Wednesday, February 28, 2007

KC Bloggers Meet

To my knowledge, I have no "readers" in the Kansas City area apart from my family, but in the off chance that someone out there reads this and is interested in putting a face with the names of some (or at least one) of the area's talented bloggers, Saturday is a special opportunity to do so. On Saturday, John B. (Mr. Meridian), is taking his college Humanities class on a field trip to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum (all the way from Wichita!). After their tour of this world class museum, Mr. (and maybe the Mrs.) Meridian will be at Barnes & Noble on the Plaza by 3:30.

I'm still toying with the idea of lurking at the museum so I might eavesdrop in on the field trip class. What a great opportunity to hear someone who knows what he's talking about discuss some great artwork.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Driving Miss Daisy

Miss Daisy (aka the Navigation System) and I are slowly warming up to each other. I'm learning to trust her and she's learning that I don't always do as I'm told. We've had words, she and I. But she's amazingly resilient when I veer off course and she has to make adjustments to the route. I will admit to having doubts about Miss Daisy's ability to steer me where I want to go, but so far, she has not let me down. GPS technology is amazing, is it not? We can thank our mighty military for that. But more to the point. The point being that it is irritating to be constantly reminded of things you already know. Like when you're driving along I-35 and the plan is to continue on I-35 for the next 25 miles or so, it really is not necessary to interrupt the music every 2-3 miles to state that I should "continue on I-35." I like my music. I don't like interruptions. I see no need for the constant reminders. When it's time to take an exit OFF of the highway that I am on, then I'd like a hint. Until then, quiet. Miss Daisy is a control freak, I've decided. It takes one to know one. ;-)

And another thing. I've been testing Miss Daisy, using her to guide me to places I already know how to find. This way, I can see if she really knows her stuff (because of course, I already know the best and fastest way to get home and to the office...I me...okay, so maybe not). The first time I took my husband out in The Prince and wanted to show him how smart Miss Daisy is, she suggested that we take a little one lane country road to get to the highway from our house. Neither of us had gone that route before but we followed her directions all the while seriously doubting that she would get us out alive, and voila! There was the highway!

So we're developing trust and learning to be patient with her insistent ways and her constant reminders delivered in that sugary-sweet-gentle-knowing-kindergarten-teacher voice. She has already proven herself to be a worthy investment, but I will never give up my paper maps. I just love maps. I could paw over them all the way from Boston to San Francisco if given the opportunity. I hope Miss Daisy is not the jealous type.

For Darko, who had much grander delusions of just who is in control, "Princess Grace" was very clever but I just couldn't bring myself to talk back to a Princess. ;-)


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Busy Week, A Report

Like you want to know what I'm doing over here. Like it's interesting or something. And while it feels like all I do is work these days, here is a list of what I have done since last Saturday:

1. Helped my husband give a bid to paint a large and very old building in downtown Kansas City, next door to this building (helped, as in follow him around with a camera and write stuff down on a piece of paper; no scaffolding).

2. Bought a new (used) car, a BUICK! I know. Told you I was boring.

It's white and it looks like this. And it came with a navigational lady that tells me where to go (she needs a name; I'll entertain all suggestions) and a tv/dvd in the back, and XM radio. All stuff I didn't want or ask for, but there it is and I'm sure we'll enjoy it. It was the right price. Cheap! Only 15,000 miles, fully loaded, and for 1/2 (HALF) of the MSRP! It helps to have car dealerships for clients. :-) I still have my Beetle but no longer feel stranded when the 18-year-old has our only 4X4 and we are hit with an unexpected snow storm. Of course, as soon as I bought it, the temperatures rose to 65 degrees and snow is no longer even a remote possibility. Much like how washing my car brings rain showers, I have discovered the way to stop the "wintery mix" as well. This could get expensive. We now have five vehicles for a 3-driver family. Good thing we live in the country where we can live like the Clampets. Did I mention that we also have a bathtub in the yard? Yeah. Two, actually. I'll be sure to take pictures.

3. Visited the Dead Sea Scrolls (this was a mostly disappointing display of bits, tiny bits, of parchment paper); I was underwhelmed by their size and authenticity (several were replicas); more on this "once in a lifetime opportunity" later...maybe. Here's a picture of the inside of Union Station (the old train station). This is where the scrolls are on display.

