Sunday, October 19, 2008

Better Together


A conversation.

Meals outside.

A funny movie.


Future planning.







Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall and Oil

It is a perfect fall day:

smelling like snow

Yes, you heard me, snow! I have the most potent sniffer I know. This means that a) I can smell rain and snow, and b) certain smells make me throw up in my mouth, when I normal person would only say, "Peuw! That stinks!"

A couple of weeks ago, we cleaned out the garage. The garage hadn't been touched since our move to the "big city" almost 1 year ago. We took advantage of the giant dumpster at Eric's disposal (hah - no pun intended) at work, and loaded up a few trashcans that had been sitting around that contained a mixture of yard waste, rocks, dirt and trash. We got to the giant dumpster, proceeded to unload the trashcans, and...

I almost threw up on the husband.

It turns out, we were making oil in our backyard with that mixture of yard waste, rock, dirt and trash. Homemade oil has a distinctly unpleasant smell. Especially when someone has not prepared for the smell by holding his or her breath!

So, I almost threw up - complete with the retching sound that accompanies, well, retching.

I didn't want to pander to your hankering for disgusting, so I threw in a little fall anecdote!

Enjoy the smells of autumn! May they be more pleasant than mine!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Criticized Bride

A girl fantasizes about her wedding day for years before it actually occurs. Often, long before the groom is even in the picture. She thinks about the flowers, the colors, the pictures, the location and, of course, the dress, veil and shoes. I think this dreaming is wonderful. She gets to wish and hope for a spectacular, meaningful occasion.

Then, reality sets in. Family conflicts have a way of coming to the forefront during the planning of a wedding. And everyone has an opinion:

"That dress looks terrible!" (when it's the one she's dreamed about since she was 7)

"No one has a chocolate wedding cake!" (when she thinks white cakes tastes like sweetened flour)

"You have to have his second-cousin-once-removed in your wedding party - it's only polite!" (when she's never met his second-cousin-once-removed, and would like to have only close friends surrounding her for this important occasion)

"Why did she pick that song? That's not very appropriate for a wedding." (when it's the song that was playing the first time she held her groom's hand)

"Why didn't she pick so-and-so to do this-or-that?" (when she has very good reasons for these decisions)

I am a former wedding coordinator and I have played piano in numerous weddings since I was 18 years old. I've seen it done every way imaginable and heard every song imaginable (and a few other songs over, and over, and over, and over... you get the idea).

When I was a coordinator, I spent more than half of my meetings with the bride (and sometimes the groom) convincing her (and him) that it was her (their) day and if she wanted to do something a certain way, it was perfectly fine. I even had to talk down a few mothers, sisters or attendants when their insistence was wearing down a very frazzled bride. Many brides want their day to be perfect and, to make everyone happy, they do things they wouldn't have chosen for themselves.

I think every wedding is beautiful. Every detail should reflect an aspect of the couple's new life or their personalities. Many actions are chosen for a very specific reason, and I think my job - whether I am a merely a guest or am assisting them to create lasting memories - is to be happy that two people have found love and have chosen to spend their lives together.

(I'll climb down off my soapbox now... Enjoy your next wedding!)

Friday, October 03, 2008

See My Head? *BOOM!*

(NOTE: Audience Participation Requested! Feel free to email with extra information!)

My brain is too small - or too slow - to absorb all this stuff:

1. The Financial Crisis: I CANNOT believe that the government is giving away BILLIONS of dollars to people who got greedy, lost a little money, and then "needed help." I realize the effects of the capsizing banks on the "little people," and I understand how our financial system may have dipped for a while without a bailout. But, continuing to borrow, finance and "use" credit will land this country in an even bigger mess and I'm furious that while I choose to live my life debt-free, the people running my country think that's there's no other way besides borrowing up to your eyeballs to keep a sinking system afloat! Does this "solution" make you mad or glad?

2. Higher Education: I now realize how so many people come out of the educational system and follow the liberal cause in this country like lemurs off a cliff. It's easy! I sit in every classroom, inwardly seething, occasionally commenting and constantly wondering if my fellow classmates, and teachers realize they are spouting rhetoric and fail to have a single original thought. They're repeating what they've heard without rolling it around in their brains for a while to see if it actually makes sense. There's no reason to point it out, they'll just get more angry! Can you sit silently while people voice their opinions that are exactly contrary to yours?

3. Dangerous Dog Ordinance: We have escape artist dogs. Even Sadie, with her sad, old hips will get free if she tries hard enough. So, we removed the ineffectual fence in the backyard and attached their cables to a stake in the ground. Then, this week, the Omaha City Council decided that dogs cannot be tethered for more than 15 minutes without an adult present. So, my dogs will no longer be able to bask in the sun all afternoon while I clean up in the house. They can't sit outside and sniff the breeze and chase the rabbits away. No, now they have to stay locked inside, underfoot, while I fight the losing battle against the furballs in the corners. Do we build a fence or find another way around the ordinance?

4. Fasting: Our pastor has called for a church-wide fast next week. I'm nervous, having never fasted for any length of time (unless I forget to eat breakfast - and that doesn't really count). The biggest problem is my caffeine addiction. I tried three times this week to go caffeine free. Today was the final effort and I am currently fighting a horrible migraine. We're supposed to do a juice fast or strictly fruits and veggies fast. I don't know if I'll be able to make it through a day, let alone act as a functioning member of society! Could you do it? Am I crazy to even try?

5. I'm searching for people with a story to tell (continued from #1): I am planning on being pretty uneffected by the financial meltdown, due to the way Eric and I live our lives. Our biggest splurge is eating out (and yes, we do so a little too often). We do not use credit cards or debt. We save for my schooling and pay it all with a check. We rent movies from Red Box (only $1 a night), I buy mostly store brands and love to find great clothes on clearance. The simple life has always worked well for us. However, there are people in this country (and, now I hear, around the world) who will have to drastically change their lifestyles in order to survive after this shift in the financial realm. Do you live a simple life? If so, how do you define simple and do you feel like you will be able to keep living it? Are you going to make changes after the market shake-up? Are there certain things you may do differently? (i.e. pay off credit cards, eat at home, etc?) I know there's a lesson for normal people to learn in all this, and I'll do my best to find it!