Friday, October 31, 2008

Tonight is the Night!

That's right! Tonight is the night! The LAST Varsity game! Although... it may not be... IF they win tonight's game they will be in the STATE PLAY OFFS!!! Yup! If they don't... they won't.

Double Shot on the bench taking a breather!

Not sure what happened here. That's him and that guy about to fall had the ball... you can see it falling behind his booty.

Double Shot's favorite picture of the season!
Wouldn't you know my camera is not working? Of course. I am dangerous with cameras. Ugh. I dropped it at the Women of Faith Conference and now it sometimes will work just fine and then others not at all... lately, mostly none at all.
Tonight is also Halloween. Last night Double Shot carved a pumpkin to blow up in Chemistry. We've never celebrated Halloween... The kids have dressed up and gone to Harvest Festivals at our church though. Double Shot is quite excited about blowing up his pumpkin!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'd Rather...

Be lying on a beach... with an umbrella in my drink.

Be looking at all the beautiful leaves... within a crisp fall breeze.

Be curled up inside my bed... while wonderful dreams fill my head.

Be carried off to another land... within the pages of the book in my hand.

Oh Heck.

I'd Rather...

Be cleaning toilets! That's right! I'd rather be cleaning toilets than listening to anything more about this election!!! And you know what?!?! Even when I turn everything off... my phone is ringing off the hook! Polls... polls and MoRe pOlLs!!! Or... if you believe in what we are doing... send us some $$$.

I don't even have any Calgon.

And... I have to clean toilets anyway.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday! Already?!?!

oooooh weeeeee!

With all that's been going on round these parts I am super behind on reading all y'all's blogs! Hopefully, I will get some time to get caught up over the next couple of days. My mind has been consumed by political stuff which has also sucked all the creativity from my brain!

I did want to tell y'all about my botox injection on October 15. The last injection was in December of 2007. After a year of no results I had decided to give up on them. However, I have had successful injections in the past and living with Spasmodic Dysphonia sucks. So, I broke down and decided to give it another go... with my same doctor. That came about after finding out that our insurance would not cover a trip to another doctor in Denver. And, if you are new to my blog and don't know what the heck I am talking about... I am talking about botox injections into the area surrounding my vocal chords to treat a vocal chord disorder I suffer from. And I am sure I have the prettiest, wrinkle free and youthful looking vocal chords around.

Well, I am, of course, my doctor's most difficult case to treat. Most SD patients receiving botox injections are given 0.5 to 2.5 units. It is not uncommon to hear of someone getting 5 units. I've been given up to 10 units. My doctor decided this time to numb both my neck and the area around my vocal chords. Normally, the looong needle is just jabbed into my neck while I have to remain completely still... and while everything within me wants nothing more than to get that needle OUT! I am a big girl... 5'11" and a fatty but, apparently, I have very tiny vocal chords. Smaller even than a small persons. The inside of my ears are the same. Oh, and I have wickedly pointy elbows that can easily be used as weapons. Just so you know.

Anyway, I got numbed up so my doctor could spend some more time rooting around in there with the needle without me crying or involuntarily shoving him back (which has happened in the past). And he did sure take his time! Even numbed up it is incredibly uncomfortable. He injected 7.5 units and I've actually had some improvement in my voice! When I was in Mississippi I was able to talk much more than usual. In fact, my Mama called me while I was there and later told me that I sounded better than I had in a long time!

I am going back on November 19th and my doctor is going to do another injection on the other side (they either give low doses into both sides or a higher dose on one side) using a camera. I am not looking forward to it but am hopeful that maybe we can get my voice closer to normal. The interesting thing about getting botox injections is that normally I have great difficulty speaking and my speech is very stilted... but I can yell. When I get a good result with the botox, my speech is much smoother and easier to understand... but I cannot yell at all. In either case, I do not have much volume to my voice.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that bit of good news.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yet, Another Monday

I'm not my usual Monday morning self... Instead of being filled with hope for the new week before me I am grumpy and unmotivated. If I felt like this every Monday I would hate them.

I feel like I worked all weekend but as I look around I can't really tell that I accomplished much of anything. I think it is because I did something in every room but didn't actually finish anything. I did laundry too but I somehow have 5 more loads. There are only 3 of us here! And my iron has that draggy coating on it and I don't have any iron cleaner which means I'm going to have to go buy some.

