Friday, July 13, 2007

The Blah's

I'm feeling a bit maudlin today. Don't know why. I started off happy enough this morning. Maybe it's because the weather has turned kind of "gray". We're supposed to get storms this afternoon. Still...I don't think the weather alone accounts for how I'm feeling. I talked to one of my aunts this morning. I haven't talked to her in awhile so thought I'd call to see how she was and what she's been up to. I asked her if she'd been reading my blog. And she Well how do you like that? I rather arrogantly assumed my relatives would be interested in how we were, all the way out here in Texas. I was wrong. Apparently even my own sister "lost" the website address to my blog and didn't think enough about it to ask for it again. How's that for lack of interest? ha Does anybody else out there wonder if they're just too boring to have a blog? I've suspected I was, but it was kind of fun to do and I thought that, if nothing else, this would be a way for my family to keep up with some of the things going on in our lives. I know my mom reads my blog - she sends me e-mails every now and again about something she's seen. And I know my Aunt Sandi reads my blog because she comments quite a bit, too. But I don't think anybody else in the family feels the need to hear about us. Or maybe I'm not writing about the right things or posting the right pictures or....heck, I don't know. Maybe everybody else in the family has a life away from the computer and figures I should, too. Well, that's probably not a bad idea, come to think of it. My kids are getting older, the youngest is's probably time I started work again. You don't get to be a great conversationalist when you're only talking to yourself, now do you? I know I've got to do something different. Either learn to be exciting (and how in the heck do you do that?) or stop asking relatives if they're reading my blog (that plays into that whole "ignorance is bliss" thing - not a horrible way to live, I suppose!) or maybe I just need to get my hormone levels checked. lol
I think I'll ruminate on this a little bit while I clean house this afternoon. Yeah, that's what I'll do. Maybe it'll all look different tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

For Raindrops on Roses - Pictures of Mr. Steven Segal

Had to add these for . She mentioned in her tag that she thought he was worth looking at. I think she's right. lol These pictures were taken years ago in Florida at my sister's workplace. Segal had come down to do some sort of research or some such for a movie he was planning to do. I'm assuming the movie was done, but I couldn't tell you which one it was. I have never forgiven my sister for not calling me out there that day...


Nicholas, my oldest, is coming home for a visit!! I'm so excited. I haven't seen him in a little over a year. He and his wife, Jodie, are stationed overseas right now. He'll be coming home in about a week. Jodie's already in the states, visiting friends and family. She and my granddaughter, Maddy, will be joining Nick here in about 11 days. Maddy's going to live with them in Japan for the next year. Granny and Grandpa (that's me and Randey) are not happy with this development. Oh, sure, Nick's a great dad and Jodie's a great step-mom and all that yadda, yadda, yadda, but this is seriously interfering with our "grandparent time"! Kids today have no consideration. It's all about them, isn't it? I'm kidding, of course. Maddy's going to have a blast overseas. She's 7 years old right now - can you imagine the stories she'll have to tell her friends when she gets back next summer? Anyway - everybody yell and be happy - my baby's coming home and that's reason to celebrate!!! : )

The TAG - 8 Random Facts About Me

Sophie, at has tagged me. This is my very first tag and I'm all aflutter. And....struggling to find 8 random facts about me. I think I'm either all random and am having trouble narrowing it down or I'm a total and complete bore and can't think up 8 lousy things to say about myself. It's a toss up. lol I've already laid my major obsessions out there for all to see. Coming up with some "unseen or heard before now" facts is a tough one. But I'll give it a we go.

1. I like to watch Christmas movies in the summer...or the spring or the fall or the winter...I have over 40 Christmas movies on DVD and, if I'm feeling down, I watch one of them and my spirits start to rise and I feel restored to my "happy place" (as Kaleb calls it).

