Tuesday, March 31, 2009

People I Hang With - Only They Don't Know It

Hi All!

I am gone today, headed for San Francisco and UCSF. I'll knock out the doctor's appt., get my labs, and the plan is to head over to the newly redone Academy of Natural Sciences Museum.

So to keep you entertained, I'm passing along two of my favorite videos. I'll start with the sublime and end with the hysterical.

This first one is really short and is an incredible computer animation of the landing of U.S. Airway Flight 1549 on the Hudson River. It features the actual communication between the pilot and the tower. It's profound if you've never seen it. I've watched it five times. I want to be as calm as this pilot when I face disasters. I want him to fly me everywhere. Even to the grocery store.

This one is from the Ellen Degeneres Show. If I ever get to visit any of you who live in Texas, I'm stopping by this lady's house on the way. She's in Austin,Texas and she and I would get aLONG! I wonder if she would adopt me? I'm up for grabs! Do you think maybe I could go to a taping of "Austin City Limits" while I was there? Everybody sing...."I wanna go home with the armadillo....country music and Amarillo and Abilene........." (that's the theme song just in case you're wonderin' why I'm more off my rocker than usual.)

Special thanks to Susan at My $99 Life for featuring the first one, and Gitz at Gitzen Girl for making me roar over the Ellen video. Thank you, ladies!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ape Runs - News at Eleven

THIS is a happy woman! Just LOOK at that cute apron. Do NOT look at the following items:

1. Wayward garden hose under feet.

2. Empty LARGE pot that should have flowers, or at least weeds.

3. Pitiful, nearly non-flower bed right behind me.

4. Driveway and sidewalk with leaves blown all over. (Don't call me if you want to stage photos of your home.)

5. 500 mosquito bites on legs. It was mosquito Thanksgiving yesterday and I didn't get the memo. The party raged on until they were all drunk. It was complete debauchery. I'm not attending next year.

But DO notice this really spiffy apron I'm wearing. I ordered it from "A Georgia Farmwoman" at Life On a Southern Farm. She makes them out of feed bags and they are plastic. I have been SERIOUSLY wanting a plastic apron. I blew the last one out and it just couldn't be saved.

And, frankly, life has been detestable without a plastic apron. Desperate, despicable, desolate, dire.

Or maybe just damp.

I have to bathe dogs, wash a car, and occasionally, when we run out of paper plates, I have to wash dishes. So I love plastic aprons.

And this apron, THIS apron was made by someone I admire for her practical farm skills and kind ways. (And I have two other VERY SPECIAL aprons made by my sweetie friend, Diane, who is an apron maker extraordinaire. And the truth is, one of those aprons is Hannah-Bo's. And I borrow it all the time whether she wants me to or not. And this is the same Diane who drove all the way across town to celebrate Hannah's scholarship with us while wearing an apron. A DARLING apron. That's why we're friends. We might both be buried in our aprons. But not while we're still alive.)

And if you click on the photo and see the full size you will be frightened by my face looming into your screen. When you are over that, look at what the apron says: Pen Pals! How did she work THAT out?

Don't you want one now? Maybe I should have gotten two. You're probably gonna buy them all up.

Copyright 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Counting Her Blessings

Ever have things just pop out of your mouth and you have no idea where they came from?

No, not like your teeth or your food. What are you thinking? What do I come to you people for if you're just gonna make cracks like that? Focus.

I mean you SAY something. And you didn't even think it up, that you can recall. And it's really good. And you hear it for the first time when it comes out your mouth. As if someone else said it.

That happened to me this morning. I came up with a REALLLLLY good excuse/explanation for behavior unbecoming a gentlewoman. (Well, I'm not much of a "gentlewoman" but I'm laying groundwork here.)

I was folding laundry. I had spent the night on the couch. Grizzly, the husband, now has the sickness we all had and we don't sleep together very well when one of us is puny. I squeezed out about four hours of sleep between flicking the tv on and off and changing laundry every time I woke up. The sound of the washer and dryer running lulls the kids to sleep (Wild Man, the son, almost melted down when we got a new washer and dryer. "I'll NEVER be able to sleep now because they won't SOUND the same!") and it blocks the sound of the tv. Oh, and it was also good to do laundry because at any given time, I'm usually eight years behind. But you know this about me.

So, as I hunted and picked through 3,000 socks, none of which had a match, I was telling the kids about a good thing that happened to someone we know. The kids were happy for them. Yes, this was good. I dug around the basket some more and pulled out a pair of underwear. As I looked at them I realized Minky, our six-month-old Border Collie pup, had chewed out the "center" (I'm trying to be delicate here.) How did this happen? Oh my socks and garters, just don't even ask. Toss. (Socks and garters! Isn't that just the best exclamation?! Especially for laundry. And no one here even WEARS socks with garters. Thankfully. That might mean my husband was 98 which would be ten years older than me.)

What was I saying?

Oh yes, continuing on with my big news, which wasn't the underwear, I then began to talk about WHY these wonderful things had happened to our friend. And I mentioned all the advantages life had offered her. Being born with a silver spoon in her mouth, as it were. Having wonderful parental support, don't cha know. Ample access to money that might give the faint-of-heart the vapors. Beautiful surroundings. Supportive, adoring husband. Wonderful health. Lots of family and help.

The Wild Man was not duped. "Don't covet," he advised, using my OWN words against me. (Coveting has always been on the front lines of my lectures because it robs us of gratitude and satisfaction. And I detest ingratitude.)

"I'm not coveting!" I laughed lightly. "I'm counting her blessings!" Wasn't that BRILLIANT?! What a fantastic explanation. And that's when that moment occurred I just mentioned. I didn't even know that was on my lips. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth spoke. Perfect! Excuse dujour extraordinaire!

Hannah-Bo, the daughter, laughed from the bathroom where she was getting ready for choir. "I LIKE that," she said. "I'm gonna use it!"

"Me too!" I responded. "That's my new lingo for coveting now. I'll just tell people I'm counting their blessings." How tidy!

And then I flopped back down on the couch and started having thoughts about how God CHOSE to allow her to be blessed in this way. And then something about Job, from the Bible, and me, and anyone else whoever asked, "What gives?" popped into my head. "Who are you to question God? If this is what he sees fit to do for her and not for you, then so be it."

