Monday, June 30, 2008
My Poor Husband
I can't seem to get out of vacation mode. I just caught myself eying the Pizza Mia add wondering if I could talk Hubs into picking up dinner tonight.
I won't do it. I won't.
But I sure am tempted.
Friday, June 27, 2008
The Good News and the Better News
(Hubs gets to live another day.)
I don't have cancer, pre-cancer, or anything else questionable that may or may not be cancer upon closer inspection.
I do have a cyst that caused the questionable cells, that should resolve itself, that can be removed or drained or whatever should I keep getting abnormals.
Now that I have put my junk on display for all the world to see, I will step back into less obsessive behavior regarding my health and will return to obsessing about my poorly behaved children who I am sure won't be nearly so awful now that I am not obsessing about other stuff.
Praise be to God our Healer and Protector!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The last 10 minutes, my stomach has been flipping around like they are about to announce the homecoming queen and I think I have a fighting chance. Maybe I mean before stuco president speeches. (I think I remember some dashes to the bathroom for that one so it probably isn't that bad.) Oh, I've got it. When I get an email from an agent I've submitted to and I am about to open it in hopes of an acceptance, yet expecting a rejection.
Yeah, that's what my stomach is doing.
Say a prayer for me. Tomorrow is the day when I will at least find out...who am I kidding? When I find out that either I don't have noticeable junk in my junk and I'll have to have another pap, or that I do and I have to wait for results. So tomorrow is good for precious little except getting to the next stage.
But at least I'll be to the next stage.
Early and Often
What a week it has been.
So you might just imagine my delight this morning when Princess turns to me from "helping" me crack eggs for muffins, indicates the coffee I've just opened, and asks, "Mom, do you really need that?"
Well, lessee, I was awakened from my attempt at a doze this morning after about four hours sleep by Frodo's scream of annoyance and pain because Charming whom Princess lifted onto my bed (where Frodo was sleeping, of course) whacked him awake.
If I were her, I'd shut up and let my mom suck down whatever caffeine laced drinks she wanted.
But I have that innate self-preservation about me.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
She did, Frodo leapt over the seat, I slammed the back door and when I opened the side door to put Charming in his seat, Princess says, "I don't like it when you call me varmint."
Well, when you're acting like one...
Monday, June 23, 2008
Guest Blogger Allie Pleiter!
Stretching weaknesses, stretching strengths
I’ve started exercising. Me and some TV guy with a thick accent who looks like he could lift my refrigerator with one hand get together three times a week (thanks to the magic of DVR) and exercise. I’ve never been a sports person, or much of an active person. I’m a big fan of comfy chairs with knitting needles nearby. I rank being out of breath (i.e. that thing that happens when you run) up there with a root canal. Age has caught up with me, though, and left me no choice. Unless I wanted to pay my monthly Weight Watchers fees until my social security checks started coming, I had to bite the bullet and pick up a hand-weight.
All this has me thinking about stretching , strengths, and weaknesses. Stretching—not just the physical extension part like touching your toes, but the pushing of a muscle beyond its ease—is essential to this exercise process. You must push your muscle to the point of weakness to gain strength. I’ve decided this is true in the spiritual world as well. God is in the habit of taking a weakness and asking us to use it—even to flaunt it in some cases—so that He can show His power through us. Most of us understand this concept, and many of us have lived it when asked to do something that feels completely out of the box for us. It’s one of my favorite places to take my characters because I think it’s where the real growth of life happens (and it makes for great drama which makes for good reading). But God does this to our strengths as well. He’ll take a talent we have, or a skill we possess, and push it like the TV guy does to my muscles. God will push our strength to the point of weakness because we grow when that happens. In Masked by Moonlight,
The trouble with all this is that stretching and strengthening hurts at first. Georgia and Matthew get their happy ending, but they go through a lot of “pain” before they get their “gain.” And me, I’m always groaning the morning after my exercises. I’ve learned to think of that soreness, however, as the byproduct of beneficial growth. That—and a little Advil—makes it easier to take.
You may think writing is my strength, but it didn’t start out that way. If you want to see me use my original strengths, come to www.alliepleiter.com and click the link that lets you hear me read the first chapter of Masked by Moonlight to you. I have a theater degree and I’m not afraid to use it.
So how’d I end up a writer? How God does love to put a fork in the road….
Let me just say here that I've had my current phone number for nine years now.
