Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm Jumpin' on the Hay Wagon

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm joining the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway, y'all. If you want to know more about it, or see the humongous list of other giveaways, go here.

Here's what I'm offering to the winner:


It's a fitting giveaway, I think, because my blog is not named "Chocolate After Supper" for no reason. Dove chocolate (dark, by the way) is my after-supper snack of choice, and I'd like to share the joy.

Here's how you enter the drawing:

1) Leave a comment here, and

2) Tell me which you prefer, milk chocolate or dark chocolate.

3) Leave some way for me to contact you.

That's it. I'll draw a name at random Sunday evening November 4, so you can leave comments till then.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hypocrites? Or Just Human?

Here we are on Monday morning, just completely wiped out. I can never quite figure out why playing music for twenty to thirty minutes two evenings in a row can turn us into zombies.

We began preparing for the conference Thursday. That is, I spent two hours cleaning the van and taking it to the car wash. Since we were going to be spending significant hours in it I felt it would be nice to have it clean and homey.

Then on Friday morning we started right in with loading up the trailer with all the gear and instruments, running everyone through the shower (ONE shower. We have ONE bathroom and SIX people. Do I get any brownie points for that?) I checked through our music, copied a few more chord sheets, made new transparencies for some of the songs. I made dinner. We ate it and cleaned it up. We were out of here by 1:00 pm.

We arrived at the venue (don't you love that fancy word?) about 3:30 and began setting up. Done by 5:00. Made a quick run to the local music shop to buy more speaker stands, but decided against it when we saw what they were asking for them. I couldn't believe the prices in that store. I looked at violin strings. They sell the brand I like, and they even had a set with rosin designed specifically to be used with those strings. Cool. Until I looked at the price. Now, y'all, I know already that violin strings cost significantly more than, say, guitar strings. GuitarGeek is used to spending about five bucks for a set, while I have to pay about forty. Forty dollars! Ten bucks per string! But that's nuthin'. At this store, they wanted $86.00! Eighty-six! But, be still my beating heart, it was a fantastic bargain, because the set was marked down from $161. Oh heavens. Something is wrong here. As my dad used to say, "That just burns me up!"


Next stop after the music store was some place for a bite to eat. We chose King's Classic, mostly because it was pretty much the first place we came to. It was a package deal with Amigos included. We all ordered, and when DrummerDude's food came I was ticked. It cost $4.69 for an itty bitty cheese tortilla about as big around as a cigar. Well, maybe a little bigger- but not much! It cost way more than our burgers did, and was way less food. Now, I admit, he got pop and "mexi-fries" with it, or what ever they call them fancy tater tots. (I'm using my phony southern accent here for emphasis. If you want to rant, you have to be southern, I'm thinkin'. It just works so well. Y'all.) But that meal was about fifteen years out of date, meaning, it would have been the right amount of food for DrummerDude fifteen years ago when he was four. Y'all-- it just ain't right nor fittin' to charge that much for that little.

So. I was feeling just a little feisty after the price shock at the music store-- plus, the disappointed look on DrummerDude's face cranked up the mommy defense system-- so I marched up to the counter with the offending article of food in hand and complained. I can't believe I did this, because I never used to do this kind of thing. The gal took it into the back and had the cook (can you really call him that?) make a new one, measured perfectly. The new one came exactly the same. I asked for the old one back, because both together would make a reasonable meal for DrummerDude, but she said she said she threw it away. For some reason that just torqued me. She said she was just trying to make us happy, and we said we knew it wasn't her fault that the picture on the board didn't match the product, or that it was ridiculously over-priced, but we still were not going to eat at that particular joint ever again if we could help it. Have a nice day.

And then we drove on the to conference to lead a group of people in music to worship our loving, holy, majestic, patient heavenly Father. Sigh.

More later...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hurry Hurry!

We lingered a little long over our breakfast tea/coffee this morning and now I realize I have about 30 million things to do and hardly any time to do them in. We are off today to set up to lead worship for the alphabet group, i.e., FGBMFI. That's Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International. The local chapter is having their fall conference this weekend. It starts tonight at seven, but we, having the sound equipment, must be there a lot earlier; plus, it's a two hour drive from here. (how many miles? I don't know. I always think in terms of time.)

So I thought we decided we were leaving at two o'clock this afternoon. But now I'm informed we are leaving at 12:30. And dinner (our noon meal) must be on the table at 11:00. I just got out of the shower, so excuse me while I panic.

Gotta go before Hubby finds me here, wrapped in my towel, typing on the laptop in the bedroom... Pray for me!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Ways To Be A Kid Again

Thirteen Things from momhuebert

This was originally a much longer list that I think has been making the rounds of the email forwards for a while. I've picked out my favorites for my list of

Thirteen Ways To Be a Kid Again.

1. Walk barefoot in wet grass.
2. Read the funnies. Throw the rest of the paper away.
3. Change into some play clothes.
4. Try to get someone to trade you a better sandwich.
5. Wear your favorite shirt with your favorite pants even if they don't match.
6. Take a running jump over a big puddle. (or maybe just go through the puddle!)
7. Get someone to buy you something you really don't need.
8. Hide your vegetables under your napkin.
9. Stay up past your bedtime.
10. Eat dessert first.
11. Fuss a little, then take a nap.
12. Make cool screeching noises every time you turn a corner.
13. Giggle a lot for no reason.

And one more for good measure:

14. Give yourself a gold star for everything you do today.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blast Fat With New Miracle Food!

Does anyone else find this funny?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Is It Worth It?

We did a weird thing. We bought a bottle of wine. That may not sound like a very big deal, but it is for us. We've never had a drop of alcohol in our house beside the rubbing kind and the medicine kind.

One reason is that I was raised in a church that believed drinking is a sin. However, in my own reading of scripture I've come to believe that it's not drinking that's a sin, it's OVER-drinking, so to speak.

