Christmas wish list

I was looking over one of these wish lists on a site and found the blogger had items from $15, reasonable, to $1650, a bit pricey for the average Christmas shopper. Since I decided that meant I could put anything I wanted on a list, regardless of how likely I was to get it:


CCL–$200 or so

Duncan Phyfe dining room set- $1500

Duncan Phyfe dresser set- $800

32 dessert plates to Vista at Target- $104

2 bread plates, Vista at Target- $26

a new purse, black, small- $10-20 at Walmart or Target

10 pounds lost

new bedspread- $250

Queen sleighbed with leather padding- $600

frame for picture- $250

Wow. I don’t have much that’s not expensive. I guess if it weren’t I’d buy it for myself.

baby talks book at the Bookmarket- $6 (Mary Cassatt pictures with rudimentary “baby” things like “baby drinks” “baby eats”)

thick socks

new undies, comfortable

new bras, comfortable

These are not in any particular order and haven’t been well thought through.

Life details

First, we’ve decided to have a party. Since we haven’t had one in three years that is a big deal. It’s going to be a costume party. My husband wants it to be themed, but I think it’s already “themed” by being a costume party. We figure we’ll invite everyone we know and their spouses, for a total of about 76 people, and hope that more than a quarter show up.

Second, we’ve finally decided what to do about moving the rooms in the house. We have a room over the garage which is presently called “the office.” It’s the main reason we bought this house. At the time we purchased the home, my husband was working out of the house as a consultant. He needed an office away from us. It worked great for that. However, now it is mostly used for junk storage, although he does use it on the weekends sometimes to work.

I wanted to turn it into a teen room. Our boys aren’t quite there yet, but they will be soon. I figured that if we moved the foozball table over there and got a couch and the computers set up over there… Well, I thought it would be cool. After going back and forth with the idea, though, we decided we weren’t quite ready to let our kids migrate out of the house that much. So the computers are staying in the computer room. We are moving a couch over and a table and the foozball table. We are taking out the table that is there and bringing it into the house to replace our dining room table which is fragile. I’ll put the leaves down on it and put it somewhere. I have some ideas, but I’m not totally sure about it yet.

The teen room is going to happen on Friday, I hope. My dad and brother are supposed to be coming over to help me move furniture. I figure with them and my husband, who is off Friday after all, we can get the moving done quickly.

While I was contemplating all the movement I thought, what can I do to make my living room more functional? Right now it is primarily used as the laundry room. That is, I take the clothes out of the dryer and dump them on the living room couch to fold them and then I make piles of clothes on the coffee table. Even after most of the clothes are put away the unmatched socks tend to stay on the couch for days.

Looking for more functionality, I decided I could make the living room my office. I have a beautiful Duncan Fife desk which I love and it’s been well preserved. I pulled it out of our bedroom and put it up against the wall with the stereo. It’s sitting a bit off center of the beautiful blue pear oil painting my husband bought me for Christmas two years ago. I have a chunky cobalt and turquoise glass vase sitting under it. My black Powerbook sits in the middle. It looks elegant, even in the living room. Having it there does encourage me to get my grading done so that I can put my books away.

I’m going to take one of the couches from the living room out and put it upstairs in the new teen room. It will make a lot more space available in the living room. Not that we need space, but the two regular size couches are hard to configure even in a reasonably large room.

I am considering pulling the bookshelf out of the entry way and putting it next to the desk. It would give me somewhere to put my school books and would open th entryway back up. It doesn’t really need opening up, but I would like somewhere to put my school books. I think a tall shelf would look better than a short one.

Another life detial involves our bedroom. Our bedroom is much emptier now that it does not have a desk in it. R wanted a dresser in our room. I’ve seen some beautiful ones, most of which were out of my budget. I did find one that I can afford, but it’s almost my whole allowance for two months and I don’t really think he wants a dresser that much. In fact, I’m sure he doesn’t.

