Sunday, December 28, 2008

Guess what I got for Christmas

A white hair.

Yes, my first one. If it were gray, I could say that it's a sign of wisdom and maturity (yeah, right).

But it's not even gray, it's pure white.

I noticed this because I was in the bathroom last night looking at my roots, contemplating my natural color (which hasn't existed since I was 15). I've been letting my hair got a little longer than I normally would since I'm not at work. I was looking at my awful roots when I noticed a shiny strand starting at the very top of my head. At first I thought that maybe it's blonde. Really blonde. But since I have 2 inches of roots, that wouldn't be possible.

I plucked that sucker out and called my mother, hoping for some kind of reassurance. Instead I received boisterous laughter on the phone. She said "It's a right of passage."

Look here lady, I'm not ready to pass through that door yet!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Songs from the past Saturday

I'm takin' it back to the old skool, cuz I'm an old fool who's so kool.

Courtesy of 1988.

Ah yes, freshman year of high school. Back when hip-hop was "clean." Good times. I can still hear my parents yelling "turn down that stereo!!!"

What songs bring you back to the old school?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is it possible to find some sort of peace?

I'm having a very hard time with my anger and bitterness over this layoff situation. The more I learn about how things went down, the angrier I get. What makes it worse for me is that some of my "friends" from my job...people who I was very close with and did things with outside of the office...haven't shown any interest in maintaining our friendships.

I am sad and angry that a major life "thing" Hubs and I were working on now has to stop because of my job loss. A thing that wasn't coming easily on it's own as it was, but now it can't even be a consideration. It hurts when I see this particular thing come so easily to other people.

I read on blogs where people have something wonderful happen and they say "it was God's timing." The Christian in me believes that's true, but the human in me is screaming "was it God's timing for me to be put in this bad situation?" It's funny how people say "it was God's timing" only when something good has happened to them.

Praying and reading the Bible isn't helping me at all. It makes me very sad to say that, and in my heart I know God is here with me. But I'm being honest here. Every night I pray (in addition to my "regular" prayers), that not only that I can find something well suited to me, but that my friends who were put in the same position can find something as well. I also pray that I can have patience while waiting for this, and that I can have peace with what was dealt to me and let go of the anger.

It's not working.

I feel angry, sad, hurt and lost. I feel like I don't have a purpose. I'm frustrated.

I try to read my favorite scriptures.

It's not helping.

What can I do?


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fossils I found at the farm

Last year, a coworker invited my team to her family's farm/ranch in Blum, which is near Glen Rose, TX for a "team building" event. We ate, hiked, built a bonfire and just hung out, enjoying each others' company. If you don't know, Glen Rose is home to many fossils and dinosaur tracks.

We had a great time. So much so, that this past May, hubs and I rented one of the houses at the farm for the weekend. We had access to over 900 acres of beautiful farmland, creeks, hills and cliffs, which overlook the Brazos river.

Hubs fished from all of the ponds, we rode our mountain bikes all over the farm, hiked the cliffs and saw lots of wildlife, including hawks, snakes (including cotton mouths!), cows and roadrunners. We even had a near run-in with wild boar! Hubs had forgotten his fishing pole in the truck, so while he walked back up the hill to get it, I waited along the creek bed. All of a sudden I heard snorting and stomping. It was a "holy crap" moment, because we'd been warned of the wild boar that will "eat your teeth" if they get angry. It sounded as if the boar were within a few feet from me, behind the bushes. Fortunately, we never saw them.

This place is so amazing.

My friends' family farm is very rich in fossils. They welcome guests to scavenge for them and take them home.

Here is info and a photo of the many types of fossils can be found in the area.

The Glen Rose Limestone formation is part of the Trinity Group of Lower Cretaceous Rocks. The famous beds containing dinosaur tracks in the Glen Rose, Texas area are near the base of the Glen Rose formation, at or near the Aptian/Albian boundary, dated at approximately 110 million years. The Glen Rose formation was deposited during the periodic retreat and advancement of a large shallow sea, which may be considered the ancient gulf of Mexico. The deposits represent low subtidal to supratidal environments and typically exhibits alternating beds of hard limestone and softer marl (limy clays and shales).

A. Ammonites (coiled-shelled animals related to squid),
B. serpulid worm tubes, snail steinkerns (internal molds) such as
C. Tylostoma and
D. Anchura, bivalves such as
F. the oyster Texigryphea,
G. the scallop Neithea (left), and the clam Lima waconensis (right),
H. Various clam steinkerns, often called "deer hearts" by locals;
I. regular (round) urchins,
J. heart urchins, and
K. Porocystis, which looks like a ball with many small pores and a larger opening at one end. It has often been mistaken for a sponge, but is actually an algal fruiting body.