Another reaon we've avoided alcohol, is that Hubby's extended family has a strain of alcoholism in it, and he has therefore avoided alcohol like the plague, which it sort of is in his family.

So why did we buy a bottle of wine? Two reasons. One, Hubby has been hearing a lot lately about the spiritual benefits of taking communion often, and he felt it might be nice to have real wine to do it. Two, I thought a nice spoonful of wine at night might relieve the bedtime achiness I get.

We went to a local grocery store on Sunday evening. There were literally no other customers in the store, and the two cashiers were pacing around wishing for something to do.

Hubby and I found our way to the booze aisle. Wow, I had no idea there were so many choices, never having paid any attention before. In fact, I'm not sure I have ever even been down that aisle. After looking for a little while we settled on something called "MD 20/20 Red Grape Wine." It looked very pretty, just like grape juice; and it was cheap-- less than $3. We didn't want to invest very much in this experiment in case it should be a failure.

When we paid, Hubby asked the gal if she needed to see our ID. She looked at Hubby's graying beard and said, "No." Then we put the bottle in our trunk, so as to have no connection between the drink and the driving, and went home.

At home, we decided to be upfront and tell our kids what we had done, in spite of our misgivings. (We really felt like wrapping it in a paper bag and hiding it somewhere, but the thought of one of them finding it hidden in that surreptitious manner gave me pause. I could see them panicking, thinking that mom and dad were, at worst, turning into alcoholics, and at best, being total hypocrites.) We pulled the bottle out of the bag, displaying it with trepidation, and explained our reasons for buying it.

And then our boys said, "Oh, why did you buy THAT kind? Don't you know what that is? That's 'bum wine.'"

I don't know how to describe here my multi-faceted reaction to that. It mostly boiled down to "WHAT?!!" with several inflections.

Somewhere along the line in their many bunny trails around the internet they had stumbled onto a website that describes the many kinds of wine and booze that are favorites with "bums." The popularity of any alcoholic beverage with the bum population is based on two things: its cheapness, and how little you have to drink to get stinkin' drunk. Some kinds of "bum wine" are little better than kerosene, some have formaldehyde in them, just to give it a little extra kick. Some have unknown ingredients that give you psychotic experiences.

At this point, I'm wondering "What have I done....?!" And I'm also wondering where the FDA is in all this.

On the positive side, you usually have to drink a whole bottle of any of these things to get the best effect, and I was only planning to drink a tablespoon or two at a time. Although I still wonder how much antifreeze can you drink before you poison yourself.

At any rate, we passed out tiny sips, and we all coughed and choked and made horrible faces. Our sixteen year old said we could get in trouble giving him a sip since he's underage, and I said a dose of communion wine was acceptable, but if we found he was sneakin' 'round the fridge door he'd be in big trouble. He rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah, like, DUH!" Spoken like a true teenager.

By the way, I found that if I sipped the stuff out of a glass it tasted really nasty, but if I put some in a spoon, my thoughts were, "Not too bad for medicine."

I took my first official dose last night, and I'm not sure it did anything besides fry my tastebuds. Aargh. I'm wondering if NyQuil would be a better choice, except for the fact that it's so darn expensive.

I suppose we could try what Hubby's folks did. Hubby's dad was told by his doctor that he should start drinking a glass of wine a day for his health. So they went out and bought a bottle of wine and poured themselves a glass. Blecch! they said. This is awful. So they got out some home-canned grape juice and mixed it in. Still awful. They experimented this way and that with the juice and the wine, and finally got a mixture that was pretty good. And then realized they'd forgotten to put any wine in it!

By the way, I checked the level of the bottle this morning, and it hadn't changed since last night. No bums in the house, thank goodness.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Addendum to the last post

Someone suggested to me that "you can love anyone as long as you know what distance to love them from."

To which Hubby replied, "All people make us happy: some by their coming, and some by their going."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thirteen Favorite Things-- TT #8

Thirteen Things about mom huebert

Once more, I want to help myself see the world in a more positive light. So, with a little hard thinking, here is another list of things that I like.

1. Dove dark chocolate (technically, this is a repeat from another list, but I still like it!)

2. sitting by a campfire

3. sitting by our wood stove in winter (with the fire shining through the glass windows.)

4. listening to our kids tell jokes at the table

5. reading a good book on a rainy day

6. eating breakfast outside on a beautiful morning (which doesn't happen often. We have too many cats and too many mosquitoes.)

7. a really good worship service, with music, and people praying for each other

8. going shopping with LovelyDaughter to look at jewelry and clothes

9. holding a sleeping baby

10. a baby's laughter

11. shiny, silky hair

12. the smell of suntan lotion

13. giving my boys haircuts

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What Happens When You Cross Golf With Football

I threatened a while ago to take notes some suppertime and give you a taste of GuitarGeek's brand of humor. Here's a small snatch from our anniversary supper.

But, first, let me set the scene. Now pay attention, or you might get whiplash from the sharp left turn, but this is typical at our house.

At wedding receptions in our area, it's traditional for the guests to tap their water glasses at odd and sundry moments. The sound of tinkling glasses is the signal for the bride and groom to kiss, and everyone joins in with applause when the couple stands up and does so. (The kisses get usually more passionate as the reception goes on, until eventually the parents of the couple start taking their turns. But that's beside the point.)

Now at some point during supper we were discussing the fact that today was our anniversary. Yay, we made it to twenty-six years! I started tapping on my glass, to signal "time for a kiss." Hubby pretended to be embarrassed and to stall for time. The kids joined in with the tapping, and eventually Hubby gave in with a quick peck. Which was his way of teasing me, because he often kisses me nicely at the table without anyone tapping on a glass. After the quick peck, I began applauding, because that's what you do when the bride and groom kiss; clapping softly, because to clap loudly would be self-serving, of course, so I clapped exaggeratedly gently, and others joined in, which (and here's the left turn-- hang on) reminded us of -- golf tournaments.

