Saturday, May 31, 2008

One is the loneliest number

April is out of town this weekend visiting her family; which means that this is one of those rare occasions were I am all alone for a couple of days. It's funny how I'm unsure how to operate without her. Here's what I mean...

Last night I stayed up WAY too late playing video games, so I slept in. Sleeping usually means staying in bed until 10:30 or 11:00 - without April to goad me to get up I arose at the early hour of 12:45. I got up an got to work on painting the house (it's one of my big summer projects). I worked and worked and then decided to check the time and it was 5:45. At this point and time I realized that I hadn't eaten since 8pm Friday night and I had totally missed our friend's baby's birthday party. I also realized that the reason I felt all weird was because my stomach was going nuts due to lack of food. Usually April would have brought me some food at some point in the afternoon and then made me think about dinner ideas. At this point and time I debated eating, but decided to finish the last coat of paint. Another hour and a half later I was done - exhausted and famished - but done. I ended up grabbing some crappy fast food and spending an hour or two with the friends.

This all made me hyper-aware of how much I rely on April to keep me straight. It's sort of ridiculous. I mean, I'm a grown man (I have a beard!) I should be able to look after myself. I take solace in thinking that if I was on my own more often, I'd take better care of myself. I think I would at least. I'm an idiot either way... So I know that this a weird way to say that I know I belong with April, but there it is.

And now I'm going to bed so I don't over sleep church. I've got another long day of paint and chores ahead and I needs me some dose of churchy.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Wow. This show just keeps getting better and better. I think I'm done trying to figure out what's going on, I'm just here for the rollercoaster ride.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I filled up my gas tank this morning.


That was sooo not in the gas budget.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Birdman Extraordinaire

In September 2006, I posted this true Teague story on my blog.

“Do mom and dad still have that bird?” Smelly asks Anne.

“What bird? Levi stubbs (their finch)? Yeah.”

“No, that bird that Dad caught.”

“What are you talking about??”

Two weeks ago Smelly was visiting home. Dad tells her that a hummingbird had sat on his finger. “If you sit really really still they’ll land on it,” he says. He convinces her to stand next to the feeder and hold her hand out. When nothing happens, he dismisses her attempt with a wave.

“The colors you’re wearing are too bright for them. Too bright of pink.”

The next weekend, Mom, Dad, Smelly, Krystal, and Derek were sitting out on the back porch eating dinner. Their 75 acre old farmland spreads out behind them.

“I’ll bet you I can go out there and pet that bird (on the feeder),” says Dad. Everyone laughs. They don’t believe him. Dad stealthily walks out to the old bird feeder and sure enough, he pets the bird!

Everyone insists on trying it, too. So they each go out, one at a time.

Dad raises the stakes. “I bet ya I can get that bird to sit on my finger.”

More balking from his family.

He approaches the bird and sure enough, it sits on his finger!

Everyone insists on perching a bird on their finger, too. They each go out, one at a time

Dad is feeling confident. “You know what, I betcha I can capture that bird!”

“No, no!” “Whatever Dad!” “Yeah right!” No one believes him. Afterall, it’s a wild bird!

“We still have that old bird cage, don’t we Karen?” he asks.

Everyone continues to protest.

Mom brings out the birdcage. He gets the wild bird on his finger and starts walking with it. Everyone watches with baited breath. Then he grabs it with two hands. “Heh heh, I got you now!”

Into the cage the bird goes. “You’ve got to let him go!” they say.

Then they try to put a perch in there.

A few days later Anne asks Dad, “Do you still have that bird?”

“No, no, we let it out that night!”

“I don’t know what everybody was freaking out about,” says Dad.

“It could have been tamed!”

Last Christmas, my Dad made this grandiose claim:

“I can get a hummingbird to sit on my finger. How much money is in it for me?”

Of course, we do not believe him. The nature of the hummingbird is to NEVER stop fluttering its wings, eating, flying about. If there’s one wild bird that you cannot tame, it is the hummingbird for sure.