And here is what I found (everything from the above list except C, D and I)!! Be sure to click on the pics to see them enlarged. The fossils are so cool!

Check out the picture below. The fossil on the top left is a HUGE ammonite! HUGE! It's just a piece of one, and it's about 2 feet long! I found it on the banks of one of the fishing ponds. Hubs was fishing, and I was just walking around, making sure a snake didn't sneak up on me. There was a pile of rocks on the edge of the pond, and one looked different. It was C shaped. I picked it up, turned it over, and discovered the distinct markings of the ammonite! Score! I couldn't believe it! I had been hoping to find a whole ammonite, since several of my coworkers had on the farm trip last year, but this, while not whole, was so big, that I was thrilled!

I suspect the fossil on the top right may be a piece of dinosaur bone. The large weird fossil on the bottom right is a chunk of fossilized coral! Beside it are several small pieces of fossilized coral. But that huge chunk is a huge score! It's difficult to see in the picture, but embedded into the fossilized coral are small shell fossils.

As you can see, I found quite a few "heart" sea urchins. It took me quite a while, but once I spotted one, they seemed to pop up all over the place. They have a very distinct heart shape, and on the front, there is a similar "star" pattern that you find on a sand dollar. One area of the farm is even called "the sea urchin bed" because so many are found there.

I love searching for fossils. I'm the same way at the beach...I walk around with my head down, beach combing. I could spend hours and hours doing this. I know you aren't allowed to take fossils from the state parks in Glen Rose, but we are fortunate enough to know people who have property in the area.

The farm is absolutely amazing. It's a true testament to God's power and nature's beauty. It's very isolated and quiet and calming. I am hoping we can take another trip out there in the spring.

So what do you think of my fossils?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Unnecessary necessities

Last Sunday afternoon, hubs and went for a drive since it was such a pretty afternoon. We ended up in a neighboring 'burb that is the county seat for that area, therefore they had a courthouse square. My favorite!

We went into an antique store and I found 4 snack sets on sale for a grand total of $5. So I bought them. Why? Because I need them? No, of course not. Because they were on sale for $5.

I also saw a set of Christmas china on sale. This particular dealer had four 4-pc. place settings for $20. Another dealer had the same thing for nearly the same price.

So I bought them. Why? Because I need them? No, of course not. Because they were on sale.

But, I had birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. And because, after 12 years of marriage, and never hosting a Christmas dinner at our house, Christmas china will come in handy, don't you think?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The story of 10 Christmas trees (trees 4-10)

Now, after the pics of my larger trees, you may be disappointed in these. They aren't as big and full and pretty. But I love the nonetheless. And I still don't have my tree skirts out in these pics, so you'll have to overlook that faux pas.

Drum tree (for hubs, obviously). It's only about 4 feet tall.

White bird tree. I love this one. My mother gave me the tree several years ago, and it is one of those skinny trees with pine cones already on it...the perfect setting for bird ornaments.

Antique ornament tree. I love this one. Those vintage Shiny Bright ornaments are so cool! This tree is tiny. It's one of those small, skinny "alpine" trees. I have it sitting on the hearth this year. Last year, it housed the drum ornaments and was in the foyer.

This is the ornament that says "West Germany" on it. I got it at the antique store a week ago for $1.50!

Kitchen tree. Tiny tree, sits on the wine rack. I just realized there are only two bottles in the wine rack. Makes me look like a wino, and truly, I'm not. ;) Maybe it would look worse if the rack was full. ha

Guest room tree. Tiny tree, sits on the side table. Multi-colored lights make the walls look like they have a weird paint color!

Guest bath tree. Tiny tree with deer ornaments (didn't get close-ups of those). Deer ornaments are funny. Some are ice skating, some have presents in their hooves...all deer are doing something wintery or Christmas related.

Master bedroom tree. Tiny tree. I stuck it in
this thrift store urn that I painted white.

Oh, and just for fun....the "staging area." ha!! And that's not everything! I had more stuff packed away in the closet!

For those who were wondering, I keep all of my trees up in the attic. All of the ornaments are in plastic tubs inside of larger plastic tubs, and they are organized by kind (glass, handmade, wood, drum, dog, cardinal, etc.). I keep these tubs in the guest room closet. Most are so fragile, I don't want them up in the attic with the Texas heat, etc. Plus, I could easily see hubs drop a tub while getting it down. And then I'd have to kill him.

