Wednesday, January 31, 2007

They Melt In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hands!

These are just a few of my favorites, in drag:


Mis Nomer





Disclaimer: Any resemblance to the actual person linked above is purely coincidental, and in no way is a reflection of the personality or actual appearance of the blogger linked. Furthermore, the owner of this blog takes zero, nada, zippo, NO responsibility for any damages caused by the use of these images which are used here solely for representational purposes.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Post Preview - Let's Go! Ireland

Update: I changed my post title in case anyone cares about such things...

I'm just dying to get a chance to post about our Sunday afternoon Irish pub experience at O'Malley's Pub in Weston, MO. This place has all the ambience of a true Irish pub, and the sing-a-longs to go with it. I've got video footage and everything (but I cannot upload the video until I can get to Panera's with the free high-speed wifi). Don't get too excited. There is no footage of me or my husband actually singing or anything, although Bob the singer did try very hard to get MBH up on stage to sing a Croatian song or two. "Maybe next time," was the agreement, when Bob learns to play a Croatian song or two. I mean, aside from both being predominantly Catholic countries and having an affinity for polkas, there is not much else that binds the two countries musically. But anyway, we had much fun and I'll be back with the full report, letting the story brew (gah!) for a day or two.


New Blog Profile

My inner M&M:

Go here and create your own M&M character. Thanks, Foo. I needed that.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Project 52 - #4

Winter Supplies

I posted about the winter provisioning earlier in the season, courtesy of my husband, but didn't have the photographic evidence to prove it. As you can see, the Kozy Shack supplies continue to be replenished, lest we find ourselves housebound in yet another winter storm. Man cannot live by Kozy Shack alone however. And so, we also have The Old Plum Brandy and Heinekens. The brandy supply should hold out 'til summer, having consumed most of our average annual allotment during the holidays. In Croatia, however, they drink this for breakfast every morning, alongside a demitasse of pleasantly thick coffee, supplemented with two or three tablespoons of sugar.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Is It Spring Yet?

The Winter Paperwhites...look it! They're blooming! :-)

Update: Darko's comment sparked a thought about how this Flower Project began as a leap of faith and ended in what you see here. I know they're not much, but you must realize that I have never had a green thumb and was doubtful that anything would ever come of putting some bulbs in a bowl of rocks without dirt. But with time and patience and a little watering and trust, it blossomed I realize now that this is a metaphor for our walk in faith with God. Sweet. :-)


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

No Guns?!

This was the new sign on the door today when I arrived at the office. Okay, not really. It was really more like this. Had they consulted me, it would have looked more like this. But as usual, they did not ask my opinion.

Regardless, it's hard to imagine that a sign was really necessary. I mean, it's an accounting office. C'mon. We're a peaceful people.

We also got this email announcement to further explain (and there was laughter throughout cubicledom):

"A law was passed in Kansas on July 1, 2006 that allows citizens to carry concealed weapons. The issuance of permits to carry weapons begins in January 2007.

Please be advised that XYZ Co. prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons while on XYZ Co. property and while engaged in employment duties. We ask for your cooperation in preserving the values of XYZ Co. to provide a safe and professional work environment. Please review the pertinent XYZ Co. polices on Workplace Violence and Unacceptable Activities."

I think what struck the staff as so funny (literally, you could hear folks laughing throughout the office as soon as they opened this email) is the fact that we've only just begun tax season. Are they really worried we're going to go ballistic in January? Not likely. April? Load up the bazookas.

Well, that, and...we have a policy on "workplace violence and unacceptable activities?" Does anyone really need to look in the employee handbook to find out if a company tolerates workplace violence and unacceptable activities or not? If someone is inclined to commit such acts, are they really the sort who is likely to consult the employee handbook first? This is why I'm not in the Human Resources department.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Random Thoughts Posted Over Dinner

Tonight, the office ordered dinner in for us. Chinese. My fortune?

"The night life is for you."

