Monday, August 24, 2009

Random Monday

Its late, well when your in your late 40's, 9:14pm is late and I have random musings this evening. So here you go, in no particular order.
1) I hate unresolved conflict. Unresolved conflict between others is pretty much worse for me than my own. I can do some reconciling when its me, but when its between two people I care about, I hate it. Told D this morning I want to be a mediator in my next life, except I doubt heaven will have any call for that. Frustrating thing is, you can't just boss people into sitting down together, you have to be invited to get involved. So my suffering continues! Dang!

2) I bought myself a gift this morning. Gift of the year! A
color wheel from Dunne Edwards. Do you know how many trips and how much time this will save? Not to mention all the tiny little sample cans of "not quite right" paint!

3) Cabinet doors up on the bottom set of cabinets and first coat of color on the top. Love the bottom, still undecided about the top color.

4) Crown moulding and bottom trim moulding makes all the difference! Well when D installs it that is. There isn't enough caulking to let me use the cutting thing, plus he looks so manly doing it.

5) Micah helped me make cookies for the Pitcher the other day. We sent them with him to Oklahoma, the "child stealing state." State bird is probably a vulture! State bird in California recently changed to a fly. Flies have taken over. Look close at the picture and see the fly ready to land on the Deeds' right cheek/chin, followed by falling into my coffee. A fly on my tongue is not at all like cookie dough from the beater, double dang!

6) Passive-aggressive customer posing a dilemma. Lesson learned: Shirt tossing game futile and really what other tactics are there? Photo withheld to protect the passive-accuser. I just followed your instructions "TO THE LETTER", with email to prove it. Oh, I was supposed to read your mind? Well, I charge extra for that, but good try. No discount, but good try.

Like I said, random Monday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Whatever you do unto the least of these...what's 22 days?

I'm not generally very interested in anything political. Not that I don't care, but I just have this idea that my time, money and energy don't go very far in that arena. Seems like such a powerful force and for the life of me I can't find a glimmer of hope that anybody in power is willing to take a chance on their popularity by changing direction.

Please know that I do not follow politics, foreign policy or local law making. I race to change the channel when anything economic is on the news because its either bad news or worse than bad, news. I cannot stand budget talking, because it is so far removed from anything even remotely resembling any budget I have ever made or worked from.

So, there probably are some really upstanding, risk taking, courageous go against the grain, officials out there, but my avoidance of all things political means "the opinions stated above are those of this blogger and not the whole world wide web"...

Anyway, I am interested and even obsessed, in the form of a steadfast stand, in anything moral. Every once in a while some news item slips out before I can help from hearing and if it relates to one of my soap box worthy topics...I put on my climbing shoes and get on with it. So here goes.

D came home from work the other day and told me that a mom had decapitated her 3 week old baby. She was "hearing voices". There is no doubt that as you read this you are as sick to your stomach as I am and was when I heard him. I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind following through on such an action and I wouldn't care who I thought was speaking to me or their reasons. I even admit that I would have failed, had I been Abraham and had THE God of all creation tell me to sacrifice my son. But in this case she was apparently not in her right mind, having heard voices, and following through.

I doubt there is a person in this country that would deny this woman has committed murder. What the courts convict her of, will involved all sorts of conditions of intent and sanity and I wouldn't even begin to try to sort that out. But, murder was committed. This mother took the life of her 3 week old child.

What I wonder is, if there will be any pro choice people inside the courtroom or walking the sidewalks with signs in defense of this mother's right to choose. 3 weeks ago this child was born, the day before that, he was unborn. I mean what is 22 days when you are talking about an infant. Now as an adult, 22 days makes no difference in my right to live. 22 days ago, I was 48 and at the fair parade with a certain little blonde guy. Nobody had anymore right to end my life than they do today. 22 days ago, Dot was working at the salon, beautifying women, D was at the Fire station, The Pitcher was leaving for Oklahoma and the Newlyweds were working on their front yard. More than one woman was laboring, sweating and giving her all, to bring her child into the world.