4. Saw the V-Monologues (don't make me say it) with 4 other ladies, all accountants (that's enough to make your hair stand up, isn't it?) All I can say is ugh. Although there were some good performances, I thought this was sad and disgusting. Enough said. Menopause, the Musical was much, much better.

5. Bowling tonight (a fundraiser and company wide event). Looking forward to busting a ligament in my knee again. ;-)

Update: No torn ligaments. All in all, a relatively fun evening if score is not important.

6. And finally, a lovely dinner and speaker event put on by our local Estate Planning Society.

7. Transferred our fish from their 5 gallon tank to a new 10 gallon tank and then held vigil over their tank while one appeared to drift in and out of a coma. I nearly tossed him in the trash twice when I came home to find him upside down and lifeless. But with a little nurturing and some fresh lettuce, he now appears healthier than before the transition.

That's all for now. It's not even Friday yet.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One Track Mind

I have reached a brief respite in my mind. Isn't it wonderful when you reach a stopping point on the trail of a long hike up the mountain and can go ahhh, take a deep breath or two before going on? That's where I am right now. I've just cleared off the scattered heaps from my desk, organized a nice little box beside my desk in which to put "tax returns for review" so that they don't have to rest all over my desk threatening me with bodily harm if I do not pick them up immediately. I just caught up on my time sheet (wherein I record how I spend every. minute. of. my. day.) . I've spent these last few days scurrying about crossing things off my To Do list at a frantic pace, without pausing to write down which clients I have been working on. Until I clear my mind of all these details that need to be committed to paper, I cannot rest enough to move onto the next task with a clear head. I can feel the neurons shooting around my head like a pinball machine.

I've discovered that I am not really a multi-tasker at heart. I like to move things linearly across my desk. One thing at a time. But this is not the life of a public accountant, interrupted constantly with phone calls, emails, co-workers, all with pressing matters, not all of which can be resolved in the instant, causing utter chaos in my head. I have a one-track mind but I live in a multi-track world and most of the time, it feels like a trainwreck. But right now, I've got before me a stack of tax returns, the phone is off, nobody is emailing me, nobody else is in the building (or if they are, they are like me and keeping to themselves trying to get their own work done) and I plan to review some tax returns. One. By. One.



Sunday, February 18, 2007

Project 52 - # 7

Sunday Drive


Friday, February 16, 2007

Mmmm, Gumbo!

For Superbowl Sunday, we made our favorite (read easy) gumbo. When in New Orleans a few years ago, we sampled the gumbo of nearly every eating establishment in the city and for those who have been there, you know that's a lot of gumbo! Here is the recipe we made, upon request by my step-mother. It's a slightly modified version of the Filé Gumbo from The Gumbo Shop cookbook. The only modifications I made were to reduce the salt from 2 to 1 tsp and to add a pound of shrimp. For those who like okra (you know who you are), this recipe may disappoint, but I encourage you to try this quicker and (imho) equally tasty alternative.

1 (2 ½ pound) chicken
3 quarts water
½ C. plus 2 Tbls butter
2 C. chopped onion
2 C. chopped green bell pepper
2 C. chopped celery
¼ C. minced garlic
¼ C. filé powder
¾ lb. smoked sausage, sliced in ¼ in rounds (spicy Andouille is preferred)
1 lb large frozen (cooked) shrimp
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 C. tomato sauce (I've substituted 2 C. of canned chopped tomatoes with pleasant results)
¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
Steamed rice

Cut and cook the chicken in a stock pot, covered with 3 qts water, bring to boil then simmer 1 hour until meat is tender. Remove chicken and cool, then remove from bone and tear into bite sized pieces.

Strain the stock and skim fat off of the cooled stock.

In same stock pot (or Dutch oven), melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion, celery and bell pepper until tender allowing veggies to stick and brown a bit.

Add chopped garlic and saute 2 minutes.

Stir in filé and sauté (stirring often) 5 minutes.

Add sausage, salt and peppers and cook 10 minutes.

Add tomato sauce and Tabasco and cook 10 minutes allowing it to stick to bottom of pan.

Slowly add 8 cups of the chicken stock, stirring continuously, bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes.

Add more stock if too thick or too spicy.

Add chicken and shrimp and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Remove from heat and serve over steamed rice.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

We've Got Tickets!

