Monday, March 31, 2008

Tootin' My Horn

The Sonday Four, the Southern Gospel group which performed at my dad's memorial service were on the program to open the service this past Sunday. I asked them to drop by the cafe (where Be & I lead the worship) to do a song there for those in attendance. Turned out that the baritone had to leave before being able to do the cafe service, so the other 3 guys said they'd come and do it as a trio. I said that I knew a baritone who could fill in if they had the printed music available. They looked kind of puzzled until I pointed to myself and said "Let's give it a try!" They broke out the chart and I read it pretty much note for note. They all agreed that I should sing it with them for the service. It was a real jazzer to sing Southern Gospel for the first time with a group who had been doing it for many, many years.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

No Peeking

We havn't been out here in blogdom much this past week ....... Joanna Mei's room is almost finished ....... we'll post the pictures soon.
During the preparation, Don bought a ceiling lamp which he began installing. Realizing that there were parts missing from the original packaging, he decided to go back to the store and finish the job, stopping by the breaker box and turing the breaker to her room back on. No response. Dead! So, we were without electricity in that part of the house until we discovered that 2 wires (in the ceiling fixture) were not touching, causing a break in the circuit - kind of like thise 2 dollar Christmas lights ...... when one bulb burns out, the others are inoperable. What rocket scientist did the wiring in this house? ....... Pictures soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Lord's Prayer

The Next American Idol

Monday, March 24, 2008

24 - The New Series

24 months ago today, we learned that our pile of papers had been put on a shelf somewhere in the CCAA offices. Our referral for Joanna Mei came last month, but we still wait, the process taking on a whole new urgency since we now have a face connected with a name. If you would like to join us on this next phase of our journey, we welcome you to come along. Check out for the latest. Please e-mail us at and we'll send along an invite to this 'closed' blog.
Don & Be

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Pancakes, Good Friends, DeLeon Springs & Other Things"

In the midst of a smorgasbord of paper chasing, notorizing, composing of acceptance letters and agency document approvals for Joanna Mei's adoption, we packed in as much as we could over the weekend - because on Monday, the whole thing would start again.

Starting Friday afternoon - we met with Sallie, our SW, to review facts and figures about us on paper and attended to the preparation of another batch of documents to be forwarded to the agency home office in Michigan (while on the phone with one of the reps there, I asked if we should send along a snow shovel to help expedite the delivery - she didn't think it was as funny as I did.) ------ Next stop ------ Target. Several friends are talking about doing the baby shower, so we registered and did a bit of shopping for Joanna Mei. Next - Our Friday night bible study meets every other week, and we all share dinner together, fellowship and look into the Word. It's one of our favorite items on the calendar.

Saturday found us bright and early at DeLeon Springs State Park, about 75 minutes away. We were meeting Ford & Aly, our friends whom we met out in Blogdom. We have several other entries about our encounters and how our adoption stories parallel each other. We have become great friends through the journey, so for newcomers, click here and here and here for some other items about our adventure in adoption.

Ford, Aly, Be & Don (seriously attending to the pancakes)
Breakfast at a waterside table at the Sugarmill Grill @ DeLeon Springs State Park.
Cook your own pancakes on the grill at your table. What a hoot!

Old Guys Rock!

Springside with the Sugarmill in background.

Gifts for Joanna from Aly & Ford.
Ladybug slippers, Stacking Cups, Hallmark Christmas tree ornament and books.
Love the book that teaches numbers, shapes, letters etc through the use of bible images.
Way cool!

Bistro Diva
The "Dog Above All Other Dogs" poses in her dining area, tastefully decorated with
water cooler, fine art doggie phography (a bit too much glare in this shot)
ceramic name plate and dinner bell - yes, she rings the bell when she's hungry.
We call it "Reverse Pavlovian".

The house Diva displays her name plate, a gift from Aly & Ford.

The weekend continues ......

IKEA comes to Orlando -
'Bout the time we moseyed back toward the homestead, it was time for more vittles.
Since we wanted to put together the room for Joanna Mei, we dropped in at IKEA, headed to the cafeteria (11 bucks covered us both for a veggie wrap, glazed salmon and exotic Scandanavian beverage) then headed around the corner to the kids department. The place was more crowded than an airport waiting area during spring break. We were able to find what we wanted, but decided that Don would return on Monday due to the long lines.
We'll post the final product as things progress.
A quick walk in the park with the Diva dog and then off to the home of friends for a chicken barbeque. So much for Weight Watchers, Don.

