Married to the Empire

Friday, February 29, 2008

First craft in clean room

I think this may be the epitome of insanity, but the first thing I made in my cleaned-up craft room was a birthday card for a 20-year-old cat! Because today is Leap Day, this cat's owner is throwing an Unusual Party for an Unusual Day. One of the evening's activities will include celebrating her cat's 20th birthday.

This is certainly not one of my better efforts, and it's not even pretty. But, well, it's for a cat. I expect that Fuzzy's standards won't be too high in the birthday-card department. It has "A Very Happy Birthday" stamped inside.

All clean!

I posted last week about my extreme embarrassment that our pastor came over when the house was a complete wreck. I even showed a picture of my disaster of a craft room, then said cleaning it was a priority. Well, I went at it slowly, but it is finally done!

I'm pleased with some of the little details I've added. When looking for more storage space a while back, I found a couple of cute, very inexpensive baskets at Goodwill. They now hold my stamp sets and notecards.

Putting the stamp sets in a basket freed up a ton of space for my individual stamps. I can now see them all in their allotted drawer.

After we had the leaks fixed under our house back in September, I did some major culling of items we no longer used and repurposing of other items. One thing I couldn't quite part with, even though we never had need of it, was a silver champagne/ice bucket. I finally figured out what to do with it.

I also have a two-tiered silver serving tray that I'd never done a thing with. I don't do a lot of entertaining, and when I do, it rarely involves the use of fancy items. I pulled this out of the closet where it had been gathering dust and tarnish, polished it up, and put it to new use as a pretty way to store some of my ribbons. I can't take credit for this idea, though. I think I saw it done in Country Living.

In reorganizing my writing books, I ran across an old Webster's paperback dictionary. It's in terrible shape, and it's not very good, but I can't bear to part with it. We moved to Norway in the middle of my junior year of high school. My English class homework that I received my first day of school was to define several vocabulary words. That caused some panic in our house because it didn't occur to any of us to pack a dictionary in our suitcases or air shipment. Our reference books wouldn't arrive for another month or two, and this was back before anyone had the internet. My dad managed to find this English dictionary in the tiny English section of the local bookstore. I don't know why this junky copy of the dictionary feels so special to me, but because it does, it stays.

Oh, and that cool, steel buffalo next to the books? That was made by the husband of one of my internet friends. We did a gift exchange a while back, and that was one of the many things I received. I think it's very cool and a nice reminder of my friend.

You know what? It feels good to have a nice, clean workspace again!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Last week I decided to make my own hummus. I used to be able to buy it in powdered form from the bulk bins at Sprouts, then I just had to mix it with water and olive oil; however, they're no longer selling it that way. And the pre-made stuff is a bit pricey for the small amount you get.

I decided to do this totally from scratch, which means I cooked dry chickpeas first, rather than using canned. This time I didn't burn them. My recipe wound up making approximately 6 cups of hummus, so I divided it into 3 batches and froze 2 of them. Hummus is surprisingly easy to make (assuming you have a food processor or blender), and making it from scratch using dried chickpeas wound up being rather inexpensive. The only really expensive ingredient was the tahini, which I paid about $6 for. The tin of tahini has at least 3 and maybe 4 portions in it for my hummus recipe, so I guess that comes out to $1.50-$2 per batch. That still isn't too bad.

The recipe:

6 cups chickpeas (canned or cooked)
1/2 cup sesame butter (tahini)
1/2-1 cup lemon juice
4-5 cloves of garlic
1-1/2 tsp. salt

Drain the chickpeas, reserving some of the liquid. Place chickpeas in blender or food processor and puree. Alternately add the tahini and lemon juice; continue pureeing. Add garlic and salt; blend until smooth. Sauce should be thick and smooth. If it's too thick, thin it with some of the chickpea liquid. (You can add a bit of olive oil if you like.)

*The only things I would do differently next time is to add a bit of olive oil and use a little less lemon juice. My lemon juice is organic, and it's very strong. (ReaLemon brand is like water compared to my organic stuff!) This means my hummus wound up a tad more lemon-y than I'd like. But overall, this recipe is fantastic!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happiness is...

...all about the little things.

The cat who is content to fall asleep in the dirty laundry.

Seeing the joy the great outdoors brings to my pets, even if they wind up filthy from rolling in the dirt.

