Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Chocolate and peanut butter my favorite. Peanut butter cups, buckeyes, ice cream......anything. Yum. Even a spoonful of peanut butter dunked in a jar of hot fudge. Not that I've ever done that. Really, I haven't. Don't judge, people! We all have our weak moments. Late at night. In a dark kitchen. Whatever.

Last night my husband and I went to Tim Horton's. For those of you that don't know what a Tim Horton's is...look it up. It is only the best coffee/pastry shop around. I think these shops are only in the northern part of the country. I don't recall seeing a Tim Horton's when I lived in the south. I like Tim Horton's better than any Starbucks. ANYWAY, on with my story. We went there last night because our local Tim Horton's has united with Cold Stone Creamery. It is now like a sugar, sweet treat the same building. I could live there. Like permanently. They have a lounge area  with a fireplace with a TV, along with the regular tables. After ordering some peanut butter cup perfection (for me) and for coffee lovers only (for my husband) we settled down in the lounge area to eat our cold treats. (Plus Storm Stories was on the The Weather Channel, which we all know I am a storm lover, so that just added to my bliss)

Some people might be about going out and partying on a Friday night. Not me. I was snuggled in a cushy chair, watching tornadoes on Storm Stories while I ate my favorite ice cream with my best friend (which is my husband, who by the way was also enjoying the ambiance of it all) at our favorite OPEN 24 HOURS, Tim Horton's. Life is good. Especially, when one is eating ice cream. By the way, I've mentioned I am lactose intolerant with anything to do with actual milk, or heavy cream. Because there is a God in heaven and He loves me, I do not appear to get sick from eating ice cream. Praise the Lord. I mean that. I tell Him how much I appreciate that---on a regular basis. As much as I loved  milk, I can adapt to not having it. The same would not be true if I could never have ice cream again. I would be just a shell of a person. Sad and empty with no ice cream. Just sayin'. And no it is not an addiction. It is a life choice. So there.

After finishing our treats, my husband and I decided to get the kids some too. (to bring home, since that is where they were) I felt a smidgen guilty for stealing all the bliss for myself. I thought I should share, so the kids ended up with chocolate, cake batter, and cotton candy flavored ice cream. They were happy to see their ice cream. See, ice cream brings happiness to the soul! On that note, I slept soundly knowing all was well with the world. I had done my part to make the world a better place. One spoonful at a time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

We The People Choose NOT to be PC

I am taking a "commercial break" from my usual humor and thought provoking wit (she says with a grin) to bring you a very non- politically correct speech. Considering I enjoy political incorrectness, I thought I'd share. If you too are on the politically INCORRECT band wagon then by all means jump in...if not, don't read this. It will just make you mad, no sense in ruining your day.

I read this speech today, written by Dennis Prager. Being that I am a former public school teacher, I have to say that I wish more principals would stand up and say something like this. Somebody needs to do it. Our educational system is so full of everything NONEDUCATIONAL that it has become sad and ridiculous.....and the ones that suffer the most are the children.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Starved For Some Moo Juice

My body has turned on me. Full out assault. It's sad, really. I thought we were such good friends. But, no.

I turned 42 and the bottom dropped out, so to speak. Not only was there the whole age spot debacle, but now I'm pretty sure that I am lactose intolerant. The whole saying, "Don't cry over spilled milk", is just a big, fat honkin' lie! The more I can't have it...the more I want it. Who knew that "moo juice", or lack there of, would have such an impact on me?

Of course, I am not a real fan of being doubled over in pain either, wracked with cramps so horrendous, feeling the contractions, reminding me what it was like to give birth---at any minute. Or not. Stupid intestinal distress that comes as a not so pleasant side effect of lactose intolerance... going and reminding me of child birth and all. And I don't even get a cute little baby out of it. All pain and no gain. Sheesh. What a rip off.

The other night I baked home made chocolate chip cookies, 'cause that is just the kind of baking mama that I am. Just for my family....well, and I had a craving for some too....but, I baked for MY FAMILY! Anyway, I was sitting on the couch with my daughter, munching on cookies, watching a good TV show....when she got up. AND WENT TO THE FRIDGE AND GOT A GLASS OF MILK TO EAT WITH HER WARM COOKIES!  Then to make matters worse she came and sat back down (WITH THE MILK) next to me.  I told her not to breathe my way because I didn't want to smell her milk breath.  She apologized as she slurped it down. She looked like she was enjoying it. I cried on the inside, as I ate my cookies sans milk.

It's a lonely life without my moo juice. We had such a good life together--before it turned on me. Now, all I have left from out relationship are faint and distant memories of dunking cookies, breakfast cereal, and the occasional double chocolate milkshake. All gone now. I don't know if I'm going to make it. The milk jug mocks me each morning as I open the refrigerator door. Taunting me with it's farm fresh goodness. I slam the door shut.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm A Magazine Junkie

Among my many quirky tendencies, I admit that I have "a thing" for magazines. It's a relationship that I've lovingly cultivated through the years. As a teen I read Seventeen, and Tiger Beat (is Tiger Beat even still around? Sheesh. I feel old). As I got older (but, not necessarily more mature) my taste changed to Rolling Stone and Cosmopolitan. (I know...I used to be a heathen in my early 20's.) I got past that whole rebellious stage and moved on to Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living and Taste of Home. After all, anyone that knows me, knows I am a domestic goddess. Stop laughing. No, really. Stop it. I have gleaned much knowledge from magazines over the years. My home is fairly color coordinated and comfortable, I attempt to keep things making sure everyone in my family is at least clothed and fed, and, on a good day, I can put a meal on the table. I am not Paula Deen (I love her Christmas magazine!) but, hey I'm getting it done. That's all I've got to say about that.

All my magazines are great but, my piece de re'sistance are my Country magazines. I love to look at the pictures. LOVE, people. I really mean it. LOVE.  This month there is a breathtaking picture of  the mountains and foliage of southwestern Colorado. The color is so vibrant, I feel like I'm there. I wish I was there. Can I go there? I am getting excited because next month I will get the Oct./Nov. issue. Autumn in all it's glory. A little slice of Heaven bound up in the pages of my favorite magazine.

All this visual splendor causes the travel bug to bite me. HARD. I love to travel. I notice I'm using the word love a lot. Today's blog post is full of love. What can I say? When our kids are grown and have moved the year, hopefully earlier than that, my hubs and I are hitting the road. As in seeing the highways and bi-ways of the good 'ol  USA. I'm all over it. I've got travel books, maps, information for every national park in the country, off the beaten path types of places to visit, things to do, people to meet. I will work on my book as we travel down the highway. It's all a part of my bigger plan.

