Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday's Feast


This is something I will try to do every Friday. Click the post title or the link in the sidebar to have a feast of your very own!

Feast Fifty-Seven / Friday, July 29, 2005


Name 3 people whom you admire for their intelligence.

I'm going to cheat on the first answer and make two people into one, and that would be my parents. For various reasons, neither one received as much education as my siblings and I, but they have never ceased to impress me with their knowledge. The second would be Casey. Are you surprised? I admire Casey for all that he is, intelligent being just one of many things. I have bragged about his being valedictorian and I was in awe of his impressive study habits (I told Brandi last night that he still looks at his Hebrew flash cards!), and I am contiuing to learn just how smart this guy really is. The third just has to be Richard "Mad Dog", our Liverpudlian-Canadian friend. Richard and I had some great talks in the summer of 2001 (of course we had others, but these are the ones I remember most), talks that lifted me out of sadness. I remember during one of our conversations I suddenly wanted to stop talking because I thought, "Whoa...Richard is one of the 'super-intelligent'...if I keep talking he is going to realize how I am soooooo not one of those people." But obviously it did not bother Richard too much -- he's still talking to me!


What's the last food you tried that you really didn't care for?

I'm really not going to be able to remember this one, so I'll just dig a memory out of the past that's a bit clearer. I remember reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe back when I was about 11 or 12 -- loved it. It's become a bit fuzzy, but I know that one of the children was given a treat called Turkish Delight, and it was made out to be the best candy ever, which of course meant that I had to try it. Some years later, I had the opportunity to do so, and upon tasting it my first thought was, "Eww, Turkish Delight tastes like perfume!" And so does.


If you could rename the street that you live on, what would you want it to be called?

Okay, a little mad at Blogger at the moment because I tried to post and it lost all but my appetizer and soup answers. If the rest of this post is a little 'Mr. Robot-o' you will forgive me. Back to the question: I think I would like it to be a peaceful and/or encouraging name, something like Agape Lane or Faithful Cove. That way, every time I passed the sign, I would get a lift of encouragement.

Main Course

When was the last time you were genuinely surprised?

Christmas 2004 at mine and Casey's house (which was more like December 18 or 19). We decided to do our own little Christmas before traveling to be with family because the alternative was dragging all our gifts along with us -- for which we didn't have room -- or waiting until after the new year, and there was no way we were waiting. Anyway, Casey truly surprised me by giving me my first digital camera, my Nikon Coolpix 5700. We had talked about my getting one in May of this year, but Casey had secretly researched and reviewed a couple of camera options, and just the fact that he had put so much thought and heart into this gift sent tears down my cheeks about three times that evening.


Share a household tip.

I don't think I have a real household tip to share, but I will offer this: lighting several candles and putting
this CD on the stereo will give your guests the appearance of a more sophisticated and mature home than it really is. So, now I have to come up with a whole other plan since I have guests coming over tonight!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Warning: the following post contains lots of girliness

Brandi's butterfly!

When it comes down to it, I am really not the girliest of girls. I am the youngest of four -- two boys, two girls -- but being that my sister and I were the oldest and youngest, respectively, I spent more time with my brothers and thus was really a tomboy at heart. I remember talking with one of my best friends, Patty, about 'prissy' girls, and how we promised we would never be like that. I honestly can't say what I think a 'prissy' girl is, but I think back then it meant that you didn't ever get dirty, you didn't ride your bike down the street (no hands, of course!), you didn't play 'wallball', and you squealed at every slimy bug and creature.

Carla's butterfly!

These days, I don't get a lot of dirt on me, I don't own a bike to ride down the street (the 10-year-old me would be shocked), and I have definitely done my fair share of squealing and 'eek!'-ing at various rodents and whatchamacallits. Hey -- I think anyone would fly off the couch screaming if they felt a mouse RUNNING ACROSS THEIR BACK. I still shudder to think about that one. Okay, I still laugh about it too. As far as the wallball goes, I played a bit of that again in my college and soon-after college days. I would be willing to play a game pretty much any old time, I think.

Carrie's butterfly!

So as you can see, I have allowed more and more of my girliness to seep through, and frankly...I like it. I don't think I've ever been the 'let's-get-all-the-girls-together' kind of person, but I have had those few close friends with whom I've spent massive amounts of time on an individual basis. I think it is so important for married couples to acknowledge that there are some things they just can't replace for one another. I will never be able to replace Casey's close male friendships. I have seen him with his closest friends, and there is an amazing bond there that I know is incredibly important and encouraging to him -- not to mention how goofy they can get when they're together (in a very endearing way, no doubt)! Ever since Casey and I were married, I would occasionally lament the fact that he spent at least once a week with several close friends (this is when he was in grad school) and all I did was work and come home. But then, that was really my fault because no one was holding me back but me. I have discussed this before, by the way. Given the choice, I will always choose to spend time with Casey than anyone else. But I know that my heart needs that 'girl time' too. And really, if you want to spend more time with your girlfriends, you just have to do it.