I'm also two weeks behind in my bible study homework and the class is tomorrow morning. The class is on prayer and I just don't want to do that homework right now. I'm not a rainy day Christian who just prays when things are going sour. I'm totally the opposite. I love to pray when all is well... well, and I do pray when things are dire. I pray real hard then. But... when things are not going well... when I just don't get stuff... I stop. And I brood. And I've been brooding a lot over this last year. That is why I picked the study on prayer. But, now I don't want to do the homework. I just don't feel like it.

So I am going to put on some music, get busy with the housework and try to get through this homework today. Even though I don't want to do any of it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Remembering Lisa

I met Lisa through another friend, Elysa. We were all using the same Five in a Row homeschool curriculum and Lisa connected with Elysa through the curriculum's message board. That was back when I wanted as little to do with the computer as possible. It turned out that Lisa lived in another neighborhood off of the same road my neighborhood was off of and her boys were a year older and a year younger than my boy. Elysa started a Five in a Row group and I first met Lisa the day I picked her and the boys up to take them out to Elysa's place nearly an hour away in the country. We quickly became friends and we all had a lot of fun participating in activities like a Scottish night where the boys wore kilts we made, a Passover Seder where Elysa's husband taught us all to dance to Jewish music, and many others. And Lisa started attending our church.

As our friendship grew Lisa opened up to me. Eventually, she allowed me to come into her home. It was bad. Have your kids taken away bad. She was a single mom working 2 to 3, 12 hour shifts each weekend. Her ex-husband had moved in with her to save money while he got his own business started the year prior. He did not contribute anything aside from the child support he'd been ordered to pay by the court. He looked after the boys when she was at work and she took care of everything else. She needed help so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

Lisa was bipolar and also suffered from fibromyalgia. She would do what she needed to do to keep going at work but on her days off she had trouble getting out of bed. She also wanted desperately to reconcile with her ex-husband and allowed him to take advantage of her. She called me one day in tears because she had found a pair of women's panties in his overnight bag when she was doing his laundry. She sat in a chair and cried while I packed up all of his things and placed them in the driveway. It was my hope that they would reconcile as well but I knew that it couldn't happen in the situation they were in. We maintained contact with her ex-husband and he began attending our church as well.

I tried to help Lisa by holding her accountable in the mornings and made sure that she got up. She would ignore my calls so I would do obnoxious things like crow like a rooster until she picked up. She would be laughing and tell me how crazy I was. Sometimes though, even my acting like a fool wouldn't work and I'd have to drive over to her house and I'd ring her doorbell, beat on her door and one time... even her windows. We started homeschooling together in another attempt to keep her accountable. We would switch off whose house we met at and when we were at her house we would work on getting her house in order. A lot of times that meant she sat with the kids at the table to keep them on task and made us lunch while I worked on organizing her things. We also put down a pergo floor finishing it at 4 am the day she was having all of her family over for the first time in years for her son's birthday. Many from our church also came that day.

We had a lot of fun. The kids called us "Laughaholics." She had a wonderful laugh and it meant a lot to me to be able to help her and see progress. She had a big hound dog that my oldest daughter named Tinker. Oh my Lord was that dog a pain! He barked and barked. One of her neighbors took to throwing golf balls at him over the fence and she got nasty anonymous letters in her mailbox. She decided to buy one of those shock collars to see if that would work. Lisa put the collar on Tinker and then let him loose in the backyard with all of the kids. Of course, he didn't just start barking so we stood there quite awhile at the door waiting. When she got her chance she pushed the button but nothing happened... so she turned it all the way up. Tinker was bounding about and having a great time. Then he barked. She hit that button and that dog, I kid you not, flipped up and over and landed on all fours and then would not move. He looked like he hadn't a clue as to what had just happened and was afraid if he moved it would happened again. We laughed so hard my jaw and my sides hurt. He eventually shook it off and got to barking again. That time he was near the fence and threw himself up against the fence. The look on that poor dogs face! She did turn it down to a more acceptable level and Tinker caught on pretty quick. In fact, he wouldn't bark at all when that collar was on but sure would make up for it when it wasn't! He seemed to know when the batteries were running low too. He later ended up at her brother's hunting camp where he could bark all he wanted.

