Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Frippery

Since Friday is my favorite day of the week, my lunchtime is always dedicated to enjoying some sort of frippery just to please me. Today I bought all new Christmas giftwrap. Shiny and new, matching ribbon, bowmaker, the whole nine (hundred) yards...put a smile on my Friday face.

Dr. Tom, Back in the Saddle

Osborne, Watson make the rounds

Nearly a decade after his last attempt at recruiting, Tom Osborne took to the road like an old pro Thursday in visits to see three prospects at two Omaha high schools. High school coaches and players interviewed said Osborne dropped no hints about the new coach, only saying that an announcement should come soon.The presence of Osborne, though, appeared to have a calming influence on recruits."I think he's just kind of a stabilizing and steady force for the kids," Elkhorn coach Mark Wortman said. "Trevor looks at Tom Osborne and says, 'This guy has won (three) national championships.' It's impressive. He's just a sincere, straight-shooting guy who is down-to-earth and isn't going to pull any punches."It's nice to talk to somebody and know that you're getting 100 percent the truth. There's no beating around the bush. It kind of brings back the confidence in Nebraska football."Osborne passed the NCAA certification test Wednesday and took over as interim head coach in order to recruit away from campus.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

kuh kuh kuh katie, kuh kuh kuh katie

This photo just totally creeps me out. Tell me this isn't really Katie Holmes. What has that man done to her? And what is she wearing on her shoulders? What's with the bangs? What is that statue he's holding? It's like she's a mannequin or something. Does he let her talk anymore? Does anyone else feel like Katie's aged at least ten years in the couple she's been with TC?
Maybe this is just decoy Katie and the real one's safe somewhere in California.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What's it mean when... really want to do something but you just can't get motivated to do it? I love Christmas, and my plan was to put the trees up last weekend (yes, we have more than one). JC got the trees down from the attic, even set one up. Guess how many ornaments I put on? Exactly none. Guess how many I'm going to put on tonight?
This time last year all the Christmas cards were addressed, the house was decorated, cookies were in the freezer, and most of the gifts were bought. I feel like a slug.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

At My Funeral

Don't worry, nothing's wrong, I'm just planning ahead. At my funeral I want someone to read parts of The Velveteen Rabbit. In case you don't remember, it's the allegorical story about what it takes to become real.

A little boy gets a new Velveteen Rabbit for Christmas. Unfortunately, he's not immediately noticed because of all the other fancy toys. "...the poor little Rabbit was made to feel himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse."

"What is real..." asked the Rabbit one day..."Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you..."

"Does it hurt?"asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Here's to becoming real!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mom's Birthday

Mom's birthday is next week...December 4th. I don't have a clue what to get her. Actually, I gave her something early, but it won't feel right unless I have something for her next week. Suggestions?

Buzz Off

"That said, we clearly need to drill down on the issue items to take ownership of a game plan that will leverage our 24/7 vertical integration, stay nimble, and transition to improve the ROI…"

Translation: "We're losing money. It's time for a new strategy."

Here's a list of some overused business phrases I'd like to "put to bed":

drill down
think outside the box
shoot me a copy
grow the business
revenue stream
best practices
been there, done that
top line
bottom line
action items
at the end of the day
fast track
push the envelope
dog and pony show
big picture
in the loop
change agent
out of the loop
value added
peel the onion
ramp up
game plan
mind set
that said...
mission critical
right size
vertical integration
talking points
win win
partner (used as a verb)
take that offline
touch base
play hardball
transition (used as a verb)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Osborne: "...we went (42) years without a losing season, and now in four years we've had two"

From Published Sunday November 25, 2007
Tick-tock: How Osborne spent Saturday morning
Tom Osborne worked quickly Saturday morning in firing Bill Callahan. In little more than two hours, he spoke to the head coach, Callahan's assistants, the media and Husker players, answering questions and announcing his plan in pursuing Callahan's replacement:

7 a.m.: Callahan leaves his country acreage in the dark, traveling on gravel roads frosted by overnight snow.
7:20: Callahan arrives in a black Lexus SUV at a concealed entrance at the north end of the Hawks Center. An athletic department employee opens a gate so he can pass through. Callahan pulls ahead to a garage. He honks. The door opens, Callahan pulls in and steps out in a black trench coat.
7:24: Osborne arrives in a white Chevy Tahoe at the same entrance, parking outside the building.
7:29: Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson arrives at the same entrance.
7:34: Callahan backs out of the garage and leaves through the gate, waving at reporters and declining a request to stop.
7:45: "There is no place like Nebraska" rings out from the university bell tower. Assistant coaches begin arriving. Defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove drives through the gate in a black SUV; his back window reads in green ink: "Go LSW."
9:00: Assistant coaches depart the Hawks Center, where they met individually with Osborne. Receivers coach Ted Gilmore says he's going home to watch football and he'll be back Sunday to recruit.
9:33: Osborne walks off the elevator and into a press conference, where he announces Callahan's termination.
10:30: Osborne meets about 20 players, repeating the message he communicated at his press conference.

