Sunday, May 31, 2009

Something to Strive For.

Disclaimer: I don't always read forwards. Actually, I usually don't, but I did for some reason when this one came to my inbox. You may have already seen it, if you read forwards, because I'm not sure how long it has been around. Additionally, I have no way to verify if it is true, but it is touching, and I would like to believe it is true. And even if it is not true, the message, the picture of this rings loud in my heart. 

His name was Bill. He had wild hair, wore a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He was brilliant; kind of profound and very,very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus was a well-dressed, very conservative church. They wanted to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decided to go there. He walked in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service had already started and so Bill started down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church was completely packed and he couldn't find a seat. By now, people were really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one said anything.

Bill got closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realized there were no seats, he just squatted down right on the carpet.

By that point the people were really uptight, and the tension in the air was thick.

About this same time, the minister realized that from way at the back of the church, a deacon was slowly making his way toward Bill.

Now the deacon was in his eighties, had silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit.  He was a godly man, very elegant, very dignified, and very courtly. He walked with a cane and as he started walking towards this boy, everyone was saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he was going to do.

How could you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It took a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church was utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes were focused on him.. You couldn't even hear anyone breathing. The minister couldn't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he had to do.

But then the congregation saw what they never would have expected. They saw the elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowered himself and sat down next to Bill to worships with him so he wouldn't be alone.

Everyone choked up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he said, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read."

And... I would like to believe that I could be like either of these men. One with enough courage to make a place for himself, in a place where he may not fit. And the other that made him feel welcomed.  

So I'm here, and I'm still writing.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Case of the Missing Food.

I am admittedly very hungry right now, but I'm going to a friends for dinner, so I should be trying to hold off. 

You see, we need to go to the grocery store, because our pantry/refrigerator/shelves/lazy susan seem to be missing food.

For instance... I finished off my last can of soup a few days ago, and not realizing this, came home on lunch one day hoping to make it, but there was none left.

And then today someone finished off my Sun Chips, between the time I left at lunch and was ready to eat a snack about 20 minutes ago. Dang it!

By the way: they were French Onion, not Sour Cream and Onion, so my mistake yesterday.

And this morning the fruit was missing! I suppose it was either thrown out or eaten between yesterday morning when I prepared some to take to work and this morning when I planned to do the same thing.

And the big block of cheeese I bought not too long ago, seems to have also disappeared. I have not cut many slices, so I can't imagine that one other person could have eaten the entire thing on his own, but I have been wrong before. 

And lastly, the milk is gone, so I had a little bit of dry cereal to fend off the grumblings in my stomach.

Except for the soup, do you see a pattern? 

My life does not revolve around food people. I promise it doesn't. Okay, actually maybe it kind of does, but that is besides my point here. 

My point is that my food is disappearing and I have never had this happen to me before!

So maybe tomorrow I'll go to the grocery store. 

That could possibly be fun. And I'll be able to replenish the food and hopefully not have it all disappear in a matter of days. 

But I'm going to have to start buying food that the man doesn't like so I can count on it being around when I need some nourishment.  I feel like I'm living with a teenage boy. Which I have done once in my life, when both my brother and I were living at my parents house, but my mom was better than either my husband or I at keeping the kitchen stocked and he and I didn't always choose the same foods for snacks / meals, unless they were chosen for us. So this is my first real experience with having the food I like just disappear. 

I would have investigated, but I'm fairly certain I know the perpetrator.

 So having just eaten peanut butter sandwiches and fruit and cereal and english muffins for basically all of my meals this week, except for two, I am excessively pumped about dinner. 

And maybe for breakfast, too... if I can manage to go out to a very sweet little diner that I have been wanting to go to for weeks.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Twittering Moment.

This post would probably be more tweet worthy than blog worthy, but I do not have Twitter, so here it is.

I can't decide if I prefer Tostitos with Salsa or Sour Cream and Onion Sunchips. Man. I'll just have both!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Missed It.

