Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lazy Day Redux

It is 10 a.m. I am sitting here in my pajamas.

I didn't get up terribly early today. Probably because we watched four (count 'em, 4) episodes of 30 Rock last night, then watched some football. I didn't get to bed til late. So here I am, lounging around, having finished the paper and the crossword.

Gary is so much more motivated than I. He's been up for hours and has completed an online training course for work. Now he's getting the roaster oven ready to prepare our turkey.

I need to run to the store (never made it yesterday) and mail a package (once again, didn't get that done). Though I did, in addition to all that laundry, dust my bedroom yesterday.

Tonight, our plans include supervising a passel of pre-teen and teenage girls (we've become the party house) and just hanging out - not sure if we'll watch movies or just see what's on TV. Maybe haul out some board games. We will quietly ring in the new year, whch is just fine with me.

Here's to 2009. May it be a good one.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lazy Day

So far today, I've done five loads of laundry.

And ... that's pretty much it. OK, so I read the newspaper, did the crossword, played some Wii, washed my hair. Not very impressive, huh?

But this is what vacation is about. Gary attempted to install new memory in our computer; we got the wrong kind, so it is on its way back, and once the correct version arrives, we'll be in business with a much speedier computer.

In the spirit of total laziness, I am considering ordering pizza for dinner tonight. For the moment, I plan to curl up on the sofa with a book.

Days of leisure. Loving it.

The days in between

The time between Christmas and New Year's is one of my favorite times of the year. Gary is off work, the girls are on vacation, and the five of us have time to just lie back and enjoy life at a leisurely pace.

We spent a couple of days visiting Gary's parents in Missouri. It feels like stepping back in time - nothing much changes in small-town Missouri. We visited his grandmothers, saw his sister, and did family duty. Though it's never enough for his parents - I always sense an overwhelming sadness that we are not there more often, that we don't call enough or write enough. I also feel that no matter how often we were to call, it would never be enough. And we will likely never live nearer to them than we do. Thus there is this pervading wistfulness that always permeates the visits.

(And there's the lack of bathroom space, not enough hot water, the uncomfortable futon that Gary and I have been relegated to, the cot that Alison sleeps on ... but this is what we have to do. Thank goodness I took David Sedaris along to keep me company.)

Today, Sylvia's best friend from Houston is in town and will spend the day with us. We have a few small errands to run, but other than that, the day is ours. Guitar Hero? DDR? More time with David? Movies? Lots of options.

I promised the girls a trip to Indianapolis, so maybe that will be on the agenda for Friday. We are all armed with Christmas cash, so it sounds like a fun day.

And there other plenty of other fun things on my agenda for today: Laundry, groceries, running the vacuum. Sounds like a party, huh?

I think I need to get hopping ...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas with the kinfolk

Greetings from Nowhere, Missouri. This is where we travel on the occasional holiday to see Gary's fmaily. They have never, ever visited us over the holidays. They have a routine they enjoy, and it has never varied.

It's their choice. I wouldn't mind if they would spend one holiday with us while the girls are still all home. They have one more year; I dobut it happens.

So this year, after Christmas, we drove south. Here we are, hanging out, doing ... well, not much. Watching a lot of television - but not to worry, as I brought a book and my knitting to keep me busy.

In the meantime, here is one of my favorite Christmas memories, from my college years. Happy Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's been the merriest of Christmases around here this year. For me, anyway - I can't speak for others.

We've had quite the ritual of parties and get-togethers over the last several days. All have been wonderful, and all of them have made my cooking dinner seem redundant. Thus, I have not cooked. No wonder the past six days have been so much fun for me. All of the events have involved good friends, which is equally wonderful.

Last night we went to the 6.30 p.m. service. We chose that time because it was the only one offered. I personally like the 11 p.m. service, but our church did away with that this year. Which is OK with me for a couple of reasons, one of which is the ability of my children to attend church that late and still be pleasant; it is late for the 10-year-old. There are other reasons as well, but we'll leave it at that.

It was a lovely service - very traditional, lessons and carols. I really enjoyed it; I wonder what others thought. Not to worry - I'll hear all about it.

Today was quiet, just the girls and Gary and me here at home. We were a little subdued - we did not spend tons of money or buy lots of extravagant gifts. Which, once again, is OK with me - big presents and blowing lots of money does not make the holiday any brighter. Our girls got what they wanted (we now have Guitar Hero IV, which, Alison assures me, is far superior to Rock Band. I will have to take her word - I have never played Rock Band). Sylvia has a Nintendo DS, Maddie has an iHome, and Alison is getting a new phone.

