Thursday, December 27, 2012

Letting other bloggers speak

My brain seems to get halfway through a blog post and it just quits.  I lost interest and exit blogger without posting anything.  I may have something to say, it just is on temporary hold.

In the meantime, I invite you to read these two blog posts by people who show up on my Google Reader feed all the time.

One is on the church theme from Jan at A Church For Starving Artists.

The other deals with recent news events in a way that got my attention.  It's by Adam over at AdamMclane.com.

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Speaking for God

I don't like labels.  I use labels, I am labeled, I don't like labels.  Labels do not tell the true story of who I am, who others are.  It's just a name, a way to group people, things, together to help our human brains make sense of the world around us.

Still, there are labels attached to me.  One of those labels is "Christian", though I prefer the label "Christ Follower".  Still, in that label there is a connotation that I need to recognize and take seriously.  That label says I follow Jesus, I believe in God and to some extent it says my life, my actions, my words represent God and Jesus.  I am still a flawed human being.  My words, my actions, my life don't always reflect the God and Jesus I follow.  I mess up regularly.  I am not God.  I am not Jesus.  Yet with my life, my words, my actions I speak for God.

I am tired of hearing others with the label Christian stand up after horrific events happen in the world and say things such as "God is pouring out judgment" or "It's because we've taken God out of our society" or "God is rejoicing".  I am tired of these people being the ones I see on my homepage when I open my web browser.

I am tired of hearing about God's judgment and how awful we are and how we are all turning our backs on God from people "in the know" (IMHO, that means they have access to the media and they use it).  I am tired of the condemnation and the lack of compassion or LOVE.  I am tired of Christians speaking for God when all they can say is "You are bad.  You are awful."  T.I.R.E.D.

That rhetoric is turning people away from God.  Turning them away from a God that, I believe, grieves alongside the mothers and father and brothers and sisters and grandparents and friends.  Saying "You turned your back, now deal with the consequences" is heartless and (yep, here comes my judgment) says a lot about the heart of the person speaking.

Absolutely, we live in a fallen world.  Crap happens, it is horrific and many times the answers to the question "why" are so hard to find, if we find them at all.  Yet into that fallen, broken world God sent Jesus.  God sent Jesus into the world to be love.  To be hope.  To bring a message of love and hope.  God hasn't given up on the world.

So, I am going to speak for God right now.  To the families, to the community, to the nation, in this most recent horrific nightmare please hear from this broken, human woman with the label Christ Follower, the questions are large and looming and though it may seem like God does not care, God does care.  God is near and grieving along with you.  I don't know why God didn't stop it.  There are many times when I don't understand God but I do know this, the God I follow loves you and hurts with you.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dear Church Leaders,


Can I make a suggestion?  When you get around to that time of the year when the budget is being decided and you decide to make phone calls to church members/parishioners to ask them to send in their pledge cards, before making those phone calls, could you do something first?

Look at the list of people to call and for each name listed ask yourself, "when was the last time we saw them in church?" If you can't recall seeing that person in church in awhile take another step, write the name of that person on another list.  Once you've compiled that other list, give it to one or two people and ask them to call just those people on the list.  Here's what they should say:

"Hey, person we haven't seen in awhile, we haven't seen you in awhile!  I'm calling to say that we noticed you haven't been around.  Is there something that we could do for you?  Someway we could help you right now?"  You may hear things you don't want to hear.  Maybe they are going to another church.  Maybe they are pissed off and don't want have anything to do the church.  Maybe they can't get to church right now but would really appreciate prayer.  Maybe they need a ride.  Maybe they need someone to come visit them.  You won't know until you make the call and start the conversation.


Maybe, during the conversation, you will open up the door for them to say "Hey, I want to come back to church.  I want to keep supporting the church."  Then you can bring up the pledge drive.  Otherwise, don't bring it up. 

Maybe, during the conversation, it comes up that they aren't planning on coming back to church and maybe that opens the doors to them asking to be put on that other list...the former members or inactive or whatever you call it.  That's okay.  Don't tell them they are going to hell and hang up.  Wish them well, offer to pray for them...actually pray with them!  Suggest other churches.  Be kind, be gracious and be loving.  They will remember that.  But please, please, please don't bring up the pledge drive.

In the end you will have accomplished two things.  One, you will have made contact with a church member who hasn't been around in awhile showing compassion and care.  They don't need to know that it was the pledge drive that helped to get the call made.  Two, you won't create even more bitterness in the heart of a church member who hasn't been to the church in over a year who gets a call from a church leader saying "Hey, we need you to turn in your pledge card so we can make a budget" like they just saw you yesterday sitting in the pew next to them not a year and a half ago.  It shows what is important (the church members checkbook) and what is not (church member).

It's just a suggestion, do what you will...but please don't be surprised that people speak poorly about the church when the church repeatedly shows a lack of care and concern for those who aren't in the pews every Sunday and more concern about money.

Sincerely,

Someone who cares

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wild weather weekend and a wedding

This morning Sam Shepherd on Good Morning America told me that the county in which I live received 13.25 inches of rain over the weekend.  I was first of all impressed that the county in which I live was mentioned on Good Morning America and secondly anything but doubtful to the truth of that claim.  It didn't just rain this weekend, the clouds let loose with all of the water they have been storing up all at once.  There was a lot of water in those clouds.  I hear that more is to come.  I am not worried.  I will, however, be going to Payless to see if they still have those pink polka dot rain boots in my size.  I'm tired of my shoes and socks getting wet.

The rain did not stop the plans for the weekend.  We are mountain people.  We don't let rain or downed trees and power lines or the threat of flooding or mudslides stop us!  No!  We continue on with our plans.  Some of us even drive like there aren't massive lakes of water that spray over the windshield when you drive through the lake or causing you to hydro-plane ever.so.slightly.  Nope.  Don't want to slow down.  We are mountain people!

I digress.  The rain did not stop the plans for the weekend.  It was wedding weekend for Opinionated Friend.  There was much to be done.  Saturday as the rain came down outside, we cleared tables and chairs out of the reception room so that tables and chairs could be brought in.  We decorated, we created a photo "booth", we ran to the store for last minute items.  We went for the traditional bridal party mani-pedi's.  We rehearsed.  We went to the rehearsal dinner.  We laughed, we celebrated.  One stayed up late ironing the layered ruffles on a bridesmaid dress, for fear the steamer would not work.

Sunday the rain poured out of the sky.  That did not stop us!  There were errands to be run.  Candles!  Candles to the church!  Step in gigantic puddle on the way into the door of the church! Coffee!  Hotel for hair and make-up and pictures.  The rain stopped a little before noon.  Hallelujah!  The bridesmaid who stayed up late ironing, showed another bridesmaid how to iron her dress, as the feared thing happened...steamer did not work on the dress.  Laughter, hot flashes, mayhem ensued.  Hair was made beautiful, faces painted, lunch was eaten, freshly ironed dresses were donned, hotel room was cleared out, the first glimpse of the bride was seen by the groom, pictures were taken outside, with the sunset and the families.  The bridal party transported to the church.  Hair and make up retouched.  The church began to fill and soon it was time.  A trip down the aisle and soon a newly married couple emerged.  Clean up bridal "room", transport to reception.  Intros!  Cookies!  Food!  Drinks!  Pictures!  Cake!  Toasts!  Dancing!  Farewells!  Time to clean up.  Take down tables and chairs.  Bring back in original tables and chairs.  Load vehicles.  Home...dang it ANTS invading!  Eventually bed...20 hours after I had woken up but a mere 17 hours after I had actually gotten up.

Trees did fall down, power did go out, the river crested 1.7 feet below flood stage, little mudslides occurred but none of it affected the wedding, Sam Shepherd told me this morning that 13.25 inches of rain fell and Opinionated Friend is now Mrs. Opinionated Friend.  That is all.  :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New normal

My journey to work today started in a car.  I drove from my house to the bus station and then caught the bus.  The bus dropped me off at the light rail station and I took the light rail to the Airport stop, where I crossed the street (in the rain) and got onto another bus.  This bus took me to the airport, where I walked from the bus stop to the...parking garage, where I located the car I was to pick up that I then paid an arm and a leg to drive out of the parking garage to work, all of 5 minutes away.  I left home at 6:40am and arrived at work at 8:55am.  I also got money and food during that time.