Meditate on This

Today one of our elders led a prayer that started in a familiar way:
“Our Father in Heaven. Hallowed be thy name.”
Then he paused for a very long time, long enough to really reflect on the words. This afternoon I thought more about it...
“Our Father in Heaven. Hallowed be thy name.”
God in his infinite greatness is so unfathomable, so non-understandable, still we can meditate on the powerful mystery, kneel before him in humble prayer, and give him all honor and glory.
"Our Father in Heaven. Hallowed be they name."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Run Forrest, Run Away

Am I the only one who doesn't like Forrest Gump?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Staying Humble

We don't live in a society that promotes humility. Face it, lots more folks are reading People and Us magazines than Time or Newsweek. Some days it seems like everybody wants the newest, the best, the fastest, the biggest. And who doesn't want to have the smartest kid? The sweetest son or daughter, or maybe one of each? This holiday there were two turkeys on the table. I was proud that we'd brought the biggest. Really!!!! When I realized what I was thinking, I was really put out with myself. Where does it end? Maybe it's more important to figure out where it starts. The truth hurts. It doesn't take a genius to figure out it all starts with me! Face it, no one else was patting me on the back for bringing that big old bird.

This afternoon I read an article in one of those ubiquitous magazines and a popular actress said she'd cut back on her spending by 20% and gave what she'd saved to various charities that were close to her heart. My first reaction was `sure, easy for her to do...' But, the more I think about it, why can't I? For several years now, like a lot of people, I've saved all my extra change. It adds up to about $100 every year. About five years ago, I started saving all the extra dollar bills I had at the end of the week. That added another $200-$250 each year to my stash. This year I've been saving all my change, all my dollar bills and all the five dollar bills I had at the end of the week. Now I have about $500, all saved up effortlessly!

Richard Foster gives these 10 suggestions for simplifying our lives in his book Celebration of Discipline:

  • Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.
  • Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.
  • Develop a habit of giving things away.
  • Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.
  • Learn to enjoy things without owning them
  • Develop a deeper appreciation for creation
  • Look with a healthy skepticism at all "buy now, pay later" schemes.
  • Obey Jesus' instructions about plain, honest speech. (Matthew 5:37)
  • Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
  • Shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Hearing nuns' confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn." Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Thanksgiving Can Kill You

The New York Times says, "This week marks the beginning of the gluttony season." Okay, we know that part. But wait...there's more...gigantico meals can also give you
a heart attack, gallbladder pain and 'dangerous drowsiness'.

Here's the REALLY scary part: the average American eats about 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving. I love this part..."It's like a tsunami of fat," says Dr. Pamela Peeke, assistant clinical professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Lest you think sticking to the white meat will save you, the article also says there's barely any difference in fat and calories between white and dark meat.

In the words of Jackie Gleason.... "awayyyyyyyyyy we gooooooooooo!!!"

Monday, November 19, 2007

In the Words of Joan Didion

"You have to pick the places you don't walk away from."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

100 Things You Don't Know About Me

1) I was nearly a foreign language major. I used to speak fairly fluent Spanish and not so bad French. Now I do neither. I've also never been to France or Spain.

2) I was the "babysitter of choice" at the church where I grew up. I always wanted to have lots of kids. I have an only child.

3) I have a Master's degree in business.

4) Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but I've only celebrated it twice in my own home.

5) Typing is the best skill I ever learned.

6) I'd rather give up my microwave than my TIVO.

7) I've owned seven cars since I got my driver's license: Pinto, Sunbird, Audi 4000, Audi 4000, Mustang, Catera, Volvo.

8) My favorite Christmas Carol is Deck the Halls.

9) My mother and I have the same middle name: Marie

10) I named my son after his two grandfathers: James Dennis and Arthur Irving. My son's name is James Arthur.