Tracey's butterfly!

Last night, after Wednesday night Bible study, I was talking with Brandi, Carla and Carrie. I don't think I can say anything bad about these girls, and when I get to talking with any one of them, I find that I want to spend more and more time with them -- more time talking, laughing, or just being plain silly. I feel that little place in my heart that God has made for these kinds of relationships light up with a warmth and joy all its own. My need for 'girl time' finally reached its peak last night when I realized I did not want our talking to end. I asked if we could get together and visit some more, and all agreed. So, it's off to Nathan and Carla's place tonight (though I think Nathan will be finding somewhere else to be)...I look forward so much to an evening of hugs, sharing, and yes, LOTS of girly laughter.

Got to love that girl time!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I put waaaaaaaaaay too much thought into the colors on my blog. And spacing. And letter size. Once you figure out how to change those colors, though, and to rearrange the ol''s hard to stop. I need help.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

And they played Pearl Jam songs at the wedding

Wow, I'm so excited that Brandi has a blog, and even more so that I was the first to make a comment there! Hope all of you will check out this barely-married-one-week Christian woman's blog and find out what a lot of us already know -- that she is hilarious, sweet (sometimes sassy) and so much fun...and she sure does love her new husband!

Got any monsters? Tell Dave!

So, Dave is going to be my guest blogger today, only I will be introducing him! I really like that all of my guest bloggers have brought something completely different to Trace Talks. Dave decided to share a story he wrote several years ago that was intended to be for a childrens' (ages 2-5) picture book. Wow, who knew the guy with the Masters in Journalism who's been published in online magazines also writes for kids? Here's Dave!


When I was 3 years old, I was scared of monsters. Every night, after my mommy tucked me in bed and turned out the light, all kinds of monsters snuck out of my closet and danced around my bed. But as soon as I turned the lights back on, the monsters disappeared into the closet again.

I cried for my mommy until she had to come and sleep with me in my bed. The monsters were scared of my mommy, so they didn't come out and dance around when she was in my bed.

Now I am a big boy. I turned four last week, and now that I'm big, I'm not scared of monsters anymore. I hunt them.

When my mommy puts me in bed and turns out the lights, I hide under my blue blanket with my flashlight and Sparky the teddybear. I wait until my mommy closes the door, then I crawl over to the closet. Sparky sits in the bed to make the monsters think I'm still in bed. As soon as the monsters come out, I shine my flashlight on them, and say "Go away, you monsters!", and they run away.

Sometimes I hear noises in the attic. So first I make sure my mommy is watching TV, then I climb the stairs. When I find the monsters who are making the noise, I throw my blue blanket on them. Then I say, "Go away, you monsters!", and they do.

A lot of the monsters are really scared, like I was when I was little. When I tell those monsters to go away, they start to cry. When those monsters cry, I just give them a hug and a glass of milk. Then the monsters are sorry they tried to scare me, and they give me a present before they leave. One purple monster gave me a secret. He can't drink milk because it makes him sick.

So, if monsters creep out of your closet and dance around your bed, just come to my big blue house and tell me. I'll make those monsters disappear.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Blogging personality

Not sure about this, but...

Your Blogging Type Is the Private Performer
Your blog is your stage - with your visitors your adoring fans.
At least, that's how you write with your witty one liners.
And while you like attention, you value your privacy.
You're likely to have an anonymous blog - or turn off comments.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Guess who?

My blogging break is over, but this will only be a short post. First, a big thanks to all my guest bloggers! (Still gotta get Dave in there, but I plan on arranging that hopefully soon.) Wow, everyone did a fantastic job. All I had to do was hand you the keys and you took off! Great topics, great stories, great advice...all of it was, well, great! I didn't know if I would be commenting on what everyone wrote, but I know now that I should just let it all be. There is nothing I can add, and only doing so would take away from each author. Who knows what I have started, but surely some of you non-bloggers will get your own blog soon. I think it's just a matter of time.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Do you want to live forever?

