Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Could it be...(the Fright Night Edition)

...the end of an era?  Lidna over at 2nd Cup is taard! Coming up with a dozen thought provoking prompts when you are a ministry assistant, wife, mom to three (one of whom just recently announced her engagement…congratulations Katie!...) is a lot to ask of one person. She's tapering off.  So the dozen is now just a couple. Answer these on your own blog and then linky up over at 2nd Cup….

1. What scares you the most

A) Physically

Swimming in deep water that doesn’t have concrete surrounding it and chlorine in it. But perversely, I love playing in the ocean and on the beach. I have come to terms with it and can even jump off cliffs into lakes now, but it always makes me feel all squeemy inside. But at least I don’t have to resort to Jack Daniels when I do it...

B) Emotionally

Outliving one of my children. I watched my aunt go through it twice, and that scares the pants off me. I don’t even like to think about it.

Why does it scare you, and how do you cope?

It scares me because it goes against the laws of nature. I would feel as if one of my main purposes in life were gone. I am afraid that I would have such anger that I would sin against God in a truly mighty way. I cope with lots and lots of prayer.

2. What comes to mind when you read the phrase, "Nothing gold can stay?"

James 5:3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

Matthew 6:19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

I'm pretty sure that wasn't what Linda was shooting for, but, that's what I think about....

Wow! I wasn’t very witty or funny today. I’ve had a crushingly busy week (Thank You Lord, for your provision). Updates from last week:  I now have my shiny new fridge of my dreams and Ted’s surgery is scheduled for November 8. Say a prayer for him, won’t you?


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Times They Are A Changin'

On Friday, the day before I was forced to remember that it was celebrated my 49th birthday, our oldest son left our home to begin to make one of his own. It’s been a bittersweet time. I love that he is happy and well and still only about eight miles away. But I hate that he’s not right across the hall and always ready to share a breakfast burrito or a white pizza or a game of Talisman (latest new addiction—yes, I am a total nerd/geek and yes, I know the game has been out for almost 30 years.  It's new to me, ok?) at the drop of a hat. My little boy will be 20 years old in just a couple of months. He’s traveled and seen more of the country than I have. He’s responsible, can back up a big truck and park it like nobody’s business, and is a spiritual giant in my eyes. I saw him at church Sunday (didn’t see him all day Saturday. On my birthday. I know, RIGHT?) and got all welly and hugged his neck until I think I embarrassed him. I am officially one of those mothers now.

Tyler moved in with his cousin, Kyle and another roommate. Kyle is 16 days younger than Tyler. Originally, they should’ve been about 10 weeks apart, but Tyler was three weeks late and Kyle was 4 weeks early. I was in the room when Kyle was born and he is a child of my heart. He’s a precious, sweet boy who’s a dead ringer for Elijah Wood. For the first two years of their lives they saw each other nearly every day. They shared the same daycare provider, the same toys…pretty much everything.

Closer little boys you can’t imagine. Kyle’s family moved away about three weeks after Caleb was born.

 It was hard on Tyler, especially at first, but we gave him two additional siblings in rapid succession and with our family of six we stayed very busy.

Somehow, no matter how long it was between visits, that bond Kyle and Tyler formed at such an early age was never broken and they always were able to pick up exactly where they left off before. Tyler spent many the summer week with the cuz’s over the years. I’m glad that they will be able to renew their bond as brothers. And also secretly think that now that they are rooming together I’ll get to steal a little more time seeing Kyle as well (he’s here in town attending the University of New Mexico).

I have a tiny white refrigerator in my kitchen right now. My gorgeous black Maytag with the freezer on the bottom had the compressor burn out last week. We found one that was a terrific deal. It wasn’t my Maytag. Wasn’t my dream refrigerator, but it was what we could afford, especially with Ted’s salary situation right now. Borrowed my BFF’s fancy-schmancy box/lift truck (the one Tyler can back up so skillfully) both to move in the non-dream refrigerator as well as move the bulk of Tyler’s junk belongings. Plugged it in and 24 hours later it still was a balmy 50 degrees in the fridge and 40 in the freezer, despite being turned to max cold. Went back to the store (on my birthday…joy) and picked out another non-dream refrigerator. They delivered the tiny white loaner to us and picked up the non-working one. By now, I was in tears and Ted and I had some stress-induced unhappy words. The kind that are usually thru clenched teeth or hissed. He went back inside the store, did his Ted-magic incantations over the customer service desk and apparently I will have a fridge of my dreams delivered this coming Friday. I don’t know what it looks like—honestly I don’t even care at this point. I no longer have ice chests in my living room filled with cold cuts, eggs and milk. And by this weekend I will have a wonderful, 25 cubic foot fridge.

