Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are There Any Original Songs

I have an uncanny knack for hearing songs in other songs. My daughter has inherited that quirk too. When she was little, she would hear a song on a movie theme and be able to tell you another movie theme that it was just like. I would be sitting in a restaurant that had a dinger for the door to let workers know that someone had walked in. I knew exactly that it was the first note for Oran Juice Jones' song "The Rain."

Weird...I know.

Anyway, so, I was driving down the highway when Kid Rock's newest song "All Summer Long"** starts playing on the radio and think, "Why is this Top 40 station playing 'Werewolves of London'?" Then the words to "Sweet Home Alabama" come belting out of the speakers but in Kid Rock's Voice. Now I am really confused, so I had to go try it out for myself. You can hear the different songs on the playlist (if it is working) above and see if I am correct in my thinking.

The big question of the day is, however, does anyone write anything new anymore? Do artists only sample and smash? Maybe it's just me. I hear artist after artist and say, "He/She sounds just like him/her." After a while a get confused and stop trying to figure out who's who. Yet another reason why I like Peggy's playlist better than creating my own.

**Note: Okay...There are some glitches with the playlist, so I have add links directly to videos of each song in case this happens again. Remember this is KidRock so you may want to only LISTEN to the song, not WATCH the video.

Who Me? Why, Thank You!

I just got this from my cyber friend AVT Coach whom I "met" through another cyberbuddy and blogging guru, Octamom.
Imagine my surprise when I turned on my computer because I woke up at 4 something in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep and was greeted with this gem.

Here are the rules of the game.

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit This Post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

And without further ado ('cuz you know I am all about the Ado)....Five Super Scribbler Awards go to.... Drum roll please!

1. The first award goes to MJ's Sputterings, a mom to two active girls. I particularly like her postings because she, like I, tends to write about her daily adventures. We're not talking hanging from your fingertips , screaming for your life adventures ala Sylvester Stallone's Cliffhanger (though it may feel like it at times.) These are the everyday adventures of the "motherly" kind where at the end of the day, when it is all said and done, you just have to sit back and laugh...or cry...just happy that you made it through. To see what I am talking about exactly, read one of my favorite posts entitled, Help. You will be glad you did.

2. Next on the list is The Saga of Our Home & Our Family written by my fellow Texan Jan. (Yes, Jan, you will always be a Texan no matter where you live NOW,) who began the journey into blogdom out of necessity, but continues to blog because we got our grubby paws on her, and we won't let go. Even though she is relatively new to blogging, who else could make us come back to hear about her nightmarish experiences with a moldy new house and the contractors hired to repair it. To see where it all began, read The Cliff Notes Version of Our Story. Go on, go ahead....I'll still be right here when you get back.
(Cue the Final Jeopardy Music)
Well, was I right or what? It just makes you thankful for the little things.

3. Moving on, to my friend Shan in Japan. That actually is the name of her blog. I have known Shan since she moved to my little home town from South Dakota over 15 years ago (actually longer, but we won't tell.) She came to teach school, but God had bigger and better plans for her as he does for all of us if only we would listen. The best thing about Shan's blog is that while she is sharing about her daily life as a missionary in Japan, you walk away learning just enough about it's culture to make it stick. For example, one post she described four hours singing Karaoke. Most of her lessons are also infused with words for each of us that God wants us to hear like the entry about Movies in Japan. Shan has used this blog not only to keep friends and family updated, but has allowed God to use her as an instrument to show us all the wonderful things that being a missionary can be.

4. The next Super Scribbler goes to I Was Just Thinking. Okay, before all of you start throwing your 97% Fat Free popcorn at your computer screen shouting, "Hey, you can't give yourself an award," stop and check out the title again. This blog is completely different. Can't you see? It doesn't begin with SO. And the differences do not stop there! This blogger is my Democratic counterpart, currently blogging about politics which you know I never discuss. However, when the elections are not in full swing, she also blogs about the everyday things that make you go hmmm. She loves baseball, so NOT me. And when she began her blog way back in 2005 when I had never even heard about blogging, her purpose was to gather information about people's belief systems as seen in her very first blog...What's This All About?