I worked from 9am-4:45pm.  At 4:45pm I went out and got into the car to drive home.  It took me 20 minutes to drive from work down the road about 8 blocks to the freeway entrance, where I then sat in stop and go traffic...and I got off at the airport exit and went to Target.  I walked out of Target at 5:48pm and got back into the car.  The stop and go traffic had eased some and I made my way home, where I walked into the door at 6:48pm.  That was after putting the gas pedal to the floor in order to get the car up the driveway because it had rained all day and the slurry seal is still causing some issues when it rains...in other words the tires have a hard time gripping the pavement and the tires slip, slip, slip.

It is now 8:17pm and I am watching UP! on TV and waiting for the clock to say 9pm so that I can go to bed and hopefully not wake up at 4:30am but the new "normal" time of 5:50am.  This night person is now a morning person-by-necessity-resisting-all-the-way.

Life has changed...that is all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pronouncement for the day

I drove to work today.  It was raining, even though the forecasters said it "wasn't going to rain in the South Bay until the evening on Tuesday."  Yeah, this is why I have a hard time believing weather forecasters.

Anyway, I drove to work and listened to the radio and came up with the following pronouncement for the day...

I do.not.care.about.Taylor.Swift.  I changed radio channels and they were all (except for my favorite DJ Ralphie on "the pig on the radio" aka KPIG) talking about Taylor Swift.  I do not care who is is dating or sleeping with.  I do not care about her ideas on relationships.  I do not like her music.  I do not want to listen to her.  I do.not.care.

And that is my pronouncement for the day.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Life and faith these days

I woke up this morning about 4am to a cracking and crashing sound followed by the beep*beep*beep of the answering machine as the power flickered and went out.  I lay there wondering just how far away that cracking and crashing sound was and just then lay there wondering how I was going to get my hair into "office" style  that day if the power was still out when I was supposed to be getting ready for work two hours later.  Of course, I was then awake and unable to go back to sleep and it was dark, REALLY dark in my house.  I turned on my cell phone to use as a flashlight (which is also how I knew it was 4am), found my flashlight and tried to read myself to sleep.  It worked...at 5:40am when the power came back on and my alarm was set to go off 20 minutes later.  Why does that ALWAYS happen?

Before I got out of bed though, in search of the flashlight, I lay there listening to the sound of silence.  It's amazing how much sound there is in electricity.  When the power went out the air seemed to go completely still.  I didn't hear any sirens from emergency vehicles or sounds of helicopters signaling a life-flight situation, so I lay there just listening to the silence, relishing the pitch black darkness of night.  The stillness of the night was palpable bringing with it mystery and strangely, peace.  Except for the puzzlement of how I was going to dry my hair, I was peaceful laying there in the silence and dark.

Over the weekend I joined 38 women on a retreat in the mountains.  It's about 5 miles up a canyon road and there was no cell phone signal by the time I reached the camp.  There was no Internet access either.  It was good.

I was there to lead music for the retreat.  For a few weeks before I had been going through worship songs, picking out, organizing and revamping songs that I had sung with the worship team at Old Church for years.  There were a few songs I really wanted to sing but I knew the women wouldn't know them, so they went back in the folder.  Friday night I stood with my guitar and a microphone and the PowerPoint presentation of songs and lead in singing.  It was good.  I wasn't perfect.  They didn't know all the songs.  By the time we were done I felt like a door had opened again in my heart.

My journey of faith has been winding, sometimes steep, sometimes meandering along streams of water that have quenched my thirsty soul.  I have walked along some steep cliffs with huge drop offs and many times I have fallen.  There have been times when I have wandered in the desert, in circles, struggling with the mirages and the longings for water, cool air and rest.  This is the wonder, the mystery, the journey of faith I have come to know as I have walked with Jesus.

Lately, this path of faith has reflected my experience of laying in the dark last night, the silence has been palpable, mysterious, the darkness has been dark.  There hasn't been peace, so much, there's just been a lot of silence, a muted kind of existence.  I haven't been unhappy, I haven't been overly happy, I have just existed.  Lying the dark, listening to the silence, a muted kind of existence.

As I led music, the words began to niggle and nudge my soul.  As I listened to the speaker and watched her form pots from clay, reflecting on how the clay goes from a lump to something beautiful, I connected with the process and began to see myself on this journey of faith, I began to see myself in that lump of clay.  I began to see light.

The sun came up this morning, somewhere between 4am and 6:15am when I got up.  The power came back on and my "office" hair was styled.  The hum of electricity could be heard again, covering up the silence.  I headed for work, going about my day but the lingering effects of my 4am wake up have followed me all day.  The lingering effects of a weekend women's retreat have followed me as well.  The lingering effects of a journey of faith that has been on a very dark, quiet road has followed me, or should I say, I've followed it.  This journey of faith continues on, with maybe a bit more sun and the smallest of sounds beginning to penetrate the palpable silence and darkest of darkness.  I don't know where I'm going but I know who I'm following and really, that's all that matters.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Versus

I have a bunch of posts started that I just can't seem to finish, which speaks more to my state of mind than to the subjects I am writing about.  By the time I sit down to write, my brain goes on a break.

So instead of writing about the deep subjects, I am going to share the pithy stuff today.

One of the websites I keep track of is the Highway Patrol website that tells of traffic collisions or road hazards.  I've written about it before...guy with broom on freeway...it can be hysterical reading.

Today's made me chuckle a little.  We always know when the rain is starting after a little bit of a break because the roadways become a mess, especially the road between work and home that winds over "the hill".  It has some pretty fun curves in the road and when the road gets slick, well, people don't slow down and accidents happen and I read things like this:

Toyt PK vs CD and Hillside (aka Toyota pickup versus center divide and hillside)

Green PK vs Retaining wall--don't think I need to decipher that one.

What made me laugh was the "vs" part.  When I think of versus I think of one entity competing against another entity...which I guess was entirely true in these cases.  However, I, for one, know that when competing against the center divide, the hillside or the retaining wall, a vehicle will ALWAYS be the loser!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

An appointment in Star$

I missed the 7:25 a.m. bus today.  By two minutes or so.  If I had made the last stoplight, I probably would have been fine.  But I didn't make that last stoplight and I sat there, watching the time click away and no cars go the other direction and  knew I was going to miss the bus.  The light changed, I turned and saw the bus, turning out of the Bus Center and sighed.  20 minutes til the next bus or drive to work?  It was raining, traffic would be heavy, K works down the street from me today, I had a ride home...20 minute wait it was.

I pulled into the Post Office, dropped off some mail and headed to Star$.  Of course, there was a line.  I looked at my watch, making sure I had time to wait and get back to the Bus Center.  I looked up and at the head of the line was a former youth group member.  To be fair, he only came to youth group a handful of times in 8th grade, but still.  Now, this could have gone one of two ways.  He could have looked at me and looked way pretending to not know me (be honest, we've ALL done that!) but he didn't.  He smiled.  I smiled and waved Hi.  The next thing I knew he had paid and was heading back to my place in line to say Hi.  A semi-stilted conversation began (give me a break, introvert, 7:30 a.m., I rarely want to get into conversations before 10 a.m., I despise small talk, stilted was the best that I could do).  The conversation was interrupted as I ordered and paid and still he stood there, waiting.  So I tried again and then, then, conversation began to flow.  By the time his coffee order was ready we had been laughing and relating to each other like adults.  The shift had happened.  It wasn't former youth director and former youth group member, but adults talking about life, about work and about our days.

I've been waiting for this.  It's hard, oh so hard, to let go of trying to shepherd and care for the flock that God allowed to wander near me for years.  I gather with them and still feel like I'm supposed to keep them safe from wolves and lead them to, well, something.  Part of it is my natural instincts and gifting but part of it is them, not being able to, maybe not wanting me to let me put down the shepherd staff and just join the flock.  They've done an amazing job at including me and I am beyond blessed and honored to call them friends but still, there are times when I sit there and realize, I'm still in the shepherd role.  This journey has been challenging and there is a long road still ahead.

