Saturday, February 25, 2006

Say whatever you like about Velveta Cheese.
(I don't like it either)
But the fact remains - Velveta Cheese BOXES are an incredible invention.

Velveta Cheese boxes make great pencil boxes (and if you're a teacher - they fit nicely on the chalk board railing!)
They're also good for holding receipts, buttons, change for tolls, chalk, violin strings, and dollar bills (they're the perfect size for dollar bills!)

The Dollar Bill Holding Capacity (plus a calculator, and The Kids Book of Questions) came in handy today at the Girl Scout Cookie Booth. In terms of sales/customers it was rather slow, so we spent lots of time playing with the Book of Questions and talking about life.

7 year olds are really good at deep, meaningful, conversations about life.
If you haven't chatted with one recently, I highly recomend it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Mother Dear picked up a box of “Sun Dried Tomato and Basil” flavored Wheat Thins,
But decided she didn’t like them,
So, she passed them off to me.
(I don’t say no to free food!)

Having eaten about 10 of the Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Wheat Thins, I have come to two conclusions.
1. Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Wheat Thins are mighty tastey.
2. Sun Dried Tomato and Basil flavored anything is exactly the same as Pizza flavored stuff. ("Sun Dried Tomato and Basil" just sounds more grown-up and sophisticated).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I accidentally discovered a wonderful gift to give to those who have lost loved ones. When I remember something warm, funny, or profound (or even something delightfully goofy) about someone who is deceased, I call or write their closest living relative and tell them about it. Every single time I’ve done so, I’ve received in return a beautiful combination of laughter, tears, and words of gratitude for just remembering that person. Or as one grieving mom once told me, “I think about him all the time; I love knowing that someone else is thinking about him, too."
Full Post:

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

(in three easy steps)

Step 1 – grab stuff out of the front/back seats

Step 2 – toss this stuff in the trunk

Repeat as often as necessary until all the “stuff” is off the seats/floor and in the trunk and not visible.

Step 3 – Take you car in for service at one of the shops that vacuums the carpets.

Viola’ a clean car!

* * *

Alas, once in a while, (like on Girl Scout cookie delivery day) one might find that one needs a clean/empty trunk as well as a clean car. on such an occasion, one must venture into the trunk of the car, and actually CLEAN out the stuff.

It's can be a rather interesting process
This morning I found three pairs of clean socks, a rain coat, two hangers, a box of band-aids, umbrella, clip board, my wonderful old pair of hiking boots, and a copy of the curriculum we use at work!

* * *

Yes, I cleaned out my trunk
Step 1 - Grab stuff
Step 2 - Put stuf in spare grocery bags
Step 3 - Bring large garbage bags inside, and leave on bed to sort out later

* * *

My whole car is now squeaky clean (yipee!)
And, with a clean car, I was able to fit 15 cases of Girl Scout cookies in the trunk (horray!)

Alas, there are several bags of stuff on my bed
And I want to go to sleep.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Before I jump into my crazy-busy day (because it's going to be a crazy-busy kind of day) I thought I'd share a short little valentines day story (for your reading enjoyment!)

My grandmother has always gotten all her kids/grandkids a pair of socks for Valentines day (she'd wrap it up in pretty valentines paper and pass them out to everyone as fun little gifts).

Some people think that's weird, but it's not at all strange when you grow up with it. In fact, if you were a 9 year old who had always gotten socks for Valentines day, you might even think of it as a tradition.

I was in 3rd grade when I told Kristen U. that I had my "Valentine's Socks" on (They were cabbage patch kid knee highs - very cute but not very valentine-y). Kristen looked at me weird and asked what in the world I was talking about. "You know, Valentines Socks . . . (duh) the socks you get for Valentines day."

Kristen was one of those popular, smart kids (who could sometimes be a little bit mean). She made fun of me for weeks, and I learned the hard way that most people DON'T get socks for Valentines Day! (I really thought Valentines Socks were a part of the tradition, like Easter Eggs on Easter or Halloween Candy on Halloween).
Yes, Planet Julie is a strange little place.
(And Kristen U. is never ever allowed to visit!)

And, just in case you're looking for too much information - My grandmother mailed a pair of navy socks this year, complete with valentine wrapping paper! (And yes, I am going to wear them today!)