And now I’m 49. So, if I live to be 98 (and my immediate family is NOT known for longevity) I am middle-aged. If I don’t live that long, I am well past my prime. But I feel good. I have ample food in my tiny white fridge. And Ted finally gets to see the surgeon Thursday. Oh yes…I forgot to mention that the MRI was not sent to the surgeon last week so his appointment was postponed. My kids are healthy.

Amy is in a new school, which so far she loves. If all goes well with her early ACT which she'll take in December, she’ll be able to get dual credit with university level courses at Johns Hopkins beginning next semester. Tyler is in Denver for two weeks of training with his new job. So I can’t even go over to his new place and fuss around. But life is good. Caleb is a senior and Tanner a freshman. Both are doing well in school. Lucy hobbles around rather adorably and Tyler left his cat Sabra here. That makes Lucy happy, but she leaves her hair everywhere. Stress, to some extent is good. Right?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Of Mice and Men and Random Things...

This has been kind of a tough season.

There are days when I feel like I'm going down for the count, but somehow, God sends somebody or something along to lift my head and my heart. 

Lucy broke her knee. She was in a cast (actually about 4 casts) from the beginning of August until the end of September.

Not just in a cast, but the poor little thing was confined to her crate for at least 6 of those 9 weeks.  They wanted to do surgery on her. The projected cost was $2000. I’m sorry, but we now have a little dog that hops around on three legs most of the time. It’s cute in a pitiful sort of way. I can live with a three-legged dog. But $2000. Just. Not. Happening. As it is, we’re into it for about $600. $600 that we can ill afford right now. She’s happy and doesn’t know that she’s differently-abled. It hasn’t slowed her down one little millisecond, and she isn’t in pain. If we hadn’t already re-named her about five times, I’d call her Tripod.

Then, right before the Pagosa Mom’s Trip (In an Effort Not to Kill Our Families), Ted tore his meniscus at work. It’s a complex tear. He is on partial disability. The injury was on August 24. Tomorrow is October 13. He sees the surgeon tomorrow. It was the first available appointment. Yes, you read that right.  Forty-nine (49) days.  He's been working half time, cleaning planes from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.  It pretty much stinks.  They are playing games with his paycheck. Badly. We are sweating out each week, but God is good and keeping me busy. I’ve already done more closings in October than I did the entire month of September.

And speaking of the signing agent gig…I am one of the lucky selectees that the State of New Mexico, in their infinite wisdom, has chosen to be the subject of what is called a managed audit. For the tax years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The hits just keep on coming.

Ted’s uncle died on Saturday morning at the age of 82. It was relatively quick, but a painful passing. Because of the long wait to get into the surgeon, Ted elected not to travel to Texas for the funeral and re-schedule his ortho appointment. But the in-laws drove through on Sunday night and used the Hoyle abode as a hotel. Somebody left a sinkful of soapy water when we went to bed. Coulda' been me. Just sayin’. (Sorry Lidna; I know this may make you gag). When Ted came home from his half shift of work at 1:30 a.m. on Monday he found a mouse. Drowned. In my kitchen sink. With a few dishes. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. He was kind enough to toss little mousey (in the top of my trash so I could see him in the morning, albeit), and bleach the entire kitchen down. But…Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick.

That’s a brief recap of just a few of the highlights of my season thus far. Amy just changed schools yesterday, mid-year. I’ve had some strange things happening health-wise. I’m struggling with some major decisions. And yet, through it all, I’m filled with a peace that truly passes all understanding. If you’ve been praying for me, please don’t stop! I’ve felt them and hope for the Holy Spirit’s grace and mercy to fill me….

And now, on to the dozen random questions that Lidna from 2nd Cup has posted for the weekly meme….These are an amalgam of questions she's solicited from friends and family.  To play the game, answer your own and link to her blog....then comment on some of the other answers.  It's the right thing to do.

1. Is there a word which you initially mispronounced? Were the circumstances in which you made the faux pas embarrassing? By the way, that's not "foax pass." (I know you know that. Just jokin' with ya.)

I vividly remember telling my mom that chocolate cake filled me with ex-STAY-see when I was about ten years old. She laughed and laughed and it kind of crushed my little soul a little. But I am still filled with ex-STACY-see at the thought of chocolate cake.