She has since broaden her horizons to let us see a more personal side, a side which makes me say, "I didn't know I had a sister living in California?" I had to laugh when I went through her archives and found an article "In Which I Attempt to Become More Domestic..." which sounded so much like me that I thought for sure I had written it. I just find it interesting that when it all comes down to it, regardless of political or religious beliefs, we all go through the same struggles.

5. Last, but certainly farthest from the least, is my friend Mrs. Peel (a pseudonym.) When her health allows her to, Mrs. Peel entertains us with her Avenging Adventures. I laugh as she describes a musical obsession that is Extremely Wicked. I relate as she describes her tales of single-handedly raising a pre-teenage daughter in Joys of Parenting. Pushing through her physical pain, Mrs. Peel gives us such a personal insight to the ups and downs of tweendom. For this reason I give her my last and coveted Superior Scribbler Award.

SO, that's it. I have scoured my blog rolls looking for the best of the best to bring you these Superior Scribblers. Please take a moment out of your busy lives to stop and read them. I tried to bring out some of my more obscure bloggity friends to the daylight just as I feel AVTCoach has done. Hopefully, one of these wonderful people will speak to you in a special way.

Happy reading.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Thoughtful Post

When I began this blog, the hardest part was coming up with a name that would accurately convey what the purpose of this endeavor was. I sat for a while trying to decide why I would want to blog in the first place and realized, as I have mentioned before, that I have so much “stuff” (a word I don’t allow my students to use) floating around in my head that occasionally I needed an outlet.

Anyone who knows me in real life has seen me just walk up and begin a conversation as if the other person had been inside my head listening to my internal dialogue. It usually begins with the word, “so.” I even do this on the phone with my brother, mother and cousin. It often sounds like this:

So I was going down the street the other day, when out of the blue a man runs across the road behind the car carrying a backpack dressed like a Ninja sans mask, stopping along the side of the road as he traveled, periodically pretending to check an imaginary watch, crouching and spinning around Ninja-style….

(By the way, this actually happened.)

Because of this style of speaking, I knew that I would have to have my blog be of the same nature, bringing the reader into my head as if they had been there all along. (A little confusing at times I am sure.)

SO today when I was creating my header, my brain began to wander off into the meaning of the word “just.” I looked it up and according to

The first meaning had never crossed my mind: 1) joust (archaic) – Having never jousted, I don’t think that is what I meant.

Next: 2) Reasonable, fair, righteous (adjective.) Although I hope I am those things when working, I don’t find myself to be to reasonable nor righteous in my thinking, driving 80 miles an hour to overcome an hour and half delay in my trip due to my forgetfulness, saying pseudo-curse words under my breath at the rancher who is just taking his usual 60 mile an hour trip from his ranch to visit with his good ole boys at the local coffee shop or feed store.

Finally: 3) exactly, precisely (adverb.) There are more, but when I read this one I said….”That’s IT!” That’s JUST the word I was thinking of.

When I get an idea, it has to come out exactly when I think it, or I am unable to precisely express what I wanted to say. This often comes across as abrupt or dare I say, rude to many people, but if I don’t do it, the idea is gone. Gone the way of the dodo bird, never to be seen again. I can’t even stop to write it down because it loses all sense and meaning on paper. The length of time it takes me to find a pencil and pad is usually too long for me to retain that thought.

So there it is - the origin of my title. My brain full of things falling out onto the computer screen for all the world to see, but only shared with a handful of my “closest” cyber friends who are willing to wade through my ramblings that begin as if they had been there in my head all along.

To those wonderful friends, thank you. Thank you for reading and commenting and sharing your thoughts in the same way, helping me realize like I am not the only one out there in the world thinking and feeling what I am.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Adventures Continue

This weekend I decided to be adventurous and travel with a three year old and an eleven year old without the assistance of their father to get me out the door in one piece and help maintain my sanity. What made me think I could travel 2 1/2 hours and stay away from home for 3 days without completely losing it? Who can say?

