I don't know if I'll vote for the boys, but this girl has promise. Wikipedia link attached.
Hello! She played tough basketball, eloped, has five kids, and still keeps her lipstick fresh! I like her already, and I just met her.

Why do I keep trying to figure out which SNL character will play her?

Sometimes I wonder... 
Learned to walk and talk, learned to bike. Passed all my achievement tests. Made the grade. Finished middle school without too many pimples or being too embarrassed. Finished high school well enough to go to college. Finished college. Got some jobs. Got some paychecks. Paid most of my bills. Moved around the country. Took some trips. Made more friends. Dated. Broke-up. Repeat. Exercised. Cleaned. Did laundry. Grocery shopped. Went to church. Read the word. Went to movies. Laughed. Cried. Flossed.
I've done all these things and sometimes I find myself still feeling like I'm waiting. What in the world am I waiting on? To be debt-free? To be married? To have kids? To finally finish all the books I've started reading? For the next American Idol season to start? 
I wish I could say that I was just waiting on the Lord. Which is what I should be doing. But I've become trained from my society that I must check off my American citizen list. I think it ends with waiting for your last social security check to come in.
Sweet Jesus, may I wait for you, may I long for you, above all the good/bad/ugly things of this world.
Psalm 38:9
All my longings lie open before you, O Lord;
       my sighing is not hidden from you.


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I'm feeling weak as a kitten today. I've been using every homeopathic remedy I can find, because I bought my get-out-of-the-city ticket yesterday, and I want to soak up every second of the beautiful NC mountains when I'm there this weekend.
I just got off the phone with another friend who says she has had the same sickness. She swears she picked it up from our other friend when they were sharing microphones. Yes, that does make them sound like real American Idols, but they just play it on t.v.
I think I picked up my illness from the last Astros game I went, too. If Matthew McConnaughey has the sniffles on this weeks episode of E! News, I'll know he was at the game, and spread his cold to me by touching the same door I did. When you have a celebrity cold, it makes being sick feel kind of special.

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This car definitely did not have that "new car smell." I can still smell it in my mind--maybe the distinct odor came  the items on top getting a little wet, and then baking in the sun on long Route 66 drives.
I've been feeling a bit of nostalgia with my Jeep again. What happens to my Jeep after I part with it? What if it one day winds up in a Whole Foods store with debris spilling from its gills? I couldn't take it.
Maybe I watched too much Herbie Goes Bananas as a kid. I have to remember that cars don't have a soul. Christine was not possessed; it was just a creepy car. Kit really didn't have a witty personality. Lightning McQueen is fictional.
But there is a part of me that struggles with this disbelief. I guess the same struggle I dealt with when parting with Teddy, my scraggly panda bear.
Cars are just metal boxes that get us from one place to the next. Really. That's all they are.
Man, that hurts.
I'm sorry Jeep!! I didn't mean it! I still love you! And you, too, family station wagon...wherever you are...

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Long John Silver's used to be one of my favorite places to eat as a kid. I loved to order the kids' special of fish and fries (aka chips for the Brits). I'd usually make a beeline to the treasure chest by the back door to see what tiny plastic treasure would be spit out after I fed the chest my pirate coin. After we got our greasy goodness served up, then I'd begin the journey to collect as much ketchup as possible.  The next tradition would be to settle into the booth and wait my turn to drench my fish in malt vinegar. Normally, I'd have to reapply the vinegar halfway through to probably soak the fish again for extra tanginess. 
Vinegar normally conjures up smells of dyeing Easter Eggs for me, but it also takes me back to those glory days at Long John Silver's. Oh! The crunchy fried bits! Loved 'em!
Too bad now I know that place clogs my pipes, and I should never eat there again. One of my neighbors from home actually had a heart attack right after eating there. Not a happy story.
One of my friends recently brought a bag of salt and vinegar chips to share with me. I try to not invite chips or vampires into my home, because both are tempting and evil. Last night while trying to figure out what new healthy items I can buy, I found myself in the chip aisle.
The chip aisle is trying to portray itself as harmless. I know the truth, but I succumbed, and bought a bag of potato poppers ("popped, because baking and frying are evil, but popped potatoes are wholesome"--yeah, right!). They had the secret tangy salt and vinegar chips in popped form, which had half the fat. The plan was to open the bag in the car, and try about 10 chips. I tried to space out eating them between neighborhood stoplights. And then while at a light, I received a stressful text that a friend's mother was ill, and I started stress eating all the way home. So then, I was left with trying to come to terms if I ate 1/2 the bag yet or not, or maybe just a 1/3 of the bag.
I used to hate salt and vinegar chips. Now, my taste buds have been forever bitten by the flavor. I will spend my life bloated and on high blood pressure medicine, but with a smile. ;)

