Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Diary


Our guinea pig, Jacky, lives the good life. He has it made. He eats all he wants, runs around, pops and jumps and squeals and generally has an all-round good time. He has been photographed reading, sleeping (note the pillow and blanket), listening to music, and much, much more.

All in all, it's GOOD to be a pig.

All for now,

Tricia

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ho Ho Hannah

I'm so glad Hannah still likes to mug for the camera. Decided to turn these jewels into a collage for all to see. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all that jazz. The last two days have been horrible, crummy days, (car is back in the shop for more, thankfully minor, repairs until tomorrow), but I'm trying to maintain my sanity.

Creating collages with silly pictures of my girlie seemed the best way to do that. Notice "exercisin' Santa" on the second photo. What a doll!

All for now,
Tricia

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to post a quick Merry Christmas (13 minutes left of the day!) in my "bloggy" world. :)
All for now,
Tricia

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Facing My Giants



Tonight my little family watched the movie Facing the Giants. It's one of the typical feel-good movies that at first glance may seem predictable and syrupy. I'm sure for many viewers, it begs the question, "Does God really care about whether we win or lose a football game?" For me, I suppose the question would be more like, "Does God really care...period?"

The last few months, hubby and I have had to face some pretty big giants ourselves. On September 27, we found out John's fulltime days at his company were numbered. Exactly the same week, we realized our car, "Ethel," needed a new transmission, costing roughly $2,000. For the past two months, we have cranked out the resumes, spent hours online for a job, any job; we have driven only to and from school, church and the store because the car shakes so badly, it rattles our teeth; and we have spent a lot of time on our knees, trying to believe, but not always succeeding.

I am proud of us that we have not given up, and for the most part are facing each day with new resolve. We've not turned on each other or cursed God.

But then, it's not really about us.

For a long time I've wished I had a better faith and to know, deep down in my gut, nothing is impossible with God--coincidentally, the mantra of the football team in the movie. I'm realizing that there is a reason Jesus said time and time again, the reason He came to earth was to "bring glory to His Father."

Up till now, have I really, truly cared about that? I don't think so. But I'm starting to get it. I realize that God may or may not provide a decent job for John. He may or may not allow us to continue to stay in the DFW area, where my beloved parents are, as I long to be near to them. But I desire to love Him anyway. I desire to follow Him, even if I don't understand His views or ways.

I've been fighting true surrender all along. But I can fight Him no longer. I will remember the words of Christ:

"So I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty. At first I didn't think of it as a gift... and then He told me, 'My grace is enough, it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.' Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap, and began appreciating the gift...Now...I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become" (2 Corinthians 12:8-10 The Message).

Oh, and the answer to that question?

Yeah, He cares. And He specializes in the impossible.

What giants are you facing today?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A little nuts

I gave this card to Hannah's teacher. I wrote "Nuts about you," under the squirrel. I thought it turned out really cute. The pattern (as are all other cards I've stitched) is by Form-A-Lines.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Love is in the air collage

I've been missing playing with photos (while my computer was in the shop), so I decided it was time to create a new photo collage. For fun, I included the original photograph for you to compare with the finished collage.
I took the original shot after Hannah had spent the day at her school's fall fair, where she had her hair dyed with temporary pink and blue highlights! And the little stuffed chick is a beanie baby she won at the fair. (Notice the big "kiss" on her cheek. She made her daddy's heart stop a moment when she gleefully announced that a "big boy" had kissed her!) That was one happy girlie!
Enjoy!


From this:

To this:



Saturday, November 13, 2010

Still my little girl...


Don't let the "tough girl" picture fool you: this girlie is as sweet as they come! Case in point:

~ When her class was still doing ITBS testing this year, she giddily reported, "We're still getting yummy snacks! Goldfish and grape juice!" even though testing was done for the week. I'm glad she gets excited over little things like "kid" snacks.

~ When asked during a game what age she'd like to be and why, she said, "Sixteen. Because I would like to drive a car." That's my red-blooded American tween! ha!