The usual Annemarie Antics began when I was ready to get on the road and realized I hadn't hired a dog sitter nor reserved a kennel. I then began examining my resources - both fiscal and personal. A kennel was going to be pricey. There was no room in the car, and my hostess already has two dogs in her dog run. The weather was going to possibly be cold this weekend so leaving Zoey outside with an automatic feeder and waterer was out of the question. Asking my aunt or mom to come let the dog in and out was not only unreasonable, but also asking for trouble because the house was a mess. What to do....Suddenly it hit me. My next door neighbor loves dogs and is very nonjudgmental. I quickly ran over to her house and told her my sad story. She agreed without hesitation. ---- One problem down, several more to come.

By this time, I still had to run around town moving money from bank to bank so I could pay bills while I was away leaving me just enough time to drive from here to my destination and meet MerryHeart (Certified Paper Freak) for lunch at Olive Garden. (Start humming "On the Road Again.) The kids are wondering when the actual trip is going to begin since we have been in the car for 45 minutes and still haven't left town.

I have made this trip hundreds of times on my own and with my family. I know exactly how far I have travel when I reach certain landmarks. I can estimate how much farther I have to drive and how fast I need to drive over the speed limit in order to get where I need to be on time. So imagine my chagrin when I am 45 minutes from home and realize that I have left my purse at home. Now comes the negotiations I make with myself.
Okay, Annemarie. If you turn around, you will be 1-1/2 hours late for lunch with MerryHeart. You remembered your debit card in your back pocket. Your driver's license is in the overhead visor, and the insurance card is in the center console. You don't have a camera to remember the entire trip - an important factor. Call mom and ask her what she thinks.

"Hello, Mom...."
Forty-five minutes later (anyone seeing a pattern here?) I am pulling out of my drive way AGAIN, calling Merry Heart to relay the story to her and reschedule lunch for 2:30. I figured out exactly how fast I needed to drive to get there. 80 miles an hour on the straight-a-ways; follow the signs in the Speed Trap towns of Santa Anna and Bangs. I didn't, however, take into consideration that my 3 year old would need to go to the bathroom along the way. Blast those small bladders!

2:35 I am pulled into Olive Garden - I told you I have made this trip many times. I then wait anxiously to meet MerryHeart for the first time. We had a great time and went to her house after lunch. Talked scrapbooking, children, spouses and all the things SISters talk about when meeting for the first time. When it was time to go, we said our goodbyes, and I got in the car. WAIT! Could you believe it???! I didn't take any pictures! I had to get out and find the all important camera that I drove all the way home for. Two and half hours of visiting and this is the only picture I have of Merry Heart and me:

The weekend continued with the usual Homecoming merriments. Just add in a grouchy three year old and a silly eleven year old into the mix, and you have the remainder of my time in my dear old college town. Many of the pictures can be seen in this collage I put together for a photo scavenger hunt for a SIStv challenge.

I will be making a couple of Scrapblogs later about the weekend, but for now, I had better hit publish.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Farm Day

Yesterday, the kids and I made the trip out to Elm Mott near Waco to the World Hunger Relief Farm for the Farm Day. They had many different activities for the children to enjoy. The following are just a few of the things they had for everyone to do.

(Click on a picture to see it larger.)

This farm house is made of hay bales covered in stucco. It stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I was here the first year it opened. It has changed quite a bit over the years, but it has stood up to the test of time. One thing that people might find different is the composting toilet system. Visitors to the loo must cover their deposits with a scoop of sawdust shavings. Oddly enough, even on a warm day like today, there was no odor. Eventually, the compost is collected to be further composted and used on the farm.

People come to the farm as interns to learn how to begin self-sustainable farms in third world countries. These interns return to their home countries to share what they have learned with their villages. This method of each one teach one is much more effective and efficient than going to each individual country to begin these farms.