2. I can't spell worth a flip. Thank goodness for spell-check.

3. I gave birth to my first child the day before my senior year in high school started. Hmmm. You know, when I put it like that, it almost sounds like the whole birth event kind of caught me by surprise, huh? Well, it did! I had no idea it was going to happen. Okay. That's a lie. I really can't back that up. I mean I didn't know it was going to happen on that day, but still...I had a pretty good idea that I would be giving birth on or near that moment in time. The giant belly, swollen feet and hell-acious labor pains were big clues. On a serious note, though. I wouldn't trade one bit of my history if it meant I couldn't have my son, Nick, just the way he is. But I know that getting pregnant and having a baby that young robbed me of many opportunities in life. It's all worked out fine for me, but it's a road and a journey I wouldn't wish on anyone else. I highly recommend a person finding out who they are before they embark on a mission to form and guide another human life. Thankfully, Nick's turned out great - but that's more a testament to his innate abilities rather than any parenting skills I possessed. In fact, you might say he's a wonderful human being more in spite of me than because of me. Now that I've shared much more than I had anticipated, I will back off some and try to find lighter random things about me. I guess that would mean I shouldn't even mention the time I got arrested for disorderly conduct for yelling at a neighbor (apparently, in the state of Mississippi at that time, you could threaten a person with severe bodily harm, you just couldn't YELL when you did it.) But again, that's a topic for a later date. Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Now lets move on...

4. I flunked the swimming course at the Y.M.C.A. when I was a kid. I didn't even know I was flunking until the day they passed out the certificates and I got one that said "thanks for participating" and my sister got one that said "junior lifeguard". I guess they weren't as impressed with my dog-paddling skills as I thought they were.

5. I love the movie and the book Gone With the Wind (although the book is much, much better if you ask me!). I loved Scarlett O'Hara. I wanted to be Scarlett O'Hara. And I wanted Rhett Butler to be crazy about me, too. Aaahhh, the romance...

6. I smashed Randey's watch when I was in labor with Jacob. And I still say I had every right to do it. I'm sitting there being ripped in two with every single freakin' contraction and he's sitting there whining about "I can't time your contractions. I don't know how. When do I start? blah, blah, blah". So I asked him for his watch and he gave it to me. How dumb was that? I threw it on the floor and shattered the crystal. I figured if the stupid watch wasn't going to help time the contractions, it had no further function in our lives. Randey was...a tab bit upset but not fool enough to say so at that particular moment. Smart man.

7. I don't eat fish or seafood. At all. If it doesn't moo, cluck or oink, it's not the meat for me. Yessir. Cows, chickens or pigs. That's how I roll.

8. When we were young, I used to tell my sister, who is a year older than me - almost to the day - that she was adopted and that I was actually older than she was but the parents made me pretend to be younger so her feelings wouldn't be hurt. Rumor has it that I also told a little neighbor girl of my grandma's that I was going to put her in a pot and cook her. I'm sure that's not true, however. I think I tried to keep my tendencies to torture innocent children limited to just my sister.

Well, that's 8 things. I'm torn between hanging my head in shame that I can't be anymore exciting than I am or deleting all of this and making up a better list. But that wouldn't be right, would it? Better? Yes. Right? No. So this is it. Now I have to find some other people to tag. I'm not very clear on tagging etiquette so if I screw this up, please forgive me. Thanks (I think) Sophie for tagging me. It's been fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Jake and I just got back from seeing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. We bought our tickets Monday and it's a good thing we did. The movie was sold out and the place was packed - we didn't get there until about 25 minutes before it started because Jake's swimming class ran late (of ALL nights, they chose tonight to get picky about the back stroke!). Anyway, the movie was AWESOME! I can't wait to see it again with Randey when he gets back in town. (What can I say? - I'm one of those weirdos who will watch a movie over and over and over.) By the way, the scenery of London was so beautiful, I have to add it to my dream vacation tour. One of these days, Randey and I are goin' traveling...

