Sunday, December 21, 2008

Time to fire up the sleigh and make our rounds!

We try to make use of having a graphic designer in the family when we can.  But we haven't been able to get our act together recently to top 2005's card.   I thought I'd share it anew with my blog friends and give those who've received one a reminder that we have actually managed to send out cards until fairly recently.  

I'm hoping to hit the rooftops of each of my blog reading friends before Christmas but if not...

Have a very very Merry Christmas my lovelies near and far!!  I am so thankful to have known you for years, or to have recently made your acquaintance as in the case of some of my newer friends in the great land of Blog! What a wonderful bunch of people!!  May the Lord bless you this year and into the future of '09 and beyond! 

Much love and air hugs, 

Shan and fam

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And they call it Puppy Love

Well, I have just had quite the scare from my serene young cat-dog this week! I noticed she was looking a little green around the gills yesterday morning as she robotically walked right by the scene of me giving her sister a treat, and barely managed to give us a slight courtesy glance.  This is highly unusual behavior for a Boss Hogg type of dog like Tulip.  Nothing goes down between Tiki (our well mannered pomeranian) and a human that Tulip doesn't try to intervene somehow-usually with her midsection poised atop Tiki's head if at all possible. 

But on this day OH DEAR!  My little poochie was sick! I immediately got down on the floor to begin asking her what was going on and how I could help her.  She stood, eyelids at half mast, like a pony at the fair just waiting to be reloaded with a bratty kid.  Then, as if loaded, she walked on with the same measured steps she'd been doing before, so I got up and followed. Steadily she walked all the way outside and down the stairs and then proceeded to do some throwing up.  Just as slowly, she walked all the way back inside only to repeat the process moments later with a bathroom trip.  It was strange to watch my normally spunky fast paced chi hoo hoo turn so serious (even polite) and just go about her illness as if having had trained for such times.  I watched in worried fascination. 

This time though she came back in and walked under the table and flopped over into a strange twist with her buns (haunches?) down and her ribcage turned all the way to the side and she started doing this slow twitch with front paws together at the wrist and her back legs stiffening out behind her each time she flinched her stomach muscles.  You can probably guess what happened next, but if you can't I'll tell you. Naturally, I burst into tears and thought Tulie was going to kick it!!  It was horrible!!  By the time I got myself dressed and ready to take her to the vet she was looking a little more relaxed and was able to get up in a chair and rest so I cooled my jets a bit.  
I was expecting company the whole day beginning with some friends of mine and ending with my nephews after school so I just kept my eye on Tulie for the rest of the day to make sure she wasn't going to do any more doggie Lamaze.  

She was somewhat better today but I took her to the Vet this morning to make sure she wasn't dehydrated.  He gave her a shot for her stomach pain and doggie antibiotics which were super fun to try to trickle down her throat by myself.  At one point in our wrangling, I noticed my mouth was right beside hers and I thought it would be funny if I squirted the chalky liquid in my own jowl accidently rather than hers.  Grodimus.

Can I make a story out of ANYthing or what, you ask?  Well, it scared me!!  I am not a brave pet owner when it comes to these things!  I can't even trim my dogs toenails because I made Tulip yelp once having clipped a nail too short.  And then of course, Tiki had some horrible bowel blowout earlier in the year which was one of my very first entries on my blog as I recall.  Canine Colon trouble always makes for good blog fodder don'tcha know???? 

And now, as a tribute to little Tulip, who is feeling ever so much better aside from some wicked gas.  I shall share with you a poem that came to me all at once as I curled up beside her one evening while she slept on my bed.  Now, I'm no poet.  I don't like poetry and I certainly don't claim to be able to write it seriously.  This just plopped out of my head like it was from the cosmos so I jumped up and wrote it down without giving it any second thoughts.  So don't mock me.  Or do, I don't care-baha.  This is copied from my old Myspace mini-blog.                      

a bedtime poem
Category: Life

I Laid Down With My Chihuahua 

I laid down with my Chihuahua and thought about the world.

She growled at me a little and I thought about the world.

It growls at me a little too and smells a bit as well.

I think about that big round world that turns and smells and growls.

And nestles itself down for sleep while half of it stands guard.

It guards itself against itself and yet still fails to win,

because it's hind leg wiggles up and gets bitten in the shin.

Yes, the world goes round and thinks it's tough but small it really is.

To the great "I am" it struts its stuff with Bravado and its kids.

We have no clue where we're to go just feel our way is right.

And, of course, the Master sees our plans and still kisses us goodnight.