We enjoyed visiting and will be looking for local ways to be involved in self-sustainable farming. I personally have a brown thumb and can't seem to even grow a tomato or sunflower, but I think it would be fun to get the kids involved with someone who is more gifted in that area. I know they would it enjoy it because it was like pulling teeth to get them off of the farm.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Feeling Random

I have just clicked over to my blog from AVT Coach's blog with Miruspeg's playlist running in the background. I find it easier to listen to her music than to pick my own.

Actually, the Pet Shop Boys "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" is currently playing. This is a song I hear from time to time on XM Radio's '80s on 8 channel. I have a thing about the '80s and, although I have never truly been in a situation like this, this song has always spoken to me on some level. They say, "wondrin' how I'm gonna get through." I think we all have felt that way at one time or another. This leads me to remember Octamom's Sunday Selah about our frequent out of context use of "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Although I don't think God minds in these cases if we use this verse to remind ourselves turn to him rather than the world during our time of need.

More on playlists:
I don't pick my own because there is just too much music out there that I love. Much like my experience this past week in the Barnes & Noble Bookstore they just built in a nearby town, iTunes and the like is just too overwhelming. I go to the book store only if I need something specific, unlike other people who can go just to look or to pick a new book and drink a cup of something caffeinated. I only go to the iTunes store only when my daughter needs a song for a school project or for a dance performance. Maybe if I only followed a certain genre of music or read a certain genre of books it would make my experience a little less stressful, but I like too many things to stay focused during these ventures. Fortunately, Peg has good taste in music, and the more she and I talk and write and blog, I find we have much in common.

Indecisiveness is also why I don't do things like change jobs or buy new clothes or shoes. I go to the mall (almost never) or into a department store and know that I only have so much money, and I don't want to spend it on the "wrong" thing." I consider that I have pretty decent taste in style, but when I walk into the store I go into sensory overload. The sights, sounds, smells and even textures take me to another place. I start thinking about shopping every year with my aunt for back to school clothes or on my first days as a single college graduate looking for professional clothing to wear to my first "real" job as a bookkeeper. Clothing says so much about a person and I have so much to say in so many different ways. How do I pick one outfit that will express all the different thought that are running through my head? (By now, you can tell there are many.) Many times I will go with my friends Liz or Kelly to buy, but come home with nothing much to their chagrin since, somehow, I have managed to convince that they couldn't possibly live without this purse or that blouse. We walk out to the car and one of them will ask, "What did you buy?" I look at my hands only to find the answer is either, "Nothing," or "A bookmark." Yet I feel satisfied that they were able to find something to add a little spice to their wardrobe.

Well, there is much more randomness running through this head of mine, but time precludes me from sharing them all here, and if I write anymore, I might have to give away another RAK. :-)

Oh, and in case you are wondering - Cat Stevens is playing on Peg's playlist at this moment. Appropriate for my son who is wondering why his father hasn't come home from that mysterious place called the "airport" that takes your daddy away and doesn't give him back for a long time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What Lurks Inside?

From the outside it looks typical enough. The standard Maytag side-by-side refrigerator that I always dreamed of with the ice maker the CRUSHES the ice. It even has the requisite magnetic alphabet, children's artwork, notices of appointments, recipes of things I will never make but imagine in the perfect world of "someday" that I will. Quietly this modern convenience has become the mecca to the hungry child after school, the "starving" husband wondering if there is anything to munch on, home to leftovers never to see the actual light of day as something edible again. Not once has this keeper of the condiments ever cried out, clean me, empty me, love me. It doesn't ask to be thanked nor rewarded for steadfastly watching guard over our precious treats. Or does it?

The other day, after having suffered silently through our unfortunate day and a half power outage, the steadfast guardian of all that is yummy finally said it had had enough. I woke up and went to the fridge to get a glass of newly replaced milk and make some eggs for the kiddos only to find that the door was ajar and light in the fridge had remained on all night cooking ever so slightly everything I had just bought. All that survived is what you see below - minus the milk which I had run out and bought more of before the children revolted.

