My longer-than-a-week hiatus has two real excuses.

1.) I was under a blog detox. A while back I posted a lolcats picture, and for the past few weeks, my search engine terms have been crammed with people looking for FUNNY CATS! Seriously. There has been little else. In fact, my hits have been nearly 250 hits higher than average. It was really annoying me. I was disappointed that I couldn’t check my blog stats and be proud that I had 358 hits. They really didn’t care about my writing. They just cared about the FUNNY CATS! So, I deleted the lolcats picture off my blog, and it took about a week for Google Images to figure out that the post no longer exists.

2.) Work has been nuts. Every night I’ve come home exhausted. This job has really made me appreciate assembly-line workers. I can’t imagine working on an assembly line for more than a month. I’m so thankful that it worked out for me to have this job for this short time that I’m home, but today I am even more thankful that tomorrow my paycheck will be in my hands, and I can move on to bigger and better things….

LIKE CALIFORNIA! BECAUSE I’M LEAVING IN 9 DAYS!

Also, some pretty amazing things have happened in the past few days that remind me just how great God’s faithfulness is. The money came through from the insurance company for the Great Rear-Ending of 2007, and with some generosity from my father, it covered the cost of my new car, the Sable Who Has No Name. My dad also did some work on the car for me, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have a mechanic father. Let’s just say that after he told me everything he did on the car, all I could say, with wide eyes and an unsquelchable smile, was, “Merry Christmas to me!” I was planning on getting him honey roasted cashews for Christmas or a new set of keys he could use to clean out his ears. I guess I’ll have to re-think those options.

Also, a dear friend of mine took it upon himself to send me a little package in the mail today. It was quite lovely and touching. Thank you, friend. You know who you are. I will send you an email sometime tomorrow to thank you personally.

Speaking of Christmas, I didn’t have to work on Sunday, and I went Christmas shopping with my mom and grandma. I’m planning on making most of my Christmas gifts this year, and I had a great time in the craft stores picking out the materials to purchase. I can’t wait to post some photos of what I make, but that, of course, will have to wait until after Christmas and the gifts have been bestowed upon their recipients. And, of course, after I actually make said gifts.

One thing I did purchase for my nephew Ezra is a baby toy of the future, and I can’t wait to give it to him. It’s a new take on a typical baby toy, and I knew it was great when my mom saw it and was disappointed that she hadn’t gotten it for him.

Speaking of my niece and nephew… I love them. They will be the hardest to leave in 9 days because they will be so much bigger when I see them again. It has been truly wonderful to be around them for the past month and a half. I don’t regret the decision to come home for a little while at all.

I promise that I will start writing about homeschooling soon. Today was my last day of work until I find a job in California, and I’m looking forward to letting my body rest for a while. For the past few weeks, I’ve felt like I’m working out all day every day. Tomorrow I am sleeping in!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

November 23, 2007

Yesterday while on the telephone with D, he informed me that it was cold in California because it was 50 degrees, Fahrenheit. It was evening, so I in no way doubt the accuracy of his weather assertions, but I do doubt the assertion that 50 degrees is cold. It was 16 degrees here in Minnesota. Baby, it’s chilly — not quite as chilly as it will get here — but, just the same, chilly.

I admit that living in Arkansas for the past six years, before I moved home last month, has made me the weak little duckling. For the past six years, I’ve only spent about three weeks each year of the winter here in Minnesota, if even that, and it was generally at the mildest points. Plus, I was on Christmas vacation or only had a week of work off, or something, and I didn’t have to go outside if I didn’t want to. I didn’t have to experience what I like to call snot-freezin’ weather, and yes, I really do mean that sometimes it gets so cold that when you inhale sharply, your nose hairs get all stiff, and your snot freezes. It is quite the exhilarating sensation. When my brother and I were younger, we used to put booties and jackets on our dogs to let them go outside to poo. We made a doggie jacket out of an old jacket that belonged to our grandpa, and we called it the dogs’ Starter Jacket. I have a Starter Jacket of my own from seventh grade, a real one of the Phoenix Suns, and I am sometimes known to embarrassingly don that jacket to go outside here because the jacket is very warm. It is also very humiliating for a classy girl like me, but in the dead of winter around here, people don’t really care about humiliating — they only care about warm.

I have spent probably a fourth of my life wearing snow pants. One of my favorite feelings as a child was coming in from playing in the snow when all my snow clothes were soaking wet, only to peel off all those wet clothes, don my second set of warm, dry snow clothes, and run right back out again. We Clippertons were experienced and knew how to make this sensation especially enjoyable by setting out the dry clothes on the old fashioned heat radiator beforehand, so when we came in to change, the new clothes would be toasty. I remember exactly what it feels like to pull on those mittens, that sense of joyous relief, when the wet becomes dry and the cold becomes warm.

And even though it was 16 degrees yesterday, it was also a joyous day because I woke up to fat, white flakes falling from the hazy sky. We only got a dusting, a teaspoon dose that lingered in the corners of the streets and between the blades of grass, but still, it is coming. I can’t think of anything more fun right now than borrowing my mom’s snowmobiling suit from the 1970s and running out to the park in the cold and snow with my two-year-old niece, to brave the frozen snot, all for the sake of sliding down a hill on our butts over a piece of brightly colored, thin plastic.

Or, if we don’t have sleds around here anymore, we can use a snow shovel, because as an experienced Clipperton Snow Person, let me tell you, it works.

Thankful.

November 22, 2007

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The Extended Fam, Christmas 2005

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Mom and Me In New York, Summer 2006

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Dad, Christmas 2005

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Niece Lydia, November 2007 (Photo by sister-in-law Angela)

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Nephew Ezra, September 2007

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The Extended Fam Crammed Into Brother Alan’s Closet Office (Photo by Angela), October 2007

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Lydia and Her Mom, November 2007 (Photo from Angela)

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D and Me, the Floating Head, May 2007

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L and Me (June 2007)

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Friend AA and the Now Dearly Departed Kate, Faithful Dog and Loyal Friend, May 2007

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Friend AS At Her Birthday Party, April 2007

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Friends MW and MS

I am grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends and Family!