We went to a women's retreat with our church down in Panama City Beach, Florida. She and I drove down early in my husband's new Oldsmobile Intrigue. That car was smooooth and I loved driving it. We made it down in record time and hours before everyone else. We had a little scare at a gas station where I almost hit a pump. Kind of scared the employee a bit. She got a real kick out of that. She also got a kick out of the fact that I got a speeding ticket for going 94 miles an hour on the way home while we blasted Praise & Worship music. I had learned that things like that went over better if I told my husband right away and made sure there was some time and space between us when I did. She was really tickled when our Pastor called on my cell phone about an hour later and referred to me as "Mario Ankelly." It so happens the one and only ticket I've gotten in Colorado happened to be while I was on the cell phone with her.

Helping Lisa wasn't easy. The last year we lived in Mississippi we put our oldest in a private school for kids with learning difficulties. We were very happy with what they were able to accomplish and I talked Lisa into enrolling her boys the second semester. She only had to get the boys up and ready and my husband drove them all to school. There were times she wouldn't get out of bed and I would get frustrated. I'm not good at setting boundaries and I made a mistake with Lisa in that I allowed her to rely on me too much. She took our moving very hard. I had a heart to heart with her before we left and I told her that she needed to put her trust in God and that she needed to allow Him to work through her.

A couple of months later Lisa ran into some trouble. The boys weren't getting to school and she was very depressed. Her brother took the boys and she checked into a hospital for a month. She was released just before Christmas and her father gave her and the boys plane tickets to come see us. They came the day after Christmas and stayed until January 2nd. The boys weren't back with her long before they went back to live with her brother and his wife.

We went down to Mississippi for Thanksgiving that year. It also happened to be in the midst of a crisis of another dear friend. A nurse friend of Lisa's and I were throwing her a 40th birthday party that was originally supposed to be at that other friend's house. Things were crazy and there were some misunderstandings... and I didn't believe some things Lisa told me which hurt her. We were able to work it out but it never really was the same between us after that. The last time I saw her was the following June when we went down for a wedding, three years ago.

I hadn't had any contact with Lisa for a year when Elysa called me last week. At the time she made the call all that was known was that Lisa had died. But I knew. Within less than 24 hours I was on a plane. I needed her family to know that I cared. I needed them to know that I loved her...

Lisa's stepfather had a massive coronary in September and was in the ICU when she called her mother and told her that she needed her to come get her to check her into a hospital. As was often the case with Lisa, when someone else was going through something major she would do something to draw the attention back to herself. Her mother would not leave her husband so her friend and fellow nurse took her. Her stepfather died. She stayed in the hospital for a week and they changed up her meds. She seemed to be doing much better. She went back to work and told her friend and fellow nurse that she wasn't feeling well and needed to go home. She killed herself the next morning. After two days of not being able to reach Lisa, her friend let herself into Lisa's house with her key and found her.

As with so many areas, many Christians do not agree on what happens to those who take their own lives. I've been reading my bible and looking at what others believe and why and I just don't know for certain. But... I did know Lisa. I saw through her actions to her heart. She did not believe she was worthy of love. I knew her hopes and dreams. I knew how desperately she wanted to be different than she was. I was there many times as she cried out to God and I held her while I prayed for her. Some people carry pain that is so deep and so wide that they just cannot let it go. In my search to come to terms with this I came across Psalm 88 and I'd like to share it.

"O LORD, God of my salvation,
I have cried out day and night before You.
Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry.

For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draws near to the grave.
I am counted with those who go down to the pit;
I am like a man who has no strength,
Adrift among the dead,
Like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom You remember no more,
And who are cut off from Your hand.

You have laid me in the lowest pit,
In darkness, in the depths.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
And you have afflicted me with all Your waves.
You have put away my acquaintances far from me;
You have made me an abomination to them;
I am shut up, and I cannot get out;
My eye wastes away because of affliction.

LORD, I have called daily upon You;
I have stretched out my hands to You.
Will You work wonders for the dead?
Shall the dead arise and praise You?
Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?
Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?
Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?
And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

But to You I have cried out, O LORD,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
LORD, why do You cast off my soul?
Why do You hide Your face from me?
I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth;
I suffer Your terrors;
I am distraught.
Your fierce wrath has gone over me;
Your terrors have cut me off.
They came around me all day long like water;
They engulfed me altogether.
Loved one and friend You have put far from me,
And my acquaintances into darkness."