11) My dad used to call me his "living doll."

12) My favorite toy was my Tiny Tears doll.

13) I sing alto.

14) I used to play the flute.

15) I keep a journal. My mother keeps a journal.

16) I love to have dinner parties.

17) I have more than 100 pairs of shoes.

18) I always cry at weddings, funerals and baptisms. I also cry when I watch Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons reruns.

19) I wish I would keep up with high school and college friends, but I don't.

20) John does all of the laundry.

21) I used to think I was better than I am. Now I'm better than I think I am.

22) Jeff P. saved my life.

23) I never thought I'd live in St. Louis. I've lived her twice for a total of 24 years.

24) My son has no idea how old I am.

25) Party planning is fun for me.

26) I love Big Red Football. I always have at least one Nebraska sweatshirt in my closet.

27) I was a really good girl in high school.

28) My favorite dog was a St. Bernard. I'm looking forward to the day when we're pet free.

29) I have to take valium before I fly, because I'm really scared.

30) I don't have much in common with my siblings.

31) I've started 3 novels.

32) The healthiest I ever felt was when I was pregnant.

33) My dreams are very vivid.

34) One time I dreamed that Marvin Hamlisch proposed to me in a NYC penthouse.

35) Marvin had a grand piano.

36) I am a HUGE Martha Stewart fan.

37) I can't make pie crust.

38) I hate to fly, but I love to travel.

39) I used to fall in love too easily.

40) I feel 27. I don't know how old I felt when I was 27.

41) I won my grade school's spelling bee.

42) My first job after college was newspaper proofreading.

43) I'm taking my first two week vacation (ever) next August.

44) My favorite thing to do with my mother is our monthly book club at the library.

45) I wish I'd been a better example to my son when he was younger. I'm trying to make up for it now that he's older.

46) I read biographies of the Presidents.

47) The first concert I went to was Alice Cooper, School's Out for the Summer, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

48) The last concert I went to was Eric Clapton & Robert Cray at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

49) My first boyfriend's name was Bob Wilson.

50) I didn't date a lot in high school.

51) I always eat my own food at potlucks.

52) I hate clutter.

53) I went to a one room schoolhouse in Nebraska for a year.

54) I don't like the name Kathy, but I love the name Kathryn.

55) My dad always called me Kathryn.

56) I love to wear hats in the winter.

57) Unloading the dishwasher is one job I really hate doing.

58) My English teacher at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska was Mrs. Hoyt.

59) Mrs. Hoyt taught me to be a better writer.

60) My dad was a great writer.

61) I'm finally going to read the whole Bible all the way through this year!

62) My family lives so long I didn't make it to the grown ups' table at Thanksgiving until I was in my forties.

63) When I was pregnant, I didn't tell anyone, but I really wanted a boy.

64) When I retire I want to work at the library.

65) I think Jennifer Aniston got a raw deal.

66) I rarely say no when someone asks me to do something, just ask me.

67) I always have my Christmas cards ready to mail on December 1st, but I never mail them before the 7th.

68) My mother really does give better advice now.

69) Since I married John, I've learned to like hockey.

70) I don't understand hockey at all.

71) I can't ice skate.

72) I don't collect anything.

73) My son has his nutcracker collection at our house.

74) I kept my first wedding dress.

75) Mainly because I don't know what to do with it.

76) My best ideas come when I'm under pressure.

77) I loved the weather, but I didn't like living in the south.

78) I've had a lot of jobs, but I've only been fired from one.

79) I still resent being fired.

80) It worked out for the best.

81) Nothing's quite as great as a nap on Sunday afternoon.

82) I used to be a really good water skiier.

83) I haven't been skiing for at least fifteen years.

84) My mother has been living with us for more than two years.

85) I think John is a saint for putting up with us.

86) I hope I never have to live in a house without a fireplace.

87) Snow is great, but winter isn't.

88) I love to stay up late, but since I have to get up at 6:45 I go to bed by 10pm.

89) I love car trips.

90) When I was 22 I drove straight through from Miami to St. Louis.

91) That was crazy.

92) I want to be a really cool senior citizen.

93) I think about my dad everyday even though he died eleven years ago.

94) Love is all it's cracked up to be.

95) I like going to the movies by myself, but it's been at least four years since I've done it.

96) Sometimes I wish I lived in a big city.

97) I have an active imagination.

