Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday's Ramblings

Dear Gentle Readers:

If you are anything like me, you have many, many usernames and passwords for the various accounts/sites you visit on the Internet that require a secured log in, i.e., username and password.  I just counted mine, and found that I have 65 places on the Internet where I must log in with secured information.  These include places like my online banking, stores I shop at online, various email accounts I have, utility companies, pharmacies, my doctor's office so that I can receive lab results, government sites, periodical subscriptions, travel sites, HR stuff at my employment, my ADT account, etc.  It's mind-boggling. 

Just writing that depresses me.  Why, you might ask?

As I get older, my memory is failing me.  I know this to be true. At least I have the mental cognition to realize this is happening.  Guess that means I do not have any form of dementia.  At least, not yet.

I do, however, remember the day when I could remember all that I knew.  I could remember all of the piano pieces I'd learned in my entire life, everyones' birthday, anniversaries, death dates, etc.  I used to be able to recite all of the teachers I've had since Kindergarten.  Yes, even the multiple teachers we all get in MS and HS.  I could remember every holiday, birthday, and special event, and where I was and what I did. 

This morning I can hardly remember what I had for dinner last night. 

There is an upside:  TGIF!!!  WOO HOO!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Days Until School is Out...

OK.  I've been busy, you know, doing my "real" work and haven't had time to sit around writing and posting to my blog (now WHY are clicking here when you are already at my blog?  Silly you!). I'm sure everyone has been waiting for me to write SOMEthing/ANYthing.
               So here it is. A countdown to the number of days I have left until I AM DONE (stick-a-fork-in-me done) for this school year.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Days until school is out...

Books & Such

My literary family (Ben & Terry) and friends (Bob T.) often ask me what I’m currently reading. Here’s a sampling of what’s currently on my bookcases. Or, I should say, here are the books I’ve read that are worth mentioning:

The Sister by Poppy Adams
Through the Heart by Kate Morgenroth

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seirstad

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
While these are the “best of” books I’ve read so far this year, I’ve also read books on growing and caring for roses, gardening in general, how to grow and harvest herbs, and perused several cookbooks (especially a fabulous Chinese cookbook). These topics have become of interest to me since marrying Teddy, who can make anything grow and has become quite a good cook.

Happy Reading to all you bibliophiles – you know who you are!

Now. What are YOU reading?!?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

There's Always...

There's always a little truth behind every "Just kidding."
There's always a little knowledge behind every "I don't know."
There's always a little emotion behind every "I don't care."
There's always a little pain behind every "It's okay."

The Countdown is ON!

...days until school is out!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Countdown is ON!

                                         ...days until school is out!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Countdown is ON!

                                                 ...days until school is out!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Garden of Eden

Dear Gentle Readers:

We have been enjoying our new outdoor living space.  Teddy finished the brick paver patio (ca. 260 sq. ft.); we purchased a table and chair set (see photo); and have planted a veggie garden and planted various containers throughout the area.  A Garden Bench, built by hubby for my last birthday, now has a trellis surrounding it with the thought of training wisteria to climb it.  It's simply lovely.  It reminds me of a modern day Garden of Eden. Does that make me Eve? Watch out for The Serpent!  Don't eat The Forbidden Fruit!

The Martha Stewart five-piece patio set from Home Depot

Last Friday, taking a personal day of leave, we spent the entire day outside, glorying in the beauty of the day: in the plants now growing in our veggie garden; in the multi-colored plants hanging in the trees; the herb garden; the new patio furniture, on which we have enjoyed many delicious meals; the area for the grill and smoker; the nine rose bushes that make up the Rose Garden; the Wedding Garden, now filled with Celosia (see photo below) for the spring season.

"Celosia is a small genus of edible and ornamental plants in the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek word κηλος (kelos), meaning "burned," and refers to the flame-like flower heads. Species are commonly known as woolflowers, or, if the flower heads are crested by fasciation, cockscombs." ~ Wikipedia

Now you know!  My Celosia are of various colors: pink, orange, red, and yellow, but I seriously doubt we will be eating any of them.  They do, however, make a spectacular showing in the 14-foot circular Wedding Garden.  Pictures sure to come!

As we were planning our new outdoor living area, we thought we'd place the dining set on the New Patio and leave the chaise lounge chairs on the Old Patio.  (I've gotta come up with better names that this!)  Several weeks ago, after the patio table/chairs were delivered, I came home and found the furniture fully assembled and sitting on the OP.  (How about that? OP for Old Patio and NP for New Patio.  It'll have to do for now.) The table was set with two placemats, two linen napkins, and rosebud in a small vase (from my Rose Garden). It looked charming and ready for us to enjoy a meal, which was exactly what we did that evening. My husband, Teddy, is quite the cook and quite the romantic, or had you noticed?!? 

