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Showing posts from 2007

Christmas Craziness

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Christmas 2007 is over. Whew! It was a rush of cleaning, cooking, visiting, wrapping, and very little sleeping. It's always a lot of fun, and I'm always glad when it's over! I feel utterly exhausted now, and ready for a long winter's nap.

The Hubster and I spent Christmas Eve Day cleaning the house, baking a cake and putting together enchiladas for Christmas Eve dinner. The Hubster's family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve with a Mexican feast. A little unorthodox, but if you knew his family...not really! They are all great people, very relaxed and welcoming. We always have a great time there.

Sarah, Rachel and Drew came down in the afternoon and spent the night at home. Rachel helped me put the tree up, because I hadn't gotten around to it yet, and because I'm a grinch! (It came down this morning, first thing!) It was kind of a big slumber party. I bought an Aero Bed. Those things are just like a big trampoline!

We were all up by 7:30 on Christmas morn…

Carol of the Bells

Oh, I am in the spirit now! Look out, world! I just got back from the high school vocal music Christmas concert, and I am feeling Christmas-y. It takes me a while to warm up, but I get there. Listening to Christmas music always helps. That, and loads of egg nog!

Last night at church was the kids' Christmas program. It was small this year, just four kids. Our Sunday School department is going through a "rebuilding year." It was a really special night, though, and the kids did a great job. I want to mention them all by name: Jessica Coldwell, Conner Coldwell, Alexis Coldwell and Brittany Guevera. They read scripture, played the piano and sang carols. The Ark Highs even came and sang several songs for us. It was really good, and made me start thinking about that Babe, born in a stable 2,000 years ago.

Now, I just have to get all those presents wrapped! By the way, I have sent out 52 Christmas cards so far this year. Let me know if you didn't get one. I keep going back to …

The Great Ice Storm of '07

It started last Friday. A cold, heavy mist that turned to sleet after sunset. By Saturday morning, a transformer blew and part of our city was without power. It returned after a few hours, but The Hubster and I spent the remainder of the weekend vegging out on the couch. Ice is piled up like snow outside, and it looks like the worst of it is yet to come!

Our pastor cancelled church on Sunday, due to all the ice. We have some elderly members and he didn't want them taking any chances. It sure was strange not to have worship services, though. We spent the day watching old Christmas movies and baking bread and cake. How nice to have a few days to ourselves, just relaxing.

I used the quiet weekend to start working on my Christmas cards. The gifts are all tucked away, I just need to wrap them. If you know me, you know that will be the really tough part. I'm wrapping-impaired. I have a lot of artsy people in my ancestry, but that gene certainly skipped me!

It was too icy to go to the …

Noisy Ned

He's back! When I went into FitZone this morning...there he was. Puffing and groaning on the treadmill. Oh, yeah, and coughing without covering his mouth! Did I mention I'm a bit of a germaphobe? It's cold and flu season, people!

Noisy Ned then proceeded on to the free weights, his specialty. "Ned" is a twenty-something dude who likes to throw the weights around...literally! He grunts and groans over the hand weights and then throws them down with a crash to the floor. This goes on for approximately 30 minutes or so. It's great!

Sorry about that rant. I know it's not a library, but I still like to think and watch the news or Gilmore Girls when I work out. One of the main reasons I started exercising is because I needed a stress reliever. Working out is very relaxing for me. I take out a lot of frustration. Besides, it saves me hundreds in therapy bills!

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite Bible verse was. That was a toughie! It's like asking …

Cyber Monday

Today is Cyber Monday. For all of you who do not shop online, it is the day that shopping websites make more sales than any other day of the year. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when shoppers get up at the crack of dawn to buy out the big retailers. Cyber Monday is the online equivalent. I took full advantage of all my email coupons, and left a blazing trail across the World Wide Web!

Truly, I had done some of my Christmas shopping before today. I had found several things in September and October that caught my eye, so I purchased those early. Because we live in Siberia(!), and the fact that I run an office out of my home, online shopping is a good fit. I have purchased this way for about eight years. Amazon, J.C. Penney's and Old Navy have great websites and I do most of my shopping there. They have great return policies, fast delivery and are safe and secure.

