Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday 5: Never Ending Basket Edition

1. So, apparently yesterday was Prematurity Awareness Day. I wasn’t aware. The month of November is also Adoption Awareness Month. Coincidence that this is the month we celebrate Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday this month, since she was adopted and a 2 lb 7 oz preemie? I think not!

2. Today The International Man of Intrigue and I got to guest lecture for a friend’s college class via video teleconference. It was fun! Maybe I should get my doctorate and subject 18 and 19 year olds to listening to me talk every day!

3. The other day, The International Man of Intrigue finished folding a basket of laundry. I quipped, “Need a refill?” It occurred to me that our laundry basket is like a basket of breadsticks at Olive Garden. It keeps getting refilled, whether you want more or not. 

4. If you could remove a “traditional” food from the Thanksgiving day menu, what would it be? The beauty of being a military family and moving all the time is that we generally have thanksgiving with different people every couple of years. It means we get to add new dishes to our repertoire and ditch ones no one really cares about. This year, we are actually spending Thanksgiving with the same people we did last year: The Brits and The Other Intrigues. (Yes, our neighbors have the same last name as we do, and the husband works one office over from The International Man of Intrigue!) The Other Mrs. Intrigue makes creamed onions, which are super yummy, but I haven’t really had before. We have decided to ban green bean casserole because no one really wants to waste calories on it. Sweet potatoes are still on the menu, but they may get the axe as well. We just decided if we’re going to eat decadent food, we shouldn’t waste space on our plates or in our stomachs on food we don’t love. So, let’s hear it, which food would you take off the table this Thanksgiving?

5. I have this fabric, it looks like notebook paper. I want to stitch a quote on it and then sew it into a pillow. I can't decide what it should say, though. I'd like it to be something inspirational. I'd also like it to be something worth drilling into the Little Explorers' heads, since if they look at it every time they pick it up, they're likely to memorize it, if not take it to heart.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tuesday 5: Soundtrack to My Life Edition

This week I was challenged by a fellow “Random Fiver” to use the Random 5 to spell out the soundtrack to my life. I gave it some thought. Not enough to want this to be completely set in stone, but enough to post it here. I’ve decided that I’ll list five phases of my life and the accompanying music. There is always music.

1. Most of the Fellow Adventurers who know me in real life would not be surprised if my entire list was composed of U2 songs. Yes, U2 is so much threaded through the moments of my life that it would be impossible to make a list without it. I’m going to try to limit it here, though, save for one song: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” It’s a song about the search for meaning. This song ran in and out of the melody of my college years. I listened to it as I trekked across Europe for the first time, the week I turned 21. I listened to it the morning I graduated from college and moved back in with my parents. Every single note of it was so true. I knew the lines 
“You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it.”
And I did believe in The One who had done those things, but I knew I was still searching. 

2. When I got back from Europe, I was broke, in debt, and still had a year of private college to pay for. I did what any self respecting broke girl would do and got a job tending bar and waitressing at a tiny bar above an Italian restaurant. It was one of those small town places where the regulars would walk in and hang up their coats and they’d already have their favorite drinks waiting at their spots before they could sit down. I loved it because I could eat a meal for free at work and drink for free after 10 pm. There was a jukebox in the corner. Those same regulars would sometimes give us money to choose songs, as long as we played their favorites. We played them over and over and sang along: “Hey Cinderella” by Suzy Boggus, “Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba, “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac, and, of course, “Closing Time” by Semisonic.

3. Next up, a half decade down the road, the songs that remind me of the first day of the greatest love story in the modern world. That’s right, the wedding of The International Man of Intrigue and Dorothy Gale. There were a few awesome songs that day. I remember The International Man of Intrigue dipping me down low and kissing me in the back of Church after we walked out, the sound of “Hope to Carry On” by Rich Mullins being played by a friend on guitar. There was our first dance, Dave Matthews Band’s “Where are You Going?” Our wedding party and my siblings danced like crazy to Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” Which was definitely the popular song at the time.

