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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Class of 2013.... Come Rain or Shine

Friday my youngest son graduated from High School.  I was busy preparing for family coming in for the big night. It was another wearable weather day in Oklahoma and the forecast changed minute by minute which was driving me to the brink (as if I don't stand close enough all the time anyway). The school's alternative plan was.... They had no alternative plan. If it were raining they were going to have the graduation in the auditorium.If the ceremony was indoors, only 6 of the 12 relatives could get in. I certainly didn't want to pick and choose who got to go and who had to stay home... Especially since most were coming from out of town. It's seemingly insignificant moments
like these, that totally throws my mojo into a frenzy. Silly, silly, silly me, I thought the simple solution would to simply look at the weather radar and read the forecast, which showed rain. Everyone gathered at the house for dinner before my youngest had to be at the stadium. When we left the house, it was rumbling in the distance as dark clouds swirled our way. The parking was terrible! As we walked toward the stadium, I was scolding myself for not getting there earlier. A second later I was scolding myself because we hadn't taken pictures before we left the house because it was pouring rain. A large cheer rose from the stadium as the students seemed to think it was a hoot. Oh well, chalk it up to another memory made by the class of 2013. let the journey begin.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Shadows on the Ground

I sat out on the front steps last night. The muggy Oklahoma day had turned into a pretty nice evening for us. OKC were getting hammered with tornadoes and hail, but where I sat, things were nice and calm. I sat on the steps holding Not My Cat Fez, who has turned from a wild beast into a cuddly, love on me all the time bird hunter. He is so enamored with his hunting abilities, he is continuously placing the birds he has decapitated right outside the screen door. When I step out the door, my foot lands on their mushy little bodies and nearly causes me to fall. I have told him time and again, "That's not cool!" He doesn't seem to care how un-cool it is, he continues to show off his manliness with special gifts for Momma.
I picked him up and nuzzled him close to my cheek. He purred and nuzzled me back, then hopped from my lap to chase shadows in the moonlight. I was in a blue mood. Tears quietly slid down my cheeks as I stared into the darkness. The upper branches of our front trees swayed back and forth with the gentle breeze. Their shadows were vaguely noticeable on the side walk. We originally planted the trees to block the house across the street from our view. At the time, the house was a run down eye sore. I looked toward the moon and saw it was perfectly obstructed by the tall limbs. I sat there with tears rolling down my cheeks. I had so many questions I simply couldn't find the answer to. God seemed to gently speak to my heart. "The shadows you see, are from an object you've allowed to obstruct my light in your life." It's time to trim some limbs because reality is being reduced to shadows on the ground.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Offendable Spirit?

I often wonder if tightly wound people realize what a joy they would be if they'd just lighten up a little. You know that moment when you attempt to bring a little lighthearted humor to a conversation (usually with a dash of sarcasm) the room stills as the oxygen is sucked out of the room by someone's insecurities and you can tell they're a hair's breath from snapping. These are the times I ask myself why try? Why indeed? Because life is too stinking short to be tied down by a short fuse. There is humor in everything if you'll just un-tether yourself from those insecurities and embrace life with all of it's unexpected opportunities and different personalities. Trust me, I have to make myself do it every day and I hope I never quit trying to lighten up. Sure, not totally being feeling overwhelmed can, at times, be a full time job... If we let it. My go-to solution for stress is to do one of the following:

A) Bring humor to the situation. Unfortunately my humor leans toward sarcasm, which is rarely embraced with the affection it is delivered with. Right after my injury, when everyone was still very concerned
about my recovery. I rounded up the gang and took them to see Alice in Wonderland. I made jokes, I laughed when she fell down the rabbit hole and I sought high an low for anything that would defuse the pain, not that I was going through, but for those who were going through it with me. My feeling was if I could act like I was okay, they would buy it and not worry. Luckily, I have friends who have a great sense of humor, even when mine is inappropriate for the situation. When a good friend of mine went through breast cancer, the Girlfriends got together and gave her a bye bye boobie party. We had two choices, we
could laugh, or we could cry.... We chose to laugh while we could and cry when we must. To this day, I get more hits on that post than any other post I have ever written. I believe it's because there are a lot of people out there who want to laugh in the face of something that terrifies them. You know what? That's perfectly okay!