Okay, Wisdom. If you're gonna come in, would you at least knock first? Just so I can decide if I want to open the door? It would at least give me the chance to act like I'm not home. Guess it's too late for THAT.

And a wonderful/terrible object lesson came rushing back to me.

I have to tell you first that our family has desperately desired to live in the country. We foam at the mouth when we talk about it. We have had a veggie garden, cats, dogs, chickens, a lamb, and varmints of all varieties in a suburban backyard. We rhapsodize about wide-open spaces, we glory in the mountains and views of them, we revel in the sounds of nature (except that confounded incessantly barking dog next door!). We have more trees on our little lot than the rest of the block combined. In fact, when we read the first Little House on the Prairie book, "Little House in the Big Woods," we dubbed our homestead "Big House in the Little Woods." (It's not all that big - it's just that the lot is SMALL.)

All that being said, we frequently take drives into the countryside and dream. And we oooh and ahhh. And we imagine. But the reality of that dream is not on our financial horizon nor will it likely be, short of a miracle. And it was in this mindset that the kids and I went on a "Point-and-Drive" one day. (The Wild Man started this and I do declare I will post about it.)

We came upon a grand house. It was in a Victorian style with three stories, beautifully appointed and painted in hues of light green, mocha, and burgundy, and situated on grounds that were more reminiscent of lush gardens than of a yard. An elegant white, sculpted wrought-iron fence surrounded all of it. And it was encompassed about by tree-filled acres opening to a view of the Sierras. We stopped the car. Who wouldn't? We pulled over to the side of the road and sat sighing, taking it all in. We talked about how lucky those people were to live in that place. And what must THAT be like? And wouldn't we love to have all this?

About that time, I saw a man walking out from the house toward the gate. The mailbox was there. Maybe he was headed for it. I presumed it was the owner and I thought he might be wondering what we were doing. Although I didn't think a woman and her two kids in their SUV would seem like an imminent threat, I felt I owed him an explanation. And, having NEVER met a stranger in my life, saying hello wasn't a big deal. I started the car and pulled closer to his gate.

"Hi," I said as he approached. "You probably get this all the time. Your home is so beautiful I imagine people are constantly stopping just to admire it."

"Sometimes," he answered with a smile. "I haven't been here too long. It was our dream home." He seemed to want to talk about it and, since talking is my main hobby, I could tell we were in friendly waters. "We just built it a few years ago," he explained.

"Wow," the kids and I responded. "You sure did an incredible job. I can't believe you could accomplish so much in such a short time," I added.

"I was a firefighter in San Francisco," he said. "Housing prices skyrocketed and after living there for thirty years, we were able to sell, move down here, and pay for everything outright."

"That's amazing," I replied. "How wonderful for you."

"Yeah, well, it would have been," he returned, "but right after we moved in, my wife got diagnosed with cancer and I lost her nine months later. I live here alone now. It's too big for me so I'm thinking about selling. My three boys all live in the area and one of them is talking about buying it. I can't rattle around in here. It was our house. It has everything she ever dreamed of. I built it for her. We'd been planning every detail for years. What's the point if she's not here to enjoy it?"

"Oh, I'm so sorry," I offered, feeling unable to think of the right words to say. I felt instantly broken for him. "How terribly hard that must be. I'm so glad you have your boys nearby." It sounded feeble.

"Yeah," he said. "It's good. I spend a lot of time with them. But they sure miss their mom, too, and the grand kids will be growing up without her."

We talked on for a few minutes more and then shook hands warmly and said our good-byes. Our hearts were heavy as we drove away. We felt so very sad for his dream lived out, alone.

And then I looked at the kids and they looked at me. "God allowed us to meet that man today and hear his story," I said. "When we look from the outside all we see are our own dreams and we imagine life to be perfect if only we lived like that. But would you trade your life and your blessings for his heartache? Let's try to remember that God knows best and we are where we are by his plan and design. And to want something else, to the point that it keeps us from appreciating the blessings we have, is to tell him he doesn't know what he's doing. That's what coveting is. God must love us dearly to allow us to learn this lesson in such a profound way."

And so, as I sat contemplating my laundry, I remembered this penetrating object lesson and stopped coveting, for the moment, again. And even if I call it "Counting Her Blessings" it all adds up to the same thing: dissatisfaction with what God has given me and thinking someone else is getting a better deal, or has something I think I need. And it took my son to name it.

So then I gave thanks for the 3,000 socks with no match.

No I didn't.

If you think I'm THAT far down the road of wisdom you haven't been hanging out with me long enough. Stick around.

Copyright 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Twittering Twit - Really, What's the Point?

Okay. So I signed up for Twitter. Even though I fail to see why I should.

"Everyone's doing it," everyone tells me. "People enjoy it!" Really? Why?

Just in case you have a life and couldn't care less what Twittering is and don't know or care to know, let me explain in boring detail. Twitter is a service wherein you can send a message to whomever is interested (known as a follower - radical term, stay with me), and it's just one message but goes to all of your followers at once. You can only use 144 characters so it is meant to send out short notes about what you're doing or thinking.

No offense to anyone using it, which would now include me, but I really don't get it.

Do you actually want to know more about me than you already do? My life does not tend to produce interesting, "Twitterable" moments.

Let me give you an example of what level of excitement you can expect if you decide to follow me on Twitter.

"Walked across the room. No injuries."

"Have gone upstairs."

"Have gone downstairs."

"Who used all the toilet paper and didn't replace?! Grrrr."

"Who put the milk carton back in the refrigerator empty? Grrrr."

"Minky! Stop barking! Darn dog."

"JoJo! Stop barking. Darn dog."

"This is the highest pile of laundry since...since....since.....piles of laundry have been getting high (the pressure defeats analogy production)."

"My toenails look disgusting. I'm doing a pedicure as soon as I go upstairs for my supplies."

"Have gone upstairs."

"Who used the last of the toilet paper up here, too?!"

"What was I up here for?"

"For corn's sake, there is cat barf on my bed."

"I did not realize you could see into my neighbor's garage so clearly if you bend over just right to clean up cat barf."

