Recipe for a Perfect Saturday

Apr 30, 2006

Sleep with the windows open, waking to a gentle breeze and twittering birds.

Breakfast of eggs & spinach on buttered wheat toast. With coffee, lots of coffee.

Housework, still with open windows. Enjoy the scent of fresh air mingling with pine-fresh and orange oil.

Lunch of tuna salad with dill and tarragon on piles of red leaf lettuce.

Gardening under sunny skies. Plant lots of flowers and kitchen herbs.

Dinner of mushroom & spinach pizza with a glass of red wine.

Fall asleep as a thunderstorm rolls in, the fragrance of ozone, fresh dirt, and grass clippings drifting through the still-open windows.

Ahh. Perfect.

The Era of Arachnid - Homo Sapien Understanding and Cooperation

Apr 28, 2006

Attention Spiders:

We agree that spiders have a necessary and important role in world ecology. You are useful creatures to have around, keeping the insect population under control and all that. And we realize that we humans are never more than three feet from a member of your talented species.

That being said, we would like to live in peace with your kind. We won't bother you, if you don't bother us.

Chez Knighton is not a totalitarian dictatorship intent upon gassing our eight-legged compatriots. In fact, we will provide you safe haven in dark and cool places, beneath cupboards, behind furniture, and even among our houseplants.

However, should you decide to invade our shower, dropping in on unsuspecting bathers, you will be washed down the drain without ceremony. Be ye warned!

Do we have an accord?

They're Back

After three blissful weeks of dreams NOT involving copious amounts of chewing gum, it showed up again last night - in a nightmare this time. I have nightmares so rarely, that I forgot how scary they can be, especially when your mouth is clogged with a stickly substance which no amount of pulling and digging can remove.

And, for the record, I dream in color and can actually feel the gum stuck between my teeth. Everything is so real to me, that I have to wake up to know it's not a dream. Frustrating actually because then I can't get back to sleep for worrying about the gum. Grrrr.

Bring Out Your Dead

Apr 26, 2006

Thursday, April 20th, was a beautiful day for a funeral. It was a sunny East Texas day (that is to say: stifling.) Long lost relatives and friends showed up a little before 3pm for a graveside service to honor my dear Aunt Katy.

Only it didn't start at 3. Or even 3:30. And that was just about the moment things got interesting. My nephews began to play "King of the Mountain." Yeah. THAT mountain.

Then a lady in a wheelchair was rolled under the tent, along with her oxygen tank. The guy helping her lit a cigarette, took a long drag. Twenty people took a big step back. Someone should have stopped him, but no one wanted to get too close. 'Cause, you know.

That's when the dog showed up. There is a reason we call them weiner dogs, and this one looked like an overstuffed sausage on a leash. Who brings a dog to a funeral? Seriously. Who?

Finally, my uncle and cousins showed up, at about a quarter till 4. And really - who wants to bury a wife and mother? Certainly not Uncle Joe, who wandered the cemetary while the Reverend finally began the service to calm the angry mob mourners.

And what a memorial! Allow me to quote a little: "Death reminds us of our mortality, that we too will return to dust. Death reminds us of our sin, and the importance to repent before God calls us home. And that reminds me that we'll have refreshments and cold drinks at the church after this service. (Proceeds to give directions to the Seventh Day Adventist church in town.)" No joke. He plugged his church within the first three minutes of the eulogy.

So, there you have it, folks. Only in East Texas.

The Land of the Living

Apr 25, 2006

Hey folks! I'm back from a very long, trying week. Subtitle: vacation, interrupted.

I'll write more tomorrow, including the much-anticipated account of a certain funeral we attended last week. This much can be said: Handsome will not be outdone. He wants the Big Top for his send off - midget gymnasts, fire-eaters, sword-swallowers, and dancing poodles. The whole shebang. Maybe they'll even shoot his remains out of a giant cannon!

There and Back Again

Apr 19, 2006

Handsome and I drove to East Texas to see family after Easter service last Sunday. We drove back to Austin on Monday evening. And we're driving back for the funeral tomorrow morning.

