Saturday, March 31, 2007

ooops!!

Something went bump in the night the other night. Or rather, several things! The shelf above our washer and dryer collapsed and its contents slid to the floor. Fortunately nothing was broken (other than the shelf supports!). Unfortunately, the cap on the laundry detergent became dislodged and a pool of detergent covered the floor and coated the undersides of many of the items from the shelf. I had my work cut out for me!

Among the casualties were several towels, which I used to sop up as much detergent as possible before tossing them into the wash. Others I lay on the floor so that I could navigate the messy terrain without sliding through it, and before long everything was picked up, rinsed off, or taking a cycle through the washing machine. Cleaning the soap off the floor was a bit tedious, but manageable.

Next stop, Home Depot for new shelves and better brackets! Ken got those installed in good time, and I put things back where they belonged. We added a second shelf to the mix--in part to relieve one shelf of holding too much weight, but also to get some less-often-used items out of prime storage space elsewhere in our "utility room." Ah, there's nothing like the feeling of newly opened space, and a sense of order.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

a rare musing

I don't ordinarily use this space to air thoughts on politics, but something in this morning's paper got me thinking. In an article about the firing of U.S. Attorneys, an aide to AG Gonzales indicated that for a U.S. Attorney to adhere to the policies of the President was a legitimate standard for evaluating performance. I had to take a moment to consider whether or not this was, in my view, a valid argument.

On the one hand, the "guy in charge" has a right to have priorities and seek to have them pursued. On the other hand, that same guy in charge was elected by the people to uphold and defend the constitution that was crafted on behalf of all of its citizens, and not the priorities of one individual. This is not a CEO, but an elected official, and the constitution of the United States is not a partisan document but a foundation for governing that is intended to serve a country made up of a diverse people with differing views and priorities.

Our laws are in place to order our common life, protect our rights and liberties, and serve justice, which we claim in this country as being blind to the usual forces of discrimination. Persons who work to uphold the law ought to have as their first allegiance the law, not the priorities of an individual.

I guess I've concluded that the argument isn't sufficiently valid after all, but I'm open to hearing other opinions.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

happy anniversary to us!

It was a year ago that Ken and I were married in the living room of our new house. We were surrounded by a small group of good friends, my mother, and Junior. It is a poignant memory since my friend Kathy was here as my matron of honor, and four weeks later she died. It gladdens my heart that she shared that day with us, and that she was here in our home to see and be able to imagine our life here. We've had our challenges in this first year, but overall it's been a good one and we're happy to celebrate it.

Today begins with a diocesan meeting for me, and assorted chores and some work-related tasks for Ken. This afternoon Junior will join us, and this evening it looks like we'll be having a modest gathering at a local country western club.

I'm including my favorite picture from our wedding, one that probably you all have seen, but it bears repeating. Happy day to you all!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

spring at last!

It is always a joy to watch spring unfold as trees and shrubs begin to bloom and the earth slowly begins to tease us with hints and promises of green. I'm also watching closely the emergence of the hydrangea I planted last summer. It had showed early signs of emergence a couple of months ago during our exceedingly warm winter, but then a long cold spell cut off those tender shoots. Now there are leaves coming forth at the base of the plant, which may very well mean that the only place it can thrive is at its roots. Hmm... I need to learn more about this plant whose beauty I enjoy so much.

Junior is finally on leave, though he has a limited number of days since his last training cut into his leave time. We saw him yesterday when he came with a new girlfriend, and we enjoyed their company through the evening. We'll see him again this weekend before he heads back to base, and we're hoping he'll be taking some furniture with him. Ken is more than ready to have his office serve just that purpose, and not double as a storage area!

I'm making headway with Quick Books, and will take care of a few of those administrative tasks for Ken today before shifting to my own work for Sunday. I also need to be in touch with my first Pampered Chef hostesses to nail down dates and times for those parties. There's always something to do around here--guess I'd better get to it!

