I made some really great toasted-sugar-glazed-spiced pumpkin seeds last night. You know those sugared nuts? Like that, only pumpkin seeds. They're very yummy and I'm going to see if any stores still have really cheap after-halloween pumpkins so I can make some more.
I also did something really delicious with grapes poached in sangria.
I laugh at the neighbor who has loaded her house and yard with so many Christmas lights that every night I hear pops as breakers flip and lights die. Bwahaha. Serves her right for putting them up before Thanksgiving! It annoys me how that holiday gets passed over as we all jump straight from Halloween to Christmas. I guess nobody gives you presents or candy for Thanksgiving. =P
Reason #65,873,946,002 why I love my family:
The boys each received a black powder pistol last night, and a collection of 20 John Wayne movies.
Christmas has been spent largely with the three of us snuggled on the couch, watching shoot-'em-ups and sort of casually cradling, caressing, and twirling the pistols. (Which, I assure you, are utterly harmless until such time as black powder can be purchased.)
Today some sweet lady came in and distributed boxes of tea and cherry bread to all of us. How kind of her! And yesterday I was given a second pair of Fuzzy Socks, this time with purple stripes.
Today I mailed the last of my Christmas packages and cards. They should all arrive in time...!
Probably when I get home there will be a package waiting for me. =)
Spent the evening writing the family Christmas letter (Mwahahaha, now they remember why they regret putting me in charge of this every year!) while Mannheim Steamroller blasted and mum and the boys put up the Christmas tree.
And Hagen tried to eat the twinkly lights.
I asked Benjamin to make me a cup of coffee with "one spoon of sugar and some half and half."
I received a cup with one spoon of sugar and half coffee, half half-and-half.
The poor kid didn't know what half-and-half was and completely misunderstood.
But it was really, really good.
Went to Walmart yesterday and I'm going again today. *facepalm* Joy. Especially now that I keep running into someone in the music department that I'd really rather not see every single time I go in. I swear, I never saw him there before...
Meeting up with Hannah & family after lunch, hurray. Wish we had time to run away and do something marvelous but we'll be lucky just to have enough time to get all the talking done! At least I get to keep her until tomorrow afternoon.
I feel very pink, which will be evident to anyone who sees me today.
Back to running the library now. Too bad I can't decide to close early. =P
It's a special kind of feeling, more than any of those words could describe. It's a winter feeling. That's the best I can do. I feel like winter--snowy winter, not dead, ugly, brown winter.
It feels like a day to mail Christmas cards.
Today is very hectic here at the library. Everyone is making up for the days we were closed, I guess! The phone has been ringing almost constantly. Between that and patrons, I'm trying to catch up on all the Interlibrary Loan work. Fun.
I just found out that my dad's-cousin's-daughter was not swept off her little island by the tsunamis. I didn't know this until yesterday, but she is a missionary on a little island off the coast of India.
I thought I had a lot to say but words have deserted me.
Christmas. You'll hear it from everyone else, so I'm not going to preach a sermon... But Christmas is truly a blessed time. I hope you all have a wonderful one!
We had snow most of the afternoon and evening Dec. 23, and Christmas Eve morning I woke up to see it still snowing lightly--my first white Christmas ever! I think we got about six inches altogether. This afternoon I went out with the boys and we each made a snowman--I get cold so quickly that it's hard to stay out very long, but it was fun.
Christmas Eve always feels more like Christmas to me then Christmas day, because we always have open our gifts then, but Christmas day was good too. Mom and I made a big dinner, and we all ate tons of food. I did a lot of reading and didn't bother about all the things I should have been doing.
Oh! I didn't mention The Two Towers yet! For anyone who doesn't already know, lol, I loved it. Absolutly. And Return of the King promises to be even better, can you BELIEVE it?!!
(For the few random people who are not in any of the email groups where I expounded in great detail about what I liked and didn't like, let me 'splain...no, there is too much. Let me sum up [TPB, Hannah!]: Eowyn and Gollum were perfect, the Ents slightly weird but good, Aragorn better then ever, Arwen sort of random but interesting, and Faramir a travesty, but a better looking travesty then I anticipated. Altogether, I will be very upset if TTT doesn't win a whole pile of awards.)
I want to see it again. So badly. But instead I'm just collecting tons and tons of reviews and articles and pictures (hurray for the internet!)