We've left the dining set on the OP and have put the two chaise lounge chairs with their side table and firepit on the NP. On a recent trip to Garden Ridge, we bought two additional side chairs and a side table, complementing the original furnishings.  Also purchased were two small pillows to enhance the beauty and comfort of the two side charis.  All of the items look and work well on the larger NP. 

I should, I know, take pictures.  Now, where's my camera?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Bustles...model T cars...manual typewriters...electric typewriters...any kind of typewriter...the list could go on and on.

What do these things have in common? They are all obsolete. According to the American Heritage Dictionary (the online one, not the obsolete print version), the definition of obsolete is

1) no longer in use: an obsolete word.
2) outmoded in design, style, or construction: an obsolete locomotive.

Wikipedia says obsolete means "a service or practice (a person?) that is no longer wanted even though it (she?) may still be in good working order.

Today I am feeling obsolete. Why, you might well ask? I just came from our weekly all-school Chapel. It's Spiritual Impact Week, and it's been a great experience for me, and I hope that's true for the students, too. I've enjoyed the small groups with students and the Prayer Walk yesterday, but today's worship left me feeling... obsolete.

Worship here at my school consists of "praise" songs, most of which I do not know. That's because I attend a church service that utilizes the hymn book (perhaps obsolete, too?) with the music notated (definitely obsolete in praise worship) and the lyrics printed. That's also how I grew up: singing from the hymnal.

I'm not here, per se, to discuss the pros and cons of praise music, just to say that because I do not know or enjoy this type of music, I often feel obsolete. I also feel excluded from worship. This genre of music does nothing to help me feel closer or connected to God. Frankly, I dislike having my senses assaulted while worshipping by the banging of drums and the twanging of guitars. To say that I've seldom heard praise music done well is not an exaggeration; however, ANY kind of music not done well is distracting to me, especially in worship. (Guess you now know I how I feel about praise music, eh?)

Sometimes I am concerned that one day I will not be able to find a church that could be described as "traditional"; that is, one that observes the liturgical year, uses the liturgy, and the hymn books that are in the pews. I enjoy those older hymns, and it saddens me to think that many of our youth will never know the joys of the "Old Rugged Cross", or "How Great Thou Art" (unless it's that jazzed up version, which I do not like, and that has been crammed into a triple meter!). And what about "Holy, Holy, Holy" ? Gotta be one of my all-time favorites: "God in three persons, blessed Trinity." Note with me, please, the sheer poetry in "The Church's One Foundation":

"Yet she (the church) on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won..."

Eat your heart out, Mr. Shakespeare!

But it saddens me even more to think that I might not be able to sing those hymns of faith in a church building because they (the hymns) are becoming obsolete. Sure, I can sing them myself, but there is something about the body of Christ singing together. Charles & John Wesley knew, didn't they? A good description of what constitutes quality congregational singing can be found in the forward to the United Methodist Hymnal. Dear Wesley brothers, I fear you, too, are obsolete.

In an episode of "The Twilight Zone" entitled "The Obsolete Man", a librarian (convincingly portrayed by Burgess Meredith) is found to be obsolete due to the fact that books are banned in that society and literacy is considered obsolete. His punishment? Death. Now this is a little scary, too, because not only am I a musician, but also a librarian. In an plot twist enviable of O'Henry, the ending deliciously satisfies those of us who also might be considered obsolete. books...books themselves (alas! the Kindle!)...Obsolete? If so, then I, too, have become obsolete.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Found a Peanut, Found a Peanut

The Peanut I found is a two-year old, fawn and white colored female Chihuahua. If all goes well, she will soon become Domino's little sister. We have been talking about adding another member to our family, and feel that this may be a good opportunity to get another little Chihuahua.

We also thought that getting a female might be a better idea than acquiring another male. Perhaps Domino will more easily accept a female and would feel less territorial. On the other hand, he may have her for a snack one day! On the other wait. I only have two hands!

Who knows how he will react? We do know he "does not play well with others", but living with and assimilating another animal into The Pack might work. We don't want to stress Domino, but we are eager to give another Chihuahua a good home. And Domino sure has it good in our home!

