Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some Daisy cuteness on video after all

It took her 'til 8:00 tonight, but she finally put on a fairly standard prancing, dancing performance.

Sorry about the videography, such as it is -- this was the first time I used the video mode on my point-and-shoot Nikon, and it shows. But you can at least get a sense of her sweet little personality as well as how obedient she is. Or isn't, as the case may be. :)

Guess who's 14 today?

I can hardly believe it, but it's true. Daisy Mae Clampitt the Wonder Dog is now 14.

I've always thought of her as Mom's dog, but in reality she's now lived with me longer than she did with her. So, she's my dog. Officially.

I wanted to take some video of her doing cute things, but she hasn't really cooperated over the last couple of days. Every time I pulled out the camera, she'd do this -- lie down in a sunbeam and bask. Which is probably when she's at her happiest, outside of when she's asleep in my bed. So, I guess this picture is appropriate after all.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Let the sun shine

The temperature, driving home from work yesterday.

Glorious sun. Two days stretch out ahead, full of promise. Yay.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I got nothing

The head's still basically not cooperating terribly well, and it's left me with little to talk about aside from medication strategies and hanging on.

Not too interesting, so I'm sparing y'all. Once I can think again, I'll be back.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In which I decide to let my hair go curly-ish

I want to preface this by saying I realize it's not a terribly interesting subject to anyone but me. Read at your own risk (and if you're bored by this, David and David, you've been warned).

So, I've been straightening my hair to some degree or other for just about 30 years. The advent of flat irons has made this task considerably easier, but I've been a slave to blow dryers and round brushes at least, if not straightening serums and gels and heat protectants, on a day-in/day-out basis for basically my entire adult life.

The problem is that my hair's not quite curly enough to be worn curly, per se, but certainly too curly for nearly any "straight" hairstyle. I was lucky that through high school in the early '80s in Texas, big wavy hair was in (when the humidity didn't wreck it or turn it frizzy). But more often than not, the styles I've chosen in the years since have leaned to sleek side.

This was made all the worse when, two springs ago, I opted for an inverted bob -- longer in front than the back and worn straight all over. Every morning, there I was with the flat iron, trying to smooth my unruly hair into a shape that was cute, but completely contrary to my hair's natural texture and wont.

Well, I'm done. Officially. I have put away the Chi and Kerastase Oleo-Relax serum and decided to just let my hair do its thing. And I feel positively liberated. Every morning is a new adventure -- I'm never sure just what my hair's going to look like or do that day, since curl is dependant upon so many factors (moisture, amount of time I spend drying it, if I have the sunroof open while I drive in to work, the phase of the moon, if it's a night game played on artificial turf, etc.). And most days I do need to do a little something to make the curl, um, more uniform or otherwise help it along in places, so I'm not completely appliance- and product-free -- at least not yet.

But having hair that is more or less doing its own thing? Versus literally ironing it into an artificial texture and style every morning? Good times.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Snow in March

The trees blooming on my street have been raining down their white and pink petals for about a week now.


It's just so pretty -- the leaves are pushing their way through the blossoms, and with even the slightest breeze, there's a snowfall of flowery snow.


The white contrasts with the lawn, greening up after spring rain and an infusion of sunshine.


We're left with the equivalent of snow drifts on the side of the road, which today's coming rain will turn dark and mushy.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Officially spring

Another glorious, sunny, warm day yesterday in Sacramento. I needed some air anyway, so I joined what seemed like every state and legislative employee downtown in heading outside to grab lunch and bask in the sun.

Our spring days are just exquisite here. There's no humidity, a light breeze, surreally blue skies and sun, sun, sun. All too soon the sun will begin mocking us, bleaching grass and plants (this is why California is called the Golden State, I think), beating down mercilessly, leaving us to huddle in air conditioning while praying for Delta breezes.

But not yesterday. Yesterday was a celebration of the end of winter. Of the arrival of spring. Of a few weeks of impossibly perfect weather until summer grabs us around the throat and grimly holds on.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

An ode to Chick-Fil-A

Finally! Someone wrote a love song to Chick-Fil-A! Short but funny. And true.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recession/retro chic: Hamburger Helper

I'm a child of the '70s. Michael Jackson. Disco. CB radios. Rainbow suspenders.

And Hamburger Helper. I probably ate my weight in this stuff by the time I graduated from high school. With a working mom and Reagonomics in full effect, the boxed mixes made for cheap, quick and easy meals. Usually we ate it as-was, but sometimes we made things fancy: grated cheese! Ro-Tel tomatoes! canned corn!

Grocery shopping Sunday, I was puzzling over what to make for dinner this week, and as I wandered the rice and pasta aisle, a very familiar box caught my eye -- I didn't know they even still made this stuff. Safeway had it on sale for two boxes for $5 (I decided to go with the brand name vs. the generic version). A pound of hamburger was I think less than $1.50 -- so, for roughly $1 per serving, I had dinner.