Once, a long time ago, we watched part of a golf tournament on TV and we were mesmerized by it. The announcers spoke in near-whispers. The golfers swung their clubs silently. The camera followed a nearly invisible white speck across the sky and watched it land. (At least, I think it landed. I couldn't tell very well.) The people clapped softly. Patter, patter, patter. Ssh. He's going to swing. Look, (whisper) he made a hole-in-one. Patter, patter. Ssh.

Our gentle clapping at the table reminded all of us of that golf tournament, and suddenly GuitarGeek was on a roll. Why, he wondered, are golf tournaments run that way? So gentle, so respectful, so ... quiet. What if they were run more like football games? Loud! Boisterous! Enthusiastic! Golf for the rednecks! Something like this......

{shouting announcer}"He's pulling out a club and waving it in the air! Yes! He's getting out Big Bertha!..... He takes a few practice swings..."

"Oh no! Looks like Monty is down for the count...." {poor bystander}

"Okay, he swi-ii-ings.....It's gone! A 50-yard drive! Looks like it's headed for the green. Well, Bob, I hope you brought your snorkel."

"Well, yes, Tom, he's been having a rough season..."

"Wait, he swings again! It's a long shot-- it's a .... it's ....It's a Hole-in-One! The crowd goes wild! You heard it here, folks! Back to you, Tom."

"Well, Bob, we've been having a bit of hot action on the field."

{speaking to the golf pro} "How do you feel after hitting that shot?"

"Great, man! It's the high point of my life! I've always wanted a hole-in-one!"

And there you have it, folks. Football Golf, GuitarGeek-style.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife-- and don't forget the cake!

Last week Hubby and I celebrated our 26th anniversary. One of the things we did was dig in the freezer for the piece of wedding cake we saved from our wedding. Yessirree. We had a 26-year-old piece of wedding cake in our freezer.

Why? Well, the year we got married was the year of Hubby's folks' 25th anniversary, and they shared with us a piece of their 25 year old cake. It was actually pretty good, considering. So, with that in mind, we figured we'd better save some cake. We should have gotten it out last fall for our 25th, but we had forgotten about it. The only reason we remembered this year, is we happened to clean out the freezer. I think the cake was the oldest thing in there....

Anyway, here's what it looked like:

I'm afraid too many years, and too many power outages, have taken their toll. DrummerDude looked at, and smelled it, and said to me, "Well, mom, I'm glad you guys are doing better than the cake."

Since it was obvious there would be no nostalgic cake for supper, LovelyDaughter took it upon herself to make a replica:

And, as has been said somewhere before, it was very good.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Do I scream or do I cry?

Note to self:

What a mom thinks is a reasonable request does not always look reasonable to the request-ee. An argument can ensue which takes up the entire time the requested job would have taken. In spite of a history of leniency and reasonableness, Mom's reputation will be solidified as an unreasonable tyrant.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'm Unhappy, But Happy Today

Things that made me unhappy this week:

1. Supper has been very late every day, and of course it's my fault. It just seems to set the days off-kilter.

2. We've stayed up too late every night this week, for no real good reason, except we didn't go to bed. Probably because supper was so late. And that makes us tired every day.

3. Hubby is feeling bad this week. His heart arrhythmia is acting up, and so is his depression.

4. MB3 yelled at Hubby when they were riding motorcycle together because Hubby accidentally rode through a mud puddle in front of MB3 and splashed him heavily, and Hubby gets hurt when the boys treat him like that.

5. DrummerDude got very angry at Hubby for calling him down for something. I guess he thought he was being treated like a child, which has become a bit of hot button lately. Sigh.

Things that made me happy this week:

1. I tried a new shampoo and it made my hair feel light and silky and very nice. And I got to look forward all night to trying it in the morning. Maybe that's what I need to make getting out of bed worthwhile, every day-- new soap, or shampoo, or toothpaste, or ....?

2. We bought a new stash of Dove chocolate.

3. DrummerDude bought me chocolate donuts for my anniversary gift.

4. We had a great family time around the supper table on our anniversary, with GuitarGeek in full swing. I love it when we all laugh together like that.

5. I had the happy thought that GuitarGeek is not a girl. Someday, when the time comes, I will not have to help with/keep my hands off of his wedding. All I'll have to do is wear a nice dress and look pretty, which Hubby says I'll do easily and well. *smile*

6. I learned about a great brand of pasta I'd never heard of, and then, the next time I'm shopping, there it is-- never seen it before-- and it's ON SALE. That really chirked me up, and I can hardly wait to try it.

7. LovelyDaughter and I had a lot of fun taking way too much time at the grocery store finding things for DrummerDude to pack on his camping trip.

8. The three boys are doing something together this weekend. All Three of them! Together!

9. I got a bill and a payment in the mail on the same day. The bill is for $644 and the payment is $650. Yes! I believe the coincidence of the two things coming on the same day is God showing me He's still taking care of us, in spite of what it's been looking like lately.

10. LovelyDaughter went with me to do the grocery shopping, and now we can actually cook again. We've had an awful lot of "emergency" meals lately.

11. We splurged and bought a recipe magazine with wonderful pictures and recipes. I'm beginning to feel inspired again.

12. We had a great time with friends this weekend.

13. We saw GuitarGeek succeed in a project that was dear to him, and that's a good thing for everyone.

I guess five to thirteen in favor of "happy," is a good score. It doesn't un-do the things I don't like, but it helps.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's Who We Are, It's What We Do

I copied this meme from slouchingmom over at slouching past 40. I thought this would be an appropriate thing to post in honor of Hubby's and my anniversary this week.

1. Who is your man?

Hubby. His initials are MLH.

2. How long have you been together?

26 years of marriage, plus one year-- see number 3.

3. How long did you date?

Five months, and then engaged for seven.

4. How old is your man?


5. Who eats more?

He does. But not much more these days, not because I'm eating a lot, but because he's at the age where if he eats like he used to, there's a whole lot more of him to see.