The phone number I had before that one I had for something like 6 months.
I picked the only one that looked like it might be vaguely familiar. Not that I ever dialed that number.
I guess I guessed right, because they gave me the account.
But seriously. As if. They also asked my previous address. Not from a list. I was supposed to come up with it out of thin air. I've lived here five years. Who keeps information around like that? Who wastes brain cells remembering stuff like that? We moved three times in 11 months when we fist moved to this city. I'd have to drive past the other places to remember those addresses. I guess I guessed right on that one also, though, because, like I said, they decided I was me and gave me the account.
So that they can continue to not pay my bills.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Vacation, as Journaled by Princess, with photos and (commentary) by Mom
Day 1: first we went swimming. then we went to Wal-Mart. then Arby's (actually we started at Arbys, she must be thinking of Taco Bell, where there was a life size velociraptor out front, but I shouldn't quibble). then we went home and watched ice age. then we went to bed.
Day2: Today I saw lots of turtles. And rode on a trolley. And got poison ivy went home took a bath and watched a movie. (she fortunately left out the part wherein I discovered that they were bathing in a patch of poison ivy the size of Texas and I demanded that they immediately climb into the 58 degree lake, fully clothed, sneakers and all and undo the ivy bath. Yes, I climbed in with them. I feared we wouldn't get it off fast enough and we'd have to come home for benadryl injections (do they do such a thing, I wonder?)) (I don't remember the movie.)
Day 3: today we went to Silver Dollar City. I was really scared on Powder Keg. It was scary on Fire in the Hole. On Powder keg, I cried like a baby. I loved the American Plunge. A guy was tinkling then we went down a giant slide. And got wet. We went on hopping frogs and a rocking boat (as soon as our parents wised up and remembered we are still very young children and maybe shouldn't go on the "very exciting" roller coasters).
Day 4: It's my birthday today. We went to the Butterfly Palace. We went to where butterflies were free (though for the cost of admission, one might question the use of the word "free"). There were lots of different butterflies. We watched a movie with 3D glasses. and did a rain forest maze. And went see rain forest animals. And went to the gift shop (where we spent a god-awful lot of time making our parents listen to us whine about junk we could probably get at home for half the cost but were totally uninterested in looking the the really cool things our parents wanted to buy for us). (Then we went fishing for minnows in the river beside our condo.)
Day 5: today we went to Silver Dollar City (again, you didn't read that wrong) and made a rag doll. (and ran into Frodo's best friend and his family. I was totally shocked. Frodo was uber-pleased as he had spent the entire week fretting that his pal wouldn't know where he was). And got a puppet and went home. (she again fortunately forgot to mention that we were trapped several hundred feet underground in a cave during a lighting storm because they don't run the tram up and out of the cave during lightning. As many, many unhealthy individuals were down there with us, we couldn't just walk out. It would have been difficult for us as well as Charming really wanted to crawl around in the bat guano so he was really squirmy and difficult to hold on those wet, uneven paths, stairs and tunnels.)
Day 6: today we went to the pool. And that's all I remember. (complete with a frowny face with a question mark over its head.) (yeah, because it is really hard to remember visiting the fish hatchery, wading in the river, swimming in the (warmer) lake, fishing, hunting for rocks, and the like.)
Day 7: Today we went to Silver Dollar City (hey! it was a three day pass!) and had to leave because of a rainstorm. (we were bummed because there were a few rides we intentionally left for the last couple hours that they didn't get to ride, but had been asking for all day.) (I didn't realize those sunglasses looked quite so, um, wide. May have to shop for another pair.)
On our way home: I hate going on a long drive so I made up a verse. here it is. Princess 1:13 when you're bored praise to the God (later changed to the Lord). (We asked her what Princess 1:12 was and she said she hadn't made that one up yet.)
(We're home. We're glad. Even nearly caught up on laundry. You wouldn't believe the stink day old lake swimming clothes can make. I think Hubs is very glad to be home also. I think he is pretty excited to get to go to work tomorrow. He's trying really hard to not be "done" with us, but surely even you can see that straining look on his "happy to be home" face.)
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
Because if we can guilt trip ourselves for not spending enough time enjoying our kids, we can guilt trip ourselves for not enjoying our kids when we give them more than enough time.