**Thanks for the update that it is on tonight! Yay! Also: Sorry about the strikethrough through the entire text (almost) if you read this post earlier. I published when I should have left it as a draft! Ooops!  And I deleted your comments, too on accident, but thanks for commenting**

I think I may be one of the only women in the world United States, without TiVo or DVR or whatever the mechanism is that records television for you so you may watch shows at your leisure.

 This means I miss a lot of episodes of shows, and therefore, I don't really have any shows that I "watch" or run my life around. I watch some things online and for that I am thankful.

But I am totally bummed that I missed the premier of Jon & Kate Plus 8, because some bloggers talked a little about it today and I really want to see it! I was tired and Handsome was watching the Laker's so it didn't work out for me last night. Which wouldn't be a problem except that TLC doesn't have full episodes online! Arggh. Oh well.

 Can't really believe I am complaining about television on my blog, but I have free time in the evenings now and would like to watch a show or two, before or soon after reading about it online.  Someday we will have DVR or two televisions and old grandma me won't be tired at 9:00 p.m. Someday. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Yesterday, would have been my grandpa's birthday. I posted earlier this year about my sweet grandma after she had been gone for one year. My sweet Papaw passed away six weeks after the love of his life last year and yesterday would have been his birthday. 

My mom usually made the most delicious strawberry shortcake for his birthday. 

I missed having strawberry shortcake this year. Last year too, but even more poignantly yesterday. And I am talking about knock-your-socks-off, made-from-scratch, deliciousness. (And this coming from an admitted chocoholic who won't waste calories on many sweets that aren't chocolate).

I didn't miss the strawberry shortcake, because of its deliciousness though. I missed it because I really miss my grandparents this year. Last year, everything was so raw. And I was finishing the first year of my graduate school program (which was a challenge in and of itself), and I was getting ready to move home with my parents, my fiance had just graduated college, we were taking engagement photos, planning a wedding, and getting ready for showers and a brand new job.  My life was full and busy. 

But this year, my life is more normal. I don't have any major changes occurring in the next three or six months, at least none that I am planning for. So this year, my more reflective self, felt a pang of my loss.

He was such a wonderful human being. 

He was an educator, that specialized in teaching people how to read. He was passionate about it and he found it so very important.  Thus, he encouraged me to read for the good of my education and learning! But also because he loved books! He was always reading, even when he was older. And when he was too old to read, he would still look at books with pictures. 

Before I was about ten (when they moved to our hometown), they lived an hour and half from our city, in a different city. I so much enjoyed driving with my mom and our dog Casper and my baby brother to visit them. I loved visiting for so many reasons, but one was because there was lots of exploring to be done at their home an in their city. One such kind of exploring, was rock hunting! There was a rock garden on one side of the house with many of his finds. The garage was filled with cutting and polishing machines. The terrace sun room that led to the backyard had cool pieces he had worked on. Actually, there were cool pieces of petrified wood, amethysts, amber, turquoise, and much much more, littered throughout their home. 

Another such adventure was going to the zoo. I so much enjoyed when Papaw would take me to the zoo, which had a really beautiful giraffe. And the zoo in our town did not have a giraffe so it was an extra special treat. I think we would go there and picnic in a park there. And walk around and see the giraffe. And I felt like I was on a safari in Africa with someone who knew a whole lot about giraffes and Africa!

His last years were hard on me, though I'm not sure I have shared that with anyone before. Where my grandmother still always knew who I was and what was going on in my life, my grandfather sometimes thought I was his sister or my mom when she was my age.  It made me so sad. I missed him so much already.

But I'm remembering the time before that time. And I know that both my brother and I were so very special to him. We were his (only) grandchildren (I have two other cousins now, but they are considerably younger than my brother and I)  so I think we were his pride and joy. As my mother was his and they had a special bond, and since we belonged to her, things transpired such that I think he really adored us.

