Sunday, December 31, 2006

We're Baaack!

Yes, we are home- pulled in about 7:00 pm tonight, after 26 hours traveling & only an hour later then scheduled. Because the weather threw a wrench in the travel plans of many people, there were several delays & a rather packed train coming back.
Sorry I wasn't able to check in the past few days. The "Storm of the Decade" hit Albuquerque Thursday evening; in 48 hours, more than 2 feet of snow fell, pretty much shutting down the city. While we had power, the cable went out (therefore, no internet) & the roads were pretty messy. I actually didn't think it was too bad- we were able to get around town without any problems- but I'm a veteran of 10 Kansas winters.
Anyway, the rest of our visit went really well. Wednesday, after Dad headed south to scout out some property (he is considering moving back to NM), Chris, Sam & I drove up to Bandelier National Monument. It is about 2 hours northwest of Albuquerque & is the site of extensive cliff dwellings & remnants of an ancient pueblo. We spent about 4 hours exploring Frijoles Canyon, hiking the trail & climbing up in some of the caves- the guys climbed up a set of ladders that went up more than 140 feet to the Ceremonial Cave, while I stayed at the bottom, taking pictures. We stopped off at Mimi’s CafĂ© for soup, salad, & bread to warm up after our long walk & made it an early night.
The rest of the week was spent in Albuquerque, since the weather turned on us. Thursday, we went to the Museum of Natural History, probably the best museum I’ve ever been; it was very well designed, with a great natural flow, & the exhibits are very engaging for all ages. Later, we met up with Dad for a pizza lunch, before he started back to Kansas to try to beat the storm, & then went to the movies. Appropriately, we chose Night at the Museum - very cute- & had the theater to ourselves.
Friday, we went to do some shopping. First we hit the local yarn store, Village Wools, where I spent only 1 1/2 hours & $28.00, & received a very nice compliment on how “my men were so well behaved”! We went to one of the malls to walk around & have lunch at Fuddruckers, then drove over to the University campus to walk around in the snow & take some pictures. The evening was spent at Crystal & Dustin’s home- we made lasagna, drank some wine, shared pictures, & talked until nearly 11:00 pm. We finally got to meet Dustin’s daughter, Marissa, & extracted a promise to come visit us in 2007.
Saturday morning, we checked out of the hotel & went back to Old Town to pick up some souvenirs & a felt hat that Chris had been coveting (I must say, it does look good on him). Crystal & Dustin met us at the car rental place after we returned it, then we all went for lunch before heading to the train station. They waited with us for a while, and then headed on home as the storm finally petered out. Our departure was delayed nearly 2 hours, so I had a last opportunity to get some pictures of the sunset.
It is so nice to be home; the girls are being very clingy, following on my heels, making sure I’m not leaving without them again. Sam went to a friend’s house for an impromptu Welcome Home/New Year’s Eve party & Chris has crawled into bed, since he didn’t sleep very well on the train. I’ve taken a long, hot shower, started doing the laundry, sorted the mail, & cooked myself something to eat- I’m truly tired of restaurant food. Once I finish my half-glass of wine & post the pictures, I will toddle off to bed as well- and wake to a brand new year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Just checking in... let you know what we're up to; I didn't realize how much I missed going by to visit everyone, but there just isn't the time to blog walk, since this a computer in the lobby of the hotel.
We spent Christmas day with my Dad, driving out to the Petroglyph Monuments. The visitor center was closed, of course, but we were able to go hiking around the rocks & caves a bit- which is Sam favorite thing to do. We also went out to the Volcano site & even hiked up to the top! I was rather proud of myself- I made it up to the top just slightly behind the others (you have to factor in the change in altitude- we live at 75 ft above sea level, & we are staying at 5000 ft).
Christmas evening, we had dinner with Bil, Evan, Crystal & Dustin at Sandia Casino & Resort, one of the few places open. We had a lovely meal at the Counselman Steak House, & gave everyone their brooms, which were a big hit.
Yesterday, we drove up to Santa Fe & spent the day exploring the Old Town Plaza- we had the best fajitas at a little corner stand on the square. We spent hours poking around the shops, went to see the Loretto Chapel, & had ice cream at Cold Stone. Dad took us up to Museum Hill & we went thru 3 of the museums, while Sam crashed for a needed nap.
We spent the evening at the home of my nephew Evan & his mom Rae, where we observed the first night of Kwanzaa. Bil gave a brief outline of the celebration, which is very individualized to each family & community. The theme for the day was Unity, which Rae pointed out was quite appropriate for our family. They lit the black candle for unity, we each had a drink from the communal cup, & gave honor to our ancestors, then we had dinner & watch a movie, "Meteor Man".