Back to Christmas. This was the year of silver. =D I got a silver bracelet from one of my bosses, and I bought myself a handmade silver ring, and my dad in a random fit of perfectness gave me an Italian silver necklace with a cross pendant. I love silver so much! Only mithril could be better. ; )
Yes, I'm slightly more Middle-earth obsessed then usual. I get that way this time of year. I wish I could escape there occasionally....like next Sunday, when Dreaded Relatives will be vising. (But only for about four hours, thank heavens.)
A few misc. things....
*The stack of books I'm reading now:
Le Morte d'Arthur (Sir Thomas Mallory)
The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights (John Steinbeck)
The Last Promise (Richard Paul Evens)
Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien)
A Treasury of Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore (edited by W. B. Yeats)
Russell Baker's Book of American Humor
*My favorite cookies at the moment: creme filled Pirouette thingies. YUM. Thank you Candace!!
*Did you know that area rugs are remarkably fire resistent?
*Life without a microwave is tough. (ours quit. **cries** My beatiful black microwave! I don't know if I can convince them to buy a black one twice. =P I didn't win on the fridge--they bought ivory instead...)
*A dead duck showed up the front yard this morning...I can't decide if it's better or worse then the headless stuffed beaver last week. ; )
Wow, another year gone again. I've been doing some mental and physical house cleaning, though I didn't really mean to.
I'm into Arthurian ledgends now. I'm going to read every book the library has on King Arthur, the Round Table, and Gallent Knyghts (to borrow the more authentic spelling). I just finished John Steinbeck's translation and interpretation of Le Morte d'Arthur, which was really good--too bad that he didn't ever finish it. Now I'm onto a translation of Le Morte d'Arthur by, uh, someone else...oh, Keith Baines. It's much closer to Sir Thomas Mallory's orginal then Steinbeck's. Next will probably be T. H. White's novels about King Arthur, which I've read before but long time ago.
Arthur is always very remote (as befitting a king) and so has very little character. Because of the Divine Right of Kings and so on kings could really "do no wrong"...anything wrong they did was the fault of their councelers or whatnot. So you can't really get much character in a king since they never make mistakes, never show doubt or fear and so on. Actually King Arthur does depending on what version you read, but he's still very characterless.
This means that I'm much more drawn to other characters--namely, Guenevere and Lancelot. (Or Gwynevere, depending on, again, which translation.) This is odd, seeing as G and L aren't *exactly* role models. Oh well. Few of them were. ; )
Another interesting thing to note is the almost total lack of description. All you find out about Arthur is that he has grey eyes. Gwynevere has golden hair, and Lancelot is a large man. Leaves a lot to the imagination, I guess.
My New Years Resolutions:
1. Stay me.
2. Read lots of good books.
3. Keep my friends.
4. Cook lots of good food.
5. Grow up a little more. ; )
6. See Return of the King.
Haha. I think I know several of those that will be easy to keep. =D
And---this was snitched from a friend who snitched it from a friend who...
Five things that 2002 taught me:
1) Things can happen very quickly that I could never imagine happening to me.
2) With God's help I can overcome problems, and when I trust in Him he *does* provide.
3) Life is not usually reasonable.
4) Friends are one of the very best things in life....when you pick them correctly. ; )
5) Growing up means using your head more and your emotions less as a guide.
Five personally significant events of 2002:
1) Cinco de Mayo...the fifth of May, and not for the Mexican holiday.
2) Buying Fellowship of the Ring:SE and seeing The Two Towers. =D
3) George's memorial service
4) Daily emails from Hannah
5) Realizing I could be married before too long, and I've got a LOT of work to do. ;)
Five things I want to do in 2003:
1) See Return of the King
2) Read a lot of good books
3) Have time for the things I enjoy doing
4) Mature in faith, attitude, and emotions
5) Keep my mind, heart, and desk drawers clutter free
Five things I don't want to do in 2003:
1) Beat myself up over my mistakes
2) Alienate my friends
3) Go to another funeral
4) Put another dent in the car. ; )
5) Obsess over things that aren't worth it
Five things I love beyond all reason currently:
1) Friends, and immediate family
2) Music of many types
3) Lord of the Rings
Five things I hate with good reason currently:
1) Liars and hypocrites
2) Bad weather
5) My irrationality
Five People who have challenged my thinking the most:
1) Hannah, in true best-friend style
2) Authors of the books I've read
4) Tolkien, of course
5) Gwen, in many letters!
