WFMW: Classic Hymns (for free!)

While blog hopping a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Page CXVI, a project/band that has reworked some old classic hymns. (Cool fact - the name is a reference to page 116 of Magician's Nephew. How much do I love the C.of N. geekiness?) While I am learned to love praise and worships songs, real hymns will always have a special place in my heart. From what I have listened to, Page CXVI has done a great job at accomplishing their mission.

You can download a sampling here for free, which includes 5 full hymns (Come thou Font, My Jesus I love Thee, Nothing but the blood, Solid Rock, and Joy). I think my favorite hymn (of all the hymns in the world, not just of these five) is The Solid Rock and their version is pretty good. Another great one is Joy (I've got the Joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart). When I first heard their twist on it, I thought it was a little depressing. But as I've been dealing with a lot of hard things these last couple weeks, I have come to really "get it." Sometimes joy isn't a feeling you just have, it's something you make yourself do. That's a hard concept but it helps when it is being pounded into your head through a beautiful song. So classical hymns work for me, especially when they are free!

*And yes, I made a mistake and didn't realize WFMW was a backwards edition but considered this post a break from the question answering.


24, Season 7: 11-12 PM

-Having previously been exposed to the biological weapon, Jack has to strip and get hosed down, surely causing the lady viewers to swoon, despite Jack's torture scars. I must ridicule Jack for his choice in underwear, though; the white boxers don't look good. Also, the director of this episode used the Austin Powers trick (link not really for the kids) to prevent us from seeing Jack naked.

-Apparently the bioweapon is mad cow disease. They must have vaporized some bad beef to weaponize it.

-And Jack is infected, but not contagious, so he can still interact with people. Next week, the symptoms will hit, according to the previews.

-Someone at the Cabinet meeting (the AG, I assume) said the army can't participate in a raid on Starkwood (the fake version of Blackwater that is one of this season's villains) because of Posse Comitatus, since the action would take place on US soil. However, I believe that is incorrect. 10 USC Chapter 18 Section 382:
The Secretary of Defense, upon the request of the Attorney General, may provide assistance in support of Department of Justice activities relating to the enforcement of section 175 or 2332c [1] of title 18 during an emergency situation involving a biological or chemical weapon of mass destruction. Department of Defense resources, including personnel of the Department of Defense, may be used to provide such assistance if— (1) the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General jointly determine that an emergency situation exists...
If "the action is considered necessary for the immediate protection of human life, and civilian law enforcement officials are not capable of taking the action," then the military can participate in arrest, search, and seizure. So send in the Seals.

-As the raid on Starkwood was about to commence, I thought, "There are still 8 hours of show left. What are they gonna do?" The crisis looked to be ending, just as previously happened at around 2 or 3 pm in 24 time. But after the (failed) raid, we can see that there is much more action left to take place.

Spring Break - Day 3

So this took forever to get up, but they really are the best pictures so I had to do it even though spring break ended a week ago (sigh).

Day 3 - We woke up early, that tends to happen when you camp. Brandon and Amanda had to head back to take care of not-so-little Apollo so Craig and I went off by ourselves to explore the park. The trails were not marked well at all, but eventually we ended up where we wanted to be - the "observation tower." Craig didn't think it was tall enough, but it was plenty tall for me - which should have been my warning about our other activity for the day, but I didn't heed it.

After that, we headed to the beach for some parasailing! Unfortunately, that area was having high winds and they kept postponing our trip. It wasn't too annoying though, as we got to wait on the beach. Eventually, we gave up on that company and moved back to the beach we were on the day before where it was calmer and got to go up.

It was way scarier than I thought! 700 feet is really high when the only thing keeping you from plummeting to your watery grave is an semi-worn out piece of nylon. I figured it wouldn't seem so bad being over water but my hands hurt after the trip because of the death grip I had on the top straps. After about 5 or 6 minutes I relaxed a bit but then it was time for our descent, including a little dip. I'm glad I did it, but I don't think I will ever do it again. But at least I got good pictures!

Here I am, still happy and excited about our adventure.