Seeing my new birdhouse finally hanging, waiting for a little birdie family to find it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Where conviction meets reality

A couple of months ago, I finished reading Randy Alcorn's Safely Home. It's Christian fiction, which I typically don't read simply because I usually find it to be contrived and too preachy. Honestly, Safely Home isn't much different; however, the reality behind the fiction hit me hard. This book is about religious persecution in China, and I was horrified to realize that so many of the objects in my home very well may have been made by the forced labor of political and religious prisoners. The idea that my fellow Christians (or anyone, for that matter) might be toiling in horrid conditions so that I can have inexpensive stuff is one that hurts.

Since reading that book, I have been convicted to stop buying things that were made in China. This has been a bit difficult because when you look at where things are made, it seems as if everything is made in China. If nothing else, this conviction of mine is keeping me from spending money in a lot of cases!

This weekend, however, proved to be too much. Steven accidentally broke the glass globe on a lamp, and I needed to replace it. We went to Lowe's for a globe, something or other for his new stormtrooper helmet, an over-the-door hook, and some organizational things he wanted for the garage. We grabbed everything we needed, then looked at glass globes last. As I picked up one I liked, I saw the big sticker that said, "Made in China." I groaned, and Steven laughed. (He's been teasing me about my boycott on Chinese-made goods because he thinks it's a losing battle.) As I picked up globe after globe, every single one was made in China.

Then we started turning over the things we'd already picked up from around the store. Again, they were all made in China. I am beyond frustrated because it's as if we can't get away from this, and I truly am fighting a losing battle.

This is where I confess that we went ahead and bought what we came for. The broken glass globe on the lamp wasn't safe for us or the cats, who often brush up against it on their way to the window sill. Steven really did need the things he came for. And while I could have lived without the over-the-door hanger, it truly does help with my own organizational needs. Reality seems to dictate that sometimes I'll have to make the choice to go against my conviction to avoid Chinese-made products. But you know what I've started doing? As silly as this may sound to some people, I'm praying for whoever made each product I bring into my home. Maybe it was someone in a legitimate factory and maybe it was forced labor; in either case, there are unknown Chinese people I'm asking the Lord to bless and protect.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Amazon Kindle

Have y'all seen this?! I just logged onto Amazon to look for something, and the Amazon Kindle was being advertised on the homepage. Usually I don't care about new technology, but I think that this is totally cool. I think I'd want to check one out in person, but something tells me that this is something I'm actually going to want.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Just keeping it real

I wasn't going to post about this at first, and certainly not with pictures. I mean, my mother reads my blog! But I decided that I'd just be honest and show you reality.

I was horribly embarrassed the other night. Our pastor, who happens to be a cop during the week working the night shift, stopped by. I knew this was a possibility because he and Steven had talked about getting together at some point during the week to discuss Steven's part in the sermon illustration this coming Sunday. (Hint: It involves stormtrooper armor.) So, it's not like his stopping by came as a complete surprise. You'd think that would motivate me to have the house in tip-top shape, but no.

I clean house on Thursdays. That means all the major rooms get a thorough cleaning. Our house is usually in decent shape throughout the week, but the night the pastor stopped by, Steven had hauled a big, black card table into our living room to work on his new helmet. He's having to switch his fan system from his old helmet to the new, so there were stormtrooper helmets, a chest piece, and a billion little electronic bits and pieces everywhere, including the floor.

Here's a picture of how the living room is right now (he hauled stuff out again last night after I'd just cleaned!), but imagine it a billion times worse:

In addition to all his stormtrooper stuff, there were cat toys all over the floor and couch, my dinner dishes were still on the dining room table (quite visible from the living room), and the materials from the conference I'd attended over the weekend were still on the floor. I'd been working on our taxes right before he arrived, so financial paperwork was all over the place, too.

I was mortified that the pastor saw my house in that state.

To add insult to injury, he and his partner (they showed up in full police regalia and the cop car, so I'm sure our neighbors are wondering what's going on) wanted to see the Star Wars room. No biggie there, except that it's right next door to my craft room, and I'd accidentally left the light on. That means they could see straight in to this:

I might not have been so horrified, but well, I'm a SAHW, and he knows it. All the other SAHWs probably have pristine homes that are always company ready. But I sometimes get so busy with everything else that I don't always get around to dealing with messes. The craft room has been such a wreck that it's left me somewhat immobilized, not quite knowing where to start.