Hi, Ann here. I met Tracey just a little over a year ago. I am in the campus ministry where Casey works. I have a blog of my own but I have never had the privilege of writing on someone else's except for a comment or two. I was supposed to blog on Friday, but due to my busy schedule and getting home after midnight, I thought Tracey wouldn't mind if I posted today!
So now for the topic.. why the title? Well I went to see the movie The Island last night (hints why I didn't get home til after midnight). A great and very entertaining movie, I might add. But anyway, the movie is about cloning famous people so they could live forever. But the catch is instead of cloning just their organs they clone the whole body. The clones all live in a place they call decontamination, as real people and then they use them as needed on the Island. I won't give the movie away incase you want to go see it. But what got me was that they were cloning because "American's goal is to live forever". This got me to thinking about what worldly people feel it means to live forever and what Christians feel it means to live forever. I don't know about you, but I want to live forever in heaven. I just can't imagine not believing in God or that there is a better life after this. But obviously there are people in this world that will give anything to live forever on this earth. In the movie, the clone cost 5 million dollars. WOW! The price people are willing to pay. For example, plastic surgery just to look younger. I guess my point in all this is to say, Do I want to live forever, yes! But in heaven. Just imagine if people took living in heaven with God as seriously as they do wanting to stay on earth forever or stay "looking good" forever. Man, earth would be a much nicer place! Just a few thoughts I had, enjoyed being a guest blogger even if I did my post on the wrong day.


Everything In Moderation?

This is so fun! I get to take over Tracey's blog! Heh heh heh. I feel all powerful. Okay, and totally honored that she invited me to be a guest blogger. That, and cracked up to think that she knew me well enough to know my answer would be "YES!" even though I didn't get her email in time.

I first met Tracey when we were both working at Nelson dorm, way back when. At first I thought she was this normal person, but I soon got to know her and the truth came out. :) We've had some fun times together, and she did me the honor of being my official wedding photographer! We haven't actually seen each other since May 9, 1999...sad but true. Hopefully we'll meet up at the next Lectureship...or two!

This fine Saturday, my post is going to be about one of my pet peeves that Tracey recently thought was funny. So I thought I would expound a little more on the subject. :)

For various reasons, it really irks me when people glibly say, "Everything in moderation." Yes, there are some things that we should definitely be moderate about. But think about the really important things in life for a moment.

Is Christianity moderate? Are you happy to be a moderate disciple of Jesus? What does God think about lukewarm Christians? Do you think that most of the Christians you see around you today are moderate Christians? I do, and I'm sadly but honestly including myself in that category. It really frustrates me and it is something that I am trying to change in myself. What would happen to the world if every Christian became extreme for Christ?

What about health and diet? Can you moderately consume and do things that you know are bad for you in the long term? Smoking once a week won't kill you, right? What about sodas? You sorta know those are probably horrible for you, but drinking one a day won't kill you, right? Now, if you know those things are bad for you---you researched it and chose to keep doing it anyway, that's FINE. I'm not judging you. Just don't brush it off with, "Everything in moderation" without ever learning more about it first. Take responsibility for your actions and know that your decisions will have consequences. If not tomorrow, then maybe 10 years from now.

Those are just two examples off the top of my head. Now I would like to explain something about myself. I used to be a fairly moderate person. I mean, there were a few very weird, quirky things about me, but generally I liked to try and fit in with the crowd. Over the years, I have changed. I'm not that extreme in my own eyes...but I'm aware that some things that Kevin and I have chosen to do in our lives seem way out there to most people. Things like: ministry, our diet, homeschooling, opting for a HBAC, not taking pills for birth control (hey I didn't say we don't *practise* birth control!), not allowing our kids to watch tv... Okay hold on now. If you're getting mad at me because you think I'm judging you, let me just clarify...I'm not saying that those are the right decisions, period. I'm just saying that those are the right decisions for *us* at this point in time. Obviously, the things that we are doing are not the right decisions for everybody. We're not disillusioned, I promise. We don't really think we know it all. :) I very much respect decisions that others have made for themselves.

The thing is...I honestly wonder when people live their lives by the "Everything in moderation" mantra, if maybe they're copping out. It can be an excuse to do anything they want, and not have to really think about it and take responsibility for the consequences. When in doubt, just take the middle road, right? It is so much easier to just do what everybody else is doing, and fit in with your friends and with society at large. The reason Kevin and I do such odd things, is because we have thought through, researched, prayed about and discussed many aspects of our lives. We're also constantly re-examining and changing. After all that trouble, if we end up with a decision that makes us look extreme to others, then so be it. At least we've looked at all our options instead of just settling for the norm. Trust me, it is not easy to do the things we're doing. I often want to just throw in the towel. Everything in our lives would be so much easier if we could just be like everyone else. I think about this literally every day. I only persevere because I believe that we're doing our best for our family.

If I have offended anyone with this post, I'm sorry. I promise that I don't walk around looking at everyone and judging the things people do. I'm sadly a lot more egocentric than that...I tend to obsess about what I do rather than think about what others do. I guess it just simply irks me when people say, "Everything in moderation", that's all.


Friday, July 22, 2005

Cast Conformity Behind You!

