Friday, February 29, 2008

Jury Duty Day 4

My third day on the bus! I'm feeling very experienced now. I've gained a new life skill. Every other morning, I've caught the bus at around 7:10-7:15 and after walking my three blocks have arrived at the justice center at around 8:10-8:20. This morning I caught the bus at about the same time but the busdriver today was so aggressive, I walked into the justice center at 7:45! Wow! I'm not sure that was a good thing. This busdriver was changing lanes all over the place. Where the highway narrows down to two lanes he stayed over in the disappearing lane until the last second. His philosophy seemed to be, "I'm bigger and I'm coming over."

Nila and I were actually on the same bus this morning and since we were so early, we had our choice of little tables. I got a cup of coffee at the cafeteria and we settled in. Roberta joined us a little later and we waited. They called a few of the juries that were already in progress and then they called names for one more new jury. That's it. Nothing else happened all day long. We ate our lunch at 11:30, I think out of sheer boredom.

While we were eating, a few of the men who ended up on the jury I was called for came by and said they had finished. They ended up finding the guy guilty on all four counts. Apparently, this guy was involved in other trials at the same time on some very bad stuff and the state had offered him a deal of 2 years for everything. He refused and now will be in prison for at least 8 years. The men from the jury were so pleased with themselves. They strongly felt they had done the right thing and were glad to have been a part of the process of justice. It almost made me wish I had made it on the jury.

At 3:30, they announced that the Wednesday jurors could go home but the Monday jurors needed to stay. Once the Wednesday jurors had all left, they told us that the court had slowed down and if there were any jury calls tomorrow the Wednesday people could fill the juries so we were free to go for the week! Hallelujah! We got a certificate suitable for framing (?) and a letter thanking us for our four days of service.

The three of us left together, we left Roberta off at her bus stop, then Nila and I caught our bus home.

I stopped at Starbucks to pick up the essentials (espresso and decaf espresso beans ground for my espresso machine), went to the grocery store and picked up the ingredients for Lemon Basil Bowties and joyfully went home! Yesterday was the first day this week we've all been home in the evening and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

So glad to have that over with.

Psalm 106:3
Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jury Duty Day 3

The bus I caught this morning didn't announce any of the stops. It's a recording but I guess the driver does something to activate it. I'm so glad it wasn't the bus I caught on my first day. I would have been totally panic-stricken. People kept pushing the button to request a stop. I had no idea of the protocol for doing that so I was very relieved when someone else pushed it for my stop. The weather here was so bad we had a record number of school closings -- over 330 the last I heard. The busdriver said she hated driving in this weather. I don't blame her but it didn't really make me feel any better.

Wednesday at Jury Duty: Roberta, Nila and I sat in the jury pool quiet room most of the day and read our books. Isn't that exciting? We weren't completely anti-social. We sat together first thing in the morning. We also found a table for lunch and since our lunch break was from 11:30 to 1:15, it's a good part of the day. But the quiet room is so nice because it's ... quiet. It is also much warmer than the big room.

They bring new jurors in every Monday and Wednesday and it seemed they were only calling the Wednesday jurors today. Roberta, who is a 50-something, petite, sweet librarian said she felt dissed.

Some friends at choir practice last night were shocked that I didn't get on the jury I got called for on Day 2 and thought I must have said something very wrong to not get on. So here's my conversation with the judge:

Judge: Ms. ___, what do you do?
Me: I'm a stay-at-home mom and I homeschool my son.
Judge: And what does your husband do?
Me: He's an auto mechanic.

And here's my conversation with the prosecutor:

Prosecutor: So you homeschool?
Me: Yes.
Prosecutor: So does your son get a vacation this week?
Me: (smiling) No, I give him a list of his assignments every day.

That's it. Those are the only direct questions I answered. Where do you think I went wrong? :o)

Okay, so I noticed several women in the jury pool room who had the same strange haircut. Remember the mullet? Short in front, long in back. I've decided this haircut is the Mullett for the New Millenium or it's the Reverse Mullett -- ooooh we could call it the Tellum. It's longer in front and straight like a bob, kind of stuck down to the woman's head and then the back is all short and spiky. Have you seen this haircut? What's with that? How do you even make your hair do that? How many different products do you have to use to make your hair behave in two totally different hairstyles? Okay, done now.

Psalm 33:5
The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jury Duty Day 2

I took a bus by myself for the first time in my life today! Taking the bus both ways is half the price of parking plus I don't use all that gas, and someone else gets to deal with the traffic. I used the "Park N Ride" lot near me. There was a really nice guy where I got on and he told me when we got to my stop. It was where I thought but it was still nice of him. What was kind of strange, though, was that this woman got on and the bus was half empty -- there were empty double seats all over the place -- and she sat right smack next to me. If it had been a man I would have been very freaked out but I was just a little weirded out.

The weather here was horrible today. There were 288 school closings this morning! And I got to walk three blocks downtown in it. But at least I didn't have to drive.

I got there early this morning so I was able to nab one of the small tables. My friend from choir came and joined me and then my new friend Roberta joined us. We had just gotten settled when my name was called for a jury. There were 22 of us from which they would choose 14 (jury of 12 plus 2 alternates). They lined us up by number. Numbers 1 - 14 went into the jury box and numbers 15-22 went in the first row of spectator seats in the back. I was #15. We went into the courtroom and the judge talked for a very long time about being a juror, evidence rules, etc.