We really won't be able to do anything toward receiving Peanut into our home because of our Spring Break plans. But as soon as we get home, we will look into The Peanut Matter.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Mustard Seed

Yesterday afternoon after work, Teddy and I sat on our "old" patio enjoying the warm sunshine on the first day of March. Suddenly I said, "Let's play in the dirt!" So we got out our herb seeds and those little plantable cardboard "cups" and planted our berbs: dill, cilantro, oregano, lavender, and sage along with some cherry tomatoes that are best started in those little containers (I am learning a lot on the Garden Trail!).

Wow. Have you ever planted herbs?!? The seeds are tiny...smaller than mice droppings (how I know THAT is for another post) and you only need about 5 seeds per little pot. (No, we're not growing "a little pot"! Heh, heh...but I digress...) As we planted, we talked about the tiny seeds, and Teddy reminded me of the scripture concerning the mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) where Jesus said:

"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, 'Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.'"

Seeing how tiny the seeds were and thinking about my faith (or lack of it?) was pretty humbling.

As we planted, all I could think about was how blessed we grateful I am...and wondering what will come up in those 26 little pots!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Firepit

Hubby and I are transforming our rather blah backyard into a peaceful and beautiful oasis from the world. Our efforts include planting a spring veggie garden (cherry tomatoes, peas, green beans, scallions, winter squash, and zucchini); an herb garden (basil, lavender, chamomile, oregano, cilantro, and a few more that I can't remember); and eventually we'll plant lots of flowers for color. We already have five metal windchimes, and recently added a large wooden one.

Other plans include a brick patio, dining furniture for four, and a firepit. While we've yet to buy the furniture, we did buy a firepit on Sunday evening from Home Depot. And since we bought it in-store, there is no online picture of it, but I've selected a close facsimile for your viewing. It's square like this one, with a grille top, and has gray/dark orange tilework around the perimeter. The tile color is similar to the brick color we've chosen for the patio. Ours also has a handle on top (be careful! it gets hot when there's fire in the pit!)

Yesterday was, to understate the matter, a challenging one in Library Land, and all I could think about was getting home and out for some PT with a margarita or fine glass of wine (or even NOT SO FINE) with my boys and enjoying the flames of the firepit.

Hubby called at lunch and I told him about my morning. I said, "All I want to do is sit by my firepit and drink when I get home." And being the Best Husband in the World, he had the firepit assembled with a log in place and ready to light!

After a delicious dinner, which he also cooked for us, we sat in companionable silence on the patio and watched the flames dance in the darkening light.
It was really beautiful. Too few people can enjoy solitude or the companionable silence with a loved one. But we consider it a joy to be able to do so, not feeling the need to fill the air with noise and chatter, but rather savoring the moments of peace and quiet while just being...together...

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Rings Come Full Cirlce

The story of our courtship began in February of 1974, which was my Junior year of high school, when, faciliated somewhat by my younger sister, Teddy and I attended the Valentine Banquet our church was hosting. We continued dating through the spring and summer of 1974, up until the time Teddy received the news that he was being transferred to Anchorage, Alaksa. I still remember the night -- sitting with him in his Delta 88 in the parking lot of the Dairy Queen in Killeen on what is now the Business 190 -- when he told me about his orders.

Unbeknownst to me, the two-ring, white gold bridal set had been purchased in July or August of 1974, prior to his move to Alaska. They stayed in Clarendon while he was in Alaska, but he brought them with him when he came to see me in July of 1975 with the intent of asking me to marry him. I had just graduated from high school, and he was spending the week in my home under the watchful eyes of my parents. The week he was back in Killeen was wonderful and we enjoyed resuming our relationship.

But marriage was not to be at that time. At 17 years of age, I needed to go to college. Teddy needed to go to college -- we both knew that, so he didn't propose and I never saw the rings. When he left Killeen in July of 1975, and the last time I would see him until December of 2009, he took the two rings back to Clarendon and put them aside.

Over the years, he moved around quite a bit and the rings in the box with other memorabilia went with him. At some point, he lost track of where they were. Last week on his trip to Clarendon to fetch some needed items, he was talking with his brother, Terry, and the topic of the rings came up.

"Oh, yeah, I saw those rings in a box when I was rummaging around in the shop a few months ago and brought them up to my house," Terry reported. How they had gotten in the shop, Teddy said, was beyond him. More than likely, his dad, now deceased almost 4 years, had been digging around in the garage, found them, and must have put them in the shop. "In the shop!" was his horrified response. Teddy couldn't figure out either why his dad would have put wedding rings in the shop. Nevertheless, there they were. From Clarendon to Killeen and back to Clarendon; from Clarendon to all the many little panhandle towns in which Teddy had lived over the years; and then a final return to Clarendon when he moved to care for his dad in 2003; from garage to shop to Terry's house, the rings had certainly made it around!

