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Monday, February 28, 2011

Question and Answer Segment of Heaven

My Husband said this weekend.... "I'm sick of being sick." This weekend he came down with something... Who knows if it was what I had or something different. I just know he felt bad enough to miss work which almost never happens. I wore my happy pants all day Saturday but I must have forgotten and put them in the laundry Saturday night because this morning I woke up with that terrible blue feeling... Not the overwhelming sadness I had last year, just an achy sadness in the pit of my chest. After my pity fest in the bubble bath (what a great place to cry your heart out to God), I put my big girl panties on and kept the demons at bay for most of the day.When I get to heaven, after the rejoicing has taken place and everyone has settled down, I'd really like to ask God just a few simple questions... You know during the question and answer portion of eternity that's scheduled sometime right after the praise and worship service.Why women were born with so many dadgum emotions? A woman's emotions are a lot like the weather in Oklahoma.... Probably one of the few states where you can experience every season all in one day and sometimes all in the same day. Thanks to the abundance of raging hormones God gave women,or at least this woman, I can, and have, routinely experienced every human emotion and sometimes done so within minutes of each other. Thankfully it doesn't happen all the time, but I really hate it each time it does happen. Some of the things I beat myself up over today.....

A) I'm not as good a friend to people as I once was
B) I should have handled last year better
C) I must be a bad person because I can't fix other people's 
   people's problems
D) I felt guilty because my husband was sick (I'm sure I made        him that way) and I was getting over being sick so I
   skipped church
E) I was angry at the medical profession because there are still
   illnesses they don't know how to cure that I feel should have
   been cured long ago (Can I hear an Amen Sista?)
F) A friend who has had breast cancer is going through yet
   another surgery and I am unable to "stand in" for her so
   she won't have to go through it
G) A little patient on Grey's Anatomy had to break up with his
   long time girlfriend in order to receive his long awaited
   lung transplant 

The good news is... Apparently I didn't have enough to worry about today so my mind created all kinds of junk to moan about. Could be worse, this day could have lasted forever like it did last year, but thank God it didn't.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Thoughts Went Back to Yesterday

Tried as hard as I may today...
My thoughts went back to yesterday...
Blurry visions in black and white...
Shadows hiding in bright moon light...

Tender words I now recall...
Tears upon my cheeks did fall...

Were they merely dreams of the night...
Or fantasy of my wounded mind...
The sadness they bring to me now....
Leave me wondering, the where, the why, the how...

The mind's a deep and haunting place...
The hidden secrets leave no trace...
The narrow passage of time shall bring...
Healing to  most painful things...

The lips from which the words did come...
Feed the wonder I wonder upon...
Did they know my name...
Did they say it dear...
Or did I imagined what I did not hear

Yet when  my mind wonders still...
Will certain parts quite ever heal...
And if they do will scars remain...
Of the thing time has yet to change...

Tried as hard as I may today....
My thoughts went back to yesterday....

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Sound of Music

Last week on our vacation was the first time in over a year that I had played the piano. I have dusted it, I had polished, but I hadn't played it since my injury. Last week  the piano bar must have broken the ice for me on that desire again. Last year my brain could barely remember my name, much less co-ordinate with my fingers to come up with anything related to music.  I promised my puppies would once again lounge in the living room with me lulling them to sleep. For some reason I always seemed to play while I was waiting. Waiting my for husband to get ready, waiting for him to get home, waiting for someone to pick me up.

Tonight I lay my beloved murder mystery aside and thought, maybe I'd play a song. When he walked in the door from work, I was just finishing a tune. He closed the door behind him as I rose from the piano bench, and he stopped where he was..... "Wow! It's been a long time since I've heard that sound" He said
"Heh, I thought I'd give it a whirl, see how it went."  He just smiled and walked out, but I could tell that little by little.... tiny parts of the person I used to be is still returning.... They're like little fragments of sand washing ashore. Who knows, maybe by this time next year, all of the little pieces of Jac will have returned and he'll have the old me back as a whole, good as new and as ornery too. I know he's missed that part the most.... LOL!!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Let Your Ripples Sparkle and Dance All the Way to the Shore

