Saturday, December 8, 2012

ONLY 42 Place Settings

I have an obsession with dishes.  I blame it on my grandmas.  Grandmama Dolly saved everything and had a memory to go along with each thing she kept. 

Grandma Irene saves nothing, but she did have a fondness for dishes.  At one time she had six sets of china, so that she could pass a set on to each grandchild.  She was storing it in an old trailer house they used to have for hired hands, and somebody stole them.  Stupid thieves.


Anyway, I come by my love for dishes honestly.  A few weeks ago Popcorn and I went to Uptown Thrift to do some Christmas shopping (doesn't everyone do their Christmas shopping at thrift stores?) and she told me, "Mom, you do NOT need any more dishes."

"But these are so cute!  And I only have eight place settings of Christmas dishes, and everyone KNOWS you need at least twelve place settings of anything, or it's just no good."  Granted, my place settings are all mismatched, but they are all CHRISTMAS and that is the theme.  She rolled her eyes at me, and gave me a look and said, "Step away from the dishes.  We are here for baskets and jars."  We were gathering stuff to put the home made goodies we will be giving their teachers into.  And as a total aside, we hit jack pot because that particular day EVERYTHING in the store was half off!  Seriously?!  Half off in a thrift store!  Words cannot describe...


Anyway last week I was trying to finish up my Christmas shopping, and I wandered into Kohl's.  And somehow my feet took me to the dishes.  I discovered that I do NOT have the paprika color in Fiesta Ware.  And Fiesta Ware was on SALE, so obviously I texted Brent double quick that gift idea.



And then I spotted these:
Fiesta Christmas dishes!  I was quite certain that if only I could  have four place settings of Fiesta Christmas dishes, then I would have the holy number of TWELVE place settings and OBVIOUSLY my world would be complete, and I would never want for another dish ever again...



Until a new color of Fiesta Ware comes out that I simply MUST have.


And yes, Gentle Reader, if you ever come to my house you will be served food on a REAL dish.  Because otherwise I have no justification for my obsession, and then my husband will have reason to no longer buy me dishes.


And THAT would be a sad day indeed.





Monday, November 19, 2012

The Rotation

The dogs sleep in the house at night.  I bring them in around 8:30 or so, and since time has changed, but Kelsey has no concept of time change, she huffs past me and heads straight to bed.  Her frustration with my lack of consideration for her sleep time are quite obvious. 


Chesney, however runs around like a spazz, fetching and retrieving and generally acting goofy.  Until she finds the bag of sweet potatoes, and if you aren't quick enough, you will notice it is too quiet.  Quiet like, "what are my children doing" quiet.  Only my kids are usually in bed, and Chesney can usually be found quietly noshing on a sweet potato.  So, if you happen to notice puncture marks in your sweet potatoes when you are at my house, I have no idea how they got there.
This is Chesney's painful attempt at "stay."  I assure you every fiber of her being want to dash up to me, then crawl between my legs and lay down.  It's her safe spot.


Anyway, sometime between the hours of 5:30 and 7:00am, I let the dogs out.  The time is now gloriously fluid because A)have I mentioned I only go to work twice per week now and B)Chesney's bladder is a little more able to take a longer sleep in. 

As I let the dogs out, an amazing cycle begins.  A cat jumps over both dogs as they scramble out the back door.  Then, if the cat is Oliver, he runs to the front door and meows.  Now, this makes little sense to me as he just came from the BACK door, but now he wants out the front door.  Although, why it surprises me is ridiculous.  He meows at the gate to the yard if I'm outside too.  But I don't blame him.  Would you rather scale a chain link fence, or let your human open the gate for you?  Anyway, I let his majesty out the front door.

As I go into the kitchen to start up my Keurig, invariably I hear a chirruping "meow."  That would be Misty.  The ruckus at the back door has woken her.  I open the door and ask "How do you get in here every night?  Every night I put you both OUTSIDE, yet one or the other finds their way BACK in the garage before I get up."  You see, the cat in the garage, and the cat outside rotates.  I never know if I will see a streak of gray sleekness leap over the dogs, or a mass of black and white fluff. 

It kind of keeps things fresh, y'know?

So, in this particular example of the morning rotation, Misty is in the garage.  And she is using her chirruping meow.  I open the door, because I'm stupid, and she runs in the house, weaves herself around my legs, then proceeds to the front door, where I have just released Oliver, and lets out a long, plaintive, raspy "meeeeoooooow."  Of course, the kids are still asleep about 60% of the time at this point.  Or at least, they are PRETENDING to be asleep as they do not want to leave the comfort of their warm beds.  So, in order to give my little angels a few moments more shut eye, I open the door to let Misty out.  Because apparently I have no authority over the cats in this house.   I mean, I put them out every night.  Every morning at least one is in the garage, demanding to be released.*

Oh, don't let that calm demeanor fool you.  This cat outright talks to you.  And if she doesn't get her way, she talks and talks and talks until you just give in and do whatever it is she wanted in the first place.


You know what happens next, right?  Oliver runs right into the house, seeing as I have not filled his food dish, and that was the only reason he wanted on the front porch in the first place.  Now the thing with Oliver is this:  He owns a human.  Well, he owns three technically.  Because Bookworm takes no ownership of him whatsoever, and I scratch him when I fancy, and Brent pretty much dotes on him.  But Popcorn?

Oh, he OWNS her.  She knows it.  He knows it.  Shoot, the whole family knows it.

Well, upon discovering that I have not filled his food dish as was his wont, he dashes back into the house. Gentle Reader, let it be known that I NEVER fill the food dish of any animal in this house unless my children are gone.  So why he considers this a surprise every single morning is a mystery.  However, he is greatly offended.  And he knows exactly who to go tattle to.  He pussy foots his fluffy self right past me, makes a persnickety left at the piano, and heads directly to his child.  He prances into her room, meowling his strangely dainty meow for an 18 pound ball of fluff, and hops onto Popcorn's bed.

Here is Mr. Flufferpants himself, surveying his child's domain

She promptly picks him up and carries him...

To the garage.  Where she shuts the door, then goes to her room to get ready for school.

As I typed this post, I kept having one thought buzz around my brain "The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over yet expecting different results."

For the life of me, I can't tell you who the insane one is.

*Gentle Reader, the magic of the cats in the garage has turned out to not be magic at all.  It turns out that as Brent leaves through the garage, then out the door to the back yard through the garage, at least one cat darts in.  And then plaintively meows.  And then he feeds them.  IN THE GARAGE.  The issue with this is that I was scolding the girls for WEEKS that they had better stop feeding the cats in the garage so the cats would quit dashing in every time the door was opened.  Of course, they denied feeding the cats.  "Then how does the bowl of food keep appearing?"  Oh, Gentle Reader, the culprit was found out.  And then I learned that not only do I have no authority over the cats in my life, apparently I have none over my husband who can't stand to hear their pitiful wails at 4:30 in the morning. 
 



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sshhh....

Popcorn is at a slumber party.  Bookworm decided to use the opportunity to go buy her sister's Christmas and birthday present.  I was a bit apprehensive as all of this occurred AFTER the sun had set, and time change kills me because I want to be in my little house when the sun has set and I don't want to leave it for any reason at all.

But that is beside the point.  We came home close to nine o'clock.  As we climbed out of the car Bookworm dashed over to the cat and said, "Oh, Misty.  Sweet kitty.  You want to come inside?"  And she scooped up the cat, beginning to rub her cheek on the cat's head as she headed for the house.

"That dang cat is in the garage again?  She is ALWAYS in the garage!  That's why the litter is always full in here!  Because she is always sleeping in the garage or in your bed!  But never outside! She needs to go outside, it makes me CRA-"

"Sshhh!"