One of the things that was hard about looking for a dresser was I found some beautiful furniture I really liked but can’t afford. There was a solid rosewood sideboard in a Queen Anne style. It was only $600. But I can’t afford that. Plus, where would I put another sideboard? I already have one in the entryway. Then there was a leather padded sleigh bed. With delivery and taxes it was $600. That’s a great price, but I don’t have that much money in my budget. So no go on that one either. Today I stopped at a place and found a gorgeous dresser set, Duncan Fife, which matches my desk. But it is $800. Don’t have that much for sure. And of course there was a great condition absolutely beautiful Duncan Fife dining room set for $1500. Now I already have one of these, but if I could afford it, I would have bought this one. The table is in good shape and with my blue glass collection I would love to have another china cabinet I need to fill up. Plus, the sideboard for this set was massive enough that it would work as a dresser. And, though two of my chairs are nice, the rest are replacements and not as beautiful as the ones in this set. My aunt and uncle have requested my chairs if I ever get rid of them and that would be so fun, to let them go to someone else in my family… But it’s not going to happen.

Our bedroom has a huge comfy queen size bed in it that my folks bought us as a very early Christmas present. We had been sleeping in a full. The cover on the bed is a beautiful black with a gold/tan traditional print. It was my sister’s and when she redid one of her rooms, she gave it to me. It is very nice and was very expensive. However, it is not to my taste. I would really like to have a bedspread that is more my style. So far, however, the colors I’m looking for aren’t coming in anything that would work. We have a beautiful blue-green carpet in our room. My cedar chest has a green cushion on it. The walls are cream/beige/vanilla. We have two beautiful paintings with accent colors of orange and blue. The drapes, very simple panels, are rust. They match the background of the paintings, but… Basically nothing goes with anything in there. I would really like to have it all go together. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen for a while.

Another life detail involves the kitchen. For the last twelve years we’ve been using black plates. I like black, wear it all the time, but on my dark table, you can’t even see the plates. I was tired of them and I wanted something with more color. I finally found some plates I like. I bought a set of eight. But I haven’t bought the dessert plates or the bowls or the serving pieces. I’m thinking I really need a set of sixteen. If something gets broken, I still want to have a good set. Plus, I would love to be able to use the dessert plates for the party we’re planning. But that’d be a bunch of my allowance and I’m afraid to spend it for fear I won’t have enough for something we need.

How’s that for crazy? If we need it, we’ll get it. We won’t need my spending money for it, will we? But I have often (not always) put my birthday money into the family kitty without getting something special for me. I don’t want to do that anymore. I guess I should just get what I want and let the whole thing work out.

I want to go shopping right now and at 6 am. There’s a sale at Foley’s… Maybe I should go.

Blogging Ideas

My hubby didn’t like the title on my last blog entry. He said it wasn’t what the article was about. Well, really, the article was about what I am doing in my life this weekend. I called it work because it is things I need to do, should do, will do, have to do. While I called it work, it doesn’t mean the things are drudgery or uninteresting. Usually I enjoy work. At least I like the teaching part; sometimes the grading part bites.

I was reading an article on Curmudgeonly Clerk about blogs. Supposedly out of 4 million blogs created 66% were not updated for over two months. So a lot of people thought, “Cool, blog.” and then decided that life didn’t leave them time for blogging. What an amazing idea.

I have found that I blog when I have something that’s wracking my brain and I want to talk about it and that I blog when I just want to talk. Sometimes I don’t know what I want to say, I just want to say something. I always hope, of course, that someone is listening. I know my husband reads them.

I had a lot more readers when I was on blog-city, but they weren’t regulars. They just came and went. I never got a community feel going. I prefer that. I like Dizzy Girl’s blog because she does have a community. They may all be bloggers and live in different parts of the world but they know and support each other.

Does it matter if no one reads my blog? It depends on why I blog. I enjoy comments- except really obnoxious ones– but that’s not why I blog. I blog to express myself. I do feel that by having a blog I am somewhat responsible to actually update and blog. If I’m not going to do it, I’ll take it down. I also like to talk to people. This is an anonymous venue which allows me to say things like “I enjoy watching porn” without having the people I know on a day-to-day basis start either avoiding me or praying for me about my addiction. (I’m not addicted. I just don’t mind a good movie once a month or so.)

