Sunday, December 30, 2007

Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy

Christmas Eve isn’t the best day to break your tooth. Christmas Eve isn’t the best day for someone in your family to break a tooth. Mom and I were tidying up the kitchen, getting ready for the next round of company to show up for Christmas Eve. Half eaten plates of food and cookies littered the island in the kitchen. We had already done some entertaining in the few days previous and received some tasty gift baskets from friends, so the goodies were abounding. As we rearranged and consolidated the dishes, Mom picked up a bowl of caramel corn that was all but empty. Not wanting any good food to go to waste, she tossed the final handful of caramel corn into her mouth. I heard a cracking sound and then Mom exclaimed, “Oh no!”

She held in her palm, a large piece of her tooth. “What in the world am I going to do now?” she asked, knowing that every dentist is on vacation for at least the next two days.

My son came running in and looked at the chunk of tooth in her hand. “Grandma!” He said, “Put it under your pillow and see if you get some money for it!”

Santa Claus made it to our house later that night, but apparently the tooth fairy didn’t. Mom didn’t get any money for her tooth. As a matter of fact, instead, I think she’s going to have to pay a pretty penny for it. At least she’ll be queen for a day, because I think she’s definitely getting a crown.

Friday, December 14, 2007

We Are Blessed

This morning I listened to my radio as I drove to work. My old car clunked down the road and, for a moment, I pictured myself driving the Jeep Grand Cherokee I wish I owned. But my radio works well and a plethora of Christmas songs blared from my speakers. As I neared my office, Andy Williams was crooning, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year….It’s the hap-happiest season of all.”

Those words made me pause, and before he could sing another line, I turned the radio off. I couldn’t help but think about all those for whom this is not the hap-happiest season of all, for those who are lonely, those who have serious or terminal illnesses, or worse yet, have children or parents with these illnesses.

It is most certainly not the most wonderful time of the year for those who have lost loved ones. For those for whom the holidays are nothing but a painful reminder that they are now alone, for those who don’t have the money and opportunity that most of us do. I thought of those who have lost their job, lost their way, lost their hope.

As I considered all these things, I became keenly aware of the true blessings in my life. I said a quick prayer for the less fortunate and thanked God for his provision in my life. Even though my car is a heap, even though I have a nasty head cold, even though the holiday stress is mounting and the to-do list is long…I am blessed beyond belief.

I hope that this Christmas season, you will pause and consider the blessings in your own life.

Monday, December 10, 2007

How Many Days?

A few years ago, my best friend (who knows who she is, but shall remain nameless) gave me a cute snowman decoration. He has a hat and a scarf and a small wooden sign that tells you how many days until Christmas. The sign holds two little blocks with numbers printed on them and each day you turn the blocks to display the appropriate number of days until Christmas.

It's funny how people have different points of view. Today is December 10th. My shopping is sort of done, my cards are ready, but have not been mailed, I have yet to bake one goodie, nor have I wrapped any gifts. In other words, I'm well on my way, but I still have several items on my holiday to-do list and time is ticking away. On the other hand, my son sees things very differently.

A week or so ago, as I slept, I had that keen awareness that parents get when their children are standing by the bed staring at them. I jumped and asked him what was wrong. It was a school day and, as I've mentioned, he doesn't make a habit of being up at 5am.

"I made it 22." He whispered loudly.

I was extremely groggy. "Made what 22?" I asked.

"The numbers."

"WHAT numbers?" Now I'm feeling groggy and irritated.

"The Christmas numbers. It's only 22 days until Christmas."

Oh. Thanks for reminding me. Gifts to buy, cards to mail, cookies to bake, tree to buy and decorate, presents to wrap... Suddenly, I'm wide awake.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Let it Snow!

A few days ago, it started to snow here. It snowed and snowed and snowed and then, it snowed some more. We got about 2 feet in a couple of days. Yeesh. Snow is not my favorite stuff, but I do have to admit, when it first falls (and by that, I mean I haven't had to look at it for 4 months yet) and the trees are all covered, it really is beautiful. But, despite it's beauty, I still lament to my family about not living in some warmer place where temperatures seldom dip below 70 and "White Christmas" means I can wear my white capri pants to Christmas dinner.

After we had been dumped on, we were all driving home one night. Everything was white and the flakes were still coming down in what looked like blizzard-like fashion in the beams of the headlights. As we crept along the road we were singing. OK, well, I was singing and my husband was looking at me as if I were from Mars.

"Oh the weather outside is frightful," I belted out. "But the fire is so delightful. And, since we've no place to go..."

At this point, my son chimes in, "...we'll just have to live in the snow."

Out of the mouths of babes.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Rise and Shine

I was going to blog this about 3 or 4 weeks ago and sort of got busy and forgot. But, it happened again this morning, as well as several other times in between, which has forced me to reconsider it as my post of choice for today.

In order to get him to school on time, I wake my son up each day at 6:30am. And, in fact, I'm usually not done blow drying my hair by then, so he normally gets to sleep until about 6:40. Some people are blessed with children who jump out of bed ready to greet the day...this is not the case with me. Everyday, we have the same scene. I try to coerce him out of bed. He sleeps on the top bunk. I'm not very tall. He knows if he moves over toward the wall, I can't reach him, so he rolls all the way to the side and goes back to sleep. I pester him to get up. He moans, he complains, he whines, he cries. It's all very ugly and by the time I actually get him out of bed, I'm so tired, I'd like to get back in mine. If he could, he would easily sleep until 8:00am each day, with one exception...

Each and every Saturday morning, while I am peacefully attempting to sleep in, he comes in at 6:30am sharp to wake ME up.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Guilty Pleasure


To most, Christmas is a magical time. The air is dripping with Peace on Earth and Good will toward men. Music reminds us that even though the storm rages outside, we are happy and content to sit by the fire and “Let it Snow”. Never mind that we don’t have time to sit by the fire or, worse yet, we don’t even have a fire. But still, hearts are warmed by the prospect of family and friends gathering, of stuffing and mashed potatoes, of the mixing scents of pine trees and sugar cookies.

To me, however, not only does the Christmas season evoke all the normal emotions and expectations, but it also drives me to a secret guilty pleasure…the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar. Even though I have made mention that, initially, I’m slightly freaked out by the sight of Starbucks’ red, holiday cups, I’m also very keenly aware that when they show up, so do the Cranberry Bliss Bars.

If you have not tried a Cranberry Bliss Bar…do it! Yes, you will have a slight cardiac arrest when you are told how much money to hand the cashier, but accordingly, you will feel your heart skip a beat when you take your first bite. It’s well worth the rip-off price they charge.

Last Wednesday, I sneaked through the Starbucks drive-through for a Caramel Macchiato and Bliss Bar. I had the bar devoured before I could get my car back to my office and before the shell shocked feeling from the price I paid could wear off. I told myself there had to be a better way. I was right. Check out the link below and enjoy!

http://www.cookingcache.com/dessert/starbuckscranberryblissbar.shtml







Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quest Perks


There are many cool things about working for a company like Quest Aircraft. Quest builds airplanes for missionary use, has a great culture and treats its employees well. Here is a picture of me after a flight in one of our planes, the Kodiak. We took a beautiful flight over Priest Lake and the surrounding mountains, landed on a grass airstrip, and re-traced our path back home. It was spectacular! My only regret is that the picture is of me on the ground and not God's beautiful creation from the sky. Happy Thanksgiving!




Friday, November 16, 2007

I Am Not a Slacker Mom

I'm a working Mom. Sometimes this is helpful to me, as I get out of things like afternoon PTA meetings that I should probably be excited about attending but am not, or like having to volunteer to take a turn manning the table at numerous bake sales and fund raisers. But other times, I feel bad about being a working Mom. I don't get to help out reading in my son's classroom. I don't get to pick him up from school, or play in the yard with him before dinner. I suppose it's a trade off, but it often makes me feel guilty and there's nothing worse than Mom guilt.

Anyway, early this week, I received a note from school in my son's backpack informing me that it is family reading month and that parents are invited to story time in the classroom on a certain day. That day was today and I just so happened to have the day off. It was finally a chance to show the teacher and the other Moms that I'm not a slacker-never-involved-in-what-my-kid-is-doing-at-school sort of Mom. I decided that even though I might prefer to sleep in (story time for the Kindergarten class is at 8:30am) there was no way that I would miss it. I wouldn't have my poor son being the only one who's Mom never showed up...

...and so I did.

...and I was the only one there.

The teacher looked shocked that anyone showed up. I guess I don't need to worry so much about being a slacker Mom.

Friday, November 09, 2007

iPod Age Limits

Family dinner time is a wonderful thing. At my house, much insight can be gained by conversations had around our old oak table. Things like, what really happened at school today and how much money got spent at Sportsman’s Warehouse today, seem to come to light over chicken casserole or spaghetti.

Last night, the conversation somehow wandered to the topic of Christmas. I know I can’t avoid it. As I shopped for my son’s Halloween costume, Elvis Presley singing Blue Christmas blared in my ears and yesterday I noticed folks coming out of Starbucks with the tell-tale “red cups” of the season, rather than the traditional white ones. Panic attacks set in if I really let my mind wander to the fact that Christmas is only a little over 6 weeks away. So it’s only natural that it has darkened the door of our dinner table conversation.

“What do you want for Christmas” I asked my husband.

“I really can’t think of anything I want or need” he answered.