I froze halfway through the laundry room on my way into the kitchen.  "Did you seriously just shush me?"

"Yes.  Because I don't know what else to say."

And then I started laughing.  Obviously she had no desire to listen to a pointless rant.

And then I told her "That is totally a blog!"

And so it is.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Birth Order, KP, The Help, and Laziness

Okay, first things first, you need to go read my sister's blog over here.

Then you need to realize that I am hoping she will bring lots of eggnog to Thanksgiving next week, and I will provide Captain Morgan spiced silver rum.   And then we will pretend we are pirate wenches as we make some Christmas crafts Mom has planned for us.  Dawn will be the good one, and she will no doubt be cleaning the kitchen as we are living it up and letting her assume her God given role as older/responsible sister.  And while that role may sound sarcastic, you can't beat birth order, and she is undoubtedly chosen to be the oldest.  Therefore, she is the most responsible.  Poor her.


You know, I used to feel bad when my siblings talked about how spoiled I am as the youngest sibling.  Then I decided that I have no control over birth order.  And if I was spoiled, then it wasn't my fault.  So now my response to the fact that Dawn was never allowed to have Barbies because Dad thought they were trashy is "Sorry about your luck.  I even owned the Barbie town house, complete with elevator.  So there."

Doesn't she appear to be beleaguered and overworked?
 And as for Paula being the middle sister in a family of four kids with one boy, it just is what it is.  Surely that means she can relate better to my mom, who is the middle of three sisters also.  And it means that since her feelings are never considered, she is more aware of how others feel, so surely she's a better person for being a middle child.  Again, this may SOUND like sarcasm, but I'm just citing birth order theory and lately it's been hitting me how REAL the characteristics are that develop as a result of birth order.

Yes, this woman is obviously never noticed or considered.
My oldest wants to adopt a child.  Not like an African child, where you are committed to $25 dollars/month, but a child that will come and live in our house.  Forever and ever.  That was a bolt out of the blue.  And it would turn my youngest into a middle child, and let me tell you, she does NOT have middle child tendencies, so it would be a struggle for her.

And speaking of siblings, a few weeks ago the girls and I were having a random conversation about something.  I know it related to Brent never being at the table when the rest of us were ready to eat.  And somehow that evolved into disappearing acts for kitchen clean up.

"I don't know which of you it will be, but one of you will be shirker of kitchen clean up at family dinners.  The shirker will either suddenly develop the urge to use the bathroom, or breast feed a baby, or possibly even sit in the living room to 'visit with grandmother.'  Do not think for a minute that those in the kitchen are unaware of your shirker ways.  They WILL be aware, and they WILL be talking about you."

And I was honest enough to admit I myself have been the shirker of kitchen duty.  And I was also honest enough to admit that it has probably never been Dawn.  Because, again she is the oldest.  And therefore the most responsible.  Her burden is immense.

Anyhoo, that random conversation has lead to the fact that if one sibling leaves the kitchen to visit the facilities, the other sibling stops all kitchen duty until the absentee sibling shows up.  I acknowledge this was an unintended consequence.  But it is an amusing one.
 
Speaking of lazy,  I AM LOVING WORKING TWO DAYS PER WEEK!!!  I have moments where I feel guilty because I actually have free time.  But then I get over it.  It is so awesome to not have to clean my entire house on Wednesday, along with grocery shopping and car washing and seven loads of laundry.  Now I do a chore every day, along with a load every day.  Well, I was doing a load about every day anyway, but Wednesday was also bedding day.  Now, I wash one person's bedding per day and my back is not in misery at the end of sheet day!

I have time to work out!  I have time to coupon!  I have time to actually stroll through the store and see things that I never saw before because each trip to the store was simply a marathon sprint of tunnel vision where I only got what was needed and did not allow myself to browse as there was no time!  And now I'm realizing that browsing the store can lead to unexpected purchases....

Leading up to Christmas this is expected.  But I will have to be sure I don't let it become the pattern or Brent will make me start working more.

Speaking of sheet day, have you read The Help by Kathryn Stockett?  I thought it was so funny how Minny hated "damn sheet day."  And I always said a little "amen" in my head every time she bemoaned washing sheets.  And my task is not near as onerous or hands on as hers was!

Okay, this post has gone entirely too long.   Have a happy weekend!

P.S.  In FOREsight, this post could possibly come back to haunt me.  As in next weekend at Thanksgiving when we will have a family dinner, complete with big kitchen clean up.  *sigh*   Perhaps foresight isn't a good thing when one ignores it?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bodies in Motion

Have you ever worked out with Gilad?  He's this Jewish guy who did work outs in the 90s, and then got restarted a few years ago on Fit TV.  Of course, we no longer receive Fit TV, as we have antennae.  But I still have some of his workouts on DVD and they are quite painful.  Anyway, I always chuckled when at the end of the workout he would say, "Thank you for trusting me with your body."  It's always nice to end a sweatfest with a chuckle.

Hey, guess what?  I decided to check out Gilad on Youtube and sure enough he has posted several workouts for your sweating enjoyment!  Here is a sample of his first video:



A body in motion tends to stay in motion.  That's why after I got home from a class at work, I should NEVER have SAT DOWN and attempted to figure out how to do my schedule from home online.  After 45 minutes I gave up and got through to the helpline.  Only to discover that indeed I'm NOT stupid, but that the program does not work under the search engine I was using.  So that was good to know...

And once I finally got that ordeal worked through, I was utterly worthless...Because I got sucked into my computer and found myself reading blogs/emails/and facebook.  Which is why I've still avoided Pinterest.  My thighs can't survive it.

Monday was my daughter's first school basketball game.  She is in 7th grade, and it was painful.  The final score was 34 to 7.  They.  The opposing team girls ran circles around our little novices...

But even though we got it handed to us, it was still imminently more enjoyable than a softball game where we come out ahead by 10 runs.  And I asked Brent "Why would ANYONE watch softball when they could be watching or playing THIS?"

Bookworm and I played a game of "21" on Saturday.  Only it turned in to a game of "11" because either we are both AMAZING at defense...or really terrible at offense.  The final score was 11 to 7, my favor.  And I was still sore on Monday.

Brent pointed out that he hardly ever takes shots on her, as he's 10 inches taller.  I told him she's not stupid and there's no glory in a hollow victory.  That is why my kids were never able to beat me at Twister.

Today I will endeavor to coupon for the first time in MONTHS.  But since I now get the Sunday paper, and have a dog who FETCHES the paper for me, I have an accumulation of coupons to choose from again.

Did you know that if we did NOT receive a paper, and I say "Go get the paper," this dog will indeed bring me a paper?  She may have to go steal it from the neighbors driveway, but she will always GET THE PAPER!  (And yes, I returned it.  Once I stopped laughing long enough to take it back.)


And, now it is time to put my body in motion and get busy with house work, since I've decided I will have a MUCH cleaner house now.  Going to work two days per week is the BOMB people!  Why on earth did I ever do eight hour shifts when I could work ridiculously long days, but be home other days?  Why, why, why?  Incidentally, I'm working three whole days the week after Thanksgiving.  I'm pretty sure there will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

By me, of course.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Joe Montana, Hanes Underwear, and Daniel Craig

Today Brent was chuckling over  a commercial and it involved the 49ers.  "Was Joe Montana the quarterback the last time they won the Superbowl?"

"No, Steve Young."

"Oh.  Well, surprisingly I didn't say Joe Namath.  That's what I usually say.  And you usually correct me."

He offered no response to my obvious ability to learn about a subject I have not interest in.  He continued to try and focus on the television and the obviously riveting football game.

Gentle Reader, I have no idea who Joe Namath actually is.  Oh, I know he has something to do with football.  But what he looks like, who he played for and when is beyond me.  Yes, I could Google it, but WHY?  I simply don't care.  The only reason I know anything about Joe MONTANA  is because he QB'd when I was in high school.  And I felt pressure to actually understand and CARE about sports then.  And the 49ers had a red team. So, therefore I cheered for them.  Even if I was the worst cheerleader in the WORLD.

Sorry about the bunny chase.  We were discussing a discussion I had with Brent.  Who was NOT participating in said discussion (kind of like the discussion we are having now, no?)  "Don't worry though.  I know who I mean.  After all, I can still picture him in his Hanes underwear."

And I found the photo here.  Amazing that someone is selling an underwear ad with coupons, eh?

And he did indeed turn his head to focus on me.  Long enough to widen his eyes in frustration to see my coffee resting precariously on the arm of the couch.

 













Confession:  When I decided to share this pointless conversation with you, I had to ask Brent, "Hey, when I was asking you about the Joe Montana Superbowl thing, did you say the name of their last quarterback to win it was Eli Young?"

And he looked at me silently for a moment.  Then he said "Steve Young."  And then he wondered aloud why that conversation would trigger a blog.

We saw the new Bond movie this weekend.  It was great fun.  And quite possibly my favorite Bond ever.  Which isn't saying much as I have only liked the Bonds with Daniel Craig.  He's just so rough looking.  He looks like he has lived a hard life and ran a thousand miles, and his eyes are bloodshot and he does the emotional devastation that is never seen in other Bond movies...And then he truly does the very best cuff link check of any Bond.  Seriously, he jumps through the demolished roof of a moving train comes to his feet and adjusts his cuff links as he somehow ruthlessly continues pursuit of his query...I tried to find a good still of it, but it required more fortitude than this blogger has.

Gentle Reader, while I do so LOVE Daniel Craig as Bond, his lack of restraint with regards to amorous activities is rather disappointing.  In the words of my 12 year old, he is such a "tulsa.  Spell it backwards, Mom."  Which I mentally did.  Then I cringed inside.  And then I withered some more when she said, "By the way, what exactly IS a slut?"

Speaking of amorous activities:  I have a new obsession.  Actually an old obsession revisited.  The other day at the library I saw a Julia Quinn Bridgerton novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me.  I had read it before, but decided I could use a smile, so I checked it out.  And now I find myself scrambling to find all eight of the Bridgerton series, because they are just too funny and too endearing.  It is a series about eight siblings, alphabetically named growing up in Regency England.  They are fun, and they are light.  And there is not a disgusting amount of amorous activities going on.  And what is there can easily be skimmed over.  Anyhoo, as I've read all of these books before I'm kicking myself for my tendency to trade books in after reading them.  That has been the number one thing about my Nook.  I can't just carry a book to The Book Rack and trade it in for another book.  I actually have to keep the book.  Although I do miss the carry in the old paper sack of books and browsing through the shelves with their distinct smell of old books.

Well, that's all I've got for today.  Now I'm off to teach a group of ungrateful wretches their Christmas music!

Have a lovely day, Gentle Reader!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Hypothetical Life Lesson: Repeated

Today I read Taylor's post about the scariness of choking.  It made me reminisce over my own experiences with choking.

And they aren't actually FOND memories, but they are now funny stories, and that's all that really matters right?  Because, clearly sometimes the WORST experiences make the BEST stories.

And I'm all about the stories. 

So, in my reminiscing, I read a few old posts regarding choking.  They are a few years old, but I really wanted to share them with you again.  I could just post links, but experience has taught me that readers don't always click on the links, no matter what the promise of laughter is dangled in front of them...

Well, at least I am too lazy to click on a link. Perhaps i shouldn't paint my children with the same brush as I myself, eh?

So, without further rambling, I will happily PASTE a previous post involving a humorously choking child.
And her hypothetical mom...

Let's pretend for a moment, shall we? Let's just say, that hypothetically one child has a ring pop that she is eating. The other child wants to taste it. Now, the latter child has a ring pop, but cannot eat it until after her game. Child number one offers to let her sister taste it. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

The mother of this hypothetical pair pipes up, "No, you can't share your sucker, your sister has a cold." The hypothetical mother in this hypothetical situation then witnesses her hypothetical daughter, who is having a surprising moment of a sharing spirit GIVE HER SISTER A LICK OF HER SUCKER. Well, this hypothetical mother then said, "Okay, now you're going to go throw that sucker away. I don't want you to get your sister's cold."

Hypothetical child of the ring pop disappears around the corner....presumably to dispose of her sucker in the bathroom trashcan....

Time is passing by...

Passing by.....

Now, let's just say, hypothetically speaking, of course, that child of the ring pop comes bursting around the corner, face VERY red........................coughing..................... choking.................gagging.

Hypothetical Mom: Are you choking?
Child makes gagging and coughing sounds, but is moving air, so hypothetical mom, who could possibly be, hypothetically, a nurse, tells child to go to the bathroom, and follows her.

Just to add a little interest to this purely hypothetical situation, let's pretend it's picture day for basketball, and child with a cold's entire team and their parents have witnessed all of the above exchange.....If this were not a purely....hypothetical situation, you can imagine the gasps and murmurs of concern....

Mom and child who is not choking on her sucker (so she is vehemently denying at this point) quickly make their way to the bathroom. Child who is not choking, continues to cry and make gagging noises....

Hypothetical mom: Did you go around the corner and chew your ring pop as fast as you could instead of THROWING IT IN THE TRASH?
Child shakes head emphatically no, but continues to cry and cough.
Hypothetical mom, now holding coughing child's face in her hands and looking as mean as she, hypothetically, can.....IS THERE A PIECE OF SUCKER STUCK IN YOUR THROAT THAT IS HURTING, THAT IS MAKING YOU COUGH, MAKING YOU GAG, AND MAKING YOU CRY!?!
Child, no longer meeting Hypothetical Mom's eyes, slowly nods yes.
Hypothetical Mom (with, quite possibly, hypothetically speaking of course a look of smug victory on her face): Well, that's what happens when you don't mind your mommy. Drink some warm water, the candy will dissolve, and stop hurting in a little bit......

And with that she leaves the bathroom, hypothetical crying child in tow.

Now, let's say Hypothetical Mom and child round corner to find everyone anxiously watching for them and asking after the well being of this hypothetical child....

Hypothetical Mom in all her hypothetical nurseyness replies, "She's fine, she just had to learn what happens when you don't mind your mommy"....quiet laughter is heard in the hallway from various other hypothetical parents.....

So, in the above hypothetical situation, one might assume that the hypothetical child of the ring pop would have learned to mind her hypothetical mom. Sadly, one would be VERY wrong in making that assumption....

Hypothetical child of the ring pop had received a juice pouch from her hypothetical teammates after her hypothetical game....

Hypothetical Mom: Do not open your juice pouch. We don't want to spill juice on the church floor. You can drink your water....

You can see where this is going, can't you? No one ever accused you of being slow Dear Reader....

At about this time Hypothetical Dad is back with sandwiches to share with his hypothetical family between 2 games and 2 sets of team pictures....

Hypothetical Dad: I thought I heard your mom telling you not to open it....Oh well, it's open now, hurry up and drink it....

Let's pretend, just for a moment, now humor me here....that the hypothetical mom's head spun around so fast it nearly broke the sound barrier, and saw this hypothetically EXTREMELY DISOBEDIENT child sucking on a juice pouch....Now, let's pretend that hypothetical mom RIPPED the above juice pouch out her hypothetical child's hand and carried it to the trash herself.....

You see, Dear Reader, the hypothetical mom can learn a hypothetical lesson....Never trust a hypothetically EXTREMELY DISOBEDIENT child to actually throw away her treats!

The end.

Hypothetically, of course.

Disclaimer
This is a hypothetical situation. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the hypothetical author's imagination or are used hypothetically, and any resemblance to actual hypothetical persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental. Hypothetically speaking, of course. 


Now, wasn't that fun?

For more choking fun, how's about I post a few more jollies for you to enjoy?  Of course, you will have to actually click on the links and FOLLOW them.  That may require more fortitude (read here: time) than you have at the moment.  If that is true, I will understand.  Barely.

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver.
Rasslin'  Attention:  this post has NOTHING to do with choking, but it popped up in my "choking" search for my blog.  And it made me laugh all over again.  So, I'm linking it.  Because it's my blog, and I can do that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Need a Laugh?

After my last post of whining and complaining about the world at large, I decided to grant you all with a reprieve of laughter.

Have you heard of Mr. Obvious?  If not, you simply MUST listen to this.  It will totally make your day.  I promise.



Your welcome.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pandora's Box of Curls

Since Halloween is officially over, I decided to clean the cobwebs from my light fixtures.

I officially change jobs this week.  I'm still working at Saints, but I will now be in float pool.  This basically means I have complete control over when and how long I work, but WHERE I work within the hospital will change from day to day.  I loved my old job, but needed more flexibility and my "AHA" moment came when I was talking with our band president the other day.  "Dawn works as a nurse, and it's the perfect career for a mom.  She just sets her schedule around her kids."

Such a simple statement.  But I was immediately taken back in time to my previous life as a pool nurse where I did that exact thing.  After much prayer I decided to change departments, and I must say I'm excited, although a little sad to leave a job that I love.

I am addicted to Pandora radio.  Specifically Michael Buble' radio.  I may have a tendency to turn to Paula Abdul, or New Kids on the Block, but they are passing aberrations and Michael will always seduce me back to his big band jazzy ways.

I was devastated that Dierks Bentley cut off his tousled curls.


 Perhaps I am having regression to my teen years, as I didn't know I was so attached to those curls until they were gone.  Sort of like the Bieber fans when he cut his hair.  Only I wept silently in my pillow instead of posting hate messages to him on twitter and facebook.



 Tomorrow is election day.  I keep hearing my dad's voice in my head saying, "Vote out the incumbent."  Except Tom Coburn.  But that's my opinion, not sure about Dad's there.  We also have some big questions on the ballot.  I need to read up on them today so I can vote knowledgeably tomorrow.  I've read through them once, but I need to make a cheat sheet so I don't screw it up.

Laundry is the enemy.  It never goes away.  Ever, ever, ever.

Yesterday my children's choir sang in church.  They did so well that I made them HOMEMADE popcorn and chocolate chip cookies.  They complained that the popcorn wasn't buttery or salty enough.  And half of them proceeded to throw away the treat bags I made them.  THEN, they complained that some of the cookies were too crispy and they threw those away too!  I was HORRIFIED.  Where are manners today?  My girls were shocked when they came into my class at the end and heard some of the "ungrateful wretches" complaining about their treats.  They were even more dismayed to see popcorn in the trash.  You see, I had used the very last of our popcorn to make the treat, so my kids didn't get to eat their traditional popcorn, cheese, and apple Sunday supper.

My choir members usually get to pick out a piece of candy if they behave during choir at the end of rehearsal, but I'm seriously considering not giving them any next week, citing their atrocious manners and general ungrateful attitudes from this past Sunday.  But it will probably not do any good, and they won't get what I'm talking about.

And it's really Disney Channel's fault.  (Not really, but we all need to point the blame at someone, right?)  Have you seen how disrespectful the kids are on those shows?  And it's presented as humorous.  My kids have been watching Leave it to Beaver and Andy Griffith, and even Dennis the Menace after school lately. We recently discovered Burns and Allen.  That show is hysterical! And George Burns was ANCIENT in that show.


 How come all of the parents in those sitcoms were so much older than the actual reflection of society, I wonder?  I know I sound like an old fogy, but they all had a "moral of the story" approach.  Now TV is just for entertainment (which I'm all for), with the intent to cram moral filth down our children's throats.  What I need to remember is that I CAN control what is brought into my home.  I may not be able to control what they hear in school, etc, but I CAN limit what is acceptable in my home.

So, I guess I will end this rambling go nowhere post with it's Pandora's box of rants and random thoughts.

What do YOU have planned for this week?  Make sure it includes voting tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

But Seriously. Four is a Record.

Popcorn always agonizes over her Halloween costume.  There is this VAST world of possibilities, and just so many opportunities to dress up!

Katniss, a puppy dog, 50s girl, and Cleopatra
Bookworm always decides early and sticks with the decision.  And her costume is NEVER outlandish.  It is always a simple thing, but often a thing that nobody else understands.  Because we watch shows nobody else does.  For example she has been Morticia, Wednesday, Kim Possible, and this year she was Katniss.  So, no matter whether she goes to 2 or 15 parties, her costume will be steadfastly the same...














Please pardon the phone photo.  Somehow I failed to take a picture with a real camera.


Bookworm wore this to the school dance, a party at home, trunk or treat at church, and then trick or treating.  This was THE costume and there was no need to deviate from it.
 
Popcorn has to be something "big" that's never been done before every single year.  And she always manages to be multiple characters every Halloween.  Except last year was a sad year, as she was only ever Tiger Lily, the Indian princess from Peter Pan.  Not quite sure how that happened, other than she begged me for a costume that was rather expensive and I guilted her into wearing it more than once...She even re-purposed it for Land Run day at school.  The year before that she started out as a witch, but then was a vampire, and then a princess...

This year she set an all time record with a whopping four costumes.  First she was a bug caught in a web for a party we let them have Saturday night.  We attempted a spider web, but the webbing kept tearing, and the spiders, made of pipe cleaners, were too poky.  Costumes must NEVER be uncomfortable!  We decided to bind her in the fake web and pretend she was a bug being feasted on by spiders! 


Then we had Trunk or Treat at church, where she decided to use her sister's costume from last year and be Wednesday Addams.

Notice the pet tarantula "Homer" in her hair and her doll, Marie Antoinette.

Today she decided to be a witch for school, using a vampire costume from a few years back.  However, this costume proved too cumbersome as "you just can't run in that dress." and, "the hat is just too much of a distraction, because it won't stay put."  She said, "I think I'll be candy corn tonight!"



"WHAT??? I think I gave away the candy corn costume because I always BEG you guys to wear it, and you never will, so NOW you want to wear it!"

Too which she giggled and proceeded to charm me into climbing into the attic to drag out her old box of "dress up clothes" that I had been unable to part with.  After scrounging through it and rejecting the 70s disco girl costume and the Daphne (from Scooby Doo), and Sleeping Beauty...AND THE CANDY CORN WHICH WAS THE WHOLE REASON I WENT UP THERE, we compiled one of my sister's old show choir tops, a pirate hat from one of Bookworm's MULTIPLE pirate parties, and one of my belts and Ta-Da!



Sadly, we only have a few more Halloweens left for trick or treating, so tomorrow I will take a trip with you down memory lane and show you all of our Halloween costumes from years past!  How fun!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Conversations with Hard Truths

This morning in a random rabbit chasing conversation, we were discussing Santa, and how it drives me crazy that some Christian families make Santa this evil Jesus stealer.  It sort of gets my back up.  Now, I wrestled with the whole Santa issue when our kids were little and Brent said "Did you have Santa as a kid?  Yes, you did.  Did you think Christmas was about Santa or Jesus?  Did you stop believing in Jesus when you realized Santa wasn't real?  Do you really want to steal the excitement and magic of Santa from our kids?"

And with all of those questions with their obvious answers, we decided to do the Santa thing.

And it has been a blast.

Anyhoo, we were discussing the whole "evil Santa," which I was trying to do in code as our little Popcorn has never expressed any Santa doubts, and Brent was ignoring me and making the whole thing OBVIOUS, when Popcorn said, "Why would Santa be bad?"

So, my husband says "Well you don't believe in that whole Santa come down the chimney thing anyway, do you?"

And she replied, "Well, not since you said it that way."  And she gave this horrible little strangled giggle and big wet puddles formed in her eyes, but she forced this big stiff grin across her face and continued to say "It's okay," and fake laugh as I started to cry and berate my husband for being a big ole spoiler, joy stealer, and general Grinch in human form.

Grrr...

So, we talked about how MY MOM did the same thing to me.  She thought I was faking that I believed in Santa, and was appalled when I was devastated by her harsh truth.  Of course, I was like 12 years old or something.



So, all in all it was okay.  She will be sad for a while, but I promised to still give her Santa gifts, and she said she had wondered if he was real, but then figured there was NO WAY we would actually buy her the stuff Santa brought, so therefore he must be real.

And I must say that kind of baffled me, because I always give the big gifts from US and the little stuff from Santa, and Santa only ever brought one gift, not counting their stocking, so that logic doesn't quite balance out in my head...

After the kids went to their room to play Barbies, I told Studmuffin I really needed to do a blog on conversations, and how they can go so wrong.

I still like to spoil my kids by fixing their breakfast in the morning if I have time.  Even if it's making a frozen waffle.  I can spread the peanut butter and pour the syrup and cut it up just so, and they are convinced it tastes better if I do it.  I don't often have time, due to having to leave for work early, but when I can, I still like to pamper them.  Especially as I realize how fleeting their childhood is, and they will be gone before I know it.

Anyway, this week I had been unable to sleep past 4:30am, so I was up, fed, dressed, Bible study done before I even woke them.  I had made Bookworms breakfast, but Popcorn was having wardrobe drama and had ended up coming in the kitchen to slouch in defeat on her stool "I have nothing to wear."  I ignored her lamentation and said, "Do you want hot Grape Nuts, oatmeal, or blueberry waffles?"

"Waffles."

So, I popped her highly nutritious Nutrigrain frozen waffles in and ran to gather up a load of laundry to start before we had to run out the door.  I was in my bathroom sorting the piles when I heard, "Mom!  My waffles popped!"

I came into the kitchen carrying a basket of laundry, found her little body unmoved and still slumped on her stool and said, "Seriously!  Do you know how to spell 'worthless?'"

And without even a hint of a pause for thought she replied, "M-O-M."

And while I might ought to have scolded her smart mouth, I laughed and fixed her waffle with just the perfect amount of peanut butter (which is LOTS) and a small drizzle of syrup, cut it up just so, left the second one plain, as is her preference, and handed her plate to her.

Because sometimes you just have to laugh and enjoy the spirit in which something is said, and know their is no heart behind it.


 And isn't laughter with your kids one of the greatest treasures you can receive?



Monday, October 22, 2012

Don't Flush It!

Today I had to visit the "ladies room" while we were at a basketball booster meeting.

Even though the season hasn't even started the first door I opened revealed a toilet crammed full of toilet paper with yellow tinted water.

Oh, loverly...

As I moved to the next stall over and proceeded to attend to the business that initially lead me to enter the bathroom, I noticed the sign that hangs inside of every women's restroom in every bathroom stall across the nation:

"PLEASE DO NOT FLUSH TAMPONS OR PADS.  
THEY WILL PLUG UP OUR TOILETS.  
THANK YOU."

And I suddenly had an epiphany:  I bet that not one single woman who had to help their dad dig up the sewer line after they flushed a "flushable" tampon, and thus discover the tampon/pad at the end of the long line of toilet paper and other unmentionable products was indeed "flushable" but not exactly degradable EVER places their feminine hygiene products in those toilets.

You see, my sisters and I only made that mistake one time.

Each.

My dad is a very long suffering man.


Friday, October 12, 2012

What is Love?

In my department I work with many chronically ill patients.  I see these patients week after week, month after month, year after year.  I see those who struggle to make an appointment because they have exhausted all resources; family, friends, church members.  The person is still ill, but the novelty of that illness is worn off, and they have moved on with their lives.  I see this daily, and it really never strikes me as unusual, which is a definite testimony to the thickening of my skin over these past years as a nurse.

However, while I have become accustomed to this state of unintentional neglect, I am still refreshed by the display of love I find steadily offered to a small handful of patients who are blessed beyond measure to be loved in all and through all things.

Love is a big sister who comes to every one of her blind sister's appointments.  The trip to the hospital is over 150 miles away from home, and it often turns into drawn out visits that extend into days or weeks.  The baby sister has breast cancer, kidney failure, and had a stroke last week.  The big sister is in her fifties and the "baby" sister is staring fifty in the face, but the love is there.  Love is the ferocious protective streak that demands she bully every single nurse into giving her sister the absolute best care, and badger the doctors until she understands EXACTLY what is happening and planned for her sister.  Love works patiently and diligently to help her sister memorize the sequence of buttons to push on her insulin pump so that she can manage her own blood sugar and not have to count on another to manage it.  Love is sleepless, cold nights in an ICU waiting room where none of the chairs recline, you are surrounded by strangers, and still determining to stay   Love is not caring if you are on every single persons last nerve as you ask questions and make demands and push, push, push... because their convenience is not worth your sister's health.

Love is the mother sitting on a pillar in the hallway outside of the ICU with a statue of Jesus holding a small child.  She is propped up by the statue.  Her shoulders are slumped, her face is wan and she is not sure how her stubborn daughter will deal with the loss of yet another piece of freedom.  But love stays and it waits.  And prays.  And offers moments of humor where they can be found.

Even when it is nowhere to be found.

Love is getting up and taking care of your wife every single day.  Endlessly rearranging that pillow that just never lies just right under the right hip.  Sponge baths.  Laundry.  Using the church  bus because it has a wheelchair lift.  Getting up, cooking breakfast, helping her dress.  Lifting her from the bed to the wheelchair.  Loading into that bus, and driving to the hospital for an endless round of appointments.  Staying for the entire day when the schedule gets delayed from one appointment to the next, and additional procedures added on unexpectedly.

Today she is weepy. The addition of a long term IV that is designed to make their life more simple comes as a blow.  A visible reminder of her illness and that she is not getting better.  Love continues to smile, to stroke the hand, to say "It's okay.  You will be okay. We will do this.  Don't worry."

The smile is tight, the eyes are weary, but the over all spirit of joy in caring for his wife is there.  When asked how he is doing, or offering to help merge some appointments to save trips, love answers,  "Well, at least I'm retired.  I don't have anything to do anyway but take her around."

The care is exhausting.  It is nonstop and day in day out.  It is physically exhausting.  It is emotionally devastating.  The caregiver will determine to be strong because she can't right now.  It is all she can do to face an illness that was never expected.

Love is an action.  It is not an emotion that will ebb and flow through the years.  It is a decision and it is a determination to see through to the end when the trial is long and the suffering is immense.

I think one of the things about love is that it is NOT in response to a situation, or something done FOR you, rather it is an outflow of a decision you have already made.  You can't decide that you are going to love someone through a difficult time unless you already purposed that you were going to love them BEFORE the crisis occurred.  Love given in response to something done for you is easy. 

