Saturday, January 28, 2006

Word Cloud

As seen at Songbird and Phantom Scribbler's!

You go to this site, and it will make a cloud taken from words contained in your blog. It's pretty cool. They'll even make you a t-shirt! :)

Friday, January 27, 2006

You Know What That Means.....

It's Friday, so it's now time for another installment of Friday Poetry Blogging! Thanks to jo(e) for helping make us all more well-rounded, poetry-spouting individuals.

Today's installment comes to us fresh from the banner year of 1789, courtesy of William Blake. I submit this entry in honor of all the parents of the Blogosphere.

Songs of Innocence
A Cradle Song

Sweet dreams form a shade
O'er my lovely infants head.
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams,
By happy silent moony beams

Sweet sleep with soft down,
Weave thy brows an infant crown.
Sweet sleep Angel mild,
Hover o'er my happy child.

Sweet smiles in the night,
Hover over my delight.
Sweet smiles Mothers smiles
All the livelong night beguiles.

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Chase not slumber from thy eyes,
Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,
All the dovelike moans beguiles.

Sleep sleep happy child.
All creation slept and smil'd.
Sleep sleep, happy sleep,
While o'er thee thy mother weep

Sweet babe in thy face,
Holy image I can trace.
Sweet babe once like thee,
Thy maker lay and wept for me

Wept for me for thee for all,
When he was an infant small.
Thou his image ever see.
Heavenly face that smiles on thee.

Smiles on thee on me on all,
Who became an infant small,
Infant smiles are his own smiles,
Heaven & earth to peace beguiles.


Monday, January 23, 2006

The Other Man in my Life

Every year, my little family heads south to Disney World. This summer, we will make our ninth trip to, as we say, worship at the shrine of the Mouse. Many of our friends and family ask why we return, time and time again to the same place. There are many reasons. First -- there are always new things to see and do at Disney World. There's been a new ride every year we've gone, and Animal Kingdom opened on our second or third trip. We've been to Disney so many times, and yet we still haven't managed to do everything yet. Second -- it's within our budget. We book our vacations a year in advance, and pay a little off each month. This is the only way we'd ever be able to afford it! If we just had to come up with two thousand "extra" dollars, we'd never make it. Third -- there's something for everyone. My husband goes into paroxysms of delight over Star Wars Weekends at MGM Studios. Offspring revels in all the animal life at Animal Kingdom and thrills to the water slides at the water parks. I love the Magic Kingdom; from Cinderella Castle to riding Space Mountain, from eating turkey legs to nibbling on Mickey-shaped tortilla chips.

When Offspring was small, she was all about the Princesses. It was a major thrill for her to place her small hand in Cinderella's white satin-gloved one, and have her picture made. She sat with awe, in Cinderella Castle on the big throne, wide-eyed at the knowledge that her idol, Cinderella, was somewhere in that castle. Even at ten, she's still pretty fond of Cinderella. We don't have to rush-rush-rush like we once used to for the photo op with "Cindy" these days, but seeing Cinderella Castle still evokes a gasp of delight from her.

As for me, I'm all about Mickey. I love Mickey. Far more than any grown woman ought to. This Christmas, I got a Mickey watch, a Mickey pocketbook, a Mickey necklace and earring set, and countless other Mickey items. I think my husband's starting to get suspicious!

When people ask me why I still go to Disney World after all this time, all I have to do is whip out the pictures. Don't we look like we're having fun? How can you resist this face?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Poetry Blogging

I was tooling around the Blogosphere tonight, and I notice that jo(e) has up an inducement to contribute to a little bit of poetry love. I can get behind that! Thanks for the suggestion, jo(e)!

While I'm not what I would call a poet myself, I have dabbled in poetry. It's mostly too horrible to read and WAY too painful to post, but I will contribute to the lyrical love with a poem that has long captivated me, from one of my most favorite poets: Percy Bysshe Shelley.


