Sunday, October 9, 2011

Today I held life and death in my arms.I want it to make it count.

From the moment I woke up this morning the idea that I need to make every breath I take and every moment of my life mean something was in my head and heart. Even in through the night my dreams were filled with images of new beginnings and overwhelming joy.
Though I had very little sleep I was excited about teaching my Sunday School class and being a part of worship after being sick last week and in nursery the week before. Worship was amazing. The music spoke to me once again about the wonderful mercy and grace of my Savior. The message reminded me to examine the motivation of my life.
After church we were headed to my mother and grandparents for a visit. I was anxious, as though I were running late. In actuality we were actually earlier than we had planned. But in a way I feel I was running late.
You see, my grandfather is losing his battle with lung cancer. I visited him a few weeks ago but due to being sick, first with bronchitis/hyperactive airway disease then with an attack of diverticulitis I haven't been able to visit as much as I wanted. From speaking with my mother daily I knew he was not doing well. He isn't eating much, isn't sleeping much and is in a lot of pain. I must admit I was not prepared as I thought I was.
I am sure Grandpa was a man of average height. No one in our family is very tall. But to me he always seemed ten foot tall and bulletproof.
Maybe it was the stories he told us of his many crazy, dangerous adventures that he should not have survived. Starting with the cold February day of his birth. He was a scrawny pitiful baby, born at home, as all of the brothers and sisters were. To keep him alive and warm they wrapped him in blankets and put him in the oven.
Or the time when he was working on the railroad in California when a bum beat him unconscious and left him on the tracks for dead. All because Grandpa wouldn't give the bum his lunch. Or the multiple heart attacks the earned him a medical discharge from the Navy before he was 30.
And the funny stories. Oh the stories he would tell us! I think my favorite is the one I call "The Ladies, the Lizards and the Streaker." Grandpa met Grandma while he was in the Navy in California. Not near the ocean as you would expect, but in the Mojave Desert. My mom and uncles loved to catch lizards, which my grandfather hated. One day after working a night shift, grandpa was sleeping, in his underwear, while grandma entertained a few ladies while the kids caught lizards. Can you see where this is going?  Yeah, the kids brought the lizards in the house. Somehow the lizards ended up in Grandpa's bedroom whereupon grandpa streaked through the living room in his tidy whities. I drew a picture of it for school once, I am not sure what mortified grandma more. The Victorian garb I had her and the other ladies in or my rendition of grandpa with the lizard right behind him.
Grandpa was also a big softy. I was the first of the grandchildren. There are 4 girls and 2 boys in almost a stair-step fashion age wise. Soon after we were able to express liking or wanting something, grandma stopped letting grandpa carry money because he would spend it on us instead of whatever he was supposed to spend it on. We knew, without question, Grandpa would always love us and push all the limits to help us.
My children were blessed to know that love as well.
As I followed Grandpa down the hall today to help him into bed that even though I am only 5 foot tall, I am now taller him. As I adjusted his oxygen, turned on his fan and covered him up I thought of the many times he had tucked me in. He squeezed my hand when I told him I loved him. I knew, however, that I couldn't cry in front of him. He had already apologized for not being able to sit and visit.
I ate with my family and we left my grandparents to rest. My mother, husband, uncle, daughter and I sat in porch swings and chairs looking out at the field making small talk interspersed with short discussions about Grandpa's impending death.
I was able to hold back the tears as my mother told me that she would not allow my siblings and I to go through this with her. She says that at the first sign of a debilitating disease she is checking herself into a nursing home. She wants us to visit but she does not want us as her primary caregiver.
We needed to head home. We stopped at my grandparents to say goodbye. Grandpa was in the recliner trying to stay awake, each breath clearly a struggle. He had left his glasses in his room so I got them and helped put them comfortably on his face,carefully so as to avoid the sores on his ear from laying on it and the oxygen tubing.
Finally, it was time to hug him goodbye. I kissed him on the forehead and told him I loved him.
" I.....love....you........too." He said. I wanted to run when I realized he did not say "Come back and see me when you can stay longer." like he ALWAYS said. But my husband was blocking my path. I am not sure, now, if I hugged Grandma.I could not stop the tears as I walked quickly to the drivers side and got in. Gregg asked if I wanted him to drive and I said I was fine. I couldn't shake the feeling that I had heard my grandpa's voice for the last time. About a half a mile down the road I had to pull over and admit I couldn't drive home.
During the 30 minute drive I thought about all the things Grandpa taught me. Things I want to teach my grandchildren and great nieces. About putting others first, about standing up for what is right, about how family is always first. About the legacy he and grandma have created in 65 years of marriage. I wondered if he had done everything he wanted to do in his life or if he let fear hold him back. As hard as I tried I couldn't stop crying.
Even when we reached our home, I couldn't stop crying. I sat on the couch with my husband and cried some more.
Finally I asked, "Can we go see the baby?"  The baby is my 2 week old great niece. Ceara has had a rather dramatic introduction to the world which her parents have graciously allowed me to be a part of. They have even allowed me to be her "Mymy".
Gregg of course agreed and soon Caera was in my arms. As her tiny form rested on my chest and lowered my blood pressure. I couldn't help but think of the contrast between the end of my grandfathers life and the beginning of Ceara's. I thought of all she has to look forward too and all the choices she would have to make. I thought about the influence I have the potential to have in her life. With all that is with in me I want that influence to be a positive one. I want her to be proud and glad she knew me.
In fact, I'd like everyone I come in contact with to have be able to say " a pleasure meeting you" and really mean it. But the fact remains that I am not superwoman, I am not even remotely close to perfect. and as much as I may want to be and try to be, I will fail. I am human. I will completely lose it at some point or another. All I will ever be able to do is sincerely apologize when I do wrong and ask God to help me do better next time.
I hope this blog makes up for the lack of blogs over recent months.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

wow so its been awhile

Life has been crazy to say the least. My grandfather has lung cancer and is in hospice care. We have been fairly certain that he had cancer but he was not healthy enough to undergo definitive testing. Therefore he could not undergo treatment. He has reached the point of being in excruciating pain all of the time with very high level pain medicine.
My niece will be having her first baby after a very difficult pregnancy. The baby isn't due October but Krysten has been dealing with diabetes and high blood pressure/preeclampsia and has been on bed rest for over a month now.
My best friend is getting married in March and I am helping her get ready for that.
My daughter is in color guard which takes up half of our life, her actually practicing and preforming,us in driving her everywhere for it.
My daughter is also in dance which takes the evenings that color guard doesn't.
Sunday is church where I teach Sunday School and teach children's church.
I volunteer at a local gym for memberships for myself and my daughter.We haven't been for a month though because I have been sick with bronchitis.
I am the busiest unemployed person I know!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Want to know why I haven't blogged?

So I was walking along, minding my own business, when ,out of the blue, a big black van pulled up. Two people jumped out, grabbed me,injected me with a drug to knock me out and threw me in the back of the van. Oh wait, that is the opening scene of an episode of NCIS. whoops!
 I could honestly say that I have had something to do every single day or evening or both for the last month. I could honestly say that I and my household have been sick. I could honestly say that my grandmother has is in the hospital for the second time this summer,this time for pneumonia , the last time in ICU where we almost lost her due to a bleeding ulcer. I could honestly say that my stepfather had an emergency appendectomy last week and is suffering complications this week. And every bit of that is true.
But I still had time I could have blogged, even if it was just a few sentences. Sharing my writing is hard for me to do.  It is like throwing my children and grandchildren to the wolves. It is my heart and soul. It is a big fat hairy deal. The truth of the matter is that I am insanely insecure and terrified of the complete and utter failure that seems to be the theme of my life thus far.
If you know me in "real life" you may not realize how very insecure I really am. I am very good at being loud and crazy and making fun of myself. I want to beat everyone else to the punch, I guess. I am very good at pretending that its all good and if its not good it will be and if it won't I don't really care anyway. You might also know that unless I am giving a prepared speech, conveying my thoughts in an intelligent, rational, non- awkward way is nearly impossible. I use the wrong words, can't think of the words I want and even leave out parts of sentences. I do the same thing when writing in longhand. In fact, you may wonder if I am actually the one who writes these blogs with my name on them. I know several people that will argue with this perception I have of myself. I am just being honest here.
I love love love love to write. Since I was a little girl I have fantasized about writing books. I still do. But a rejection of my writing is in a sense a rejection of me,as a person. One of my greatest fears is of actually publishing a book then seeing it in dollar tree. weird huh?
When I have shared my writing, it has been with family and friends and classmates and teachers. People I knew and trusted. To do this, write this blog, is one of the scariest things I have ever done.
 I mean who really reads this anyway? and are you telling your friends about this lame blog you have been reading, laughing about how ridiculous it is?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Which way is up?

I apologize for not blogging for the last few weeks. I have had something going on every single day and evening. On at least one day I was supposed to be 4 different places at the same time.
Why then, if I am so very busy, do I feel like I am not accomplishing anything at all useful or seeing anyone? My house certainly shows that I am only here in the early hours of the morning or late in the evening. It is exhausting me and making my brain mushy in the process! Occasionally I have a brilliant or deep thought and think to myself "I should jot that down so I can blog about it." Of course this usually happens when I am driving or in the shower or doing some other thing that makes it impossible to jot something down.
Oh my last blog was about the accidents at the Madison Regatta. To refresh your memory, there were 2. One involving 2 of the hydroplanes and one involving a hydroplane and a safety and rescue boat. In the hydroplane only crash both drivers were ok. One had some rib injuries but is recovering nicely.
In the hydroplane vs. rescue boat the injuries were much more serious. They too are also recovering. The most critically injured was recently moved out of intensive care.
My husband , daughter, her best friend and I went to Kings Island this past weekend. We had a lot of fun. The best part of the whole trip was the 20 minute giggle fit we had in the car from Olive Garden to our hotel after spending the day at Kings Island.
Between Regatta and Kings Island and all the activities of the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to do a lot of people watching. I gotta tell ya, people scare me and make me laugh at the same time. Here is a short list of observations and opinions I have formed from these observations. Some are even about me.
1. Selling a hot pink string bikini to an overweight woman over 65 should be a crime punishable by being forced to stare at said woman in said bikini for 2 weeks straight. Although that might qualify as cruel and unusual punishment.
2.There are some things a plus size woman should never ever wear in public. Clothing makers should be charged giant fines for making some items over size 18.
3. On that subject,why are plus size clothes so stinking ugly?Is it to shame us "big girls" into losing weight? Why on earth would I want to put large geometric shapes in crazy colors across my stomach?  I guess I could  teach my grandchildren their shapes, colors and numbers. "Austin, Can you count how many yellow triangles are on Oma's belly?"
4.The penguins on Mary  Poppins are my favorite.(Sorry, I know its random but I am watching Mary Poppins and they make me smile!)
5. A child can make a whole day of rottenness magically disappear by spontaneously throwing his arms around your legs and proclaiming "I You!" (his version of I love you!)
6. It does wonders for your self esteem to be mistaken for a teenager twice in a few weeks!
7. Riding fast scary rides at Kings Island is still fun when you are a fat old grandma woman, even if you pay for it the next day!
8. Watching Christmas movies or movies set in cold weather do not cool you off in a heat wave.
9.  When dressing a 20 month old, make sure his hands are far from your eyes when he is putting his arms through the sleeves. You may end up with a torn cornea. Kinda feels like someone through sand in yours eyes followed by lemon juice or salt. My husband and my friend have decided that I must have an eyelid deficiency because this is the third time I have had a torn cornea. The first was from a pinwheel  being shoved in my eye at a school fair. The second from an angry student in full meltdown mode.
10. Why do people who grew up in the same basic area/climate react so differently to heat?
11. Why does summer seem to go by so much faster when you are a grown up? and Why do people call summer lazy? It seems I am busier during the summer than the winter. I am so looking forward to school starting so life can slow down a little!
12. On the clothing subject again- Why are the majority of plus size clothes made of polyester and rayon? Trying to sweat the fat off of us big girls?
Ok folks. That is all for now. I promise to do better!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

As I sat on the riverbank this morning

I composed in my head a light hearted and witty blog all about all the crazy things one sees and hears at the Madison Regatta.
A few hours later 2 things happened that were far from lighthearted and made my mothers heart break.
There was a terrible accident in which one of the hydroplanes ran into a fire rescue boat. All 3 people on the boat were seriously injured and 2 were life flighted to Louisville. For about 5 minutes that seemed like an eternity I was in pure panic mode. I was very lightheaded and almost passed out. You see, my son,Sam,was on one of the fire rescue boats. I had no idea which one or where on the course he was. When I finally heard from him I was so relived I again almost passed out. I felt shaky for quite some time.
I had almost calmed completely when it was time for the final heat to run. It was shaping up to be a great race when halfway through one driver cut off another and they crashed. That they were both able to get out of the boats on their own was nothing short of a miracle.
Please pray for those hurt and their families.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So here's what happened...

First I was shopping at walmart. When my daughter and I came out of the store, my husband,son and daughter in law were jamming to some really loud music. Michelle,my daughter in law, was preparing for college classes and needed some supplies. I told her that I was going to take her shopping for them. She didn't want to take advantage of me but I insisted that she needed them so we were going to buy them. We sent the guys fishing.
The next day we attended a charity event. Part of it was a flower arrangement contest with lots of different categories. You paid to enter and the prizes were different donated prizes. Sam, my firefighter son, won 3 categories! Before he went on stage to accept his award he changed from his station t-shirt into one of those shirts you see the men on the front of a cheap romance novel wearing. It had very detailed embroidery in all shades of pink. As he walked through the doors he turned to me and said " Too bad there isn't time to grow out my hair!" He went through the doors with both arms spread wide like an acrobat who had just performed an amazing stunt.
The next day we were shopping at the mall. My husband kept complaining about a very simple problem that would took very little effort to correct. Finally I had had enough and told him to quit whining and solve the problem. If he wasn't willing to do that, I didn't want to hear another word! He then went and bought me pretzel bites at Aunt Anne's pretzels!
So are you buying any of this yet? Actually these are the dreams I have been having the past few days. It seems that I am only creative in my dreams these days. I will try to do better.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

weird little things

I don't know if the "feeling bad" my nephew warned me about when I asked for hints about being a vegetarian is just now hitting or if I am coming down with something but I am a bit tired and muddle-headed. I was thinking about some of my quirks and thought it might be entertaining. So here you go.
1. If we have a hint of severe weather in our area I do not wear my usual nightgown to bed. I wear shorts/sweats and a t-shirt/tank depending on the season. I have this fear of the neighbors tree falling on our house causing the need for me and my family to be rescued. I do not want to be on the front page of the paper or on the evening news with my nightgown flying around!
2. I don't believe I could ever be a hardcore vegan because I love dairy! A diagnosis of lactose intolerance might just send me into a deep depression!
3. I am completely addicted to diet coke. 10 years ago my husband and I made a deal that if he would quit smoking I would quit drinking diet coke. yeah so he hasn't smoked in 10 years. I have made numerous attempts but not succeeded. Usually because hubby brings me diet coke. Apparently I am a bit grumpy without it.
4.  I am obsessed with writing utensils and notepads/journals. I cannot, however, write on paper that is wrinkled or water stained etc. Drives me completely nuts. 
5. Along those same lines, If I mess something up, smear the ink or duplicate an item on a shopping list I have to start all over. Just can't do it!
6.I am obsessed with purses and or tote bags. Not expensive ones. I just have a very clear idea of what I do and do not want. I want them either very large or very small.
7. I love going to the Madison Regatta with my husband  and kids. I like watching the boats but I am not quite so involved in it as my husband. We go very early to get good shady spots so I read a lot and sometimes nap. I think it aggravates Gregg because he knows all this technical stuff about the boats and everything and wants to share it with me. 
8.I was going to stop at 7 but I really like even numbers.
9. Open cabinet doors drive me bonkers. My husband will intentionally leave the bathroom cabinet open just to tease me. It is also the main reason we don't have doors on our overhead kitchen cabinets. One of the doors wouldn't shut all the way no matter what we did. I just couldn't handle it!
10. I love to create things. I like to use unexpected objects and make them into something interesting and beautiful. I like to work in everything- wood, paint, plants, words, fabric-whatever. Everything has some beauty in it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I ate shrimp last night...

I am bad I suppose. The strange thing was that it didn't even taste very good. I love grilled shrimp but they just didn't do it last night.
I did have a disagreement with someone the other day about whether or not fish was meat or not. I was telling how embarrassed my daughter was to order me a Big Mac without meat. This person insisted I could have ordered a fish sandwhich.
This is the same person who,when I told her I would bring a veggie burger for the cookout, told me she had a turkey burger in the freezer so I guess I should have guessed.
I really have been surprised at how easy this has actually been. I was warned that I would feel bad and all kinds of other stuff but I haven't at all.
After our trip to the aquarium Saturday we went to Golden Corral. If I was going to have trouble anywhere I was certain it would be there. My brothers steak and ribs smelled good but I wasn't dying to eat them. I ate a big salad with egg and cheese and a baked potato and dessert and was quite satisfied.
I have lost 2 pounds so far and I am probably eating too many carbs and too much dairy. Something to work on I guess.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A day at the aquarium

Today we celebrated my neice Makayla's 10th birthday with a trip to the Newport Aquarium. Apparently it was "rude person day" because they were all there!
My brother and sister in law need scooters to get around large places. My brother because he was permanently disabled is a car accident when makayla was a little more than a year old and my sister in law because she suffers from complications of diabetes such as neuropathy and skin ulcers. They,like everyone else, wanted to see all they could. Being a rainy Saturday in early summer, it was packed. All of us headed down the halls like cattle stoping when the rest of the herd did.
The problem was that when Roy and Becky would stop people would go around them then stop right in front of them. There were also several instances where people would literally step in between them and whatever exhibit they were looking at.
I found myself feeling a bit agoraphobic-at least if that word means a little panicked about 5 million bajillion people squished around you in a dimly lit building like I think it does.
I can handle crowds outside. Don't particularly like them but I can handle them.
In an enclosed space it makes me crazy.
I couldn't help thinking about the Jewish people who spent months and even years in cramped spaces never seeing the sun while in hiding.
And those crammed into trIn cars on their say to concentration camps. I knew that in a matter of hours my torment would be over. They had no such assurance. For many of them the torment ended only with death.
Cheery little blog I have here isn't it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Someone SAVE ME!!!

I need need need non boring recipes If I am going to make it the next 5 and a half weeks! It is only day 4 and I am bored with my choices and sick of beans and legumes! It has cut down on my fast food consumption because vegetarian options are more expensive than dollar burgers.
Its not that I miss the meat so much, its that I miss the variety. and just the thought of the texture of beans kinda makes me gag a little.And when I was stressed like I was this afternoon I wanted to eat a big mac,
In other news, my tahoe has been declared a total loss by the insurance company which kind of makes me sad. I love my tahoe! but I think we can buy it back and fix the tailight and bend the bumper back and have some money to get a little bit ahead. I will find out more tomorrow. I was a bit worried about getting screwed but I talked to the owner of the body shop and he said that the insurance company we are dealing with is very fair. So that calmed me down a bit.
I have nothing really exciting to say today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 1 as a Vegetarian

Actually it wasn't too bad. My nephew warned me that I would feel lightheaded and kinda bad the first few weeks but I didn't experience any of that.
My menu for the day was as follows
Breakfast- Egg McMuffin and Iced Coffee from McDonalds
Morning Snack-Yeast Roll and Cream Cheese
Lunch-piece of totinos pizza, 27 ounces of spinach with butter,yeast roll with cream cheese, Potato w/cheese
Supper-Salad with carrots,onions,mushrooms, lettuce, green peppers and cheese, foccocia bread pizza with onions,peppers, and broccoli. yummy!
I went to the grocery store today to buy what we needed. It was weird not going to look at the meat! I bought some "fake meat" crumbles and two different varieties of  veggie burgers to try. Didn't want to load up on them only to find that we didn't like them. I also got a large assortment of canned beans and whole wheat/high fiber pasta as well as some fresh veggie. We have a bunch of frozen vegetables so I didn't worry about those.
I think the biggest challenge is going to be variety. I like a lot of variety and I may go bonkers if I have to eat beans every single solitary day! I am working on finding recipes I think we will enjoy.
When I told my family about this 6 week challenge I told them that I was going to do this but I did not expect them to follow suit. Surprisingly, the menfolk in my family jumped on the bandwagon before I even finished telling them my reasons but my daughter didn't. Of the 3 , I thought she would be most enthusiastic. I am fine that shes not but it surprised me.
Well that's all for now since I just finished eating dinner at 9:15 and have a bunch a stuff to do before I go to bed.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another day another dance recital

My daughter loves to dance. She takes dance classes and is a teachers helper to help pay for them. There are 2 recitals a year. Winter and spring.
With last minute rehearsals,hair and makeup then the actual show, they are day long affairs. Nerves get testy,kids get cranky,parents get crankier.
Today I did 2 other girls hair besides Carrie Beth's.
I am so glad I did Carrie Beth's before we left the house this morning because as usual,rehearsal ran late. I finished one girl with 5 minutes to show time.
We are looking forward to the break. To celebrate, we are dying Carrie Beth's hair a lighter blonde with bright pink stripes. The stripes are for breast cancer awareness.
Time to color!

Friday, June 10, 2011

perfectly bad ending to a perfectly bad day.

I am trying to keep it in perspective. There are worse things that could have happened. But it was kind of a very stinky day.
I had wired cranky kids. The youngest didn't get his nap out. We got locked out of the house.Since I hadn't planned to be gone long, I hadn't taken a diaper bag so of course we had a big stinky poopy diaper. Sonic didn't have 32 ounce or 44 ounce cups so I could only have a medium cherry lime-aid.
Then, to top it off, when I was finally starting to relax, we heard a big crash directly in front of the house. Where my Tahoe was parked. A guy driving a little S10 swerved to miss a dog and plowed into the back of my car. Based on the fact that he moved the Tahoe 4 to 6 feet he had to have been moving. His vehicle got the worst end of it. The right side of his truck is very smashed. Mine doesn't look too bad but the tail light is busted, the bumper is a wreck and you can't open the back doors.
I really love my car.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

First pool visit of the summer

Took 3 guys to the pool today. For a change, I didn't even get burned! We only stayed a little over 2 hours. The 8 and 10 year old are of course pretty self sufficient,jumping off the diving board,going down the slide and dunking each other. I had forgotten,though, what it's like to take a one and a half year old the pool!
He was hesitant at first but soon acclimated himself. The pool we visited has a graduated entrance so you can walk in like a beach. For awhile I sat with water up to my chest while he stood waist deep splashing. He wanted to go farther so he tugged my hand and said "uppy!!!" I hauled myself off the bottom and held his hand until the water reached his neck and he again said "uppy!" in a rather frantic tone. I picked him up and continued to the deeper water.
At first his arms and legs clung so tightly to my neck and waist I could barely move.
But then he realized that I was not going to drop hi
And he began to relax. He let me turn him to face where we were going. He laid his head against my shoulder with his little cheek against mine and let his legs float. At my urging he started kicking his feet to splash the older boys.
For some reason, this particular pool doesn't have a concession stand operating this year so we were glad we packed a few snacks. But since they couldn't spend their money at the pool we went to dairy queen for mini blizzards.
All in all a good day, but I am whooped!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Things that make my day