And he was, without a shadow of a doubt, the most generous human being I have ever known. He always gave, everything he had, to others. Be it time, attention, or love, he was so selfless in the way he lived. From what I could tell and the years that 24 1/2 years he was in my life. 

For every birthday I had, he would give me the amount of money of my age that year, plus an extra dollar bill "to grow on." Even if they didn't have much money, he would share it. He would give it on to someone who he thought needed it or would enjoy it more than he did. Because he enjoyed the giving. Not the money itself.

I suppose one of the best ways I can remember him is to carry that on in my own life. Give of myself to others. Give of my money to others. Give of everything I have, to those who are weak and weary, sick and sore. To the widows and the orphans. To best memorialize him in my life, I can give of myself to others, because I think that is what he would want.

And how fitting of a time for me to remember him, as I begin this practicum experience, that will call upon me to use my skills and education to help others, in need, without the resources to find more experienced, better qualified help. But I can give of myself to them and to their needs, and from it I will be learning and investing in my education which I think would thrill him, and be giving of myself to these others at the very same time.
I  miss you Papaw. And I love you. 

So I'm here. And I'm still writing, 

And can I just say: Wow, how special is our God that would bring all of this to mind at the appointed time that I, too, might be His humble servant in a better way that I could have designed on my own.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Practically Exhausted. Day 1.

Today was the first day of my practicum-type class that I will spend the next 10ish weeks of my life doing for most working hours of the week. Does that make sense?

We had orientation. Lots of speakers, lots of info., lots of training. I did okay through most of it, though I started feeling a little overwhelmed when we were released to check out our particular assignments. Eeeek! They know we are learning, so it shouldn't be too scary, but I am slightly terrified at moments. But at other moments I feel like it is going to be okay! It will be rigorous and fast-paced, but it also won't be dominating my life when I have other, more-academic classes for which I need to study!

So tomorrow we return and we get back to it for some more orienting. Good times. It starts earlier, but ends earlier, too! so I think I'll be able to handle days 2 and 3 and then I will reward myself with a calm weekend. 

And if nothing else, it will definitely be a challenging summer (both mentally and very possibly emotionally.) 

And if I keep with the Shred, then physically too! :) I had to take today off because my poor legs are shredded and torn and so very sore. I was holding the class up as we went up and down stairs, because I literally had to lift each leg up with my hands to get them onto the next step up. And coming down? Well I just held on to the hand rails and would swing a little up and then lower myself down with my arms, kind of like I was swinging down them as a 14 year old boy might.  But man, that is some good pain and I like being sore. I could seriously get used to it. 

Oh, and the good thing about this summer class? No actual homework as in reading assignments etc. Hallelujah! That means lots of time for fun summer evening events with Handsome and friends. Ahhh. Summer nights! One of my very most favorite things in the world. Ever. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm Ba.....Ack!

 (The title of the post is how my cousin's little daughter, who was 3 years old at the time,  approached my mom and I at the mall in D.C. when we were shopping with them and she had just returned from using the Little Ladies Room at the store. We still crack up when we think about it because she was dancing about and had her arms wide-open. It is similar to how I feel I am appearing today, in this post, other than the fact that I'm typing and not dancing at the moment and you can't actually see me.) 

Dearest Readers, 

I'm back! I'm here again. Oh how  you have missed me I have missed you!

I apologize for temporarily making my blog private, if any of you have missed me. I had some suspicious activity of blog-viewing in my google analytics account, so I decided to make it private and did so without alerting you all  (for the most part). 

I think I'm back now (for good? or for a while). 

If you read my blog and have never commented or don't "follow" please introduce yourself just so I know you're reading! I don't know if there is such thing as blogger etiquette but it only seems polite to me that you would let me know you're around and reading and not some creepy stalker that checks my blog for updates every-hour-on-the-hour-every-day-of-the-week. If the suspicious activity resumes, I may again go private. Or create a new blog and not tell you and make this one private. And if you check my blog more than I do, well, I feel a little bad for you because I'm really not that interesting. 

