Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Spring must be coming

The squirrel is awake! He's decidedly thinner than the last time we saw him. I think he was sleeping in his burrow during the winter. He and a covey of quail, two thrashers, and two doves are out in front right now.

I'm waiting for the roadrunners to arrive. I'm watching out the window.

Canon received my rebate paperwork on the 23rd of January. I mailed it in on December 1st. Their web site says I didn't submit the warranty card. I'm pretty sure I did.

Was reading just last night on DPReview's site. Found an extremely long thread about folks not getting their rebates this year for various reasons ranging from never received by Canon to missing paperwork, so I went to Canon's site to check on my own rebate. Discovered that I fall under the missing paperwork. One guy at DPReview conceded that he wouldn't be getting his rebate because Canon said he was missing some documentation and he couldn't find his duplicates. What an idiot, I thought! All he would have had to do was resubmit. Me, I was ready.

This morning I went to the drawer where I thoughtfully placed my own copies last December. They ain't there. Gone missing. I carefully read it over a dozen times before mailing it in. I even sent it certified mail to avoid Canon saying they never received it and the receipt is in my wallet. Can't find my paperwork anywhere now. I've torn the trailer apart looking for my rebate submission.

I have no further comment on this topic.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Last calendar

So I adjusted my 2007 calendars. Took out the photo of the great white egret that had green tummy feathers from the reflection of the green grass and replaced it with a tranquil picture of two deer. Added captions. This is the email we got from Ron:

Thank you for the absolutely wonderful calendar!!!!! [Our son's name here] sure looks like Dad, so many years ago! Better tell him early, not to put two way radios in his back pocket!!! The pictures are awesome, not just the color but the content!!! Liliana not only has super photographic talent, but also a great appreciation of the beauty of nature, all its creatures and majesty!!!

I can't imagine the patience that it must take to get a beautiful bird to look into the camera, catch two deer looking so agile yet curious and my favorite the squirrel eating pumpkin out of a cut pumpkin!!! It would seem to me that every month of this calendar should win a prize!!!!

I learned an important lesson, and that is that captions really personalize it. Also learned that photos on a computer screen and in print can come out very different. Ron was being extra nice too.

As for the two way radio comment. Let me elaborate.

My husband worked in plant maintenance in the automotive industry before he retired. Years ago when he was in his 30s and eons before I met him, he'd apparently been on a sizzling hot date. He and another guy, as the story goes, may have been bragging to each other a bit as they were walking from one job to another? My husband calls it 'telling lies' when men get together and the stories get bigger and bigger as they attempt to outdo one another. Anyways, my very dear husband must have told a pretty good one about his date night. It's legendary now.

As he was telling the story, unbeknownst to him, his two way radio was still switched to its on position in his pocket. He'd forgotten to switch it off, and people from every level in the maintenance department from employees on the floor on up to top echelon management had been regaled by his story! All my husband's old friends that I meet know about this incident. That's why Ron said our son better not keep two way radios in his back pocket!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Meep, meep

Aw, roadrunners don't really say that. Yesterday one clucked at me though. It sounds neat. Kind of weird. It was like it was clattering its beak together. Then the other sound it made was more of a bird call. They move like little dinosaurs sometimes.

Greater Roadrunner

Their footprints are like an X. They have two toes going frontwards and two toes going backwards. They're quite curious. Yesterday we had not one, but two in our yard at the same time. We fed them tiny bites of hamburger. I thought they'd be back today but they didn't come back.

The plumage of the male and female is the same. I thought that the males had fluorescent orange and blue feathers next to their eyes but I think last September I must have just happened to see a bird with remarkable color near its eyes. It really stood out. These two didn't have such bright colors next to their eyes.

Last year a roadrunner ran into a lady's trailer. I make sure to keep our doors closed when I know a roadrunner is near!

Puffed up

When sunning themselves or when they have a full tummy, they rest all puffed up.

Straight on

I thought this looked kind of cute.

Roadrunner eyelashes

Such clarity. I was surprised to see its lashes!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Sunday drive

We went a long ways on four wheel drive. Then, came home again!

And do you have a teaching degree?

I'm asked this question sometimes because our nine year old is homeschooled. He's been learning at home since the beginning. Home education is really a misnomer because while learning happens in the home, it's only partly at home. Homeschoolers do leave the house. But I didn't really need to clarify that point, did I?

At the potluck last night I met a lady who is finishing up her master's in education and when we were introduced she said, "You have the son who's homeschooled," and I said, "Yes, I do." And when she and her husband inquired as to whether I have a teaching credential I said no. I could have added that I do have a bachelor's degree, but I didn't say so. I didn't say so because it's not the most important ingredient to the learning experience. I know a mum with a twelfth grade education and her children are healthy, bright, and inquisitive. Smart? Yes, but I have an aversion to that word. I really don't like it. You can be smart and be a complete bonehead, so I don't put much stock in smart. I know another mum with a master's degree and she tried homeschooling just one of her children for a year and gave up. It's about being a facilitator for your child. If you're a parent with a strong desire to educate at home, you can do it, degree or no degree. You just need the ability to find the knowledge, and know-how to seek out the experts. You don't have to know everything. Most mothers I know who educate their children feel convicted to do so. That doesn't mean that faith is a prerequisite, but it does mean you feel driven to take this path.

