Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This and that

Finally, a moment to breathe.



First, I want to thank 'Nise for participating in the bloggy carnival giveaway. She is blessing me with some much needed chocolate. So, thank you, 'Nise! My family thanks you. The dogs thank you. We all want me to have some chocolate. (and those who might not want me to be having some chocolate are wisely keeping their mouth shut.)




Second, I am sure ya'll are just dying to know who won the Derby Festival Great Balloon Race. You'll be happy to know that it was the "udder delight" balloon. I wonder where they came up with that name?

As an interesting piece of trivia, did you know that the energizer bunny balloon is 15 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty?






Now, on to the Great Bed Race. The winner of that race was Ford Motors again. I hear that they actually hold tryouts for bed race positions and that they actually practice all year round. Anyway, they made it round the track in like 24 seconds or something like that.



This is not the winning team but I did like their super costumes.




Today's big Derby event is the Great (why do all these things start with "great"?) Steamboat race.
The event actually kicked off with a calliope contest down on the riverfront. How many people can actually say that they have been to a calliope contest? Then, the Belle of Louisville and the Delta Queen "race" down the Ohio River to Six Mile Island, turn around, and race back up again. It takes about an hour and a half to cover the fourteen mile distance. This has been a derby tradition since 1963. As a historical note, the Belle was built in 1914 and the Delta Queen in 1924. This may be the last race for the Delta Queen if she cannot get an extension on her exemption for fire codes or something like that. Last year's race ended in a controversial decision because the Queen actually won the race but the judges awarded the trophy to the Belle because she was carrying more passengers. (There are rumors that the race outcome is predetermined but no one has ever proven it. The Queen has a more powerful engine but the Belle has managed to win more times. Go figure.)And what is the prize for winning the race you might ask?


And you may still be asking what the prize is. Well, these are the beloved "golden antlers." The winning steamboat gets to keep possession of them during the year. If the Delta Queen loses it's exemption, rumor has it that the antlers will be retired permanently.



Tomorrow's exciting event is the Derby Festival Parade with this man serving as grand Marshall.


After that, I think they'll finally get down to some horse racing. We'll see. The favorite at the moment is Big Brown. (who is being sponsored by UPS, oddly enough.)

(Just a tip, most derby favorites don't win. He is pretty though.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Prayer requests



I have two requests this morning if you have a moment to lift them up in prayer.

The Boy has a friend who is having surgery this morning to repair injuries he suffered in an accident. There are also some other issues here and he desparately needs prayer.

Also, Jessi's fiance' has an interview today for an apprenticeship. Her mother is excited because this job is here as opposed to Florida or some other state that is not here. However, her mother realizes that it's not about her will, but the Father's.

Thank you, my friends. You truly do bless me in more ways than you realize.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cover to cover



Have you not loved reading through the Psalms? Hearing David cry out for the Lord's protection, exalting Him, and glorifying Him? I found so many treasures this week.
Lord, You light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.
Psalm 18:28
Be gracious to me, God, for man tramples me, he fights and oppresses me all day long.
Psalm 56:1
This I know; God is for me.
Psalm 56:9
Yet He was compassionate; He atoned for their guilt and did not destroy them. He often turned His anger aside and did not unleash all His wrath. He remembered that they were only flesh, a wind that passes and does not return.
Psalm 78:38-39
As I was reading on Tuesday, these words stopped me in my tracks:
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness. He repaid me according to the cleanness of my hands.
2 Samuel 22:21
I want to be as sure as David is that God would find some cleanness and righteousness in me to reward and repay.
My HCS student Bible has a commentary on Saul and David:
The text of Samuel encourages us to contemplate the figures of Saul and David in the light of one another so we can understand how to respond to God. The careers of Saul and David exhibit many parallels...By no means do these parallels suggest that Saul and David are equals. To the contrary, they serve to pinpoint exactly what makes David far superior to Saul. It is not a matter of human talent; both were gifted men. It is not a matter of personal virtue; both men sinned. It has everything to do with their relationship to God. David took confidence in the Lord's annointing, and he accepted the Lord's mercy, while Saul never really put his trust in God. Look at the way each of them reacts to his sin, and you will find a key to the underlying difference in their make-up. ---Michael Duggan p. 361
I want to remember to put my trust where it belongs, in God. And I want to remember what happens when I don't.
As I was finishing up this week's readings, I came across this one sentence. I think this might make the perfect reminder for me in the days ahead. May it be a reminder to you as well.
the One who has redeemed my life from every distress.
2 Samuel 4:9
What better promise to cling to during difficult days.....
Please take a moment to join Annette, Bev, Ang and 'Nise on this journey. You will be blessed.