The New King James Version

That is a pretty dark Psalm full of hopelessness. It echoed for me some of the things Lisa said to me in the past... some of the things she cried out while weeping bitterly. I myself can identify with some of the feeling behind the Psalm. There is nothing worse as a believer than to feel cut off from God... to feel that He doesn't love you. I believe Lisa was mentally ill. I believe she wanted nothing more than to not be that way.

Why? I don't understand. Part of me feels that she was incredibly selfish and that what she has put her family and friends through is unforgivable. My heart is breaking for the friend that found her. Lisa knew she would be the one to find her because she had a key. Why would she do that? She has left her brother to not only raise her children but to clean up all of her messes. The burden her brother is carrying right now as he goes through all of her financial things... figure out what to do with all of her stuff and sell her house... the emotional fall out... how can he do it?

Why? Where does God fit in in all of this? I knew her... I knew her prayers. Why did they go unanswered? Why?

If someone is mentally ill are they held responsible for it? How can they be if it is something beyond their control? Some people aren't born with boot straps to pull on.

Life is precious, is it not? At first glance Lisa's life was marked by failure. It is easy to see all that went wrong. Lisa would have been forty-four next month. When she fell down, she fell down big. All of us are broken in some way, aren't we? I've never fallen down as far as Lisa did but I do know what it has taken for me to get back up when I have. How much more did it take Lisa all those times she did get back up? How much harder was it for her when so many of her faults were out there for all to see? Will all her efforts be lost amidst her greatest failure? Is that all she will be remembered by?

Mercy does not give what is deserved. Grace gives what is not deserved. I pray God's mercy and grace are covering Lisa and that she is now whole and at peace. Even though things did not work out as I hoped they would in Lisa's life, she was worth every moment of my time and I will remember her valiant effort.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Good Morning!

I'm definitely back home. It's currently a balmy twenty-five degrees and my flowers are officially done in! What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mr. Made My Day

I got home this evening from my trip to Mississippi. It was everything all rolled up together... Great sadness mixed with seeing so many precious friends. And guess what? A MAN HIT ON ME ON THE PLANE!!! I am not joking. And he wasn't even like the last greasy hairy butt crack guy at Blockbuster! He was even good looking people. I know! I am still so shocked! But, I've just gotta tell you the details, cuz honeys... this MADE MY DAY!

Okay... so I flew from Jackson to Dallas in a little tin can and then got on a big 737 to Denver. There was one aisle with three seats on both sides and dang it all if I didn't have to sit in the middle seat. The guy sitting by the window was macking on a subway sandwich that he apparently threw out a few extra cents for triple the red onion on. Yeah, my eyes were watering before I even reached my row. The guy in the aisle seat was right in front of me and graciously took my backpack with my 40 lbs. of books (hey, I carry a 10 lb bible... because I'm just that good of a Christian, so you know) and stowed it in the over head compartment. I, of course, was very stressed by the fact that I was going to be sitting between two men and, you know, our arms or legs might touch or something... so I was afraid I might break out into a nervous sweat or something. I, ummmm, really don't like people I don't know touching me.

Well, we all said howdy to one another and then proceeded to ignore each other. I am reading, The Shack, so I got back into it. The guy in the window seat had brought enough food to sustain him through the winter should we have crashed in the mountains. He must have had a fear of having to eat other passengers to save his life. Anyway, he had this bag of licorice that he would take one piece out of and then make a racket crinkling the wrapper as he folded it back over and stuffed it into the seat pocket in front of him and then thirty two seconds later dig back out and do it all again. What the heck? Take a couple pieces out or eat the whole dang package!!! Which he did. One at a time, over and over... and over. It was nauseating because the oppressive red onion stench emanating from this man made me feel like I had eaten the red onions myself, along with rubbing them all over my body and up my nostrils... heck and shampooed my hair with it. Mouth breathing wasn't even helping. And, no, he is not the guy that hit on me.

Okay, here's how it went down. He He!!!