To see Eric Clapton on April 2nd! There's something so very endearing about Eric Clapton. His music is timeless, his talent seemingly endless and his ability to communicate through his instrument amazing. He's one of my favorite musicians.

I wasn't always a fan. I remember hearing his hard living song Cocaine as a teenager and being turned off. Unlike many Clapton fans back in the 70's, I was a goody two-shoes and preferred listening to Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond and Bread. And that's if I listened to music at all. I don't think I cared much for music until after graduating from high school. Mostly I watched Leave It To Beaver and Gilligan's Island on the teevee and called it good. So to say I've been a fan from the beginning would be an overstatement. I probably didn't come to love, really love, Clapton until he released Journeyman (my first Clapton acquisition) and then Unplugged, which I think some might say single-handedly "changed the world" (to quote the master himself), or at least significantly influenced "our" preference for acoustic over electric guitar. For me, Unplugged cinched the deal. At that time, I was barely familiar with the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream or Blind Faith, all bands which benefitted from Eric's involvement during his early career. But by then, I had come to appreciate the blues and what Clapton had done to fuse blues with rock 'n roll. And it is this blues influence that I love the most about his music. From The Cradle is almost exclusively blues, as is another favorite of mine, a collection of duets with B.B. King, entitled Riding With The King.

I just love his humble stage presence and his aging voice, not to mention his musical abilities. I'm looking forward to seeing him again. He's a real gem.

This reminds me of a meme that Jaynee started but I never completed, to list all of the concerts you have been to in your life. For many of the blues festivals I've been to, it is hard to remember all of the performers we might have seen in a particular weekend, but I plan to do this just for fun. I would love to see your list if you want to participate in the meme.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

I read Searchie's diary entry today and laughed. This might have been my diary entry when I was 10. In fact, I'll bet Searchie spoke (and speaks) for 10-year-old girls everywhere with this entry:

I know he likes me because he kept hitting me over the head with his book bag when we walked home from school last week.

Even way back then (well, maybe not so way back ;-), you can see her writing talent start to peek through. And her compassion for people:

I feel sad for Matthew who is very poor and couldn’t afford to give any out.

And her desire to experience what we all wish for in life:

I hope I fall in love some day.

May you all enjoy this day, and everyday, with those you love.


The New Blogger

Finally. Finally, I've been asked to the dance. The "New Blogger" dance. I'm not sure whether to say yes or no to the invitation. For now, I've ignored the question, hoping to put off the inevitable a bit longer. I'm thinking about changing the language on my blog, just for a day, to see how that goes. What do you think? I'm a little worried though that I won't be able to find the buttons then to change back to English. Has anyone done this before?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Your Dream Car?

Rachel has posted our dream cars (if you're a commenter over at her place go check it out). And if you're not but still want to know what your dream car is, you'll have to ask her, because I couldn't find a magic link for this scientific study.

This reminds me of a cute "From the Mouths of Babes" story. Rachel absolutely nailed the car of my youthful dreams. One of my parents' friends drove one of those 12-cylinder Jaguars that looks like...well, the front end is very long and it's the definitive British sports car and I thought it was very cool. I've outgrown my affinity for anything that is overtly showy. Ask my family and they will tell you that I am the ultimate bore when it comes to "bling."

So once upon a time, we pulled into our local historic downtown square to go to our favorite ice cream parlor. We had to navigate our way through a Corvette car show to get to the ice cream. As we were trying to find parking, I let out a comment that would come back to bite me (as comments made in the company of children are wont to do). "Look at all these Corvettes. I don't like Corvettes very much. They're so phallic," said I, the wise one. Not surprisingly, the next question was "what does phallic mean?" "Um, well, it's like a man's private part; you see how the shape of the front of the Corvettes looks like that? Men who drive Corvettes are just showing off," I said, without any evidence whatsoever to back up this claim (and to any of my readers who happen to drive a Corvette, I apologize, but really, what are you thinking?!) And there was silence in the back seat of the car for a minute. We parked the car and started walking through the street full of cars. The cars and their owners were in full preening mode, feathers up. We were bumping shoulders with their owners when the youngest daughter (the one with the very loud made-for-theatre voice) asked, "WHAT WAS THAT WORD AGAIN? WAS IT PHALLIC OR PHALLIS?"

Groan. Another lesson learned on the front lines of parenting. 8-}

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

What Are The Odds?