Hopefully I will be proven wrong. You never know on a family vacation.
|Joanna Weaver was voted the Most Promising New Writer of 1997 at the Mount Herman Writer’s Conference. She has authored Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World and written for publications such as Focus on the Family, Home Life, Aspire, and The Evangel. A pastor’s wife for more than eighteen years, she and her husband have counseled many couples, both those approaching their wedding and those struggling in marriage. The Weavers live in Montana and have taught young married classes and spoken on the topic of marriage throughout the northwestern United States.|
The life of a woman today isn’t really all that different from that of Mary and Martha in the
New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit at the Lord’s feet…but the daily demands of a busy world just won’t leave you alone. Like Martha, you love Jesus and really want to serve him…yet you struggle with weariness, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy.
Then comes Jesus, into the midst of your busy life, to extend the same invitation he issued long ago to the two sisters from Bethany. Tenderly, he invites you to choose “the better part”–a joyful life of intimacy with him that flows naturally into loving service.
With her fresh approach to the familiar Bible story, Joanna Weaver shows how all of us–Marys and Marthas alike–can draw closer to our Lord: deepening our devotion, strengthening our service, and doing both with less stress and greater joy.
Personally I "enjoyed" "Lord, Don't You Care?" If you can call it enjoyment to look at the pages and know someone has been spying on your black heart. "What about me?" My envious little mind whines when everyone wants ice cream and I haven't sat down for my dinner yet. But I'm learning. Learning the three D's and I'm catching on. If I can just nip distraction in the bud (okay, so I'm not sure I can do that) I can avoid discouragement (let's say I nip this one in the bud instead) and keep the doubt out of my life. Ya think?
Yeah, yeah. Still learning.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I realized after we called it a wrap and stripped them of their confining clothes that I never took a posed picture of the two in full garb. I'm so angry with myself.
Hopefully the photographer got something worthy of my mantle.
Frodo the Ring Bear(er)
But yesterday was a bit too much for him.
After welcoming the sun to our side of the planet, playing with toads, driving his siblings to camp (car ride approximately 1 hour), having swimming lessons, learning! to! swim! (two weeks of classes and I wondered if they would get around to the swimming part, but I got to see the moment it clicked in the last three minutes of the very last lesson!), welcoming Grandma and Popen, playing hard with them, going to the barber, playing hard some more, practicing going down the aisle (twice? I have to do it again?), driving through Burger King (hulk toys make great bribery), and joining his parents eating themselves into oblivion (I was literally sick I was so full of that AMAZING food), not even being able to finish his ice cream (it is there in the silver cup), begging Mom to PLEASE go home, he gave it up and took matters into his own hands.
We had to leave just before the toasts and fun stuff began. I knew better than to take the kids to the dinner, but I wanted to go and they are the wedding party.
I think I'm gonna cry today. I'm getting a hint of how hard it might be to marry my kids off someday. I'm having a hard time letting my babysitter go.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
That's Good News?
Her reassuring words?
"It's probably just HPV."
(excuse me while the steam exits my ears)
If I have HPV, I have a whole 'nother set of issues which I am unwilling to even consider.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Well, not really, but I'll try to keep my sarcasm sheathed.
It was the only house I've ever really loved.
Also very glad I don't live there anymore...for the first time in say, eight years.
Also the reason that when they blew the sirens tonight, I woke my four children and made them sprint for the basement.
That Kinda Day
Who me? Never.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
My kids have been in what we affectionately call "Nature Camp" this week, the week we look forward to for a year and talk about all winter. The camp you might remember I almost didn't get them into and was berating myself for. In nature camp, they need bug spray and sunscreen, as you might imagine. That produces a pretty heavy fog of smell in the car and it is not a short drive to nature from my home. So.....when we get there, I screen 'em up and OFF! them substantially.
Today my customary parking place by the door was taken so I pulled into the overflow parking (guffaw) fifteen paces away, hop out and start spraying the kids.
Let me just take this moment to paint a picture. Parking lot in the middle of nowhere. Twenty kids in the entire camp. Parking lot has, I don't know, thirty spots. Most kids come with siblings. And there are five or six cars already parked by the door (not in the lot). The lot is VACANT, people, VACANT. Except for my car, and one car on the other side of empty spot next to mine where I am standing, spraying down my kids.
