Saturday, September 26, 2009

Swear there should be one...

I told D tonight there should be a fire dept blog after he told me about last shift.

D: "we got a call last night"

Me: um hm

D: "subject not breathing at Reardon's funeral home"


Me: "well then, all is right with the world."

D: Um hm

Me: K

And we painted the kitchen, BLUE, sorry green lovers. D had an opinion and he has so few when it comes to decorating until after its done and then brags about how amazing I am, which says much more about his amazing talent of keeping the paint brush out of his hand, than his decorating sense.
Plus the newlywed was all for the blue and Dot came by and helped me tame it to a managable cottage level and its still darker than she advised, but the quart of white we dumped into the custom mixed gallon was gone and I was so primed to just get it painted and we were on a roll, I refused to drive to the store for the 4th time today and yes I know the color wheel was supposed to prevent that.
I am having 80's flashbacks and have prohibited all things "country" from my cottage, but if shoulder pads and big bangs come back...I'm in!

Some days deep...other days colorful! not quite right here

Today I'm ready to paint the kitchen...well I've actually been ready for days, except that totally ready would include a paint choice. Samples yesterday...pallette laid out bare before you...colors don't look quite right in the picture, so I'm gonna have to go back and check to see if that was a lighting thing with the flash or really wrong blue...

better blue? Thank you newlywed!

blue or green? blue or green? blue or green? blue or green?

Sign in and opinionize me...especially you red dots to the East of the West.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Very possibly someone who gets me...

It is the desire of our hearts to be understood. I'm talking a soul mate type of connection that often reduces communication to a simple knowing nod or a look that speaks volumes.
I think that the phrase "I'm so busy" overused. Not that it is inaccurate, I mean, please, baby boomers were born in the fast lane and we cannot help but keep running just to stay up with old news. It has taken all my energy to learn things that are, by time I start to understand them, obsolete, which completely explains why the stereo system in the car keeps reading ERROR when I'm trying to listen to my Eagles 8 track.

Anyway, the world has evolved beyond us. Our kids are sailing along just fine, passing us by, without even a moment of tutorial. I think we deserve that. Please, we invented the world wide web for heaven's sake and paid for the first computer that brought that Inter-gem into their childhood home!

Anyway...back to being understood and the effort life takes to keep up. I am exhausted. I feel like every minute of everyday is booked for the next 17 years of my life. Not that 1926 promises anything calm, it's just that I am planning not to just slow down at age 65, but just be SLOW. I may run like the wind until then and hit that golden age like its a cement wall, but come what may, I plan to have hours everyday when I get to do absolutely nothing productive and simply begin to process the Post-Dramatic-Stress-Disorder that 65 years as a boomer has caused.

In the meantime, I just want someone to understand. I am trying as hard as I can. I am working as hard as I can. I say "yes" way too often and enjoy every minute of everything I say yes to, mostly. Its the thought of everything I am doing and trying to get the current thing finished up so I get to move on to the next fun thing.
Even as I write this, D has been sitting on the sofa next to me for 2+ hours, available and ready for bed "whenever you are". Every once in a while I try to explain to him how jealous I am that both of his jobs are "go, start, finish, leave" and don't thing about it again until the next time you "go, start, finish, leave". Jealous, I am and exhausted.

He tries so hard to be sympathetic and is really good at offering to help with whatever, which is great, but its not the same as someone really getting the weight of it all. Someone who understands why even my sleep position has changed to having one foot on the floor ready to jump at the 2nd, 3rd or 4th light of day.

Then today...I found him. My soul mate, the one other soul on this planet that knows what it feels like to be on the ready even when it looks like we are resting. Oh the weight of a life filled with responsibility...lucky for you, I had my camera to capture both the one who understands and proof that true rest for the few of us never really comes...

Trust me when I tell you that his eyes are closed...sound asleep with his paws on the fence, just in case he needs to spring to his feet at any urgency. So much in common, so much understanding. I did crop out the things we do not have in common. You're welcome.

Finally...understanding...exhausted understanding. ahhh, the Mooch!

PS. I love my new map gadget, but I am undone with intrigue over the dots out of So Ca. Please take a sec and comment with a sign in. A Gmail ID is pretty easy and I'd love to know who you are and where you are from.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We probably kind of get it...but maybe not really at all.

