Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Like a Kid at Willy Wonka's

Last night as a reward for a good work out AND cleaning the bathrooms (I find a perk of letting them get gross is that they REALLY look nice and shiny once you finally do clean them - TDH does not wholeheartedly agree with this strategy) ANYWAY as a reward for such brilliant behavior I sat down to channel surf.


Eventually it seeped into my tired brain that rather than 30 channels to surf I was now surfing 50-60 channels. Whaaaa? As proud subscribers to the second tier of available Kountry Kable Channels (Khannels?) I was a bit perplexed.


Turns out that Kountry Kable is upping their prices and getting rid of our beloved second tier. Worse (for us) they have taken ESPN out of the first tier and replaced it with Home Shopping Network (not a fan). So in 13 channels you get 4 networks, Fox, Headline News, Fox News, CW, UPN, Spike, PBS, HSN and the community channel. BLECH!

Initially we thought that for just $20 you get the 50-60 channels but as we were falling asleep last night we both realized that no it is $20 MORE!

Scintillating post so far, right? Sorry. All of that was really to say that we have paid through June and while we continue to discern just how many cable channels we 'need' we now have over a month to enjoy:

Last night we stayed up way too late watching Comedy Central and VH1 (because I NEEDED TO KNOW the top 10 hottest videos of all time).

Monday, May 28, 2007

Almost Right

Your Dominant Intelligence is Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

You are naturally athletic and coordinated, good at making your mind and body work together.
Sports are fun and easy for you, especially those requiring good hand - eye coordination.
There's also a good chance you're a great dancer, or good at expressing yourself through body language.
You learn best by doing, and you feel like you've always got to be moving (even if it's just your hands).

You would make a good athlete, physical education teaches, dancer, actor, firefighter, or artisan.
Actually everything but the dancing thing is pretty on target. I'm not much of an artisan either but there is NO grace to be found here so dance is definitely out.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

So Sad


I am so desperate for the beach that I keep sniffing the sunscreen on the back of The Boy's neck.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Hard Habit to Break



This one is from reverend mother:

1. Have you ever successfully quit a bad habit, or gotten a good habit established? Tell us about how you did it.
Well, currently I am exercising successfully. I have long term and short term goals - neither of which revolve around numbers. I joined the 'Y' with my Mom and combined with decent child care options this has kept me going regularly. I know how easy it is to fall off that wagon though so I am just taking one week/day at a time.

2. "If only there were a 12-step program for________!"
Finger chewing/picking. I know it is gross - but from a quick glance around the ring I am not the only one. Freud would have a field day with me because it is so clearly an oral fixation - I do it when I am hopped on caffeine, when my hands are not otherwise occupied (driving is a BIG one) and right after meals. I was able to stop chewing my nails, but the final step towards healthy looking hands has so far eluded me.

3. Share one of your healthy "obsessions" with us.
Well, right now it's getting to the gym and getting no less than 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer - maybe even an hour. Just me and my iPod and a sweat that lets me know I've worked hard! That's me up there on the left - ha, ha!

4. Share the habit of a spouse, friend or loved one that drives you C-R-A-Z-Y.
Well right now whenever you tell The Boy something he wasn't expecting he says, "HUH?" - just like my Dad.

5. "I'd love to get into the habit of ___________________."
Reading. I was one of those kids that read using a flashlight under the covers, but I just cannot get back into it - whether it's not finding books I like or not carving out the time (most likely more the latter than the former).

Bonus: What is one small action you might take immediately to make #5 a reality?
Well, in a way it's already begun as I am trying to take my laptop home less in order to be present for my family. TDH likes various tv programs which thanks to the 'Y' schedule I have learned I can live without. So the time is slowly being carved out for me to have some reading time.

Bonus 2: Try it, and let us know how it goes in a future post!
Next chance I get I will hit the library and keep you posted.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Karma

Today I was briefly in the big franchise store that uses a bulls-eye as its logo. In this particular store there is a small version of a franchise coffee company. There is only one person behind the counter most times and so you either get waited on first, or you wait. If you are in a hurry, the larger version of the franchise coffee company is only a few storefronts away. It even has a drive-thru window.