Oh, he even saw my bedroom in a not perfect state. A light was shined right into the bedroom, which had the ironing board set up, the armoire doors wide open, and a messy-looking dresser because I have an old towel on top of it with the humidifier. It totally looked like we live in disaster, and I don't bother cleaning our house.

Really, I would have loved for Jesus to come back about a minute before the pastor arrived.

The house is in a good state today, except for the stormtrooper bits and pieces that are now in the living room again. Oh, and my craft room. But the craft-room cleanup is #1 on today's agenda, and to keep myself accountable, I'll be posting the after pictures later. I've been shamed into actually cleaning it, as opposed to intending to clean it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

CVS gift card coupon

I just realized that when I wrote about my prescription savings the other day, I forgot to give you a link for the coupon for a $25 CVS gift card with any new or transferred prescription.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Some Post-"Drunk Monkey" Video

Five hours after bringing Calvin home, my camera battery was recharged and ready to capture his restlessness. Unfortunately, he's mellowed out a little bit, as he's no longer running in circles. However, he's still incapable of staying still, and the crazed look hasn't left his eyes. He wouldn't stand in one place long enough for me to get a picture of his eyes, though.

Never fear, though. You'll see a small wake of destruction in my little "drunk monkey's" path.

Updated: Steven just watched this and said that he thinks Calvin sobered up too much for my video. In other words, he's not acting crazy enough for this post. But I think the food everywhere and his pacing gives you some idea of how nutty he's been today since being drugged at the vet's.

Calvin is home

I picked Calvin up from the vet's a little while ago. He didn't get a rabies shot after all because he's pretty loopy, and as a rabies reactor, they didn't want to take the chance of something bad happening since he's already doped up and acting weird.

When Doogie had his teeth cleaned a few years ago, he was really spacey when he came home. He just sat and stared off into space or spent time gnawing on the doormat in the entryway. He had bags under his eyes and looked really, really mellow.

Calvin is more like a drunk monkey. He's spinning around in circles and just all over the place. I bought a little tin of wet food for him since I figured his teeth would be sensitive. He dove in, ate a little, ran a few laps around the living room, dining room, and kitchen, then repeated the process. He has a crazed look in his eyes.

I'd hoped to get video, but as soon as I tried, my camera battery died. Figures. But he's home, and he's fine, other than being seriously drugged.

Pray for Calvin

He's at the vet's right now being prepped to have his teeth cleaned. They've already done his bloodwork, and all is well. However, they called to tell me that there was an error in his paperwork, and he was actually due for his rabies shot back in November. So, they'll be giving him his vaccination, but the lovely thing is, because they have on record that he's a vaccine reactor, they'll be administering his benadryl. I'm sure I'll be paying extra for that, but it saves me a lot of trouble.

He's about to be given anesthesia so they can take care of his teeth. Please pray that he gets to keep all his teeth (Doogie had to lose 2 teeth when he had his cleaned a couple of years ago) and that he comes out of this without any problems. It may seem silly to pray for a cat, but he's my baby, and I worry.

Update: I just got off the phone with the vet's office. Calvin is currently waking up in the recovery room. Everything went well with his procedure, and he didn't have to have any teeth extracted! I get to pick him up in 4 hours.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Prescription savings

I have acne rosacea (thank you, crud genes!), and it's been acting up pretty badly lately, so I saw the dermatologist last week. She gave me 3 prescriptions, two of which are name-brand only. This could have been very expensive, but I had a few things working for me.

One: The dermatologist gave me a manufacturer's coupon for one of the prescriptions. It was for up to $35-off my co-pay. Since my co-pay for this particular level of name-brand scripts is $50, this was significant.

Two: I had a coupon for a $25 CVS gift card with any new prescription. That's $25 worth of free stuff!

Three: My other name-brand script wasn't in, so I had to come back days later. This worked to my advantage because I could apply that $25 gift card I received with the other prescription towards the $50 co-pay, bringing the cost of my script down to $25. AND I had another coupon for a $25 gift card with a new prescription. (They only accept one per day, so having to wait for this medicine to arrive was advantageous.)

So, what should have cost me $115 (Script 1=$15, Script 2=$50, Script 3=$50) came to only $55 out of my pocket thanks to the $35 coupon and a $25 CVS gift card. PLUS, I now have another $25 gift card to spend on necessities such as soap and shampoo. I am loving CVS!