We went on like this for a few minutes, both asserting that we are perfectly content and don’t need or want anything. (Which you know is a big lie and if we had money or opportunity, could come up with any number of things to buy ourselves.) At any rate, I began suggesting gifts I could buy for him. Some of them were serious and some were silly.

“I know,” my face lit up with a bright idea, “I could buy you an iPod!” It was a joke, of course, my husband still owns 8-track tapes, so there’s no way he could RIP CD’s, use iTunes, and get them on the iPod…nor does he have any interest in doing so.

But before we could discuss it further, my son started laughing and asked incredulously…“Mom, why would an old man like Dad want an iPod?”

Thursday, November 08, 2007

That Darn Rachael Ray

This just hasn't been my week. I have traced the problem back to a couple years ago when I made a cool discovery. The Food Network. It was my first exposure to Rachael Ray. I was hooked on "30 Minute Meals" in short order. Because of that, I had to go out and buy one of those cool Santoku kitchen knives that she uses. It's the only knife I own that is actually sharp and worth its salt in the kitchen. It's really sharp. I love the thing. It slices, it dices, it cleans out the fridge. Well, OK, it doesn't really clean out the fridge, but how cool would that be? But it really does slice and dice and last night, it sliced and diced my left thumb while I was chopping onions. I cut right through my fingernail in one fell swoop. Luckily it took a second for the blood to appear, so I had a chance to grab a towel. My husband was watching a war movie 15 feet away and was oblivious to the fact that that I was hemorrhaging all over the kitchen. I suppose I should have screamed louder or something.

So anyway, here I sit, trying to blog and I can't push the space bar with my left hand. I think I'm going to be severely hampered in my typing ability for a few days. It could be my own fault for doing things like walking into doors and julienning my fingernails, but personally, I'm blaming Rachael Ray.

P.S. No, Mom. I don't need any stitches. It just got me enough to be good bleeder. However, I might need to get acrylic fingernails, as my thumbnail itself is a casualty.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Home Improvement

I've been thinking about how to tell this story. There's really no graceful way. I can't think of any cute anecdotes. I can't come up with any clever openers, or middles...or endings come to think of it. So I guess I'll just spit it out.

Something's wrong with our bedroom door. When it's open, we have to keep a pair of socks or a shoe or something in front of it or slowly swings shut by itself. This morning, I removed the socks so I could shut the bedroom door and get dressed for church. Afterwards, I opened the door back up, but failed to replace the socks.

I was stepping out the door into the hallway when my husband stopped me to ask me a question. As he and I spoke, and unbeknown to me, the door swung partially back shut. I turned around and walked right into it. I was in a hurry. I was moving fast. I saw stars. My knees buckled. My husband caught me. I cried like a baby. I have a goose-egg on my head and have felt slightly concussed most of the day.

Maybe that's why I can't think of a entertaining way to tell you about this. I can't really think of anything at all, except perhaps that we should fix our bedroom door.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Oh Yeah, Halloween

Halloween kind of crept up on me this year. Actually, it does that every year, but this year was especially bad. I've been preoccupied with work and a few other projects. All day, I kept forgetting it was Halloween. My son had to remind me send him to school in his costume, my husband had to remind me to take him (son, not husband) Trick-or-Treating to Grandma's house...it just wasn't on my radar this year.

On my lunch hour I went downtown, completely oblivious to the fact that it was Halloween. I almost caused a three lane pile up craning my neck to look at some big, burly guy walking into Starbucks wearing bright pink ballet slippers and a tutu.

Oh yeah, it's Halloween. Whew. I thought I was going to have to look for a new coffee shop to hang out at.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Milk Comes from Where??

Milk is one of my favorite drinks. I love a tall, ice cold glass of milk anytime of the day. And of course, it's an essential latte ingredient. I drink a lot of milk. When I am an old lady, if I end up with calcium deficiency, it won't be for lack of drinking milk. But, the thing about me and milk is that the milk has to meet certain criteria. First, it has to be ICE cold. Secondly, I prefer skim (1% will do in a pinch), and lastly, it must be pasturized, homogonized, and processed in any and every possible way.


In a round about way, we ended up with some raw milk this week. I won't touch the stuff. I mean, The thought of it squirting, all warm and foamy, into a bucket is enough to keep me away from it. I know, you put it in the fridge and it gets cold like anything else, but then it gets that hard layer of cream on the top. How gross is that? I'm not happy about having to scoop goop off the top of my milk before I can pour a glass. You can readily tell, I'm a city girl. So I did the only respectable thing I could with the milk...I fed it to my kid.


Now my husband, who grew up on a farm, was ecstatic at the prospect of fresh milk. He made a big deal to my son about the fact that this would be the best milk he'd ever had and how it would even be better as chocolate milk. He talked it up as he retrieved the Nestle's Quick and the sugar bowl (yes, he always adds extra sugar...crazy, I know, but he insists that's the way to make proper chocolate milk)

He made a big glass of chocolate milk for my son and as he did, my son got more and more exctited, like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. As my husband sat the glass down on the table, my son could not contain his enthusiasm any longer and jumped up and exclaimed, "Wow! I've never had milk from a cow before."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Luggage Laughs

Last week, I took a business trip to Florida. It was one of those rare opportunities to mix business with pleasure (which I hope to be able to describe more in another post) so a friend traveled with me. Initially, my trip was more about business, hers was more about pleasure. I had to attend conference sessions and training labs and she had to tend to the pool, a hammock, and a novel. Because of this, I had to be a little more obsessed about my clothes. I needed to be dressed for business.

I've come to realize that carrying a hanging clothes bag, with all your shirts neatly ironed does absolutely no good in keeping those shirts looking good. So I opted to iron all my clothes and fold them as neatly as possible in my suitcase and press out the creases when I got to the hotel. I crammed everything that didn't matter into the bottom of the suitcase and then ever so gingerly arranged my shirts on the top. In hindsight, that was wasted energy.

When we checked into the flight at 6am, the ticket lady grabbed my suitcase and slung it upside down onto the luggage conveyor belt. I knew my shirts were doomed. Between flights, we happened to catch sight of our our luggage changing planes every single bag, including mine, was upside down. I'm sure the luggage guys think it's some sort of game. I'm really glad I didn't opt for the hanging bag, because I saw one of those go by and it was twisted around like one of those bread bag ties that you have to use when you lose the flat plastic one that comes with the bread.

All the way there and back each suitcase was upside down, it's like they couldn't tell that the flat part with the wheels is the bottom and the poofy part with the zipper is the top. Perhaps we should spend less time on airport security and more time properly training baggage people how to respect ironed shirts in the top of the suitcase. I could have strapped a stick of dynamite to the top of my suitcase and nobody would have ever seen it because the bag was upside down the whole trip.

I spent a lot of time ironing that week. Luckily for my friend, her swimsuit wasn't wrinkled at all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Love at the Latte Stand

I know God loves me. I've learned it in Sunday School since I was a little girl. I've sang it in songs and memorized Bible verses that tell me so. God loves me. In real life, however, it's often hard to imagine God being concerned with the daily details of my life. They seem too mundane. Why would he care if traffic was backed up and I was late for work? Does it matter to him that the bathroom sink is plugged up or that the dog threw up on the carpet? Does it move Him to compassion that my tennis elbow has flared up and I can barely move my arm or that I'm a half a cup of sugar short for the recipe I'm making? Sometimes I wonder.

The other morning, I was praying as I was commuting to work. This is a normal habit for me. "Lord," I asked, "I know your Word says you love me. Would you please demonstrate your love for me today in a tangible way? Will you do something obvious that reveals that you do, in fact, love me and care about the mundane details of my life?"

At my office, they make really bad coffee. (My apologies to anyone from work who might be reading this, but you know you can't deny it). The coffee stinks. After praying, and as I continued to drive to work, my urge to avoid having to drink the office coffee, and therefore stop at Starbucks grew. But I knew I was too late. There was no time. Maybe I could drive through one of the local coffee stands? No, that would never work. The Latte Chalet, which is right on my way, is always jammed tight with cars at ten minutes to 8:00. I was desperate...even if I was going to be late, I would brave the line.

As I came down the street, I couldn't see any cars "sticking out" of the drive through, but that doesn't mean anything, because the long line is after you turn the corner and have full view of the place. But, as I came around, I saw an amazing sight. It was 7:53 and there was not a car in sight. At first I thought the Chalet was closed, but nope. I drove right up, ordered my double latte and pulled into my office by 8:00. Now, that's the love of God if I've ever experienced it!