~ During her prayers, she still prays for "everybody in the world." That's her standard. But they're getting deeper. She recently prayed for some friends who are having trouble in school: "Help them to be on the right path to You, Jesus, so they make sure to get to heaven." And last but not least, during mealtimes, she still prays for our pets, Sonny and Jacky. She's a faithful pet-owner!

~ When asked why in the world she didn't tell someone she was feeling so sick until she got home from school: "I had no strength," she said. "I didn't even have the strength to tell Mrs. Solomon, to go up to her desk. I felt so chilled and when I felt my skin I was so hot. I just laid my little head down because I couldn't do anything else."

~ When asked, during a game, what would be the title of a book she'd write: How I Survived the Last Days. She's very interested in end time events according to the Bible.

* * *

In other news, this past Thursday I gave a presentation to Hannah's class on Boundaries: When you should say "no." It went really well! I told them that many people--family, friends, teachers--will have expectations of us in life. And that it's really important that we ask ourselves every now and then, "Is this a reasonable or unreasonable expectation of me?" If it's not, they should have the right and the responsibility to tell people in their lives. That they don't *have* to say yes to everything, especially something that might get them into trouble.

I had an activity with balloons, another one with cups of water, and yet another that involved Indian Wrestling! ha! They seemed enjoy it. The only downside was that I realized too late that I did not have enough balloons to go around for them to take home. Note to self: bring enough for each kid next time! ha! I feel badly about it enough to go buy another bag and have Hannah hand them out sometime in the next few weeks.

One girl had the expression of losing her bestest friend when I said all the balloons were given out! But Hannah came to the rescue! My little helper, clasping the balloon I'd given her, gently wiped the spittle off the balloon she'd been blowing on and offered hers to the girl. What a trooper! And you know what? The other girl, looking mortally offended at the still-wet-from-Hannah's-mouth balloon, shrugged her shoulders, took the balloon and marched triumphantly away. I decided to ignore any squeamish thoughts inside me that screamed of "Germs! You shouldn't share Germs!" and, gently squeezing my daughter's shoulder, declared it a DAY.

Monday, November 8, 2010

An old jalopy


An old "jalopy." Isn't that a fun word?? Anyway, here's a card I stitched for my uncle, who owns a truly antique car (Model-A? Model-T? can't remember which one). I believe it's the same one my grandpa and grandma used to go on their honeymoon around 1930 or 31.
I used a rich, deep turqoise thread for the main body of the vehicle, in addition to the black varigated thread for the tires. Hope you enjoy!
All for now,
Tricia


Monday, October 18, 2010

Thoughts on becoming a STATISTIC


Well, it's been three weeks since we found out John's company is letting him go in November (as well as two others). Turns out the company has been affected by the recession more than was thought at first. The first week, we were so shell-shocked, we just sort of sat around for a couple of days and let ourselves feel numb. Well, at least I did. John, however, got cracking around Day Two by tweaking his resume and making phone calls regarding our new tight budget.
We couldn't even really tell family for a while--it seems like every person you tell makes it more real, you know?

I don't think I've ever had so many questions about the future:

* What will we do about insurance?
* Will we need to get on unemployment for a while?
* Will we both need to work 1,000 jobs to make ends meet?
* Why did this have to happen before Christmas, of all things?
* Where will we be living 6 months from now? Will I like living there though I'm once again, far from kith and kin (aka: my mommy and daddy)?
* Will this help me truly realize how dependent I am on God, that I am nothing, and have nothing, without Him?

I guess the last question is really and truly the only one that matters in His book. In the last three weeks, I've heard some awesome, encouraging sermons, heard about others' plights that are FAR worse than our own, read Scriptures that just really seem to hit on what we're going through, and best of all, have not had the DEEP DARK depression that has so often plagued my existence. In the face of a stressor such job loss, that, my dear ones, is a miracle from above.
I don't know the future, but I know we are in his Almighty, capable, providing hands. And there's no place else I'd rather be.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Two pretty cards




Goodness, I realize it's been a month since I've posted anything. I have lots to say, but tonight I'm just gonna post a couple of cards I made. You can't really tell, but the first one has three- dimensional elements on the left side.
I'll try to write more again soon.
All for now,
Tricia




Monday, September 20, 2010

Pretty purple delight

Here's a card I stitched as a wedding card for a family member who just got married. Not a conventional wedding card, true, but I thought the colors and obvious time it took to stitch the card would be appreciated. :) Be sure to click on the photo to see the design closeup.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We love the Rangers!

