Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Went to see Marley and Me and loved it. Very sweet movie, perfect way to spend New Year's Eve. Go see it tomorrow if you haven't already.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Parade of Goodies

Santa's bag of goodies this year.....the seedlings are red oaks, which Popdaughter requested and has already planted at a local park. It was her favorite gift, I will post pics soon of the planting, the mulching, and the kissing and hugging (yes, I'm not kidding) of Phineas Herbert...her baby tree.


Love this gift from Santa...a season's worth of episodes. Keeping us entertained in front of the fire at night.....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas To You

Hoping Santa brings everything you want tonight.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

I have one more day to shop, wrap, clean, cook, and be in a good mood so everyone around here will have a great night tomorrow night and good Christmas day....I'm sure you are doing the same if you are a mom. So, off to Macy's.....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Life's Seasons

Sometimes what was hard, very hard yesterday, is today quite fun. Still challenging, still a stretch, but at this new juncture, fun. Worth it. Worth the time and trouble that the task requires. Life is strange that way. So I would advise all of us to never say never. Never announce we'll never do something again. Because what I turn my back on and loathe in one season of life might be just what the Dr. ordered in another. Go figure.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Selfishness vs. Selflessness

I'm trying to distinguish between selfishness and drawing the line where you know you've reached your limit. Is a person supposed to just do what everyone thinks is best even if you know you just can't do it? Even if the heart races at the thought of having to do it? Even when the task would really really benefit the family? Does one just take a big gulp, put personal needs aside and do it anyway? Is that the true definition of selflessness?

Opposite Attraction

Opposites attract. How many times have I heard that? It's true for Mr. Popcorn and yours truly. I like silence, he likes sound. I can be in the house alone all day in complete silence, perfectly content. He grabs the remote, turns on the TV, and walks out the backdoor to weed eat the yard. I spend, he saves. I like change and variety, he likes sameness and routine. I change my mind about things, he clamps down on a decision like a steel trap without a backward glance. I wing it, he plans it. I'm tactful to a fault (or I let myself believe I am) and he says it like it is with no tippy tippy toeing through the tulips. He goes silent when he's unhappy, silence goes when I am. I can't stay mad for long, he can keep a mad on for, uh, much longer. I don't care if I win, he's highly competitive and would just as soon eat dirt as lose a game. I can do many things that pass muster, but every one of his endeavors ooze with excellence. Are our souls looking for their missing part? Sometimes our differences bug the bejeebers out of me and can cause fireworks. But mostly the parts of him that are so different from me I find heartwarming, endearing, comforting and downright entertaining. He makes up for the holes in me, and I do the same for him. Interesting. Huh. Frustrating truth while at the same time a beautiful balance.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Soulful Sunday

Today our choir sang Michael W. Smith's Son of God. The verses go like this: Son of God, purest light, Lord on high is here tonight. Stepping through this sacred sky, suddenly our eyes behold....heaven's perfect plan unfold, Son of God.

Son of God, love divine, timeless one steps in to die. Who could dream of such a thing? With us now the King of Kings, man and angels bow and sing...singing hallelujah, hallelujah.

It was a complicated arrangement with parts for a solo, a children's choir, a descant, and an ensemble. It was beautiful. My favorite line is "stepping through this sacred sky"...that's what He did. He came out of heaven, down to earth. God wrapped in flesh living here on earth with us. That line really reminded me afresh of the magnitude of what we are celebrating during this advent season. I am grateful for such inspired messages delivered from Him through the beautiful music of Christmas.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So Many Blessings

You, my friends and family
the color of the sky the next few days after Ike, pink and purple swirls
God's timing, always trumps mine
e mail
text messaging
favorite running shoes, asics with turquoise blue on them
hubby's insightful teaching on Sundays
son's delight in being taller than his mom
leaves on front porch
Charlotte on front porch sitting on leaves
daughter's artistic talent and kind heart
daughter's hilarious humor and fighting spirit
working only part time
being married to a gentleman who gets my car door
son's wisdom for a 16 year old
and yes, reading blogs and writing this one
xxoo thankful popcorn

Popcorn Poses a Question: Faith = it that simple?