In public school the measure of the student is determined by semester grades and number of extracurricular activities. In home education the measure of the person is determined by whether he or she is thriving intellectually, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I think success is like the "American Dream" in that, at first glance, you think it means the same thing for everybody but upon closer inspection, you realize it's different for different people. I had a psych professor once. She refused to issue grades because she said students were addicted to grades. They are addictive! Of course, she finally gave us a grade at the end of the class. Haha! Think I got a C. I liked political science much better. Bottom line, either route you take, no matter where you obtain your education or how much of it you get, level of education alone ain't taking you where you want to go. A person needs to be a go-getter, a do-er, a problem solver, a thinker, a people person, in order to get somewhere in this world.

Back to the potluck I was talking about. The lady I spoke with was real nice. I liked her quite a bit. As I began to explain how homeschooling laws vary state by state I was interrupted by someone in the background who said, "Have you talked to her son? He's really smart!" I don't know who it was, but suddenly my explanation of homeschooling laws seemed pretty dry and dull, and with another distraction or two our conversation was drowned out and we soon parted ways. Who cares about the laws! Homeschooling is neat! And even though I hate the word smart, I admit my heart was glowing and I was inwardly thanking whomever it was who said it. It kind of took me off the hook. I looked back down at my plate and started munching on my delicious potluck foods, and I began to wonder what exactly they meant by smart and what did they perceive as smart? I would really like to know.

But I suppose I should just relax and be satisfied in the moment, and not look a gift horse in the mouth so much.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Vacuumed up a giraffe leg

This morning I wake to see child sized footprints made of sand through the hall, on the stairs, and in livingroom. My husband said, "There's sand in here." As if my bleary eyes can't see it. I can follow them from the front door to where? The bathroom. So I vacuumed. I shook the rugs. Sand in my hair and now a giraffe leg in the vacuum bag.

And why did I type 'surprise' with a 'z' the other day and why did no one tell me?

Husband is gone to buy a HoneyBaked Ham. He'll be back in about, what, six hours. I cleaned everything up when he went to the market so he'd be a happy pappy cooking in a clean trailie. But alas, the market that has awesome ham hocks daily had not a single one today, so he can't make the dish he was going to make for the potluck tonight. He's getting the ham instead.

I'm toying with the idea of bidding on this dress. I was thinking also about wearing a Chinese dress like this. (Cheongsam means dress in I think, Cantonese. Or it's also called a qipao, pronounced chee-pow.) I'm wasting way too much time fretting over it. The Gunne Sax dress doesn't have the neckline of first choice for me. And the cheongsam I love above all others is this one! But it's not quite afternoon spring wedding color, is it. It could be perceived as pretentious, do you think. But it is oh, so pretty!

So I just spent 45 minutes composing this (I'm doing laundry, making lunches and stuff) and now...there's sand on the carpet where I just vacuumed.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Brothers Grimm

Nothing warms your heart like the sound of a child's voice asking for a particular bedtime story. I began reading The Goose Girl when my son interrupted, "Mamma, will you read The Twelve Dancing Princesses tonight?" If I could put time in a bottle, this is one of the times I would save! I turned to the first story in the book. It's his favorite. I found this book for a dollar at a used book store. It looks like it's 50 years old, pages are browned, the spine barely hanging together, someone scrawled "Fragile" across the front page. We've had the best time with this book.

A king is sick and tired of his twelve beautiful daughters dancing holes into their shoes every night. He doesn't know how they're doing it because their door is locked every night. He puts out a proclamation that the man who can figure out where the girls are going and how they're getting there; this man shall choose any daughter to marry and! as an added bonus, he shall reign over the country after the king dies. Quite a carrot now isn't it. A bunch of guys try and they all lose their heads. Literally.

One devious guy finds out the princesses' secret and has a little fun doing it. He sees trees with silver leaves the first night, gold leaves the second night, and diamond leaves the third night and plucks a leaf off of each. A magic cloak is involved.

Trees of silver and gold and diamonds, and magic cloaks. Stuff to fill the imagination! It makes happy dreams.

A sociologist, theories, life

Here's a crier. My husband found it at Newsweek. He said it reminded him of me because I was very attached to my grandmother. The ending was different than what I'd expected.

Learning My Instincts.

Snow from the 22nd

Boat marina in the distance.

Get a wee bit of bad weather and my husband says, "Let's go to San Diego." I told him no way, we won't get enough homeschooling done there! My favorite bead shop is 20 minutes away. My sister is a mile away. Besides, I like it here in New Mexico.

This photo is from Monday and we still have snow on the ground from this storm! We're surprised it's lasting so long. Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny and it got up into the 50s which felt like the 60s.

I'm reading The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks. Nicholas sure looks young to be writing these books. He's the author of The Notebook too. Every time I read it I get a lump in my throat and my eyes tear up. He's such a writer! I'm 3/4 of the way through.

I've had a touch of the PMS and the perimenopause the last few days. What a delightful combination! It's really, realllllly, reeeeeallllly, fun.

The snow from Monday

This is how deep it was! There were some way deeper drifts in places too.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Health care costs

Last night I took a Tylenol PM because I'd had a headache for a day and a half. It just wouldn't go away. Headache is gone, yay, but I feel cotton-headed now. I'm drinking a lot of water to get rid of the fuzzy wuzziness.

The passage I liked so much is not in Exodus, but in Ezekiel 34:1-16. Verse 16 is the one that struck me - that he will call all his sheep and his sheep will know him. Very cool. Basically it means the Spirit of God will lead us and God himself will be our Shepherd. You have to be able to hear God to get led anywhere though. You have to be still.

