Saturday, July 14, 2007

We've Moved!

Hey everyone! We've moved! This is the last post for this particular site (not for my blog). Please visit us at our new home:

I have uploaded all the posts from this site to the new site so anything I have written can be found there - as if it had always been there! Please check there often and bookmark the site.
See you there!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Big Brother

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Night of the Living MIDDLE SCHOOL

So during our seemingly never-ending quest to organize everything in our house, I came across my old journals. One thing led to another and before I knew it I had read every entry - spanning from December 24, 1990 to January 9, 1995 (right smack dab in the epicenter of the storm that is Middle School plus about a year and a half of high school). Scary does not even begin to describe it. Maybe this will put it into perspective: the last time I read them was the night I graduated from high school and the next morning I thanked my parents for still speaking to me.

Its interesting how reading my silly, irrational, over dramatic ramblings from 15 years ago affected me so much. As one would expect, I spent a lot of time laughing. But, surprisingly, I also spent a lot of time re-examining old insecurities and feeling vulnerable and awkward and 12 years old all over again.

So I've decided to immortalize my over dramatic ramblings and present a story of progression through adolescence, as told by excerpts from my journal entries copied below, word for misspelled word.

Act 1: On the Cusp - The Twilight of Carefree Childhood

March 2, 1991 (11 years old)
"Today was so fun. I got to go to the mall with Mandi. I like her a lot. We need to get a best friends necklace. I am trying to spend more time dooing things like organizing my stuff, cleaning my room, keeping myself clean, and listening to the radio. I keep myself cleen enough, but I want to brush my teeth more, wash my face more, and stuff like that."
-I love how random my list of things to do becomes once I throw in "listening to the radio". I also noticed that at this age I have almost no thought continuity whatsoever - I just abruptly jump from subject to subject. Paragraphs? Don't need no stinkin' paragraphs!

April 8, 1991 (11 years old)
"I need a boy that I can tell my troubles to. Stuff like that. I like my friends, but sometimes a girl just won't do. I need a boy! My life needs it desperatly!"
-Uh oh, I sense the beginning of countless unnecessary hours of angst.

April 26, 1991 (11 years old)
" One of my dreames came true today. Mom and dad had to go to a dinner at 6:30. Well Kelli and I couldn't go so we stayed home and ordered pizza from LaRosa's! We ordered it at 7:17. We ate it while watching Full House, Family Matters, and Perfect Strangers. Tomorrow Mandi is coming to help with the garage sale."
-Dream big, kids. Not sure why I felt that recording the exact minute we ordered pizza was important. Also - the randomness is still alive and well.

May 6, 1991 (11 years old)
I don't know why Mom had to go and ruin this?! I mean, gosh it is just a dance! Mom won't let me go to Mandi's school dance! I can't do anything. Practicly everybody is allowed to go to a dance.


I am so mad I can barely write! My life is so boring nothing ever happens! I barely go anywhere or do anything important."
-Oh Mom - ruiner of dreams. If only I had gone to that dance, maybe my life would have turned out better! :)

June 9, 1991 (11 years old)
Kelli just broke my headband. She doesn't even have to pay for it! It was my favorite headband! I look horrid without it. She is bragging it up to me that she doesn't have to pay for it. Sometime I'll break something of hers and refuse to pay and we'll see how she feel about it then!"
-You just better sleep with one eye open, Kelli. Its coming....oh - its coming.

Act 2: Leaving Childhood in the Dust; The Descent into Middle School Hell
July 11, 1991 (12 years old)
"Oh gosh. Every time I think about or see Nick I get this weired feeling. Probably love. Mandi said she read in a book that when you are in love, you get a strange fealing that you can't explain."
-So matter of fact: "probably love". And something else you should know - I pretty much thought of Mandi as the final authority on anything, so if she said it I knew it was true. Like the time she told me that Paula Abdul was 16% African American - I told my mom the news and when she said that didn't make sense I simply replied: "But Mandi said she is" .