Now, a seeming sidenote is that I have this quirky thing where if I drop any kind of coin I pick it up and replace it with a heads up penny. If I drop a penny I make sure it is heads up. I always hope that some kid who is suffering through a long day of errands will find it and be totally pumped that they found a heads-up penny.

Okay, back to the small version of a franchise coffee company. I was third in line. In front of me were two women, each with a child around 5 years old. The woman in the front of the line could not have been more than 4'6" and she is frantic. At first it made sense, the credit card machine took her card and didn't spit it back out... frankly I'd be a bit miffed as well. But then it turned out she had shoved a gift card in there rather than a credit card. She is freaking. out.

Finally that is settled and she sprints over to the cash registers of big franchise store that uses the bulls-eye as a logo where they are still processing her order! Basically she had run over in order to beat 'the rush' (all two of us) and was now running back and forth between the coffee and the cashier line!

At one point while she was safely over by the cashier I said to the woman ahead of me and the barista, "I don't think she really needs the caffeine."

Back she came, dragging her five year old behind her and her daughter spots the heads-up penny that I had just left on the floor but heavily caffeinated Mom is in too much of a hurry to let her grab it. The Mom explains that she has a lot of shopping to fit into the day in order to make it to the salon on time. The daughter does not say another word and begins to head out the door with her very frazzled Mom.

Then for some unknow reason the Mom stops, comes back into the area, bends over to pick up the penny and SLAMS the top of her head on the edge of the table that the penny was near (in my defense, I swear it was not directly under the table).

I actually felt pretty bad.... until I went outside and saw her climbing into her Hummer H2 literally using a trendy looking ladder to get into the thing which is bigger than my first apartment.

Then I just felt smug.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

And Finally

Is it wrong of me to have downloaded a Madonna song and a couple of other 80's flashbacks just to make me feel better?

YEAH for iTunes gift cards!

And Another Thing...

How come on TDH's watch when The Boy stays up late the night before he sleeps in but on MY watch he gets up at his normal time (pre-7am) and then crashes for an early nap after I am already up and moving and cannot go back to bed.

good thing he's pretty.

need. ocean.

Do you know anyone, anywhere who could hook me up with a beach house even for just a couple of nights?

i need a break.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ergonomics

So when I received my new laptop one of the things that made me feel old was that the only thing that the directions really talked about was warranties and how to sit properly in your chair so that you didn't seriously injure yourself while typing... seriously.

Everything else is found online which is so very cool once someone tells your ancient ass that the wireless card is INSIDE of the computer just flip the switch on the outside. (Reminds me of when my sister told her first college roommate that she was getting a bigger modem for her computer and watched her flip out as she yelled and screamed about there being no more room for ANYTHING let alone a bigger modem.)

Anyway, turns out I should have read all of that mumbo jumbo about laptop computer placement and the wisdom of buying a separate keyboard because my right shoulder is F.U.B.A.R. and the only thing that helps is long periods of time off of teh internets. YIKES!

And so I join reverend mother in her great experiment (the computer related one, not the three kids one although that is obviously SO much cooler). And I bid farewell for long periods of time to the party I started and I try to figure out what to do with myself with no computer time to lean on.

I also secretly rejoice that my time cannot be used wisely to say... iron because my right shoulder is screwed up and ironing wouldn't do it any good, right?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Unbelievable

Does anyone else have an issue with movies in that you will totally buy into whatever movie magic they are selling except for one seemingly mundane detail that you just cannot let go?

Last night TDH went out to see Spiderman III. During the last action-packed scene I felt myself being pulled out of the movie because I thought, there is no way crowd control would allow those people to be so close to where Spiderman is fighting the bad guys.