Oh, and don't feel sorry for our kiddos. We take them places now. They see things. We've been to numerous states with them. It's just that traveling sans the kiddos when we are older will be easier, I believe. 'Cause kids like to eat a lot and stuff. They slow you down 'cause they get bored easily. And they whine. ( Sorry, you're hungry. Gnaw on your arm. No, you are not getting the mega/gargantuan soda! What are you a camel? Storing fluid? If you don't pee you'll end up with a bladder infection. Yes, for cryin' out loud we're almost there. Only 6.5 more hrs. to go! )  It distracts me from my travel fantasy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

His Name Is Greg

I met Greg when he was 40. He was a quiet guy, as a matter of fact he didn't talk at all. He was very skinny...all of 100 lbs. soaking wet. Fair skin and red hair. I wonder if he had Irish ancestry? I helped to take care of Greg the summer of my 19th year. I worked in a group home for developmentally disabled adults. You see Greg was severely and profoundly mentally retarded. He didn't talk. He was in a wheelchair. He had to be fed and diapered. Greg's mother had taken care of Greg all his life, but now she was in her 70's and had become to frail herself to lift in her arms this son she loved. She visited him often and was quick to remind us what Greg needed. I think it helped her, more than it helped us as caregivers...and that was okay.

Greg taught me lessons that summer. Lessons I would have never learned in my college textbooks, or through my college professor's lectures. I learned that I could have all the knowledge of special education in the world, but the most important thing an individual has to have to relate to someone with special needs is heart. I learned over those months how to have a servants heart. How to give to someone who is unable to give back to me. How to care for someone who couldn't even smile at me.

I showered Greg and he promptly thanked me by getting sick on me. I cleaned us both. I fed Greg and he spit and drooled his dinner back out. I talked to Greg about current events, showed him books and catalogs, and we watched TV together. His eyes didn't show comprehension. I rolled him into the kitchen with me while I fixed dinner. I talked with him, never knowing if he understood a word. I changed his diapers, and tried to give him the dignity that he deserved.

That summer I talked with God about Greg. I knew that God has given me a heart and passion for individuals who had special needs. My desire was to fulfill my dream of being a special education teacher. A dream God had given me years earlier. Yet, that summer I questioned God. I asked Him why? I didn't understand. It was painful for me watch people who were so dependent on others. What was their purpose? Why did God allow them to have no control over themselves?

I am thankful God is GOD. He is all knowing. He is patient. He knows me and allows me to find my way through these difficult things of life. It began to occur to me that God LOVES Greg. He had not abandoned him. He had not forgotten him. He DID serve a purpose. Greg taught me a lesson about serving others. Having a servants heart. Caring for someone when they can't love you back. Being gentle in a harsh world. Making an extra effort when others may think it a waste. The lessons that God allows are far more valuable......

That was 23 years ago. I don't know if Greg is even still alive. I do know that he touched my life. For the better. Thank you, God....and thank you, Greg.

What Time Is It?

I overslept this morning. Instead of getting up at 5:30 for my morning exercise, I rolled over and the clock said 6. I meet my friend at 6!! I jumped out of bed like I was on fire. Ran across the bedroom in the dark and  promptly ran into the bathroom door. With my face. Okay, whatever people. I was still half asleep. It was dark and the door was closed. At least that little accident helped to wake me up. Albeit a little painfully, but at least my eyes were now open. I raced into the bathroom, flipped on the light. Agggghh! I then sort of brushed my teeth, yanked my hair in a clip (forget about combing it), threw on some sweatpants, with the same T-shirt I wore to bed, and attempted to put my tennis shoes on as I walked outside.

My sweet friend, waited patiently for me. It was 6:05. She was hoping I had forgotten that we were walking today. No such luck on her part! She took a look at me, and didn't run screaming across the road. I always take that as a good sign.

So, an hour and a half later I got home. I did my morning chores.....Later I went in to the bathroom to wash my face. (Since I had skipped it earlier) I took a good look at myself. You wanna know something? Honestly, even though I got ready in 5 minutes this morning I didn't look all that different than I do most mornings. This leaves me with two thoughts. Either I am, A. Naturally beautiful and don't need to do much to myself to have that natural "glow" or B. I am already so far gone, it doesn't matter one way or the other what I do to myself.

I suppose I could take some time to comb my hair.......

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Time For A Commercial Break

I interrupt this oppressive summer heat with a commercial break.......

Ice Cream

Ice Cubes




Snow Storm

Air Conditioning

North Wind

A Marble Floor


Ice Pops



Goose Bumps






I hope this has helped to give you a little boost, when most of the country is under 100+ heat indexes. You may now return to your sticky, hot, uncomfortable day.

P.S.   Remember this, a mere 3 months from now will be October 24. It will be chilly and Fall-like. Ahhhhh......

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ice, Anyone?

  • This is what NOAA reported today:




That's it people. The National Weather Service has given me permission
to stay inside in the air conditioning and drink iced tea.
Who am I to go against them? After all my health could be at risk if
I do. I think this calls for extraordinary measures. Lots of
iced drinks, freezer pops, cool compresses, air conditioning,
and maybe a Christmas movie to make me think of snow. It's a 
sacrifice on this hot as the blazes, summer day. But, I'm willing 
to do it, 'cause that is just the kind of gal I am:)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grocery Shopping Carnage

We all know that 99.9% of the time it is the woman that does the grocery shopping....and if I have any male readers that are thinking to themselves, "Wait a minute! I grocery shop!"....please know that you are truly an exception to the rule. We should put you under glass so the rest of us can stare at you. With that said, I do need to mention that I have an uncle, yes, I said UNCLE, that was the grocery shopping king. The man had a plan. He knew which stores had sales, which took double coupons, where all the best deals were. I briefly lived with him and my aunt.....and I remember thinking as a young adult, "I need to figure out how he does this. Man, he is good. He has enough free or reduced products stashed away that they could live for months and not have a problem." I stood in awe.

First of all you need to know something about me. I am not one of those women that glories in getting the weekly paper so I can find, and cut out all the coupons. I wish I was. I'd love to go to the grocery store and buy a bazillion dollars worth of groceries and lay down a stack of coupons and come away from the whole experience only having to pay a $1.25. Now that would be exhilarating. I can see why some women really get into it. Alas, I am the one who cuts coupons when I feel like it, and then forgets I cut coupons, and ends up paying the full price anyway. Sigh. I feel like such a slacker.

So, yesterday I went grocery shopping at the local Aldi's. I love Aldi's because overall the stuff is less expensive. That is always good in my book. I mean who wants to pay a million dollars for food anyway? Unless it's really good chocolate. Then it is worth it. Other than that, forget it. When I go grocery shopping by myself, sans any of my kiddos, that I use for free help, I have to break my shopping experience up into parts. Because we are a family of five and we need a bunch of stuff....and quite frankly it is too much for one cart.

My mission was to get in and get out. I had just come from a meeting, thought I'd grocery shop while I was out---take care of business so to speak. I wasn't thinking that it was just me, it was a blazing hot inferno outside, and how this probably wasn't going to end well. Sure. Yeah. Whatever. Hindsight is 20/20.