Simplicity cats

At the SAGE conference this weekend, we were all given bags filled with stuff for the weekend. I already had a bag with everything I needed for the conference, so when I came home Friday night, I just left the new bag on the floor.

The cats found it and claimed it as their own. Doogie was batting around the little rubik's cube they gave us, and Calvin thought the bag made a good scratching post and hidey-hole. He happily got himself all tangled up in the bag, and that bag made it from one end of the living room to the other.

SAGE Girls Simplicity Conference

I took a much-needed break from life in general to attend the SAGE Girls Ministry Simplicity conference with the girls in our youth group. I don't know how it is for girls in other churches, but the girls (and guys) at our church are overly scheduled, overly busy, and overly stressed. This conference couldn't have come at a better time.

Their theme, as stated on their website, is Simplicity: Freedom from Chaos. The verse for the weekend was 1 Corinthians 7:29 (The Message): "I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don't complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things, your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out."

They kicked off the weekend with a list of 10 things every girl should know, followed by a concert by their Sage all-girl band. The vocals were fantastic, and the instrumentals were good, too. We headed back home where the girls spent the night together, then we went back in the morning.

Apart from the focus on the Lord and making him a priority in their lives, the conference stressed something so important to these girls: time management. They had a funny skit first thing Saturday morning, which was done in a talk-show format. The first guest was an overscheduled girl who was involved in everything. She wanted to experience it all, so she committed herself to more things than she could truly handle, which left her with little time to sleep, have friends, or spend time with God. The next guest was the exact opposite in that she was downright lazy. She did nothing with her time except waste it, mostly with sleeping.

The point of all that was not to go to extremes. We all need to have balance in life, which means working to our potentials, but not overdoing it. They really made a point of letting the girls know that committing themselves to too many things is actually not good. (What a refreshing change from the idea that they need as many activities as possible to list on their college applications!)

Besides simplifying their activities to allow for what's truly important, they were given advice on how to simplify their wardrobes so they don't waste time trying to find stuff to wear. They saw a fashion show that stressed modesty, and were given tips on how to make new outfits out of what they already have. The point was that they don't need to run out and buy new outfits all the time, which just leads to closet clutter and more morning confusion.

Of course, a girls' weekend wouldn't be complete without mention of boys. The women of Sage were wonderfully open in admitting mistakes they made in younger dating lives. One was date-raped, one had sex before marriage, another made her boyfriend her everything, which left her devastated when they broke up. They pointed out to the girls that only God can leave them fulfilled. The Lord wants to be #1 in their lives, and that's where they need to put him. No guy can ever take God's place, and if the Lord is truly #1, they'll have an easier time maintaining their purity, as well.

This opened the floor with my girls later in the weekend to talk about dating relationships. I advised our girls (these were the older high schoolers I was chatting with at the time) to listen to their friends and families when it comes to dating. If the people who are closest to them and love them the most don't like their boyfriends, they should listen. They can save themselves a world of heartache if they pay attention to what their loved ones are saying because they're usually able to see something that the person in the relationship is blind to.

The adult sponsors were also ministered to this weekend. We attended classes just for us. We discussed the serious issues facing many teens today, media influences (we were encouraged to spend time each week checking out the things that they're watching and listening to, such as MTV *shudder*), and given resources to help us out in ministry. I look forward to checking out some of the books and websites mentioned to us. I was also encouraged in obedience to the Lord's will. The testimony of one of the ministry leaders was quite inspiring.

If you have a teenage daughter or work with teen girls, I highly recommend you check out SAGE Girls Ministry. Our girls had a great time, and they were talking enthusiastically all weekend about what they'd learned. They also stated that they came back feeling refreshed in their walks with the Lord. That's always a good thing.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Evening at the Improv

Last night we went to the Improv in Addison to see the Dorkside Comedy. Steven was there to be a stormtrooper. Steven worked this show several months ago, and had a blast, so he really wanted me with him for this one. I happily obliged.

He worked the crowd before the show while people were eating dinner and enjoying drinks.

There were several comics during the show. I'm pretty sure that this guy is the one I made blush at a sci-fi convention several months ago. His name is Tom Devenport, and he was quite funny.

He also impressed me by saying that he'd hoped to get Eric from Bowling for Soup there that evening to play the ukelele. I told him that I love Bowling for Soup, and he said that he went to high school with them. Unfortunately, Eric couldn't be there. I was really quite disappointed. I'm sure the band would love to know that nearly-middle-aged housewives think they're awesome.