But a huge black web stretch across the NYC skyline and a man made basically out of sand... THAT I believe.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Big Event Edition

Did you know that the major purpose for forming a non-profit, RevGalBlogPals, Inc., was to be able to attract grant support for a large scale RevGalBlogPal meetup? My dream from the beginning has been attracting financial support that would allow as many of our bloggers to be together as possible.RGBP, Inc. now has a planning committee, and we are in the early stages of planning the RevGalBlogPal Big Event. What, When, Where and Who are all on the table at the moment. In that spirit, I bring you the Big Event Friday Five.

1. What would the meeting be like? (Continuing Ed? Retreat? Outside Speakers? Interest Groups? Workshops? Hot Stone Massages? Pedicures? Glorified Slumber Party?)
I gotta tell you, I am with Quotidian Grace in that I am a bit seminar'ed and speaker'ed out. Especially for this first get together I would love to just BE with folks - meeting them face to face and relaxing together, enjoying one another's company.

We all work HARD - we do not have to be 'doing something' in order to make this a worthy thing to do. Of course, if getting grants means having programming I would love to use our own resources - who is great at computer stuff, who has a passion for art and/or music, etc... I also think an 'Evening with the Matriarchs' could be fun. Kind of a panel where we can throw out questions and challenges and hear how the veterans would handle it and at the very least feel supported and know that we are not alone.

2. When in 2008 might you be able to attend? January? Shortly after Easter? Summer? Fall? Some other time?
I think right after a major holiday would be good - beginning weeks of January (Ash Wednesday is early this year, 2/6!) or right after Easter, early April (Easter is 3/23). Summers get difficult with denominational meetings, kid vacations and mission and youth trips. Travel is also more expensive in the summer but of course weather could be an issue in the winter.

In the interest of full disclosure I may be in some classes three weeks out of June so that would be another reason to stay away from May/June dates for me!

3. Where would your dream meeting location be? (Urban Hotel? Rural Retreat Center? New England Camp? Southwestern Fantasy Hotel? Far away from civilization? Nearby Outlets or Really Great Thrift Stores?)

You know, really I'm open. I would lean more on the side of being near a hub airport so it is easier to get to than the perfect natural, remote location.

Fantasy location: All expenses paid, full amenities Club Med type place.

4. Who would make a great keynote speaker? (That's if #1 leads us in that direction.)
Again, a keynoter is not a big desire for me.

5. Did I leave out something you want to suggest?
I have been thinking a lot about families. Are families (children, partners, etc...) specifically excluded OR welcomed but not covered in any way shape or form OR specifically included. I could do any of the three but for some childcare or at least child acceptance might be the only way they can come.



Either way there are a lot of great ideas and opinions out there. I sure am glad I am not one of the ones responsible for putting it together... oh wait, I am!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I can Prove It

How can I prove those are my toes in those sandals? Easy, just look at all of the tomboy scars you can see up and down my legs. One of my aunts once warned me I would regret using my knees to climb up trees... of course the days and days of fun in the trees were well worth one day of scar tissue showing.

It was fun to play dress-up for a day, but these shoes HURT. My pinky toes are STILL pissed.... of course I will be wearing them at least one more time to see if I can give Ladyburg a run for her shoe money!

I'll have to take another picture and post it to prove how high the heels are too.

Thanks to all who gave me their tanning lotion advice. It worked great despite the embarrassment at the pedicure place as the lotion was being scrubbed off and leaving tan marks on the white towel and in the water. I felt like Pigpen.

I reapplied when I got home.

This being a girl thing is hard!









Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Very Nice


I would like to thank the Academy of Dreams (not to be confused with The Dream Academy - a, hey, nah, nah, nah, nah...) for inserting George Clooney into my dream sequence last night and allowing me to have that cameo appearance in Ocean's 13.
He looked a-MAZ-ing in that pinstripe suit.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

will smama: lifelong member

Why do families feel the need to lie in their relative's obituary?