To my old readers: I apologize for leaving suddenly and unexpectedly and will fully understand if you feel betrayed by me and no longer want to read my blog. But I would sure be happy if you would stay. I was fairly busy with the "draft" and finals the last few weeks, so my posts have been intermittent and probably not of the greatest quality(so you weren't missing much), but I'm going to keep at it. I start a practicum-type of class for summer tomorrow and I'm not sure if I'm excited or nervous or anything.

I also started the Shred! Ha. And my only wish is that I would have started sooner. It really is fabulous and I feel tight, toned, sore, and on-my-way-to-bikini-ready! And I only started it yesterday. Get it! Seriously. If you don't have it already. I don't usually jump on people's bandwaggons: e.g. I don't have facebook anymore and never started scrap-booking and I never did Atkins(adkins? I don't remember) or the South Beach diet. But this Shredding craze is worth you money and your 20 minutes. Wow. Umm, in the interest of full disclosure, I've only done two days, but I feel like I'm even gonna feel fine wearing the swim suit over Memorial Day weekend (! yay for a trip!) and I haven't even been running as consistently as I used to. 

And did I mention that my next version of the draft has been turned in? One. Step. Closer. Ahhh. 

Today I'm relishing in the "Summer" of my summer and getting a facial, going shopping, and maybe chopping some hair off! Ha. When I say some I mean like an inch, tops. And maybe not even that.  I don't know if Handsome would be thrilled if he came home to a short haired, totally toned wife! He might not recognize me. Oh yeah, I have only shred for two days. And as much as I think I would like to chop my hair off, I'm just not ready!! 

So anyway... I'm here! And I'm still writing, 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In Deep.

So I finally returned to my draft, after some five weeks of avoiding it. It must be turned in again by 5:00p.m. Monday the 18th. I however, would like to be free of it on Friday the 15th, so as to have a few days to myself before my summer clinic program begins on Wednesday the 20th. 

I hadn't read all the way through the comments the professor gave me, so when I started this morning I knew it could be rough. I knew the paper was at least a little rough. But once I started going through the comments, I thought it might be attackable and started feeling better.

Beginning to do some "fill-in-the-gaps" research has made me think otherwise. I still don't have a thesis, bummer, and my understanding of the complex subject matter is still thin. I keep reading and the more I read the more I realize I'm in deep in a number of ways (which is the slightest bit funny, because my paper has to do with water quality). 

I think Handsome told me that he doesn't really enjoy my updates about the draft and school happenings, but I couldn't help myself today. He may know what is going on in my academic life, but my other readers don't really. Therefore, I'm going to write about it a little when I want to and I hope that it doesn't bore you all to tears. 

The paper itself bores me to tears at moments, and also just causes my emotions to feel like they are on a roller coaster, because I'm not sure if I should feel overwhelmed, exhausted, excited, or nervous. Or some other emotion that I can't think of at the moment. 

I have a lot left to do on it, which makes me think I'll turn in a draft addressing the professors concerns, hopefully by Friday. (I need a few days to myself). And then I will fully anticipate having to do at least one more draft before he will approve it to satisfy my writing requirement for this funny degree I'm working on. I think this is a better strategy for survival and thrive-al (oh, that is not a word, hmmm, get the idea anyway?)...  than trying to fix all of the dang issues I know it has, and that keep coming up as my research continues and understanding still develops. 

Think that is an okay way to go about it? It means for sure more work in the summer, but probably more directed work than I will be doing if I try to totally fix it by Monday. 