After depositing my quarter in the cart I was off! I zipped down the aisle searching for non perishables on the first leg of this adventure. Well, I zipped as much as was possible. I am a wobbly cart magnet. You know what I mean. The cart that has the one wheel that goes the wrong direction. The cart that squeaks and has to be over steered to compensate for the non-compliant wheel. My first "load" was all things that would be okay setting out in the hot, inferno van while I then came back in and shopped for the second "load" of all things cold, or frozen. By this time I had worked up a full sweat. (because for those of you that don't have an Aldi' bag all your own stuff and schlep it out to your vehicle and unload. It saves money, but you could possibly die a very untimely death while trying to shove all your cans in a cardboard box, so they don't roll all over the van on the way home.) During the first unload I had the morbid thought of, " if I pass out from heat stroke, some poor Aldi's employee will find me here stuck to the heat melted tar of the parking lot holding a can of sweet peas, and nacho chips. What a spectacle." Determined to not let that scenario happen...I pushed on. Don't ever let anyone tell you that we women aren't tough.

After rushing to the frozen food section, tossing in all things cold....I hit the front check out. AGAIN. Same cashier. She looked at me a little if to say, "Weren't you in my line, just a few minutes ago?" I pretended that I didn't know what her stare was all about, as I grabbed a bag of frozen corn and slapped it on my forehead. I needed some relief. After paying for groceries, for the second time that day, I pushed the cart outside to what was fast becoming a melted tar pit of a parking lot. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I believe I saw a flame seeping out of a crack in the parking space next to mine. The finish line was near....I got my second frozen food needed to stay frozen....I was a woman on a mission. With laser focus meat, sour cream, milk, and french fries started flying through the air. Everything was bagged and boxed in record time. I chucked it in the van, ran my cart back to retrieve my quarter deposit, and jumped in the van, slammed the door shut and put the pedal to the metal.

It's all in days work, ladies. We are strong, we are resilient,and when the call comes, we can pack some serious groceries. After all we have family to feed. It is a monumental responsibility. Now, where did I put the frozen corn?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


In yesterday's post I made the comment that I hate flies....and I wasn't kidding. I really do. Yesterday I went out to get the mail, which is like the highlight of my day. While on the deck I was ambushed by THEM. I'm not talking your average house fly, small but annoying. I'm not even talking about the dreaded horse fly. Bigger and yet still annoying. I'm talking about flies that are big enough to carry off small pets...and maybe even young children. I have never seen flies as big as this in my life. I'm serious. I had opportunity to study the specimen as it clung to my kitchen window screen. I'd say that it was around the size of my thumb. And yes, it was a fly. I know a fly with it's beady little eyes when I see it. Duh. Who knew that they grow such big flies, here in Ohio? Ohioans probably don't want that little tidbit to get out to the public.

I think I might have nightmares. Maybe, just maybe the regular house flies have gotten into something that has mutated them into these monsters. I am concerned for our out door cats. They are out there to fend for themselves.

Who knows, we might end up like this!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010 so much.

All of you that love summer will just have to deal with this post. Sorry, but I'm hot and when I'm hot I'm liable to say anything. So just be forewarned. I've got stuff to get off my chest. About these stinkin' hot summer days.


1. They are called the "dog days of summer" because people sweat all the time and thus they smell like dogs. At least that is what I think. I don't care what the real reason is.

2. I seriously, seriously hate flies. They are much more predominant in the summer and they get all in your business. In your face, on your food, especially if you are trying to grill out. I especially hate the wood flies. They bite. I will not give you the gory details of the red splotches I have all over me due to those mean little suckers.

3. I've mentioned before that humidity is not my friend. Nor is it my hair's friend. I spend most of the summer months looking like a drowned rat because I am "moist" and my hair is limp. Not my most appealing look. If I wanted to live in the Amazon I would have moved to South America.

4. If I forget to water my plants they keel over. Really fast. They look all dehydrated and dead and stuff. Sheesh. Summer sucks the life  out of everything. Summer is so mean.

5. I eventually tan, but the sun is not my friend for the most part. I mean don't get me wrong, I like the sun for the fact that it gives life to our planet, well that and the whole oxygen thing..... Maybe my nice tan age spots that are showing up since I hit 42, will all just meld together and I'll have a tan look without the sun.

6. Being outside in the heat just zaps the energy out of me. I'm like a dead battery. If outside for too long in this heat, my family might find me laying face up in the side yard where I passed out from heat exhaustion. The only thing sustaining my life would be the fact that I am being covered with dog drool as the two dogs lean over my shriveled up, dehydrated body.

7. Summer requires wearing less clothes because of the blazing heat. Considering I no longer look like I did when I was 21, shorts or tank tops are no longer an option. That makes me sad. Then that reminds me I am no longer 21. Then that makes me sad. It is a vicious cycle.

8. Ohio is humid and sticky, but it is nothing compared to the summer of 2007 in Greenville, Texas. Lord, have mercy on my soul. I thought for sure I had died and gone to Hell.  (nothing personal to all my lovely family that lives there) I realized I was in the Devil's oven when I walked out of Walmart only to be assaulted by heat so great that it made my feet start to melt on the parking lot. I'm not lying. Really.

9. Summer is for the young. Once you are out of school, who cares about summer? Beach resorts are all over crowded, convertibles are a pain because your hair gets all wind blown, there are no more groups like the Beach Boys, and did I mention the sweaty, stinky people?

10. To be completely honest, summer is only good for the yummy produce that is in season, and it makes people more thankful. For the air conditioning. Amen.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Va Va Va Voom!

Gibson girl is  my user name, my computer identification, my online descriptor. For the past 5 years it has been a part of me. I came up with the name Gibson girl, not because it had great sentimental value, it wasn't deeply intellectual, nor at the time did I understand the historical truth is, I had married a man with the last name Gibson and I am a girl. Thus, the name was born. Plus, as an extra added bonus, I liked the alliteration.

Little did I know that I had "hit on something" with this name. I did a little research and I found this:

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Sketch of the Gibson Girl by Charles Dana Gibson

The Gibson Girl personified beauty, a limited amount of independence, personal fulfillment (she was depicted attending college and vying for a good mate, but she was never depicted as part of the suffrage movement), and American national prestige. By the outbreak of World War I, changing fashions caused the Gibson Girl to fall out of favor. Women of the World War I era favored a practical, more masculine suit, compatible with war work, over the elegant dresses, bustle gowns, shirtwaists, and terraced, shorter skirts favored by the Gibson Girl.

The Gibson Girl was the personification of a feminine ideal as portrayed in the satirical pen and ink illustrated stories created by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson during a 20-year period spanning the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the United States.