Dad has headed off to Las Cruces & will be heading back to Kansas tomorrow, so we're off to do some exploring while the weather holds. It has been beautiful & clear until today, & is supposed to start snowing tonight. You all have a great day, & I'll check in later!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Christmas

Greetings, dearest friends & guests! Hope this finds you among family & friends, enjoying the glow of love, and celebrating the birth of the Savior.
We arrived safely Saturday at noon & were met by my Dad, brother Bil, his son Evan, & my sister Crystal. After picking up our car & checking into the hotel, we spent the evening in Old Town Albuquerque, wandering the shops & having dinner at La Placita, the oldest building in old town. After dark, the luminarias that line every street, roof & path were lit, & carols were sung in the square. It was a lovely, albeit cold, evening, so we drove around a bit to see the different neighborhood lights, then turned in early.
Since there is a connection here at the hotel, I drop an update every so often. Hope you all had a Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lighten up!

Hi, kids! Thank you for all the kind wishes & supportive comments on my previous, emotional semi-meltdown. It is often hard for me to admit that I don't have everything under control (can we all say "latent perfectionist"?), but as I said, I want to be honest & up front about my life. Too many of us spend too much time hiding behind our masks, presenting a life devoid of trial & struggle, which I think is a disservice to people we encounter. How often have you met someone who seems to have everything together, & walked away feeling diminished & inadequate about your own life? Yes, I thought so- I know it happens to me all the time & I don't want to cause that kind of unhappiness to the people who are kind enough to frequent my world & consider me a friend.

All that being said, it's time to lighten the mood. We had our Secret Santa gift exchange Wednesday morning after our staff meeting, so my desk is loaded with treats & goodies from my co-workers. I finished my shopping this weekend, mailed off the last of the gifts on Monday, & have packed up for our trip. I even bought some new luggage to replace our rather dated, tired suitcases that were a wedding gift. The brooms are securely packed up to take with us- here is the picture I promised. We head off on the train Saturday morning, & Chris' best friend is going to drop us off & will keep our cars at his house while we're gone. It has taken some time, but the holiday spirit has finally creeped up on me, so I would like to share these fun & cheesy blog quizzes, which I blatantly stole from VENTL8R's space.

You Are a Bow

You don't think of it as the holiday season - you think of it as the present season!

What Christmas Ornament Are You?

Too true!

You Are a Minimal Christmas Tree

You're not a total Scrooge, but you feel no need to go overboard at Christmas.
Less is more, and your Christmas reflects refined quality.

What Christmas Tree Are You?

If it weren't for Chris, we would have no decorations at all!
Your Christmas is Most Like: The Muppet Christmas Carol

You tend to reflect on Christmas past, present, and future...
And you also do a little singing.

What Movie Is Your Christmas Most Like?

Again, too true- for me, it's all about the music & I love to sing
Your Holiday Personality is Caring

You like to reach out to people all year long, but you're especially giving during the holidays.
Make those you love homemade presents (like cookies or scarves). Call someone who might be feeling a little down. Give to your favorite charity.

How Should You Spend the Holidays?