And here is Craig, demonstrating how utterly safe this is, because see - there is a clip to make sure you don't fall off. You're really not helping, Craig.I'm starting to get hooked up, not feeling so excited anymore but still trying to give a smile in case I don't die, I don't want the scrapbook page to be ruined. (I obviously have my priorities in line).And up we go.
Here we are coming down. You may notice my hands are still firmly in place while Craig is being brave and giving a wave to the deck hand/camera. I will note that he did so in spite of my request that was somewhat along the lines of "DO NOT LET GO, CRAIG. I'M NOT KIDDING. DO NOT LET GO." I might have even used his middle name. I'm not sure.

A little dip...and back to safety. Wet but glad to be down.
Craig was pretty much that relaxed the whole time.
After my heart slowed down to normal again and we made it back to land, we headed off to the official national seashore area with the hopes of getting our national parks passport stamped. We thought they probably closed by 5 so we were in a bit of a rush. We got there with about 5 minutes to spare, only to find out they closed at 4:30. So, no stamp for us :-( But we did take a little hike on a trail through the first boat tree plantation started by John Quincy Adams (that isn't the official name but I can't remember the real one) for some educational and entertaining fun. Then next day we headed home. Our trip was short but fun and relaxing.


Useful Information

If you ever happen to find yourself in a situation where you are desperately craving chocolate chip cookies with mere hours to go before a Lenten season Sunday is over and there is not a smidgen of all-purpose flour to be found, you might find it useful to know that white whole wheat works perfectly fine as long as you reduce the flour from 2 1/4 c to 2 c. Not that I would know from experiences or anything :-)

Sunday Sorbet

Cleansing your blog reading palate for the new week...


God can use anything he wants

Note: I didn't plan out this post, nor really edit it at all. I said a lot of stuff and I don't know if it is all theologically correct, but it comes from the heart so I'm not going to change it.

Whew, it has been a crazy busy week. And the weekend is going to be quite busy as well. So of course I have 7 or 8 blog posts that I have been meaning to write but haven't had the time. I will make a list so I don't forget because even today, I am going to postpone them to talk about baby Stellan some more. If you aren't reading his story, you really should, go right now and read it.

But I want to talk about community and the internet. I often read posts or articles about being weary of getting too involved with blogging, letting it eat up your time, reducing your real relationships. And I do think that can happen. But you also have to acknowledge the flip side of that - the relationships formed by the internet and specifically, the blogging world. It is a powerful tool.

When I first started reading MckMama, we all thought the story had ended. I was able to go back and read how they had been told he would die before he was ever born. How they struggled in the hospital with his heart condition. How they came to be a peace with that. And how he was born a little miracle. It was amazing to read her story and how God used that situation to bring her closer to him. And to be honest, I was so glad I had only found her site now, after I knew the ending. Knew he was going to be okay.

But now that she is going through that again with him, it is different. I don't know the ending and neither does she. But she prays and believes that God is in control. And I, along with thousands of other Christians around the world, pray and believe that God is in control. I can't say what it is like to be in her situation, I've never gone through anything similar. But it the times of trial I have gone through, I have learned that Satan wants us to feel like we are alone. I think God almost never wants us to feel alone. And then I hear Christians say you need to learn to depend on God. So true...but so often that comes across as meaning don't depend on the Christians around you for support, lean only on God. Yet as Christians, we are the body. What body? The body - of Christ. When we stand by another Christian and lift them up and pray for them, God is using us, his body, to show them they are not alone.

And seeing this happen with MckMama is incredible. I sometimes get down with the state of the world and the evils I see and I'm so frustrated. Where are the other Christians at? Are we so alone in our having a godly viewpoint of the world? Does no one think like me?!? Then I have been able to see the body at work. People putting together 24hr prayer vigils, organizing food and babysitting for the family, restarting stellans name gallery - pouring out love onto this family. My heart is so full just thinking of it.