Today, I discovered a new used music, video game and movie store in town. It’s in a new strip mall, next to the new Starbucks with the drive-thru! I’d seen the store front for awhile (“Vintage Stock”) but thought it was a vintage clothing store and ignored it. Today I saw the whole sign and pulled in to take a look, leaving my hot latte in the car thinking I’d just be a minute. By the time I came out, I was $125 poorer and sipping a cold $4.80 Venti Pumpkin Spiced Skinny Latte. And none of this would be the least bit noteworthy if not for what happened at checkout.

First, I have a question. Is it a pre-requisite for the job in a used music store that you be an emaciated teen who suffers from severe acne and excessive tattoos and piercings? Because there must have been 5 guys working in the place and they all looked exactly alike. And you would not think that I, a middle aged professionally dressed mother of two, would have anything in common with these young fellows. But that would be wrong.

I spent about an hour perusing the entire CD collection, starting at the letter “A” (and for the most part, all the genres were co-mingled…they did have a small section marked “Jazz” and another marked “Blues” and yet another marked “Christian,” but each of these was only about 50 CDs, with very little variety (for example, the Blues section was all Ray Charles and Stevie Ray Vaughn…and one Ella Fitzgerald CD, but not any more, because I bought that one). The Christian section was mostly Amy Grant and a few Wow Worship collections. Perusing the larger collection of mixed genre music was an entertaining walk back in time to my high school days (B-52’s, Three Dog Night, Paul Simon, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, etc.) and a clear reflection of the demographics of the community in which I live…clearly a lot of middle aged, middle class white folks without a very wide diversity of musical taste. But I picked up some old favorites (including all of the above) that I once had on vinyl.

None of the CDs were actually in their jewel cases, so when I got to the cash register, one of the guys (after ignoring me for several minutes because he was busy doing something on the computer…maybe playing a video game) shouted to one of the other guys that he had a stack of CDs to be pulled (presumably from a neatly alphabetized drawer of matching CDs…ahem…you would think). So off goes the other guy to collect my CDs when I hear a song overhead that I recognize…Hey Jude, by The Beatles (this was my very first 45 ever! It’s also one of the songs on one of the CDs I’m purchasing, a two volume Beatles collection). And I wait. And wait. This is a very time consuming process (others are now lining up and getting impatient) as he opens up drawers in no particular order and I hold back the urge to jump over the counter and alphabetize everything. Twenty minutes later, he’s finally down to the last jewel case and searching everywhere for the missing CD. Finally, he goes over to the store’s CD player and pulls my CD out of the player. The Hey Jude I was just listening to was mine! I know they weren’t playing the Beatles when I came into the store or even by the time I got to the “Bs.” What are the odds that, out of the thousands of CDs in the store, these young guys, who looked more like metal fans, would choose to play the same CD that I just picked up?! Weird. This just confirms that we're all more alike than we sometimes care to admit. ;-)

And I couldn’t resist sampling something by the Squirrel Nut Zippers. This campy take-off of 1920's jazz is actually quite good imho. As is the candy.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Lonely (Project 52 - #6)

Friday Evening, 7:30 pm

In a building with over 400 employees, I would expect at least one other car in the parking lot at such an early hour during tax season. But not last night.


Friday, February 09, 2007


That can't be right. I've never done a step of Pilates in my life! I don't know who bought this, but nobody else is claiming it, so it's in the bin marked "Gwynne's Favorites." I don't think so.

I guess if I'm going to show my husband's collection (or a very small part of it), it's only fair to show you mine. This is it. No alphabetized lists needed. And there are even a couple duplicates in my bin. I don't watch a lot of movies, even fewer more than once, so I restrict my purchases to the "classics." You know, like The Blob. And Carwash. If you've been reading here for long, you already know I have good taste (or so says my mythological creature). ;-)


God Issues

Eric was the first to point me (and anyone else who took him up on his suggestion) to this daily e-mail subscription. I rarely take the time to read daily e-mail subscriptions on a, um, daily basis but this is an exception. Every article, every day, is relevant, humorous and short. Short is important if you're like me and don't have time to read something longer no matter how relevant or humorous it may be (well, okay, if it's really humorous, I've got all day ;-). Today's article struck me in a way that said, "share this with everybody." So here it is. And if you like this, I highly recommend the daily subscription. You can't beat the price (FREE!) but the daily messages are priceless.

