Sunday, March 30, 2008
Today was the mandatory parent-child meeting with the scout leaders; signing of permissions slips, health forms, etc.. My daughter is ready to burst from excitement - we had barely gotten back home before she excitedly raced up to her room and began flinging outfits from her closet onto her bed (down to the accessories, Little Fashionista that she is....).
And I'm in a FUNK.
Mind you, my daughter has spent the night away from me many times, but it's usually at her BFF Rachel's house (2 streets over) or at my Mom's house. This is the first time she'll be 6 hours away from me, for 5 nights. I'm a little freaked out by it.
In this heightened emotional state, I told my husband, "Do you realize, in just EIGHT SHORT YEARS, both of our children will be grown and GONE!" (He just patted my hand and continued clicking the remote, not even missing a beat. How can men be so calm about this???)
I'm sure she'll have an absolutely wonderful time, and I'll survive, but I'll miss having her around. I'll even miss her critical eye appraising my outfit each day, looking me up and down and saying "You're not going to wear THAT today, are you, Mom?"
I love having a daughter. (And, blessedly, my 12 year old son will be home all week when she is gone; thankfully, he has NO plans for Spring Break. Whew...)
Friday, March 28, 2008
BUT, if you're like me, you get overwhelmed every so often (like... DAILY) by God's grace, and Jesus' incredible sacrifice.
So, to that end, I wanted to post a poem by John Updike, who is a fabulous writer, and who I didn't even know was a believer until recently.
Make no mistake; if He rose at all
It was as His body;
If the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.
It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that - pierced - died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.
Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages;
let us walk through the door.
The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.
And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.
Let us knot seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Just one word for that boy's voice. Dang.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
However, I think Wal Mart is soon going to be off my list of Places I Routinely Visit due to this story. I'm still seething after reading this. I want to forward it to everyone I know and say "Don't shop at Wal-Mart until they make this situation RIGHT!!"
Can you say GREED? Can you say AVARICE? I'll take it a step further: can you say EVIL?
Sam Walton is surely spinning in his grave over this.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The day is over, you are driving home. You tune in your radio.
You hear a little blurb about a little village in India where
some villagers have died suddenly, strangely, of a flu that has
never been seen before.
It's not influenza, but three or four fellows are dead, and it's
kind of interesting. They're sending some doctors over there to
You don't think much about it, but on Sunday, coming home from
church, you hear another radio spot. Only they say it's not
three villagers, it's 30,000 villagers in the back hills of
this particular area of India, and it's on TV that night. CNN
runs a little blurb; people are heading there from the disease
center in Atlanta because this disease strain has never been
By Monday morning when you get up, it's the lead story. For
it's not just India; it's Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and
before you know it, you're hearing this story everywhere and
they have coined it now as "the mystery flu".
The President has made some comment that he and everyone are
praying and hoping that all will go well over there. But
everyone is wondering, "How are we going to contain it?"
That's when the President of France makes an announcement that
shocks Europe. He is closing their borders. No flights from
India, Pakistan, or any of the countries where this thing has
That night you are watching a little bit of CNN before going
to bed. Your jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman is
translated from a French news program into English: "There's a
man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the mystery flu."
It has come to Europe. Panic strikes.
As best they can tell, once you get it, you have it for a week
and you don't know it. Then you have four days of unbelievable
symptoms. Then you die.
Britain closes its borders, but it's too late.
South Hampton, Liverpool, North Hampton, and it's Tuesday
morning when the President of the United States makes the
"Due to a national security risk, all flights to and from
Europe and Asia have been canceled. If your loved ones are
overseas, I'm sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure
for this thing."
Within four days our nation has been plunged into an
People are selling little masks for your face. People are
talking about what if it comes to this country, and preachers
on Tuesday are saying, "It's the scourge of God."
It's Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer meeting
when somebody runs in from the parking lot and says,
"Turn on a radio, turn on a radio." While the church listens
to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck up to it,
the announcement is made,
"Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the
Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps across the
People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote.
Nothing is working. California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida,
It's as though it's just sweeping in from the borders.
Then, all of a sudden the news comes out.
The code has been broken.
A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made.
