Monday, December 31, 2007

Menu Plan Monday...And More!!!


Well, 2007 is almost gone. Are you ready for a new year? A chance to start over? A chance to...oh, who are we kidding?? Tomorrow will be like today; there's nothing magical about a day on a calendar page turning. The real magic comes from your (or mine) determination to change our lives. I'll be sharing some of my goals for the upcoming year in a few days.

But for now, the topic is food. Since Hubby is leaving at the end of the week and won't get a good home-cooked meal for several months (well, he is going from here to spend a week with his family in the Middle East before showing up for his new job, so I'm sure his mom will cook for him. But it's not the same. Ahem.) I have planned my menu for the week around his favorites. Here's the plan:

Monday - Pot Roast in the slow cooker with veggies (easiest recipe ever: chop an onion and mix with a can of cream of chicken soup and a packet of dry onion soup mix, pour over roast and cook all day - voila!)
Tuesday - Bezella
Wednesday - Baja Beef and Beans with Tex Mex Rice
Thursday - Sub sandwiches (we'll be leaving for the airport right around dinner, so we need something quick, but truly this is one of his favorites!)
Friday - the kids and I are going to the circus so we'll probably just pick something up on the way

For more great menu-planning ideas, be sure to visit the host of Menu Plan Monday, The Organizing Junkie!

Moving on to other topics, our small group threw us a going away party last night. We had a blast! Everyone had a great time discussing the implications of our move - the fact that husbands and wives can't kiss in public there, but it's ok for men to kiss each other; whether or not I would end up wearing a headcovering (NOT!); discussions of how to smuggle alcohol into us, etc. We received some very sweet and kind gifts - guidebooks to both the area and to Islam; a map of the Middle East; some red, white and blue striped Christmas ornaments to remember that we are, indeed, 'Mericans, as one woman put it; and a beautiful Willow Tree figurine of an angel holding a shell to remind us of Miami. There were gifts for the kids too and I'm so glad that we have this group of people supporting us.

And now, I'm off to get dressed and hit the grocery store. Hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy your New Year's Eve!!
Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cute Homeschooling Video!

This super cute video was sent to me by my sister-in-law (who actually does need a van this big!!). The kids and I have been singing lines from the song for a couple of weeks now.

Enjoy!!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Side Dish!!


Today I bring you a side dish some of you have probably tried and some of you may have been too scared to try - tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a traditional Arabic salad made with cracked wheat (burgul), parsley and tomatoes. I put a lot more into mine just to make it more fancy, but we'll get to that. In the Middle East you'll find tabbouleh that is almost all parsley and just a scant amount of burgul - not here. Mine is usually about 3/4 burgul and 1/4 parsley. Just a personal preference, I suppose.

This dish is just a health bonanza! Tons of fiber in the burgul, lots of veggies and heart-healthy olive oil. It make take a few bites to get into it, but once you give it a shot I bet you'll love it!!

And when I say "finely chopped" I mean REALLY finely chopped. Ok?
  • 1 cup burgul (can usually be found in the same aisle as flour and corn meal)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mint (if you can't get fresh, you can use dried but fresh is better)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup small diced cucumber
  • 2 scallions, sliced fine (include greens)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the burgul in warm water for about 30 minutes. Probably 2-3 cups worth. Alot of it will be absorbed, but drain off whatever is left after the 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix it well. If you would like it a little more moist, you can add either more lemon juice or more olive oil, to taste. Refrigerate for about an hour to allow flavors to develop. Yum!!!

For more great side dish ideas, be sure to visit Overwhelmed With Joy!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thankful Thursday


First of all, a big thanks to Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for keeping Thankful Thursday going on behalf of Iris. You've done a great job, Lynn!!

So here we find ourselves at the end of yet another year. It's hard for me to believe that another year has come and gone. In a few months, I'll be turning 40. 40!!! Umm, I believe that it was only yesterday I was in high school. Where does the time go?