Anyway, I think some Baskin Robbins or dinner out or probably jogging (though I would like to be shredding with the rest of you) will band-aid the stress. And taking this thing one day at a time... (like everything else) is probably a better long term goal. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dear Mom,

You already received my card I know, but I love you dearly and I'm so very sad that I'm not hanging out with you on Mother's Day, but am instead doing the whole school thing.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I wouldn't be where I am in school if it weren't for your continued calming and loving presence in my life. How very much credit I owe to you. When I finish this degree next May, it will be partly yours. Especially since you are always the one cleaning up the "blood, sweat, and tears," as some would say. 

I miss you madly today (and everyday really).  I can't wait until the next time we can hang out, get coffee, go shopping, read together, clean out a closet, sew a quilt, and just get to be friends together.

Love you so very much. 

Yours truly...especially since you gave me birth and a name ;),

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Collection...

of my very random thoughts at 10:25 at night after a day of attempting to comprehend material for my next exams. 

1. I don't  usually  ever like variations on an original. Like today, I saw PB Twix and couldn't bring myself to try it. It just seems wrong to me. And this is a big deal, because  I have a serious life-long love of Peanut Butter... like I ate a PB sandwich every single day of  elementary school and never got sick of it kind of LOVE, and I am a real big fan of Twix since middle school when I had one at least once a week every other day during lunch... so you would think that I would like a pairing of the two. But gosh, I'm so frightened to try it because I think I will be let down.

2. Handsome is in the other room and I just heard GUN SHOTS. But PLEASE: Don't be Alarmed! They are coming from the TV. He is watching a movie that I could be watching with him, except I was studying when he started it and it would be wrong on so many levels to join in now. And honestly, after the violence I just heard, I doubt I would want to. 

3. I'm pumped to be trying out strikethrough! Thanks Kelley. And my mom will be pumped that I learn how because she likes it when other people use it! She actually inspired me to branch out and learn how after I heard her talk about it. (Please be patient with me! And I'll try to not overuse it as I totally overuse other things.... ahem... oh yeah, sorry about that.)  

4. I think I might want to run a 5K sometime this summer. Crazy that I'm admitting this somewhere, because I have wanted to do it for a while, but always get nervous, because I definitely can't run  3 straight miles or any miles period for that matter. Crooked, straight, uphill, downhill with roller blades, ok, I could do that because it is not running, oh wait! except for the part where I would start going really really fast if I was going downhill on roller blades... oops, was gonna work on the ellipses... now I'm totally off of whatever track I am on. Maybe I could run a mile if I was being chased, but even then I think I'd take my chances with a left hook over causing my lungs to collapse.

5. It is sooooo warm in my house. And if I think that, it means its probably 90 degrees in here because I'm cold-blooded. No, I don't mean cold hearted. I mean, this winter when I would go to bed I would usually be wearing sweat pants, shirt and sweatshirt, beanie, long socks with short socks over them to keep them from getting loose and because my toes being cold would keep me up at night, and  I would crawl under the covers which included: sheet, duvet over light down comforter, fleece blanket, microsuede(?) blanket, and some other hairy USC blanket my Husband owns. So... I actually mean the house is HOT when I say that. Whereas Handsome only had 3 of all of the above mentioned items most night and he would still wake up saying it was hot!

5b. Thank the Lord for the plumber though, who is coming after a few short nights and longer days(because I need the hours to study) to turn on the swamp cooler. Oh joy that fills my soul!

6. I never know what color to post my text in. I like the dark grey, but usually go with the black for some reason unbeknownst to me, or anyone else.

7. I need to figure out WHERE to take my eight hour take home exam. Have I already mentioned it? I'm seriously dreading the thing.  For multiple reasons. But what is funny is that I chose this class knowing I would have 2 eight hour take home exams before completing it, and I took it anyway! (I didn't totally understand the dread and pain and misery that is an eight hour take home until I experienced around the same time I started blogging last December). Anyway, I chose the class because the professor is a rock star. And I don't mean he is super cool, I mean he was actually a rock star in a rock band in his younger years. LOL. Just kidding. I mean he is a rockstar, superstar, practicing in this area for 30+ years, expert in the field. And boy have I been challenged!, but I definitely feel like I have a more solid foundation than I would have had I opted for either of the other two options I had. 