I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said -- "two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert ... near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

I have always loved this poem. It reminds me of the impermenance of flesh while giving testament to the immutability of stone. Shelley clearly lays out the feel of this poem. I can see the swirling sands and the half-buried monoliths. I can feel the harsh sun beating down upon my head. I can hear the call of the ancients as they eddy around me like the desert sands. Good poetry does that to you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Where have all the flowers gone?

I don't fancy myself as a high-maintenance person. I don't wear makeup. I shower and get ready to go wherever it is I need to go in fifteen minutes or under. I don't paint my nails. My two concessions to vanity are perfume (usually) and earrings (most days.) My clothes, while not setting any fashion trends to be sure, are clean, well kept, and I look presentable.

I don't think I'm very attractive, but I'm a darn nice person. I try to treat others the way I would want to be treated. I try to be fun to be around. I try not to get caught up in all the backbiting and gossip that you normally get when you work with primarily women. I try to smile at everyone, and I try to say hello in the mornings. far as mornings go....I'm not perky like a cheerleader, but neither am I a total grouch once I get moving.

Why is it, then, that people seem to feel like they can talk about me within my hearing as if I'm not there? Do they think that fat has so clogged my eardrums that I'm not capable of hearing the hurtful things they say? I'm not saying that I expect people to strew rose petals at my feet as I walk by, but what ever happened to common courtesy?

Southerners, in general, are excellent at smiling at your face and then shredding you to bits once you walk away. I've never lived anywhere else, so I'm not sure whether this is purely a Southern phenomenon or not. It's almost like it's a hobby. A pastime of sorts. An exercise in vitriol.

I guess I shouldn't be all that shocked by the fact that there are still people over the age of five who like to point out all my imperfections. You would think that so-called adults have better things to do with their time than to try and verbally flay a co-worker. When did civility take flight? When did the empathy and compassion of the Average Joe take wing out of the window?

Instead of "Where have all the flowers gone?", maybe I should be asking "Where have all the manners gone?" Or, maybe I should be asking myself why this all still surprises me.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Reveal!

My Christmas was made so much brighter by the wonderful Suze from Still Baking! I was the proud

recipient of a lovely cheery red stocking stuffed with amazing Christmas goodies! I knew that it would be a great package even before I got the mailing envelope opened -- it smelled *heavenly*! Like a fine chocolatier's shop! Boy, does Suze know the way to my heart!

I got a wonderful quilt magazine (from which I shall be kept busy for NEXT Christmas!), some dark chocolate hot cocoa, a (unfortunately squished, but still yummy!) chocolate reindeer, two wiggly Christmas pencils, a Christmas candle, a pad of paper (for making lists of all those things I normally forget!), and some Christmas-themed fingernail decals that I am instructed to share with Offspring. What a haul! Here are pictures. I'm not going to show the envelope, so as to preserve what little anonymity I have left. :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Suze! I love my gifts, and you are as sweet as Southern Iced Tea (so sweet you can stand a spoon up in the glass!) to help make my holiday even more special. I hope the gifts that you got were as lovely as the ones you sent me. Now, please excuse me while I clean chocolate reindeer bits out of my keyboard.

My Secret Spoilee was.....

...***Sue*** at Inner Dorothy! I was so excited to be choosing things for Sue! She had mentioned on her blog that she LOVED Starbucks and chocolate marshmallow candies, so I knew those would feature heavily. Sue also mentioned that her chosen holiday was Christmas, so I knew I could find lots of good Christmas-y things to fill her gift box with.

Her main gift, I decided, would be a homemade item. I didn't really know if Sue was a craft-lover like Andrea and I, so I punted. Everyone has Christmas pictures, right? I figured that I could make a small scrapbook that Sue could use to record details about this Christmas. I left all the pages blank, thinking that Sue could put in her own journalling to make the scrapbook all about her and her loved ones. Here's a picture of me with the open scrapbook....

I also added some Christmas-smelling candles, a couple of felt ornaments, a package of foot-pampering soak tablets, and some warm fuzzy Santa socks. I then packed up the box to mail.... and away it went to Canada!