So this van pulls in. Can totally see that I, and my three kids, occupy the space. That there are CLOSER spaces available. Doesn't even slow down. And as I grab my kids and pull them towards the car (ours) and in process to exit the space so that she doesn't mow us down, SHE KEEPS PULLING IN. No pause. I tell you, this lady didn't even tap the brakes. Thankfully my children actually listened to me and my yanking of their arms and plaster themselves along with me to my car so that none of us lost a limb, BUT STILL.
And yes, I know, I am not a car and cannot actually qualify to fill a space. And yes, I also know my car already took a space, so technically I was using two. And yes, I also know that when I saw her coming, I kept spraying and assumed she would take a different space, because WHO TAKES THE SPACE BETWEEN TWO CARS WHEN THERE IS A WHOLE EMPTY LOT (AND EQUALLY CLOSE SPACES)????
But Come On.
Oh, and how is this for wishful thinking? Dreaming of princes, already?
(Nah, we posed it in copy of Meg. )
Yes, that is our first toad of the season. After screaming like a little girl, she named him Hoppy and he's sleeping next to the fish tank in an old salad box.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Copper Fire by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Suzanne can be found at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.
During the month of June, Suzanne is running a book-a-day-giveaway contest. To enter, scoot on over to her blog (www.suzannewoodsfisher.blogspot
Tell us about Copper Fire.
SWF: Copper Fire is the sequel to Copper Star, picking right up at the very end of World War II. On a summer day in 1945, my main character, Louisa, receives a telegram from the International Red Cross Tracing Service. She discovers that her cousin, Elisabeth, has just been released from Dachau. Louisa is determined to go to Germany to get Elisabeth…and that’s where the story begins.
Oh, how I love reading that period in time! What's your favorite place in the world?
SWF: Nantucket Island on an autumn day.
What's your favorite possession?
SWF: My friend Gwen drew pencil sketches of my children that I have framed in the bedroom. I’ve hauled them all over the world (we lived in Hong Kong for four years).
Finish this sentence: I wouldn¹t be caught dead…
SWF: In a bikini. Not after four kids! No, no, no.
Boy, do I understand that! If you could change careers now without any consequences or financial loss,
what would you switch to?
SWF: I am passionate about writing, and I only make about a dime an hour. Still, though, a passion is a passion.
I think I'd pick tropical island reviewer. Can you tell us what’s on your desk right now? What can readers look forward to?
SWF: In late August, Grit from the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers, will be released from Vintage Spirit. I wrote Grit with three other very talented authors.
And another piece of great news! I just received a contract from Revell/Baker for a non-fiction book called Amish Peace in an English Life. It won’t be out until 2010…but ‘everything Amish’ is filling up my head right now.
Thanks for letting me pop-in, Jamie!
Find Suzanne on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com
My doctor's office just called to reschedule my procedure. For two more weeks away!
I got up this morning, glad to have finally made it to this very busy week, wherein I would be so stinking busy as to either pass the time quickly OR not think all the time about "what if," but NO.
I actually groaned when she told me.
The good news is that, thought I'm not paranoid or superstitious, my procedure is no longer scheduled for Friday the 13th. The bad news (for me) is that it is now scheduled for Friday the 27th.
Okay, enough of that. I promise to get more cheerful and funny again really soon. Well, as funny as I can get.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Mother's Day came a couple weeks late, or Father's Day came a couple weeks early this morning.
I don't think you can see my place card, but it says "mom," that is a straw in my coffee, toast sans butter, a nutty bar, peanut m&ms, almonds, a chocolate chip cookie and a mug of milk.
That, below? The centerpiece. Fresh snapdragons in a new bottle of water. Only the best for me. Resting gently on a table runner for fall.
And this? Charming, snagging my nutty bar.
"And how are we this morning? We are well? Then I'll take our order. So we are having the breakfast ala kid's choice. I'll bring us some silverware."
Our waiter took the whole, "we" thing w-aaaaaa-y to far last night. I wonder if I adopt his method, if the kids will buy it enough to leave a big tip after ooo-yucking dinner.
I thought surely I was mistaken, but I verified three times.
There was a Sex and the City movie pack (some kind of boxed set of something) on the endcap of the Christian section.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
I was almost too afraid to ask after I posted all lovey-dovey. What if I'd have to come back here and say it was all in my imagination?
He looked kind of sheepish like he got caught thinking I might die. I asked if I should be worried that he's so worried. He said he's not worried "it's just..."
I filled in. "Unacceptable for me to kick off?"
I agree. Guess there will be no dying this year. It's unacceptable.