My husband laughed, saying it looked like a bachelor's fridge minus the beer.

Thank goodness for mustard olives and pickles. Maybe we should become vegetarians.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stay Tuned for The Winner

Don't you hate that...You are watching your favorite television competition show - Deal or No Deal, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars....The list is almost infinite. You wait patiently through the inane "judges" comments, and just when you think you are going to get your reward, you hear that dreaded statement, "Next you'll find out the winner, right after a message from our sponsor."

I know some of you have been patiently waiting to hear about the winner of my one and only RAK drawing. Well, be assured there won't be any commercial messages here, but there were other things that prevented me from having my drawing in a timely manner. The most significant of these was the power outage my house experienced due to a certain male individual's inability to remember to pay TXU on time. When it finally was back on, my laptop was out of juice from the kids using it as a DVD player, and lo and behold, there was no charger. It was still plugged into the wall at school. (That's where I found it this morning.)

So without further ado, the winner of the Mary Kay travel-sized microdermabrasion set goes to Karen of the blog MY LIFE. She is also one of my SIStv SISters. She will be able to take that travel-sized set on the many airplane flights she goes on without raising any suspicions that she is trying to carry the ingredients for a weapon of mass destruction. They may not believe the age on your driver's license after you start using it (LOL,) but you won't be mistaken for a terrorist. So Karen, PM me over at SIStv with a way for me to snail mail your prize.

Thanks to everyone else who participated. Please keep coming back. If you read about my quirks, you know how much I love hearing from people.

To WNCRod - sorry brother, I think it might be seen as nepotism if I let you win, but thanks for stopping by. :-) Besides, if you want some Mary Kay, all you have to do is ask.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Can You Believe It?

I have been tagged by one of my not so virtual friends. What do I mean by that? Well, when I started Scrapblogging in February of this year, I never knew what such a simple thing would lead to.

When I first logged in, I was "greeted" by this beautiful slideshow called Silent Ballet by Octamom. I could never have dreamed that 1) I could ever make something as wonderful as this (still don't) and 2) that I would "meet" so many fun and interesting people along the way. But meet people I did. So imagine my surprise when eight months later one of those people has tagged me to tell about my quirkiness. It's amazing that, through technology, I could meet and eventually talk with someone clear around the world (15 time zones away!)

Well, thank you Peggy (Miruspeg) for finding me interesting enough or quirky enough to tag me this week.

Here are seven quirky things about me:

1) At age *mumble mumble* I have had more jobs than most people my age. What is so quirky about that is the variety of jobs that I have held. Originally, I was going to tell the about the jobs and the reasoning why I had them and subsequently left them, but when I saw the magnitude of the task and that I still had to tell you 6 other quirky things about myself, I decided to just give you an abridged list of my many endeavors.
* Twice I worked for a factory that packaged Estee Lauder and Clinique cosmetics.
* Twice I worked retail in a small, now defunct, import store.
* In college, I had the "privilege" of shelving all of those books (no it is not done by elves in the middle of the night.)
* Also in college, I was the Resident Assistant in a women's dormitory.
* Somehow I also became the house keeper to one of our schools alums.
* While attending summer school, I needed extra money, so I went back to work for the library and for the Vice President of Development of the college.
* Upon graduation, I did a stint as a substitute teacher. I looked so young that boys would leave their phone numbers on my podium or come into the classroom and tell me I was going to get in trouble for sitting at the teachers chair. Once a coach, called me out for going down the hallway without a hall pass.
* I moved to New York to find myself and became worked as a file clerk, a bookkeeper and a sales person for a weight loss center (not very thought provoking jobs. Thus my desire to return to grad school.
* In grade school, the call of the library beckoned and became the Librarian's administrative assistant.
* From grad school on I held the positions of Crisis Unit intake processor, aerobics instructor, Adult Literacy coordinator, Administrative Assistant (twice), Community Center Director, Computer Teacher at a private school and Reading/Math teacher for soldiers.
* All of the above positions (over 20) have led me to the place I am today, a fourth grade teacher of gifted students and oddly enough an Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay.
WHEW! I bet you thought that would never end.