And it is by no means a one way street. At least for me, and I am sure those others would say the same, reading her experiences have increased and challenged our faith. She is so honest that instead of reading the end result and saying "Wow, she has a lot of faith" I get to see her struggles and fears and how God is changing them and I say "Wow, she has an Awesome God!" which translates to "I have an Awesome God!". And I am not a big prayer. It something I am working on changing, but for now it is still true. But the last few days as I have been working, I just feel the urge to stop and pray for him. I don't do that, but I have been. It's hard because at times I don't even know what to pray. But I know the Holy Spirit does and is interceding for me on Stellans behalf. Stellan is teaching me how to pray. Already Stellan has touched so many lives, and he doesn't even know it. Yes, the internet can be a tool for evil, but when God uses it, it can do great things.


Foreign Affairs Friday: Russia Not Big Enough For Both of Them

When Vladimir Putin stepped down from the Russian presidency last year, as mandated by the term limits provision of the constitution, he got his crony Dmitry Medvedev elected president, and himself appointed Prime Minister. The world saw through this ploy, and recognized that Putin was still the man in charge. However, a new story in Foreign Policy suggests that a shift might be coming.

Russia was able to throw its weight around when oil was expensive last year, but now that its price has dropped, Russia has a lot less cash to play with. Russia has also been hit hard by the economic crisis. These factors may provide an opening for Medvedev, as the popularity which has allowed Putin to do as he wishes declines. Medvedev has distanced himself from Putin on some issues.
Russians have noticed the widening split. In February, the weekly business publication Kommersant-Vlast printed a collection of opinions titled "Will Medvedev Sack Putin? Is It Time for Prime Minister Putin to Answer for Results of Anti-Crisis Efforts?" Although the discussion does not provide a definitive answer, simply posing the question is provocative in a country where the government has muzzled the press for years. Meanwhile, Medvedev's popularity is growing. According to a February 2009 national survey, 73 percent of those polled said they trust him, compared with 56 percent in 2006. Although it is impossible to predict what will happen, one thing is certain: The current power dynamic is shifting, and shifting fast. If the trend continues, Medvedev will undoubtedly begin asking himself why he is still playing second fiddle.
The authors suggest new anti-corruption legislation as a potential tool for Medvedev. This article seems overly optimistic, though. I wouldn't be so quick to count Putin out, as he has proven that he can be ruthless if necessary. This is something to look out for, though.

Cancer Conference Comedy

No pictures today. I had to leave home at 5:45 this morning (yesterday to y'all) to got to a cancer conference in Houston and didn't get home till late so I'm going to make this quick. I just wanted to share a few thoughts I had on my way to and at the conference.

This first anecdote will make more sense if you know that 1) My boss is from Argentina and 2) Both my boss and the co-worker in the car with us are originally vets who are now involved in research.

So we were riding down to Houston and the topic came to the animal science industries and then onto Argentinian beef. I really had nothing to add to the conversation but even if I had, I wouldn't have been able to say it because the entire time they talked about beef (maybe 5-10 min) I had to force myself not to laugh. All I could think of was the movie quote: "Argentina has good beef. Beef and Nazis." Which considering point #1, probably would have been a bad line to quote.

*Bonus - name that movie. It's pretty easy but then again, I have seen that movie a bazillion times.

Another thought I had was that women scientists are so frumpy. There is definitely a reason for that stereotype. Some of the younger ones aren't so very bad, but in general, there is an appalling lack of not just fashion, but basic grooming skills. I really only takes 30 seconds to brush your hair - are you really that busy curing cancer you can't brush your hair? Although to be honest, when I see a really attractive and fashionable scientist, I instinctively think she isn't as smart as the really frumpy ones. I know that is horrible and not true but I also know that is what I really think so others must too. But there has to be a happy medium.

Last story - we had a speaker at our luncheon who was talking about advances in diagnostics. It was a little weird because he was an economist and not really a scientist but I guess he is involved with grants and such so he is a big shot in the science world. Anyway, he told all the guys that they should be especially grateful for advances in prostrate diagnostics because 15 years ago there was only 1 method of detection. As he says this he holds up a finger, as if to emphasize "one!" He then says - "and this is it." All the guys gave a sorta uncomfortable laugh, like when they watch the sports injury montages on America's Funniest Home Videos. I did not laugh. I mean, I enjoy a good proctology joke as much as the next gal but not when I am trying to eat lunch. But this guy obviously though he had come up with the best joke ever. That part was really amusing. Also amusing, realizing that a bunch of old guys in suits are being all fancy and formal while standing around talking about feces and urine. But only if you are 12 and I am not so of course, I didn't think that was amusing at all.


