Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Matt Lauer, I'm Onto You...

Updated on 4-30-08 (on this glorious morning ) to add:

Matt Lauer in Laos.....thankyouverymuch

More pictures here for those of you not patronizing me. ;)

I am a big Today show fanatic. It has been a part of my evolving morning routine since birth, (even before coffee was...obviously). I remember, as a little girl, Bryant Gum-ball and Jane Pauley, then the controversial change-up after she left, then sweet little Katie, then bye-bye Bryant, blah, blah, blah.
I have to say that I adore Matt, Meredith, Al and Ann more than all of their predecessors, and can think of no better way to start my morning than sipping my hot, yummy coffee while they brief me on the world's happenings.
One of the highlights of my year is when the rockin' Matt does his little stint called "Where in the World is Matt Lauer". For those of you who sadly don't get to see this, our Matt-y flies alllllllll over the globe to an undisclosed location each day for a week, and we have to guess where he is going the day before he gets there. Once he is there, we get a GREAT geography/cultural lesson throughout the whole show...so heads up, homeschool Mommas.
Today he was in Amsterdam where we learned all about windmills, tulips and the engineering genius of how they deal with being below sea level. VERY interesting.
Anyway...the reason for all my rambling is that I THINK I KNOW WHERE HE'LL BE TOMORROW!!! I can never figure out his stinkin' clues, but, by George, I think I have this one. Yes I do. And so I am posting it NOW because if I am right, then all of you, my bloggy friends, can say "Gayle was right". And those are words that make my heart sing with joy, ya know.
SO here is the clue:

This country is an anagram of a synonym of a homophone of an even prime number.

And here is my answer: Laos

Mark my words ~Matt Lauer will be in Laos tomorrow.~ I JUST KNOW IT!

Tell me if you figure out something different (even though I will probably respectfully disagree with you ~wink~).

By the way, I am saving recital pictures for tomorrow because my girl's getting a MAJOR haircut and I want to post those pics, too.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Julianna Ballerina

Exactly what IS a ballerina supposed to do at 8 p.m., when they mess up her Smiley Face Pancake? Even the guy behind her seems to be pondering this important question.
Last night was Julianna's dress rehearsal and we always make a night out of it; just the two of us. Right before this, they passed out the headpieces for each of the girls, and there was simply NO WAY this one was coming off before bedtime.
Today is her recital, where she is most fittingly, a beautiful butterfly. More pictures to come...
Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some Random Gayle-ness

I am bored. And I don't have anything real interesting to share, so I am going to just start typing weird things about me and we'll see where it goes (believe me, I have PLENTY to pull from).
Alrighty, have I ever mentioned that I am left-handed? I am the only one in all of my extended family who can claim that. That's alright, I like to be different.
How about that I had a tumor on my pituitary gland when I was a teenager? Yeah, that was a big deal, well actually, that was a big miracle. I really need to do a whole post on that one, come to think of it, but for right now, I will say that being a Momma was NEVER supposed to be part of my job description....
Here is one that I love to pull out of my repertoire right when someone has just taken a drink: I actually got married while STILL a senior in High School (and NO, I was not pregnant, nor did I become that way until almost 2 years later). The truth is, I just really wanted to, and apparently, it was a good decision because here we are, 14 years later, going strong. Go figure.
Okay, let's see...did you know that my hair has been almost every single color that you can have (apart from unnatural ones)? Yup, I have been everything from a platinum blonde to a raven black (BIG mistake) and all colors in between. Part of that is because I am a beauty school dropout, and you simply cannot be enrolled in Cosmetology School without going nuts with the chemicals. Ya know, come to think of it, I am a blue-eyed, pale white girl who actually had a headful of synthetic hair braided into my own locks. It took HOURS, but I can say that I did it. And it looked really stupid.
Here is another little tidbit for those of you still reading: I lost my last "baby tooth" when I was 20 something. That should embarrass me because it is obvious that I wasn't an active patron to the dentist, but it really doesn't, because...and here is yet another random factoid about
Gayle....I have NEVER had a cavity in my whole life. And yes, I have been to the dentist in the past year. She said that I have some of the cleanest teeth she has ever seen.
Okay, one more (and this is a weird one, y'all). I love to chew on things. I have a particular fetish for those little twisty things on the milk carton that hold the lid in place. Yeah, what's up with that, huh? I told you it was weird. Mark said that I could prove my cavity fact to you by telling you that I have no problem chewing on foil. So other than the obvious oddity, why does that freak you out? What about foil and cavities don't mesh?
Oh man, I am late to get the boys ready for gymnastics...
Now that you have had your existence enriched and enlightened.....OOOOOH! That reminds me...go check out Cindy's post. It's a dead serious one, nevertheless, it's one that we all need to be aware of in my opinion.
But before you go, what's the foil deal? Gotta run.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wind In My Hair and Bugs In My Teeth...