My apologies for using the term "dying." I know that even IF there was something there, chances are good that whatever it is can be removed and we'll live another 85 years and there is probably nothing there in the first place. After all, Hubs prayed and I got tingles. And on top of THAT, God is still in control. But, you know, as a mother my second worst fear is that I'd have to leave them to fend for themselves.
Now where are those chocolate chip cookies?
Suspicious Minds by Christy Barritt
Q & A with Mystery Author Christy Barritt
Mysteries that play havoc on the nerves and the funny bone!
Q: Tell us about your featured book.
A: In Suspicious Minds, crime-scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire takes a mold remediation job to make ends meet. While in the crawlspace of a dilapidated old house, she finds Elvis—dead and still wearing his blue suede shoes! Gabby can’t resist sticking her nose into another investigation. Along the way, she tries to figure out her love life, her spiritual life and the wacky world of Elvis impersonators!
Q: Where did you get the idea for Suspicious Minds?
A: I’ve been writing for my local newspaper for five years now. One interview I did was with an Elvis impersonator (or, an Elvis Tribute Artist, as I was quickly informed) performing at a senior citizens’ center. I had no idea what to expect before I went. After I finished the interview (and I’ve had easier times getting interviews with senators than I did with this guy after his show), the president of his fan club came running after me as I walked to my car. She presented me with an autographed picture of him. I thought, this man has a fan club? The ideas spun from there.
Q: Your book touches on the issues of loneliness and abandonment. Is this something that you’ve dealt with?
A: In some ways, the more I write, the lonelier I become. Writing is such a solitary job and best writing times are often my worst times of isolation. I struggle with being alone and feeling unconnected. For my mental well-being, I make sure I get out of the house several times during the week. Sometimes I’ll take my computer to Starbucks and work there. Other times, I’ll participate in different “mommy groups.” It takes effort, though. I’m a more effective writer if I’m out and among people. But, as the book points out, you can be surrounded by people and still be lonely.
Q: I heard you’re doing some local Mystery Dinner Theaters featuring characters from your book. Can you tell us more about that?
A: I’m so excited! The way everything has come together for the Suspicious Minds Mystery Dinner Theater is truly because of a Higher Power. I had the crazy idea to write a mystery dinner theater for the release of my book. But doors began opening up and it’s evolved into something much bigger. I actually have a troupe of actors who are willing to perform the play several times in the summer and once a month after that. Churches, libraries, schools and clubs are hosting the event—they’re in charge of the food and advertising. Any donations for the event will go directly toward whatever project they’d like. The actors will come in and act, giving them an outlet for their talents. And I’ll sell my book afterward, a portion of the proceeds going toward whatever cause is featured. It’s going to be a blast! We still have some dates open. If anyone is interested, they can email me at email@example.com for more information.
Q: Do you ever find it hard to balance being a mom and writing?
A: Definitely! But I’m learning to trust my gut to know when I’m off-balance. Then I need to take time to evaluate how I’m spending my hours. Life is constantly a process of learning, changing and adjusting!
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’m writing the third book in the Squeaky Clean Mystery series. Gabby, of course, has to get into some more trouble! But she also explores her relationships… from friendships, to romance, to God. She has some unresolved issues from her past that she needs to lay to rest. And, of course, she has crime scenes to clean!
Visit Christy’s website at: www.christybarritt.com for more information!
Monday, June 02, 2008
He Still Gives Me Tingles
To which he replied:
"That is indisputable and quite obvious."
Now, you could take that two ways. Obvious? As in obviously he loves me, because why else would he stick around with my poor homemaking skills and body going the way of gravity?
I choose to take that as the compliment I think he was making (I'm not going to ask) and sigh a big ole 14 year-old sigh of infatuation like I did back when he complimented my ability to burn marshmallows and tick off one of the leading ladies of our freshman class.
And this following the middle of the night minute long interlude of his hand gently resting on my mid-back wherein I have decided he was praying for me. (I was long gone for the night and he knows better (if you know what I'm saying) so when I said "what?" (meaning did-the-baby-wake-and-I-didn't-hear?) and he said "nothing" I promptly decided to go back to sleep but almost felt tingles emanating from his hand and running through my body to the source of my concern. And, just like that, it was over when he lifted his hand and went to sleep himself.)
Amazing. After 12 years of marriage he can still shock me with his love. (What's really shocking is that he still loves me after all he has to forgive me.)