"Night life," as in discotechs, clubs, bars, dance halls, whatever you kids call them these days? Ha! Very funny. That life is not for me! Although I have been known to pay my respects to our local honky tonk once in awhile.

But there might be some truth in the "night life," as in working late. I've always been a night owl, hitting my stride about 4 pm and working into the wee hours. That is normal for me. So maybe that is where I will find my fortune. Who knows?

I received this fortune many years ago, at lunch, the day of a dear friend's funeral:

"The one you love is closer than you think." This one made me look around the room a bit, but I appreciated the affirmation. The timing was perfect.

Does anyone else remember or keep these things? I hate it when I get a really stupid fortune, like "you will have good luck" (not that I don't want "good luck," whatever that might mean, but this doesn't speak to me in the kind of specific terms that I'm looking for). Or no fortune at all. That's never good. And then I want to try again, pick another cookie. But I know I'm stuck with the first one I'm dealt. That's the first rule of fortune cookies. ;-)

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Cute Animal Pictures

I've been reduced to photos. Actual blogging will resume sometime after April 15, or whenever I get over my cold, whichever comes first.

"Open Sesame"

Mole Hunting

Feeding Time


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Project 52 - #3

Finally, we have snow! Enough with the ice already. Yesterday afternoon, as I drove home from work, it began snowing. The drive home was not bad, but a mile from home, on our neighborhood streets and safely off the highway, I could not make it up the snow covered hills. I could have easily walked home from where I had come to "rest," but the thought of leaving Grasshoppah on the side of the road to become roadkill saddened me. I called my husband to come to my rescue. He brought the Tahoe and a supply of rope. After coming dangerously close to "jackknifing" the rig that consisted of one Tahoe and one Bug conjoined by one carelessly placed rope, we eventually wiggled our way to the top of the hill and hobbled home. This morning revealed a lovely snow covered yard. For this week's entry in Project 52, we have Nature's bounty:

The Front Yard

The Back Yard (Snow Angel)


The Side Yard

The Yard Machine


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Blogroll Additions

This addition is more along the lines of a true life miracle. Beau and Jen (aka Beau's Bride) are (FINALLY!) the proud parents of a "little" (for being one month premature, 7 pounds is not exactly little) baby boy, named Jesse Andrew! Go over and wish them well in their new parenting venture. This family is the role model for patience and virtue. Truly.

And then there's another, over on the other side of the globe, in Slovenia (be prepared for a graphic display of the leftover "spare parts"'s safe for viewing, just a warning for those who are a little faint of heart) as the Isoglossia family has its second baby boy, named Aleksander Julian. The photos of the two brothers together are adorable.

Congratulations to these latest blogroll additions!!!


Saturday, January 13, 2007

For My Brother

He asked for it. ;-) This time in the super-duper-click-to-enlarge-format:

Nice Wallabies, Bro. ;-)


Project 52 - #2

Winter Paperwhites (Progression Toward Spring)


Friday, January 12, 2007

Just Shy of a Miracle

Nearly half the day gone and I'm just getting to work. At home.

By 9:30, I was almost to the office. By 10:30 am? Back home.