It's going to take the blood of somebody who hasn't been
infected, and so, sure enough, all through the Midwest,
through all those channels of emergency broadcasting, everyone
is asked to do one simple thing:
"Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken.
That's all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in
your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly, and
safely to the hospitals."
Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on
that Friday night, there is a long line, and they've got
nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking
blood and putting labels on it.
Your wife and your kids are out there, and they take your
blood type and they say, "Wait here in the parking lot and if
we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home."
You stand around scared with your neighbors, wondering what in
the world is going on, and that this is the end of the world.
Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital
screaming. He's yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What?
He yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and says,
"Daddy, that's me."
Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy.
"Wait a minute, hold it!" And they say, "It's okay, his blood
is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn't
have the disease. We think he has got the right type."
Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses,
crying and hugging one another some are even laughing. It's
the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week, and an
old doctor walks up to you and says,
"Thank you, sir. Your son's blood type is perfect.
It's clean, it is pure, and we can make the vaccine."
As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full
of folks, people are screaming and praying and laughing and
But then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside
and says, "May we see you for a moment? We didn't realize
that the donor would be a minor and we need. . . we need you
to sign a consent form."
You begin to sign and then you see that the number of pints of
blood to be taken is empty.
"H-h-h-how many pints?"
And that is when the old doctor's smile fades and he says,
"We had no idea it would be a little child.
We weren't prepared. We need it all!"
"You don't understand. We are talking about the world here.
Please sign. We - we need it all, we need it all!"
"But can't you give him a transfusion?"
"If we had clean blood we would. Can you sign? Would you
sign?" In numb silence you do. Then they say, "Would you like
to have a moment with him before we begin?"
Can you walk back? Can you walk back to that room where he
sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going on?" Can
you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you,
and we would never ever let anything happen to you that didn't
just have to be. Do you understand that?"
And when that old doctor comes back in and says, "I'm sorry,
we've - we've got to get started. People all over the world
are dying." Can you leave? Can you walk out while he is
"Dad? Mom? Dad? Why - why have you forsaken me?"
And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your
son, and some folks sleep through it, and some folks don't
even come because they go to the lake, and some folks come
with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care. Would you
want to jump up and say, "MY SON DIED!
DON'T YOU CARE?"
Is that what God is saying?
"MY SON DIED. DON'T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?"
Father, seeing it from your eyes breaks our hearts. Maybe
now we begin to comprehend the great love you have for us.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
down a windy road. Suddenly, a bunny skipped across the road
and the man couldn't stop. He hit the bunny head on. The man
quickly jumped out of his car to check the scene. There, lying
lifeless in the middle of the road, was the Easter Bunny.
The man cried out, "Oh no! I have committed a terrible crime!
I have run over the Easter Bunny!"
The man started sobbing quite hard and then he heard another
car approaching. It was a woman in a red convertible. The
woman stopped and asked what the problem was. The man
"I have done something horribly sad. I have run over the
Easter Bunny. Now there will be no one to deliver eggs on
Easter, and it's all my fault."
The woman ran back to her car. A moment later, she came back
carrying a spray bottle. She ran over to the motionless bunny
and sprayed it. The bunny immediately sprang up, ran into the
woods, stopped, and waved back at the man and woman. Then it
ran another 10 feet, stopped, and waved. It then ran another
10 feet, stopped, and waved again. It did this over and over
and over again until the man and the woman could no longer see
Once out of sight, the man exclaimed, "What is that stuff in
The woman replied, "It's harespray.
It revitalizes hare and adds permanent wave."
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
I have absolutely no Irish blood in me (although people think with my green eyes and fair skin that SURELY I must be Irish.... not so). However, I will share some 'magically delicious' motivational tidbits that I've been compiling since becoming a self-employed entrepreneur. I read this on days when things aren't going well, and on days when I'd rather just nap and eat cookies, instead of working. :-)
- The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails – but rather the one who moves on in spite of failure.