My daughter is in the process of making a very important life choice. Will she continue with the military a few more years or will she come home and begin the business of having her life as her own again?
It sounds like it would be an easy decision, but it has caused her a lot of stress. She has had to assess where she is in life as opposed to where she wants to be. She has had to calculate the best path to take, to get where she wants to be. She has had to look at what her hearts desires are and what path to take to see them fulfilled. There are always a multitude of angles that must be considered  when making these decisions. My son is in the process of opening his own business. He has a ton of choices to make, location, promotion, long-term vs. short-term goals. These decisions will not only affect him but those who are in business with him and the future of their families years down the road. Those are not decisions that can or should be taken lightly. He's also had to make the decision to resign from his current position as volunteer coordinator at the shelter where he works. The shelter, the people he has worked with and the clients he has helped has been a big part of his life the last couple of years and although he isn't letting it go completely, he won't be as intimately involved as he has been. There's a little ache there, the pains of letting go.  Life goes on, you make choices when you are young and those choices follow you around one way or another
for the rest of your life. Some choices seem like no big deal, but will they seem that way years down the road? Our choices mold
us into the people we become and the goal is to never stop becoming.... always becoming
more. It may seem that the choices of your
youth are more difficult than the choices you make as you mature, that isn't so.
Everyday I wake up to a multitude of choices that will effect not only me, but my co-workers, family, friends and my future grandchildren.
Most choices are Black/White, Right/Wrong, and I think I'm the one who adds the gray area that tends to cause the problems. Some mornings I wake up and I am raring to make good choices, other mornings I have to make a concentrated effort to be wise, focused and thoughtful with my choices.... To pick up my cross and bear it for the cause of Christ.  I told someone the other day that when Christ said "It is finished", as he died on the cross not only was he talking about the work he came to do, but the fact that the battle against his flesh (because he did battle it) was over. I believe that Christ, being fully human, experienced the draining, exhausting battle
between the Spirit and Flesh. So when I feel like giving up and just flipping a coin for the choice of the day, I have to remember it's not all about me. Like ripples in a pond caused by one drop of water.... Those ripples sparkle and dance all the way to the shore where others are standing, watching the mesmerizing affect one drop of water can make. Not all choices are do or die choices.
Often the most difficult choice of the day is when I get up in the morning and search for the perfect pair of shoes (those are the good days). The first choice of the day can determine the
direction your day takes. Just try wearing an uncomfortable, ugly pair of shoes all day and you will know that first choice can determine the smile or the frown on your face at the end of the day. Go out there today and make the best choices you can and if you remember nothing else, remember this... If you truly want to make an impact, fashion always trumps comfort and immediate gratification can cost you a lifetime of ripples on the pond of life. How are your ripples going to sparkle and dance today? Hopefully in a very good way...

Please Don't Give Me a Hard Time

Discounting the last year, I'm not one who typically has the urge to give someone a piece of my mind.  Mostly, because there isn't that much to share, but also because it's just not my nature. Some people thrive on setting themselves up as judge, jury and executioner as well as the moral authority on all things and all people. The people they target don't necessarily have to have anything to do with them.... The situation may not effect them at all (as in it's none of their business), but still they are just itching to jump right in the big middle, with judgement in hand. I just don't think I have that kind of energy, plus.... OMG what if I was wrong and made the wrong judgment call?  I had one of these people digging in my garden last week, trolling up things they knew nothing about, making all the wrong assumptions and then publicly trying to crucify me.  I was laying in the bed with a raging fever and felt like my throat had been scalped by Indians (no offense to Indians). I got a notice on my phone about what this person had said. It was like someone pulled a rip cord deep inside of me and righteous indignation (well there wasn't much that was righteous about it) came shooting out of my ears. Before I knew it I had allowed this person to drag me down to their level (I should have beaten the dog out of them while I was there, JK). Later, when the fever (legitimate fever... I had strep) had passed, I was humiliated that I had taken the bait like a catfish lurking under a rock waiting for a worm. Last year when I was in the throws of recovery from my injury, I had a lot of those moments.... Oh how I wish I could take them back. It was like a ball of fire would hit the wrong button and I became a nuclear weapon that had no control. The head injury was a legitimate excuse, but still the thought of me acting like that has humbled me greatly... Because head injury or not, if it hadn't been hidden in my heart somewhere,it  wouldn't have been able to come out. I may have a hard time forgiving myself over this, but I have to believe, in faith, that God is my judge and I'm good with Him. Some people live their entire lives in this state of ugliness. I am so thankful that my state was temporary even if it did seem to last an eternity. Why would anyone willingly live in such a state? It truly baffles my mind and makes me terribly sad. There are countless injustices that happen every day in every one's life, but you can't live your life set on go (or in constant attack mode). Thinking over the last year, when I remember those feeling of being out of control, it brings so much shame to me that as I blog tears stream down my cheeks. I so don't want to be one of those people. I truly want to have a compassionate heart even for those who are blatantly making bad (and sometimes wicked) choices. I just pray that God will keep my heart ever tender.... Even to those who mean to cause me or others harm. If it's a process for me (someone who doesn't have a mean nature), I can't imagine what it must be like for those who do. I feel sorry for those who do choose to live a life of hatefulness, even if they attempt to drape a cloth of "best intentions" around it and advertise it as justice.I saw a facebook post the other day that said... 

"There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down a part of LIFE, getting back up is LIVING"

Gosh, that is so true. I had someone ask me the other day why I didn't have any desire to be around certain people. My reply was as simple and straight forward as it could be... "Because they are mean hateful people" I don't have the time or the energy for that. Life is too short to live it in the presence of those who try to make it harder than it is. Give me happy people, give me laughter, give me joy, but please don't give me a hard time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Do Not Touch Makes Me Curious Like a Cat