July 31, 1991 (12 years old)
"Guess what: James likes me! Today when I left the picknick he took Mandi over and said 'there is something I need to tell you, but you'll gab'. She said 'no I won't'. He said 'well I kind of like Kim but don't tell anybody'. Then at Bible School Mandi told me everything. I sort of like him. I want to say yes if he asks me to go with him. Sort of as a bridge between me and Nick. So I can say I have a boyfriend and be cool around Nick! Finally, someone decent likes me."
-Wow. A bridge? I'd never even had a real boyfriend but I was already a cold hearted snake!

September 30, 1991 (12 years old)
"I don't like Nick anymore. I mean, I like him as a friend, but the krush feeling isn't there anymore. Its like he has multiple personalities, because when he's with his friends he's snobby, but when he's alone, he acts sweet and responsible. I guess there's no such thing as a 12 year old boy who's nice, sweet, responsible, popular, not snobby, and a gentleman, and funny, and happy all the time. If there is, I've never met one. I'm getting a boy pen pal who's 12 years old. Maybe he'll cheer me up. I need it. He won't like me. I bet he won't write to me at all."
-I don't know whether to laugh at my specification that the boy be "happy all the time" or to be sad about the last two sentences.

November 11, 1991 (12 years old)
"Well, today was quite a day. I got all mad at mom because she wouldn't let me have a pizza pocket. I started crying and everything. I don't know why. All of a sudden my emotions went PLOP! My mood changed and I got histerical over lunch. I don't know what my problem was."
-I hate it when my emotions go PLOP. Ahh - those wonderful hormones.

February 29 and March 1, 1992 (12 years old)
"Mandi said James gave her a note to give me. I can't wait to get it! This will be so funny! I don't know why he didn't just give up by now. Its been since July."
"Oh my gosh! Mandi gave me a copy of the note! I have it but I'll copy it down in case I loose it.
Dear Kim,
I know this may come as a big surprise but will you go with me. I've liked you for a long time and I figure whats it worth liking you if I never ask you. I mean your really pretty and nice and all, but I get tired of being asked who I like and saying you and then fealing bad because they ask me why I'm not going with you. I like you so much and for the first time its more than just being pretty its all the things about you. Just give me a chance and if you don't like me then its over.
Love, James"
-That is actually a pretty mature note for a 12 year old boy - and very sincere. Apparently it did not impress me - and I'm feeling strangely guilty. But not too guilty - he has a wife and children now so his life turned out all right despite my cold-hearted-snakeness.

July 6, 1992 (13 years old, written from church camp)
"I hate this! Camp is so retarded! I hate the rules. I've been coming here for five years and the counselors never paid attention to the stupid rules before. Now we are totally bombarded with retarded rules. Like no headphones. Next year I go to be a counselor for the little kid's week or I don't go at all!"
July 16, 1992
"Okay - cancel everything I said in my last entry. I loved camp. It was one of if not the best years of camp. Probably the best."
-Darn counselors and their no headphones at camp rules.

December 19, 1992 (13 years old)
I am so short. I hate being short. I have a terrible figure and disgusting skin. I am making a list of things to eliminate from my life:
1. Soccer
2. Soap
3. Showers
4. Thursdays"
-????? I'm still scratching my head over that one. And I guess I figured out that eliminating soap from my life would not help with the skin problem...

January 28, 1993 (13 years old)
"Why are parents don't know the word for it but whatever it is, they are like that! I asked my mom to take Lindsey and me to the mall after she dropped Kelli off at a birthday party. But of course, she doesn't feel like going to the mall today. When does she ever? I'm not asking her to make a big huge sacrifice or anything. Just go to the mall. I think she can entertain herself looking at furniture or something for a couple of hours. I hate being 13. I want to be 16 so I can drive myself to the mall so I won't be imprisoned in this house."
-Yeah, Mom. Can't you just look at furniture or something? I know you surely can't have anything better to do! :)

Act 3: Light at the End of the Tunnel: Morphing Back into a real Human

November 11, 1993 (14 years old)
"I can't believe I haven't written in so long! I just never find the time anymore. Well its another exciting Friday night at my house! Me and Lindsey played the alphabet game and sang Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree all night. But my boring weekends don't bother me anymore now that I feel like I have more of a life. I'm so tired! I have zillions upon zillions of things I could write about but I'm ready to fall asleep."
-A breath of fresh air. I'm already sounding more coherent.