Five People who have been an especial blessing:
1) Grandear, in word, deed, and thoughfulness
2) Hannah EVERDAY
3) Gwen for long letters
4) Sarah for the Green Monkeys
5) Anyone else who happened to have been a blessing, lol...
I love the names of people in old Anglo-Saxon and Celtic myths and ledgends. My favorite so far has been King Angwyshaunce of Ireland. Close behind are Guenevere, Gwyn, Gwyndolyn, and Gwynwen, Geowyn, and my FAVORITE Gwen name: Gwenllion. But there are so many other good ones: King Pellinore, Sir Mellyagraunce, Sir Brastius, Sir Tristram, Sir Galahad......the ladies Iseult, Margawse, Igraine......
WHY DOES NO ONE NAME THEIR KIDS IN THE GOOD OLD ANGLO-SAXON TRADITION ANYMORE????
Personally, I'd like to name a daughter of mind Galadriel. I knew a little girl named that, so it doesn't seem as odd to me as it might to others...That family also had children named Kirdan (verson of Cirdan) and Rosie. (Rosie MARIE, after *me*!)
I like reasonably odd names. But not so odd that they're...Odd. And I like names with meanings and histories. There are a few that I couldn't imagine bestowing on a child for rather obveous reasons: Jezabel, Hillary, Madonna.
Friday the 13th! My favorite day, lol. But there are only a few hours left in it, and nothing terrible has happened yet! =)
Christmas time's coming.....does anyone have the problem of finding out what their presents are ahead of time? Somehow--totally without meaning to--I often do. It's very annoying. ; )
I just feel like writing. And writing and writing and writing. About.....nothing. I honestly have nothing (interesting) to say......I wish I had an eventful life like like my *friends* but seriously, I can't see that anyone could be interested in this stuff. =D
I guess I need a topic, then. Hm. There are a lot of places I could go--my opinions on politics, attempted censorship of certain books by churchpeople....
Hey, wait. I've got a good one. Something that bugs me incredibly at the moment is how a large part of our church is acting--right now there is being built an outdoor stadium/campground where every year a four day country music festival will be held. This property happens to be right next to or quite close so the houses of a lot of people who go to my church. They are not happy about it.
So far this doesn't seem like a problem, right? I mean, who would want a big noisy concert in their backyard? (Well, I would, if it was Alan Jackson....) It's understandable.
But it's only four days a year, people. Please. Stop all these drastic measures! The main problem is that they are covering their displeasure in it being next door to them by turning it into a religious thing. They are writing letters to all the papers, the organizers, the city council, saying that this festival will bring all the filth and nastiness and bad people right into their community. They say, and I quote, "you know what all those people who go to country concerts do! All they do is drink, drink, drink! And run around naked!"
Regardless of your feelings for country music as a genre or secular music at all, let me tell you---I've been to more then a few country and bluegrass festivals, and I've never seen a naked person! Believe me, if I had I wouldn't have forgotten it. ; ) And the only drunk one I saw was quickly escorted away by the police. I've seen more wildness, drunkeness, and streakers at football games--a passion with most of the church.
Methinks I see a double standard here.
Now the other thing that bothers me are the terrible uncharitable things my fellow churchpeople are doing to try to stop this. One man wrote a horribly nasty letter to the city council, saying that he would hold them responsible when his wife and children were killed by drunk drivers from this festival. He also has been saying that he'll pick up any dead animals from other church people's farms to dump at the edge of his land just by the festival stage to drive away the people with the stink. I call that un-Christian.
Argh. I'm a pretty frugal person; I don't spend much money on entertainment normally. But I'm almost to the point where I am ready to buy a ticket--expensive as they are--to this thing in protest! And they *are* booking a lot of my favorite country artists (yes, I like country. Some of it. This does not mean I'm a low class hick, thank you. I also like opera. Classical. Yes, Savetheolives, even your 'meaty' Brahms!)
And it's giving a horrible reputation to my church denomination, too. =P I will be so embarressed if they picket the place like they've talked about! I wonder if I could picket them? =)
OH MY GOSH it's the middle of December; there is no way the weather should be this nice! It's 10:00 in the morning and I just walked outside with short sleeves and no shoes--it's almost 60 degrees. Blue skies, sunshine....no wonder I'm so happy this morning. And I just gave my big fluffy yellow dog (who finally outgrew the 'haircut' the boys gave her) a hug. Ahhhhh. Life is good.
I even opened my bedroom windows. Gentle breezes are wafting in, carring the sound of bird songs with them....Spring time, anyone?