Last night I got home from work and was hurrying upstairs to change clothes. One of my son's friends must have thought it would be a hoot to egg my cute little clown car (It's a Cube). I was going to run to the car wash before it did any damage to the paint. As I began upstairs tugging at my clothes as I went, I noticed a gadget or something on the breakfast nook table with a handwritten sign under it that said "DO NOT TOUCH!".... Now why, did he have to do that? If I wasn't suppose to touch it, there should have been no sign saying do not touch..... It just should have been. I cannot tell you how my fingers itched to touch that stupid gadget that apparently was in the process of downloading music. I came back downstairs and I walked by the note several times, looked, pondered, paced.... I had this overwhelming desire to just touch it. I really needed to go wash my car, but gosh, the temptation was torture!!! I just couldn't help but wonder what would happen if I had touched it? Would it explode? Would anyone even know I had touched it? Was there a hidden camera around somewhere waiting to see what I would really do? I went ahead and drove to the car wash still pondering why I wasn't suppose to touch. When I got home, luck has it that my son had gotten home first and was working on the gadget so all curiosity was nipped in the bud. How much fun would it be to touch with supervision, so I couldn't screw something up??? Not much I'll tell you that. I'm the one who has to touch the desserts in a resturant display to see if they are plastic or real. Occasionally I'm shocked to find whipped cream on my finger from a display of the real thing! I'm always a little embarrassed when that happens because the hostess will look at me like I've lost my mind. I can't help it, I'm just curious... curious like a cat... "That's why they call me Whiskers... Which leads me to the best skit of all times....

Creme Brule vs. Jello

My husband and I are laying in bed. He is reading his Kindle which would mean he was reading a autobiography on some musician (boring!), and I was reading my futuristic murder mystery with just a touch of romance... not too much just enough. The following conversation (if you could really call it that) occurred.... I turn my head to stare at him while batting my eyes so fast you would have thought a wind storm was taking place in the bedroom (don't worry, this is sooo a rated G story). Nothing, I get nothing even though I know he knows I am staring at him. So.... I gently elbow him... Still nothing... I give a long deep sigh which was strong enough to blow him out of bed.... He glances over then returns to his Kindle.... Another elbow, this time not so gentle... Finally he asked.... "What?".... I say "I'm batting my eyes at you".... He glances over and acknowledges, that yes indeed
I am batting my eyes.... He goes back to the kindle.... Now my stare is getting intense, he can feel the heat but is trying to ignore it.... Finally I say... "Do I always bat my eyes at you?", to which he replies.... "Yes, in fact you do always bat your eyes at me".... Little more elbow with a tad more muscle in it..... He looks over... "What!?"... "Why won't you let me have a cat?"... He says, "I told you that you could have a cat".... I counter with.... "Yeah, but you don't want a cat".... He looks over and says... "Actually I do want a cat." Okay, now I have an admission, this may work.... "But you won't
let me have a Persian." He flatly says... "No, I want a small, female, short haired cat." (Houston here is our problem) "They are so... so... ordinary." I tell him.... "No they're not" he says, "they shed less." Try as I might my bottom lip begins to do the pout thing (used to work better than it does these days), "But they aren't special, they're ordinary, who wants just an ordinary ally cat? What's fun about that?"... "They make the best pets." he says... "How the heck do you know, all we've ever had are long haired pretty cats." I tell him.... "Douglas was a short haired and he was very special." He tells me.... "Douglas was
brain damaged!!! And totally ugly and weird!".... "No he wasn't, MK could hit his tail with a sledge hammer and he never felt it.... He was cool!" OMG, this was a stupid cat they used to have where he worked. They found it with a peanut butter jar stuck on it's head and it's tail had no feeling.... Of course, why would it with guys like that playing with it? "I had short haired when I was a kid." He said. Ugh!!!! "Get whatever you want, you usually do." he tells me. "No, dang it, I'm trying to be submissive and let you do the whole head of the family thing and I don't want a long haired cat unless you want one too." That should have totally brought him over to my side of the fence, I mean the whole being submissive thing and head of the family thing should have just had him jumping right over that fence, but NO! He goes right on reading, ignoring the batting of the eyes, the little pouty lip thing, just
ignoring it all. See this is why I usually just go out and do what I want to do without asking. It's so hard to engage in a Fox Network News "Fair and balanced" debate when the other person won't engage.... Dangit! Fine, just fine! So I need to talk, I'll talk to someone else... I'll text my friend.... "He says I can have a cat but he wants a short haired girl. ORDINARY!" Without hesitation she replies.... "LOL, at least you can have one. I have one for you. It's probably inbred... That's not ordinary... LOL" I text back "I don't just want any cat, I want a designer cat not a walmart cat, no offense. I could insist but I'm trying to be agreeable (trying a different approach). She replies "LMAO, non takin. You are creme brule... I'm jello. I'm happy being jello." Even my texting conversation isn't going as planned... She is suppose to be on my side, it's written in the by-laws of Girl World. "Yeah, I am a little Creme Brule." I really am trying to change. It sucks when you want things the way you want them but you're stuck in the frozen food section at Wal-Mart (on groundhog day no less).So, I go to the Humane Society (I go, I don't meander there because I'm not on vacation). They had a couple of pretty cats, but both were of course, long haired. I petted a few, waited for something to jump out at me and say "Take me to my forever home." Can't say one of them really did, especially given the "restrictions" I'm under.  They had a beautiful Maine Coon, which is no ordinary cat. A Maine Coon has the personality of a dog, not a cat and they are funny, funny, but also have very long hair. I guess since I'm a little like Sally (on when Harry Met Sally)....

"If not, then nothing at all"... "You mean no pie?".... "No, I'll take the pie but not heated.".... 