Not That Impressive

I'm sure you've seen this commercial, in which a 4.5-year-old shows how easy it is to use Windows:

I'm not too impressed by this. Now, if they showed some middle-aged adults easily navigating a PC, that would mean something to me.


Spring Break - Days 1 and 2

We got to Florida and spent the afternoon with Amanda and Brandon, catching up with them and walking around downtown Pensacola. We finished the evening with a rousing round of Scattergories before retiring early so we would be well rested for the our first full day of fun.

The next day, Brandon had work stuff to do but Amanda was free so she showed us the National Naval Aviation museum. It was pretty cool, lots of history for Craig, lots of visual stuff and photo ops for me like these of Craig with a nuclear bomb (a replica, he says over my shoulder), Craig playing with a toy ship in the kids area (I told you he wasn't that different from a 2-year-old), and all of us trying out the planes.
(There must be something about sitting in a plane that makes you want to have a big goofy smile because both Amanda and I have that going on :-)
And here is Craig taking a military shower. He really liked the official shower rules and is planning on enforcing them when we have kids of showering age. You think I jest but he is serious.

After that, we headed off to the beach.
Amanda guided us to the "mama beach" so we wouldn't have to put up with all the silly students and their shenanigans :-) It was much calmer than I was anticipating and was perfect for kite flying, shell searching, and general beach relaxing.

(Oh, just so you know, I got lazy and stopped editing. Yep, those last 5 pictures are all SOOC. The sky really was that gorgeous.)

We finished our day of fun by camping at a state park. Brandon was off by then and met up with us and we explored the park. Then we tried to make a fire, tried again with the fire, then one more time before success and a much-anticipated dinner of hot dogs, strawberries and chips and salsa. What is it about camping that makes such a boring simple dinner taste so delicious?


We're back!

We made it back, alive and not burnt to a crisp (a fact I am both delighted and totally surprised by as I normally resemble a lobster after a day or two in the sun, no matter how much sunscreen I use).

Since we only made it back Sunday night and I had work yesterday, I am feeling a little overwhelmed. But the laundry is caught up again and we just went grocery shopping so the fridge now holds more than a loaf of bread and a couple beers so we are well on our way to being back in a routine.

I took bazillion pictures. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration - we only took a million. And of course I have to edit them before I can show them to you. What can I say, photoshop is both a gift and a curse. So you will just have to wait to see and read about all the fun stuff we did. But I can't just leave you hanging, so here are some pictures that when we were almost home last night.

The bluebonnets were looking so lovely that I just had to make Craig stop.
This picture makes it look like we were alone but that is not the case. There were quite a few people taking pictures.
Of course, they were all taking pictures of their toddlers while I was taking pictures of my husband, but really, are they that different? Just kidding, Craig. Although getting Craig to give me a nice smile is about as difficult as working with a 2 year old probably is. But eventually, we got a good one and that is all the matters.

Pray for Stellan

I love MckMama's blog and reading about her family. Right now, baby Stellan is in need of prayers. Read his story and take a few minutes to ask God for healing for Stellan and good decision making by doctors.

24, Season 7: 10-11 PM

-In this episode, we meet a Port Authority cop who decided to help some bad guys "smuggle electronics" to help pay for the infertility treatments him and his wife used to conceive twins. Clearly, he's a sucker that will sadly soon be killed. As is typical, Jack involves him in his plan, making him act as if nothing is wrong by meeting with the henchmen, but the guy can't keep a straight face. They can tell he's nervous. A few minutes later, a bad guy takes the cop away to "pay him" - i.e. shoot him. Jack, however, instead of writing the cop off as expendable, goes over and saves his life, despite Tony's pleas that it will risk their primary mission, which is tracking the bioweapon. Jack is becoming more human every hour. But maybe it's like Dr. House when he's on methadone - his compassion clouds his judgement.

-Jack was able to commandeer another vehicle tonight - a semi. Of course he knows how to drive it.