Today I received this photo from my mother:

Note to readers: Never make a bet with birdman!

Monday, May 26, 2008

To all the men and women in uniform who have served this great country,


Grandpa Don Fraser, post-Korean War. (His father, Don Fraser Sr., served WWI, stateside.)

Grandpa Keith Hunt, WWI, Pacific Theater. (No photo from back then at my disposal, but perhaps he played the taps at one time, and it looked a little like this.)

Grandpa Carl Teague, WWII, mechanic.

Dad Tom Teague, Vietnam. (No photos at my house of him there, but here's one he took during that time. Perhaps this was when they were being discharged.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It ain't the years, it's the mileage and the plot

I love the Indiana Jones trilogy. Love it! So of course, I went and saw the newest Indy movie this past Saturday. I went dreading that this newest chapter would tarnish the previous films.

Raiders of the Lost Ark was the FIRST movie I ever saw - ever. I was an infant and have no recollection of seeing it but never-the-less it was my first movie. The Last Crusade was the first "adult" movie my parents allowed me to watch after debating whether or not I was old enough (I was 10) to not be traumatized by watching a man disintegrate. I wasn't and the movie quickly became an old standby that got lots of viewing. Why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to know that I REALLY love the genre, character, and stories of the original three. Even Temple of Doom, which is a much darker story. And this is why Kingdom of the Crystal Skull broke my heart...

***Spoilers below, skip down to continue spoiler-free***

So if you have read much if any about the plot via Internet gossip or movie reviews, you may already know that Shia LeBeouf's character is Indy's son by way of the lead actress from Raiders of the Lost Ark, who also make an appearance in this film. The first 20 or so minutes are pure Indiana Jones, full of quips, action, and suspense. Everything from then on is "okay" until the movies ends with a big, "really?" It's about aliens people. ALIENS!! I suppose I shouldn't have been too surprised--Spielberg does have a fascination with space travelers. But still it was disappointing.

*****End spoilers*****

The acting, special effects, location, and costume design were all superb but the story was a big let down. In the words of my friend Dave "I hope Harrison Ford was paid a lot of money." It was nice to see one of my childhood heroes don his fedora once again, but wow was it a let down. So be forewarned it's a big bag of meh. Maybe worth watching for nostalgia but not much else. If you never liked Indiana Jones then save your money and see Iron Man. Iron Man kicks ass...

but that's just my opinion

Friday, May 23, 2008

Oh Baby! It's a...


Lord help me...
She is looking healthy and April is on track and healthy as well.

As the tech was "scoping" April, she asked us what we wanted. I thought I didn't care, but as soon as we found out it was a girl I realized that I had been hoping for a boy. I think it's because I'm familiar with boy stuff and the thought of bringing a little girl into the world scares me. That being said I'm getting more and more geeked to have a little girl to dote on.

I'm going to be so protective this little girl is going to hate me...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mohawk attempt unsuccessful

Lucy needed a haircut pretty badly. She hadn’t had one in over a year and was looking quite scruffy. Also, her fur isn’t as soft when it gets this long.

Long-time readers and friends will remember that Lucy has been banned from the doggie salon for bad behavior. This leaves the haircuts to me, the woman with a pair of old orange-handled scissors and an ineffective fine-toothed comb (probably effective for people hair, but not for dog hair).

Earlier this year my brother Tom said that it would be cool to give Lucy a mohawk. I thought that was a great idea—especially if I could dye it green. I had these dreams of Lucy, modeling for me in her mohawkian splendor, an image of green and white (Go Spartans!). She and I could go for walks and the neighborhoods could be fascinated by this tough-looking dog with a fab ‘do.

But alas, dreams do not always come true. I will spare the boring details, but will say that the Mohawk did not work as planned. It was not cool and radical, it did not stay up well (Lucy is afraid of the sounds of the mousse and hairspray cans, thus making it difficult to apply), and I didn’t get a chance to color it green.