Health care costs. There's an article about it at NYT. One part reads,

"The national grocery chain Safeway, for example, says the $1 billion it spent on employee health care last year exceeded its net income. By next year, that will be true for most large businesses, according to Safeway’s chairman and chief executive, Steven A. Burd, who cited a McKinsey & Company study."

I don't want to see the government fix healthcare but it won't keep going forever as is. Look at how the pharmaceutical companies are getting richer and richer. They want everyone on something! Older Americans are on expensive meds to live longer, middle aged American are getting meds because they want to live longer, young adults are getting meds because everything is a disease now, and people are putting their kids on various meds, so it's prescription drugs all the way around. Schools want to force kids to eat right but it's not the school's job. It has to be taught in the family. Kids have to be exposed to good eating habits when they're growing up. I've seen people so overweight they can't stand up for five minutes. Obesity, not chubbiness, is increasing in kids. The last time we went into a McDonald's we saw an entire family of obese people: dad, mom, teenaged and young children. These people are going to need a lot of health care in the future. They don't eat right, they don't exercise, some smoke. They see every ache and pain and cold as a sickness. There are illegals obtaining emergency care and cannot pay; low income, especially single mums, who cannot pay; transplants are more common than ever; and heart surgery is epidemic (two people just in my own family have had heart surgery), and who can afford to pay? And why does it have to be so expensive? Is it due to the technology used? Case in point...

When we had dental insurance we noticed on our bill two columns. One was the charge for insured people and the other was a charge for uninsured. Which do you think cost more? The column for uninsured was far higher, by several hundred dollars for a crown, than for insured. I guess the insurance company said we'll agree to pay this amount and not the higher amount if you want to do business with us. We have no insurance for dental now. We pay the higher amount! Crazy, huh. That's what it be like.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I joined a ladies Bible study. I know I already said that, but how do I know who knows? Well, the book is really good but the study itself is not too hmmm, creative? They just read the book, parts that is, and read the Scripture, every single one, and that's it. Discussion is minimal. I can read it myself without a ladies group. The study part is the workbook, but again they just go over the answers together. I don't need to go over them. I did them. They're done.

The old lady next to me tooted. Twice. Luckily, I was a good three to four feet away from her because I pulled my chair away from the table because I don't like to sit too close to people. Can't she hold it in like a normal person or like maybe go to the bathroom or sumpthin. Yuk. I can excuse one accident but not two. And she wasn't too friendly before that. I asked her to take me off the mailing list because we'll be leaving in a month or so and she was rather dismissive.

There's one little gal who looks about 14. Sweet girl and for some reason she always says hi to me. It's highly nice of her to bother to say hi to cranky old Lil. My Bible fell closed and she reopened it for me once. I thought it was so sweet. Remember 14? It was so long ago.

But at the end of each meeting we women get in a circle. The Bible study leader, I don't know how she got her name because it's a bit of a funny name, passes around a vial of oil. It smells nice, herbal, and we each put a dot on our one hand by touching the bottle to our palm, then rub both hands together. Huge community sharing of bacteria and viruses, snot, saliva, bodily fluids and whatever people did before the meeting but I try not to go there. We always tend to smell our hands because the fragrance of the annointing oil is so nice, then we all hold hands and pray together. The leader starts, and when she's done she squeezes the hand of the woman next to her. This is your sign to pray out loud, or, if you choose not to, squeeze the hand of the lady on your other side and the opportunity to pray aloud is passed on. Thus it goes around the circle. It is powerful. The believing is so thick through the air you could cut it with a knife. It's really something to be in it. It's the best part of the meeting. I said a real short prayer for our neighbors. I don't know how to explain it, but when you are with a group of similarly believing people it fills up your heart and your mind and the room and you feel as if you might burst wide open with the spirit. The Holy Spirit. It makes you believe you can do what you have to do. It's incredible. The thing is, I know it was all here before I was a part of it. I know I talked to Christians but I was not a part of it. I neither wanted to be in it, nor was it open to me. It was not open because I did not want. But it was there. Am I talking in a circle? Well, what I'm saying is I scoffed. I think I made an error with scoffing so long and I missed so much! Being here, on the inside now, is great. I love it. Meeting others who are believers is like an instant connection. There is one thing that bothers me a small bit though. I'm not sure of exactly when I was saved. Everyone seems to know the exact moment, time, place of when they were saved. I don't. Can it seep in? Or maybe it's not in me and I'm completely deluded. Or maybe the enemy (that means the devil or Satan or whatever you wanna call the bad stuff) is trying to convince me that I am not really saved despite the fact that I am. Usually I'm very sure I am saved, but sometimes I worry that I'm not. Dang, I'm such an uptight person. Maybe I'll just explode inside out one day.

Another lady, I didn't catch her name, said she wanted to get to know me. Hmmm, usually I shine 'em on because I figure people are just being cordial, but I sensed sincerity. And I have a very finely tuned sensor you know. We chatted a bit about kids. A lady was having a birthday so there was cake and coffee and goodies afterwards but I slipped out the door and went home. I don't do that sort of thing.

It's dark right now, but I'll get out my favorite verse from tonight and type it here tomorrow. I'll see if it seems as good to me tomorrow as it does today. It was from Exodus I think.

Pics by Barbara 2007 Pro-Life Rally

I checked the news sites all day on the 21st and 22nd and thanks to the liberal media I found woefully little coverage about the rally in D.C. What was it like to be there I wondered. I was a little disappointed. But tonight I found gold! I found a big page of pictures from the rally. All the photos were taken by a lady who was there (well of course, duh), and she included comments on her photos too. It's a nice Picasa photo album. Lots of real people in real pictures! Found the link thanks to Michelle Malkin.