But 2007 was a wonderful year for us. I have so much to be thankful for. Here are some of the highlights:

  • I can't say enough how thankful I am for all the wonderful blogs out there. I have learned so much from you wonderful women who open your heart and your lives to the world and allow us to glean from your wisdom. I am always amazed at how much I have to learn. And it's not always from the older women! Some of you 20-somethings have got your game on, let me tell you!! Thank you to all who encourage women to be godly wives and mothers in this world.
  • Conversely, I'm so grateful that God led me to begin my own blog. It has been a true godsend to me. I have a place to sort through my feelings, to have a little fun and creativity (limited though that may be - LOL!!), and to share my thoughts with the world.
  • I'm thankful for those of you who take the time to comment and engage with me in my journey. Thank you for your encouragement and advice and support. This wouldn't be any fun without you!

Now on to non-blogging stuff:

  • I'm thankful that God has made his way clear to us. Our upcoming move to Doha, Qatar is just so clearly of God to us - we have no doubts or second thoughts. For years Hubby has mentioned off-handedly moving to the Middle East and I flat-out rejected the idea every time. But God has put such peace in my heart and I can honestly say that I am totally excited about this new adventure in our lives.
  • I'm thankful our church is on the road to healing. After some very rough years in which one blow after another struck our church, we are finally settling down. Our new pastor is wonderful (though I loved our previous pastor), the Word is being preached with power, our attendance is rebuilding, people are feeling calm and loving instead of angry and fractious. At one point, I was truly concerned that the church might never recover, but God, in His mercy and wisdom, wasn't done with us yet!
  • I'm thankful for our wonderful visit with my family earlier this month. We had a great time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
  • I'm thankful for our homeschool support group. It is a wonderful group of godly families who are like-minded and who have been such a help and support to me over the past two years.
  • I'm thankful for all the blessings we have here in America. As we prepare to move to another, very different, culture, I never forget what we are leaving. Having lived overseas before, I know that it won't always be easy. In fact, it will probably prove to be very frustrating much of the time. There won't be all the "stuff" I'm used to. The etiquette there is very different than here and I will get offended. The freedom we have here in America just won't be there. And yet...
  • I'm so very grateful for the opportunity we have to allow our children to experience another part of the world. To give them a different perspective. To show them places that most people only dream about going (have I mentioned our plan to allow each person to pick one "dream vacation" during our time there? So far we have requests in for Italy and for Greece). To give them the opportunity to learn a new language.
  • I'm thankful, most of all, for my wonderful Savior, for God my Father, and for the Holy Spirit. Without their VERY REAL presence and work in my life, it would all be meaningless.

And so there we have it. There is much more to be thankful for, but these are the biggies that jump to mind.

And what about you? What are you thankful for? Don't miss this opportunity as we prepare to enter a new year to reflect back on what God has done for you this year.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Dear Ones!!

Merry Christmas
More Graphics at pYzam.com

Monday, December 24, 2007

101 in 1001 - Updated!

Update: I've got 47 out of the 101 finished, so I'm close to half way done with still 14 months to go. Several of the things will get checked off the list while we are in the process of moving. Unfortunately, the moving will also make some of the items either difficult or impossible to do, so I'm going to need to replace some of the original goals. Those items are in red, with the replacement goal next to it in black as I think of them.

Some of you have already heard of my attempt to complete 101 things in 1001 days. Feel free to skip this post!

For those of you who think I'm speaking in some kind of binary language, let me explain. I came across this idea at Enjoy the Journey and thought it was wonderful. The idea is to come up with a list of things you'd like to accomplish, but with a reasonable time frame. 1001 days comes up to about 2.75 years. That way, you still have a deadline approaching, but should you miss doing something (say going to a sunrise service on Easter morning), you still have the chance to do it the next year.

So here is my amended list. I made some changes once I thought about it and realized that some things didn't really matter that much to me. And since it's my list, I can do that! Things that are completed will be bolded with the date next to it. Some things may just have a note about the progress.