-Ethan to Olivia: "Running the country is not like running a campaign." If this episode hadn't been written a long time ago, I'd think that was a subtle dig at Obama. In any event, it's advice he should consider.

-Isn't it obvious that to people in the White House that Olivia is the press leaker? I mean, who else could it be that knows all this information? Maybe they'll figure it out next week.

-I thought Ethan and the President might make out when he was resigning, but then I figured the producers would not subject the viewing audience to that spectacle.


Suspicious Character

I was able to survey another weather station during my recent travels. Here it is, from Pascagoula, MS:

The temperature recording device is on the post in the middle, amidst all the heat-absorbing and reflecting material.

Many of the stations I survey are at private residences or at government facilities (like this one, at a water treatment plant). When I arrive at some of these locations and announce that I am here to see the weather station, some people are suspicious of me. They wonder who I am, why I'm there, and how I found them. The proprietor of the above station was probably the most suspicious person I've encountered so far. That's probably not too surprising, though, considering that this plant is behind a remote-controlled gate with an intercom, like you might see in a fancy residential neighborhood.

How I find these stations is a simple matter, because NOAA maintains a database that is posted on the internet with this information. These stations are public record, so I don't have to do any real sleuthing of any kind to find them. There's even a handy Google Earth layer.

Why I'm there is a more difficult question. I usually say "I'm participating in a project to survey these stations to check for proper siting" or something like that." I typically omit the part about this being an internet-based project, because people generally seem to think that things internet-based are sketchy (like dating). I will often mention that a meteorologist runs the project, to give it a scientific imprimatur. The fact that National Weather Service people, who maintain and check these sites, rarely express concern about poorly-located stations does not help reduce the questionableness of my endeavors.

I explained all of the above to the water plant employee in Pascagoula, in response to his numerous questions. He was satisfied enough to let me take my pictures, but he watched me all the while I was there. His co-worker didn't seem too concerned, however. After a few minutes of surveying, I left, happy to have gotten my pictures and escaped the suspicious treatment from the plant employee.


Foreign Affairs Friday: Democracy

In most (but not all) of the world, democracy is seen as the most legitimate system of government. This is the case to such an extent that dictators often cloak themselves in faux democracy in an attempt to gain legitimacy. A historic example is when East Germany was called the German Democratic Republic. If a country has "Democratic" or "Republic" in it's name, you can rest assured that it is neither democratic nor a republic.

Dictators will often attempt to cement their rule through democracy. This is what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela. He recently got the constitution amended to eliminate presidential term limits, after failing the first time around. Now he just has to keep winning (or rigging) elections to stay in power as long as he wants. (Side note: Here's a great story about a pro-Chavez baseball player getting viciously booed.)

Ilham Aliyev is doing the same thing in Azerbaijan. He already has the vote-rigging thing down, so he doesn't have to worry about the outcome of the referendum. But he still feels the need to go through the democratic motions. Heck, even North Korea has elections.

Implementing democracy is hard work, and is susceptible to many challenges. But as time marches forward, hopefully the international community will demand more than democratic charades, and the norm of democracy will become more widespread and inexorable.


The Culprit

It's a burn. Do those little lines look anything like the lines on this hairdryer? They should. I would try to explain how I burned my calf with the tip of a hair dryer but I'm still not quite sure how I did it. There was some sitting on the bed drying my hair, then some crawling across the bed to grab my cell phone and somehow between the two, it happened. What can I say, I am just that clumsy.

Any guesses...

...as to what this injury is and how I got it?

Does That Really Happen?

We are hearing today that AIG employees are supposedly getting death threats amid all the public outrage over bonuses:
The controversy engulfing bailed-out American International Group threatened to turn nasty amid reports of death threats against AIG workers, as US networks and newspapers were inundated with expressions of rage from the public.
We also learned a month ago that Octomom's PR firm dropped her because they were getting death threats. My question is, does this really happen? Are there a large number of people out there that decide to anonymously call people and threaten to kill them? I've never done it. Have you? I would think this would be even more rare in this era of Caller ID. I would guess a lot of people don't know about *67, especially people who might make death threats. The AIG article above said people were e-mailed death threats, which would be even harder to do anonymously, as far as I know.