Recently I've made a conscience effort to handle some things in ways that are completely opposite from my normal patterns. Is that sentence grammatically awkward? Sorry my English teacher and editor friends,( yes you Katy, Carol, Linka, Sue, Bethy31...etc.) please forgive as you read. I have tried to be stricter with myself concerning all sorts of things. I've tried to be more obedient and submissive, and a little less rebellious to life's little rules that I am guilty of slacking on. I've tried to make adjustments and corrections in some of my behaviors like a secret project to test what life would be like if I was more respectful of in place boundaries. For example, the clock... Tardiness...I'm not really chronically super late to things, but rarely arrive on the dot. In the past few weeks I've tried to correct that by thinking ahead (hard for me right there) and planning out how much time I need to do every single thing I want to do before I leave the house, walk to the car and drive to the destination and still be right ON TIME. Happily, there's been some improvement. Another is attention to detail. Is it 6:00 or 6:30 that the thing starts?? Will activity A overlap activity B and what do I need to do to make sure it is actually doable? Do I need to nix something from the schedule to avoid chaos? Am I actually noticing the rests in the music I'm trying to sing or am I sloppily hoping nobody noticed it was me who kept singing? Won't submitting to and obeying the rest improve the beauty of the song for everyone? I am also working on obedience to God. I say I'm obedient, I profess that I am.... but am I really? I've been trying to close the gap between what I say I do and what I actually do on a daily basis. He makes it clear how to be obedient, and in some ways it is not too hard. But there are circumstances that are very difficult to place in His hands. Me and Carrie U. belt out Jesus take the wheel, but can I do it? I've been trying. I won't spell out the laborious details, but generally speaking I've just amped up my actions and tried not to be sloppy and lazy about my faith and do more than just pay it lip service Sunday mornings. It seems that obedience in simple things, my very willingness to submit to His authority, serves as a conduit through which God allows my faith to deepen. Hello, it's that simple. xxoo

Monday, November 24, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Popcorn's Pulling It All Out

I'm pulling out the Christmas stuff today. The greenery, the candles, the nativities. I've never started quite this early before but the day is open and there's nothing on the calendar so why not get a head start for a change? We love love love Christmas around here so I know all the Popcorns will be happy when they get home and see that Popelf has been hard at work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Popcorn's Problem with No Problem

I cannot stand it when people substitute the phrase "no problem" for "your welcome". I think it sounds rude. It totally grates on my last raw nerve. Ok. I feel better with that off my chest.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Creeped Out Here Alone

I looked forward to tonight. The Popmen had a shindig at church, "Grillin' and Gridiron", and I was looking forward to a little time here in a quiet house getting the last of Halloween down, putting it away.... putting out some turkeys....maybe shifting around some furniture....just piddling. Love to piddle with classical music and a candle keeping me company. It was great, at first. But then I was upstairs putting some things in a closet, up on a shelf. I put the last of the Halloween village houses carefully beside the rest of them and climbed down from the stool I was using. The closet door drifted closed, but not all the way. I walked across the room with my back to that door and then I heard it close completely. Now people this was creepy. I don't watch scary movies, I don't read scary books. I don't even like music with too many minor chords in it. Honestly I do not get scared in the house alone, ever, never. Not in all the years we've lived here. I've even spent a couple of nights in a row here alone, no problem; slept just fine. But now that door closing shut like that made goose bumps on my arms. I kind of froze for a minute a little afraid to move, I think that's called fright...? I grabbed my basket of stuff and high tailed in downstairs. I unlocked the front door and went outside for a second just to make sure the door would unlock that's how creeped out I was. I really wanted to call Pophub and ask when they were coming home, but I resisted. Honestly what am I, five?? I want you to know that several times I needed to go back up there but when my foot stepped on the first stair, I stopped. Just could not bring my weeny Popself to go back up. Is that not WEIRD?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Popcorn's Piano