The Other Wonder Dog

Carmen, at made me realize that I seem to favor Sydney the Wonder Dog when it comes to posting pictures or talking about our pets. I'm a bad pet owner, showing favoritism that way. Bad Kari. Bad, bad Kari. But it's not because I love Blu-boy any less than I love Sydney. It's just that Blu is more...dignified and a little less prone to posing for the camera. That, plus he's almost all black - makes it hard to get any really good pictures of him. But, just to be fair, here's a couple of pictures of our great Chow-chow, Blu. He's my protection and my comfort when Randey's out of town. He doesn't much care for strangers coming around so I don't worry too much about unwanted company. He usually sleeps right at the entry way to our room, which makes for some fun dance moves if I forget he's there and get up in the middle of the night. I can't tell you the times I've stepped right in the middle of him and he's jumped up with me still riding his back like a surfboard (he's stronger than he looks. lol). I've knocked many a picture off the wall trying to keep from falling down myself. Must remember to get him a glow-in-the-dark collar...

It's Over and Done With...the Hair Thing, That Is

Okay. It's done. The big hair-cutting moment is done, gone and over. And guess what? I am so flippin' thrilled over my new 'do, I can't even begin to tell you! I am such a dork, though...I had worked myself up into such a frenzy over this that I woke up with hives yesterday morning. I have a habit of doing that when I'm pretty sure I'm fixing to make a HUGE mistake. Case in first marriage. The day of the wedding, I woke up with great big angry red blotches all over my chest and face. (Talk about a bad omen!). Those hives were bad enough, but they did at least serve to highlight the enormous fever blister that had developed on my upper lip over night. Yeah, that marriage didn't last. How could it, with all those pre-warning signs, right? Anywho, I woke up yesterday to a hive infested face but I had bigger problems to worry about - like my hair being wrapped around my own throat choking the living daylights out of me. Considering the consequences of dying by hair strangulation (and by that I mean, how embarrassing would it be for my loved ones to have to explain to people that I died accidentally because I forgot to sleep with my hair braided one night and my hair got tangled around my neck . Who could say that with a straight face? Certainly not my peeps.), those ugly hives weren't enough to stop me from keeping my hair appointment. This had now become a matter of life or death (read earlier posts to grasp my propensity for exaggeration). I unwound the hair from my neck, squinted my eyes every time I looked in the mirror so the hives looked sort of like a sunburn instead of an affliction and braced myself for the coming trauma. Half an hour before my appointment time, I set off. A quick stop at Starbucks for an unsweet Passion Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade and a Toffee Almond Bar (yeah - real helpful to that problem I'm having with my growing backside, but I NEEDED IT!). I parked, I got out of my car and I walked into that salon like I was heading to my own execution. I thought I was being extremely dignified in the face of this certain disaster, but in retrospect, I was probably being more like extremely dorky. Maegen, the twelve year old who was scheduled to cut my hair, came out to greet me. Okay, so she wasn't really twelve. But she sure did look like it. I asked her, just to be sure. (She's 23). I told her what I wanted, sort of. I showed her 3 pictures and said things like "see this one? I like how it kind of flips here, but I don't want it sticking way out like that. And this one...I think this is very cute, but it's probably too flippy, what do you think? And this one - love it, but that's just way too short". All in all, I'm sure I was very helpful to Maegen. (HA.HA.HA)She listened to me without rolling her eyes one single time (I took this to be a very good sign), then she gathered my hair into a ponytail and said "are you sure?" WHAT??? I go through all this talking and you want to give me one more chance to back out? What kind of monster are you??? Luckily, I said none of this out loud and it wouldn't have mattered anyway because, as I was formulating a reply, she chopped about 8 inches of hair off and threw it in the trash can. I damn near fainted. Well. Okay then. No going back now, right? I sat there for a moment - too stunned to move. Then Maegen says "now that we've gotten some of that hair out of the way, let's go shampoo it" and off she walks. I got up to follow her, still with my mouth hanging open. Luckily, the place was packed or I might have picked her 98 pound self up and broken her like a twig for the shock she had just put me through. She was soooo tiny, I'm pretty sure I could have taken her. But again, the crowd was there so I meekly followed her to the shampoo station. I think Maegen sensed my turmoil. When we returned to her chair, she kept me faced away from the mirror until she was completely done. Then she spun me around and...well, my gosh...I liked it. For the first time in my whole entire life, I have short(er) hair and I love it. It's still touching my shoulders, but barely. I'll have to take pictures soon - I really haven't mastered the "taking pictures of myself" thing yet so I'll have to lasso Jacob to help me (easier said than done). Randey and Kaleb are out of town this week so they're no help, either. But whenever I get one, I'll post it. I want to thank some of you guys out there for your help and advice. I got everything from "please don't do a Britney Spears" which was hilarious (and oddly terrifying at the same time!) to "hey - put on a pair of earrings and slap on some lipstick and no one will mistake you for a man then!". And by the way, that's exactly what I did this morning before I headed out to run errands - dug out some earrings and even dug underneath the bathroom sink for my dusty make-up bag. I can't remember the last time I felt like wearing earrings and lipstick! This new hairdo feels that good!