2. How do you feel about the use of texting shortcuts and trends? (ex: "I've got ur notes. Get them 2 u 2morow.")

Ubetcha. TheyR my fav way 2 talk.  I am 2bz4uqt to spell evrythg.  I use them all the time. Sometimes I think that I would not communicate with my kids at all were it not for texting. The auto-complete function on my phone doesn’t work properly, so I abbreviate all the time….and use lots of ellipses…if you can imagine. I love ellipses…I find ellipses to be full of expression...

3. Tell me about your high school senior picture. Please feel free to post.

It wasn't terrible.  And, my how I wish I had that skin now!  I was totally rocking the Farrah Fawcett wings in 1979, but thought my picture was ok.

5. Share a high school or college homecoming memory.

I went out for court my senior year. I remember I wore a beautiful maroon wraparound disco skirt that was really flow-y and was shorter in the front than in the back.  I was not voted on to the homecoming court.  It did not break my heart. Went to the game though…it was my first date with Ted. We both do not like football. Don’t be a hater. Our school won. Highland beat Valley 28-7. I still have my pink crocheted over-sweater that I wore on that first date. Go Hornets. Rah.

6. Linda at Mocha with Linda wants to know: "Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?"

Wow. Which one of your children do you love the best? Both sunrise and sunset tend to be spectacular here in the Land of Enchantment. I think maybe sunrise because it’s like the dawn of a new day and a fresh start. You get to wipe the slate clean from yesterday’s junk.

7. Lea at Cici's Corner asks, "What is something you have not done that you desire to do?"

Go on a cruise. Someday. Sigh.

8. Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind ponders, "If you could come back [in another life] as an animal, which would it be?"

Ugh. Maybe as a little spoiled rotten three-legged toy poodle who is loved by someone as much as Ted loves Lucy.

9. Joyce from The Other Side of the Pond is curious: "Where were you 10 years ago?" Please feel free to elaborate more than just your physical location.

I was struggling with depression and heavily over-medicated by a well-meaning CNP…I was taking four (4!) different anti depressants at the same time and was pretty much a zombie.  I felt nothing.  No. Thing.  On the bright side, they suppressed my appetite. A lot. To the point where at 5’(almost)6” I weighed about 115….I was able to wean myself off of them, but sometimes still struggle.

10. When you are proven to be correct in any contentious discussion, do you gloat?

Usually. I wish I didn't, but it happens that I'm right so often....tee hee...

11. What is your favorite food which includes the ingredient "caramel?"

Yes. Seriously…I think possibly Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks. But that is more drink than food. Yes to caramel. MY question…do you pronounce it CARE-a-mell or CAR-mul?

12. From my 17 year-old daughter to you: "If you could be part of any fictional family, which family would you choose and why?" (She's so cute. And clever.)

I used to dream about living with Porter Ricks (from Flipper) because I had a huge crush on Sandy (Luke Halpin) Yes, I am showing my age…

(Looks a little like Josh Holloway…with maybe a touch of Zach Efron?)

…but I think maybe the Brady Bunch because they had Alice to cook and clean. The whole one bathroom for six kids would have to be remedied. Been there done that with the Texaco bathroom saga….

So, sorry the beginning was such a downer.  I had fun with the Dozen (I always do!).  Play along an link on up!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Random Dozen. The Happy Birthday Edition

Lidna, over at 2nd Cup, just celebrated her birthday and asked lots of people to contribute prompts for the Random Dozen meme.  She chose one of mine!  I'm so flattered!  So...here's my take on the doz....won't you play along, too?

1. From "Men Are Dumb ....": If you had a theme song that played whenever you walked into a room full of people, what would it be?

My second son says “BOOM” by P.O.D. should play whenever I walk in to a room.

Strangely disturbing. He says it was his “first band” outside of what his parents liked and Veggie Tales. How that makes it MY theme song, I’m not quite sure….In case you can’t decipher them, part of the lyrics say, “BOOM! Here comes the BOOM! How you like me now I say…” Never try to complete a blog post with the help of two 17-year-olds. At least he didn’t say Elton John “The B**ch is Back.” Sigh...

2. From Pam of "Alert And Oriented x 4": Which of your shoes are your absolute favorite, and which are of the object of your most painful shoe-buyer's remorse?

