Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good Intentions

I tried.  I really did.  I had every intention of working.  I took my laptop and my notes and settled in at Starbucks.  I'm usually quite productive when I write there.  There's just enough background noise, music, and commotion that it serves as "white noise" for me.  The only time I have a problem is if someone sits too close to me and begins to talk loud enough that it dominates the rest of the white noise. That's exactly what happened on this particular day--with one exception--the culprits didn't sit right next to me, but across the room.

I'd guess one to be about 70 and one to be around 80....years, not pounds.  Mr. Seventy wore a sweatshirt and work pants.  His hair was grey and he spoke up so that his friend, Mr. Eighty, could hear him.  Mr. Eighty was as much of a good ol' boy as you can get.  He was quite obviously hard of hearing and he also wore work pants, but topped them off with red suspenders, a plaid flannel shirt, and a ball cap with a perfectly flat brim pushed back on his head and slightly crooked. 

Mr. Eighty loudly started their conversation on an expected topic--the weather.  Concentrate, I told myself.  Ignore them.  Mr. Seventy chimed in that he agreed that this mild winter we've had has been terrible and we would have been better off to have a couple feet of snow.  That got my attention.  Come on, Cari.  Keep your mind on your work.  I took a sip of my latte and tried to get some more words on the page.  Mr. Seventy said that when he was snowboarding earlier that day, he noticed the snowpack on the mountain was low.  Snowboarding??  That guy is a snowboarder?  I tried to get back to my writing, but I could hear every word they were saying over the din.  I drank more latte.

I was resolved to get some work done, but the conversation wore on.  They discussed lost loved ones, Mr. Seventy apparently lived alone and Mr. Eighty must have been a recent widower.  Mr. Seventy told him how to cook pot roast and they talked about what they ate for breakfast and how to boil eggs. I felt bad for Mr. Eighty and imagined what it must be like to suddenly be on your own.  I was not getting ANY writing done. Tune them out!  I told myself.  But myself couldn't or wouldn't do it.

Then, I knew I was in trouble.  Mr. Eighty commented that his back had been hurting.  Mr. Seventy said that when he was skiing the other day his knee was aching.  It went down hill from there (no skiing pun intended).  Then they moved on to macular degeneration and I knew the direction it was heading.  I began gulping my latte and gathering my stuff before I had to listen to anything about hemorrhoids, bladder control, or worse.  I finished my latte and am pretty sure I escaped just in time.   

Now I had time on my hands, writing to do and no suitable place to do it.  So I did the only thing I could, given my circumstances.  I threw my laptop and spiral notebook into the back of my car and went shopping.  What's a girl to do?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A True Happy Birthday

The Pastor chooses to spend his Birthday one way, and I choose to spend mine another.  I said in my last post that I preferred a manicure and pedicure and that's exactly what I did.  I have no idea how anyone could consider catching a smelly fish more fun that getting pampered at the spa, but like I each his own. 

I celebrated with a beautiful french manicure, a relaxing pedicure, and a day of shopping.  A total girly day.  It was fantastic.  However, The Pastor wants to keep me true to form for an Idaho girl, so when I opened his present to me this morning it was a scope for my rifle.  Ah, well, it's nice to live such a balanced life (at least that's what I tell myself.)  One thing, though...if I chip my nails shooting that gun there's going to be trouble...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Perfect Birthday Gift (I guess)

I probably don't have to tell you that The Pastor and I have vastly different opinions on a fun way to spend your Birthday.  I'd rather sleep in late, get a latte and a pedicure, and top it off with dinner at someplace special.  The Pastor would rather get up at the crack of dawn, spend the day on the boat with stinky bait and fish, and go to the truckstop for a burger.  Go figure. Today, he got his wish. The perfect birthday...I guess.
Oh well, as long as he's happy.

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

See Ya Spaghetti

When The Pastor and I were first married, we lived in a rural community and he was interim pastor of a Conservative Baptist church. Most of the men in the church had an occupation and they were a farmer. The church was full of farm wives who really knew how to put on the spread for a Sunday dinner and as a young, newly married, 19 year-old pastor’s wife, I was super intimidated by their skill and the volume of food they produced.