Sydney's Donut Impersonation

This is how Sydney spends his time while I'm cruising thru Blogland. The doggy bed he's in was actually purchased for Blu-boy. But Sydney thinks it's his and we don't have the heart to tell him he's wrong. And besides, Blu wouldn't be caught in a doggy bed - he thinks he's way too cool for that sort of thing!

Scrapbook pages of Kaleb and Jacob

My youngest boys. Top page is for Kaleb's book. He's such a sweet child...unless he's holding a game controller in his hand. Then he becomes a totally different kid. Eeeck!
The second page is for Jacob's book. He's very....let's just say "strong in his views, opinions, likes and dislikes". I know these aspects will probably come in handy later in life. Right now, however, they may lead to excessive groundings and punishments because he occasionally has trouble grasping the whole he's-not-in-charge thing. :)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

This post is nothing more than a testament to my own insecurity and fear. No, not the blogging/belonging fear I talked about a couple of posts ago, but an even more crippling fear...the Fear of Looking Like a Man. Whenever I get my hair chopped off, I feel like I should change my name to Bart and start hanging out down at the local pool hall (they do still have those, don't they?). I see women all the time who are just as cute as they can be with short hair. Cute, cute, cute. Oooohh, just makes me want to be as cute. as. them. Uh-huh. I convince myself it's possible, too. And there I to the beauty salon, lookin' for some outer beauty to perk up my inner beauty (good grief - that's stretching it, even for me, but what do you want me to say? "I'm going to the beauty salon hoping for a miracle transformation"? What - you want me to sound delusional?). Anywho, back to the problem of the day. I've once again come to that time in my life where I feel the need to get cute. Experience has taught me to not do this. But here I sit. On the Eve of Disaster. I have an appointment to get my hair cut tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I have great hair now. It's not that I've ever really had great hair. I've got okay hair - especially compared to the rest of my family. We females on my mom's side of the family tree generally have thick, thick hair. Even mine is thick. But compared to others in the family, not so much. I was in my 20's before I realized that my hair actually really is thick. Most of the family kind of pitied me when I was a kid. "Poor the stringiest hair of all of us, didn't she?". Yeah, well, come to find out, I'm the normal one. The rest of them had freakishly thick hair. But I digress. Once again, back to the point at hand. Where was I? Oh yeah, it's not that I have great hair. It's not that I even like how my hair looks when it's long. It's more a deep-seated fear of not looking feminine. I don't want to be mistaken for! This is fairly ironic when you consider that my entire beauty routine these days consists of brushing my teeth, scraping my hair back into a ponytail and giving my face a good scrubbing. I'm almost positive I still have some make-up laying around somewhere and I know for a fact that I have a set or two of hot rollers and a really awesome straightener, but to get to them, I have to bend over and dig underneath the bathroom sink and well, most of the time, that effort doesn't really seem worth the results I'd end up with. So I've been practicing my "Mother Earth" look (no offense to any actual Mother Earths out there - I'm basing my version of "Mother Earth Style" on a totally uninformed and almost certainly biased opinion as to what a Mother Earth would look like. And I'll just leave it at that). But the "cute" people have been out and about again. I've spotted them. They're luring me back into thinking I, too, can be c-u-t-e. Tomorrow, after my appointment, I'll know the truth. Again. Some people never learn.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

