Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Getting to Know You!

I ran across Lynnette's blog Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground a while back and have been a lurker. Don'tcha hate it when people don't even stop to say "Hi?" I decided I'd participate in her Getting to Know You event because, yes, we all need more blogs to visit! I love Lynnette's heart, her posts, and her family strength and courage really rocked me to the core. Play along here!

Tea today: Tazo Zen

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Viva La Vida

This is one of my favorite songs, no matter what my mood. These kids aren't exactly Coldplay, but oh, did this rendition do my heart good after an exhausting day and all cozied up in my jammies by 8 pm. I just love their energy and spirit! Enjoy!
(Turn off my music on the right sidebar first).

Check out all the other great songs at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders!

Tea tonight: Green with ginseng and lemon

Monday, April 20, 2009

He is Risen Indeed

My mother is known for her wacky gifts - usually in the form of money. She gives "shirts" as monetary gifts, which means she takes a bill, irons it, starches it, and folds it impeccably to look like a shirt, collar and all. The kids always tell her they "just want shirts" for their birthdays or Christmas, and she dutifully obliges.

Sometimes she takes MANY bills and yes, irons them, starches them, and scotch-tapes them end-to-end, then tightly rolls them up. Like any good and holy gift, there's usually a big surprise in the middle, as in a Ulysses or a Benjamin, in lieu of a chewy, choc
olaty center.

"Gma (pronounced gee'-maw), you have way too much time on your hands," they usually say, joking of course. Nobody ever complains (except when she leaves and they have to pick all the tape off).

Though she's nigh on 84 years old, her medication list consists of one aspirin daily. She still drives her 1993 Jeep Cherokee up to her summer home in Wisconsin (which for tax purposes, is a "trailer down by the river") and is as healthy as one could be after sending breast cancer to hell 25 years ago and making her artificial knee a fashion statement.

But she talks now and again about "getting up a load to go" and is gradually gifting her special family jewels (not those jewels; Dad's been gone for years)! Gift-giving occasions are exciting, because you just never know what you're going to get, other than a shirt, of course.

On my last birthday, she gave me her opal ring - a gorgeous piece - made even more special by the fact that I clearly remember the day Dad and I went down to Stumme Jewelers and picked it out to give to her for Christmas. I was probably about 10. He got wise after he bought her a pair of black onyx earrings the year before, not realizing she didn't have pierced ears. Needless to say, he heard about that one. I got those earrings a couple of years ago. They had never been removed from the box.

So at Easter, I was a bit taken aback when she said she had an "announcement" and produced two envelopes, one for me and one for my brother.

"You know, I'm getting up a load to go....."

Yeah, yeah, what now?? I felt a little race in my heart. We don't do Easter gifts, so what in the world was she giving us now, there, in the presence of my entire family?

An envelope...it could be stocks, bonds, cash (that she didn't have time to fold)...

Be still, my beating heart.

She handed an envelope to me, with my full given name written out on the front.

This was serious.

"I've talked with my financial advisor about this, and he thought it was a good idea that I give you this now." She's not a wealthy woman in the monetary sense, but she's comfortable, and perhaps she found
something after Dad died? I mean, something other than the turkey sandwich he hid in the dresser as he became more and more forgetful? Perhaps he had a stash that she had found??

"Open it. Hurry up. I'm so excited! I can't believe how smart I am," she said smugly.

The kids all sat with bated breath. Did I imagine the word "inheritance" being muttered? Slowly, I opened the envelope and carefully pulled out the single sheet inside. I opened it and stared. "What is it?" I asked.

"It's the deed to the cemetary plot your Dad bought when he bought ours. I want you to have it. Isn't it great? It's legally yours now!"

Thanks, Mom.

Because nothing says "He is risen" like your very own cemetary plot. On Easter, no less.

He is risen, indeed.

Tea tonight: Green with lemon and ginseng

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Mother Instinct

After three stressful days of travel (read: no sleep), I was so happy to come home to my babies - Lucky, Snickers, and Ron Burgundy. I wasn't gone that long, but spent all but a few hours in airports and stuck on runways with my knees in my mouth (yeah, no legroom for me in coach), and developed an endless fascination for the choreography of plane de-icers.

I people-watched for hours, wondering how many passengers spent more on airport food than they spent on their tickets.

I had the pleasure of worshiping with my baby girl at church, hanging out for an evening with my baby boy, and I passed my big boy on the highway on the way home, so I think I scored big.

And praise the Lord for getting me home after a less than seamless trip. Home with your babies is all that really matters. So here's your feel-good video for the day (thanks, Rach)! Only in Iowa.

Tea tonight: Genmaicha

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Rally

About this dying dog we have living in our house.... the one who blogs and for whom I've made a fresh vat of home made soup every week since December? Well, we took him to the "spa" (aka boarded him at the vet) over the weekend while we were out of town. First of all, they were shocked that he was still alive because he was supposed to have been gone months ago. They must have figured we disposed of him illegally (**cue cremation ash cannon here**).