I don't know why, but I think grand pianos are so beautiful. The lines of a grand piano are graceful, purposeful, meaningful, and pleasing to my eye. The beauty of the grand piano foreshadows the music it allows its players to coax from its keys. The grand piano lends a room, a house even, a stateliness; a sophistication and formality. It is a beloved part of this house. I love to sit and play it when I am here alone and no one can hear my clunkers when I miss a chord. I just enjoy hearing the sounds that come from it resonating through the house. I love to listen to popson play, he hardly ever hits clunkers. Piano music floating through my house takes me to my happy place and I can't imagine a house without a piano or its music.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Popcorn's Patriarchal Parallels

Studying the Patriarchs in Genesis has me mulling tonight. Mulling over how very human they were. Gnawing on their personalities, their viewpoints, and their circumstances. Which of course, leads me back to...well, me. Surprise! Despite my very human emotions, needs, and shortcomings of all kinds, I still have to "act" like a Christian. I have to behave in a way that I might not exactly feel like behaving in the moment. I might have to say something nicer that what I'm actually feeling. Perhaps I will find myself not wanting to be kind to a particular person in the grocery store line that thinks it's his turn to check out when in fact my turn is not quite over and he's irritatingly all up in my grill. In my space. One of the hardest, hardest things to do is to is keep my chin up all the live long time through life's little aggravating moments. I guess what I'm getting at (finally! I hear you gasp) is that as flesh and blood people it is such a struggle to "make nice" all the time. Sometimes I just want to not be nice. I want to be rude and tacky and speak my exact mind. I want to scream at the slow turner ahead of me "are you driving or camping out?"... Therein lies the struggle; trying to keep it together enough to stay quiet. The people in Genesis are an inspiration to me because hey, they too struggled to keep it together but sometimes just flat didn't. They deceived each other, killed enemies (yep, uh huh they did) stole wives, seduced servants, sold brothers, nabbed birthrights, lied, tricked family members, got drunk, and framed each other. They were an unseemly crew but did that stop God's will from being done in their lives??? No. That makes me feel better, doesn't it you?? Just mulling it over tonight while listening to the rain.

Last Game

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Friday, November 7, 2008

Popcorn Peers In

Ike knocked down many fences in our neighborhood. You can now peer into the backyards of people's homes... and somehow that's embarrassing. When I drive by I can't help but notice the fence is gone and what was once hidden is now exposed. Some backyards, yes, are visions of loveliness. Beautifully landscaped pools and arbors. But some, oy. Old lawn furniture sitting haggardly on the patio, toys strewn on the lawn, dead plants drooping, a tired BBQ grill looking lonely. These are big, fine and fancy homes that one would not expect to have an unsightly back yard. It's, well....shocking. Some of the fences needed to fall down, they were old and rotted and hanging by a thread anyway and really needed a fresh start. Slowly homes are rebuilding new sturdy fences made of gorgeous sweet smelling lumber to protect their property; a comforting boundary the keeps the good in and the bad out. It took a storm to expose the need, the ugliness, and force a fresh start. Now folks, there's so many spiritual implications here! I'm not going to preach. BUT I SURE COULD.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Popcorn's Presents

The upside of birthdays has always been that yummy feeling of feeling loved. All year long you know it, it's a given, it's there. But on the actual birthday when family and friends go out of their way to let you know, it is just so uplifting. Here's a little list of fun things that happened on the 29th....

1. My friend Susan, who hates to bake, baked me a birthday cake. She stirred it with her precious grandson on her hip, who she babysits several days a week. She baked a delicious chocolatey cake and decorated it with candy corn and a candle. We all LOVED it Susan!! Thank you so very much. You should definetely bake more often.

2.I received phone calls and e mails all day long from my friends and family telling me they were thinking of me and hoped that I was having a good day. Such a simple gesture that feels so good.