"I wonder if there's a dead body in that rolled up carpet?"

"Am heading downstairs now to start laundry."

"Son is playing X-Box 360 instead of doing school work. He is in trouble. Jello brain."

"I wonder if I have any new followers on the blog - going to check."

Alternating Posts 60 times a day: "Yay! They like me!"/"Nothing. Probably no one else will ever sign up as long as I live."

"I need to dust my desk."

"Heading on over to check out all the blogs I follow."

"Dangit! Just dropped my headphones."

"Wow. Noticed how badly I need a pedicure. I should have realized this before now."

So, this is representative of the scintillating updates you can expect from me if you follow. And someone can read them to you in the hospital if you lapse into a coma. They say people can sometimes still hear and understand during that time. I hope that's not true for you.

Copyright 2009

My Dog Has Diarrhea?

Not MY dog but apparently SOMEbody's dog. Just look over at my ad that came up yesterday from Google Ads and is still there (scroll down and look right). And you can read about dog vomit, too. (Where was this last week when JoJo hurled behind my chair!)

Truly, there is an ad - somebody click on it for Pete's sake and maybe I'll make money from it - and honest-to-goodness it says, "My Dog Has Diarrhea." Now, isn't that the kind of ad that makes you just want to click it and hope for pictures? Just wanted to keep you aware that it IS my mission in life to bring you THIS kind of cutting-edge information through my ads. Your welcome.

P.S. If it isn't there, refresh your page and it will probably pop up. You know you want to. If you don't see it the first time it's because there will be a huge banner about teeth and whitening and what not. Everybody knows teeth and diarrhea go hand-in-hand. OMWord, I'm digressing now. I've told you before - there is a 5th grade boy who lives inside of me. He is out of control today. This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that tickles his funny bone. Yes, I'm easy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gird Your Loins! I Am Ranting!

Well, in reality your loins are probably safe. But I insist on raging and waging war for a bit so it seemed only polite for me to ask you to consider your very state of being when encountering a brawling woman. (And I simply must state for the record that Lucy Lawless aka "Xena Warrior Princess" looks incredibly like me, don't you think? Especially the diminutive waist and chiseled features. Yes, we were separated at birth....they gave her the "fabulous" cells and entrusted me with the "fat" cells. I am faithfully caring for them.)

But really, that's beside the point because I have a leonine femur to pick with you, Blogger.com. Why do you fail to notify me of new blog posts on the blogs I follow? You send me some and not others. And this is random. So I never know which blog I should be backtracking to see what's been missed. And I am absent in the face of vital information. Or those I follow think I am ignoring them. Or their scintillating writing, or photography, or witticism, is not celebrated by me in the way it should be. And they wonder where I am. And surely my comments are vital to their very well-being. And I sound like a slacker when I blame it on YOU. So do tell.

Is anyone else experiencing this problem and is there anything to be done about it?

Just know that if I'm not there at your blog it will be Blogger/Blogspot's fault. And no matter what, that will always be my default of choice. And most of the time, it will even be true.....!

P.S. My other beef - My comments don't always go through on websites or blogs where I have to enter my name, email, URL, birth weight, number of teeth, date of worst hair cut, and how often I shave my legs. After entering all of this and then leaving a profound comment, it is disheartening to see it disappear and never register. Any insights on that? Attn: Life on a Colorado Farm......this is happening now at your site. And the blog party - 50 comments on different sites simply gone. So, you techy types who are laughing right now - DO DISH! FIX ME! HELP ME! I need to be saved from myself.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Observational Twitter 14

Famous Quote:

"There are two types of people...those who ask for directions and the others who find their way. Both may reach the destination but the satisfaction of the other kind is far greater." Dominik Silver

Unfamous Quotes:

"If you can't get there without asking directions, you don't deserve to arrive." James (Grizzly) Reilly

"Men who embrace these philosophies should travel together so their wives might arrive three days before them and enjoy massage and mojitos while they wait." Robynn Reilly

Copyright 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Looking For Some Validation?

Sorry to leave the party blog up so long without any new posts but Ms. Techie here inadvertently linked my BLOG address and not the PARTY post address. Ah, what 3a.m. will do for you. So, bear with me if you see it post again this week. Newcomers still need to find their way around.

In all my partying, I came across a new blog I decided to follow called Modern Mom Musings. Check her out. I think you'll like her, too. She said, "Someone who knows I'm not on Facebook right now (she gave it up for Lent!) shot this link my way." And I loved it.

And I wanted to watch because we bloggers have this mutual validation club going. And sometimes I question it. Is it good? Am I needy? Should I get therapy and/or medicine? Yes, yes, and that's pointless because no one is talented enough to cure me, and meds and I don't play well together.

Besides the reality is, I LOVE validating people. And obviously you do, too. Look how much we're hangin' out together and just read all the lovely things you say.

A little warning: there are a few bad words from one guy who gets mad. Not BIG bad words but they are there. Yes, I know we hear them everyday and everywhere. But this would be rated PG if you were going to a movie. And I thought you should know. So without further ado.....here is "Validation."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Ultimate Blog Party 2009 - Welcome!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Hi! My name is Robynn and I'd like to say......

Welcome to my place. Thanks for coming!

Giveway: $30 Amazon.com Gift Card

I'll tell you a little bit about me and this spot where I hang out with my friends. I write a humor blog, mostly. Once in awhile it's not - by design....or accident. Take a little tour and you can decide for yourself if we're laughing because we have a sense of humor, or we've just lost our minds. You be the judge and then decide if you're one of us.

Technology ever give you fits? You might identify:

Do you love the scale at the doctor's office? Then don't read this:

Has your pastor ever taken his false teeth out for your personal entertainment?

Ever have gophers attached to body parts?

These are part of the goofball things we talk about around here. But maybe you're interested in homeschooling issues. I'm getting ready to graduate Hannah-Bo, who is a senior. And The Wild Man is in 7th grade. I've homeschooled from the beginning. I don't claim to have all the answers but I'm happy to share what we did to get this far. You might like to read this:

Do you enjoy short stories about the great outdoors? Kids and camping? Bears destroying cars? Tune in here:

"A Bear Market - Part 1"

"A Bear Market - Part 2"

"A Bear Market - Part 3"

"A Bear Market - Epilogue"

I also have a little category I like to call "Observational Twitters." They go something like this:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Observational Twitter 11

"Today is Fat Tuesday."