March for Life 2007 by Barbara.

My new used shea butter

I told my husband I needed shea butter and he said he'd go by the natural foods store and pick some up for me. To avoid error, I wrote down on a piece of paper

shea butter,
100% pure,

and I told him don't buy it if it's not refined and not 100%. He bought me some!

But I open it up and it's half gone. Used. Used a lot. Who knows how many fingers have swiped through it or where those fingers have been. So yes, he bought me refined, 100% pure shea butter, but it's also the tester jar. It has a sticker on the front says


and I guess the cashier didn't notice it either.

Yesterday he sat in the chair and broke it. I've told him to quit throwing his body down when he sits and see, he shoulda listened to me. He steps heavily a lot too. When he steps out of the trailer he rocks the whole thing. When he steps down the three stairs in here, he rocks the whole thing. I tell him, hold in your abdominal muscles when you step and don't throw all your 200 pounds of weight on your feet. Does he listen to me at all? Nooo. And now the chair is broke.

But I got my torso harness for my camera yesterday (we mail order everything) and took the thing out and darn if I had any idea how to put it on. It holds the camera against your body so it doesn't tap, tap, tap on your tummy when you walk. You can hike more comfortably and it even takes some of the weight of the camera off of your neck. Here's a picture of a tuff girl modeling it. Her lens is a leettle (cough, cough) bigger than mine. I put that thing on ten different ways wrong. I'd have never figured it out. My husband fiddled with it and put it on me and fixed it to fit and now I like it a lot. He spent 20 minutes figuring it out! I'd have returned it if he hadn't helped me. Men have an eye for how things work and how things go together. My husband helps me a lot. I guess maybe it's a good trade-off...even it he does break chairs and buy me tester items at the store.

Categorius categories

Now that I can use labels for posts I need a real good system, as in logical. I detect there may already a problem with photos. I did Hair Photos but I also have a plain Photos label. I think I should divvy up Photos into maybe Landscape and People. No, too much detail. Or maybe it is a good idea. I have way more landscapes. I've begun a Religion label but have so few it would be easy enough to change. I'm not crazy about the word religion. I mean, yeah, I'm talking about religion but I the word doesn't say at all what I'm writing on. Hmmmm. How about Faith. That might be good. Descriptive words are needed, creative, yet not so creative that they lose the first time visitor. And then, how to possibly divvy up and classify the electrifying minutae of Daily Life. There exists a few diamonds amidst the rubble (I like to imagine), but how to select and pull them out? Hmmmm....

I'm gonna be a digital media babe

Got my book yesterday. Photoshop CS2 RAW by Mikkel Aaland. Heard the recommendation from Leo Leporte the Tech Guy on KFI FM - a radio show that we stream a lot. He's smart and knows all the newest and coolest info on 'puters.

I've been a travel babe, a photography babe, a middle eastern dance babe and now I'm going to learn to use RAW format and become a digital media babe. (My husband calls me that. For the record, I never walk around and refer to myself as any kind of babe. But I do like to use the phrase digital media now. Nice ring to that!) JPG format is about 2.5 megs and RAW is about 9.5 megs. RAW data is like a digital negative. It contains all the information just like a film negative does and you can interpret the data. It requires a lot more time for post processing, but I've learned that most of the photos that grab me...they've been post processed more extensively than I know how to do.

Soon I shall know ze secrets too!

Up for a BBQ over the lake?

Usually we have at least one camper in our loop, but we've had nobody for a whole week. It's a record! People from Texas can't get up here due to road closures. Desert people in the vicinity don't want to camp in the snow or drive on the roads. So it's just you 'n me here. You bring the hamburgers and I'll bring the makins'. It'll be fun. lol!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Roe v. Wade: 34th anniversary today

Blacks didn't choose slavery. Jews didn't choose genocide. And babies don't choose abortion. I was going to protest at the courthouse with an anti-abortion group at noon today, but the roads are closed down and schools and businesses are closed for the day. Next year.

Roe v. Wade passed by a vote of 5-4 on this day in 1973. I was 13. The vote of one man effected the outcome of the fate of 50 million babies to date, not unborn babies, dead babies. In 1973 no one knew what we know now.

See, when the United States chips away little by little at morality after awhile it all starts to fall away.

Dr. Jerome Lejune of Paris, a world renown geneticist who discovered the chromosome for Down's Syndrome said "Life has a very long history, but each of us has a unique beginning, the moment of conception." In 1973 it was believed that a newly conceived baby was nothing more than a blob of tissue. How far we have come since then!

The Georgia House of Representatives is preparing to challenge the 34-year-old Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion with a new bill that establishes an unborn child as a human person at conception deserving full protection under the law with no exceptions. I think it's time.

Psalm 139:13 in God's Word to the Nations says You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. The Bible rocks my world. You gotta read the whole chapter. Gotta!

I updated my blog. The bottom isn't finished so don't look down there. Sometimes in IE the bottom quarter of my header doesn't show unless I refresh. That's weird. It's fine in Mozilla. But then, in Mozilla there a glitch in my post list. One post title is partly on top of one above it. I've no idea why. I got a favicon to work in Mozilla though. Yay.

We've ordered a new modem. Well, reordered. The first one never came from the esteemed company of Direcway (said with great sarcasm). They've have the worst customer service to be found anywhere on the planet.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Where am I?