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Miss Debbie is at the Olympics again! (Click on the link to see her pic.)
I worked with Debbie (and also the lovely Miss Nell and the always joyful Mrs. Mo) at First Baptist in Tahoe City my first semester out of college. Miss Debbie has been blessed with getting to be a missionary to the Olympic games. I'm so proud of her for continuing her legacy. She loves the games...and she loves Jesus.  Please pray for her and her team.

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My church had a special event for people who had been in the singles ministry for a long time. I was kind of thinking the event might be an evening where they were just going to pair us all up and host a record ceremony for the largest Christian wedding service in history.
Last night, none of us got married. And no one used the event as an opportunity to announce an engagement (which would have been awkward).
We listened, got fed (spiritually and physically), and finally got to mingle some. The mingling is my favorite part. But sometimes I have a difficult time in large groups of good friends, because I'm like an anxious puppy trying to greet everybody at one time. It's hard to have meaningful conversations with 200 people (unless you're Oprah and get a stage), but it is fun for me to try and make it happen.
I would be a really good speed dater. I might try to see if we can add that element into the event next year.
Kidding aside, I've been really blessed by my church. It's a great place. And I'm very, very thankful for all the sweet friendships I've made there--even if they haven't led to romance. These are people that I've laughed with, cried with, and laugh 'til I've cried with.
Sometimes in a life, we're led to believe that you've reached your deep friendship quota--in high school...or college...or whatever. But through the singles ministry at my church, I've had the opportunity to share new life experiences and have my precious friends quota keep increasing. It's such a sweet gift.

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I hit an non-moving object in the parking garage today. It was a little silver cabinet that holds fire safety supplies like an extinguisher and a hose. I was trying to back out of a tight spot and not hit any cars when I felt the car scraping something. Now, I have 6 inch indentation on my car, and the little cabinet looks like its supposed to be in a Salvador Dali painting.
I told the management company what I did. Now, I'm waiting for the verdict. Can I buy a replacement cabinet on Craig's List?
Also, I am planning on getting a newer car soon. I've been eyeing everything from a Lexus IS250, to a Mazda 3, to a Mini, to a Prius...and now I think I just need a high mpg car that is encircled with bubble rap or something. It might be a Civic that can double as an Art Car Parade participant.

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I finally figured out that NBC doesn't show events until way later, and I can figure out who won, by just searching the internet.
I read about Nastia's gold/silver issue and then got to see it last night on t.v. Nastia lost the gold by some weird gymnastics scoring method. It would have made more sense if the judges had put the scores into a Sudoku game and come up with a winner. Even though I knew the result, it was still hard to watch the disappointment on her and her father's faces.
Tonight, we will see Shawn finally get the gold! She's been such a trooper through this whole thing.
Being a competitive gymnast myself from age 12 to 13, I understand things that the typical viewer might not get (DeeDee, if you are reading this by some chance--or anyone from the Tichenor family--please don't fall over laughing right now). :) When you enter the floor, you are taught to walk with your chest out, head high, and to do this little dance-like thing with your hands to show your professionalism and poise. None of the other gymnasts have been entering the arena that way, but little Shawn also walks in that way. It makes me giggle that she is a good game player from start to finish.
And I love her smile. Nastia is the epitome of grace and beauty as she performs, but Shawn is just cute as a button. I'm so glad that she won a gold. God bless her. Somebody hurry up and put that kid on a Wheaties box!

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All day long, I've been picturing myself as an Olympian. I can't stop doing that muscle prep shake thing like the swimmers and gymnast do before their events. It does probably look a little bit funny when I do that in the break room at work, but it does help loosen me up a bit.

We're doing a mini Biggest Loser contest with a few people at work. So far, I've lost 4 pounds. That means, I'm a strong competitor. Anyway, Monday is the half-way point, and I already have three engagements planned for the weekend where eating healthy and time for exercise are not included. My only hope would be to drive out to the Biggest Loser campus for the weekend with my special trainers and cooks.