Giving, yes- but I'm also pretty stingy
For the twelve days of Christmas, your true love will send you:

Twelve punk rockers drumming
Eleven snowmen a-melting
Ten gymnasts a-leaping
Nine ladies yodeling
Eight alpacas a-milking
Seven gingerbread men a-crumbling
Six iPods a-playing
Five golden toe rings
Four calling bill collectors
Three French berets
Two bottles of whiskey
And a fairy in a olive tree

What Will You Get for the 12 Days of Christmas?

This just plain cracked me up! I have not one, but three garage bands in my neighborhood; I've been obsessed with alpaca yarn; I love gingerbread houses, but can't build one that stands up; Sam has been asking for an iPod; I wear two toe rings; Whiskey is my drink of choice (single malt, good stuff) after wine; & the last one is just hyserical!

You all have a Happy Christmas & a blessed, safe New Year!

Cat Haiku

I want to be close
to you. Can I fit my head
inside your armpit?

Cat 13

Author Unknown

Now, for something completely different...

To my friends & regular visitors, a small warning: This will not be one of my typical posts- chatty & fun, talking about our adventures, or sarcastic & gripey, but essentially good-natured. I decided early on in this blogging adventure that I would be as real & transparent as decency & privacy allowed. This is one of those times.
My brother called me this morning to firm up our schedule & plans for our trip to New Mexico next week. We chatted for about 30 minutes, exchanged cell phone numbers, & agreed to both call our sister to see what she has planned for our visit. I got off the phone feeling excited, nervous, & even a little weepy. Why? It all sounds very normal, but in reality was a major event in my life. You see, this is only the second time I’ve talked directly to Bil in the past six years. I haven’t talked to Crystal in close to 9 years. Generally, news is passed through our Dad, whom each of us usually talks to every 3 or 4 months. No, we don’t have a family feud going on; it’s much sadder than that. We don’t know one another. We are disconnected, polite strangers, who share a parent & a family history, but have little or no relationship with each other. It’s the same with my other siblings- my mother’s children by her second marriage, who I shared a home with until I was 16 years old- we live within sixty miles of each other (except for Holly, who lives in Kauai), but only see each other maybe once a year, & never talk on the phone or write.
How did this happen? If you have read me for any length of time, you know how important family is to me, how much I work at building connection & memories with my children. But, in my first close relationships, I’ve let this gap form & cement itself, until it seems normal. As the “mother” of all the siblings, the link between both families, I feel like it is my responsibility to keep us connected. But since the others never say anything, don’t make any effort to be a part of our lives, maybe they don’t think it’s a problem. Could I have stopped this? Maybe. Is this my fault? Not completely. But that doesn’t keep me from feeling like it is my job to fix it. The main blame- if blame must be assigned- has to be laid on divorce, distance, & disparity in ages.
As I wrote in my “101”, my parents divorced when I was very young- under 2 years old. Mother & I moved to California, while Dad & Bil went to New Mexico. They both remarried & eventually had other children. My parents are decent, well-intentioned people, & did their best to limit the effects of the divorce on us. Never, in the 40+ years they have been apart, have I heard either one say anything negative about the other, never placed blame for the failure of their marriage on anyone but themselves, & arranged for us to spend time with the other parent. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize or understand that the short, casual visits every other summer or so, was not enough for us to develop meaningful relationships with each other. The cost & logistics of shipping children back & forth must have seemed too overwhelming, or maybe they felt that shuffling us around would be disruptive or confusing to us. Whatever the reasons, our relationships with our parents & siblings became surface only.