One of my favorite little guys came around a corner,saw me and broke into a huge grin,ran full throttle to me, launched himself into my arms and said "I you!"( his version of I love you) How can you not smile at that? What made it even more satisfying was that I had been there for several hours,taking care of him,changing his diaper etc. We had played all morning and yet in that particular moment, he was overjoyed that I was there and wanted to show me. A few minutes later when I wouldn't let him dive off the back of the couch he definitely wasn't feeling the love!
Because I am me I couldn't help but think about the comparison between little guy and his reaction to me and myself and my reaction to God. There are times when the joy wells up in me and I beam with it. Then there are times I am diving off the couch and God is hanging onto my shirttail saying "This is not what you need to do." Just like little guy I scream and kick and crying and throwing an awful fit. And just like little guy, I do it over and over and God still hangs onto my shirttail.
The other thing that made my day was little guys older brothers. We were watching cartoons and a commercial for Holiday World came on. I said "I haven't been there since I was about 8." the oldest one said "In the 90's?" I had 3 children by the mid nineties!
Made me feel young anyway!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Never thought of myself as the vegetarian type

I mean I grew up a farm girl! We had chickens, pigs and my grandparents were dairy farmers. Of course some of those cattle ended up in our freezer! However, I am going to be vegetarian for the next six weeks beginning Monday.Not because I feel sorry for the animals. I believe that God created animals for us to eat. Thats why we have meat eating teeth instead of grass eating teeth like cows. However, at the suggestion of my doctor I am going to try this.
 I was originally going to start tomorrow but realized that since I went grocery shopping yesterday that I wasn't really prepared. Besides, it will give me time to figure out how to go about this in the first place.
How does one go from being a hardcore meat loving farm girl to a vegetarian? And what is the difference between vegetarian and vegan and ovo something or other anyway? I don't mean to offend, really I don't. I am just seriously ignorant of all things vegetarian. Not something we learned down on the farm.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What a bad little blogger I have turned out to be!

I have actually been a little busy in the real world! Imagine that, life outside the computer! Friday I went to Lowe's and bought 48 dollars worth of flowers and soil. Saturday I got up at 5 and started cleaning out the area I was working in about 6:30. Started planting around 7.
I had to stop in the middle of the day to get my daughter ready for her Dance pictures then drop her off at a friends. Got back to it and finished it all at 3:30. I still have one area I want to do something with but that will have to wait for another day.
After that I went to my moms to visit and we made pillows and a little throw for the metal bench on my porch. All in all a very good day.
However, I woke up in the middle of the night with a very painful right foot. During singing at church, my foot swelled up and was a bluish purple. My husband insisted on going home right after church so I could put my foot up and ice it. That meant no graduation parties and no cake!
And before anyone gets worked up about my foot, I have a doctors appointment tomorrow. I already had it made and since I don't have insurance I didn't want to go to the ER. It has done it a couple of times since Sunday morning but returns to normal if I put my foot up.Like I have time for that.
I will attempt to me more interesting in the coming days.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

4 girls + 8 tap shoes+ "Jump" by Van Halen = mama with a migraine

My daughters dance class is preparing for recital. They are doing pointe, tap and jazz and a number with all the classes. Today I went to dance as I usually do.I had a slight headache and feeling of being "off" before I even got there.
After 45 minutes of tap and Van Halen it has blossomed into a full blown migraine. Mind you,I am very fond of tap and Van Halen, however, combining them with a headache are not suggested.
Ice pack and a dark room are in store for the evening.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why NOT me?

I admit it- this is not something I just wrote today or even yesterday. I wrote it about a year ago but found it again today. Obviously this is a lesson I need to learn every single solitary day.

                                        Why NOT me?

I was talking to someone the other day about how my husband and I have always wanted to be foster parents, especially special needs children. “But” I said “our house would never pass the inspection because it is so old and broken down.” A few days later I was telling someone about my desire to go on a foreign missions trip. “But” I said “ I don’t know how I could ever afford that.” In the middle of my sentence I realized the hypocrisy of my words.
I tell my students and my sons and daughters on a daily basis that God can do anything, use them for anything, if they will only trust Him, be open to His leading and obey Him. We read stories of people who God has used for His glory whom men deemed “unfit” for one reason or another. Time and again we read how God has done great and mighty things through these unfit vessels.
Yet on almost this same daily basis I catch myself negating the power of Christ by saying or thinking “ I could never do that.” I say things like “I could never do that because ………….”I am too poor” “My health is not very good” “I am not smart enough.” “ I am too old” On and on it goes. I am the Queen of bad excuses.
 The reality is that I am believing that God works through everyone EXCEPT me.
John 15:16 says “You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”
Clearly if He has called me, if He has placed these desires in me He will go before me to clear my path.
As Romans 10:10-11 says 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
There is more to it than just believing. Missionary Gladys Alyward  didn’t just sit waiting for a boat to China. Even after being turned down for service she worked hard to achieve the goal she set for herself.  I believe God instructs us in His word to do the same.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 says
“57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Sure doesn’t sound like we are to be sitting around waiting for the boat to me.
And what about this:
2 Corinthians 8:10-12 (New International Version)
10. And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
I know that I too often forget this. If I truly believe what I tell the children in my life day in and day out, I need to start by taking steps towards the desires I believe God has put in my heart.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I have nothing original to say.

I have some stuff going on and it doesn't belong here.
Lets just say that I love my family more than life itself. I am probably a freak about it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Just because something can fit in doesn't mean it should.

I have a friend who is very gifted in what I believe is termed the fabric arts. She is an amazing seamstress and makes all kinds of crocheted things. Recently she made me a beautiful rainbow colored bag with long straps. It is HUGE! Just the way I wanted it. Empty,it hangs about hip level. The problem comes when I put stuff in. I always think I can add one more thing because "it will fit" and I might need it. What happens then is that when I hoist it on my shoulder it hangs to my knees and some of the things i really need dont fit anymore. The bag is misshapen and stretched beyond it's normal capacity. It becomes unattractive and hard to deal with. It is not being used according to it's design.
We humans are the same way. At least I am. I fill myself with far too many things I don't need and will never use. Knowledge is a very good thing but I think we can all agree that some so called knowledge is just useless. Do we really need to know the details of the latest celebrity breakup? Because I have allowed myself to be filled with unimportant things, the important ones get squeezed out. I become overwhelmed and have a hard time deciding what is important and what is not. It gets to the point that I am not even sure what my purpose is anymore.
The answer is simple. I need to focus on what is true,lovely and pure.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

So many thoughts.....

So few that are fully thought out!
A few things on my mind:
I have some things I want to write about that are kind of important to my story. However to tell these things would be painful to some of the people I love more than life. I am trying to work out how to tell the story without hurting people.
I hate whatever it is in me that makes me so sensitive and prone to not think much of myself.
I have been very touched recently to have grown up "kids" I used to babysit seek me out. They were so young when I watched them it really means a lot that they even remember me!
I wonder what it is in me that makes me hold people at arms length.
I wish my daughter didn't need my computer for a school project so I could go more in depth with these thoughts. They are far too much to type on an iPod.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Differences-part 2

Watching my students work on their project got me to thinking about how different they all are. That got me to thinking about how different many of my friends and I are. One friend in particular.
She is tall, I am short. I am fat, she is not. She is stylish, I am thrown together. Her house is color coordinated,mine is like me,thrown together. She is self proclaimed "high maintence" and I,well maybe I am as well but not in the same way. She is a city girl,I am country.
But in spite of these differences, we have the same desire to serve the Lord and do the work He has for us. We have had the most amazing conversations about how God has worked in our lives and what He is teaching us.
I thought I had learned a long time ago not to judge a book by it's cover.
I have to admit that when I first met this person, I wouldn't have imagined we'd be as close as we are because we are so very different. As it turns out, we have much more in common than I had ever imagined.
Just imagine if we all took the time to get to know each other, tried to understand each other based on actual conversations with them rather than chance encounters or what someone looks like, or even acts sometimes. You have no idea what they are going through. Instead,pray for them.