B) My second go-to for stress, is to withdraw. I learned to withdraw after the injury because my verbal filter.... Well, I didn't have a verbal filter for a long time. I found out then I needed to be very careful around anyone who could possibly of stress me out, or hurt my feelings. Now, I only use this reaction when I'm having a serious problem coping with whatever has been thrown in my direction. Withdrawal isn't what I want to do, it's what I must do when I simply can't take any more. Thankfully, I seldom have to use it, but I've found it's better to withdraw than to risk saying something that should be left unsaid.

I often remind myself of the scripture that talks about "Vain Imaginations". I think women are more prone to vain imaginations than men. My Pastor has said more times than I can count.... When someone walks in a room and someone quits talking and they become
offended because they think they were talking about them...... They need to get over themselves. Chances are they weren't the subject, because they're not that interesting. How true that is! I've chastised myself time and again for believing I was the reason someone was behaving in a way that I imagined was because they were mad at me or didn't like me (I mean, it's so hard to imagine someone not liking me of all people). I have to tell myself.... "It's not always about you." I've got stuff I'm dealing with, others have stuff their dealing with and most likely neither have a thing to do with the other. The perfect example happened today while I was on my way home for lunch. I noticed that I was taking exactly the same roads as the car in front of me. I take back roads and side roads, any way that will get me there fastest. As we came to a stop sign, my son and his friends came around the corner headed back to school. I flashed my lights and waved hello to them. The car I had been following put his car in park and marched right back to my car as I rolled the window down. He was ready to confront me with whatever my problem was. I found it so humorous that he instantly took offense... I think that's what you call having an "offendable spirit". I smiled sweetly at him as he demanded to know why I was flashing my lights at him. I laughed and told him I wasn't. I was flashing my lights at my son as he came around the corner and I greeted him with a wave.... "It had nothing to do with you sir." I'm not sure what upset him more.... Him thinking I was flashing my lights at him, or him finding out it had nothing to do with him. I really wanted to tell him to.... "lighten up a little. Life is too short and he looked as if his blood pressure was a little high for him to take everything so serious."  A really big part of me wanted to be charitable and offer a letter opener so he could effectively dig his panties out of the wad they had apparently gotten into. He lives down the street from me so I decided to keep calm, smile sweetly and keep my mouth shut (lucky man). People aren't perfect, everyone has chinks in their armor, some days more than others I can feel the dents in mine. I'm rusty around the edges, I squeak sometimes when I shouldn't, but that's just life. As the song says.... "I'm battle scarred but trying oh so hard to get back to who I once was."  And in case you're wondering no, that song isn't from the same group that sang "The Rubber Band Man." To all who read this post and wonder if it's about you.... It probably is. Ask yourself.... "Do I have an offendable spirit?" If the answer is yes, maybe you should work on it, I am  and hopefully my neighbor will.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Little Bunny Foo Foo