Unless a miracle of biblical proportion happens (like when Jesus turned the water into wine)and somehow this Creme Brule is turned to jello, I get no cat. When my two dogs pass away I'll just be a petless woman with an empty nest... Because if I can't be Creme Brele I'll just be nothing at all.

How was that? Was it pathetic enough, but not too pathetic? Just the perfect amount of pathetic to make him cave???? Probably not, the head of the house rules  DANGIT!

Addendum: My daughter called last night and like most Daddy's girls can do, completely changed his way of thinking about cats:-) So maybe I can be a generic version of Creme Brule. I am a little offended that his sudden turn around didn't have anything to do with my eye lashes, how fast I batted them, or my renown pout... I still get points for being submissive too, because if all goes well, I'll bring the cat home today when I could have brought it home yesterday before he had seen the light....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dazed and Confused and Totally Slap Happy :-|)

A Facebook friend posted the other day that she was "Dazed and Confused" about something she had seen. Sadly or actually happily, I've become quiet content in my dazed and confused state. It's very refreshing not to feel like I should know it all,or that I should have all the answers. I don't feel the need to be a big bag of wisdom or someones spiritual guru because of my vast depth of biblical knowledge and unsurpassed worldly experiences. Nope, I'm happy and content to skip happily along in ignorant bliss knowing that there are plenty of other people out there keeping up the charade of "Knowing it all". Even in my dazed and confused state I have enough sense to know if someone claims to know it all or have it all under control I should high tail it out of their presence
and "Run Forest Run!" I run to the sheltering truth that I am mere human, highly flawed and can only be made perfect in Him. Me and God have this thing going on, I trust him to know what's going on and he expects me to keep the best attitude possible even when I feel like what's happening sucks great big green apples. He hasn't asked me not to mention that it sucks great big green apples when it does (trust me he hears me loud and clear, but I tend to think he laughs at me more than he gets upset with me), but to trust him that the green will turn to sweet... Eventually. Ever since I've laid it down at the foot of the cross and turned
Maxine is much more of a
spiritual wizard than
people give her credit for!
my back on what other people think and say (which is difficult for one who has been a people pleasing machine since I was a wee one), I've been a much more content person.  Just being able to rest in the knowledge that he knows it all and has it all under control leaves me free to be be.... dazed and confused in a good, happy-go-lucky kinda way. My perfections, skills, knowledge and wisdom may be few and far between, but my joy has the ability to be limitless if I allow it to be and I attribute a lot of that to the freedom I feel in my dazed and confused state... In fact you could call me slap happy these days.  I used to get my feelings hurt when I was in a conversation and people just tuned me out because they thought they knew it all and there was nothing I could add to their knowledge. Now, I'm off in my own little universe, totally out of touch with reality (or so they think, hehe) and I don't even get offended when they cut me off in mid-sentence, I pretty much expect it from some. I just smile and think to myself.... "What I was going to say could have been really profound"(probably not, but there is always a slim possibility). Yep, dazed and confused keeps other people from expecting me to have all the answers which is expecting WAY too much, even if I do have a lot going on. If anyone would like to join me here I can tell you the zip code is I Peter 5:5-10 and the taxes are way less taxing on the soul and the rewards are amazing!!! Really, you should try it, you just might like it and become slap happy too. Trust me, it's a good thing... That's what He keeps reminding me over and over again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Once in a Lifetime Event for a International Has- Been Wannabe Piano Player

When you play an instrument (even if you play it poorly), and you see a really neat... Oh, let's say piano, you're fingers just itch to tickle the old ivories. My husband's fingers itch to play a bass, any bass he happens to lay his eyes on. When we were on vacation the piano bar was next to the buffet. Everyone seemed to congregate in the bar right before the buffet opened (like any of us were starving to death or wouldn't get enough to eat on the BUFFET). One evening we went down there to hang out while we waited for the buffet to open. My husband happened to notice that  it was suppose to have someone playing for a hour later in the evening. So later in the evening we meandered (we do a lot of meandering on vacation) down to the piano bar hoping to hear some beautiful piano music. The bar was packed  but there was no piano player. Occasionally someone would wonder (or maybe they meandered) over and play chopsticks (not really what we were looking for) My husband kept trying to get me to sit down and play even though
he knows how shy I am about playing, but he just would not let it go. Mind you the only thing I know how to play is hymns. But he wore me down and I sat at this beautiful white piano and with a frosted glass top and played "He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs". I really am terribly shy about playing so I totally had to zone out just to keep my fingers on the keys. When I quit playing I slunk to my chair as people cheered and shouted for more.... Awe, how sweet is that (even given the fact that half of them were probably drunk)? My husband said  the packed room instantly became quiet when I began to play and I had a standing ovation when I finished.... Never
happened before, almost guaranteed never to happen again (unless I'm out of the country).  When I was chatting with a couple we met earlier, a lady came up and requested Sweet Caroline. I just smiled and said "I only know hymns."  It was a once in a lifetime event for a now international has-been wannabe piano player. Dang I wish I'd had a tip jar, I could have broke out in When The Saints Go Marching In or The Great Speckled Bird (personal inside joke on that one baby). I'll have to admit that it felt pretty good to play again (it's been almost 1 year since I've played at all) and I'll almost betcha my puppies will be hearing a lot more music coming from the front room very soon. They don't offer many accolades but I can put them into a deep lazy trance in a nanosecond which is better than any drunken applause I have ever had.  Yes, I'll be taking their requests.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dang Airplane Air