Weekend Work

We are getting involved in a small group Bible study. It’s at B and R’s house. They have three little kids, K, 3, and 7 months. R really wanted to get to know them. We invited them over, but they couldn’t come. However, they invited us back two nights later, so we have actually been to their house. She came over with the baby on Thursday for two hours for lunch. That was fun. She is a very down-to-earth kind of person. She’s very sweet too. –They looked at this house to buy when they moved back here! So she’d actually been in the house before.

This Bible study has two of the couples from our Monday night study in it and R’s best friend’s family are in it as well. I’m not sure that is a great idea for us, except that we are coming into it after they’ve been going for a few months, so at least we won’t be brand new to everyone.

Our Monday night group has gone to a marriage seminar video series for five weeks at the church. We skipped the first. I begged to go to the second one. Yuck. It was such a sleeper. I don’t think we will be back, but we went our token time. One of the couples in our Monday night group is on the edge of a divorce. She’s a Christian, but wasn’t following Christ when she dated and married her husband. He’s not a believer and doesn’t really see any reason to be. They are having a lot of problems, obviously. As far as I can see, he isn’t the one wanting out, she is. The only way they would go is if our whole study went, so we did. I hope it helps them. They’re both nice folks, just not getting their expectations met.

Next semester I will be teaching on Monday night, so we probably won’t get to go to the study. I am sorry for that, but I am glad to calm my schedule down a bit. I’ll have two once a week college classes instead of one once a week and one twice a week. It should keep the classes much closer together in work output. Six or seven of my TTH students are planning to sign up for my Monday afternoon class. I am excited that they liked the class that much. It is not because we haven’t worked. We have. They’ve written four regular papers, two persuasive research papers, with drafts, and will have three more papers by the end of the semester.

Grading got so overwhelming that I quit doing it. However on Wednesday I finally realized that wasn’t going to work, so I made a schedule. Grade English 2 and 3’s papers on Thursday. Grade Saturday’s papers on Friday. Grade TTH’s papers on Saturday. Then start on Saturday’s papers on Sunday. I’ve done all of that up to Saturday’s papers tomorrow. I’m not sure I will manage that because I have to help E with an essay for English and M has a history test to study for and take. We didn’t study Thursday because I was feeling sick. We didn’t study today because I took a three hour nap. So we only got one good day of studying in. Hopefully we will have about an hour to study tomorrow and then an hour and a half for him to take the test.

E went to his first lock-in. I thought we should all take him up to the church to catch the bus. (The lock-in was at Lazerrage.) R was actually kind of freaked out about him being old enough to go to a lock-in. As I wasn’t freaked, I thought that was funny. Our kids are definitely getting older.


My friend died today. She’s been sleeping for over two weeks without waking up. I’ve prayed for her not to be in pain. She wasn’t. Now she’s gone. I know that she is in a better place. I prayed that God would take her home. But I miss her.

When I was 16 I talked to Bee about going to college. I explained why I wanted to go, why my school counselors thought it was a good idea. When I approached my folks about it, they said, “If the elders think you should go.” Boy were my folks surprised when they supported my idea!

When I was 18 my father decided he was tired of being married to my mother. The stress of their marriage was stronger than the benefits. I called Bee. I told her what my dad said. She and Joe (her husband) bought plane tickets to my folks’ town and called and said, “Hey, we’re going to be in … Can we come visit you?” My father, who never said anything he didn’t do (before his stroke), changed his mind. My folks have been married 42 years now. And the last half has been much happier than the first.

When I decided to do a two year missionary stint overseas, Joe and the other elder from our church supported me. Even though I had been off at college for four years, the congregation of less than 70 people provided half my support. Thank you.

I wanted Joe to perform the wedding ceremony for my husband and I, but my husband wanted his grandfather to marry us. I figured blood trumped friends. But if it hadn’t been his grandfather…

When my family was going through turmoil, we always knew Bee and Joe were just a phone call away. Mom and Dad went and visited often, once they moved back to Texas. I didn’t go so much.

Then we got a call that Bee had brain cancer. Mom had just had surgery and was not allowed to travel. The doctors said it would probably kill her. So I went. For four weeks I drove once a week the four hours to San Antonio and stayed overnight and spent a full day with Bee. Bee could not speak much. She did say, once, “I didn’t know your family… cared that much.”