Today's ice "storm" was deceptively dangerous. For one, they weren't calling it an "ice storm" exactly. Just a "winter weather advisory." Some "freezing drizzle" in the morning, more after 6:00 pm. Perfect. I'll beat the "freezing rain" ("drizzle" I can handle, or so I thought) to the office and come home before it kicks up a notch after rush hour. As it turns out, we can only drive in freezing "drizzle" as long as nobody needs to stop or slow down. Driving along at 60 mph, thinking the road was fine and I'd be only a little late to the office, I suddenly found myself in need of brakes. A car up ahead, in the middle of 3 lanes (full of traffic), was inexplicably spinning in circles. Though I was forewarned by the weathermen, it still took me by surprise. More surprising was when I went to brake and my brakes immediately locked up. Look, Ma! No brakes!! I could see that others were just discovering this same fact as many around me fishtailed and I saw brake lights on and off, all of us pumping the brakes. And bracing ourselves for the impending, almost unavoidable, impact(s). My heart raced and I shut my eyes a time or two, but kept pumping the brakes. Fortunately, nobody hit anyone. The spinning car eventually found some traction and turned around, headed South again. After that, I immediatly saw three cars sliding off the road into various degrees of ditch, one nearly rolled on a particularly steep embankment. I pulled into the right lane so I could drive on the shoulder grooves if needed, and decided to turn it around and go home. I was so shaken that I could barely punch the numbers on my cell phone to report in to work. On the way back home, there was more evidence that I was not the only one caught by surprise this morning. Altogether, I probably saw about 15 cars in some kind of undesireable predicament. Nothing so bad that anyone got hurt (though I did hear of a serious accident on the other side of town involving the Jaws of Life). Thankfully, I made it back home without incident. And that may not have happened had it not been for what took place yesterday.

Because yesterday, I got new tires. My old tires had 79,971 miles on them, so they were pretty shot. I heartily endorse Michelins for their durability and performance. So I bought 4 new Michelins even though they were not cheap. I could immediately feel the difference last night when I drove home. I'm pretty sure that my bald tires would not have
performed nearly so well this morning. :-)

But that's only part of the miracle.

The other part came in the form of a free catalytic converter. When I took my car into the dealer to have the "check engine" light checked out, they told me that their computer could no longer talk to my car because I had replaced the stock radio and the installer of the new radio had not "pulled out the K wire." Yeah, so what? So there's a "K wire" in there, whatever. Go ahead and pull it if you have to. But I was told that without the special "stereo removal tool," they would not be able to get to the "K wire" without dismantling my entire dash which would be expensive, etc. And without pulling the "K wire," there would be no way for them to check the engine. And believe me, I asked, "So, couldn't you just like check the engine, you know, mechanically, the old fashioned way?" Um, no. No, we cannot. So I said, "Fine, I'll just pick up the car after you do the tires and oil change, and I'll take it back to the installer for K wire removal." Sounds like a very special operation.

About 3 pm, I received a phone call. It was the dealer. Hey, Gwynne, I have good news! That's not something you hear every day from your mechanic. Right, Jim (BTW, the VW dealer is right across the street from Gashland Presbyterian know that church, don't you)? Anyway, he said that they took the car down the street to a stereo shop that was able to remove the radio, pull the K-wire, and then the dealer was able to hook up communications to the engine. Turned out I needed a new catalytic converter. And the best news? VW warranties the catalytic converter up to 80,000 miles. And as I already noted, I was at 79,971 on the odometer. Had I even driven as far as my own stereo shop and returned to have the light checked, the warranty would have expired. Things like this don't usually happen to me. I was prepared to spend a lot of money to get my bug out of hock. As it turned out, all I had to pay for was the tires. What a great day!

Okay, back to work...gosh, I love "working" at home. ;-)

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Blogroll Additions

I don't know why I feel compelled to announce additions to my blogroll, other than to share a good thing, but today I added the following good/interesting/funny reads to my roll:

Blog Meridian is a fellow Kansas blogger, of the KGB (aka the Kansas Guild of Bloggers), who writes wonderful commentary on film, art, books, music and ideas...he teaches English comp and seems to know a thing or two about writing, and ideas in general; Brian, and others who enjoy Edward Hopper, might enjoy this post which was the first post I left a comment on but not the first I read...John writes a narrative of what might be transpiring in the painting that reminds me of my own art museum note-taking exercises, only much more detailed and thought provoking.

In-A-Bloga-Da-Vida (isn't that a great blog name?) is John's much lighter blog, full of parodies (starting with the blog title obviously).

And Freakonomics, because I am finally reading the book that so many others before me have read. The revised edition refers to the blog, and I just went on today for the first time. I'm enjoying the book so far, especially the first chapter (all that I've read) in which they discuss what motivates people (broken down into social, moral and financial incentives). Their premise is "if morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work" and they proceed to show us how everything in the world is much easier to understand if we just know what questions to ask. If I become too disgusted with the book or the material, it will come down. For anyone who hasn't read it, it's worth a peak. It has my interest peaked anyway.