In August, John and Hannah took in a game at the Ballpark at Arlington. (We are spoiled to live so close!) They were so excited to cheer for their team. The Rangers went on to win, 4-3 in the bottom of the tenth inning! Hannah likes to take some of the credit that her screaming helped the ball players! Hey, whatever works! ha!

Due to the distracting elements of bleachers, spectators, etc., at the game, I highlighted only J and H in the photos in order to capture their smiles and team spirit (plus that awesome red Rangers ballcap!) for the collage. I purposely did not put a lot of embellishments on the page so the #1 Fans would stand out on the page. :)

Hope you enjoy!

All for now,
Tricia

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Helicopters, hiking and Hannah



Well, we've certainly had quite a week. It started out with a bang on Labor Day. John and I took Hannah to Cleburne State Park to go hiking, complete with picnic and walking sticks. We ate our suppers right down at the lake, which was gorgeous. There was a light breeze and the heat of the day had disappeared, leaving us with the usual warm, muggy September evening temperatures. We laughed at Hannah as she kept her eye out for coyotes, armadillo, deer, bunnies--ANY kind of wildlife would have made her happy. Alas, we were alone except for the two-wheeled type (cyclists! ha!). But we had a great time anyway and Hannah was optimistic that we'd see some animals the next time!

The next day, Hannah came home really sick, with 104.0 degrees temp. She had chills and vomiting and was just one sick puppy. Poor baby, the temperature climbed to 104.7. We watched it very carefully, gave her ibuprofen and were ready to take her to the ER if need be. But thankfully her fever went down and we all breathed a sigh of relief. John and I washed and washed and WASHED our hands and so far, we've not gotten sick (as we cross our fingers). Surprisingly, Hannah was only out of school one day and by the middle of that day, her temp was normal.

So where do the helicopters come in? I'm glad you asked! DFW had a tremendous amount of rain in a short period of time, which produced flash flooding. While I was napping, John and Hannah heard a helicopter and looked out the window to see THREE of them, hovering across the street. Turns out all of the residents were having to evacuate and be rescued from their homes--the water rose that fast! The news channels covered the story and poor mom had to watch all of that, wondering how we were. She only called my cell, which was turned off while I blissfully slept (sorry, mom!); guess she didn't think we'd be home to answer our phone.

Anyway, our residence is a lot higher in elevation than those across the street, for which we were so grateful! Besides, with Hannah being sick, it would have been a nightmare to try to run out and go somewhere (and lose all our belongings as well!).

So ... a bit of excitement in the Williams household this week.

All for now,
Tricia

Sunday, September 5, 2010

School Days!


We are getting ready to start our fourth week at Burton! Goodness, where does the time go? Hannah is enjoying fifth grade a lot, and I'm really glad all her little girlfriends are getting along fairly well. Hopefully that will continue. We're lucky she's not interested in generating drama that young girls and their "social cliques" do sometimes.
Homework sessions can still be a bit traumatic on occasion--it just seems like it never ends! I know that when she gets home, she's very ready to switch from "school" mode to "play" mode, which I completely understand. She is such a wiggleworm, too, and after sitting still for most of the day, she has lots of wiggles to get out! I think there's a lot more order in this year's classroom, though, and she's able to hear the instructions for her lessons and that has helped ease some of the pressure as well!
Funny Hannah story: in the usual "What I did this summer" essay, Hannah wrote about going to see her Grandma Williams in California. At the end, she was TRYING to say that she and daddy caught the shuttle to the airport to fly back to mommy, but got a little confused and wrote that they "caught the space shuttle back to the airport..." ha! John and I had a great chuckle over that one. We joked with Hannah that we were very impressed! She just giggled. :)
Well, that's an update on our Hannah girl (and us). This Labor Day we haven't done anything too terribly exciting. Last week was kind of a long week and we've been in a mostly vegetative state since Friday.
I'll try to post again a little sooner--can't believe it's been six weeks since my last post!
All for now,
Tricia

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A different sort of birthday card

I made this card as a birthday card for a girlfriend who loves to cook. I thought it turned out well and had fun with some new stencils I got. I'm trying to learn how to work with shading a little more and like the effect of my "apron" here.