Following up to yesterday's post...the little 5 year old "miss" and her parents are just beginning their journey. A road God has called them to walk, except for the days when they will barely feel like crawling, and the days He will give them the joy and peace to dance. Their path, named by the Oncologist...Cancer. I can only imagine the myriad of emotions. The questions, the uncertainty, the fear. No amount of faith, and their's is the mountain moving size, no amount of faith removes our humanness. We were created to feel, to love and to grieve, not be immune. We are called to "cast our cares on Him" not cast them aside. We also know that "God has plans for us...prospering plans, not harmful plans" so how on earth do we reconcile cancer and a 5 year old?

The Sacrificial we get it?
And if we did, would we be willing?
Would we still choose it, choose Him if we knew what might lie ahead?
Is He worth it only to a point and will we turn back given something as extreme as the life of our child? Or is He really who He says he is, loving and "for" us, no matter what the circumstances look like? And what if what He says is true, that this life is just a minute in time, compared to eternity?

What on earth could God be planning to accomplish that justifies the toll that chemotherapy will take on a body that still requires a car seat?

Admittedly today, I only have questions...lots of them and no answers. Lucky for all of us, God trusts me with an inquiring mind only and no responsibility to figure His stuff out.

We could drown in what ifs. Except that what if's bring so much hope. So this morning before my eyes even knew if it was day or still night, and I began praying, my pleas went from the family to so many possible what ifs.

What if this mother's devastation brings an answer to another mother's prayer? What if the nurse's mom has been on her knees for years praying that someone would cross her daughter's path that could speak what she has been begging God for all these years?

What if two weeks of kindergarten has endeared an entire school full of children, parents and teachers to this sweet child so that in following her illness and recovery they all get to watch God work first hand?

What if watching these parents faithfully carry their child through the torture of treatment is the final witness to a family member that has questioned and wondered who God really is?

What if the parents of the child in the next bed, hear and see the troops of friends and church family earnestly praying and encouraging this family in a way that they see the real hope of God? What if they say "we want that peace and hope for our family and the strength you have for our child?"

What if some guy somewhere has been watching this pastor, this leader, who has been so gifted by God, and thinking "well, ya, you can serve and follow a God that has given you so much success, but what now?" and he witnesses first hand, how loving God has nothing to do with how well things look like they are going?

So what if all those things happen as a result? What if it was all that and so much more, that we can't even imagine how many things were accomplished?

Would we be in it for all that? If we knew, could get all the reports and updates? If everytime, we held that tiny hand through another round of chemo, we would be hearing about all the lives that were changed through our family's tragedy? Would we say yes, I'm in, ok? Lives are changed, she gets better and on we go.

What if we knew about only one man. Some sort of hopeless, grouchy, ex-con kind of angry, selfish, guy with a past we wouldn't even want to read about? What if that was the guy our child's suffering would change?

What if the Sacrificial Life we say we believe in and are committed to meant really sacrificing, giving up something so precious, we'd rather die ourselves than live without it or...her?

What if the "greater love" we claim to know, that suggests "we lay down our life for a friend", actually looks like laying down our comfort, security, or the health of a child...then what? Am I still in? Do I still believe Him? Not just IN Him, but believe Him, that he knows best, that he is accomplishing His will, that "all things do work together for good"? Or is my commitment long as things are pretty much ok, pretty much most of the time.

Here's the rub, we don't get to choose what happens, just how we respond. This little Miss didn't raise her hand and volunteer for God to use her to accomplish his will. Her parents didn't sign up for such a sacrifice, clearly it would have been their own names on the list, not their baby. We don't get to choose the circumstance, we GET to choose to stay in, plant our feet in cement and call it faith, refuse to think anything other than He KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING.

There's only One who volunteered His child's suffering and death for the most wretched among us, or in us. Only one who chose watch His son's body be broken for the sake of the unworthy.

Chose it, both of them. A child's body beaten, a parent suffering.

Just to give us the chance to understand what real love is, who real love is.

The sacrifical life...we cringe at giving up so much less, its embarrassing. At times, we give up some of the questionable or forbidden and call that sacrifice. Sometimes, we make a meal for someone, hand over $5 or $10 to a cause or a mom standing on the corner and think sacrifice. We give up an hour to comfort a friend, help someone with a project, work in a Sunday School class. Loving, giving, serving...yes...sacrifice? "Take up your cross and follow", sacrifice? "Sell all your belongings and come with Me", sacrifice? Does it hurt, sacrifice?

Use my life in whatever way you desire, Lord, sacrifice? I'm in, sacrifice? Whatever the cost, sacrifice? "I'm sacred to death", sacrifice?

I think we probably kind of get it...but maybe not really at all.

Monday, September 21, 2009

And the world just stops...

Two families,
one son whose age is still counted in months,
one daughter whose age can be counted on her one tiny hand.

Two mommies,
two daddies,
two doctors,
two hospitals,
two cities in
two counties.

Same thoughts,
same fears,
same prayers,
same tears,
same smiling face for their child,
same weak knees outside the room,
same locked down position at the bedside, just waiting.

Today I heard about these two families. The first already has a diagnosis of cancer, kidney, tumor, surgery. The second story is just unfolding. No diagnosis yet, but ugly xrays, and suspicions and a specialist on his way.

What on earth could be more heart stopping than someone telling you, or suggesting to you that your child...tender, vulnerable, and fragile is sick? Really sick. Sick where you are given percentages, sick. Sick in a way you don't know how to describe or explain it to them sick. Sick in a way that you are desperate to deny. Sick in a way that threatens to destroy you at any moment, except that though it would be easier to give in to being destroyed you are like feet-in-cement standing so that your baby can feel the strength when she holds your hand and looks into your face.

And parents have it, all that strength, because its what we do, come up with every last ounce of life if that's what it takes...for their child. Because everything else falls away. All the pressures and daily parts of life, the cell phone calls, text messages, emails, work demands, food, money......suddenly powerless, meaningless, gone.

The world just stops...

But...God watches. He knows. He's moving. He's acting. He's orchestrating. He's planning. He's been preparing. He's not surprised. He was not caught off guard...No, He is "On" Guard.

The world may have stopped, but heaven is in full motion. He is not just acting. His heart is full of compassion. His mind has full knowledge. He is acting according to His will and His will alone. No one and nothing messes with the kingdom without His understanding and permission. There is no wolf in sheep's clothing to Him. No one is left unprotected. He is mighty enough, strong enough, knowing enough, and loving enough to battle any enemy that threatens. I don't care what its name is, what percentages are attached to it, what the past has said or what the future predicts...HE IS STRONGER. Because HE IS the I AM.

HE IS MORE AMAZING, MORE POWERFUL, MORE WONDERFUL and will, even more so than these parents, summon ALL THE STRENGTH He needs to BE STRENGTH so that when those parents, HIS children, grab for HIS hand to feel strength and look to HIS face to see hope...THEY WILL FIND IT AND NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

Their worlds have stopped today. Don't let yours. Pray without ceasing for the healing of two of His favorites.

The Bison Award

OBU- Oklahoma Baptist University- The Bisons

The Bison Award. An award given to someone who exhibits great strength in the midst of battle, a never-give-up fortitude equal only to the weight of its enormous will to stand, even in the worst of storms.

Yep, that's the place! Shawnee greeted us with the best looking - best hugging, California boy we had ever seen east of the Rockies! We got a tour of the beautiful campus, state of the art Wellness Center, well stocked cafeteria, and amazing early american historic looking buildings all decked out in red brick. The humid weather makes everything green and the overcast misty days made me wanna sit with a cup of "hot and bold" and read a good book cuddled under a blanket. Alas, there was little of that, as we had a couple of college kids to visit and I wouldn't be distracted by anything that required me to take my eyes from them.

We were invited into the coaches' office..."Y'all come on in an' have a seat" with that smooth southern accent. Ah ha! "You're the one who was talking my West coast boy across the country! Don't be tryin' that southern sweet talk with me, ya hear!" Thanks to a well timed caution from a wise young woman before I left, I threw no shirts, and talked about how grateful we were for all that they had done for the Pitcher.

I didn't mean it, but I said it, lest he blame me for anything bad that happens down the road.

The Pitcher showed us all the new places he spends his time, most involving weight machines, running shoes and red dirt.

They do a good job keeping the place all spiffy and professional looking as to lure these young innocents away from home. No doubt, they've engaged in family break-up maneuvers before this one.

We saw their local hang outs and dang if they haven't one-upped us with a drive through Starbucks! Think of the treat that would be on a snowy day when you decide to put down your good book, peel off the blanket and venture out for some gourmet "hot and bold"! And in Shawnee, you could afford the $4.00 java because gas prices make me ashamed to say I even drive a car in California.

Just because I love an adventure, I have to notice all things different. Here are my top 11 things (what? everybody does 10) that make Shawnee a great destination.

You're welcome.

11. You could hear a tornado warning at anytime!

1o. 30,000 least 30 churches, mostly Baptist and Church of Christ. Just the idea that a town any size wants 30+ churches!

9. Dollar stores out number Starbucks at least 10 to 1.

8. Antique stores with thrift store prices.

7. Buildings made of brick, walkways made of brick, streets formerly brick, now paved over with asphalt...should be a crime.

6. Everybody greets you. Not just a nod, but "How ya'll doin' today?" smile.

5. Only 30 minutes from Hobby Lobby, where they are "closed on Sunday so that their employees can go to church." Hallelujah

4. Fresh baked cookies and fresh made coffee in the hotel lobby EVERYDAY...ALL DAY!

3. Driving anywhere in the city in 3 minutes or less. ok, 4 minutes with traffic, if both of the other cars are in your same left turn lane.

2. Shopping the entire mall in 2 hours. Could be done in less time, except that the two anchor stores Ross and Dillards have amazing deals.

1. The Pitcher and Sasa are there, well, temporarily.

Can I just say that we did more eating than we did anything else? When the Pitcher is at home, he would graze as necessary. When we are in his town, where our hotel room doesn't include a pantry, we must get to food more often and in larger quantites than my digestive routine is used to.
Need I remind us, to always pack a pair of sweat pants for the flight home?

So the week came and went. The Deeds would say his highlights were getting a donut from the breakfast bar at the hotel EVERY morning. Getting to talk about that plan and get permission from his mommy, at bedtime EVERY night. Then telling me "DD, I dot a donut" afterwards.
Having cereal with Unca Wyan, making a present in the bathroom for Sasa, and the sleepovers & pillowfights. Dot would say getting to see her "puddy pal" and getting 50% off at hobby lobby!

D and I would say getting our arms around the Pitcher again, seeing his new, (albiet temporary, yes ha), life, school and apartment. Seeing how easily he handles anything that comes his way and how comfortable he is with his decision to take on his own adventure helps us adjust to being home.

Leaving to come home??? I won't even go there.

Except to say...ME! I'll take the Bison Award.

An award given to someone who exhibits great strength in the midst of battle, a never give up fortitude equal only to the weight of its will to stand, even in the worst of storms. (ok, I totally made that up, but it could be true.)

The homecoming negotiations have ceased for the moment. Believe D when he says "that this mama's heart is quiet only on the outside". There is a storm going on alright, but for now, I will loan my Pitcher to the Bisons of OBU.

And at least for today, I guess D and I will hunker down and just try to wait this one out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

'nough said

That's Shawnee, Oklahoma for ya!
'Nough said!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Here's to Breaking Free!

Having done a Bible Study called "Breaking Free" and another one called "Me, Myself & Lies" and there was the "Truth Project" I have become keenly aware of the importance of truth and how easily we hear something or read something or draw some conclusion that down the road we live by as the TRUTH. Now don't be tricked into thinking this post is going deep, 'cause the pursuit of truth can really make you think about everything you believe and the source of it. Like wood furniture...

You either go for the painted furniture or you spent the bigger dollars for something that was real wood. There was the Granada Oak period, natural knotty pine era, and for the wealthy among us...the ever expensive cherry furniture. Somewhere along the way, someone called "they" said that you should appreciate real wood and stain it or maybe just put a clear finish on it or if you were really edgy, you might actually put a glaze with just a little color, as long as the grain was visible to appreciate.

Then I started reading blogs and magazines and I discovered that there is a whole 'nother generation of "theys" and a bunch of wood painting rebels at that. They have challenged the law of visible wood grain (VWG). And they had done it on the internet with some pretty convincing pictures and success stories.

Alas, all my truth study has proven successful. I actually feel ok about challenging the law of VWG...and found it to be an opinion not a law or truth which totally freed me up to grab a paint brush and head to Dunne Edwards.

I fought it for so long, but I have to say, with all due respect "the truth has set me free" and as promised here are the pictures to prove it.



Now, I don't know if there are some trees out there whose feelings are hurt. I mean, we know there are groups intouch with such things, and "they" would be able to confirm that lives were given to provide the wood grain and I have very possibly upset an entire political lobby, but in my own defense, I think I might very well qualify for a prestigious position on some sort of "Green Committee". My kitchen has a makeover and my cabinets did not end up in a landfill somewhere, clearly my friends will be impressed with my environmental impact. I'm just sayin'...

So for both of you that have followed the kitchen makeover, short of wall paint, we're nearly done. One gallon of primer and 2 quarts of paint and some lovely fabric Dots found for me.

Mooch wanted to make sure he was in this one, since he helped that day with the painting and all.

How can he help it?

I try to leave most postings and stories about the Deeds to his mom. I try to be good that way. Try to pretend that there are important and meaningful things in my life apart from him. Try to pretend that he is the center of his momma's universe, but you know that I have other interests and purpose now that my kids are grown. Try to pretend that he is not really the first of a very large group of perfect angels that will call us papa and dd.

I try to pretend for the sake of boundaries and all. I had no idea how grandchildren would change me. Melt me, thrill me, undo me, and unlock something inside that is more fun than well...anything.

Have no fear my sons, this one has only started something that makes us more anxious for the next and the next and the next and remember I told you that you needed to average 3 each. I believe your own plans aside, that is completely reasonable.

Here is the thing with grandparenting compared to parenting. As parents you have a responsibility to behave in a manner that is responsible and worthy of obediance and respect and you must be firm about teeth brushing and shots at the doctor and sunscreen and making them go to bed on time and all of those things that will grow them into wonderful adults that will give you GRANDCHILDREN!

BUT, this grandchild has begun the undoing of all undoings. He makes me forget all things adult and sends my heart into the pursuit of childhood fun, adventure and carefree abandon. Fort building, sand surfing, face painting, playdoh, sharky the shark, legos, jelly beans in my pockets and hide and seek. I don't want to just help him with whatever it is, I want to play right along with him. My greatest challenge ensues when he is anywhere in the vicinity and I cannot just drop everything to be a 3 year old right along with him. It is a triple dang situation and I reserve the triple dang for something
just short of 911 just so you understand the severity of the challenge.

Anyway...all that to say that lately I have noticed the Deeds wants little to do with having his picture taken. Just no patience for the whole sit down, or smile or whatever. Its like he is 3 months old again and I am jumping around like a fool trying to surprise him into a smile as hard as he tries not to comply. But to his credit, he doesn't necessarily turn away, just wants to use the moment to reveal one of his other moods, because at 3 he clearly has other moods.

When I looked at our recent camping pictures I noticed that he isn't the only one with other moods. So, possibly it is a DNA thing that has taken over and he just can't fight the urge to display his hereditary gift!

So here's to grandchildren and funny faces. Consider me undone and I plan to stay that way for a good long time!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm praying for better vision...

A couple of weeks ago I got a call to help a friend that needed a ride to San Bernadino to pick up her daughter at camp. A bee sting on the foot caused an allergic reaction and she needed to come home early and have a doctor check it. This mother-daughter family doesn't own a car, nor a driver's license and even though our language of choice is different, we decided to make the best of our 2 hour drive by practicing each other's native tongue.

I took Spanish in middle school and I am marginally ok with nouns, but verbs or other words that connect nouns into meaningful communication...not so much. And though she is taking lessons, I think she would say the same about her English attempts. But we are women so we couldn't be in the car for more than 1/2 block before we would have to engage in some communication...blame the estrogen, women just need to talk.

D got that little navigation gadget for xmas and it was in my glove box and I remembered it had a language setting, sometime after I tried to tell her that Burbank was a city, a street & an airport because I guess its really important to totally confuse someone with the English language while they are still trying to pronounce Burbank. Anyway, I pulled GPS and yes while driving in traffic, I set it up so she could see our journey and track the progress. I set it to hear the voice and with each instruction she heard in Spanish, I ask her what it was in English. We got the giggles off and on when she would be trying to tell me and the offramp or freeway or street was coming up really soon and I would say "ondelay!!!" (yes I know that is barely even phonetically right, but middle school was a LONG time ago.)

During the few quiet times in our conversations I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that I had the time that day to drop whatever paintbrush I was holding and be able to take her. I felt so privileged and humbled that she had someone call me. That somehow even though we see each other only a few times a year, and our language barriers make it difficult to have any real heart-to-hearts, she has come to trust me and actually accept help when she needs it. I was also very aware that I was driving this sweet woman, who had only about 5 hangers worth of clothes in her closet the last time she showed me around, in my "more-than-a-mode of transportation" style of car.

She seemed so completely unaware of our differences. From the first time I met her, on the verge of homelessness, she would say "muy contente" with the most precious smile. She knows our material lives are far from similar, the responsibility to manage what she owns and make decisions about where to spend her income probably takes very little time or concern. Her hours at the maid service have been cut by about 25-30%, but that report comes with a smile, not fear, and certainly with no expectations for help. She just believes. Faith...God will provide and take care of them, just as he has all along.

So the longer we drove and talked, the more she reported all the wonderful things that God has done for them and continues to do for them. One blessing after another, complete with a recent miraculous healing of her arm from an injury she suffered slipping on the ice as a teenager.

We were able to find the camp and pick up one of the sweetest girl's I will ever meet, her daughter. We heard a camper's report most of the way home, but one story brought me to tears.

After the bee sting on day #2 at camp, it was obvious that a sever reaction was taking place and that there would be no walking on this foot. Another girl from their church appointed herself, best friend, nurse, run-and-get, and a stick-right-to-her attendant. As it turns out, the two girls knew each other before they went to camp.

Then I heard the story of how she earned her way to camp. Selling cookies. Now I know kids sell cookies for scouts and prepackaged cookie dough and candy bars in fundraising assortment boxes. This child, made cookies at home, put them on paper plates and sold them to people at church. Not a table set up, but just walking around selling home make cookies by the plate. Camp cost $150.00 and she earned all her money in 2 days! The story included this line "God was so good to multiply her money and help her that it only took 2 days".

I am so spoiled. So spoiled and yet I lack. The more we have the less we need. The less we need, the less we see all that God does in our lives. This family just celebrates from one blessing to the next. Never doubting, always seeing, so impressed and excited with all God does around them. And my heart begins to grieve for all that I have missed. All the stuff that gets in the way of my need to depend on a God that has promised to supply and fulfilled every promise, yet I see my own efforts or the balance in my checkbook, or the more-than-transportation car in the garage. What have I missed?

My tears spilled and I think they both thought I was just a little bit crazy when I choked out "Having little is a blessing. A place that God's hand is so obvious. Having much masks Him." He is not masked, but things and comfort muddies my perspective and I think I have missed out. Living in faith to the extent that they must, would be difficult for me I know, but the joy they experience as they see God care for them, and are thrilled every day by His gifts and creativity, that kind of joy is worth a prayer for clearer vision.
So two women, different lives, different languages...and the one who thought she was taking care of the other by driving the distance, ends up getting the better gift that day. A chance to see a huge God in the lives of a tiny family. And the tendency now to remember to pray for better vision...

Isaiah 41:20 "so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just have to say..

It's 8:50pm according to Dell and I just sat down for the first time since 6am this morning, unless you count the ride in D's truck the 2 miles to HD and back where we picked out a new faucet, because the old one couldn't be reinstalled...something about rust and corosion. Dang, it was working fine and I really liked how it looked and I do remember when D installed it. I think we have some hyper active hard water and this one cost about a double dang's worth of hard earned money. But I did get to sit down on the ride there and back, so maybe we can say the new faucet has delayed my knee replacement surgery for a while anyway.

Without pictures I just had to say "I LOVE MY KITCHEN!" Short of a $150,000 remodel, I never thought I'd actually want to snuggle my cabinets and lay my cheek on the cool counters, but people, it has happened. I am in love with my kitchen and if there was a way to prop up my feet in that room I'd be there right at this moment, Dell on my lap.

I promise tomorrow will come with photos of Paulino's fabulous counters and all the cabinet doors up and Dot's fabrics from our late night excursion to Joann's...yes huh, 6-9pm is a late night excursion.

On a different note Jeopardy style-
Category: How do you know you are aging?

ANSWER: When your first thought is DEPENDS...

QUESTION:Retrieving a sample product from the mail box that says "Security all night long"?

Quote of the week: "We are so in love right makes me glad I let him live through last year" Beth Moore on marriage.

Oh, please of the week: "My only offense is lying (on tape) about sexual encounters I did not have"

From a member of the the state senate & Ethics committee.
I love all the ideas of how you explain this to your children down the road.
It's never good to lie...well only if it's about whether you were untruthful about being unfaithful to your wife. Or maybe if you are bragging to a co-ethics committee buddy, who clearly is totally qualified to be on the committee and hold you accountable, or not.

Anyway...D will read this and say bloggers beware. BUT, I just have to say
"I am so glad I let him live through last year & I LOVE MY KITCHEN!"

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The most amazing thing, I had to rub my eyes and check again!

I joke about getting older. Getting older's not a joke, its a blessing, really. It's not a joke that I am actually getting older, it's true (oh I wanted to so badly to say "true dat" instead, but it doesn't actually go with the older thing). But its so much more fun to complain about my granny fanny and D coming home with the wrong thing from the grocery store because I wrote the list in 12pt font instead of 104pt.

Not to mention my same age friends whose failing vision became undeniable when they were scanning online dating sites and mistook an "rn" for an "m" on a site that they thought was named "". You do the substitution and imagine their horror and the fun we have retelling that one, well when we can remember it anyway. The stories of our changing bodies, minds and eye sight bring hysterics and let's be's exceedingly better than getting depressed and none of us wants to be the first to opt for plastic surgery. I'm not saying it won't happen, just saying no body wants to be the first to exercise any anti-aging budget breakers. I mean, there's a lot of responsibility in being the first, cause you know peer pressure leaves about the time we'll start clipping coupons for Depends.

So, my aging view point has no problem keeping its compass needle pointed in the direction of self deprecating humor or I can't lie, a laugh at the expense of a good natured, quickly maturing old friend. Golden Girls, here we come!

BUT...this was a moment of shock and awe. The whole plum tree was over several weeks ago when I went out front and saw something so amazing, I had to rub my eyes first, look again, let out a shriek before covering my mouth and calling for all eyes on deck just to verify I was seeing right!

A woman, white haired, slightly bent over and slightly built was carrying a cane and JOGGING across the street from us. Now I only saw her from the back, but all signs pointed to her age being somewhere between Barbara Walters and Moses and I believe closer to the latter. Her slightly taller, matching-haired husband was walking along the public parkway path and at a cautious pace, but here was "Betty White" hustling along in the street, cane hitting the ground with every appropriate step,.

Talk about shame...I mean what in the heck have I been complaining about if Grandma Klampet, probably implanted with a pacemaker can be a pacemaker like that?

Well, I missed the picture and lets face it, what are the chances? Even if she survived the jog, clearly she wouldn't take such a chance like that again.

Except that she did and I was sitting in D's truck camera in hand. After I snapped what should have been her last steps, I noticed she pick up her cane every once in a while and glance back at her fella. Well, she could have been shaking that stick at him, but I don't wanna get in the middle of any 50+ flirting between a man and his girl.

I couldn't help but giggle. I mean what a moment. No fear, no hesitation, no limits, no obvious bladder leakage. Every woman wants to be pursued, and its tough to get chased when your always walking beside him. Maybe it was just a moment for her and a vision for her man...what's that line D says to me every once in a while when he catches a moment of romantic? "I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave."

Maybe there's a little adventure, courage and surprise waiting for us in our q-tip years...amazing give 'em a long courtship Lord, and keep him fit for chasing that bride of his! Amen and Hallelujah!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Who's draining your wagon? Lessons from the beach!

We took our 5th wheel to Faria Beach campground last Monday anticipating the holiday weekend and our 28th wedding anniversary. Gotta love Southern California and the beautiful beaches right here in Ventura, but it really is an art and expense to get a campsite during any weekend of the summer. Three of the four areas to pitch your tent or RV are first come, first served, which means campers arrive early, pay for several nights you won't even use, just so you have a spot on the nights you do. But, the whether was beautiful and it was close enough that our kids and friends could come up when their schedules allowed, which is worth every last nugget of charcoal!

We spent the first afternoon sitting on the beach where the Deeds found a friend to play with. The friend had a sand wagon and some pretty great sand toys. Well, they sort of totally looked the same as the Deeds sand toys, but its always more fun to try out someone else's stuff. Dot and I watched and listened to them play and chatter back and forth about current events, like who was 3 and who was 4 and exactly how many fingers that is in digital reporting.

I have to say "little red headed friend" broke all the red head temperament rules and even with a fair amount of sand in both sets of britches, these two got along so well. Dot and I chatted about who knows what as they played until I looked over and saw that Red was filling the wagon and with each scoop he put in the Deeds was taking a big double fisted lot out.

I watched for a few minutes knowing that at any moment Red was going to notice that his efforts were being undermined at an alarming rate and it wasn't by accident. I figured if he was working so hard to fill the wagon, he just might be more than a little frustrated that someone was draining the sand as fast as he could put it in.

I was concerned that this brand new kindership might not have the foundation to survive such a wave of confrontation. So I tried to tell the Deeds that his friend was working pretty hard at filling the wagon and he might just feel bad when he realized he wasn't getting any support on the project. I mean afterall, this whole situation was sitting on not just little bit of shifting sand.