More Pertinent Fact:

"For me, EVERY Tuesday is fat Tuesday. What I really wanna know is: Where the heck is Skinny Wednesday and why haven't I been invited to THAT party?"

And then I gotta show you the family of course and that includes kids, animals, nature.....and posting links.

Thank you SO MUCH for dropping by! I hope you'll come back or sign up to join the party by following. (Look for the "follow" button over all the pictures up on the right hand side.)
Prizes I Would Love:

58 - Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer by Moms Who Think

INTL 19 – $130 Sponsor Spot on Tip Junkie

19 - $50 Gift Card to Target Stores Provided by Shoot Me Now

21 - $50 Gift Card to Target Stores Provided by Agoosa.com

Copyright 2009

Ecclectic Exchange about Everything

I got the nicest compliment this morning from the lovely designer at Azure Island Designs. She described me as having "a love affair with words." If I'm so accused, I hope I am soon convicted.

Do you think she would be depressed if I used a sentence like, "There is dog barf sitting behind my chair right now?" JoJo just came and hurled up something from last year. Excuse me while I attend to this....gag.....gag.......oops!....dry heave.

Okay, I'm back and smelling like Clorox Wipes. Blech.

And I just knew you would want to know this next bit of information.

Yesterday, I got caught up with my laundry AND did the ironing from it ALL ON THE SAME DAY. Yes. That's right. Very 1950's moment. I nearly wore my pearls and heels. Oh my gosh! I almost forgot to mention that I actually MENDED, too! Yes, that's right! I sewed on a button that had been missing off a shirt for ten years. Why, you might ask, would I still have a shirt with a missing button after ten years?

Well, you WOULD ask that because you're a sane person. The thing is, it's a good cotton shirt, white with the cutest buttons and sort of timeless and very casual. But a button fell off and, well, I put it away somewhere and shoved the shirt somewhere and somehow, after sorting something (what would I do without the word "some?" You truly can see how clever and imaginative I am with words) I found the blouse. But the MIRACLE is, I remembered where I saved the button! And yesterday, the two of them got married!!! And ironed! And now I can wear it again!

(This is some guy hitting on me while I ironed. This happens to me every time and is the main reason I don't iron more.)

You have no idea how extreme this accomplishment is for me. The odds were right up there with Allison Krause showing up at my door and asking me to sing with her on her next album. (Hold on.....there's the doorbell....."Why Allison! Come in! I'll be right with you.....gotta finish this post to the blog buddies.") Why not? It's a day of miracles.

OH YES! Libby at Neas Nuttiness is having a contest at her place. Go on over and check out the long list of loot. I'm not entering so your chances are even greater of landing these goodies.

Okay, that's it for a bit. If I have anything else as gripping as dog barf and laundry I'll get right back to you.

P.S.!! The Ultimate Blog Party begins tomorrow. If you haven't heard about this, click on my "Invitation Button" on the top right of the blog. There's still time to enter and participate by featuring your blog, giving away a prize, etc. Of course, I'm just now getting around to getting ready for it because I've only known for a month. Another compelling reason NOT to iron!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Minky Minutes - News From the Renewable Energy Front

Minky Tinkerson here. That's what my mama calls me all the time. I'm also known as Bingo, Monkey, Minky Tink, Tinkle, Little Dog, Baby Dog, Wooky (cause I talk like one), Little Doglette, and Nutcase. They morph my name all the time. It's a wonder I know who I am.

But I figured you might want to see me in a more positive light than JoJo depicted me. Man, she even took pictures of me in the middle of a criminal act. So now you probably think I'm a thief and strung out on coffee all the time. I thought I better check in and pontificate on my finer points. (By the way, JoJo promotes herself as the "Honest One" but an honest picture of ME would have included all my lovely, finer points. So, just take HER with a grain of salt (or a 50 lb. bag of salt).

Let me tell you about one of my favorite places and what I do there.

This, of course, is me. Aren't I getting big and gorgeous?

I had Hannah-Bo take all these pictures. And I wanted you to see these flowers that bloom in the field I like to run in. She says they look like sea horses. I don't know. I've never seen a sea horse. You be the judge.

Another shot of me. I am SOOO happy. The field is my favorite thing in the whole world.

Well you know who THIS is. JoJo gets pretty happy out here, too. Look at that smile.

I'm getting ready for something really fun here. But can you see the sun glistening off my ears?

In a second they're gonna throw my frisbee. I am officially a frisbee dog. It's my favorite thing in the whole world.

Wow! Look at that catch!

Wow! Look at me running away with it. I don't bring it back as well as they want me to. I think they need exercise so I make them come and get it. It's my favorite thing in the whole world.
I put this one in because, well, it was too good to leave out.

She caught me in mid-bound! I like it when my ears fly up.

JoJo and Me and that's the underside of my tongue. I knew you were wanting to know what it looked like.

And this is the topside of my tongue. And in case you never noticed, look how different our coats are. JoJo's is shorter and straight and mine is curly and luxurious. She wishes she looked like me. She won't say so but I know it's true because who WOULDN'T want to look like me? I'm so cute!

This is an action shot! We're running down this hill so FAST it's blurry. Running is my favorite thing in the whole world.

Here's a family picture with me, JoJo, Hannah-Bo, and The Wild Man. We're sitting on a saggy piece of fence. The G-men put this fence up years ago to keep us out of the other side. Must be REALLY good stuff over there. I guess we could just walk over the fence and find out.

And right after this shot, the sky turned orange, which was bad, because that meant we had to go soon.

And then we had to leave. But that's okay because now I can share the whole thing with you and that's my favorite thing in the whole world.

I'll see you next time. I think my mom's gonna show you all the results of my detective work. I've been scouting everywhere finding things that need to be chewed up. She took some pictures of my handiwork. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Pioneer Woman Sweeps It!

Many of you know and love Ree Drummond from "Confessions of a Pioneer Woman." So you'll want to to hear the news, if you haven't already, that she ruled the Bloggie Awards last night in Austin, Texas.