I'm thinking I should pray that same prayer every time I get a last minute urge for coffee, but something tells me that it doesn't really work that way...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gone But Not Forgotten

Hi, all. It’s that time again. You know, the time when I’ve terribly neglected my blog and have to come crawling back. If you’ve hung around here long, you know it happens every now and then. This time, though, I have a great excuse. Well, at least I have an excuse. I’ll sum it up in two words. Family Vacation. Yep, and when I explain, you’re sure to grant me pardon for my non-blogging time. I’ll try a new exercise and rather than describe the whole thing, I’ll give you some key phrases and you can let your imagination fill in the blanks. Here they are…


4 Day Road Trip with a 5 year old
DVD Player broken after 10 minutes of first movie
12 solid hours of “I Spy With My Little Eye…”
Snow in Yellowstone
Worms on the hotel room floor (lots of them)
Carsickness
Not a Starbucks to be found
Internet Access? What’s that?
Ticks
Full Flight, no seats together
Poison Ivy

Ok, so in reviewing my list, it seems a little unbalanced. There were also these things…

Family time sharing stories and laughs
Observing God’s beautiful creation
The Old Faithful Inn
The biggest Elk I’ve ever seen
Face to Face with a one ton Bison
Friends we haven’t seen in 10 years
Reading
Running in to friends from home while we’re 1800 miles from home. (Weird)
Seeing family we love and miss
Naps
Country cooking and eating until you cant’ stuff another bite in
5 Year Old in the cockpit of a Boeing 737
God’s safety and provision

All in all it was a great trip. I even took my laptop so I could do some blogging/writing. I did a little, but I kept pausing for a nap in between paragraphs, so somehow it never made the final cut to get posted. (That and the fact that there was no internet to be found…life is simpler in Walnut Grove, Missouri)

I’m leaving for a business trip for a week, but I promise when I get back home, I’ll get the posts rolling again. Don’t give up!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mrs. What's-Her-Name

I had an English teacher in High School that was crazy. Really. She was certifiable and everyone knew it. I won’t mention her name for the sheer fact that I know there are readers of this blog that went to high school with me. Even though I’d like to prove a point, it’s not my intention to defame anyone. Anyway, she was nuts and it was rumored that one rainy day, because she couldn’t find a parking spot in the teacher’s lot, she left her car running in a loading zone in front of the school office, went inside, taught first period, then returned and moved her car. The more intense rumors even added that she left the driver’s door open.

I just returned to my office from being away for lunch. It is raining VERY hard. I drove up to the front of the parking lot, near the entrance to my building looking for a parking spot. Rats. The lot was full. The only space was REALLY far away. Did I mention it was raining HARD? For a minute or two I considered Mrs. What’s-her-name and eyed the loading zone space right in front of the building. Maybe she wasn’t so crazy after all. As a matter of fact, maybe I’m the one who’s becoming a little loopy. As the rain pelted me in the head as I left Walmart (that’s where I was during my lunch hour…what a charmed life I lead.), I saw a lady with one of those plastic rain bonnet things. My first thought was, “I sure miss my Grandma.” My second thought was, “Maybe I should get one of those.” My third thought was, “Maybe I should get a lobotomy for even having that thought.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Meltdown

The other night, I had a meltdown. I do this occasionally and, if truth be told, I've probably had a few since the one I'm actually referring to. As it does for all of us, every now and then, my life just seems to overtake me. It kidnaps me and runs away with me. I kick and scream, but I'm powerless to make it stop.

While life is dragging me in directions I definitely do not want to go, I'm still trying to accomplish and do and finish and take care of everything that has to be done or seems to be important at the time. Struggling and doing. It's exhausting. Thus, my meltdown.

I’ve been striving to not let this happen in my life, to draw boundaries, to focus on what is important, but sometimes, in the midst of a full life, I fail miserably.

When life overtakes me, it often makes me feel like everything is meaningless. Rather than being my "reasonable acts of worship", my days become drudgery and I question whether anything I do really makes a difference. Is anyone impacted by the things I do? Does anyone care? Does God?

This morning I was pondering all this and God brought to mind the scripture “we are created in Christ to do good works that God prepared in advance for us to do.” I remembered the phrase clearly, but couldn't remember the reference. I looked it up and found it in Ephesians. Ah, very familiar territory. That verse comes right after Ephesians 2:8-9.

I've known that verse for 25 years. I learned it when I was in second grade in AWANA club at church. "It is by Grace I have been saved….not by works so that I can't boast". (obviously the Cari Johnson paraphrase version)

What a comfort from a verse I have known and rattled off most of my life. I have been saved by Grace, nothing I can do can change that (of course I know that , but a reminder is nice now and then, especially when you’ve lost sight of the path you are supposed to be walking on). God does not love me more, the more I do. He does not love me less because I don't finish my to-do list. He always gives grace.

And in addition to that Grace….God has prepared good works for me to do. What I do in my life is not meaningless, He has called me and I am part of his plan to accomplish HIS master to-do list. What I do matters to God. He has given me works to do and they are GOOD works. He prepared them for ME to do. After 30 years of Christianity, God's grace is still amazing!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's just a phase...

My son has been going through a phase. So far, his life has been full of phases and I'm sure that the rest of his life will be as well. Thankfully, just as I begin to think, "I cannot deal with this phase anymore!", it passes and we're on to something new.

For sometime, we were dealing with the issue of him sitting down to the dinner table and immediately declaring his hatred for what I had cooked. Things like "Ew, this is gross" "I hate this stuff" and "Oh man, I really wanted mac and cheese tonight" were characteristic of our times around the dinner table.

Now, I have the full capacity to understand that he is 5. But, for some strange reason, every now and then, those comments really bother me. I mean, come on, I get up early do laundry around here, work all day, come through the door, drop my bags, and literally go straight to the fridge to start dinner. I make a concerted effort to see that, in spite of our busy schedules, we eat a decent dinner and we eat it together. The last thing I want is for someone to take one look at it and proclaim it to be gross.

Thankfully, I think we're passing through this phase. There have even been a few times lately where I've heard, "Mom, this is good!". Alrighty, that's more like it!

But God has a way of keeping us humble. A few nights ago, I was cooking. My son was setting the table (he's starting to come in handy...I can't wait until he's tall enough to reach the knobs on the washer and dryer), and my husband was outside working.

I called my husband in for dinner a he (yes, the pastor) came through the front door, made a face I rarely see, and asked, "What in the world is that disgusting smell?"

My son said, "Daddy should be nicer about your dinners."

"It's okay", I told him. "It's just a phase."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Manly Massages

The other day as I passed by a set of cubicles at work, I overheard a conversation going on. Two of my male co-workers were having a lively discussion on whether or not men should get massages.

"Real men don't get massages!" I heard one of them emphatically say.

I had to laugh, as his statement rang through my ears...

Only a couple months prior to that my husband came to pick me up from getting my hair cut. I was running late and he was forced to sit and wait. There happens to be a massage therapist who works there. She gave him a 5 minute freebie neck massage.

In 6 minutes he had paid every dollar on him and was lying on the massage table. I think he would beg to differ with my co-worker.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mom Guilt

If there's one thing that gets me every time, it's "Mom Guilt". I think all you mothers out there know exactly what I'm talking about. Mom Guilt makes you do crazy things. Mom Guilt is what makes me let my son sleep with me, knowing good and well it means that only one of us will sleep. Mom Guilt is what makes me buy unneeded gifts because somehow I think it will make up for the fact that work has been demanding and dinners have been pathetic. It reminds me that I missed the sign-ups for T-ball AND swim lessons. If Satan is going to really take a deep dig at me, one of his likely tools is Mom Guilt.

Usually, I'll do just about anything to squelch that Mom Guilt feeling. Most recently, my Mom Guilt took me for a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl at our local amusement park. Now, some of you know that I have a slight issue with my blood pressure that causes me to have lightheaded/dizzy spells. Let me give you a small piece of advice...if you are a woman who struggles with dizziness, the Tilt-a-Whirl is not a place you should be.

Last year my son went to the amusement park with my parents and my brother and his family. He would only ride the carousel with my brother hanging on to him and then, only on one of the horses that did not go up and down. He was also coerced onto the kiddie roller coaster (which is really just a train that goes round and round) by my Mom. That was it. No other rides. No little cars, airplanes, or anything else that moved.

This year, we were with some friends with a couple of older kids. The first ride they wanted to go on was the Tilt-a-Whirl. My son jumped into the line with them. Knowing his reaction last year, I was a little worried so I said I'd go too. Big mistake....I'll let you do your own math. Let's just say that he loved it and I soon realized that I should NOT be on that thing.

So the day wore on and we rode every conceivable ride. We had a fantastic time and as it was coming to a close, the kids wanted to ride the Tilt-a-Whirl one more time. No problem. I knew he went before, so he would be fine now. I sent him into the line and sat down on a bench to watch. However, the ride attendant pulled out his measuring stick and he was too short to ride without an adult. I swore I would not get back on that thing. No way, no how. There was no force that could make me endure 3.8 minutes of that again. No force, save one...you guessed it Mom Guilt.



Monday, September 03, 2007

Kindergarten Eve

Well, it's done. The crayons, glue sticks, and colored pencils have been purchased. The gym shoes (yes, gym shoes for Kindergartners) have been labeled on each tongue with my son's name. The new school clothes have been laid out and the backpack is packed and sitting by the front door. Tomorrow is the first day of Kindergarten. He is ecstatic. Me...not so much.

My husband and I have always been of the opinion that it's good for Christian kids to go to public school. School is where they learn to socialize and become adept at interacting with others. It's where, for Christian kids, they learn to evangelize, to share Christ with their friends and be a witness in their little world. School is where they learn to make decisions and judgement calls on what is right and what is wrong and begin to have their own convictions on how to act. It is a natural preparation for the life they will have to live later on. It has always sounded perfectly reasonable to me.

That's the opinion we've always had...that is, until recently. Suddenly, I am becoming a huge home school proponent. I pass by 2 different elementary schools on my way to work each morning. Day after day I drive by at exactly 20 miles per hour (of course). At 20 mph, you can see a lot happen and it didn't take me long to come to the decision that I would never send my son to school. Ever. Ever.

But, here we are... Kindergarten Eve. The house is quiet. He is in bed and tomorrow morning I will drive him to school and see if I can put my own convictions into practice to help him develop his. It seems much easier when you are theorizing and using other people's kids as your experiment. It's quite different to send your own out.