Mr. Made My Day started talking to me about 20 minutes after take off. He lives in the Virgin Islands and is an engineer on a ship. He was raised in the Bronx and his father is from Italy and his mother is from Puerto Rico. He speaks several languages so he had a pretty cool accent. He got married at 18 and his oldest daughter, who lives where I do, is 29 so I figured real quick he is 47, but he didn't look it. His son is a firefighter in New York. I actually couldn't hear a lot of what he told me but was unwilling to lean in closer to hear him better. When the beverage cart was getting close he asked me if he could buy me a glass of wine. I thanked him but declined and at that point I thought... huh?

Well, a couple minutes later he told me I have a very soft and slightly husky voice and I thought... No, this guy isn't hitting on me is he? Is he one of those dudes that digs fat chicks? No... No. He keeps talking and telling me about his duplex that the side he rents pays for the whole thing and how he's looking into starting a motor scooter business near where his house is because they don't have any around there and he thought it would be a good investment. And he tells me some more about his children and grandchildren. Then he says, "You have beautiful eyes, they are a little unusual." What the heck? One of my friends children told me this weekend that my eyes were weird so I asked him what he meant and he told me they looked like big blue marbles. I've also been told they look like blue snake skin... nice. I don't like snakes.

I thought... Does this guy not see that I am the human equivalent of a Jolly Green Giant? My knees are nearly hitting the seat in front of me and his most definitely are not. I could totally take him in arm wrestling. I've also mentioned my husband quite a few times... Okay, I am totally being a freak. He is NOT hitting on me. It doesn't make sense. He's just one of those super nice touchy feely talky kind of guys. Dream on big girl.

Then he says, "I'm staying in Denver with my brother but I'd like to drive you home." I told him thank you and that my husband was picking me up.

I thought... HITTING ON ME!!! YUP! Totally hitting on me! Holy Cow! He's not even ugly! Oh my gosh! What is wrong with him?!?! How many years has it been since someone has hit on me? The guy in Blockbuster... when was that? Greasy hairy butt crack guy... HOW COOL IS THIS?!?!? HE HE!!! I CANNOT WAIT TO TELL MR. MACCHIATO!!! This guy is awesome... okay, he's weird and he's a loser because he knows I'm married but... oh heck, he hit on me! Ewww... what if he's like some Latin Lover Murderer and everything he told me was a lie... and he like has chloroform and a lair that he takes his victims to... and he purposely targets middle aged boring women because they get sucked in by him and his compliments? This plane needs to land now. I don't want to be next to him anymore. But... he still made my day.

I shook his hand and told him it was nice talking to him and when I got off the plane I hung out in the bathroom for awhile... even helped an old lady (I need to blog about that... for some reason I am an old lady magnet in public restrooms and have done some pretty odd things). Mr. Made My Day was nowhere to be seen at baggage claim, much to my relief. I stepped out and was immediately sliced through to the bone with razor like fingers of coming snow. Mr. Macchiato pulled up and gave me the best hug ever. When we got in the car I excitedly told him about Mr. Made My Day.

He just raised his eyebrows while he looked at me and said, "You are such a freak."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sad News

A dear friend of mine died this week and I am on my way to Mississippi for the funeral. Please pray for her family and her two teenage sons.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Hate Painting. I Do. I Do. I Do.

This was taken back in August... When I started this project. The color of Chai Tea's paint was called Atomic Vomit. No Joke. I was dizzy that day and the smell of Kilz kills me. Ha Ha! Get it? I know I'm lame. Apparently, I am embracing it. I don't normally paint from the bottom up but, like I said, I was dizzy. It was such a horrible job that it took me until this past weekend to work up the gumption to get back in there.

I spent a lot of time making sure to do a good job. I measured carefully and taped everything. I was a shrieking shrew of a mother. Just ask Double Shot. But, because I love him so much I only let him paint the inside of the closet. If I mess something up I just stomp my feet, pull out my hair and then eat vast quantities of chocolate. If someone else in this family messes up... well, let's just say it ain't pretty and there are no Mother of the Year awards waiting for me under the Christmas tree.

This was taken around 2 am Saturday night. I was very excited and felt I had done an excellent job. I was bone weary but fell quickly into a contented sleep... dried paint all over my body and all.

I woke to the day with the anticipation of a child on Christmas morning who knew she was getting that special dolly. Do you remember how a new baby doll smelled on Christmas morning? I bounded out of bed and excitedly and carefully peeled the tape away... only to reveal... TO MY HORROR... THE CRAPIEST PAINT JOB EVER TO BE SEEN!!! I was so upset that the swearing words of a sailor did not even pass my lips. Only silence. Dead silence.