The List
Begun 7/12/06 - Deadline 4/8/09

Updated: 1/30/08


  1. Read through the Bible start to finish (currently in i Kings)
  2. Go a week with no tv (8/8/06)
  3. Memorize a verse a week
  4. Do a 24 hour fast
  5. Start journaling again (June 2007)
  6. Watch a sunrise on the beach by myself
  7. Do Advent readings and an Advent wreath
  8. Go an entire week without saying anything negative about anyone
  9. Go away for a weekend alone with my husband
  10. Take a dance class with my hubby
  11. Keep the desk clean and neat for my husband
  12. Pray for my husband daily
  13. Do not complain about my hubby to anyone (December 2007 - I think I've got a handle on this one)
  14. Throw my husband a surprise birthday party (he's never had a birthday party in his entire life!)
  15. Iron a week ahead of time for at least one month (December 2007)
  16. Read and complete all assignments in Fascinating Womanhood
  17. Play pool with hubby ( 7-12-07 - He beat me!!!)
  18. Personal thing between my hubby and myself. No snickering, please!
  19. Take the family to visit a historical site
  20. Take the kids to the Dead Sea
  21. Do a Bible study with my daughter (ok, not a Bible study per se, but we are working our way through Beautiful Girlhood)
  22. Get in the routine of having a fancy Sabbath dinner each week
  23. Take my kids somewhere fun just for the heck of it (8/5/06)
  24. Have a family picnic (7/15/06)
  25. Teach my daughter to cook 14 meals well (she's learned 5 so far)
  26. Cull the bookshelves to make more free space (12/4/06)
  27. Paint the kids' bathrom a pretty color (10/9/06)
  28. Keep the van clean for one month (8/15/06)
  29. Organize the linen closets (12/5/06) and yet it needs done again!
  30. Take a one week Internet vacation
  31. Go through the house ruthlessly and get rid of excess stuff (12/1/06 and ongoing)
  32. Rip all my cd's (03/05/07)
  33. Do all the filing that has been piling up (9/29/06)
  34. Make a household inventory for insurance purposes (1/30/08)
  35. Sort jewelry box and get rid of items I'll never wear (7/26/06)
  36. Find a workable system for organizing the home (December 2007 - Finally, a place for everything and everything in its place!!!)
  37. Use the crockpot once a week (no date as this is a process)
  38. Save $1000 for my personal discretionary emergency fund
  39. Have enough in the pantry that I could skip grocery shopping for two weeks
  40. Pay off all debt except for the house
  41. Have a mega garage sale to get rid of stuff (12/06/06)
  42. Figure out the Prepaid college fund account and get up to date (7/24/06)
  43. Get driver's license corrected (5/20/07)
  44. Use up all the lotions, cosmetics, etc. before buying more (December 2007)
  45. Get highlights (March 2008)
  46. Grow a vegetable garden (August 2007)
  47. Learn Arabic through Rosetta Stone
  48. Take a seminary class I find interesting (Won't be able to do this now due to move)
  49. Take a homemaking class (07/07))
  50. Start a blog (6/11/07)
  51. Learn to make kanaffe, an Arabic dessert (1/1/07)
  52. Learn to make movies on the computer (10/11/07 - Thanks, Emily!!)
  53. Read a classic book every couple of months (have read 6 so far)
  54. Learn a new recipe each month
  55. Take advantage of the free museum nights here in town
  56. Learn how to make P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps (6/14/07 - They were yummy!)
  57. Make bread from scratch (September 24, 2007 - Yum!)
  58. Make pizza from scratch (May 2008)
  59. See a Broadway show
  60. Get a Wii (great for those hot days in Qatari summers - at least we'll be up and about rather than lying on the couch) (March 2008)
  61. Go to a concert (September 11, 2007)
  62. Host a fancy dinner party (August 17, 2007)
  63. Get all the fish in Animal Crossing (7/13/06 - see how lame I am?)
  64. Go to a U-pic for strawberries and tomatoes (1/17/08 - oh my gosh - Delish!!)
  65. See Shakespeare in the park (7/15/06)
  66. Take kids to a drive-in movie
  67. Fall asleep on a blanket in the backyard
  68. Visit the Burj Al-Arab
  69. Go for a walk in the rain (March 2008)
  70. Donate blood twice a year
  71. Watch a meteor shower (August 28, 2007)
  72. Get my weight down to 140
  73. Drink only water for one week (October 9, 2007)
  74. Walk 30 minutes a day
  75. Get my eating under control
  76. Find a form of exercise I really enjoy (6/12/07 - swimming!!)
  77. See a dermatologist about rosacea (9/28/06)
  78. Take vitamins daily
  79. Floss every day for at least a month
  80. Try a fruit I've never tried before (12/22/06 - papaya and carambola)
  81. Go to bed by 10 pm for a month
  82. Don't eat after 8 pm for a month
  83. Feel better at 40 than I did at 30
  84. Find a doctor I like
  85. Try edamame (1/13/07)
  86. Spend a day at the spa (pedicure, manicure, massage and facial)
  87. Buy some nice new pj's - not to fancy or to sloppy looking (9/30/06)
  88. Get a good tan (please no lectures!)
  89. Start wearing shoes in the house
  90. Get braces
  91. Get teeth professionally whitened
  92. Go shopping at Ann Taylor
  93. Do a full skin-care routine for a month
  94. Find a good red lipstick
  95. Be able to tuck in my shirt and like the way I look
  96. Grow my hair long (10/1/06)
  97. Find a great brown leather purse (7/21/06)
  98. Move out of South Florida (March 26, 2008!!!)
  99. Send out Christmas cards in early December
  100. Stop interrupting people (much improvement here, but not completely under control)
  101. Make a new 101 list when this one is completed