Love given in a time of crisis can even be easy. Particularly if the crisis is short term. The illness occurs and suddenly you are aware of what the sick person means to you and you are eager and happy to help them in their time of need.  There is great reward and even personal satisfaction in leaving and saying, "I'm so glad I was able to go clean their house today."  That love is easy and freely given.  And while it is certainly needed and appreciated in the persons time of need, it is not even a drop in the bucket compared to the love I'm privileged to observe.

The person who relentlessly pours themselves into another life for the long haul inspires me the most.  Love found at the bedside for every single procedure months, years into the illness.  Love given day in and out with relentless demand and no horizon within view is a thing of true beauty.

Love is deciding when you will allow them to go with your blessing.  Clasping that hand  held so fiercely through months of illness, and telling them goodbye, that you love them "It's okay. I will be okay.  I can do this.  Don't worry."

Love.

I am blessed to see it.
 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Face Lift

We bought new couches quite a while back.  The couches we had were only 15 years old...

Anyway, the thing about the couches that we bought, is that I didn't like the pillows that came with it.  I like the comfort of the couch, and I like the neutral color that easily blends with my desire to paint walls various random colors... And I like that the couches were really deep when all of the pillows are off, so we can actually lay on the couch together and watch tv/fall asleep.

Because we are fuddy duddys who can barely stay conscious past 8:30.

Anyhoo, I liked the couches themselves.  But I just didn't like the pillows.  I bought them with the mindset that I could replace them.  But I couldn't find a pillow I really liked unless it was fifty dollars and up.  And $200 dollars on pillows for the two sofas seemed excessive


Last night I had to run into Walmart on the way home for some random reason.  I was on my way home from work.  I was tired and hungry.  Not a good mental state to enter Walmart in.  My defenses were down.  I spent entirely too much money. 

One of my impulse purchase was a few yards of fabric.

And this is what I did last night:



I really had NO idea what I was doing. 

But here's the final result!


 What new projects do you have started? 

And why do those brown pillows look green in the above photo?





Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dress Up: Exactly How Old is Too Old?

Today Popcorn reminded me of our dress up photo shoot from last year.  Of course, Halloween is just around the corner, so she is agonizing of who/what to be.  After all, everything I suggest has "already been done."  I say she just needs to let go and have fun and do something utterly preposterous.

Like dress up as Wonder Woman


Or even Steven Tyler.  I have to admit, my photo reenactment of him was more fun and much less intimidating than the Amazon warrior princess.


And perhaps more realistic...


Or she could be any member of the Addams family.  We have all the costumes.  Except Pugsley.  She adamantly refuses to dress up as him...Or Cousin It, or Uncle Fester, or Mama'.  She is really just a total drag when it comes to conforming.


Of course the Addams family was "being done" by all of us last year, so she had to be an Indian princess.  I think she was Tiger Lily, but she might hit me if I'm wrong, so don't tell her that, okay?

I suggested she could be a mummy.  I would even be gracious enough to pin the wrappings above and below her waist so she could have potty breaks.

She was not amused.

*I think perhaps a Morticia photo shoot is in the making.  I swear, my ability to mirror celebrities is absolutely amazing!  Perhaps I should change careers?


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lazy

It is 12:30pm.  As in half past noon.  As in "I'm still in my pjs and I just fed the girls pumpkin pancakes for brunch and I hope none of the neighbors drop in for a chat."

Brent is at his 20 year reunion, and I was unable to go as I'm on call and nobody was willing to switch my call except those who I couldn't switch with, so here I am at 12:30 on a  Saturday, still in my pjs, and I decided I should write a post.

Did you know that if you have nowhere to be, you can be utterly lazy and still accomplish more than if you had just one errand to run?  For example, I slept in until the unseemly hour of 7:30 when Chesney woke me up with her Chewbacca call because she wanted out of her crate.  Kelsey and I clamored out of bed and they both ran out to enjoy the chilly morning air.  I debated lighting a fire, just in the spirit of "it's finally fall and I can light a fire if  I want to and Brent won't be here to gripe that it is pointless."

Oh, and please don't tell my husband that my dog slept with me on his side of the bed with her head on his pillow while he was out of town.  He tends to get testy about that.

Instead of making a fire, I grabbed a cup of coffee and read the Baptist Messenger and worked the sudoku puzzle in it.

Then I decided to do a load of laundry. 

Then I was lazy some more...

Then I helped Bookworm make the aforementioned pancakes.

Then I was lazy some more...


Then I folded my second load of laundry and washed some dishes.

Then I was lazy some more...

And now I'm writing this blog with half my day in front of me and nothing left to do but run the vacuum and clean the counter tops in the bathrooms.

You see, I had half of yesterday off.  And that meant I swept and mopped all hard floors and scrubbed the OUTSIDE of my fridge (I don't want you to think I braved the inside) and scrubbed all of the tubs and shower walls.  I also made some bread (in my bread machine, so again don't go crazy here) and learned that expiration dates on yeast do in fact matter, and whipped up some chicken and dumplings.

So all of that laboring yesterday enabled me to have a day of lazy productivity. 

And all of that enforces my belief that I simply MUST change jobs to twelve hour shifts again.  For while the day is LONG, you have all of these days at home!  And as nurses we are brain washed from nursing school on that while you may have to work on weekends and holidays, it is only for THREE DAYS A WEEK!  And yet I'm working eight hour shifts four days a week. 

WHAT AM I THINKING?

Well, that is all.  Sorry it is not witty.  Sorry it is not interesting.  But it is a post.

Perhaps this week I will finally show you a picture tutorial on refinishing furniture.  Or post pictures of the cowboy cooler Studmuffin is nearly completed.  Or maybe I should share my crock pot chicken and dumplings with you...

All grand ideas, yes?


Friday, September 7, 2012

The Ugly Years and a Bowl of Soup

Wednesday I perused Allrecipes.com for some new recipes.  We are having trouble getting to eat at home, as some child decided to play school ball, and they have close to 50 games in a 7 week period.  Our dining budget is blown, I've learned that if you skip the "A" game, knowing your child is not playing before the "B" game, you can get in free, and poor Bookworm has probably eaten more Taco Mayo and Sonic in the last five weeks than her whole life combined.

The coaches have them walk the half mile to these two establishments after checking in at the locker rooms.  And just when did my child get old enough to walk with her friends to these places and buy herself some food?

Probably about the time she started looking like this:


She's on the right.  And she has makeup on.  And I think she's really pretty, in a completely unbiased sort of way.  Dang it.

Not "dang it" because she's pretty.  But "dang it" she's in 7th grade, and that is just down right annoying and somehow impossible, but obviously totally possible, considering this is her back to school picture for this year.  And yes, that's 7th grade.  



Raise your hand if 7th grade was your "ugliest year ever."

Pfpfpfpf

Anyway, I found several recipes to try, but this one is a real keeper.  I put all of the ingredients in the crock pot this morning at about 6:30 and Brent simply added the cream cheese about 5:30 and then served it up to the kids about 6pm.  You see, Bookworm had a friend come home from school with her to get ready for the dance.  They were here by 3:30 and were still not ready when I got home at 6:20.  Popcorn was in charge of hair.  However, the waver took so much time with Bookworm, that Grace's friend decided to forgo any wild new styles and went with her simple normal 'do.

Anyway, OF COURSE I was cleaning up the kitchen before I realized I should photograph this recipe and blog it.

Because I've been so short of blog material lately...Well, more lacking any real desire to sit down and look at the computer, much less write a blog.