I guess I can be grateful that I at least got her hair cut, though upon close inspection you will see dozens of missed hairs and flaws. Lucy was a very obedient dog for the three haircut sittings, the bath, the hairstyling, and the photoshoot I made her endure on Mohawk day. No fighting or escape attempts, no peeing out of terror or bouts of diarrhea or vomiting like at the salon.

I guess those ladies at the doggie salon just don’t know how to handle a Jack Russell!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Karen's New Name

This weekend my mom asked me what her name would be when she becomes a grandma. She doesn’t want to be Grandma, Granny, Nanna, etc. My dad has requested to be called Pop, but she doesn’t have any requests for herself.

I love picking out names, so I am excited about this assignment. However, I only have two so far.

The first one is Gangee (pronounced gang-gee). This is afer the grandmother on my favorite TV show, Arrested Development. However, Gangee is kind of an ugly word, and if you don’t know the show you won’t get the beauty of it. I proposed this to my mom, who thought that I wanted to name the BABY that, and she said that it sounded too much like “gangrene.” She’s right… But I still love it!

The other is Kiwi. Kiwi was one of my mom’s nicknames when she was little, perhaps because small children couldn’t pronounce Karen, so they mumbled out Kiwi instead. I also proposed Kiwi to her, but she was in one of those “keeps talking and doesn’t stop to comment on what you say” moods, so I didn’t get a response from her on that one.

What do you think? As you can see, my mom is a hip, youngish mom. She will never get the poodle haircut (short hair with a tight perm) or wear unstylish clothes. She is also fun to be around. So I need a name tor reflect all that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Quickening

Last night I was laying in bed and reading about gardening in this cool book:

JB had already thumbed through it and shared his excitement with me about this latest project of ours. I am so thankful to have such a compatible husband! For the most part, he and I like the same things, though one of us may be a bigger fan of something than the other. It’s really nice to share things that you love with someone else.

As I was daydreaming about giant tomato bushes and homegrown onions, I felt it.

The Quickening.

A friend of mine laughed that “the quickening” sounds like something from the Highlander movies. It does. It also makes me think of some dark Stephen King novel. Or some horror movie (I have a theory that every movie that that has a two-word title that starts with “the” is a horror/thriller movie).

But "the quickening" is just a term for feeling your baby moving for the first time.

How cool is that?

(I don’t know if this is technically the quickening for me, because I felt the same thing last week, but only once or twice while I was reading my baby book, so I wasn’t sure if I was making it up or not.)

So now I feel mini-Hunt swimming around in there all the time. I’m not really a “baby person,” so I am taking time to enjoy one of the few things I find interesting about babies—watching/feeling them grow!

Hopefully I'll be as successful with my tomatoes!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good News Bad News

This week is filled mostly with good, exciting news. However, as luck would have it, it is also tempered with bad news. Fortunately, the bad news isn’t “end of the world” stuff. Since so much has been happening, though, I thought I’d just make a little chart instead of going into great detail over every little thing. Also, some of this is JB's good news, so he can write about that if he wants.

Good News

Bad News

We got a lot of yard work done on Saturday and the place is looking GOOD!

Our mulch for the yard still has not been delivered.

JB got a grill--YUM.

My vintage bike is not fixable like I had thought, so now if I want a bike, I have to buy a new one.

I got rhubarb from a friend and am making rhubarb jam.

My lemon tree is pretty much dead. Looks like everything got neglected when I got sick from pregnancy. :(

We’ve made plans to have a small vegetable garden this summer.

I gained too much weight last month (though I’m more concerned about it than my Dr.)—better get those veggies growing so I can lay off the ice cream!

The yard is fenced so now Lulu can run around with freedom.

Prenatal vitamins make me sick. The doc has me trying all sorts, but no luck. I’m close to swearing off of them.

JB got a whole week of vacation! (He had originally only gotten four days because everyone else hogged the days off.)