4. The transition from wedding to the early days of our marriage was much more extreme than most. A few months in, we moved across the country and The International Man of Intrigue started preparing full force for a year long deployment to Iraq. He was gone a lot, in the field, working late, gearing up. Our first anniversary was spent at a pre-deployment brief—the meeting where they talk to you about the importance of wills and arrangements. Then, BOOM, on Martin Luther King Day he was gone. I dropped him off, kissed him goodbye, and called in heartbroken to work. There was a song that came out that year by a band called SheDaisy. “Come Home Soon” was its name, and I still can’t listen to it. I tried, before writing this blog post, but it’s still too full of emotion for me. That year, I also was front and center in the pouring rain at a Willie Nelson concert. Songs like “Always on My Mind,” “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” and “Whiskey River” bring back snippets of that long year. The International Man of Intrigue came home a year later, stayed for almost exactly a year, just long enough to hold a newborn Amelia Earhart in his arms, and then was gone again for fifteen months. Those were the first four and a half, exhausting, strengthening, difficult years of marriage. Not a bad thing to remember today, on Veterans’ Day.

5. The last batch of songs for my soundtrack tonight are the first songs my kids each heard after they were born. We just let them happen, and they turned out pretty well. Amelia Earhart heard “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce while she was in the nursery. Gertrude Bell was born while Carrie Underwood’s “All-American Girl” played on the television. Arthur Dent first heard The All American Rejects “Hope it Gives You Hell” on the ride home from the hospital. With Laura Ingalls Wilder, it’s a bit more fuzzy. I contend that her awesome nurse, Tom, who firmly believed in the mantra, “Whistle while you work,” whistled her her first tune. If you want to get technical, the first song she heard on the radio was on the hotel shuttle, on the way to a follow up doctor’s appointment, and I have no idea what it was saying. It was in Spanish, to the tune of “Putting on the Ritz.”

Music is big in the Intrigue Family. If he’s home, The International Man of Intrigue plays guitar after dinner. The older Little Explorers take piano. They are currently in love with the song “Bohemian Rhapsody.” They make up little songs all day long. There is always music running through my life. What about yours?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tuesday Random 5: Election Day Edition

Wow! Has it only been less than a week since the “World Serious” ended? Seems longer. I totally broke the “No crying in baseball” rule set forth by Tom Hanks. Oops. Well, it was a great season by the Royals, and a well matched World Series.

1. Is anyone else completely sucked into buying school pictures? I can’t help myself. The proofs come home, and I melt. I can’t help it. Yes, grandparents, this is your official notice that Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell’s school pictures will be arriving in the near future.

2. Speaking of Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell and completely melting, there’s this little thing that happens almost every day. I pull up in the carline to pick them up from school and they’re holding hands. They don’t have to be, they just are. They have no idea that I turn to a puddle of mama mush every time. I also try to remember that picture 15 minutes later when they are fighting like two out of four female cast members of “The Facts of Life” in any given episode.

3. I’m four days into my fitness challenge. I’ve worked out every day. I’ve eaten all my servings of fruits and veggies. I’m starting to feel better. Craziest of all, I’ve given up Diet Coke. This is huge. Really huge. I did have one today—one of my two weekly “cheats.” My British friend says not to call them “cheats” because it has too many negative connotations. So, for her, today I had a Diet Coke and used one of my two weekly “exceptions.” It was worth it. Cold, delicious, and refreshing, it also helped me to avoid eating all the wonderful breakfast goodies at MOPS today. An “exception” well spent. 

4. I noticed today while listening to the radio that when Keith Urban sings, he doesn’t have an Australian accent. I started thinking. Most singers who sing in English don’t have an accent when they sing. Adele? Nope. The Beatles? Yes, sometimes. Why are accents mostly undetectable while singing? 

5. The International Man of Intrigue has decided I'm going to vie to become the President of the United States in 2016. He's even started a hashtag. #dorothygale2016. (only my non-pseudonym, of course). It's basically a grassroots campaign for anyone who's sick of politicians. The amazing news is that I got my first vote tonight! My cousin wrote me in for the Kansas Senate race! Woo-hoo! I'm wondering if proper etiquette dictates I make a concession speech and call up the winners to congratulate them, since I'm pretty sure I lost that election.