I thought about putting it in a pretty bowl and sprinkling some shredded cheese on it, and perhaps a dollop of sour cream. Then I got bored and impatient just thinking about it, so I shrugged and decided to just snap a picture of it in the Tupperware bowl , and call it good.  And while my photography skills leave something to be desired, this dish will in no way disappoint.  In fact, Bookworm's friend cleaned her bowl (other than a few tomato chunks) and her parents keep claiming she's a finicky eater...





Spicy Latin Chicken Soup

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I actually used 3, because mine were so huge)
3 cans diced tomatoes (I actually used 1 can diced, 1 can Mexican style, and 1 can of tomatoes with chipotle peppers)
16oz jar salsa verde
1 can pinto beans rinsed and drained
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
frozen corn (it called for one can, but I used probably 2 cups frozen)
2 tsp chili powder
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tsp cumin
cilantro, if desired (and believe me, I don't) 
1/2 c of cream cheese


Place chicken (whole, they will fall apart when you go to scoop it out) in bottom of crock pot.  Add remaining ingredients, except cream cheese and stir.  Cook on low 8-10 hours, or until chicken is very tender.  About 15 minutes before dinner time, soften cream cheese, scoop out a bit of liquid from your soup and then stir in to cream cheese to create a creamy mixture, then pour this into your soup.

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips as desired.

This soup was a huge hit, and my family was quite pleased to have a real home cooked meal, and not something that was thrown together in 5 minutes or less.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Two Noncrafters

I'm not crafty.  And when I say that, I don't mean in the devious sort of way.

Because I can be quite devious.  Which is why I think I'll do okay with a certain child when they are a teen.  Because I've been there, batted the eyes, and got the t-shirt.



Anyhoo, today after Bookworm left for her back to school dance on a SCHOOL NIGHT, three weeks into school no less, Popcorn suddenly realized she needed a lanyard.

And it was "required."  And apparently some girl had a super cute one made out of duct tape, and couldn't we just whip one up?

"I have not the faintest idea how to make a lanyard."  I then considered the subject closed and began to clean the kitchen, secure in the knowledge that she would surely bury herself in "Wipeout" and forget all about the silly I-don't-really-believe-it's-required-lanyard.

As I poured the leftovers in a freezer bag for a hectic day when we would need a yummy dinner, I saw her digging through the crap cabinet (some people have craft drawers, cabinets, or even rooms.  We have a crap cabinet) and dragging out streamers, leather scraps, and beads that were a gift from like her 6th birthday (told you we weren't crafty around here.)

She had visions of wrapping the streamers in leather scraps and somehow incorporating the beads.  I tried not to look as skeptical as I felt about this endeavor..."MOooooOOOoooM!  You said you had a fabulous idea!" 

"No.  I said I hadn't the faintest idea.  Big difference."

"Oh."  And then she went all disappointed looking on me and continued to dig through the cabinet that I had actually organized a few short weeks before...

Sigh.

"Let me see what I can find."  And I lifted my shoe box of sewing notions from the top of my closet and she dug through it as if it were buried treasure...

As we sifted through the bounty on my bed, I felt as if something were looking down at me.  It was a rather strange and random sensation...

And then a brown recluse fell out of my hair and skittered onto my leg.  I freaked out and knocked it to the floor.  I snatched up a kleenex and smashed him to bits before he could scurry under the bed.

The spider is rather irrelevant to this tale, but I felt the need to share my trauma with you.  I have felt as if I've been covered in creepy crawlies ever since. 

*Shudder*

Anyway.  Popcorn and I managed a lanyard.  And now her flash drive is in no danger of being confused with another student's.


We decided that perhaps we had a random crafty hair after all.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Worst Decisions Make the Best Stories

I had a patient yesterday who just happens to be a nurse. 

I'd actually "met" him a few times before, but those previous times he had a bolt coming out the top if his head, and he yelled really loud when I had to replace his IV, because he's terrified of needles.  Apparently, when one has suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm it is difficult to deal with the little phobias in life that normally you'd deep breathe through...

Anyhoo, he was looking much better and slowly getting back into weight lifting, which is what triggered the aneurysm rupture in the first place.  Either that, or the fact that he'd quit smoking just 4 days before it ruptured.  He's still on the fence about the real cause.

And he's not going to risk something like denying himself a cigarette when he nearly died trying to quit.

He has no tendency toward drama at all.

I was so relieved when the doctor openly addressed his tattoo.  Because I had definitely noticed it the other times when I was pulling the sheath that the doctor places in his right groin and threads a catheter through.  The catheter is then threaded up to his brain to inject contrast so they can get really clear pictures of the vascular system.  Anyway, you probably didn't want all of that info, but it's sort of necessary to help you understand that I had seen is groin a few times before.

And I couldn't help but notice the little "Hi" tattooed on it.  However, being that his coping skills were a bit diminished, I hadn't gathered the gumption to just come right out and ask what on earth he was thinking when he got the crazy thing.  Because, while most patients think it's truly my business to know everything I decide to ask, as a nurse he would probably get that I was just being nosy. 

But I really, really wanted to know.  Was it done on a dare?  Was it supposed to say something else, but he just wimped out?  Was he really a disgusting pervert?  I had been curious, yet disgusted by the thing since the first time I'd met him, under much scarier circumstances.

Never fear, Gentle Reader. My patience was finally being rewarded...

As the doctor began to prep the area for the study, he said "Hey, I see that you got a tattoo, just so I could know exactly where to go."  And I smiled inside because I now had permission to get the whole scoop.  But I was patient, Gentle Reader.  I didn't immediately hound him for details.  I knew my time was coming, if I just waited for the right moment.

Once the procedure was completed and I was checking around the catheter sight to make sure no bleeding had occurred under the skin, my patient commented on how embarrassing his tattoo is.  "You know, when I was 13, and hiding in my bedroom doing that tattoo, I never dreamed that 6 people would be looking at it."

"Well, let me tell you, way more than six people have seen it by now."  I'm sure he found my observation comforting.  "So you did it yourself?  When you were only 13?"  That explains the prison tat appearance."

He started laughing, and I had to scold him, because after all at that point I was holding pressure on his femoral artery, and laughter adds pressure and if my hand slipped I really didn't want to clean blood off the walls...

"Yeah, I used a needle and India ink.  I was just a stupid kid."

And then we changed the subject and talked about his and his wife's nursing experiences. 

And I thanked him for a great story that I will now have thanks to his poor judgment as a teenager.

It just really brings home the fact that the worst decisions make really great stories.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Different

Aren't we all just sick to DEATH of hearing about same sex marriage???

I know I am.  It is just so EXHAUSTING.  I mean, we are hammered with this topic from every corner.  Television, facebook, church, radio, work...

I am just sick, sick, sick of it.  I don't want to talk about.  I certainly don't want to blog about it.  I want to blog about crazy, silly stuff in my life. 

But yesterday morning as I sat on my deck, dogs at me feet, Oliver standing on the rail behind me, coffee cup on the arm rest, God jumped up in my face AGAIN.  I kind of like when He does that.  But it sure makes me uncomfortable at times. 

Well, most of the time.

Anyway, I decided a blog filled with trivialities and laughter will have to wait for a later date.  God has a bigger agenda for me right now.

Right now I'm reading through 2 Chronicles.  My challenge for myself this summer has been to read through passages I have never deemed as "fun" and dig my teeth in where normally I would have just skimmed and called it good.  2 Chronicles 5 reviews the dedication of the Temple.  God ensured that the dedication coincided with the Feast of Tabernacles.  This meant that as the Israelites were celebrating in a gorgeous, eye popping gold laiden temple, they were remembering their travels in the desert.  So even as they were surrounded with unimaginable wealth (that belonged to God) they were dancing and singing praises to God for deliverance and provision in the desert. 

God is so cool.