It's possible that one or two death threats is enough to make news, and I'd guess that some people falsely claim they have been threatened in an effort to look courageous. I'm just kind of skeptical when I hear these reports.


24, Season 7: 9-10 PM

Jack is now in the familiar situation of trying to catch the bad guys while evading capture by the feds. He was also being pursued by the evil assassin, and they had a great fight, highlighted by Jack flipping over the trailer the bad guy was in with a bulldozer. That didn't give Jack much of an edge, but it was impressive.

The dad from That 70's Show has played the part of the annoying senator this season. Just as he was about to team up with Jack and be a pseudo-protagonist, he died.

Chloe's husband, also a computer whiz, was convinced by the feds to help find Jack in exchange for any obstruction charges against Chloe being dropped. However, he only got an oral agreement. I wouldn't accept that at all. And he said to Janice, "You're a witness!" I'm sure she wouldn't lie about that when the time comes. Got to get it in writing.

Jack has been in a game of Grand Theft Auto this season, with his frequent car theft. He has to have commandeered at least 5 vehicles already. Let's see if I can list them:
  • Bulldozer.
  • White van (which he started by sticking his knife in the ignition).
  • Classic car with Macbook on seat.
  • Cadillac, after killing the guy whose family was being held hostage by Walker.
  • That car he drove off the second floor of the parking ramp early in the season.
Am I missing any?

Teachers: How to Help Your Substitute

Programming note: Due to our internet outage, I was unable to post my popular Foreign Affairs Friday post last week. That feature will resume this week. I also never got around to a 24 post last week. That feature will return tonight.

I thought I would put together a list of tips for teachers, based on my long-time experience as a substitute teacher, on how to make things easier for your sub. Here we go:
  • Use a seating chart, and share it with your sub. This keeps the ruffians apart, but they will switch seats if they think the sub doesn't have the chart.
  • Distribute a limited number of bathroom passes per grading period. Let the sub know you do this. This prevents kids from excessively asking to leave the room. If they have only one pass left, that "emergency" bathroom trip all of a sudden isn't quite so urgent.
  • Leave a lot of work to do. A busy kid is one that has less time to get in trouble. Make sure they know the work is graded, too (even if it isn't).
  • Tell the kids there will be a big punishment if the sub reports a student to you for bad behavior. Back it up.
  • Make classroom rules clear. For example, can kids use iPods (I don't think they should, but some teachers do)? Can they work together? "The teacher lets us do it" doesn't work if you tell the sub you don't.
  • Have another teacher check in once in awhile.
  • Leave the name of a mean, disliked teacher that the sub can threaten the kids to go talk to. (I found out the name of one such teacher once, and it was a great threat.)

Another verse

As of last night, our internet was still not back although this time when Craig called he talked to a real person who said today was the day. We shall see. But it doesn't matter since I'm back at work, where I can use the internet all I want, except that I am supposed to actually work when I am here so you get what I can come up with during lunch...so excuse the lack of editing.

I feel like after such a long break I should have lots to say, but I don't. I will just put up my new verse and talk about it. I picked this verse yesterday after a really really bad day. Well, I actually didn't pick it, it fell on me. I was getting ready to take a bath in the middle of the afternoon (see what kind of bad day it was, I needed a hot calming bath at 2 in the afternoon!) and I knocked my little deck of bible verse cards over. They are an old pack from my freshman year when my bathroom was bright pink - I remember this because the cards are bright pink and don't match our new bathroom stuff at all, but I keep them around next to my makeup stuff. They are all pretty familiar, but I don't have them memorized. Anyway, when I picked up the deck, I saw this verse.

My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

It really fit perfectly with what I am going through. The yucky stuff that caused my day to be bad was well, yucky, but the worst part was I hated my attitude. The last few verses I have memorized are all about trusting God's timing, not worrying about things, etc and I love having them in my head so I can know those truths. But it doesn't always feel like I believe them or why would I get so upset when things don't work out my way? I was so mad at myself for being mad at my circumstances. I wanted to be able to rejoice in all things but I didn't get what I wanted and I didn't feel like rejoicing.

