Jenster's Musings

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sometimes There Are No Words...

Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Meringue Pie

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Mused by Jenster :: 7:39 PM :: 11 People musing:

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

To All You Americans

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:30 AM :: 6 People musing:

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Airports, Afghans and A Cake

I picked my folks up from the airport yesterday. What an ordeal that was. There was little to no traffic and I just zipped my way there. The parking deck, however, was full and they were directing the cars to economy parking in New Jersey. Or maybe Delaware. Oh, alright. It was still in Philly, but it seemed like miles from the airport.

Meanwhile Mom and Dad had collected their bags and were beginning to feel as though they'd been forgotten. Finally the parking lot bus let me out on the departures side of the terminal so I had to run up and over to the arrivals side and found the parents in baggage claim. All alone.

We eventually made it on the bus to take us back to the economy lot and then I wasn't exactly sure where I'd parked. I guessed right, however, and we didn't have too far to walk from where the bus let us out. Then we had to find our way out of the parking lot. That in itself was a challenge, but we finally made it out and on our way back home.

"Economy Parking" is misleading. If you're staying overnight it's $11.00 a day and very economical. If you're just picking up your parents and are parked for less than an hour it's still $11.00. I had no cash on me. Nothing says, "Welcome to Philly" like begging for enough money to get out of the lot.

Sadly, our trip home wasn't nearly as smooth as my trip to the airport. We hit traffic and our 45 minute ride turned into about two hours. We made it home, only for me to turn around and drive Taylor to church for Youth Leadership. I got home from there, honked from the driveway and drove Katie to her cake decorating class. Whew! What a night. Lucky for me Todd made it back from New Jersey in enough time to pick both kids up on his way home.


It's looking like I'll have to do my own dang ironing. Mom is working on afghans (the blankets, not the people) for both the kids and would like to finish them before she leaves in two weeks so she'll be crocheting instead of ironing. Why is it so difficult to get good help these days?

The kids picked out their yarns a few months ago and here's a little peak. This is Taylor's:

And this is Katie's:

Aren't they pretty??


Katie got to decorate a cake in her class last night which worked out nicely because it was my birthday. (Twenty-nine. Thanks for asking.) Look at the beautiful job she did! It made me just the teensiest ferklemped.


And that's all I've got. My blogging will be sporadic at best the next two weeks and my blog hopping will be practically nil. So I leave you with this topic.

Barney Frank and Mr. McGoo - the same person?

Talk amongst yourselves.

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Mused by Jenster :: 1:32 PM :: 12 People musing:

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

They Both Start With "P"

Travis and my cousin, Ethan, gently pointed out the large hooligan birds were pheasants and not partridges. Which really messes up my whole title and everything. I point that out to take focus off the fact that I don't know my birds. At all.

Except I did see a seagull flying in the snow today. Another first for me. He didn't look happy, either. Though I'm not exactly sure how a seagull expresses his emotions. But I do know it was a seagull.

And I know what an owl looks like, but I only ever see them at the zoo. OH! And an emu, 'cept I would probably get an emu confused with an ostrich even though I know there's a difference. I just don't know what the difference is.

Obviously ornithology is not my thing.


Mused by Jenster :: 9:49 PM :: 8 People musing:

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A Partidge And A Bradford Pear Tree

I've been trying to clean out my pantry and Sookie was going berserk, barking at something I couldn't see between our house and the neighbor's. I wouldn't let her out because she already broke perimeter once this morning and I didn't want to deal with that again. I kept looking out to see what she was barking at, but never saw anything. To say I was getting frustrated with her would be an understatement. But the last time I looked out I saw it! A beautiful male partridge standing underneath the Bradford Pear tree! I've never seen one in real life before and had to look it up on the internet to make sure that's what it was.

I took these pictures through the dining room window so the screen is making them a bit fuzzy.

I went all Marlin Perkins, going out the front door and stealthily running around the side of the house to get a better picture, but he was even more stealthy. But then I saw the female over by the neighbor's basement window.

It all looks a little suspicious to me. She looks like she was trying to break in to the basement and he looked like her lookout. They squawked at me and flew off, but now Sookie and I keep looking to see if they're going to come back.

Just another day in the wilds of Southeast Pennsylvnia...

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Mused by Jenster :: 11:08 AM :: 7 People musing:

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Speaking of Random...

For the last couple of days I've been thinking about various posts to write, however, when I actually try to type something I come up empty. Sometimes that happens when I think too much. Which is why I prefer to think as little as possible. So I'm going to try a "stream of consciousness" post - just typing up whatever comes to mind.