Some people argue that the "Gibson Girl" was the first national standard for feminine beauty. For the next two decades, Gibson's fictional images were extremely popular.[1] There was merchandising of "saucers, ashtrays, tablecloths, pillow covers, chair covers, souvenir spoons, screens, fans, umbrella stands",[2] all bearing her image.

The Pin-Up by Charles Dana Gibson.

The Gibson Girl was tall and slender yet with ample bosom, hips and bottom; she had an exaggerated S-curve torso shape achieved by wearing a swan-bill corset. The images of her epitomized the late 19th- and early 20th-century Western preoccupation with statuesque, youthful features and ephemeral beauty. Her neck was thin and her hair piled high upon her head in the contemporary bouffantpompadour, and chignon ("waterfall of curls") fashions. The tall, narrow-waisted ideal feminine figure was portrayed as being multi-faceted, at ease, and fashionable. Gibson depicted her as an equal and sometimes teasing companion to men.[3] Many models posed for Gibson Girl-style illustrations, including Gibson's wife, Irene Langhorne (who may have been the original model, and was a sister ofNancy Astor, Viscountess Astor) and Evelyn Nesbit. The most famous Gibson Girl was probably the Belgian-American stage actress, Camille Clifford, whose high coiffure and long, elegant gowns that wrapped around her hourglass figure and tightly corseted wasp waist defined the style.[4]

Among Gibson Girl illustrators were Howard Chandler Christy whose work celebrating American "beauties" was similar to Gibson's, and Harry G. Peter, who was most famous for his art on Wonder Woman comics.

"They are only collecting the usual fans and gloves" by Charles Dana Gibson

Words like ephemeral beauty,statuesque, youthful features and first national standard for feminine beauty....well, that is so me! Cough. Cough. I'm trying not to giggle uncontrollably as I type that. I enjoyed reading about the Gibson girls that dominated the fashion scene in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I suppose maybe I was born in the wrong era. I mean after all I could use a corset now, and I am all the time piling my hair on top of my head....less about fashion, more about long hair is hot on the neck, especially during the heat of summer. But hey, I could make it work for me. I don't know about using my image to sell things, like they did back then. These days the only thing my image could sell is maybe some household cleaners, microwave meals, or yoga pants....and not necessarily in that order. I'm okay with being 42, my days of youth now behind me. Eh...whatever. I'm settling in to middle age, and it's not that bad. Really. The hour glass figure of my youth has now been replaced with a figure more reminiscent of a fluffy marshmallow. But, you know what? Marshmallows are good. They make people happy, and they are mighty good on smores. Just sayin'.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Eclectic Elegance

I picked that title as a descriptor of who I am. Sounds catchy doesn't it? Sort of just flows off the tongue...eclectic elegance....ahhh....  Hey, it's a lot better than using other words like strange, weird, or unusual. So what if those words  fit, they don't sound as nice! Sheesh.

At the ripe ol' age of 42 I think I have earned the right to call myself whatever I want. So I will. Because I can. And because this is my blog and I can say or do whatever I want. It is so liberating.

Eclectic--Selecting, choosing from various sources Elegance-- refined gracefulness, fastidious taste

Tips On How to Bring Eclectic Elegance into your life....if you want....or not. Whatever.

(You might possibly be reading my blog because you are bored and have nothing better to do and aren't really interested in tips. That's okay too. I'm not offended. Or choosy. I'm just excited that I have readers.)

1. (Rollover) Get up early. Get the blood pumping. Take on the world! But don't stand at the bathroom mirror for too long. The less time you spend looking at yourself the better. Crows feet and scraggly eyebrows and creeping age spots aren't anyone's friend. (this is where the elegance part comes in) Slick on some lip gloss and sunglasses. It doesn't matter whether you are going out or not--even if you stay at home....the sunglasses will give you a mysterious look that even the UPS delivery guy will notice, and your kids will think you are cool. Or crazy. But really, does it matter? A little crazy just makes you charming.

2. One morning decide to wear a long flowing skirt and an ankle bracelet. (obviously a shirt too...this is eclectic not smutty, people!) Dab a little paint on your nose or cheeks. No, not makeup. Like real artist paint. This is to give the illusion that you are a painter working on a great masterpiece. You are too busy creating, to worry about your appearance. If your husband questions your lack of artistic ability look him full in the eye and declare that, "you just don't understand me!"  And flounce out of the room in your flowing skirt. To pull this off you might want to invest a little money in a canvas and some oil paint. To make it look good. If your teenage children ask what it is you are painting, tell them, "don't you see it?" When they reply, "no", tell them, "I have failed as your mother...I've given you no artistic vision!"  If you are able to do this WHILE also wearing the aforementioned dark sunglasses and with shiny lips you will have even greater dramatic effect. This is definitely not for beginners.

3. Forget Tupperware. It doesn't matter that it is practically indestructible and won't break (into 50 billion shards of glass) when it is dropped on the floor. Sometimes when you are being eclectic-ly elegant you have to take risks. Drink everything out of glass stemware. Even if it is milk. Or iced tea. Or prune juice. Whatever. This is all about the mindset. Think elegant. Think old Hollywood. Don't dwell on the fact that statistically speaking you have a large chance of losing your beautiful stemware when it is used everyday. Around teenagers. Who don't appreciate the aesthetics that you are trying to bring into your household. Never mind. If breakage occurs, just put your hand to your forehead and declare that you are terribly pained by this unfortunate event as you sweep up the glass so no one in your family has to be run to the emergency room for stitches. If you are not a risk taker you can go to Walmart and buy plasticware that LOOKS like the real thing, and just pretend.

4. A true EE lifestyle requires some decorating sense. If you are like me you have a lot of experience in this arena. Sure, you go to Walmart for toilet paper and Hershey's syrup, but do your REAL shopping at yard sales, flea markets, and relatives attics. Buy things that strike your fancy. Nothing is off limits. Learn how to haggle. Bring the stuff home and display it around the house. If anyone asks why "that thing" is setting on the table, tell them that was your great uncle Ted's thing-a-ma-bob that he made, and it has great sentimental value to you and your family. Continue your monologue with a smattering of how family history is important and over your dead body will you ever deny your ancestors junk. It is family loyalty after all.

5. Your reading material is key to the whole EE experience. Even though Good Housekeeping and People magazine are obviously important, try to expand your reading repertoire. Read books that expand your mind. This is important especially if you know you will be attending any important social engagements. Peppering your conversation with interesting facts or quotes makes you seem extremely intelligent. If by some chance you are actually engaged in a conversation with a person that actually has read the same book, and you start to feel that you can't keep up with the book chat, then excuse yourself with the remark that you feel a migraine coming on and you need to go sit in a dark, quiet place. Then look panicked and run off.