It was worse than the last time I got a perm... around 7 years ago. The perm that a lady from church sent me a sympathy card in the mail for. Yes, it is THAT BAD.
UGH! What the heck?!?! My close up shot is not here and if I try to add it now it will go up on the top. I hate stuff out of order but Mr. Macchiato is breathing down my neck and wanting to go to bed. GRRRR!!! I'm going to have to add a close up and change the time on it so it is under this one. oooooooh. That is gonna bug me.

The Close Up

I determined, after the fact, that because the walls are textured that this probably wasn't a good idea. CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mom and Double Shot's Unexcellent Adventure

Mr. Macchiato went away to Jackson, Wyoming for four days. I thought I'd surprise him by completing some of my many unfinished projects. Here's a list of just a few of the wonderful things that happened this weekend:

*Double Shot had a lung function check on Friday and even though I've been the MED NAZI he's still only at 77%... only up 1% from the check 6 weeks ago... but he was only at 69% the 6 weeks before that. This is NOT good. They added two more meds and we go back in 4 weeks. This is very stressful... he did get his flu shot though. They aren't giving them officially until the 15th so I am glad that is out of the way.

*Had parent teacher conferences. All the High school teachers sit at little tables in the gym and you wander around and talk to each of them. It takes FOREVER because you sometimes have to wait in line. I made Double Shot go with me (kids usually don't go but it is very difficult for me to be heard in situations like that with all the background noise). His English teacher only has 60% hearing and wears hearing aids. She was AWESOME because she can read lips! I so need to get me some deaf friends!

*Had the SECOND new water heater installed... finally.

*Warbled the running board on Mr. Macchiato's Expedition when I got stuck in the drive through ATM.

*Finished painting Double Shot's room upstairs. It looks like crap. All of the stripes bled. It looks like crap. Did I tell you it looks like crap? It looks like CRAP!!!

*Dribbled Seahawk's blue paint in the carpet and after suffering and aneurysm just before my head popped off... was actually able to clean it up. AMAZING. It took some doing... especially since I was so upset I was trying not to puke. Spot Shot... Shot Spot (??? blue and orange can) is THE BOMB!!!

*Second trip to Home Depot on Saturday I realized that it was only 38 degrees and it was 2 pm. We hadn't winterized the trailer and there was still water in it. I frantically called our RV buddies and they had not winterized theirs either and we store our trailers in the same storage place. So they met me there after I ran home to get the keys and battery. Did I tell you I ran to Home Depot with wet hair and no coat? No? Well, I did and I didn't even grab a coat when I went back to the house... because sometimes I am just dumber than a rock. I FROZE TO DEATH. I am still not warm!

*Had all out WAR on the phone between Double Shot, Mr. Macchiato and myself as we all went back and forth trying to get the sprinklers drained.

*Went around and touched up paint in Double Shot's old room which is my new office... and the family room, bathroom and laundry room... only to realize later that I USED THE WRONG PAINT. So, what will I be doing this fine Monday? Going to buy the right color paint and FIXING IT!

AND Mr. Macchiato noticed the running board in .001 seconds when Double Shot and I picked him up at the airport. AND Mr. Macchiato has concurred that Double Shot's room looks like CRAP! AND I'm pretty sure Mr. Macchiato thinks I'm well on my way to being deaf, dumb and blind seeing as I touched up the beige paint with the greenish paint that we used in the main bathroom and it took me HOURS to figure out what it was that I had done wrong.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Plan A, B, or C?

Our middle daughter is a freshman in college and this summer we had to sit down and figure out which dining hall plan to purchase for the semester. I got to thinking about that… What if we Americans could purchase specific plans in regard to our government? What would that look like?


Jobs, Food, Housing, Healthcare, Education.

Advantage: Freedom from responsibility.

Price: Choice


Choice: Jobs, Food, Housing, Healthcare, Education.

Advantage: Freedom from government control.

Price: Hard work


Freedom to pick and choose from Plan A and Plan B

Price: Currently undetermined. To ensure availability of this plan in the future, we advise you purchase Plan B.