So now you can see why, after doing all of these, I don't have it in me to do more decorating around the house. I have a lot of stuff to use, but I'm tired. I did put a wreath on the front door and on my pantry door. So with the exception of one or two things out here and there, all we have this year is trees.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The story of 10 Christmas trees (starting with trees 1 through 3...warning: pic heavy)

Yes, I am insane. So hubs says. He wonders why anyone needs 10 Christmas trees.

I don't know how this all started. I've always loved c-mas ornaments. At some point, one tree just won't do. I had too many ornaments to fit on it.

I'm now at the point where I just don't have anymore room, unless I want to rearrange furniture. Which I don't. I'm one of those people who, if I decorate for the holidays, the decorations must fit into my regular decor. I don't want my house changed just for the sake of hanging up some holiday delights. I like my house to be as normal as possible, but simply highlighted with holiday cheer.

Currently I have:

1. The main tree, which features a hodge-podge of ornaments: those I made as a child, ornies given to me in swaps or as gifts, ornies that were on our tree growing up (which when my mother purged, they all came home with me), ornies from our vacations (every time we go somewhere, I buy an ornament representative of where we went, and when I unpack them each year, I'm reminded of our special vacations). I have a clear glass finial-thing as the topper.

We bought it when we lived in our last house. We had a good spot for it. In this house, there isn't a good spot for it, so it is in one of the dining room corners. The dining room faces the street, so you can see it from outside. Our first year here, I moved the table so that I could put the tree directly in front of the window, but it was too difficult to navigate when vacuuming. Now it sits in the corner.

2. Cardinal tree. This tree is my favorite. I have a giant cardinal as the tree topper. I also have clear glass "icicles," antique chandelier prisms, some red glittery ornament things and some cardinals in nests.

3. Dog tree. As I received dog ornaments over the years, I had too many to fit, and as much as I love animals, a tree dedicated to dogs only made sense. For the topper, I use Booger's stocking (Booger was our dog who passed away in 2004 from cancer). Last year, the dog tree was smaller, but I had too many ornaments and had to use a larger tree.

4. Drum tree. For hubs. All drum and music related ornaments. My mother gave me some vintage foil light surrounds (foil shapes you put around the c-mas tree lights to make the lights brighter), so those are new this year. The drum tree was smaller last year, but it was to capacity, so the ornaments were moved to a larger tree this year. For the topper, I use two felted drums.

5. White bird tree. This tree came with pine cones already attached. It used to house the cardinal ornaments until I got too many of those to fit. Right now, it has white bird ornaments, white poinsettias, white berry sprigs, some white glittery glass ornaments and clear glass "icicles." I have a large white poinsettia as the topper. Hubs says this is his favorite tree. I like it quite a bit, too.

6. Antique ornament tree. This tree is new this year. The actual tree isn't new (it was the former drum tree), but my mother gave me several boxes of vintage Shiny Bright brand ornaments, and I had a few of my own as well. I bought one the other day at an antique store for $1.50!!! It's from West Germany. I use an old vintage tree topper.

7. Kitchen tree. I simply put cinnamon ornaments on it, as well as beaded candy canes that were on our tree when we were kids. I think my mother may have made the candy canes when I was a baby.

8. Guest bathroom tree. I have miniature deer ornaments on it. I bought them a couple of years ago at a sample sale at work.

9. Guest room tree. Very simple, just miniature ornaments. Nothing fancy.

10. Master bedroom tree. Again, very simple with miniature ornaments. I used only silver and green so it would coordinate with our bedroom.

So. On that note, be prepared for an overload of mediocre, blurry pictures. You may notice I don't have any of my tree skirts down yet. But I will. After I vacuum.

And why is it that trees can look so pretty in person, but so crappy in pictures?!

Main tree.

Fish ornament from Port Aransas beach trip.

Glass snowflake.

Glass bat. A friend bought this for me when she was vacationing in Lake Tahoe. It also resides on my halloween tree.

Painted ceramic ball from another Port Aransas beach trip.

Glass ball from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands trip. It was hand-painted by a local artist. It's a beautiful hibiscus.

Another fish from another Port Aransas beach trip. I also have a cute sea horse ornament somewhere on the tree from Port A, too. (Can you tell, we love going to Port A).

Cardinal tree. I wish I could take a pic of each and every cardinal ornaments because they are all so unique and beautiful. But that would take decades to do.

One of my many antique chandelier prisms. Over the years, I've bought a few, and this past thanksgiving, my mother gave me all of hers.

This one is new this year. It was one of my birthday gifts from hubs.

Dog tree.

Tomorrow I'll post the rest of the trees. Stay tuned! ;)