I went nuts and got two kinds -- Chili Cheese and Cheeseburger Macaroni, both favorites from my childhood. They're not quite as salty as I remember (not sure if Mom tricked out dinner or if the company has bowed to the Sodium Police), but not bad. For $1 a meal.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Through the looking glass

Something interesting must have transpired in my little suburb today while I was at work, because Daisy has taken up residence in this chair next to a window, and she is very intently watching. And waiting.

All that's happened so far while I've been home is a gazillion flower petals have fallen out of the trees outside like snow, but that doesn't seem to be what she's after.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Praise and glory

I feel so much better. Wow.

I think in the midst of doing battle with the last migraine spiral, I'd sort of lost track of many things. First, how long it'd been since my pain level was not eclipsing other parts of my life (a week ago Saturday, as I count back now). Second, how much of my life falls away when I hurt -- church, certainly, and clearly writing, but also keeping up with my house and going to the gym. That leads to my eating worse and getting poorer quality sleep. All of which in their way serve to fuel the headaches and perpetuate the cycle. It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, but as the migraine spiral lengthens and the headaches persist, it's hard to tell where the causal agent stops and the side effects start.

The most recent spiral spun pretty well out of control Friday afternoon. I had to bail out of the PCRT conference before the evening session and missed all of yesterday's teaching (wah! Steve Lawson AND Jerry Bridges!). By the time last night rolled around, I was beginning to think that maybe, this time, finally, the headache just wouldn't ever go away. Ever. Like, this was just going to be how things would be for the rest of my life. This was not a good thought to ponder as I wandered the house Saturday, lolling on the couch, gobbling various meds and coffee, and crying a little.

I don't know what happened over night. I'm not sure if it was Artie's gentle rubbing of my neck and shoulders on Friday that began the denouement, or if watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone before bed relaxed me to the point that I was able to sleep well; it could be that the Lord graciously answered sweet Colette's prayers that my pain would ease so I could come back to church. In any case, I woke up this morning, for the first time in more than a week, completely pain free. Completely. Not a niggle, not a twinge -- nothing.

I danced out of bed. Danced and sang in the shower. Danced out to the car and into church. And hugged nearly everyone I crossed paths with. I was thrilled to go to Safeway with the crazy hordes of weekend shoppers. Ecstatic to tackle laundry and other long-neglected chores that have left my home somewhat randomized. Atwitter at the thought of going to the gym this afternoon, after a six-week lapse between the Dreaded Cold of Doom and then the last headache. It just feels so good to feel good!

Thank you, God.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Song of the day

Singer Jeff Buckley died at the age of 30 in 1997, way too young, way too soon.

He was famous in New York City's East Village for covering a wide range of artists' songs and had completed one studio album, Grace. He was working on new material for My Sweetheart the Drunk, which has been released posthumously, at the time of his death.

Probably his most famous song is his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," which he makes his own with haunting, soulful vocals. This song, though, "Everybody Here Wants You," has long been my favorite.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hat trick

My headaches tend to cycle. There's an occasional curve thrown in, but for the most part, there's almost a schedule-like quality to their frequency. The schedule shifts over time but tends to hold its pattern long enough for me to at least be aware of it.

I've come to see that there's great blessing in their predictability. Having a sense of when I'm likely to be down gives me an opportunity to work around the headaches, anticipate problem times. Of course, I rarely actually do this. I breeze along on good days and on the bad ones repress the tell-tale signs and live in denial that there's a day off the grid right around the corner.

When I woke up with a headache this morning, I realized I am on a seven-day cycle now. I know this because this is the third Sunday in a row that I've been in pain. Sundays, with worship and preaching and fellowship, are my favorite days of the week, and the last two weeks I haven't been able to be there because I was in pain. Today will make it three in a row.

I miss everybody so much. But I'm prayerful that this cycle will soon break and let me get back to where I so want to be.

Friday, March 6, 2009


The Watchmen.

Opening day.

In Imax.

In El Dorado Hills, of all places, which is another story.

I'm so excited to see this movie, directed by Zach Snyder, who also directed 300, a movie about the Battle of Thermopylae.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So true

From Natalie Dee. She has such a way of capturing things.

natalie dee

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


To: My cough
Re: Enough already

I finally looked at the calendar today. It was a month ago that I came down with the stupid Cold of Doom that started you. A month.

And yet you hang on, arguably worse than during the actual sickness. Little tickles. Breath grabbing hacks. Conversation interruptions. Always out of my control and totally gross sounding. And ruining my sleep.

Why are you still here? What is your purpose? And why have you afflicted Sean and Lynne as well? The office sounds like some sort of infectious respiratory disease clinic where we're all there, hacking away.

It is nearly spring. We are changing the clocks this weekend, even. You are no longer welcome.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Two great tastes that go great together

I love me some "Lost" and am a faithful PostSecret reader. So I was really happy when I saw this PostSecret posting today: