Tag Archives: encyclopedia of me

Z is for…

suspenders 002‘z’ is for zoo… and the San Diego Zoo is my favorite thus far. 

‘z’ is for zany… which describes my child.  I do not understand where she gets this.

‘z’ is for Zack… as in Morris, who shaped my views of high school in Saved by the Bell

‘z’ is for zebras… which are, believe it or not, black with white stripes.  Mystery solved.

‘z’ is for Zoe (also a Morris but did not marry Zack… she married Erik like we all knew she would) one of the most beautiful girls I know.

And, thus ends the Encyclopedia of Katie.  I wish it all ended with more of a bang, but I do not control the order of the alphabet.  Thanks for following along these past 6 months.  Hokey Toot, that’s a long time!  You deserve a medal.  I’m getting us all medals. 

I think it’s time for another contest… or group-participation game like the cookbook.  Any ideas?  Please submit them in writing with your name and homeroom teacher printed neatly in the upper right-hand corner of your paper.  Thank you.

See you Thursday 🙂


Y is for…

‘y’ is for yelling… which is what I did for a good 7 minutes before I was rescued from the chicken coop last week.  I am prone to Incidents of Random-ness.  Most, fortunately, are humorous.  Last Saturday, my husband woke up sad and cranky from a restless night’s sleep.  I offered to make him some farm-fresh scrambled eggs.  I got myself up, I got Rylie up, I fed the two year-old, I made the eggs… all with love.  Personally, I wanted dippy eggs (which mean sunny-side-up here?), and only had 1 egg left.  I announce, “Family,  I am going to the coop to get an egg.”  I receive affirmative nods and grunts of understanding. 

coop 005

Usually when I grab eggs, I prop the door open.  This time I just ran in, grabbed an egg, and ran… into a closed door.  The red bar had slammed down behind me.  So… I thought for a moment.  And, then I laughed.  And, then I started yelling.  But, nothing.  I mean, the coop is 50 feet away from our back door.  Hello.  The girls inside were clucking at me… grumbling about me ruining their morning.  I kept yelling and yelling… but nothing.  I took a break.  I sat down on a feed barrel.  I swept the floor.  I considered popping out the wire window screen.  I started yelling again.  FINALLY, a head peeked out of the door.  “What?”  it yelled back.  Are you freaking kidding me?  “Come let me out!  I’m stuck in the coop!”  “Oh,” he said.  Oh.  That’s all I got.  Oh.  I noticed as I re-entered the house that everyone’s plate was scraped clean and my family was sufficiently full.  Go ahead.  Take your time.  Enjoy yourself.  I’M JUST STUCK IN CHICKEN POO, is all.  *sigh*

Copy of today 009‘y’ is for yellow… which is the color Cousin Ellie was in charge of on the Day of Painting.  The plan here is to paint a large piece of plywood and then cut out flowers and a chicken to decorate the side of the coop.  Unfortunately, it’s been raining for 15 days straight, so there has been little progress save the painting and the fencing.  I have high hopes for this week. The girls like their fencing, though.  They feel fancy. I can tell.

‘y’ is for more yelling… which I what I did for a good 1/2 hour last Sunday.  The Boy was gone (of course), and Ry and I were headed to church.  I went to lock the back door and noticed that Skeeter, Joey, and Scout were munching on the leftovers from the garden.  “So cute,” I thought.  And then I yelled.  I yelled like Doc did in Back to the Future when the car rolled off the model and caught the pile of rags on fire.  The cows had broken out of their fence.  The cows were not contained.  I was alone with a two year-old in a white church coat.  Awesome.  I may have cussed.  Knowing everyone else on my street had headed to early-church like the good country folk that they are, I realized I would have zero help.  Awesome. 