There was also the factor of age; there is a spread of eighteen years between the oldest, Bil, & the youngest, Ben. I suppose I was more of a parent figure to the younger ones, as I am 5, 8, & 14 years older; I spent a lot of time babysitting them, having to be the one in charge. Then I moved away to live with my Dad, so I became another distant relative. Visits back to California were few & far between; from 1979 to 1988, I only came to visit 4 times. Even after I moved back, I was married with children of my own, & they were teenagers & young adults- we just didn’t relate to one another.
As for my Dad’s other daughter, Crystal, I never was around her- Dad was divorced from her mom & would go down to visit her instead of bringing her to stay with us. I was just a voice on the phone or a face in a photograph. The last time I saw her was at her wedding 10 years ago; I wasn’t really invited, but felt I needed to be there, so I drove to Las Vegas, with my children in tow. Since then, I’ve spoken to her once on the phone & emailed her a couple of times, but she hasn’t ever gotten around to replying. I suppose, like me, she is glad to hear from me, but then gets involved in the minutia of her own life & forgets about contacting me. I understand it, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
Despite the fact that I’m a 43-year-old woman, with grown children, a successful marriage, & a full meaningful life, inside I’m still that serious, insecure little girl with the tender heart, who was always trying to belong. Since I couldn’t have that close, loving family I craved as a child, I made my own & have insolated myself in it from being hurt. Why is it I have to be the one to make all the efforts? There is that part of me that says, unconsciously, that if they won’t make the first move, then why should I? (I never said it was the reasonable part of me!) But then I have to face the fact that this is my need, not necessarily the needs of the others; if I want to connect, I have to reach out & accept the possibility of being ignored again. My mind knows that it is not a great risk, but that doesn’t quiet that fearful little voice inside. But I do have the comfort of knowing I have my own family to shelter & love me, where I am important & needed.
So, here I am, ready to venture forth again. That is what this trip is about; I’m feeling like I’m running out of time to heal these breeches, so I’m dragging my husband & son across country, to spend Christmas with virtual strangers. Thank God, they love me & think I know what I’m doing. If nothing else, it will be an adventure in a new part of the country for us. But deep down, I’m praying that it’s not too late to be a real sister to my brother & sister; that they want the same thing as I do- to be a family. My brother’s call today really gave me hope- he sounds so excited about our visit & is planning several things for us to do together. He said they are all planning on meeting us at the train station, even our Dad, who will be arriving the day before we do. I’m getting weepy just thinking about spending Christmas Eve with my family, meeting my nephew for the first time, getting to know my brother-in-law & maybe his daughter as well. Therefore, dear friends, please hold us up in prayer, for traveling mercies, decent weather, calmed fears, & open hearts.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Because I said I would...