Sue, I hope you had as much fun opening and enjoying your present as I did making and sending it. Part of the joy of the holidays for me is sharing my blessings, and I was fortunate enough to run into such a great group of blog friends, and even more fortunate to have been matched up with such a genuinely wonderful person. I wish you all the best, and all the love of the season.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hey, is this thing on?

As seen practically everywhere -- it's International De-Lurking Week! I was unaware that the lurkers constituted such a major faction as to garner a whole week. As is often the case, I am tragically unhip, and behind scads of other, more popular, bloggers in relating this not-so-breaking news.

Do I actually *have* any lurkers? Or regulars, for that matter? :)

At any rate, welcome. I'm glad you're here. Don't worry, my insanity isn't contagious. Probably.

Cool buttons can be found at Paper Napkin!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Words cannot express how much I love you

Ten years ago, at 10:31 am, you were born, and you changed my life. When I married your dad, I felt that I could never love anyone as much as I loved him. And then you came along. Before I had you, I wasn't really living. Your smile makes my heart skip a beat. You make each day more precious than the last. Dad and I love you with all our might.

Happy Birthday, darling girl.
Love always,
your Mama

Saturday, January 07, 2006

My House Has Exploded!

It was bad enough when I had to commando-clean the house in order to find room for all the new Christmas stuff. It was even worse when we got more furniture to stuff in our ever-shrinking rooms. But today -- today was the final indignity! Offspring's 10th birthday party. Oh, the horror. There are toys every. fricking. where.

And, it goes without saying, my child is as spoiled as they come. The bratling racked up presents galore, $80 in cash, and $65 in gift cards. And she only had 10 kids come to the party! Of course, the money was burning the proverbial hole in her pocket, and we had to make a late afternoon run to Target. She's now broke. And, it looks like a Toys "R" Us threw up in my living room. And in her bedroom. And down the hallway.

Her actual birthday isn't until Monday. I can only imagine that a few more gifts will trickle in in the next few days.

Happy Birthday, Monkey. Mama loves you more than you will ever know.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


My package finally came! Yay! I'm so excited!

I had to leave school on my lunch break to go to the Post Office to get it. I had promised myself that I wouldn't open it until I got home, so I could get Offspring to take pictures. Like my resolutions, that promise (as nice as it was) didn't last long.

The smell from my gift was overwhelming! It had a lovely chocolate fragrance wafting from it, and it was simply begging me to be opened. So, like the weenie that I am, I opened it!

I love it! Thank you, Secret Santa! (I know we're not supposed to openly say names and whatnot until Jan 14th, but I can't let this go by without at least sending you my thanks!) I love all my gifts, and I thank you for thinking of me. I'm sorry it worried you -- it had to travel a looooong way to get to me. :)

I can't wait until the 14th, when we get to reveal the contents! :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

So Much for *that* New Year's Resolution....

I try not to make New Year's resolutions, simply because I am lazy, and it seems too much like setting myself up for certain failure. But, against my better judgement, I actually (privately) made some resolutions that I was going to try my hardest to make come to fruition.

Number one was: Try to get more exercise.

Two was: Try to eat healthier.

Three was: Weed out 99/100's of the cursing in my vocabulary.

It comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me fairly well that number three has already bit the el big-o wiener-o. The reason for polluting my airspace with harsh invective? Scads and scads of the Secret Santa bunch have not only *gotten* their gifts, but got to open them as well! I'm still gift-less. (Mumble, grumble....@#$#%#......)

I guess I'll have to go and break resolution number two and eat some chocolate to console myself....

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Out of Commission

Sorry that I've been incommunicado lately. You all know how busy this time of year is...

I've had relatives in from out of town, wanting to do the get-together thing, and I was temporarily down for the count this morning with a killer migraine.

I hope to be spending a little more time around here soon. Hope everyone is well, and that you all had a great start to 2006. Happy New Year, everyone!