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Showing posts from 2009

And May All Your Christmases...

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It happened. We had a white Christmas this year. In Kansas, that is more rare than one might think. I can remember only one or two in my lifetime and never six inches or more. The Blizzard of '09 caused a myriad of logistical problems for families across the state, but by Christmas Day it had all settled down and most people were celebrating safely with their family. Whew!

The left photo above depicts the side yard of our humble abode, covered in the nasty stuff. Our Christmas celebration at Grandma's house is the photo on the right. Clockwise from left are: Marilyn (Mom), Rachel, Drew (our new son-in-law), The Hubster, Sarah and Derek.

December 25 turned out to be a fun, relaxing day. We packed up all the gifts and food and drove to my mom's that morning. I think she enjoyed watching the kids open all their presents. It never gets old for me, either. We watched "Mixed Nuts" together after dining on a sumptuous holiday meal.

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I got out yesterday morning and scoope…

Meet Your Neighbor

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Note: I wrote this article several months ago for another publication.

Although he was born and raised in a small town in New England, Grant Williams has come home to Arkansas City. The admitted baseball fanatic is a devoted husband to the lovely Bernice and father to four grown children, stepfather to three. Williams has traveled the world and worked a multitude of jobs only to settle here after retirement to live the thoughtful life of a poet and author.

He speaks humbly of his work, listens closely and watches life unfold around him. And then, he writes. Every day. A large portion of Grant’s poems are about love, particularly his devotion to his wife, but he has penned volumes about sports, family, children, issues and our town. Williams seems to absorb emotion from life and the activity around him, and then processes it into meaningful tomes.

“I love to write because I love to read,” the author muses. “Once you have something in print, you have to say, ‘I’m an author.’ You have to t…

Fa La La La La

If I'm not in the Christmas spirit yet, I never will be. I have attended three Christmas concerts in the last six days. The Ark City High School Winter Band Concert last Tuesday was a festive start to the week. Hans Judd directs a large and robust band program at Ark City Middle School. The 6th, 7th and 8th grade bands each brought three selections. I was impressed by "Duel of the Fates," a John Williams' tune for the Star Wars trilogy.

The ACHS Concert and Jazz Bands were in fine form with "DeerPath Dances" and "Arranco." These groups are helmed by Chris Van Gilder. I loved the percussion ensemble's rendition of "Carol of the Bells." It was a complex and well-executed piece. Conner Coldwell and Cameron Crabtree, friends from church, are members of the percussion section of the high school band.

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On Sunday afternoon, the Cowley College Music Department presented their Christmas Vespers Concert. It was a spiritual, mesmerizing oasis i…

Playing Possum

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We have had a new visitor to our food bowl of late. This rather brazen possum has been a regular for the last several afternoons. That's right, he doesn't wait until cover of darkness. Since we live near the river, we do get the occasional skunk or possum. The above photo doesn't give much of a sense of his girth. To give you some perspective, our largest cat is 13 pounds, and this possum is larger. Yep. The wildlife of Ark City!

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Our church is hosting a lot of fun activities during the Christmas season. Caroling is on tap for 7 p.m. this Wednesday, weather permitting. Missionary Baptist Church always visits all the area nursing homes to bring a little Christmas cheer. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served at the church following the singing. On Sunday, 12/13/09, after morning worship, a holiday potluck dinner will be served.

The perfect ending to this special Christmas season is our Youth Christmas Program, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, 12/20/09. We have the best and brightest…

The Wedding Goes Postal

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The Hubster and I had something extra to be thankful for this year...Rachel and Drew got married the day after Thanksgiving! Yes, our little girl is now Mrs. Mailman. We are so very happy for the bridal couple, and we're thrilled to have a new son-in-law. And it was all done in less than a month!

It was a teeny little wedding, just 16 guests, but oh, so sweet and meaningful and warm, just like Rachel. My cousin Todd, senior pastor of Westlink Christian Church in Wichita, officiated. The santuary was already beautifully decorated for Christmas, so no need for loads of flowers. After they exchanged vows, we took family photos and then dined at Thai Tradition, Rachel and Drew's favorite restaurant.