Well he's apparently using some of our cat's nine lives, because she's so laz
y she hasn't even worn out her first one yet. I expected him to come back from the spa all depressed with bloody paws from nervous chewing. I carefully packed his lunches and suppers (doggy hospice soup) because he wouldn't be able to eat spa kibble. We packed his favorite blanket, so if he died while there, it would be in a familiar "spot."

But no.

He came home with a bounce in his step and a gleam in his eye and some new arthritis medicine that was disallowed under my FSA. Seems to me if we can make gay marriage legal in Iowa, we should be able to put our pets on our health insurance. All is fair in love and yard apples, right?

Then the low blow...the vet told Ron Burgundy that "the better the soup smells the more he'll eat" and "he'll have a hard time chewing."

Let's get this straight. Lucky quit eating his kibble because he couldn't chew and even softened with beef or chicken broth, it did not
appeal to him. He could no longer drink water because his mouth and tongue just can't handle the thin consistency. The soup is made from all fresh vegetables cooked to tender, chicken, and frozen egg noodles. TONS of vegetables and a whole chicken, stewed with all the bones to bring out the flavor, and just a pinch of salt to extract the flavors. No, it's not seasoned with thyme, marjoram, a bay leaf or a shot of hot pepper flakes like if I was making it for us. But he pants and drools and stands underfoot the whole time it's cooking. He waits patiently by his bowl to eat. He licks the "place mat" in front of his bowl if it's empty to get every last bit. And his coat is the healthiest and shiniest it's been in years. His coat loves chicken fat, apparently.

But the vet apparently doesn't think it smells good enough.

I wonder if he tasted it?

Yeah, it needs more salt. Just don't tell Lucky.

Somebody forgot to tell him he's dying, too.

Tea tonight: Green Ginger

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed!

Tea today: Green with pomegranate

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Important Recall Notice

The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units, code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.

Some other symptoms include:
  • Loss of direction
  • Foul vocal emissions
  • Amnesia of origin
  • Lack of peace and joy
  • Selfish or violent behavior
  • Depression or confusion in the mental component
  • Fearfulness
  • Idolatry
  • Rebellion
The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect. The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.

Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
Self control
Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility.

Thank you for your attention!

P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by knee-mail.

Mad props to my friend Helen for helping spread the Word.

Tea today: Stash Fusion Green and White

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Surrender All

We sang this at Good Friday service, one of the most moving, heart wrenching, and memorable services I can remember. I can't believe He died for me.

Check out Amy at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders for more great songs!
Be sure to turn off my playlist on the left sidebar first.

Tea tonight: Green with pomegranate


The origin of the Sisterhood Award comes the awesomeness of Diana who created it out of inspiration by The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. This is a special award that is meant to be given and shared with our best bloggy girlfriend(s). The mission is to bestow on them the award in thanksgiving for their special friendship. No need to list favorites, addictions or what-not, although today's winners have plenty of the latter two, as well as a severe case of commentarrhea. And mine is a Equal Opportunity Blog.

I was catching up on some of my favorite friends in the midst of this sleepless night when I stumbled upon this award from Alix at Casa Hice. I've had several of these as of late (sleepless nights, narcoleptic days, but certainly not awards) and if you think the reason I nearly missed it is because of that, you're wrong. It's because Alix has literally become a shadow of her former self and when she stands sideways, she's beginning to resemble a zipper. With cool traveling pants to boot. So bless you, Alix, for this sweet award, for your sweet success, and whom I will forever remember as being the only person in my life who made me cry over a duck. Love you, LuLu.

It is with deep pleasure and true irony that I pass this on to the women and men who have given me the support and grace laced with sarcasm, humor and even a bit of eewwwww over at the Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants. You see, they (meaning katdish) stole this award from someone early on in the writing of FOTTSP because they wanted to be that blog. Now, they are. So ladies of the Marvelous 7+ and men, you have earned this award for real. Do with it what you (respectfully) please, eliminating all references to Rotel, Velveeta, and Joel Osteen, if you would.
  • Stacey
  • Jeff (who may have actually disowned us?)
  • sherri
  • Shark Bait
  • Nick the Geek
  • Steph at The Red Clay Diaries
  • Peter P
  • Beth
  • Marni
  • katdish
  • Hucklebuck
  • Annie K
  • Ryan B
  • Mare
  • Helen
I bestow this upon you. You are redeemed and you now have this for real. No more liftin' awards off of others now, ya hear?

Tea tonight: Tazo Zen

Thursday, April 9, 2009

By Your Side

These are comforting words to me today. Scroll down and turn off my playlist on the left first.