I hope these tips have helped. I know that eclectic elegance is a challenging lifestyle. It is not for the faint of heart (or those with a sound mind). Good luck. I'm off to drink my tea from my cut crystal.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

As Seen On TV

I was at  Wal-Mart the other day, which in and of itself is no big story. I go to Wal-Mart usually a couple of times a week because it just works out that way. Or I need toilet paper. Or deodorant. Or something else that could possibly be life altering. Like Hershey's hot fudge. Anyway, I digress.....

So, as I was cruising the front aisle I noticed the shelf with the AS SEEN ON TV stuff on it. As I'm perusing the need for a Bump It for my flat hair, one of those Shakey things that is supposed to firm up arm flab, or the sticky pads that promise to remove all body hair without pain, I had an epiphany. Now, you might be thinking that one can not have an epiphany in the Wal-Mart in the AS SEEN ON TV aisle. Just goes to show what you know. I did. So there.

Now I consider myself  an intelligent individual, at least on most days, and especially after I've had some caffeine. My epiphany is that I could invent the next AS SEEN ON TV item. For cryin' out loud! If someone is willing to fork money over for a Bump It than they will buy anything. Just sayin'. Now, I just need to come up with a new idea....or at least a better version of an old idea. Or something that just looks cool....because people buy cool stuff even if the stuff doesn't work. Because it is, well, cool, after all.

I'm mulling over some ideas. They're big. I see info-commercials in my future.

My first idea is the Fridge Zapper. This would be marketed to those people who are trying to diet and just need that extra jolt (literally) of determination to stay away from the fridge. This could also be used for pesky teenagers who stand at the refrigerator with the door hanging open and stare at the contents only to decide they're really not that hungry for anything in there, but have managed to hike up the electric bill--allowing the cold air to escape-- while doing so. The Fridge Zapper could be set to give a friendly, non lethal, jolt to anyone who tries to get in the fridge without permission. I'm not really sure what I'd need to get this patented, and I might have some problems with test cases and possible electrocution. Details.Details.

The other idea I like to call Glitz and Glam Glitter. This would be marketed to tween girls. We all know that tween girls will try anything... they love pretty, shiny things AND they will get their parents to buy it. What makes my invention so unique is, that this glitter can go on everything AND it will also be edible. Because you know we all need a little edible glitter. (it's so much better than the paste you ate in kindergarten!) One could put glitter on her clothes, her hair, or her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Who wouldn't love that? I might get held up a little with the FDA, but I'm sure we can come to a mutual understanding. After all they put chemicals in everything now as it is. Twenty years from now we're all going to have a third eye or an extra appendage because of the chemicals we eat. At least we could sprinkle glitter on stuff and make it look cool in the meantime. Work with me people.

Yeah, I'm thinking this AS SEEN ON TV gig is right up my alley. The fame, the fortune, the late night TV commercials. Maybe even my own spokesperson like the late Billy Mays (R.I.P). This is so exciting! I've got to go...I've got a lot of work to do. Hey, what do you all think of a rhinestone toenail clipper?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Am Totally A Weather Geek

I get a little too excited over Storm Stories on The Weather Channel. I am fascinated by amateur footage of tornadoes. I dream of what it would be like to be a storm chaser. 'Cause I'm just crazy like that.

My husband and I were discussing the famous "tornado alley" the other day. I said, "living out in the flat lands of the mid-west might be a little scary during tornado season". My very practical husband replied with a shrug, "those people are used to tornado sirens, besides when tornadoes actually hit, it is usually a rather small area, as opposed to say, hurricanes."  He did not put a damper on my tornado conversation. "I bet they all have a good basement or at least a storm cellar." " They probably watch the sky. I wonder if it makes them nervous at all, to live in the dreaded tornado alley?" I suspect my husband thinks I have too much time on my hands and I dwell on tornadoes too much. Whatever. To each his own.

I dreamed about a big, huge, monster tornado the other night. I frequently have dreams about tornadoes. I'm just weird like that. Now, if one reads one of those dream interpretation books it would say that I must have a lot of unsettled business in my life, that I feel like things are out of control, thus the tornado dreams....yada...yada...yada.."  Well, duh. Of course life is unsettled. I'm 42 years old. Out in the country. Living with llamas. And corn. And soybeans. All around me. Wife to a my very own computer mean developer/programmer. Mother of three teenagers. Homeschooler. AND with very little good chocolate around. So, obviously life is unsettled.  Anyone could see that.

I have about a bazillion (or so) blog readers. I wish some of  my Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas,and North and South Dakotas readers would comment on my blog. Any stories to tell? Did you ever see a tornado? Do you have a storm cellar? Do you pay much attention to tornado sirens or are you just used to them? Just curious. It would make my day to hear from you. Come on, throw me a crumb. I know. I'm a total geek. I've embraced it.

A few weeks back my husband and I took some friends up to northwest Ohio. On the way back sirens started going off, as the sky became black and ominous. I was totally entranced. A couple weeks earlier a tornado had hit a small town in that part of Ohio, destroying much in its path. So, traveling this area with sirens going off, did make me a little nervous....but, in an adrenaline pumping sort of a way. I could so be a storm chaser. I'd be the one with the camera, taking footage of the approaching storm....the one that yells, "Move it! Move it! Move it! It's coming this way!" as we tear off down some back country road, tires spinning, and graveling spewing as we make our narrow escape. At least that is how it goes in my dream. Hey, don't make fun of me--or my obsession with all things stormy. By the way, I'm still waiting to see a cow flying by my window. Now that would be cool. Helen Hunt has nothing on me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cat Puke

Isn't that a lovely title for today's blog entry? I thought you'd like it. I could have been more sophisticated and said, "feline vomit" but, I figured you appreciate my down to earth grittiness and flair for words. So, I went with puke.

The reason I have puke on the mind is...well...I almost stepped in it. More than once. Because I don't feel like cleaning it up. Even though I eventually will. It's just gross right now. I found IT this morning. When it was still kind of dark outside. Opening the laundry room door to go for my morning walk. There was my good morning present from one of the outdoor cats. I'm such a lucky gal. I almost had it all over my tennis shoe, and I would have, if it hadn't been for my athletic agility and extraordinary balance. (and for those of you who know me--that is a big, fat, honkin' lie) In reality I did miss it, but it was just dumb luck. I didn't realize what it was in the half dark. I thought it was a dead something one of the cats had dragged home. (literally) Upon further, totally gross, inspection I realized that it looked a lot like half digested Meow Mix. Hmmm.....go figure.

Upon even further inspection I noticed two more places that the cat(s) heaved. Evidently, they feel their delicate taste buds are too special to eat Meow Mix. Yet, they'll eat a field mouse. I don't get it. That along with today's discovery and the nasty bird poo from the baby birds we have nesting on our porch deck and wa la you've got a veritable mind field to trek through. I quietly closed the door and went for my morning walk with my friend....leaving all thoughts of my nasty deck behind me. As I was mulling over the morning conversation I had with my walking buddy and pondering our solutions for world peace, or at least how to have our own peace with teenagers in our homes....I almost stepped in it again. I wasn't paying attention. My lofty ideas were cut short, by the problem at hand. Or problems at foot...Whatever.