Here is the photo I promised- I'm not crazy about it, but it was the best one!

Today's Cat Haiku

Small brave carnivores
Kill pine cones and mosquitoes,
Fear vacuum cleaner

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Let them know you care...

While blogwalking today, I found two references to something awesome that Xerox is doing. Go to the site listed below & you can send a e-postcard to someone stationed far from home this holiday season. Remember, because they serve, you are able to celebrate how you choose in freedom.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Victory is sweet

I won, I won- he caved first! Hahahaha!!! Er, um, I mean…Chris finally said something about the bed. He actually told someone else, but in my presence, so he had to ‘fess up that he knew. We were having dinner at my company Holiday party on Saturday night, & the conversation turned inevitably to gift shopping. I had said that I was nearly done, but I hadn’t bought anything for Chris yet; my friend Lorri, who was sitting next to Chris, said to him “She must be saving the best for last, since she has bought your gift yet”, and he replied, “Oh, yes she did- she bought us a new bed & hasn’t told me about it yet!” The entire table busted out laughing & talking, asking how long he had known, saying how strange we are & even a few exchanges of cash- I guess there had been a pool going on. I think he was relieved- now he could play with the settings on the bed, without worrying that I would catch him at it.
The party was quite nice. It was held at Bartoni’s, a small Italian restaurant located in our downtown area. The owner is a member of my church, & he had reserved the whole place for us. Friday, I had celebrated my ninth anniversary with the company, & I was pleased to see that, for the first time in all those years, every employee attended the party. That may have had something to do with the fact that the CEO was handing out bonus checks that evening, & if you weren’t there, you wouldn’t receive yours until next payday. After appetizers & a buffet dinner, the boss called up people, said something about his or her contribution to the organization & handed them their envelope, along with a hug or handshake. The comment he made about me, after congratulating me on my anniversary (I’m the senior non-management employee by at least 5 years), was that I’m the “invisible woman”, that you never know where I will be from one day to the next, & that I was the one most grateful for all the new employees, so I could actually work at my own desk. I understood he was referring to the fact that I will cover anyone, any department, & any branch at short notice, while still completing my workload. But Chris got a little annoyed, because the CEO wasn’t expressing his specific appreciation for all the work I do (particularly since we had spent an hour that morning at the branch, going over it with the police, because the alarm had gone off & I’m the closest employee on the call list.) Chris is my biggest & most enthusiastic cheerleader, as well as my chief sounding board when I’m frustrated about my job, so he expects other people to think I’m as great as he thinks I am. Ah, isn’t love wonderful?
After dinner & dessert (an excellent cheesecake with raspberry sauce), we had dancing until 11:00 pm, with a fairly decent selection of music. I got a lot of compliments on my outfit, which was a last minute purchase; I went over to Dress Barn to look for a scarf or necklace to go with the dress I was planning on wearing, I saw a beautiful Asian style top, dark green with black trim, on the clearance rack. Worn over black slacks, with a pair of green dangly earrings & a couple chunky gold tone bracelets, I must say I looked pretty snazzy. Lots of pictures were taken, so I promise, if there are any decent shots, I will post a photo of Chris & I in our finery. Along with good company, an open bar & a $1000 bonus check, I would have to say it was a successful evening all around.
Sunday was spent at home, doing the housekeeping stuff that got put off all week. Sam spent most of the afternoon writing his last book report & studying for finals that start tomorrow. (BTW, he didn’t pass his belt exam, but will be re-testing in a month- his sensei said he was really ready, but made some errors in the beginning & got flustered. He has committed to working out a lot harder this month- he’ll be teaching at every beginner class, except when we’re on vacation, which will help him review his earlier katas.) Chris spent most of the day working on Jessica’s car; it broke down just outside of town last Saturday, while she was on her way to EMT training in Manteca (a town about 15 miles from here), & she had it towed to our house. We lent her Chris’ old car to use, while he tried to figure out what was wrong with hers. After 8 hours of work & conferences with a couple of mechanic friends & our neighbor who has the same car, the general consensus is the car is toast. I’ll be trying to get a hold of her in the next couple of days to give her the bad news; I’m just glad we decided to hold on to the old car (with the plan of Sam eventually using it) so she’s not having to miss her training sessions or going to work in the rain. I have to convince her the best thing to do is let me take her to one of the local used car dealers, find her an inexpensive but reliable car, & get a loan for it. She’ll holler she can’t afford it, but she really can’t afford not to do it- she has a lot of trainings & exams that need to be done before she can get her EMT certification, & she can’t have our car forever, since there is a slight possibility we would need it.
A former co-worker, who is also a cat lover, sent me a list of “Cat Haiku”, author(s) unknown, which I would like to share over the next few posts.

You must scratch me there!
Yes, above my tail!
Behold, elevator butt.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What's on your stocking?

During the holiday season, nearly every party I attend has a gift exchange- something small, usually with a $10-$20 limit. Now, I don’t know if it is a California trend or actually reflects the larcenous nature of my friends, but we normally play “Steal the Gift” at these parties. If you don’t know this game, here is the premise:
Each person brings a wrapped gift, places it under the tree, & then numbers are drawn for each participant. The first person chooses a gift & opens it; the second person can either choose a gift or take the gift the first person received. If the gift is stolen, the first person may choose another gift. The third person (& so on) can either choose a new gift or take one from the others. The rules are that
1) A single gift can only be stolen 3 times- it is considered locked & can’t be taken again; &
2) If a gift is stolen from you, you can’t steal it right back- you can only chose a new gift or take someone else’s.
After the last person has chosen, you go around the group one more time & each person has the opportunity to steal or exchange for another gift (unless it is locked) or keep what they got; this gives the earlier numbers an opportunity to have a chance at later gifts.
We always have a lot of fun with this game, whether the gifts are “white elephants” or clever & heartfelt. It’s also a great place to see some great idea for stocking stuffers, so here is my list for Thirteen Thursday