Drew looked sharp in a new black suit and tie, while Rachel wore a flirty cream-colored dress with a pink satin cape she designed and made on her wedding day. The ensemble was highlighted by pink satin sequined pumps and a matching pink satin bag with crystal beaded handle. Her pink and …

Too Busy?

Sometimes you run your life and sometimes your life runs you. I have been plenty busy lately and more than a little stressed, as I discussed in last week's entry. Although I sound like a whiner, I am content with my life and grateful for God's blessings. The pace lately has been hectic, however, and I feel like a toothpaste tube with all the paste squeezed out. Way too busy!

When I met with my writing coach Dean Hall last week, we discussed my situation and the impact it had on my writing. I told him of my frustration with not accomplishing enough tasks in a day's or week's time. He said, "You're a woman of faith, why don't you pray over your "to do" lists?" Whoa...that one stopped me in my tracks! Dean is such a practical man. Why hadn't I considered this before?

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Happy Thanksgiving to my readers! My prayer is that you will spend the day surrounded by loved ones, enjoying each other's company and a great meal. Don't forget to r…

Plays, Parades and Puddles

"Into the Woods," a Stephen Sondheim play was performed by the Ark City High School drama department last weekend. This musical is a retelling of a collection of fairy tales, now not necessarily fit for tots. I snickered through the humor and was properly grossed out when the giant squished certain citizens of the woods under her massive Aerosoles. Oh, I'm so mature!

There were a number of standout vocal performances in this play: Mary Beth Byers as Little Red Riding Hood, Shane Clark as Jack (of ...and the Beanstalk fame), Joseph Descartes as The Baker, Rachel McAfee as The Baker's Wife, Lane Russell as The Narrator and Emma Schrag as Cinderella. Shane Clark's high tenor and acting prowess will make him someone to watch in the future. Two very good friends worked hard to make this play a success, Conner Coldwell on drums and Alexis Coldwell on makeup. Way to go, Coldwell kids!

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I have become a Facebook drone. I promised myself I wouldn't do it. That website …

Rachel's Gettin' Hitched!

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Kibbie called Sunday night...Drew proposed! My sweet girl is getting married! We are really excited for them. Rachel and Drew have been in love since their first date nearly four years ago. The biggest surprise is, they are getting married on Thanksgiving. Yeah, like two weeks from now. Oh, well, at least they aren't eloping like her parents!

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I made the annual pilgrimage to my parent's homeland last weekend. My mom, sister and I returned to the University of Missouri--Columbia, to present my dad's memorial scholarship at the yearly banquet. This year marks the 50th anniversary of my dad's graduation from MU Engineering School. Our family instituted this scholarship to honor the memory of my father, who treasured the time he spent at MU. We consider it his legacy, and our family's legacy, as well.

Our latest scholarship recipient is Shawn O'Donaghue, a freshman in mechanical engineering from Lebanon, MO. He is a sweet, normal guy who is super smart and the firs…

The Hubster's Odyssey

A very long journey that The Hubster and I had been on for the last year has finally come to a conclusion, we hope. Man, are we tired!

Last fall, The Hubster started having some pain in his legs and hips. It was getting stronger and included numbness and tingling. His regular doctor told him to knock off exercising on the treadmill for a few days. He said it was just part of aging. The pain kept increasing, so we found another doctor. And another. And another.

They all had opinions...arthritis, bursitis, fibromyalgia. One even said it was all in his head. And the tests! He was poked and prodded and scanned and lit up for eight solid months. And then it got scary. One of the blood tests detected a cancerous blood disease. The Hubster was diagnosed with Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS). It is a chronic cancer, not an acute type. However, it must be monitored the rest of his life, as it greatly increases his risk of a blood-borne acute cancer, like multiple myeloma…

The Dating Game

The Hubster and I had a date night last Friday. We had some appointments in Wichita, so we decided to stay in town and kick up our heels a little bit. In our case, kicking up our heels is mostly a figurative term, we don't do much literal heel-kicking any more!