Speaking of awesome, this is Steve Awesome:

He's a dork with a Star Wars backpack and a lightsaber clipped to his belt loop. He was absolutely hilarious. He asked Steven to help him out during his bit. When he made some derogatory comment about Stormtroopers being defeated by Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, Steven was to run up on stage. This was the result:

Then, as Steven was leaving the stage, he fell on the stairs. Well, actually, he couldn't find the stairs because it was dark and he can't see well out of his helmet. The stairs were not where he thought they were, and he landed on his butt. The crowd gasped, then laughed a bit, and Steve Awesome said, "Folks, you can't write this stuff!" Thankfully, neither Steven nor his armor were hurt in the fall. Steven was just glad he didn't hit anyone in the audience as he was falling.

Even though some of the comedy was too crude for my liking, and the club was filled with cigarette smoke (MAJOR migraine trigger for me), I had a great time. The club was fabulous to us, offering us dinner (we'd already eaten), drinks (we don't drink alcohol, but I did accept a cherry Coke), and much gratitude for being there to help out. I'm sure we'll go back for future shows.

Images from Valentine's Day

The strawberry cake I baked to share with our church small group tonight.

The pink and white roses my husband brought home for me. Pink roses are my favorite flower, and I carried a bouquet of pink and white roses in our wedding. Steven even wrapped them in tissue paper and tied them with a pink ribbon himself.

And here's to hoping that Doogie doesn't figure out how to knock over this bud vase.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Trying Indian cooking

I had mentioned a while back that my friend Judy sent me a package full of Indian spices and recipes. I finally got around to trying some of it out!

I decided to make Pindi Chhole, which is a spicy dish with chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, lots of ginger, serrano chiles, and a mess of spices. Annie had warned me to open windows when cooking Indian because the spices would overwhelm the house. I discovered I should have opened the windows for a different reason. I burned the chickpeas. I never burn stuff, so I was pretty mad at myself. Thankfully, canned chickpeas from the pantry came to my rescue.

This dish was quite good, although I found the ginger a little overwhelming. I may cut back on the amount in the future.

To go with the dish, I bought some naan at a local Indian grocery.

I'd never been in there before, and I found it extremely interesting. There were several vegetables I couldn't even identify! They also had an entire section devoted to Indian movie rentals. The grocer had to help me find what I was looking for. In addition to naan, I found Cadbury's Buttons, which are a treat I used to enjoy in Europe. (White chocolate is the only "chocolate" I can enjoy, and that's just because it's not really chocolate!)

Both the naan and the chocolate were excellent!

Now that I've tackled some real Indian cooking, I feel more confident to try some more!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Attempting video

Discussion at a party this weekend led to someone saying that no one puts cats on leashes. Well, we do. Calvin runs away to seek adventure on his own if we let him out. So, if he's to enjoy the great outdoors from anywhere other than my arms, he has to wear a leash.

Doogie is fortunate in that he can be trusted outside. He's too much of a scaredy-cat to run off anywhere, so I can let him out sans leash when I get the mail. Once, I decided to put the harness and leash on him just to see what he'd do. It confused and upset him, so he just flopped over on his side and laid there pathetically. I tried to capture that reaction on video this weekend. (Please excuse the sorry state of my front porch. The previous owners painted the patio portion, and now it's peeling and looks terrible.)

What I've been doing lately

I haven't updated here in a few days. Saturday we were out of the house most of day celebrating various family members' birthdays. Sunday and Monday I was not feeling too well. And I've been busy on the computer, but just not here.

No, what I've been doing is finally putting my entire CD collection into iTunes. Who knew I had so many CDs? Seems like I don't have much music because I listen to the same 10-20 CDs over and over and over. I have my obvious favorites. All those other CDs in my collection? Well, they were either bought in a whole different music phase (like the country collection from college years, never to be listened to again) or they only have 1 or 2 songs worth listening to. And who wants to pop in a CD just to listen to 1 or 2 songs?

For that reason alone, I'm loving iTunes and my iPod. I've downloaded everything into iTunes, but I'm only listening to select things. It's great.