All for now,
Tricia

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's 5 o'clock somewhere...

I transferred a sketch from an old 80s craftbook and painted the picture with vibrant watercolors. Doggone, this guy's got the right idea for the summer, especially in the Texas heat! I like to think "Spot" is floating down the Brazos River on his hot pink inner tube while sipping his pink lemonade! I really liked how the palm tree turned out. Finished piece is about 8 X 10.

All for now,
Tricia

Monday, July 5, 2010

Gotta love these creative ice breakers!


Okay, so I just found another website that has some really funky stuff! This decorating site has wall stickers that you can use to jazz up your house, from funky to fun, glam to glitzy, silly to serious! I'm really diggin' the powerpole and barcode. They crack me up! Not sure if I'd be bold enough to have them on MY wall, but still, it'd be a great conversation piece! I guess the barcode would be really cool for those working as a cashier! (Eh, or maybe not!)

Of course, they have regular ones too, like flowers, butterflies, birds, etc.

Check it out!

www.ferm-living.com

Happy Independence Day


Happy Fourth of July, peoples! I am so thankful for the freedom we have in this country.

We had a great weekend, just spending time together as a family: swimming, games, movies, and the most delicious pizza I've had in years! Hannah and I played Pickup Sticks, Would You Rather? game, and I taught her how to play Boggle. She loved it! We played game after game. I kept asking her "do you want to play something different now?" And she'd say, "no, let's keep going!" She's such a wonderful little companion. Seeing a smile on her face makes my day!

In the picture, Hannah and I are spending time together under her tent made of blanket and chairs!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Creativity and fun


Okay, so I have just discovered the coolest website: www.designerstencils.com! This photo is on their home page, as an example of what one can do with their stencils.

I found it while perusing through my Country Living magazine, which can be found at countryliving.com and am just now clicking through to see what they offer. I can't believe they offer culinary stencils as well--oh my word, I didn't even KNOW stencils existed for cakes, cookies, etc. Man, have *I* been living in the dark ages (well, if it has to do with culinary skills, I'm really not too surprised!) ha! I know I'm definitely going to share the website with my cake decorating friends.

Anyway, I already have quite a number of stencils, courtesy of my dear sister-in-law, and I use them quite a bit. I don't tend to use the larger ones as often; I use the smaller ones to make my cards with.

John and I had terrific birthdays, lots of fun, love and laughter with family. I haven't gotten together with my friends yet, but I'm hoping they won't be too busy this summer to maybe sneak away for a quick girlfriend lunchdate!

I finally got my mom to join Facebook. Yay! I know she'll have a nice time keeping connected with friends and family that way.

All for now,
Tricia

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Believe in yourself

Believe... in Yourself. I traced the picture and then colored with watercolor pencils, using a blender pen to blend colors in. Glitter on wings and clouds.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Colors of the World

Colors of the World

The natives are restless
the drums are starting to beat--
they're trying to convey a message
in this burning, sweltering heat.

Rich red earth
is the hunting ground
where these noble warriors dwell;
could the plains and reservations speak
think of the stories they would tell.

In old, Negro spirituals
they make their wishes known--
all they desire is to be free
and have a place to call their own.

Politeness is their key to success,
as well as hard determination;
Rice is their main export
upon which they wholly lean as a nation.

Then there's the great U-S- of A-
the land "flowing with milk and honey"
as much as other nations believe,
we're NOT all made of money!

God blesses each and every man
according to his own needs,
but it really depends a lot
on whether he can write or read!

written May 19, 1992 (age 17)

I wrote this poem, which starts out dramatic and ends a bit tongue-in-cheek, while "working" hard at the music store. Thought it was kinda fun to share. Please do not share or reprint without permission.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Games, games, games!