Sunday Scripture

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
Ephesians 5:15-17

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Derby Festival part 3

I know you balloon enthusiasts will be disappointed to hear that the race has been postponed. Last word was that they will try to get off the ground at 5:30. (The weather has been most uncooperative this morning. Light rain and a little windy.) So I thought I would offer up a picture from the great rush hour balloon race from yesterday.

I particularly enjoy how the energizer bunny appears to be about to crush several unsuspecting port-a-potties. Perhaps he was irritated at not being chosen to be the "hare" balloon.

On an unrelated note, did you know that an alternate for port-a-potty in spell check is potato? That's just gross.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Derby Festival Part 2



I have lived in the Derby City most of my life. Until this week, I was not aware that horse racing and hot air balloons were so closely linked together. There are five (count them, 5) hot air balloon events in three days. Silly me, I was thinking that the Derby Festival revolved around the horse race, not the balloon race. Last night there was a "balloon glimmer."








This morning there was a "rush hour race" complete with traffic accidents as the balloons raced over the interstates during rush hour traffic. (Yes, I too question the wisdom of this event, but who are we to stand in the way of derby hype?) Tonight is the "balloon glow" which differs from the "balloon glimmer" in some way that is totally confusing to me. According to official propaganda, a "glimmer" is a "mini-glow." (The real difference appears to be about 54,500 fans. I'd go with the glimmer.) Then tomorrow is the US Bank Derby Festival Great Hot Air Balloon Race. No helium balloon racing allowed. Weather conditions at this point do not appear to be too favorable for this event. Anyhow, all the balloons follow a "hare" balloon across the city and try to drop a bag of Kentucky bluegrass seed on the "X" that the hare balloon sets out. There have been many years where the balloons fly right over our house. I'll be waiting with my camera in case that happens. There is some other balloon event this weekend as well but I think I'm about out of "hot air." (That one's for you, MJ, queen of puns. That's the only one I'm doing.)



There is one other event on Monday that is worthy of note. That is the Stockyards Bank Great Bed race. Here is the description featured in the Derby Festival Event Guide:



A variety of decked-out beds will take to the track at Broadbent Arena competing for the fastest times on Monday, April 28. The five-person teams dress in wild and crazy costumes to compete in this wacky task. No sleeping allowed! Thousands of bed-racing enthusiasts gather to cheer their favorite beds.
In 2007, 38 teams pushed decorated beds on wheels around the “track,” competing for the fastest times and best decorations. The U.A.W./Ford Louisville Assembly Plant #1 and the Curtain Call Photo Booth teams’ creativity and speed dominated the “Champions” and “Fun” divisions. A crowd of more 4,000 fans came to cheer on their favorite beds at Broadbent Arena. The theme of the 2007 Bed Races was “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and featured tributes to characters from the popular movie. The Champions Division showcased some of the event’s most veteran competitors and the Dormitory area at the venue was once again a big hit with pre-race tailgating and practice runs. The races featured some of the toughest competition yet, and included flat tires, tumbling runners and mattresses falling through bed frames.


Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words. Kind of makes you wish you were here, huh?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

fear not...

In case you've ever worried that perhaps someday my literary idiosyncrasies might be lost to future generations, fear not.

For tonight I have seen that the apple truly does not fall far from the tree.