Of course, we would be told it isn’t that simple. But, what if it is? Clear away the smoke of debate and the rhetoric thrown out by both sides. What are we left with? Aren’t there ideologies at the very base of these candidates? What are those ideologies? In my opinion, it is either Plan A or Plan B.

Now, I know that life is not that simple and there is much left out of the above equation. However, wouldn’t those basic ideologies be the driving force behind the candidacies?

When I was a little girl my Aunt told me a story that made an impression on me that has stuck with me through the years. She was a wonderful story teller and I very much enjoyed how she changed her voice to make the story come alive.

There was a village in which everyone was starving and one man went into the village square and put on a large pot of water to boil and threw in a stone. This caught the attention of the other villagers and they secretly watched from within their homes as this man stirred the water in the pot and talked of how glorious the soup would be. He would then mention something that might make the soup better… onions, potatoes, carrots, etc. One by one the villagers came from their homes with something they could add to the pot. They came together as a community and no one went hungry that night.

Imagine that the story went a different direction for a moment. What if the leader of the village went and entered each of the villagers’ homes and just took what was needed for the soup? What if some of the villagers had worked hard and stored up more than the other villagers and instead of being given the opportunity to share willingly, their stores were taken and split evenly among those that had not worked hard and planned ahead?

People that work hard and plan ahead are not bad people. People that don’t have the ability to work hard and plan ahead through mental and/or physical limitations or circumstances beyond their control are not bad people. Even the people that do not work hard and fritter away their resources are not necessarily bad people. Many people learn valuable lessons from making those kinds of mistakes. What if those teachable moments are interrupted? What if, rather than experience some discomfort they are just given what they want or need? Is that good for the person? Is that good for the community as a whole?

I personally believe it is much more effective and much more beneficial to the community to inspire those with more to give willingly of their resources, time and money rather than to have a mandate requiring more and more from them. We already have differing tax rates for those in differing tax brackets. What Obama is proposing will seriously affect small business and have a negative impact on our already suffering economy.

Just as trickle down economics has not provided what was hoped for, neither will trickle down change. Change is something that has to occur from the inside out. It begins in our individual hearts and then spills out into our homes, then into our towns, cities and states. The spirit of America’s citizens is what makes this country great, not its government. It is that spirit of freedom that launched this country, the very spirit of freedom that is in danger today.

You are purchasing a plan with your vote. Which plan will you choose?

**I decided to post this on The Righteous Buzz along with posting it on The Uneducated Housewife's Guide to Politics because there are few followers of this blog that also read the other. Time is drawing near and if this post made sense to you and you would like to pass it on to a non blog reader... please e-mail me at and I will forward you the word document. And, of course, feel free to post a link on your blog if you like.

Terrorism of the Domestic Kind

I am ruler of the Family Room!
My squawk reaches far beyond imagination.
My one pound of feathers has the power
to bring the giants in my realm to their knees.
I am...
Paco, The Terrorist
This is my throne.
I am the great and mighty dictator of the corner!
I will bend you to my will.
You will not provide me with a bowl in which to bathe.
I choose to defile my clean drinking water
with my magnificent form.
I do this because I can.
Your are powerless to stop me.
It matters not that I cannot fit into the cup.
It is my will and my will will be done.

I fling water far and wide...
because I can.

Excuse me... Do you mind?
I'm trying to take a bath here lady.
**editor's note: This post is in no way meant to offend terrorists throughout the world. We here at the Righteous Buzz take the job of the terrorist seriously and respect their rights to wield their power and intimidate the innocent. In fact, if you are a terrorist, I cordially invite you into my home, with no pre-condition, and we can have a little chat over a pot of tea. You can tell me how you feel, how our very existence in this country is the problem and what I can do to make your job easier in this world.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pollyanna'ing it Up

I'm having a rotten no good day but... I'm going to look on the bright side.

I'm glad a handful of Advil does wonders (okay, 4).

I am glad that my 2005 Chevy Trailblazer allowed me to drive Double Shot to school and yet alert me to the fact that something was wrong seeing as the speedometer wasn't working. At all. My CD player quit back in August and I noticed at night that certain lights on the dash weren't working... but I rarely drive at night so it's easy to forget. We had been discussing the need to go get things checked out and were trying to figure out a time to do so. Well, it was decided for us and TODAY is the day. Remember... the day I said I was buried under stuff I had to do?