      She is not just a dog in a vest after all....she is my muse!                                  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All in a days play

Todays excuse for not blogging lately:  I can't type very well while wearing knit gloves on my frozen mitts.  
 Ok, no, that's not really it, though my mitts are definitely frozen.  I guess I'd just rather not be the prime talker, as my self edit button is usually on the fritz, and I say far too much without it. Boring boring snoozerville of a girl you don't have to write EVERY single thought! (oops) to break the ice a bit both here and between my fingers.  I think I'll show you a couple of things from last Saturday.  Saturday was a wonderfully Christmassy day indeed.  Let me set the stage a little bit for you.  

I awoke after having slept in just long enough that the piercing morning light coming through my East facing window didn't get the chance to actually burn a laser sized hole right into my brain via one of two vulnerable eye sockets.  So far, so so good.  

Then we chatted a bit over coffee (and breakfast by hubby--always nice) with our in house guest, Travis, who will soon be mentioned at length in a whole 'notha entry. 

The morning flew by both peacefully and in an instant as Saturday mornings, heck most mornings, tend to do.  The boys played video games while I tidied up a bit and listened to this on my headphones.  Not the most interesting book I've ever "read", but the author was really able to describe life as a stay-at-home mom to a tee from several different perspectives.  So much so in fact, that I found myself agreeing audibly with some of the lines in the book like they were coming right from my own bank of thoughts.  But anyway....

Next, the kids and I made our second annual gingerbread house together. And here she is in all her candeliciousness.  

I probably should have made more of an effort to cover the plastic base now that I'm looking at it with fresh eyes with you.  But, oh well, it's still quite cheerful.

Then, with fire in fireplace and The Santa Clause II cued up (it chokes me up EVERYTIME- Darn you Tim Allen!), we began putting up the synthetic tree together.  Sigh.

I realize I might need to improve on my 'Jesus is the reason for the season' pre-Christmas teachable moments.  But I figure we can make time for plastic Santa movies and trees this early in December without much harm done. 

My afternoon soon migrated back to the kitchen where I had shortbread and sausage balls to prepare for our traditional post-parade party at Casa de Beck Bleu.

Oh but the parade!!!!  I mustn't pass by it so quickly.  My hair was not quite as ready as I needed it to be (read: soaking wet fresh from the shower) so I sent the boys down the street ahead of me so that they wouldn't miss anything.  Our house is two blocks up the hill from downtown so we are just naturally included in any event that clogs up our main street and we never need to hunt for parking.  We just step out and enjoy!  

As I knew from past experience that finding my three guys in a mass of people wouldn't be easy, I decided just to take in the small town crowd as a whole experience and walk the downtown area as if I were in a movie.  Here's what it was like only much less dizzying in person:

I love this town!!  We may leave it someday, so I try to find these drinkable moments and just hang on to them the way I do with my kids sweetness at every age. Delicious! 

This was a perfect day in almost every way!  Family fun, festivities, fires, fattening foods, farades (ahem). What more could one ask for on a Saturday in early December? I can't think of a thing. Thanks for reliving it with me.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Tale of Two Parties

Eeks!  How is it I remember blogging about something that happened BEFORE I ever had a blog!  Are blogs like cell phones and Diet coke now?  We can't seem to remember how we did things before they came along?  I can almost swear I blogged about Dandy's birthday party last year because it was a crazy day where I gave his party and attended two others plus an entire parade!!!  That was a day etched in my mind and my camera!  I must have emailed my tales to people before blogging because I put those events together somewhere.  I just know it.  

Well, anyway, I'm going to try to push past this and do a little compare/contrast with my birthday boy's 5th and 6th  parties now that I'm actually blogging outside my mind.  I am right?

OK!  So.  Dandy, our little party planner extraordinaire, likes to plan his birthday celebrations well in advance.  We've known all year, for instance, that his number six party would be a "blue" party with an underlying "Thomas the Tank Engine" theme.  Easy enough, we made it so.  

Here we have things like: blue rice krispy treats, blue chips, gummy bears and m&m's in blue, blue dip for the non blue veggies, blue chocolate dipped pretzels(not pictured because I forgot to get them out), blue filling in the non blue tortillas, white cheese and white cheese dip ( I just didn't have the heart to soil the cheese dip after everything else was doused in food coloring.) 

And then we had the Thomas cupcakes, stickers and gifts to round out that portion of the theme.
Yes, he was one happy party host, walking around handing out spoons and stickers with a most hospitable air.  There was no room for blue moods by the time this party started.

We had trains coming and going for engineers young and old to busy themselves with.

And my sweet sister-from-another-mister, Arlynda and her family even came up from Tulsa!  :D  (We have always been twin-like in our looks and sillies.  HI ARLY!)