She won "Best Design," "Best Photography," and the biggie, "Best Weblog of the Year." Lots of you read her regularly and will think EVERYONE has this info already. But I know first hand that many of you still have never heard of her, or visited her if you have, and maybe now you'll head on over and see what all the fuss is about.

Click here to go directly to her blog. Check out her recipes, photos, and serialized novel, "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels," about how she met and married her husband.

Congratulations, Ree! No one is surprised but you!

And Happy St. Patty's day to everyone from a woman married to a ruddy Irishman! (That's ruddy as in coloring, although.......)

And go here for some interesting facts about St. Patrick!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Kid Whizdom 1

Some of you know I battle a health condition that is progressive and has taken out some nerves, small muscles, and caused other problems. We're still on a hunt for final answers and I'll go back to San Francisco again next week for more fun and games at UCSF. It can cause pretty dramatic flare-ups when it hits and has seriously worried The Wild Man at times. He's my thinker/fretter. Like mother, like son.

But awhile back when my liver went south with it for bit, I was in rough shape. TWM came up to me, gave me a big hug and said, "I don't want you to die, mama."

I said all the reassuring things moms say and, because we kid about nearly everything in our family, even illness, I looked at him and laughingly added, "Besides, only the good die young. I'll be around for a LONG time."

He wasn't in the mood to pick up the teasing thread and looked at me in all seriousness and concern. "But," he paused a little too long, "Aren't you.......too OLD to die young?"

THEN he laughed because I fell onto the couch in hysterics! Boy, was HE right!!

Copyright 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Winter Ow-lympics Part II

I wish I had looked as calm as this woman riding up the lift. (Although, I might have been worried if my legs looked liked hers. Those bruises seem to indicate some sort of recent plummeting from vast heights during the photo shoot.) However, I was not that carefree. My situation was more like this:
That's how far back Ditzy Girlfriend was. And it was snowing. And blowing. And freezing. It's hard to yell anyway when your lips are frozen into an Egyptian mummy-like grimace with your teeth bared. So, there I was, casting around inside my brain for the solution when it hit me: I would watch the people in FRONT of me! Of course! How silly of me. They would get off the lift before my very eyes and I, in Silly Putty fashion, would do likewise. This brilliant idea allowed me to sit back and pretend the day looked like this:

Doesn't this seem like a good idea? See those people ahead of me? Don't they look relaxed? Wouldn't you want to do whatever they did? Me too!

Unfortunately, as we approached the top of the lift something began to dawn on me. I watched as each chair dropped down on the other side of the slope and I couldn't see a single thing. Panic set in. What was I going to do? How steep was the slope on the other side? Did I just stand up? Wouldn't the chair lift hit me in the head? Wasn't this thing traveling at like 85 miles an hour? Couldn't that knock me out? Did only stupid people stand up and try and outrun a charging chairlift? My options were rapidly narrowing.

I was able to see the skiers in front of me lift the tips of their skis. It seemed this was to keep the skis from popping off or toppling the skiers forward into death's waiting jaws. But then the people disappeared over the slope. I did all I knew to do. I lifted my skis until they were flat and parallel with my ear lobes. It was a good look.

Suddenly, the top of the slope was directly under me. If I was going to stand up I would have to lower my skis and do it NOW. But was I supposed to do that? A few more feet forward. I noticed the empty chairs flipping in the turnstile and heading back down the mountain. I could see myself sitting there riding all the way to the bottom. Not an option. Humiliation for stupidity is worse than humiliation for broken bones. The slope descended. The ground was quickly moving away from me. I was still chair bound. "Do something! Hurry!" I yelled at myself inside my cavernous head. "Jump, you idiot!" I commanded. So, I jumped.

And jumping would have been a good option had I been two feet off the ground. But I wasn't. I wanted to be sure the demonic chair lift couldn't catch up to me and bash my skull in, so I waited until I was ten feet above the snow. I was relatively sure my legs would splinter but my brains, such as they were, would be intact.

I was wrong on both fronts. If I'd HAD any brains I would have realized the chair would have simply given me a gentle push and propelled me slowly forward. And my downward trajectory would have supplied ample head room. I also found that hitting the snow caused nothing to splinter. I didn't even fall. Right away. I landed with both skis pointed downhill and in a slightly crouched position. The perfect position, it turns out, to launch me as rapidly down the slope as possible. Which would have been okay if the hill hadn't ended and made a hard left turn. And if I had any idea about HOW to turn in that position.

So I gained speed and began to flail with poles flying wildly around me. My skis began to separate as I lost control and did a free-style cartwheel. It's always nice when these things happen at the bottom of the lift because you are guaranteed an audience. At any given time 20 people are standing around waiting for someone or trying to decide what direction to head. It's gratifying when you know you have provided a fun-filled moment in their day.

I lay in a position that should only be possible if you were a performer with Cirque de Soleil. My girlfriend skied comfortably up to me. "You okay?" she asked. "I have no idea," I mumbled. "Help me figure out where my legs are in relation to the North Pole and try to unwind them from my right shoulder." Any skier knows that, in theory, my boots should have popped out of my bindings. And any skier knows this is only guaranteed to happen if you catch the most delicate edge and take a tiny fall. At that point your ski will come off, fail to deploy the brake, and will finish skiing down the hill without you, determined you will not spoil its good time. You will then be free to walk/ski down the remainder of the hill and pick it up while it mocks you.

My skis were still attached. But I was young and supple and therefore didn't qualify to be lifted off the mountain by the ski patrol. No, I had to get up, spit snow, dust off, and act nonchalant as my audience laughed themselves silly. Being the center of attention is overrated.

By now my snow legs were wobbly and I was a nervous wreck. Not the best condition for your first descent. And it was cold and overcast, without snowing, which meant lots of ice patches. And ice patches meant less control, especially for the inexperienced, horrified, terrified, stupefied, and wild eyed. What could possibly be more fun? I couldn't wait to start. I saw signs. Black. Blue. Green. Were these the colors I could expect to be when I was all done? My girlfriend explained they were levels of difficulty. I asked if there was anything pink with little ponies pulling a cart. I would ride the cart down.