Here's a picture of Hannah and the scrabble board. She played her very first Scrabble game awhile back and loved it! We are doing our best to raise a game player, especially the kind that help her brain expand and grow. She can learn and discover new things while having fun with it! We were so proud of some of the words we came up with, we just HAD to take a photo! :)

All for now,
Tricia

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I never promised you a...

Hannah and I spent some fun time together painting with watercolors this afternoon. Then John got the idea for us to go out to eat (a rarity for the Williams' family). We were thinking of Olive Garden or On the Border, but I got the brilliant idea to go to Chuck E. Cheese. Hannah was beside herself! I have to admit, it's been years since we'd been there with my niece and nephew!

Anyway, first came the large mushroom pizza, and then fun and games! Air hockey, Daytona racing, basketball, etc. You name it, we played it! That was one happy girl!

All for now,
Tricia

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Poem

For those of you who could not read the small writing on the daddy/daughter digital collage I created, here it is written down:

She walks with you
and talks with you
and looks at you with love.
She's your girlie, your "short stuff,"
she's a gift from up above.
Someday...she'll stand beside another
she'll make a vow and say "I do."
But she'll always be your baby
and always stand by you.

Rockwall visit

Well, I was going to tell a little about our couple getaway two weeks ago...

We dropped Hannah off at her friend's house and then headed on out for Rockwall, TX, east of Dallas. It's funny, because when we moved away in 2001, I had noticed the harbor and lake and thought "Oh, no, I never got to visit that place!" And then when we moved back in 2007, I thought, "Well, now's my chance, I've got to visit that place!"

I mean, even from the road, it looks so pretty and is considered to have a Mediterranean island/sea look. Absolutely beautiful. Of course, I'm partial to water/lake landscapes anyway.

So we got there on a Sunday and that evening, of course, I had arranged for us to sail on a sailboat called the Seawolf, built out of spanish cedar by the captain himself! The catamaran is only two years old, so it was in great condition.

We enjoyed our sunset tour tremendously, and most fun, they let me steer the boat, going all over Lake Ray Hubbard! What fun! When we first set out, the captains wife (and First Mate) whispered to me, "this song is for you." It was the theme from the Love Boat! ha! There were only a few of us on the cruise, so the capain walked around and took pictures and just joked around with all of us, but also was good about giving us some space and privacy to enjoy the cruise. If you are in the area and want to check it out, here's the link: http://sailwithscott.com

As you can tell from a previous post, we got some great pix, as well. Then Monday we shopped a little in Rockwall, and then headed over to Dallas and shopped in Old Town. What fun!

Anyway, just wanted to share a little of our fun.

All for now,
Tricia

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dream, daughter, dream

I pray for the sweetest dreams for you, my precious daughter. I love you dearly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fort Worth Botanic Garden photos




We took pictures at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens on Mother's Day weekend. These are just a sample (as is the one of Hannah and her daddy walking in the gardens) of the lovely photos we got of our family. Hannah is, as ever, exquisite. Thank you to her Grandma Williams for the pretty dress she is wearing.

And yes, I will try to eventually send some of these in the mail to family. Who knows, maybe this year I'll write my Christmas letter in July so as to not have to send out any in December.

All for now,
Tricia




A weekend couple getaway in Rockwall, TX. A 40 ft. spanish cedar Catamaran named Seawolf. A romantic time together. More to come...

All for now,
Tricia

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dealing with anger effectively...

These excerpts from a book Getting Over Getting Mad: Positive ways to Manage Anger, are really good:

"It seems that there are chronically angry people everywhere... They act as though life comes with guarantees, and when something doesn't suit them, they sue.

"Some people like being mad. It makes them feel powerful and in control. If they stopped being angry, they might be sad, in emotional pain, afraid or full of despair, and since they don't like feeling vulnerable they carry a chip on their shoulder. The most dangerous people are the ones who don't even know they're angry yet are very hostile. They no longer recognize angry feelings; they life in a permanent state of uproar.

Uproar is a way of making one's own concerns more important than anyone else's. It's the angry person's syndrome. An angry person imagines an insult and immediately hurls insults right back. They overpower others with threats and loud voices.