So, today I missed the 7:25 a.m. bus.  I had an appointment in Star$ and wound up being a 1/2 hour late for work (rain+windy road=bad traffic) but it was an appointment I needed to keep.  I just didn't know I had made it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I just can't stay silent

**This post has been sitting in my "drafts" for months now.  Most of it was written back in February.  As a Christ Follower who believes that God has given me a mind and heart and that I need to use both of them, I just can't stay silent any longer.**

My parents raised me in such a way that I never really thought that there were things that a woman couldn't do that a man could. (There are definitely things I don't WANT to do but I can still do them.  Thus, I found myself taking apart the deck, a couple of months ago, and dealing with the dead rodent under the deck.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.) Yes, Yo Momma did all the cooking but Papa Bear was very good about cleaning (his nickname is Mr. Clean).  Yo Momma stayed home with Lil Bro and I until we went to school all day and then she got a part time job.  They both did their fair share of discipline and I never once heard Papa Bear talk down to Yo Momma, like she was a second rate citizen.  I went to a church where women had leadership roles, the larger church included women in Pastoral leadership roles, and I was always, always encouraged to chase whatever dream I wanted to chase.
 
One summer I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper in the Bay Area.  I think they were doing a series on "Hot Topics" and I wrote in about one in particular.  My letter was published for the world to read, my thoughts in print.  My parents were proud.  Our family was out of town the weekend my letter was published.  I remember driving to the local store that carried that particular paper to buy a copy and Yo Momma and I deciding not to let the extended family that was there see the paper with my letter.  We just didn't want to get into the conversation.

The other night I was with a bunch of my young adult friends and the conversation of politics came up, as it always does.  There were two in the room of eight that don't necessarily agree with the rest of us.  Those conversations, I always feel like we're walking such a fine line between listening to the other opinion and disrespect.  I usually try to avoid the conversations as much as possible.  I have opinions, I have convictions, I just don't want to get into the conversation.

I've been listening to conversations in which the rights of women are seemingly being chipped away, one by one.  I feel like this country is taking huge leaps backwards when it comes to the equality of women.  I don't want to get into the conversations...I cannot stay silent any longer.
  • I am tired of women continuing to be belittled, criticized and harangued for living their lives in the best way they see fit.   Whether that be a stay-at-home-mom, a working mom, a single mom, a single woman, I'm tired of women having to defend their life decisions.
  • I'm tired of the conversation in churches that continues to tell women that they should be silent or that they are just baby machines and should know their place.  
  • I'm tired of the conversation that says that women should subject themselves to whatever a man requires of them, because of that verse in the Bible that says a woman should "submit" to her husband.  Why don't we focus on the verses that follow as much?  The one's about men loving their wives as Christ loved the church.
  • I'm tired of the double standard that says men can have sex with multiple women, but a woman who has sex with more than one man is a whore.  
  • I'm tired of women being denied birth control because of their religious affiliations or who they work for.  
  • I'm tired of the discussion about abortion, especially in the church, when: A.) there is strong resistant to educating people on how to use or allowing access to birth control; B.) we continue to criticize and demean women and their families who work hard and still struggle to put food on the table and need a little help to make it through life; C.) there are children in our foster care system that are desperate for families to shower them love and attention, right now.  Where are the people in the church for those children? (and I know some amazing church people who ARE there for kids in the foster care system and are walking their talk)  D.) We make it so hard and expensive to adopt children.
  • I'm tired of the line of rhetoric that says all people on welfare are druggies or low-life's or not working hard.  It's simply not true.
  • I'm tired of being told that my voice really shouldn't be heard in the church because of my gender.  As I told a friend recently, I didn't choose to be in church leadership, God CALLED me to church leadership.  Time after time, God put me in positions of leadership in the church, even when I was resisting,  If you want to argue, argue with God, stop talking to me.
  • I'm tired of women being rated as second class citizens who can't make wise decisions and choices because they are missing an appendage.  
  • I'm tired of women (and men) who have been violated physically, emotionally and mentally by rape, being violated, yet again, by people running for a political office.   
Actually, when it comes right down to it, I'm tired of the party lines.  I'm tired of hearing how one side is right and the other side is wrong..and I mean that about both of the top political parties.  It seems to me the people whom the conversations focused on are the one's who are the losers across the board...because who is actually listening to them?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A celebration weekend!

This morning in the wee hours of the morning my "little" cousin became a Dad.  I was privileged to be the officiant at his wedding this last summer, which was strange enough, but now to call him a Dad...yeah, it's pretty awesome.

Baby A has been highly anticipated for the last few weeks.  Her Mom was ready for her to be born a couple of weeks ago but she took her time.  I know my "little" cousin will be a spectacular Dad.  He's going to love this little girl, spoil her completely and cherish her for life.  I'm so proud of all of them!

It does seem like a celebration weekend.  Tomorrow I officiate at wedding number 4.  Woo-hoo!!!  My precious friend Meg and her love are getting married in a beautiful vineyard.  The rehearsal just happened and there was much laughter and joy.  I predict more laughter and lots and lots of tears tomorrow. 

Meg is one of the most ah-maz-ing women I know.  She is quiet, keeps most of her feelings close to her heart and her face gives.away.nothing.  If you are lucky to be one of the people whom she has adopted into her world, she will do just about anything for you, be your number one champion and passionately fight for your cause.  I have been blessed by her friendship in so many ways over the years and have been blessed to stand behind her and cheer her on as she has gone toe-to-toe with life.  I can't think of anyone who deserves happiness more than Meg and I am praying, as she begins this new life chapter, that God will shower her with love, will keep drama from her doorstep for a long time and for her and her man to be partners in all ways for life. 

Tomorrow, about this time, I will be pronouncing them husband and wife...and the party will begin!  It's a good celebration weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Adventure Boy

Last weekend, Adventure Boy had his 6th birthday.  I can't believe it's been 6 years since he was born.

Anyway, for his birthday, Adventure Boy requested a cake.  A chocolate cake with strawberry filling.  Well, he started with Chocolate cake with strawberry frosting and I helped him change his mind...because he also wanted his cake to be in the shape of a scarab.

Yes, I did say a scarab.  I looked at a couple of pictures and breathed a sigh of relief.  I could make a scarab cake for Adventure Boy.

I think the end result came out pretty well.  There are things I would have done differently but there are always things I would do differently when it comes to cakes!


Adventure Boy and his scarab cake
Adventure Boy, well, he looked at it and said "It's good."  When his friends started commenting "hey, it's a beetle!" he was quick to correct them.  "No," he would say, "it's a scarab."  That meant, job well done.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You can't make this stuff up!

It's been kind of a slow day at the office.  I've been going through the membership charts and making sure we have acknowledged all the new members.  Slow day.

However, I ran across this little gem that I had seen a few weeks ago and it made me chuckle again.

One way to join this group is to be sponsored.  Let it be known that a certain individual named "Fish" was sponsored by one individual named "Fry".

And that, my internet friends, is my funny for today.

Hmmm, now I'm thinking about catfish...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A day of reminiscing

This morning on Facebook, I saw a message from a former classmate of mine to New Sis.  It struck me as funny that the world is small enough that New Sis and former classmate met up, without my introduction, and are now Facebook friends.  Very strange.  It also got me thinking about elementary school (yes, I've known this person THAT long) and being invited to someones birthday party and what a big deal that really was when I was in elementary school.  Then I started thinking about how my mind works and how my mind has always told me I'm not likable because of a certain issue, which I really don't want to get into here and so we'll move...and no I don't want to talk about it later, thankyouverymuch.

This afternoon, again on Facebook, a high school classmate posted about another high school classmate who died suddenly.  Shock has been rippling all afternoon.  I happen to be friends with the aunt and cousin of this classmate who passed away, pretty good friends with them actually.   My classmate's husband died earlier this year in a very tragic accident, leaving her 6 months pregnant.  Which means there is a 4 month old out who is now an orphan.  Words are just failing.  Pray, if you are the praying kind, for the family, please.

Then tonight as Papa Bear and I were leaving a restaurant this guy smiled and said "Hey!  Hi!"  I know I looked at him blankly and kinda looked a Papa Bear and then realized, I KNOW HIM!  Another high school classmate, though he was a freshman when I was a senior, whom I literally haven't seen since I graduated...not saying how many years ago.

Some days I marvel at how we are all connected, how cool it is to reconnect with people, how small the world is and how unfair life can seem.  I am very glad I am not in charge.

Monday, October 1, 2012

What to say

I get to this page, lately, and have a bazillion things I think about posting.  I start a post, my mind wanders, the words don't come out easily and eventually I hit the "save" and "close" buttons and journey elsewhere.  I have things to say until I start writing, it seems, then the words dry up.  They just float away.  Maybe I don't really have anything to say...