I shot the two cats a nasty look. They didn't even flinch.  They just laid there. On the deck chairs. Not really caring about the remains of last nights dinner at my feet. Arrggh!

I still haven't cleaned it. I will. I guess.

I graduated from college with a degree. I've traveled. Seen interesting things. Spoken with fascinating people. I can intelligently converse on educational law....and yet, here I am. Me and the cat puke. It just puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?

Monday, July 12, 2010

In The Name Of Jesus

Yesterday on the morning  news I heard that  a pastor in North Carolina who was asked to be honorary chaplain of the state House of Representatives was "fired". The reason, he prayed in the name of Jesus. He was told that he could not say the name of Jesus because it would offend some people.

A Navy chaplain was terminated from his duties for praying in the name of Jesus.

Rev. Franklin Graham was told he could not pray at the National Day of Prayer, this year. Certain groups of people might be offended by the pastor who never backs down from his belief that there is only one way to God and that is through His Son, Jesus Christ.

We are no longer allowed to say "Merry Christmas" because Christmas has Christ in it. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ---and well, to some that is offensive.

Most people aren't so offended by the word God. Most religions of the world have a god. A superior being. A supernatural deity. "The Man Upstairs". Though it saddens me that these descriptions do not adequately describe the God of Abraham and Issac and Jacob, the Great I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the Holy One. Still, people "plug in" their god to whatever their religion might be.

BUT.....if one says the name of Jesus than that is an entirely different story! Jesus as God's Son, the Sacrificial Lamb, the Perfect and Holy One.....whew, people can't handle that.  It's offensive to say that Jesus is the ONLY way to God, it's offensive to say that He is God's Son, it's offensive to believe that only He can save you, it's offensive to say that He came to earth as a Jewish man and yet He was God. (not a god, but THE God)  How dare anyone pray in His name! People cry, I AM OFFENDED!!!

As a Christian, I am offended. I am offended that I am a citizen of country that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and yet now the government is so worried about offending that they bend over backward for other religions of the world. They do this rather than to uphold that which is dear to so many. Our very founding principles!  I am offended by the "political correctness" of society. The news media, the government, the military, the stores, even some CHURCHES, are so scared to offend. Why are they scared?

I am offended that as a Christian I would not be allowed to pray in the name of Jesus in public for fear it might offend some people. Well, what about me? What about other Christians? How did it happen that it now okay to offend us? Not mentioning Jesus Christ cheapens our faith. HE is the reason that we ARE Christians. It is BECAUSE of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death and resurrection that we have eternal life. Jesus IS the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. Without HIM we are lost. As Christians, how could we not mention His name? How could we ignore Him in public? Or private? He is the cornerstone of our faith.

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Philippians 2:13

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hangin' Tight With All My Might


Difficult. Scary. Unsure.

Those were some of my definitions of life over the past year and a half. Doesn't seem very positive, does it? Well...for the past several months I was feeling more like Job of the Bible, I thought God had confused Job and me. The last week of January of 2009, my husband found out that he was being let go from his job of nearly 23 years. He and thousands of others. It was no fault of his own...the economy just was going south. Yeah, well I understood all that but, it didn't help any. At all. It seemed like the beginning of the end. The end of life as we knew it. And that stunk. Big time.

So, here is a snap shot of that time of my life and how it all turned out. A chapter of my life story, so to speak. What I learned about life on the road. Not the fast lane. Not the slow lane. Life from the median......somewhere in the middle.

Job loss for my husband. The sole provider for our family. He had been making a very good salary, and now we knew that was coming to an end. Just like that. Within one week everything changed. So fast. I wasn't prepared.

I cried. Frustration. Aggravation. Fear of the unknown. All this happening right smack dab in the middle of building a new house in another state. Things seemed dark. I was scared. Change is not something I love. Security is something I crave......and I felt that I was about to drown.

In the midst of all this I totaled my car in a scary accident. (hydroplaning in a down pour) So no wheels for me. Why? Why now? I'd never had so much as a speeding ticket, much less an accident. NOT NOW.

The money that I got from insurance, that would have paid for a new car, had to be used to pay the IRS. That lovely organization had found a mistake that we had made on our taxes 2 years before. We owed them. Good bye car. My resentment grew.

Because things weren't bad enough, the economy got worse....the housing market froze and we were left with my house in Tennessee that we needed to sell....and fast. We couldn't afford one mortgage, much less two. At this point how were we going to afford the cosmetic changes the house needed in order to sell?

Our other vehicle broke down on the interstate in December and we were stranded somewhere in Kentucky. A lot of money for repairs. Either we paid or we sat on the side of the road. In the freezing cold. UGH.

We gave up perks. Anything that we didn't absolutely need we did away with. I was sad. I resented it. I'm ashamed to admit that I had a poor attitude on many occasions. This is not how life was supposed to be when we decided to build a house and move to another state. It was supposed to be an exciting adventure. It was an adventure alright....just not the kind that I had asked for or wanted.

I went through a bout of depression. Not clinical...but, close enough. I wanted to cry all the time and get out of this situation. I felt trapped in a dark place. I wanted to be upbeat. I wanted to say, "this will all work out in the end". I longed to be "the glass is half full" kind of a gal. I failed. Miserably.

I ended up substitute teaching for a teacher out on maternity leave. 7 weeks. It was okay...but, my heart wasn't in it. This was not the plan. I still clung to my old life. The one that was supposed to be different from where I currently found myself.

I wish I could say that I had a positive attitude, that I knew God would see us through these trials, that it would all work out in the end. I wish I could....but, I didn't have it in me. My attitude was in a heap on the ground, I was seriously wondering if God cared about my pain, and I really thought we might lose everything--- the end seemed imminent.

Sometime in March things changed for me. Really changed. Most of the circumstances were the same. Regardless of all that, something changed in me. God spoke to my heart, through His Word, through friends, through my church, through my family. It was as if a blindfold had been taken off of my eyes. I began to see how things had worked together... How God's hand had been on my family's situation all along. Even after I came to this realization and really took it to heart, it was still difficult. I still had doubt on occasion, but my attitude had changed. Instead of throwing a daily pity party for myself, I began to understand that maybe the reason that God had allowed this situation to continue was to teach me, and my family, a lesson in God's provision.

Life lessons aren't always easy. In most cases, if you are anything like me, it is the most difficult lessons that we learn the most from. I for one learned that my security in life doesn't come from a nice car, a new house, or a fancy job. It comes from the Lord. He alone is where my true security lies. Amen.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."   Matthew 6: 19-21


1. We sold my house in Tennessee, at a loss, but still we sold it so we didn't have to worry about two mortgages. The lady that bought it wanted to move  in by the end of the year. Our church in Tennessee pitched in and helped get all the cosmetic things done around the house so we would be ready by closing. They were Jesus' hands and feet to us. They were part of God's provision.