Hello, I’m Trevor, one of Tracey’s brothers. I’ve never got to blog before so I figured I would keep the content noteworthy and perhaps still brief. First of all, I’m going to suggest you read the last book I read (which was suggested by my girlfriend, Rachael), “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail” by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. It’s actually a play and I read it in two short sittings. This play demands imagination and while the goal of the play itself is far more specific, I believe there is a wealth of lessons that can be learned.

Thoreau is portrayed fictitiously, but the heart of his character is, if nothing more, very interesting. Of the many things that can be learned from this play, I would say that Thoreau’s ability to be true to self no matter what and to erase labels would be my favorites. I read this book because Rachael said I would understand her better if I did—I had never heard of it. I have known her for a few years before we started dating and after reading this play, I began to understand her life in so many better ways. Henry David Thoreau thought nothing of the expectations and labels of society. Neither does Rachael.

Being a stunningly beautiful girl, I have watched our community so often label her, or write her off as snobbish, or self-centered, among many other ridiculous things. I was her friend long before I was her boyfriend and I was there to help her through some of that. Rachael is an amazing person and nothing like society thinks or says she should be—so Thoreau. The real shame is that so many people miss seeing the limitless, undying beauty of WHO she is, rather than what they have labeled her as. Much like me, Rachael is a true non-conformist. I don’t have time to go into the details of my own non-conformity, but it is something I believe and practice daily. She makes decisions that even I have to stop and wonder for a moment why she made that decision. And I have to come to the realization that she is not living her life based on society’s expectations of her, but rather she is living true to self. Sounds stupid, but we all do it. And she is such a non-conformist that this happens all the time. But I know her enough to see how free she lives and it’s beautiful. By the way, please don’t misunderstand my use of non-conformity in this blog. If done for its own sake, it fails to be true to self. Conforming for its own sake fails the same way. Being true to self should dictate a healthy level of non-conformity—individualism. This is Rachael.

Like William Wallace told his kinsman before going into battle, “Just be yourselves.” So don’t put labels and expectations on those around you because of the way they look, where they’re from, or what circumstance they may be in and especially not on yourself! Life is short. Live free. God created us as individuals, not stamped out in a factory somewhere. To be yourself IS to be beautiful. So go be truly beautiful and God bless.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Making memories of us.

Hey all! I'm so glad that Tracey is letting us share in here blogging experience. I'm Shellie, her friend from college and a few years after. I am a country music fan and one of my favorite-no-my favorite song on the radio now is by Keith Urban called "Making Memories of Us". He sings "I'll earn your trust making memories of us", so it got me thinking about making memories and actually remembering them.

I don't live in the same town as my parents so I only get to see them about once or twice a month and many times while we are together my mom will say "We just making memories together" when we are not really doing anything spectacular. Like when we drove in one night late and instead of going to bed the girls stayed up talking for another hour or so even though we knew we'd be tired the next morning. We didn't watch a movie or go out shopping, but we just talked and laughed a lot. I don't want to forget that memory or the feeling of absolute love for my mom and my sisters.

I am slowly (very slowly) working on a scrapbook of a trip I took about 4 years ago. Since it has been 4 years and so many other things have happened since then, I have started to forget people's names and the places that we went. Thankfully I kept a journal on that trip and wrote down a few of the things that happened while I was there and I was able to journal this in my scrapbook. I also wrote down a few non-exciting but funny moments during that trip. I reread through it so I could get names and places and came across the funny stories that I had forgotten about and I laughed again. I would have never remembered if I had not written it down. It made me laugh then and it made me laugh a few weeks ago. It's like recycled joy!

I think that is why I really like the blog concept. It much easier for me to sit at the computer and write something than it is for me to actually write it with a pen and paper. And you can write about non-earth-shattering things too- like your addiction to coffee (so Tracey did you kick the habit or am I going to find receipts for a vanilla latte in the Egg next time I come down?). There was one thing that my Intro to Business professor said that really stuck: If something is important, write it down, your head is not big enough to remember it all. So even if you don't have a blog, write things down. Write down the good stuff-and the bad stuff (if you learned from it) and years down the road you may get a chuckle from remembering your memories!


If you're hoppy and you know it...

Greetings, Tracey's loyal readers. I am usually among you, but today I address you. You may have seen my name (and noticed it, for it is unusual) in some of her posts and in many of her comments. I'm Sally-Anne, a former coworker of Tracey's and erstwhile Monday matinee companion.

While I always appreciate Tracey's insights and random musings, one thing in particular she said once struck me today. I paraphrase, but she said that sometimes the harder life gets -- the more "heavy" things she has to deal with -- the lighter/more frivolous her posts get. Currently I am enduring serious family illnesses, a wreck of a love life, financial woes and a huge unstudied-for exam coming up in the next week that is going to kick my tooshie, so I have chosen as my guest-post topic: bugs.