Ok, now I'm depressed. It's months til spring. =P
Hm, in a lot of ways this feels like a winter day in south Florida, where I spent six years of my life. Except there it would still be GREEN instead of these hidious bare oak trees everywhere. And we might be heading off to the beach or the gardens or something. And I'd actually have *friends* who lived nearby to do stuff with, too--
**sigh** Nevermind. Oklahoma's all right, really.
Well, last night was our Really Horrible Church Christmas Play. Which actually went better then I was expecting (but not much). Blessings on all the people who actually sat through it (may they never have to repeat the experience!)
If I ever have the misfortune to be elected to the Christmas program committee, there will be serious discussion of a service consisting of singing the beautiful carols which we don't sing nearly often enough, and beautiful Christmas readings done by people who can actually read.
I am *so* way too cultured for this place, sorry. =)
I WILL NEVER DRINK HERBAL TEA AGAIN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!
I just spent another day making nasty moon dust herbal tea for a local herb company. Gack. It looks awful, it smells awful, and it's so dusty that it gets all in my lungs and broncial tubes and makes me wheeze. Even though I wore a mask all day. Ick. This is one job I'd turn down....if it didn't pay so darned well. Ok, I admit it, I do like money. Uh huh.
Tomorrow's the opening day for The Two Towers. I wish I was going to see it! I'm still not quite sure when I'll get to it--tomorrow I have to work again, other activities take up the rest of the week....probably it'll be next week sometime. =\ Mom still hasn't decided if she wants to come with me or not. She's kind of curious, but honestly she hated FotR and this won't be any 'better'. =) I keep telling her to go shoping for 3 hours instead, to which I get the answer, "Shop, for three hours, in PRYOR?!" Yeah, yeah, so it's not that big of a town.
Anyway, I don't think she'll come; I just told her that the battle of Helm's Deep was supposed to take about 45 minutes. "Yeah, mom, almost 1/3 of the movie will be this great big fight--lots of orcs, spears, swords, arrows...and that's just *one* of the battles!" Heehee. I think that clinched it.
This year I'm going to wear my One Ring around my neck like a good girl rather then on my finger as I did last year. Gosh, what *was* I thinking?!
The Two Towers opening day. And I didn't see it. **cries**
BUT I'm not quite done with my TTT re-read, and I don't want to see it until I'm done, so.....
I think I realize why the moon features so prominantly in myths and ledgends and pagan religions. I just saw one of the most beautiful moon-scapes--big, luminous, shining with clarity and goodness and purity...so bright that I cast a shadow in the darkness of the night.
Ahhhh. It makes me feel Lawhead-ish, for some reason. Epic. Sorrowfully-beautiful-beautiful-sorrow, to quote Amea (how do I link that, pray tell?). Or Elvish maybe--they love the moon. I wish each night could be like this: I wish my bedroom windows faced that way. ; ) As it is I sleep in the glow of the pole light; almost like moonlight....
Oh--hopefully very soon I can welcome my friend Noelle to the world of Live Journal. =) Yay!
OH MY WORD I am so freakin' excited! I don't think I've ever felt like this in my entire life. Until now. I'm seeing The Two Towers in just about an HOUR!!!!! Wheeeeeeeeee.
I've heard all the good and bad things my friends have said about it, and liberties taken or no, I know I'm going to love it. Adore it. Praise it forever. (Almost. After I chew PJ out for a few things, I'm sure.)
This morning was stunningly beautiful. I walked up to the cove to spend the morning helping at a friends garage sale; it was the best walk I've had in a long time. It was warm enough that I didn't need a jacket, and the sun was finally out and the leaves were flying around in the wind....it made me feel all happy and grateful to God for making such a beautiful world.
A couple days ago we had our One Perfect Fall Day. It was almost 80 degrees, slight wind, brilliant fall colors on the trees, bright blue sky...the kind of day that made me happy all over. I spent some time in the morning working in my flower bed, full this time of year with pansies.
Oh, I'm interested in learning a little about HTML....anyone have some knowledge they'd like to share to a beginner?
I'm starting to look forward to Christmas now. I love Christmas music so much! I'm a part of a choir of girls (we perform at several churches besides our own throughout the year--next spring we're going to several churches in Arkansas and Indiana) and we're getting ready for the Christmas banquet on the 15th of December. It's going to be a Boar's Head feast sort of thing; the best part will be walking in with candles singing "Still Still Still." That is such a pretty song! Right now we're working on "Do you Hear What I Hear", "O Holy Night", songs like that. Some are pretty challenging; the range you have to manage on some of those is incredible. So we're having to do a lot of extra practices in preparation; it's so much fun, though!