A couple weeks ago we were driving home and he had been pretty quiet in the backseat. Finally, he piped up and said, "Mommy, I'm sad because I never get to tell people about Jesus."

"You can tell anyone about Jesus." I told him.

"Yeah, I know, but all my friends already know about him. I need to tell someone else."

I think he's going to do just fine in school.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Rule Follower

I answered a recent challenge on Writer Mama's Blog to write a short bit about whether I am a rule-breaker or a rule-follower. If you're interested, here was my response....




Fear and insecurity are great motivators. As women and, I would assume if you’re posting here, moms, I think we (and by we, I mean me) are often a little hesitant to step outside whatever we think the norm is. In my opinion, that’s why when we go to a restaurant with friends, we ask everyone at the table what they are going to order. Fear and insecurity, even in subtle tones motivate us to do so. What if what I’m doing doesn’t jive with what everyone else is doing? What if I want steak and they are all having salad?

Because I’m a new writer, the same principles seem to carry over into my writing. I ask myself what is and isn’t the norm. How does everyone else do it? What is everyone else having for lunch?

This forces me to be a rule-keeper, at least the ones I know and understand in the world of writing and blogging. It doesn’t help that since I was young, the thoughts of getting caught doing something wrong mortified me. (There’s that fear thing again.) Even now, I do my best to keep the rules for fear that someone will think badly of me. I always wear my seat belt because I know for sure if I didn’t, and I died in a car accident, our small town newspaper would read, “The victim was not wearing a seatbelt.”

I know, you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t know who this girl is, but she is in serious need of therapy.”

You’re correct and I have an appointment next Thursday.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Praying the Slots

As a Christian, I have certain convictions about what may or may not be appropriate behaviors for myself. I believe that we all have a responsibility to look hard into our relationship with God and decide how he is calling us to live. What might be appropriate for you may not be for me. What might seem legalistic to you, might be a dearly held conviction to me. It's not for us to judge one another, but to obey the call to live holy lives, imitating Christ while we draw near to him.

OK, that being said, I'm not really the type of person who feels compelled to gamble. I would much rather take my money to Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond or Barnes & Noble than feed it to a slot machine. I'm too much of a tightwad. However, my Mother-in-Law is an antique dealer and happens to have an antique slot machine in her living room. It's very cool and the family, myself included, plunks quarters into it whenever we wander into her house.

The other day, I pulled a quarter out of my purse and gave the slot a pull. I won five quarters. Of course, when the coins hit the metal dispenser, everyone in the room knows you've won something and if there are any around, all the kids come running up and ask for a portion of your winnings (which they proceed to put back in the machine and lose...so much for your profit. Hence, my earlier statement that I'd rather go shopping) Anyway, my son comes running over and begs for a quarter, which I give him, and he puts back in the machine. But he doesn't immediately pull the handle. He's just standing there looking at it.

"Pull it." I say.

"Wait," he says, "I'm not ready."

"Why aren't you ready? What are you waiting for?"

"Please, God let me win! Please, God let me win. Please, God let me win! Okay, Mom, now I'm ready!"

Friday, August 24, 2007

As Unto The Lord

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…it is the Lord Christ you are serving.” - Colossians 3:23-24 NIV


I started this blog for fun. I still write this blog for fun. Any article I’ve ever read on the topic of “Blogging for Dollars” completely eludes me. Believe me, I have a job and this ain’t it. This is my hobby. I completely enjoy letting the writer in me peek her head out of her shell. She’s been in there a long time…since high school creative writing class with Mr. “Dimple” Dan Clark, who has the biggest cleft in his chin I’ve ever seen on a real person…since a summer day in 1983 when I tortured and provoked my little brother and we were both sent to our rooms for the day and I spent the hours writing a story to pass the time…since third grade when I won runner up in the Young Author’s competition at my elementary school. I hadn’t really stopped to think about it in a long time, but it came to me last year and whopped me upside the head just like the two by fours we were using to build our new house. I really like to write. I can hide behind my computer screen and pour the words out without facing anyone. It’s both liberating (I can say whatever I want) and terrifying (what if someone reads it?).

A couple weeks ago in church, my husband mentioned from the pulpit that I have a blog. He said it was great and that people should check it out. It was terribly embarrassing, yet very sweet because he knows how much I enjoy writing and wants to encourage me to not let that inner writer go back into her shell for another 20 years.

However, I noticed that after he made that announcement, I suddenly felt the covert pressures of quantity and quality. I had better blog something good, and I better do it often. It’s so like me to immediately go there. Darlene Schacht, who is the founder and editor of Christian Women Online Magazine, described the pressure to blog like this, “I feel like I’m dating all of you and if I don’t phone every day, you will break up with me.” If I were “Blogging for Dollars” maybe those pressures would be real, but that’s definitely not the case here. The more I thought about it, the sillier it seemed.

Even though I usually write stories of everyday life that don’t always appear overly spiritual, (or spiritual at all, for that matter), my main desire is to write for Him…the One who gives me that daily life and sustains me through it. So, even though I write this blog for fun, I also write it as an act of worship. I’m humbled if someone takes the time to stop by and read, and I hope by getting a glimpse into my little life, you can see that you are not alone in yours. We both have a friend who is closer than a brother, a counselor to be with us forever, and He is the one we live and work for.

So whatever I write and do in my life and whatever you do in yours, may it be as unto the Lord.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tech Troubles

My internet is down. I know, you’re asking, “If your internet is down, how can I be reading this?” I’m a computer person. I know these things. Trust me. It’s down. I have a service called Wild Blue. It’s a satellite service and I’ve heard other customers complaining that when the weather is bad, the satellite signal is lost. Up until this time, I really didn’t believe them, nor did I care much. (It’s funny how things really don’t become important to you until they affect you personally.) I’ve been hooked up with Wild Blue since early spring and have gone through summer with reasonably little trouble. Tonight, though, we’ve had a change in the weather. The sky is dark and tumultuous, it’s been raining off and on all day, and apparently the Wild Blue satellite is not happy about it. I, in turn, am not happy about the satellite being unhappy. My internet is down.

My family spent the weekend in Seattle watching the Mariners play and tromping around the Woodland Park Zoo. We saw amazing animals, stood in awe at the size and magnitude of Safeco Field, shared funny moments and each other’s company. We laughed at the penguins, cheered so loud our voices hurt, and ate french fries with so much garlic on them that I can still taste it and everyone around me can probably still smell it. We paid five bucks for diet Pepsi and 25 bucks to park our car. We got three Raul Ibanez bobble-head dolls, a keychain with my son’s name on it and a Mariner flag for his bedroom wall. He got to pet a millipede from Africa that was the size of a snake (I wouldn’t touch the thing) and watch a hippo open his mouth so wide he could’ve fit right inside and I really wanted to tell you all about it, but…um, my internet is down

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Shopping Discriminations

I like to shop. I guess I come by it naturally, because when I was a kid I can remember my Mom letting me skip school to go on shopping trips with her. I also remember cutting a day of school during my Jr. year of high school to go to the grand opening of the mall where I lived. That one, my Mom didn’t know about. However, when I showed up at home wearing a “Grand-opening-of-the-mall” T-shirt, I think she began to suspect something had gone on.

Yesterday, I did some “Back to School” shopping. I suppose actually, it should be called “Going to School” shopping because my son is just starting school this year. He did attend pre-school last year, but this is his first real year of required lists of school supplies, new school clothes and shoes, figuring out bus schedules, etc… By the way, I’m having a complete meltdown over this, so you can expect a tear stained blog entry after the first day of school.

Anyway, because I fancy myself a bit of a shopping aficionado, it’s taken some getting used to for me to come to the realization, that sometimes when I leave JC Penney’s, there will be nothing in the bag for me. Bummer. Yesterday I had a coupon for $10 off any purchase of $10 or more. I love that coupon! How can you get any better than that? So I ran to Penney’s on my lunch hour to spend my money. The coupon expires on Saturday and I won’t be home, so I figured I better get spending if I’m to do any saving.

I decided I better be a good mom and look at some clothes for my son. He needs some new things for school. I wandered to the kids department at the back of the store. As I passed through the girls section, there was an ocean of girl clothes. Rack upon rack of cute little jeans, any sort of shirt you could possibly want (some I’d love to have should they make a much larger size!), there were winter coats, sweatshirts, you name it, they had it. Then I entered the boys section… There were two racks of shirts and a small shelf with some jeans in completely picked over sizes. Yes, you heard me TWO racks of shirts. What is up with that?? My choices were Lightning McQueen T-shirts (we already have an abundance of those) or polo shirts in strange colors. How am I supposed to work with that?

If I’m expected to Back to School shop for the next 12 years, the Penney’s in my town is going to have to make great strides in improving their boys department…either that or I’m going to have to cut work and take a shopping trip.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pride Goeth Before A Pasting

Toothpaste seems to be my arch enemy the past few mornings. Yesterday, I was running late. Well, I wasn’t actually late, but I was afraid I was going to be, so I was rushing. It was about 7:00am and I had been up since a little after 5:00 (Gee, what a virtuous woman) I only add that so you understand that it was perfectly normal that I had already had several cups of coffee and it was a slight possibility that my hands were shaking (only a little. I promise.) So, I was brushing my teeth with my electric toothbrush, which is the last step of my “getting ready” routine, and somehow, it just jumped out of my hand. It was still powered on, so my bright blue Crest gel was launched all around the bathroom, including all over me. Naturally, I was wearing white.