Gary and I got small stuff - some new sweaters (which we chose in Indy on Tuesday - great sale prices at Keystone at the Crossing, in all those lovely stores we lack here in Lafayette), CDs, that sort of thing. Nothing pricey (unless you count my new skillets - a gift to us from the dog, who seemed horrified that we have not yet updated our cookware). We figured that with a new kitchen and new appliances on the way that lots of pricey gifts seemed unnecessary.

So we've hung around today, played with the kids, just enjoyed the day. Tonight we are eating fondue. Maybe watching some new DVDs. Mostly, just enjoying being with one another. And reflecting on how very lucky we are to have such great kids, each other, stable employment, and no debt.

Merry Christmas, all. And to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Having a headache is no way to spend Christmas Eve. But apparently my head did not get this message and does not know that today is an inconvenient way to spend my day.

So I haven't wrapped gifts; I have not made cookies. I have lain on the sofa and napped, hoping this pounding would subside.

Mo dice. It's a bit better, but I am not ready for tomorrow. Sigh. I'll get it together somehow. But wow. This is a drag.

The snow and icy rain have given way to slightly warmer temperatures, but it still feels very cold outside. Brrr.

It's end of the year time. We get lists on the best TV of the year, the best movies, the most interesting people, the must-have music. I am listening to David Bianculli on Fresh Air talking about the best television of the year. As a television watcher - a discriminating one - I love that my favorites are on his list: The Daily Show, Pushing Daisies, Mad Men, 30 Rock. I need to check out Dexter and Friday Night Lights. Rachel Maddow got a nod, but not Keith Olbermann - and I understand why. (But I still love Keith.)

Alright, then. I need to get myself together. I have gifts to wrap, a party to prepare for. We've had a week of fun parties - we threw one for Gary's section at work and have attended a bunch of others. It's been fun - I love hanging with my friends. I see a year of more parties in my future; when our renovations are done we will take advantage of our new space and share it with our friends as often as we can.

I should be more Christmasy in this post, I suppose. I am feeling the holiday spirit - truly, I am. I am home with my husband and my three daughters; how can I not feel that way?

And I can share those feelings later. For now, off to wrap gifts.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful ...

And I do mean frightful. Truly wretched. It took us 2 1/2 hours to drive home from Indianapolis today (a 60-mile trip) on very slippery, very treacherous roads.

But my iPhone works again. That's what matters.

No more tonight - we are just home from the annual country club Christmas buffet, so I am full. And giddy. Must go put on pajamas and take it easy. Much to do tomorrow. Presents to wrap. Cookies to bake. And another party - after four solid days of parties. Tis the season, you know.

I love Christmas. All is calm, all is bright. Later, peeps!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow and cold and wintery weather

It's funny how 22 degrees F can suddenly feel warm.

When you compare 12 to 22, it really is just that much warmer. So I am not complaining today. Nor will I complain the rest of the week, as the temps rise a bit every day.

Today I had to scrape a thick covering of ice off my car. I'm thinking we need to re-claim our garage. I have given the contractor permission to store stuff in there, but we are going to have to come up with a different arrangement - I am done with scraping.

Cold. Ice. Window scraping. Yet I am not hating winter. Because winter is necessary, a time for the earth to regenerate, that time for the world to turn, the winds to change. And it's all good with me. Because it is how things must be in the circle of life.

And aren't I all calm and zen about life these days. To be honest, yes, I am. It's how I am at this point in my life.

Alison's choir concert was Sunday, and Maddie's was Monday. Sylvia's is Thursday. I could - should - write more about the choir and music program here. And I will. But for now, I am just enjoying seeing my girls perform. Enjoying the time of year, the goodwill that abounds.

Even though I have a list as long as my arm of things to do. Gifts to buy, to wrap, to ship. Cards to address and mail. Cookies to bake. A house to clean for a party. The list goes on and on. Tomorrow I am shopping; Friday I will clean house. Somehow, this will all get done.

It always does, you know? So why stress? I"ll save my energy for something else.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The glory and the horror

I love Target.