3.My friend Carol tried very hard to chase me down so she could bring over my "happy", but alas we never found each other. But just knowing she was on the hunt for me was gift enough. Thanks Carol!!

4.My hubby and my son took me to dinner at one of our regular haunts and celebrated over our favorite plates of delicious food. Simple and fun! They gifted me with jewelry that was so pretty. Thanks Pophub and Popson!!

5. Both Popdaughters made double dog sure they called me and told me they loved me. Thanks girls!

6. My mom spent the night after attending Popson's football game and choir concert. She gifted me with a stack of "cabbage leaf" plates that I've wanted for a while. The next morning we hung out in our robes and drank coffee, then headed to ihop for some yum breakfast, then hit some stores around here. That was fun! Thanks Popmom!

The upside makes the downside easier to take, if you know what I mean Vern. xxoo pop

Happy Halloween and Goodbye Lovely October

October is my favorite month of the entire year. Love the weather, love the season it ushers forth, love the cheerful orange and fiery red tree hues, love the apple crisp mornings, love the light October casts both a.m. and p.m., love homecoming games, love that I was born in Oct., and LOVE HALLOWEEN. Love trick or treaters, love their costumes, love the doorbell when it is pressed by a little ghoulish finger, love the protective parents watching from the street, love the candy, love my jack-o-lantern, love my canine witch and skeleton. I know you love it too, how can you not? Happy Halloween and farewell lovely month.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Popcorn's Perfect Weather

I'm sorry but may I brag?. South Texas has some awesome weather. I like it when it's hot, I like it when it's cold, and I LOVE it when it's today. October mornings in Texas are a little slice of heaven. My neck of the woods is the perfect place to own a convertible. We have just the right amount of cool to zip around the neighborhood with the top down, a light jacket on, my favorite sunglasses and a pretty scarf around my neck. I turn the heater on so it will blow on my feet and I am telling you it is the coziest spin ever! Zooming around the bend under trees and dappled sunlight is glorious. Sometimes my new driver (favorite son...only son) and I will just pile in the thing at night, me wrapped in a furry blanket, my little McKauley in my lap, and go for a starry- skied drive around the hood. It is so much fun! I swear that's all the happiness I need in life. Cold air, my son driving, my little schnauzer's tongue flappin' in the breeze and stars twinkling in the big Texas sky. I am counting that blessing right here with you as my blog witness. Thank you Lord!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Little Thing and Popcorn's Toilet Paper

The older I get,(and I'm getting older Wednesday of this week which perhaps explains this line of thinking) the more I worry that one little thing I choose to do might change the complexion of my life, my child's life, my husband's life, my dog's life, our happy lives. I guess that comes with getting enough years behind me to cast backwards glances at choices made and how they affected life from that point forward. This all born from the realization that one little thing can, has, and will again, certainly cause change for better, or for worse. The circumstances of my life have been forever altered by who knows what frivolous or hasty (read: selfish or impulsive) decisions I've instigated. In our youth it is impossible to have this prospective. This is mental torture only maturity can bring. Yippee. I can come at this thing from many different angles...the first of which is to do a mental 180 and look straight back, scanning the landscape of my mumble mumble years. Past decisions TO do one thing over another. (request a particular kindergarten teacher? Or keep big pie hole shut?) Or NOT TO do something.(Face facts or remain in blissful denial?) Or to meddle with something that I had ALREADY decided, and changed my mind mid decision. Or talked Mr. Popcorn into. Or told Mr. Popcorn that I wanted this or I wanted that, and Mr. Popcorn being the adorable thing he is, proceeded to move heaven and earth to get it for me. Only for me to decide three days later that naa, I don't guess I really want to buy that, go there, move here, eat then, drive that, pursue that career, you know small, iffy things like that. Another way to play with this mind thing is to hesitate suggesting something for fear that once you suggest it, and the suggestion is acted upon, I've now propelled something in motion that one second ago was not going to take place. I have manipulated fate. What if something bad happens??? "Honey, just ride your bike over there." "No, just have so and so drive over here instead." "Why don't you consider so and so college?" I worry that decisions I make have the potential to have negative ramifications that I didn't consider when making the decision.(I've burned myself so many times before) Sure, a move might mean greater convenience, a larger den, but what unknowns lurk hidden that might alter the happy little shindig we've got going on? Why change something that is working just fine and dandy? Is this why older people resist change?I ask you is this why? Oh my gosh. It's all becoming clear to me. I'm getting old. Besides the blood pressure medicine on my nightstand, I had a little foreshadowing of this the other day when I stacked two rolls of toilet paper on an a cute little iron paper towel holder and put it by the powder room potty. I stood back and looked at it trying to decide if it was tacky or not. I said to self, "Now self, that sort of rings old ladyish", but I left it there. Practicality won over style... Oh my gosh. Is this how it starts??? Am I morphing into a granny? The flappy too short pants, now the extra toilet paper in plain sight?? I'm getting that toilet paper out of there this minute.