Where am I!? I'm one of a million who has a blog like everyone else's. Aaaaaugh!

I spent three hours the other day appending labels to all my hair photos. That's got to be worth something. See, they're right there on the right!


I updated. Got categories on my sidebar now, but had to lose my customized template to do it. So sad, too bad.

Friday, January 19, 2007

No campers in our loop

Except for us. It's a mystical, magical day. It's so beautiful! Merry Christmas!

End of our loop

Early this morning we walked here and heard coyotes not too far in the distance yapping away. We couldn't see them though.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Snow? Who says snow? is forecasting 100% chance of snow here between 3:00am and 11:00am. I have never heard of a 100% chance. Where's the chance in 100%? Our son is beside himself with excitement. Crazy weather, huh? It was darkish all day today. Kinda neat.

I washed my hair in our shower because it didn't get above the 30s today. It went okay. I wouldn't have thought I could do it, but I can do amazing things sometimes. That's a whole shower - with ten gallons of hot water. I amaze myself.

Went through my entire blog and labeled all my hair photos from the past two years. For some reason they only show up on the category page up to August 2005. Why don't the ones between November 2004 and August 2005 show up? They are definitely labeled. I double checked to be sure. So figured I need to change over from template to layout but...when I do that all my own HTML will be lost. In other words, my page won't look like my page at all. Sigh. I'm going to have to get over it and update to their new stuff eventually. The only reason I'd have learned Wordpress or Typepad was for the categories and now I can have categories but I'm going to lose the look of my site. Double sigh. And, labels are not a terribly useful feature unless they're on the sidebar for easy access and guess what. I gotta update to their new layout system to get that too.

Art Buchwald died. Great man. The New York Times has a superb video obit for him. He knew he was dying and they interviewed him. Art's opening line is priceless. It's so Art Buchwald. The video link is on the left, scroll down a bit.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's early!

It's 7:00am! Am I the first one up?!

Hi ho hi ho, it's off to volunteer I go.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Today is Tuesday

It is cold here! It's 31 degrees and supposed to get down to 21. We're nice and cozy in here though. And! we have no electricity bill because we live in a trailer with hook-ups. Rah rah!

I just finished baking chocolate chip cookies (to go with the tuna sandwiches). The first two batches were burnt so I had to turn the oven down from the requisite 375° to 325°. I threw away the first batch but kept the second batch because in three days even burnt chocolate chip cookies might taste pretty darn good.

Does cold make you tired? Because I've been so tired three nights in a row.

People are paying our son for little odd jobs he does. They are so kind. Remember when he took care of Patches the Scary Dog? It was a bit of work you know, driving down there three times a day. For better or worse I've taught our son that when people give him money to refuse it; to say thanks but no thanks. Ninety-nine percent of the time folks insist on paying him and they love when he refuses it because most kids don't. He's real sincere! Well, he did like I taught him with Patches. The family offered to pay him, in fact they offered in the beginning, but when they came home and said they had to go to the bank, our dear son said, "No, no, no. I won't take money. I liked doing it." Bless his heart. But I admit, I didn't tell him but I was a little upset. However, it's been a couple weeks now and I know this family struggles financially and I'm sorry I was so greedy feeling. My son did a good thing when he refused payment. The husband works hard and the wife is a SAHM who quit a high paying, high powered job in the science field before they moved to this tiny town. Their life is much different than a few years ago. My son, he has a better heart than I have at times.

I skipped ladies Bible study tonight. My hair is dirty and I didn't want to go, not even in a tight bun. I didn't go to the showers today because the high was 37°. I'm tough, but not that tough. About 45° I can do. That's the lowest I want to be in. Our trailer shower doesn't have enough pressure for my long hair, only ten minutes of hot water, and the alternative, washing it in a pail, is a lot of bending over work.

My length is 35 1/2, so I'll be at least that for February 1 measure-in, although I'm doing my measure-in by myself now. I don't feel alone though.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New underwear

Today was busy. We worked in the Visitor's Center from 7:30am to 11:30am, came home and ate lunch and drove to Las Cruces. I went to Dillard's! I didn't know the sales would be so big. Sales everywhere. Shoes everywhere were killer cute, but alas I cannot wear pretty shoes in the dirt.

I got three p*nty/br* sets. Hopefully the asterisks in there will keep me off Google. All but one item was on sale. They're all pretty too. One set is PURPLE. One set is burgundy. One set is red and pink flowers and leopard print. My husband laughs and laughs at leopard prints but I like them. I would never have bought the leopard print set but the br* was only $9.99. How can I pass that up? Of course. I can't.

It seemed like we flew the whole the way home, 70 miles one way. Why is it the drive is so long getting there, but getting home is like the blink of an eye. Maybe because you are so happy with your new stuff.

Told my husband I blogged tuna fish sandwiches last night. I guess I've got him craving one now. He bought two big cans of albacore in spring water. Tomorrow guess what we're having for lunch.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I want a tuna fish sandwich really bad - on soft, fresh bread, with a sweet pickle, a glass of milk, some chips, and homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Only thing is, I'm not hungry. I had dinner and I'm not hungry at all so why am I thinking of a tuna fish sandwich?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Two good links

I have two links that are good. This first one one Mermayd sent me. Homeschoolers will recognize the story line in this cartoon video presentation on the topic of children. It's so well done. Click on the purple Animal School button.

And this is from my sister. It's from CNN about a child prodigy. I enjoyed it. It's kind of a faith/art/kid based video.