I tricked the youngest with some feed, but the two bigger boys knew they were up to something good and gave me a good fight.  At one point, I thought the Subaru was going to need a new windshield as Skeeter went full-blast at the car.  He veered, thank goodness.  He’s tricky. Ry did her best to keep up, running back and forth… generally making things worse, but what can you do?  I can’t explain how it happened, but I chased/waved/yelled/walked all three boys back into their pasture.  I locked the gates and double checked them. I gave them a stern warning. 

Then I grabbed Rylie and we went to the bakery for donuts.  You just never know what’s going to happen out here, Folks.  I’m just as surprised as you are half the time 🙂

hoodyTalk to you Thursday.

PS: You have until Wednesday night to order a sweatshirt… I’ll be calling in the numbers first thing Thursday morning.  Designs will be on the front only, and our price is $25.  Pick heads or tails.  If you’ve already contacted me, thank you!  I’ll be emailing you as soon as I have our final price.  I demand that all of you take pictures in your hoodies… we’ll make a flickr photo gallery.  AND, we’ll be awesome.   

X is for…

This letter is going to assume a little creative license 🙂

‘x’ is for xerox… but more specifically, dittos.  Does anyone remember dittos?  The blue/purple copies we used to get in second grade before laser printers?  As a teacher’s kid, I spent innumerable hours in the hallways after school.  I was probably the youngest person hooked on Guiding Light.  I also ran almost every copy for every teacher in Erlangen Elementary from 1985-1989.  Teachers would pay me to run their homework assignments for the week.  After that, I would reorganize their file cabinets and art closets.  After Guiding Light, of course. To this day, I think that attention and responsibility kept me out of the gangs.

for mulder2‘x’ is for xhilaration… or, the Target staple for clothing.  This is leading me to Target, which I graced Saturday afternoon on my indirect way to Sonic.  Rylie found this newborn outfit and fell in love.  She hugged it, she kissed it, she laid down on the floor with it.  She desperately wanted it.  Not for her, but for the baby.  It’s not what I would have picked, but few fantastic things in my life are what I originally thought I was wishing for.   Wouldn’t you agree?

‘x’ is for x-ray… and I have many in my charts.  Yours truly has a 23° curve in-between her shoulders.  Probably more, now that it’s been 15 years and I still have awful posture habits.  It was impossible to brace without body-casting me, so I live with minor headaches, right shoulder pain, and (most troubling for a teenager) a right collarbone that sticks out a bit.  I know this next statement ranks up there with the Art Prize debate, HealthCare Reform, and Private Education, but I’m going to say it anyway: I like chiropractors.  I like good chiropractors.  There are some quacks out there, for sure, but I have been fortunate to know some amazing doctors, and I am a fan.

Happy Monday, Folks!

Thursday:  Sweatshirt, Chicken Coops, and Cows.  Specifically, cows that break out of their pens on a Sunday morning when husbands are out-of-town and you are dressed in church clothes and your child’s hair is not done.  That’s for Thursday.

W is for…

Katie at 15.5 weeks‘w’ is for wax paper… which I wrapped all my childhood bagel and cream cheese sandwiches in for lunch.  It’s also what we stole from the kitchen drawer and ran down to the playground with to slick up the metal slide into the Slide of Death.  *sigh*  Where did all the metal slides go?

‘w’ is for Write Me A Song… the Edwin McCain song that speaks to me on about 84 levels.  ‘Write me a song.  Fill it all up with the words like brilliant and heavenly… make it sound just like me, just like the first time I love you was heard.’  His music will always remind me of Rebecca.

‘w’ is for waistline…which is quickly disappearing.   Carley mentioned I haven’t talked much about Mulder 2, and I realized she was totally right!  Fortunately, that’s because everything has been just fine.  I have moved out of the exhaustion phase (which hit me harrrrd) and on to the normal phase.  This pregnancy has been very much like Rylie… very unremarkable.  Don’t worry.  I’ll pay in delivery like last time 🙂  So, here’s my 15.5 week shot for posterity’s sake (and a sneak peak at the picket fence… can you see it?). I’m enormous. 