Sunday morning ..... singing in our choir has been a spiritually & musically enriching voyage for us. Sunday's service menu included a tune called "Gloria" which was moving while being theologically and spiritually sound. The crankin' band and the hearts of the singers contributed to an incredibly uplifting event which we will treasure for a long time to come. Hope we get to do it again. Second service - "Common Grounds Cafe" - an 'unplugged' venue where we lead the music. We are still in the dress rehearsal phase and we had some technical difficulties which gave us a 'heads up' to what could happen when we are in the midst of 'the real thing'.
An afternoon ride on the West Orange Bike Trail (8 miles towing an 85 pound canine in a 15 pound trailer) helped work off the Saturday 'pig out'. Which reminds me, Jeff and Kathy called and treated us to a 'referral celebration dinner' later that evening which capped off our jammed packed but totally enjoyable weekend.

.....just one last shot of the Diva.
The little stuffed dog is an IKEA find.
Be painted the eyebrow on the toy and we'll send it over to Joanna Mei to prepare her
for the gentle giant which will become a part of her home in a few months.

Diaper Rocker

Hey Jude in diapers....

The Big Reveal

Check out "Joanna Mei, Bebe & HomeDaddy -or - Tales from the Cryb" for a look at the day we were united in our hearts with Joanna Mei.

Drop us an e-mail for an invite to this blog.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Paper Chase ..... Again ......

Be & our SW, Sallie, crossing Ts and dotting Is on a
new round of referral paperwork.

Joanna Mei's referral has brought a new round of paperwork into the mix, so we've become Drive-By Bloggers for the last week or so. We just may have the need for a live-in notary. We'll have news of a jam packed weekend coming up later in the week. Our agency is participating in CCAA's new computer processing system, so that could be good or bad, depending on one's computer proficiency, as data must still be input from paper. Supposedly, it'll be quicker as it leaves out the step of hiring a translator. We'll see .....
We'll try to update soon ....... Don & Be

Friday, March 07, 2008

Win a Beautiful Oriental Wine Bottle Jacket

To celebrate (I use that term loosely) our 24 month LIDiversary, we are giving away the wine bottle jacket pictured. Made of totally natural 100% polyester, the jacket, in heather green is delicately accented with 2 small bows in burnt gold (the color, not the precious metal) and is in the shape of a traditional Oriental 'happy coat'.

The drawing will take place on March 24, our 24 month LIDiversary. Don may even put on some pants for the event.

To win this finely crafted piece, go over to The Other Blog - Content: Questionable and scroll down to the contest item. Hit the comment blob and leave a comment indicating you'd like to be included in the drawing - we'll put names in a hat (well, probably a mixing bowl) and contact the winner by e-mail for their mailing address. While you're at The Other Blog, enjoy the pics of Paris & vicinity and St. Augustine.

FYI - wine and Diva not included.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What I Also Did for Love - Part 1

Don here .......

One morning, while recovering from my foot surgery, I arose before the sun came up and lummoxed into the bathroom. Closing the door ever so gently so as not to awaken my Sleeping BEauty, I turned on the light and beheld a most gastly sight staring back at me in the mirror. I thought "What happened to me? Did I look like this yesterday? I look like I've been exhumed! I'm in a state of total disrepair! Argh!"

As the first glimmer of sunlight pierced the darkness of my odd sanctuary, I began to realize that I gotta start doin' somethin' about this. I would not want Joanna Mei to see this appalling visage entering her room to 'soothe' her as she is awakened by a bad dream.

With a little one coming in the very near future, I had to get my zippadeedoodah (is that the correct spelling, Catherine?) going again. Shortly after Christmas, I challenged the limits of our 250 lb bathroom scale - the springs groaned and the numbers bounced around left to right and landed on 249. Oy! I'm carting around a lot of baggage which is quite unnecessary not to say detrimental to myself and my family.

So, the walks in Shadow Bay Park have increased in their intensity and duration to the point where Diva is saying "Could you slow it down, Boss?" I'm wearing hiking boots to add to the resistance and using the primitive (sand) trails instead of the paved ones, and today - we add ankle weights.