But I do have things to say.  I have things to say about politics, the church, family, forgiveness, the bus, the light rail, the weather, friends, cake baking, weddings, babies, health care, traveling, hopes, dreams, relationships, children, faith, hope, grace, love, imagination, evangelism, religion, depression, rats, prayer, books, lying, secrets, work Diet Coke vs. Diet Pepsi and how G.W. Bailey on "Major Crimes" and "The Closer" before that and "M.A.S.H." a way long time before that reminds me of my Boompa every time I see him. 

Yep, I do have things to say...and one day they will make their way to the surface and move through my mind to my typing fingers to the keyboard to this page and instead of "save" and "close" I will hit "publish".

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Patience

Patience is a virtue.  All these years of my life, I figured that phrase was in the Bible.  It's not...exactly.  It's in there in ways, alluded to in Scripture, but those four words do not appear together, that I can find!

Never-the-less, patience is something that God doled out to me.  Or maybe it's a combination of compassion and patience.  There are times when I am definitely impatient.  Waiting at red lights when I'm late...definitely impatient.  Waiting for an appointment when I was right on time and the one I have the appointment with is chronically late...definitely impatient.  Waiting for someone to do something on the computer when I know I could do it in half the time...definitely impatient.  I try not to show that impatience and exude grace instead.  Sometimes it works.

Still, patience is something that I have been given by God, as apparent when I'm with people who didn't get the full gift of patience.  I've been with many a person in a restaurant who get very impatient when their needs aren't taken care of within a given amount of time.  Then they get critical and my enjoyment of the experience takes a nose dive.  Sometimes, yes, sometimes the complaints are valid.  Many times, the complaints border on selfish.

I think that's the deal, for me, with patience.  There's a certain level of selfishness that comes into play.  When we are asked to be patient, we are asked to put our wants and need, our selfishness aside.  It's hard to be patient when we WANT something, really, really bad.  It's hard to be patient when things aren't going our way.  It's hard to be patient when we know we could do things differently and it would go better.  We want to hurry things along.  There are moments when we can step in, when we can push the agenda and get what we want or need.  Yet, what I have experienced in my Christ-walk has been over and over and over again the small voice of God saying "Wait".  

I want to know what tomorrow is going to bring.  God says, "Wait."

I want to have answers to questions.  God says, "Wait."

I want resolution to a situation.  God says, "Wait."

The gift of patience means that I wait.  I may complain a little.  I may whine.  I may get restless and shift back and forth and back and forth in my chair but by-in-large I wait.

A year ago I was beginning the waiting process.  I had quit my job with nothing on the horizon but God's promise that my work was done where I had been, that there was no place for me there anymore and the knowledge that now as the time to fly.  So I flew and landed...and waited.  That was a tough stretch of time.  There were moments when I was sure I had heard God wrong, that I had made the wrong choice and every time I asked God said, "Wait."  Eventually the next thing came along but still, as I accomplish and learn more, as I make new connections and pay the bills, still I know that I am being asked to wait.  There is more to come.  My timing isn't the one that is important...it's God's timing that is important...and so I wait.


**Side-note:  As I was writing this, I took a break and read an article on Yahoo news and had to laugh.  Here is what I read about an interview with the President and First Lady on The View:

As for Michelle, President Obama said, "She should run for office, but she says she doesn't want to."
"I mean, Michelle would be terrific," he continued, "but temperamentally I just don't think [she could]."
"Yeah, no," the first lady said. "It takes a lot of patience to be the president of the United States, and I'm not that patient."  

By the way, God, I have no desire to be President.  Thanks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Home again

Home from Pearlington.  Worked all day at my day job.  Tired.  Will update soon.  You can also go to www.ca2ms.blogspot.com for more.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Friday Five--I need Help--Day Five

One way I have helped others:

This post is hitting the wires while I am in the air, flying to the town that captured my heart 7 years ago, Pearlington, Mississippi.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am grateful for Hurricane Katrina.  Not for the havoc or the destruction but the opportunity to find a part of myself I never knew existed and the opportunity to meet people I would never have met. 

I love putting on my steel toed boots, jeans and t-shirts and going to work.  I find it challenging and selfless, yet also selfish.  I get something out of helping people rebuild their lives in this tangible way.  I can't put this part of me back into the drawer it came out of.  I can't help but help.

God moves in mysterious ways and while I have a hard time fully accepting a God of chaos and destruction, I know that through chaos and destruction, God changed my life and I found a passion for helping that goes beyond anything I've ever known before.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Friday Five--I need Help, Day Four

Another time when I received help when I didn't want to ask for help:

I love watching little kids try and figure things out on their own.  My niece, Miss P, wants to do EVERYTHING herself, as did Creative Guy and Adventure Boy and all the other kids I've known that are in the age range of 2+.  "I do it!" is a common statement for parents to hear.

"I do it!" is a common statement for God to hear from me.  "I've got it covered.  I don't need extra help.  I don't want to bother God with something so little.  I can handle it."  I've said and/or thought those statements and many more like them for years.  In my relationship with God I tend to say "I do it!" a lot. 

There have been times along the way, though, when I've found myself at the bottom of the proverbial barrel, feeling myself sink deeper and deeper into the pit, sure I wasn't going to find my way out.  Did you hear that?  I said sure I wasn't going to find my way out.  All about me.  Not about God.

Those moments have always pointed out a huge truth.  I need help.  I can't do it alone.  My strength is not enough.  I need God.

Yesterday I was going through a list of questions about God and Christianity some High School students had answered, compiling them into one document.  One of the High School students said they wanted to hear why their youth group leaders believed in God.  They wanted to know what compelled their leaders to believe in God.  I thought about my own answer to that question and one of the answers that came was simply this:  I need God.  I can't do it on my own.  I need the help that comes from prayer, the peace that comes from knowing I don't have to do it on my own, the strength that comes from knowing I am loved, beyond all human understanding...even when I stand at the bottom of the barrel, realizing I, once again, allowed my pride, my stubbornness, my self get in the way and finally, finally cry out..."I need help."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Friday Five: I Need Help--Day Three


I am horrendously awful about asking for help.  The part of me that always, always, feels like a failure gets in my way and stops me from asking for help.  I am the helper, not the one in need. Maybe I don't like to feel indebted to other people.  Maybe my perfectionism gets in the way and its easier to ask to do things myself than ask for help.  I know a part of me hates to be let down, so not asking for help means that no one can let me down.  Whatever it is, I am awful about asking for help.

So I don't.  Yet there are two people who help me all the time, without being asked or even when I don't want to ask.  Now some may say it's their duty, but I know better.  They help because of love and I am grateful.  I live with my parents.  When I moved back in after college they were gracious and I only intended it to be for a year or two.  That year or two has been extended, considerably.  I like to think it's a little give and take.  They are retired, they travel but I'm around and can take care of things while they are away.  I've heard from both of them, separately at times that there is absolutely no rush to move out, in fact I'm pretty sure they both like having me around...most of the time.  I am human, I do get grumpy and they are the first line of fire when things are going awry.  I'm sorry for that but I'm also so grateful for their help.

If I am close to my breaking point, they are the people I will turn to first.  It never fails if I'm feeling stressed or scared or sad or whatever and I hear the voice of Yo Momma or Papa Bear, I'm done.  The tears start.  And they are always there to help.  No matter what.  I also know they are proud of me.  No matter what.  Sure, my relationship with my parents can be a little rocky at times but never once do I doubt their love and support.  I know beyond a doubt that I am blessed with two amazing people for parents.  And I am grateful for their help...even when I don't want to ask.





Saturday, September 8, 2012

Friday Five--I Need Help--Day Two

The 2nd way I received help when I didn't want to ask for it...correct that, when I didn't know to ask for it.

 For a couple of years there were four of us, all in youth ministry, who would get together and collaborate on activities for our youth groups.  We would also get together just to talk about life and ministry.  We traveled to Youth Worker Conventions together and basically became really good friends, with youth ministry and God being the commonality.  There was one year when that friendship transcended youth ministry and definitely became more about just getting through life.  At the end of that year, one of us left youth ministry, another moved away and then there were two...until I left my job.

My friend, T, wasn't about to let me leave youth ministry fully.  The last couple of months as I prepared to leave my job, he was preparing to hire someone, very, very, very part-time to help with the stuff that was keeping him from doing ministry fully.  He offered me the position.  Seeing a very small paycheck come in the door when I was letting go of a nice paycheck (though I was not without the ability to survive:  see yesterday's post) was one reason I said yes but really the other reason was I needed to feel useful.  Every week for 6 months I had something to do every Tuesday.  I had a place to go, someone who needed my help and who was counting on me to get the job done.  I didn't know I would need that sense of being useful, having a purpose but there it was.  I didn't know I needed help, I didn't know I to ask for it but God knew.