I wonder what it is about shopping there that is so enjoyable. All I can say is, their brightly colored Christmas decorations just make me happy. I love the table-top Christmas trees made of bells, in bright blues, pinks, and greens; I love their party ware. I love the holiday handtowels and kitchen accessories. If I had unlimited storage space (and, perhaps, unlimited funds) I would redecorate my kitchen and bathroom at least weekly with those fun items.

I prefer Target to Wal-Mart hands down - I will gladly pay the price difference to avoid stepping inside that store, with its feel of "no price is too low" and the general impoverished mentality. Call me a snob, but I can't stand it. I know, Target is still a big box, and I'm not so sure those places are good for the local economy. But at least Target puts its energy into good design. It's still bargain shopping, but you feel so much classier about the $10 you've saved.

That said, today, Target sort of freaked me out:

Who is this woman? Is it just me, or is she a little scary? Why the manic intensity?

(I think she looks scarier in person. Trust me.)

I am no advertising expert, but I did graduate from the University of Missouri, which has an advertising major, and I have watched two entire seasons of Mad Men. If this image was designed to encourage me to shop at Target more, then it has not had the desired effect. I wanted to run, terrified, from the store.

I'll likely need to stay away for a few days. On second thought, maybe Wal-Mart is a better bet - at least I go in knowing they are crazy.

Only 13 shopping days left - are you ready?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Errands and tasks and other minutiae

I've spent much of the last two days trying to figure out just what is up with our computer. My IT guy hasn't been much help - unfortunately, he has another job that consumes most of his energy, so by the time second shift rolls around, he's not much good.

Thank goodness for the laptop. And for the fact that my IT guy has access to a printer at his primary employment.

So, the Christmas cards should go in the mail today. Or by tomorrow at the latest. Tonight I have a book club meeting, so I am making dessert today. Must run to the grocery store. And do laundry. And tidy up. And get another kitchen estimate.

Did I mention that our power was out yesterday? They had to bury our backyard power line, so the whole house was without. I left for the day, thus no laundry, no running the vacuum.

This is the excitement that is my life this week - errands, tasks, getting stuff done. And I told Gary he could have his section from work over for a Christmas party - this is his job, though not written into the job description. I don't want to make his work my entire social life (we generally don't), but he should have his people over. Which will entail lots of cleaning, but he'll help me.

Plus, it's good for people to get the "before" glimpse - they will appreciate the "after" so much more.

Must run - much to do.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This and that

There's a bad word forming on my lips. I'm afraid if I say it out loud, it will leave a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe if I type it, it won't seem so foul:

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich

Yuck. And yuck yuck yuck. I am just so disgusted I can barely see straight. This is the lowest of the low.

I mean come on - Bill Clinton just wanted to get laid. That seems pretty tame, right? Nixon was a bit more distasteful - subverting the political process and all. But trying to profit by selling a Senate seat? Offering bankruptcy help to the Tribune Company only if the writers/editors who were critical of Gov. B get fired?

Truly shocking. You know, he ran on a platform of reform following George Ryan. I'm sure the irony is lost on very few. And at least Ryan put a moratorium on the death penalty on his way out.



Parents at Jeff High School: When you park illegally and block traffic, just because you turn on your flashers, you are still parked illegally and still blocking traffic. Just so you know.


I like to put a letter in with my Christmas cards. I know - some people hate them. Me, I actually enjoy them, look forward to them. I think they are so much fun to read, to hear about the lives of former classmates and neighbors, friends I don't get to see as often as I would like.

I try not to be too braggy - I'm not going to write about the parts of the year that were overly challenging or sad, but I also don't try to pretend that my kids are the best and greatest and most amazing - I think they are pretty terrific, but realistically, other parents might see it differently. So my letters are upbeat without begin overbearing. Or so I tell myself.

I've made them shorter over the years, more truncated - because really, who wants to read about every detail of our lives? Gary has an aunt who writes two full pages - front and back, 8 1/2 x 11 - and it is a bit much ("... and on the third day of RAGBRAI ..."). She told us last year about how she had created her very first power point, then she offered to send copies for those who were interested. (And part of me wanted to ask her for it, though I'm not sure why.)

My letter has been written not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times already. Stupid computer. Or more accurately, stupid Microsoft Word. I cannot for the life of me figure out what the problem is - I cannot save anything. Nothing. Nada. I finally switched over to Gary's account, and it appears to be working.