This morning, however, was a little different. Again, I was all ready for work and brushing my teeth. But while I was brushing, I was admiring my hair in the mirror. Yes, you heard me right. I was admiring myself. You see, when you have naturally wavy hair that has a mind of its own, it’s rare that you have a hair day that you are happy with. Today was exceptionally good, if I do say so myself. And, I was…saying so…to myself, I mean. So, yes, I was thinking something along the lines of, “Girlfriend, you are lookin’ good today”. In hindsight, this was not a bright idea. As a matter of fact, as I stood there and admired and brushed, and just about the time it was dawning on me that I was acting a little prideful, a huge drip of toothpaste and spit went rolling right down the front of my shirt. It was totally disgusting. Any previous thoughts I had about how great I looked were immediately eradicated. Pride problem solved…at least for today.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Filthy Feet

My family and I recently attended "Family Camp " for our church. The weather was hot and everyone spent the weekend in shorts, T-shirts, and sandals or flip flops. I brought jeans and sweatshirts and they never even came close to making an appearance. They were thrust to the bottom of the suitcase or the back of the closet in our little travel trailer.

Each night before we climbed into bed, I had to scrub my son's feet down because they were caked with the dirt, grime, and black sandal residue that comes from spending countless hours running around in hot, sweaty sandals, barefooted, or a combination of both. Talk about disgusting. But, as I silently observed, I noticed many others with black, yucky feet. Kids, men, and yes, even...women. Eew. Upon further examination, my own feet didn't look so great either.

This got me to thinking about Jesus demonstrating servanthood and washing the disciples feet. Of course, this is a story and principle about Christ that I have heard since I was young. However, I always tended to think that, sure, the disciples must've had some dust on their little piggies, but it wasn't that bad of a job. I took the meaning to be more in the imagery of the act of servanthood, than the fact that the feet needed washing. I mean, come on, I've changed some diapers that required a full body HAZMAT suit. Feet can't be that bad. But after seeing the Family Camp feet I know that they were that bad. I don't even like to wash my own son's stinky, dirty feet, let alone another full grown human being, but Christ stooped down as an example to us of how to serve, and not just a token example, but a "need-to-scrub-between-the-toes" example.

I have a new appreciation for the fact that the King of Creation would kneel down to wash feet. My feet or yours...if we had been there. Next time I'm called to do a distasteful task, I will remember the feet and the example Jesus set for me.

Monday, August 06, 2007

FeedBurner Update

Good Monday Morning! After some checks this weekend, it looks like FeedBurner is working. That means that, if you'd like, the "subscribe" links on the right, will keep you updated on with new posts. Please leave comments if things don't seem to be working correctly (or even if they do, I'd love to hear that, too.)

Also, I've changed the address of this blog to http://marriedtothepastor.blogspot.com, so if you have it bookmarked, please update your bookmarks. For those of you that arrive here via www.carijohnson.com, you shouldn't notice any difference. Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 03, 2007

FeedBurner

I'm sure you've noticed that every now and then the color scheme and theme of my blog change. There's a couple of reasons for that. The first one is that I get bored easily, but the second one is probably closer to the real reason. I have this great idea of what I would like my blog to look like, but I'm definitely not a web designer, so I'm forced to use the canned blogger templates that are offered. Every now and then I look through the collection of templates, hoping that I will find something that resembles the idea in my head. I haven't found it yet, but in the midst of my searching, I usually find something new to try for awhile. If anyone reading this can design custom blog templates...please contact me!!

You'll also see on the right hand side of the page there are two new links you can click on. I've signed up with Feedburner, which is a service that let's you subscribe to my blog and get posts delivered to your email or your "Feed Reader". Check out either link to see what it's all about.
P.S. I'm using this post to make sure the subcription features are working. Don't worry...if they're not, I'll post an update.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tick Me Off Tipping

I've mentioned my love/hate relationship with Starbucks before. My love for coffee drives me there, but I'm often annoyed at the price I pay for my addiction. Okay, addiction sounds a little strong...let's not call it that. Let's change that to "passion".

Not long ago, we got a second Starbucks in town, and this one has a drive up window. Now, my love for coffee really does drive me there. So the other afternoon, I drove through and ordered a latte. My drink was $2.86. I drove up to the window. The lady handed me my drink. So far, pretty standard procedure. Now, I hate tipping for a $3.00 cup of coffee, but of course I will often play their game and give them the 3 bucks, letting them keep the extra change. However, this lady takes my money, tells me thank you, shuts the drive up window and walks away!

Oooh, that really frosts me. If I'm going to give someone a 14 cent tip, I want to do it of my own accord, not because they assumed I would. I'm really mad and threatening to not go back, but who are we kidding here? Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to justify my next drive to Starbucks and this time I don't mean justify in the "text-alignment" sense.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Life Is Straight Again

Yippee! I found the justification toolbar again in Blogger. The irony is that this post won't be long enough to justify.

If you're confused, read the post below.

It's a Jungle Out There

I really don't watch that much TV. My life makes far too many demands on my time to afford the luxury of sitting down in front of a big box to observe the lives and stories of others. But, when I do carve out some time, one of the things you'd be most likely to catch me watching would be "Monk". I love Monk. I didn't discover this show until a couple of years ago and now, we don't even get the channel that it shows on, so I download the episodes from iTunes. (Sometimes it's great to be a geek.)

Monk is obsessive compulsive. He likes things neat. He likes things straight and even. Just like me. I totally get this guy. I like things straight and even. Symmetry is a major comforting factor in my life.

So when you visit my blog and scan down the main page, you'll notice that the older posts are fully justified. I mean justified in the "text-alignment" sense, not the "I-have-good-reason-to-be-writing-this" sense.

But recently, the text justification buttons on the Blogger toolbar, which determine if text is centered, left or right or fully justified, have disappeared. My world is askew. My posts are out of alignment. The left side is straight, but the right side is jagged. This is bothering me immensely! Not only is it displeasing to the eye, but it means that I'm going to have to go to the extra work of figuring out how to manually edit the webpage code to line it up...time that could be much better spent watching Monk. You'll know right away by my next post if I figured it out or not.

It's a jungle out there.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Who's Kid is That Anyway?

I can accept the fact that once in awhile strange things happen. Computers crash for no apparent reason, doors are open when you swear you closed them, the car keys aren't there and know for sure that's where you put them, etc, etc... But when something happens twice you have to ask yourself why? What's going on? This is more than coincidence... it's a pattern. Hmmmmm. Very interesting. Will it continue to happen?

For the past two nights in a row, I have experienced something that makes me ask such questions. Pertinent to this post is the fact that I love ice cream. It truly boggles my mind how some people only eat ice cream once in awhile, like as a treat or something. For me, ice cream is a staple. Bread, milk, flour, eggs... ice cream. It's NEVER not on my grocery list. I try to choose the low fat or sugar free varieties because of the quantities I consume, but either way, I eat ice cream EVERY night.

So, like I said, the past two nights, I'm dishing up a big bowl of ice cream for myself. Well, actually, it's a fat free, sugar free chocolate Blue Bunny bar. Actually really yummy and fulfils my ice cream needs without turning me into a size 42. (My husband always tosses in the obligitory "How-can-you-eat-that-junk-it's-not-really-ice-cream") But that's not the point...

I ask my son, "Honey, do you want me do dish you up a bowl of ice cream? We have vanilla and some chocolate syrup."

His reply comes back, "Mom...can't I just have an orange or a banana?"

"Scuze me? A what?"

I was stunned but quickly gave him an orange with the wonderful realization that there's more ice cream in the house for me. If anyone has any used clothes in a size 42, please pass them my way!

Monday, July 23, 2007

One Of Those Nights

Last night was one of those nights. No sleep. You know the ones... no real reason, just a series of events that keep you from the sound night's sleep you were hoping for.

For me, I was a little late getting to bed. My son was still up and needed just one more kiss (about 3 times). Then, "Oops..tomorrow is Monday, I better make sure I have an ironed shirt for work." Then a few more things like that before I could actually get myself into my bed. As I lay there unable to doze off, it occurred to me that perhaps that double latte I had late in the afternoon was not such a great idea, although it seemed like a spectacular one at the time.

After finally just falling off to sleep, my husband, who couldn't sleep either, (lucky for me, his cure for insomnia is doing the dishes)came back to bed. But he was still tossing and turning, so I found myself awake again. This went one for hours...awake, slightly asleep, just getting really asleep, awake again. It was a vicious cycle. Toss in a son with a wet bed at 2am and a hurting foot at 2:30am and you can begin to get the full picture. All the while I'm looking at the clock thinking, "I only have X number of hours left to sleep until my alarm goes off."

This morning I opened my Bible to Psalm 62 and read the first verse:

"My soul finds rest in God alone
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken"

Then again in verse 5

"Find rest O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him."

When David wrote these verses he was dealing with larger issues than a poor night's sleep. Thank goodness that's not the case with me today. But the truth is still there for me to read and be encouraged by. So this morning, while the rest of my family sleeps in peacefully, I will find my rest in God.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

You Call That Dinner?

I really like to cook. I'd been doing quite a bit of it, but after adding extra hours working each week, my dinner menus have gone drastically downhill. (that's an understatement). I also like watching the Food Network. They make it look so easy and tasty, that it always makes me want to grab my santoku knife, julienne some veggies, and magically make some incredible meal appear.