There you go. Something to (hopefully) take away the pain of that last dreary post.


Hey, I Have Something Important To Say!


I forgot what it was. 8-}

Have you ever been in a meeting where you felt not a single word you said mattered? No one is listening to you? You offer up a solution to a problem and the discussion about how to solve the problem just goes on indefinitely? You know your solution will work, but nobody can hear you? You have experience with what they are talking about, but nobody cares?

These are the days you go to bed at night and wonder why God placed you in that place at that time. What in the world were you supposed to be doing?? I can only assume that I was supposed to be learning something by listening to them, but honestly? All I learned was that it's important to be a good listener, i.e. what it feels like not to be listened to (and I know that ends with a preposition, but I'm not sure what to do about it). And honestly? Okay, honestly, maybe I'm not always a good listener. But I try.

In today's meeting (not for work but for a charitable board I sit on...I'm actually the Treasurer and the issues we were discussing involved money, the taking in of money, the counting of money, the internal control related to money, something about which I'm supposed to be knowledgeable and for which I'm supposed to be responsible), here are some things I thought about doing (but would never actually do in real life) to get their attention:

1) Get up and walk out, slamming the door and leaving a trail of ditritus in my wake (you know, like stuff that might fall out of my purse, girl things and such)

2) Throw my pencil across the room and scream "Hey, I have something important to say!" (I actually had a client throw a pencil across the room once...nobody got hurt, but that was not a very pleasant moment)

3) Push myself away from the table, close my notebook and refuse to talk even if a question was posed directly to me, maybe pull the New Testament out of my purse (amongst a group who does not read the NT) and start reading, completely disengaging myself mentally but not physically

4) Pull out my cell phone and start talking loudly to a friend, pretending to place bets on horse races, making shsshing noises and motioning with my finger for them to wait for me, to indicate this is a very important call I need to make but I'll be just a minute.

5) Pull out my laptop and start blogging, laughing at the incredibly witty things you all have to say that are way more fun than what I had to listen to in there.

There, I'm glad I got that off my chest. I'm sorry you had to see all that. 8-}

Meetings. *sigh*

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Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Emma has some priceless quotes up today...go read. Go!

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Sunday, January 07, 2007


I just finished transferring the rest of our CDs to our iPods. It took most of the weekend, but we still have room on the pods, which means we need more music. It is nice to have that task completed.

My husband's collection includes all of the Croatian, German, Bavarian, Polish, and other variations of the accordion genre. There's also a whole CD of German Military Marches...and let me just say, OUCH! I love listening to the accordion/polka stuff once in awhile but didn't want to "clutter" my pod with it.

I have more important things, you know, like this collection of "Sixteen Stirring Patriotic Themes," to install. Of all our CDs, this is the only one that iTunes has declared "unclassifiable." Not "unclassified" or "uncategorized" or even blank, but "unclassifiable." No category for America the Beautiful? Or God Bless America? Stars & Stripes Forever? Star Spangled Banner? What is wrong with iTunes? Or do these rise above all classification? Well, I classified them as "Gospel." :-)

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Childhood Memories

Okay, I know I just committed to only one photo a week, but that was before I re-discovered the CD of digitized family photos that Dad put together for me and my brother a couple years ago. Dad's probably horrified now that I'm posting my childhood photos on the internet, but these made me laugh out loud so I thought I'd share (thanks, Dad!). Update: Unfortunately, Blogger won't provide the link to the enlarged pictures wherein you could get a better look at my brother's facial expression in Running With Bananas (for which he is surely grateful), or the incubator sitting on our outdoor picnic table which serves as the dining table (for which my mother is surely grateful).