Last week we went on the most beautiful vacation ever!!! Cool Bahama breezes blowing through our.... well my hair, the smell of salt water and the sound of gentle ocean waves was the background for a lovely get away. We were so relaxed, no schedule, no plans, just rest and relaxation. About day 2 I began to worry a little that maybe I wasn't doing enough on my vacation. I had no desire to go see the sights, no desire to explore much more than the hammocks and the buffet, I mentioned something to my husband and he thought we had finally reached ground zero in full blown relaxation mode. Our schedule consisted of A) Sleep late, get up just before breakfast buffet closed B) Take nap on beach and wake up just before lunch buffet closed C) Take nap and wake just in time to dress for dinner and hang out at the piano club D) If the evening activities actually started before 10 p.m. we would try to keep our eyes open for them. To be honest I felt like one of the old people on the movie Cocoon..... I mean I felt a
whole lot like them!!! On day 3 my throat and tongue felt like someone had skinned the hide off of them to sell as a souvenir in the gift shop, since I knew this wasn't the case I just figured I had drank too much citrus juice since I usually abstain from anything remotely healthy, but they had really good juice. The day we came back was just a typical yucky travel day. There is just something gross about airplane air.... It's like I can feel other peoples grit and mucus sticking to my skin and lungs. I hate that airplane muck that sticks to my skin and gunks up my hair. Everyone usually feels gross after a day of travel, but I felt particularly gross. I think I went a whole two days without doing my hair and make-up, and three days without getting out of bed (sounds a lot like my vacation doesn't it). If you know me at all, you know something is not right with the universe if I haven't bothered to do my hair or my make-up. I mean for God's sake they were re-applying my lip gloss while I was unconscious in the emergency room last year (okay, for absolute truthfulness sake, I believe I did have my eyes open and I think I may have been able to talk to them but I don't remember any of it so I'm really not trying to exaggerate my condition or in anyway blow things our of proportion for sympathy sake). But I was told by a completely reliable source who did the applying that lip gloss was applied and pictures were taken and that's just not something every person does when they are in the emergency room. So needless to say, I usually do nothing without my lips on which meant I had to be sick.... Really sick. Today I thought I'd buy groceries since we had nothing to
eat in the house.... Not even dog food. I didn't think I was going to make it out of the store, you know that cold clammy sweaty, out-of-body feeling you have when you're sick. I unloaded the groceries and loaded myself back into the car and landed in the urgent med clinic..... Yet another indication of how bad I felt. The doctor thought I had the flu, I thought I had strep and you got it... I won the bet. Even if I was a competitive person that wouldn't make me feel better. Still it was a wonderful vacation even if I did sleep through most of it. I asked my husband if me being so lazy had ruined for him, actually he really got into the lazy thing.... He has also now come down with the strep thing too. I can't blame it on the bad airplane food, but youbetcha I blame it on the dang recycled airplane air.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Perfect the Whole Time!

When my husband and I first got engaged we had planned on a honeymoon cruise. I lived in Tulsa, he lived in Duncan and it didn't take long for both of us to decide that a long distance, long engagement wasn't going to work for us. We moved things up and were married within weeks but still planned on taking the cruise when it was scheduled. By the time that time arrived, we were  putting our house up for sale so we decided to push the honeymoon back a little. 29 years and three kids later we still hadn't gotten around to taking our honeymoon. Finally one day last month my husband just bit the bullet and went to the travel agent and booked our honeymoon. Not only did he book it, but we actually took it. Who says we procrastinate? The day we left for our trip it was a whopping 1 degrees here. When we arrived at our destination in the Bahamas it was 86, very humid, and very cloudy. I had spent 29 years dreaming of sitting on the beach in the Bahamas with my toes in the sand. The first morning we woke up the temperature was probably high 60's to mid 70's. A carpet of gray clouds hung so low they swallowed up the horizon and the Bahama breeze was more like a gale force wind. Luckily I did think to throw in a
sweater in case the nights had a chill in the air, so that morning we put on the warmest clothes we had packed, stuffed a blanket from the closet into our backpack and headed for the beach. By golly I'd waited 29 years to lay out on the beach with my man and hail nor high waters were going to strip that away from me now! When we got to the beach we were surprised to find we had it all to ourselves except for a woman selling jewelry. She immediately started apologizing for the weather and assuring us it would clear up tomorrow. I told her we weren't worried about it because it was 1 degrees where we came from so this was a warm vacation for us.... She said.... "Oh good, as long as the two of you aren't discouraged honey,  that is a good thing." How could anyone be discouraged surrounded by the beauty of the Bahamas? We pulled our chase lounge chairs as close together as we could get them, wrapped the blanket around us and lay there listening to the magic sound of ocean waves hitting the shore... It was PERFECT!!  Later in the day another adventurous couple wondered down to the beach, picking up shells and enjoying the weather. That evening we ran into them
and found they were from Canada and although the weather hadn't been exactly what they were expecting for their first day there they were determined to make the most of it. The woman said... "When I saw the two of you laying on the beach, wrapped in a blanket up to your nose, I knew you were our kind of people." We had a wonderful vacation and as each day passed the weather got better and better. But as far as I was concerned, it was perfect the whole time!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Come to Jesus Meeting With GPS System...