Because it's summer, I've been spending a lot of time outside doing other things rather than watching TV. But this evening, after spending the afternoon at the lake, I came home to our 90 degree house, plopped down in my favorite chair, pointed the fan at myself and turned on "The Next Food Network Star". It made me feel a loss for the time I have NOT spent cooking. It really is rather easy to put a decent meal on the table, rather than end up at the Golden Arches three nights a week. (OK, I really haven't slipped THAT far yet).

Anyway, as on my television, they made grilled fish with saffron and butter cream sauce and grilled sugar glazed asparagus, I had to think twice about the microwaved Costco dog I was eating. Here's to better days of cooking ahead!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Voice of God

How does God speak to me? It’s definitely not in an audible, booming voice coming down from heaven, like you see on TV or read about in the Old Testament, although that would sure be cool.

I’m one of those “One-Track-Mind” sort of people. I get something in my head and it’s very difficult for me to rid myself of the thought until I act on it. Like when I decide I want to purchase something. I think about it non-stop until I actually go out and buy it. Good examples are my Espresso Machine, my iPod, and my laptop. It drives my husband absolutely insane. I’ll talk about it until I’m blue in the face and ask him a million times, “Do you think I should do it?” until finally he gets fed up and says, “Just go buy the darn thing!!” Admittedly, this has worked to my advantage in several situations. (See Java 4 Me).

Lately, I’ve been pondering a new ministry/hobby. It’s a stretch for me, a little out of my comfort zone. I keep talking myself out of it. It’s too time consuming, I’m not the right person for the job, I’m not gifted enough, people will laugh at me…on and on. But for some reason, I can’t get this thing out of my head. I feel compelled to do it, even though I’m pretty sure I CAN’T do it.

So I return to my question about how God speaks to me? I woke up this morning thinking about this thing. Literally, the first conscious thought that popped into my head. I went out for a walk and prayed, “God, what do you want me to do?” At the same time I’m praying, I’m thinking about the fact that maybe the reason it’s on my mind is because GOD is laying it on my heart. But it’s difficult to discern my own obsessive-compulsive thought patterns from God nudging me. So because I’m thinking about it, does that indicate that God is speaking about it? I’m not sure, but I am sure that others must struggle with the same questions.

The one thing I do know, is that God is faithful to speak through His word and through quiet times of reflection between the two of us. So for now I will continue to pray and listen and a request that you would pray with me for wisdom and open ears to hear God speak (even if it is in a wee small voice).

Friday, July 13, 2007

God Knows....

...when we need a good laugh. Like much of the Northwest, it's been HOT where I live. Most of you know we built a new house last year. I love it. It's beautiful. No complaints. OK, one small complaint. We don't have an airconditioner...yet. We plan on it, but you know how things go. You get busy, you forget, you run out of money...whatever the reason, it just hasn't happened yet. Temperature in our living room and kitchen has been hovering around 90. Yikes!

Needless to say, after a hard day working, coming home to a 90 degree house, cooking dinner and doing the normal routine, we have all been slightly cranky. Husband yells at me, I yell at son, son yells at dog...poor dog, he's the bottom of the food chain at our house. Anyway, the point is, we are hot and cranky.

Last night we all head down to the basement, which is nice and cool and flop on the couch to watch TV. Did I mention we are all a little cranky? Nobody is smiling, everyone is tired, we have no enthusiasm. (except possibly the one of us that is 5 years old). We flip on the TV and "I Love Lucy" comes on.

Not just any "I Love Lucy", but the critically acclaimed "Vitameatavegemin" episode. Within minutes, we are all hysterical. We can't stop laughing. I understand the argument of not laughing at drunkenness because it's sin and sin is not a laughing matter. And usually, I'm all about that argument, however, come on, it's I Love Lucy...besides she didn't know the Vitameatavegemin contained 23% alcohol.

The point is, we laughed our heads off and then it was getting late and time for bed, so we headed back up into the heat and resumed yelling at each other. All in all, not a bad night.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In The Blink of an Eye...

...my son went from this...











...to this.


I don't know whether to applaud or cry or run to Wal-mart and buy knee pads! I suppose a little of all three.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dating

My Mom and I were talking about my cousin and his wife being out on a “date”.

“What’s a date?” My son asked.

“It’s when you go out to eat or something so you can spend some time together.” My Mom explained. “Someday you’ll go out on a date...maybe with Sally or Jenny.” (names have been changed to protect the innocent).

“Oh.” My son looked unenthusiastic and there was a long pause as the little wheels turned inside his head. “Or,” he stated triumphantly, once the answer came to him, “I could go with Johnny!” (his best friend in the whole, wide world).

“Well, Sweetie,” I explained, “A date is when a boy and a girl go out together, not two boys.”

“Oh.” He said again. (another long pause) “Well, what do you call it when two boys go out?”

“Wrong.” I said.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Storm

Yesterday we had a storm. It’s not unusual to have a summer thunderstorm blow through, but this was not a usual summer thunderstorm. At 5:00pm, I stepped out the front doors of my office building and directly above me was clear, blue sky. But as I looked to my left, I saw an ominous black cloud. No, it was more than a cloud; it was a whole jet black sky.

I turned left out of the driveway and headed toward downtown. The road is long and straight and lined with tall pine trees. The first thing I noticed was that not far down the road dust was blowing so thick you couldn't see the car in front of you. The second thing I noticed was that the song I was jamming to on the radio was interrupted by the national weather service advising everyone to get inside and take cover because of severe lightning storms and wind. The third thing I noticed was a large chunk of a pine tree branch landing on my windshield. OK, so the radio guy wasn't kidding.

I was supposed to meet my husband and some friends in town for dinner. I picked up my cell and called to see if he was on the way and if the storm was raging at our house like it was where I was in town. He answered his phone, but it was a short conversation, “…trying to get there…trees in the road…sawing out…”

That was it and then the cell phones went dead. As I drove through town toward the restaurant, I tried to choose the streets with the fewest trees. Branches, limbs and debris were everywhere and traffic was like something you’d see in a sci-fi movie where everyone is panicking to get out of town before the aliens get them. I could hear sirens going in different directions. I suddenly felt very prayerful.

The wind was incredible. I don’t know how fast it was blowing, but it was snapping trees like they were made of straw. I had never seen anything like this before. The only word I could think of was powerful. Really powerful. While I watched the trees coming down around me, I suddenly felt very small.

In I Kings 19:11, the Bible says that a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord. Judging by what I was seeing, that must have been some wind. The current wind was turning Ponderosa Pines into toothpicks. I can’t even image a wind that could tear mountains apart and shatter rocks. It made me think of God’s awesome power and what it would really be like if He chose to unleash that power. I suddenly felt very thankful.

I made it to the restaurant parking lot, opted for a space as far away from trees as I could get, ran for the front doors, and waited. Shortly after, my husband, son, and our friends arrived. We sat together and each recounted the tales of our respective trips to the restaurant. I suddenly felt very hungry!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Rumor Mill

When you live in a small town, even the most insignificant things can excite you. Wow, a new stoplight!! Yippee, they repainted the lines on the highway!! Hooray, the lawnmower drill team will be performing in the 4th of July parade!! You get the idea. However, every so often something truly spectacular really does happen. The addition of Starbucks and Walmart to our little town is a prime example. Well, the rumor mill has been really been churning the past week. It started when my husband and I were having lunch in the diner. I was sitting near the cash register and as someone came up to pay their bill, I over heard the word Costco. I gave my husband the "Shut up, NOW!" hand signal so I could listen in. Unfortunately, he does not know what the "Shut up, NOW!" hand signal is, so he continued to talk. But I did my best to tune him out (comes pretty naturally) and I was certain I heard "Costco...edge of town..." Oooh, this could be huge, I thought. Now you must know that our town is infamous for thinking certain business establishments are coming and then never having them show up. Because of this, I put the Costco thing out of my mind.

Two days later, my husband came home and said the Costco rep has been in town frequenting our larger businesses attempting to get people signed up for memberships. Ah-ha! Confirmation! I'm still skeptical, but I'm holding on tight to my wallet, because if Costco does show up here, I could end up very broke. All I need is a Target and an Olive Garden and I would never have to leave town again.

If you read this and live in my area (You know who you are), you are under obligation to divulge any information you have regarding this issue!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Laundry Laments

Sometimes my husband does laundry. Sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes, not so good. (I know, you're thinking that's so sweet of him...and yes, it is) However, there are a few issues that need to be brought to light. First of all, he is under the misconception that EVERYTHING we own is color fast. That's his favorite laundry term. "Don't worry, Honey", he tells me. "It's colorfast. Washing it with your white jeans won't hurt anything." He also believes that dryer sheets are of the devil. At least that's what I think he believes due to the fact that no matter how much I beg, he will not put one in the dryer. "We don't need dryer sheets." He informs me, "They don't even do anything and they make the clothes stink." (By "stink" he means, "smell clean and fresh") Meanwhile, I'm at work pulling wayward socks out of my shirt sleeves...very embarrassing, especially if I discover the sock during an important meeting.