"No. It's no big deal," she replied. "The runs with the green signs are really easy. Anybody can do them. The blue runs are more difficult with moguls and steeper inclines."

"What are moguls?" I asked. "Oh, just little bumpy places on the hill where rocks are, underneath. They're easy." I could just envision the complete ease I would, no doubt, experience.

"And the black hills?" I inquired. "What are those like?"

"Well, just over there is 'The Face.' It kinda goes straight down. It's pretty fast. I don't think you wanna try that yet." Really? Wow. She could have been a hostage negotiator with that kind of instant grasp of the situation.

Green it was. Green sounded good. Nice and easy. Fairly straight. Good places to fall. As long as you don't take wrong turns. Wrong turns are bad and take you to other hills with different color designations. Those are bad. Stay on the right path. No problem. Stay with me Ditzy Girlfriend. Don't forget I'm here. I'll follow you. Our run looked something like this:

Easy enough. Straightforward. I was a little squirrely being shaken up and nervous and did fabulous windmills everytime I hit an icy patch, but I was moving. I began to gain a little confidence when I went more than 100 feet without falling down. It actually seemed almost fun. I had no idea how to plant my poles. They were just along for the ride dragging behind me or stabbing the occasional rock to keep me from running into it. Whatever. It was handy. I even passed a couple of people. That must be good! That meant I was going faster than somebody which I thought might be impossible unless someone was actually backing up.

I even got a chance to practice my skiing protocol. "On your right!" I called out to the skier I was approaching and passing, or "On your left!" Wow. I was sounding cool. Using the lingo, man. It didn't matter that little children two feet high were zooming past me with no poles at all. Mere pre-verbal infants looking like Bode Miller. And then there were the hotdoggers. Teen boys who were all flash and splash, with no manners. They seemed to take delight in cutting as silently close to me as possible. I fell over everytime.

I had just righted myself, snapped back into my skiis and was underway when I heard a scream right behind me. I suddenly became "one" with a fellow skier. She was out-of-control and made no attempt to recover. Her plan was for me to stop her. It worked. We were on a descent when she hit me like a Mack truck. Our fall was spectacular. With sixteen legs, arms, skiis, and poles between us we unhooked, unwound, undid, and examined ourselves. Nothing broken, amazingly. And at least she apologized. That was something. I willed my jelly legs to stand. My friend was nowhere to be seen. I thought I had seen her cut to the right. So I turned right.

So I turned right. Four little words that can change your life. I spotted Miss Ditz in the distance. I think she forgot we were skiing together. She was standing in a group. I arrived just as she prepard to take off. I looked down the hill. All I could see was this:

Moguls. Not bad hair, "Your Fired!," Donald Trump type moguls. The where in all-that's-sacred-is-there-a-place-to-put-my-skis-flat moguls. My friend was non-plussed. "Just keep your skis pointed downhill and use your knees a lot," she instructed. "Oh, and keep your skis together and try to point your body downhill, too." Try to point my body downhill? Was there another directional option as in, "I think I'll ski UPhill for awhile!" Because if that was an option, I was signing up.

"Just follow me!" she called back over her shoulder. Uh-huh. I'd be following her alright. Probably in a ski litter but I'd be along directly. I finally arrived at the bottom a few weeks later after much prayer and supplication.

I actually signed up to repeat this process many times over the next few years. I learned to love it. I attached ski racks onto my little V.W. convertible. I bought cute clothes. Better skis. Cooler boots. I even accidentally bought smokin' sunglasses. I was informed they were the latest by a pre-teen on the lift one day. "Are those Vuarnets?!" she asked gazing into my face. "Where?" I panicked, feeling around for something crawling across my head. "Your glasses! I hope I can get a pair of those one day." I just liked the color of the lenses. Who knew I'd ever be cutting-edge on the ski slope?

Which goes to show, even uncoordinated dorks who jump off chair lifts rock once in awhile. If only by complete accident. Could there be any other way?

Copyright 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

An Award, uh, Sort of........

So, uh, okay. I received this "award" from my recently fired press agent, Libby, over at Neas Nuttiness. You will see why I had to let her go when you read her latest press release on me. It is as follows:

"And last for today (and believe me I didn't really want to add her cause she's really smok'n me out with her followers - and she's often a BIG FAT LIAR - oh did I really say that? Uuuummmm - she stretches the truth now and then - yep, that's better.) is Robynn at Robynn's Ravings."

I want to thank you, Libby, from the bottom of my shoe for these warm words! lol! Now I do suggest you pop over and visit her because she is very nice to everyone else and will probably be nice to you, too.

Okay, the rules are as follows:

List 6 things that make you happy. Pass the award on to 6 bloggers for Kreativity. Link to the blogger who gave you the award. Link to the blogs receiving the award. Notify the recipients.Things that make me happy:

1. My family, friends, and pets on a daily basis. Such warmth, joy, blessings, and love.
2. My faith in an all powerful, redeeming God who has seen fit to love EVEN ME.
3. Joy, fun, laughing, humor.
4. Finding meaning - even if it takes years.
5. Kindness - it is always unexpected and I hope I never fail to appreciate it.
6. My new blogging world and the wonderful friends I have met here. I am touched and amazed.

Next: The Nominees are - (oh man, only six? you know how BAD I am at choosing......I don't follow anyone I don't think is fantastic.) But okay....based on creativity......

1. Sharon Linne Faulk is an incredible designer of handmade cards. They are available on Etsy. Sharon's life is filled with challenges and love as she raises two boys with autism, and does so on her own, after having lost her husband. Her story is compelling and I urge all of you to visit her and buy her cards. They really are lovely.

2. Andrea at Finding Sirius. I love her writing and her heart. Both are beautiful. And she has started a new blog called, The Charlie Project in which she features photos of dogs. But it's not just photos. Andrea offers captions that explalin the photos in meaningful and moving ways. She can see something in dogs you might miss as a casual observer. She doesn't miss a thing and you may see dogs differently after viewing her photos. If you are in any way a dog lover your life will be enriched.

