Monday, March 31, 2008

Marvelous Monday

Why do so many people hate Mondays? I don't. Of course, I don't work either. Outside the home that is. Mondays are full of hope for me. It is the beginning of a brand new week and a chance to start things off right. The fact that things often go sour before the end of the day doesn't keep me from still having that spark of hope the first thing every Monday morning.

I am a list maker. I rarely accomplish all of the things on my lists but I still make them. I almost always have a list for Monday, but not today. Not yet.

Mr. Macchiato takes the kids to school most mornings. They all just rushed out the door and have left the house to settle into the quiet that is my mornings once they are gone. HA! Once that door shut Paco began his squawking serenade, Benny his demands for belly rubs and ear scratches, and Lu Lu's frantic scrambles to get away from the exuberance of 78 lbs of pure energy. Booper is thundering throughout the house and his low growls tell me I need to go find him and rescue either socks, underwear, or a washcloth from his mouth. He gets so excited when he gets ahold of things he shouldn't and he does this growl thing. It is the only time he does it and it is hilarious. There he is... hmmm. He's got paper. He wants me to come take it from him.

It's going to be a beautiful day.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sweet Sunday

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
1 John 4:11

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just What is My Problem?

Well... I have many. However, the current and most pressing problem is that Chai Tea, our 19 year old, left home pre-maturely. We had her on a path we thought she wanted to be on that she decided to step off of and we are in the process of learning how to relate to her in a different way as we deal with her not being a part of our every day life. This includes a family counselor that the four of us left at home are seeing.

Another big problem in my life is my voice. I was diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia, or SD, in December of 2005, after nearly 3 years of going back and forth to the doctor and several months of speech therapy. It is a neurological condition which causes the folds surrounding my vocal chords to spasm and slam shut over the chords when I speak. There is currently no cure. I had some limited success with botox injections but have stopped getting them after more than a year of no results. They are very expensive and the go around with the insurance each time and the amount of money we are required to pay is no longer worth only a chance at a result. I am able to communicate one on one in a quiet place and am able to talk on the phone as long as there isn't other noise on either end and it is with someone who is used to hearing me. Even then though, it can be difficult and I have to repeat myself often. The more people that are in the room, the harder it is for me to be heard. Places like church, restaurants and most social situations are nearly impossible for me to communicate in.

I've never been much of a computer person. In fact, I have an aversion to most technical things and usually only learn enough about them to do the most basic of functions... like using my cell phone, my digital camera, and the remote to the TV and DVD player. Over the last couple of years I've become more and more reliant on e-mail as a form of communication. I was never a fan of blogs until I started one last year. I did not mention my problems with my voice on that blog until shortly before I deleted it because I had found a place where I could be normal and my voice didn't matter.

My last blog, Laughing Always Helps, was more about having fun for me. It was a way for me to escape from the things that bothered me and an attempt to connect with other people by making them laugh and maybe brightening their day for a moment. There are dangers in blogging, like just about anything I suppose, and it is important to me to strive for balance in my time spent on it. I think it is far too easy to substitute Internet relationships with personal relationships that require more effort. I learned during my time after deleting the blog that there were benefits from my blogging that I really missed. I also learned that with this new blog I want to be more real. Laughing is a big part of my life. My kids often call me a laughaholic. But... crying is also a big part of my life. The part that I hide from everyone. I'm not planning on turning this blog into a boohoofest or anything. I am just acknowledging the fact that I'm struggling.

What other problems? I'm clumsy. Just today when we were at Double Shot's baseball game I was walking back to my seat after standing at a hole in the fence for an entire inning in an effort to get a picture of him doing something spectacular in right field, when I slammed my leg into hitch sticking way out from a long bed pickup. The silent screams that rang out through each cell of my body are still echoing throughout my very being. Tears spontaneously flung from the corners of my eyes as I furtively glanced about for any witnesses. Thankfully, there were none. I do believe I may have a permanent reminder, though, in the form of sizable dent in my right shin. I also regularly spill things on myself. Like everyday. Today I did not. However, someone sitting behind me at the game spilled their nasty cheez whiz nacho slime all over my stuff.

I also like food. A lot. But, we won't go there. Not today.

It Figures...

We were up and off early this morning to journey to Podunk, U.S.A., for a baseball game. Wouldn't you just know it! I took 20 some odd pictures of Double Shot just standing out in right field that you can hardly even make him out in, and in so doing, ran out the battery in my digital camera. So what did I miss? Him pitching!!! AARRUUGGHH!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Want to go Camping!