6. Who said "I love you" first?

I'm pretty sure he did.

7. Who is taller?

He is -- by 11 inches.

8. Who sings better?

I do.

9. Who is smarter?

According to an IQ test we took in college, we have the same IQ. However, while I did very well in school, he did terrible. And while sometimes I can't fight my way out of a paper bag, which requires spatial reasoning, he can design and build cool things. My strengths lie in the area of language. Plus, I never know which way north is, and he always does. Our kids took after him.

10. Whose temper is worse?

Probably mine. But I tend to flare up quickly, and then cool down. He simmers a long time, keeping it all inside till he either nearly breaks something, or goes into deep depression.

11. Who does the laundry?

I do. However, sometimes he will run a load of his own stuff.

12. Who takes out the garbage?

Usually our boys, but sometimes he does it.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?

I don't know. Which side is the right side? However, I do know that when we re-did the bedroom, we switched sides for one night, and in the morning he said "Never again!" He said he can't sleep if he's on the "wrong" side of the bed. It's just wrong.

14. Who pays the bills?

I do. Neither one of us is especially good with numbers and paperwork, but I'm better than he is, so I do it.

15. Who is better with the computer?

I am, just barely.

16. Who mows the lawn?

Usually he does, but often DrummerDude does.

17. Who cooks dinner?

I do. Often LovelyDaughter takes a turn. If Hubby had to cook, he would live on peanut butter, or possibly pancakes.

18. Who drives when you are together?

He does, because he considers that the manly thing to do.

19. Who pays when you go out?

Well, if we're writing a check, I do, because he hates to write. If we're using a bank card, he does, 'cause that's easy. If we're using cash, whichever of us has cash handy.

20. Who is most stubborn?

Depends. I think he can be stubborn sometimes, and he thinks I can be stubborn sometimes. I don't really know who's right.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?

Usually he is. I'm trying to do better on this one.

22. Whose parents do you see the most?

His folks. They live practically next door, whereas my folks live in another state.

23. Who kissed who first?

I think he kissed me. I'm sure I would have never initiated it.

24. Who asked who out?

He asked me.

25. Who proposed?

He did, if you can call it that. One day as we were talking and talking and talking and planning, all of a sudden he said, "Well, it looks like we're going to get married." So I got out my calendar and said, "Okay, when?"

26. Who is more sensitive?

We are both sensitive, but in different ways.

27. Who has more friends?

I think he does.

28. Who has more siblings?

He does. He has two brothers and I have one. Neither of us has any sisters.

29. Who wears the pants in the family?

He does. But sometimes he will delegate decision-making to me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thirteen Of My Favorite Excerpts From Books (plus one more for good measure)

Thirteen Things about mom huebert

"Well--there are two men who--who--want to marry me."

"The usual story, I suppose? One rich, one poor, and the poor one is the one you like!"...

"You see, ... Gerald is a dear, but he's desperately poor-- though he's a very clever engineer .... The other, Mr. Partridge, is a very good man, I am sure-- and well off, and if I married him it would be an end of all our troubles. But-- but..."

"I know," said Tuppence sympathetically. "It isn't the same thing at all. You can go on telling yourself how good and worthy he is, and adding up his qualities as though they were an addition sum-- and it all has simply a refrigerating effect."

from Partners in Crime, Agatha Christie, Signet, 2000.

Then the four human prisoners were roped together, not cruelly but securely, and made to march down to the shore. Reepicheep was carried. He had stopped biting, on a threat of having his mouth tied up, but he had a great deal to say, and Lucy really wondered how any man could bear to have the things said to him which were said to the slave dealer by the Mouse. But the slave dealer, far from objecting, only said, "Go on," whenever Reepicheep paused for breath, occasionally adding, "It's as good as a play," or, "Blimey, you can't help almost thinking it knows what it's saying!" or "Was it one of you what trained it?" This so infuriated Reepicheep that in the end the number of things he thought of saying all at once nearly suffocated him and he became silent.

from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis, Collier Books 1970.

Aravis immediately began, sitting quite still and using a rather different tone and style from her usual one. For in Calormen, story-telling (whether the stories are true or made up) is a thing you're taught, just as English boys and girls are taught essay-writing. The difference is that people want to hear the stories, whereas I've never heard of anyone who wanted to read the essays.

from The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis, Collier Books, 1970.

"That's the worst of girls," said Edmund to Peter and the Dwarf. "They never can carry a map in their heads."

"That's because our heads have something inside them," said Lucy.

from Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis, Collier Books, 1970.

#5 might have led to something had not a lady called a newspaper to say that it wasn't true that only truck tires were getting hit. She said that she had been painfully pricked by a pea-tack as she was crossing Second Avenue.

"Who missed?" demanded Maxie Mannerman when the newspapers reported this interesting development.

"I didn't miss," said Harry the Hot Dog. "She insulted my sauerkraut, and for once I couldn't resist."

"For once we understand," said General Anna. "But it shouldn't happen twice."

from The Pushcart War, Jean Merrill, Harper Collins, 1987.

I cut off all those things {smoking, drinking tea and coffee and hot scotch} for two days and night; in fact, I cut off all kinds of food, too, and all drinks except water, and at the end of forty-eight hours the lumbago was discouraged and left me. I was a well man; so I gave thanks and took to those delicacies again.

It seemed a valuable medical course, and I recommended it to a lady. She had run down and down and down, and had at last reached a point where medicines no longer had any helpful effect upon her. I said I knew I could put her upon her feet in a week. It brightened her up, it filled her with hope, and she said she would do everything I told her to do. So I said she must stop swearing and drinking, and smoking and eating, for four days, and then she would be all right again. And it would have happened just so, I know it; but she said she could not stop swearing, and smoking, and drinking, because she had never done those things. So there it was. She had neglected her habits, and had't any. Now that they would have come good, there were none in stock. She had nothing to fall back on. She was a sinking vessel, with no freight in her to throw overboard and lighten the ship. Why, even one or two little bad habits could have saved her, but she was just a moral pauper....These things should be attended to while a person is young; otherwise, when age and disease come, there is nothing effectual to fight them with.

from Following The Equator, Mark Twain, A Journey Around The World, Dover edition.

