30 November 2005


Bill and I went to Colorado to celebrate Thanksgiving with some close family friends and their 3 kiddos. (By the very grace of God we managed to get back with all those blizzard conditions surrounding the state, but that is a completely different tale).

A fun time was had by all, and we spent a good amount of time with various families and individuals from their church. It's a very young church, composed almost exclusively of college students, young single adults, young married couples, and young married couples with children. Lots and lots of children. One night, there was a big get-together, and it was all families with young children, ranging from a couple with 1 baby to a family with 5 kids. They were all very friendly and nice, but the dad of 5 made a comment that really got to me. He said, "Boy, spending the evening here with 12 children running around must be great birth control for you."

Now, I know he meant it as a joke, but here is the information that he had about my husband and I:

We're a young couple in our late 20's/early 30's.
We're friends with young couples who have children (i.e. the friends we were with).

He didn't know if we were trying to get pregnant or for how long we may have been trying to get pregnant or if we already knew of an inability to get pregnant or, well, anything past us being a young couple who does not currently have children but likes them well enough to travel halfway across the country to see our friends and their kids.

And the fact is that, no, we are not struggling with infertility. But I just get sick of the, "you want kids? here take mine!" comments that I hear. People assume fertility--their own and others. I guess that in the field of adoption in which I work, I usually just assume infertility.

Anyway, the family of 7 was a very nice family, and I know that he just made automatic assumptions, but it was a good reminder to me to mind my tongue.

Much like when I accidentally yelled "CRAP!" while playing a game with all their kids in the next room. I felt horrible, but at least Bill lightened the mood by fake-gasping and saying, "That's not a word we say in this house!"

I probably do need to work a little on getting rid of my vulgar exclamations before we do start thinking about having kids. But again, that's neither here nor there.

23 November 2005

Saga of the XBox

Okay, so let me start by saying that, contrary to Ellen's blog entry from two days ago, neither I nor my husband are crazy or obsessed with video games. I like to play tetris, and he plays the occasional round of Tiger Woods golf or snowboarding race. BUT we are going to see his best friend from college and his family over Thanksgiving (whom I haven't seen in over a year), and Bill wanted to be able to play the XBox with him. So Bill sold back his PS2 and all the games and accessories to buy the XBox, believing Microsoft that it would be the best system ever...more on that later.

He drove to the nearest Wal-Mart, and the line was already 3 rows long, so he said, "forget that" and drove up to the next nearest Wal-Mart about half an hour away. The line there was much shorter, and the person standing in front of him said, "Hey! If they have the number of XBoxes available that they said they would, you'll get the last one!" Neat.

What was NOT neat was the horrible, horrible woman at the front of the line who brought along all her (many) children and her sister and her (many) children to each "buy" their own XBox. The manager informed the woman that Wal-Mart was allowing one XBox per household, and she started yelling at him and throwing a fit about how she would sue them for "age discrimination". (She's lucky I wasn't there because I would have called Child Protective Services about her having her 6 & 7 year-olds in Wal-Mart until 1:00 a.m. on a school night and using them as slave labor to buy XBoxes that she was almost certainly going to scalp on E-Bay.)

Long story short, Bill did indeed get his XBox. The people in front of him were counting the horrible, horrible woman and her 9 children/nieces/nephews. Brought it home, excited as can be. Woo-hoo! Opens it up last night, gets everything plugged in and put together...

And it sucks.

No way around it. It's jerky and slow and, yes, the graphics are good, but the only games that it ran well were the "tetris" like games (that I thoroughly enjoyed).

So to make a long story longer, Bill packed it up, took it back to Wal-Mart, and we'll buy a new stereo receiver with that $$$ because ours is shot. I'm sad that he sold back his PS2, but he said that he'll just wait for the PS3 to come out and get that. Probably won't be waiting in any lines, though. And some kid will get an XBox for Christmas that wouldn't have otherwise.

Bill Gates releasing an inferior product to get quick, easy sales over Christmas? NO! Surely not!!

21 November 2005

Wal-Mart Trivia Answer

The answer is: PLUNGERS!

Isn't that gross?

Wal-Mart Trivia

What is the #1 selling item in Wal-Mart's Hardware dept. the day after Thanksgiving? (Answer tomorrow)

20 November 2005

Shelli's question revisited

So Shelli asked this question on her blog a couple days ago, and I asked it on my blog a few months ago (fyi: I received more comments on this post than any other post, EVER--albeit most of the comments were between my sister Ellen and our friend Melissa about the ABBA CD that Ellen had stolen). So I pose this question yet again (the only thing changed is that now we've been married over a year):

So here’s the question of the day (and maybe this will inspire some comments): how do you know it’s the right time to start trying to have children? Notice I do not say “the right time to get pregnant”. I work in the adoption field. I know that when you start trying and when a baby shows up are often two VERY different times. It boggles my mind when women think they can choose the month they want their baby born in…of course, some fertile myrtles can.