It's a good thing I have lots of practice with road trips - a three hour drive feels like no time at all.

side note: on Monday evening, a gust of wind slammed my car door shut - on my hand. Nothing's broken, but I am a bit bruised. If it's not one thing, it's another!


Apr 15, 2006

My mother's sister was 12 or 13 when I was born, and instantly, I became her screaming, squirming, real-life baby doll. She always had gum and candy in her purse. She would sneak me chocolate in the back pew on Sunday mornings. She pierced my ears the week before I started Kindergarten. She taught me to wear make up and high heels. She helped me learn to drive. She kept my secrets.

She wore her hair short and spunky because she was short and spunky. My mom liked to say that she was impulsive, but really, she just wanted to have more fun than everyone else. She laughed a lot, and her laughter was infectious.

In the last hour of Friday, April 14th, my Aunt Katy departed this earth. She leaves behind an adoring husband, Joe, and two daughters, Mary and Kaitlyn. And a big, gaping hole where her laughter ought to be.


Apr 14, 2006

Finally! A TV show I can get on board with. The synopsis:

"Inspired by actual cases, the series depicts how the confluence of police work and mathematics provides unexpected revelations and answers to the most perplexing criminal questions."

See. Mathematicians always win in the end.

Texas or Bust

I have a 7am date with Frontier Airlines. This means I have to be up at stupid-o'clock-in-the-morning, but I couldn't be happier about it.

The Day My Heart Stopped

Apr 13, 2006

Seven years ago today, my sister's first son was born - about two-and-a-half months earlier than expected. But for me, that wasn't the scariest part.

My sister's life was in jeopardy, and for a couple of terrifying hours, I didn't know where she was and I couldn't talk to her. It took Handsome about an hour to track her down - in an ambulance somewhere in East Texas. He finally connected with the nurse at the hospital maternity ward, where they were anxiously awaiting her arrival. After what felt like an eternity, I heard her voice. She was calm and collected; I was a wreck.

I thank God for my nephew's safe arrival. And I thank God that He protected Leah that day. I don't know what I'd do without her.

Jennifer and the No Good, Very Bad Day

Apr 12, 2006

At least the hotel provided bottled water for the teeth-brushing and face-washing this morning. My extensive camping experience finally came in handy.

Things got a little better after that, since my customer meetings went fairly well.

And then...I got pulled over. 73 in a 55. Sigh. I didn't even see the sign.

These are the moments when you pray for grace and favors even though you don't deserve it. I DID break the law, however inadvertently, but please, oh please, I didn't mean it and I promise to obey the law going forward. Cross my heart.

Heaven smiled on me, and the very kind officer (who was obviously having a much better day than me) let me go with a warning.

You Know It's Going to Be a Bad Day When... drop your favorite hair clip into the hotel toilet only to discover that there is no running water with which to wash your hands and the ill-fated clip.

Which also means there is no running water, period. Which is a bad thing when you need to shower and brush your teeth BEFORE meeting your new customers.


Random Thoughts

Apr 11, 2006

Leah mentioned that she and I prayed for our husbands' last names before we married. And she's right, Handsome's last name really is cooler than Knighton. Believe it.

Is it wrong to pray that the meal you're eating will be served in heaven? Because it WAS that good.

The world looks different when you're a million miles away from home. Even the beautiful places are somewhat less glorious when you're alone.

Chasing tornados is one part crazy, one part scary, and one part awesome. I have enough morbid curiousity to want to chase storms, but not enough of a death wish to actually go through with it.

I don't understand why Indian tribes are allowed to own casinos. I do business with a few tribal schools, and I don't think it would be wise to ask, as much as I might wish to.

Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!

Lucy added me to her blog roll. AND in the last 48 hours, my site has been visited by people from Estonia, Kuwait, Poland, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Texas and Missouri.

You know what this means? I AM somebody.

Thanks to everyone!

P.S. I haven't had any dreams about gum since Friday night. It seems that just recognizing what it was all about was enough to stem the tide. As a replacement, my dreams have been filled with country music. Which would actually make them nightmares, especially when one wakes up with the stupid song stuck in one's head. Can't decide which is worse, the gum or the country music.

P.P.S. I think the Starbucks barista might have slipped some caf in my decaf.