On the other hand, sometimes I have no one to blame but myself for the laundry problems in our house. Darn...I hate it when that happens. Like earlier this week, for example. We returned from a weekend out of town and I had several loads to wash. I decided to maximize my efforts and do one load that had all, or at least most, of my husbands shirts that he wears for work. My reason for doing this was completely selfish...if all the shirts are in one load, then if I can get that load out of the dryer in a timely fashion, I save myself from having to iron. Thus went my reasoning. I will mention, however, that all the shirts are in the same color range, so I wasn't violating my earlier statements on whether or not things are colorfast. So, I checked pockets, as is my habit, threw everything in and went on my merry way.

Note to self: in this new era of cargo shorts and pants, make sure you check every pocket.

My son had put a tube of cherry chapstick in the cargo pocket (I think) of his camo, cargo shorts. I didn't know it was there. I missed that pocket. But I sure knew it was there when I pulled the clothes from the dryer. In one fell swoop, I ruined almost every shirt in my husbands wardrobe, not to mention my favorite capri pants and the camo cargo shorts. I tried to blame my son...hard to do since he's five. I tried to blame my husband...couldn't really find a way to pin it on him, so I'm left holding the bag or should I say holding the laundry basket of red spotted clothes. Maybe it's not so bad to let him do the laundry after all...at least I have someone to blame when things that aren't supposed to be, turn out red.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Virtuous Woman

"Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips." Proverbs 27:2

Sometimes I do good things. Less often, I do great things. Either way, I'm smart enough to know that it's not really a great practice to brag on yourself, so usually, when I do something that I consider to be noteworthy, I will find a way to casually work it into the conversation. Come on now, you know you do the same thing... When talking to one of your girlfriends you say, "Oh, I forgot to tell you, when I was volunteering at the nursing home last week, I ran into so-and-so." You make it seem like the point was that you ran into a mutual friend, but in actuality, you want to make sure that she knows that you volunteered at the nursing home.

This morning when I was on my treadmill at 5:30am (did you notice how I slipped that in there?), I turned on the TV and put on my wireless headphones. (my addiction to electronic gadgets will have to be the topic of another post, but they really are cool.) In my old age, I can’t hear the TV over the treadmill unless I turn it up REALLY loud, so I can use the headphones in order to not wake up the whole house. After all, it is only 5:30am (see there it is again?) I was looking for something to distract me as I “did my time”.

Here’s Cari’s tip of the day… There is NOTHING on at 5:30am. So I did what anyone in my position would do…turn to Nickelodeon and watch Full House reruns. Yes, it was awful, but on the upside, the awfulness of it made me forget about watching the clock. Besides, that Uncle Jessie was pretty darn cute. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks that 5:30am is considered early. When the commercial break came on, the announcer said, “You’re Watching Nick at Nite.”

You’re tellin’ me, buddy.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

English Please?

On a recent trip to visit my parents, my Son, my Mom, Dad and I were chatting in the kitchen shortly after we arrived. The dialog went like this:

Son: So, Grandpa, was it hot here today?

Dad: Yes, it was hot, also humid.

Son: What's huma mean?

Dad: Well, humid means that it was muggy and it felt like it was going to rain.

Son: Huh?

Mom: It means it was damp out, even though it was warm.

Son: Huh?

Me: Honey, humid means that it feels sticky outside.

Son: (long pause) So, uh, Grandpa....was it hot here today?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Run That By Me One More Time...

Sometimes I forget things. I know, you wonder, "How could someone with such a wonderfully keen mind also be forgetful?" Truth be known, my mind is anything but keen and almost always forgetful. Because of this, I tend to write stuff down. I'm sure whoever invented the Post-It note is getting very rich off me.


Since I've started blogging and doing more writing, I have taught myself to write down ideas immediately when they come to me. I've mentioned in a previous post that many times I will have some great epiphany and convince myself that there's no way I could ever forget such a brilliant thought, only to realize 5 minutes later it has completely vanished. So, back to my original point...I write ideas down.

Tonight as I sat down to blog, I looked at my list of ideas, scanning for something interesting and blogworthy. I found exactly what I was looking for. My note said, "my son's name - Jesus and a double barrel shotgun". Sounds like the makings of a fantastic post. One problem....I have no recollection whatsoever of what that note means. Sorry, I'll have to wait and see if Jesus and a double barrel shotgun come up in conversation again. This time I think I'll take better notes.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Servanthood on the Streets

In my last post, I talked about carpooling with God. I explained how I have come to cherish my commute as time spent with God. Time where I can pour out my soul to the Lord. However, sometimes praying and driving can be a bad mix. Take yesterday as an example.


Lord, please teach me patience and true humility. Please give me a servant's heart and fill me with your Holy Spirit to live out the fruit of the Spirit that I am incapable of on my own. And please...


"Beeeep! beeeep! Hey, Lady! Have you ever heard of a turn signal?? Why don't you watch where you're going?! You can clearly see that lane is ending, quit pushing your way around!!"


Some drivers. Yeesh. So, as I was saying, Lord...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Carpooling With God

"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone..." Those are lyrics from one of my favorite songs. I used to drive 4 minutes to work...6 if traffic was heavy. I used to stroll in 10 minutes late every day and nobody cared. I used to actually cook breakfast before I left in morning. I had the good life. Things have changed. Now, it takes me 35 minutes to get to work. Now, I'm lucky if I remember to throw a banana in my laptop bag before I rush out the door. Now, I better be on time or the security cameras will catch my continual tardiness on the video system.

"How could things turn so bad?" you might ask. Ah, but they haven't. I've often heard people talk about praying in the car and, of course, have taken the opportunity to fire off short prayers as I thought of them. But this is entirely different. My drive to work has turned into a wonderful time for me to start my day with God. No radio. No laptop. No Palm Pilot (OK, well I just got one of those cool smartphones that has my email on it, but I've only read my mail once while driving to work...well, OK twice, oh and one time I watched the end of a movie on my laptop that I had to return to the video store that day, but that doesn't really count because God wouldn't want me to have late fees, right?) Anyway, generally, no email and no movies. Just me and God. I drive, I talk. He listens. Sometimes, I listen. It has become my favorite part of the day. I think everyday when I slide into the driver seat of my old car, God is jumping into the seat next to me saying, "I've got shotgun."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie...

...he'll probably store it with the dog food he's been stashing away for safe keeping.

A week and a half into my parents two week visit, and the day after our missionary friend from Africa showed up, I awoke early to make breakfast for everyone. I opened the drawer under my stove where I keep my skillets to find that they were FULL of dog food. I felt sick to my stomach, as I knew immediately what the problem was. Two parents, one international guest, twelve loads washed in the dishwasher, eight traps, two days elapsed time, and one mouse. You do the math.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Blog Worthiness

I hate it when I neglect my blog. Time gets away from me and before I know it, it's been a few weeks since I've posted anything. As this happens and events occur in daily life, I will think to myself, Hmm, that would be a good thing to blog about. But as I give more thought to it, my topics seem unworthy of a great post that is required to redeem myself for my lax behavior.

However, over the past two weeks, my parents have been visiting and we have also had a Missionary from Africa staying with us. There have definitely been some blog worthy moments. I won't mention any specifics in this post, but let's just say that some of the future posts you read will have their roots in the past few weeks. And even if I embellish a little, they will still be based on true stories!

Friday, May 11, 2007

God's Plan

I left work in a hurry yesterday. I always leave work in a hurry. Mine is not a life with the luxury of free time built into it. From the moment I open my eyes in the morning, until the time they are finally closed at night, my day is planned. I know that if I don’t keep to my plan, when the day is done, something will sit unfinished, mocking me. “See? Look at me…you didn’t get me finished. Nya, nya, nya nya nya.”

As I’m rushing home, I ran into a problem that is not uncommon in our town. A train. Trains are a huge annoyance, an inconvenience of the worst kind for a person like me. I have a schedule to keep. I did not plan for this train. I did not factor this train into my schedule. I do not have time for this train! In an instant I have lost control of my plan.

When I think of that word, Plan, I’m always convicted. I have a plan. I’m committed to my plan and I expect it to work, yet God tells me that it’s His plan that is going to work out in the end. But wait, Lord, your plan doesn’t look like my plan. How do I know you’ve completely thought this through? Perhaps there are some factors that you have not considered. No, thanks, I think I’ll just stick to my plan. I’ve got it all under control.

Then, WHAM. A train. A little reminder from God. “You are not in control, I am. My plan for you is perfect.”

God reminds me that his plan will prevail. So I sit…and wait on the Lord for the train to pass (whatever the “train” might be) and remind myself that God is the master planner.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails"
Proverbs 19:21

"I know the plans I have for you," Says the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The World of High Fashion

I know my husband occasionally reads this blog, so I am typically careful about what I write. (Well, once in awhile I'm careful about what I write...) Anyway, I hope he doesn't read this very soon or I'm really going to get it. He is always telling me I'm making our son too fashion conscious. I definitely don't agree. It's not like I've taught the kid how to match his shoes to his outfit. (OK, maybe that's a bad example) Anyway, the other day my son came into my room holding two pairs of pants. He held them up one by one, and very intently asked, "Mom, which pants do you think look better on me?"
At least he didn't ask, "Do these pants make my butt look big?" Then I'd know I was in big trouble.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Men's Club

Lately, it feels as if I'm completely losing control of my life. My new job has me working longer hours than I used to, which affords my husband and my son more "alone" time at home together. In a lot of ways, I'm really happy about that. It gives them plenty of time to bond and do Father-son sort of things, but in many other ways it is very dangerous. If you've read my recent post No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The most recent development happened when I came home from work the other day. I threw the mail on the counter, poured a glass of ice water and lingered around the kitchen before I headed to my bedroom to change my clothes. The boys were outside. My husband was working on the boat and my son was helping (ie, playing). As I passed by my son's bedroom door, I saw this.... From what I can tell it is never coming off. Permanent glue. My house is becoming a boy's club, of which I am obligated to observe and even participate, but never vote.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Brain Power

Wow, April has completely slipped away. It seems as though the month has been spent "rushing". I've rushed to and from work, to and from church, and to and from every activity in between. The other day as I was driving, a car pulled out in front of me, causing me to slow down considerably. My son said, "Mom, that lady pulled out right in front of you, didn't she?"