Tonight's dinner is at Vic & Anthony's, so I'll be losing in the bank account department and possibly experiencing calorie overload at the same time. Oh boy. I need a miracle, but not food poisoning!! ...just the ability to eat wisely amongst temptation. Oh, the trials of being an American!

I don't think my winning by losing is going to happen.

My little niecey has grown up. She's now 18. She starts college on Monday. It seems unbelieveable.

She came to visit me last Saturday, and we had so much fun.

I'm so blessed with great nieces and nephews. They're all so amazing.

Here's what Christan and I did:

We ate.

We cheered.

We pondered.

We Starbucked.

And then said good-bye. :(

Good luck in college, Christan! I'm so excited for you!

Well, the iPhone will have to wait to be a part of my family. I can't fit it into my budget right now. So, I wandered into BestBuy yesterday to check into an add I saw in the paper since my Palm 650 hand-me-down had suffered some recent injuries. I walked out with a FREE Palm Centro! It's blue and cute. And it was also seen on the move 27 Dresses. I have Sudoku downloaded on it, so it is quite a fun toy right now.

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I wasn't going to get Olympic fever this year. I've seen the Olympics many, many times. It's no longer a novelty. I was over it.
On Friday during the Opening Ceremonies, I did happen to flip through some channels, and noticed a neat little Q-bert display set to music. I had never seen anything like that before. It was pretty interesting. So, I guess my heart started to soften towards the rings again.
Then, on Sunday night. It hit. I was cheering for the men's freestyle relay team. I was yelling at the t.v. for the guys to kick harder and swim faster...my heart was thumping...my fist were clenched...I had the fever!! U! S! A! And they won!
My niece kept laughing over and over at the replay of Michael Phelps' excitement. His expression was priceless. I couldn't find the pic of him that demonstrates it as it was shown, and as we imitate, so the one shown will have to do.

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As a kid, I loved to ride in the back of a truck. It wasn't that pleasant for a really long trip, but was perfect for providing the closest thing you get to a convertible experience when you live in the country. I loved the wind in my hair, and having to squint to protect my eyes from dust. And I liked the danger aspect of hanging on for dear life just in case we hit a bump, and I got propelled out of the back.
In Houston, 99% of the people I see in the back of the truck are Hispanic men. Apparently, it's more of a blue collar thing here, and not used for fun rides for kids (actually a law was passed in 2001 that you have to be over 18 in Texas to ride in an opened truck bed - bummer).
Another interesting thing about the men in the back of the truck is that they somehow think that the best way to use their time is to see if they can pick up not only a job, but also a woman driver. On Saturday, on the way to pick up my niece at the airport, I had to drive behind a truck with some men in the back. My thoughts were: 'Eyes on the road. Straight ahead. Adjust radio. Stay distracted. Pretend they are not there.' I could feel four sets of eyes sizing me up through my car window, just waiting for me to look over.
Later that evening with my 18-year-old niece in the car, we encountered a similar scenario, right at the 59/610 split. I said, 'Hey, Christan, see the guys in the back of the truck...'
I was going to tell her that they usually always flirt, and right then, like I had sad the magic words bringing the situation to life, the men began to stand up in the back and make kissey faces at us, even using hand motions. It was priceless. Thank God for the split, as they headed off to Sugarland, and we headed home.
I mean, seriously, is that the way to get a date? It would be kind of funny if my single friends and I spent an evening riding around in the back of a truck romanically terrorizing Houston single men on the freeway with kissey faces and oogling eyes. Actually, it does sound kind of fun...maybe those Latino lovers on wheels really do know the secret to romance.

If I were President of the US, my platform would be:
1. Stores and businesses would close on Sunday. I would call it the Chick-fil-a method. If all things are opened all the time, production might seem to be higher, but the output wouldn't be as quality if the employees never took time to rest.
2. Marriage counseling would be tax-deductible.
3. I would expand the Teach for America program. The lessons learned from being a teacher (if you survive) are invaluable.
4. Cash values would be placed on recycling aluminum cans and bottles for the whole US, instead of just limited to Michigan (or whatever states are listed--never one that I'm in!).
5. Celebrities tabloid magazines would be taxed (kind of like tobacco).
6. Research dollars would be spent on alternative ways to use tobacco (gotta get the KY economny up!). :)
7. No Child Left Behind would be changed to "Let's Just Make Sure They Can At Least Read and Add."
8. A standard test for all schools would be given, once a year, and it would not be used as a guide for school funding, and no special testing curriculum would be taught in schools. The money formerly spent on all no. 2 pencils and test guides (and all time put toward those efforts) would be used to fund Music, Art, P.E. , and foreign language programs.
9. T.V. stations and internet would go off air/line at midnight and return to functioning at 5 a.m.
10. Senior Citizens would be able to earn extra money for food and travel by volunteering at schools, hospitals, libraries, and On Star. (I just made up the On Star thing. Just seeing if you're reading today!)