Differences

My Sunday school class and I did a project this week. We were supposed to trace a person but we didn't have big enough paper so I drew the outline of a person. He didn't have hands or feet so the class deemed him unworthy and elected a student to draw another one.
When that was done, after discussing how Jesus is the head of the church and we are the body, the children wrote in names of people and the ways they serve,in and out of the church. Our person ended up being to thin for all the things we came up with. We widened the arms,then the legs,then finally the belly. Then the arms again and the legs and the belly. Then... Well you get the picture. I was amazed at how many ways the children recognized as serving. We talked about how different each of these people were and how,even though we are all different and have different ways of going about it, we all have the same goal-to serve and give God the glory.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't be afraid to dance

Really, that's what this whole blog is about I think. Sorting through my strengths and weaknesses and determining where I go from here and not being afraid to follow that path. To gain the confidence to move forward.
It seems that everyone I know, has known their strengths and what they wanted from life from a very early age. My youngest daughter is a prime example. She has known what she wants to be and where she wants to go to college since 7th or 8th grade. This seems completely foreign to me. But I think perhaps I am the exception rather than the rule. This explains why I didn't graduate from college until I was 41 years old.
There are also lots of things I find very interesting but not many that I actually have talent in. or at least I don't see it.
For example, in college, I had several professors tell me that I was very good at academic and analytical type writing. I much prefer creative non-fiction and fiction to academic writing. I have to tell you that I HATE  academic writing! Especially when a professor said things like "minimum of 15 pages" or something similar. I feel like I spend at least 8 of those pages saying the same thing in different ways. What is the point in that? I like to make my point as succinctly as possible and move on.
Why then do I have this urge to finish my project from senior seminar?
 Sorting out my strengths and weakness also presents a problem for me because some of my strengths don't always translate into the areas of service I think they should.
For example, I am good with kids, especially those with special needs or learning disabilities. I come up with creative ways to get a concept across in ways the kids actually enjoy. Actually, God puts the ideas in my head because I am not that smart. Because of this ability, I thought I should become a teacher. It turns out I am a really stinky teacher at least for a school that wants everybody to use the same methods all the time. My way of doing things is ummmm inconsistent. I am big on daily schedules, rules of behavior and organization and a plan. But when it comes to learning, when you can see the sheer panic in a child's face over a particular method of learning something, it is time to shake things up. Not everyone likes to be shaken.
My greatest strength,in my opinion, is my ability to see things not as they are or how they were "meant" to be used but how they CAN be used. Second is my writing ability.
My greatest weakness is not being confident in these abilities to use them to their full potential. I have been told to enter writing contests, submit my stories and so on and so on. But where do I even begin? Do you have any idea how many writing contests and literary agents and publishers there are? In my mind, for every one of these opportunities there are 1,000 other writers trying to get noticed. What do I have that makes me stand out?
And what does all this have to do with dancing?
Last night at church we had a worship/prayer/healing service. I helped with the praise dance team passing out their props and such. After their performance we enjoyed a time of prayer. You could pray by yourself or with the pastor and elders or someone else entirely. Now before you get the wrong idea, this was not your TV Evangelist kind of healing service. It was simply a time of prayer. I asked a friend to pray with me because I have really been struggling with depression, panic attacks and confidence issues. As she prayed she affirmed talents I have and even some I had forgotten I had because I haven't used them in so long. She reminded me that I am not in charge and it is not my plan that matters. At the end of her beautiful prayer she hugged me and said "Don't be afraid to dance!"  That is my phrase to remind myself that I was not given a spirit of fear!
I want to seek HIS WILL for me, not my own. I don't want to waste the talents I have been given. I want to give God the glory for each and every success HE blesses me with. I want to be BOLD! I want to DANCE! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Yay!

Tomorrow is my birthday! I will be 43 years old. I know a lot of people don't like to talk about how old they are but I really don't mind. I come from a family of women who don't look their age! My great aunt Vivian looked to be on her 60s when she was in her 80s. I have frequently been mistaken for a teenager/young adult. Once I was mistaken for my sons girlfriend. He was understandably horrified.
Personally, I think I look my age and that there are a lot of people who need complete eye exams.
The only thing that bothers me about my age is my lack of accomplishment.I thought I would be a homeowner by now. I thought I would be established in a career by now. Instead I am either overqualified or don't have the experience wanted for every job I apply for.
I thought I would be able to spoil my kids and grandkids by now.
At any rate, I am excited about my birthday! I grew up in a family where birthdays were a big fat hairy deal. In my husbands family,they were celebrated but not quite as much. Gregg's birthday is 4 days after Christmas and his brothers is sometimes on Easter. I am always trying to surprise Gregg with something on his birthday and he really doesn't seem to care one way or the other. I on the other hand love the surprises and specialness of being the birthday girl!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today, I read

I started the book my husband got me for mothers day yesterday around 11 in the morning. I finished it around 11 this evening. You may not believe this but I didn't just read during my waking hours. I did read almost 5 straight hours this evening bit other than that just a few minutes here and there. It has been a long time since I read something new simply for the pure pleasure of it. I have my favorites that I read and reread when I want something to do but don't want to think too much.
I started to watch Julie and Julia again today. That movie was the reason for starting this blog in the first place. I thought by now I would have figured out exactly why I am writing it.
I do know that I want to pick up one of my ideas, brush it off, re-examine it, and start writing on it again.
The question is, which one? The academic piece my writing professor said would be an excellent doctoral thesis piece(kind of a terrifying thought to a girl with a 2.389 gpa), the fiction story that sprung from the title of a friends blog and incidentally inspired the academic pie e, the memoir piece, or the "devotionals" I have had the audacity to start on?
Any preferences?

Monday, May 16, 2011

I know this is really sad....

But I am being awfully lazy. I am once again blogging on my iPod because it is lighter than my laptop.
I have a torn rotator cuff which is very painful. I was supposed to see the doctor Friday but cancelled. The last time I was there 6 weeks ago he said that the only thing left was surgery and since I don't have insurance there isn't anything left to do. So I didn't see any sense in paying him 50 dollars to hear him say that again.
So that's my long winded reasoning for why I need an iPad! I know no one really needs an iPad but I would really like one!
I am very excited for my friend Tonya! After a long draining wait she and her husband close on their house tomorrow!
I have started reading a very good book by Francine rivers. It is called "Her mothers hope". I think I am going to learn a lot from it, even if it is fiction.
I need to get to the library and get some non fiction for my research on the holocaust/WWII. It is for a story idea I have and also a academic paper I started for my senior seminar in college. I don't know why and who would even read it but it seems important to finish it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Troy McGinnis-March 30,1989-May 15,1992

Today is the anniversary of my son's death. Every year it seems to sneak up on me. I think to myself, "Hummm, I am not such a wreck this year." Then all of a sudden-wham-blindsided with a ton of bricks.
Out of the blue the memories of our last moments together pop into my head and turn me into an emotional wreck even on the best of days. One of the things I miss most is the way I know he always loved to be held.
It could be a rather complicated procedure. You had to make sure his chin was not blocking his tracheotomy tube. Make sure the oxygen hose was not kinked. Make sure his feeding tube button was secure. Make sure the feeding tube bag was full because you didn't want to get all settled and have to get up to fill it. You had to make sure you had the suction nozzle close enough in case he laughed or coughed and clogged the trach with mucus.
I miss the absolutely gaggy smell of pediasure. I miss cleaning around the feeding tube. I miss cleaning and changing the trach tube. I miss changing the gaggy poop diapers caused by a diet of pediasure. I miss measuring out a drugstore of medicine to keep him from seizing constantly.I miss catheterizing him when his kidneys didn't work right.
I miss the way he laughed when I suctioned his trach tube. I miss the way his face would light up when he saw me. Most of all, I miss the way his body felt snuggled in my arms.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tried to blog Thursday

But blogger was in read only mode. Yesterday I wasn't in an area that had wifi. This morning we are having breakfast in a little resturaunt and Gregg encouraged me to check for wifi. To my surprise, there it was!
We are staying in a very inexpensive motel here. It is like stepping backing into the 70's/80's. Reminded me of vacations with my family. There isn't any cable or Internet bit it is a nice big clean room with 2 queen beds and space that if we had kids with us we could put down an air mattress.
We are off on an adventure now! No plan just driving til we find something interesting!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time keeps on slippin slippin.....

