Monday, May 28, 2007

The Caffeinated Cat

Seems like a good title for something, doesn’t it? I don’t know for what, but you’re welcome to use it as long as you give me credit.

This is my cat Duchess. She’s 16. And apparently has developed an iced tea habit in her old age. I had brought my tea and my computer upstairs to get all comfy on my bed and get some work done. I set the tea on my nightstand, but when I went to reach for it, um, someone had beat me to it. Some cat. Duchess had her whole head buried in the glass.

I thought she’d take a drink, taste it and realize it wasn’t water and stop drinking. Of course she’d ruined the whole glass for me. But no, she kept drinking. Then she stopped. But came back a few minutes later. She drank half of a 24 oz glass. Which made me wonder what caffeine would do to a cat. I mean, would it keep her up? She tends to be nocturnal anyway.

I guess it made her chase flies. Out here, the flies seem to sense the cool air inside the houses and they wait in ambush by the door. Soon as one opens, wham!, they sneak in. And with two kids, they get lots of those opportunities. So I have flies in my house. But Duchess managed to kill at least three the other night while I was watching. So guess she can have all the iced tea she wants. Just not out of my glass.

Should be interesting to see how she stands sharing the cab of a moving truck with me, Michelle and the dog. The adventure starts Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Final Bell

Yesterday was the last day of school for my kids. Well, since they are homeschooled, it was the last day of their enrichment program where they went two days a week for dance, music, Spanish, chess, and other fun kinds of things.

The kids had great teachers, so Sissy wrote thank you notes to her teacher and I wrote "Calvin's" for him. I spent a lot of time telling her how much I appreciated her understanding my son and instilling in him a love of learning. Those were the important things for me this year.

For the last day of school they had a talent show. And I learned something. I can play the piano as well as the kindergartners. I can play Mary Had a Little Lamb with my left hand just like Calvin's friend.

However, Calvin hasn't quite learned recital etiquette. He was sitting on my lap and when his friend Ethan went up to play the piano, he started yelling, "Do it Ethan, do it!" Then when another little girl went up, they pronounced her name wrong and he corrected them. Other than that, he was pretty good for the hour-long show where his sister danced in two routines.

A couple other interesting observations. This girl in really ripped jeans, a ripped t-shirt, razor-cut hair, and dark eyeliner comes up. And she begins playing classical cello. And was very good. So incongruous. I love it when things like that happen. I can see her as a character in a book.

Then this little kid, maybe 2nd grade, played electric guitar, nearly as big as him, and he was GOOD. I was amazed.

And finally, I noticed that the younger kids would get up and do anything, but the older kids only came up to play if they were really, really good. At what point do we lose that ability to just want to show off and realize we have to be good to display our talents?

Calvin was crying when I picked him up at the end of the day. It was the first time he'd ever experienced this kind of change and loss, knowing we're moving and he won't see his friends again. Made me a little teary too. But thanks to the Internet, the kids will have pen pals via e-mail. I hope that makes the transition just a little bit better.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Genesis Finalists

The finalists in the ACFW Genesis contest were announced yesterday. Congrats to all the winners but specifically fellow Misfits Chris Mikesell, Angie Poole, and Jenny Cary. Also to fellow writer-friends Sabrina Fox and Dineen Miller. Having read all of these guys' writing, I know this was well deserved. Hope it leads to wonderful things for all of you.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Laugh for Sunday Morning

Found this on Brenda Coulter's blog. It's a hysterical how-to video for men on hugging. Remeniscent of those Goofy cartoons on how to dance.

I tried to get the video to post here, but for some reason YouTube and Blogger aren't talking to each other this morning.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Big Announcement

I’ve never been much of one for following the crowd. In fact, I rather like swimming upstream. So since a lot of people move to Arizona from the Midwest, I decided to move from Arizona to the Midwest. Besides, last year at the ACFW conference in Dallas, Dave Long of Bethany House Publishers called me a cream puff for never having lived anywhere it snowed. Well, I couldn’t take a challenge like that laying down. So, we’re off to Indiana. Take that, Dave.

(Okay, yeah, I know there's not snow there right now, but I didn't take any more pictures last time I was there when everything was green. The first one is a deer track in the snow.)

Things I’ll miss about Arizona:

The water out of the tap is hot. Probably 95 or so. The pipes get really hot in the summer. And the toilet water is hot. You can lift the lid and have condensation. Kind of like giving your rear end a facial.

Not many mountains in Indiana

Amazing and dramatic views.