To subscribe, go here.

And thanks, Eric, for the great referral!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

I Am Pegasus!

How very self-aggrandizing. Good taste? Excellent social skills? Public admiration? I guess that's why this is my mythological creature.

You Are a Pegasus

You are a perfectionist, with an eye for beauty.

You know how to live a good life - and you rarely deviate from your good taste.

While you aren't outgoing, you have excellent social skills.

People both admire you - and feel very comfortable around you.

What Mythological Creature Are You?

From The Little Mermaid. ;-)


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Steven Seagal Anyone?

Doing a little "Spring" cleaning (hey, a girl can wish anyway) and getting all of my husband's VHS tapes & DVDs sorted by genre, and in some cases, by actor. I say "my husband's" because I want no part of this...

And besides, all of my favorites fit neatly into one bin. His, on the other hand, occupy many (and you can see why). Does anyone need or want some Steven Seagal movies? How about Sylvester Stallone? Arnold, the Governator? John Wayne? Lee Van Cliff? Sheesh. ;-)


Monday, February 05, 2007

Superbowl 2007 (Project 52 - #5)

First off, a disclaimer...I did not use the company server to upload this photo (now I sound like Bill Clinton). I uploaded it last night on my personal computer using Panera's super-duper free there. I am, however, currently posting this blurb from my company's server. Would someone out there with some IT sense please tell me if what I am currently doing is usurping company bandwidth? I really do think it was all those M&M caricatures that blew up the "system," but I want to be respectful. I also want to post something and I am currently stuck at the office for awhile longer (I've already got 10 hours on my timesheet and a couple more to go). Please, Mr. Mordac? May I? Please?

For those who watched the Superbowl on Sunday, you know that this here was a fine way to watch it, with a Play-Doh bucket over your head.

Also, I figured if I was gonna show a picture of my most cutest nephew on national television without his parents' permission, I best use one that maintains his anonymity. The cutest part was that he was really getting into the game and discovered that the bucket made a great helmet (except for the fact he couldn't see where he was going, or who was throwing stuff at him, or where he was throwing stuff in return). He made Granddad wear the flat bucket lid so that they were both suited up for the game. This added a much needed element of humor to the game, as did the commercials. Eric has a great live-blog recap of the Superbowl commercials over at his place.


Friday, February 02, 2007

This Was Bound To Happen

Stupid M&Ms. I knew they would cause trouble. Today, I received an email from the IT Director at our corporate office in Cleveland, telling me that I have (finally?) risen to the top of the abusers of company bandwidth, based on their daily audit of such things. 5,000 users on our network and I get singled out for an email warning. Pfft. I don't stream audio or video files on the company's network (most, like YouTube and iTunes, are off limits anyway...I couldn't get to those if I wanted to), but apparently some sites, like Blogger (and M&M downloads), consume large amounts of bandwidth behind the scenes. Actually, I think the M&Ms were the first thing I knowingly downloaded on the company server. M&Ms are going to be the death of me yet. So, while I don't use company time for my blogging (I only charge time that I'm working on client or administrative stuff, like BILLING), I don't want to be stealing bandwidth either. From now on, I will be scarce during the day when I don't have access to my personal laptop. :-(


Let's Go! Ireland

Speaking of Let's Go! travel guides, my favorite travel guides (once I've looked at the ones with all the pretty color glossy photos) are actually the Moon Handbooks. These guides provide excellent and often humorous historical commentary along with the kind of "local" tips that you'll need if you want to really enjoy the local flavor rather than the sugar coated touristy flavor of your destination. Of course, no travel guide beats having a real local that you trust to give you good inside information, but I've found the Moon Handbooks to be incredibly accurate and consistently good in terms of tips on how to spend your vacation time. These are the sort of travel guides that I can read just for pleasure; they include so much more than just a list of hotels, restaurants and sights to see (and often include ways to save a few bucks which I always appreciate). Anyway, that's the travel tip for the day.


My husband and I were watching the Travel Channel on Sunday afternoon, enjoying a tour of Cornwall England followed by Munich Germany (featuring many beer related activities). Not having time to visit either one, we did the next best thing to boarding a jet plane and crossing the pond. We drove 30 minutes west, to Weston, MO, a small quaint town of antique shops, gift shops and O'Malley's Pub, founded in 1842. O'Malley's is a wonderfully cozy, incredibly Irish pub. It is all underground, 5 rooms on 5 levels (all underground), connected by small tunnels, the dirt tunnel walls are now lined with limestone and/or bricks. The walls and ceilings are curved so that the rooms feel like vaulted outcroppings from the tunnels. The floors are also brick. Very cool setting!