Monday, February 13, 2006


Here's your amazing factoid for the day.
Animals with backbones yawn - except giraffes. Scientists don't know if giraffes just don't yawn, or if they just haven't yet been caught yawning. (Or maybe we just don't know what a giraffe yawn looks like!)
Here's the Full Article (with a bonus tip about how yawning can help you flirt more effectively!)

Sunday, February 12, 2006


You wanna know what bugs me?
Badly cut lawns.

Back in the day my brother and I used to mow lawns. It's sad to think that two high school kids know more about grass cutting than professionals - but we did!)

Seriously, look at the work of a proffesional lawn mowing company sometime - they have crooked lines, missed sections, overlapping circles, lousy edging, poor clean-up, and just sloppy mowing. (Crazy I tell you - CRAZY!)

* * *

Dear 'ole Dad taught me how to mow properly. Everything from lining up the wheels (for straight lines) to cutting around trees. First he drew diagrams, then he had me draw diagrams, and then he set me loose on Mrs. M's lawn.

Mrs. M. is one of the litle old Mt. Greenwood ladies - but she almost deserves her own category. She lives right across from the park in a comfortable, happy house. One of my early childhood memories is being invited to her house for strawberry shortcake. (Her husband made it, and put extra whip cream on for me!!)

Mrs. M. is friendly, warm, gentle, and absoutely delightful.
She's had her share of lonliness and sadness, but she also enjoys and relishes being with people and talking.
Talking with Mrs. M was great
Even Andy talked to her (and he usually left the little old lady small talk to me!)

* * *

I think I know why Dad had me learn on Mrs. M.'s lawn (and not on his own).
He knew that I would cut Mrs. M.'s lawn properly, even if it was my first time.
He knew I'd concentrate and remember everything he'd told me.
He knew that Mrs. M.'s lawn would set an impossibly high standard.
I loved Mrs. M.!

* * *

Mrs. M. spent the last half of 2005 battling cancer.
And I didn't get to see her at Christmas, because she was too tired.
Today I heard that she had a stroke.
Details come slowly - but I am sad.
Mrs. M. has had an essence of mmortality.
Sure she was old and a little bit frail (but that was really just an excuse for me to hold her arm while she walked, or run an extra favor for her).
Thinking about Mrs. M. having a stroke (or worse) is heartbreaking.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


All I know is that what I tried on didn't fit.
I tried to make it fit, and twisted myself into believing that it could fit.

I lied to myself
"Look," I said, "the pockets fit perfectly! If the pockets fit there's no reason you can't fit into the rest of it. Pockets are the most important part."

But, pockets are just pockets.
The overall fit, doesn't fit

Which is sad - 'cause I could finally be cool - if I could just fit.
But it will never ever work
I don't fit.

* * *

I met some new folks last night
I expected the fit to be horrible - but it was . . . almost fun. It looked like it would fit, but I tried that one on a long time ago and KNOW the pockets don't work. And we all know that pockets are important.

I don't think I could ever go back to back pockets
The thought of it makes me shiver (and keeps me from trying anything on).
I like/want/need/deserve perfect pockets
But maybe we could be friends - or even just talk again.
I might like that.
Not to try and fit - just to be friendly.

But it's complicated.
And I'm not even sure what all of this means.
But it's time to give up on the other one.
Cut the cord - walk away - leave it alone.

I'll never fit
And I'm struggling to accept that

If I find, If I find my own way How much will I find?

Complications don't fit well either
I'd like a way around them (and have suggestions if you'd like me to write a script!)

I'd explain this cryptic crypticness - but if you don't get it - than this post isn't for you.
Even if I were to explain it - you'd never get it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

From the Bonstra email list

I don't know how many of you read the Saturday "funnies" in the newspaper. But, the comic stip "Mallard Fillmore" did a tribute to Madeleine L'Engle yesterday.

Mallard has been ragging this week on celebrities who have decided that they have to write children's books. And, yesterday, he said
"I'm thinking maybe we'd all be better off if there were fewer people writing 'children's books' and more people reading children's books."

And then, just to prove the point, there's a father/son duo reading A Wrinkle in Time. It's nice to see that even comic strips I don't normally enjoy have great taste in books. :-)
the comic