I am a pretty strong, independent person, but I CANNOT ABIDE INSECTS and turn into a squealing ninny around them. When I took my cat, Mr. Kitty (whom Tracey had the unfortunate experience of meeting only once when she [Mr. Kitty -- yes, she is a female] was at her worst), into my home, I did so with the strict caveat that she would be responsible for bug-killing. Or at least, bug-maiming such that I could finish the job without fear said bug would jump or crawl all over me. I know bugs are God's creatures, and it is perhaps ironic that I am so extreme an animal lover that I'm a vegetarian/near-vegan and non-leather-purchaser yet I slaughter insects by any means necessary, but there you have it.

This time of year where I live, I am plagued (admitted hyperbole -- I see maybe two or three a week) by what I call "hoppy bugs." I guess they're some sort of grasshopper, but I had never seen these before until moving to this area a little over a year ago. Mr. Kitty likes to bop them when they're moving around, but if they stand still, as they tend to do when they know that either I or Mr. Kitty is hovering, Mr. Kitty loses interest. One of these hoppy bugs was the reason I was late to work this morning. I threw heavy books at it but missed, and it hopped around but remained alive and in my way such that I could not get ready and out the door in an expedient manner. Mr. Kitty, growing ever more lax about her ONE JOB AROUND THE HOUSE, just sat.

A rather disappointing coda to this story is that this morning's hoppy bug hopped somewhere I couldn't see him, so he is still around. If I go home tonight to find him belly-up, Mr. Kitty will get a treat. More likely, I'll just encounter him again sometime soon and go through the whole squealing/object-throwing-and-missing routine anew.

Whew! Sorry I went on so long in my guest-blogging debut, but I feel better having shared this admittedly trivial yet personally haunting experience.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Simply charming!


I am Tracey's mom. I've never blogged before so I'm a little nervous, but at the same time, feel honored to be a guest blogger today. I have no idea if Trace has shared this story, but it's a funny one, and we have laughed about it over and over when looking back. Years ago, she gave me a little gold drill and a charm that I wore in my nail. It was the fashion then and really cute. The little drill would make a neat hole in the nail and you just slipped the charm in and it hung there, off your finger, for everyone to see and comment on. One morning, I got ready for work, and noticed the charm had gone. I rushed into Trace's bedroom, and shouted her name in a frantic voice. She sat up out of a dead sleep with a glazed look in her eyes. I said, "Trace, I've lost my charm!" She looked at me and fell back down again. Only when I got to work, did I realize how crazy that statement must have sounded to her. I think I really had lost my charm at that moment. And I never got it back. I just wanted to say a few words about Trace. She is a beautiful young Christian woman, with great faith. I am so proud to be her mom and feel so blessed to have her as a daughter. Thanks for letting me share.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

This is going to be fun!

I am excited to announce that, although I will be taking a break from blogging for a few days, there will be some guest bloggers in my place! I am so excited to see what they have to share, and I am sure that you will all enjoy this little change of pace. A few of my guests already have their own blogs, but some are making their debut blogging appearance. Have lots of fun and I look forward to the great thoughts and stories to be shared!

War of the goosebumps is more like it!!

We saw War of the Worlds last night with some friends. Wow, never realized how popular the theater could be in a small town on a Monday night! But the line, people, was the longest theater line I've seen in quite some time. I never got to ask Dave about this, but the guy next to him in line was like, the official spokesperson for the Dukes of Hazzard. Okay, maybe not, but he sure could have been from the amount of knowledge he had on the show. And I thought I carried around lots of useless trivia in my head! Also, thank you kind sir, whoever you are, for sharing your less-than-pleasant delight in the fact that Jessica Simpson is playing Daisy Duke. Really...didn't need to know. And yes, we are all aware of the outfit she wears. You do not have to show us how short her shorts are. Go. Away. If that wasn't enough, the guy and his kid brother, or whoever that was with him, cut in line in front of Dave! Ooh, such a pet peeve of mine (I have waaaaay too many).

So, back to the movie. Why do they have to make movie theaters so cold? Are they afraid we're going to fall asleep in there? Because really, it is my money and if I want to take a nap I think I have that right. I should have brought my little sweater thingy like I had planned, but of course I forgot. I spent the whole time trying to get Casey to snuggle ever closer to me and keep me at least lukewarm. If you haven't seen War of the Worlds, I really have no idea if you'll like it. You'll just have to see it to find out. I liked it, enjoyed the intensity of it all and the special effects for sure. I am thinking that I would love to read the book now, and will possibly add it to my
book box very soon. Which reminds me, Sarah, that I am supposed to send my list to you! Soon as I can haul the iMac out of the garage I'll do just that.