Since this is my question…I have a pair of brown open-toed pumps that I get huge compliments on that I blogged about here.  I can wear them for about 2 hours before my toes start complaining, but, they are oh, so lovely! I have buyer’s remorse for a pair of really nice black patent slingbacks that have a little gold strip right along the toe line. I actually bought the shoes for a wedding before I ever picked out a dress to go with them. They were, of course, on sale. I buy NOTHING unless it’s on sale. They look A.Maz.Ing. Super dressy. To look their best they need to be worn with ultra sheer black stockings. Which make it impossible to keep the sling from slipping off my heels. They were marked down from $190 to $30, but still….sigh. Wish I’d have tried them on WITH stockings.

3. From Susanne of "Living to Tell the Story": Tell about your favorite birthday celebration that you've personally experienced.

When I turned 21, my husband had to work a double shift--all day. My in-laws wanted to take me to dinner at a family-style institution in the mountains to the east of our city called Bella Vista (since closed). It was a family-style all you can eat restaurant with all-you-can-eat fried chicken, fried fish, cole slaw and huge wedge french fries.  They would bring huge baskets of everything to your table. It seemed weird that just the three of us were going there, because it's really a place to take a crowd to and I was a little bummed out because I was without Ted. When I walked in, not only was Ted there, but my dad and all of Ted’s brothers and sisters and their spouses (even the out-of-towners) as well as nieces and nephews were there as a surprise. Generally I hate surprises, but not that time.  I still get a little welly thinking about it.  A week from Saturday I'll turn 49.  Wishing Bella Vista were still open, just for the memories. The gift of yourself truly is the best gift ever.

4. From Lori of "Just me and My Life": If you were a flavor of ice cream, which would you be?

Mocha java mint chip. Mysterious with a little surprise kick at the end.

5. Cindy Swanson of "Notes in the Key of Life" asks: Have you ever had a crush on a movie star? Who was it, and are you still crushing?
I’ve always tended to like the rough-n-tough bad boys. Don Johnson, back in the day wasn’t so bad,

and now it’s Josh Holloway
Ted, cream-cheese filling good as he is,  has nothing to worry about however…

6. Jill from "Jill Boyd's Place" inquires: Glasses or braces--if you had to wear one, which would it be?
Braces. Glasses are forever. Unless you get lasik. Braces eventually come off, even if the retainer shouldn’t….

7. Nel from "Fasteneau Facts" asks: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Providing my friends and family would be there (at least when I wanted them to be), Monterey, CA….or Carmel.

8. Thena from "Patiently Waiting" wants to know: If money were no obstacle, what would be the perfect birthday gift to receive?

Precious time with my family and closest friends…no pressures, no worries. A weekend at a resort with all of them. I once heard someone say that time is the most expensive gift you can give. Once it’s spent, you can never earn it back. (See # 3)

9. From "Life Through Bifocals," LynnMarie asks: What is your favorite birthday meal?

A good bloody steak, baked sweet potato and a nice girly salad with spinach and feta and strawberries. Something decadently chocolate for dessert. Pei Wei is always nice, too...

10. Debby at "Just Breathe" checks in with: Do you still send hand-written thank you notes?

Almost always. I love receiving them. When I was little, my mom wouldn’t let me play with my gifts at birthdays and Christmas until my thank you notes were all written. I WISH I’d started that with my own kids. It’s just the right thing to do. However, if you are just writing a rote “thank you for the gift,” without any heartfelt-ness, just skip it, or drop me an email.

11. Linda from "Mocha with Linda" poses this question: What is something you've done that you never thought you'd do?

Jump off a cliff into a lake. I’m deathly afraid to be in water that’s not encased in concrete and smelling of chlorine. Lakes are worse than the ocean (I didn’t say it was rational). Fish poo in there, you know. Somehow the salt in the ocean makes the poo factor more bearable. And me more buoyant. I had a near drowning incident when I was around two years old and it really made me afraid of open water. At the age of 44, with huge encouragement from my husband and kids, I jumped off a 25 foot cliff into a murky lake. And I lived to tell about it.

12. Jewel, my homegirl from Indiana who writes at "Musings from the World of Jewel," is very insistent that we answer this: Mount Rushmore honors four US Presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. If you could add any person to Mount Rushmore, who would you add and why?

So many….Master Chief, Bob the Tomato, Neo…oh, a REAL person? I think the Apostle Paul. He was human and flawed, but like the four men there now, he strove for excellence and the betterment of all mankind. Wow. That’s corny.

So write you own answers and play along over at 2nd Cup. You’ll be glad you did.