After reading that verse, I felt a lot better. Maybe at this point in time, it's enough that I want to be rejoicing even if I just can't seem to make myself.

I kept flipping and the next few verses were all really applicable to my situation too, and I was feeling much better, it seemed like God was speaking just to me. Then I hit Matthew 10:42. That is also a good verse, but not really related to my problem at all. But it made me laugh and at that point, I needed that.

Oh, I forgot to mention this Saturday, but thanks to everyone who participated in the "Inquiring Minds what to know" questionnaire. I for one feel much better about my cleaning habits. It seems like everyone has somethings they kinda let slide and others that they are particular about since nobody I know has ever died from lack of a clean fridge, I guess it is all good.


Lament on lack of internet

It is Saturday morning and I'm sitting in Craig's office's copy room. Yes, that is an odd place to be especially when we had 48 hrs ago we had too many plans for the weekend. We were going to go to my brothers, but he had forgotten about a wedding and so that fell through. We were okay with that because that meant we could now get together with the rest of our home group to do some work on a local boys home we have connections too. But then it rained and rained and rained and they decided digging ditches in the mud would not be practical so that fell through. Which was okay, because we still had lots of errands to run in anticipation of spring break week (well, Craig gets a whole week, I get two days). Craig was supposed to finish some stuff up on the computer Friday night and Saturday was going to be our errand day.

But Friday we had no internet. And today we have no internet. The pre-recorded message on the company's answering machine says it will be back by tonight at 7 but I am not holding my breath. So I am sitting in Craig's office's copy room while he finished up his stuff. Luckily, they have a random computer here so I am able to lament my life without internet...on the internet. I'm hoping it won't be too long before Craig is done and our errand running begins.

Since I only get next Thursday and Friday off, I have convinced Craig that he should spend part of his time off doing a project for me. Just one little thing on his "honey do" list - updating our nightstands. Yes, technically I could break that down into a number of items including filling the holes with wood putting, sanding, priming, painting and installing new hardware but it seems so much simpler when I leave it as update the nightstands. As soon as he is done where we will be off to home depot to buy supplies.

We also have to get ready for the fun part of spring break. We are going to visit Amanda and her husband, Brandon. I haven't seen them since their wedding over a year ago so I am super excited about the trip! It also doesn't hurt that they live in Florida, although right now the weather report doesn't look too great for next weekend. It doesn't matter too much as our plans are loose. We are normally mega trip planners, but we have been remarkable laid back about this one. Because she knows us so well, Amanda emailed a list of fun free things to do in town we will probably try to do a couple of those, hang out with them, hang out one the beach (perhaps hang out with them on the beach). The only thing we have really "planned" at all is one night camping on the beach. And by planned, we have reserved a camp site. That's it. It is so freeing.

Okay, I'm off to research what type of sand paper is best for our needs. Don't know when I will be back online, but I'm crossing my fingers it will be soon.


Inquiring minds want to know!

I finished my spring winter cleaning last weekend just in time for the bluebonnets to pop out and official announce springtime. But all this cleaning has got me thinking about how frequently I perform certain cleaning related duties. I often get idea of how I should be from the powers that be (i.e. magazine, tv and books) but I rarely do things that often and I am not sure if it is purely because they are ridiculous or because I am being lazy.

Sometimes I know it's ridiculous, like when Oprah says "she" changes her sheets daily (I and am assuming she means "she" loosely) because she loves that crisp feeling of new sheets. Clearly, that is excessive. But when I read in a magazine (Real Simple?) that you can save money by washing your towels after every other use instead of just every use, I gasped. Do people really wash their towels after only one use? If I did that, I would be spending my life washing towels. Are Craig and I living in a disgusting house but just don't know it?

So, with that in mind, how often do you:

1) Wash your sheets?

2) Wash your bathroom towels?

3) Replace your kitchen sponge?

4) Wash your kitchen towels/rags?

5) Replace your toothbrush?

6) Dust?

7) Thoroughly clean the fridge?

Answer as many or as few as you want. To encourage discussion, I will put my answers in the comments as well. And as long as you don't judge me, I won't judge you.