2007 Calendar

This is the calendar (thumbnails here) I put together. My sis asked for another copy and she's even going to pay for it herself!

Frequent readers will recognize all the photos exept for one or two.

I added captions to it. I'm kicking myself for not including captions to begin with. First thing my sister said when she got her calendar is "I miss the captions." I think I'm going to be hearing it a few more times in the next couple days...

(Update 1/13/07 - I added captions and ordered a few more.)

Scripture for every day living

Proverbs 11:13
Those who talk about others tell secrets. But those who can be trusted keep things to themselves.

Someone is sharing with me what someone else in the family says about me. As in somebody, told somebody, told somebody, told me. Puh-leeeze, don't involve me. I wrote the person and told her she has to quit doing that with me. Here I am way, way out in the middle of New Mexico. All I do is make a happy birthday phone call and I get all this rigamarole.

I feel pretty good anyways! And this song came to me. "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band.

Lately, I've been coveting an Ipod just like Christina's. It's seems like a good thing to have. It's incredibly small and it holds a lot of music. Amazing!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


We're having awful terrible satellite outages. All night long even, and I hate that. My husband thinks our modem is dying and needs replacement.

One of my favorite things now is putting the truck in four-wheel drive and revving it up and pulling in the driveway. I do a small 360 in the dirt and bounce all around like a tuff grrrl and this way I can pull in straight instead of at an angle.

I'm loving my Tuesday night Bible study and I'm enjoying my Women of Faith discussion board. It's the only board I'm still visiting, but the real life study and online fellowship complement each other well. And tonight I even had déjà vu.

I know it has different definitions and some say it's just a blip in the brain, but I have always felt it to mean that I am in the place I'm supposed to be. I got it when I was typing a post to Kara and Fox, so I think I am supposed to know them. God sent them to me. Well, that's kind of dramatic and selfish sounding, but I'm glad I know them. I usually get déjà vu at a new job, so this is a new situation for me to get it.

The baby is doing much, much better! His daddy gave him his first bottle of mother's milk and burped him today. The baby's breathing is still sporadic, but much improved. I'll bet they will give him a date to go home soon.

I feel generally good. I feel almost euphoric for some reason. I jogged yesterday. I drank a glass of water today. Um, tomorrow I'm going to drink a whole lot more water. They say it's good for you; eight or nine glasses a day.

You should drink some water too.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

You're tagged

Gotcha. Sorry. I got double tagged by Kim and Christina.

Five (5) Things You Don't Know About Me

How's a blogger supposed to answer this when everything a blogger blogs is something no one knows about them?

1) Folded over potato chips are my favorite and I always look in the bag and root around to fish them out first.

2) In 1990 I wore a pair a pretty thigh highs to work instead of pantyhose. They're so comfy because you don't have more stuff binding you at the waist, and they're beautiful. Unfortunately, I also used baby oil as my all over moisturizer that morning. A key point is that baby oil and "Stay Up" thigh highs really don't work well together. ...Parked my car, walking to work and, uh oh, one starts falling down. Then the other starts falling down. I mean, all the way down - they're flopping around by my ankles. A lady walked by me and I apologized to her. Realizing I could not walk into the office like this, cool as a cucumber I stopped at the corner stoplight (it was red anyways) and set down my lunch, my thermos, my folders and my purse, and slipped off the evil thigh highs and tucked them in my purse. At lunch I drove all the way home to fetch some pantyhose to cover my white, white legs.

3) In 1979 I had an abortion. My IUD didn't work. If anything the anguish and sorrow increases with time, not decreases. The knowledge that something safe in my womb - I had it killed - repulses me now. It is the greatest mistake of my life. At the time I thought I had no choice. I took a taxi to the hospital by myself. Abortion is not a federal or a legal issue. It's a moral issue. It should never have gone before the Supreme Court in 1973. Everything that makes a human being a human being is present from the very moment of conception. I don't need the Supreme Court to tell me what constitutes and baby and what does not. The Supreme Court is wrong.

4. In 5th grade we lived in El Centro (very low income, Hispanic/migratory population). Miguel Carrillo liked me best, probably because I was white and smart, and so the Mexican girly girls would follow me home after school, taunting me and threatening me the whole way because they didn't like that he liked me. The girls also hated me because I was the top grade 5 student. It was a rough year! I did comb my hair a lot too and they hated that. Haha!

5. I have a mole on my upper lip, left side, right on the lip line. I constantly bounce between thinking it is a pretty part of me or an ugly part of me. When I dance I think it is exotic and sets me apart. One day my father told me it looks disgusting like the third stage of cancer. My husband and son say it is nice and got upset when I mentioned removing it. Once a doctor said to me, "You don't want to take that one off, do you?" Maybe it depends on people and how they see you.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Inside thoughts

As opposed to outside thoughts. I have a few today. We had a satellite outage on Thursday night so I couldn't blog and last night my mind was too full to write. Now I have to catch up.

1. Someone found my blog through Google using "pics=little girls won't wear panties." This person gets one imprecatory prayer and one report of their IP address to the FBI from me. I'm into imprecatory prayers because I like to use the word 'imprecatory,' but I don't really do them.

2. It dawned on me last night as I was reading The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks, the same guy who wrote the fantastic chick movie, The Notebook, that my sister is my father's favorite. I'm okay with it. Honestly, I am. I love them both. My sister was a cute blue eyed, chubby, blonde baby and as a little girl, quite the cutie pie. Once some Iranian people who were fascinated by her complexion and hair gave her a toy pearl necklace. They ignored me. And my sister tells my father what he wants to hear. I don't. The last time he insulted me I called him on it and he phoned my sister to ask what he should do. He prefers to hear what she has to say because she will go to great lengths to smooth things over. I'm not very smooth.