"Contrary to what you may have read about it, it has been my experience that these seemingly hopeless situations actually are. And when you, as hostess, do something gallant and inventive, the guests will probably wish you hadn't. They were primed for turkey, you see,....and they are not going to like that brave lima-bean-peanut-butter casserole you created out of what was around."

from Peg Bracken's Appendix To The I Hate To Cook Book, Peg Bracken, Fawcett Crest, 1967.


"I would have preferred the presidential approach taken by Franklin D. Roosevelt when he tried to convert into English his own government's memos, such as this blackout order of 1942:

'Such preparations shall be made as will completely obscure all Federal buildings and non-Federal buildings occupied by the Federal government during an air raid for any period of time from visibility by reason of internal or external illumination.'

'Tell them,' Roosevelt said, 'that in buildings where they have to keep the work going to put something across the windows.'

from On Writing Well, William Zinsser, Harper Collins College Publishers, 1995.

Almanzo couldn't understand it. He had seen the pea under that shell, and then it wasn't there. He asked Father how the man had done it.

"I don't know, Almanzo," Father said. "But he knows. It's his game. Never bet your money on another man's game."

from Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins, 1971.
He banged his fist on the counter and told them, "That wheat's mine and I've got a right to charge any price I want to for it."

"That's so, Loftus, you have," Mr. Ingalls agreed with him. "This is a free country and every man's got a right to do as he pleases with his own property." He said to the crowd, "You know that's a fact, boys," and he went on, "Don't forget every one of us is free and independent, Loftus. This winter won't last forever and maybe you want to go on doing business after it's over."

"Threatening me, are you?" Mr. Loftus demanded.

"We don't need to," Mr. Ingalls replied. "It's a plain fact. If you've got a right to do as you please, we've got a right to do as we please. It works both ways. You've got us down now. That's your business, as you say. But your business depends on our good will. You maybe don't notice that now, but along next summer you'll likely notice it."

from The Long Winter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins, 1971.

"From what I've seen," Pa went on, "the trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they're organized for. I take it we're pretty well agreed right now on what we want. If we start organizing and electing, the chances are we won't be as well agreed on who's to be elected. So I suggest, let's just go straight ahead and do what we want to do...."

"That's the ticket, Ingalls!" Mr. Clancy sang out, and as Pa sat down, a good many began to clap.

from Little Town on The Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins,1971.

"Got to start by finding it, have we?" answered Puddleglum. "Not allowed to start by looking for it, I suppose?"

from The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis, Collier Books, 1970.


The Arab leaned on his shovel in the lazy way that made Madame so angry when the water was turned off.

"Is she the woman who talks to herself?" he asked.

"I never heard her talk to herself," said Josine. "She's too busy talking to us."

"We do," said the man. "Every day she comes out and talks at us. But we don't listen, so she is talking to herself."

from A Brother For The Orphelines, Natalie Savage Carlson, Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1972

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

We Did Too

Last weekend we went to a wedding four and a half hours away from home. It really was not an especially convenient trip, but I wanted to make the effort, to encourage the relative whose wedding it was. She had joyfully sent out cards over a year ago announcing that she and her boyfriend had moved in together. So when they decided to officially tie the knot, we wanted to take a stand in favor of the decision; which we did by driving many miles using very expensive gasoline and buying a more expensive gift than we usually do for a wedding, and pretty much giving them our entire weekend.

Since we were dragging our two teenage boys along (to make a family bonding experience) we left home several hours earlier than necessary, to have time to add a little fun shopping on the way.

After our stops, we pulled for our destination, and I sat in the back of the van making sandwiches and passing out apples and cookies. When we were done eating, I laid down and fell asleep. A little later I woke up and made my way to my co-pilot's seat. About that time MB3 was looking at the map and commenting on a town name, and I said, "Oh, that' s the town where the orchard is. We want to stop there."

(If you remember, LovelyDaughter and I had tried to go to an orchard a couple of weeks ago, and hadn't been able to. Since this particular orchard was right on our way, I thought we could stop and get some orchard-fresh apples.)

And about THAT time, somebody said, "Oh, there's the exit for *orchard town*." As we went swinging merrily past. Darn. We missed it.

I began to berate myself, saying, "I shouldn't have slept. I should have watched the map. I should have paid attention. I should have..."

Hubby said, "Do you want to go to the orchard?"

"Well, yeah, but we can't get there now, so just forget it."

"Get the map," he said. He wanted me to see if there was a way from the next exit coming up to get back to the orchard. I checked; there was. Then suddenly, we were at the next exit, which he turned off on, while everything in the van flew to a better position for travelling.

We found ourselves on a beautiful winding country road. It was very nice, and I began to think our mistake would be rectified and all would be well.

I have not mentioned that the reason MB3 had been looking at the map (which I had not comprehended at the time, being partly asleep) was that he was checking for rest areas. Hubby needed to "Rest", and now I realized, so did I. Badly. As we're driving racily down this beautiful winding road, we're not only anxious to find our way to the orchard, we are also getting desperate for a "Rest" stop, which does not lend to patience and endearments.

At last we reach an intersection. The sign is a bit ambiguous. It says "junction ahead." I think maybe it means the interstate, which we have to get back to, because the orchard is right on the interstate exit. Hubby thinks we have to go to the right, through the small town. I want him to look at that sign I saw that he didn't see. He heads straight ahead, towards the ambiguous "junction."

Hubby says, "We're going the wrong way."

I say, "I never said this was the RIGHT way! I just wanted you to look at the sign."