2) I like strawberries, but I hate strawberry flavored anything to include ice cream, shakes, frosting, candy. I find that there is nothing remotely strawberry flavored in any of them.

3) I love making friends online, but I only have two real friends that I have met in real life. I have come to "know" people in Norway, the UK, Netherlands, Florida, and of course Australia. I think the desire to know people from around the world stems from a bad childhood experience. I used to watch a TV show called "Big Blue Marble" where they would travel around the world and interview kids and try to show us how much alike we all were when it came down to the basics of being kids. Then at the end of the show, they would ask you to send your name and address in with your hobbies and they would match you up with a kid from another country. Well, LISTEN UP "BIG BLUE MARBLE" I AM STILL WAITING!!!!!!

4) Every weekday morning, I get up and turn on my computer, go to the iron and turn it on, log in to my various sites and then iron my pants or skirt, return to the computer and check every email account that I have and every online community that I belong to. If I don't, when I leave for work, I feel this feeling like I have left the coffee pot on.

5) I get strange food obsessions. Currently, I have Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup everyday for lunch at work. It's easy and quick and mindless. It is not high in fat, and it tastes good. Additionally, my day is not complete unless I have had a least one large glass of Bush's Sweet Iced Tea. No other will do. I can leave breakfast with my mother on Sunday morning, where I had a glass of tea, and drive straight to Bush's for a new glass.

6) I hate dirt, yet my house is a wreck. These two actually go hand in hand. Since I was a little girl, I couldn't touch dirt. As an adult, my little phobias about dirt have compounded to the point that I don't like to touch rags or sponges. (Okay, my "green" friends, cover your eyes and say, "LaLaLa" until you get to #7) If I have to clean something, there better be a large roll of towels around because I will need them. I wash dishes with them, if I can't use the dishwasher, I scrub the counters, sinks, sometimes even the floors with them by spraying the floor with cleaner and the standing on several to wipe the entire floor - can't touch a mop. Dust bunnies and dust in general give me the hebejeebies. I actually gag if a dust bunny or cobweb touches my hands, therefore, we have plenty of them, because I can't remove them without running the risk of touching them. Thankfully, my husband gets tired of the dust and gets out the Pledge and begins to clean. I know...that is a little more than quirky, but admitting you have a problem is half the battle. Isn't it?

7) I am the world's biggest starter. What does that mean? I have started more projects than I can count. I currently have two swaps waiting to be mailed, and my closets are filled with half-finished quilts, cross stitch frames, sweaters, bolts of fabric and cans of paint - all of them calling my name. This also contributes to the wreck mentioned in #6. They say (whoever THEY are) that people who don't finish things do so out of a fear of failure or out of such a strong desire for perfection that they know they could never reach, that it is far superior to never finish the project than to complete it and face criticism...I like that explanation better than the idea that I am just a flake. :-)

So to finish this blog off - surprise I finished something - I need to tag seven other people. They include:
My Brother - Closer to Fine
Faded Jeans - Certified Paper Freak
Ima - I Was Just Thinking
Shan - Shan In Japan
RJSaylor- Flipped
BMWGirl - Welcome to the Tucker & Wolek Website
LillyRose - Lillsisslill

Good luck you all, and I look forward to seeing your quirks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wisdom-Color Combo Challenge#91

In response to the challenge at Color Combos Galore, the only challenge blog that I can easily respond to without adding a new addiction to my many already existing ones, I have created the following page on Scrapblog.

I would like to thank LillyRose who posted the challenge on SIStv for directing me to the the Color Combos Galore blog. If you would like to participate or are just interested in seeing the color combos from this particular challenge, please got to Color Combos Galore Challenge #91.

Whew! That was probably one of the most link ladened blogs I have ever had the pleasure of doing. :-)

(Don't Worry Peggy, I haven't forgotten your tag. This one required less introspection.)
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