I had Home Team at my house Friday. Todd calls them my Big Homies since I call the teen girls my Little Homies. I don't particularly like to be called "Big" anything, thank you very much. Unfortunately my mistake was showing my indignation instead of just ignoring him because now he will forever call us Big Homies. Sorry Ladies.

Speaking of my Homies (NOT Big Homies), I'm not much of a cream in my coffee kinda gal, but some of the women like it so I bought some at the store. I picked up regular Coffee Mate and decided to give Italian Sweet Cream a try. What a discovery! Doesn't it look good? That's Beth Coffee right there! It's very much like putting sweetened condensed milk in your coffee only better. When you open up a can of the sweetened condensed milk you end up eating what's left with a spoon so I think the creamer is probably a healthier choice.

Speaking of coffee, my Mr. Coffee broke a couple of weeks ago. It was a bad morning at the Jenster household. Bad. Thankfully Mr. Jenster has a keen sense of survival because he ran to Wawa to get me a large cuppa joe and then he told me no more cheap coffee pots because I go through them like water through a seive. So we went to Kohl's and bought the coolest coffee maker. It's a Cuisinart with a reservoir instead of a carafe so you place your cup on the X and gently push the lever, causing a stream of liquid gold to dispense until you let go. Fun stuff. If you're using a dark cup, however, it's hard to see the coffee and it's easy to overfill. Still, it's worth it just for the fun of it.

Speaking of fun, my mom and dad are flying in from Little Rock on Wednesday and we're all quite excited around here. It will be great to spend Thanksgiving with them and have two more mouths to help eat the enormous amounts of food I'll end up making. Not only that, but mom will make the pumpkin pie so that's a bonus. Then there's the ironing which always seems to get caught up when she's been visiting. Amazing, that. I'm anxious to see how Sookie will feel about her Oma and Papa.

Speaking of Sookie, she's such a puppy. Which is really cute except when it's not. Like when she comes running in the house with muddy paws and won't stop to let us clean them off. Or when she steals socks and gloves and pieces of paper and then runs outside with them. Or when we're trying to watch a movie and she decides it's time to play.

Speaking of movies, when the new Indiana Jones movie was released on DVD the cost at Target was $14.99 for about three days so I snatched it up. I had been looking forward to the movie ever since I heard they were making it, but we didn't get to see it in the theater. We were like in Hawaii or something.

It used to be so easy to plan a family night, but it has taken us until this afternoon when all four of us were here for the length of time it would take to watch it. So we made a day of it. Lunch at Applebee's and then we came home to watch the movie. Todd took Balto for a walk in the frozen tundra (it was cold and veeeery windy today) to wear her out while I got my comfy sweats on. We all converged in the family room and settled in to watch the movie.

Harrison Ford is old now and Sean Connery's presence was definitely missing. It wasn't as good as the first or third Indy movies - I don't even consider the second -but it was a ton of fun. And it was just nice to be a family again even if it was just for a little while! Before long it was time to take the kids to Youth Group.

Speaking of Youth Group -- I got nuthin'. I guess it's time to end this post so Adios Muchachos!!

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:42 AM :: 9 People musing:

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

How Big Is Will??? AKA Go Phillies!!!

I'm in a not very good mood right now for a lot of stupid reasons, most of which if I really examine will point to me as the perpetrator. So instead of thinking about the reasons for my anger I decided to share one of the cutest and funniest videos I've ever seen. I saw it this morning on GMA and then since it took place during the Phillies parade a couple weeks ago it was on the local news tonight. So click on the link below, sit back, watch, and I dare you not to giggle:

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Mused by Jenster :: 11:32 PM :: 4 People musing:

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oy Vey, Such a Night!!

In roughly three months Taylor will be eligible for his driver's license. While the thought of turning him loose with a fast and heavy machine scares me, I also look forward to it. My life would be just a tad bit easier - like tonight.

Here's this evening's schedule:

4:30 leave the house, drive to Wawa for dinnery-type items.

5:00 drop Taylor off at church for Youth Leadership.

5:15 pick Katie and Shelby up from play practice, drive Shelby home while Katie eats dinnery-type item.

5:50 drop Katie off at voice lessons.

6:00 pick Taylor up from church.

6:20 pick Katie up from voice lessons.

6:30 drop Katie off at a cake decorating class.


8:00 pick Katie up from cake decorating.

Once I get in the car after Wawa I don't see my butt leaving the driver's seat until I get home the first time. Of course, even if Taylor had his license and an actual vehicle to drive it wouldn't make a huge impact on tonight. It's pretty much all Katie's doing. Too bad she's not going to have a cake for us to enjoy after all that running around tonight.