It's been a year and I have a new job now.  Not a full-time job and I'm surviving.  I'm not sure how long my very, very part time job will last but for now, I'm content.  Not just to be helped by a friend but to help him as well. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Five: I Need Help--Day One

From Martha at RevGalBlogPals:  This time last Friday I was on my way to the airport to pick up your usual host for first Friday Five. We had a mighty to-do list for the Labor Day weekend, and her accomplishments were so far beyond impressive as to be heroic. A dumpster is now full of water-damaged junk from my basement.

This was not a job I could have accomplished by myself. I had to ask for help.

I hate to ask for help. I love to give it. You may identify with these feelings.

So, for this Friday Five, please list four ways you have been helped when you didn't want to ask for it and one way you had a chance to help that meant a lot to you.

If you know how to link to your post, God bless you, and if you don't, I promise to visit you anyway. And if you have a minute, leave a thank you to kathrynzj, the heroine mentioned above, who is retiring from Friday Five.


I'm going to take a little bit of liberty with this Friday Five and make it a Five Day event.  Partly because I don't have the time, at the moment, to ponder all five "helps" and partly because I want to take the time to do this one justice!

1st way I've received help when I didn't want to ask for it:

Actually that should be, I received help that I didn't know to ask for.

A year and a half ago I sent a venting text to a friend.  It went something like "I can't do this anymore."  The response came back immediately.  "Where are you?  I have something for you."  We met up briefly and this friend handed me an envelope.  I was in the midst of something else and I didn't open the envelope until about a half hour later.  When I did the floodgate of tears could not be stopped.  I sought this friend out and sat and cried and tried to give the envelope back, thanked my friend profusely and then...and then began to wonder.

My friend was God's messenger at that point, providing a way out, literally.  I knew, I KNEW what I needed to do at that moment and over the next two months I prayed and prayed and prayed until the moment was right.  Meetings were held, paperwork was handed in, goodbyes were said and for 6 months I survived because of the unbelievable love and generosity of a friend.  I wasn't asking for the kind of help my friend gave.  I couldn't conceive of asking for that kind of help and yet, there it was.  Offered without strings.  Offered without qualm and with a quite a forceful "you can't give this back!"

I'm forever grateful for the help I didn't know to ask for...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

#12

If we can get the flights, a week from today I will be in Mississippi for the 12th time.  Prayers that everything comes together is much appreciated from a financial standpoint and flights/car rental/housing standpoint.  My teammates this trip are Yo Momma (whom you can pray for as Gail), Jolynn and Laurel.

Grateful for to work for a non-profit whose motto is "Service Above Self".


Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Pearlington update

**Cross posted at Felton to Pearlington**

I heard from Mr. Ben today.  The conversation went something like this:

Cell phone vibrates.  I look at Caller ID and answer with, "I've been waiting. What's the news?"

The answer on the other end was "I really didn't want to call you with this but I told you I would check in."

"What's going on Ben?"

"I really don't want to tell you this but I'm just going to tell you like it is."

"Ok, Ben.  What's the news?"

"Well, I really don't want to tell you..."

The news finally came out.  This time it's Mr. Ben's house.  The laminate floor in the small bedroom needs to go.  That's not so bad.  All the sheet rock in the downstairs of the house needs to be torn out from about the 2 foot mark on.  Dang.  The siding on the outside of the house needs to be replaced from about the 3 foot mark on down.  Double dang.

Then the news on the pretty house (aka yellow house). While the water has receded from Mr. Ben's house, the yellow house now has a lake.  Underneath the house and surrounding it.  Lovely.  The sheet rock needs to come out from about the 2 ft. mark here as well.  The sheet rock that we put up two years ago.  DANG IT!

While a part of me wants to just get on a plane and go right now, the logical, practical side of me is sitting and praying for a moment.  Do we go or do we send the money we would have spent on the plane ticket to help with repairs?  That will be tomorrows conversation with Mr. Ben...which will start off something like this..."so what is it that you need the most?"


By the way, he really didn't want to tell me because it was his family in need.  That made me love Mr. Ben even more.

--As a side note, I've heard comments, already, from some who say "why would you live there?  This is just going to keep happening."  They are right.  It will keep happening.  But why do I choose to live on  a hill that could give way with one good rain storm (Ala 1982-83 rainstorms and floods), that could be wiped out in an earthquake (um 1989?) or burn down in a fire (just a few summers ago there was a close one!)?  We choose to live where we choose to live and deal with things as they come to us.   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another hurricane

"Battened down the hatches" was the post from Mr. Ben in Mississippi today.  7 years after Hurricane Katrina tore apart the Gulf Coast they are staring down another storm, this one named Isaac.  Hunkering down and waiting for the winds, the rains and the predicted storm surges.  Of course, it doesn't look to be as bad, a Category 1 as opposed to Katrina's Category 5 but still...it's eerie.

Praying for those on the Gulf Coast.  For Mr. Ben, Ms. Sue, Tom, Captain John, Joel, Bordie and all those we know waiting for the storm to blow on by.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Songs running through my head

The other morning a song popped into my head.  Or rather a hymn, because clearly there is a difference between hymns and songs thus the "worship wars" and, yeah, tangent.

Anyway, I started humming "He giveth more grace when the burdens are greater" and then the next line that came into my head was "I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold"...wait, what?  That's not the same song!  I kept running through those lines in my head but they kept mish-mashing up until I finally went in the other room and tried to get help from Yo Momma and G.G.  They humored me but weren't much help.  I drove all the way home from Tahoe with those two songs, sorry, hymns in my head.

I didn't remember to look them up until today.  A quick jaunt over to YouTube and guess what?!  They may not be the exact same tune but they are pretty darn close!  Which got me a'thinkin' about all the other hymns that use the same tune but change the lyrics.  Which made my mind trail off on a tangent about how hard it must be to come up with new tunes all the time.

Anyway, you can YouTube them yourself (sorry, I'm not going to attach the videos here) and decide for yourself.  Am I crazy or do "He Giveth More Grace" and "I'd Rather Have Jesus" sound pretty darn similar?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday evening dots of randomness

  • Little Miss P turned three this past weekend.  Of course Auntie B had to make cupcakes and cake pops.  She had the best look on her face as people were singing "Happy Birthday" to her.  She had a good day and ate three fishy cupcakes.  Hard to believe it's been three years since she was born!
  • I am very, very grateful for Papa Bear.  Last night when I arrived home after the drive from Tahoe, I wished Papa Bear was home as the rat trap had been activated.  This evening as I dealt with the dead rodent, I was really grateful that Papa Bear usually deals with this stuff.  The rat trap will go un-baited until he gets home.
  • There are certain things that get me riled up.  Men denying the validity of rape turns out to be one issue.  I have spent the whole day stewing and being pissed off about the whole "legitimacy of rape" comment by a certain Missouri Representative.  I hope the women of Missouri wake up and refuse to vote this man into office.
  • Monday night TV really stinks.  I refuse to watch Bachelor Pad, The Closer went off the air and NCIS re-runs don't run on Monday nights because of WWE.  Maybe I should just go to bed.
  • One of the office coordinators in my office building came into my office last week and asked for change.  Her car was running on fumes, she had no more money in the bank and was just trying to get home from work (there's so much more to this story).  I gave her $5 and I thought she was going to cry.  Later, talking with Papa Bear, it occurred to me that when you have nothing, you don't need much to be grateful or happy.  I think that's a lesson that those in political power need to learn.
  • This morning as I was waiting for the bus, there was a college student doing a practice run before school starts on Wednesday.  I made sure to tell him not to get on the wrong bus and how to know which one was the right bus.  I will NOT be one of those bus people who don't help out newbies!
  • And that ends the dots of randomness this Monday evening.  Have a good week!
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  • I thought I was done...Tonight I declare war on ants.  The swarm that made it's presence known in the kitchen in less than an hour has been eliminated.  The dishes are washed, there is no food on the counter and honest to goodness I will kill every single ant that I see.  That is all

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Adventure Boy

Adventure Boy needed a ride from preschool this evening.  I happened to be arriving back from work about the time he needed to be picked up, so I stopped by and got him.  He quickly came over and we left preschool with the Bat cave and jet fighter in tow.  Love him.