September 17, 1994 (15 years old)
Today Lindsey and I had fun just doing nothing all day. Then I went to a band competition at Campbell County High School with the flag team. We had a lot of fun. I can't think of a lot to write these days: I think I changed a lot over the summer. Camp was great. School is okay. I think I like being a sophomore better than being a freshman. Having a study hall is very cool!
-I even recognize me now!

If you're still with me after all those entries - thanks for indulging my walk down memory lane. As I read back through the excerpts I decided to post I can't help but be struck by all that I purposely left out. I did bare my soul to some extent, but even now, 12 - 15 years later as a married, home owning woman with an awesome family and large circle of friends, I'm still embarrassed by many of the entries. I cringe at their uncomfortable dorky-ness and how obsessive I was about so many events/situations. Maybe we all have a 12 year old girl lurking inside of us, ready to come out and attack when she senses a vulnerability.

Anyway, my apologies to everyone I spoke ill of in my journal entries, especially Mom - remember, middle school kids and their brains are not completely human. I didn't give you much credit back then but I could never repay you for all you selflessly did and continue to do for me. So once again - thanks to everyone I knew back then for putting up with me during my "wonder years". Despite all the angst in my journal, I really do have so many fun, humorous, and fond memories of those times.....but I would never want to go back!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It Really IS Spring!

I meant to post this Tuesday, so pretend it is Tuesday the 17th as you read this. Tuesday it was warm and sunny with blue skies (check local listings).

Today (Tuesday - play along) I was so envigorated by the warmth and blue skies that I wanted to do something outside. I really do think my mood is affected by the dreary days (one here and there is fine - you have to have some excuses to stay in all day and knit/crochet as you watch hours of TV!).

At first I wasn't sure what to do outside (clean out my desperately messy car, sit and crochet on my deck) and then I saw what Zipper had been doing to the cloth toy I foolishly bought for her and gave to her about 20 minutes prior (it looked sturdier than many others - but now I think that maybe only NASA could construct a toy sturdy enough for this 10 lb. tornado):

Look at her determination as she rips him apart, thread by thread:

Drunk on Power and Fuzz:

Obviously, Zipper needed something to do. So we went to the park for a walk around the track and a romp in the Dog Park area. Now its been a good long while since Zipper has been subjected to a walk (she has a short attention span), so I was worried she wouldn't be into it.

But she LOVED it - and how could she not? It was such a great day out there.

Enjoying the view across the meadow (soccer field):

On the scent of... I think its a....KILLER ROBIN!!!

Exploring the Mighty Pioneer Creek:

Surveying the land that she has just conquered in the name of Puppydom.

I can't wait to have more days like this one. They're coming.....right?

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Torid and True Details of My Illicit Affair

Well, I promised I'd tell all, and in true tabloid style, I'm prepared to expose my affair to the world.
Okay - here it goes:
Knitting was my first real hobby love - a crush that turned into the real thing. But recently, my hands have been wondering.....
I still love knitting - the way the little "v's" look in stockinette stitch, the endless stitch and pattern possibilities - everything. But.....

I've started "seeing" another hobby: crochet. Ahhh - it feels so good to finally say it! It all started innocently enough - I was reading a blog and looking at the gorgeous pictures of a Granny Square Afghan in the making. And one thing led to another and before I knew it I was glued to the computer, looking at all kinds of crazy pictures - it just happened so fast!

Temptation got the best of me and I let my infatuation take over. I got a hook, I checked out a book on crochet from the library, I found some yarn that compliments my bedroom. And then, I started experimenting around. It was all innocent enough at first - just healthy exploration - normal for a girl my age. But it was addicting and I couldn't stop. Before I knew it, I had this:

Though I was finding much excitement and satisfaction from all my multicolored squares and dreaming of what they will look like when they become my masterpiece blanket, my affair was bittersweet. I would pass by my lonely knitting basket and notice so many unfinished projects - a scarf, a sock, an afghan, a sweater, etc. Was I neglecting knitting? Was the fire gone from our relationship? I didn't think so, but I did do a lot of soul searching.