One other thing: because of my lack of internet access at home, although I read them, I can't respond to comments as they are made. Sorry. =\ If you leave your email address (or you're someone who I know your address) I can get back to you if you have questions or something I want to reply to.
Sometimes I wonder how such a perfect and wonderful person as myself ; )
came from such awful families as both my mom and dad's relatives. Or maybe I'm just as nutty and disfunctional as they are and just don't know it yet. Lol!
I'm getting kind of tired of people who think that because I can read fast and comprehend well and know a lot of big words that I'm super smart. I mean, there's a whole world of upper math out there that I really can't even begin to comprehend. Granted, I'd rather read then figure and it doesn't bother me, but I feel like a hypocrite when people think I'm so above average. In some things, maybe, but it sure doesn't make me superior as a person!
I'm proud to say that I'm not too old to play in leaf piles! I just had the greatest time with my little brother; although being buried in leaves is oddly reminicent of that Poe story about being buried alive. ; ) However, I also got all dusty and whatnot which means I have to wash my hair before I go to the Christmas play practice tonight. Gar.
I feel like I'm in a horrible state of waiting. I hate waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Not knowing when or if a call will come today. Will it, or won't it? What will I find out when I check my email today?
It's amazing how things written by people *so* long ago can be so relavent to my life.
"Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups on my table.
-T'ang Dynasty "
That was written back around 700 AD. And it applies to me so wonderfully.
"Once upon a time I was falling in love/And now I'm only falling apart....."
I love that song at this moment. (Because I'm listening to it.) Actually I only really love those few lines; the rest of it is pretty forgetable.
I don't know what to write. I'm kind of devoid of words. Life is not going too well today, I'm not sure what it is but it's something in me, I'm sure. I'm letting lots of little stuff bother me, and it's depressing. I should go take a walk, that always helps, to escape for a while. The sun's out, that's good. Sun is cheery!
I'm sitting on the sofa with the morning sun simply streaming over me. It's so wonderful; I feel all happy and peaceful and joyful....
Yesterday was a huuuuge day. I was gone from 9:00 AM til almost 9:00 PM; I got home and decided to ignore emails to be answered, ignore all the other things I needed to do, and I laid in bed and did nothing but *read*. It was loverly.
I finished the Count of Monte Cristo! It was so much better then I anticipated, too! I recommend it highly.
I've been very, very busy the last few days. I was planning on going to the library two days ago, but I had to work instead, so.....this is getting longer and longer and loooonngggerrr.....
Tomorrow's going to be an awful day too; all afternoon in a huge choir practice. Argh.
But I got the LotR extended edition DVD!!! I'm so happy! I haven't had the time to see much of it yet, but what I've seen looks fantastic.
A few days ago I went up to Tulsa. It was for a very sad purpose, but even so I just *love* the city. Crazy, but we hardly ever go there. It was at night, and the city lights just "thrill my soul".
Now you can call me insane. But I want to live in the city someday. For a while.
I also have a particular obsession with parking garages.
I will shut up now. ; )
This evening at 6:00 someone I love dearly died. Roses will forever remind me of you, George....who I'm sure is now tending God's rose garden....
I feel awful at all the things I'm neglecting, but I'm in a state of life where, for just a few more days, I have to focus on doing only what's absolutely the most important. That means there's a letter on my desk which I'd love to be answering, but.....sorry, Gwen. =P I haven't even made time to watch the new version of the Fellowship of the Ring, although I've seen a good deal of the documenteries and such. (Viggo and Sean Bean just crack me up at the way they tell stories. **gutteral voice** "I'm afraid to even take a bath!" ROTFLOL. And, IMO, Sean Bean and Billy Boyd have the two best accents of all the actors; wouldn't you agree? Billy's just adorable, and Sean manages to have a wonderful English accent without sounds stuffy. Hurray!)
Friday's going to be a tough day. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
I also just found out that someone I know from church attempted suicide. Thank God he was found in time. This is getting really scary, because there are several other people in my life that have battled depression and
had various problems with eating disorders, and tried to kill themselves; one is a cousin I used to be very close to.
Ok. I'm finally off to the library once more. Noelle, because of the time crunch I'm going to wait until next time to take care of that thing for you; just hang on. ; )