Anyway, my commentary recommended I flip to Psalm 107 for a great example of praising God for His provision.  As I read it, familiar words flowed into my heart, "Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, His love endures forever..."  I mentally started singing along.  But then as I read on, painfully familiar themes were woven through.  Things I do not want to walk around humming about.  Famine.  Imprisonment.  Drought.  Especially verses 33-34, I'm sure they struck such a strong chord in me as wildfires raged mere miles away from my house, and the stench of the smoke permeated the air around me...

Communities all across the state have been meeting and having prayer that God will have mercy on us and send the rain.  I pictured this group of modern day prayer warriors crying out in the one room school turned into community center near my folks house.  And I was saddened to think that our country has become so wicked in God's eyes that he has perhaps pronounced judgment on us.

Not that I have any way of knowing such things.  But I do know I am surrounded by wickedness. 

Strangely, as I reread verse 33-34, and my soul mourned at the wicked world my children will grow up in, God whispered 2 Chronicles 7:14 into my heart.

"If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

I was struck by several phrases:

 my people.

called

 humble themselves

 turn from their wicked ways.

 It doesn't say "the people", it says MY people.

"My people."  Who is that?  Is it the world?  Is it the general populace of the good ole US of A? Is it the people in my state, my county, my town, my church, my FAMILY???

 Sorry, but the answer He gave me was a very clear "no."

God told me that He is speaking to ME, his child.  Called to His family by His grace and mercy alone.  And while I've always given lip service to "you can't expect the lost to act like Christians" I secretly still expected it.  I mean, really we are a country founded on Biblical principles.  Why won't they just get on the bus and go along with the historical precedence our forefathers set forth?  One nation under God and all of that?

Well, duh.  Because the general populace is NOT Christian.  They are lost.  Drowning in their misery.  Doomed to an eternity of suffering and misery.  Even if they are loving life now, they are lost and facing a horrendous eternity. 

And if I'm not walking, breathing, LIVING the life that Christ has called me to do, then I am failing them. 

So what God told me is that He is not calling the people around me to humble themselves, to pray, to seek His face and turn from THEIR wicked ways.  He's calling ME to do this.

Ouch.

I am called to be drastically different than the world. And I'm just not sure I am. Want to know something?  I don't WANT to be different.  It's not comfortable!  But God has been strengthening me with examples of truly DIFFERENT people than the world around them.  Let's start with Noah.  Surely he was lonely and felt a tad bit ostracized from the world around him as he and his sons built the ark?  I mean, do you think his neighbors were inviting him to any back yard barbecues?

Hey!  Guess who was Noah's ancestors?  Enoch was his great grandfather.  He walked with God 300 years before God took him home with him to heaven, without even dying.   Do you think Enoch was perhaps different from those around him? 

Esther.  Talk about different!  A Jewish girl not only in the enemy camp, but her husband (who happened to be king) had elevated a man who had vowed to destroy all of her people to the highest seat in the land!  (Esther 3)  Do you think she got to sit in her chambers and wait until she had her life in order before she bearded the lion in his den and spoke hard truths to the very man who could behead her at his whim?

Okay, I got it.  I am God's people.  I am called.  I am to humble myself...
 
As a Christian I am not called to hide from the world and sing my praises to a God who saved me with my Christian friends and my Christian music and my Christian facebook friends... I am called to speak the truth.  I will only be showing love to the lost when I share God's word with them.  Not one of the examples listed above (and they are a mere tip of the iceberg) hid in their little bubbles and waited until they had their lives together before they were called to proclaim God's truth.  A truth that the world did NOT want to hear.  And that's what I'm called as a Christian to do. It will not be easy.  There will be many times when it will not be "fun."  But I'm running a race, one that was specifically laid out for me.  And it is not for worldly treasure or accolades.  There is much more at stake than a gold medal.  We are talking about eternal consequences here. 

I don't think I can just sit in my little comfort zone and pretend that's not the gospel.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Hard Thing

I notice that my blogs don't get many comments lately.  Of course, I have that happen every summer.

But my insecurity says people don't like what I'm saying.

I need people to like me.  Maybe you don't, but I do.  If I know someone doesn't like me, I immediately wonder why, and what did I do, and what is WRONG with them?  Seriously.  What's not to like?

Okay, that last part is a joke.

Sort of.

Yesterday a facebook friend posted this link:
http://defendchristians.org/news/major-corporation-declares-war-on-marriage-and-children/

And I reposted it.  My sister was helpful enough to give me a link to all brands they own.


That list seems to make it impossible.  As I perused it, I began to have some trepidation about my follow through.  After all I'm the same girl who banned high fructose corn syrup in our house except ketchup (before there was hfc free) and a weekly soda.  Because while I wanted to limit the junk my kids were eating, there is no need go psycho!  You know they get plenty of junk everywhere else, so why not make home a place of nutritious food?

Anyway, about two years ago I flaked on the HFC thing.  The timing just happened to coincide with the beginning  of my couponing and my attempting to stay at home, so budget budget budget. We all know healthy food is NOT the cheapest way to go.  If it was, raman noodles would not be the food of choice for college kids across America.

However, as I've gone about my day the utter impossibility of boycotting these products keeps coming back to me.  It would be very hard.  Kind of like when we made a pact as a family to limit Apple, Levis, Nike, and Home Depot purchases.  The Home depot was no sweat.  Even Levis and Nike.  However, my kids each own Apple products.  We have stood firm at buying music from iTunes.

So, as I looked at this overwhelming list (Yoplait?  Really?  Their Greek yogurt is my lunch when there is no time for real lunch at work!) I kept thinking, "Wow.  I don't think I can do this."  After all it requires diligence and long term commitment.  All things I really don't seek out.  Then today as I was driving home from running the girls around I remembered a blog I heard about on our local Christian radio.  The blog is directed at teenagers and encourages them to "do the hard thing."  I was so impressed.  It is a group of teenagers uniting in "rebellion against low expectations."  They strive to do what is right in God's eyes, not what is right in the eyes of the world.

And as I remembered that, I thought, if I am applauding a teenager for doing the hard thing, why won't I do it?  And if I don't want to do the hard thing, then how can I expect my kids to do it?

So, I'm giving it a shot.  I'm going to take my list of products owned by General Mills and try to avoid purchasing them, when possible.  If I fail, I'm not going to simply throw up my hands and say "This will never work!"  I'm going to start over and try to do this thing.

As a consumer I have a voice.  It's called my wallet.  If I don't financially support a group, then that group will listen to me.  Of course, if I'm going this alone, they will not care about my one little act of defiance.  However, if Christians as a whole stand up and say they will not support corporations who support the homosexual agenda, or abortion, or whatever cause God is burdening you with, then our voice will be heard!

And even if nobody else stands up, then I will still stand.  And I will not be quiet (like anyone expected THAT anyway.)  I will strive to not throw my convictions in others faces, but I will state what God is telling me to say.  I hope you will pray that the words I use will be His words, not self righteous rambling.

Strangely, I think that my recent study of Joshua helped me prepare for this very thing.  Because as I contemplated how little difference my refusal to support certain institutions can make, in the big picture, God reminded me of Joshua standing before the Israelites after they had conquered the Promised Land:

"Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness.  Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.  But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for my and my household we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24:14-15

God is telling me that the world will NOT serve Him.  But that does not give me permission to serve Him in a half hearted manner, simply because it's a better effort than most are doing.  He is calling me to serve Him when it's hard.  And choosing to fight this battle will not be easy, but I feel that it will be worth it if my kids grow up knowing that their parents knew who they served, and they did it as faithfully as they could.

AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!

How about you?  Is God calling you into battle?  What will your answer be?