Saturday, March 28, 2009

Plural? Please.

Some people have an irresistible and inexplicable desire to make singular words plural--especially when it comes to store names. Take, for example, Barnes and Noble...or as my hyper-plural friends would say, Barnes and Nobles. Now I realize that "Barnes" has an "s" on the end of it, but that doesn't mean that Noble is dying for one too. Or what about Parisian, the clothing store now known as Belk? Why is it that people want to call it Parisians, as if there are lots of French people inside they want to buy? And finally, J.C. Penney. So many people (including my wonderful mother) often refer to it as J.C. Penney's or just Penney's. Now, this plural morph is somewhat correct because James Cash Penney actually started this chain, so it is, technically, his store. But the truth is that most people probably spell Penney like the coin, so by calling it "Penney's" it really just comes out sounding like they're going to a place with fountains harboring pennies at the bottom.

I realize that I'm an English person and that this might be a nit-picky rant, but come on, people: English is hard enough without adding an "s" to singular words. Now that that's out of my system, I'ms goings to goes to the parks fors a walks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Camping, a broken boot, and one perfect spring night

I love everything about camping except the actual sleeping part. My husband, on the other hand, just loves everything about camping. So, since we had some free time this week and the weather was irresistibly beautiful, I agreed to join him in a camping excursion to Oak Mtn. We began our adventure with a late afternoon hike (see below)

As we were on our hike, my trusty L.L. Bean boots that I've had for years finally gave out:

So I had to jimmy rig it for the rest of our time out there:

Then we set up camp, complete with a cot and a blow up mattress inside the tent (did I mention we like our sleep?) and then made one heck of a fire over which we cooked hot dogs for dinner. We enjoyed a night unplugged and away, looking at stars, and having deep conversation--perfect right before a lot of change in our lives with the match coming up tomorrow.

After a so-so night of sleep, we woke early with the birds and walked a short ways to this:

Could there be a better way to start the morning? or a better time in our lives to remember that the God who intricately and perfectly created and orchestrates creation will also take care of us (Matthew 6:25-34)?

Despite my reservations about camping, I'd give the experience an A-, on account of the sub-par sleep I experienced. Other than that, I highly recommend a night in nature every now and again. There's something almost healing about it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Drunk on Nyquil

I have never been drunk in my life, but this morning my body begged to differ. Let me preface the rest of this story by reminding you that I am a lightweight; half a glass of wine and I'm already feeling a little buzz. So, when I took the two mammoth nyquil pills (the recommended dosage) last night for the cold that is making me sound like a man, I should have known that it was a bad idea.

I went to sleep around midnight and didn't wake up until 10 a.m. when my husband woke me up with breakfast in bed (aww). In order to understand how strange these 10 hours of sleep was for me, you must know that I can almost never sleep that long. I wish I could, but years of teaching has taken its toll on my ability to sleep in. Second, you must also know that I am a light sleeper; I wake up at the smallest sound. Five minutes before 10, Phil walked in my room (I ALWAYS wake up when our bedroom door opens because it creaks), and stood by the bed and I didn't move. Nothing. I don't even remember him being in there. So, I started to have an inkling that something was off.

It wasn't until I woke up and started to talk that I realized that something might be off. I had a hard time talking without slurring my words, and I had a hard time thinking of the right words to say at all. Phil had heated up a scone for breakfast and as I gave him a sleepy hug, he said "I love you," and I said, "I love scones. And I love you. Not in that order, though. I mean, I love you more than I love scones." And then a few minutes later, it hit me that I had taken the full dosage of Nyquil last night and it all came together. Of course, I told Phil I had had the full "serving" of Nyquil. Nice.

I don't remember the other funny things I said, but Phil kept on laughing at me and telling me that I was loopy. I had to laugh too. In fact, it's a little dangerous to be typing in this condition, as I have already caught several funny mistakes in editing this entry.

So, the moral of the story is: I need to heed the warning that "marked drowsiness may occur." It applies to me. Maybe I should write the company and ask them to add to the warning label "Discontinue use if your words begin to slur." From now on, I'm quitting Nyquil...or at least only taking half a serving.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Smoothie King Secret

Well, the royalty of smoothie joints has a secret: if you ask to split a 32 oz. smoothie into 2 cups (like Phil and I did today), you actually end up with two almost 20 oz. smoothies. You know how smoothie places always have a little left over in the blender after they pour the contents into your cup? Well, when you ask them to split the smoothie into two cups, they have no good reason not to pour the extra right in since there's a bit more room. So, now instead of watching them wash the extra smoothie goodness down the sink, you can drink it--at no extra cost. Drink up!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Good Morning, Kierkegaard

Despite his existentialist philosophy, Kierkegaard was also boldly and deeply a believer. In one of my favorite devotional books of all time, there is an excerpt from his work, The Prayers of Kierkegaard, that I hope shape my day and my life:

You Have Loved Us First
Father in Heaven! You have loved us first, help us never to forget that You are love so that this sure conviction might triumph in our hearts over the seduction of the world, over the inquietude of the soul, over the anxiety for the future, over the fright of the past, over the distress of the moment. But grant also that this conviction might discipline the soul so that our heart might remain faithful and sincere in the love which we bear to all those whom You have commanded us to love as we love ourselves.
You have loved us first, O God, alas! We speak in terms of history as if You have only loved us first but a single time, rather than that without ceasing You have loved us first many times and every day and our whole life through. When we wake up in the morning and turn our souls toward You--You are the first--You have loved us first; if I rise at dawn and at the same second turn my soul toward You in prayer, You are there ahead of me, You have loved me first. When I withdraw from the distractions of the day and turn my soul toward You, You are the first and thus forever. And yet we always speak ungratefully as if You have loved us first only once.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My birthday in pictures (and some words)

After Phil made me the breakfast of champions (eggs, bacon, English muffin, and milk), it was off to work, but not before receiving my new digital camera in the mail from the in laws! Now I don't have to illegally rip pictures off the Internet (as much) anymore.

Later that day, Phil used some of my birthday money from my parents to buy a single cup Keurig coffee maker. I've had my eye on it for years and have enjoyed my hot, quick, fresh cup of decaf the last couple of mornings! I highly recommend it.
Then, it was off to The Melting Pot where we gorged ourselves on delectable food and fine wine and where Phil gave me his birthday present for me:
Many thanks to the man below, this low-key birthday was one of the best yet! In fact, our server at the Melting Pot asked if I was doing anything "special" for my birthday, and I wanted to look at her and say, "What do you think this is?"