First, we dined at Cheddar's, a popular family-dining spot on the east side. If you haven't been there, you might want to try it. The portion size is large and the prices are great (under $30 for two). The Hubster said the ribs are really good, and he's a rib connoisseur. We caught "The Invention of Lying" at the Warren East Theater after dinner. Although it was a sweet love story, and Ricky Gervais was great (as usual), we wouldn't recommend it. The movie took a decidedly anti-Christian tone about 3/4 of the way through. Very disappointing. Two stars out of five.

Have you ever struggled over dinner conversation with your spouse? I usually chatter on like a magpie...shocking, I know! The Hubster is n…

A Capitol Idea!

I visited Topeka last weekend. A friend who knows me well asked if I was going to "storm the Capitol." Sounded like a good idea, but I had other plans.

The Capitol Plaza Hotel was the site for the Kansas Authors Club annual convention. As a new member, I was excited to attend this large and historic event. Did you know that the KAC was founded in 1904 and counts several Kansas governors and William Allen White as members? I can't believe a fancy club like that would accept ME as a member!

This was a very large event, with several hundred creative maniacs taking over the unsuspecting hotel. We held meetings, attended workshops, handed out awards, ate like pigs and did "readarounds." For the uninitiated, a readaround is when a bunch of writers get together in one room and read our stuff to each other, closely followed by supportive and sometimes amusing commentary.

I met some really cool writers and heard some excellent, helpful speeches. Now, if I can only put some…

What's a Momala to do?

I got a phone call on Tuesday night from my Aunt Nancy. To preface, my Aunt Nancy is not like anyone else on earth. She is simply the coolest, funniest, most audacious woman I know. I want to be just like her when I grow up...if I ever decide to.

Aunt Nancy is my mom's little sister. She lives in northern Missouri with her former Marine husband, Uncle Barry. Nancy is the only person in the world that I allow to call me "Carol Baby." She attracts attention everywhere she goes, like Paris Hilton at a Miami nightclub opening. You never know what she's going to say or do next.

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My mom and I did some major power-shopping last week. I wanted to find a really great outfit to wear for a special occasion. Mom raised three daughters (and a son). She taught us all to be great shoppers with sharp eyes for quality and a good deal. I've tried to teach my daughters that, too. We spent most of Thursday afternoon in a drenching rainstorm, moving quickly from shop to shop. We fo…

Perpetual Condition

Most people would call me complex...even a little bit "high maintenance." Actually, I'm a very simple girl. There are only two things on my mind. I'm hungry and I've got to pee! Embarrassing, but true.

When I get up in the morning the first thing on my mind is getting to the bathroom. Right after that, I'm ready to eat. I spend most of the day planning what I'll eat for lunch and dinner, making menus and defrosting meat. Every morning, The Hubster and I discuss what we'll be noshing on that evening. Plans are made early in the week for weekend meals. Holiday and birthday dinner menus are scheduled at least a month ahead.

I drink a lot of water every day. My doctor recommended that I do, and my mom always set a good example. She kept a water glass by the sink in the kitchen. I keep a liter bottle of refrigerated water on my desk all day. It seems to help with my migraines. The side effect of all this water consumption is...I have to go all the time!

It…

Prose Passion

I was invited to give a speech at the District #3 fall meeting of the Kansas Authors Club on Saturday in Coffeyville. I was treated like a celebrity, and I'm certainly not, but it sure was nice to be spoiled. Plus, I was able to share my love of writing and promote the new Cowley County Writers Guild. Grant Williams, Ark City's poet laureate, introduced me to this active and prolific club. This group has been producing hundreds of newspaper columns, magazine articles, historical non-fiction, memoirs and poetry since the 1940s. I was honored to join my passion for writing with theirs.