THE COLLECTION (or Obsession, as some would say)

Yes, I love Star Wars. I love the whole epic story of good vs. evil (and good finally winning out!). I've watched A New Hope probably about a billion times and Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi almost as many. (Doesn't seem to have left much time for living the rest of my life but keep in mind, I have a tendency to exaggerate). Oddly enough, I didn't see A New Hope when it first came out in theaters (I don't think it was even called that back then. I think it was just plain ol' Star Wars). I was probably one of only 12 people in the whole world who didn't see it. But I did catch Empire upon its release. I was hooked. When all three of the original trilogy came out on VHS, I was thrilled silly. You have no idea...the excitement of escaping from the Death Star, the battle to destroy it, the romance developing between Leia and Han (and what a hottie he is!), Yoda, Vader revealing he was Luke's father (eeekk! say it ain't so!), the Ewoks, disabling the shield of the second death star...oh man, so much to see and what a blast to watch! Of the whole Star Wars universe, Luke's my favorite character. Always has been. To me, he represents the best kind of hero - a little uncertain of his own capabilities but determined to do all he can anyway. Did you know that in the paperback edition of Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker by George Lucas (published in December of 1976), Luke's nickname was "Wormie"? How funny is that? My hero...a.k.a. Wormie. I'm glad they got rid of that before filming. lol Aaahhh, I could go on and on and on about my love of all things Star Wars. It's one of my many, many obsessions (probably the most obvious one, I'd say). Way back in 1998, my oldest son, Nick, bought me my first Star Wars items (a Luke Skywalker figure and a Darth Vader figure). I set them on top of my computer monitor (remember how big those monitors were back then?). That Christmas, Randey and the kids got me a big X-wing ship, piloted by Luke complete with a little R2-D2 figure. Now that was pretty freakin' cool. I put a little fishing line around it and hung it from the ceiling. You could push down on R2-D2's top and hear "Artoo, fire up the converters" in Luke's voice. I just about wore that thing out. Over the years, more things were added to the collection. Nick was particularly fond of buying things for it. Randey would always add to it for Christmas. Even Des, Kaleb and Jacob would contribute some stuff every now and again. My best friend Susan spent many an hour searching e-bay for things (hilarious when you consider she couldn't figure out how to spell most of the stuff - like Taun-taun!). My sister Sherri would pick up a thing or two in her travels. Even my mom added a thing or two. Pretty soon, I was getting stuff from all kinds of people... for my birthday and holidays. Young friends of my children were giving me things (thank you for the poster, Sean!). Randey even got me the life-size Yoda for our anniversary a couple of years ago (you can see it standing on a table to the left of the round chair). I finally had to say ENOUGH! We're out of room! As crazy as this sounds, we actually bought this house when we moved to Texas in large part because of the "bonus room", as the realtor called it, because we needed something this size to display "The Collection". But we've even outgrown this room now. I have 8 or 9 more of the cardboard cut-outs in the attic because there's just no place to stand them! Even I'm beginning to question my sanity when it comes to Star Wars. Wouldn't a nice simple set of the movies on DVD have been sufficient? I keep saying that once the boys are grown and out of here, Randey and I are going to downsize to a much smaller place. That means "The Collection" will have to be whittled down to something more manageable. My three sons gasp in horror every time I mention this. They don't want to have to care for it and dust it and insure it...but "gee, Mom, you can't get rid of it now...WE love it." What a comfort to know that my boys share my passion for Star Wars. I just wish they shared my desire to see it in their homes one day! Oh who am I kidding? I'm really not ready to dole it out to them just yet anyway...I still get a kick out of turning on the lightsabers and looking at the cool figures and yeah, even hearing "Artoo, fire up the converters" in that voice I love so much. Guess I'll just have to keep it around for another year...or 50!