- Whatever you can do, or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. - Goethe
- Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential. - John Maxwell
- Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit. - Conrad Hilton
- You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself - Jim Rohn
- I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.- Thomas Jefferson
- They can conquer who believe they can. - Virgil
- It's time to start living the life you've always imagined. - Henry James
- You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That's what makes you a winner. -Venus Williams
- Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you runinto a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.- Michael Jordan
- Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success. - Dr. Joyce Brothers
- Enthusiasm spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment. - Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
- This one step - choosing a goal and staying to it - changes everything.- Scott Reed
- The greatest things ever done on Earth have been done little by little.- William Jennings Bryan
- Never give up, never, never give up. - Winston Churchill
- Let no feeling of discouragement preyupon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed. - Abraham Lincoln
- You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.- James Allen
- The belief in a thing makes it happen. - Frank Lloyd Wright
- It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly. - Isaac Asimov
- Always bear in mind that your own resolutionto succeed is more important than any other one thing.- Abraham Lincoln
- Many of life's failures are people who didnot realize how close they were to success when they gave up. - Thomas Edison
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Not only that, but this pernicious (I love using words like pernicious... it's so rare that life gives you the opportunity to use that....) ahem..... this PERNICIOUS violation of my computer apparently does not respond to Spyware and Virus Scanning programs! I have TWO "top-of-the-line", "look-at-how-many-awards-we've-won" spyware/anti-virus software programs but still, STILL these Nefarious Nerds (now THERE's a phrase you don't hear much) have managed to scale the virtual wall surrounding my computer and set up shop, much to my consternation and chagrin.
So, needless to say, I'm about to "lose my religion" as we say in the South when we're really pissed off....
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
But now I can't handle them. At all.
In fact, I hide under the covers if hubby or kids are watching anything even remotely scary.
So last night I went upstairs, book in hand, to read before bedtime. Hubby was already in bed, watching some TV show about parasites. It was strangely fascinating, so I put my book down and watched along with him.
We watched about the man who ate some raw fish and wound up with a 2 foot tapeworm in his intestine (ick) that he had to then manually pull out (double-ick). Well, the fascination quickly turned to horror when the show turned to a discussion of loa-loa, or African Eye-Worm. This stuff is WAY scarier than any horror movie, because it's REAL.
Here's a link, if you want to see the graphic photos. (On the TV show, you could actually SEE the worm wiggling across the cornea of this poor man's eye.... I think I would have passed out if that happened to me...)
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Of course I protested - I'm fine... I'm not running a fever... I'm too busy to go see the doctor, blah, blah, blah.
Anyway, he was pretty insistent, and I have been coughing all night every night for about a month, so to appease him, I dragged myself to the doctor today.
The litany of questions went something like this:
Doc: How long have you been coughing?
Me: About a month.
Doc: Are you coughing up any sputum?
Me: Um, yes.
Doc: Are you having any shortness of breath?
Me; Um, yes.
Doc: Are you having any heaviness in your chest?
Me: It kind of feels like a toddler is sitting on my chest when I breathe.
Doc (starting to look alarmed): I think you need a chest x-ray.
Long story short, the x-ray showed a "questionable area" in my lungs and I probably have Walking Pneumonia (the radiologist should be confirming this over the next day or two). I guess because all these symptoms happened so gradually (and I ignored them until today's Medical Interrogation....), I just took it for granted.
Anyway, I'm glad hubby was so persistent.
I heart him.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
March is definitely unpredictable (after all, it was snowing here just a few days ago) but when Spring lifts her lovely head, like today, well... there's simply nothing better.
72 degrees out right now, blue-blue sky, light soft breeze, with daffodils, tulips and hyacinths all smiling up at the sun. Maybe it's just my imagination, but it seems the birds all are chirping just a bit more cheerfully today. My dog Ruby even has a big grin on her face (and yes, she DOES grin... for photographic proof see the blog entitled "Ruby's Words of Wisdom"). Gone is her surly "why-is-it-so-cold-out" arthritic scowl.
I drove into town to have lunch with an old friend today and along the way I marveled at all the lovely blooming trees - bradford pears, tulip trees, etc., etc. Soon the dogwoods will come out, and then the kwanza cherry trees (my very favorite - see photo - so pretty).
I love Spring. Fresh new life; warm breezes; more daylight. To me, Spring speaks of renewed (or perhaps just "reminded") promises from God, the great Creator-Artist.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I've long felt Dr. Laura is a mean-spirited, 'moral bully'...
Saying I'm NOT a fan of hers is an understatement.