Into the future.... Isn't that how the song goes?
One thing you will come to know about me is that songs pop into my head for almost any occasion!
Another one,a line from one anyway,is from I believe, Lady Antebellum. I believe the song is called "I run to you" It goes "This world keeps spinning faster..." it goes on to say something about heading towards a new disaster. I am not sure if the writer intended the song to make people think about God, but I always do.
I co-teach at our churches wednesday night kids program. Tonight I was on my own with our large class. We have a bit of an issue with talking and not paying attention when there are 2 teacher so I decided to try a different technique. I drew a line for each child and had each of them write his or her name under the line. I explained that they had 9 chances to earn a reward.Essentially, we played hangman.
Our lesson tonight was on the following the leading of the holy spirit. During the lesson, one of the girls went to the bathroom and came back basically mocking me. As with all the marks I gave, i said nothing, just simply walked to the board and made the mark and went on with my lesson. A few minutes after getting her mark j raised her hand and asked if there was any way to erase a mark.
I told her no, I was sorry but we have to live with the consequences o our actions.
When the lesson was over I was passing out candy. Everyone earned it. I noticed j sitting quietly in her seat not crowding me with the rest of he kids. I asked her if she got hèrs. She came to whisper on my ear that she did not deserve any candy because she had not behaved. I told her of course she did. She did not get a full person. But I was so proud of her for realizing what she had done.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2 and a half pages of excuses

 I am still working on the piece I started in reaction to my pastors sermon on Sunday but here is something I wrote a few years ago that is in the same vein.
Two and a Half Pages of Excuses
If money were no object I would live in house that fit my family with closets and a kitchen big enough for a table. The floors would be even. No longer would the arrangement of the furniture depend on whether it would be too lopsided to be comfortable. We wouldn’t worry about whether or not that chair is too heavy for that weak spot in the floor. The floors would be finished and polished with the proper cleansers and wax. There would be no particle board trap door to the cellar.
In the bedrooms we could use all 4 walls without worrying that the plaster will give way. The clothes would hang neatly in closets and belongings stored neatly on those shelves. The bats wouldn’t find holes to come in at night and bite the youngest daughter’s toes. If money were no object, there would be more children in my house. Children whose medical conditions are too much for their parents. Children whose parents never should have been parents. Children who just want to be loved and safe.
The ceiling would not have those water spots, I mean lines. We wouldn’t wake up after a rainstorm to find that the covering on the old chimney has come loose, leaking into the kitchen, depositing half of the wall onto the counter.
If money were no object, I would fix my children breakfast every morning before I drove them to school. Their lunches would be fresh and healthy. There would be fresh baked goods and fruit for after school snacks. The pantry would have rows and rows of jars of fruits and vegetables picked straight from our garden and orchards and canned at the peak of freshness. My husband would spend hours planning and tending all the fruits and vegetables he has ever wanted. I would eat those fruits and vegetables knowing that if my tooth crumbled in an apple I could go to the dentist to have it repaired.
Each morning I would gather eggs from our chickens and feed them and the cows and goats. I would take meat from the freezer for that evenings’ supper. I would not pick up dollar cheeseburgers on the way home from work because they are fast and cheap. I would not look for more and more ways to make a pound of hamburger and a box of macaroni feed 7 people.
If money were no object I would have a writing room all my own. My books would come out of boxes and fill two walls of shelves. Eventually I would need more shelves. There would be a comfortable chairs and a couch for long meaningful conversations and quiet hours of reading.
If money were no object, I would have an indoor pool to do the aquatic exercise my rheumatologist insists I must do to ease the pain in my joints and to lose the weight he insists I must also do.
If money were no object, my family and I would learn about different countries and cultures by experiencing them first hand. They would see the wonders of the world and the children who must beg to survive.
I wrote the previous pages after I saw a segment of the show “CMT Cribs”. I cannot remember which celebrities’ home was being shown, I think it was a race car driver. What stands out in my mind is the man’s wife as she listed the features of her beautiful state of the art kitchen. She then proudly announced “I don’t know what half of it does, I never cook.”
I was so angered by the statement that I wrote the piece and included it in my Senior Capstone Writing course proposal of short “life” pieces.
My professor said "This piece is spare and sincere and conveys the problems of living in poverty without self pity. I don't know if I could write this objectively. I don't recommend changing this one. I think it is perfect as it is and its compact form speaks loudly as is."
I was thrilled. My pride was all puffed up at my perfection. And then the rest of the semester rushed by and with it a million other projects and graduation. The piece was tucked away in a file and forgotten as I threw myself into preparing to teach a class of 5th and 6th graders.
One day when I probably should have been doing something productive I was scrolling through my computer reading things I had written over the years. Some made me laugh, some made me cry. This one made me think.
As I read I recognized that what I had written was two and a half pages of excuses. If I want to serve needy children there are far too many right here in the town I live in.
When this realization hit me I immediately thought of all the parables in which Jesus talks about being a good and faithful servant. Not once does He say “Serve me if you have money.” The message in so many passages, Matthew 20:1-16, Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 16:10-15, to name a few is clearly to do what you can with what you have.
What I struggle with most, I think, is doing what I am told. I want to do what I want, when I want. Just like a spoiled child, I stomp and cry and sometimes yell trying to convince God my way is best. How foolish is that? Just as I make decisions based on what is best for my children, God has my life planned perfectly.
My job is to do as I am told. Luke 17:7-10 says “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, “Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, “Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink”? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”
May it ever be so.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I had a wonderful mothers day!

Even if my water pump did explode! Church was amazing!! I have started writing a future blog a out it. A little much to type on my iPod! The basic gist is that the world does not revolve around me and it doesn't revolve around you either.
Anyway, after church Carrie Beth and I went to my mommy's to have lunch with her and all the family in vevay. Carrie Beth and I had fun driving around the yard in my grandparents scooter chairs until the one I was driving died! Then we had to push it through a field to my grandparents house. Found out minutes later that it would have been much easier had we taken it out of gear.We are cool like that!
We had fun eating and talking and goofing off.
On the way home, Carrie Beth and I had a very interesting and insightful conversation. At home Gregg had fixed a great dinner of chicken, cottage cheese, broccoli, and salad on my pretty china plates.
To top it off,my son Sam and his wife Michelle and baby Connor came by. That was Omamymy's favorite thing of all! Oh that and the absolutely PERFECT card from Joshua!
All in all a great day!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day-it ain't all sunshine and roses