3. Gizten Girl is a treasure. She has incredible health challenges that keep her housebound and in pain. But you won't leave her site feeling down. Quite the contrary. She's funny, encouraging, and very talented. Today she is starting to sell her inspirational, and lovely, canvases that she paints. I already ordered one this morning. I want it, dang it! If I wait ten seconds I'll be in line behind the rush. LOTS of us love her. You will, too.

4. Red Pine Mountain is a humanitarian. She focuses on people and the writings of others. She has contests encouraging people to visit other blogs and purchase handmade products. She advocates for and writes about random acts of kindness. Her heart is evident in all she does. Go and be blessed by her graciousness.

5. French with Music is unbelievable. Here's something even more unbelievable: I am her only follower. She is in France and has other blogs but this one, well, you have to have eclectic musical taste (and I DO) but I have found myself enraptured by some of her video posts. Three of my favorites over there are as follows: No Me Quitte Pas, is the real version of a song translated into English. And believe me, something was lost in translation. (This has subtitles.) Absolutely stunning in its emotional grip and poetry. Another is Liberta which will just make you smile. Trust me. You can't help it. (Put on the headphones for the best effect for all of these. You'll feel like you're there.) And finally, don't miss Chocolat Chaud. I have no idea what the words are but I love how she sings them and the tune is something I hummed constantly this last week. It's a live performance and I LOVE it! Please visit and tell me what you think.

6. Finally, Azure Island Designs is a woman who makes jewelry. Yeah, I know. Lots of people make jewelry. But not like this. She is not only richly creative, she infuses her pieces with feeling. I don't know how she does it except that she's an artist and that's what artists do. Check this out especially: Broken Heart Necklace. Scroll down when you go there and just look at that. I don't know why but that necklace makes me feel hopeful and sad, all at the same time. I want it. It says so much.

My deepest appreciation goes out to all of you ladies for enriching my life. I have found my way to you and I am grateful.

Proverbs 3:6 "In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths."

So grateful our paths have crossed. :-)

(Now go blame Libby that Part II of "The Winter Ow-lympics isn't up. She'll thank you for it.)

Copyright 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Winter Ow-lympics Part I

My kids have been wanting to learn to ski. It looks simple to them. A board or a couple of sticks, some snow, gravity, what could go wrong?

I used to ski but that was back before my weight warped my velocity and would now cause me to propel down the hill at Mach 1. Since I was never into speed skiing, I view that as a negative.

And not being people of means, I hate to start what I know cannot be supported. Lift tickets, equipment (ever changing), clothing (ever changing), food (never ending), transportation, emergency room visits. It's not a sport for the faint-of-heart or faint-of-wallet.

Nevertheless, we have had a banner year of snow here in the Sierras and I've begun to wonder if the kids shouldn't experience it at least once while they're still able to heal. If they love it then they can get three jobs to support it.

I didn't learn to ski until I was in my early twenties. And I learned about snow and skiing like I had learned everything else in my life. The hard way. My mother exposed us to some poetry and music and the occasional book, but our exposure to common sense was learned on the street. Consequently, life had a propensity for biting us in the rear-end and leaving big parts of our posteriors missing. (If you saw my rear-end now, you would avidly dispute this declaration.) When we ended up burnt, bleeding, broken, or ill we would (sometimes) have epiphanies. I watched and mimicked everything, for good and ill. It was my primary mode of learning. I wasn't a chameleon; I was Silly Putty.

Remember Silly Putty? We loved that stuff when we were kids and would flatten it out like a pancake and press it onto the colored comics in the Sunday paper. When you pulled it off, you could see an exact picture, colors and all, of what it had just touched. That's how I applied myself to everything. Why not to skiing? Seemed good to me.
I had planned to rent my equipment, watch my friend, and ski. Some benevolent soul told me that, at the least, I should take a half-day of ski school. Never one to cast off good advice as worthless, I signed up.

We were informed a rope tow would tug us up to the top of the hill. All you did was sidle up, point your skis forward, grab the rope, go. Let go when you're done. Easy. However, never having six foot tree limbs nailed on to the bottom of my shoes, I had no idea that my legs would follow them and not the other way around. When you split eagle and face plant in the snow, the rope tow stops. And you look around sheepishly as everyone huffs and shifts and waits for you to stop being a dork. (I was able to right myself but I've never been able to stop being a dork.)

Now, skiing seemed like a great idea until I got to the top of the hill and looked down. I wondered what in the world would stop me from propelling straight down the hill, crashing through the restaurant glass, and ending up splayed out like a frozen Thanksgiving turkey on someone's table? I grew petrified with the thought. I was already shaky and my muscles were sore. I had been skiing five minutes.

The instructor put us through our paces and taught us, first and foremost, how to fall. He said falling was a guarantee so learning to fall well was essential. Thank you Mr. Walking Metaphor. I learned to snowplow, traverse, lean to the left or right and plant my rear end smack into the hill to stop acceleration. I gained a little confidence and by the time the lessons were over, I was relaxing. I was ready. I was good.

No one had told me not to wear jeans in the snow, however, and I was soaked. And I had never heard you needed sunscreen in the snow. I never used sunscreen anyway. I just thought faces and bodies always burned into huge blisters, your skin rolled off like wallpaper, you moaned in cold baths, and moved on. And with any luck you turned a darker shade of pale. My face felt tight and swollen. I figured it was cold.

I met up with my girlfriend for lunch. I did my best to look cool and alluring as I walked to the food deck in Frankenstein boots that slipped out from under me on the icy stairs. My skis fell off the rack when I went to grab them and knocked down a few others for good measure. I snapped my goggles over my eyes to disguise myself, locked into my bindings, and skated and hobbled my way to the lift.

A chair lift is an interesting thing. It's supposed to keep things moving and stay in motion. I never knew it could be any different having never been on one before. I didn't know it could stop or that you could let a chair go by if you were having trouble. It completely intimidated me so I determined I would be ready. Not so my friend. She was one of those blissfully, and maddeningly, unaware people who never give a thought to how their existence in the world impacts anyone else. She frequently dawdled, put on make up at red lights, pulled her car into the fast lane and drove 30, etc. She was no different in the lift line.

