Thursday, July 30, 2009

Religion: Definitely Lost

Night before we were going to go trade in the truck and the Cash for Clunkers program is SUSPENDED.

That, my friends, is my life in a nutshell.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Losing My Religion

I think anyone who reads my blog, follows me on twitter or knows me in real life knows the problems my family has had over the past year or two with cars. From the Dodge, to the Chevy to the Honda, it's been quite the experience. A perfect calamity of errors that has been totally frustrating.

Knowing what to do with each one, weighing the benefits and the costs has taken a lot of careful consideration. At one point my parents had all but decided to refinance their house and sink mega money into fixing vehicles. I hated the idea, they hated the idea. Refinancing and pulling that much out of the house would have surely put a damper on their big dreams of selling and taking the profit to downsize in Florida. It just didn't seem worth it for a couple of cars that could surely have problems again and again.

Over the course of the spring and summer I'd posted my Dad's old truck on Craigslist numerous times. Paying insurance on 4 cars (two of which don't run) seemed nuts to me. And they could use the money to sink into one of the two. No matter the number of bites, my Dad wouldn't budge. He refused to sell.

He kept saying it didn't seem like the right time, or the right offers. I fully admit to being extremely frustrated. I thought he was just holding onto his glorious piece of junk for sentimental reasons. He kept saying God had a plan and it would all work out. I may or may not have rolled my eyes...often.

Last week Governor Beshear signed into effect for Kentucky a national stimulus program collectively referred to as Cash for Clunkers (details at, local news, commercials...they are all going crazy over it. I hadn't put a ton of thought into the program, save for a small item I'd posted on my Tumblr last month. But I checked into it last week and low and behold:

The old Chevy qualifies!

By sitting on the Aveo for the past year I now owe so little on it that it should garner enough in a trade in to pay it off...even with it's 'issues'. And $4500 will knock quite a bit off of a nice small brand new gas saver.

My Dad took his Chevy out for a couple of rides this weekend to knock the dust off it, maybe to say goodbye. He came home, grinning from ear to ear and appropriately told me, "I told you so."

Sometimes I struggled with having the faith to know that in the end things will be okay. They've always been so I should have no reason to doubt it, yet I do. This past year has been trying in so many ways. From the whole social security debacle, to me having to pay on a student loan for an entire year (that just ended, unexpectedly, but I'm so happy and thrilled about it) to issues with my mom's job. I like to think we're coming out stronger on the other side. Honestly, better or not, I'm just overwhelmed by the feeling of knowing I can finally see the other side.

Now as far as the car itself goes, I've been sifting through reviews this week. Dad won't buy another Aveo...although I just can't imagine why. ;)

So Yaris, Versa, Sentra, Corolla, Focus, Mazda of some sort...I'm not sure yet.

Why do I actually think brand new is a good idea?

Given the incentives that many dealerships are throwing in extra on top of the clunker thing it should work out to be a pretty amazing deal on a brand new warrantied vehicle. Normally I'm very anti-brand new. But I'll gladly taken a highly discounted car with several miles of warranty coverage. Especially after this past year.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Faith is private. It demonstrates itself in good works and love of neighbors but it doesn’t need to hire a publicist. You’re not angling for Christian of the Year and the cover of Believer magazine. Your job is to endure the rampages of the heart and to look in your own heart and ask, Do I really believe or do I not? Jews do this in the fall and Christians in early spring, during Lent. Most people do not believe. They have tried hard to believe and they wish they did believe and are sorry they don’t, because they like to be around people who do, so they come to church, and enjoy the music and candles and the hallowedness of it all, but the faith is not in them. They don’t need to tell me about it—they only need to answer to God on this matter. He will understand if the answer is no. He already knew that…Confession is at the heart of the faith…"

-Garrison Keillor from his book Homegrown Democrat

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Because It's Late and I'm Waiting on Something Before Going to Bed

Six Things I Wish I Could Say to Six Different People. (but don’t say their name)

1). You drive me insane and you're giving me ulcers over it all.

2). I'm tired of hearing it.

3). No, that will probably never work out.

4). I planned so that I didn't end up in your shoes, it worked, and I don't regret any of it.

5). I miss you.

6). I feel sorry for you.

Nine things about myself.

1). I worry about a lot of stuff all the time. Lately to the point of feeling ill.

2). Most perfume makes me sneeze.

3). I have to be really, really sick before I'll even take a tylenol.

4). I think I would be well suited to non profit work, some sort of state job or something to do with extension offices...I knew this too late in the game to change my major, but I think it's all going to work out anyway.

5.) I'm an obsessive email checker.

6). I love kiwi.

7). I sleep in the fetal position or on my stomach with one hand tossed behind my back, I tend to think this started in the womb.

8). I cannot wait to start a real career and begin traveling more.

9). I wish I had more real life friends.

Eight ways to win my heart. (in no order)

1). Have a sense of humor and use it to make me laugh. Words cannot express how much I love to laugh so that's definitely the way to my heart.

2). Superficially: A great head of hair. I don't get this whole bald is beautiful thing. And know how to buy and wear a pair of pants. I cannot stand men in pants that don't fit.

3). Be ambitious.

4). Smart and knowledgeable. My favorite topics of conversation are history, politics and pop culture, it'd be nice to find someone who can keep up in all three.