How could we not? You were there through marriages, divorces, moves, growing up, growing pains, having kids, mission work, dating… You were the friend of my whole family. The only friends we’ve managed to keep that long with all our moving around. It’s been 26 years since we met you. 26 more wouldn’t have been too long to know you.

We’ll miss you.

MLA Works Cited: Students get creative

My high school students had to write a short (5 paragraph) paper and include three citations. I have been surfing the net all morning looking for the correct citations for the things they put in their papers. I’m sick of the whole thing.

First, the papers are poorly written. There was a specific style request made and they didn’t meet it in their papers. They had to have a certain number of dress-ups, sentence openers, decorations, and triple extensions a la IEW. I am not seeing those.

Second, they had to have three body paragraphs with examples and information in it. The information they got. They left out the examples.

Third, the Works Cited page is as inaccurate as you can get. They didn’t even search the site they were on for the citation information. Several of them gave it.

I have 15 of these to grade. It’s taken me an hour to do two. They’re so bad I don’t want to grade them. But I have to.

Normally I give two grades; one is on content and the other on mechanics. This time I gave them a grade for turning it in. 15 100’s and 1 0. Then I averaged their content and mechanics grade and only gave them one.

So far the grades are 100, 58, and 100, 65. That’s a C and a B- average.

They are awful though, so I guess that’s a reasonably good grade considering.

I guess I should get back to work.

Slow and Leisurely Sunday

Since Friday was a day off without the kids, I felt like it was a Saturday. R was home with me and we had a lot of fun, going out, eating, shopping, watching movies. So today feels like an extra day on the weekend and I didn’t quite know what to do with it.

I have, however, gotten three lectures for class done. Totally plagiarized. Well, the info isn’t mine at all. It’s all quoted. But I wouldn’t let my students turn in a paper like that. Of course, it’s not a paper and I do say who the info is from, but…

I’ve answered three students’ questions and called two students to remind them of the work they need to turn in.

I’ve reviewed my syllabus to the end of the semester and made some changes. I’ve also written out a vocab list for Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome which my 10/11 graders are reading over the Christmas break.

I’ve also gone to church, eaten dinner on the grounds, and come home.

I am sure I have more things I need to do. Print M’s homework out. Print my class notes for this week. Print out my lectures.

But I’m mostly done.

I was bored and wanted to get out and so did R, but then he decided to watch a show. So now it’s back to work for me.

Psalm by my son

Psalm 311,764

Lord, protect me from those who would hurt me,

The lies of con-ers, the tricks of thieves.

Protect me from the wicked, the evil, the hideous,

Those who would do things, make them leave.

Push them back away from me.

Stop those, the wicked, the sinners, from hurting.

Let them not cause pain, unhappiness.

For you are real, mighty, unstoppable, infinite.

You can stop the sadists, the madmen.



I realize it is only November 8 (Happy Bday J!). But my family usually has Christmas at Tday and at Christmas. We have it with one family on one holiday and one on another. We switch families every year.

So I have less than three weeks to finish half my Christmas shopping. But I know that my sister and brother don’t have much money, so we may not be doing anything this year, except for the kids. But my kids will still be giving presents. So I’ve got to find out what we are doing and determine what we need to get.

I bought a box of Golfer fortune cookies for the boys to give my brother-in-law. (The boys will pay me back.) My bro-in-law has so much money he’s buying a Bentley, so it’s not like we could afford to buy him anything he’d really want.

For my sister the boys were going to give her books since she is still trying to fill up her library and I was going to give her make-up stuff that she normally buys from me.

My mom got a silverplated nativity set from me which I think is very nicely done. The boys were planning on giving her a Christmas card tree.

For my dad I have a book I think he would like to read. If we don’t give everyone presents, I’ll let the boys pay me back for that and they can give it to dad.

I’m thinking they’ll get my sister J, who turned 37 today, a Chili’s gift certificate card. She likes to eat out and they have a Chili’s about half an hour from where she lives.

Of course they’ll give my brother a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. That’s what everyone gives my brother since it’s the only thing you can be sure he’ll want. Okay, J gives him sweaters, but J has the eye. She can pick out absolutely gorgeous sweaters for you.