She considered her skis, fixed her hair, adjusted her goggles, applied chapstick, repositioned her pole straps, unzipped and rezipped her jacket, straightened her hat, blew her nose, talked endlessly, and noticed nothing. Flirting with the guy behind us was her main objective when our chair arrived. I had been moving forward with pressure butterflies hatching in my stomach. As soon as my turn arrived I moved out quickly, got into position, and sat down. Alone. And away I went. Alone. My ditz of a girlfriend was clueless and only just managed to catch the next chair.

I jetted into the air and became weightless. It was exhilarating. It was breathtaking. I could see the tops of the trees, the next mountain range, a frozen lake. And just as suddenly, I could see my traction device and bedpan as I realized I knew how to get on the lift but was utterly clueless about how to get off. What was I supposed to do? Stand up? Jump? I yelled back to my girlfriend for instructions. We were too far apart and it was too windy to do me much good. I was on my own and scanning my brain wildly for ideas. Then it hit me.

To be continued........

Copyright 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Pitch - When Will I Turn 100?

I've noticed the followers climbing slowly towards the 100 mark. However,

.....delayed gratification is not my area of giftedness. ("Not my area of giftedness:" Over-exercised excuse that I now like to use everywhere.)

So, because I'm THAT close......may I ask you, dear reader.....if you are reading me regularly and wondering why and when you lost your mind, why not just accept that it is so and join me on this jocular journey? Wow. I always wondered when I'd be able to work "jocular journey" into a sentence. Well, there you have it. I've done it! Ahhhhh. Okay, I'm over it.

Anyway, just click the little "Follow" button to your right and maybe I'll turn triple digits. And it will match my I.Q. (Okay, it will be 40 points higher than my I.Q. - indulge me here.)

Hey! We are a party of 100 now!! But keep signing up if you want to because people on the list might come to their senses and escape! THANKS ALL!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wild Men Have Birthdays, Too!

A certain person in my life, known as The Wild Man, is turning 14 today.

He is one of the incredible lights of my life. My sunny son. My "point and drive" buddy. (I should post about this - so much fun we've had.) He's a feeler of feelings - you never wonder where you stand. He's a comedian, one-liner delivery man, looks at you and always SEES you. Gives incredibly specific compliments. You never hear just a, "You look nice" from him. It will be tailored to you. He's a chatter box with a million thoughts.

He's the boy I thought was a daughter when I was pregnant. God knew what he was doing! He showed me about men and boys through this wonderful son of mine. I had never known what a healthy, loving, caring male was like from the ground up. He taught me and opened by eyes, and heart, to many more. He loved with beauty and innocence.

He's the one who says, "Come on mom....drive the Jeep up on the median while we're goin' down the street and get around all this traffic....be a FUN mom!" He's a goofball. He can be a bundle of energy and wear you out. He is The Wild Man, after all. He's a tapper of chairs. When he was really little, every morning he would wake up, crawl out of bed, and sneak in my office to tap on the back of my chair and let me know he was there. It was one of our "little things." Then he would climb into my lap for a snuggle. And what a snuggler.

Oh, boy of my heart. Happy Birthday. I love you so very much. I could never have imagined all you would bring. God bless your year. You have blessed my life.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Why The Heck Do You Blog? I Mean REALLY?

I am unstable.

I come from California. I haven't seen many happy cows. Mostly I see them all crowded together and standing on Kilimanjaro size piles of poop. But it's also known as the land of fruits and nuts out here. That I can concur with. I fit right in.

Do you ever find yourself wondering, "What is the MATTER with that idiot?" when encountering someone who does something really stupid or makes absolutely no sense? And then you realize you're having enough trouble just analyzing your own internal landscape? So, how could there possibly be any hope for figuring out another person's issues? And then you go on a long tirade of trying to figure out why you ever did anything you did? And then you give up and eat ice-cream?

Well, I ask myself 13 times a day, "Why do you blog, Robynn?" and I answer with 23 different responses. Because I'm not all there. And I don't do the right ratios in the question-to-answer department. Math was never my best subject.

Lunch and boys were my best subject.

I had the biggest crush on Mike Karastathis when I was in the 5th grade. He was this cute Greek boy. I think he knew I was alive but I'm not sure he cared why. However, Galen (or something like that I can't recall due to extreme horror) knew why. It was so he could fawn over me and gaze at me on his 18th trip to the pencil sharpener. Him and his three teeth and his butch haircut. And his loud personality. And his "won't take no for an answer" pesky ways of following me around and declaring his love for me on an every-minute basis.

I don't write the blog for him.

Where the heck was I? What am I talking about?

On any given moment during the day I will give one of the following answers as to why I blog:

I love to write.
I love to make people laugh.
I love to make people feel.
Because people seem to like it.
Wait, there are only 2 comments. No one seems to like it.
I'm desperate.
I'm the scribe of the family writing down the good, the bad, and the utterly repulsive.
It's for my kids.
Maybe I'll make money someday. It's the beginning of a business.
It's been 3 months and you've made $7.48, Robynn. You're a mogul. Or a mongrel. Give up.
I'll put all these stories together one day and shove 'em in a book.
I love to stay connected with people.
It gives me happy motivation.
It gives me stress....I'll never write anything entertaining again. What was I thinking.
I'm building a writing discipline. Good writers write regularly.
I write for the naysayers. Those who hint to me that I must have a LOT of time on my hands.
I write for the yaysayers. Those who make me feel I have added something to their lives.
I like to share how I'm a mere mortal, stumbling and falling my way forward.

Because I like to connect with people and we connect with people in our humanity, our mistakes, and our weaknesses. Those who are reluctant, or loathe, to reveal their weaknesses can make you feel "less than." Perfectionism isn't that attracting. And we don't really believe it anyway, just so you know, you perfectionists you.

I am a perfectionist. I'm trying to be a good-enoughist. I am in conflict with myself. Where was I? Oh yeah.

Because maybe someone will see that without God's grace in my life, I wouldn't be here.
Maybe someone will realize their need for God's grace in their life and grasp that hope.
I love to write. Did I say that?
If you love to do something and you do it, is it automatically a weakness?
Do you see my struggle with paralysis of analysis?
I am unstable.

So, why do YOU write? I would REALLY love to know. Would you tell me? Then I can obsess about your reasons, too.

Copyright 2009