Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tricolor Hodgepodge

Linking up with Joyce for the Hodgepodge today.  I've been sorely tempted to participate the last two times she offered it.   I answered  all her questions in my head, of course, but in the hopes of keeping the promise to myself to blog only four times in May, I refrained from entertaining you, my dear reader   delayed my gratification.

About FACE!

1. What can the average citizen do to honor a military veteran and/or those currently serving?

"Kill a terrorist."  That's what my brother-in-law said.   Instead, I called one of my favorite military friends and said I would be by with a dozen donuts from Dunkin today. All she had to do was ask her family of six for their two favorite kinds. They appreciated it. 

2. Besides a flag what is something you own that is red, white and blue?
We own a rule. It's called the Red, White, and Blue Rule in our house. Simply, when Mom and Dad's door is shut,  do not disturb us for anything other than red (bleeding), white (fainting), or blue (not breathing).

3. Does love really conquer all?   No. I'm still waiting for it to conquer the clutter in my house.

On a serious note,  love doesn't conquer cancer on earth.   I lost a three-year-old cousin to leukemia on Memorial Day weekend several years ago.  All the love in the world didn't keep him from dying, but thankfully all the love in our heavenly Father was bestowed on Jonathan to help him
and his family cope with the dreadful disease, and his death.  Ultimately God's love carried that sweet little boy to the arms of Jesus and carries his loved ones through riptides of grief.

4. Strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie?

5. Do you share personal stuff with your hairdresser?
Besides my money? Yes.  I try to talk to her about the Lord. You never know when your hour in the chair might lead to her hour  of salvation. (As far as I can tell, my hairdresser is not a Christian.)

6. Does money lead to selfishness?
No. We are born selfish, when we have not a penny to our name, or maybe not EVEN a name!

7. What piece of furniture in your home most needs replacing or refinishing?
My living room sofa is awfully dated, but is so comfortable and is good condition that it's hard to part with. To quote my sister-in-law, "It's a great napping sofa!"  I sometimes sleep better on it  than in my own bed.  But the living room is seldom seen, and thus the replacement of the sofa therein is not a priority.

8. Insert your own random here.
I will have plenty more to say and add pictures to on Friday, June 1st.  This is my fourth and final day to post for May unless my new charger for the laptop comes Wednesday morning and I can post late Wednesday night.  I made no promises as to how many posts in those four days I publish!  Sneaky, eh?

But I will leave you today with encouragement from our chaplain who spoke on my
all-time favorite today, Romans 8:  38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

He began his always-delightful sermonette with audience participation, military style.

He marched left, right, left, right, in place.

"Okay, everyone.  I will sing, 'What can separate us?' And you sing, "'Absolutely nothing!'"

Chaplain: What can separate us?
Students and Teachers: Absolutely nothing!

All day that beautiful promise that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God has been
ringing in my ears.  Whenever that happens, I can count on being put to the test of believing it in the near future.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Hunnert Things (or More)

Inspired by a poem written by one of the Company Girls at Home Sanctuary,  I decided to make a list of 100 things that I needed to pick up and put away today. The 100+ thing pick-up challenge is motivated less by the thrill of work (ha!) and more by the possibility of winning an art print by my friend Rachel Anne Ridge.

My poem is based on actual items in my bedroom and upstairs hall that need to be--how shall I put it--relocated?   The contents of the linen/medicine closet were strewn about because of some spillage which resembles pillage in the village.

         A Hunnert Things or More

Don't judge me yet, wait till you're done
Reading this list of things I've  begun
To pick up, put away, and then count as a prize
(If I make it that far before my demise.)

White socks, red socks, a book called Soul Detox,
Twenty more pairs of assorted (not sorted) colored socks.
A defunct lamp, duffel bag, scrapbook papers galore
Tennis shoes, winter scarves, but wait! There's more!

Goodwill donations, shiny pennies, winter clothes,
A vacuum cleaner, kids' Bible, and holey pantyhose.
Photo frame, heating pad, a tower fan on the floor,
Notepads, kitty stationery, and two guitars near the door.