2. My husband got a new job, just a few weeks ago. This after a year and a half of looking.  Totally unexpected. A job he enjoys. One that provides medical insurance. Again, God's provision.

3. Family and friends that helped us along the way, both financially and with words of encouragement. They were part of God's provision.

4. I still don't have a car....maybe, one day. I'm okay with that. At least we could pay off the IRS and not have to deal THEM. God took an accident and a totaled car and turned it into His provision.

God is good all the time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

So Hot, It Sizzles

It's hot here. Really, hot. I don't care for hot. As a matter of fact I really hate hot. I know it isn't as hot here in Ohio as it is on the east coast right now, or in the southwest part of the country...but still, any hot is uncomfortable. Oh, I also strongly dislike humidity. So does my hair. It does no good to curl my hair and then walk outside. As soon as I do my hair goes back to its natural, "straight as a stick" look. That's not fair. Did I already mention that I hate humidity?

I would have been a real dud as a pioneer woman. No air conditioning. No electricity for fans. Lots of flies hanging around (which I also don't like!). Plus I would have had to go outside to do my chores, and I would have sweat. Ick. I would never have made it. All that aside...having to use an outhouse on a hot, humid summer day. That would have put me over the edge. I would never have made it. My family would have found me passed out in the back field, with a very full bladder.

Yes, I suppose I am spoiled with air conditioning....but, air conditioning has made me a better person. Really. Just the other day my mom and I were discussing the fact that I did not have air conditioning growing up. We lived in northern Maryland. It gets hot and humid there. I guess back in the 70's when the house was being built, air conditioning was optional. We opted for no. What were my parents thinking???? People in the 70's must not have not cared about sweat. Just sayin'.

I guess I'm going to go get something cold to drink....and enjoy my air conditioning, as I look out my kitchen window at the llamas across the road. They are woolly. I bet they are hot. I wonder if llamas sweat? I'm glad I'm not a llama.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jingle Bells In July!

Okay, people. I confess. I've been going around the house singing Christmas carols this afternoon. Yes, I know it is July....and it feels like an inferno outside. The hottest day of summer so far and I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. Just so you know I do not  have heat stroke. I received my Christmas With Southern Living 2010 book today. What can I say? There is a God in Heaven and He sent me this book. I flung the book open as soon as I got back in the house with it. There in beautiful, living color was a picture of the most perfect chocolate chunk cheesecake I've ever seen. I could feel my blood sugar starting to rise just by staring at it. I had to wipe the drool off the book. It was a disgusting display on my part. I couldn't help it. It's an illness. Then, just as I'm gathering myself together--to at least some semblance of dignity, I flip the page and there it is......a hot mocha drink.  Will this insanity never stop??? If I keep looking at this book I will gain 900 lbs. just from the pictures. Then to make it even worse they have an entire chapter in this edition on a Tex-Mex Christmas. My all time favorite food, besides chocolate of course, is Mexican. Spicy Queso Dip? Mexican lasagna? Mexican Chocolate Bar Cookies With Bittersweet Chocolate Frosting? I think I am in love.

After looking at all the edible gifts in the back of the book....just so you know. If you are family or friends you WILL be getting edible gifts this year for Christmas. Sorry, to let you in on that already, but I've decided that I am not the only one that is going to weigh about a billion tons by the end of the year. I am spreading the love. And the calories. Enjoy.

I guess that is it for my blogging today. I've got a book to peruse. Plans to make. Slobber to clean up. After all I have my priorities.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wish I Could Burn The Candle On Both Ends

I bought a candle at Walmart the other day. It's one of those triple layer candles. Mine is lovely layers of hazelnut cream, fresh baked muffins, and chocolate pound cake. Why do I do this to myself?!  Seriously. I'm all the time buying things that smell edible. Like, yummy edible. Like, I would eat it if I could edible. The other day I was cleaning out my purse and came across my chocolate milk hand and body lotion by Philosophy. Oh my goodness! After applying some of that lotion I had the urge to lick my arm. That would have went over real well with the people at Walmart. Yes, I can be a little weird, okay maybe a  lot weird...but, even I was not going to lick my arm. Not in public anyway. Not where there are security cameras.  Whatever, people.  Don't judge me. My hair conditioner has citrus in it, as does my face wash. I feel as if I am picking oranges in the grove. I have lip gloss that tastes like cotton candy and another that tastes like birthday cake. I kid you not. It really does. Really. I wouldn't lie about birthday cake flavored lip gloss. Some things are sacred.

So, I think I have a food flavored personal hygiene products addiction. (Otherwise known as FFPHPA) I might require an intervention. I might need to be stripped of all my bath and body items that even slightly resemble food. Heaven forbid, I might have to resort to NON-SCENTED products. I would be devastated. There would be a lot of gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. Rehab would be a slow, painful process. I'd probably relapse. My friends would find me making ventures to the mall. Sneaking into Bath and Body Works...coming out with items in a plain brown paper bag. My family might catch me online, furiously trying to put Philosophy chocolate and strawberry shampoo into my cart.

Having FFPHPA is a life long struggle. I don't know if I'll ever be able to break this habit. Don't worry about me. It's not the end of the world. Just don't look at me funny if you see me licking my arm.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]A cooked hot dog garnished with mustard.[/caption]

Amid the potato salad, grilled hot dogs, parades, and fireworks...remember the men and women that are far away from home right now. That freedom to them means time in the desert, suicide bombers, and snipers---helping others learn to be free amidst the chaos. Don't forget to pray for them. They might be out of sight...but, shouldn't be out of mind. Freedom is never free. Someone always pays the price. God bless each of you in your service to our country.
Thanks to our military!!!
Happy 4th of July everyone:)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saved By His Amazing Grace

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now am found

Was blind, but now I see........"

Webster's tells us that grace is an act of favor, kindness, or mercy. Grace is given to those that deserve it the least. It is given to those that could never pay the price for it...because it costs too much. More than I could ever afford or even begin to be able to pay back. Grace is a gift.

Years ago, when my story first began......I was spiritually dead. My heart was as dark as the sin that it held. My desire to please myself was great. It was all about me. If I had not met Jesus along the way, the road that I was on, most certainly would have  taken me to Hell. Yes, Hell. I thank God for His amazing grace. A grace that I did not deserve. A grace that I did not earn. A gift that He offered me. Thank God, I accepted the gift.