Monday, March 19, 2007

stellar

Yesterday Elisabeth von Trapp performed in concert as a benefit to aid the Invisible Children of Uganda. I was on the planning committee for the concert, so this event was the culmination of many months of work. I am happy to report that it went off without a hitch (unless you consider that Elisabeth, her husband and accompaniest, Erich Kory, had to get to Nashville from Vermont by way of Raleigh, NC, due to blizzard conditions in the northeast!). More importantly, though, was the beauty of the concert. Elisabeth is a down-to-earth person with a natural style and a beautiful voice, and the concert was absolutely delightful. She sang some "Sound of Music" favorites (encouraging us to sing along), told some family stories, and shared some of her own compositions. She also graciously invited the adult and children's choirs of the hosting church to join her for several numbers, one of which was a favorite canon of mine, dona nobis pacem. What a treat it was to hear that done so exquisitely, and then discover that it was also on one of her CD's (that I am now happy to own). It was a great afternoon, and this in spite of not having my usual Sunday nap! Afterward Ken and I went to dinner with a friend who was visiting from out of town and staying with us. We had a fabulous meal at P.F. Chang, and wonderful conversation. All in all a stellar day!

Today I am learning to decipher Quick Books Pro to help Ken out with his business, and tend to a few other assorted details. The beat goes on, as they say! How lucky for me that I can keep my beat going along with Elisabeth von Trapp's lovely voice, now installed on my computer...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

a new "toy"

A couple of months ago I was in a shopping complex I don't visit very often. There's a scrapbook store there, and as I was driving past I noticed that it looked mysteriously sparse. A closer look revealed a sign on the door indicating that they were going out of business. Aha!

I grabbed a parking space and went in, picked up a few papers at 60% off, and inquired about the fate of the store fixtures. Yes! They would be sold, too. I put my name on a list for a paper rack (or two), and a couple of days later received a call that one of them was mine. For $25 I added this storage system to my office, and it filled immediately with various papers related to exisitng card projects, and others that I had in volume. Its addition necessitated rearranging my already crowded office, but I managed.


Although I benefited from the store's closing, it's demise saddens me. This was Jenny Bowlin's store (she didn't own it, but she lives in this town and it's where she "hung out"), and it carried good stuff. My own local store is pitiful, which now means driving 45 minutes to get to the nearest one of any quality. Sigh. It keeps me from spending money, but it also means my supplies don't stay current. One of these days I'll figure out a way to deal with that.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

overdue

I confess! I confess! I've been negligent with my blogging duties, and am way past due with an update. It's a combination of things: not thinking I have anything to say, not having pictures to post, suffering from the goldfish syndrome (not being able to concentrate on anything for more than five seconds at a time), and so on. Forgive me, please!

The news from here is:
~Spring has arrived! The daffs are blooming, Bradford pears are beginning to display their lovely white petals, and the forsythia is being its usual showy self. Love it! I don't mind winter in the least, but I LOVE the beauty of spring.
~I finally flagged the yard! What that means is that the dogs now know that there is a boundary they aren't able to cross, and they can be let out to do their thing, romp, or just enjoy the increasing amounts of sunshine.
~Ken got his business name put on his truck, and is SUCH a happy camper. He's also getting very busy, and has hired a helper! Woohoo!!
~I've decided to sell Pampered Chef! I had been trying to figure out what I could do part time and have flexible hours, and when we hosted a party a few weeks ago the consultant happened to mention that this very combination was something she loved about selling Pampered Chef. Duh! I love to cook, love the product, and in April will be official!
~Our first anniversary is approaching! How time flies. Nearly a year ago we moved to this house and a few days later were married in the living room. 2006 sure was eventful!
~Junior is wrapping up a ghastly training program, called SEERS (survival, escape, evasion, reconnaisance and surveillance, I think). Anyone watch "The Unit?" One of the episodes featured SEERS training, and it's not pretty. Bascially the soldiers experience life in captivity. You can imagine the rest. We hope to see him next week when he gets leave prior to his next deployment.

That about covers it, except for a few things which I'll save for the next few days so that I can get back into the habit of posting! As I write a Pampered Chef recipe is wafting through the house--yummmmmmm, wish you all could join us!

xoxo

Saturday, March 03, 2007

ready for its closeup!

Ken got a new van the other day, trading in his old, '94 pick-up with camper shell for a year-old, full size Chevy cargo express van (say that three times fast!). He's like a kid with a new toy. The van is a big improvement for his work, enabling him to store tools and equipment efficiently, and have ready (and comfortable) access to it. This morning we took a photo inventory of his assorted tools, and he loaded everything into the van, utilizing shelves that he built in. See the before, during, and after pics! Having a functional, reliable work vehicle has given him a boost, and it's fun to see him grin as he talks about it. When money permits we'll get his business name painted on the exterior panels, and he'll really be in business!
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