3. I am an aunt again, fourth nephew, no nieces, but the baby is still in the hospital. Born at 8:01am on January 3rd, he has been battling fluid in his lungs. We have not been told when he can go home yet. His mother's arms are empty. He is on 100% oxygen. Improving, I think.

4. My new daughter-in-law-to-be was not altogether there with the dress I suggested for me to wear to the wedding. She said it was pretty but she'd show me what she has in mind if I wanted, and I said sure! Bring it on! I was excited to see what she had in mind. I showed the dress online to my husband and boy howdy, sometimes when a husband speaks you know there's no use arguing. This was one of those times. He bellowed, "We are not going formal!" Actually, I'm fine with that. I have no formal clothes at all, no accessories, no dressy shoes. How-some-ever, I, Liliana, get the job of communicating this to the bride-to-be. Also, I get to tell her that we're not attending the reception. The reception is being held in Tijuana. We just are not going to Tijuana.

So I emailed her and told her, gently, but straight up. I also told her we won't be going to the reception. And that I was sorry. I am, too. She replied with the sweetest, sincerest email. The ball is in my court again. This takes a lot of energy.

I will include a photo of the dress she had in mind. This dress, I would poke both of my eyes out with hot pokers before I would wear it. I'd never in a million years pick this style. This is a dress for a 60 year old woman and they've plopped a 20 year old model into it. It's all polyestery or organzanite or some such fabric. My husband says, just wear what you originally wanted to wear. But I ask you, is it that easy?

Which leads to the ultimate question, who am I? I've led myself to believe that clothes are not important. Two years ago I shed the whole empty facade of 'what I wear is what I am.' At least, I thought I had. I worked so hard at it, at least, I thought I worked hard at it. And I now face, of all things, a clothes problem. It's causing me consternation and worry. Haven't I moved up in the world at all? Is God up there enjoying watching me go in these teeny, tiny circles?

I think I'll just sink into a song. I used to really dig Courtney Love, but I've seen her face and I don't know her anymore. I would, but I can't link it to YouTube because the vid comments are full of foul language. Bummer.

"Doll Parts" from Live Through This by Hole
I am doll eyes
Doll mouth, doll legs
I am doll arms, big veins, dog bait
Yeah, they really want you, they really want you, they really do
Yeah, they really want you, they really want you, but I do too
I want to be the girl with the most cake
I love him so much it just turns to hate
I fake it so real, I am beyond fake
And someday, you will ache like I ache
Someday, you will ache like I ache

I am doll parts
Bad skin, doll heart
It stands for knife
For the rest of my life
Yeah, they really want you, they really want you, they really do
Yeah, they really want you, they really want you, but I do, too
I want to be the girl with the most cake
He only loves those things because he loves to see them break
I fake it so real, I am beyond fake
And someday, you will ache like I ache
Someday you will ache like I ache

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The poor agave plant

I just realized I forgot to put a deer picture in the calendar. Too late! The ordering is done. I used an agave plant photo in its place because I overlooked the deer in my portfolio and though I am quite fond of the agave myself, I'll have to wait and see if anyone else appreciates it. The sky is pretty in the background.

This agave, a succulent, fits in the calendar because he gave all his moments to the creatures of the Sonoran desert. I guess he was very tasty. He's chewed up because the cottontails and the hares and I don't know what else nibbled at him every night. I went to see him this year and he's dead. Very, very dead. But he could have been magnificent. The Century plants, and I think that's what kind of agave this is, bloom once a century. I don't think he got a chance to bloom. The Sonoran desert can be a hard, cruel place.

My husband just asked why there are no captions under the calendar photos. I didn't add any this year. Oh noooooooo! I thought it looked nice without them but I suppose captions would have made it more interesting and personal. I didn't like how Shutterfly made them slightly indented instead of centered last year and it was doing the same thing this year.

Next year I'll do better. That's what I say now and next year I'll be exactly the same.

There exists an ode

I went to my friend, Eowyn's, blog tonight to do some catch-up reading. She wrote an ode to me. Can you believe it? Can't wait to tell my husband. He's sleeping right now. It's the oddest thing when I go to her blog because she sometimes writes about things I'm thinking about. It's just a little strange. Often I have to have my Merriam-Webster window open at the same time that I'm reading Eowyn's writing.

I had a friend named Marcie, and once when we were at the dining room table, Marcie said I have a beautiful face. I don't, but it's the only time anyone has ever said that to me, man or woman, and I about choked. Having an ode written for me feels much the same. It's is very nice. Things from the heart are the very best of all.

Tonight I just finished making our family 2007 calendar. It's not as good as last year's but I think peeps will like it. We spent a lot of the summer at the southern edge of the boreal forest and I hate to sound ungracious, but there's just a bunch of trees up there so I did not collect many amazing shots. On the cover I put a photo of my husband and son at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Our son has an expression that is priceless. I used a C.S. Lewis saying for the calendar front cover, "This moment contains all moments.” There is so much truth to that, isn't there.