Despite my concerns I couldn't help myself. What crochet and I have feels too right even if its wrong. And if being wrong feels this good, I don't want to be right! The relationship moved to a new level this past weekend. I started another blanket. I know, I know - I should have learned my lesson the first time. But how was I supposed to resist after I found this? Though it may be graphic, I must post more pictures of the newest fling. Look away if you must.

Like I said before, I've been doing a lot of soul-searching throughout this process and I think I have achieved peace. Call it justification if you want, but I think that knitting and I are mature enough to transition into an "open relationship". You know - free love and following your heart. Heck - sometimes knitting itself even cozies up with crochet and cohabits the same garment or project.

I sat the kids down and explained our new arrangement with them. While the cats are still adjusting to the idea, Zipper was very forward-thinking and accepted it right away; a sure sign that it can't be bad.

So, with much courage I stand before you today (electronically speaking) and profess, with pride: I Am A Hooker!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

All Aboard the Daddy Express

In our ongoing effort to thoroughly spoil our pets, we have reached a new high (or low). Check out Zipper's new preferred mode of transport. She took a tour of the house on "The Daddy Express" now she's taken to calling Randy "servant boy".

I know I promised the details of my sordid affair, but I guess I'm just not ready to spill my guts just yet. Hopefully I will be ready to share all by tonight or tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Nature is Cool - Who Knew?

My parents were nice enough to take my sister and I on an old-school family vacation to visit my aunt and uncle and cousins in Tennessee and the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina this past week (and, of course, our husbands - who both had to work - were nice enough to let us go without them and without too much vacation jealousy). Luckily, our vacation occurred before winter came again (yesterday the wind chill here was 23 degrees) and we enjoyed green grass, bright skies, and blooming flowers. I have never been what you might call a nature lover, so I have really surprised myself this year by how much I have enjoyed this taste of spring and renewal and life.
In fact, I only took one picture of an actual human during this trip: the below image of my sister, Kelli, holding the ranch dressing "on the side" that the waitress at Apollo Flame restaurant (its not as interesting as it sounds) brought with her salad. She didn't use it all.
The first stop on our trip was Hampton, Tennessee, where my Aunt Ann, Uncle Steve, and Cousins Sara and John live. They live in a great old family house complete with a giant wrap-around porch, a couple barns, and a horse, in the foothills of mountains. Maybe its because I'm on vacation whenever I visit, but in this place time seems to slow down and become more leisurely. Little things don't seem as important and I actually enjoy sitting outside and knitting on the porch into the evening, glancing out at the perfect rows of baby trees in the nursery across the road. I would never do that at home - it would never even occur to me - though I have a nice view of trees and rolling hills from my back yard.
After our relaxing time in Tennessee we packed up and headed east to Asheville, North Carolina. Though our primary destination was the historic Biltmore Mansion I was pleasantly delighted by the city of Asheville. I didn't know anything about it before we went and to my surprise, it is an artsy hipster town full of cool restaurants and art galleries/shops - some featuring really innovative handcrafted clothing, accessories, and functional art. We didn't have much time to spend there but Randy and I are already planning a trip to visit soon.
A highlight of my visit to downtown Asheville was a store called Ten Thousand Villages. A non-profit agency, it sells handcrafted items made by artisan in over 30 developing countries who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. I went in expecting the merchandise to be fun to look at but out of my price range. Rather, it was all very reasonably priced and there was so much I wanted to buy. I ended up leaving with an indigo blue star garland to go in our spare room (pictures coming later this week)made in Bengladesh and an amber stone necklace made in India. You can visit their web site here - they have stores all around the country plus you can shop online. I can't wait to go back.

My favorite part of the Biltmore, suprisingly enough, was the garden. Or shall I say "gardens".

With my newfound appreciation of flowers and plants I have been thinking about adopting some and cheering up the house. (If you hear distant, muffled cries its just my only current plant responsibility warning other plants not to come to the "house of torture".) But I don't know if I'm ready for that - maybe I'll just keep looking at the pictures I took instead.
I liked them so much that I already got some enlarged, printed, and framed for a new project I am working on this weekend.
I won't reveal the project in its entirety until it is finished and I have pictures to prove it. All I'll say is: Martha Stewart, look out.
And cut to more garden pictures:

Brace yourselves- the title of my next post is: The Torrid and True Details of My Illicit Affair. Chew on that.