Last Thursday, I took a big embarassing step in humility and ------- I joined Weight Watchers. My head was sweating as I stood in line as one full figured woman after another stepped on the scales during their weigh-in - I heard the voices in my head - "The door is ONLY 8 feet away. Maybe they won't see me if I bolt. Won't happen. I'm the only guy here. Are there any guys inside? Are the chairs in there reinforced?" "Next!" It was the woman with the high hair and multiple plastic surgeries. I stood frozen. "Next!" - "Hi. I'm new here." She looked at me as if to say "Like I couldn't figure that one out, Jaba." After 10 minutes of waiting in line and claiming victory over my deodorant, she pointed to some clipboards sitting on a radiator (I do believe it was the first radiator I had seen since moving to Florida) and barked "Fill out one of those." "Do I have to stand on line again when I'm finished?" "No. Just come back to me." "Oh, joy. Oh, rapture" I thought to myself as I hung my head and walked over past the line of ladies to the radiator.

After filling out the registration form (hate those things), I slinked back over to Fraulein Nazi Lady and fished out my credit card while she wrote out my weekly pass and mercilessly slammed a rubber stamp on some documents, totally missing one of them and leaving the imprint on the face of the folding table. "Step on the scale ....... 243" she announced to the room. Beads of salty sweat now stung my eyes. I looked at her and the image became distorted as if I was looking at her through a fish-eye lens. Her voice now slowed down and began taking on the characteristics of the demon voice in the movie "Ghost". "Somebody help me! I'm in a real life horror movie!" The woman with the pulled back face finished her 'Dance of the Rubber Stamp' and made the proclamation "There. You're finished. Welcome to Weight Watchers. You're going to have a lot of women mad at you. Men lose weight a lot faster than women." As she tried to smile while handing me my 'packet', her surgeries relocated her eyes to the back of her neck. I walked over to the door. "Oh, Mr Don, that door goes out to the parking lot." Time stopped as I took in the icy stares of the ladies in the room. "Yes. I know. I'll just go out here for a while and thaw out."

To be continued .........

Monday, March 03, 2008

Joanna Mei's wardrobe

Be here..... Almost 2 years ago our friend, Mary , gave us a box of neatly folded baby/toddler clothes that her daughter had worn some 10 years ago when she was little. I (Be) looked in the box and thought the clothes were beautiful and well kept. Then I put them on the top shelf of Joanna's closet. It wasn't until Saturday night (after the yard sale) that I took all the clothes out, washed them, and hung them up. What a great start to Joanna's wardrobe! There are sizes from 12 mos to 4T. Thank you Mary. We can't wait to see Joanna in these little outfits.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

What I Did for Love

Don here......

The 6 AM alarm sounded - it's still dark as pitch and I'm getting out of my warm bed to go out into the frigid 65 degree Central Florida weather - before the sun even comes up, before the birds sing and even before the early yard sale schmoozers appear from out of the darkness like characters from "Night of the Living Dead". Yes blogsters - we had a yard sale today, and had I known that it was going to be such work, I would have donated the crap and taken a tax deduction.

All week, I'm going through the house looking for 'cramique' that I slap a price tag on and send it off with a happy, snappy bargain hunter to take it's place and gather dust in someone else's domain. We sold old soap and half used bottles of cologne that could burn nose hairs. We sold a miniature dried up old cactus barely clinging to life. We sold a spindly, wobbly old table incapable of supporting the weight of anything but a few magazines. We sold remote controls without accompanying electronic devices. We sold the gnarliest sofa you've ever seen, delicately accented with white dog hair woven into the fabric (thank you Diva). I gotta tell you the story on this one - I told Be "I'll sell it for 10 bucks if it comes down to it, I just want to get rid of it. But first I want to have some fun with it." So, after making a computer generated sign saying $75, I took a sharpie, X'd through the price and wrote "Make An Offer". Some guy comes along and lit up when he saw the soft - "That'll fit in great with my decor!" I'm thinking "What decor? - Nouveau Hair du Doggie?" So, he says "Will you take $50 for it?" ------ "Well, buddy, you're makin' me bleed here, but since you're a neighbor - SOLD!" He was happy as a clam! Anyone know where that expression came from?
I told the bargain hunters that proceeds were going to our adoption fund for Joanna Mei. One gal got tears in her eyes at the story and one guy gave me a few bucks extra when I sold him a couple of the ugliest bromeliads you've ever seen. He saw beauty in that which I apparently did not. I also offered to deliver bigger items for a donation to the adoption fund. One gal gave 10 bucks for delivery of bookshelves costing her the same amount. At closing time, I had 1 load in the back of my Ford Ranger pickup and was on the way to the Salvation Army with the leftovers.
Neighbors helped us out with the loan of tables and signs and after expenses, we netted $350 (about 1/3 of the SN child adoption fee) and met some neighbors who we did not know in the process. A lot of work and a pleasant experience that I'm ready to do again ----- 20 years from now when I can't move in our house with too much 'stuff' accumulated.