First up, for Mis_Nomer, see? (for those just joining us, we were just discussing our bow-legs)

(I made the dress myself...Mom still has it as a souvenir :-)

Raised As Monkeys (Running With Bananas)

Nearly Eaten By Poodles (Is Anyone Watching the Baby?! )

Last Bikini Sighting

"Camping" in the Basement

(note the matches, cans of soup, Sterno and what is that, my Christening dress?!)

...let us thank Him for the food...and the chickens that are about to hatch at the dinner table and for the R.C. Cola. Amen.

I have the greatest Dad in the world!


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Project 52 - #1

While Mis_Nomer and others participate in Project 365, I'm afraid I can't commit to such consistency, but I (Blogger willing) plan to participate in my own make-believe Project 52, in which I will commit to posting a snapshot of anything I feel like, on a weekly basis. The first will serve a dual purpose, in that it also counts as an entry into Susiebadoozer's contest of car interiors.

Now, I know that my car is not the messiest (but it's not clean either, as you can see), but my car is the coolest. Because I have flowers. Yes! And lime green leather seats. Go ahead, poke fun. I double dog dare you. I have lime green leather driving gloves to match. 8-}

Update: Here's a link to the "instructions." I don't expect this picture to have much historical significance in a year, but you never know. I may rid myself of all possessions by then and remember the day when I could transport myself places without aid of public transportation.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Library fines! Boy, talk about penance. I mean, really.

I went to the library knowing full well I had been a very bad girl last year and was prepared to come clean, pay my fines, it being the new year and all. But at the checkout counter, in front of God and everybody, the librarian announced that I owed $133.14! Where did I go so wrong?! So she printed out the impressive and studious looking list for me...Season of Passion, by Danielle Steele (who on earth used my library card for that???); Finding the Dream, by Nora Roberts (again, not mine!); Dances With Wolves, Julie of the Wolves, Ordinary Wolves (youngest daughter was into wolves last summer, last summer); Timbuktu and Book of Illusions, both by Paul Auster (these were in fact mine...Timbuktu was good if you enjoy sad tales told from a homeless person's dog's perspective; Illusions not so much), and The Grave Maurice, by Martha Grimes (a mystery involving animal rights...this must belong to the youngest daughter again).

I thought I had turned all of these in (late, yes, but delivered). But my library card was officially "blocked" unless I could come up with $133.14. I think you have to be really bad to be blocked from the library. I felt ashamed. So I wrote a check and got my receipt, went home and started looking for the books, hoping to return them to their rightful owner and maybe get my money back. The last place I looked was the garage. Yes, the garage! It appears that we had bundled them up, and put them in the back of the car, but before we could make it to the library, we detoured someplace exotic like Omaha and cleaned out the back of the truck to make room for suitcases. So there they were, all 8 books, in a bag. I trucked them back to the library, begged for forgiveness (and got my check back). I offered to pay the late fines because I knew there were some. $8.00. That's it. Over 6 months late and that's all I owe?! And I had to ask them to bill me for that. I almost felt like letting them keep the check as a donation. Please remember to support your local libraries and librarians!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Without Doubt There is No Faith

Julie has written a wonderful post (I know this surprises everyone who reads her blog) and the post title is a direct quote from it...profound as always. I struggled for many years with trying to reason my way to believing in God, to rationalize the existence of something I could not see. I needed proof. I needed a logical explanation, even if it was complicated. I finally realized that all the research in the world would not reveal anything that was not, as Julie said, "merely human proof." In the end, believing is a choice, a leap of faith. There will always be doubt. It is necessary. It's the reason we call it Faith.


Monday, January 01, 2007

You Know Who I Am

"Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman."

With results like this, what's not to post? But let it be known, I will not show up wearing lycra tights and body suit. Ever.

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Via The Incredible Hulk


President Ford Eaten By Wolves

Thanks to the mindful watch of sgazzetti, here is a link to the SNL skit performed by Dana Carvey over 10 years ago. Although it did not prove prophetic, the real life trifecta almost proved to be stranger than fiction.

President Ford Eaten By Wolves