Thanksgiving weekend came off great! We had lots of fun with the girls and Drew on Thursday. The Hubster has i…

Count Your Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! I hope you all have a really great weekend. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Great food, and no hubbub over gifts! The best part of the day has got to be the family getting together...stuffing our faces, watching movies and maybe the Macy's parade. I'm a sucker for those huge balloons.

Our daughters, Sarah and Rachel, and Rachel's boyfriend, Drew, will be coming down on Thursday to partake of the traditional bird dinner with all the goodies. Rachel will be making her famous cranberry salad. She makes it every year, and it's delicious! Let me know if you want the recipe. The menu includes three appetizers, turkey with six side dishes and a choice of chocolate torte or pumpkin cake.

The Hubster and I always divvy up the cooking duties. He's the executive chef in the house and I'm the sous chef. I do appetizers, a couple of sides and the chocolate torte. The Hubster was trained as a cook in the Navy, and he comes from a…

For All We Call Mizzou

I took a trip last week. It was kind of like falling through the rabbit hole, like Alice in Wonderland. I landed in a place I had never been before, and saw things that were wondrous. The University of Missouri at Columbia is truly a wondrous and beautiful place. My experience there may change the rest of my life.

When my dear father died two and a half years ago, we searched for a way to honor his memory. My sister, Laurie, remembered how much Dad loved his years at MU and the education that helped him become a successful engineer. She and Mom researched the possibility of a memorial there. The endowment team at the University were top-notch, and in no time at all, the Kirk R. Monson Memorial Engineering Scholarship was a reality!

On Thursday night, my mom, sister Donna, and I attended the Engineering Department Scholarship Banquet, and got to meet our first recipient, Spencer. He's a terrific guy! Really smart, funny and engaging young man with a love of physics and old motorcycle…

Candy Lady

I have a lot of fun teaching the Middle School Sunday School class at my church. I've been doing it for several years, and it's a big challenge, but very rewarding. Studying for class has helped me to learn even more about the Bible than before. The kids are insightful, active, and at times, aggravating!

Bringing snacks and treats to share with the class was a natural, after all, they're teenagers. Eating is what they do! I usually try to take something healthy, but once in a while I take candy. Slippery slope! Once the other kids in the church found out I had candy in my bag, there was no stopping it. They were driving me crazy, so I told them if they behaved themselves during the worship service, they could all have a piece of candy.

I had no idea what a Candy Monster I had created! Now every kid in church lines up after services and pours over the bag for just the right piece. I even get requests for certain types of candy: lollipops, gum, white chocolate, etc. I have a l…

Apologies

The Hubster says I apologize too much. Maybe I do...but maybe if more people apologized more often, this world would be a nicer place to live.

I made my daughter mad this week. I didn't mean to, and I had the best of intentions, but it happened. Sometimes when you try to spare people's feelings, the end result is that you hurt them. And for that, I am deeply sorry. It is irrelevant that I don't feel like I did anything wrong, what is very relevant is that she is hurt.

How about you? Do you need to apologize to someone? What would it hurt if you just said "I'm so sorry?" It doesn't matter if they were wrong or you were wrong, what matters is that you can do something about it. Go ahead, give it a try!

Apologies are good for the soul, too. You feel so much cleaner and lighter when it's done. Like the moment you step out of a hot bath...renewed. I try to practice what I preach, too. I do apologize often. Maybe I just screw up more than everyone else! It sur…

T is for Texting

Rachel is trying to teach me how to text message on my cell phone. Umm...old dog, new trick...you know the drill! I'm slowly building up my speed, but my main problem is the English! I just can't bring myself to use all the abbreviations and initials for terms that are so familiar in texting. Thus, it takes me forever to write a complete sentence, with punctuation, and then send it.

Face it, I'm a Grammar Nerd! Yep, I grew up in that time when English skills were prized. I was also a voracious reader. The more you see words in print, the more familiar they are to you; almost like old friends.

I'm getting some practice in while watching Gilmore Girls. It's on at 10 a.m. on ABC Family. Rachel and I both watch it and then text the silliest lines from the show to make each other giggle. No, we're not goofy at all!

I am wearing a jacket AND a long-sleeved shirt while typing this. It sure feels like winter today. The change of seasons is taking longer than usual this …

Saving Memories

My mom gave me a great gift last week. A video set of my grandparent's memories is being passed around the family. My Uncle Don and his oldest son, Jeff, videotaped my maternal grandparents telling stories of their childhood.