When my clients who are in a permanent state of uproar speak about themselves, practically every other word they use in should. "I should do this," or "he should do that." When the messages you give yourself are filled with shoulds, you're bound to feel upset. Looking at life from a point of view of "should" will not help you--it will only make you feel angry because you'll so often be disappointed. Can't and have to are two other thought-forms that cripple us and lead to uproar.

To move out of uproar, it helps if you change what you're thinking and saying... To extricate yourself from uproar, you need friends, people whom you can really talk to, who've been there themselves and are ready to share how they have overcome destructive tendencies.... The greatest friend you can have is one who understands your pain and angry but doesn't let you become a permanent victim of it. He pulls you out of the muck, stops your incessant complaining. He tells you the truth and demands the same from you. She asks you to drop the hostility and replace it with goodwill. She brings out the best in you."

Of course, you could always eat a turquoise blue popscicle and make a Grrrrr face like the faux-angry gal above!

I think we all deal with anger but this author really hits it dead on with this page and many others in how to deal with your anger instead of letting it suck the life out of you--or others around you. This was very helpful to me.

All for now,
Tricia

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Father's Day a little early

Here's a little taste of the family photos we took in the beautiful Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Be sure to read the poem I wrote dedicated to a wonderful father. This one's for you, John!

All for now,
Tricia

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Looking at me??

This is just a fun one I made of John and Hannah. They love being silly!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears


Hannah and I had a wonderful time at the zoo on Easter. Her class went on an overnight trip to SeaWorld last week and John and I decided we didn't want to send Hannah on that trip. So I took Hannah to the zoo as a "consolation prize." We had a blast!

Because we were doing this all on the cheap, daddy simply dropped us off, so we only paid for the girls' tickets and no parking. We heard the lion roaring from pretty far away. We exchanged embarrassed smiles and giggles at the chimpanzees and their--ahem--bare bottoms hanging out. We saw bats, snakes, lions, tigers, bears, raptors, zebras, flamingoes, lemurs, a warthog, well, you get the idea. They even had a bug exhibit (not my favorite). The python and cobras were quite impresssssssive.

I think my favorite part was visiting the Texas Wild section. They had exhibits and animals from all sections of the state. I loved the Gulf Coast exhibit, where I touched a sea urchin, starfish, and skate (like a sting ray). I've never touched any of those before and that was fun. We even saw a sea turtle.

We were tired, hungry and very happy when we left the zoo. What a great way to spend Easter--celebrating not only the animals but the Creator who made them all!

All for now,
Tricia

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hannah: Up Close and Personal

I would have to say that Hannah never holds back what she's thinking: The other evening at bedtime, she told me, "Mama, you must be so proud of yourself to have such a wonderful kid like me! "

And so humble too! was my thought... ha!

***

Last night while helping her with her homework, she had launched into some story, and mid-stream, looked at me and said with a giggle, "Why, Mama! I just tell you everything, don't I?"

I'll say. Amen and double amen to that!

***

Hannah learned how to use the super duper, handheld vacuum (John won the vacuum as some sort of a prize at work). I'm a little addicted to it and now I believe Hannah has caught the vacuum fever as well. She also figured out how to de-attach all the various parts, as well as charge the battery. She said, after vacuuming up her entire room and bathroom, "well, I sure am growing up, aren't I? learning to use this vacuum and all!"

***

I was a handy-dandy gal the other evening as well. I couldn't stand Hannah's nighttime fan rattling anymore, so I got out John's screwdriver set and proceeded to take it apart to clean it and fix the rattle. I surprised myself by actually remembering how to put everything back in place. There was one moment, however, when I thought I'd blown it: I turned the switch and nothing happened. Oh no! I broke it. Wait, what's that? Oh, the fan's not plugged in. Whew! Beautiful white noise established once again. (sigh of relief)

***

But I think the truly proud moment was earlier that day, on Sunday. After cleaning out the leaves and trash out of the car, I rewarded myself with a trip to Barnes and Noble.

Much to my delight (sarcasm here), I found a 3X5 size sticker on my sweater that read "I need a lunch ticket. I'd been walking around the bookstore for two hours that way. It must have attached itself to me when I was cleaning out the car! Lucky me! I *wondered* at the inquiring looks at the bookstore...

A proud moment indeed.