He says, "You said this was the road. I think we should have turned," continuing to drive ahead.

I say, "Well, then GO BACK and GO THE RIGHT WAY!" adding, "I never said this was the RIGHT way! I just wanted you to look at the sign."

To which he replied, "You said this was the road. I think we should have turned."

So I said, "Well, then GO BACK, I never said.....!" (repeat several more times, with additions and a few minor variations.)

Finally, DrummerDude said in disgust, "Let's just forget it if you guys are going to fight."

Dad said, "Boys, this is called an adventure!"

MB3 said, with vehemence, "Then I never want to have an adventure!"

I said, unnecessarily, "Dad is the only person I know who, when we're lost, just KEEPS DRIVING!"

At which point, Hubby began swerving all over the road, causing everything in the van to fly to an even better position.


A couple of hours later we were sitting in chairs in a backyard waiting for the outdoor wedding to begin. We had eventually found the orchard, and, more importantly, the restrooms. We had bought some apples. We had even apologized to each other. And now it was a perfect Fall evening: warm with a hint of cool breeze, a few leaves falling, clear sunlight slanting from the west. We made small talk with the relatives sitting around us, noting that it was six o'clock: time for the wedding to begin.

Five minutes later, at 6:05 pm, a young man began to sing. As he sang, the ushers brought up the grandparents and parents. The flower girl and ring bearer walked down the aisle, and then one bridesmaid, and then the bride. All during the space of ONE average song.

The bride and groom stood under the arbor in front of the bride's uncle, who was dressed in black leather pants and vest, boots, and cowboy hat. He had a white ponytail and long beard, and had chains and keys hanging from his belt nearly to his knees.

He began to read-- in a monotone-- from an unfolded piece of paper.

"We are gathered here to join these two in holy matrimony do you S--- take the one standing before you to be your husband do you promise to love cherish and honor him till death do you part if so say I do place the ring on the third finger of his left hand"

At 6:14pm the newlyweds marched back down the aisle whence they came. Hubby leaned over and said to me, "He asked them, "Do you?" and they did!"

Since we had made up our squabble, and apologized to the boys for the "adventure," we could look with sympathy and hope at the two who had promised to "love cherish and honor till death." However, now that I think about it, I think the vows should also include something really practical, like "Do you promise to always make up when you fight?" 'Cause if you always make up, a nine-minute wedding can lead to many years of happy marriage.

And that reminds me, as of TODAY, Hubby and I have been married 26 years. Happy Anniversary to us. The minister asked us, "Do you?" and just like my cousin and her new husband, we did. May we have many years of squabble-free life together. But if we do squabble, may we always make up!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What DO you drink...?!

Okay. In my last post I mentioned that I'm not a drinker, and I listed several very common drinks that I just happen NOT to drink. Today I thought I'd make a list of what I DO drink, in response to some shocked questions by readers (you know who you are...! And thanks for asking!)

1. Water: We have really good, cold water here in Nebraska, and ours comes directly from our well.

2. Tea (version #1): Sometimes called "iced tea," except we don't put ice in it, because we're too lazy to make ice cubes in our ancient refrigerator. A friend of ours insists we should bottle and sell our "Huebert Tea," even though we don't think it's particularly special. (wait a minute- yes we do. We think we have the best tea around!) Here's how we make it: Put some water in a small saucepan. When it comes to a boil, put a regular tea bag in it, cover, and let steep for a couple of hours or so. Pour it in a gallon of very cold water with a shy half cup of sugar and stir well. This is our "staple" drink for every meal.

These two comprise most of my drinking. But I also resort to the following on occasion:

3. Milk: The in-laws raise milk goats, so we use goat milk.

4. Juice: Cranberry, apple, orange, lemonade; as long as it's real juice and not artificial.

5. Tea (version #2): Also known as "hot tea." Sometimes black tea, sometimes chamomile tea.

6. Chocolate Milk/Hot Chocolate: Made with homemade chocolate syrup. Mmmmm!

7. Water with Lemon: This is what I usually order when I'm eating out. (The lemon makes the chlorinated city water more palatable.)

8. Lime Fizzler: Ginger Ale with fresh lime squeezed in it.

9. Gatorade: Usually in summer when we're working. My favorite flavor is "Riptide Rush."

10. And-- once in a while, a little bit of Coke or Pepsi, especially if I've made pizza for the meal. For some reason, Pepsi goes really well with pizza.

Why don't I drink coffee? Well, it's not for lack of trying. Coffee is the American "grown-up" drink (aside from beer). Everywhere you go that adults are gathered, coffee is being served, so I have tried to join the ranks, but I just can't get it down. Hubby will sometimes drink a small cup, and I will drink a couple of sips of it, but it's just too bitter for me.

Why don't I drink more pop/soda/carbonated beverages? They're just too sweet and syrupy, at least for my taste. Although, as I said, sometimes I do like to have some. And I don't drink diet kinds because artificial sweetener tastes bad and makes me ill. (Boy, I'm picky, aren't I?)

And why don't I drink alcoholic beverages? Umm, I think I'm afraid.... Besides, it smells terrible.

Sometimes I wish I could just be "grown up" and swig coffee and wine with the best of them. How do YOU manage to drink coffee? Do you have a favorite that is really good, that maybe I could try?

Monday, October 8, 2007

It's all about me......

I've been tagged by Carrie at ChocolateTheOtherWhiteMeat to write a list of seven random, interesting things about myself.

Good heavens. Does it take anyone else as long as it's taken me to come up with seven things?

So-- Here are Seven Random Things About Me, Maybe Interesting, Maybe Not

-- I play a four string guitar strung like a bouzouki. I don't play extremely well, but I know how.

-- I like to talk to people, but I never know what to say to start the conversation rolling.