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The Hubster and I had Sunday dinner with our first daughter, Sarah and her boyfriend, Derek, this week. It was so nice to have a leisurely visit and catch up on their lives. They are both very busy business people, so a home-cooked meal by Dad was a treat for them. We celebrated the day with roast chicken and root veggies, a green salad and pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.

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Female in M…

All Systems Are GO!

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Somehow, The Hubster and I got on the subject of afternoon cartoons like Felix the Cat. As far as I am concerned, the consummate authority on afternoon cartoons was, is and will always be...Major Astro. Every day, after school, my brother and I raced home to catch Major Astro on KTVH Channel 12. We loved Johnny Quest, Snagglepuss, Yogi and BooBoo, and all the rest, but Major Astro was our aeronautical icon. And I shook his hand!

It happened on one of the many visits our junior high choir made to "The Joyce Livingston Show." The Derby vocal music department trotted us around to all the daytime local shows whenever we were preparing for a concert. One day, as we were walking down the hall toward the studio, a figure approached. A tall, commanding figure with a faraway look in his eye. Forget that he was wearing a sport coat and tie, it was him! It was MAJOR ASTRO!!!

After he extricated himself from the dogpile of prepubescent songsters, Major Astro was happy to sign autographs, …

Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go...

I received a sweet note yesterday, addressed to "the best Middle School class teacher ever!" It was a thank you from Alexis Coldwell. She was promoted last week to the high school class at our church and now I am left with an empty classroom. It's a bittersweet time. I'm so proud of Alex; she is growing up to be one of the finest young women I know. I won't forget.

There are some exciting changes going on at our church. Missionary Baptist Church will host our first "Singspiration" this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Groups from all over Oklahoma and Kansas are coming. Second, we have embarked on a new renovation to our fellowship hall. Finally, we have planned a special event for Oct. 13-15. A soul-winning specialist from Ohio, Jeremy Rands will be conducting a seminar in church growth. He will teach sessions during the lunch hour and each evening.

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Last Friday was the first Ark City High School home football game. Oh, I rarely attend the games...but the ma…

Fruits of My Labor...Day

When I was a kid, Labor Day was a time for household chores. We painted, we scrubbed, we swept. If we got a lot done, there was a cookout at the end of the day. I promised myself I would not labor on Labor Day once I grew up. Evidently, tidy is genetic, because I spent this weekend scrubbing and sweeping...with no painting.

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The Hubster fixed a feast for Sunday lunch yesterday. He decided to call it "I Can't Wait for Thanksgiving" dinner. He roasted a turkey, made stuffing, gravy, green beans and a pumpkin cake for dessert. It was delicious, but we may be eating leftovers for a while. Any volunteers?

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I spent a large chunk of time last week on a writing project. I write freelance stories for www.arkcityrevived.com (accent on free!). It is important for me to improve my skills as a writer. James Jordan, the editor of the website, is most gracious to help me in this endeavor. Not only does he post my stories, James also gives me constructive criticism.

My latest story is…

The Terrible Twos

On August 13, 2007, I embarked on a new and challenging adventure. I began to write a blog called, "Female in Motion." Because of my upbringing, I never give up on anything and work hard to accomplish whatever I set out to do. So I vowed to write weekly columns, and I have succeeded in that effort. This infant blog has grown, changed and become a somewhat locally noted, colorful toddler. And now...the terrible twos!

Two years ago, this blog's focus was firmly on fitness. Mine, of course. While I continue to update my readers each week on my workouts, it is no longer the sole target of my writing. I found that my life contains all kinds of things: family, church, work, cats, music, movies, books, and a million others. Almost every woman in a small town in the Midwest has a similar story. I write about mine, and hopefully I have a unique voice. Thanks for reading!

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I'm going gray. This is not a startling revelation; I got my first gray hair around age 21. I have been f…

Reading is FUNdamental!