The topic of The Boy's Spanish blog this evening is "Why we should use bears in the military." I am sure that it is a fascinating piece of literary excellence. However, I cannot read Spanish. He did mutter something about Yogi and Boo Boo though. Perhaps I'll have his Spanish teacher translate for me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

So I want to know what you think

about dandelions. I kind of like them when they are in their flowering stage. They are happy little yellow flowers. They look sunny and springish all nestled into the grass.

I don't even mind them when they look like this. Kind of like a fuzzy puppy or a bad hair day. I always liked to blow them across the yard but my mom would get mad.

However, I cannot stand them when they look like this. They make me twitchy. My skin actually crawls when I drive past yards that have an abundance of these little critters. Kind of like I get all twitchy when I peel back the top of a pancake and look inside at all the little holes. It makes me shiver just to think about it. (and if you've never looked inside a pancake, don't. Otherwise, you'll never look at them the same way again.)

So, how about you? Do you like dandelions? Do you see them as beautiful flowers or ugly weeds? Or do you even see them at all? I want to know.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

hmmm...

Do you ever wonder what on earth is in all those little containers in the refrigerator? I mean, honest to Pete, I'm fairly certain that I didn't put all of those in there. And I'm a little afraid to open them and see exactly what they contain. I suspect that I will spend my morning, exploring/cleaning the refrigerator. Because I like a challenge.

Life seems to be fairly calm at the moment.

I finally found a new swimsuit (for those of you who couldn't sleep at night, worrying over whether or not I ever would.) to go along with the eight extra pounds that I picked up during my winter hibernation. Perhaps now I should begin the quest to find new workout clothes to help me shed said pounds. (I wonder if fretting over extra poundage causes one to burn calories?)

The family seems to be reasonably healthy for today. (Of course, most of the family is still asleep, but I've decided that they are healthy. Think positive!)

Cinderella is getting ready to finish up her semester. I'm not sure how many papers/finals she has left, but surely it's less than last week. The Boy is grounded due to a lack of academic excellence. And excessive phone chatting. And video gaming. And every time I hear the words, "I'm bored" leaving his precious little lips, I have a wonderful excursion planned. Like perhaps, cleaning out the refrigerator. Or, even better, emptying all those little bowls. Surely no one could be bored while playing, "name what food that used to be." I'm thinking he'll be cured of his boredom in no time flat. And perhaps his geometry grade will improve as well. Hmmm...maybe we can find the circumference of the large brown thing in that bowl. Cause I'm all about that constant learning thing.

The 64 tropical plants are slowly making their way outside now that spring has sprung in Kentuckiana. Most are not currently happy with their climate change. They, like us, will adjust though. (They will probably be thrilled to know that no more dog bones will be buried in their dirt until next fall.)

In other words, life is pretty much normal around our house. I hope it's the same at yours. May your day be filled with adventure. I'm off to conquer the refrigerator.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cover to Cover





This week's reading has revealed my son's new favorite verse. He has decided that he wants this posted in his room:


Do I have such a shortage of crazy people that you brought this one to act crazy around me? 1 Samuel 21:15

I love the Psalms. They are full of beauty and encouragement. I could probably list every single one of them as they each spoke to me in some way. However, here are a few that I am going to tuck away in my heart.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

When I seek Him, He will deliver me.

But I have trusted in Your faithful love, my heart will rejoice in your deliverance. Psalm 13:5

If I but trust, my heart will rejoice.

Guard me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:5

What comfort there is in knowing that I am the apple of his eye.

When I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence. Psalm 17:15

Oh Lord, how I want to seek my satisfaction from only You.

I was given over to you at birth. You have been my God from my mother's womb. Psalm 22:10

To know that I have belonged to You since before I was born. As an adopted child, there is comfort in knowing that He knew me and claimed me.


And then there is this convicting little gem:

Here is the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, taking refuge in his destructive behavior. Psalm 52:8

Oh Father, please help me to not be like this man. To not cling to my possessions and strongholds. May I only find refuge in You.

And finally:

He granted their request because they trusted in Him. 1 Chronicles 5:20b

May you trust in Him today.

To see others who speak with true poetry and conviction, check out what Annette, Bev, and Ang have to say.