The day of our great adventure began with me plugging in a borrowed TomTom to get up to Dallas Fort Worth airport without any major mishaps. The key word is "borrowed". Out of all of the voices available to select to shout the directions was a guy named Richard. I looked and looked for a guy with an accent that was named Fabio, but to no avail.... Apparently whoever designed the TomTom doesn't read romantic novels therefore doesn't understand the cheap thrill it would give me to have Fabio giving me directions in a deep, sultry voice.  My second choice for a voice would be one filled with insults and sarcasm... You know one that says.... "If you're not going to listen to a word I say why don't you just turn me off stupid?" This voice would most certainly need a New York accent and parental discretion would need to be advised, cause well, you know.. Not everyone in the United States uses words like "Yes Ma'am and No Sir." Richard and I got off to a rocky relationship and not just because he didn't have a sultry voice, he kept doing his best to turn us around and head us back home. I have no idea what his problem was, but half way to Dallas me and him had a "Come to Jesus" meeting and he finally saw the light and headed us in the right direction.... I'm still trying to figure out how to tell the owner of navigation device why Richard now sports a black eye. I should have chosen a female voice if I actually wanted us to get there without any directional issues. When we headed home, I had full confidence that Richard remembered our previous little chat and would not be pulling any monkey business on us, my husband on the other hand had lost all confidence and deliberately ignored Richard in somewhat of a arrogant manner. When my husband in fact had to do a U turn because of his lack of confidence I absolutely shoved Richard in his face and made him offer a sincere and deep felt apology. From there on we were smooth sailing and we ended the trip with everyone being fast friends.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Learning to Relax.... It's an Art

My play date with God went great this morning. I lay in bed all snuggled under as my husband got ready for work. "Now I want you to rest today and I don't want you up cleaning house or anything because I want to start our vacation with you well rested." I rolled over and looked at him as innocent as I could manage.... "What do you mean, I'm being good, I'm sleeping in?"  I could tell by the look in his eyes that he wasn't buying the innocent routine.... "Yeah, but I know how you are, the minute I leave you'll start in and wear yourself out, then your back will start hurting and that's not what I want you to do."  I love it when he plays all bossy!! After a kiss and a promise to behave myself he left the house. As soon as he left I jumped out of bed, fixed my hair and make-up, jumped in my snow clothes and headed downstairs. When I came bounding down the stairs the dogs knew something was up. When I grabbed their leash, they knew what that something was.... We had a play date with God in the snow. The sky was a heavy deep gray, the wind chill was -10 degrees. A few flakes as fine as sugar fell from the sky and every now and then the wind would whip up a whirlwind of snow. The streets were still virgin white, as most people still hadn't ventured out of their cozy little nest. Downtown the City workers were bulldozing the streets, I waved as they laughed watching my little crew tromp through the drifts. Sometimes I think God dumps a blanket of snow on us just to slow us down. Normally my Son would be in school instead of at a friend house because.... Well, you just can't miss a day of school. I'm hesitant to take a sick day of work even when I feel bad, because..... You're not suppose to miss work.  I would never think of missing a hair appointment, but if they're closed, what's a girl to do? Hate to miss church, but it's been canceled due to weather. I don't think I'm the only one who thinks the world would not be able to turn if there wasn't somewhere I was suppose to be. I can't remember what happened, but when the kids were little and I was shuffling them to and from school and working and involved in a million things.... I realized one day that I was making them a nervous wreck because I was always in a hurry.... "Hurry up, put your shoes on. Hurry up brush your teeth. Hurry up and take your nap so we can get up and go to....." It was always something and I felt like I had a million irons in the fire (and I actually did), but none of that was as important as me taking a minute to calmly speak to my children. Is it really necessary for me to be involved in everything? Is it really necessary for my kids to be in every sport? Is all this stuff really necessary or am I just making myself busy for the sake of being busy? That's when God steps in and drops a blanket of snow over us and slows us down for just a little while. People get bored really quickly when they don't have all their busy work to do, then they start doing nothing important like reading a book, playing a game, or OMG, just sitting and enjoying the beautiful silence of calm or the sweet sound of His voice talking to our hearts. Today God wrapped a blanket of snow around  me and encouraged me to sit and relax for a while. He invited me outside to enjoy His creation and to laugh with Him at the silliness of all the busy stuff I think I just have have to get done. I have learned to relax.... It really is an art.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In Daddy's Arms