Now, anyone who wants to, feel free to share your own War of the Worlds experience with me!

Monday, July 18, 2005 cake

First of all, a big thanks to Sarah and Ann for getting the ball rolling on my portrait request (read my 'Looking for a Few Willing Faces' post). I did a little more self-portraiture this weekend, but it's tough capturing the expressions that I want when it's my old mug I'm looking at. I had some okay stuff, but in the end I was just making silly faces at the camera out of boredom, I suppose.

Saturday was a wonderful day, being that it was John and Brandi's wedding day. Ah, love. So wonderful. Oh, and did I mention that it was Casey's first time to perform a wedding ceremony? He did very well, no slip-ups at all! I'm sure he experienced a bit of nervousness, but he hides it well. Last night I looked over the pictures I had taken at the rehearsal, wedding and reception (and yes, Brigitte, I still like the doorknob shot!) and was amazed at how many pictures I actually took. I think it was close to 300. Yeah, and I was not even the official photographer! I'm sure some people were wondering 'what in the world is that woman doing taking so many pictures,' but really, the camera had a mind of its own. I just let it tell me where to go and then I push the little button. It was fun capturing different expressions from the bride (she'll laugh about it later), and one of my favorites was getting a picture of about five or six family members behind the wedding photographer holding up their own cameras as the couple cut the cake. Priceless.

Happy Monday to all!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Friday's Feast

This is something I will try to do every Friday. It looks like lots of fun (you can do it too!) and it helps bloggers get to know one another better.

Feast Fifty-Five / Friday, July 15, 2005


What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?

My middle name is Denyse (ask me again and I'll tell you the same). The interesting thing about it -- and this ties into the second question and I guess will go ahead and cover the third -- is that I was not given a middle name when I was born. But because both of my brothers were, and then my sister acquired one when we became naturalized citizens (you have to be at least eighteen; I was thirteen) I just had to have one. Almost six months to the day after I turned eighteen, my dad took me to the local courthouse where I went before a judge and represented myself in order to officially get this middle name. He asked me if I'd been convicted of a felony or if I owed someone money, and of course I said no. Then he made a statement like, "I hereby declare that your name will be..." and said my whole name, with the Denyse in there. He stamped it, signed it, sealed it with a kiss -- no wait, not that last part -- and $140 later I had a middle name! Now, in case you're wondering, you can pretty much call yourself any name you want. I could have just said my name was Tracey Denyse, but I wanted it official. I wanted it on licenses and documents. People ask why I didn't pick a more unique name since I could pick anything. It really came down to the fact that, when I was thirteen and we didn't yet know the naturalization rule about being at least eighteen to change your name, I had pored over a big book -- I think it was a Who's Who, actually! -- and found Denise. I thought it flowed very well with my first name. But when it came time to really make it official, I thought I'd change the i to a y just to give it that little touch of uniqueness. I thought the y looked prettier for some reason. I still like it.


If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?

Oh, this one won't be good. I don't think I'm that great at fashion, really. I always seem to be drawn to rayon dresses, though. Don't know why. This past year I have started to break out of my browns and blacks and wear a little color (Casey remarked one day, "I like you in color!"). Now I love pinks most of all, but I like dark blues and rich greens. And I love white t-shirts. Yes, there it is! If I was a designer, everything would be made with white t-shirts. Told you I wasn't good at this.


What is your least favorite chore, and why?

Going grocery shopping. I whine and complain about it almost every time, while Casey isn't bothered by it much at all. I think I don't like it because I tend to look at things all at one time instead of in little pieces (like I should), and so all I can see is this huge monstrous thing that we have to do that involves printing out the list (we keep a master list on the computer -- thanks
Shellie!), then getting the stuff, then packing it into the car, then unloading the car, then...putting it all away. Now let me say at this point that I know I should not be complaining about this. I am merely answering the question. The fact that we have money to buy food is something I am very grateful for, because so many can't say they have that. Just wanted to add that in before people start throwing things at me!

Main Course

What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?

Ha! My brother and I just had an e-conversation about this the other day! I am very easily frightened by a sudden scare, like someone jumping out from behind something, even if it's just for fun. I warned Casey very early on to never scare me. One time he accidentally scared me and I started crying! I know, that seems strange, but that was my reaction. And I don't cry very easily either. Anyway, it all kind of goes back to my brother and his fondness for, well, jumping out and scaring me. I think he even used to jump off the fridge and onto our older brother and sister when he was smaller. He liked to climb up high and jump off of he skydives. The scaring was so frequent, and shook me quite a bit I guess, that even in high school I would ask my mom to go upstairs ahead of me so that when I went up there he wouldn't be waiting to scare me. And let me point out -- and he and I talked about this -- that he wasn't doing this in a malicious way at all. My brother is such a fun-loving person that to him this was just a lot of fun. He just didn't know that it wasn't my kind of fun. I look at it now and laugh, and I probably laughed a bit then, but it was just that initial jolt of fright that I got which I did not want to experience.


Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.

I have two desks: the regular desk and the computer desk. I'm at the computer desk right now -- okay, always. I see my trusty silver travel mug, my checkbook and two notepad doodles taped above my desk given to me by my nieces last year. One says, "Ant Trasey."

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Looking for a few willing faces

You would think I would bring this up on my photoblog, but since I try to make that a minimal wordage space, I thought I would mention it here instead. Something I really enjoy about photography is taking portraits. I guess it's hard to tell that from looking at Leaning Tripod, but it's true! I used to take more of them, and was so proud when I took pictures of a friend who was very critical of herself, and she loved the way her picture turned out. I like to photographically bring things out in people that they like about themselves. The problem is, most people are not going to just come up to me and say, "Hey -- wanna take a picture of me?" So you can see the dilemma. Can I call it a 'dilemma'? Anyway, the point is, I am asking those that live near me (or those I'll be seeing in the near future) to consider being a subject for this new project of mine. I am not looking to take smiley-face portraits, although smiling is not completely off-limits. And I won't take a lot of your time, either. But keep in mind that these will possibly -- well, most likely -- be posted on my photoblog. If you and a friend, or you and a parent, or some other combination of people, want to have your picture together instead of alone, that is fine as well. It will be a fun experience, and maybe it will make you famous! (Okay, probably not, but just consider it anyway.) Thanks!

Why Thursday? and introducing 'Post of the Week'

When it gets to the end of the work week, it starts getting more difficult to come up with something to post about. Maybe that's not it, but I'm going with that for now anyway. That being said, I have decided to (for now) post a link every Thursday to my favorite blog post from the past week. Well, I won't say 'favorite' really, because I liked so many of them, but just the one that most caught my eye and made me want to share it with others who may miss it otherwise!

Today's 'Post of the Week' comes from
Holy Experience. I think it's her style of writing that really gets to me, and this post brings calm to a busy week.

And to answer my own question, I am choosing Thursday instead of Friday, because tomorrow I will again be participating in
Friday's Feast. I encourage you to do the same! (Hey, this way you already know what you're post is about!)

And for those of you who were always so sure they were the nerdiest of nerds, I invite you to take the Nerd Test. I took it and was very surprised indeed. I still think I'm a nerd, just not in the same ways the test thinks so.

I am nerdier than 6% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Don't go changin'

Well, I did it once less than three days! I am working on making a more simplistic, yet muddled type of blog. I don't know. I just like experimenting with the pretty colors! Oh, and did you notice that things are a little wider? Oooooohhhhh. I feel like I can really stretch out on my blog now. Yeah, that's nice.

Oh, and if you want to try the Doodlepad that I used to make the 'masterpiece' below, click here.

And now for something completely different


It's been a strange morning...been reading some disturbing things but won't share them here. Just some scary news things. When I am shaken up and the world seems so uncertain (and doesn't it always these days?), it is knowing that God is in control that eases my fears. We cannot put our faith in things here on earth. There is the possibility of someone -- even someone very close to you -- letting you down or hurting you, but God says, "never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). No matter what anyone in this world does to cause you bitterness and pain, and you vow never to trust another, you can trust that God will not let you down. Hopefully you will never be hurt by those close to you, but we know it happens. The good news is that God's love has the final word.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Virtual cuteness

If you haven't noticed toby, my new virtual pet over there to the right, then I don't know what to tell you. There were some super-fun virtual pets to choose from, but I had to pick this little guy and I'll tell you why (you saw that coming, didn't you?). Last July, mine and Casey's little flame-point Siamese -- Toby -- went missing. We never knew -- still don't know -- what happened. Toby was, along with Junebug, an indoor/outdoor cat. The only way those kind of cats disappear is when they have been frightened away somehow, and of course the other possibility is that he was hurt. We did search and call for him, but to no avail. I loved little Toby -- no cat was sweeter than him. Sorry Junebug, but you know it's true. He even made Junebug a nicer cat, and they would play and run around together, even clean each other and sleep next to one another. I think it would have been easier to deal with losing him had he not seemed to just vanish. I can't think about it too much because it gets me down. I was his protector, and I didn't take care of him. So now, silly as it may seem, I have this 'virtual toby', same color as the other one, and almost just as cute. Be sure to click on 'more' to let him play with his toy!

Monday, July 11, 2005

It's not easy being green -Part II-

This is it, people...the Archives and Previous Post links work once again. Obviously I had to once again do a little reworking, but I think I found something I'm okay with. Yes, I think I can accept the green. (Breathe in, breathe out...)