For a lot of years, Mothers Day for me represented proof of my ultimate and complete failure.
My very first Mothers Day, my first child was 6 weeks old. I had spent the last month of my pregnancy in the hospital on complete bedrest. My son was born by emergency c-section on March 30th at 1:37pm a week after his due date. He was 4lbs 7ozs.At 10:30pm the doctor came in to have me sign a release to do a spinal tap because Troy was having seizures.He was diagnosed with CMV, Seizure disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Spastic Quadraplegia,Mental Retardation, Microcephaly, as well as being blind and deaf. I was finally able to see him and touch him about 8 the next morning.
At 10 the doctor came in to inform me that Troy was being transferred to a pediatric intensive care unit an hour away. They were not certain he would survive the trip. Two weeks later we met with the team of doctors. They told us that they would be releasing Troy but that they did not expect him to live for more than a month. We should enjoy the time we had with him and plan his funeral. That is a hard hard thing to take in.
When Mothers Day arrived, I was prepared to celebrate. Troy was still alive and thriving despite the dire prognosis. My husband took off with his buddy. My sister bought a card and put Troys footprints in it for me. I spent the day with her and her friend and Troy. I finally tracked down my husband at a bar. I asked when he would be home. He said when he got there.
When he finally arrived, he informed me that he wanted a divorce and he wanted me gone as soon as possible. My sister and I packed a bunch of stuff into her truck and went the next day.
Two years before when I had written in my senior book that I wanted to be a wife and mother. I had obviously failed at both of those vocations.
So you might understand why Mothers Day kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.
I am pleased to say that I had 3 more Mothers Days with Troy. As well as 20 with my son Sam,15 with my daughter Carrie Beth and 14 with my step children, Joshua, Carrie Lynn and Ashley. And now I am beginning to celebrate my childrens spouses and children. But I always seem to have to fight the sadness that creeps up and the unrealistic expectations I try not to have but always seem to be there. Like I am missing out on something that all the other mothers get.
I try to remind myself that I am so blessed. I have wonderful kids who love me both those I gave birth too, those who were bonus gifts when I married their father and those who married my children and gave me grandchildren. I have AMAZING grandchildren. I have a special boy who smiles when he sees me and calls me Mymy. There are children in my church who run to hug me and talk to me. I have no shortage of love.
I think part of my sadness comes from the fact that I am not able to spoil the kids in my life as I would like. I would love to be able to walk into a store and just buy everything that I know each of them would love. Take them to Disney World. Traveling, amusement parks and the like.
I guess part of me is afraid that because I can't do those things they won't love me quite as much. I don't trust that I have taught them that "stuff" isn't important well enough.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fires-A mothers day offering

I think I am finally turning the corner! Still feeling a little worn out but better.
Today I am going to share some more of my writing. It is about 2 years old but seemed appropriate with Mothers Day coming up.
Fires
My son, Sam, the brand new 18 year old, is now officially a volunteer firefighter. He was voted into membership before Christmas but was not allowed to respond to fires until he had turned 18 on January 10. His first official fire was just the other night… Two doors down from us…
 We were sitting at the dinner table just finishing up when the tones sounded and the pager announced a fire. While the details of the call were broadcast and Sam jumped up and started for his car.
 "Sam!” His dad said, “That’s just a few doors down!" Sam was a tad excited. But his gear was in the back of his car so he opened the trunk and started getting dressed. I was standing there trying to figure out what exactly I should do. For crying out loud he is a trained firefighter! He doesn't need his mommy helping him get dressed! So I stood there but could not resist the urge to say "Do you have everything?" Oh and when he went on his way I couldn't help but pick up his shoes and gear bag from the middle of the street where he left it. It's what moms do, you know?
I stood watching for a time, still unsure if I should stay out side and watch or if I should go inside and wait. I wanted to support my son but really what could I do? It's not like he was playing soccer or something. Can't you hear me?
 "Climb that ladder, Sam! Hold that hose!”
 “Put out that fire!"
"Sam, Sam he's our man! If he can't fight it no one can!"
 Somehow I don't think it would be appreciated. I can hear Sam saying "Mom! No one else's mother came to the fire!"
 My husband’s excuse was that the fire was too close for comfort which was sort of true. Yes it was two doors north of us but the affected house was on fire on the north side of the attic and there is a very large house between us and the burning house. Quite frankly I had to go inside before I had a nervous breakdown.
 I am immensely proud of Sam. He has dreamed of being a firefighter since he knew what one was and what they did. This does not mean that I can watch him do it.
Mothers are like that. We want our children to go after their dreams and , to quote a recruitment campaign, be all they can be. But it is not easy for us to stand by and watch. We want to help, protect and do for our children. Especially when things are hard for them.Especially when those things are caused by their own mistakes. We know that for our children to learn sometimes they have to go through hard things. The best that we can do is be there for them when they ask for our help.
Thinking about this always makes me think about how much pain we cause God as we go through hard things. I think His pain must be even greater because He knows we are going to mess up long before we do. And yet, like any good parent, He is there waiting for us to ask for help.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Non creative blog day

I am way over being sick. I have had strep before but usually the antibiotic kicks in right away. This time,while I don't feel as worn down, my throat is still on fire.
My sweet husband bought my favorite chocolate drops and even they burned! Gregg said " I bet you ate them anyway. As a matter of fact, I didn't! What is this world coming to when you can't even eat chocolate! I am really tired of soup(not a favorite at any time)and plain mashed potatoes!
So there you have it. I will do my best to be witty and insightful and maybe interesting tomorrow!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dreams in the rain

Despite all of the rain we have had over the last few weeks and it seems will continue for at least another week, I have been dreaming of camping and fishing and swimming.
Two years ago we had a wonderful camping trip up until the last night when we had heavy rains and both of our tents started leaking. The 4 of us attempted to sleep in the passenger area of our SUV. At 3 am I announced that I was going to start packing at the first glimmer of light. Everything was packed in record time.
Unfortunately by the time it stopped raining, the damage was already done to the tents. We wanted to camp last year and buy new tents but it just didn't happen. I'd love a camper so we could extend our camping season a bit but that probably won't be in the budget for a few years.
It's funny though, some of our best and most memorable camping trips,especially with all of our kids,have included copious amounts of rain. Like the 10 days spent in a state forest in the middle of a thunderstorm playing trivial pursuit. Or the church campout where half of the campsites were underwater. Or the church campout where we sang "I've got a river of life running through my tent!
Maybe that's why all this rain puts me in the mood to camp.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sorry folks

I now have strep. I can't swallow anything but iced tea without excrutiating pain.
Even ice cream hurts. Isnt that ridiculous! I certainly think so!
Hopefully I will be able to string words together that do not involve illness and bodily functions soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What shall I blog about today?

Seriously, I got nothin!
I was supposed to meet with my weight loss buddy today but we both forgot. She is doing much much better than I am! She is working out everyday, or almost everyday. I sort of do but apparently not enough to move the needle on the scale. I have got to step it up! My standard excuse is that I don't have time. The truth is I do have time, I just don't use it wisely.
I am going to attempt to start using coupons. I like the idea of coupons, I just never remember that I have them. Also, a lot of the coupons I have seen are for prepackaged foods and we don't normally eat a lot of prepackaged foods. My husband and I both enjoy cooking however life has been so busy lately that prepacked might be helpful. Not to mention cheaper and probably healthier than fast food.
ok thats all that is all that is going on in my little brain today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Grandparents