But then I couldn't e-mail it, because the file was too large (I guess the photos are making the file huge). And I can't print it out, as I need new ink for my printer and didn't get around to getting any today - I was at Best Buy yesterday, but sadly, I could not remember exactly which of the 95 types of HP cartridges I need.

Gary said he'd take it to work on his memory stick. By the time you get one, read between the lines - there is a decidedly non-Christmas-like message buried in there, born of the frustration I felt as I typed out those words and placed those photos repeatedly.

Happy Holidays? You know, even with all the computer nonsense, it still is. There is a happiness that pervades my very being.

So computer troubles, be gone! It's the holiday season, and I will not let the Microsoft trolls get me down. Instead, I am going to curl up with my book and a mug of hot cider. The cards may not be in the post, but I am sending out lots of positive vibes.

Let me know if you got yours. And not to worry - there are plenty more on the way. Even with Gov. B and his shenanigans.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Nikolaus came!

He always comes - he always finds us. Nikolaus never forgets.

We were first introduced to Nikolaus in Germany. Early in the morning of Dec. 6, Nikolaus comes to the homes of all German children and leaves gifts in their shoes. If the shoes are clean. He leaves chocolate and nuts and clementinas and a little gift of some sort.

The first year we lived in Germany, we did not know about this tradition. I answered the phone that morning - must have been a Sunday - and it was my friend Susanne, telling me about Nikolaus. I had read about this tradition but didn't even think about it for my kids. No worry, she said - if we would put the shoes on the porch, Nikolaus was on his way over (driven, I presume, by her boyfriend, Carsten).

And sure enough, the shoes were filled with goodies. It's a moment of kindness I will never forget.

This year, Nikolaus found the girls again. It's a special reminder of our time in Germany.

And another way for the girls to cash in.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Happy on Friday

I'm tired. But in a good way.

I met with two kitchen designers today, and got prices from both. And I'm thinking I can go with the one I really want - the custom cabinet people. I know they're expensive, but they are not that much more expensive. Their prices are really not that much more than the other place. And their prices include installation. Not to mention so many cool features.

I am a convert.

Spent the evening working the holiday art fair at church. It was good - great food, lots of amazing art, and, naturally, got to visit with friends.

And I'll be back there tomorrow. I think I'll go to bed now.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cookies and test scores and resale and ...

I was reminded today of why I do not take my kids' things to the local resale shop. I generally just donate everything to Goodwill and take the tax write-off. But when I noticed that we had a perfectly good, barely used winter coat that Sylvia has outgrown, I figured it was worth a shot.

I know they are a business; I know they have to make a profit. But I could hear the discussion - they figured they would list the coat for $25. Thus they offered me: $10. No thanks - I'll just give it to Goodwill. (And they wouldn't even take the other jacket, for no reason that I could see.)

I know, they have to make a profit. They can only take name brands that they and their customers will recognize (even if it's a store that is well known in major metropolitan areas and not so popular here, with our small-town mentality). All the same, I'd prefer to just donate to Goodwill rather than have them pick through and offer a pittance for these items - I do not need the money, frankly.

If I had the patience I could do better on eBay. But who has the time? I'm better off frequenting Goodwill.


I was Target today. That would make my fifth trip to Target this week. And I think I have to return tomorrow.


ISTEP scores are in - our annual state-mandated standardized test. I am not a big fan of the standardized test. But it's the system we're in, so we have to persevere. I'm not too worried - my children always test well. But I do feel for other kids and families, kids for whom this test is not an accurate indicator of how they really learn or of their capabilities.

I was sent a code to use to log in and find out my girls' scores ... except that the Website is experiencing "technical difficulties." Guess I'll have to wait another day to find out whether or not the passed - or, to be more accurate, which level of commended they got. Which isn't really saying much - the tests are a bare minimum, so the kids should ideally pass easily. None the less, I think there are problems inherent in the system. Wish I could solve them.


My kitchen smells like ginger and cinnamon. Mmmm. Too bad it doesn't look as good as it smells!

December mornings

Every morning this week, after I have put Sylvia on the school bus, I have sat in my living room. I just sit, sipping my tea, listening to the last few minutes of Morning Edition, staring at the Christmas tree.

It's still dark enough outside that the tree lights cast a glow over the entire room. The snow is visible through the window, and I can see the headlights on the cars as they drive down the street, headed both downtown and away from town.