My husband and I have been married for almost a year, and I’m constantly haunted (as most women in America are) by the TIME article a few years ago with the depressing nose-dive fertility/age chart. We’re financially stable, healthy, love kids, blah, blah, blah. And then there’s the cons—only time in our life to be carefree, big chunk of disposable income, time away from each other, blah, blah, blah. So I guess my question is, “how do you know when the scales have tipped?” Is it an earth-shattering moment? A quiet peace? Of course, there’s the couples that have oopsies and God answers the question for them. And then, there are the delusional/stupid on pregnancy boards: “my fiancĂ© and I have started trying…does anyone know of a good empire waist wedding dress company?”

And granted, I am surrounded ALL THE TIME by babies and baby-related topics. Tends to color my thinking light pink and baby blue, but I don't consider myself to be baby crazy. So just curious…how did you know?

19 November 2005

man in black, part II

I'm not normally a midnight blogger (heck, i'm not normally an anytime blogger), but I feel compelled to write about the movie I've just seen...Walk the Line.

Without going too much into the performances, can I just say, if Joaquin Phoenix does not bring home an Oscar, he was robbed. No ifs, ands, or buts. Okay, enough about my boyfriend (as Bill likes to refer to him).

Johnny Cash did some horrible things, horrible. But I love that through his entire life, God had a hold of him, whether he knew it or not. And then, God used him to do some great things, with a great woman by his side.

Plus, I never thought that a drug de-tox scene could make me laugh, but this one did.

Okay, enough "reviews by Karen". Tomorrow...Harry Potter!

17 November 2005

OOOOOOOOOO-Klahoma...Wal-mart version

sung to the tune of "the farmer and the cowman can be friends" from OKLAHOMA:

Oh, the buyer & the vendor can be friends
Oh, the buyer & the vendor can be friends
Buyer gets the low, low price!
Vendor gets it in the arse!
The buyer & the vendor can be friends...

I'd like to say a word for the buyer...
He works for Wal-Mart, they're a hard employer
Whenever someone sneezes on their property...
They have to call out all their corporate lawyers!


I'd like to say a word for the vendor...
He had to move to Arkansas from Jersey
But that doesn't excuse this horrible action:
In his Hum-vee, he's a complete turdy!

(rousing round of the chorus)

15 November 2005

The Princess & The Pea

Well, Ellen's post started me thinking about sleep habits: the good, the bad, and the weird.

I would fall under the weird category. As my husband, family, and past roommates can attest, I have some very odd sleep habits. Namely, hypnagogic hallucinations. For a long time, I thought that I was just crazy, and then I had a professor in college who specialized in sleep-related disorders. After taking half the semester to work up the nerve to go into her office and ask about it, I found out that I wasn't crazy, probably just chronically sleep-deprived. Basically, if I go a certain amount of time without enough REM (dream) sleep, my body goes, "WHOAAA! Just who do you think you are, Karen? I will tell YOU when REM sleep is needed." And then my brain triggers the rapid eye movements before my body is in a deep sleep state. So what happens? I open up my eyes and see a gigantic spider on my hand and act accordingly: jumping up, turning on the light, and yelling at my (very bewildered) husband. (This exact thing happened two nights ago).

It was scary hearing that prof describe my symptoms perfectly. I actually have it easy--a lot of people see mostly human intruders in their HHs. I've only had that happen once or twice.

I've seen it all...some of my favorites: a spinning coke bottle cap (not so much scary as fascinating for a full 2 minutes), my sister's cat perched on the top of the door, more rodents and snakes than I care to remember (and one occurence resulting in my knee split open and a resolution to never again sleep on a bunk bed). The first one I remember was a wrought iron chair dangling precariously above my bed. My parents must have thought I was insane when I ran into their room to describe said wrought iron chair in the middle of the night. I went through a short time when most of my hallucinations were auditory, sounded like a train going through my room, but I thankfully have not had one of those in a few years.

And Bill found out the hard way that arguing with me about the HHs was the WRONG method of dealing with me in that particular state. He has also learned to trust me when I say that I am not to sleep with any scissors or other sharp instruments next to the bed.

To my defense, I once woke up with a cricket in my mouth. That one wasn't a hallucination. An actual cricket. In my mouth.