Menu Plan Monday - Christmas Eve Edition!!



MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!



I'm so thrilled that Christmas is finally here and that our family is able to be together for this special time. Since it's just the four of us this year (for the first time in forever!) and it will probably be just us for a while due to our move, I started thinking about what kind of traditions I'd like our family to have of our own.

For Christmas eve, we always go to the candlelight service at church. This year, Daniel will be playing a shepherd in the nativity pageant, so we are especially looking forward to it. The candlelight service is one of the most special times of the year to me. It is just so significant how one light, representing the light of Christ, soon spreads and brings light and joy to the entire congregation. Let this be a reminder to all of us to be bearers of Christ's light to the world.

Another tradition I've been establishing is that I always give my kids a new game on Christmas Eve. Then, after dinner, we can play together before bed. This year, the game I've chosen is Apples to Apples. We played this with our small group a few months ago and had such a great time! I really think my kids will be thrilled to get it.

Here's our menu for the week. Since we are counting down the days until Hubby leaves, there are a couple of no-cooking days that we'll probably go out - WHOO-HOO!!

Monday
Fondue with beef, shrimp and chicken, served with a selection of dipping sauces
Chocolate fondue with marshmallows, apple, pineapple, pound cake

Tuesday
Cinnamon and Orange Rolls for breakfast
Roast turkey breast, Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing, caramelized onion mashed potatoes, corn, broccoli salad, devilled eggs, dinner rolls, birthday cake for Jesus as dessert

Wednesday
Grilled chicken, dirty rice and chopped salad
Thursday
Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo served over rice

Friday – I think we’ll go out to celebrate Hubby’s last day of work

Saturday – Hubby and I have a date to go out one last time before he leaves; I’d like to go to Gloria Estafan’s restaurant, Bongo’s.


Sunday
– Some friends are hosting a goodbye party for Hubby (well, for all of us, even though it’s just Hubby leaving at this point)


Next week I'll be preparing all of Hubby's favorites so be sure to check back for those.

As always, thanks to Laura at the Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday!!
Friday, December 21, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

Well, having clicked my heels and headed home to Hubby, I have to say that there truly is no place like home. While we had a great time visiting our family in Arizona, I think we are all glad to be back in our natural habitat.

You know. The ones with mountains of laundry to conquer. Or am I the only one who spends days doing laundry after a vacation?

I have to give Hubby his props though. He's a better housekeeper than me. This house was spotless when we got home. Things I had given up on getting brand-new looking looked brand new again. That's what happens when a perfectionist takes on a job. Whoo-hoo for Hubby's mental issues!!

Of course, it's much easier to keep a house clean when there's only one of you and you are gone 10-12 hours a day, I suppose. Unfortunately he was greeted with the normal chaos of family life when he got home yesterday: piles of laundry to be washed, piles of laundry to be folded and/or put away, dishes in the kitchen, wet towels on the floor of the kids' bathroom, crumbs on the table, make up and other "womanly" things on the bathroom counter. It was probably enough to drive him crazy.

But I bet he loved it!
Thursday, December 13, 2007

Random Christmas Hoopla!!

Ok, this is specifically not a meme. It's a HOOPLA. Got it?

Now that we have that settled, Tammi has tagged me for this fun idea wherein I have to share 12 random things about myself that are Christmas related. Here are the rules:

1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.