And, ‘w’ is for William Wilberforce… a personal champion of mine.  If you’ve never seen Amazing Grace, please do.  It’s an incredible (and true) story, it has costumes (yes, Laura), and it has one of the most profound scenes I’ve ever witnessed:  when William talks to his mentor, John Newton, in the church. It’s remarkable.  Simply remarkable.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mom!

P.P.S.  I got locked in our chicken coop yesterday.  That red bar I’m standing in front of?  It slammed down on me.  Curt and Rylie ate their breakfasts peacefully while I was stuck in the chicken coop. I shall explain more once the hurt has worn off.

V is for…

[edited to add] ‘v’ is for Van Morrison… He is the huge thing I forgot.  Lordy.  He is, perhaps, my favorite.  Though moods can swing- let’s say top 3 of all time for sure.  Wow.  Thanks, Anna, for the reminder. 

‘v’ is for Vlasic… the only kind of pickles I buy.  Random memory: in elementary school, it was a BIG. DEAL. to bring a pickle (wrapped in foil) to lunch.  And none of these spears or slices… no.  A big, huge, dill pickle.  All the kids were doing it.

‘v’ is for vegetables… which I love.  Almost all of them.  Particularly, corn and yellow squash.  Oh, and broccoli.  And green peppers.  Mmmmmmm.

‘v’ is for veritas… as in, truth.  I’m for truth.  Friends, the comments and emails you sent about last Thursday’s post… really.  So sweet.  I have printed them all out and re-wallpapered my bedroom.  Well, not really.  That’s not the truth.  I did read them all.  I think many of us (most of us) are leading parallel lives and a few us may even be married to the same person.  My life is a great life.  There are wide boundaries and lots of creativity and oodles of space.  Unfortunately, I had stretched some of those boundaries a bit far.  It was (and is) time to reign in a few things in. I think it’s important to be honest with ourselves.  Slack, yes.  Laziness, no.  Well, not all the time.

some other truths: 

  • My husband would die without peanutbutter sandwiches.
  • I had apple pie for both breakfast and lunch this Saturday.
  • I am not sorry or embarrassed about that last statement.
  • It is illegal to throw an abandoned hoop skirt into any street or on any sidewalk, under penalty of a five- dollar fine for each offense.  (An actual law in Grand Haven, Michigan.  I kid you not.)
  • This was my 1985 passport photo.  I had just turned 8.  I was wearing my very favorite purple and turquoise sweater dress. 

kate (1985)

‘V’ is a short letter 🙂 Am I missing something huge? I mean, besides my feathered wings?

Happy Monday, Everyone.  We love you here at TexasNorth!

U is for…

[The laundry post from Thursday, People.  Oh my friggin’ GARSH.  You people are amazing- and I?  I AM NOT SO ABNORMAL AS I THOUGHT.  (In this area.)  We shall discuss this at length on Thursday.]

‘u’ is for underdog… which I am always rooting for.

‘u’ is for under God…  I miss the days when the principal used to lead the whole elementary school in the pledge of allegiance before school started.

‘u’ is for underwear… which, thanks to Steph, I call ‘foundations.’    Try it.  It’s fun.  I’m having trouble with my foundations today.  That woman is wearing the wrong foundations for that sweater.  I need to buy new foundations.  It’s code, it’s polite, and it’s funny.  Can’t beat it them.

‘u’ is for understand… as in, I understand my child when she talks to me.  Many of you have asked to hear sweet Rylie talk.  Lately, she has been ‘reading’ like mad.  I used to only hear this much at one time when she was playing alone.  But lately, she has begun reading in public and on command.  This weekend, she ‘read’ all the camp signs for us.  Every one of them said the same thing, but seriously.  It just about killed me.  You can hear that she has a lot of sounds in there… but they still don’t link up into words.  Her special Preschool starts on Wednesday… we are hoping the daily practice with other kiddos and therapists will continue to push her apraxia to the background.  We’ve come a looong way in a year, believe it or not.  Until she is understood by ALL, she can read to me day and night.  I cannot get enough.