The other day I was visiting with my kids and we dug up an old memory I had long forgotten. My oldest two children were 9 and 11 when the baby was born. When my second child (boy) was born, my daughter was only three. I did everything the parenting books said you should do to prepare a three year old for a sibling. I took her to the doctor with me.... Let her help paint the nursery. I thought I had done everything to insure she felt love, excitement and joy about having a little brother. I WAS WRONG. The birth didn't go as planned and I had an emergency c-section. My recovery was hampered by the extensive recovery they forgot to warn me about in the childbirth class. Things actually went fine, right up until the point when we got home and she wanted to hold him. I placed the little bundle of cuteness in her arms and my husband and I stood back with my mom and dad to capture the moment.... Well, I say stood back, I was more humped over, sweating bullets and praying I didn't pass out due to the pain
of having my abdomen ripped apart, but other than that, I was just ducky. Then he began to cry. It was feeding time. We tried to let her give him a little water from the bottle they sent home from the hospital, but that wasn't what he wanted. As I reached down to take him from her arms, I could see the disappointment on her face and I told her we'd try it again after he had nursed and got settled in. Her daddy took her outside to play with the bunny as I ever so gently walked to the nursery followed by my mother. I began to change the baby as she began to tell me that she was just going to have daddy take her back to Tulsa since it was apparent I didn't need her.... She was really mad because I was the one who dressed him in his coming home outfit. I stood in the nursery, shocked, in a lot of pain and just wanting NOT to have that conversation at that particular moment when my husband came in with a bellowing three year old in his arms. Our pet rabbit had bitten her and she had gotten stung by a wasp. Okay... Lets count them off together.... Baby boy home less than an hour... Baby momma with her guts cut open... Nanna feeling left out.... Three year old feeling neglected, bitten and stung... And a husband who was at his wits end. It wasn't a made for TV type homecoming I'd planned on, but it did remind me of the "I had blue eyes first" commercial, only I was living it. Thankfully the arrival of number three was much better... Although we did almost have an incident in the hospital when the nurse informed my 11 year old it was against hospital policy to allow her to carry him out to the car in his carrier. I thought... "Oh boy, here we go again." She wasn't a happy camper on the way home, but once home things got better and everyone bonded with the baby according to plans. The baby was without a doubt the easiest child on the planet to raise!!!! As long as he was dry, fed and in his crib for nap time, he was happy as could be. Not many children will crawl to their crib and shake it when they are ready for a nap, but he did. Of course the downside was when we weren't home when nap time came.... He wasn't one to pass out just anywhere, the crib was where nap time took place or else (that should have been my first clue). When he got older we
noticed that he took everything very literal. The kids loved to sing Little Bunny Foo Foo to him in the car. They took great delight in the part where the fairy says.... "Or I'll turn you into a Goon" The idea of being turned into a Goon at the age of 3 terrified him beyond belief which delighted the two of them because he seldom cried about anything. Once he moved from the crib to the bunk bed.... He didn't take too kindly to his brother threatening him with suffocation while he slept (you know the typical type of torment dished out by big brothers). That's about the time he decided sleeping with Sissy was safer than sleeping in a room with Bubba. It's funny how I'd forgotten little things like that.... Well, they were little to me, he's probably going to need a lifetime of therapy to recover from Little Bunny Foo Foo, the threat of being turned into a Goon and suffocation while you sleep. Gladys Knight should change the beginning lyrics to The Way We Were to say....

"You know everyone's talking about the good ole' days.... Well let's talk about the good ole' days. Come to think about it as bad as we think they are, these will become the good ole' days for our children. But why don't we try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh so mellow. Try to remember and if you remember, then follow. Oh why does it seem the past is always better? We look back and think.... The winters were warmer, the grass was greener, the skies were bluer, and the nursery rhymes were filled with..... Fright."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Driving Under the Influence..... Of Starvation

This is why I shouldn't be allowed to go to the store after work. Yes, it is chocolate peanut butter. Yes, I cracked it open in the car and began eating it with my finger.... No, the car next to me did not understand what the big brown goop was that I was shoveling into my mug with such zest. Yes, they were totally grossed out :-)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cords of Love

Jenny and her friends
This weekend my friend hosted a Tea for her daughter and her two closest friends and their moms. She asked if I would decorate for it. There are fewer things that I enjoy more than preparing for special occasion for someone I love. The theme I selected was "The Key to Success". I made banners with wisdom quotes and scriptures. I made a wisdom tree and adorned it with skeleton keys and wisdom tags. The tablecloth was an unfinished quilt top that
has a special meaning to me. I got to use my e mis-matched china for the first time. I put candles on the mantel, pictures on the hearth with skeleton key chatskis laying around. It wasn't anything fancy and it wasn't anything anyone else couldn't do, but I enjoyed it so much because it was for someone so special to me. Another friend of ours gave a devotion called "Living in a Small Town". It was a precious reminder that although living in a small town has it's down side, the benefits
far outweigh the negative. Our families have been knitted together with cords of love that cannot be broken and
everyone has benefited in countless ways from these relationships. Like ripples in a pond, each drop of love you allow to fall on others, will be returned to you tenfold. My heart is full of pride to see Jenny grow into everything God created her to be and I'll be on the sidelines every step of the way cheering her on as she continues her journey.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Supliminal Messeges