My family and I went to the movies the other day. We ordered our giant tubs of popcorn, our barrel size of Mr.Peb and settled into our comfy cozy theater seats. While waiting for the movie to start, I sat and played brick breaker on my blackberry while my husband and Son munched away. Not long after we settled into our seats, I looked up to see a man and wife, along with their severely handicapped daughter being seated in front of us in the handicapped section. Try as I might I could help but watch the interaction. The girl looked like she was probably 10-12 years old. The man gently picked her up out of her stroller, carefully lifting so her head didn't bobble. She had a neck collar on, but still her head hung helplessly to the side. He sat in the seat and arranged her in his lap as his wife waited. When he got her settled the wife arranged two pillows around his arms for comfort and support. He nuzzled his daughter's neck, straightened her braided ponytail as the wife dug through a bag of supplies. Seconds later the man held up a feeding tube as his wife put the milky substance in it. It was a quick process and minutes later they were settled in waiting for the movie to begin. My husband and I looked at each other and I had only one word... "Precious".
The Father cradled his daughter throughout the movie. After the movie was over we made our way out as they began the task of getting her back in the stroller. I couldn't help but think of the pain and suffering they went through living with a child that was so disabled, and longing for her to know the joys of a typical childhood. Instinctively I also knew that this child had brought them countless joy.... You could just tell. Their love and tenderness was overwhelming to watch. Life is full of mysteries, lots of questions that can't be answered in the here and now. Though I may not understand all of God's plans, I do believe (even when I don't feel like it inside) that He has us cradled in his lap, surrounded with the pillows of his mercy and grace, throughout all of life. That's just the way it is... We are always in Daddy's arms, and there's no place like it on earth.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Refined Sugar and Processed Food Makes Me.... Happy!

Okay, let's just get this straight! I come from the junk food era... Well, the beginning of the junk food era. When I got my drivers license at 16, I almost never ate home cooked food again. My parents are fabulous cooks, but they used to say that if it wasn't between two buns I wouldn't eat it. For breakfast I would run through McDonald's get a Dr. Pepper and a box of Chocolate chip cookies. I would eat them in Mrs. Reynold's shorthand class. I usually didn't eat lunch and for dinner it was Sonic (they knew me by name which is kind of sad) or Taco Tico. It's terrible to say but I'm not a whole lot better now. It's probably due to his terrible
dietary upbringing that has brought my oldest Son to suddenly become health food conscious. I even caught him showing his little brother a brainwashing video regarding organic gardening. I'm afraid this is a little cultish behavior and I'd prefer he not corrupt his brother until he is out on his own. I understand eating and cooking organic is somewhat time consuming (I haven't seen many organic fast food places around) and the thought of drinking milk, much less unhomogenized and unpasteurized seems just.... wrong and frankly shouldn't be done at all unless you're washing down a piece of chocolate cake...IMO What's wrong with this
young generation anyway? Do they not understand that back in the day getting to buy a Coke was a treat and you certainly didn't have 3 liter bottles of it in your house. Not only that, but if you wanted a diet drink you had to drink Tab, which was like trying to swallow used and carbonated toilet water. My Aunt used to drink Tab and I remember opening a can and trying to put sugar in it just so I could choke it down... There was some horrible chemical reaction causing the fizz to completely over-fizzle creating a big mess. I never tried a Tab again (flash back rabbit trail). His latest idea is making his own soap. He is having a couple he met at the Organic Farmer's Market come to his house to teach him to make his own soap. My gosh, seems so much easier to just go to Bath and Body Works, plus (and this is a big plus since I have no grandchildren) Bath and Body Works is like a Chick Magnet!! I really am being more supportive than I sound, I'm just venting because I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blogs and it seems like all that organic stuff would be exhausting. He bought 100 lbs of grain and he and his friends have been making homemade bread (I can go along with that), but they aren't using a handy-dandy bread machine, they are really doing it by hand. He
has purchased a grain grinder... Not an electric one which would make the whole process easier, but a hand grinder to grind his own grain.... Just seems weird to me. If you didn't know better you would think he was raised by a little Susie Homemaker, but I assure you (as will my other children), he was not raised by that woman. What I fear the most is his brainwashing will rub off on my Son that's still at home and my husband and I may be forced to conform (yeah, that'll be the day).It is true that both of his thighs don't match one of mine, so his dietary choices might have a few positive aspects. I am very proud of him. I can rest assured that when he has children they will live a much healthier life than I have. Plus, he'll probably not let his kids have sugar so their little systems won't be used to it. When they come to visit Lolli and Pop, I'll zip them up on sweets and watch roll (you're amazed I haven't been awarded Mother of the year aren't you?).It's so funny how differently your children turn out from what you think they will. Already in his short 24 years, he has surpassed me in more ways than I care to count. So has my daughter and I can't wait to see what the baby of the family turns out to
be.However they turn out, whatever they decide to be, makes me happy and proud. That being said, I will not hesitate to turn into the freezer lady in Georgia if they try to take my refined sugar and processed food away. My refined sugar and processed food is what's made me so good-natured all these years. I'd hate to see that change after all these years.
"Oh Honey, you're not the world's worst Mother. What about that freezer lady in Georgia?"