I immediately forced The Hubster to burn copies of them to keep! This is a golden treasure...in their own words. What a treat to see my grandparents, sitting in their favorite living room chairs, laughing and talking about growing up in Missouri, and meeting each other in high school and falling in love...it's amazing!

It made me think how important it is to save the stories of our lives, so that we can pass down this heritage to our kids and grandkids. I really want to make this a priority.

My mom has already started a project similar to this. She is having all of our family photos, slides and reel-to-reel audio tapes transferred onto DVD's. Some of them are from the early 1950's! This type of photography and sound will be obsolete in a few years, a…

Bon Voyage to Grandma!

My mom is jetting her way to Europe today. She is taking a much-needed vacation. After all the hard work she did on Dad's auction for the last six months, she really needed it. She and her buddies will hit four countries in two weeks on a Danube River Cruise. I'm really excited for her, and more than a tad jealous!

I am working on a family cookbook this week. I got the idea from The Hubster's Aunt Squeeky, who just got done putting together a fabulous family cookbook. It was such a cool project, with not just recipes, but old photos and family stories, too. It's going to be a great treasure in the years to come. That has given me the impetus to move forward with our own book.

Looking through all my old recipes, cards, slips of paper and books, it's going to be a daunting task! Now that the girls are on their own, they call often with questions about how Dad seasons his roast chicken, or Grandma's famous cake recipe. I'm so grateful that they both enjoy cooki…

Marathon Weekend

Hey, we survived it! Yes, this last weekend was a doozy! My family hosted my dad's two-day estate auction in Wichita. Dad had a rather unusual hobby after retirement...he collected and traded antique spark plugs. He and Mom had so much fun, traveling all over the country, going to swap meets and auctions and meeting lots of cool people. Dad passed away two years ago from cancer, and after that his collection stayed in storage.

We all knew his collection was pretty big, but we had no idea just how large it was until McCurdy Auction Service researched it. Dad's was one of the largest spark plug collections in the nation, totalling over 80,000! And that doesn't include any of the memorabilia, accessories or manuals. It filled a gigantic warehouse and spilled out into the parking lot, as well.

My mom's a local celebrity now, too. Did you see the article about the auction in the Wichita Eagle local section on Friday, or watch the 10 p.m. news piece by Anita Cochran on KSN Th…

TiVo, Technology and Toe Touching

The new fall TV season is starting this week, and I've made a TiVo list for The Hubster to program. The Hubster has to do it, because I am technologically challenged, to say the least. It's interesting, I can use a computer all day every day, but I just can't quite get the hang of the stupid multimedia thingee...or the DVD player!

Carol's TV picks for fall:

Ugly Betty (Love, love, love it! Now The Hubster is hooked, too!)
CSI (Always great, always gory.)
House (Great actors, Dr. House is horribly compelling.)
The Unit (Kind of butch, but I just love the adventure all over the world.)
Criminal Minds (This team is scary-smart!)
Jericho (We got hooked on it last fall. Looking forward to mid-season start.)
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (A bit of a weepfest. I love that!)
Back to You (New show with Kelsey Grammer & Patty Heaton. It will be a hit.)
Life (Stars Maj. Winters from Band of Brothers. Anything he does, I want to see.)

Our old cell phones died a very sad death last week.…

Happy 50 to The Hubster!

Today is The Hubster's 50th birthday! I can't believe he's that old. He sure doesn't act like it! I don't mean he's immature, I mean he's active, healthy, and full of fun. He has three jobs (I feel like a slug!), and still has time to teach a Sunday School class at church and be a great husband and father.

The Hubster hates parties, so I planned two! The first was last Friday night. We took our daughters, Rachel's boyfriend, Drew, and my mom to dinner in Wichita. Bonefish Grill at The Waterfront is a really nice place. Fresh, grilled fish and seafood. Yum! It has a gluten-free menu, too, so it's safe for Sarah and The Hubster. They both suffer from Celiac disease.

Today, I invited The Hubster's family over to our house for birthday cake, ice cream and coffee. The Hubster's niece, Becca, is turning 18 today, too, so we will have a double celebration.

All this partying is hard on a girl's diet! I don't really follow a set diet, but I do …

Buttmaster 3000!