Some people don't believe in Hell. They think it is just a metaphor for badness, or sadness. A philosophical place, so to speak. Not a real place. Other's think that Hell is a place that is going to be one raucous party and that all their friends will be there, participating in all the other worldly vices. Sadly, that is what Lucifer would have them believe--that it isn't all that bad, come join the party. Who needs the Lord? Who needs self sacrifice? Who needs the Bible? That isn't any fun. It is too constricting. Do what you want, when you want, how you want.  After all this life is all about you!! Satan's lies echo in the ears of those that live for their own self gratification.  Empty lies that claim to offer the world...but, instead lead to death.

Hell is real. It is a place.  I believe the saddest and most painful part of it, for those who find themselves there, is the isolation. What makes Hell, hell is that God is not there. There is no love, no compassion, no forgiveness, no hope, no joy, no friendship, no fairness, no more grace. These things are not there...because the God who possesses these qualities is not there. That is what Hell will be. I think there will be people in Hell that will have a deep and profound sadness because they will know that their eternity didn't have to end up this way. It was their choice. They chose this for themselves. When people tried to tell them about God, they scoffed at them...calling them crazy, or weird, or other harsh names. When they were invited to attend church, they laughed that a church is the last place they'd ever go! When God quietly knocked at the door of their heart, they slammed it in His face. Denying their need for Him. Apathy sets in. Hearts harden. Minds are set. And days slip by.

I was a sinner in need of a Savior.  I'm grateful I realized this at a fairly young age. It saved me a lot of grief. Don't misunderstand me. I am not claiming perfection. Lord knows, and so do a lot of other people, that I went through some bad times in my life. Sometimes I'd wonder to myself how I allowed this to happen? What was I thinking? This stuff hurts! What a mess I made. Stupid decisions. The pain at times, was great. In the midst of all this I knew that Christ was still there. He never left me. I was His child. I had accepted His gift of grace and salvation years earlier....and I was His. Much like a parent looks at his/her wayward child and their heart breaks, God looked at me. He didn't leave me there in the slime and dirt of my own life....bogged down in the morass of my own decisions. He brought me out of that. He set me on a rock. Sturdy. Secure. Strong.

My story is not one of all rainbows and roses. Life is gritty.....and we are all human. We make mistakes. We makes reckless decisions. We have regret. In the midst of all this, Jesus is there. Regardless of what you've done, or not done in your own life, He loves you.  He wants to give you the gift of His amazing grace. Will you accept it?

Friday, July 2, 2010

When The Kids Are Away...The Mom Will Play

I am the mother of three teenagers.  To that statement some would say, "What fun!", others who are more realistic and not on mind altering drugs, would say, "Let me knock you out and put you out of your misery."  I'm just teasing. I have good kids. Most of the time. Especially when they are all sleeping. Just teasing again. Really.

My two sons and one daughter left for youth camp this week. Actually they will be gone for ten whole days. This has never happened before. All of them the same time.....for this long of a period. I don't know whether to cry or do the happy dance. Maybe both. It is very quiet around here without them, but it was a whole lot easier to fix dinner for my hubs and me without three ravenous teens hanging around me while I fix the grub. No blaring video games, no wrestling on the floor, so endless questions that begin at 10 o'clock at night, or hanging out in the bathroom--for forever. I suppose I will have a taste of what the "empty nest" will be like in the not so distant future. Hmmmm.....I think my not so distant future will be very quiet. I'm not sure how I feel about that.


1. Take a nap in the middle of the day...because I can.

2. Fix dinner when I feel like it, because there are no teens to say, " What's for dinner? I'm STARVED! Is dinner ready yet?"

3. Clean the house in the buff. Haha. That caught your attention. I'm not really going to clean the house in my birthday suit....but, I could if I wanted to. I'm just wild and crazy like that. Besides we only have llamas as neighbors. They wouldn't care.

4. Turn the TV on the channel that I WANT to watch. Leave the room and come back and the same channel is on the TV. No one changed it!

5. Watch every show on HGTV...once again, because I can!

6. Go out and get an ice cream cone. Eat it guilt free. Don't feel guilty because I am eating an ice cream and they aren't. After all they are at camp and will have fun. Ice cream is better than camp. At least to me.

7. Sleep like a baby. No worries about who is roaming around the house at night. Invading the kitchen.... and what snacks have been confiscated to someone's bedroom. Whatever is in the kitchen this next week---will stay where I put it!

8. Take a long, hot bath. Also do this guilt free. The kids will be swimming in a lake this week. Out in nature. I prefer a Whirlpool myself.

9. Enjoy time with my husband. It's like we are on a honeymoon. Well, except that he works from home and is on the phone and computer a lot. So, he is really busy and all that mumbo jumbo. Maybe I will clean his office for him. Refer back to number 3. (big, goofy grin)

10. Enjoy my week, but look forward to the kids return. After all, we won't have them at home for very much longer. Time doesn't slow down for any one. Even if we wish it would sometimes.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Llama Love

In the past I have mentioned my almost stalker obsession with the llamas across the street. Actually, they are right across from my driveway. Everyday when I go get the mail, I am just an arms length away from "my" llamas. I gaze at them lovingly.  Of course, they couldn't care less. Really. They are only curious about me in a "sniff...sniff...she smells funny" sort of a way. I take no offense. After all, in llama land, body wash and citrus shampoo probably DO smell funny. But they have no room to talk, "essence of llama" on a hot summer day is not exactly appealing either. So there.

There are some new babies. They are precious. They look like chocolate cotton balls with legs. Really. That cute. Watching them run is so hilarious. They sort of bounce along, and chase each other. I would be tempted to coax chocolate fluff over to the fence so I could pet him, but his llama mama probably would have none of that. Unless I bribed her with a handful of  grass. Then maybe.....either she'd let me, or she'd bite my hand off. Depends on her mood.

On the other end of the field are the males. At least I'm pretty sure they are the males. There is no definite confirmation of that fact aside from them acting  like they own the place--kings of the pen so to speak. They are the noisy ones. The other night I heard them again. A high pitched screechy noise coming from the far side of the field. Sure enough the boys were at it again. Screech....Screech..... Chest butting each other...neck wrestling. Obviously, the male dominance "dance" was going on. I'm telling you, it is more interesting than watching Animal Planet around here.

I'm waiting for one of them to get loose again. The last time a mama llama got out and grazed in our front yard. I didn't mind. I just watched from my kitchen window. When her owners appeared and tried to catch her, she zigged and zagged and ran around until SHE decided it was time to go back to the other side of the fence. Where the grass is not nearly as green as my front yard.

Oh, on a side note: In yesterday's blog I mentioned the poopy birds. This morning my oldest son came running in from the deck. "Mom! Mom! I got pecked!" After some sorting out of the story I found out that the bird had not actually pecked him, but dove at him like she was getting ready to peck. An obvious strategy. A tactical maneuver on her part. I told my son that I got dive bombed yesterday. Mama bird needs to retreat----or else. This means war!!! I'm most definitely going to need therapy.