This picture is from a camping trip last summer. Mr. Macchiato had trouble backing our 30 ft. trailer into our spot and a nice old guy tried to help him for a bit and then finally just got in our vehicle an did it himself. Mr. Macchiato is directing him. I had to take the picture to show our RV Buddies so we could all laugh about it. I just love the old people we meet and I know that some day... Mr. Macchiato will be an old guy helping out the newbies. We've had the trailer for 3 years now but we don't get out in it quite as much as we'd like and some of those spots are real boogers.

If the weather clears, we are going to get the trailer out of winter storage and fiddle around with it. I want to clean it and pack it back up with the stuff we keep in it through the summer. I'm not quite sure why I like it so much. I sure complained a lot about camping with my family growing up. Camping with our family isn't always fun either. There's the stress of getting out the door, the stress of setting up, the stress of games gone awry, the stress of bad weather, and the stress of kids fighting. Sometimes when we are in the Great Outdoors and dealing with the down side I wonder why we do it. But then, we put it away for the winter and while I still remember the bad stuff, the good stuff keeps me going back. The camp fires, the stars, the cool mornings, the smells and the views and just being with our family. No TV. No computer. No cell phone service. I love it.

Last year Mr. Macchiato took Double Shot and a friend and his son on a Father/Son camping trip. He later took Chai Tea and Frappacino with the same friend and his daughter on a Father/Daughter camping trip. The Father/Daughter trip went fairly smoothly except for some high winds. However, the Father/Son trip was one that will be talked about for years!

Mr. Macchiato made the mistake of hooking up the battery backwards which caused fuses to blow out in the Expedition and the trailer. They were having a lot of trouble with this before figuring out exactly what the problem was which led to a couple of trips into the nearest town. On his last trip, Mr. Macchiato went by himself. Now, this other father and son are pretty laid back and calm. The son is very much into computers and is a debater. Double Shot? Well, I named him that for this blog for good reason! He is... shall we say... active? He rarely stops moving. He is an athlete. We are praying that the fact that he is also very smart will keep him from crushing beer cans on his forehead later... and what I am about to tell you caused us to redouble those efforts.

While Mr. Macchiato was in town, the other father got a campfire going. The guys had taken Lu Lu on the trip (Benny was too much to handle at that stage) and had her tied to one of our brand new camp chairs. He had gotten back and was trying to put in a new battery when there was a huge explosion. Double Shot, who has asthma, for some ridiculous reason, threw his inhaler into the fire. And it exploded. Lu Lu took off like a shot with the camp chair bouncing around behind her and hitting her, causing her to yelp loudly as she ran for her life. That was the only chair to survive. The other three chairs all had holes burned through them from the flying embers. Double Shot did not go unscathed. He had burns all over his face, arms and hand and one quite close to one of his eyes.

Yup. We must go camping soon. Definitely!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Got Attitude?

Do you ever feel sorry for yourself? I do. In fact, I've spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. I guess if I were to lay out all the reasons why I feel sorry for myself, you'd feel sorry for me too. But... you know what? Feeling sorry for myself hasn't helped me or my situation one little bit.

The other day I got the April issue of the little Focus on the Family magazine. There is a short article in there by Erik Johnson titled Driving Yourself Crazy that really spoke to me. It's about who's managing your emotions - you or your circumstances? Ummmmm... Gee, I would definitely say my circumstances at the moment! He quoted Solomon, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV). Soooo... circumstance don't cause my emotions, my thoughts about my circumstances do? Oy. He had another example in there about being served in a restaurant and being happy if he was served in 10 minutes if they said it would take 20, but being upset if he were served in 10 minutes if they said it would take 3. His expectations determined his response. Hmmmmmmm. He then quoted Paul from 2 Corinthians 10:5, "We take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ." All right, all right, I'm sufficiently convicted by a little article I wasn't expecting to hit me between the eyes. Thanks a lot FOF.

Well, my expectations are definitely not my reality. I could really think about it and teach myself to have no expectations at all. That really might help. But, hey, what if I make my expectations so horrible that I am continually awed by how much better my life is? You know... I could really be on to something here! Hmmmm. Let's see... I could expect to gain 20 lbs. when I eat something I shouldn't and then be overjoyed with gratitude when I only gain 5. I'm just kidding but... what if?

Okay, so I am responsible for my emotions. This could go either way. I could add this to my list of reasons why I feel sorry for myself or... I can make a change. I'm not where I can say I'm happy about things or see the blessings in them (as if!) but maybe I can move myself in the right direction.

And, by the way, Mr. Macchiato has said similar things to me that were stated in the article. That did not go over well. Not at all. Why is that? What can I learn from that? I'm thinking... next time I need to teach him a thing or two that I should find a short little article about it and place it near the toilet... hiding the newspaper and sports magazines first, of course. What? I should consider the wisdom of my husband and listen to him more readily? Naw, that's not how I roll.

God Bless!