Jumping into the Race Car he quickly spotted the bear that Aunt C had given me at Christmas.  It had taken up residence in the back seat and Adventure Boy picked it up.  He decided that the bear needed to fly in the wind (the top was down on the Race Car) and we discussed how the bear needed to fly within the boundaries of the car because "I would be sad if the bear flew away."

He talked all the way to his parents office and then as we walked to the front door he asked "when am I going to see you again?"

"I don't know," I replied.

"I think we need a play date at your house," he said.  I know his little mind.  I knew what he was thinking.  I waited and then...

"Because, you know, I can't play video games now, but I can watch Creative Guy play them!"  Um hmmm.

Adventure Boy was distracted by someone coming out the office door and we tromped down the back stairs to the play room that has been set up for Creative Guy and Adventure Boy.  Creative Guy was there trying to get a movie to work on Netflix and getting frustrated.  I sat down to help fix things.  Creative Guy and Adventure Boy tussled in the background and Adventure Boy was trying to get as much attention as possible.  Creative Guy escaped up the stairs for the moment and I made Adventure Boy stay with me.  He tried to get my attention by being, well, gross and it didn't work but I did pull him up onto my lap.  The next thing I knew he was just sitting there, perfectly willing to be held and hugged and loved.  Heart.melting.moment.

Creative Guy returned, Adventure Boy went back into his attention getting mode.  I got the movie working and went to leave but not before Adventure Boy asked, one last time, "When I am going to see you again?"  "For sure in 10 days" was my reply.  I left them grateful to be reminded that underneath the layers of exuberance and attention getting behavior is a little boy who just needs to be loved.  For one moment today he knew that he was loved, unconditionally loved and it was good.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A day at the zoo

There is a reason why I have nicknamed these two young men Creative Guy and Adventure Boy.


Yesterday we went to the zoo.  It was so fun and a good reminder of how awesome it is to see the world through kids size glasses.  The world is HUGE!


Adventure Boy lived up to his name.  He was literally running circles around us at any moment in time.  I nick named him the great peacock hunter, as he tried to get close enough to touch the peacock...until it went into the off-limits area of the zoo.  I gave him the camera as we rode the train around a portion of the zoo.  Turns out he likes to photograph people. 








Adventure Boy asked a million questions, had a million statements to make and I knew when we got back into the car to go home he would crash...HARD.  Which he did.  He woke up and immediately joined the conversation going on in the car, to which Creative Guy said "wait, you're awake?"  The prompt indignant response from Adventure Boy was "I wasn't asleep!"  Riiiiiiight...



Creative Guy kept saying "I bet this would make a great movie" as we moved from exhibit to exhibit.  He was just as animated as his brother at times (I think R-girl and I both have sore stomachs and arms from the multiple head-butts and head bumps throughout the day from both boys!) but all of a sudden he would get very serious as if he was viewing the zoo through a movie camera lens.  At one point I was reminded that he is growing up as he looked at me and said "You're embarrassing me."  Ooofff.  When did I become my Mom?

We did get a group photo, though neither of them try too hard to smile when a camera is brought out.  I did, however, catch a couple of great candid photo's of them.  It was fun to spend the day with them and R-girl.  I would classify the day as a success as they both said as we were leaving, "Next time we need to..."




It was a good day at the zoo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Olympics--a new sport?

I think there should be a new Olympic sport.  It could be called light rail riding.  The goal would be to try to maneuver your way onto an already full light rail train, jockey for position standing and then be judged on how little one moves when the light rail train suddenly stops, accelerates or goes over other tracks or around a corner.

A perfect score* would be for the person who can do all of the above in the middle of the train without holding on or leaning into anything...or touching anyone else if it's a REALLY full train.

That would be the kind of Olympic sport I could compete in.  I have a lot of training to do.  Lucky for me the light rail has been extra full lately and standing time has been in abundance.

*Speaking of perfect scores, does anyone else miss the old judging system for gymnastics?  A score of 15.70 doesn't mean anything to me.  Where are the 9's and 10's?  Why does everything have to change?!   Oops, sorry started channeling church people for a moment**.




(**Yes, I did take my extra snarky pills today, thanks for asking.)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Olympics--Dear NBC

Dear NBC,

I understand, really I do.  In order to get as many people watching as possible you need to go for those "prime-time" hours.  Yes, I keep falling asleep in the middle of the event I really wanted to see but whose fault is that for having a job requiring me to be up and leaving the house soon after 7am?  Fault mine.  I do secretly wish programming would start at 7pm but I'll just keep that a secret for now.

What I don't understand is the coverage last night of gymnastics.  Not coverage of the CURRENT Olympic games but the at least 20 minute recap of years gone by.  What?!  I changed the channel and went to "Say Yes to the Dress".  I kept flipping back and forth and yet still there was the story of years gone by.  I was getting frustrated by then.  I know there had to be other sports that had contests yesterday in the 2012 Olympics but no, you chose to focus on years gone by.  I will admit, I didn't watch so maybe you tied it all together nicely.  I hope you did.  I just refused to watch.

I'm just one person, sitting at home in California, wanting to cheer on the Olympiads.  Your monopoly on the Olympic games meant that I couldn't do that...because by the time we got back to the recap of the days events, well, I was tired and I had disconnected from the Olympics.  Sure I tried.  I watched diving, I watched swimming, I think somewhere in there was coverage of shot put and maybe some volleyball, maybe running?  The drive, the enthusiasm, the WANT to really stay awake and watch the coverage by then had died.

NBC, I know you've paid all of the commentators a lot of money to be at the Olympics.  You've spent a lot of money on the newscasters and want to give them their time.  I get it.  I just won't watch the human interest stories from years gone by.  I'll change the channel and maybe hop back.  Or maybe I'll just search the internet and find YouTube videos or recaps of the events there.  It's not the same as taped, edited coverage with announcers who seem out to build up our expectations of one athlete in each event and then be completely surprised by the performance of another, but it's something.

Now, I've got to go see if I can find that runner from Cameroon that I saw for 10 seconds of actual coverage yesterday and see when she's running again.  I need to cheer her on for my Office building mate.  I'm hoping the World Wide Web will have some coverage of that race because NBC, I've lost trust in you.

Sincerely,
A want-to-be 2012 Olympic Viewer

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Olympics

The Olympics have arrived.  My life is on hold for the next two weeks.  Thanks for stopping by.


















Just kidding, kinda.  I do love the Olympics.  I refuse to root just for USA Olympians and usually find one person to root for in the field, no matter what country they are from.  I have an admitted hard time watching diving (jump away from the cement platform!), balance beam (too tiny, don't fall!) and pommel horse (swing higher!).  But I watch these events anyway.  Along with whatever they choose to highlight in the evening showcase.

Every Olympic season, though, I get annoyed with the announcers.  Really annoyed.  I feel like the announcers build the Olympians up so much and then when they don't perform up-to-speed I feel realllllllllyyyyyyy bad for them.  The announcers just like to mess with our emotions, that's what I think.  Last night I finally hit the mute button and watched the Olympics in silence.  It works in swimming, diving, volleyball and other sports.  The floor routine for women's gymnastics was a little different without the music but I was so much happier without the announcers.

This year, during the opening ceremony the announcers confirmed that they were annoying.  The parade of nations moved so fast they announcers couldn't keep up with the nations as they were shown on the screen.  Their recitation of the "fun-facts" aka crap-no-one-wants-to-hear-about-right-now slowed things down and they admitted it.  That was the moment the room of 6 of us were yelling at the announcers "then stop talking!" 

I wonder if we can invent a TV that allows you to mute the announcers voices but keep the back ground sounds? Hmmm...that would help with Ice Skating during the Winter Olympics, for sure!

Alright, time to head back to my Olympic viewing.  Never fear, I will be back with more!  We haven't even begun to talk about the itty-bitty outfits!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All in a day...

Today started off at 3am with a "snap-thunk" as a rat got caught in the peanut butter laced trap that had been waiting for it under the deck.  Of course, there was only one trap and two rats (I heard the partner moving about after the thunk) but we are one rat down!

I was awake for the next hour.  Wide awake.

After getting back to sleep I wok up with a start, sure I had overslept.  Nope, right on time, though pulling myself out of bed was especially difficult after my hour of awake time from 3-4.  But pull myself out of bed I did, if 10 minutes later.  I would forgo the coffee run today.

I pulled into the bus park n' ride at 7:40, gathered my belongings and started walking to the bus stop and as the bus pulled up.  Early today.  That should have been my first clue.