But this baby, 22 days ago, was unborn and unprotected. Well, perhaps today no doctor would end the life of a full term baby, but there have been times when this action would have been deemed an approved medical procedure, and activists can still be found that would argue a woman's right to choose, because it is her body until the two are separated by birth. I wonder the political stand of the police officers, paramedics and coroner who had to carry this infant. Did they treat it as tissue or swaddle that tiny body with an ache to have been near by to intervene.

Who is any less human or valuable 22 days ago, how about 32 days ago or 42 days ago. How about 52 days ago? If a 6 month pregnancy (52 days ago) is ok to terminate, how about 51, or 50 days? I mean seriously, where are those that fight for the right to choose when a woman just waits a few extra weeks to decide what is best for her life. Maybe she didn't want to be pregnant. Maybe she couldn't afford a child. Maybe she knew she wouldn't be a good mother. Maybe she knew all this 52 days ago, but didn't have the courage to drive to the clinic. Or maybe she suspected having a child would be exhausting on her body, but wanted to make sure before she made such a drastic decision. Let's praise her instead of commiting her for waiting to be sure having a child was going to be hard. I mean afterall, it is her body, her life, her future, right?

I think its only right for all those that have fought for "a woman's right to choose" to show up in court when the time comes and fight for this woman's right. I mean really if you have the right, what is 22 days? I think each of those that has defended this right, should sit in that courtroom, look at all the evidence and be the one to stand and make the argument. Are the lawyers that have stood before the supreme court good enough to defend her just 22 days later? Come on, same situation, just a couple of days later...make your argument, convince the jury. If you have the conviction before you can see the baby's face, don't let those tiny feet and hands change your stand. If the child scheduled to be delivered in December can be subject to murder today, let's not condemn a mother who takes a little longer to make her decision.

This is one of the most ridiculous laws or lack of law I have ever known. And I am probably one of the most ignorant of legal codes, and my statement, the epitome of "politically incorrect".

It is so glaringly obvious, it takes great effort, law degrees, and twisted reasoning to defend abortion, it takes only a glance to oppose it. Lay the infants side by side. The one born tomorrow and the one who lay decapitated at 22 days old and make a decision. God help us if we see it as anything other than murder: 22 days, 32 days, 42 days, 52 days. Like the police officers called to the scene, do we ache to have the opportunity to intervene? If the unborn child is not the purest example of "the least of these", a tiny someone worth protecting and fight for, then God help us.

Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kitchen makeover update

Ok, painting cabinet doors takes some time! Removing them, sanding both sides, painting primer on one side, second coat side one, dry for a day, first and second coat on second side. Paint 2 coats on side one, then two coats on side two and then just when I thought I was done, I went against my instincts and started sanding off the edges to make a worn look. Now, I like that look, but it takes some cuts to start sanding on freshly painted wood. Only it was late at night and I was getting kind of weary and not paying it my best attention so I think I've sanded too much. !"

So now I am trying to decide how best to fix that. Some of the doors and drawers are ok and I will start with the protective rub on finish clear coat and a day or so of drying. I am dang tired of all the drawer stuff on the counters, so I am anxious to get it done. Perhaps I should begin the seperation process with Dell and get on it. Please note that painting in your living room over the whitish carpet using black paint is never a good idea. I somehow got away with it this time, but looking at the pictures I just have to say what is surely plain to the rest of the world..."not the sharpest tool in the shed!"

Somebody's Birthday

So my oldest son, the newlywed turned 27 on Tuesday the 11th. I wasn't sure that was possible, but sure enough, his birth certificate stands as evidence that he was indeed born in 1982 and wouldn't you know we are listed as his parents with our ages at the time. D & I can pay bills and do some pretty mean calculations in regards to tape measures or maps, but the adding machine is apparently broken when it comes to adding our ages when this child was born and his age now because the number that comes up is like nearly middle age! I still remember the hope that I felt when I found out I was pregnant with my firstborn. The excitement and thrill was quickly followed by a wave of panic wondering if I would ever really be enough to raise a child. Here's the secret...they make it inspite of us and this one makes us so proud. He was the practice child afterall, earlier curfews, smaller allowances, more responsibilities. He was a colicky mess for the first two months and I knew somehow it was my fault. But suddenly at 61 days old, his stomach settled and he gave absolute meaning to our lives and all the entertainment we needed. He taught us how to be parents and convinced us we wanted a couple more without ever knowing it. 27 years later, he is beginning his own home. A more than darling, talented, motivated, beautiful, caring wife and friends to share newly married with. A dog completes their home for now, but we know when they decide the time is right, they will be wonderful parents! So...
Birthdays use to mean, favorite meal choices and cake and presents, but according to the pictures from this years party we did all that and added in some pretty mean competitions too!

Arm wrestling & cutest couple contests! Record your votes below!

Ode to my hero!

Do not for one minute think that this post isn't gonna cost me something BIG! I mean if only this could be a story about someone else's mis-adventure and not my own fallen self. You know how trauma becomes something to laugh about later? Well, its not "later enough" for me really, but you feel free.

But, to be sure there are still some heroes in life, and they deserve their moment, so alas, I proceed to throw myself under a bus or worse yet become a blogging spectacle for the sake of the hero.

And for heaven's sake if there still might be one of you out there who is under some sort of misconception that I have anything together, just decide right now to stop believing the lie and yes you are hereby embarking on a story that will make you laugh your head off, then sigh dreamily at the chivalry.

Monday afternoon I had an order that was completed and normally my customer's come to the office, (picture garage with huge door open) to pick up their masterpieces (my word, not theirs). But government agencies have lots of rules and procedures when it comes to their orders. PO's and unchangeable quotes and specs and procurements and blah, blah, blah. Well it makes total sense to me when it comes to weapons and exploding things and such, but seriously embroidered shirts?

Anyway, I am all about following the rules. Wait that is a lie, I have no trouble following the rules when I want to, but sometimes I have trouble with the wanting. But, if I want to be paid, I have to follow the rules here. The last time I did an order for this particular department, silly me, I delivered it to the one that placed it. She seemed perfectly thrilled over the service and gave me no indication I had mis-delivered or whatever.

Then about 60 days later I called to find out about the payment and was transferred here and there and got a near scoulding for not following procedure and told that the order should have had a PO and some other top-command purchasing approval and delivery to a second location, not the orderer lady.

Though I wanted to say Paaaaleeeeese into the phone as loud as it was going off in my head, I know government agencies have GPS and tracking technical things, so I calmly and humbly apologized. Mostly because I wanted them to pay me, and not because I was feeling at all bad about my delivery instincts. forward 6 months.

Friendly-government-agency lady needs more shirts. So I submit and invoice, wait for the PO, complete the order and want payment, so get in the car and drive to "friendly's" office parking lot with shirts. My memory kicks in just in time to save me the walking inside, and I get back in the car and head ACROSS TOWN, clearly 10 more miles and I am not in the mood for a drive, but in the mood to get paid.

Parking the car, I get the 3 bags of shirts, when 2 bags would be heavy enough for my hands, but so glad I am doing it right this time and didn't need to be reminded by high ranking staff again. Walk in the door to the reception desk where I proudly announce that I have an order to deliver, because I want to follow the rules and all.

TWO women behind the counter look at me like I am from another planet and have no idea where to send me. Well, it was the lunch hour, so I am chalking up their confusion to the idea that they are probably just filling in for the regular receptionist, who, knowing the rules, would praise me and give me that knowing look that says, "No wonder you are such a successful business woman and your family is so lucky to have you!"

SRs (substitute receptionists) "Who are they for?"

SBW (me,successful business woman) "VACE and TDC"

SRs "They aren't in this building, they are on the other side of town"

SBW "I know, but (inside: I'm getting frustrated already that you aren't praising me) I'm supposed to deliver them here. (smile-maybe kind of a snarl smile, but so far so good)

SRs look at each other in I take over.

SBW: "I think I will just take them up to purchasing then and go that route" (inside:because it is really frustrating when I know your procedures and you DO NOT and was to be praised here!)

So, I take a deep breath because it is good to keep plenty of oxygen on board during these government maneuvers. Up the elevator, around 3 or 17 corners (part of the top secret stuff to be sure) to a lunch hour abandoned desk. Double Dang!

Anyway, I sweetly called out "hello". It may have sounded more like a lot of self restraint sort of squeek, but followed by a smile or at least squinting eyes...well you get the picture. Out from a government issue cubicle is the angel that is going to praise me for following procedure and hand me a check and probably offer me a job. Except that she started to get that same look that the SRs had downstairs, like why are you standing here with those things in those bags?

Deep breath oxygen load...SBW: "I was told to deliver the order here rather than to the person that placed the order." Her: "Oh, no you need to take these to the warehouse back on the other side of town. They will check them in and do all the paperwork so you can be paid. We can't accept them here". Double oxygen load. ME: "Oh, I thought I was supposed to bring them here with the invoice & PO" Her: "Oh, we will take the invoice & PO, they will process everything at the warehouse, on the other side of town".

At that point I handed her the paper work and I believe I squeeked out a thank you before I started my reverse downstairs manuever, involving just a little attitude. Probably for sure at least just a little or tons.

Back in the car, I had a full 10 miles to talk to myself about my prediciment and the looming truckload of attitude that I was trying to drown with the extra oxygen intake. When I found the road, I noticed I was just a teeny bit outraged that the warehouse had no address on it and so was difficult to see since it wasn't actually on the street, but set back from it, say oh maybe completely behind another building. I should have known then that staying in the car and going home and calling a messenger service for 20 hundred dollars was a better idea than all the other things that were screaming in my mind. Did I mention I am 48 and could be experiencing some peri-menopausal symptoms?

I got out of my car, retrieved the 3 bags of shirts and stepped just inside the huge warehouse door. No reception type desk, no people in sight, no bell to throw against the wall to announce my presence. Oxygen load.

"Hello?" nothing. "Hellllllo...o!" nothing. I guess even though I could hear voices in low volume conversation somewhere, it was IMPOSSIBLE for them to hear ME.

Helper head sticks out of office. "Can I help you?"

Me: "Yes, I need to deliver these shirts".

Helper proceeds to move towards me, staring at the 2 bags I've set down, with that same curious look on his face that SR's and purchasing lady had.

I have abandoned the oxygen intake tactic. No number of deep breaths are going to make this any better than it is destined to be. Helper asks me who the shirts are for and I tell him. Helper: "They are located at..."

ME:calmly "I know, but I was told to deliver them here" steam, smoke, hormones.

Helper picks up 2 bags of shirts and turns to walk away. I think that means I should follow him with bag #3, containing 3 ladies shirts, here-to-fore knows as "evidence".

We enter the office. Helper #1 looks at helper #2, while Mr. Takecharge (Mr. T) asks me what I have.
Me: "Shirts for VACE & TDC, I was told to bring them here"
MR.T: "By Who" (and no, it wasn't a question, but command #1).

Now I am not going to say he was yelling, but very possibly making himself appear a bit larger than life and certainly larger than me, with his big outside voice.
ME: "I don't remember her name, but at the main office on the Avenue, she said I should deliver them to you and you'd know how to check them in and do the paperwork and..." interrupted my MR. T.

Interrupted...let me just tell you, I have a THING about interrupters, add a dose or two of hormones, this is going to be......well, not-a-blessing.

Mr.T: "Where is the paper work?"

Me: "They kept it"

Mr. T: "Who?"

oh no...I can feel something really ugly in my insides.
Me: "I don't know her name, (again). She said you would know what ......" INTEEERRruppppptttttted AGAIN!!!

The only intake right now that will save this, is chloraform...and looking back, it would have been most wisely administered to me because that ugly was swiftly working its way to the surface. Me:"I have a copy of the PO in my car but..."
Mr.T: "Well Go Get It And We'll See If We Can Help You!" Interrupting and using his outside voice for command #2.

History will report that, that was just too much for me, because I didn't even take 2 sec or a deep breath before "ugly" took over and responded to rude and condescending and telling me what to do instead of asking. And in that instant "ugly" apparently determined it would be much too much for me to carry that 3rd bag of shirts with me to the car so I needed to throw them in his direction for him to hold while I followed orders and went to the car!

Yes I did. I know...but I did. Got my copy of the PO and headed back to the office. Helpers 1 & 2 had disappeared and Mr. T was ready for me when I got back. Picture 60 year old, tall, grey haired man, red in the face and sticking his finger in my face while he says "If you ever throw anything at me again, I will have you arrested for assault!" Don't I just wish "ugly" knew when to sit down and shut up? I wanted to say but, but, were supposed to help me and praise me for following procedures! Instead I said "Seriously, 3 shirts in a plastic bag felt threatening?"

That's when he grabbed the PO paper out of my hand. I told him it was my only copy. He told me he "WOULD MAKE A COPY AND GIVE IT BACK!" That's when I finally took a couple of deep breaths and felt like a complete jerk and humiliated and so wishing I had paid the 20 hundred dollars it would have cost to have someone else deliver the shirts. But, too late for do overs. So this is the best I could do in the moment.

Me: "You're right and I'm sorry, I never should have tossed the shirts at you. I was really frustrated because I was trying so hard to follow the rules and sent all over town and then here. The main office said you would know what to do with the shirts and I expected that you would help me. (should have stopped here probably) but instead you were rude to me and commanded me to go get the PO instead of asking or trying to be helpful, so again, I'm sorry."

Mr. T didn't calm down one bit, but by this time I dawned on me that he probably interpreted the shirt tossing as a sign of disrespect instead of a sign that I wanted to engage him in a really fun tossing game.

So he kept rambling and steaming and fuming and stayed all red in the face and I could only imagine him having a heart attack and me being the only one around to give him CPR, because helpers 1 & 2 were still MIA. And that would have totally be God's sense of humor.

Anyway, I left the premises shaking and angry at myself until I started imagining the headlines and then the court room reinactment. I though how it would be a shame to have the 3 shirts confiscated as evidence and that would mean I never would get paid for the job. I swore to myself I would never tell another soul how completely inappropriately I had handled myself.

That lasted about 4 hours until I went with Dot & the Deeds to the Fire Station to see D. After about 20 minutes my conscience got the best of me and I just blurted out "ok, I almost got arrested today!" That was followed by my retelling the whole story to Dot and D, while the Deeds used up all his patience waiting to go back on the fire engine.

Chapter 27(I'm just guessing)-the next day D comes home from work looking a little macho and puffed up. I mean he had hit his head and nose on something garagedoorish, but it was more than that.

D: "I paid your friend a little visit today"

Me & the pitcher: "What, you did? What happened? Is that how you got those cuts?"

Now from here on out, just incase we ever have to do the court thing on this, well, this isn't word for word from D, but to the best of my remembering, nearly exactly what he said, so help me God.

"Yep, I went to the warehouse and stood in the big doorway just like you did. I couldn't see anybody either and started saying "hello". Some guy stuck his head out and said "can I help you?". He didn't look like the guy you described, so I went back to the office and stepped inside. "I'm here to talk to the guy that talked to my wife yesterday" and the guy you described chuckled and told me to sit down. But I said "No, I don't want to sit down" I am here because you were rude and threatened my wife."

Mr. T: "I know, she threw shirts at me!"

D: "Well, I know that she did and I'm just wondering, what with all 5'3", 105lbs of her and those 3 shirts that hit you, are you ok?" (I'm sure he used just the exact amount of sarcasm to make Mr. T wonder if he was serious)

Mr.T: "I know, but there is a sign right there that says if anyone throws anything they can be arrested for assault!

D: "Right, and she apologized to you for doing it, but you continued to be rude and threatening. So, I'm just here to tell you "if you ever treat my wife like that again, I'll have you arrested." (and I think he was using his outside voice, I just wish he could have had the added hormonal dose too)

I can hear the cheering coming from every women ever born or will be born in all of history!!! Amen! He is my hero and here is why...

I was wrong and he still defended me. My frustration was founded, my actions were not. But he didn't defend my actions, he defended me and my value as a person and a woman. Why? Because I belong to him, cause he's my protector even when I misbehave. Because I don't have to be perfect to be loved. Because he would rather let that guy vent on him, then take a chance he would ever vent on me again. Because when I am mistreated, he feels mistreated and to the best of his ability he will get in the middle to make it stop.

What's more...I have never known a man like that in my life. There were two who were supposed to be that for me. One died before I knew whether I was worth it or not, the second was as likely to be the threat as the protector.

Jesus is willing to do that for us, he is the example of protector, even when we misbehave, but I have never seen it acted out in person. I was never convinced I was worth that to a man.

So today, on this post I gladly trade in my pride. You aren't too surprised anyway, that I get myself in some sticky situations. But seriously, the treasure in hearing D tell me what he had done for me is priceless and today I feel just a little more worth it! Bless him, Lord! And I hope the neighbors don't mind the white horse tied up out front.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Uncanny Afghani Example


Barbara Walters, of 20/20, did a story on gender roles in Kabul , Afghanistan several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands.She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands. Despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women now seem to, and are happy to, maintain the old custom.

Ms. Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, 'Why do you now seem happy with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?'

The woman looked Ms. Walters straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said, 'Land Mines.'

Moral of the story is (no matter what language you speak or where you go): Behind every Man is a Smart Woman!

Now I know you will read this and then before you get to here you think "cute joke", so did I, except that I think it's true. And thus my mind is launched into all things heavenly. Yesterday was an adventurous one, which includes getting on a wrong bus, trying to pay the fare only to discover that I was headed to the fair, which is great except that I wanted to go to the airport! Picture once again...Ikea lady running to the car, screaming "start the car, start the car" only here we go again, I am alone and desperate to get to the correct bus stop.
Too many coffee places, too many bus stops. It occurs to me, I should have some sort of chip and someone should be assigned to watch my every "global position" on the internet and call my cell phone if (oh who am I kidding, WHEN) I make a wrong move. Assuming of course the garbage disposal situation is under control!

Anyway...riding to the airport to pick up two blonde darlings, I couldn't get the whole Afghani woman thing out of my mind. I know as women we shudder and thank God we do not live in a place where we feel like second class citizens, but maintaining their position, by choice is something different. The more I bumped along the freeway, the more my mind put me in that burka following my husband and thinking about the element of complete protection by him.
I think it's a picture of the submission that Western women tend to fear and fight so. Biblical submission was never intended to be forced on us. We are asked to choose it, for our own protection. I'd be hard pressed to speak for every woman, but let me tell you, I don't know a girlfriend that doesn't want to know that her man would jump infront of a train for her or a landmine for that matter!
If we assume the one we are following is about power and control, we resist. But for heaven's sake Christ came to this earth to demonstrate leadership as servanthood. He is FOR us, for our protection, for leading, for guiding, for walking just ahead to take every land mine meant for us, or just sitting there waiting to be tripped over.
The cross. If my own mind could just land on that moment of eternal protection and realize Christ walked ahead of me on that road, carrying the weight of my misguided steps and rebellious left turns. He took the hit for me. He suffered blast after blast of the whips I should have died under. He conquered and rose above death, so that he could live again and walk ahead of me. Not 5 steps for the sake of distance between us. 5 steps for the sake of protection, for leadership and the opportunity to submit and receive life.

I am so glad I realized I was on the wrong bus yesterday. I would have been so disappointed to realize I was headed in the wrong direction and missed the opportunity to greet Dot and the Deeds at LAX. I am exceedingly more grateful I realized 29 years ago that I was headed in the wrong direction. Yesterday's bus driver tried to tell me when I got on, but because of my native California accent I had trouble understanding him. Sometimes it's the delivery of the message, sometimes the receiver, sometimes the fair just looks like more fun, sometimes we just can't put on a little submission for fear of loosing our freedom.
With every fiber of my own rebellious being, hear me. As difficult as it is to go against culture, let's get off the bus taking us nowhere and run to Him with all that we have. THIS leader, Jesus, is worth following. He did and He will take the land mine everytime. So that we can live, He takes it EVERYTIME.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Awe...such a big helper !!

Paaaalease...I got up this morning poured a cup of "hot and bold" and made sure the Pitcher had directions, boarding passes, ID and a big hug as he drove off into the sunrise heading for Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plane. Checking out Oklahoma Baptist University. He keeps telling me how nice the coach is on the phone. Oklahoma is a long way away I remind him and besides everything sounds nice with an Oklahoma accent! The scholarship he's been offered is great, but please is it really a savings with all the counseling bills that will follow for D and me? Ok, forgetting about the state of Oklahoma, back to the state of denial!

I refilled the mug and picked up the paint brush. We were here...
Progressed to here...

and now here...
and not without the help of the Mooch! Note to self, when is a 5 year old's (dog years) energy at its peak on any given day...apparently 7-9am. Notice the wire fence meant to keep the Mooch on the outside and yes, I'm painting in my pjs, and based on the angle of this shot, so glad Shick has both of those blades!

So, coat of paint #1 done, #2 later today I think and then on to the doors.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Boys in the Summer!

I don't believe I would be fooling anyone at all if I told you that I didn't have the heart of a tom boy (minus the bug thing). I mean all that adventure and dirt under your fingernails and fort building! The building was the best part of forts. I loved all the hammer and nails and making the desks inside because at the completion of the fort, officers had to be decided and dues collected in a tupperware, were paid for all the things that would done by the former "building crew", now "club members". Except that it seems like that's when the fun would end. All the work was done and there we sat, in our fort, looking forward to eating lunch with the club and then that's it, building over, fun gone.

Anyway, today I got a glimpse into the summer of the boys next door et. al. Somehow, accidently (9 year old fingers making quotation marks) CC's skateboard ended up in the main drain under the sidewalk. I work with the garage door open, but didn't really notice what was up until I heard one of the big metal man hole covers being moved around. With a group huddled around peering down, it was all I could do to remind myself I am not 10 and I am not a boy. Double dang!

But I had to walk across the street for some "help" from my neighbor, so I grabbed my camera and strolled right by the uncovered drain and overheard the possy (soon to be fort builders/clubmembers I'm sure) talking TO someone DOWN below.

When I asked what was up, they all stood up to tell me how the skateboard accidently (8 year old fingers making QM again) fell into the drain on the other side of the street,
but the man hole cover over there was sealed shut and so they sent the smallest guy down on this side of the street and he was going to crawl through the drain pipe under the asphalt across to the other side to get the skateboard! Lord, have mercy, I found me some adventure! Except that the only thing I kept picturing was a fire engine or two and CNN and trench digging. Well, littlest boy decided the drain was too small (and perhaps too dark, praise Jesus!) to do the crawl.

Then the fun ended. The neighbor "man" came out and with all the boys there, and now a hero of their own gender, he was kinda of in and I was well...a girl. Relinquished to photographer, at least they let me stick around to document the fun! CC's mom got home and came over...there was all kinds of fear on her face when they told her about their "crawling under the street plan" followed by the necessary lecture regarding drain pipes and small children, the skateboard was rescued and it seemed like the excitement was passing so I headed back across the street. But not before calling out over my shoulder, "hey if you guys want to build a fort tomorrow, I have some wood and a tupperware for the dues!"

Ventura's Best Kept Secret...

I met a friend for coffee yesterday morning, only that would be a misnomer because she is not a fan and it was so warm we both needed one, so we opted for a tea-over-ice. I guess that would be "iced tea" if we weren't in one of those gourmet kind of places, which we were, finally, both of us at the same one. Because you know, it has dawned on me that a coffee place on every corner is sometimes just way too many opportunities to feel stood up, only to realize that perhaps it is the other coffee place in that other center with the grocery store and so on and so forth. And we are both recovering from a little "voted off the island" situation anyway, so being on the verge of another abandonment can feel worse paying $4.00 for "tea over ice".