8. That is ENOUGH talk about school and exams. 
Self: "But KB, you should be thinking about exams constantly right now!"
KB: "What's that self? It's not your half birthday anymore, so please back off. No one wants to listen to you"
Self: "No? Isn't that what this whole post has basically been about? My thoughts being expressed to you and others..."
KB: "Please restrain your self Self. The other bloggers, the ones who actually read your blog are tired of this conversation we seem to be having regularly, not too mention they are tired of hearing about "The Draft" and all of your "dreaded exams!"

I think this is going downhill fast, so with that note, I'll try to find better material than exams and The Draft for the next couple of weeks, but no guarantees. And if you stop reading my blog I'll be hurt. And you'll hear about it. Well, I guess I could only actually make a few of you hear about it, since I only write to some of you. 

P.S. (number 9?) This is my totally unfiltered brain coming at you in blog post form. I may totally regret posting this  tomorrow in a few weeks, when I'm finished thinking about I've aced this round of exams and my paper is signed off on! 

P.P.S. I wish I had that copy of the illustrated Elements of Style by Strunk and White for some good night time reading material and I did not spend at least half an hour looking at word definitions at any point during the day today!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trying to Keep My Head Up.

Thank you for your kind words relating to my post about not feeling like a great blogger. I'm going to try and keep chugging along, and hope that I don't bore anyone, and that at points I may be encouraging.

My finals begin on Monday! Wahoo. Right now it is the middle of the night, and while I was tired when Handsome and I laid down, I definitely had a lot on my mind so I am up again.

Thankfully, after I take the first exam I'll only have one more to show up for, one long take-home, and one quick internet test. Shouldn't be too bad at all, but I will say I dread getting in there and getting my feet wet and muddy! Once the exams have will be back to my topic of choice, the one I know you can't wait to read about AGAIN... the paper! This time, it is supposed to be out of draft state and into final state, but we will see if I get there. I have a feeling I might have to submit one more after this, seeing as I apparently didn't have a well-articulated thesis in my first draft. Ahhh. The pain. The agony. I'm not sure which. (Just a side note: there were several times as I typed this that I wanted to learn how to strike out the words... because I think it is soooo cool!) 

Anyway, that is my really super exciting schedule for the next two-ish weeks. 

Once I live through all of this (and yes, I WILL live through these blasted assignments and will be closer to graduating because school stress / nonsense cannot kill me) I hope to be more diligent in my writing here. More creative. More interesting. Etc. 

But for now, you get the raw, in the moment, lacking editing or forethought, thoughts and ideas of me. In my rather confused, tired, at moments brain dead, and in other moments hyper-brained, flip-flopping-between-all-of-these-and-more-unnamed-states/emotions. 

And how I type all of these "raw" posts, is probably how I actually talk: for those of you who don't really know me! :) Unedited. Conversation with myself. Jumping between topics. Self. 

...If I could only figure out how to have You Gotta Be playing in the background of my life the next few weeks. I guess it can as long as I have the ipod or computer accompanying me. 

Friday, May 1, 2009


happy half birthday self! 

KB: "Self, go get yourself a birthday cake remix ice cream from Cold Stone."

Self: "Well KB, what a wondeful idea. You must convince Handsome, too, though and he is awfully comfy sitting on the couch watching the Golf channel."

KB: "Oh, self, he loves your half birthday and will be thrilled to go. It won't even matter that you already had a sopaipilla with honey."

Self: "You're right. He does love my half birthday. Perhaps I will coax him off of the couch and into the ice cream store. Maybe not for the birthday cake remix, but maybe for splitting a chocolate / cookies 'n' cream milkshake." 

KB: "Happy half birthday. Have a wonderful time celebrating."

Self: "Thank you, I love a reason to celebrate!"


Happy May Day!