98) I could never be a missionary.

99) If I had my choice we'd sell everything we own every five years and start fresh.

100) I think I would have been a good teacher.

Friday, November 16, 2007

He Thinks Differently Than Us

After two years of living with us, my mom just noticed today (?!!) that John thinks differently than us. Amazing.Y

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Grocery List

20 lb fresh Butterball turkey
2 bags of cranberries
3 granny smith apples
2 navel oranges
Unsalted butter
3 8oz packages of cream cheese
Sour cream
10 lbs potatoes
Pepperidge Farm herbed stuffing mix

Can't wait for my favorite holiday. 30 people expected in Kennett at my grandmother's house. Both of my mom's brothers, her sister, and their spouses are coming. Lots of cousins. And the newest generation of little kids.

John, mom and I are driving down Wednesday afternoon/early evening. James is coming Thursday morning. It will be fun to be with everyone for yet another Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Marie Osmond's son in rehab/Celebrate Recovery

We had fifteen in our Celebrate Recovery group tonight. When we got home I read this story about Marie Osmond. I guess Larry King blindsided her and asked about her son being in rehab.

"The singer [Marie Osmond] confirmed Wednesday that her 16-year-old son, Michael, entered rehab last week for undisclosed treatment.
'My son Michael is an amazing young man, shown through his courage in facing his issues. As his mother, I couldn't be more proud of him,' she said in a statement. 'The press and public have always been kind and gracious in the past, and I know they will continue to respect our privacy during this time.' The singer confirmed Wednesday that her 16-year-old son, Michael, entered rehab last week for undisclosed treatment.
'My son Michael is an amazing young man, shown through his courage in facing his issues. As his mother, I couldn't be more proud of him,' she said in a statement. 'The press and public have always been kind and gracious in the past, and I know they will continue to respect our privacy during this time.'"

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry if I Want To

Happy birthday to me! I have everything I want and then some! The only thing I missed today was hearing dad sing happy birthday to me. That was a tradition--the first thing I'd hear on the morning of my birthday was my dad singing. He's been gone for eleven years, and I've missed it ever since. Tonight my friend Cletia called and sang to me...nearly brought tears to my eyes.

All is well.

REAL Classic Coke

I just read that several years ago Coca Cola started using high fructose corn syrup in their formula rather than corn sugar. Makes me wonder if that's why Coke doesn't taste the way I remember it tasting as a kid. Anyway, I also read that that you can find the `old fashioned' Coke around the Jewish holidays, because to be kosher it has to be made with corn sugar. Apparently it's only available in the little, glass bottles. It's going to be my Hannukah present to myself.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Cool Things

Sunglasses at night. Jazz. Dating an older man when you're young. Dating a younger man when you're not. Breakfast at 3:00am. Speaking French. Having a double-syllabled nickname like Gigi or Kiki or Mimi. European vacations. Wearing real fur and not caring who doesn't like it. Anything silk. Alan Ladd. TIVO. Rugby. Using an interior decorator. 50th wedding anniversaries. Dinner parties. Getting a letter. Espresso. Not owning an iron.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What is Celebrate Recovery?

Celebrate Recovery is help. It can save your life. It can make life worth living.

· Are you addicted to prescription or illegal drugs or alcohol?
· Are you dealing with intense grief or some form of depression?
· Is there pain in your past you can't overcome on your own?
· Are you recovering from a divorce?
· Do you struggle with excessive eating or other compulsive behavior?
· Do you lose your temper or battle with anger issues?
· Do you struggle with sexual temptation or pornography?
· Do you have a loved one who is struggling with any of these issues?

Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered 12 step program, where you'll be loved and accepted. By working through the bible based 12 step principles, we grow spiritually, and we are freed from our lives’ problems, pain, shame, and addictions. This freedom creates peace, serenity, joy and a stronger personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

We meet every Wednesday night at 7:00pm in a safe and supportive environment at the McKnight Road Church of Christ. If you don't live in St. Louis, there are hundreds of Celebrate Recovery groups across the country just like ours.

My grace is enough for you…
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Friday, November 2, 2007

John is 56!

My oh's another birthday to celebrate! John and I went out to dinner. He chose (with some irony, I suppose) Drunken Fish. We had some sushi, fried lobster, and salmon. For a couple of midwesterners raised on beef, it was a nice treat. To top it off we're watching a documentary made of an Eric Clapton concert to benefit his treatment center.