Anyway, they were talking this morning on Today about Elliott Spitzer, the teeth-baring "crime-fighter-of-Wall-Street" who cloaks himself in the righteous garb of the Governor of New York. (Not a fan of his either, as you may have surmised.) The Today show had assembled various talking heads to discuss the problem Mr. Spitzer has had with keeping his zipper up.
When it was Dr. Laura's turn to speak, she had the lovely (and most helpful) comment that it's usually the wife's fault when the husband strays sexually, because the wife isn't providing enough "cheerleading" and "intimacy" for her husband.
Now, don't get me wrong.... I realize that lack of intimacy and lack of moral support do GREAT damage to a man's psyche. In fact, I think men, as a group, need much more encouragement than women do; but to say that a wife's lack of attention is the ROOT CAUSE of her husband's sexual infidelity??? (I'm sorry, but didn't Mr. Spitzer have to unzip his pants at some point during his adulterous dalliance?)
And as far as calling the kettle black: a peek into Dr. Laura's past reveals that she began dating her husband while he was still married to his former wife.
Is this really someone whose opinion we should be listening to?
Dr. Laura is a Confirmed Hypocrite, and a Certified Nincompoop.
Monday, March 10, 2008
My pastor, Kevin, is doing an overview of the Bible "GEN-REV" this Winter and Spring. It's wonderful. I'm learning things I never knew and I kind of thought I knew a LOT. (Obviously, I don't.) :-)
Below is a very brief visual overview. If you're interested in learning more, all the messages from this series can be listened to, and/or downloaded (for free) at http://www.12stone.com/ - or you can review the PDF teaching notes.
Basically, the Old Testament and the New Testament are "mirror images" of one another; a boomerang of sorts. Here's the overview we've been launching from each week:
Sunday, March 9, 2008
- An icy cold Mountain Dew sitting in front of me as I type this. :-)
- My husband, who after 16 years of marriage, is just as sexy and funny as when I met him all those years ago.... my love for him has deepened with time, and the "bumps" in the road have only served to strengthen our marriage.
- My sweet, funny son who looks more like his Daddy every day.
- My hilarious, smart-aleck daughter who is indeed a wild filly. I love her independent spirit.
- The fact that I have a body and a brain that both function as they should (thank you, God).
- Girl Scout Cookies! (are Thin Mints da bomb, or WHAT?!)
- Two great parents - both still alive - who did an awesome job raising me and my siblings
- Having great siblings - even though I don't get to see them as much as I would like. Thank goodness for email.
- Wonderful friends who make me laugh and "get" me, quirks and all.
- A fabulous church community (12Stone) that I love and cherish. A fabulous pastor (Kevin) who gives us meaningful, relevant messages to ponder and muse over every week. It is an awesome experience to worship the Father there.
- The fact that I have worthwhile and meaningful work that I enjoy. I love being an entrepreneur and 'controlling my destiny'.
- The fact that I was born an American and can do and say whatever I want, and not be worried about being carted off somewhere and disappearing, simply because I publicly disagreed with the government. (We take our freedoms so for granted, don't we?)
I see bumper stickers (and hats and t-shirts, etc) that say "Life Is Good" and I couldn't agree more. Yes, there are serious problems in our society, without a doubt, but as far as I'm concerned.... on the Balance Sheet of My Life.... I'm choosing to focus on the blessings.
I thank God, because I know that every good gift comes from Him. (James 1:17). Further, I know that when I delight myself in God and in His teachings, He will give me the desires of my heart. (Psalm 37:4)
These are God's promises; and God does not break his promises.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
My sleepy-faced yet lovely daughter meets me at their door with a smiley face drawn on her forehead in blue marker.
I say, "Honey, you have a smiley face on your forehead. We have to be at such-and-such in 20 minutes. We need to get that off your face." (While speaking, of course, I immediately start digging in my purse for the make-shift tools needed for "marker removal"...)
Meanwhile, my lovely daughter pulls back, stops me with a withering gaze and says "You're not going to spit on a kleenex and try to get it off THAT way, are you?"
Friday, March 7, 2008
They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.
Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job."
So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.
They e-mailed with attachments.
They did spreadsheets!
They wrote reports.
They created labels and cards.
They created charts and graphs.
They did genealogy reports.
They did every job known to man.
Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.
Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off..