We took a real step of faith in asking the 3 darlings behind the counter what their favorite tea-over-ice was and with 3 darlingly different answers we opted for passion fruit or something, ok maybe tropical fruit. Which in retrospect begs the question "really, tea made with fruit? wouldn't that be juice or punch?" Oh, you can't charge $4.00 for punch, ok...tea it is then! I mean we are in a recession right, so who has $4.00 for mere punch, duh!

Anyway, after dodging the paparazzi...another co-star and I sat near the window and had such a fine morning of girl talk. Neither of us cried, so we must not have covered everything, but let me just say, there is nothing better than a woman's heart when you're on to such things as love and romance and reality TV shows! D is patient mind you, but apparently he thinks that ESPN is about as REAL as television ought to get.

So it took a little estrogen and "tea over ice" to decide that TLC would have a ginormous following if Jon and Kate would go to counseling instead of "learning to do new things" and America could fall in love with a couple actually working things out. We mean, for crying out loud, that would be something different and I know you'd all be tuning in and bloggers everywhere would be writing about it! TLC are you listening?

Anyway, it was a great morning and with D working so much and the Pitcher just passing through and then Dot and the Deeds still in Colorado... it was just a great morning and I left thinking..."I believe that girlfriend is very possibly Ventura's best kept secret!(VBKS)"

Soon enough the paparazzi will be on to our elusive coffee bar tricks and well the secret will be out. For now, if you see a couple of girl's who look like us, criss crossing on the streets between one coffee place and the other, with a look of near abandoment, just know that it could be us or a couple of decoy's just to protect... well the privacy of VBKS!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Let there be love AND painting!

I have been checking my blog all weekend wondering if I had any new posts at Just a Thought... and I guess I was busy doing other things. Friday was The Pitcher's last start for the summer ball season and the Santa Maria Packer's team. It was a great summer evening after the two hour drive. D let me read a book to him on the way called "I lost my ball and found my life". A great story by the founder of Feed the Children about a wealthy golfer (redundant?) playing at an elite course in Africa when his golf ball flew over a wall seperating the course and one of the worst of slums. The story takes a turn when he can't get the face of the young child that returned the ball to him off his mind. Anyway...great prespective adjusting read. A dear friend from high school who lives in that area made the trek to Elk's field just to visit for a couple of innings. She is dearer to me now, because despite the fact that my life is found on the right path today (glory!) , she knew me in my exceedingly wrong-path days and even pulled me out of the gutter a few times I am sure. Anyway, what a great husband she has and he is so obviously all caught up in her as was evidenced by the frequent hand on her knee and comment about something unrelated to our girl talk. He probably thought we were actually watching the game and therefore deemed his interruptions appropriate. But two women with years to catch up on cannot be easily redirected to anything so regular as whether the umpire was accurate. Well, unless the pitch was delivered by my own flesh and blood, then I am mother-hen watchful.
Just because I have a strange habit of seeing human behavior as well...strange, I made a note to myself about the 7th inning stretch. Self: "It's the 7th inning stretch and look at all the people stand up to stretch and rub their backs and backsides (ok, that was me) and man I am glad the 6th didn't go especially slow because apparently we all needed to stretch. " Back to self: "You know we could have all stood up between any two innings and stretched and rubbed etc except for some reason we wait until we are given permission by the song" Well, conditioning at it's best right there! I wonder if someone just breaks out singing or playing that song, lets say at the beach or doctor's office, if people wouldn't have to fight the urge to stand up and stretch? Anyway, I did have such fun last night sitting with my feet up while Dell and I underwent some extreme self-training in the blog redecorating world wide web. When I was done I realized it was very much the palette of the other redecorating project I'm all into and while I don't mind a bit working alone, the Pitcher moved home over the weekend and needs a little pocket change so things should really get moving. My biggest competition for his time & energy is a darling college student, Sa-Sa. But even I am distracted by such sweetness, so I believe for the next few weeks, we will live by the slogan..."let there be love and painting."