We are your people, crying out in desperation

Hear us from Heaven

I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:4

Friday, April 18, 2008

a whole lot of shaking going on

Update for earthquake Nancy. (Hurricanes get names, why shouldn't earthquakes?)
I forgot to mention that the earthquake shook our parrots off their perches. Which set the dogs to barking. So I am guessing that parrots are not fans of earthquakes. The dogs, however, may be since they like to bark.


Well, forevermore. (I sound just like my grandmother.) There's nothing like waking up to a little earthquake. Surprise! I woke up thinking, "that's an earthquake!" (Not that they are regular occurrences around here. For all I know, it could have been Godzilla walking through my backyard.) Apparently we have some damage to a couple of buildings and a water main or two, but other than that, we are all fine. Or at least as fine as we were when we went to bed. Starting the morning off with a bang here....

Here's hoping your morning is just as exciting (but without the damage!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

a prayer request

Most of you know that I have a teenaged son. He recently turned sixteen and is a sophmore at a christian school here. On Wednesdays, he has chapel with special speakers and so forth.

If you have a moment this day, would you mind lifting my son and his classmates up in your prayers?

I have so many concerns about the direction that his generation is turning, even with a "christian" education. I would ask that God tender Jonathan's heart and open his ears to His calling. That each one of them would have an obedient heart and a desire to serve God and not man. That our Father would give today's speaker the words and wisdom to touch each and every heart in that chapel.

Thank you from the bottom of this mother's heart. I so appreciate each and every one of you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

cover to cover


Ummm....if you're looking for my cover to cover post, it's here.
Waiting for daddy...


We were expecting a frost last night (which we got) so I cut all the flowers that were blooming. Oscar seems fascinated...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cover to Cover


I realize I am a little late with this. All I can say is that I have butterflies for brains these days. (Must be spring in the air!) Anyway, if you are looking for a deeper insight than what you'll find here, check out Annette, Bev, Ang and 'Nise. Here goes...

Why harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened theirs? When He afflicted them, didn't they send Israel away, and Israel left? 1 Samuel 6:6

This was a statement the priests and diviners made when they were asked what the Philistines should do with the ark. The first thing that struck me about this statement was that obviously the pagan priests knew who God was and what He could do. So I wondered why they chose not to believe in the one true God when they understood His power. It seemed to me that there was a wealth of wisdom in their statements but a wealth of ignorance in their actions. And it hit me that I am no different. I know who He is and what He wants of me, yet I still chase my idols. And He keeps getting my attention. Thank you, Lord!

May He keep getting your attention as well.




Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thunder!

This is what went on downtown last night. It's the official kickoff for the Kentucky Derby Festival. The clip is a little over six minutes but the actual show lasts about thirty. Too cool!

Welcome to Louisville!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

the swimsuit chronicles part one

I must confess that I did not go swimsuit shopping Friday night. I "mysteriously" acquired a headache that prevented me from all travel. Alas, I was unable to mysteriously (and convincingly) acquire any ailment this evening.

Prior to embarking on our lovely adventure, Josh took me out to eat. It's always better to have one's fluffiness fully "fluffed" out when one is going to be trying on a swimsuit. After all, we want to make sure that we are getting the right size. One that covers all "size" fluctuations.

After much stalling and much eating, we finally arrived at swimsuit purgatory. Obviously, with it being late in the swimsuit season, there were not a lot of choices to choose from. I found two styles that I thought I could live with and headed back to the dressing room. (I must confess at this point that for some twisted reason, I felt compelled to keep my hiking boots on while I tried on said swimwear. Always the fashion queen, that's me. And don't ask why I was wearing hiking boots. I came straight from work.)

Anyway, I discovered the first problem almost immediately. Some evil, sick person had mixed the junior and women's sizes together. Can I just say that LG for juniors does NOT mean the same as LG for women. Perhaps if said woman wanted a hanky or a sock or something. But definitely not to cover every square inch of ones person. So selection number one was out. Because I was never really in it. Parts of me were. But definitely not all of me.