We had some interesting people in that room. The woman next to me was older and she pulled out a little 3 Musketeers snack-size bar and ate it in the courtroom. Apparently that wasn't enough though because then she started licking the wrapper to get all the little bits of chocolate off. The woman next to her almost got herself held in contempt of court for mouthing off to the judge. The guy two down from her kept falling asleep and the judge kept saying, "Are we boring you, Mr. ____?"

The judge asked each of us some basic background questions and we were dismissed for lunch. I got salad at the cafeteria again today and then went to see my friends. They were still waiting in the jury pool room. My jury group went back upstairs and the prosecuting and defense attorneys asked each of us some more questions. After that, we went back to our deliberating/holding room and next they called us back into the courtroom to announce the jury. They chose the wrapper-licking lady and let me go. There was one woman in the jury box who, when they said her name, actually put her hand on her chest and blinked her eyes like she'd just won Miss America. I fully expected her to start saying, "I personally believe, that U. S. Americans..." It was too funny.

After that, I was free to go. Tomorrow I'm back in the pool.

Psalm 11:7
For the LORD is righteous, He loves justice; upright men will see His face.

Jury Duty Day 1

I haven't blogged lately but I have an excuse -- I'm on jury duty this week! Yuk. Yes, I know it's my civic responsibility, blah, blah. If I could un-register to vote, I would. I'm doing my best to enjoy it as a break from the routine. So, last week I was getting everything ready at home so I could be gone for a week without too much falling apart. And this week I'm downtown every day all day.

Yesterday I drove down by myself. I got there just fine but parking is $8 a day and I honestly don't have the temperament for downtown rush hour driving. Too much pressure. At one spot, the highway narrows down to 2 lanes (where, of course, traffic comes to a standstill) and then within a mile, two more lanes are merging on and I have to get over 2 lanes so I can get off the highway at the right street.

Right after I got in the justice building, as I got on the elevator I met this very nice woman who is a librarian at a town nearby. My dream job! So she's been my new friend this week. Out of all the hundreds of people there, isn't it just awesome that God put her in my path?! There's also a woman from my church choir that's down there this week and I've been able to get to know her better.

The potential jurors all sit in a big room. There are at least 200 people in there. It's a nice room though -- relatively comfy chairs, a few round tables and a quiet room for those who just want to sit and read and not be bothered.

I didn't get called at all yesterday so I just sat and read my book all day. I brought a great book but this is not where I would choose to read it. My new friend Roberta got called mid-morning so I didn't see her again until this morning but she ended up not getting on the jury so she's back in the pool.

I met a woman at lunch who didn't stop talking for a second. I'm not kidding. She has much wisdom to impart to the rest of us. I can't imagine being closed in a deliberating room with her. Yikes.

Those are the highlights from my first day!

Psalm 7:6
Arise, O LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Stampin up workshop

So, I found a Stampin Up demonstrator near me through the web-site and she e-mailed me her newsletter. She was having a card workshop on Friday so I decided I would be brave and go by myself. I needed to place an order anyway and I thought it would be fun. It was fun but would have been much more fun if I had someone to go with (hint, hint Suz, Lisa, Taylor, Jen). The demonstrator was a very nice woman. I liked being able to use different stamps and tools than I have at home. I wish I had more flexibility in how I used them. Everything was pre-cut and plotted out which meant that I couldn't really do much else with it.

We made four projects -- three cards and a little valentines basket.

My thoughts on these projects:

The basket is cute but I could do without the extra paper on the peppermint patties. How much wrapping do I really want to have to take off before I get to the chocolate?! For me, I would have stuck the heart (or even the heart on a scallop circle) on the side of the basket and called it done.

I like the "time spent" card and I like the wide grosgrain ribbon but it seems like the wide grosgrain knot would be very bumpy in an envelope. I like this stamp set but it's a level 2 or 3 hostess gift which means you can't buy it, unless you want to pay a ridiculous price for it on e-bay.

"Friendship" card: Okay, I like the stem stamp for the flower and I like the idea of the little felt flowers but they're too shiny. That pink paper is hideous. Combining it with that orange doesn't really help.

I'm not even going to show the other card we did. I didn't like the stamp set or the way it turned out. It had a "bling" brad on it. Not really a bling girl.

What do you think?


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A little reward

I haven't had time to blog in a few days. I spent a lot of time this weekend and yesterday getting caught up with the financial stuff for our homeschool group (I'm the treasurer). So, after I dropped Jeff off at work this morning, I went to the bank and then I decided I deserved a little reward for all that hard work, so I drove down to Hobby Lobby and bought a couple of new stamps and some paper. So fun. I had some time this afternoon and I got three cards done.

The first card was inspired by this card. I absolutely love her blog.

Flower card: Green card stock: Martha Stewart; red card stock: Cardstock Stack neutrals; Stamps: Stampin Up You Make Me Happy

Thanks card: Small Background Block stamp by Stampabilities; Little Pieces Stamps by Stampin Up; Straight Up Alphabet by Stampin Up

I hope you're feeling better card: Brown card stock: Cardstock Stack neutrals; orange card stock: Martha Stewart; You Make Me Happy flower Stampin Up; Sentiment by Stampabilities