Ok, here goes!!
  1. I'm one of those horrible people who don't send Christmas cards. About three years ago, I decided to stop beating myself up about it. Every year I plan to, then keep putting it off and eventually have to accept that it's just not going to happen. :::sigh:::
  2. I LOVE Christmas music!! Especially classic stuff. Each year I allow myself to buy one new Christmas cd. This year, it was the Chipmunk's Christmas album. Last year, I picked up a great one - Christmas with the Rat Pack. I love it!! Another favorite one is Dixieland Christmas, an instrumental cd by that makes me feel like I'm walking down the street in New Orleans.
  3. Best Christmas? I'd probably have to say the ones when I was a kid and we'd drive to Grandma's house. All the cousins would be there and we'd go sledding and play with all of our new toys together. It was just like magic.
  4. Worst Christmas? Sadly, probably last year. My in-laws were visiting and we decided to go to DisneyWorld for a few days right before Christmas. It was crowded and it rained almost the whole time we were there. Plus my in-laws are elderly and just weren't that into it, so my kids were disappointed with the trip as we took it pretty slow and didn't see much. Then we decided to spend an extra day (????) and returned home about 6 pm on Christmas eve. We were so tired and cranky we didn't even go to the Christmas eve service at church. I was upset about that and it just basically stunk all around.
  5. When I was a teenager, I was THE WORST about snooping into Christmas presents! What I would do is carefully unwrap one side of the present, slide it out to peek at it, and the slide it back into the wrapping, carefully re-taping that one side. Well, one year, the gift was a gold bracelet. I decided to take the bracelet out and re-wrap just the box. That way I could wear it up to Christmas even, when I would have to put it back in the box. That was the plan. Unfortunately, one night when I was skating, I started having severe abdominal pains. I slipped the bracelet off on my way home and put it in my purse. Mom ended up taking me to the ER, where I foolishly (probably because the doctor was cute) asked her to retrieve my hairbrush from my purse...where she promptly found the bracelet!! BUSTED!!!!
  6. I love kiddie Christmas programs. My favorite is "The Year Without a Santa Claus." I totally love the two brothers, Mr. Hot and Mr. Cold, that battle it out. They kind of creeped me out when I was a kid, but in a fascinating way, ya know?
  7. This year, there is really nothing that I want for Christmas. I feel so satisfied with our recent decluttering efforts that I hate to start bringing things back into the house.
  8. My favorite Christmas song is "O Holy Night." And in that song, my favorite line is, "Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth."
  9. I hate eggnog.
  10. But I love hot chocolate. My perfect Christmas moment would include a dark house, lit only by the Christmas tree lights, Christmas music playing softly in the background, two mugs of hot chocolate and snuggling up with Hubby.
  11. It's just not Christmas unless I watch "It's a Wonderful Life."
  12. Every year on Christmas night, Hubby and I take our children driving around looking at Christmas lights. There's one house in our area that is always on our list.

So that's it for me. I'm tagging Mylinda, Amy, Leeann, Ice Cream Diary, Stacey, and Tracy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Climbing out of my pit

Y'all, I just have to say how much I love Beth Moore. I want to be her next-door neighbor and go over and have coffee with her every morning. Well, maybe hot chocolate or something since I don't drink coffee, but whatever it would take to get my foot in her door.

I am reading her book, Get Out of That Pit!, and I am being so blessed by it. It's truly amazing. My personal pit is the shame of overeating and the resulting obesity that comes with that. It's a sin that you really don't get to hide. Most other things you can put on a happy face and pretend like everything is ok, but when you are as big as me, everyone knows the minute you walk into a room what your biggest struggle is.

Beth talked in the book about the three ways we find ourselves in pits - we get pushed in, we let ourselves slip in, or we jump in feet first. I definitely allowed myself to slip into this sinful behavior. That's the worst thing - to know that your own carelessness and ignorance got you into the pit in the first place. There's no one else to blame, no one else to accuse.

And boy, does Satan use that against me. I feel like such a failure. That makes me feel worse, which makes me feel hopeless, which makes me not even want to try.

But Beth pointed out to me that NO ONE who is in Christ is ever hopeless, no matter how much Satan tries to convince us otherwise. Christ did not redeem us only to allow us to live in the pits of our own misery and in our own chains! He offers freedom!!