Ahhhhhh....Who doesn't like to spend a day playing in the country?
When the going gets tough, and even when it doesn't, I always jump at the opportunity to kick all my responsibility to the curb and drive for miles and miles to my precious friend's parents' home/farm.
It's out there that life slows down tangibly, yet it's where hard work takes on a whole new meaning. It's a place where the the crepe myrtles tower forever above your head, and every single one of them has a history. It's cozy...and homey....and animal-y. Farm animal-y. Which I like.
But I will tell you about that in a minute.
Because here is the part where I give a tip of my straw hat to my good buddy, Leisl. Now, let me tell you, I have known this gal as one of my dearest friends for many years now and I am DEFINITELY qualified to say that I know her pretty well. But boy did she throw me for a country loop today.
I half expected, upon my arrival at the farm, that we would do lunch and then we would release the children to go explore the Wild Blue Yonder while we sat and sipped our tea, or coffee, or both at impeccably timed intervals. I thought that while we were supping, we would talk and talk and talk, until the cows came home...quite literally.
But, apparently, Leisl had other plans.
Right after our pizza, she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and a smirk on her face and asked me to go 4-wheelin' with her.
Ahem. "You want me to do what?" was my reply.
To which she said "4-wheelin'....C'mon, we can take the kids through all of the cool trails and over to my Uncle's farm where he can show the boys about this new, scientific experiment he's got, cross-breeding trees"
"Uh.... ok.... well exactly whom do you expect to drive that second ATV ya got there?", I asked, as the memory of the last time I tried to drive a dirt bike swirled into my head. Let's just say that that little excursion ended with me in a creek, with said bike on top of me, dying a slow death. My brother STILL wants to pinch my head off for that one.
ANYWAY...she really expected me to drive this thing...and you know what? This born and bred Yankee (who was raised waaaaaaaaaaay out in the country) wasn't EVEN about to let her down.
"A'ight", I said, "Let's roll". And with that, I climbed on, determined to get 'er done. Don't I just look like the poster-child for confidence?

So her sweet, precious, obviously overly-trusting Daddy, decides to give me a crash course (no pun intended. Really.) on the nuts and bolts of how to make this puppy operate:

Is it just me, or do I look distinctively like I am about to vomit here? I really don't know, you know, because I don't make it a practice to check my look in the mirror when I am about to hurl. Hmmmmm....
So after my driver's ed class was finito, we were off (sorry about the quality of this pic, I think Ty might have been shaking, and with good reason).:

It took me awhile to get the hang of it, at first.
Actually, who am I kidding? I am still not convinced I won't have permanent brain damage from all the jerking back and forth I did until I got used to the gas and the brake.
Then there was Leisl. Who had obviously been tooling around on an ATV since birth. And guess who was eating her dust? Don't get me wrong, she was incredibly patient with her sorry non-4-wheelin' friend, but I guar-an-tee you, she would have cranked that bugger full tilt and bounced off into the horizon had she not chosen such an unfortunate riding partner.
We wheeled around for about a half hour before we went to pick up some of the kids, so that I could get a good feel for what I was doing.
When we arrived, Leisl took the girls....

....and I had Andrew, who loves 4-wheelers, but approached this particular trip with fear and trepidation:

HOWEVER, it wasn't long before Gayle Got her Groove on, and Little Man was livin' large:

We rode around for hours after that. I actually had the older boys screaming like little girls when it came time for their turn (now that's a feeling of satisfaction that flat cannot be described in words).
We made a few stops to swing:

And to learn:

And to pick the beautiful wildflowers:

We even fed one of the cows from our hand, but my dern camera died right after this picture:

Then we ate fried chicken for supper with ice cream for dessert before we headed home. What a wonderful day we had with friends that we treasure. It doesn't get much better than that, I tell ya.
I am so wiped out that I will probably sleep till Friday though, so until then, hope you all have a great, relaxing day today.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What Not To Wear

So Mark and I went to a wedding this weekend of a very close friend. We have known him for years but we had not yet met his bride at the point of their nuptials. As any smitten man should be, he sang her beautiful praises to us prior, so we were very excited to meet her. Weird as I am though, I thought that it would be kinda cool to have my first sight of her as she was walking down the aisle to her groom.
The quagmire begins here, because in my mind's eye, she was wearing a long, flowing WHITE gown (or pink, or yellow or blue...or some variation of all of that would have met my expectations smashingly). So imagine my surprise when our girl comes sashaying down the aisle in a long, but not really flowing, BLACK wedding gown. Yes. You read that correctly.
This is not her, but this is pretty close to what I saw:

Am I a fuddy-duddy? Because I have to say, I am all about expressing yourself and letting your own fashion sense be seen. But...well...it was BLACK y'all. She was getting married in this.
I know, I know...white wedding dresses only came on the scene less than a century ago, and blue and black were the predominant colors during those times because "your marryin' dress was likely to be your buryin' dress" since people didn't have alot of money to buy a fancy-schmancy dress to only wear once. I KNOW THAT.
I also know on the other end of the spectrum that black is the up-and-coming thing in the old Pari bridal shows....but that's PARIS people. We live in Small Town, U.S. of A. Where people think that's just weird.
I guess black just seems so...I don't know...Morticia Addams or something.
I will say this, she was a very beautiful girl who seemed perfectly suited to our dear friend. You could tell that they were both deliriously in love and no mere gown could shake that.
Anyhoo, I am going to move on with my life now, but I have to know, bloggy friends....whaddya think? Would you ever wear a black bridal gown? Would you be shocked the way I was, or am I becoming a prude while using my Oil of Olay? Give it to me, I can take it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

Because I flat couldn't take the mush any longer, I am going to tell you of some of the things that have made my life a little sweeter over the last couple of days:

Numero Uno. The Big Importante. Simply gotta have it.
Of course, I am referring to the coffee, but I have to say, I came upon this flavor of creamer purely out of desperation. I was reaching for my Pralines 'n Cream when I realized that they were out. No problemo, I will go with my old standby of Hazelnut. Again, they were out.
It was then that I came to a crossroads in my existence. Melt down in the middle of Walmart resulting in a straight jacket and drool, OR try the new flavor. Glad I wore my big girl pants on that day because it is YUMMY!

Next, is my new fad. I have to be in the mood for this, mind you because it is healthy and all, but when I am, WATCH OUT! Because I can throw it back in a not-so-delicate way. That cheese is Brie, and for those of you who are worse off than I am, allow me to introduce you to the strawberry and the grape. These things taste soooooo good together, y'all.

And lest you think I only feed my face, I want you to see that I actually take care of the skin on it, too. I bought this over the weekend and oh.my.word. my skin feels so insanely soft and smooth that I just had to share. Get thyself to the Walgreens if you are in need of some facial rejuvenation for not alot of moolah.

Ok, I am off to clean up a kitchen. That task is most certainly NOT one of my favorite things.

Friday, April 4, 2008

They're Playing Our Song

Ok, the bad thing about posting a WFMW is that when it is no longer Wednesday, you can't really leave it hanging up there, for like, 2 weeks....or maybe that's just me with my weird issues.
So I became sweetly inspired yesterday when Cindy asked us to post our favorite line from a cool 80's love song. The first thing that popped into my head was the song that ALWAYS made me cry when Mark and I were first married, but I blared it and played it all the time anyway. Lest you think he was some big fat jerk, the reason for all those tears were because I missed him dreadfully since he was in the Navy and out to sea A-LOT. So this was our song. And I still adore it. And I really hope that this works because it is acting like a snot everytime I try to preview it, so lemme know if you can see it or not.

So tell me, what song makes your heart go all a-flutter for your man when you hear it? In other words, what's your song? Don't be shy, I love stuff like this...:)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Washing a Down Comforter

Ok, so here is my inaugural post for the infamous WFMW. I can't believe I have been blogging for 4 years and never participated in this. Maybe I just don't have a bunch of useful tips? I dunno, but I have sure enjoyed everyone elses. ANYWHO...As you can plainly see from my last post, we have been camping. Not only last weekend, but the weekend before as well. It got a bit chilly overnight, so in order to keep warm, I took along my...brace yourself...Grandmother's satin down comforter. Why I would do such a thing is impertinent to this post, but suffice it to say, it needed to be washed afterward. After MUCHO Googling I embarked upon my cleaning journey. The results have been wonderful, so I thought I would share:

It is recommended that you send your comforters to the cleaners, but alot of times the cost of that is ridiculous. So, I put the comforter into a prefilled tub of water with about a cupful of baby shampoo (I would have used Woolite or some other gentle detergent, but I didn't have any on hand), and I brought in my 4 year old to go to town with me. We just squeezed and pushed and agitated until our arms felt like they would fall off and the water was NAS-TAY. I drained the tub and refilled it with clean water 2 times for the rinse, then I squeezed out as much water as possible and headed to the washing machine where I put it in on the spin cycle.

I hung it out to dry for a few hours and then brought it in to my dryer. I put it on low heat for about 45 minutes with a clean tennis ball to break up any clumps of down and then pulled it out to hand fluff it myself.

It was a decent amount of work, but it is only supposed to be done every 3-5 years. The same method can be used with down pillows as well, only more frequently if needed (like once a year).

For more WFMW tips, go to http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/ Have a great day!