-- I'm a terrible procrastinator: Oh no, it's time to make dinner, and I have no idea what to make. I think I'll just check a blog or two, to clear my head. Oh no! It's time for dinner right this minute, and I STILL have no idea what to make, and now it has to be something I can fix in five minutes. I wonder if I have any email. Oh no, dinner was supposed to be half an hour ago...AAAAACK!

-- In spite of #4, I am a pretty good cook.

-- I'm not a drinker: no booze, no wine, no coffee, no cappuccino, no diet Dr. Pepper. I'm waiting till I grow up.

-- I love babies, and I wouldn't mind having another one, in spite of the fact that I'm over forty.

-- Now that my kids are pretty much grown, I have no idea what I want to do with my life; and I'm distressed about it. I told Hubby, "I hadn't thought that far!"

I'm supposed to tag seven people now, so if you're reading this: TAG! You're IT!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

a few of my favorite things.....

I told myself Thursday that I could post a Thursday Thirteen rant of 13 annoying things if I also posted a list of two good things for every annoying thing. Sort of a "two for one" thing. Why? Because all of a sudden one day I found that somewhere along the road I had begun seeing what was NOT in the glass, and my life became half empty. So now I'm working on purposefully thinking about good things. That doesn't mean I want to ignore or sugar coat bad things. I don't want to become dishonest. After all, there ARE some awful, annoying things in life. But I hope to change my focus. Here's to making the glass half full. Scratch that. How about a FULL glass, for a change?!

So, here are a few of my favorite things....

the way GuitarGeek uses his eyebrows
the way DrummerDude feels all sleepy/snuggly when I wake him up in the morning
MB3's muscles
LovelyDaughter's gentle ways
Hubby's smile
walking out to the mailbox
having a clean kitchen
christmas lights
stars at night
sitting by the fire
hanging out in LovelyDaughter's room with the windows open
hot chocolate and toast in the winter
fresh strawberries on New York Vanilla ice cream
sauteed broccoli and mushrooms
a full moon
using my pda
mineral makeup
my silver necklace
wearing brand-new socks
jeans that fit
figuring out the perfect violin interlude to play on the worship team
my MacBook
sitting on the floor when it's carpet
laughing with friends
being called by name
taking walks with someone and talking like mad the whole time
going on quiet walks to watch the sun set

There. That's 26 things, plus one for good measure. I can feel the level in the glass rising...

What are some of your favorite things?

Friday, October 5, 2007


Sample of conversation at our house:

MB3 (reading LovelyDaughter's t-shirt): Huh. "Leave Your Mark." Who's Mark?

Me (laughing): Mark got left behind.

MB3: Like, "Fire at will!"

Me: Poor Will!

LovelyDaughter: Duck, Will, duck!

(It was funny at the time.)

I wish, Wish, WISH, I had taken notes last night at supper. One of these days I will, and submit for your dining pleasure a round of GuitarGeek's commentary. Just swallow your mouthful first, so you don't choke.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #6: Thirteen Things That Annoy Me

Thirteen Things about MomHuebert

I had a different list ready to go, but LovelyDaughter and I were having a talk the other day and started commiserating and laughing about things that annoy us. And suddenly I thought, What a great rant list! So here you go:

Thirteen Things That Annoy Me

1) "Pour" instead of "pore." As in, "He's pouring over his books." He's what? What's he pouring? I get a picture of someone dumping a pitcher of syrup all over a pile of open books. The word is PORING, when it has to do with studying.

2) "Loose" instead of "lose." As in, "Be careful not to loose your keys." What? Be careful to keep the keys tight? Oh-- you mean don't "LOSE" your keys. Yeah, I want to be able to find them.

3) "Prophecy" instead of "prophesy." Prophe-CY is a noun. The prophet gave a prophecy. Prophe-SY is a verb. It's what you do when you give a prophecy.

[I guess I could have put these first three under one heading of "misspellings," or "misuse of words," but these are the ones the annoy me the most. Besides, one of my favorite t-shirt slogans I've seen is "Bad Spellers of the World-- UNTIE!"]

4) When people pull out in front of me, and slow down. There's no one behind me for miles, but the car coming off the interstate quickly pulls out in front of me, and then slowly drives across the overpass--in front of me-- and turns off at the gas station, while I'm fuming with impatience at having to hit the brakes and wait for them to turn.

5) Someone reading over my shoulder while I write. Don't look! It's not presentable yet!

6) Someone reading over my shoulder when I'm reading. Makes me nervous for some reason. Plus, if that someone reads more slowly than I do, I can't turn the page till THEY'RE done. Who's reading this, anyway?

7) When I say something to someone I THOUGHT was listening to me, and get no response. Talk to me!

9) Too many cats. What do you all want? I just fed you! Get out from under my feet!

10) Gratuitous bad language. An occasional strong word in a frustrating situation I understand. But a stupid bad word in every stupid sentence is just stupidly stupid.

11) The way sex is used to sell EVERYTHING. Does everyone have a one track mind?

12) The way someone will ask me about my life, and then proceed to interrupt me two sentences in and spend two hundred sentences telling me about THEIR life.

13) Fw: Fw: Fw: emails that shout at you with guilt-producing messages and then insist that you spread the annoyance by forwarding them to everyone you know. Yup--I forward them all right: To the trash! MUAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!!!

Okay, that's my rant for the day. How 'bout you? What makes you annoyed?

Oops-- Sniz says I forgot number 8. I guess I just missed it. Here it is:

8) When someone (usually a certain someone) insists on turning an ordinary conversation into a debate/argument by contradicting EVERYTHING I say. Stop already!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. bloggers
2. jenn
3. yh
4. Sniz
5. joyismygoal

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"C" means "Compliment"

Monday was Girls' Day Out. It was LovelyDaughter's day off and she and I planned a week in advance to go out, just the two of us. We wanted to go to Kimmel Orchard and pick apples. They have a "U-Pick" option where you basically buy a sack, and then walk through the orchard and fill it yourself. It's a wonderful way to spend a beautiful fall day; and we usually come home with a great variety of apples to munch.