What I have failed to mention or picture in this happy go lucky post is that while everyone was blueing it up heartily, slowly the children were dropping like flies.  Two kids left early with stomach aches (NOT caused by my colored food-I promise!), and then one of my nephews fessed up to his tummy woes but couldn't bring himself to leave while the leaving was good.  About an hour later.....we saw the party again....all..over.. the..floor.  Yep, after so carefully keeping the fluorescent punch in restricted areas away from the carpet-- hurl happened.  And it wasn't train colored.  

Did I say up there I was going to compare and contrast two parties?  Do YOU have all day to read this blog entry?  Did you check out after the first picture realizing this is just another had-to-be-there post?  That's what I figured.  And I'm supposed to be washing my dogs for Thanksgiving travels!! That is, no doubt, the reason I'm still here. 

Ok, instead of changing the title of this post (which would be the logical choice),I'll just show you what last years party looked like so I can say I included it.  It was quite the Festivus of Verdis if I do say so myself.  Which would you rather eat (or hurl)?  Green or Blue?   

As you can see, our adorable Dandy is a colorful chap at any age!  Happy birthday big D!  I'm hearing talk of Red and Orange for next year so we shall see. We shall see. 
Have a great week and Holiday weekend everyone! I may not see you for a while! 

Monday, November 17, 2008


Yes, it's official I'm still a huge chicken. My hilarious friend Trish uberkindly described the experience I'm referring to here.  
I thought for sure by this time in life I would be just a touch more brave about getting up in front of a crowd, but apparently I'm still just as insecure as ever.  The strange thing about it is that I like singing, and I like performing on stage as well-but not as myself.  Without some sort of disguise or costume, my body betrays me and tries to go into shut down mode at the mere thought of being seen!  The liquid once kept in my mouth instantly moves to my armpits, forcing my lips to move dramatically around my teeth like a horse with peanut butter. The blood that when in my head helps me remember lyrics and practiced cues, just as suddenly migrates to my extremities, leaving my head vacuously circling while my legs get ready to run or buckle beneath me.

It's the familiar scene of the classic performance anxiety from which I suffer.  But, the real problem is that this anxiety is not restricted to the stage.  I can get performance anxiety just knowing I have a really busy day or week ahead of me.   I don't have that little buck -up gene that huddles together with the others and says "Look gang, I've got just the go juice this project needs!  Sit back and enjoy the gun show while I fire this baby up!"  And then of course, he would make engine revving sounds with his tiny little plasma mouth and kick me into high gear. 

Nope, I don't have one of those.  Or maybe I'm just missing one because genes prefer to work in pairs and my little tough guy gene is missing his Harley counterpart.  

In any case............. CURSE YOU JR. HIGH!! 

(I don't know if this is the real culprit or not but I like to yell that sometimes when I'm feeling particularly scarred about something.  It's nice to have a scapegoat at the ready- after all.) 

I just wish I could figure out how to get past this self induced handicap.  I mean, come on!  Can't I just learn to tap into Big Shan when I need her instead of having her pop up whenever the diva so chooses?  If only.  You can't control a diva's schedule you know.  Don't waste your time trying.  

She's busy accosting young mothers and imposing her baby holding services on them. Or, she might even surface upon meeting a new church member at the store and on each and every aisle, quiz the woman wildly about her family life, while in turn sharing equally about her own.  OY VEY!  At one point in the middle of my chattiness on that particular day, I recall even telling this nice victim lady how shy I was.  Then, because B.Shan is always on her toes, I realized suddenly how absurd that must have seemed to my new friend, so we shared a little laugh over that one. (titter titter titter)

Oh well.  We all have our own hang ups don't we?  Why do mine seem to be more like hang outs?  Some day it would really be nice to board the bus to sanity and actually not get off until I get there.  Until then, I suppose it's back to my Relacore study and being an inappropriate freakazoid when I least expect it. Such is life-cluck, cluck- such is life.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


In case you didn't know it, I have the sweetest, kindest, most clever ninja husband one could possibly ask for!  Please join me in wishing him a veeeery happy birthday while I go off and try to forage for party supplies.  Here he is with young Ratchet in an extremely manly video they made over the weekend:  

Pumpkins + Sword = Fun

p.s. He made the music too. :D


Monday, November 3, 2008

A late because I'm Shan(and Shan can) picture gallery from Halloween

This was supposed to be footage of the army dude getting his game face on for candy collecting but his little brother refuses to share the spotlight so we have this.  It is a rare moment in the day when either of my children aren't speaking.  It's usually all or nothing (nothing being sleep) for them both.  I realize, of course, I'm just getting my due.  My mom didn't call me Chatty Kathy just for fun back in the formative days.  Here's a little sample of how it is at my house: 

The actual trick-or-treating went much the same way for Dandy.  It was like a mosh pit of emotions for the little boy who didn't like not knowing how the whole evening was going to go.  Of course, any night where collecting candy is the main activity; it's usually gonna turn out pretty decent for a chappy with a sweet tooth.  
For Ratchet, it's really all about the costume and embodying the complete character.  He's out to convince the general public on Halloween that whatever he happens to be wearing is actually his full time job in the real world.  