Tea today: Green ginseng with lemongrass

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Serious Life

Serious.Life Magazine has a new issue out today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia (www.riggsfamilyblog.com). The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is FREE, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues. www.seriouslifemagazine.com

Tea Today: jasmine

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pretty (Expensive) Feet

For the most part, feet are probably the least attractive part of the human body, except for my friend Janie who has those cutesy size 6's that are perfectly pedicured at all times and have skin like a baby's butt. If you look closely, even Katie Holmes and Paris Hilton have pretty disgusting feet, except they can disguise them with Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik and get away with it.

Me, not so much.

I have these long, skinny contraptions at the end of my legs that look like they broke free from the skeleton in the cadaver lab. Even in narrow shoes, they flop right out. I'm trying to find a pair of heels to dye to match a dress, and the ones I found that would work best with my pitiful peds were $348.

I'm not a shoe snob (that's Sherri). I wouldn't buy those if I could afford them (actually she wouldn't either; she'd steal them).

Then there's the skin on those bony feet. I could show you pictures, but you'
d think you were looking at a dermatologic firestorm with bruised and absent nails, corns, callouses, bruises, and the like - all as a result of many years of slamming into the front of running and tennis shoes, having shoes that never really fit right, and yes, this dreaded eczema that decided to find its way to my 10 little piggies a few years ago. I've had 2 pedicures in my life, mostly because I don't like grossing out pedicurists, because my dermatologist advises against it, and oh, did I mention that I'm cheap?

So I ordered a pair of hot heels online (no, not the pricey ones. Cheep. Cheep.) hoping they'll fit. Or at least I can fill the insides with glue from my hot glue gun to make them fit (yeah, it works)! But I must get two toes on each foot looking presentable in order to wear them. I'll be working hard at that, including beefing up this prescription, that over the years, could have bought some mighty fine shoes.

Holey Moley, this stuff is pricey. $408.99?? You'd better mention my pretty feet when you see me.

Tea today: Green with Pomegranate

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Prize and a Funeral

Thanks to String Too Short to Tie for the "Friendly Blogger Award" yesterday! I'm passing it to all of my friends at Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants for their compassion, understanding, and sweetness. Yeah, watch them make a mess of it and force Vanilla to snatch this right back. I'm anxious to see who they each pass it to. I'll bet they throw it amongst themselves, hot potato style. Warning: there will be sass and snark involved, which is (usually) done in friendship.


We'll be attending a funeral next week - the sweet Grandma of my future daughter-in-law. Too many of these, lately (funerals, not daughter-in-laws), but I've come to accept them as one of the best parts of life. Particularly if life ends in little suffering. Being with the Lord for eternity is how it's supposed to end.

But it certainly gives me pause to ask God once again about the algorithm He uses for His timing.

Death doesn't scare me nearly as much as life does sometimes. But I'm working on that. Those Respectable Sins continue to haunt me.

Last week at a funeral home, I told my dear friend who is the Funeral Director that I was coming for a "two-fer" since both visitations I was attending were at the same place. He accused me of coming for the dinner.

"Really, there's food downstairs???"

One visitation had lots of family and friends; the other, not so much. One was mellow and quiet; the other was a little more upbeat and life-giving. It really is OK to laugh and chatter at a visitation. I hope people don't mope around at mine. I want them to laugh until they snort ( you know who you are). I'm going on record to say (again) please return me to ashes when I'm gone.

Otherwise someone will say "She's wearing that again???" or "She looks better dead."

Hopefully someone will drag out those wedding pictures for display, and people will have their last memory of me at 110 lb. with some great music playing in the background. It's all picked out, and Ron Burgundy often reminds me that "people aren't going to want to hang around that long." You will if there's food.

This takes me back to my own Grandmother's funeral.

My kids were pretty little, and it was only the second funeral they had ever attended. My youngest boy (the one who was banned from the church nursery when he was 2) was being his typical self. Squirmy, restless, ricocheting off walls. He's the kid who always got the chipped plate at family dinners, because we knew if it wasn't chipped or broken, it would be when he was done. When the kids played "house," he thought it was neat he got to be the family dog. They just wanted to tie him up. Anything that was destroyed or lost in the house was bound to get blamed on Luke.

He was that kid.

At the cemetary after Grandma's funeral, my oldest, the "Alex P. Keaton" of the bunch, whispers to me "I'm going to go tell Grandma how sorry I am that Great-Grandma died." Oh, how sweet.

Yeah, he was that kid.

"Take your little brother with you," I said, hoping to distract him a bit from his hooliganisms.

"Where we goin'?" he hollers (the kid never grew an "inside" voice).

"Go with your brother and tell Grandma how sorry you are that Great Grandma died."

"Well, I didn't do it!!"

Yeah, we knew that. But apparently you thought you'd get blamed.

Sweet boy. He called me last night. LYF.

And Grandma "I" - rest in peace. You loved so, and you are so loved!

Tea today: Green ginseng with citrus