I am doing a funeral tomorrow morning where I just met the surrounding family for the first time and I have never met the deceased. Yet the line in the obit states: "She was a lifetime member of Da Country Church..." actually in full it states: "She was a lifetime member of Da Country Church and the founder of the country band 'Dorothy and the Raiders,' which played from the 1970s through the 1980s."

The church was mentioned first, but the band part is actually true.

I get that this is mainly a keeping up appearances thing - someone dies and folks want to get a church affiliation in there - and it doesn't bother me. Occasionally a member of the church questions me about it but usually it is just wondering why they never heard of the person.

It just gives me a chuckle to think of people maybe envisioning God reading the obits and going "Hey Peter, set that elevator to 'up' because it says here in the paper she DID go to church - my bad."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mothering Sunday

Today in worship every woman present received a plant. During the children's sermon I spoke of women and how they had impacted our lives (teachers, VBS leaders, trip chaperones, counselors, etc...). I wrapped it into the commitment that all folks in the church make during a baptism to help raise the person who is being baptized in the faith. Then the kids helped hand out plants.

I try to keep it very generic because I know that I am one of the lucky ones.

Three years ago I was not in church on Mother's Day. I just couldn't bear it. Our first child, a daughter, had been stillborn the previous November and although I thought I could probably get through it, I didn't want to... and I didn't want to feel like the congregation was watching me to see if I was going to get through it.

TDH and I took off with our bikes for the weekend to a neighboring county and rode around and stayed at a fancier place than usual and I remember feeling like I was finally in a good place about things and it felt good. I could see young children running around and not feel like it was stabbing my heart... or look judgingly at their parents to determine if they realized how lucky they were or if I needed to take those children immediately.

I am one of the lucky ones because the very next Mother's Day I WAS in church leading worship and it was my first Sunday back following a beautiful three month maternity leave. I preached from the pulpit and in the midst of the sermon about God's love stepped down to the floor, took my young sleeping son from my husband and walked around the Sanctuary saying:

A parent holds the newborn child, I happen to know a little about this now, so you should take my word on it. This child is nothing but a bundle of needs; it does not produce a thing but demands for nighttime feedings, and dirty diapers; lots of dirty diapers.

The parents holding that child were perfectly fine as a couple before that, and before that doing very well thank you, as a single man and a single woman. But since that birth something has changed forever. If something were to happen to that child mom is not sure she would survive. When dad shows up at church the Sunday after the child was born and gets asked, “How is your weekend going?” does he say, “Oh, you know, ok.” I don’t think so.

He’s got a goofy grin on his face and his shirt isn’t buttoned right and he is showing pictures and talking about his child as though it were the first baby ever born.

The God in heaven was perfectly fine; perfectly complete, perfectly perfect. And then, in love, God created. And God became God the Father. God became like a mother, holding her baby, and you became a child of God.

How could we ever think that what happens to us matters little? When you create something you become vulnerable to it. God would die if something took the life from you.

God did die.


I am one of the lucky ones. I know this every time he takes my hand, every time I smell the back of his neck, every time he cries, every time I get to teach him something new.

And so on this day I give thanks for mothers. I also give thanks and pray for all of those who so desperately want to be mothers. I know that this earthly kingdom is a temporary place, but it can also be a cruel place. And when life is cruel... it doesn't feel temporary, it feels like forever.

I pray that you feel God's love and embrace of solace around you. I pray that even in your darkest hours you are able to let God the Mother in to care for you. And I pray that each and every one of you will be one of the lucky ones... and soon.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Potato, Poh-ta-to Edition

Reverend Mother's turn and you can find a slightly more editoralized version of her questions over at revgalblogpals:

There are two types of people in the world, morning people and night owls. Or Red Sox fans and Yankees fans. Or boxers and briefs. Or people who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't.

Let your preferences be known here. And if you're feeling verbose, defend your choices!

1. Mac or PC?
PC. I know that supposedly wise and witty people use the Mac (that's what the commercial tells me) but I was one of those snookered by marketing and by 'what everyone else had' and so I have continued to stay with the familiar'.