The other day a friend of mine posted this advertisement for salad dressing on my Facebook page. I LOL'd her back like you do when someone post unwanted crap to your wall and accused her of trying to get me in trouble with my husband. After the comment I put it out of my mind (or I thought I had) and went on with my day. I was busy that night with craft stuff (not as in salad dressing, but as in scrap booking). The next morning when I woke up, I was tired. I felt like I had fought a war or something, then I remembered.... I HAD!!!! I had the most amazing dream. I dreamed I was this Laura Croft kind of gal. Just like in real life I was married to... Mighty Mike, who was bulked up a bit in my dream... You know.... bulging biceps and such. He had sexy scars all over his arms, which just sent me into overdrive. We lived in the coolest glass house, and had an outdoor bedroom with a swimming pool. We were so... Very good together.... at hmm, fighting off bad guys who attacked our home and tried to kidnap our son who looked just like young Luke Skywalker. We ran like vampires, but operated like Navy Seals, even had a cool helicopter. I guess it was just another weird Ambien fueled dream of mine (darn it), with a dash of subliminal messages thrown in to make it interesting. I double checked the kitchen this morning to make sure I hadn't been sleep eating again. The kitchen was salad free. Chalk it up to my wild imagination making life interesting in the most entertaining of ways.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Zone

I used to scrapbook a lot. I have every scrap booking tool, machine you could ask for. Several years ago our basement flooded with four feet of water. It destroyed hours, years and hundreds of dollars worth of memories. Since then, I turned to blogging which is less messy, less expensive, but not as creative. A friend of mine asked me weeks ago to do a project for her. There is nothing I enjoy more than planning a party. It was the perfect opportunity to dive into my craft closet and unleash some creative energy. My family has temporarily been abandoned for glitter and hot glue. Since I don't have an actual craft space (yet), I've delegated our bedroom to the job so I can simultaneously rant at the television while working on my project without disturbing my husband. I've been burrowed in my bedroom every lunch hour and evening surrounded by paper, scissors, glue and such. My bedroom floor looks like Times Square on New Years Day. Just so you know, I create just like I cook
which means, in the end it all works out, but the middle looks like a huge mess. Methodology isn't a gift I possess. Creativity and orderliness doesn't work for me. I prefer to create or decorate in private, because there is no rhyme or reason to how I arrive at the final results and to be honest I get very embarrassed by the chaos of the process.  When I'm creating or decorating I go to an unknown place that has rabbit trails,is filled with trials and errors, with a dash of unconventional thrown in.
Eventually, I get everything as it should be but the process isn't pretty. My husband calls it my Zone... Once I go in, I'm not coming out until it's done. Move over or be mowed over... Your choice. This afternoon during lunch I decided I needed to pull out the big guns and dug through the basement for the tried and true glue gun. FYI, glue guns are similar to glitter in the sense that it's the herpes of the craft world. It's the gift that keeps on giving long after the party is over.  I zoned out with glue gun in hand, giving no care to the mess that ensued. When I came out of the craft
fog, I had spider webs and blobs of hot glue everywhere. Upon arriving back at work, I ran my fingers through my hair to find I had clumps of glue still on my hands and nails. Sitting at my desk as I peeled the glue off my nails, I thought about the mess I'd left at home. I think I can get the glue off the furniture... It came off my nails okay. Much like Scarlett O'Hara " "I'll think about that tomorrow," and "...tomorrow is another day," When I got home from work I brought the project into the kitchen so I could
simultaneously burn dinner and work on the project. Finally, late last night the majority of it was complete and I was happy with the results (of the project, not how the house looked). After being out of the zone for a while, it was nice to be back, even if it buried me knee deep in glitter.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cookie Dunkie is Back

The other day I stood in front of the vending machine trying to determine what the power food of the day would be. I opted for a single serving of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip cookies. When I headed back to my office the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted my direction and brought back a childhood memory long forgotten. I remembered sitting at our little coffee table in the living room, watching cartoons with a little stack of chocolate chip cookies and a cup of coffee. My mother or brother had taught me the art of dunking you cookie into the coffee until it melted in your mouth in awesome deliciousness. That was a bad memory to be brought back to the surface. The last week, my breakfast and lunch have consisted of Cookie Dunkie and judging from my hips, that is not a good thing.