I'm not even half-way through the book, but I just had to share how liberating that was for me to read. I felt, for the first time in a long time, that there is hope for me to get out of this mess I'm in. That I don't have to spend my life hating myself for my weaknesses.

If you have something you have been struggling with - an eating disorder, bitterness, sin issues, etc., please first know that God CAN set you free. Then pick up a copy of Beth's book and we can learn how to climb out of our pits together.

"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him."
Psalm 40: 1-3
Sunday, December 9, 2007

Thinking too much about stuff

So last night as I was driving back to my folks' house from the grocery store, I started thinking.

Which is never a good thing.

I was thinking that we are coming back into town on the 19th and that my husband will be leaving on the 3rd of January.

That's just two short weeks together before we are separated for two to three months.

And I started bawling in the car. I mean, I have never been home without my husband for more than a day or two. I've gone off and visited my parents. I've gone off and visited his parents. I've gone to ladies' retreats. But he has never gone away for more than two nights and those were camping with the kids.

And I did not like those nights. As I would go about my business at night, the wall of French doors all along the back of my house made me feel like I was open to the world. Who knew what could be lurking out there? I would get into bed, feeling nervous and vulnerable. Hubby just makes me feel safe.

And now it will be for nights on end. I am so thankful that I have an all-powerful God who I know will take care of me and my children. I'm thankful that I have good friends who will be there to help with our needs.

And while I'm sure (as many of my friends say) that there might be some enjoyment in the fact that I won't have to iron or cook or do any of the myriad of tasks that come with having a husband, it won't make up for the loneliness. The minute he gets home from work is usually the best minute of the day. I greet him at the door and he wraps me in his arms and I feel so...satisfied.

It's going to be a long, long separation.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cool? Oh, baby, you betcha!

So, I'm in my hometown. The place I grew up. Memories run deep here. Everywhere we go, I tell my kids (only to see two sets of rolling eyes), "That's where we used to stop for ice cream on the way home from school." Or, "This is where I used to hang out with my friend, Nancy." Little snippets of my life.

But there is one place that defined my life here in Tucson more than any other. The skating rink.

Yes, a true child of the 80's, I spent much of my teenager-hood at the skate rink. Every Monday, Friday and Saturday for several years in a row. This is where I met my first "love." Where I first had my heart broken. The drama?...well, let's just say that a soap opera had nothin' on Skate Country.

And I returned triumphantly Sunday night. Now, I had along my mother, my two children and my two oldest nieces. So I wasn't exactly Ms. Thang, strutting in with my tight jeans (well, ok, they were tight, but not for the reason you want them to be), my cut-off t-shirt, and my eyes looking out for a cute guy.

No, my eyes were looking out for 5 little heads. Yes, 5. My mother was the biggest worry at all because she decided to skate. She thinks she can do stuff. But she can't. She's always falling off a pogo stick or a trampoline or a ATV. She can't be trusted. But she wanted to skate. Of course, she feel before she hit the 3rd corner or the rink. :::sigh::: This was not doing much for my image.

But there it was. The counter where I stood and flirted with boys. The snack bar that was the hub of all group activity. The benches that were the hub of all, ahem, couple activity. The floor where I skated away all my teenage angst. It was like coming home.

It had been over 20 years since I skated on that floor. 20 years since I glided around the rink, thinking about all that had gone on there. Oh, I've skated other places. But there's no place like the first place.

Sadly, most of my memories from Skate Country are of boys and my various relationships with them and of girls and how they impact my relationships with the boys. Lots of my thoughts Sunday night were of how wasted that time was.

But then they played some of my 80's music. And I was magically transported back to my youth. I felt free and young again. Cool, as I made the turns with crossovers, rather than just stumbling through and as I swerved in and out through the people around me. YES, I AM STILL MS. THANG!

And then one of my kids, nieces, or mom banged into me and asked me for money.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Oh, and on a side note, Daniel was in my mom's room yesterday, looking at a picture of my dad from his service days. He asked who it was and my mom told him it was Papa. When Daniel didn't believe her, she reminded him that Papa was only 20 years old in that picture. Daniel was quiet for a moment and then said, "Well, a lot can sure happen in 40 years!" LOL!!!!! Yep, bud, it sure can!

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