And then there was the less convincing performance....

But seriously, who wouldn't root for this guy on the field? 

Here's one last shot of my little pumpkins begging for candy at their grandparents house.  We figured they were a sure thing when it came to MRE's and Gatorade.

And once the young had their cavity collecting done and the street grime and makeup washed away, we sent them off to dream of ghouls and goblins so that we could snack and laugh it up with friends.  OOH OOH AHH AHH!!!  Ah yeah, who's the goblin now?

 Apparently it was me, because even though I wasn't in costume, I had the Big Shan face out and was parading it around!  At least that's what my photos seem to project.  

Here's me meeting Sarah Palin in my own kitchen as she made her final campaigning rounds.  She really seemed quite smart and up on the issues when I met her. I was just pleased as punch to meet her.

After a while, and one costume change into a more comfy outfit, I realized Sarah P. had been my friend Trish all along!  She went the "trick" angle for sure-GAH!! 
She was ready for the press to leave her alone in this next picture, but I'd have nothing of the sort.  I don't have people over often and you are probably starting to see why.

I made my famous (though hideously fattening and even more hideous sounding) dried beef dip as one of my snickies. And Matt wasn't sure what he ate before discovering this mayonaise and sour cream heart clogging wonder.  Teehee- I KNOW MATT! I KNOW!

And finally here's a creepily lit picture of the master of the house, D.J. Jazzy Jamey.  He made the perfect musical compilation for our tiny Halloween mixer because that's his thang dawg!  Now, don't you cross him!  

Speaking of...the dude is waiting patiently in the other room for me to wrap this picture laden post on up!  And now, I'm all exclamation pointy about it, so I'd better scoot!!!  Take it easy YO!  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A partisan guest post

I think since we are getting so close to the election, I'm going to feature my dear friend Becky's blog today.  I tend more toward flibbity fluff when I open my mouth to communicate my feelings.  And I find it extremely hard not to be silly and light-hearted when safely inside Shansland, because that is my default modus operandito.  

So, rather than try to express it in my words, I'll link her recent post here and you can take it as my shared (though much better spoken and thought out) opinion.  Or, this is perhaps where you'll want to quickly look away as to not chance getting frothy at the mouth. That being said, I'll now direct you to my favorite English professor and bosom friend Becky, of Pith, Marrow, and Coffee Spoons:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Photos: Red Rock Canyon, Hinton Oklahoma

This is where we went last weekend for my family reunion on my Mom's side.  It started the year I was born so we can kind of guage how long our family has been meeting by counting the lines on my face.  Fortunately we don't actually do that though.  Isn't this a beautiful place?  The sky is always so blue here this time of year, and it plays off the rose colored canyon so nicely.  

Those pointy things are the A-frame cabins we sleep in, boys in these, girls on the other side.  This is about as rough as I tend to get.  They have no bathrooms or heaters!  I usually sleep with one eye open always on the look out for daddy long legs and other spiders that might want to crawl inside my sleeping bag with me. Eek!  Not restful.

Here,  Beck'sboy and Ratchet  are scaring me with their boy antics. And of course Dandy below that, just living the dream.  He is never more content than when at Red Rock. :)
This is a picture of the boys and a couple people in my family that I took from the ground at the low spot in the corner of our area where the young and nimble can scale the foot holes in the canyon. Jamey of course counts in that category.  I always chose a safer way to go up as a young lass and still do.

Here's my cute little mom  standing with me, safely aground below the others.

We rent out this whole area each year.  It's a U-shaped part of the canyon.
Here's where I usually hang out with the lady folk turning out giant pans full of food to a hundred or so extended family members that come through on Saturday.  I don't ever know them all but I always give 'em a good look them in the eye when I ask which casserole they'd like a scoop of.  heh heh

Here are the kiddos again exploring the canyon.  This is Becksboy's third year to join us at R.R!  He is officially a regular.  It will be quite the crew once Dandy starts to bring a friend!  This year he brought dinosaurs instead.
So that's it, the hole in the middle of Oklahoma that nobody ever seems to have heard of.  I know it was quite a shock to the people who found it during the Oklahoma Land Run.  It would have been a treacherous discovery for a covered wagon caravan! My pictures don't show the highest walls but it is really an amazing site in the middle of such flat and windy lands now only a few miles off a major interstate.  
Happy weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RICK ROLLin' and written hurl!