But, of course, you know what they say about best laid plans.

Before we left, we called the orchard, just to make sure all was well. It's a two-hour trip each way, so we didn't want any unpleasant surprises. And it was a good thing we called. We had forgotten about the early frost last spring that ruined our own apple and apricot blossoms. The nice guy on the phone told us regretfully that most of the crop had been destroyed. There were some apples for sale, if we still wanted to come, but no picking allowed. Rats.

Okay, Plan B was to go get our hair done. Big City (only an hour away) here we come. Well, we went to the Big City, but we didn't get our hair done. Couldn't decide where to go. Couldn't decide which haircut we wanted. We ended up with Plan C.

First, we went to Olive Garden, and ate:

It was wonderful. For not much more than fast food, you can have all the soup and salad and breadsticks you can eat. I'm not kidding. They refill everything as often as you want. Someday I'm taking our bottomless pits boys there to eat.

Then we went browsing aimlessly, usually known as shopping. Our favorite store to browse was the Health Food Store. In the soap aisle. It's the one place where I can enjoy smelling all the great scents without getting a headache. I can't even walk PAST a Bath & Bodyworks, believe me. But the all-natural soap aisle is a joy for the nose. Scents like Oatmeal Vanilla. Coconut Lime. Cassia Clove (cassia is code for cinnamon). Tangelo. And a really great one called something like Mom's Best Pure Soap that made LovelyDaughter think of clean babies and want some of her own. Yes, babies and soap, both. (The soap I can do. The babies-- I told her to take that up with God....)

I even bought some fancy soap ("Badger Healing Hand Bar-- volcanic pumice & birch: Fine Organic Soap; Good Stuff For Hardworking Hands") as a birthday present for Hubby's dad, whose B-day is today. Normally, we don't make much of birthdays around here unless it's our kids'. I told Hubby his dad earned a gift this year because of something that happened Monday morning before LovelyDaughter and I left for our big day.

Here's the story: Hubby's dad and mom dropped by in the morning to 1)pick some grapes from our vines, and 2)borrow the log splitter. They were standing outside with Hubby when I walked around the corner into the sunshine and suddenly I found myself the object of my father-in-law's scrutiny. He walked close to me with a big smile, put his hands on either side of my face and said wonderingly, "You're turning gray!" and he gave me a big kiss on the cheek.

I was taken aback. "Yeah," I laughed nervously. "I have tinsel in my hair."

Then he said, "It makes you look very dignified." And he kept smiling at me.

In my twenty-five years in this family, my father-in-law has NEVER kissed me before. (One time when he congratulated me on something, he shook my hand.) And you may be thinking it wasn't very tactful of him to mention my strands of grey, but he said it in such a way as to be one of the nicest compliments I've ever had. I still can't believe it. I think he likes me! So, like I said, he earned a birthday gift.

At the end of the day, LovelyDaughter and I came home tired in body, but refreshed in spirit. We had time to vent talk, and shop; we had a great meal; it was a beautiful day. And I had an unexpected compliment. Not bad, really for a Plan C day.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What's My Name?

Carrie at Chocolate The Other White Meat (I think she and I have something in common....hmm....) posted a list of interesting instructions on how to find out what your name would be if you were a rock star or a superhero or a TV anchor. Here are my favorite ones:

If I were a Rock Star, my name would be Sunny Z. [first pet + current car. The first pet was a cat I named Sunny, short for "sunshine" because he was coal black. And our current car is a BMW Z3, which I call the "Z." Makes for a cute name, I think.]

If I were a "Gangsta", my name would be Chocolate Chocolate Chip. [favorite ice cream flavor + favorite cookie flavor. Actually, my most favorite ice cream is Jamocha Almond Fudge, but that didn't make a very good name....On second thought, maybe it would make a really interesting name... Hello, my name is Jamocha Almond Fudge Chocolate Chip. Just call me JAFCC for short.]

If I were a Detective, my name would be Detective Burgundy Feline. ["Detective" + favorite color + favorite animal. Strange. I could have said "cat" instead of "feline," but that sounded so mundane. Detectives have to be a little glamorous, don't they?]

If I were a soap opera character, my name would be Kathleen Kansas City. [Middle name + city of birth. Doesn't really have a ring to it, does it? Now, my husband's soap opera name would be "Lee Lebanon," which I think has a great sound.]

If I were a superhero, my name would be The Green Tea, or maybe The Pink Lemonade, or maybe The Blue Chocolate Milk. ["The" + 2nd favorite color + favorite drink. I can't really make up my mind on this one.]

If I were a NASCAR driver, my name would be Donald Dwight. [the first names of your grandfathers. I kinda like this one. The funny thing is, it would be my daughter's NASCAR name too. Her grandpas have the same names as mine....]

If I were a-- well, it says "stripper," but I think I'll say dancer, my stage name would be Jasmine Dove. [name of favorite scent--"Night Blooming Jasmine" (a perfume no longer in existence) + favorite candy-- Dove dark chocolate = Jasmine Dove. Kinda catchy.]

If I needed a name for the witness protection program I would be called Kathleen Howard. [mother's and father's middle names. I like it.]

My TV anchor name would be Ellis Edinburgh. [Fifth grade teacher's last name + major city that begins with the same letter. Two comments: for a wonder, I just happened to be thinking about teachers I remember so I can actually come up with a name; and, how in the world do they come up with this stuff?]

And one more: If I were spy, my name would be Autumn Rose. [favorite season + favorite flower.]

I think I'm going to hang on to some of these in case I ever need another username or ID for a forum or an online account. This could be really handy. Maybe I should make up some of my own. Let's see, favorite insect + brand name of your stereo system = your radio announcer name. Or, no, how about...your favorite food + your cousin's maiden name = your opera singer name. This could be a good business. Pseudonyms while you wait.

Well, this is Ladybug JVC, signing off. Till next time....