The bus was full, so I took the first available seat, the side bench behind the driver at the front of the bus, knowing I would need to move if someone in a wheelchair or in need of a front seat should get on the bus.  What I didn't anticipate was being glared at by the lady in the seat to my right the whole way to work.  I have no idea what I did to deserve the glare.  Truly, no idea.

I also did not anticipate the sudden stops and starts of the bus.  This was a new-to-me bus driver and he stopped suddenly and started quickly.  Sitting on a side facing bench seat was a challenge today.  I felt myself sliding and had to position my feet so I was braced enough not to slide right off into the aisle, all the while keeping my bags under control and away from glaring woman.  The new-to-me bus driver was also speedy.  He passed many a vehicle on the way over the hill.  We got my light rail stop ahead of the "A" train by minutes.  The last few days we've pulled up as the "A" train was heading away from the stop.  Sudden stops and starts aside, if I get where I want to be on time and the bus driver is personable, it's all good!  I would prefer to remain in my seat with my seat belt fastened until the bus comes to a full and complete stop and the driver turns off the fasten seat belt sign, but buses don't have seat belts.  With some drivers, that might be a good idea.

The light rail was pretty uneventful, except for the guy who was watching rap videos on his cell phone and sharing the music with the whole train.  I briefly imagined having enough money to carry around headphones with me, ready to hand out to people who don't have them in public places such as the light rail.  2nd day in a row I've had to listen to rap crap.  Not a fan.

Arriving at work there was a man pacing back and forth in the lobby.  The office center rents out conference rooms for lawyers to handle depositions.  This guy was supposed to have a deposition and no one had rented the conference room.  So he paced the lobby talking sternly on his cell phone to his secretary, hundreds of miles away until they worked things out and he was given a room...right across from my office.

Then, out in the lobby I heard a horrible fit of coughing.  Really awful, I tell you.  That whopping cough sound?  That was coming from the lobby.  I almost went to find masks for the receptionist and anyone else in the building.

The court reporter arrived for the deposition in the office across the hall.  She was loud and flirty and nosey.  Yikes.  Lawyer started flirting.  Nice.  Finally the client came for the deposition and they closed the door.  But wait!  Deposition #2 is in the conference room to my right!  The lawyer for one of the participants pulled her into the hall (again, right outside my office) and said in stern tones "yes or no answers, stop giving them too much information".  I closed my door a little farther.

Of course, during all of this I'm doing the little work I have for the day, trying to see if I can get the laptop that is throwing fits to stop throwing fits and fielding texts from Papa Bear saying "At Costco, getting gas.  Your mom went to return something at the warehouse.  The Prius key is in her pocket.  I'm supposed to pick her up in front of the warehouse."  Then, to my question he replied "of course she doesn't have her cell phone with her."

It's only 11:55am, people, there's a whole day left for more stories!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Celebrating

July is THE month on my birthday/anniversary calendar that is filled with names of people who are celebrating.  8 of those dates are family members, another 6 more are friends.  One of the dates has multiple names on it.  Today, is one of those days.  At the same time July is also a month with a "celebration" that took a long time to feel like a celebration.

Today is the birthday of both of my grandmothers.  How's that for coincidence?  One would be 94 today, the other is 82.  I've learned a lot from my grandmothers, though I've had 21 more years with one than the other.

I keep telling people that I'm taking after my Grandma O. as my hair color changes each time they see me and I'm pretty sure the baking gene came from her as well.  Grandma O will forever be 73 in my mind.  The last time I hugged her, she was in the middle of her 50th wedding anniversary celebration.  The next morning she was gone.  I remember thinking that morning as I heard the news that I was just getting to know my Grandma O.  I think we would have related to each other better as adults and I wish we had gotten the chance to know each other as adults.

G.G. celebrates her birthday today too.  My deep love and appreciation of music comes from G.G.  Growing up in a family where Grandma sang Bass/Tenor, Mom was a low Alto and Aunt was a Soprano, harmony was common.  Someone once asked me how I knew how to sing harmony and I honestly answered, "I just hear it".  I will give G.G. and time around the piano singing all the credit.  We've had many adventures together over the years.  She's been a good friend through the years.  I have to say, though, I find it disgusting that my 82 year old Grandmother has less grey hair than I do (hence the different colors referenced above...maybe I took after Grandma O. in that way too!)

Tonight I am grateful for two women, born on the same day, though a few years apart.  Happy Birthday Grandma's.  I love you both.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Thought for the day

If you have a Christian fish, bumper sticker or anything else on your car that symbolizes your Christian faith on the rear end of your car, then it might be a good idea to, well, I don't know, follow the rules of the road.  What, a little too much to ask to follow all of those rules?  I get it, we're human, we make mistakes.  Could we start with one simply, itty bitty rule of the road?  When changing lanes or making turns could you please, pretty please with sugar on top USE YOUR BLINKER?!

That is all.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dear Bachelorette Emily--part two

Really?!  Really?!  I'm not buying it.

That is all.

Brittany

(Have I said before I can't believe I am addicted to this show? *Sigh*)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Riding the bus

I'm on my second 31 day bus pass.  I found that I HAD to buy the bus pass because I have a really hard time buying something and not getting the full value out of what I buy.  It was easy to drive my car to work when my first pass ran out.  Really easy.  Too easy.  So when I didn't have the cash for the bus and the new coffee shop at the metro center sold either 5 day or 31 day passes but not one day passes, well, I am back to the bus.

I missed the 7:45am bus on Monday by two minutes.  I was tempted, oh so tempted, to drive.  But then I thought of the money I had already spent and I waited for the 8:10am bus.  I also missed the afternoon bus by 5 minutes and had to wait 20 minutes for the afternoon bus.  Not my day.

Today I caught the 7:45am bus on time and it was almost full.  I sat down in an empty seat next to a guy who takes after most guys on the bus and was sprawled out across the seat.  The guy in front of me had his seat leaned all the way back, which meant my knees were right up against the seat.  Near the front of the bus was a lady who was clearly anxious about riding the bus.  Another lady had a Costco size box of Sun Chips, a bag and a huge duffel bag.  I sat back and waited for the adventure to begin.

At the final stop before heading over the big hill a lady got on board with her bags, which she left sitting in the middle of the aisle while she finished putting her make-up on.  The guy in front of me kept falling asleep, making his head loll back and forth.  I decided, as I sat there with me knees jammed into his seat because he had to LIE DOWN on the bus, that I wasn't going to feel bad about jamming my knees into his seat...that was a hard step.  The guy next to me fell asleep as well.  The sprawling got worse.  Every time the bus took a corner to the right he would shift closer and closer to me. I was readying my elbow to just jab him a little and wake him up.  The nervous lady at the front of the bus kept leaning forward and then back, forward and then back.  Finally we made it to the major station where 3/4 of the bus emptied out.  I moved up towards the front to let the guy next to me out and have more leg room.  That's when I noticed that nervous lady wasn't wearing any shoes.  There weren't any in her hands either.  She stood up for the next three stops, even though there were plenty of seats and she kept anxiously looking out the window for her stop.  Her stop happened to be my stop.  The bus doors opened and she was out and running, full on running down the street...barefoot.  I walked in the other direction and noticed that everyone I passed was looking beyond me, watching the barefoot nervous lady run down the street.  I don't know.

This afternoon, I arrived at the bus stop a minute before the bus arrived.  It was empty.  I found a place with plenty of leg room and settled back and enjoyed the ride.  The nervous lady wasn't there.  The lady with the make-up was...she kept her bags to herself this time.

Just another day riding the bus.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New residents

So...do you remember the post about the critter?  The relatives have moved in.

Papa Bear pulled up the boards the other day and washed away the nest that was being built.  I've heard the scritch-scratching in earnest the last couple of days.  *sigh*  I wouldn't mind if it was the chipmunk family taking up residence.  They are cute.  This family has got.to.go. 

I do believe I will be heading to the store tomorrow for some special treats.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Power Suit Guy

New job is in a fancy office building in the Big City.  This particular floor is called a "business center".  Each individual office is rented out by different businesses.  Down the hall from my corner is a computer software start-up company.  Around the corner is Foster Care/Group Home Administration office.  Down that corridor is a CPA and down another hall is an acupuncturist.  I don't know all of the people who have offices on the floor but over the past few months I've gotten to know a few different people and definitely recognize faces.