2. Pizza: Chicago or New York style?
New York style - and NOT Pizza Hut's version. I want a THIN crust so I can fill up on the toppings and not the bread thank you very much. When done well it should be what my husband calls, "pizza on a matzah".

3. Brownies/fudge containing nuts:a) Good. I like the variation in texture.b) An abomination unto the Lord. The nuts take up valuable chocolate space.[or a response of your choosing]
No NUTS! I am just not a fan and I am willing to admit that part of it is that I don't want them getting in my way as I woof down my dessert. On a sidenote, my mother-in-law who has had me in her life for over 11 years ALWAYS puts nuts in anything she makes us. My Mom will give us half with and half without. No judgment, just sayin'.

4. Do you hang your toilet paper so that the "tail" hangs flush with the wall, or over the top of the roll?
Okay people, please don't make me tell you this again. You do the former because then when kitties or kiddies stand in front of it and hit it with their paws/hands, the tail of the paper continues to go over and over the top of the roll RATHER THAN SPILLING CONTINUOUSLY ONTO THE FLOOR.

Seriously, this is just a matter of common sense people.

5. Toothpaste: Do you squeeze the tube wantonly in the middle, or squeeze from the bottom and flatten as you go just like the tube instructs?
I ask, "Can it not be both?" When the tube is full, I enjoy the freedom of squeezing the tube wherever I durn well please. As toothpaste becomes sparse, I then begin the flatten the tube approach. All of this has been helped by a stocking stuffer that came my way that slips on the bottom edge of the toothpaste tube and helps to squeeze it to the top as the tube gets emptier.

Bonus: Share your favorite either/or.
Beach vs. Lake - clearly you are one or the other.
Either you enjoy stagnant water that breeds blood-sucking insects, seaweed taller than the redwoods, the stench of mud permeating your lungs OR you appreciate the cooling breezes and healing waters of the life giving ocean.



Interruptions

This church SERIOUSLY needs caller id... I'm just sayin'.

Hopefully I will get to Friday Five but the phone call I am currently on might preclude me doing that... or anything else today.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Life's Little Rituals

One of the ways we can mark time passing - children aging - in our house is by the morning routine. For the first three months of The Boy's Life it was simple - I didn't leave without him. But then it was time for me to make the long commute back to work. Well, long emotionally since physically it is less than 50 yards door to door.

For awhile he was so little he didn't notice although he was certainly happy when I came back. Then he got a little older and he cried when I left - that broke my heart. Eventually he didn't cry, he just looked up and said, "Bye-bye." Sometimes he did that to me when I first walked into a room.
That hurt worse than when he cried.

Now TDH lifts him up to the open part of the screen and he yells, "Bye!" as I walk down the front walk. I stop and turn and return his call. Then he yells it even louder, "BYE!"
"BYE!" I yell back cognizant of the fact that even though we are in the country we are now yelling loud enough for other people to hear us.

When I get to the door of the church I yell out one final, "BYE!"
And if I am lucky and his attention hasn't lapsed I get a, "BYE MOMMY!"

Someday my commute will be much longer and the "BYE's" will fade out faster. I wonder if that will be what happens first or if the next step will be me yelling out the door at him as he shakes his head cognizant of the fact that all of his friends can hear his Mom yelling at him out the door as if he were two.

Because she remembers when he was.

Monday, May 07, 2007

How to be Both Healthy and Vain

Anyone got any good ideas on those tanning creams? Any advice? Tips? Product recommendations?

My pale legs currently frighten my son.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Proud Parents

I removed the pics due to anonymous blog issues, but I did want to give an update.

It seems that the little girl that appeared with The Boy in those pictures is friends with him at church, but when he approaches her at the YMCA playroom she is less than enthusiastic. He has more pride than that and I think is coming to terms with whome his heart really lies... Little Listing.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Head Partially Cleared

Well, thank you friends for being so gracious about the rant(s). It was either here or have people in the community witness me bent over yelling as loud as I can at a woman who from afar looks sickly in a wheelchair... and that would just be bad for business.