"Yes," I said, "She sure did."

"Some people don't have a brain." He told me.

I laughed, "Where did you hear that?"

"Daddy told me."

"Hmmm." I see. We might have to have a talk about that...

"Yeah," he told me, "It's from his side of the family."

Ah, that explains everything.

Monday, April 09, 2007

No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

"Mommy, Mommy, come in here FAST!" My son came running down the hallway from our master bedroom. "Hurry!" He was laughing so hard he could hardly get the words out. He turned around halfway down the hall and headed back to the bedroom. Whatever else I can assess about the situation is that it can't be good. As I get to the end of the hall, I hear more laughing, only this time it isn't coming from my son....it's coming from my husband. Oh, no. This REALLY can't be good. I round the corner and find my son AND my husband jumping on the bed. One of them (I'll let you decide which one) is 6 foot, 1 inch tall and is just about hitting his head on the ceiling. They are hysterical. I have completely lost control of my house and now constantly wonder what goes on around here while I'm at work. On a more positive note, I think I might be getting a new bed soon. Ours now makes a strange noise when you roll over at night.

Piece of Cake or Slice of Terror

It's time. I knew it would come, but it's upon me faster than I imagined. It's time for my son to get his vaccinations before he starts Kindergarten this year. I've been pondering the pros and cons of telling him he's going to have to go to the doctor and have a shot versus taking him there unknowingly and springing it on him, thus eradicating any trust he might have in me and damaging him for life. No pressure.

This, and the fact that I had a medical test performed on me a couple of weeks ago have got me thinking about the deception of the medical industry. "You're going to have a Tilt Table Test," the doctor told me. "They will put you on a table and tilt it around for approximately 45 minutes and take your blood pressure in various positions to make sure that your body is responding correctly." Sounds easy enough. Piece of cake. I think I'll take the novel I'm reading. It must be boring to lie there for 45 minutes. They gave me a pamphlet on the test, which I thoroughly read. (I have a tendency to do that...see my post about my hair dryer) The pamphlet said basically the same thing as the doctor, but mentioned that they would need to insert an IV for a possible second part of the test where they give you medicine to raise your heart rate while continuing to monitor your blood pressure. Hmmm, interesting. The doctor didn't mention that.

When I arrived for the test, the nurse led me into the room and had me lie down on a table. Then she strapped me down (yes, I said strapped me down) to the table and told me it was in case I fainted. No problem. I thought, I don't have a fainting issue. I have a dizziness issue.
Then she stared my IV and tilted the table to an upright position. She asked me various questions about how I was feeling and if I was dizzy. I told her a little, but not bad and the test went on in this manner. After 20 minutes, she laid the table back down and said, "Well, we're done with that part, but now we'll do the second part." Then the fun (and the lies) began.

She turned on the IV meds and told me I might feel strange. She was not kidding about this. She tilted the table upright again. My heart began to race. I began to sweat and feel as though I was running a marathon, even though I was standing perfectly still. My arms were numb-like and tingly and I felt as if I couldn't raise them up no matter how much money you might offer me. I began to black out. Now, one thing I DID read in the pamphlet was that as soon as a drop in your blood pressure was detected, the test would be over. "OK," I panted, "Everything is going black....I can't breathe, I can't see. I think we're done here." I was drenched in sweat and begging for mercy. "Just another minute" she told me. Another minute? Another minute? Is this lady crazy? I will not live another minute. Then it dawned on me. I was alone in the room with this lady. She was going to kill me and there would not be any witnesses. I really began to panic. I told myself to just go ahead and pass out. Make it all end. Go ahead and die, it would be a great day to meet the Lord. But I just couldn't completely lose consciousness.

Then....finally, after what seemed like hours, she tilted the table back down and I began to come back to life. I was gasping and trembling and thanking God (literally) that I was still alive. I saw a glimmer of hope. That's when she hit me with, "OK, now we just have to do the whole thing one more time."

"Excuse me?"

In summary, I did not read my novel during the tilt table test and I think I'll let my husband take my son to the doctor for his vaccinations.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Burning Calories

I just found this great website that I thought I'd share with everyone. You enter your weight and a duration (time), and it spits out a list of activities and how many calories you burn doing each activity for the duration you entered. Pretty cool. However, I read through the whole page and couldn't find a listing for "Sitting at your desk, reading a web page while eating 3 Oreos". Go figure.

http://www.primusweb.com/fitnesspartner/jumpsite/calculat.htm

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Torture

I think I'm dying. I'm having withdrawls. I'm not sure I can cope. I'm going to the doctor today for a test to help determine why I'm having dizzy/lightheaded spells, but that is not the source of my torture. It's 7:30am. I'm ready to go, but don't need to leave until 8:00. So I'm sitting here....staring at my espresso machine. "Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before the test." the instruction sheet said. "Hmmm. Do you really think they mean NOTHING?" I ask my husband. "Yes, I'm sure they mean nothing." How come when something is denied you, that is when you crave it the most? I go many mornings during the week without making a latte, but today it's pure torture. I think I'll go over and smell the beans.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Humble Pie (or Chicken Caesar)

“Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall – Proverbs 16:18”.

At my job, there is a weekly afternoon meeting. This particular meeting is attended by representatives of several different departments, including myself. My new company is very casual by nature and it’s not uncommon to see everyone in jeans and t-shirts with the company logo on them. The day of my first meeting, I picked something especially “Business Casual” looking to wear. I wanted my new co-workers to think I was competent and business minded. The meeting was cancelled. The next week, on the appropriate day, I carefully chose my clothes, knowing it was meeting day, and again, wanting to make a good impression. The meeting was cancelled. By the third week, I had pretty much shown all my cards in regards to available outfits in my closet. I had nothing left. As a matter of fact, I was already beginning to acclimate to the culture of the company and showing up in my jeans most days. However, in one last attempt to show my competency, on meeting day I chose Khakis and a crisp white shirt. (How prideful can one be?) All morning I was careful to not do something sloppy like dribble coffee down my chin and on to my white shirt. Then I went to lunch, ordered a Chicken Caesar Wrap, and promptly… dropped it in my lap. Then I attended my meeting. Next week, I think I'll wear my Levi’s and a t-shirt.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Duh.

I bet you could guess from my last post that after my hair dryer blew up the other day, I ran out on my lunch hour and bought a new one. My husband always teases me because when I buy something new, I'm pretty consistent in the fact that one of the first things I do is read the manual or any papers that came with it. This was the case with my new blow dryer. Now, you know and I know that I already know everything there is to know about operating a blow dryer. I have used one every single day of my life since I was in the 7th grade. (Except when I was in Africa) Nonetheless, the OCD portion of my brain kicked in and I decided I better review the manual, just to maintain my personal integrity. As I'm reading, I come to safety precaution number 7. It says, "Do not use while sleeping." Hello? Did I miss something here? If I could use my blow dryer while sleeping, it would sure save me some time getting ready in the morning!

Monday, March 12, 2007

My Non-Negotiable

Although I view Life ass a series of giving and taking, there are certain things that are non-negotiable. Things that are not up for discussion. Items that must go into the suitcase for a trip, no matter how little room there is. Household goods that are simply not acceptable in generic form. My non-negotiables.

One of the biggest non-negiotiables I have is my blow dryer. There are many things that I could get by without during the course of my morning routine. My blow dryer is not one of them. It's totally non-negotiable. Take away my toothbrush? I can brush with my finger. (It's totally gross, but I could do it) Take away my shower? I'm not that stinky. I can make it one day without a shower. Take away my mascara? I can put on extra eye-liner. But you take away my blow dryer and you have a brunette version of Bozo the Clown. Take this morning for example. I put all the normal goo in my hair to tame down my natural curls and waves. I begin blow drying. Let me clarify that....I have JUST begun to blow dry. Click. Pop. (strange smell) Blow dryer turns off. "No, no, no!". "Please....NO, NO, NO!" I try to turn it back on. I try to reset the thingy on the wall that you have to push sometimes if your blow dryer overloads the circuit. Nothing. I yell. I scream, I plead. Nothing. I wait. "Maybe it overheated". I blow into the front and back of it to cool it off. Nothing. Let me mention, that at this point in time. I am getting VERY angry.
I put on a hat, drove to town to my In-laws house. I banged on the door. "Please, let me in. I NEED a blow dryer!" My mother in law lets me in and takes me into her bathroom. She hands me something that looks like it was manufactured in 1903 and says, "Sometimes if you blow it on high, it stops working." "Great." I said, unenthusiastically. (Did I mention I was angry by this time??) I finally got my hair dry and actually ended up at work 10 minutes early.
"Hey, this didn't turn out so bad. It's going to be an OK day after all." I'm thinking to myself. Then I realize. I'm locked out of my office. It went downhill from there.

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