21 February 2007

Weather Control

Can someone control the weather? It seems unlikely, but there are lots of theories and books about it. Some of which I own myself... *clears throat* I guess I'm willing to give any wild idea a bit of my time. One of the most interesting ones I've read is PK Man by Jeffrey Mishlove, which was loaned to me a few years ago by a friend with similar interests. It's about a guy, Ted Owens, who claimed to cause storms, among other things.

So why the blog post you ask. I feel compelled to tell a story that that seems, well, worthy of sharing because I find it somewhat humorous. Some interesting things have happened in my life. If you know me, you're saying 'Well, that's one way to put it.' In the realm of weather, there have been a few, shall we say, coincidences that have occurred. I'll just highlight a couple of them.

In the autumn of 1998, my husband and I were scheduled to take our long-awaited two-years-late honeymoon in Cozumel. About three weeks before said trip, Hurricane Mitch decided it would wreak some havoc in the Caribbean. Early to mid reports predicted that it was heading straight towards Cozumel. Well, I wasn't going to have any of that! I watched the Weather Channel everyday and focused all my energy and willpower on making sure that hurricane didn't go anywhere near the island I was planning on visiting. In the end, the storm made a circle around Cozumel and didn't cause any major damage there despite being a category 5 storm at one point. We had a wonderful time.

More recently, we had our first new house built. Now, my husband has a hyper-sensitive nose and was feeling kind of paranoid about our house being constructed over the winter when it usually rains/ices/sleets etc. He didn't want any mold taking hold and hiding out in the house's innards. He had wished aloud that it would be nice if it just wouldn't rain before the house was done. It rained just after the foundation was poured in October, and then didn't rain again for 88 days. We got more than 1.5 inches on January 28, after the house was completed. We closed on February 2 and moved in soon after.

I know those weather events aren't humorous, they caused terrible damage and death. But what happened this week is kind of funny. Last week at work there was a lively discussion about the weather and how unusually cold it had been all winter. One coworker then looked at me and said, 'You can control the weather, can't you?' 'Sure,' I said, ever the joker, 'What would you like?' She replies, 'I'd like some nice real Spring weather.' I told her I could get it for her the next week. So, this week it's in the upper 70s, and I saw a robin on the way to work.

So, do I truly believe I have anything to do with the weather? Not really. Besides, who would want that kind of responsiblity?

06 February 2007

Makes You Wonder

A remarkable thing has occurred. So I shall remark upon it. Through various interesting circumstances, my teenage daughter has had to transfer high schools mid-year. If you've read previous posts, you might be wondering why she isn't also in on the homeschool experiment. She was in a private school for part of elementary and all of middle school. When high school came, she was dying to go to a 'real' school, so we moved her to public. She is a social butterfly and loves being surrounded by her friends.

Back to the story. Without going into the why's here (because I don't think I could make the story succinct otherwise) she has now transferred to my old Alma Mater. This is also the Alma Mater of both of my parents and various aunts and uncles. We were nervous and excited when we went to enroll her. We were taken on a short tour during which I got to insert things like, 'Wow, that's new,' and 'Hey, that's where my locker was.' Very surreal. In the main hall we came upon a display of all the panoramic pictures of classes back to the sixties. This, of course, led to 'Where are you?' and then snickers at all the eighties hairstyles. My parents are on the wall. Again, surreal.

While in the office filling out paperwork, a curious thought came to me, so I just blurted it out. I said, 'I never picked up my senior yearbook, do you think ya'll have it laying around somewhere?' I had moved overseas shortly out of high school (first husband, Air Force, don't want to talk about it), and had not stopped by the school before I left, nor had I ever gotten up the nerve to stop in for it after I got back (sans husband). I had paid for one, surely it was still there... The lady politely asked me what year and explained that she doubted it, but she would send a message to the yearbook coordinator. I felt sufficiently foolish and promptly forgot the matter.

Several days later, there was a message on my cell phone when I got off from work. It was a bubbly yearbook coordinator telling me that they actually still had several copies of that yearbook, and she'd be happy to let me have one. I actually jumped up and down on the spot. Luckily, my coworkers already think I'm a little strange. Arrangements were made to have my daughter stop by the yearbook room to pick it up the next week.

I had never seen this yearbook. I only knew that I hated my senior picture. My hair had been in drastic need of a cut and was very uncooperative. It had been suggested that the girls put on their make-up a little heavier than normal so it would look good in the picture. Mine ended up looking garish. Luckily, I had only ordered the basic prints package and was able to hide them away when they arrived.

The day came, and she picked up the yearbook. It was my dad's birthday, so we were all over at my parent's house for the party. My daughter informs me that she has been showing my picture to everyone at school all day (horror of horrors!) and that she thinks the picture is 'gorgeous' and that her guy friends said 'your mom's hot.' What??!!! She opens up to the page I'm on, and, wonder of wonders, it's actually not bad in black and white.

We had some more fun looking through at everyone while I pointed out things like my first boyfriend and guys on whom I just had a crush. More surreal-ness. Like I was in a time warp or something. It was so long ago (it seems), but looking at the pictures took me right back. I felt almost a solemn reverence as this portion of my life was completed, now that I had the yearbook. Another chapter closed. What struck me most about the whole situation, though, was the yearbook title. I felt like it was the most appropriate title to see when presented with my yearbook after so many years. It was 'Makes You Wonder.'

03 February 2007

Holiday Tea

I hope everyone had a wonderful Imbolc celebration this past week. We had some cooking fun by combining ours with a culminating school project on The Secret Garden. We had a traditional English 'Tea' party, or as we referred to it, a "Secret Garden Party." I looked through a stack of different 'Tea' magazines and The Secret Garden Cookbook for recipe ideas. We chose to make Hibiscus Tea Punch, Cucumber Sandwiches, Orange Mini-Muffins with Turkey and Orange Marmalade, Lemon Cream Scones, and regular Cream Scones. We also served Lemon Zinger tea and plain old Lipton, and had Lemon Curd and Black Raspberry Preserves on the side. All in all, it was very successful, and tasty. My son helped prepare each dish, and he made the Cream Scones without my assistance. Everyone who attended agreed that these scones were the best item. Here's a pic of the table:

And here's a better pic of the scones (the traditional triangular-shaped ones are those which my son made all by himself!):

The ladies (three of us) wore fancy hats, and fun was had by all - even the boys. Going through all the tea magazines had me wishing I had more time in my life to throw tea parties. Now I just might need a subscription to Southern Lady Presents Tea Time. hint hint...