Thirteen Gifts to Stuff Stockings
1. Mini Book light- this is not only great for reading, but I keep one in my knitting bag so I can work during evening car rides
2. Disposable camera- never know when you’ll need one
3. Travel sewing kit- thread, needles, safety pins, 5/8” buttons
4. Folding umbrella
5. A Slinky toy- I was given a plastic one & keep it at my desk; everyone picks it up, smiles, & plays with it
6. Lint brush roller with refills- this was the most popular gift at this party
7. Travel-sized games- checkers, Uno, Sorry- there are hundreds of them; great for car trips
8. Funny or Scenic postcards- Kids love to mail them (& receive them)
9. A book of stamps- I’m always running out of these when I most need them
10. Gift cards- I like to give them for coffee, ice cream, a local bookstore or the movies
11. Wild & crazy socks- the girls particularly like these (but so does Chris)
12. Travel mugs- the come in all sizes & designs, just make sure they have sealing lids!
13. Small scrapbook album- can be autograph book & photo album all in one

We are now on night #7 & Chris still has not said anything about the new bed. The gift bag is still on the bedside table unopened- I even turned on his lamp, so the light would shine on the bag- he just reached passed it & turned the light off. I bought a new blanket last night at Costco - micro fiber fleece, light green & very soft; it’s laying on his side of the bed in the package, so hopefully he’ll take the initiative & put it on the bed tonight while I’m at choir. My idea is that he will see & feel how much thicker the mattress is & finally clue in, but who knows?

Monday, December 04, 2006

The game is on...

I know it’s hard to believe, but Chris still has not noticed we have a new bed. You would think that just the height difference would be a give-away- I mean, this bed is a full 2 inches taller, what with the pillow top & the new mattress covers. Well, to be honest, he has detected that something is different, but won’t say anything- he must think I’ll make fun of him (who, me?) or that he’s just losing his mind. I’m not going to say anything, because he’s been known comment on how unobservant I am (it is true, but that’s not the point) & I reply that the pot shouldn’t call the kettle black, which of course he denies…anyway, it’s become a challenge- who will crack first?

Night #1: Chris climbs into bed, stretches down to touch his toes, sighs, groans, & then lays down; he gets real still, says “Hmm”, then turns over on his side & goes to sleep.
Night #2: He pulls back the blankets to get in bed, looks down at the mattress (which has a diamond-quilted pillow top- very different from our old bed) rubs his hand across it, then climbs in & goes to sleep.
Night #3: Tonight, I begin to change the settings. Start at 100- the firmest: no reaction. Gets up at 12:30 am, change setting to 45: no reaction. Gets up at 5:30 am, change setting to 100: grunts, no comment. Gets up at 7:30, change setting to 25: gets in bed, looks at mattress, pushes it twice with hand, goes to sleep.
Night #4: Decide to go a little more obvious- I put the remote in a brightly colored gift bag, approx 6 X 8 inches, place it on his bedside table, next to the lamp, in plain site. Chris gets into bed, sets his alarm clock (also on beside table), & goes to sleep without noticing the bag.

I was lying in bed during each of these events, reading my book & waiting for him to make any sort of comment or question. Nothing. Frankly, I’m beginning to worry about him; I know reaction time slows with age, but really, 5 days? Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.