There is one guy who has been pretty standoff-ish since we moved into the building.  He is always in a power suit, always walking as if late for a very important date and always, ALWAYS has his phone in hand.  Power Suit Guy roams the halls talking on that phone.  I've decided he doesn't trust the other two people in his office and so he takes his very secretive, very important phone in the halls of the office building.  Clearly, no one can overhear your conversation if you are roaming the halls, right?  That may be true if Power Suit Guy didn't persist in standing right outside the door to the women's restroom.

Yep, you read that right.  I thought it was just a one time thing.  I headed to the restroom and there he was, standing right outside the door on a very important business call.  I kind of shook my head and proceeded to enter.  He was still there when I exited.  A day or so later, I rounded the corner and there he was again.  Not right outside the door this time, but definitely next to the women's restroom door.  I think this time we made eye contact, but I am not a human being worthy of his attention and he looked right through me.  One of those guys.

In the last few months I've come to the conclusion that he has decided that the women's restroom hallway is the furthest distance from his office he can get, is away from office doors so his conversation really is private (dream, dream, dream) and so he parks himself, propped up against a wall, outside the women's restroom door.  Propping himself up outside the men's restroom door would be too close to his office, so that clearly would be a bad idea.  The women's restroom door is farther away and thus safer...except it kind of is a little creepy and I find it really ridiculous.  One day soon I'm going to round that corner, look at him and burst out laughing hysterically.  I already don't count in his world, so what does it matter if he thinks I'm crazy, right? 

Yesterday after encountering him two times outside the women's restroom, I had to post something on Facebook.  One friend suggested I post a note on the door.  I came up with "Cell phone free zone, 10 feet in either direction of this door...that means you Power Suit Guy".  J-girl came up with another "Talk on your phone by the women's restroom, I write about you on my blog". 

Done.  :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ugh

11pm and I should be in bed.  Except tonight was Bachelorette Night at Fabulous Friend Debbie's house.  I still can't believe I am watching this show, but now I can't miss it!  Who will Emily choose?  How many times will we yell at the TV for the dumb things the guys say?  Why can't she see through these dudes?!  I am so ashamed...

Anyway, as I was leaving Indy the German Shepherd raced out the door ahead of me (with permission), raced down the street and was barking ferociously at something.  Both cats came running to the door, so it wasn't the cats.  It didn't take long before we knew what Indy was barking at.  Polecats, as my Grandpa O used to call them.  How did we know?  We smelled them.  Of course tonight because it was 100 degrees outside and a beautiful night, I drove the race car with the top down and open to the world.  My car was closest to the polecat encounter and it smelled really, really bad.  I came home and immediately threw everything I was wearing into the washing machine because I can't get that smell out of my nose and who wants to chance the smell is actually on my clothes?

 So it's 11pm and I'm doing laundry, express wash.  Hopefully I'll get to sleep sometime before I have to get up to go to work tomorrow.  Eh, who needs sleep anyway?

If you haven't figured out what a polecat is, here's a hint...

 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Imposter

Creative Guy and Adventure Boy are hanging out with me tonight.  I picked them up on my way home for work.  I hadn't gotten out of the car yet and Adventure Boy was asking me to come help them with whatever thing they were doing.  Eventually, after much confusion and talking and "come, look" moments, I rounded them up and headed for the car.  We were almost there when Adventure Boy looked at me and said "why are you wearing those girl clothes?".  Well, I am a girl...but I get the point.  He's used to the jeans and t-shirt Brittany.  The dressed down Brittany.  Not office girl.  I'm not used to her either.

The other day I was thinking I was looking good, had it altogether, looked down and realized that my shoes were falling apart.  Bought new ones and they looked like granny shoes...granny shoes my granny wouldn't even wear.  Bought a replacement pair and they look awesome in jeans (haven't tried them in work clothes) and make me 6 ft tall.  Literally.  I put an outfit together another morning, turned around to get the rear view and quickly decided a longer shirt was in order.  I.can't.win.  On the upside, the Office Coordinator for the building I work in told me how much she liked the sweaters I wear.  Tiny win.  And my hair hasn't been completely awful, well, after I went to my favorite hairstylist ever and said "Wash the gray out."  I am owning being my Grandma O's granddaughter.  I don't care if my hair is a different color each time you see me, just as long as it isn't completely gray yet.  Can't go there.

I feel like an imposter most days, which just further solidifies that while I'm doing what I'm doing for the moment, it's just not the right thing.   I'm not unhappy, just not settled.  Still wondering what God is up to.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

ANYWAY...

(From Mikey's Funnies...though it's not a "funny")

ANYWAY...

People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,
People may accuse you
of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and
some true enemies;
Succeed anyway. People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight.
Build anyway

If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough.
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis.
it is between you and God;
It is never between you and them anyway.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I AM

God has a tendency to speak to me through music.  This morning, as I deal with the mental tapes running through my head, feeding my fears of so much, it is not a mere coincidence this song begins to play...and drags me back to those first months when I was beginning a new job.  Excited, scared and unsure of my footing.  12 years later...here I am again.

I Am-- by Jill Phillips

Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you
Like a mother while you rest
The tide can change so fast,
But I will stay
The same through the past,
The same in future, same today

I am constant; I am near
I am peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy; I am wise
I'm the only one who knows your heart's desires
Your heart's desires

Oh weary, tired and worn,
Let out your sighs
And drop that heavy load you hold
Cause Mine is light
I know you through and through;
There's no need to hide
I want to show you love
That is deep and high and wide

I am constant; I am near 
I am peace that shatters all your secret fears 
I am holy; I am wise 
I'm the only one who knows your heart's desires 
Your heart's desires

Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you
Like a mother while you rest
.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dear Bachelorette Emily,

I have been sucked into the world that is the Bachelor and Bachelorette by some friends with whom I wish to spend time.  I would normally spend my Monday night watching NCIS reruns and checking out the latest information on Disneyland at Mouseplanet.com, perfectly content to let the Bachelor or Bachelorette never to cross my path.

Alas, I like my friends and want to spend time with them, so I find myself sitting for two hours as I watch you, Emily, "date" 20 different men.  I use the term "men" loosely, as some whom have wound up in your company are merely boys playing dress-up.

Now, this is only week three in Bachelorette world.  We went through round one, which was excruciatingly boring as 25 men came to your hometown to woo you.  Those of us sitting on the couch couldn't keep track of all the men at first.  We came up with nicknames for them.  Helicopter boy, egg dude, spiky hair, bad hair, Brazilian, Mushroom man, etc.  We were very happy to see you get rid of some of those guys.

Round two was the first "dates".  Wow.  First off, who uses a whisk to mix up chocolate chip cookies?  Methinks you don't bake very much, Miss Emily.  Ryan was sweet, we liked him.  The group date was cute, we all felt bad for Charlie.  The last date was just weird.  Seriously, a clock that you put wishes in with a guy you later dumped?  Strange.  Then came the 7 page letter from Ryan...he's not so sweet anymore.  He is now getting creepy.  But then that whole "meet and greet" time is just awkward anyway.  I don't know how you could possibly get to know any of these guys well, at all.

Here we are, though, at week three.  Some men have been eliminated and the vying for your attention has begun in earnest.  I can't remember who you dated first last night.  It was fine, though, seriously, enough with the dancing in the street with the latest country singer/band.  The group date was fascinating.  Your friends definitely asked some interesting questions and one of them needs to be watched closely (really, really closely).  She was totally hitting on Sean.  Take that under advisement.  And Ryan, he's getting too possessive too quickly.  Not liking him so much anymore.  Your date to Dollywood (which was eerily empty) with Arie was nice.  He's a nice guy, seems safe...but then it's too soon to tell.

Then came that meet and greet time.  We all cheered when Egg guy gave you the egg to smash.  That was good.  We all agreed that Brazilian guy needed to go...I have a Brazilian friend, that was not a communication issue, he knew exactly what he was saying.  The one I wanted to yell at you about, though, was the one you questioned and did.nothing.about.

Emily, when a guy tells you to basically shut up because you are talking too much (when he hasn't let you get a word in at.all.) the guy needs to go.  Helicopter boy needs.to.go.  He is slimy, too sure of himself and has said to your face that he always wanted his OWN child first.  HIS.OWN.CHILD.  You have a daughter that you say you are putting first...prove it!  Be the strong woman you have shown yourself to be in moments and drop his ass!

Sincerely,
A disgusted-with-myself-for-getting-hooked-into-this-show viewer.