I have great hopes for this room, none of which has been realized yet. The paint color on the walls is not a problem, but the carpet needs to go (just haven't had the energy to pull it out). We need to repair one set of bookcase doors and have doors built for the other side. We need to buy slipcovers for the blue chairs and new end tables. And we need to get rid of the track lighting, which hearkens back to the '70s a bit much for my taste.

At first glance, the living room seems small, smaller than our other ones. But it really isn't. On Cooper Street and Ninth Street, the living room and foyer were not separate, so there was no wall dividing them, giving the illusion of more space. On Owen Street and Ashland Landing, the room was almost exactly the same size, but there was no fireplace taking up an entire wall.

It truly is a lovely room. One entire wall is the fireplace, with oak bookcases built in on either side. They should have leaded glass doors (there are leaded glass windows above them), and we will have those repaired/replaced. The front window is huge - nearly floor to ceiling - and the entrance into the family room is framed by two giant oak pillars.

Even without any changes - with the furniture we already have, the carpet rather than wood floors - the room is very cozy. Perhaps it's the addition of the Christmas tree; perhaps it's the piano that is being used to fill the house with holiday melodies.

Perhaps it's just my frame of mind. That life is warm and secure here in the cold of the oncoming winter. I feel surrounded by wonderful friends and ready for a holiday season where we celebrate miracles and promise and the hope of peace.

Whatever the reason, it makes me look forward to those mornings by the fireplace, when I can relish the peace and quiet of our home and feel the magic in the air.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


What a day - incredibly productive, yet it feels that everything did not get done.

As usual. Who ever gets their entire to-do list done in a single day?

Wait. Don't answer. There is someone out there more productive than I.

I worked out, paid bills, ran to the post office, to Target, to the grocery store. The line at Target was much longer than the post office, where I was in and out - go figure.

I am supposed to be baking cookies right now, but I didn't read the part of the recipe that said, "refrigerate over night." Ooops. I can bake them later tonight, or in the morning. I need to take them to church tomorrow, but I probably don't have to take five dozen. So even if a few get done, I should be good.

I just need to read the recipe more closely next time.

I put up our third tree yesterday - just one to go. Maybe tomorrow. If I can fit it in around meeting with the kitchen guy, helping at church, and the 101 other things that I need to do.

But that's tomorrow. Tonight, I'm all set. I have dinner for the kids (I'll be at book group) and everything is caught up.

Enjoy the snowman picture - yet another of my favorite ornaments. This one is a gift from my parents, from somewhere in South America. Alison dropped him and he sustained near-fatal injuries in his youth, but he seems to have recovered well from his reconstructive surgery.

Here's to many happy years ahead for the little snowman.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Favorite Things

Today, I felt inclined to snap photos of some of my favorite Christmas ornaments. Just some - I have so many that I love for various reasons.

Maddie made this little snowman at preschool when she was just 2.

Alison made this bell at the same preschool. It is part of an egg carton covered with tin foil.

One of those school ornaments, this one with Maddie's school picture. I have them from each of the girls.

A glass tree that we purchased from the UU holiday art sale. They have the coolest ornaments there - I'm sure we'll pick up one or two this weekend.

A little Christmas tree by Sylvia, also made at preschool when she was 2.

These are the items that make our tree special - every year when we set it up, we oooh and aaah over these and many more. People can have their themed trees with coordinating ornaments; I'll take my girls' handmade pieces any day.

Christmas is a truly a magical time of year.

Be Still My Heart

I know, I know - I am in a committed relationship. 20-plus years and all that.

But. I am still human. There are other men - lots of other men - lots of attractive men out there.

There is my high school music crush:

Glenn Tilbrook, he of Squeeze. Vocalist, lead guitarist, and half of the songwriting duo extraordinnaire, Difford & Tilbrook. Looks and talent and the early '80s - quite a combination.

Then there's my favorite leading man of '80s movies:

The totally under-rated Aidan Quinn. Those eyes. Loved him in Desperately Seeking Susan, the ultimate '80s movie; then he starred in The Handmaid's Tale - great movie, even better book (Margaret Atwood). He earned a lot of my respect when he starred in an HBO movie with Sissy Spacek about Sherry Finkbine. And he's on wife No. 1, which scores him extra points for sure.

My love of current events and commentary leads me to this guy:

Anderson Cooper. Smart, from a family with a pedigree. I know - I am so not his type ... but a girl can dream, right? It's totally harmless. Besides, gives Gary the right to swoon over Rachel Maddow. I should dock him points for not being more honest, but the fact that he has embraced his premature greyness gives him extra credit.