Recently, I have renewed my acquaintance with the Arkansas City Public Library. We are old friends, actually. It is such a pretty and historic building. I first visited this library within days of marrying The Hubster, more than 28 years ago. Libraries and I go way, way back.

I was always a reader. When I was a kid, my favorite time of year was when the William Allen White Award winners list came out. I proudly bore that list to my school library and checked out every one. Usually, the librarian had them all set aside for me already. (We had a very simpatico relationship). In the sixth grade, I won a special award, because I had read every book in the school's library.

Every Saturday, I rode my bike or my dad dropped me off at the Derby Public Library. It was a modern concept (in the 70's) building with a sunken reading pit full of pillows and modular study cubicles. I spent many happy hours there, roaming the stacks, absorbing books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mark Twain, Charles …

Learning for a Lifetime

I found out last week that a close friend is going back to college to finish her degree. I'm so excited for her! She called to ask questions about online classes and whether I thought it was a good idea. I told her to go for it. When I went back in 2001, I was really scared, but I started out slowly and built my confidence. Education is vital to a well-rounded life, regardless if you use it for a career or not.

A major regret in my life is not finishing my bachelor's degree. After I graduated from Cowley in 2005, I intended on working toward it right away. Life got in the way, however, as it usually does. I don't need a degree to better my career or income, but I want one to satisfy my emotional and educational thirst for knowledge. College was always a big goal in my family, and with my dad's memorial scholarship at the University of Missouri, we can support education for future generations of students.

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I went to Grant Williams' latest book signing at the library…

Those Who Have Gone On Before Us

Today was my Grandmother Monson's birthday. She passed away in 1985, at the ripe old age of 93. Feisty to the end. Grandmother was smart, well-read, loving, hard-working, a perfect lady, and my hero. She always made time for me; always made me feel special. Most of my family say I am a lot like her...except for that whole ladylike thing.

My grandmother raised five kids on a small farm in the rolling hill country of Missouri, mostly by herself. Her husband died when my father, the youngest, was only 9 months old. Grandmother got a job in the post office, going in early to light the stoves and clean the office. She always had a huge garden, full of a myriad of fruit trees, a bounty of veggies and the most stunningly beautiful rose garden I have ever seen. Simply put, she could make a rock grow.

Grandmother Monson had an abundance of energy. Even while sitting down, she would always have some quilting or crocheting project in her lap, her hands working furiously. In her later years, G…

Brinner or Brupper?

Tonight, The Hubster made breakfast for supper. I love that! Something about the flip-flop of traditional meal items seems forbidden and slightly naughty. Like having steak for breakfast. Or, in my misspent youth...cold pizza.

Huevos Rancheros was on the menu tonight. The Hubster started with corn tortillas, then added refried black beans, fragrant seasoned rice, over-easy eggs, shredded cheese and fresh salsa. Yup, I'm spoiled rotten! Seriously, this is one of my favorite meals. I have dreams about eating this dish. Now you know why I have to work out every week.

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We watched three good independent films last week. I like independents, because they are not formulaic like the big studio movies. We saw "The Visitor," about a college professor who befriends young immigrants, "Fireproof," a Christian film about divorce starring Kirk Cameron, and a movie about the start of the wine trade in Napa Valley, CA, called "Bottle Shock." Netflix is great about car…

Day of Possibilities

Monday is my day of possibilities. I always start the week out full of fire and ready to go. I have my "To Do" list in hand and I'm ready to take on a bear cat with a switch, or, at least, to get some stuff done. I start out Monday morning with a vengeance, but as the succeeding days come, I tend to get less done. By Saturday, I need a major injection of energy and spunk.

Today, I took all the trash out, vacuumed the entire first floor, cleaned the upstairs bathroom, ordered new bedding while it's on sale at Penney's, took care of the correspondence and phone calls for the business, cleaned cat boxes and cleaned and swept the kitchen. And that was after I went with The Hubster to Ponca City for a doctor's appointment. Look out, Wonder Woman, I'm hot on your heels!