Our vacation will still be cut short because of a friend’s wedding (because all JB’s coworkers hogged vacation time and there was only one week he could pick).

My freelance project is almost done!!!

My eyesight is jacked because of pregnancy and there’s nothing I can do about it.

I have made plans to make curtains for all the upstairs rooms.

I do not have money to buy all the materials and curtain rods for all the upstairs rooms.

JB got a picnic table and has already sanded and stained it. It’s awesome.

I did not get into The Antiques Roadshow’s visit to Grand Rapids. Boo!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stone Cold

Saturday night JB and I plopped down on the couch after an exhaustive marathon of yard work. JB is a major patron of the local library system, so he had a pile of free movie rentals for us to choose from. I am a fan of Tom Selleck and small town murder/mysteries, so I picked Stone Cold, which included both of those things.

The movie was fine. Nothing worthy of an award, but watchable. However, I have one major qualm with it.

One of the subplots was about a high school girl getting gang raped in the woods by 3 of her classmates, including the varsity football star. These boys took photos and told the girl that they’d kill her if she ratted them out.

As the move progresses, the boys get found out by the Sheriff (Selleck). He really wishes he could beat them up and makes a comment at one point about castrating them. I think this is a worthy punishment.

But what really happens to the boys? Do they get sentenced to JAIL, where the cronies there will gang rape them back (also a good payback)? Do they get hanged within an inch of their life or shot in the groin (also a good payback, if you ask me)?


They get sentenced to community service with the Sheriff’s department, which they never show played out. The boys still get to go to school with this poor humiliated girl. They never mention the football player’s fate, so we can only assume that he still gets to play football.


That is SOOOO not an acceptable punishment for those boys! Yet everyone seems fine with it—even the victim!

This really gets under my skin. I am glad that this wasn’t a true story.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Is the juice worth the squeeze? Is the book worth the re-read?

This past weekend I was hanging out with my good friend, Jess. She had just returned from her book club and the book they discussed was Devil in the White City. I'm going to stop right here. You need to read this book. It's a really good book. I'm serious. I'll wait for you. Go. Now...

Back? It was good right? Anyways I innocently asked if that was Jess' second+ time reading the book. She responded with incredulity asking, "Do you normally read books multiple times?". [note this is a paraphrase, so April don't start] Is that weird? I don't think it is.

I mean, I read the Chronicles of Narnia once a year and I hit Tolkien up bi-annually. In fact I recently started re-reading Jim Butcher's Dresden File series and am finishing Slavomir Rawicz's The Long Walk. I'm a sucker for a good read. I love books that make me smile, laugh, and cry. So I guess the real question is - why don't you re-read books? It's like hanging out with an old friend you haven't seen in awhile.

Swing by my house and you can look at my library and see what books are worth the read.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Digging the BS

I'm really enjoying our Bible Study group right now. We’re doing a compelling series on evangelism.

Typically when you think of evangelism, I bet you conjure uncomfortable images of in-your-face preaching or someone coming up to you and saying, “If you were to die today, would you go to heaven?” and then you having to answer honestly without feeling attacked or coerced into doing what they wanted, which is to say that you want to be saved.

But we’re not into that.

One of our friends is working on a book on evangelism in the post-modern world and she is using our group to kind of test drive her ideas. She really focuses on how evangelism looked in the New Testament and what that means for us today. It’s all about genuinely caring for others and seeing them come to place where they WANT to live for Jesus, and them not feel obligated to do it.

I love this!

I have always felt uncomfortable with the traditional evangelism methods that I’ve been taught. In college our InterVarsity chapter did a series on contact evangelism, with us going out one night to share the gospel with strangers. Now, this can be cool. It can be cool if you just have spiritual conversations with people who want to talk to you. It can be cool if you don’t expect them to convert right in front of your eyes but to just get them thinking about things. But that’s not how I felt our chapter was being taught. I felt that they were expecting converts.