So I tried on selection number two. The bottom half looked lovely if I do say so myself. (even with hiking boots.) The top, however...um...I guess I never realized I had so much...cleavage. Perhaps the top came with some extra. I don't know.

For some strange reason, I happened to have my digital camera in my purse, so after much twisting about, (no, I am not posting the picture.) I snapped a picture of the top part to show to Josh. Because I don't really trust my judgement about such things. (hiking boots with a swimsuit. need I say more?) He agreed that it was a little too revealing. The aforementioned picture has now been deleted. Thank goodness.

So, we went off to buy some cinnabons. Nothing like drowning your swimsuit miseries in a few pounds of sugar. I'll worry about swimsuits another day. Like maybe next winter. After I've shed a few pounds. (I don't think I'll get away with waiting that long. After all, I have a date with a beach in my future. So I suppose I will have to try again. And again. And again.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Oh my!

As I sit here and eat my bowl of peanut butter ice cream, I have been informed that apparently I am going swim suit shopping this evening. Oh joy. (notice there is no exclamation mark after that statement. Why do you think that is?) I can think of nothing I would like better than to try and squeeze my fluffy self into some spandex device that is meant to torture me and send everyone else into hysterical fits of the giggles.

Not to mention that I am as white as milk. (Of course, milk and cookies go well together. Maybe I'll go find some cookies.) Do they make spandex torture devices in some color that compliments milk? Preferably knee length. with long sleeves. and a high neck. oh, and with some kind of special body armor that keeps sagging parts from...sagging.

Hmmm...maybe we can stop and pick up some Outback cheese fries on the way home. After all, I'm fairly certain I will need some comfort food to help me deal with the trauma. If so, maybe it won't be such a bad trip after all!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A tale of two...tales?

I heard the same story from two different people over a period of twenty four hours. It was the same story, yet the reaction of the two were completely different.

This is story A:
It all started when someone came into the store where we work. This person found the items that she needed and was at the checkout. During the checkout process, the COT was making conversation, offering the little booklets we have up front and generally having a good time. Another associate (we'll call her "H") was observing and contributing to the conversation as well. Apparently, this customer was a hoot. She was making little sarcastic comments about the various authors of the booklets and our associates were enjoying the show. From what I can tell, our associates may have offered a little sarcasm of their own. Then, said customer remembered that she needed something else and went to get it. When she came back, a different associate was there to ring her up. When he (we'll call him "T") offered her the same little booklets, she offered the same sarcastic remarks. "H" was still up at the counter and offered some explanation to "T" about the previous conversation and so forth. Said hooting customer left and life went back to normal. "H" later came and told me what had happened so that I could find it funny too.

Fast forward to the next morning during prayer/devotion time.

This is story B:
During the course of conversation, "T" mentions a customer that had been in the previous day. "T" said that he had offered a little booklet to her and she said, "Oh, I don't like so and so. They've had a facelift." Well, "T" stood there for a minute and then offered another author to which she responds, "oh, I don't like them either. I wouldn't have anything of theirs in my house." Being as we are taught to be nonconfrontational, "T" drops the subject and finishes the transaction. But he is concerned over this person's attitude and lifts her up in prayer.

As I sat and played both conversations back through my head, I had to stop and think. How many times have I made some stupid, sarcastic comment?

And even though the person that I was talking to "got it", how many other people who might have overheard, didn't get it?

How many times do my thoughtless words damage my witness?

All because I'm trying to be funny?

Where should we draw the line?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Because I like to share

We finished inventory! (and all God's children said "Amen.") This year we counted close to 107,000 items. That's about 10,000 more than last year. I personally worked 33 hours during those three days. Which really isn't so bad. As far as I know, we had no real glitches. Everything seemed to go smoothly. I took some pictures so I could remember this momentous occasion. (Not that I am likely to forget. But I am getting older. Hmphf. I actually typed odder as opposed to older. I suspect that both might be true.)