Power Mac

Apr 9, 2006

It's not every Sunday morning that the preacher discusses the inherent evil of loading Windows XP on your Macintosh. From the pulpit.

See. Windows really is the dark side. hehehe

Choose De Llama

Apr 8, 2006

It's not everyday that you see a full grown llama wandering around a well-manicured front lawn in a suburban neighborhood.

Midnight Music Madness

I read that Rush is working on another album. Hopefully, this will mean a tour in 2007 or 2008. I can hardly wait.

Also, I've been hearing a lot of Alice in Chains on the radio these days. Apparently, they're touring again, sans Layne Staley, of course. Sad we'll never hear Layne's voice again; he and Jerry Cantrell created some amazing melodies.

Metallica used to be much better. Can't say that I like any of their newer stuff.

I really enjoy Pat Boone's album In a Metal Mood. His cover of Crazy Train cracks me up.

Am I the only one who digs the music on that Dodge Charger commercial? You know, the mash of Hair of the Dog and Live & Loose.

I love oddball music, especially Hayseed Dixie, the bluegrass AC/DC tribute band. I think They Might Be Giants also qualifies in the oddball category, and I like them too.

I don't really like Korn (they're kinda scary), but Twisted Transistor rocks.

The Gospel of Judas

The larger question (in my mind, at least) is this: Are all non-canonical texts inherently heresy? If yes, why? If not, why don't we include them in the canon or at least as an apocryphal addition?

Personalized License Plates

Apr 7, 2006

I have never understood the affinity for personalized plates. I think of them as one more way to make yourself more easily identifiable by the state troopers, not something I want to accomplish. In any case, here are a couple I saw today:

Montana Plates
translation: "I live in my mother's basement"

Idaho Plates
no, we be illiterate

Dreams of Chewing Gum

More dreams involving chewing gum. This is getting ridiculous. Last time I mentioned this, someone posted a possible interpretation from

To dream that you are unable to get rid of your gum, suggests that you are experiencing some indecision, powerlessness or frustration. You may lack understanding in a situation or find that a current problem is overwhelming.


Rhyme and Reason

Apr 5, 2006

Little Miss Muffet stood in the shower
Washing her face and her hair.
Along came a spider
Which dropped down besider her....

And she freaked out, squished it with her shampoo bottle, and washed it down the drain.

I hate killing spiders, really I do. They're very useful creatures, and this one didn't mean any harm. Sigh.


So, Apple has decided to post instructions on how to install Windows XP on the latest Intel-based Macs. I am astounded, but our stock seems pretty happy about it.

How to Have Strange Dreams

Apr 3, 2006

Step 1: Listen to an hour-and-a-half of a sci-fi/fantasy audiobook during your daily walk.

Step 2: Read a couple chapters from a religious memoir after dinner each evening.

Step 3: Read a few dozen pages of a literary novel before bed every night.

Step 4: Dwell on the anxiety of yet another dream about mouthfuls of gum.

Step 5: Toss & turn.

Step 6: Enjoy strange dreams about monks, airplanes, magic, escalators, and shape-shifters. And more gum.

Exercise Disguised as Fun

Apr 2, 2006

During my walks, I like to stop at the park for some crunches on the swing set. Ten or fifteen minutes generally does the trick. I get to feel the thrill of heights and the wind in my hair and get to burn some calories like I'm a kid again.

Today, a little boy, maybe 6 or 7, was using the swing next to the open one, and as I approached, before I could even sit down, he was calling out his introductions.

"Hi! What's your name?"

"I'm Jennifer."

"That's my mom. Her name is Jennifer too. And that's my little brother."

"Hello. Beautiful day."

"I have two brothers."

"Really? I don't have any brothers."

"No brothers?!"

"No, but I have a sister. She has a little boy about your age, and he has two brothers AND a sister."


And then came the awkward moment when he wanted me to be friends with his parents. And, of course, adults do not generally make new friends with a stranger on a swing set having a conversation with their child. We just stared at each other, finally uttering "nice to meet you" or some other innocuous greeting.

Eventually, they moved on to the jungle gym, and the boy smiled and waved goodbye. When did we adults become so closed off and afraid of each other?