Family resemblances

A friend of mine sent pictures of her little boy's first birthday party. I don't know why it is, but I have always been fascinated with looking at family resemblances, and I will study faces to see who looks like who -- doesn't matter whose family it is . It seems harder to tell when a child is young, and you think they look like one parent until they get older and suddenly resemble the other! Maybe I like to wonder what my own children will look like, and before I knew who I was marrying that was obviously a bit harder to imagine. But I look at mine and Casey's baby photos and think, "If we are blessed with children, who will they look like?" And you just never know. For example, my three siblings and I don't seem (in my mind, anyway) to strongly resemble either of our parents. I think we have decided that one brother looks like my mom's side of the family, while the other three of us look like my dad's side. My sister and I have come to look more alike as I got into my later 20's, but my brother and I looked more alike when we were younger. Now Casey, on the other hand, looks so much like his father that people have approached his dad and asked, "Are you Casey's dad?" It's like I'm looking 30 years into the future when I see my father-in-law. This is somewhat of a debate though, because my mother-in-law says that Casey looks more like her -- and I can see some resemblances -- but if you had to pick this father and son out in a room full of people, I would guess you'd only take a few seconds. What I may find even more fascinating are the mannerisms that are similar in families. I don't pay a whole lot of attention to my own, so I was surprised to learn from Casey that everyone in my family stands up to tell a story...and this is usually at the dinner table. I have noticed one of my brothers using lots of the same mannerisms and expressions as my dad, and I have heard myself sounding just like my mom at times. The first time I met Casey's parents, we went out to eat and Casey and his dad sat across from each other and were both sitting forward with their hands positioned the same way. Why does this fascinate me so?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Friday's Feast

This is something I will try to do every Friday. It looks like lots of fun (you can do it too!) and it helps bloggers get to know one another better. I'm using last week's "Feast" because there wasn't one today. That said, here we go!

Feast Fifty-Four / Friday, July 01, 2005


Where do you plan to go on vacation this year, or where would you want to go?

Casey knows that I would love to go to Hawaii, or back to Disney World, someday...but we will be heading to St. Louis for our vacation. It's where we went last year, and we enjoyed it, so we figured we'd do it again! We'll be seeing a Cardinals game, going to Six Flags/Hurricane Harbor, and visiting the penguins (our favorite) at the zoo. Oh, and this is sort of a belated anniversary vacation. We're trying to take one each year, but it's usually harder to get away on the actual anniversary.


What color is your bedroom? If you could redecorate it, what would you change?

We've painted the walls a color called 'Pristine Porcelain' and the trim and baseboards are white. I don't think we'll be changing it for quite some time, since it's only been on there for just over a month!


Do you have a bumper sticker on your vehicle? What does it say?

Hmm...don't think we have any bumper stickers.

Main Course

What's the worst pain you've ever been in?

I have to say that I've experienced quite a bit of physical pain in the last few years, but I will have to go with the time I was hospitalized in 2001. Basically all of my organs were inflamed, but my gallbladder was the worst. That is a crippling kind of pain that I never want to experience again!

Edited to add: Casey asked if my emotional pain had not been worse, and I have to say that I've had emotional pain that has far outweighed this physical pain. I suppose I didn't talk about it because I would be getting mighty personal with my fellow bloggers, and maybe there are better places and times to discuss such things.


Who is your favorite celebrity? What do they do that inspires you?

Most people know that I am a big fan of Sting. I will have to be sort of superficial about the inspiration part because I am not truly inspired by someone who does not follow Jesus. But I do like the fact that Sting's lyrics can have so many meanings, and I enjoy the way he weaves those and the melodies all together.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

a BANG! of a holiday

Yesterday my parents celebrated 37 years of marriage. Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! We had a really nice holiday weekend, what with family coming to visit our new house for the first time. We got to see not only the city fireworks (sponsored by the fire department, no less) we also got to go home and put on our own fireworks display. We had so much fun we did it again the following night! I must admit I got a little carried away buying fireworks. I was like a little kid all over again. I think all I'd ever done was light those little black cat things, plus the 'snakes' that grow. But these, these fireworks were such fun, and I and my nephew would take turns lighting the fuse and then we would run back up the driveway as fast as we could! So, lots of fun was had this Fourth of July. But before our visitors arrived, we were up until 1:30 that morning, pulling down bathroom wallpaper and priming the walls. I was able to put out all of my cute little bath coordinates, so now the only thing left is to actually paint a color on the walls...and then go through the whole process with our bathroom. Oh boy. I really wish I could think of more to say today, but I have so many, many things on my mind that I am finding it hard to muddle through it all. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thursday and that the soon-to-be weekend is shining a little light of hope in your hearts!
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