Anyway, I wish I knew what we were doing for sure, because then I would know if I need to go into overdrive looking for presents. But my folks are out of town visiting my aunt and uncle and I don’t want to intrude on their time together. So I’ll wait until Monday to call them.

I don’t have any ideas what to tell people the boys want because really they have more money than they need. Although they’ve been saving it a lot recently for Christmas presents. Between the two of them they have $150 in the bank for Christmas presents for family, including each other. Since that’s normally our budget for one family, they’re doing pretty well.

I bought them both a Christmas ornament. I buy them one a year.

I also bought M a book, The Reluctant Dragon. He likes fantasy stories and this is by Kenneth Grahame who wrote The Wind in the Willows. I am hoping that he will like it.

I just don’t know what to get the boys other than that. I’ve asked them for a Christmas wish list, but so far there’s nothing on it.

I’ll have to get them motivated.

Setting Up

I didn’t think this would be so long and difficult a move. After all, I didn’t have to do anything except say “yes” and “no” and give my hubby ideas on how to set up my site the way I wanted it.

It’s been hard. And long. And I’m not done, but I am up and running now.

The question I have is, since I am no longer in a community of readers, will I have any readers? Besides my husband. These days I’ve been too busy to do much with the site. I need to get the word out that I moved.


I have gained 11 pounds in the last eight months. Before that I was on Body for Life consistently.

Today I am hungry, but nothing sounds good. I don’t want to eat if I am really not hungry, so I am skipping lunch. I know that’s not a good idea because I may get ravenous later. However for right now that’s the best I can do.

Food doesn’t taste good these days and I am not sure why not.

New blog site

I’ve left Blog City because it was too slow and too often down. I will miss the community that didn’t quite develop there, but started to form.

I wonder how many people will read my new blog now that I am not on the old site.

I don’t know how you get a blog “out there” and read. But I know my husband does know, so I’ll have to go to the expert.

It was a challenge picking a domain name that wasn’t taken, that didn’t have th wrong connotations, that was easy to spell. I thought about ruminate, but… My husband couldn’t spell it.

Myhouse wasn’t available. I didn’t go look, but it is probably a real estate site.

I went through quite a few. I liked blogdancer, but decided that people would expect it to be a dancer’s site and while I enjoy seeing dancers, I’m not one.

Then I found a lot of weblog and blog followed by words, but R thought that they were too “site-centric.” They sounded like blog hosting services.

Whenthespiritmoves was still available, but R said it would sound religious. Probably only to religious people, but…

Anyway, here I am, at myownthoughts.


A creature stood about that hill,

some may say it did quite nill.

It sat, a sleepy look in its eyes,

half-asleep like its silent eyes.

It stood, looking about the place,

Maybe thinking about some great face.

A matchlike face, scaled and weary,

almost, barely something eerie.

It’s catlike eyes barely blinking,

maybe lost in some great thinking.

It had no ears; its nose was slits;

its claws refined into small bits.

Maybe it was ever ready

for some odd thing weighing heavy.

Upon that great rock sat a lizard,

looking down towards its gizard.

At whirling smoke flying up,

shooting toward an unseen cup.

Two wings, just like a bat,

its pulled-in claws just like a cat,

there sat a dragon, standing pat.

My 12 year old son wrote this. I think it is very good. He wrote it in about twenty minutes. I know he needs some synonyms for “great” but I think it’s a good poem.

Trunk or Treat

My mom's church has their church parking lot full of cars decorated for Halloween. Then the kids come in costumes and get candy from the different people hanging out at their cars. My mom, who loves to eat candy, has decided it's not good to hand out candy. So last year and this year we did a fishing booth. The prizes were things from the dollar store.

We had baby toys, like rattles and teething rings. We had toddler toys like play microphones and playdough. We had young elementary school toys, like feather boas and army men. We had older elementary school toys, like perfume and magic cards.

My mom's church is huge, but not all the folks have kids in that age range. And not all those that do, show up.

But tonight I was the “fish” for 100 toys given away to kids in the crowd. Someone asked, when I wasn't the fish, whether the church sponsored this give away. I said, no. It's my mom.

I go buy all the toys, she gives me the money back, and we all go out and help her do it. My youngest was much better at the work than my oldest.

We had fun. And except for one kid, who lied several times with a straight face, it was great fun.