It was another lovely, but chilly, weekend here in the Valley. Saturday afternoon, Sam had testing for his next Karate belt level (1st class brown) & was facing a rather formidable board of 3 Grand Masters (6th degree Black Belt & above) for judging. It was mutually agreed that I wouldn’t be present for this testing- I get very nervous & that doesn’t bode well for a flow of positive chi, so Chris & I took off for the foothills. We spent the day in Amador City, a “blink & you will miss it” town of 500 that has some great shops featuring unique handcrafted items. One of my favorite places is the “Victorian Closet” which sells vintage clothing & textiles (like house linens, hankies, quilts, lace) & the most wonderful handmade brooms. They are fantastical creations of twisted, polished wood- some with carving, but most just natural- from whiskbroom to full sized, some even with two heads. A man back east produces them (I’m thinking Kentucky or Tennessee), growing the broomcorn on his farm & searching out the handles among groves of trees that have honeysuckle vines twining up them. We own two & bought three more to take as gifts on our trip to New Mexico later this month. We wandered over to Sutter Creek & poked thru the shops, then ate dinner & watched the Posada parade wind down the main street, the children joining in with lighted candles to follow the Christ child to the church. I’m looking forward to seeing this again in Santa Fe, as we will be arriving on Christmas Eve, & my brother plans on taking us to participate.
Sunday afternoon, the Stockton Choral performed Handel’s Messiah at our church. We attended with our home fellowship group, then had a potluck dinner & gift exchange at one of the houses. We had a rather large turn out, including our Pastor & his wife, so there was lots of good food & laughter. We played the “Steal the Gift” game again & we ended up with a book light (mine!) & cute kitchen towel set (Sam’s) We ended the evening singing carols by guitar- half our group is in the choir or band, so we always seem to have music at our gatherings.
We are down to crunch time this week- besides getting ready to leave on vacation in two weeks, we have to close the books by Friday so we can pay out bonus checks at our Christmas party on Saturday, and so I may not be around much this week. I will check in whenever possible & hopefully post a Thirteen Thursday if I get it finished (why is it I always get stuck at #11?)

Friday, December 01, 2006

I got tag-teamed!

Okay- I know I have a few friends out there in Blogland, but this is kind of silly! There are 2 fun tags going on & I got triple tagged for each of them!

The Book Tag
The rules are:
-Grab the book closest to you
-Open to page 123
-Scroll down to the 5th sentence
-Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog
-Name of the book and the author
-Tag 3 people

From A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse
Albert was becoming impatient. He was in the position of a great general who thinks out some wonderful piece of stategy and can't get his army to carry it out. Many boys, seeing Plummer enter the room below and listening at the keyhole and realizing the George must have hidden somewhere and deducing that he must be out on the balcony, would have been baffled as to how to proceed.

Six Weird Things About Me
According to the rules...
Each player of this game starts with the
"6 Weird Things about You".
People who get tagged
need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things
as well as state this rule clearly.
In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names.
Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their
comments and tell them to read your blog!

1. I can sing in public, with a microphone & 100's of people listening, but I can't sing in front of my family- I get embarrassed!
2. I have a lip balm obsession; I have them everywhere- every drawer in the house & office, every coat pocket, knitting bag, purse, backpack, binder, glovebox, even in the shower stall.
3. As a child, I collected rubberbands & paperclips; I even formed a club with my best friend & our "dues" were spent on more supplies (I still love to browse the office supplies aisle)
4. I have a freckle between my toes & a bird-shaped birthmark on my scalp.
5. I pluck the hair that grows on my toes (maybe that is more gross that weird)
6. I like to snack on pickled garlic, cold asparagus dipped in mayo, or 1/2 an apple filled with peanut butter.

I won't tag anyone, since just about everyone on my list has either tagged me or already done these; but please feel free to do them on your own & leave me a comment to look at your list (I'm nosy & want to check out your idiosyncrasies *kiss, kiss*)

BTW: Chris has not noticed we have a new bed yet, even after sleeping on it last night! I think I'll mess with him a bit- drastically change the settings each time he gets up during the night- before I tell him tomorrow night