In the meantime, TDH and I are started to chip away at the madness and move increasingly forward towards 'The Same Page' {please read aloud with appropriate heavenly music in the background and an echo effect}.

I was talking to one of my friends who also happens to be a pastor and we were agreeing that we wish the advice we give in premarital counseling - that every couple will return to 1 or 2 of the same arguments over and over again - weren't true for us.

I also got to spend some good quality time with my Mommy last night. I needed a shirt/blouse and shoes to go with a skirt that I am wearing to a bridal shower next week. Shopping is not normally where I go to renew the spirit (rather that is usually where it goes to die) but it was fun to go and find clothes that fit and I went out on a limb with the shoes. I hope the pedicure comes with tanning cream for those pale white toesies!

Then this morning The Boy was 'singing' as 2 year olds do - with lyrics optional. And Twinkle Twinkle Little Star came out like this:

Tinkle Tinkle oobah stah
dee-doo, dee-oo Kix on my nose.


We were just glad he said 'on' rather than 'in'.

Peace friends... and thank you.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Parental Divide

I usually try and keep things short and sweet on here because I think there are enough long-winded, stressful posts out there and I have started to consider myself to be the fun commercial that you actually stay in the room to watch... or something like that. But I feel like I need to explain a little bit more.

Both of our parents live near us. And I am sure there is some bias here, but my parents are wonderful. They enjoy The Boy's company, they bend over backwards to help us (my Mom took off work to take The Boy to swim lesson when I had strep throat and is his main caregiver on Sunday mornings). My parents go almost too far the other way in giving us our space - I wish my Mom would call more and not worry so much about waking someone up or interrupting something.

Now I get that his parents cannot do a lot of those hands on things with The Boy. They are older and she is in a wheelchair after suffering a stroke (which I realize may have some of you thinking that I am in fact quite evil). But trust me when I tell you that they were manipulative before she had her stroke and now that fact has just been added to their arsenal of guilt-throwers and demanding ways.

They are in a full care available facility and yesterday hinted to TDH that IF f-i-l should go first he would rather pay a family member to take care of m-i-l than the nursing home.

And now the guilt drips will begin. Whatever the politically correct equivalent of Chinese water torture is, that is what they do:
"Your Mom has suffered so throughout her life, I'd hate to see that happen after I go." - drip.

"She really isn't that hard to take care of... you just have to get her what she needs when she wants it. She would do that for you." - drip.

And my personal favorite: "Your mother has never done anything to hurt anyone in her life." - DRIP! (There are 7 current & ex daughter in-laws out there who would beg to differ.)

TDH GETS that they suck and that they are manipulative but they are of course still his parents and he feels like he is a bad son (he is the only one out of five still actively helping them at all). He feels like he doesn't have a good enough heart/isn't a good enough Christian because he doesn't want to help his parents. And then he gets deeper and deeper into a funk which as you know brings everything else (relationships, energy, desire to do anything) down in a funk with him.

It. Sucks.

Still don't think it's necessarily his parents? This past winter they went to Florida for three months - three BEAUTIFUL months. TWO days before they were scheduled to come back TDH started changing and it has been not good ever since.

And I don't know how to fix it. Well, I do but I would get arrested and that wouldn't help anything.

Not really looking for cyber-hugs or advice. Just thought I'd put it all out there so we can continue with our regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

When?

When will Mother's Day be my day too?
When will the in-laws recognize that their OTHER son is not someone I want to spend my free time with?
When will they realize they shouldn't either?
When will they stop excusing his abusive behavior?
When will they get tired of the way he treats them?
When will they stand up for the mother of their grandchildren rather than him?
When will they stop blaming all his problems on her?
When will they give TDH the credit he deserves rather than making his life - and our marriage - stressed?
When will I finally be allowed to get off this fireplacin' high road and tell them how I REALLY feel?

The answer to all of these questions and more is of course, when they die. And so to that I ask, "When will that be?"