I don't know who you're voting for ( I'll not be voting for this particular candidate though I imagine you care not to hear political stances from moi) but, either way this video is a crackup! 
You see, I'm an eighties girl.  So, naturally, I love the Rick Roll phenomenon that has made its way through Youtube!  If you don't know what I'm talking about then you probably have an actual life outside your computer. K-kee-kee.  
Apparantly, what's happened is people have been listing links to things that sound really interesting or "alluring" ,  and then when someone else clicks on the link, they instead find  Rick Astley or some form of him singing 'Never gonna give you up' in all his one-hit-wonder glory.  And then, of course, the pranks have developed from there.

 Actually I usually only know about stuff like this because Jamey is a big time tech-know kinda guy who works best while being constantly inundated with entertaining youtube clips or web finds, all the while doing his job and watching a movie, composing a song or listening to music on the side. Whew!  This is a fine piece of writing I'm doing here folks.  Do not look away now or you will be dizzy! ;) 

That multi-tastic style Jamey tends to thrive on would give me a huge case of  Stimulus Overload Majoras!! For I am the type that must take on absolutely one thing at a time if I am to be able to apply my brain properly to it.  Unless... I'm on the phone. While on the phone, I could probably parasail while having an uninterrupted convo if I had a hankerin'.  Does anyone share this ability?  I love it when a friend of mine-who I often find myself having long phone conversations with-says "Well, I guess I'll let you go so you can get that dessert made for the blippity blank."  and I say "Oh, I finished that and already ran it up to the school.  Now, I'm home again and about to start the mower so I guess I should get off this phone now or we won't be able to hear each other."  

And it's the same when I'm listening to an audiobook.  I know I've talked about this before but it still amazes me what menial tasks I surely could accomplish if I just didn't think about them too long.  "Hey, look everyone!  I just refinished all of my floors and I don't remember a lick of it!  Isn't that great?!!"
I think I'm meant to be a drone.

But for reals.  When I have to listen to more than a couple voices at a time (i.e. music and a human talking to me) and actually make sense of what I'm hearing , I get nothing but static.  I can be quite the textbook case of A.D.D. on most days to be honest.  I tend to fail at receptionist catchall types of jobs that most mother types would have a natural affinity for. 
I'm also the ding bat who starts cooking hamburger meat and then decides to change out the seasons in one of my kid's dressers upstairs.  "Ooh, someone's grilling!  Wait a minute, that's me!" And when there's lots of stuff coming at me at one time, typical family style, I tend to start shaking my head like I have a flea in my ear and then my arms immediately want to start flapping myself out-a there!  This (and the fact that I am mental) is why I will never be a kindergarten teacher, or say, a stockbroker.  I'd be running for the emergency exits after the first couple of days of either job, and they'd find me hours later in a field chewing on grass or worse- Lord preserve me!!!

I don't know why you've allowed me to go on this way when I only meant to post that video and give a brief explanation of the Rick Roll.  You'd think I had all the time in the world and might as well go ahead and post some pictures of our weekend at Red Rock Canyon while I'm sitting here blithering.  Nope, I'd like to share those, but I've taken up enough of your time.  I will instead leave you with this one... parting... thought .


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'll choose Places you find terrorists for $500, please Alex

Well, just when I thought I might never post again....I did something blogworthy!!  Yes!  And it was smack in the middle of the week to boot!  I might even do you dear blog friends the favor of skipping all the warm up material and getting right into the photos of my trip DOWN UNDER!!  

What?  did you think that I, the two-state traveler, actually managed Australia?  No, no, no, that kinda thing would take much more than a mental whim and a Wednesday to pull off.  (And yes Mme B. I would definitely have mentioned such a thing to you ;)

This was the sort of down under that you read about (or let's face it, see, in the movie theater) in Journey to the Center of the Earth .  Ok, nope.  I just watched the trailer and remembered that the movie had WAY more dinosaurs, special effects, and appearances by Brendan Frasier than this place did so I can't totally go there with my analogy without feeling just a wee exaggeratory (Wow, I didn't make that word up like I thought I might have).

So even though we didn't get anywhere near the center of the earth, we did go to this really fabulous cave in Eureka Springs!!!  It was such a last minute plan in our otherwise busy outing but it was one of the coolest (exactly 58 degrees year round-I listened) places I've seen in quite a while. 

