Month: April 2009

  • Okay, I'm back from the interview.

    I think it went pretty well.  Naturally several people are being interviewed, with some to be called back for second interviews.

    So we'll see.

    Thanks for the prayers!  Keep 'em up! 

  • Goodness. I daresay those were some surprised pirates!

    Who expects to be fired upon by a cruise ship?

    That's what happened, though, when a speedboat carrying six pirates attacked the MSC Melody (an Italian line's ship) and tried to board it.

    Turns out the ship had Israeli guards aboard for just such a contingency and they fired back with pistols and hit 'em with streams from water hoses. 

    The pirates retreated but chased the ship for another twenty minutes, firing constantly, before giving up (doubtless in deep frustration).

    Here's a stock photo of the ship in question:

    To be honest, ISTM cruise ships ought to try hard to stay out of those waters.  I fear one of these days some pirates will manage to board (they were climbing up the side of the Melody) one and that's going to be an ugly situation indeed.

  • Allow me to brag on my daughter, Jessica, for a moment. ;^)

    She's been made lead manager at the Chili's at which she works. 

    This is A Big Deal, indeed. 

    It's really something when one considers she is insisting upon remaining on "part-time" status.  Mind, in the restaurant business that's 40 hours for a manager...."full time" is 50-60 hours, and she doesn't want to spend that much time away from the girls (not to mention it'd be a financial fiasco, what with paying for child care for those additional hours).  She was told she could possibly make GM (a general manager) in six months, but that position requires upwards of 80 hours a week, and Jessica frankly told them that wasn't going to happen...not that soon, at least.

    Anyway, kudos to Jessica Marie for a job obviously well done!  I'm so proud! 

    On a totally different topic, I found Wii Fit at Wal-Mart yesterday.  Mercy Maud, that's a work-out, if one chooses to make it so.  You know what's spooky?  I took a balance test on the balance board that comes with it and the program asked - rhetorically - if I trip a lot.

    Stupid program.  Okay, fine, yes I trip frequently.  How'd IT know? 

    I was trying out some of the games to increase one's balance, a skiing game plus a table tilt game, and was convinced they're impossible when Jonathan Andrew came over and proceeded to make my Mii look good by getting the hang of them right off the bat. 

    The Wii Fit is definitely entertaining and provides a good workout!  I'm enjoying it. 

    Shifting yet again, Dmitry's over at Dan and Zhenya's for the night, and he sent me a couple of photos and a video of them pursuing the noble art of the backyard cookout:

    Horsing around, the goons:


  • Mercy Maud, it HAS been awhile since I updated this critter.

    Sorry about that!

    For one thing, not a whole lot has been going on, and for another, I've been rather stuck in the dismals for the past week or so due to missing Don.

    Five months ago today was the last time I was able to talk with him.  Sigh.

    Let's see, though.  The big news - and which just happened this morning - is that I've a job interview next Tuesday afternoon at Christ Chapel's sister church, Trinity Chapel.  I'm very excited about it!  Mind, it might easily be this is the LORD allowing me to practice my interviewing skills and it won't lead to an offer, but one never knows, does one?  It'd be a delight to be able to work directly to support the church, and spend my days with other believers.

    In my apparent desire to make a total doofus of myself, I have signed up to audition for Christ Chapel's autumn production (it's one of the annual community outreach efforts, and the neighborhood loves them) of "The Music Man," which is one of my all-time favorite musicals.  Monday evening at 7:30 (after my voice lesson, you see) on May 4th is my allotted five minutes.  My dream role would be Mrs. Shin (that's the mayor's wife, Eulalie McKecknie Shin), but I'll happily accept being a part of the general chorus of townspeople.  This afternoon I bought the score for "Seventy-six Trombones" which is one of the allowed vocal pieces. 

    The notion of being dressed in the sort of dresses and hats worn back then has true appeal for me.  With my short hair, I suppose a wig will be required as well.  This is hoping I'm even chosen, naturally.

    It's hard to believe that next Thursday is the last week of the spring women's bible study.  It's been a real blessing to me, and particularly my small group.  I'd love to go to the summer one (the subject will be the six names of Christ) but it'll only be in the evening, conflicting with choir practice.  Poop.

    On a wholly different topic, when I went last week to buy a bottle of vodka (okay, I like a vodka-7-and-lime most shoot me), I was taken aback by the prevalence of flavored vodkas.  Now, I'm used to seeing lemon-flavored and such - don't like 'em, but that's neither here nor there - but these offerings by Three Olives Vodka left me bug-eyed with astonishment:

    Root beer?  Tomato? 

    You go first. 

  • I wish embedding were permitted for this YouTube, but it's not.

    Remember the Paul Potts phenomenon on Britain's Got Talent from a few years ago?

    Check out Susan Boyle:

  • Today was the Achevez! bus trip, and it was a trip indeed. ;^)

    My sister-in-law, Mary, and I were part of the group that went to Heritage Homestead, about an hour and a half south of Fort Worth, and it was very interesting and instructive.

    It was also very windy and cooler than I'd anticipated, so I spent a fair amount of the time being cold.  That'll learn me.  Mary dressed sensibly. Mom would have taken a wrap. But me?  Nope.

    We were divided into three groups of eleven, and the one Mary and I were in was one of two that went first on an old-fashioned hay ride.  And when I say "old-fashioned", I mean it.  Every hay ride I've been on that I can recall has been pulled by a tractor.  Sometimes there's actual hay.  Sometimes there's not.   Not this one.  Not only were there bales of hay, it was pulled by two big horses (I forget what they're called...some French word starting with "c":

    As can be seen in the top photo, there were steps provided to aid in getting on and off the wagon.  Imagine almost two dozen middle-aged or older women on that thing.  Not our normal mode of transport!  But fun.  Here's a rare photo of me, which Mary took with my phone so I could send it to Dmitry.  I swiftly got a reply from him:  "Where are you?"