The Litter Box of Life or NOT

Bella not happy about having her nap interrupted

My daughter has a precious little Persian cat named Bella. Bella is my grand kitten and she calls me Lolli. Now wait a minute....You can just wipe that smirk right off your face! When I have Grandchildren I'll be perfectly happy to blog about them, until then just hold your judgment until you've walked a mile in my stilettos. (It's early and I haven't had my coffee) Anyway, Bella keeps her company. Being in the military can be very lonely, Bella fills that void (a little), especially since my Daughter is a pet lover like her Mom. When she got Bella she, of course, purchased a little pink bed for her, and little pink toys to play with, all the things that would make this one very spoiled kitten. Although Bella has the best of the best, when she first brought her home Bella chose to sleep in her litter box. Understandably this disturbed my Daughter a lot!! Finally Bella realized there were more comfortable places to lounge, so she got out of her pit. This weekend my Daughter sent me a picture of Bella in the bathroom sink. She had curled up in the sink for a little R&R. When my Daughter turned the light on to click the picture, Bella looked none to happy about having her nap disturbed. When I saw the picture I laughed and I thought to myself... How often have I lived beneath the provisions God has for me? How many times have I curled up in the corner of the potty box of life, when I could have been lounging in royal comfort? My estimation is way too many times. It's not that it's not available, it's not that He wants me to hang out in the litter box, it's just that I neglect to bathe myself in the blessings he provides. That's what's on my mind today. Where am I at? Where does he want me? How do I get there from here? I've got a sinking feeling there's more... Way more!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

TBI Recovery, Living With A New Me: Month Six & Seven (Light at the End of the Tunnel?)

TBI Recovery, Living With A New Me: Month Six & Seven (Light at the End of the Tunnel?)


It a rare instance when my little town has ice on the streets that won't melt during the day. Usually when and if we get snow, it's gone before the next evening. Coming home for lunch today I was in awe that the streets were in no better condition now than they were this time yesterday. I find that.... amusing. One week and one day from today I plan on having my toes ankle deep in the sand. I plan on drinking iced tea adorned with little umbrellas, and I plan on having the sun warm my frost bitten fingers as I pick up sea shells on the seashore.... Yep, I'm planning a lot of amusing things.

TBI Recovery, Living With A New Me: Month Five

TBI Recovery, Living With A New Me: Month Five: "The month of May rolled through with little to no change in my physical or emotional well being. I continued to take short naps at lunch in ..."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Frost

The winter wind chills the air, but nothing like your stare chills my heart
Where once there was warmth, now there is just a void of regret
Ice cold fingers wrap around my heart like a noose around a nape
Flakes of bitterness land on my lashes, turning to tears
Resolutions of the past haunt my dreams  
The echo of my sorrow wakes me from the night
As the rhythm of a heart now wounded becomes melody of my day
The mystic illusion of my affection is surrounded by a barrier of grief 
Yet in the naked misery of anguish I find a cavern of hope
That while the brokeness may linger and wholeness may allude 
I'm overwhelmed with hunger for the fullness I find in you

TBI Recovery, Living With A New Me: Month Four

TBI Recovery, Living With A New Me: Month Four: "In so many ways March had been a great month. My trip to California went well, so naturally I thought the worst was behind me. Unfortunately..."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Playfulness of God

As luck would have it, they sent us home today shortly after we got to work. The snow was blowing furiously and coming down hard. When the snow finally let up and the sun came out to play, I dug out my ski clothes, saddled up the horses... well dog the size of a horse and headed out for a walk. It was perfect outside!!! Although there was a thin sheet of ice under the snow, the 14 inches on top of it, made it of little concern. The wind was cold and straight out of the North, but that's what ski clothes and snow boots are for. The snow was fluffy and deep.... perfect!  Snow drifts where here and there along our walk, Sometimes Riley, my Bulldog would be belly deep and plowing the way with her flat face. Sailor, my Mastiff helped pull me along when the snow became packed on my boots making it difficult to walk in the drifts. We walked downtown where the streets were deserted except for the City trucks out sanding the roads. When we headed back toward the house we were walking directly into the North wind. I had left my fir hood at the office so the wind blew my hair back and my ears were numb. My nose began to run and my eye teared up from the cold wind. It was the best walk ever!!! Put me on the beach with my toes in the sand and cold waves wrapping around my ankles, or plunk me down in the middle of a snow drift with the wind blowing through my hair and my mind will immediately turn to the Creator of the universe. No one will ever convince me that God doesn't have a playful side, because I've had the occasion to play with him many times. Each and every time I experience the playfulness of God one thing sticks out in my mind. I have never felt more alive than I do when I'm playing with God and enjoying his creation. Today was one of those times.

TBI Recovery, Living With A New Me: Month Three

TBI Recovery, Living With A New Me: Month Three: "Slowly my world went from being in a fog to being in a bubble. The audio began to catch up to the video except the reception was very distor..."

The Best of Both Worlds

At 4:30 a.m. my husband sat beside me on the bed gently shaking my arm... "Wake up Jac, I want to show you something." He led me all sleepy eyed to the bathroom window where the world below was covered in a snowy blanket. I stood at the window and jumped up and down,clapping my hands like a little girl getting a new bicycle. I love, love, love snow and we get so little of it here. I managed to run around the back yard with my dog before having to drive to work. There are approximately myself and 3 other people here today. When I woke up I was actually having a dream that I was on
an island, playing in the water and sand with a bunch of high school kids. So I've had the best of both worlds already today and it's not even 9 o'clock in the morning. "Sometimes I've believed as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast." (quote from Alice In Wonderland)