I did it! I'm not saying I have mastered it...but I have conquered the elliptical beast. Yes, and FitZone will probably NEVER be the same.

Monday through Wednesday, I put it off. The whole room was filled with body builders and hard-bodied women in spandex. Thursday, I was all alone. I timidly stepped on the Precor elliptical machine. For the uninitiated, an elliptical machine looks like a stair stepper, of sorts, with two foot pedals that you move in a walking motion, while supporting your upper body on armrests. At FitZone, the treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals have TV monitors with headphones to keep you entertained while they're torturing you...er, while you're exercising!

It took me a little while to get the rhythm right, but after a shaky start, I was off and running. For a full three minutes, I'll have you know! After getting home, I really started feeling it in my thighs and butt.

Today, after finishing three rounds of circuit training, I did 3 1/2 min…

Bits and Bobs

Oh, my! I watched too many BBC(British Broadcasting Company)shows this weekend with The Hubster, thus the title of this entry. Ah, the last gasp of summer...Labor Day Weekend. If you've lived in Kansas for more than a year, you know that summer is far from over. Nonetheless, we grill, we picnic, we boat like there's no tommorrow.

I worked my tail off this weekend, and not one moment of it was spent at the gym. On Friday, I worked 6-8 hours on business and then did laundry and ran errands. On Saturday, more errands, cooking and cleaning like a Mad Woman! Of course, The Hubster was right in there pitching with me. He's a wonderful help around the house. He cooks, he cleans, he's romantic...okay, I'm gloating! Sunday was church, followed by a big potluck dinner. We had lots of fun visiting with some old friends from KC who were down for the weekend. When we got home from church, we took a nap for an hour and then did more cooking. The girls and Drew came down on Monday…

Project Carol

Today, I thought I would fill you in about Project Carol, which I mentioned last week.

It began long, long ago in a galaxy far, far way...oh, yeah, that was Star Wars! Anyhoo, after Sarah graduated from high school, I realized that I had quite a bit of time on my hands. Sarah is my first daughter; she's 24 now. Beautiful, smart like her father, an artist's temperament. When she graduated, I decided to go back and finally finish college. Well, I sort of accomplished that. I did get my associate's degree in English in 2005. That was also the year that Rachel, my youngest daughter, graduated from high school. Rachel is 20 now, pretty, poised and people are drawn to her.(Also smart as a whip, sorry, Kib!)

We sent Rachel off to college that fall, and I basically cleaned myself into a frenzy. Oh, did I mention that when I'm upset, or nervous, or bored, or angry, or none of the above...I clean. Yes, I admit it. I have a monkey on my back, and he reeks of Clorox!!!

After my hou…

Progress!

Okay, I think I'm starting to make some progress with this exercise thing. I just got back from FitZone this morning, and I feel stronger, more powerful. Maybe it's just me!

I can now make it through three cycles of circuit training! Okay, the last time around I have to bargain with myself to make it to the next station...but I'm doing it! And I'm not one of those girls who barely break a sweat. I sweat like a pig! At least I know I'm doing something.

Today, this muscle-bound jughead stuck his head around the curtain.

What is this place?" he asked, grinning.

"Women only!" I puffed, in between reps.

"No kidding!" he marveled.

I wanted to say something snarky, but I was too exhausted to bother.

"Yup," I exhaled.

"Wow!" he answered. Some people are simply brilliant! I think the curtain was just too much for him. He's probably the type that peeks in his friend's cupboards, too.

Oh, yeah, I talked to Amy last week. She is …

My First Blog!

Hi, Everybody! Welcome to my new blog! It's called "Female in Motion" because that's the name of the place I work out every morning. FIM is located inside FitZone in my hometown. I am really excited about this new place, and the opportunity I have to get fit and meet a lot of nice folks!



First of all, I'm not a fitness fanatic! I'm a normal 45-year-old woman. I am a Female in Motion, as most of us are, because I do a lot of things every day. I am a wife, mom, and partner in a small business. I need a lot of energy to do all the things I have to do every day, and working out seems to help.



The machines at FIM are really great, and circuit training works really well for me. I work up a really good sweat and all my muscle groups are involved. Plus, it only takes 30 minutes! There is fun music playing, and a voice prompt reminds you to move to the next station every 30 seconds. Hey, I can stand anything for 30 seconds! Amy Turner is the manager of the FIM area, a…