Tim Herrmann from high school wrote me! No kidding. He's the first person to reply to my high school bio. How cool is that. I have to write him tomorrow. For now, I gotta go to bed. I barely finished my calendar at 11:59pm so that I qualified for the 20% discount. Yeah, I like to wait for the very last minute. It's a real motivator.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Women's group

Strange but true. I've joined a women's prayer group. They also study together. The book they (we?) have just started is How to Hear From God by Joyce Meyer. I looked at comments at and all but two are good. Generally when I read comments I quickly scan through all to find the lowest ratings to read why people didn't like the book. Two comments out of 18 were people who didn't like the book. One said that it's drivel and the other says it's "mindless dribble." Puh-leeze. If a critique doesn't articulate what stinks about the book then I really can't use the critique, can I.

A hardcore Christian metal band called Disciple is coming to town at the end of the month. I'm surprised any band would come here to play let alone one with a reputation. Disciple has been together for ten years. I found a little bit of their music at YouTube and I couldn't understand a word, but as a former headbanger I have to say I love their sound. It makes me feeeel so good inside. They have energy, tats, an abundance of raw testosterone, all things which I mightily love, plus some very fine metal thrash breaks. I may sit in the parking lot and bob my head. The pitiable sad truth is, I'm afraid to go listen inside because it may ruin my hearing. Really, I've listened to such loud music during my youth that I'm afraid I'll go deaf. I ordered a hamburger through one of those boxes once, Sonic Burger, and I couldn't understand a thing the order taker was saying. It was really embarrassing, like being an alien on another planet and you're trying hard to decipher what the heck they're saying, while you in the meantime look really stupid.

I didn't know that the phrase "still, small voice" came from the Bible. It's in 1Kings 19:12.

I'm so excited about the new year. I think something about it is going to be really good. I hope! I've been like a Christian on a tricycle for so long. Surely God will give me a two wheeler soon. Even if I have to have training wheels on it I'd be happy. He's got to be gearing me up to use me for something.

Social Security

Sometimes I'm like the person who's afraid to go to the doctor because they're afraid they'll be diagnosed with cancer, as if staying away from the doctor will keep the cancer away. A niggling worry has been eating at me; what would become of me financially if I were suddenly alone? Poverty is an equal opportunity employer. I went into a funk over it the other day.

So I got proactive and researched a bit about social security. A lot of women, me being one, drop out of the workforce to rear up children. Since I'm currently short enough credits to qualify for my own social security I will receive nothing when I reach retirement age. Our youngest son will be 18 when I'm 58 so it's entirely possible I may return to the workforce someday. If I had enough credits, but my husband's retirement was more than mine, I could receive 50% of his instead of mine. That's all moot at this point in time because I don't have the credits.

But, if my husband dies I would qualify for widow's benefits. That's different. In that case if I were to begin receiving benefits at the earliest age possible, age 60, I'd get the least monthly amount; 71% of my husband's full benefit amount. If I were to wait till my full retirement age, and me being born in 1959 makes age 67 and ten months full retirement age, then I would receive 100% of my husband's social security amount.

I feel much better. My husband earned six figures so he's at or very close to the very top of the benefits schedule amount. No one lives a high life on social security alone but if you live within your means you will not starve, so at minimum I will not starve. Plus I have my two sons so I will not be all alone in the world. But I want to be self-sufficient. I won't be a clinging vine to my children. I would send myself off on an ice floe before I'd be a clinging fine.

Of course don't remind me that social security's gonna fold by the time I'm old or I'll have to go into another funk. I am diminutive by nature so it's hard to imagine being alone. I am a wife and well suited to wifedom. But Reta is alone now, and it will happen to me someday too. I am not afraid. I am not afraid.


"HEADBANDS aren't comfortable. Some sport plastic teeth as sharp as toothpicks. Others are so tight they could make your eyeballs bulge." An article at the LA Times The Look: First Grade Fabulous.

Monday, January 01, 2007

At the New Year's party

All I said was 'tv is evil' and everything went quiet!

The background story is, we have no television and people often find this fact fascinating. They wonder how we can live without television! We tell them we get plenty of news online so that immediately sweeps aside the foremost issue of keeping informed of local, state, national and world current events.

So someone asked me the question straight up, why, really, do I say no television in our house. And I responded straight up. I didn't sugar coat it. I said, "TV is evil." The room went silent. The whole house went silent. Well, the livingroom, the dining room and the kitchen to be exact. You could have heard a pin drop and they have carpet. After a few seconds, I laughed and said, "Did I say something wrong?" My face went red as a beet.

It's exactly how I feel at the crux of it. I do think wickedness can move through groups of people like radio waves that are unseen yet have a verifiable effect. Of course, I don't think history on tv is evil. I don't think nature shows are evil. But I think there is enough low quality content just between the shows, let alone the shows themselves, to warrant watchfulness for ourselves and protection for our children. You are what you think, and what are you when you spend time watching material that is of no value added to your life. Programming that purposefully appeals to the basest parts of our nature is more and more common. A small, select group of people sits around and thinks up these shows for you to watch and they earn a whole lot of money when you watch them!

I heard this today. A year from now you'll be exactly the same as you are right now except for the books you read and the people you meet.

I'm just trying to be the person I want to be. I used to complain about the garbage on television and how bad it's gotten since I was a kid yet I watched it all night sometimes. In the morning I'd wonder, why did I do that! I just fell into it. I looked forward to doing nothing. When I worked I had a supervisor who had no television and secretly I admired her, though I thought her a little weird for having no tv.

My husband was sitting beside me and he knew exactly what I was going to say when the pointed question came. lol! He didn't even roll his eyes. I love him because he does not shame me for how I feel and how I express myself.

Hey, just tryin' to keep things lively!