Little Visits with God (a copy well-worn)
I've had since I was little, or before I was even born.
DVDs, pearl earrings, silver necklaces on the night stands,
A box of tissues, pastel TUMS, and lotion for the hands.

Magazine called Wood & Steel, a basket full of cards,
Colored markers, calculator,  and --for good measure--glass shards.
Just kidding about the shards, but would you be surprised
To find X-rays in the hallway--Clavicle of  Little Guy's.

A 1979 prom stein (not that he's a user), a sports bra (not that I'm a user)
Sketch pad, trash bag, mints, and a blow dryer diffuser.
Brief case, contact case, Bandaids by the dozen,
Neck brace, arm sling, and a trash can to put fuzz in.

Plumber's tubing, flashlight, denim jeans and cardboards,
An amplifier, music stand, and thick black electric cords.
Sponge Bob tee, a 4th grade  Latin test,  and two 12-inch rulers.
Some photo albums and curricula from when we were homeschoolers.

Surge protector, washcloths, V-neck, and poker chips
Hand sanitizer, suitcase, throw rug, and some  hair clips.
No, this isn't Walmart, it just sounds like it could be.
You'll find a copy of The Help next to the kleenex is Aisle 3.

A baby blanket from 1988 (my boy's--who just celebrated his 24th)
A blue and white checkered British toy car-- made in China, of courth.
Winter coat, dog coat (in strands of gold on the "cahpet")
It's time to quit rhyming, so let me stop it, stop it, stop it!

For we all like to play--yes, yes, we do,
As least I speak for myself, and perhaps for you?
Can you find a Hunnert Things or more to pick up, put away
Or have you been reading this, shaking your head in dismay?

Please don't answer if your answer's the latter,
Just be my friend, and join me for some chatter.
I'll make the iced tea. Will you bring the lemon?
We'll chat about  what never ends--and that's the work of women!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook 5.14.12

Good evening. In an effort to corral the stampeding thoughts of my mind, I have chosen a favorite standby meme called "A Simple Woman's Daybook."

Outside my window...darkness has descended and I hear the bullfrogs and crickets and other critters God has made to perform concerts for Him. The rest of us have the privilege of listening in.

I am thinking...can't STOP thinking about a missing person.  My sister has a lifelong friend whose brother Karl has been missing for over two weeks. Having been distraught over personal issues,Karl dropped his children off at their grandmother's, then proceeded to drive toward the desert (in Arizona) where his truck crashed into a pole. Witnesses who saw the crash ran to help, and --here the mystery begins-- said that there was no one inside when they opened the doors.  Police, ATV, dogs, helicopters, volunteers on foot, searched a wide area for six days.  It seems evident that Karl does not want to be found. He knows the area well. Was he even in the vehicle when it crashed,or did he put it in gear and let it roll? His poor family has more questions than answers.

I am thankful for...the healing that has taken place in relationships this year. This was the first time in probably 24 years that I have looked forward to Mother's Day.  And the kicker? We didn't celebrate it yesterday.  I want to have all four of my children and my new daughter-in-law with me, and since she spent the day with her own mom in NJ on Sunday, I opted for a different time. So tomorrow all the brood will come over for a crab feast and do all the set-up and clean up. Then we might play some games. I am sounding more and more like my mother every day. Food and games and kids around. That makes us happy. We will get with my parents and younger sister (who are anti-crab vegetarians!)  next Sunday at a restaurant  when crowds aren't so annoying.

From the kitchen...near the table, the clanking of dishes and cups that my youngest is unloading from the dishwasher. He is finally tall enough to reach everything that I can reach, so I delegated that responsibility. On the table is a bouquet of mixed flowers I used to decorate my Mother-Daughter Tea table on Saturday.  At the table sits Son 2 with his computer, studying for a programming final. Tomorrow is a hard day for him, but Wednesday he gets to kiss his fast-food job goodbye forever. He has been hired as a computer programming intern at a Fortune 500 company for the summer making a whole lot more than minimum wage. Yippee!  He is saving money for the future that he wants to spend happily married to his sweetie (see sidebar photo).

