"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Piggy back painting

Apparently this is me, giving my son a piggyback ride. Painted by my 3 1/2 year old daughter. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Boost to my own confidence

What I’m good at:

desserts. I make some killer desserts.

b-day cards. It’s rare that I forget a b-day, and while I may not call you, I’ll at least email or usually send a card.

friendship. I’m by no means a touchy feely person. I’m never going to comment on your appearance, or comment on your losing weight. If you’re crying, I’ll probably try to make you happy more so than trying to comfort you. I’m not a hugger. But I’ll be there for you if you need me, just let me know. And I try my best to stay in contact with people. No matter how many months or years go by with no Christmas cards in reply.

writing. I don’t suck at writing. That’s not really a confidence boost. Or really even that positive. But it’s honestly how I view it.

communicating. By no means do I mean face to face communication or confrontation in any way, shape or form. But I’m great at letter writing and emailing.

reading. I’m a quick reader. I miss a lot of symbolism... but I’m not looking for it. I read more for enjoyment than for the literary aspects of the writing.

graphic design. Not even sure if that’s what it would be classified as, but I love arranging stuff on a page... making Christmas letters, newsletters, invitations, flyers, etc.

web guru. I can find just about anything you’re looking for on the internet. Throughout my family, I’m known for it. I just read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons and at the end, in his acknowledgments, he thanks someone as his "web guru." That’s me. I mean, not literally. It’s someone else to Dan Brown. But in general... I am a web guru.

railway track layer. I’ve gotten fairly good and assembling train tracks for my son. So much so that my pieces meet up instead of suddenly coming to an abrupt end, and I have very few extras when I’m done.

nail biting. I’m a great nail biter. Not a great trait, but one at which I excel.

procrastinating. I am a fabulous procrastinator. I can’t even count how many papers I started for English classes the day before they were due.

dependability. I hated being "dependable" as a teenager. But it is a good quality. If you ask me to do something, I’ll do it. If you call and leave a message, I will call you back. I may procrastinate, but it will get done.

navigating. My husband who is a map snob would probably disagree, being that he never even lets me look at the map while he’s driving. But I never to rarely get lost... I mean really lost.

spelling. I’m a great speller, accentuated by all the horrible spellers that have surrounded me my whole life.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Mind the Gap

I rode the bus for the first time in... wow, years. I don’t think I’ve ridden public transportation since I came home from studying abroad in London and traveling a small corner of Europe afterwards. Six years ago now. And then it was cool. (In a lousy fake British accent: "Mind the gap please, mind the gap.")
It’s interesting to me how depending on where you are, marks the public transportation as being for either the cool kids, or the... not cool kids. In the big cities like London, New York, Paris, Madrid, etc., everyone takes the tube/subway/metro, etc. And I would assume the bus systems in those big cities are just as big. But for the first 18 years of my life, living in California, I never rode on any sort of public transportation in my fair town. School buses don’t count. Neither do the buses that shuttle you from the airport to your car, from the parking lot to Disneyland, or tour buses with Japanese exchange students. California is just not really a public transportation sort of place. I mean, it’s there, but most everyone has a car.
When I started college, we were all without cars. We would ride the bus to the mall. It wasn’t "cool," but we weren’t uncool for doing it. And it was sort of an adventure for me, never having paid my 50 cents to get to the mall before. That wore off the first time we were abandoned at the mall due to a snowstorm.
Now, living in the most liberal town in Kansas, (I know, who would have thought Kansas had any), my husband rides the bus downtown every day to work. And although I don’t believe it’s among the trend of things, it’s not a big deal because everyone just assumes he’s saving the earth from more car pollutants. What they don’t know is that he’s left the car home with me to drive around all day, exuding hazardous fumes all over town.
Today’s bus ride, while very exciting for my kids, is not how I plan to get around town from now on. Today’s bus ride was for about a mile, in order to pick our car up from the mechanic who was unable to get our car to act up (isn’t that just like a kid, not to show off for the doctor?). My husband dropped if off on his way to work yesterday, then got on his usual bus a few stops further down the route, thus freaking out a fellow bus rider who gets on at that stop and now thinks she has a stalker. So my husband talked me into taking the kids on a "fun field trip" on the bus to get our car since our son is currently obsessed with all things that go and are big. So once again, I’m a rider of public transportation. And while it’s not my transportation of choice, it was not scary, dirty, or in the least bit life threatening. Plus my kids think I took them on a fun adventure, not a three block ride.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet... Or Would It?

I’ve never met anyone under 50 named Nancy. Well... there was one. My senior year of high school, some new girl with a hyphenated name showed up ruining it so that I was not the only Nancy in my graduating class. But she’s it. Every other Nancy I’ve come into contact with was born around the 1950s... back when Nancy was a popular name to name a baby girl. I think it was even on the top ten list of names...then. My husband even bought me a Little Golden Book Classic book for Christmas called Nurse Nancy. Nurse Nancy was originally published in 1952 and then again in 1958. So how’d I end up with the name Nancy being born in the late 70s? My parents knew another Nancy (their age, so born in the 1940s). A Nancy who also shared their last name, and they thought the two names sounded good together. Original.
As a kid, I attempted to go by my middle name, Kristine. It didn’t go over so well. To change my name, I just started writing Kristine on my times table tests in the third grade. My teacher did not know who Kristine was, and did not find this very amusing.
I was also paranoid when I was little that people were going to try to call me Nan. I’m not sure if it was because everywhere around me people had nicknames: Vicki for Victoria, Benjie for Benjamin, Wes for Wesley, and I just assumed they would try to shorten my name to a nickname as well. Or maybe it was because when I went to visit my dad at his office, his secretary was named Nan, and I figured it was a natural progression... that I was doomed to someday become Nan.
Looking back, I realize that my worries were unnecessary. I’ve come across no Nans since that secretary. The only people who have really called me Nan have only done it as a quick shortening of my name, not a nickname that I will be stuck with forever. And it’s not like I ever liked Nancy any more than Nan. Well... maybe a little bit more.
Other nicknames I have had:
Nancy Lou
Nancy K.
Fancy Nancy

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Careers I've wanted... at some point

(no particular order)

Young Adult Author
Vet (the kind that deals with animals, not military)
Baseball Color Announcer
Baseball Stadium Organist
Baseball Stadium Announcer
Landscape Architect
Book Shop Owner
Bakery Owner
Pastry Chef/Baker
Graphic Designer
Advertising Executive
Freelance Writer
Interior Decorator
Clothing Designer
College Professor
Marine Biologist

Monday, January 09, 2006

Only in a college town...

Only in a college town would my not yet two year old son's nursery leaders at church be:

1) a Physics Professor


2) a former Olympian.

Just a tad over qualified for their church calling.
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