Thursday, February 26, 2009


hm...so that last post with all those pictures? well i accidentally hit publish before i was done. so then i had to go in and edit it. and because i've added myself to my own reader i noticed that it didn't actually update the post in my reader. i guess i figured it would give me whatever the last update was. instead it showed the almost finished post. aggravating.

The 70's - my look in pictures

So I was at my parents' house today. I needed to pick up a few things for my grandmother. I also wanted to look for a couple of pictures in the old photo albums. I never did find the pictures I was looking for, but I did come across a few that I had to share. I was a style maven!

Would you look at that bonnet? I mean I could seriously be giving Aretha a run for her money in the hat arena!

I had to use this picture, because my dad was the bomb!

Here we have rooster colored striped pants. You know you want some!

And wallpaper overalls.

Then there's the tragic story of my hair. Long, luscious locks the day they brought my sister home from the hospital.

At some point in the next couple of months 3 kids must have overwhelmed my mom so she did this to my hair.

I don't look very happy about it!

Am I wearing a dress or a shirt?

Note the matching Keds. A style I would repeat in high school it seems. (And the girl next to me is best friend #1, Staci.)

Here we have a lovely patriotic ensemble. This was a school production so I wasn't the only one looking so festive.

And finally. Finally we have a Shawn Cassidy t-shirt. Because come on now...Da Doo Run Run? Yeah, baby!

There were many more pictures with many more fun outfits from the 70's. Unfortunately many of them were very discolored. I didn't think they would scan well. I did find a few more to share with you though so stay tuned for more flashback fun! (How many times can I use the word more in a paragraph? How about one more!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

freedom weekend

As I type this there is noise in my house. Kids talking, normal life noises, and the TV is on. I went without the sound of a TV for almost 48 hours. Without the sounds of other people in my house. It was so quiet. So still.

Erica and Will participated in Freedom Weekend with our church this weekend. Brian, Jacob, and Anna Grace went to Waco to visit his parents. And I stayed home. All alone. Talk about freedom weekend! I lived on donuts, sushi, and diet Coke this weekend. Yes, my tummy is having some regrets today, but I had to live it up. I surfed the internet, did some cleaning, and laid around a lot. I read some, drummed some, and looked at a cooking magazine. Not once did I turn on any music. It never crossed my mind. Strange, but completely enjoyable to me.

It's not often that I have extended time to myself, much less a weekend in my house, all alone, doing whatever I want. NO, actually that's NEVER happened before. So here's my question. If you could have a whole weekend alone what would you do? Some of you may get those anytime you want...what do you do? I need some ideas for next time! Yeah, like there will be a next time. HA!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I moved around a lot as a kid. I know I've said that before, but I feel the need to start this post with those words for some reason. Because I moved a lot I was almost always in the market for a new best friend. I've had several of them over the years. As a kid it was a necessity. I lived somewhere for 3 years at the most and when I moved on my friendships had to move on too. Oh I could write letters and make a rare long distance phone call, but eventually having no face to face contact or recent news of my friends took a toll on the friendship.

Best friend number 1 was Staci. We moved next door to her when I was 3. The perfect age for having a first best friend. The summer before 3rd grade we moved from that house to Pearl River, Louisiana, and for the first time ever I had to best friend shop. There was a girl who lived across the street who was nice, but we were friends more out of convenience sake than anything else. A couple of months after school started a new girl moved to town. Bonnie. Not only did Bonnie join my class, but she lived in my neighborhood as well. One day the girl from across the street was invited to Bonnie's house to play. I was jealous! I rode my bike past her house several times that day to see if I would be invited to play too. I don't remember if I was included that day, but I do know that within a few days Bonnie and I became friends. Best friends. She was best friend number 2.

One of our first conversations had to do with the last name that we shared. She was the first person I had ever met outside my own family with the same last name as me. Even more interesting was the fact that our mothers had the same first name. We pretended like we were sisters and loved when people asked us if we were related to the other's siblings. We rode bikes, caught minnows and crawfish in ditches, and played radio station by recording ourselves and our records on a tape recorder. We tap danced on a piece of plywood, and I got a gigantic splinter in the bottom of my foot that had to be removed by a doctor. We rode our bikes to the new edition in our neighborhood and jumped on a trampoline in someone's backyard. We were on swim team together, played kiss and chase with the boys on the playground, and had big fun. But the fun could only last so long. The summer after 5th grade my family moved again. This time to Houston, Texas. Bonnie and I wrote letters, and we each made one trip by airplane for a visit. Actually now that I think about it she might have made two trips. Over the years our letter writing became less frequent, but I always seemed to know where she was or where she had recently been. I think the last letter I received from her came when I was in college. I also seem to remember talking to her on the phone once after I got engaged in 1990, but my memory could be playing a trick on me. After we moved to Turkey in 2002 there were a couple of emails exchanged I think, but I don't remember who found who or how we got each other's email addresses. I hadn't heard from Bonnie in quite a few years, but recently she found me on Facebook, that wonderful friend reconnecter. Last night we had the chance to chat for a bit. We reminisced about some of the people we knew from elementary school. I must admit that I could barely call anyone by name. The fact that I've moved to new cities 7 more times since that move to Houston in 1980 has really messed with my memory of people. I've had several more best friends since Bonnie, and I'm sure there are more new friends in my future.

Some people say that the art of letter writing is lost. That people don't take the time to truly connect with people anymore. I can agree with that on one hand, but I know what it's like to lose track of friends. Because of the internet, Facebook, instant messaging, and SMS I don't have to lose people anymore. I might not have the chance to talk to some of my friends for weeks or even months, but I can have an instant connection anytime I want, day or night. And for that I am thankful.