Popcorn Ponders Oddities of the (my) Mind

Today I was driving on Beltway 8 and when I reached a particular part of the toll road, my thoughts drifted to refrigerators, then to cook tops and dishwashers. It seems that each time I drive on that stretch of that freeway, I think about first refrigerators...then on to other, well, appliances! Odd. Is it because I am near (can't see it though) a Sears store where we bought some appliances about 20 years ago? Did you know that I can just THINK about a particular maternity outfit from Pea in the Pod (pink drop waist long sleeved tunic thing with leggings) and feel nauseous? There's a certain box of Tide whose odor affects me the same way. Nasty odd. When I smell Aramis cologne, I am 16 again, with hubby (then boyfriend) at a movie theater with sparkly pavement where we stood in line to buy tickets. Sweetly odd. I have a pair of black capri length work out pants that are sort of bell bottom shaped and flap my ankle when I walk. (hate that) Every time I wear them, I can't quit thinking about my mother in law. I actually FEEL myself looking like she looked in her pants. EEWE. Scary odd. (Currently they are in the give away pile because I just can't keep going there) When I stand in certain places in my house specific memories always start swirling around in my head like a vapor. Quietly, unobtrusively, but every bit present EVERY TIME. Melancholy odd. When I decide to wear red nail polish, the same thought scrolls across my brain..."Mrs. Popcorn, when you were my teacher I always watched your hands, they were so expressive." I ran into a student years and years and years ago that said this to me. I must have been wearing red polish as I listened to her talk about my hands. Now it's stuck in there. Irritatingly odd. Gosh, I wonder if this is common, or am I just odd? I wonder.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Today is a huge day for precious Popson. Our last offspring was granted a driver's license very early this a.m. We were the first in line, a barely sixteen year old nose practically pressing on the glass door of the DPS office. I made no mothering mistakes this morning: I showed up properly armed with all required hoops of fire, (documentation) cash to pony up, key to hand over. He rattled off the letters in the vision tester with his 10/10 vision, pressed thumbs on fingerprint infrared, smiled for the birdie, and it was a done deal. YEA!!!! He is one happy birthday boy. Happy 16th birthday to my son, who will, if I do say so myself, be an excellent addition to the Texas roadways.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Popcorn's Pearly Whites

As of 4:00 today I have a perfect mouth. No more cavities to fill, no more pending crowns to seat. I vow to never ingest another morsel of enamel eroding sugar. It's a financial issue for crying out loud. Do you know how much we've spent on my teeth just this summer alone? Let me just say, way too much. All because I love these:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Fun

All photos by popdaughter (in black)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Popcorn's Plumber...not your average joe

My brother is the owner of a very successful plumbing company. His trucks roll all over this huge town we live in. With his skills and talent he grew our dad's business that provided very nicely for both of us as we grew up. His business acumen and people skills have honed his business into a large corporation that employs many and has a stellar reputation. I am amused by the media and their handling of the Joe the Plumber story this week. I kept thinking they need to interview Daren the Plumber, because he is NO average Joe!! Love ya bro! xxoo