I am creating...or should I say, planning to create, a couple of throw pillows in that fresh tangerine color that's all the rage now. I normally don't get trendy except in the accessories, and even then I have more intentions that actual deliveries upon said intentions.   I sewed a hem in my Tea Table cloth and the sewing machine is still sitting out, begging to be used again.

I am going...to sign up for a watercolor painting class this summer. The local college is offering it on Saturday mornings for 10 sessions. It's my kids' gift to me for Mother's Day.  I said, "In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Mom Foundation."

I am reading...slowly through The Help.  Also have returned to Understanding Your Man by H. Norman Wright.  (Because I still don't understand my man and it appears to be mutual.)

I am hoping... to see the theatrical production of Jonah! at Sight and Sound in Lancaster with my sister and her kids when they're here in June.

I am hearing...my hubby sending the boy up to bed. The routine usually include sa back scratch from me and listening to his day and anticipating something funny he's going to tell me. Today he told me that a boy in class pooped his pants. There were just three boys in the room at the time--that kid, Joel, and one other boy-- supposedly doing chores before they could have recess with everyone else. This boy squatted and said, "Super fart!" but what he produced was more solid than gas.  Joel said at first it was really, really funny, but then the smell was just disgusting. The kid had to pick it up with three kleenexes in front of Joel and the other boy. Is that just the grossest thing?? Thankfully the teacher and other kids were not privy to the super dooper pooper fart.

Around the house...finished laundry--lots of it, for a change. Took me 2.5 hours to wash, dry, fold, and put away--I mean in baskets--but it feels good.

One of my favorite things...is playing Words with Friends on Facebook.  I rarely win, but I have beaten my Aunt Linda twice, and since she is a wordsmith extraordinaire, I feel particularly smug today.
It helped that I played the word "ox" for 61 points and that was pretty much sheer luck.

A few plans for the rest of the week...pray tomorrow for my hubby who is under a lot of pressure at work; make significant headway in housework since relatives are coming now and later; watch some of the Field Day activities on Thursday (no art to teach that day--I am thankful for a day off even though I love it).  Find a new chiropractor. Buy some new tennis shoes . My old ones are shot and make my ankles feel less supported than going barefooted.

A picture thought I'm sharing...

My sister made this cake for my mom's 70th birthday.  It recalls a wonderful day that the two of them
spent at the Preakness as well as shows the horse about 70% of the way to the finish line. (The assumption being she'll live to be 100.)  The Maryland state flower is the black-eyes susan, which Jill incorporated very creatively. I love the thought and cheer of this cake, and hope the Preakness brings a win to that Derby winner called I'll Have Another.  I just absolutely adore horses; they are the most majestic creatures on the face of the earth, and Maryland horse racing is an exciting tradition here in my home state.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

A Different Kind of May

I've been purposefully quiet on the blog for over a week now. That's a long time for me. Considering that this is Post #1542 on this blog alone (I have others), the lull has been my way of cutting back time online and making more strides in my home management.

Truth be told, the "pull" to blog has decreased tremendously. I have read others' blogs (a few) but every time I've thought about sitting down to post something on mine, the content has seemed petty. I think how silly and insignificant are some of my thoughts. My very average life; whoopdee doo. Even this post seems almost worthless to me, but I did say I'd blog four times in May, to sort of let folks know I'm here and doing okay. We need a new laptop adaptor, because our desktops are frustratingly slow right now. When the laptop is back up and running, I'll post pictures. 