Ah, Ireland. Anyone who has been there knows that the people are among the friendliest people on the planet. And everyone is familiar with the concept of the Irish Pub, a place where people gather, regardless of age, and drink and tell tall tales, and sing. There's no room for being uptight in Ireland. There's a pub on every corner and often in between. So it was with the right attitude that we took off for a short drive to Weston to sip Guiness on tap. Last week was the culmination of a few rough projects for me and I was feeling much more relaxed than I had in weeks.

Okay, enough intro...

The real draw of O'Malley's besides the ambience is the Wild Boar. The Wild Boar is a pint full of deep dark rich chocolatey Guiness floating on top of an inch or so of ginger ale. The taste combination is delicious, the sweetness of the ginger ale makes the Guiness melt in your mouth. It also dilutes the alcohol content such that I was able to serve as designated driver whilst the hubby indulged himself in 3 of the giant mega-steins of Harp's lager (well, we did end up staying over 6 hours!).

As in Ireland, the tables at O'Malley's are made for sharing with strangers. We were not lacking for strangers. Joining us at our small table were two middle aged men, neatly dressed, one even sporting an Irish wool cap. Both seemed nice enough. We exchanged perfuntory "hellos" and smiled but were slow to warm up to the fact that there were strangers sitting at our table. As the afternoon wore on and several beers had been consumed, we learned that we were sitting with the owner of the oldest local tattoo parlor and an ex-junkie (now a carpet salesman), both followers of Buddha, both heavily laced with tattoos under those conservative plaid button-down shirts. By the end of the evening we were exchanging business cards and hugs. You never know when you might need a tattoo...or carpet. 8-}

And then there was the singing. Bob Reeder was the local musician. I will admit I had very low expecations but as he warmed up the audience, he got better and the participation was at least half of the fun, especially on the limericks sing-a-long (some of which were too bawdy for family viewing...did I mention that this is a kid-friendly bar? Ahem. Bob waited until all the kids went home before he opened up the floor for limericks...our new stranger friends offered up the ubiquitous "There once was a man from Nantucket"). Bob really wasn't half bad, playing 6-string and 12-string guitars, banjo, and bagpipes, ballads and folk songs along with silly songs. He invited a couple of folks from the audience to come up and sing with him, pestering my husband and finally succeeding in getting a visiting Brit to come up and sing John Denver tunes...three of them...gah!

In replaying these videos, I think something might be lost in the translation between reality and digital re-enactment. Maybe it was the beer. ;-)

Link to the Dueling Banjo video!
(Be sure and watch this one all the way to the exciting conclusion wherein my camera falls in my beer...I was using my glass as a tripod; I can neither confirm nor deny that one of the voices you hear on the tape is mine)

Link to the Amazing Grace video!
(This was the evening's grand finale, a tribute to our soldiers in Iraq; this one brought tears to my eyes as Amazing Grace always does; the video seems only to highlight the off-note squeaks and appears very cheesy, but in real life, it was very moving...really 8-}

This was a wild day out for us and a most welcome respite. We feel like we just returned from Ireland. I'm ready to go again.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Happy 18th Birthday!

Our daughter turns 18 today. Finally! She has been telling us "I'm almost 18" for about 3 and a half years now, usually in protest when we ask that she tell us where she's going and when she'll be home. This was usually followed by "When I turn 18, I'm moving out!" Last night, at 11:35, she said (again), "I'm almost 18!" And I replied, "Yes, have you packed your bags?" To which she laughed. Laughed, I tell you! I reminded her that we still want to know where she's going and when she'll be home as long as she lives with us, and that the only thing that really changes at 18 is that now we can kick her out. Sheesh. Parents. Can't live with 'em. Can't live without 'em. It's rough growing up. Parenting is also hard. And it's hard to let them go. Even harder to watch them make mistakes and know that they have to experience that part of growing up too. We would covet any and all prayers you are willing to send in our general direction. :-)

Happy Birthday, Sweetie (may I still call you that?)!

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