I took tons of pictures of stalactites and stalagmites along the way but what I couldn't capture was the awesome old fashioned feel this whole place had.  We were each handed gigantic headphones upon entering the Onyx Cave and were instructed to line up carefully along the yellow lines at each listening station so we could hear the commentary after pushing a tall flashing button straight out of a Dharma training video from an episode of LOST (sorry if I actually lost you non LOST watchers there).  The recorded voice playing on the headphones was so dated, he actually reminded us not to leave anything but our camera "flash cubes" behind in the trash receptacles provided along the way.  Remember those?  haha.

Welcome to the 60's dear children.  It's not quite an i-pod but these things get the job done when you need to know what to do when in an underground poorly lit natural dwelling!  

Ok, that's all for now.  But, that's only because it is getting quite late and I've got a pumpkin patch requiring my presence in the morning plus a hugely busy weekend ahead.  I just wanted to share a tiny bit of our day today and hopefully I'll get to more of it in the next couple days- barring a total blog rebellion- as lately I've been prone to pulling.  

Please take care all.  I'm thinking of a special few of you tonight as you are dealing with especially difficult times in your lives.  You know who you are and if you are reading, know that I am praying for you all along the way dear friends.  Much love. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Does this mean I should work in a museum?

I saw this personality test on Sarahcool's blog and thought I'd give it a shot.  It's pretty accurate except for the part that says something about me being a daredevil.  That may have  been true in the early days, but anymore, I won't chew gum while walking briskly because I'm afraid I might choke on it.  I'm not exactly risk-ay in that way.  ;)  I posted my whole descriptive here so you can see how thorough it gets, but don't feel like you have to read it in its entirety(unless you simply MUST study up on the Shan before our next get together).  I just thought you'd like to see what you get for your test taking troubles.  Please come back and let me know if you took this yourself because I want to know what kinda crazy's I'm dealing with that read my blog.  Barhar.  Click on this Personality DNA and see what you get!

P.S. I'm stuck in a non-capping font in case you were wondering.

you are a faithful curator.


about you

you are a curator

  • You are straightforward and real, down-to-earth, and have a healthy respect for order and stability. These attributes, complemented by your desire to be surrounded by things of beauty, make you a CURATOR.

  • You don't feel the need to try everything new that comes along – you know what you like and what you want.

  • You are a no-nonsense person, not someone who falls for pretensions.

  • Being strongly grounded in the here-and-now, you are practical and realistic about yourself and your life.

  • You find comfort and calmness in your habits and routines.

  • Although others might not know this about you, you strongly appreciate aesthetic qualities, noticing whether something is well-designed and stylish.

  • You have a refined sense of taste, and you want your environments to reflect your preferred style.

  • There are times when you feel insecure and vulnerable, even though you know deep down that you are a good person.

  • You aren't narcissistic – you allow yourself to be realistic about your positive and negative qualities.

  • You're not one to force your positions on a group, and you tend to be fair in evaluating different options.

  • You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.

  • Your sense of adventure is supreme - you're up for anything, anytime. Making plans in advance isn't necessary for you: you'd rather figure things out on the go.

  • You have a strong sense of style and value your personal presentation - friends may even seek your style advice from time to time.

  • You tend to believe that things happen for a reason, and that not everything is under our control.

  • If you want to be different:

  • It wouldn't hurt to indulge your imagination and creativity sometimes. These are skills like any other, and develop with practice, so try to carve out some time for them in your life.

  • Try to quiet your inner feelings of doubt – you will be more successful if you can overcome these worries and focus on your many strengths, such as your responsible and honest nature.

  • how you relate to others

    you are faithful

  • Your trust in others, respect for tradition, and caring nature make you FAITHFUL.

  • Maintaining a few intimate relationships is more important to you than knowing a lot of people, and you share a lot with your close friends.

  • Those who have managed to get close to you value your camaraderie, and they know that they can trust you with anything; you're a good listener.

  • While you can usually see several sides of an argument, you often have a strong opinion as to which side is correct—the order of things is usually clear to you.

  • Your perspective on the world is based on careful observation, and you know a lot about how people feel in—and react to—many situations.

  • Your exploration of others' feelings has led you to believe that although people generally act appropriately, having clear social rules is very important to a functional society.

  • Time alone for reflection is important to you—you are introspective and aware of your own feelings.

  • Faithful is as faithful does—you expect those with whom you are close to be loyal to you, and you take betrayal of your trust very seriously.

