Monday, October 31, 2005

The unveiling

Today is the day I am emailing my friends and family to let them know I have a blog. So, friends and family, here it is!

Since today is Halloween, I will share a Halloween costume story with you . . .

My family is pretty creative, and I don't think I ever settled for a ho-hum costume. No sheet ghost for me. I remember one year when I dressed up as a bunch of balloons. My mom had a shirt that had holes all over it. (It was supposed to have the holes - we called it "eyelet" material. I don't know if that's a real term or not.) So we blew up lots of balloons of all different colors and tied them to the shirt. It was a cute costume.

I went trick-or-treating with my friends in the big city of Ocala since my little hometown didn't offer much in the way of neighborhoods. Everyone liked my costume and seemed to know what I was dressed as. Until the house where the woman asked me if I was a bunch of grapes.

Now, that would be a cute costume, too, and very similar to a bunch of balloons. But if you were a bunch of grapes, wouldn't you just go with purple or green balloons? Not every color in the bag?

I don't know why I remember that particular woman from so many years ago (could it be 20 years?!?). She sure made an impression.

Friday, October 28, 2005


This is my fifth year as a Girl Scout leader. As the girls in my troop have gotten older, I've moved up with them, so I've known some of the girls in my troop for five years now. One of these girls is L. L's mother was a drug addict, and L was taken away from her at birth. She spent 4 years in foster care before she was adopted. L has fetal alcohol syndrome, which slows her down a little in comparison to other girls her age. She says that kids tease her at school.

In spite of her limitations, L is one of the sweetest girls I could hope to have in my troop. She is always smiling, happy, and ready to help. And last night before our meeting, she broke my heart.

I'm not sure where this came from, but L said that she was glad that she wasn't blind or deaf. She said that not being able to see or to hear would make life really difficult. L then told me that she thanks God for having such a good life with good parents and for everything He has given her.

How's that for perspective? Life will never be as easy for L as it is for so many others, but she is thankful for who she is and what she has. This was a humbling experience for me, and it reminded me again why I love being involved in Girl Scouts. These girls are awesome!

P.S - Another Girl Scout, A, was there during this discussion as well. Although she agreed that it would be hard to be blind or deaf, she reminded us that deafness or blindness doesn't assure a bad life. How wise!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

That's not the correct idiom!

In my free time, I teach test prep courses for the SAT (college admissions test) and the GMAT (business school admissions test). Of course, since I'm working, that wouldn't really be considered free time anymore, huh?

Anyway, I've always been a "corrector" of written and spoken English, much to the chagrin of my family. I'm not trying to be mean, I just don't want my mom to say K-Marts or Wal-Marts. Not that she does this regularly, but if she slips, I let her know. I think only old people pluralize store names, and she's not old, so she shouldn't say it.

So I just finished reading a very interesting book called The Secret Life of Lobsters. It chronicles the history of lobstering in New England from the perspective of both lobstermen and researchers. I learned a lot and was especially interested since my husband and I recently took a vacation to New England. My only problem with the book is the catch phrase of one lobsterman. When things weren't going his way, he would say, "There is no need of all this nonsense." That's how I remember it anyway. I might be a little off, but the point is that he used the phrase "need of."

I'm not sure I ever learned about idioms in school. But then again, maybe I shouldn't have. Idioms are basically just how we speak. There are no hard and fast rules. You just have to know them. However unimportant they may seem, idioms are an important part of my GMAT class, as they are a common error in the sentence correction questions.

Well, "need of" is not the correct idiom. It should be "need for." And as much as I don't want it to bother me, it does.

There's no need for all this nonsense.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Heeeeere come the countertops!

So I wish I had started this blog about this time last year. I could have chronicled the long-awaited purchase of our house and all the remodeling that has happened since then. But I didn't really start reading any blogs regularly until recently. And of course, reading other blogs made me want one of my very own. And here it is.

So in case you're not aware of the remodeling that has happened thus far, here it is in a nutshell:
  • We turned the little extra room off the front bedroom into a closet.
  • We redid the front bedroom including new walls, ceiling, and refinished hardwood floor that had been hiding under the carpet for who knows how long.
  • We redid the kitchen - new walls, ceiling, cabinets, refinished hardwood floor, antique sink, passthrough to the living room (kind of), and regular door to replace the sliding glass door that used to be there.
  • We tore out the sink in the bathroom.
The kitchen list was long, but you may have noticed that although we installed new cabinets, we do not, as yet, have new countertops. We are usually very good at making decisions, but we really agonized over the countertops. Laminate, granite, engineered stone? It was tough. We didn't want to spend the extra money for granite, and originally, I thought I didn't even like granite. But the more we looked, the more I liked it and then, ultimately, had my heart set on it. And still we looked and looked.

Bottom line? They are coming to measure our kitchen for our new granite countertops tomorrow! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Look! I'm blogging!

Check it out! I think I have a blog. How sweet is that?