5). Love animals. I've never not had a dog, I don't see that streak ending.

6). Love to travel. This is an absolute must, must, must. My husband must agree to be my lifelong travel partner. I hate the idea of getting married and never going anywhere except home and work.

7). Want kids, but not be in a hurry to have them.

8). Have a compassionate heart.

Seven things that cross my mind a lot.

1). How in the world am I ever going to get through this upcoming year?

2). Political stuff.

3). What's for dinner? (I wake up thinking this, it's quite sad.)

4). How much I want *insert item name here*. I'm always thinking of something I want/need/have to have.

5). I should call Mamaw.

6). I should read Faulkner.

7). Numbers. To be so math phobic, I'm almost autistic over math patterns and adding/dividing/multiplying in my head.

Six things I do before I fall asleep.

1). Watch something on tv, a bit of news or a reality show usually.

2) Check my email.

3). Read a few blogs.

4). Brush my teeth, wash my face...etc. and so forth.

5). Flip the pillows over so they are nice and cold.

6). Put up my eyeglasses.

Five people who mean a lot. (in no order)

1). My brother.

2). My mother.

3). My father.

4). My grandmother.

5). My Aunt B/Uncle Danny

Four things you’re wearing right now.

1). A comfy old Seagrove Beach shirt.

2). brown shorts

3). eyeglasses

4). a grey sweatshirt

Four bands/singers that you listen to often. (not necessarily your favorites) (lately)

1). James Taylor

2). Sugarland

3). John Mayer

4) Michael Jackson (I can't help it, I am one of those people who totally busted out the MJ music after he died.)

Two things you want to do before you die.

1). Travel.

2). Have a family of my own.

One confession.

I'm avoiding reading Faulkner even though it's a summer goal.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Reading

Up next,

Plowing through tonight, will most probably finish tomorrow (loving it),

Highly recommended by SO MANY PEOPLE, currently browsing through.

Doing that history major speed reading thing (no really, they actually teach you this skill in a workshop class) through this one. Nice insight into both Lincoln and Obama who is said to have been inspired in choosing his cabinet by a reading of this novel.

On the list for obvious reasons, not started yet.

Picked this up today.

In possession. Reading Faulkner has been an ambition of mine for a while. I haven't done it yet. Something's gotta give...soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Overheard (overly dramatic edition)

V/M: So what are your plans for the day?

A: Oh you know. Eat breakfast. Try to remember which day of the week it is. Get depressed because I keep forgetting. Sink deeper into depression over the sad state of my life. Eat some more. Take a walk. Lay around hot, sweaty, still depressed, wondering why it doesn't seem like I'm losing weight despite working out so much. Eat. Forget again which day of the week it is. Make dinner. Eat. Snack. Watch Larry King Live. Cry myself to sleep.

V/M: Oh okay. The usual then. Don't forget to wear black.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Unleashing the Inner Crafty



Riley visited last week and as you can see she came wearing her stylish little sun hat. So, so cute. At some point during her visit me and Riley's Mama got to discussing headbands. Specifically the little dent marks that store headbands leave on baby heads. Krystal said that Riley had only worn one a few times because she felt like she was somehow abusing her child with those dent marks. Crazy as it sounded, I sympathized.

And thus my crafty weekend was born.

I spent Friday night googling some headband alternatives and came across a great...dent free...idea that involved pantyhose.

A needle and thread, clearance hose for 50 cents from the Dollar Store, hair clips, a glue gun and loads of ribbon later and I was in business.

I made one headband with a loop of ribbon attached, each clip with a bow attached can be interchanged on the headbands.

Weekend Craft Project

Bow for a White Headband

Headband, Bow #2

Another Bow

I've been experimenting with various bow styles all day, with admittedly shaky hands...hopefully I'll eventually get the hang of it.

In other unrelated news, this was my garden bounty yesterday morning:

Garden Bounty 7-12-09

Amazing. Lots of recipe ideas in the work, I'll try sharing them this week as I go.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rest in Peace

And that my friends is when April lost it. Because he was a Daddy. A Daddy. And I'm a daughter. So my heart broke for this girl. And then Janet reminded me of my own Aunts and I lost it again.

Family. It means everything, for real.

My favorite moment of the memorial:

We Had Him
by Maya Angelou

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.

Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.

Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.

We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.

His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.

And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square.

In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England

We are missing Michael.

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quote of the Day

Most, but not all, of these sites were created with Tumblr, a dead-simple two-year-old blogging tool that has swung open the publishing industry for anyone with a gift for snark and lots of extra hours to kill. The term tumblelog—a blog that points to cool stuff elsewhere online—actually preceded the invention of Tumblr, but the software offers a few features that make creating such pages supereasy. Tumblr includes several stylish themes that obviate the need for designing anything yourself, and it comes prepackaged with templates for different kinds of posts—it makes your photos look different from your videos, which in turn look different from quotes you pull from other sites, etc. In other words, Tumblr lets you create a great-looking blog in two minutes flat.

This is Why You're Fat: The Allure of Single Topic Blogs --

Love Tumblr. My absolute favorite way to blog these days. It's like a perfect little internet scrapbook.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Tale of Two Mammals

Jack is pissed he got caught laying that close to Hercules.

4th 2009 028

His defense: it was the only shady part of the patio.

Herc remained unfazed.

4th 2009 029

4th 2009 031