  • If you want to be different:

  • Some of the alternate perspectives that you understand may have more value than you give them credit for—keep in mind that right and wrong aren't always so clear-cut.

  • While you are able to reap the benefits of your time alone, and may see interacting with a lot of people as more tiring than exciting, remember that there is a lot to be learned from experiencing things and not just reflecting on them.

  • Friday, September 26, 2008

    It's fun for families!

    Happy Friday to you and you and you! How's it gone this week over at your place? Me? Well, aren't you kind for asking? I've had a fair to midland week myself full of highs, lows and a smattering of everything in between. Actually, now I'm just blithering Shakespearean style with much ado about nothing (but without all the clever phrasing) 'cause it's been a much simpler week than all that.

    I did (and still do) have a sickie little Dandy going on three days. It started with a fever. On the second day he added a stomach ache. And today, just when we heard his sweet little chirpy voice upstairs playing and thought he was fine, he upped and chucked! Yes, BUT you couldn't find a more pleasant fellow these sick days. With a little ibuprofen on board, we've had all kinds of casual fun together playing games, solving puzzles, reading books, and even doing some workbook pages out of a kindergarten book I have. He's been patient, conversant, and other than the occasional discomfort mentioned, quite happy.

    I don't get it. But then, he always surprises me so why am I confused. I feel like school is maturing him but drawing and quartering him at the same time. He acts like he likes it, but is showing so many fight or flight symptoms with the teachers.  It's like an unconscious part of him is rebelling with all it's power. And THAT part seems to be winning.

    Oh dear, it is so difficult to know what's best for him. To keep him home and lose all of his special services feels irresponsible. But seeing him disrupt his school and spend so much time misbehaving that he's barely getting his work done seems counterproductive if not harmful to his psyche. Raspberries, I've gone on about that enough for now.

    In other news, Ratchet boy and his cousin (a year younger) were both bestowed awards of citizenship at school today so that was exciting. I'm so proud of what nice young dudes they are becoming.

    And finally, Jamey, myself, and a few others are helping our children's ministry leader start up a new bi-monthly activity called "Family Fun Nights". This is going to be for couples with youngish children to get together and play games, mini golf, watch movies,. do some bible focused activities and basically spend time with one another.

    Last night was our first event so we kicked it off with food and a photo treasure hunt in the park. I say "we" because I meant to be there but instead made food and sent it with Jamey (due to previously mentioned sick kid). Jamey and Ratchet went to represent team "C-berg" and I guess the evening was a grand success.   I, of little faith, expected Jamey and Jonathan (our kid's minister) to be standing around taking pictures of each other while the park strays ate the hot dogs and various sides turning their noses up at my fancy salad.

    But, apparently when it comes to entertaining families if you build it, they will in fact come, especially when you've advertised with a swanky video promising food. What video you ask? Well, I just happen to have it here on Vimeo for your viewing pleasure. Jamey made it with his clever media skillz so I thought I'd show it off now that it's time has come and gone.  If he makes them for the other events, I'll post them before hand to let you know what's coming.

    Family Fun Nights - retro promo video from Jamey Clayberg on Vimeo.

    Wasn't that cute? Squeak! So, if your a local yocal, please feel free to bring the brood out to our next family event. It's good clean fun and it all comes with pricing straight out of the 50's (but without any of the high maintenance hairdo's required)! 
    Really what more could you ask for every other Thursday night **. :D

    ** "Family Fun Nights are not exactly every other Thursday night especially when holidays and or shopping and party seasons infringe and trump newly formed but not trademarked "Family Fun Nights". It is also possible to have ones own fun on Thursday nights and call it family night but not include the town in your "special" event. "F.F.N" are supposed to be fun but if on a certain evening we have chosen to play dodge ball and make ice cream sundaes, and THIS DOES NOT SOUND LIKE YOUR KIND OF FUN, please do not hold the founding members of "F.F.N" responsible for your overall happiness. We do not replace or claim to be anti-depressants of the medical sort, but merely are doing our own take on "fun" at an attempt to please a widely varying crowd.

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    Dandy the lion

    Shall we start the week off with a dance?  Dandy has been enjoying having the drum machine in his room this weekend.  He has been urgently calling us in for impromptu dance parties off and on for the last two days.  

    It's kind of funny because he's not really into loud music so when this song first kicked in he stiffened for the quickest moment and I thought we were in for a panic.  Then, as if the pause was for dramatic effect, he suddenly went into lounge dance mode.  That's my boy. If your caught off guard, always turn it into a comedic side step cha-cha-cha whenever possible.  