Dust devils the size of small tornadoes

Warm (okay, blow-dryer hot) afternoon winds.

Warm nights

Monsoon season with amazing thunderstorms.

Colorful Mediterranean plants

Things I’m looking forward to:

Seasons. I’ve heard rumors there are four but I’ve only seen two.

Snow. Not sure how I’ll survive. But I’ve never seen a real snowflake. That should be fun.


And plants like peonies and lilacs and bulbs. Stuff that doesn’t grow anywhere I lived.

Things that are the same:

Lots of two lane roads through corn fields.

Trains blocking those two lane roads

Bright, starry skies.

Here's where you come in.

The name of this blog is Sonoran Saga. Um, guess that's not going to work anymore. So I'm up for suggestions. I also need to change the little description box up at the top. Right now, the only thing I've come up with is Jen at Work and putting 'Caution:...." in the little description box. But I need more stuff to choose from. So, give me your ideas and if I pick yours you can come over to my house and help me pack. Wait, that doesn't sound like much of an incentive. Um, okay, how about this? I'm getting rid of a bunch of books, so I'll give some of those away.

Check This Out

There's a good discussion about taste going on over at Mick Silva's blog. I like these kind of discussions because there is really no right answer, but everyone's thoughts illuminate a little bit more of the puzzle for me.

And yes, I'll have something else to post this afternoon. ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sick of These Yet?

These are two examples of fields near my home. The first is an alfalfa field recently harvested. I love how the hay bales look like green Legos in a row.

I'm not sure what this field is going to be. It looks like either cotton or potatoes. But I love the geometric lines of the furrows accented by the afternoon light.

These are bougainvillea (foreground) and lantana (purple flowers in background) in my front yard. They looked like little brown sticks two months ago. As Mediterranean plants, they didn't do well in the frost. But they've come back nicely with some pruning.

Now, make sure you come back tomorrow for the big announcement. There might even be a little contest or something involved.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Still More Arizona Images...

These are my kids, taken at the pool the other day. Not really an image of Arizona, but rather an image in Arizona. I liked it, though

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More Images from Arizona

As promised, here's more pictures of Arizona. These are from Sedona taken a couple of years ago on New Year's Day after a big rainstorm that caused flooding. It's very pretty up there. I love the contrast between the greenery and the red dirt. There are some nice hiking trails too, but many were closed off due to mud slides. And let me tell you, that red mud was extremely sticky. We couldn't get it off our hiking boots.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Images of Arizona

Later this week I'll have some news to share, but in the meantime, I thought I'd post some pictures from Arizona. I spent some time this week trying to recover photos from my Mac (got it back, yay!) and on the PC. And I realized there's some great pictures from Arizona to share. So guess what? You get to enjoy them. (And if you don't, just pretend, okay? Thanks.)

This is a roadrunner that was on our back fence one morning. In the background are the Superstition Mountains.

More photos tomorrow. I know you can't wait. You'll probably be here even before you get your coffee. Or, maybe not.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Beauty from Brokenness

Go check out this post by Lisa Samson over at The Master's Artist. All I can say is wow. It really seemed to coalesce a lot of thoughts I've had about writing lately and some discussions the Misfits have been having about writing and our calling as writers. Anyhow, go read it for yourself.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Eight Random Things

Elaina tagged all of the Misfits with the eight random things about yourself meme.

So here's eight random things about myself. With a little help from a friend . . .

1. I broke both my elbows two weeks before my wedding. This is really my claim to fame. It's even inspired a dance.

2. I'm ambidexerous. I can write quite legibily with my left hand, though it's slower from lack of use. Everything else is about equal.

3. I used to turn Rick Warren's (Purpose Driven Life) sermons into small group Bible studies when I attended his church, Saddleback.

4. I'm a bona fide California girl, born there and lived there for over thirty years.

5. I've had quite the wide variety of jobs. I've worked for both Apple and IBM, I've been an insurance underwriter, worked as a draftsman and entitlement specialist for an engineering firm, and directed traffic and drove a bus as part of campus security, i was a director of marketing, and I do web design. And, ahem, I'm now looking for a job, so, any offers?

6. I have a fondness for late night laundry room visits and the smell of fabric softener . . .

7. I like sour stuff more than sweet, especially sour and salty like pickles, olives, artichoke hearts.

8. I broke my toe ring on a trip to visit Michelle. I have no idea how I did that.

I tag Malia, Sabrina, Diana and anyone else that hasn't already been tagged.