What would you propose as the big cheese?

Most Influential Reading Moments During My Childhood:
1. Trying to stumble through my KJV bible and underlining everything I read.
2. Getting a Precious Moments Bible with little devotionals.
3. Reading a book about Naaman and The Seven Baths.
4. Reading the book, Bugs Bunny's Space Carrot at age 5.
5. Winning the school Read-A-Thon in 1st grade by reading the most books. (I was later chastised by upperclassmen for reading "baby books.")
6. Listening to my sister read me, The Little Leftover Witch. Later, I would read it for every Halloween.
7. Discovering that I was addicted to Trixie Belden mysteries (they were on the sale rack at Walden Books).
8. Voraciously reading Judy Blume books, and trying to figure out what kind of belt she was talking about.
9. Checking out books at the school library and reading on the card all the other people who had checked out the book, too.
10. Two words: Book it.

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Favorite Dips
1. Tribe of Two Shieks Forty Spices Hummus
2. Guacamole
3. Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dip from Chuy's
4. Tomatillo Sauce
5. Black Bean Hummus from Barley's
6. Freebirds BBQ sauce
7. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip
8. Queso
9. Melted chocolate
10. Heinz Ketchup

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I'm into lists this week. My apologies to non-list lovers.

1. "Worked" from home.
2. Did home projects in between work e-mails.
3. Cleaned up my dining room.
4. Pulled out all the junk in the dining room closet and messed up the dining room again.
5. Read through old cards and letters.
6. Kept my pajamas on all day.
7. Talked to my mom and sister on the phone.
8. Warmed up leftover Chinese food I made from last night and ate it for lunch and dinner.
9. Tried to do yoga moves from memory while watching Celebrity Family Feud.
10. Watched The Simpsons Kiss & Tell from Netflix. Thanks for being dedicated, Mr. Postman!

Top Ten Things That I Did This Weekend
1. I did interval training and some new lunges. I hurt from head to toe.
2. I went to a going away party where I asked my friend's cousin what his favorite mineral was.
3. I ran 1.5 miles (1/2 way ready for the 5K!).
4. I narrowly escaped getting thrown up on by a little dog that had an upset stomach at 2 a.m.
5. I played Rock Band and loved it!
6. I ate sushi at 11 p.m. because you can do stuff like that in Houston.
7. I bought new running shoes that cost $30 less than my last pair.
8. I went to church.
9. I ate samples at the grocery store (ummmm almond crusted tilapia!).
10. I watched Stranger Than Fiction. Two thumbs up.

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Do you often wonder how people can stand to drive around in an un-airconditioned vehicle in the heat of the Texas summer? Well, I am a living testimony that it can be done. The results are not pretty, but it can be done. It makes me feel like such a Renaissance woman (a sweaty one, nonetheless).
No a/c in my jeep has caused me to detest talking on my cell phone while driving. I used to make calls when in the car, because it was something to occupy my time while driving and a time to catch up with friends and family. Now, if I attempt to make a call or answer a call, I can't hear anything or the caller can't hear me, because of the noise from my windows being down. The alternative is to roll the windows up, but then that leaves me locked up in an 100+ degree environment on wheels. Sweat rolling from my forehead making it almost impossible to keep the receiver close by, and then what words I do get out are distorted by my extremely bad mood from being so hot.
Having no a/c has been handy for never being selected to be the driver for activities. For work lunches, no one has ever said, "Hey, let's take Beth's car w/ out a/c!" It's a bit of a deterant.
Top 10 Benefits of no A/C in my car:
1. Use less cell minutes
2. Practice safer driving w/out using mobile
3. Never selected to be group driver
4. Avoid long trips
5. Lose water weight
6. Always have sexy, wind-blown look
7. Everyone else get to hear my great taste in music
8. Can sympathize with other window-down drivers
9. Easier unrestricted access for beggers on feeders lanes
10. Makes me look cool because I'm tough enough to be hot

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