‘u’ is for underachiever… which I am.  My name is Katie, and I am a closet under achiever.  Pass the Doritos.  I began writing this post on the Sunday drive home from camping- a mess of hormonal tears and badly in need of a shower.  The letter got quite long and therapeutic in my head… and then wandered into some bizarre territory involving imaginary childhood friends and running through sprinklers.  I think I’d like to work on it a bit more.  Let’s save that ‘U’ for Thursday, shall we?  It will be good, I promise 🙂 Apple Pie, anyone?

T is for…

‘t’ is for Texas… the land of my birth and my junior high, high school, and college careers.  I love that place.  Every morning, I wake up and I sing, “This is MY country, land of my birth.  This is MY country, grandest on Earth!”  Just kidding.  But, the thought makes me laugh really hard.

‘t’ is for time… like, a watch.  I haven’t worn a watch since 1998 when I went on a college class trip to the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico for 11 days.  As a group, we decided to get rid of all time devices for the duration of the trip.  I never wore one again.  

yellow poms‘t’ is for for time… like, time-outs.  The TexasNorth Mulder family doesn’t really do time-outs as a discipline measure.  There is a step at the top of our basement stairs that is used occasionally, but this method hasn’t really come into play yet.  We do spank… but our child is interesting.  Often when spanked or hand-slapped, she stares at you for an insane moment and then starts laughing.  I hear her father (aka: King of the Little Boy Spankin’s) was exactly the same way.  So, we shall see.  Personally, I was spanked as a child… very rarely, but yes.  Of course, you can look at me sideways and I’ll cry, so any kind of punishment is effective.  What about you?  No Atari for a week?  Stand in the corner?  Wait ’til your father comes home?

‘t’ is for teacher… which I am, of sorts.  And I do so love all of you that teach in any capacity.  I love me some football, too… but dang wouldn’t it be cool to see some pro players play on a teacher’s salary for a year?  I mean, if they had a bake sale for new uniforms, I would buy some brownies!

‘t’ is for tithing… which we practice.  I love that God recognized that while all His people are equally loved and full of worth, He knew that each’s abilities would be different.  He initially asked the Israelites for 10% [Deuteronomy 14:22].  Not $10, because that may be too much or too little for some.  No, 10%.  That covers everyone.   

‘t’ is for TexasNorth… our home here in Michigan.  Mister Chris inadvertently named it for us, that clever man.  It’s perfect for us.  And, speaking of TexasNorth… I have a surprise for you on Thursday  🙂  Y’all come on back now, ya hear?

[photo: some TexasNorth flowers for you today]

S is for…

s‘s’ is for Scrabble… which I love.

‘s’ is for Sebeck… the best maiden name ever.  (Say: SEE beck)  I genetically belong to a motley crew of Bohemians known far and wide for throwing great parties, serving in every major war, and having strict ethics concerning apple chucking.

‘s’ is for sass… which my child has in abundance.  I swear, lately it seems like this kid has found another gear. I cannot keep up with her.  I spend a lot of my day shrugging. (Ry’s hat says ‘Dan’s Auto Care,’ which is her GranPap Sebeck’s day job.)

‘s’ is for straight… as in face, which I am very good at keeping.  I’m a good liar, and I have used this talent for both good and evil.  Now that I’m all grown up, it’s almost always used for humor’s sake.  Almost.

jumper‘s’ is for sewing… which I have jumped back into after a ridiculous hiatus.  Becky, I swear I haven’t forgotten you or sweet Ellen.  Please see above ‘s is for sass’.  But, I’m back.  Here: Ry’s school jumper WITH FACING, People.  With. Facing.  (That’s the green polka dots on the inside.) Because I can be a rock star when I wanna be.

‘s’ is for Stephaniea bff as long as Janna (they come from the same hometown), my maid of honor, my friend who sings Christmas carols all blasted year long, LoLo’s sister, my European travel buddy, and my host in S-is-for-Spain.  She’s as good as they come.  Also, her son is going to marry Rylie.