    Meanwhile on the downbeat, the gip is having new sensory overload manifestations at school.  He is acting out in brand new ways that are both mysterious and depressing to his parents. I've been up there "helping in the classroom" and lurking in the hallways- sneaking peaks at him here and there at the requests of the teachers.  My plan has been to seem like I'm EVERYWHERE and know EVERYTHING he is doing or not doing at school so that he remembers how to behave.  The teachers and staff, much to their credit, have been bringing in all the help they can to try and make his first year a success.  Why, he even has his own personal assistant with him full time.  Is this special needs or a mastermind in his earliest stages of manipulation training for new subordinates?  Sometimes we aren't quite sure to be truthful!  So far the work has not been a problem for him as we suspected, but the behaving? 

    I have another meeting in the morning to get some more services set up (complete with the usual healthy heaping of paperwork don'tcha know-wheee!).  Otherwise, we are just trying to educate ourselves in the various possible issues going on while being as consistent with rewards and consequences as possible to keep Dandy going in the right direction.  I have yet to find the manual on this kid!  He is uniquely and wonderfully made to say the least!  Now, if we can just keep him from turning into the next Dr. Evil, we'll eventually save the planet, or at the very least, one small town's school system along the way. 

    (cue: music)
    Dramatic pause........................................AND, Side step- cha cha cha. Front step-cha cha cha. Side step-cha cha cha. Back step-cha cha cha.......

    Saturday, September 6, 2008

    The hankie anniversary

    Since I recently went on an unplanned blogging hiatus, I'll try to catch you up on a few things that have gone on in the last while around Shansland.  

    In this entry, I want to point out that Jamey and I recently rocked the silk/linen anniversary!  Well, as much as you do rock an airy wrinkle-prone fabric on any given day.  Ok, we may not have worn silk or linen but boy did we have a twelfth  anniversary!  Yeah buddy!  And, since I couldn't find the official wedding album after looking in all the usual spots, I thought I'd show you these little black and whites of us nervously fiddling about before the actual ceremony began.  

    As you can see, Jamey was merely a hatchling when I married him fresh out of college.  I was a mature woman of twenty-six and had enough wisdom at that point to know I would want my husband to be good and spry when his old girl needs to be put down.  It really works out for both of us,  I'll have a caretaker in my final days with his doogies about him.  And  he'll still have time once I'm off to Gloryland, to get a silver bullet Airstream loaded with all of his music gear (and a few fishing poles) and strike out on the road unhindered.   That's my loose plan anyway.

    No matter how it all goes down, I know I got myself a keeper.  Jamey has a high tolerance for all of my high maintenance tendancies.  I have yet to scare him off in my worst of times, it's true. Most days,  he makes me feel like I have the hotness of Angelina Jolie (when I'm feeling more like her smoldering toilet leavings),  and  the mothering skills of  "Ma" Ingles (when I suspect I'm a Half-pint away from being Rosanne Barr  -slobbishly yelling at my kids in a whiny voice from the kitchen table.) "Eat again??  Didn't I just feed you people four hours ago?"

    And Hubby-o-a dozen years does not just tell me he loves me.  No, no.  He does whatever it takes to make sure I am as happy and cared for as possible.  

    Just last evening, for example, my insulin pump blew a sensor and died as I was refilling it with medicine.  This meant I would have no constant supply of insulin throughout the night and I was in for a tricky 12 hours until our pharmacy opened the next morning.  Fortunately, I have my Doc's email and he immediately called in a long acting insulin to the nearest 24 hour pharmacy.  Since this pharmacy was in another city 30 miles across the country darkness of Northwest Arkansas(and these eyes of mine don't DO country darkness of Northwest anywhere), my sweet husband hopped in the car without hesitation and spent the next hour and a half running my late Sunday evening errand without complaint.

    That was not the first time he's had to make such a trip or otherwise drop everything else for me.  He takes care of me that one.  And he won't even complain when the bill for my hideously expensive newfangled pump arrives in the mail in a week or two.  He's been nice like that for a good dozen + years!  So, I expect I'll keep him until my own sensors make their final beeps and I'm eventually replaced by a newer model myself (well maybe model is not the best choice of words here. How about...version. Yes, I like that better.).  Let's just hope we make it well past talk of silk and linen before any necessary upgrades happen and have at least a jewel or metal celebration in our sites by then.

    Happy (late as usual) anniversary Sweetheart!  You are the wings-that somehow use all of my wind as an energy source!! And even though that awkward phrasing would never make it into a well celebrated Bette Midler song, it still works for us somehow.  Now, pass the anniversary hankie over here if you will.  I'm coming down with a case of the sentimentals and my nose is starting to run.  So, here's to many more...HONK!!  XOXOX