A woman's work is never done, they say, whoever they are. I think that we all are busy and do a lot of stuff every day. I don't believe I am any different than anyone else. God gives us th…

Picnic in the Park

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Today was The Hubster's and my 28th wedding anniversary. And they said it wouldn't last! Ha! He took a vacation day from the office and we spent a little time reminiscing about our courtship days; back when we were young and poor. Now we're old and not-quite-as-poor.

To mark the occasion, The Hubster and I exchanged gifts. I gave him the spare bedroom renovation and he gave me a new baby. No, not that kind. He bought me a new Dell Inspiron Mini. He has already done a lot of special modifications for me, so I can track all my publishing queries, professional contacts, research, and so on. The size is perfect for travel; I'm really excited!

We packed a gourmet picnic lunch today and headed off to Island Park. The Hubster never does just pack sandwiches, chips and cookies. He made chicken salad with red grapes, Thai rice salad with sweet chili sauce, smoked almonds and sesame oil, mixed red berries and applesauce bars with golden raisins. Yum! The weather behaved for us and…

Old Room/New Paint

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My daughter, Rachel, came down to help me paint the spare bedroom last Friday. This is the room that we are making into a new space for The Hubster. You can see that the new rugs are in place, too. I still have to paint the trim, put in the new furniture and buy some bedding, as well. I think I'll wait a couple of weeks before I attempt the trim, I am getting too old to paint every weekend!

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I just finished reading two books by Debbie Macomber. She is a women's fiction author that I am researching. At the first KWA (Kansas Writers Association)meeting I went to, Bonnie Tharp recommended that a writer should read books in the genre he/she wants to write in, to get perspective. I am also researching books by Rene Gutteridge and Jan Karon. So far, I like Jan Karon's books the best. She has the most similarities to my style.

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Two people have replied to my invitation to the new Cowley County Writer's Guild meeting. That's a good start, I think. Don't forget, the me…

Jumping Off The Cliff

My dad had a lot of sayings. One of my favorites was when I asked for his advice. He always said, "When you come to a cliff, the hardest part is the first step." In the last few months, I have stepped off the metaphorical cliff, and am now free falling into a writing career. Dad was right. The first step was difficult, but I am getting used to having air below my feet and it feels kinda good.

It may sound slightly sappy, but I always felt like God had a plan for my life. I just couldn't figure out what it was. One day, I confided to The Hubster that I had always had a secret desire to write stories, but felt I wasn't good enough. He said, "You already are a writer. You write your blog every Monday night, and lots of people read it." I never had thought of my blog in that way.

Most people don't know it, but The Hubster has been going through a major health battle. We have been to specialist after specialist, but no one has been able to determine the source…

Everything Old is New Again

Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything in your house just stops working? Like all the light bulbs burning out at the same time, or your washer and your car both die on the same day? Is it some sort of cosmic energy drain, or does God just really want to get your attention?

The Hubster and I had one of those weeks last week. First thing Saturday morning, the garage door opener died. To say that our garage door opener was elderly, is being kind. It was old when we moved in 20 years ago. Still, we were surprised when it pooped out. You never realize how lazy you've gotten until you have to open and close your own garage door, numerous times per day. Highly overrated.

Next to conk out was the dishwasher. It didn't exactly die, it just became obsolete. The dish racks were rusting, so I decided to go online and try to buy replacements. The total for two racks was $350. New Kenmore dishwashers start at $400. We decided to go with a new model.*sigh*

The vacuum cleaner didn…

Time Flies

This week has flown by like Smokey hot on the trail of The Bandit! I filled it up with lots of activities: house cleaning, KWA meeting, produce shopping, writing, editing, more house cleaning, and lots of company! Oh, and I worked a little bit, too.

I have been cleaning out lots of closets and rooms lately, and I think it might be contagious. Rachel asked me to help her clean out stuff from her place last week, too. I'm a little bit weird that way. I really enjoy cleaning, and will actually do it for friends and family. Sick, huh?