 My feet have been giving me a lot of trouble. Pain and swelling in the ankles, sometimes in the left, sometimes the right, sometimes both. Other times they work just fine and I go about my business like a normal 40-something. But when they give out or I give up on them, I sit with them propped on a bag of frozen veggies wrapped in a towel. Tonight when I was finished using them in external therapy, I actually ate the cauliflower broiled and topped with lemon pepper seasoning and shredded sharp cheddar

Enough "old people" talk. I sound like my grandmother and mother.

So, what have I done instead of blogging?

I've made better meals, planned out and executed rather than looking at the clock and saying, "Woops! It's 5:00 already? What can I thaw in fifteen minutes and throw in the oven?"

I've accomplished a lot more on my daily to-do lists.

I've played more games with my boy.  For a change I beat him at Monopoly and whooped him at Masterpiece.  But he still dominates me at Stratego.

I've thought about couponing and stockpiling.  I'm not sure how well I'd stick to couponing, so I haven't officially started, but it's on the front burner now, so to speak.

I've been reading more. Currently I'm reading The Help. Author Kathryn Stockett excels in writing dialogue, my favorite part of a book (which should come as no surprise to those who know me).

I understand my dog better.  I know, I know. This sounds weird, but paying attention to your critter has its benefits.  The thirstier he is, the higher he jumps, with all fours completely off the ground --a vertical leap of about 18 inches.  I bet he could jump over the moon if I left him in the Sahara Desert for a week.  (At times I'm tempted, but then he gives me "that look" and I gotta admit I weally wuv him, I do, I do. Mwah, mwah, mwah.)

I've reduced the mountains of laundry to molehills.

I painted a still life on 16x20 canvas and realized again how I love acrylics and how relaxing it is to create art. 

We (Paul, Sarah, Joel, and I ) went to Delaware for  a free JJ Heller concert with Paul's brother and his wife.  They invited us to stay overnight in their lovely home which his brother built. The best night's sleep I've had in a long time, and a yummy breakfast casserole and hot coffee to wake up to in the morning.  (Sidenote: JJ Heller's darling 3-year-old daughter sang with her on stage. And she said, in the sweetest, tiny voice, "It's hawd being cute, but SOMEbody's gotta do it!") 

While at the concert, I met a blind man and his service dog, a golden retriever named Doer.  I got to pet the dog who was oh-so-soft-and-gentle, and chatted with the man a bit. He is getting ready to go to Johns Hopkins Hospital as a visitor with Doer. I told him we adopted our golden with hopes of training him for therapy as well, but three days after getting him, I was the one who needed therapy.  I think Reilly could do search and rescue because he is more task oriented, and is OCD about retrieving tennis balls.  He can find ones that were buried under three feet of leaves in October.  So anyone who were to get  lost within a hundred miles of Wimbledon would surely be found by our pup.

Some great news worth reporting, however, would be:

1. My husband still has a job. The office tension is still high and he comes home thoroughly drained, and has a major stressor hanging over his head right now, but at least the stress is not about getting laid off.

2.  Our youngest, who broke his clavicle (collarbone) just two days after the wedding, has now been declared healed. The orthopedist has never seen a clavicle mend so fast. Normally he says it takes 10-14 weeks. Joel x-ray at 7.5 week this past Wednesday looked perfect, with all new bone in place. He can resume full activity on Monday, and so let the hallelujahs rise!

3. Our school's spring concert and art show were held last night and went very well. I am so thankful for the school and the privilege of being part of the faculty in the smallest way as an art teacher.  I am grateful that God has given us the gifts of art and music. Our son performed in song and on the recorder and really seemed "in his element" despite the nerves. His art is also (I know it sounds like bragging, but it's just the truth) the best in the 4th grade class.  I'm not just saying that because he's my kid.  I was also very happy to have my whole family there, including my dad.  (My mom doesn't yet feel safe to go out with the eye that had the corneal transplant a few weeks ago. It's not quite healed.)  To see all my kids together, and my new daughter-in-law too, gave my heart a  hot air balloon ride.

Okay, speaking of hot air, this is too long for one post. I'm sure I lost some readers back at  the third paragraph.

I shall close and bid you adieu.