Me and Bonnie at the airport in 1982 on my trip to visit her. (And can I just say that my dad took me shopping for my outfit. It was Gloria Vanderbilt! My mom wouldn't have ever paid what he paid for those pants and that shirt, but he didn't know any better!)

Thanks for the fun chat, Bonnie! I look forward to many more!

Friday, February 13, 2009

home decor...

Tonight I babysat for my brother and his wife so they could go out for Valentine's Day. I brought Will, Jacob, and Anna Grace with me so they could play with the cousins. They hadn't been to their house in a long time.

And now for your reading pleasure I give you a conversation that took place during the course of the evening.

Will: I love this kitchen.
Me: Why?
Will: I like the set up, and they have stainless steel appliances!

Later in the evening...

Will: The loft looks like it was decorated by Design on a Dime.
Me: ??
Will: It's so spacious and organized. And I love the colors!

I think we might be watching a tad too much HGTV at our house!

the winner

And the winner of the awesome book on Lincoln is....drum roll please....


Congratulations! Email me at nagdalie(at)aol(dot)com with your address and I will get that in the mail to you.

And no...I didn't take pictures of the drawing process. I didn't think about it until after I already drew the name. I thought about staging it so I could take pictures but decided there was no reason to redo it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Today is someone's 200th birthday!

I've mentioned my reading goal before. The one about reading all the Newbery medal and honor books from 1922 to the present. So far I've read 220 of the 374 books on the list. I've started another 4 that I have had to put down, because I lost interest in them. I'll get back to them one of these days.

Last Christmas when we were in the states I shopped for some new reading material. I brought quite a few books from my list back to Turkey with me. I read some and saved some. When it was time to come back to the states this time I packed up my books and shipped them back. I knew that shipment would take a couple of months to arrive, but I wasn't worried about not having my books. There are amazing bookstores in America! I could go buy some more books to add to my collection.

Enter this book. 1951 Newbery honor book. I found it at Barnes and Noble and had to have it. I put it on my bookshelf to save for a rainy day. I also bought a couple other books from my list as well as several that just looked interesting. Enough reading material to keep me occupied for awhile.

Two months later our shipment from Turkey arrived. I was so excited to put all my books on my bookshelves. Sorting them by author, genre, hardback, paperback, if I had read them already or not. You know typical book lover stuff. As I was unpacking I came across this book.

Yes, evidently I had already purchased this book. A full year before. It sat on my bookshelf in Turkey unread, completely forgotten. I really don't even remember buying it!

I certainly don't need two copies of a book about Abraham Lincoln. This is where you come in. I have decided to give my extra copy to one of my lucky readers. This month does mark the 200th birthday of President Lincoln and what better way to celebrate it than by giving away an account of his life?!? I know! How exciting! I'll even throw in a Turkish bookmark for you to mark your page! You know you can't resist now!

To enter this fabulous contest all you have to do is leave me a comment. I've tried to come up with a clever question for you to answer, but I got nothing. So tell me anything...why you need this book, what you think Lincoln would think of the USA today, or what you ate for dinner. It really doesn't matter. Any comment could be the winning comment as I'm employing the pick-a-name-out-of-a-hat method for choosing my winner.

(And I already know I'm a nerd for giving away a book about Lincoln in a contest so you don't have to mention that in the comments. Unless you got nothing else. Then I guess it's ok.)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hope is the thing with feathers...Emily Dickinson

Ms. Johnson says everybody has a story. She said some of us are afraid to tell ours and that's why when it comes time to write something, we say we have writer's block. Ms. Johnson says there's no such thing as writer's block. She said it's just your mind saying to your body, I ain't trying to write that jive. Everybody laughed when she said it like that because, mostly, Ms. Johnson speaks proper.

"Then what does your mind want your hand to write?" Ms. Johnson asked the class.

Trevor was tracing the letters on his desk. Rayray was staring out the window. I looked down at my blank paper, my pencil in my hand and my hand and mind real still and quiet.

"Frannie?" Ms. Johnson looked at me.

I shrugged, "A story?"

"Maybe," Ms. Johnson said. She walked slowly over to Rayray and turned his head gently toward the front of the room. She walked over to Trevor, lifted his pencil out of his hand.

"If the story is the truth," Ms. Johnson said.

"But that's nonfiction then, " somebody said.

"The truth is in your heart. My daddy says we all have a truth in our hearts."

It was the Jesus Boy speaking. He even surprised Ms. Johnson. But she tried to hide it by smiling.

"Exactly," Ms. Johnson said. "Write what your heart tells you to write."

We all looked around the room at each other. Nobody said anything.

"My heart's not saying anything," Rayray said. He slumped down in his chair. "I hate this."

Ms. Johnson walked back to the front of the room. "Think of a day in your life," she said. "Any kind of day--where something big happened or nothing at all happened. Something important or something just regular, like you ate a sandwich while watching cartoons. Anything. Just try to write down every single detail you can remember about it."


I looked down at my paper. There were a million days in my head, all of them marching all over each other. All of them coming from my heart and feeling like my heart-truth. I didn't have the slightest idea where to begin. There were all kinds of thoughts swirling around in my head and it felt like the whole class dropped away and disappeared and all that was left was me and my pen and my paper and the whole wide world spinning around me. I felt dizzy with all those thoughts, had to put my head down on the desk.

"Frannie, are you okay?" I heard Ms. Johnson asking. Her voice sounded like it was coming from real far away.

I nodded into my arm but didn't lift my head. "I don't even know what the first line to write would be," I said.

"Begin at Frannie's beginning," Ms. Johnson said.


From the book Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

I love children's literature.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I know. I haven't written a blog post in almost a week now. I have barely visited other blogs this past week. I have read/skimmed blog posts in my feed reader, but I haven't commented. And now it is late and I am tired. Tomorrow. I will write something tomorrow. Maybe.