I am glad that when I got home I was able to clean out the fridge, the laundry room, sort all the laundry, start the laundry, iron a few things, do some dishes, and vacuum the family room before I had to leave to meet Mr. Macchiato to take the $*#&%@! Trailblazer to the dealership and go out to lunch... the lunch that wasn't exactly within the confines of my DIEt.

I'm glad that Mr. Macchiato noticed that I'd somehow driven over a nail when I got to his office and that I was able to get it to the dealership without him having to change it. I'm glad the gal at the dealership looked at it and said we just made it.

I am glad that we didn't have to go to Double Shot's football game today. There was a problem with the grade check on Wednesday and our very smart but uninterested in homework son likes to walk a tight rope with eligibility during football... because he's "tired." Well, he was eligible Wednesday morning but everything had to be resubmitted later after some lack of assignments had already been entered. No one said anything to him so he thought that he slipped under the radar. Nope. And I'm glad he's learning a valuable life lesson.

I'm glad our water heater is not flooding our basement and that we have a drain in the floor because I could not get ahold of our plumber and we have not heard from Whirlpool. I am glad we have hot water but the fact that we do is contributing to the leakage and I don't know how much longer we will be able to keep it going. The plumber said it would be fine and the water isn't near any electrical stuff... for now... and for all I know he's on his way to Mexico.

I'm glad when I picked up Double Shot that I'm such an incredible woman of self control because his attitude and refusal to take responsibility is enough to incite bodily harm. I even got out the chore chart with the smiley faces and came up with a very minimal list of expectations... take his asthma meds, pick up his room and bathroom, feed and water the bird, clean the bird cage on Tues, Thurs, and Sat., homework, get all stuff packed up and by the front door before going to bed... AND there's even a spot for a smiley face if he manages to have a good attitude that day. When we use up the sheet of smiley faces he can get a Chipotle burrito or an order of wings. Yes, he's 16 and this Mama, who initially felt sorry for him and the embarrassment he must have endured at school today, ain't too happy... especially after a little trip to Wal-mart on the way home to get litter for the bird cage. Don't worry, he's been set straight and is doing every little thing I tell him to now.

I'm glad that my bible study leader said to still come to class even if you don't get the homework done... because it ain't lookin' good.

I'm glad Mr. Macchiato told me to sit down when he called me. I'm glad that it's costing us $1400 to fix the whatchamacallit bundle thingie mahoozit that has the my whole dashboard electrical stuff whatever replaced... I suppose it could have cost more.

I'm glad I don't have a lick of booze in my house.


Well, it's another Monday morning folks! The weather here is cold and dreary... and it is dark! I'm behind the eight ball on some things.

Our new water heater is no good and leaking worse than the old one. We had the plumber out yesterday and we are going to have to go through Whirlpool. UGH!

I've got a week's worth of homework for my Tuesday morning bible study class.

Double Shot has an out of town football game this afternoon.

My house is a wreck and I can't stand it!

I've got tons of laundry and ironing!

I normally clean out our fridge every Thursday but have missed the last two. I went shopping and just crammed everything in anyway and now every time I open the door I about have a panic attack!

AND I have to take Double Shot to school (it'll take me an hour round trip).

All that to say I don't have time to blog. Oh, and I didn't mention I hurt my back (which is why the house is a wreck).

Can't I just crawl back in bed? Aren't there real little fairies somewhere that can come do all this for me?

Must. Have. Coffee.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Little Brothers Can Be So RUDE!!!

Double Shot is lonely. He's so lonely he goes into Frappy's room and defaces her property so that he can be sure to get all kinds of attention from her when she comes home from college. And I got to referee last weekend. Yippee for me!!!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chasing Rays of Sunshine!

The fabulous Patsy posted some fun "Sun Art" photos she took in her home last week here. I thought it looked like a neat thing to do so I grabbed my camera. It was interesting to me as I waited for the sun to come through the windows that most days I don't even notice how beautiful the light can be... Then I wondered about other areas of my life and how the beauty of it is often taken for granted by me. I hope that today you are able to stop and look for those things in your life that bring beauty and light to you. Not just the sun coming through your windows... those things that are such a part of your life that they often are overlooked. Open your eyes anew and take stock of the little things!