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Mused by Jenster :: 3:32 PM :: 11 People musing:

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Whole Work Thing

Nearly 14 years ago when Todd and I decided to take the leap of faith and have me quit work it was a scary, scary thing. Taylor was three and Katie was a baby and financially it probably wasn't the smartest thing to do. It was the exact right thing to do for the family, though. By the grace of God we made do and I think we both figured I'd go back to work once Katie started kindergarten.

When that time came, however, it seemed as though that was when I was really needed. I spent a lot of time at the school getting to know the teachers and staff and I was home in the afternoons with the kids to help with homework or whatever. I didn't have to spend my evenings or weekends doing the chores I was able to get done during the day, when there was a sick child there was no stressing out over which parent would stay home, and summers and holidays weren't a problem. All four of us became very accustomed to me being at home and we all liked it that way.

Todd went from a meager salary to a decent salary which eased things quite a bit. I ended up doing a little legal and medical transcribing from home for "fun money", but eventually quit doing that because I was having to type in the evenings which defeated the whole purpose of me staying home. (Not before I took Todd to St. Louis for a long weekend and a Cardinals game his 38th birthday, though!)

My lack of employment was a blessing in 2005 - first with the impending move and then with the cancer treatment. When we finally did make the move it was great to have the freedom to explore our new surroundings with the kids on a whim, especially since they didn't really know anyone at first.

Whenever I would mention me going back to work to Todd - not because I wanted to but because I thought maybe I should - he would always say he likes that I don't have to work. And before the feminists in you start ranting, it wasn't a chauvinistic thing. Our lives are just much easier with one of us being at home. Still, it was my choice.

So I chose not to work, though last year I did work 7 hours a week at the preschool. At the end of that time I decided not to go back because, along with some physical issues, I felt I needed to concentrate on writing and speaking. Guess how much real writing I've done since that decision was made. If you said "Bupkis" you would be correct. Not only that, but if my "job" is to manage the house wouldn't you expect the house to be managed? Yes, well, it's not. I have become a horrible steward of my time and I haven't been able to figure out how to fix it.

Yesterday I met with a gal at a place about a thing - I'm not really sure how much I should say yet. I will say this, though. It's a part time job, 9:00 to 3:00, Monday through Thursday doing mostly things I like to do. I say mostly because I figure every job has those tasks nobody wants to do, but I don't know what those would be yet. I don't have to give up my Home Team and my plans for speaking to various MOPS groups are encouraged. With my limited view it definitely looks like a God-thing.

It's in God's hands now. If this is where He wants me it will be the place I end up. If not, then I'll move on. I'm so very grateful this isn't a case of necessity. It makes it easy to wait on Him and in the meantime maybe I can get my schedule-impaired act together.

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Mused by Jenster :: 11:24 AM :: 16 People musing:

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Week in Review

It doesn't seem like much has been going on and yet I have lots to share. And I know how much you all are dying to know the happenings of my life. *snort*


Hearken back to Monday's post where I mentioned Todd's virtual forehead tattoo which says If It Can Go Wrong It Will. And as I said in Tuesday's post, the surgery may not have gone the best way, but it still went very well. Now let me fill you in on the rest of the week.

On Wednesday the oral surgeon called just to check on Todd and said he was probably at the peak of swelling so most likely it was pretty painful but he should have considerable relief by the next day. Not so. We went back in to the office on Thursday because the pain actually seemed to be getting worse. Or if not worse, at least different and as intense. Turns out he has a hematoma which is painful enough in itself. But it's also pressing on the nerve that runs in the jaw, causing excruciating pain and strange numbness. So they upped his pain medication and told him to come back on Friday. There was no change on Friday so they also prescribed Naprosin to help with the swelling and Valium to help with the muscle spasms caused by the nerve disturbance.

Did I not tell you If It Can Happen It Will? This is really par for the course for poor Todd. And sadly for him I am way low on the compassion scale. I'm the one that tells the kid with the gaping wound, "It's just a scratch! Rub some dirt in it, you pansy!" Not really. I've never said that or even thought it. But still, I was probably off chatting with someone and didn't hear my name called when God was passing out the gift of compassion.

Thankfully he's starting to get a little relief. It's still pretty painful, but nothing like it was. And Katie has stopped calling him John McCain because the swelling has gone down so there is that. We go back to the surgeon for his regular follow up tomorrow and hopefully things will be as they should be.


Apparently there weren't enough people who came to the new 8:00 service to make it worth it so they've gone back to only three services. Today I went to the 11:30 service like I used to and it was awesome! It's the service that most of the youth goes to so there's a ton of energy. Of course, it helps that I'm actually awake and have been sufficiently caffeinated. We also sang You Lifted Me Out by Chris Tomlin. Awesome, awesome song!


