the left is a bedroom and another private bathroom. To the right of the gameroom are two bedrooms connected to each other by a computer bridge. It is similar to a mini-office and makes a great place to hook up the new computer, printer, fax machine, etc and a great place to study and do homework. It has an area where you can look out onto the family room below. These two bedrooms have large walk-in closets and share a fourth bathroom. And I failed to mention that an extra door has been cut into the wall leading to the attic virtually eliminating the need for the pull-down stairs (which are there, just in case you need them). Half of the attic has finished flooring and could easily be converted into another bedroom or play room, but also serves as easy access for storage without hauling items up those narrow, rickety stairs we usually use to access the attic. (No basements here in Texas, by the way.)

The tour is complete, and I, for one, am impressed by this 4400 square foot home which would be ideal for my family of six. We have long ago outgrown our 2500 square feet! Oh, to dream! We can't afford it, but a girl has to have something to dream about. Room for us to spread out! Room to entertain! A swimming pool and hot tub, a master bathroom and closet to die for! A gourmet kitchen. Five bedrooms, 4 and a half baths, three car garage, huge laundry room. I wish it weren't only my "dream" home!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Stuck in the Middle

I grew up in a small town about 30 minutes north of Houston.

Now I live in a suburb just south of Houston (this is a picture of Houston, not the suburb). The "small" towns around this metropolitan area are a thing of the past.

We've pretty much been sucked up by Houston. But, I maintain my existence just outside Houston, in the 'burbs because I am stuck between wanting to be a city mouse and wanting to be a country mouse.

The advantages to the "suburb mouse" lifestyle where I am, in particular, include access to great restaurants, fabulous shopping, and conveniences that are close to home such as movies, groceries, golf courses, parks, and amusements. But it also means not being able to hear my neighbor taking a shower, and not having to deal with the inner-city crime of our area. Oh, yeah, we have crime, but not the daily muggings, prostitutes on street corners, homeless panhandling, and things that I see whenever I am in the city of Houston.

We are very near the Kemah Boardwalk with all of its attractions (pictured left). In addition, we are near Seabrook, Texas with its laid-back charm (pictured right). We have access to beautiful lakes, and the beaches of Galveston (and Schlitterbahn waterpark) are less than an hour away.

So, I'm stuck in the middle. I don't enjoy the hustle and bustle of a city, but I am glad there is one close so that we have access to cultural arts, museums, sports venues, and so on. On the other hand, the peace of the country cannot be matched. Crickets, birds, deer, clear skies, and a no-worry attitude are my favorite aspects of the country. In fact, my dear husband and I are planning a get-away to the hill country of Texas next weekend where we will have our own private cottage, jacuzzi, and access to the river as well as antique shopping and sight-seeing if we choose. No phones, no kids, no deadlines, no worries. Peace and tranquility!

I must admit, that would get boring for me. I need to be where I have access to the conveniences of a city, even if I don't venture into the city that often. At least it is an option. We are also located in a diverse, mostly affluent area due to the Johnson Space Center (NASA) being only minutes away. I guess I am pretty happy being stuck in the middle! I can have it both ways.


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