Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Team Rubicon in Haiti

Team Rubicon needs more volunteers to go to Haiti ASAP. If you're interested, click here.

Who they need (very precisely): ER doctor types plus pediatric skills EMT's. Security element still necessary need former military with combat experience and trauma skills, a school teacher would be a good addition as we transition

One way or the other, make sure you check out their blog. I don't know any of these men personally, but I'm impressed by all brave Americans who jump in and get in done in time of need. These are those guys.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Official Diet Update: One Week

One week in and I have lost 1.5 pounds. I have 23.5 pounds to go.

From now on I'll update this every 2 weeks, since there's bound to be weeks where nothing moves, and that's too depressing to think about, much less write about.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mission to Haiti: Help if you Can

This effort led by former Marines and Soldiers is ad hoc, but it sounds like they're going to get a lot done on the ground, quickly, just as they likely did when they were in active service.

Please donate if you feel led to. You can do so by clicking here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The BFF God

Do you know this God? He's a modern creation, and you got it: he's your best friend forever. He always listens to you, whatever you have to say, and he understands you - better than your bestest girlfriend from high school ever did. He doesn't insist that your communication with him be mainly made up of worship of him (what he actually created you for); he's really not that uptight. He loves to listen to you just talk about you and your feelings. He gives good advice, and has a sense of humor. Does he sound less like God and more like someone on You be the judge.

I used to know this God, or at least I spent a lot of time in churches listening to people talk about him. Christian radio is actually the best place to hear about him, and I spent some time listening to that too. When I sat in those chuches and listened to those songs, was I worshipping the One who created the universe? No. Was I becoming more holy - more like him? Sinning less? Thinking less of myself and more of him and of others? No, and no, and no. What was I doing instead? Simply creating a God I could live with, rather than worshipping the one who literally breathed life into me - both temporal and spiritual life, as a matter of fact.

I can't say that since I stopped listening to people tell me that God was my BFF I've become more holy, or sinned less, or generally become anything more than a marginally better person. But I have done one thing. I've started to actually worship the most powerful, almighty, all-knowing God - the Uncreated One. And that's a step in the right direction, however small.

Girls and Guns

Here in Texas, even our dogs love guns:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Promises, Promises

Apparently a number of candidates for state office - at least 7 so far - are calling for the state to secede and form its own independent nation.

Now, I'm in Texas, right? So you're sure that I'm talking about candidates for Texas state office, aren't you?

Nope. Vermont.

See, it seems that some Vermonters were sure that socialist utopia was going to manifest itself the minute President Obama took office. And since it has yet to materialize, they're tired of waiting and are prepared to take matters into their own hands. And, one would assume, deliver said utopia to the citizens of Vermont tout suite.

Good luck with that, guys.

HT: Instapundit.

Adventures in Keeping Warm

As you can see from the picture above and my last post, we spent last Thursday through Sunday at Disney World.

In the cold. The extreme, "Arctic blast" of cold. The "wear 2 sweaters, a scarf, gloves and a hat" cold that descended on even sunny Florida last week.

And we had fun anyway.

With the exception of Saturday, when rain and 40° temperatures made even Epcot impossible (the key cold weather choice - it has more than 15 indoor activities. I counted) we spent every day at the parks. Two full days at the Magic Kingdom and one - more of a half day - at the Animal Kingdom.

I must confess that I am head-over-heels in love with Disney World. Especially the Magic Kingdom, where every single happy memory of my childhood seems to coalesce until I am a pushy, over-excited six year old who wants nothing more than to ride Peter Pan's Flight eight times in one day. I blame my parents, who took me to the Magic Kingdom when I was 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Aaah, spoiled only-childhood, how I love parts of thee so very, very much.

This time, I did curb my excesses to some extent (although it was really, really hard to do so on that first day) and a good time was had by all four of us. And Husband is really the most patient man on the planet, which helps at times like these.

So here we are, frolicking away. Please feel free to enjoy the fun (and the cold) vicariously. I know I do, every time I re-review the pictures.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day One

The Diet of the Year I Turn 40 has begun. Today. Why? Because I am in dire need of the removal of 25 of the pounds that cling so lovingly to just about every part of my body between my shoulder blades and my knees. Don't believe me? Here I am, just last week*:

Blech. For sake of comparison, here I am almost 13 years ago, on my wedding day**:

Yes, I will agree: the little imp next to me in the first picture would be worth almost any number of pounds, as would his delightful older brother. But I was within 10 pounds of my weight on my wedding day within 6 months of each delivery; I am now 25 pounds heavier than that. A diet has become mandatory. I refuse to limp pathetically into 40 this June at the weight I am currently.

I am posting this because I need some help. Call it accountability, transparency - what you will - but I need to know that someone (even if it's only one of my five readers) is wondering occasionally "what on earth is going on with Tari and that diet? I bet you $20 she quit." And hopefully I will not have quit, but instead will be posting uplifting updates here on my glorious lack of pounds.

Wish me luck.

*Why, yes, that is Disney World! More on that coming soon.

**And just in case you're thinking "sure, she was skinny on her wedding day - ALL brides diet before the big day" I must correct you. Husband asked me on a Monday and we were married that Friday - not much time for Weight Watchers.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Quick Twitch Muscles

As between One and Two, Two has them all.

They race:

And One is victorious. He shouts "I won, I won!" And when I chide him for bragging he explains that he has won over his little brother maybe "5 times in the 50" they have raced ... in the past week, since Two shook off his training wheels.

Triumph is sweet, especially when it doesn't come every day.

But Two is still fast:

Especially having left the training wheels behind, next to the dirty laundry.

A Death in the Family

Over the Chrismas holidays, while all of us ate, drank and made merry, a knife was stuck in between the ribs of the best bookstore in Houston, and it quietly closed down.

Farewell to the Alabama Bookstore, the best bookstore in Houston for many years. Housed in an old theater, it was a book-browser's and buyer's heaven. I can't count the hours I spent wandering up and down the gentle slope of the former main aisle of the theater, looking and reading and buying my heart out. When I was pregnant with One, Husband and I hauled bags and bags of books out of there, eager to turn our firstborn into a lover of books (ed: hey - it worked). When One (and then Two) grew older, we discovered it had the best children's book selection in town. Even after it was taken over by Barnes and Noble, it retained much of its character - and it always - always - had a much finer selection than any other bookstore in town.
Now it is gone, presumably due to the proximity of a new 40 billion square foot bookstore on West Grey. Hopefully someone as visionary as the original Alabama Bookstore people will take over the space and make something as interesting and good out of it. One can, of course, always pray for a miracle.

On the Fourteenth Day of Christmas Break

My true love gave to me ...

Cardinals in Two's new birdfeeder:

Once a redbird, always a redbird.

And the twelfth and thirteenth days? Well, we let's say we slept through the former:

And swung through the latter:

Okay? Okay.