Speaking of Rachel, The Hubster ran into one of her best buds from school, Antoinette Abington, last week. She was in town to visit family, having just graduated cum laude from Florida A&M. Antoinette is newly engaged, as well. When she stopped by The Hubster's office, he happened to be on the phone with Rachel. Antoinette just took the cell phone out of his hand, said, "Hey, Root Beer!" and off they went! They always were just like two p…

D.I.Y. Update

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So far, so good. The old carpet is a distant, albeit stinky memory and the front bedroom in my house is looking much better than it did seven days ago. I was down on my knees like an English housemaid for three days, knocking the tack strips up and then scrubbing off the remnants of the old padding. The wood is finally starting to take on a slight glow.

My two creative daughters already have great ideas for the room. We are going to pow wow on Father's Day to put our thoughts together in a pot, stir it up, and see what kind of stew we can make! Sarah is a whiz with color, art and textures, while Rachel's specialties are homey touches, like bedding, lamps and rugs. Let them loose in Pier 1, and thirty minutes later you have a room worthy of an Architectural Digest cover.

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I went to the dentist last week. Just a teeth cleaning, nothing major. I started thinking about how long I have been going to Dr. Alan Marcotte's office in Winfield (15 years), and how much I love spending…

D.I.Why Do I Do These Things???

It was going to be a nice, quiet Monday. In fact, I had nothing planned but work and a little vacuuming. I went into the spare bedroom to retrieve the vacuum cleaner this afternoon, took a look around, and decided I couldn't take it any more. I just had to completely gut the room and start over. Ladies, do you know what I mean?

First, I emptied the room of all furniture and bric-a-brac. The next step was ominous. I pulled the old carpet up, which was the color of three-day-old dishwater. Yup, nasty stuff! The Hubster caught me huffing and puffing to get the last of it out when he arrived home from work. He stood there with his mouth open for a moment, then I beat him to the punch. "I know, I know, I've lost my mind again!" I muttered between grunts.

God answered my prayers, because underneath that hideous mess of brownness was a beautiful hardwood floor. Or, it will be when I get it swept up and polished to a fare-thee-well. The cats had taken over this bedroom of late…

June is Busting Out All Over!

Hooray! June is finally here. I am ready for warm weather, cookouts, picnics...it's always about food for me, isn't it? I really look forward to summer, except for the bugs and the sweating. Gosh, I'm whiny today! Aren't you glad you took time out of your busy day to read this?

On Friday evening, I set out with seven members of the musically talented Coldwell clan to attend a singspiration in Kingfisher, OK. Our church fellowships with a number of churches in Oklahoma. Victory Baptist hosts an annual evening of gospel music, food and fun. Kingfisher is just west of OKC, so it took us approximately 2 1/2 hours to get there. The trip was worth it, though, there were a lot of very gifted people there.

The evening was highlighted by an abundance of rich voices. Great accompaniment was provided by guitars, bass, clavinova and even a harmonica solo. Songs ranged from traditional hymns to contemporary Christian numbers. Our church brought four songs to offer. We had a great vis…

A Memorable Memorial Day

This year, Memorial Day was not at all what The Hubster and I expected. And we are so glad it came out that way! As it turned out, our daughter, Sarah, spent Sunday night with us and then we had a lovely Memorial Day together. We breakfasted and then The Hubster found a DIY project he wanted to do, so Sarah and I pitched in to help. We capped it off with the traditional burger and hot dog extravaganza!

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I spent the day with my mom on Friday. We had a blast talking about our summer plans, family news and generally just dishing. Mom's backyard is full of finches, sparrows and wrens, topped off with a liberal smattering of bunnies and squirrels. It wasn't at all that way when Dave and I were kids. We were always running around that yard, screaming and yelping like a herd of wildebeest in stampede mode.

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On Saturday night, I invited my Sunday School buddies to come over for a pizza and video night. We have been studying the book of Esther, the prototype for Wonder Woman (just my…