Anyway, this is the back room. The rule of inventory is that you can start early (before 9pm on Saturday night) and count anything that a customer cannot reach. So, we stuff as many things into the back room as humanly possible and count away. I was mildly concerned that we might have lost an employee back behind all of this but I figured they could get out when we put the store back together on Monday. Oh wait, what's this we stuff? I am off today! So when everyone else puts the store back together. We crafty inventory people make sure to drag back all the itty bitty collections of things that take enormous amounts of time. Things like jewelry or pass it on cards or novelties or bumper stickers. We forgot the highlighers though. Sorry, Byron.



This is the middle room. See all the boxes? Those mostly contain VBS. Which came on the truck this week. The truck we weren't supposed to get. They promised we wouldn't get this truck. But we aren't going to talk about that. Because it's all behind us now.



This is MJ's magical cart. I made the signs. Because I am crafty like that. MJ is the coordinator of trouble. (I think I'll have to make her a name tag that says that.) She is responsible for doing something with all the items that no one else can figure out what to do with. It's an ugly job but somebody's got to do it. So I nominated her. Because she can handle me most of the time and we all know how much trouble I can be. (No, MJ, I would prefer that you not comment on that statement. No matter how much you want to.)


And this? This blooming extravaganza was waiting for me when I got home. This is Mabel. Mabel the tree. He's a boy tree. Josh got him for me one year after I had surgery on my hand. He (Josh, not the tree) brought me home, still drugged up, and showed him to me. In my anesthesized state, I declared him to be "Mabel the boy tree." (the tree, not Josh.) And so he (both Josh and the tree) has been ever since.








Friday, April 4, 2008

1...2...3...4...

Well, it's the happiest weekend of the year over here in my part of the world. It's inventory weekend! I just finished the first thirteen hour day. (after very little sleep the night before. We had another thunderstorm. Ivan did fine. It was Diego who spazzed out the entire night, running from room to room, getting under the bed, getting out from under the bed, clawing at the door, sticking his cold nose in an unsuspecting person's face, jumping on said unsuspecting person-who really should have been expecting it at this point--crying, digging through the towels in the laundry basket to make a nest, and then repeating the process for seven whole hours.) Tomorrow will be another thirteen hour day and then if I'm lucky, Sunday will just be six hours or so. But I love inventory! I'm not sure why. I'm not a math fan nor am I obsessively organized. Maybe it's because there's a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Or maybe I'm just a bit odd.



I have worked at this store since Cinderella was six weeks old. I have done plenty of inventories there. I was remembering back to when I would have to leave my children overnight at my mother-in-laws because the hours were so late and so long. The kids would always be so sad to have mommy and daddy gone overnight. (Josh works every inventory with me. What a guy!) I sometimes think they thought we were having a party and they couldn't come. Last year my daughter worked inventory with me. This year, my mother-in-law joined the crew as well. Next year, The Boy will be old enough to sign up. It's turning into a real family affair! (you're more than welcome to come along too! It's fun. Really, it is. I promise.)



All this to say, I will probably be silent for a few days. Or I will be so hyped up on caffiene or so sleep deprived that I will post utter nonsense seventy two times a day. Because seventy two is a good number. So I haven't really fallen off the face of the earth. I'm just stuck in the store, counting and counting and counting. (last year we counted over 97,000 items. I bet we have more stuff this year!)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Look at what my poor sick baby girl brought home for me tonight! Is it okay to say that I am tickled "pink"? (She and her mama would appreciate prayers for her recovery. It's a busy time for her and she doesn't have time to be sick.)
And just because I want you to enjoy a slice of life from my house....

I was trying to show the size of Polo the wonder yorkie vs. Oscar the grumpy cat. Oscar outweighs him by twenty pounds or so.


We have plumeria blooming in our kitchen. Because we are strange like that.

This is the sunrise outside our local christian book store the other morning. Makes me glad to be going in to work!

may your day be blessed as well!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My baby...


My baby has a blog. If you get a chance, drop by and say hey. She has a fascinating mind and an interesting turn of phrase.

Spring...

Spring is my favorite time of year.
It's a time of new growth...


A time of great beauty and color...
a time of promise fulfilled...

a time for silliness....


and (unfortunately) a time for this...