Even better, I was able to get rid of all of this:

These were all the CDs that were purchased, then rarely listened to. I've now cleared some shelf space for the rest of my music collection, and I'm $15 richer, thanks to Half-Price Books. It's not much considering how many CDs I sold to them, but seeing as most of them were quite old (think early to mid-1990s), I think I did rather well.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cast-iron cooking

Steven bought me a cast-iron skillet for Christmas, complete with the little handle mitt. Lest anyone think he gives lousy gifts, this is what I asked for! Cast iron always seemed like something difficult to take care of, but now that they pre-season them, they're really quite simple. Scrub in hot water without any soap, then apply oil while hot. Easy peasy!

Because Mardi Gras snuck up on me this year, and I didn't get a chance to make a King Cake (and the store-bought ones are nasty), I decided to celebrate it on Tuesday by making an oven pancake for dinner. You know, Shrove Tuesday, whatever that means. (We don't go to a liturgical church.)

Here is the recipe, which is fabulous, in my opinion!

Baked Apple Oven Pancake

6 T. unsalted butter
4 medium tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
6 large eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat and saute the apple slices about 2 minutes, just until tender, but still firm. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Place a 12-inch round or 9x13-inch rectangular baking dish in the oven to heat for 2 minutes. Remove the baking dish and scrape the sauted fruit into it. If the skillet is ovenproof, the fruit may be evenly distributed over the bottom.

In a large bowl using a whisk, combine the eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, and salt. Beat until well blended and smooth. Pour the batter over the hot fruit. Place the pancake immediately in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and brown. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My little hunter

Poor Calvin. Here he was sitting in my lap while I worked on the computer in my craft room, just minding his own business, purring contentedly. Suddenly, some chirping, a tap on the window, and he's up in the window box crouching in predator mode.

A little chickadee was teasing him mercilessly. The little thing would perch on the windowsill, tap the window several times, then fly into the bush right outside the window. After a while, it bored of its game and flew away.

Calvin was left sitting in the window for a very long time. He's always optimistic that his prey will come back to him. This actually reminded me very much of when a squirrel teased him horribly.

On days like this, Calvin wishes more than ever that I would let him be an outdoor cat.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fashion forward?

I had to go to the mall today for a glass pitcher and a birthday gift. While there I passed by Old Navy. Looking in, I saw racks of dresses being peddled as the next big thing for spring.

The thing that came to mind upon seeing these dresses was not cute or fashionable. No, I thought, "That looks like what the Eloi wore in the 1960s version of The Time Machine!"

You be the judge.

The funky fabric aside, I think there is a striking resemblance.

Fashionable? Perhaps. I really wouldn't know as I don't read fashion magazines. Attractive? Definitely not.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Outwitting the cat

Doogie has earned the nickname Tippy. He has a penchant for knocking over anything that he can see has water in it. He has often soaked the carpet, destroyed a keyboard, broken glasses, and generally just made messes whenever we've forgotten to bring a glass back to the kitchen.

And I can't have fresh flowers in the house. At least, not in any places where they would look the best. Every time I've tried, I've woken up in the morning to find the vase tipped over, the flowers dumped out, and the water all over the place. So, on the few occasions that I have flowers, I have to stick them on the mantel where they really don't look all that great.

Cats, like children, require certain sacrifices of lifestyle.

I bought some flowers on Friday. The main vase is on the mantel, but I decided to see what would happen if I put some flowers in my little set of silver vases.

Doogie isn't our brightest cat (bless his little heart), and all I can figure is that because he can't actually see the water, he doesn't know there is any to be tipped out. Crystal is hopeless, but silver seems to work.

Score one for me!

Han Solo is overpriced

Not overrated, just overpriced.

Official Pix has sent out word that Harrison Ford will finally be signing photos to be put up for sale. This is like the Holy Grail of autographs for Star Wars fans. But you know what the cost is? A ridiculous $439.99!

Guess what my sweet Stormtrooper won't be getting for his collection?

Monday, February 4, 2008

What I did during the Superbowl

We were blessed to be invited to 3 Superbowl parties, yet we turned down every invitation because we had youth group at church. However, after church on Sunday morning, the youth minister said he wasn't expecting to have more than a couple of kids, so feel free to go to a party. Steven wanted to take him up on that offer, so we hung out with our closest friends.

But as I'm a heretical Texan who doesn't give a flip about football, I brought my newspaper with me to read during the game. Thankfully, my friends are used to me and never mind when I do my own thing when with them.

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's past time

Considering that today is the first day of February, perhaps it's time I finally changed my Snoopys out of their Christmas outfits.