    We'd been given bandannas and it wasn't a huge help against the chilled wind, but was better than nothing.  It was taken at the bluff where the hay-ride went.  Lovely view!  As I noted, Mary was more suitably attired:

    Here she is in front of the deli/bakery:

    Tell you what one of my favorite spots was on the tour, and that was the blacksmith.  Not only was it fascinating, there was a blessedly warm fire!

    This is not for show, BTW.  They produce beautiful work, some available in their gift shop, most is custom-ordered.  The chandelier in the Driscoll hotel?  They did that (very proud of it, and justifiably so).

    We also saw a woodworking demonstration with a young man deftly showing how, using hand tools, to make a dovetail joint.  There's a six-day woodworking class going on.  There are classes held in all the various trades, etc. that are part of the homestead.  Sewing?  Candle-making?  Gardening?  Pottery?  They've got it.

    After Heritage Homestead we stopped in West, where I bought cherry kolaches and a loaf of bread at one of its local bakeries. 

    It was a lot of fun, and I'd really like to take Dmitry, his friends, and the various children to the homestead.  Maybe this fall after Alex and his family are back? 


  • Wow. What a weekend.

    Shan't bore y'all with everything, but hitting the highlights:

    Friday evening:  Tenebrae service, which was wonderful.  Mom and Charles both came, though separately.  The sanctuary was nearly full.

    Saturday:  Meredith's baptism, followed by a taco supper at Elaine's house, yum yum. 

    Easter:  Arrive at church (in the rain) at 7 a.m. to go over the music one more time, singing at all four services, then going to Kirstin's for the Easter celebration, including the traditional egg hunt which had to be held indoors due to the earlier storms.  Charles, Dmitry and Joe were each handed eggs and instructed to hide them;  here was one of Charles' hiding purse:

    Joe and Dmitry looking at something the former had apparently captured on his Flip Video, with Bryson squeezing between them, intent on the hunt:

    Just a candid of various family members:

    Except for missing Don it was a lovely Easter, indeed. 

    After all, nothing  -  not even the loss of Don  -  can change this:

    Christ Is Risen!  Alleluia!
  • Speaking of yesterday's "grief burst" and today's grief counseling session, I've come to grasp a couple of things.

    One, remember as a child whining to your mother that something hurts when you push it or whatever, to which she would sensibly point out "Then don't push on it!"?

    If I want to get into a soggy, miserable mess in no time at all, all it takes is thinking a few "Oh, my Donald!"s in a row.

    Does it every time.  

    So Anne, you dope, don't DO that.  Don't string those three words together.  It's maudlin. 

    Two, it's amazing how a different perspective can change how one feels or thinks about something.  For instance, whenever I'd see a Prius - especially a white one - on the road, I'd mentally go into "Oh, my Donald!" mode, brooding on how "that's the last car he ever drove", blah blah.

    Sheesh.  I can be such a Tragedy Queen.  It's embarrassing.

    What I'm going to work on is instead smiling at a Prius when I see one, with that being a happy thought instead of a sad one.  Don enjoyed the Prius he rented for his trip to Corpus Christi.  When he was backing out to go return it I was startled because it didn't make any noise, so he rolled the window down and talked to me briefly about it.  (He said there's been talk of putting in artificial engine noise as the blind, who rely on sound, cannot hear it and have nearly been hit.)

    [slyly]  Of course, if grief bursts elicit gifts like my nifty Nintendo DSi, perhaps this plan should be reconsidered. 


  • What a couple of days!

    Yesterday Anna, Beth's mother, was kind enough to drive over from her home in Dallas so we could visit, go to the Kimbell museum and have lunch there.  You know what's odd?  The guards couldn't care less if one uses one's camera phone to snap photos of the permanent collection stuff, but are Johnny-on-the-spot to put the kibosh on it if one tries to do so with the special exhibition items.  Why's it alright in one section of the museum but not in another?

    We had a lovely time.

    Later in the afternoon, though, I had what the grief counselor referred to as a "grief burst".  It was a fairly major one, lasting almost 45 minutes.  I was back in my bedroom with the door closed but feared the boys could still hear me.  They left while I was back there, and while they were gone I finally decided to pull myself together and go work on my Bible study for this morning's Women in the Word session.

    So I'm there in the living room, sitting on the sofa, working away, when Dmitry and Joe came in.  Turned out they'd gone to SuperTarget, where they bought me an early Mother's Day present....a Nintendo DSi!  For the uninitiated, it's the newest version of that handheld game system, which includes a camera with editing features, sound recording ability, and wireless internet connectivity.  It just came out on April 5th and I'd been casting sheep's eyes at it.

    I'd been like this:

    ....but Dmitry and Joe's gift ("And we got the extended warranty on it!" Dmitry assured me) turned me into:

    I've had fun playing with it.  ;^)

    Today has been a full day, starting with the Bible study (the lesson given by Kathy Harrelson was superb; many of us were anxious to get the CD of it to share and keep to listen to again), then lunch with my friend, Kathy, whose birthday's tomorrow (El Fenix...yum!), followed by a grief counseling session, then a voice lesson, from there to SuperTarget, finishing up with a 2 1/2 hour rehearsal for tomorrow evening's Tenebrae service.

    Which is going to be marvelous!  Jennifer (the one who was proposed to a choir rehearsal a week ago) took this photo of the orchestra and choir loft with the scrim in place:

    By the time the service is over, all those candles are snuffed out and the sanctuary is in darkness.

    I'm really looking forward to it, though I need to work on a couple of the pieces.