So I went out with a friend of JB’s from UofM who had way more skills at talking with strangers than I. We ended up talking to this student outside his dorm and having a nice conversation, but then I felt like we started pressuring him to make a choice. “So if you don’t have any problems with the Gospel or Jesus, then why aren’t you saved? Why don’t you do it right now?” I really didn’t like the way the conversation turned, but all the cool Christians seemed to say that this was the way to do things. And since I had never led someone to Christ, I tried to give this method a shot, even though my gut said that it wouldn’t work.

The guy didn’t have any good arguments for not being saved. At least none that he could articulate. I was still earning my journalism chops and I think I was so distracted by what everyone was expecting of me that I didn’t take the time to really look at this guy. He DID have issues with coming to Christ. If he didn’t, he would have shown way more interest in speaking with us and learning about Jesus.

In the end, we had him pray the prayer. I felt that it was hogwash, but prayed earnestly that I was wrong or that God would turn that situation around and truly bring that guy to know him. We went back to our group and shared the news and everyone celebrated.

Except me.

When the student never returned my calls or emails to hang out or go to Bible Study, I was not surprised. I was ashamed.

Do you think this man really wants to know Jesus now? Do you think he feels comfortable asking a Christian about their faith without worrying about being pressured? No. I feel like I plucked one of the unripe grapes from God’s vine that day. It had every chance in the world until I came by and snatched it up because I wanted it to be ready.

Maybe my other peers felt the same way but also didn’t feel brave enough to take a stand. I regularly did voice my qualms about that type of evangelism and someone or other would promptly argue with me. I am an open-minded person, so I was willing to try their medhod, but looking back, I wish I had sticked to my stubborn guns.

So that’s why I’m enjoying our current Bible Study. It’s not about numbers or convincing everyone you meet. I believe that God knows who’s going to follow Him and who isn’t. And while He’d like everyone to follow him, He gave us free will. He has put me on this earth to live for him and He has given me the freedom to love everyone in my life and connect with them on a deeper level. I have the freedom to talk about spiritual things with them if I want because I genuinely care for them and want to know what they think, and I don’t have to expect “results.”

It’s God’s business if a person turns to him, and if he wants to use me for that purpose, that’s His call, not mine.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Jerk

We do not have a fenced-in yard, so whenever Lucy has to go out we take her on a leash. Lately, JB and I have been taking her out with the leash, but after she does her business, we let her run around in the yard, the leash trailing behind her. She is always obedient and does not try to leave the yard. If she wanders too far, we will call her and she’ll come racing back to us.

On Wednesday Lucy was cruising the yard when I announced that it was time to go in. She was trotting down the driveway toward the door when she heard a man’s voice coming from the front yard. She ignored my commands to stop and ran to investigate. As I was running after her, I heard a man in our neighbor’s driveway say cheerfully, “Look! It’s a little dog!” It was then that Lucy decided to race after him, barking violently. As I reached the front of the house I heard that same man shriek like a woman and try to force himself into the car he had been climbing into, but his friend hadn’t scooted over yet and he was exposed for the terrible dog’s attack.

As I hollered, “She’s a pansy! She won’t touch you! I’m so sorry! I’m sorry!” his friends were hysterically laughing at his girlie response to the vicious dog that had not come anywhere close enough to attack him.

“Your eyes were as big as saucers!” my neighbor said between her heavy laughter. Another asked, “Why did you scream like that?”

“I was just being cautious!” he defended himself.

It was quite funny to see a grown man freak out like that, but I still felt bad—it was rude of me not to have my dog under control. When I told JB the story, he laughed too but he didn’t understand the man’s fear.

“You know what you do when a little dog like that comes at you?” he said. “You drop kick it!”

The next morning I opened the door to take Lucy out and she instantly tried to lunge at a little girl across the street who was walking to school. I was holding Lucy’s leash so she couldn’t get away, but the poor little girl still shrieked and grabbed onto her big brother for protection. The girl was so cute with her hair in braids and her little backpack, and I felt bad for having a rude pet.

Lucy is such a jerk!