I had barely gotten the facts on the table when Red said "that's ok, I don't care if he takes it out". Seriously? You are willing to work that hard at keeping the wagon full, all the while someone is draining your efforts?

Can't get that picture out of my mind. More accurately, can't get this question out of my mind..."What makes me feel like my wagon is being drained?" Cause I was all frustrated for Red, even though in his limited life experience he seemed fine and I think he is much too young for the sophisticated "denial" response.

So I have been feeling drained all day thinking about the situations or occasions that feel like I have been drained by someone or something. Situations where my efforts have felt undermined and not necessarily by accident. Somehow someone loosens the plug on something important and lets a bit of hard work or passion escape just because they didn't recognize how important is was. A sharp word or critical statement that starts a slow drain, because even though they only said it once, I repeat it over and over again in my own mind all the while trying to scoop like crazy so I can feel filled up again.

More painful to consider is "Whose wagon have I help ed drain?" "When have I pulled two fistfuls of enthusiasm or sincerity or value from someone else?" Lord, stop me before I ever start and show me what I've done while I am still close enough to apologize.

So lets call this interactive Tuesday/Wednesday...What situations drain your wagon? You know, you are excited about something, working hard on something and in comes someone or something that starts the drain...two fistfulls at a time.
Be as interactive as you are comfortable with, but let's be contributors and encouragers and even if our friend says "that's ok" let's know it's probably not really and turn and help him fill his wagon instead, no matter the sacrifice, let's just do.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Kitchen makeover update

Lesson learned...Because I wanted a less than shiney cabinet look, I used eggshell paint and then thought better of the scrubability factor and decided to add a layer of wipe-on acrylic finish to the black. It added a little bit of the shine I was avoiding, but also an extra layer of protection for a kitchen. I finished painting the top doors and frames and applied the same acrylic finish to the lighter doors. The next morning it looked like the cabinet doors had been "egged". Where the excess pooled in the corners of the molding, it dried with a yellow tone. Yuck! I tried everything I knew to sand the yellow areas without damaging the rest of the finish, but it either dug too deeply next to the yellow or didn't break through the acrylic at all. So...I decided to sand down all the upper doors and start over. Thank goodness only the exterior side, but still, we seemed so close to having the tempting chocolate chips covered up again.

D called Paulino, our favorite all-things granite guy and he is quickly turning our counter tops into a work of art. Dot escorted me into some decision making at Home Goods last week. I'm still not sure I know my way around color, but she is a great cheerleader and suggester of all things beautiful.

Nope, not ok about it yet, or probably ever.

The Pitcher left nearly two weeks ago. I guess we were really busy with lots of important things like staying completely distracted and overwhelmed with stuff so we couldn't actually feel anything like missing him. Some might call that denial, but I like coping mechanism better. But like all mechanistic things...eventually they stop working and you just might be driving down the road when it suddenly hits like a big ol' powerful wave..."I miss my Pitcher". I'm sure D is smiling in the picture above only because he thinks if he carried some stuff to the truck, he would get to go along.

I thought I was doing so well. I thought pretending like "O" in Oklahoma, was just like the "O" in Oxnard and he wasn't much farther away than the next town over, a lie. Like when the cell phone rang with his number showing and he talked about going to the gym and class and Sarah, he was really just right down the road at Ventura College, a lie.

I came across the pictures of the day before he left and the morning he drove away in the dark. It's still dark out there in the driveway, the last place I hugged him before he drove 20+ hours to the child stealing state. I hadn't posted them, because I could hardly look a them myself. If a picture speaks a thousand words, these are screaming "I MISS MY PITCHER".

You should know that next to "would you play (anything)ball wif me?", the Deed's favorite thing to do was have cereal with the Pitcher. They started out with Micah climbing up on the chair next to the Pitcher and just watching him eat. Then the Pitcher would offer to get him his own spoon, same bowl. Then he earned his own bowl and the tradition was born.

We are going to see him. As of today, we are exactly 1/2 way between the day he left and the day we arrive for my showdown with OBU and that team of Bison's that sweet talked my child from my home. I don't care how many there are or even what a big ol' hairy Bison really is, do not, I repeat DO NOT try to get between a mother and her child. The Deeds and Dot will join us just in case I need an extra dose of mommy hormones for the battle and just in case the Pitcher might be hungry to share some cereal.

History says this sunami of missing will pass...

But if you ask today..."Nope, not ok about it yet, or probably ever"