Yes you are finally getting a real blog.
I have been thinking a lot about grandparents lately. I happen to have the best grandparents in the world. I am not bragging or being boastful I am just speaking truth. I have such fond memories of time spent with both sets of grandparents.
Each Memorial Day weekend would kick off the summer of camping and fishing with my maternal grandparents. It was Grandma and Grandpa Chase, Aunt Ellen and Uncle Robert and their kids, Lisa, Lee Ann and Eric and our family, Mom, Dad,Katie, Roy and I.
Us four girl cousins usually slept in a tent pitched on the back of a flat bed truck. We performed our own version of "Annie" which was really just us singing "Tomorrow" and "It's A Hard Knock Life" over and over again until I am sure the adults were ready to pull their hair out. We fell asleep to the sounds of Reds baseball on the radio. And of course the Indy 500!
We girls soon figured out that Grandpa Chase was a pushover. All we had to do is say we liked something and he would buy it for us. Grandma stopped letting Grandpa carry money.
My maternal grandparents owned and operated a farm. They had dairy cows and raised tobacco and corn and a huge garden. Some of our cousins lived just down the road from Grandma and Grandpa Richards. There was a swing in the shady backyard that Grandma would almost always stop what she was doing to push us if we asked. She could always push us high enough to touch the high branches with our feet. Grandpa Richards was gruffer than Grandpa Chase but in his own way he was a pushover. For instance, one summer Kate and I and our cousins Beth and Belinda were staying at for a few days. Grandpa took the racks from his truck and put them in the backyard with a tarp over it so we could have a playhouse.
One of us noticed a small hole in the tarp. We decided a skylight would be a wonderful addition to our playhouse. Grandpa was coming in from the field for dinner. He saw the hole and asked what happened. Then he walked into the house without a word. I am sure Grandma heard all about it but we never heard a word of reproach.
Another time our family was helping with the hay. Grandma was driving the tractor, Dad was stacking the bales on the wagon and Grandpa, Mom, Katie, Roy and I were throwing the bales on the wagon. It was hot and bales of hay are not the lightest things in the world. After a couple of rows my face was bright red. Just then Grandpa happened to look at me. He was sure I was about to faint from heat exhaustion. He told me to go sit down. So I did. Mom did not hear him and told me to get back up and start helping. So I did. And then Grandpa told me to sit down. Then Mom told me... well you get the picture. Finally, Mom and Grandpa squared off. Grandpa insisted I was getting too hot. Mom insisted I was there to help and I was going to help. That's the day I learned to drive a tractor.
We had big family celebrations for Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving. At both grandparents we played games and ate huge meals and talked for hours.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I am a grandmother to two beautiful and brilliant grandsons. I am sure I am not biased in that opinion. Every stranger and old school mate I show their pictures too in Wal-Mart agree.
I always dreamed of being the kind of grandparent that I have always had but I fear that it will never be. I  have come to realize that I was very fortunate. My parents were married until I was 20. So we only had 2 sets of grandparents to visit with.
Because my husband and I have both been married before and our parents are divorced, our children have no less than four sets of grandparents.Then you have to add in the in laws, who are also divorced.
Grandpa Chase was medically retired from the Navy so he was always available even though Grandma worked in a factory. Grandma and Grandpa Richards were available because they worked where they lived. My husband and I are not as available as our grandparents were because we have to provide a living for our children still living at home as well as chauffeuring them to their activities. Our children also have to provide for their families.
I always told my children that it was my job to work myself out of a job by making them productive, responsible members of society. I am finding however that I must have done a really good job. I have not adjusted well to not being needed as much. In fact I have made it downright difficult for them at times. As I my son recently, God does not turn the switch for wanting to spend time with your children off when they turn 18. The feelings seem to intensify for grandchildren.
Although  I may never be the kind of grandparent I was blessed with I pray that I will be able to make memories with my grandchildren that are just as special.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Really I blogged yesterday....

I just lost it when I posted it. I am doing yet another cheater blog because I am cooking supper for my kids and we have severe weather on the way.
This time it is a collection of poetry. It is sappy, sentimental , emotional and probably bad.

Hands
By Tina Leas

I remember them,
Small and smooth,
Held both completely,
In my one hand.

One little hand,
Wrapped around my finger,
One little hand,
Patting my face

Before I knew what happened,
They were larger,
Now only one,
Held in my hand.

Those small hands,
Tugging on my grandfather’s hands,
Gnarled, scarred and rough,
To the swings at the park.

Sunday, from the back of the church,
I saw them,
Large, rough hands,
Held high in praise.

Suddenly I knew them,
No longer small,
No longer smooth,
No longer held.


Leaves
By Tina Leas

I watch the leaves
As they form,
Starting tiny and green.

Slowly they grow,
Their colors
Become brilliant.

Seeing the leaves change I reach
Trying to catch them
As they fly away

They loosen themselves
From their woodland home
But I am not ready to let them go

OR

Seeing the leaves I reach
Trying to catch them
As they fly away

They loosen themselves
From their woodland home
But I am not ready to let them go



Pictures
By Tina Leas

I draw my pictures with words.
See them dance across the page.
A splash of color here,
A bit of shadowing there,
Bold highlights,
Subtle lowlights.

Can you see the reality?
Or is it all just blobs of color
having meaning
To me alone.


Words
By Tina Leas

Happy, cheerful words
Spilling forth, never stopping
Not for breath
Or anyone else to speak.

Rushing on in loud
High pitched tones.
We know it can’t all be true, but
 Oh, you want us to believe!

You are the happiest girl in the world,
He is the most wonderful guy,
His family is great,
The fun never ends.

Except…
You sleep too much.
You spent too much.
You weigh too much.



Spiderweb
By Tina Leas
    
     Fine delicate threads,
stronger than steel,
coil in a widening circle,
skipping from one straight line to the next.
The circle appears to have nothing
to do with the lines.
Without the lines the circle would fall,
without the circle the lines would fall.
Together they hold life
Even when death comes in to tear them apart.



Mother of the Year

Looking for mother of the year?
Stop looking,
You won’t find her here.
I’m not in the PTA,
I don’t volunteer.
It’s not that I don’t love my kids.
I’m just trying to keep them fed.
I always wanted to be the mom,
Baking cookies, cleaning house.
But being just a mom doesn’t pay
Enough to cover the rent.
My friends said education
Was the way out of this hole,
But it keeps getting deeper.
I can’t even see the sun.
They say it will be worth it.
But I can’t help feeling
I’m trying to make a silk purse,
And I have never been good at sewing.


Ky’s Poem

I am
Abandoned,
Broken,
Forgotten,
Unimportant,
Hidden under weeds.

But someone thinks
I am a treasure.
His eyes feast upon me.
He loves old broken things.
He loves me.
Even hidden under weeds.





A poem for Sam

I am proud of the man you are becoming
Even as I mourn the little boy you were.
In my mind I still see you clinging to my legs
As I look up to see your face.

Remember dancing in our seats while
Jimmy Buffet blared on the stereo?
I still dance in my seat but you play it cool.
I see the smile at the corner of your mouth.

The little boy is still around,
I see him now and then.
At night he sleeps in your bed,
Long, dark lashes on his cheeks.

I saw him at the hospital,
After your surgery,
After everyone had left.

He needed his mom
Next to his bed
So he could sleep.




My mind is like my house


My mind is like my house,
Dirty, cluttered, crowded,
unorganized.
So full of unimportant things
That the important things are lost.
When they are finally found
They are crumpled, dusty, worn,
Almost unrecognizable.
Sometimes I think it would be better
If it would all blow up.
But then I would lose the
Important things too.



The Girls

My oldest and youngest daughters,
On a warm sunny April day,
Run down the boat ramp together,
Holding hands, towards
The water rippling in the breeze.
The oldest 18,
Her “Dark Fairy” outfit,
Black flowing skirt,
Black t-shirt and flip flops.
Willowy and graceful,
long dark straight hair.
The youngest 12,
Everything her sister is not,
Standard tomboy attire, faded jeans,
Bright t-shirt, tennis shoes.
Blonde curly hair and curvy figure
Belie her chosen style.
This is my favorite picture
Of the girls.
It was taken before
The oldest decided
She had no life with us.
Before she left a note on the table,
On her brother’s birthday.
The morning after she left
I looked at the picture again.
Then I noticed
She was already pulling away.
The youngest seemed to be holding
The oldest back.