So...what are your sleep quirks?

12 November 2005


I'm the saver. Bill's the spender. Neither of us is over-the-top extreme in these areas, save in one.


Bill does not like to use soap slivers. Not even just when it gets down to tiny, tiny soap slivers. He doesn't like using the soap once it's not a hearty bar. I, on the other hand, was raised on the slivers. I learned the art of pressing slivers together with my fist to make a new "bar" (sort of). So, lo and behold, it became a sliver of an issue when we first got married.

The compromise?

Bill replaces the soap bar whenever he dang well pleases, but he puts the sliver in a little tupperware dish for me. I save up the slivers and melt them to make a new bar. I do not, under any circumstances, force him to use the reconstituted soap (or watch Jane Austen movies, but that is neither here nor there...that's just a vow I made for myself before I ever met him...learned from my father--never make a man watch Jane Austen movies, too cruel.)

11 November 2005

Dog Mommy

It's official...I have a "dog-child". So I give you...

Top 10 Things I Never Thought I'd be saying about my Dog:
1. His favorite snacks are cheese and vanilla wafers...to the point that we have to spell "c-h-e-e-s-e" rather than say it because he gets so excited.

2. I have to clean out his eye gunk every few days.

3. He has learned to go get his favorite toy out of the basket and one time, he even put it back (accidentally, I think).

4. He snores when he's very, very tired and I think it's one of the cutest sounds in the world.

5. When he wants to play, he goes to Bill. When he wants to be petted, he comes to me (I just never thought he'd be coming to me for anything--he was very attached to Bill when we got married, and I always thought he was secretly thinking, "So that was fun. When is she going home, dad?")

6. He believes the garbage men are his mortal enemies.

7. The last three walks I have taken him on, I have received compliments on his looks. (He was the saddest, skinniest, mangiest little thing when he came home from the shelter, so I take extra joy in hearing this.)

8. I'm happy when he pees in his bed out in his "doggy corral" in the garage because it means I've beat the system. I put puppy pads beneath the top sheet, so he just pees on the sheet, I take out the pad, and wash the sheet.

9. I have become an expert on getting pee out of just about every material known to man.

10. I worry that he doesn't have a friend to play with.

And there you have it.

christmas comes but twice a year...

well, the juicer is here ( my christmas present), and it's not quite what i was expecting.


so i wanted a glass of fresh orange juice this morning...what to do? what to do? oh, i don't know, maybe toss three whole oranges in and have a glass of fresh, fresh o.j. 2 minutes later!

the one thing about juicing is if it's been a while since you've put anything healthy into your body (and i mean anything...i ate a hostess cupcake for breakfast the other morning), it's a bit of shell shock to your body.

i just ingested more nutrients with that one glass of orange juice than i've probably had all month, not counting vitamins.

tonight...pear & sweet potato juice. scoff if you will! it's actually very good. and you don't get much healthier than raw sweet potatoes.

09 November 2005

los pantalones cranky

Again with the crankiness. I can't really say that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed because I couldn't sleep all night. There was no waking up for there was no sleep to wake from. Bad sinus night, so I took a Rx strength Sudafed. I was wired...and still in pain. Those 40% surgery chances are starting to look better and better.

So what was running through my mind while I was hepped up on the Sudie, you ask?

1) thoughts about my new juicer that is coming for Christmas...a complete splurge. A Breville 850XL Elite model. It's like I've been driving a Pinto with my old Juiceman Jr. and I'm upgrading to a Porsche. My little J. Jr. works, but it would take me a whole night sometimes just to make 4 or 5 glasses of juice. The Breville's supposed to pump out 16 oz. in one minute. Juices 3 carrots at a time...or a whole apple. Those of you who don't juice are just shaking your heads right now. Different juice combination possibilities...do grapes juice well?

2)Where am I going to find a permanent baby gate for the top of our stairs? Important for small visiting children and quickly approaching need to winterize dog.

3) What businesses should I approach about sponsoring upcoming tennis tournament, bane of my existence?

4) am I starting to feel sleepy yet? No. Now? No. Maybe now? No.

5) Should I take an Excedrin? Will kill the pain but then there's no way I'll fall asleep. Perhaps tomorrow I should go buy Mucinex before going to office before leaving for H.S. talk with students who will surely be surly and snotty to me (FYI, they were actually fairly nice but I just get very, very, very nervous talking in front of large groups of teenagers).

6) then I thought about the juicer some more.

04 November 2005

One of Those Mornings

At around 2:00 this afternoon, I realized that my underwear was on inside-out. Yep. One of those mornings.