‘s is for simple… our motto here at TexasNorth.  Simple does not imply easy.  In fact, nowadays simple often requires a bit more effort than the advances of the day offer us.  Or, it requires saying ‘no’- which is harrrd. Or, it requires manual labor. Or it requires doing without.  Or, it requires extra time.  Or, it requires space.  Or, it requires less.  But, we are fans of simple.

And, I think y’all are super.

R is for…

rodeo 002‘r’ is for Rylie… my most favorite child.  Ever.

‘r’ is for Ropes Courses… my major and income since college.  It’s quite a different world out there now, what with every corner putt-putt having an ‘adventure course zip line time of your life’ offer. That’s not what I do.  I mean, I do fun and all… but it’s a bit more structured.  And, helpful.  And, funny.  Somewhere out there, Rebecca (an ‘R’ worthy of her own post) has a hard-copy photo of me doing my job. That photo, taken with me unaware, speaks volumes of how I work when I’m on the course.  I’m comfortable and in control.  There are few areas in my life where I can say that… um, almost none, in fact.  But ropes and ropes groups are my kind of thing.

rodeo 009‘r’ is for rodeo… Spanish for ’round up.’  There are few things I like better in life than going to the local county fair.  Our Kent County Fair has an award winning outdoor rodeo on the last night that we try never to miss.  Rodeos officially started in 1888 in Prescott, Arizona… but the grass-roots history goes back much further.  Ranching is hard work, and the cowboys/girls need a little release.  So, like anyone in their respective field, they turned their work into a competition.  “I bet I can get that calf safely on the ground before you can.” “I bet I can ride that wild horse longer than you can.” “I bet I can herd that lost steer back into the pen faster than you can.” And on and on. 

rodeo 015I’ve been going to rodeos ever since I can remember.  Being an adolescent in Texas pretty much guarantees you a seat in the arena every February and July, and I can remember spending high school Saturdays out at Johnny Boren’s ranch watching my friends-who-were-boys learn to ride bulls.  It’s just how it was.  But, there’s something more to it all… something I think that appeals to all people- country or not.  It’s the heart behind it.  The kids who ride for the first time… in their beat up boots and shiny new hats, carrying the American flag.  In the anthem that most people cry through because there are always soldiers down front, and it is a patriotic crowd.  In the cowboys, who paid their entry fee and hope to make enough just to ride on to the next town.  In the clowns… trained professionals who protect every rider from a wayward bull and give us laughs in between.  It’s the fact that people will sit on rickety stands in Lowell on a Saturday night and cheer on a hometown hero who’s famous for just one night.  And it’s my child, who is transfixed by the fringe and the horses and the lights. 

It’s just a down-home, simple good time.  I’m up for it anytime.

Q is for…

‘q’ is for quiet… which I am.  I don’t talk during movies or tv shows or Broadway plays.

‘q’ is for quick… which I am not.  For instance:  we talked about the Outbacks a couple posts ago.  Exactly 2 seconds after I took this photo I said, “Aw, MAN.  The gas tanks are on opposite sides!  That’s gonna mess me up when I drive that car.”  And the Boy said, “No, they aren’t, Kate.”  And I said, “Uh, YES they are.”  And the Boy said, “Um, no they aren’t, Kate.  Think about it.”   HEY.  You be nice to me.


‘q’ is for Quentin Tarantino… who, quite honestly, I just really do not get.  I know he’s a genius. I can see that through the fuzzy processing in my brain… but I just don’t get him.  I hope we can still be friends.

‘q’ is for queasy… which I get very easily if I ride in the backseats of cars or on rides that spin.  This didn’t happen to me until I was in college, but now you can bet money on it.

‘q’ is for quality… like this right here: a surprise this past March in a Belgium train station.  QUALITY. Smiling all day long, right here.  That’s me.