Jesus just sighed. Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them re-started their computers.
Satan started searching frantically, screaming: "It's gone! It's all GONE! I lost everything when the power went out!"
Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.
Satan observed this and became extremely irate."Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"
God just shrugged and said,
(Love this! Props to my girl Buzy Bee Suz for sending... :-)
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Apparently I'm missing the "rap appreciation gene" (but both of my kids got it, and how...).
However, 3 of the guys from our worship band at church have formed the coolest rap band (DPH) and attached is a link to their video. I love it!
When I was in college, I was a bleeding heart liberal and espoused this sort of touchy-feely, "let's-all-just-share-everything-and-be-happy" sort of socialism, but as we all know, that simply doesn't work in the real world.
So, I'm a capitalist. As a self employed entrepreneur, I love the fact that the harder I work, the more money I make. Conversely, if I want to be a slug for a month and do nothing but watch Judy Judy and eat Twinkies, that's totally up to me, but I will have zero dollars coming in.
Anyway, capitalism (and the American brand of consumerism that goes hand-in-hand with it) does have some really odd quirks. Like my neighbors that live a few houses down, for instance. They will remain nameless for this blog, but these people are the epitome of Conspicuous Consumption. They are all about Status and Stuff. They have 4 kids and their house always has that disheveled look about it, however they have Really Nice Stuff parked in their driveway. For awhile they had a lovely Lexus and then the repo man called ME (yes, me) because they were obviously hiding from him. Repo man had the nerve to ask me what I knew about them and asked would I be willing to give any information out on them (of course, I told him to go take a flying leap....). Shortly thereafter, as you might imagine, lovely Lexus was gone. However, yesterday, when I was out walking the dog, I noticed they have a shiny new Mercedes, parked where lovely Lexus used to sit. The Mercedes is da bomb - it's even nicer than the Lexus was.
Now, isn't this bizarre? How in the world did they even get a loan to finance lovely Mercedes? And how long will it be before Ronnie Repo is calling my house again, digging for info?
I just don't get it. I drive a paid-for 6 year old car; I don't have debt, and I don't understand people who live well above their means. These folks have FOUR kids to take care of. Their youngest child (who is 5) is frequently at our house because when she gets off the schoolbus there is often no one home..... (what is that about??? who leave a kindergartner to fend for herself??)
Sorry, I don't mean to vent. (Well, actually that's not true. I DO mean to vent.)
I think a lot of people in our contry have their priorities seriously screwed up. Another example is this whole sub-prime mortgage mess.... everyone is on the talk shows wailing and whining about it. Yes, the banks were greedy and tried to make big profits by stupidly loaning money to people who they knew couldn't afford these loans. But don't the consumers have to take a good bit of the blame for this debacle? After all, they signed on the dotted line and took OUT the bad loan in the first place.
I just get very frustrated when my tax dollars go to bail out people who make bone-headed choices based on greed and selfishness. I have no problem with helping people who can't help themselves, but I really don't want to help people who do stupid stuff, again and again, and expect Uncle Sam to rescue them each time.
OK, I'm off my soapbox now.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
And it's almost Spring here, you see, and the sexy sandals had me at "hello", so I had to try them on. So, I'm prancing down the shoe aisle (still wearing my socks - it's cold after all), bedecked in my baggy sweats, socks and ..... Sexy Sandals.
And all of a sudden I hear my name being called. Yes, without a doubt, someone has spotted me. I turn around and stumble slightly (still in the sexy sandals remember), and who is it but one of the Popular Pretty Girls from my high school. Someone who I not only hadn't seen in 23 years, but someone who had not even given me the time of DAY back in high school.
So, I teeter over to her in my Truly Pathetic getup (blushing, of course, because I knew full well how embarrassing I certainly look) and we chatted for a good 10 minutes. It was actually a very nice conversation. Turns out we live not far from one another at all. And, she has turned into a Quite Nice person over the past 23 years. Who knew?
Just goes to show you two things: 1) you're really NOT incognito when you leave the house without makeup... people really DO recognize you, even if they haven't seen you since 1985... and 2) even conceited Pretty Popular Girls from high school can change completely and become really really nice.
She asked for my number and the end of our conversation, and I gave it to her. I hope she actually calls. It would be nice to see her again.