Last Friday evening, just as we were about to leave the house for our weekly date, Teddy said, "Sit down." Having NO CLUE as to what he had on his mind, I sat (as the obedient, good wife that you all know I am!). Then he got down on one knee (what?!?), reached in his back pocket (now I was really puzzled!), took out a green box that looked like a ring box because that's exactly what it was (I was finally getting the idea!), and said, "Belinda Kaye King Scholl, will you marry me?" and produced the two rings he had bought for me in 1974.

Still shiny and pristine, all I could do was stare in disbelief at the beautiful set of rings that were meant for me over 35 years ago. I had wondered and had even asked Teddy about a year ago where the rings had ended up. He told me that he had saved them over the years; that they were meant for me, so he never sold or gave them away. I couldn't believe he had really kept them for all these years. Surely he had sold them. Surely he had done something with them. Surely. But, no. When we were at the Clarendon house in June of last year, we looked for the rings, but did not find them. But on his recent trip, with the help of his brother, he had found my rings. My rings.

What will I do with the rings? Well, we went to a jewelers on Saturday and I'm having them sized and sautered together. While they are more simple than what I currently wear, they are beautiful and the story behind them precious and sweet. I plan to wear them alternately with the ring Teddy gave me in February of 2010. The picture in this blog is not of the actual rings, but is very similar. The actual rings have a Florentine pattern on them, but otherwise, they are a two-piece white gold bridal set of a simple diamond solitaire and matching band.

My answer to Teddy's proposal? "Yes, over and over and over again!!!"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Pack of Three (Minus One)

Our Pack has diminished. One of our members is gone, albeit temporarily. Domino and I have been left to fend for ourselves tonight while Teddy drives back to Clarendon (near Amarillo) to fetch his wookworking tools, table saws, and all of the other mysterious thingies that a woodworker uses to turn a chunk of wood into a piece of art or a utilitarian product, of which we have both examples in our backyard.

He called to say he'd arrived safely -- always a relief to my hyper-active imagination. Though he will be back tomorrow early evening, I miss him even now while at work. But Domino and I will keep the home fires burning and will manage on our own until the other 1/3 of The Pack returns safely to our loving arms and paws!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Texas Means Spring in February...Sometimes

After an extended hiatus from blogging, I'm back in FULL FORCE. There's a lot going on in the Scholl-Ashcraft household, so sit back with the beverage of your choice, and read on about the happenings of our little family.

After several weeks of some pretty severe weather (at least for North Central Texas), we are now experiencing the reason we love and live in Texas: springtime in February.

"For lo the winter is past"...and the promise of spring is alive deep in our hearts. This according to the Gospel of Belinda Scholl.

Yesterday, the temperature in Fort Worth was a high of 71. After getting home and into comfy clothes, my hubby and I sat on the patio, enjoying our "cocktail hour" (sipping tea and wine, respectively), catching up on the day's events, and basking in the late afternoon sun on our faces. Domino, our six-year old Chihuahua, scampered about the yard, reveling in the apparent new smells that the winter weather had left behind. Boy, was he happy to be outside with Mama and Daddy! Our Pack of Three was all home and together. It doesn't get much better than that for a Chihuahua -- unless he is munching on a bite of sausage biscuit that Daddy has over-indulgently given him.

Hubby and I gazed on our recent endeavor: that of our small garden plot. Over the past weekend we tilled the soil and hammered the nails into the wooden framework that will soon hold the bounty of our work: six crops we've chosen to grow this spring -- green beans, peas, winter squash, zucchini, green onions, and cherry tomotoes. Along the raised perimenter of the garden plot we also plan to grow some herbs in terra cotta pots. The thought of "living off the land" has me feeling a bit like Mother Earth. The picture below, while not of our garden, is remarkedly similar. We have a wooden framework much like this one.

When the garden is prepped for planting, we will start the second part of The Backyard Project: that of extending our concrete patio into the yard using bricks. The new patio will be around 260 square feet and will be used for alfresco dining, a sitting area, and a pad for the grill and smoker. Once completed, we'll be able to pass the food from grill/smoker to the table. Eating out-of-doors always makes the food taste better.

Don't you agree?!?

Until next time...