We were constantly invited to dinner and I was terrified at the thought that I might have to reciprocate and have someone over for dinner. I could just imagine myself saying, “Thank you for having us over for slow roasted pork tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, homemade rolls and jam, and raspberry pie ala mode. Please enjoy this Kraft macaroni and cheese that I’ve slaved over for 10 minutes.”

However, after 20 years of marriage to The Pastor, I’ve learned to hold my own in the kitchen. My cooking is nothing to write home about, but since The Pastor and I continue to put on the pounds, I think I’m doing okay. At least I’ve (mostly) gotten over the fear of feeding other people. About a week ago, we had company for dinner. I had worked that day, so I figured I’d better make something relatively quick and easy and spaghetti seemed to fit the bill.

Our guest was in the living room visiting with The Pastor, the salad was made and on the table. The vegetables and spaghetti sauce were simmering, the bread was browning in the oven and the noodles were just finishing. I grabbed my plastic colander and dumped the cooked spaghetti in. Holding the colander over the sink, I gave it a couple of good shakes to make sure that the water drained out as much as possible.

As I gave it one last shake, I heard a small popping sound. The bottom of the colander fell out and I watched, stunned, as our dinner slid into the sink and straight down the garbage disposal. I’m not an expert in these things, but I was pretty sure that having the spaghetti noodles in the garbage disposal was going negatively impact my spaghetti dinner. It only took a split second for the shock to wear off and then I did what any red blooded housewife would do…I fished the spaghetti out of the drain, rinsed it off, and….just kidding. That would be gross.

Actually, I stared into the sink and then I began to laugh. And laugh. And laugh. Even though I don’t want to, I have to admit that the only reason I found this funny was because I knew I had another pound of spaghetti in the pantry. I had a backup plan. Had I truly been up the creek, I’m not sure I would have seen the humor in it.

But, it got me to thinking about life. Proverbs 31:25 says that a wife of noble character “…can laugh at the days to come.” That’s a little convicting. Sure, I can laugh when I know I have a backup plan, but when all my preparations are made and I’m sure things are going a certain way in my life, can I laugh when those plans suddenly go “down the drain” and I’m left wondering what just happened? I should be able to because I can be assured that God has a backup plan. And not only that, it wasn’t a backup plan at all—it was his perfect plan all along.

So if your life is feeling down the drain and you’re not sure why you’re left without any spaghetti, just remember that God has another box in the pantry and he’s got your situation fully under control. Go ahead—laugh at the days to come.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Music Monday - Owl City, Ocean Eyes

I’ve been putting off writing this review for several weeks, not because I didn’t want to do it or because I don’t like the music, but for another, simple reason. Ocean Eyes by Owl City is one of the strangest CD’s I’ve ever owned. Here’s what’s even more strange…I absolutely can’t get enough of it. I love this music!

I first heard of Owl City about 6 weeks ago when our Youth Pastor asked me if I had heard of them. I said no, pulled out my Blackberry, searched and found a song, and instantly loved it. First of all, for clarification, Owl City is not a band. It’s one guy—Adam Young. Although most of his music is not Christian, Adam makes the following statement on his MySpace page, “I follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly. He is my life, my strength, my all,” and lyrics like “I am not my own. I have been redeemed,” are sprinkled throughout the CD.

The style of music is light and I would describe it as electronica or electric-pop. It uses a lot of synthesizer sounds and reminds me a little of some of the pop that came out of the 80’s, but with more mellow overtones. Besides the recognizable Christian lyrics, which admittedly, are not that many, Owl City’s songs are much like poetry, which means that sometimes the meaning is, shall we say, fuzzy. But, all the songs are catchy and full of hysterical homophones and witty phrases and leave you tapping your feet and feeling good.

Songs like “Dental Care”, which is basically about smiling, but takes a couple of funny shots at dentists keep me playing this CD over and over. “The Bird and The Worm” makes me laugh every time I play it and I find myself singing it at various times during the day. If you’re looking for new music with deep meaning and spiritual insight, this probably isn’t the album for you. However, if you’re looking for something new and different; something clean and feel-good and you’re okay with listening just for the joy of the music, then Owl City’s Ocean Eyes might just be the CD for you.

You can take a free listen at



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