I've been thinking about going back to work after more than 13 years of being at home. This is an entire post in itself so I won't go into detail here, but I am starting to explore some job possibilities. I'm thankful I have the luxury to be a little picky and I know I won't work full time. Tomorrow I'll be chatting with someone about a potential position and we'll see. She may decide I'm not the right person or I might decide it's not the right job. I just pray I follow God's will in this and not my own.


This weekend was the Philadelphia Revolve Tour and our girls attended for the third year in a row. It was the first year, however, that I did not go. I was a little sad because it's such an incredible experience - not just for the teen girls, but for the women that take them as well. However, as I lay on the couch half asleep Friday night I decided it was a good thing I didn't go.

When I picked up Katie yesterday evening I felt loved by several of the girls who had hugs for me and told me they missed me. Whether or not they meant it or were just being nice, I don't care. It was very sweet.

If you have a preteen or teenage girl I highly recommend Revolve. It's an experience they're not likely to forget for a long time.

Taylor went with me to pick up Katie because he desired a little one on one with me on the way to the church and he missed his little sister tremendously. Oh, and because he would get to see Kristen for a couple of minutes. That may have had something to do with it. On our way home Katie was talking a mile a minute and finally Taylor said, "If talking was an Olympic sport you would bring home the gold in every.single.category! You can sprint and run the distance, all at the same time!" Truer words were never said.

She was sound asleep on the couch by 8:00.

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Mused by Jenster :: 1:45 PM :: 7 People musing:

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Valley Forge

I've finally named my camera. She is now to be known as Precious because I am very Gollum about her. She is my precious...

Yesterday I had to run into KOP so I grabbed Precious and drove through Valley Forge on my way home. I could have spent hours upon hours there. As it is I took about 150 pictures. But don't worry, I won't post all of them. I do wish I would have gone last week, before the rains came and washed off a lot of the leaves. Still, it was gorgeous. So Lynilu (and anyone else who may be interested) - this is for you!


Mused by Jenster :: 9:39 AM :: 10 People musing:

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Teeth, Voting and Pictures

Thanks for your well wishes and prayers on Todd's behalf. There's good news and bad news. The good news is the anesthesia didn't make him sick. This was a huge concern for him because he used to get retchedly ill on general anesthesia - not a pleasant thing when you've had oral surgery. But the medications have come so far that he didn't even feel nauseous.

The bad news is they weren't able to insert the implant yesterday. The root of the tooth was cracked and it fell apart as the surgeon attempted to extract it. Which means he had to dig around in there, resulting in: A) too much room for the implant; and B) a lot of pain and swelling.

What he did do is pack the socket with cadavar bone (Todd asked specifically for the bone of an elite athelete or musician) and cover it with a membrane. The bone will eventually fuse and in four months Todd goes back to have the implant inserted. Which leads me to more bad news - more money because only the extraction is covered by insurance and that was the cheapest part of the whole ordeal. But Taylor doesn't really have to go to college in two years so it's not such a big thing.

Todd's left jaw is swollen like a chipmunk's and he keeps doing his Don Corleon impression. He's in quite a bit of pain, but he still managed to go vote this morning.

Which leads me to my next subject - VOTING! (I couldn't have asked for a better segway!)

Yesterday on Good Morning America they showed early polling sites with waits as long as nine hours. We keep hearing the election is really up to Pennsylvania so I figured our lines would be terribly long. I told Todd we should pack a lunch, take lawn chairs and a cooler, maybe a small battery operated TV and coordinate with the neighbors for a Voting Line Party. Is there a law against voting after consuming margaritas?

We didn't take chairs, lunch, a cooler or a TV and we never talked to the neighbors. We DID take beverages and our books, though, and headed over there a little before 10:00. There was hardly a line at all and I think we were in and out in less than 30 minutes. A little disappointing after my thoughts of a party.

All kidding aside - I'm glad that's behind me. I'm tired of the phone calls, I'm tired of the ads, I'm tired of the arguments and the name calling and the half-truths and the ugliness of it all. I'm a little concerned about the outcome, but I will support whichever candidate wins wholeheartedly and pray for him and also his decisions for the next four years.

And for your viewing pleasure I leave you with a few pictures I took this morning from around the house and neighborhood...

Sookie (because how could I not post this picture?)

Looking down the winding street from our house.

Beautiful trees around the neighborhood.

A wasp nest on the ground.

Some blooms around the house.

The Bradford Pear is turning from the top down.

Our cherry tree. I can't wait to show you how beautiful it is in the spring!

A flaming bush finally looking flamey.

Our house is firmly in the NAGFP - the North American Goose Flight Pattern. I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of geese that flew over on Saturday. The noise was almost deafening. But I did manage to snap these this morning.

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Mused by Jenster :: 11:58 AM :: 12 People musing:

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