the midwest and the sisters

Our week vacation with the inlaws is coming to a close. Later today we'll head back to Arkansas. Spending time in the midwest is always strange for me. The flat wavy land. The crop fields. The lone farmhouses. Barns and silos. Straight highways. These characteristics are different from the places I've lived in Texas, California, and Arkansas. The thing that gets to me the most is the feeling of isolation. Some people find solice in this midwestern landscape, but for me is it is strange.

I've had a good time with Chad's sisters. Holly, the younger one, and I have spent the most time together. We've been to Starbucks several times. She always get a white chocolate mocha. I've discovered lattes; I like how simple and smooth they are. With all the holiday pie and cookies, I've been in the mood for coffee without chocolate, thus I tried something besides my usual cafe mocha.

Chelsea is engaged. She and her man are trying to figure out when to get married. Short engagment or long engagement? I always vote for short, but maybe in their case a long one is okay. Chad and I had a 3 month engagement and if we were to do it again, we'd make it even shorter. My philosophy is if you know you're going to get married, just do it. But circumstances make things different sometimes.

I'm starting to understand that my own life experiences are not always applicable to others. For instance, Holly has decided to go to a community college and live at home next semester instead of continuing on at the four year liberal arts Christian university where she's been. My heart sunk when I heard her plan. I had such a wonderful time at JBU and I wanted her to experience the same. She is leary of acquiring so much debt and she can get a nursing degree both ways, so she's coming home. After seeing the situation close up, I feel she's making a good decision, even though it's very different from my own.

Once we get home I will not be able to blog for awhile longer. I'm looking forward to the day when I can email and blog from my home office while sitting next to a window viewing trees and birds. Country living is wearing off on me. I'm looking forward to going home today.


turkey day

Happy Thanksgiving! The day is winding up. Everyone is awake now. (Typically, this is a family of sleeper-inners.) Monkey bread is baking and coffee is brewing. Large homemade apple and pumpkin pies are on the counter; evidence of late night work. Later we'll have the full fledged meal including turkey, dressing, mashed potatos, green bean casserole, rolls, gravy, etc. You get the picture.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. This could have something to do with the fact that we did not celebrate Christmas when I was a child, leaving T-Day alone in the holiday season. (More on that another time.) Thanksgiving is such a straight-forward celebration. There are no presents, which makes it less stressful. I love the whole idea of simply being grateful, too. Whether the graditude is for country, family, loved ones, a home, community, or just a hot meal... it's good to give thanks.

Have a great day!


pms talk & more on country living

The new house is coming along. Each week Chad checks things off his unending To-Do List. We now have towel racks, closet rods, doorknobs, light fixtures, and windows. Yes, when we moved in these things were not complete. (!) Having the inside of the house complete makes me very happy. I've adjusted to being in country. I enjoy it each day now.

I think my difficulty in adjusting had more to do with PMS than with the actual move. The old familiar symptoms hit me like a ton of bricks. Restlessness, desperation, irritability, and discontentment rolled in like fog, surrounding everything I did. I struggled to understand and then, Voila... the sun broke through. Cramps, backache, and numb legs replaced the end-of-the-world state of mind.

I was surprisingly delighted as my body kicked back into fertile mode. I guess I was worried it would take years instead of months, making it impossible to have another baby. This surprised me because I don't even want another baby yet. But knowing that it is possible is a good thing.

Melody is 11 months old now! In less than a month she'll be eating her first birthday cake. I can't wait to see her pointer finger discover frosting and crumbs for the first time. Her wispy hair is getting long around the nap of her neck, making her look more like a toddler than a baby. She has four large teeth now; all different lengths. Her new nickname is Snaggle Tooth.

We are still without a phone line and internet access. It seems we're on the border of two tiny podunk towns and they can't figure out who is responsible to provide our phone service. Lovely. Maybe by 2007 they will figure out how to give us the oldest, slowest dial-up service in the country. An old man actually knocked on our door last week to talk to me about the situation. I would have been ticked off about it except, I have this thing for old men. They absolutely melt my heart because I think they're so cute. This old guy had a bright smile and twinkling eyes. He reminded me of Clint Eastwood. How can I get mad at that?

One of my life goals is to compile a photo album with snapshots of old men.