And then, in totally embracing my inner geek, let me say this is what really makes my heart do flip-flops these days:

Oh. My. God. Keith Olbermann. He's smart. He's got that voice. He's all left-wing and radical, and he gets so inflamed and angry-like when he gets into something he finds completely outrageous, like Sarah Palin. I am inexplicably attracted to him. And then I found out this: Not only is he single, but he is ... Unitarian. He is, without a doubt, the sexiest man on television.

Which I can say - my husband is not on television. He's kind of like Keith Olbermann here at home, just without the intense self-righteous anger. Or the glasses.

Sigh. Thank you, Keith, for making my evenings just a little brighter.

Roses and Remembering

Gary brought me flowers yesterday.

Roses. Not just because I love them (I do). But because they are the same flowers he brought me on our first date. Dec. 1, 1984 - 24 years ago.

I almost hate to point out how long ago it was - I truly don't feel that old. To be fair, I was very young - practically a child.

I remember a lot about that evening - I have a photo of the two of us, and the dress still hangs in my closet. Much of what I think I remember is likely not accurate - the mind plays tricks and what you think happened gets revised as the years take their toll.

I do know that I did not see myself out with my future husband. I was out with someone I quite liked, who was witty and funny and charming. It took quite a long time before I knew it was the real thing. Which is OK, because we were young.

But somewhere, my instincts told me to stay with him. I did. And I'm glad.

I could never have imagined, all those years ago, that over two decades later, we would spend the evening eating carry-out Chinese food, with our daughters, then hanging out in front of the fire in our 120-year-old house that is under construction.

The best endings come as a surprise.


And, now, back to the present.

Roof trusses are being installed today - today! We should have a roof by the end of next week. After that, work will speed right along. Roof, then wiring and HVAC, then walls and windows. I get absolutely giddy just thinking about it.

The kitchen guy called today, and he will start putting some numbers together. This is, naturally, the big stumbling block with the whole kitchen: $$$. Makes me nervous.

Much to do - must bake cookies, get dinner started, get geared up for a meeting tonight, finish putting up the other Christmas trees. Not a dull moment.

But I'll leave you with an image of the quintessential 1960s Christmas tree: The Evergleam. I even have the original box, with the fake bow. Just gotta find a color wheel and we will be all set.

Monday, December 01, 2008

'80s Flashback

One of my favorite songs, by one of my very favorite bands. Second only, maybe, to Elvis Costello. (Which is OK - he produced East Side Story, sings one of the verses of Tempted, and sings back up on this song. See if you can guess who is singing with him.)

I remember seeing this video on Video Jukebox on HBO. This is before MTV, back when HBO used Video Jukebox to kill time between features. Wow. Things have changed, huh? I don't think MTV even plays videos anymore - hasn't for years.

Sigh. Isn't that Glenn Tilbrook just the cutest thing? My 16-year-old self is swooning.

The LP Dilemma

What to do with all the LPs?

It's part of being alive when we are, as the LPs ended and the the CD generation began. We grew up amassing tremendous collections of record albums, only to replace them with compact discs.

Mostly, the vinyl sits and takes up space. We rarely play them - at present, we don't even have our turntable set up, and even if we did, I'm not sure we would play them very often. But I can't get rid of them - where would they go? There are no more used record shops, no one collecting them, so they would likely end up in the garbage.

Gary and I (more Gary than me) were huge collectors of albums. He had a quite a stash when I met him. We have about 4 1/2 lineal feet of them. The issue is just where to put them. If we used them often, it would be worth having a book case or some sort of storage. But we don't, and while I want to keep them around, it's tough to dedicate so much space to items so seldom used.

Today, I unpacked them from the boxes where they've been sitting since July, taking up an entire corner of the family room (I needed the space for the Evergleam). I put them on the bottom shelf of our living room built-ins; it works for now, but it is not ideal.

Unpacking them was kind of fun - it took me back (way back) to music I was into oh, so many years ago - Game Theory, Let's Active, my Squeeze collection. And I learned a little bit - I did not know we (Gary) have a copy of Best of the Doobies.

For now, the records are put away. But the problem isn't really solved. I need a real solution. I'll be measuring bookcases, or talking my husband into dusting off his table saw.

While I hum, "Takin' it to the streets..."