Saturday, May 31, 2008

Recurring Nightmare

Do y'all ever have recurring dreams or nightmares? When I was a kid I had one where I could fly... actually I kept having that dream well into my teens. I've also had the dreams where I am falling throughout my life but not so much anymore. Oh, and ones where I was being chased and couldn't scream.

I also had a recurring nightmare where I had to go back to high school because some mistake had been made and I really shouldn't have graduated. Thankfully, I stopped having that nightmare when I stopped homeschooling my kids.

Oh! and there's the one where my teeth just start falling out. That one is always very disturbing.

But lately... ugh. I keep having this nightmare where I am stuck in public restrooms. Often times it is like a locker room with many stalls... but other times it is like a store or movie theater restroom. I really need to go but I can't find a stall clean enough. I'll spare you the details of what all I see and smell ... but when I turn to leave I find that I'm locked in... It is a very bad dream... tossing and turning and sweating kind of bad dream. And so you know, I have always avoided public restrooms to the point of not drinking anything while I am out and about. I will use them if I have to... but I really try to stay away from them as much as possible.

Anyone out there know what dreams mean? Do any of y'all have recurring bad dreams? I am so tired of this current nightmare! AARRUUGGHH!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Let's Play Ball

Double Shot recently played baseball for his high school. The season is now over, however, they have put together a team for the summer that will be starting up soon. Being a freshman, and the kid with the least amount of experience, he spent a good bit of time on the bench. There were some rough days as he struggled with his attitude. At one point, I felt he was more concerned about his playing time than the team as a whole and had a little talk with him.
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It is so hard when all you want to do is play and you are stuck on the bench. I understand that. I explained to him that his job was to be ready to play when the team needed him and that that was also a very important position. His team consisted of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Many of those "boys" looked more like men! In fact, one "boy" had more facial hair than Mr. Macchiato has ever had! We did not introduce Double Shot to baseball until he was 12. These other boys had all been playing since T ball. But, the fact that he made the team just wasn't enough to keep his chin up some days.
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I was more than a bit frustrated with him. I felt he was being selfish. I was annoyed that we spent all the money and time going to games and he was unhappy. His attitude really got to me. I thought if he would just open his eyes and see that the coaches believed in him, wanted him on the team and were working with him... that his attitude would improve. He really is blessed in so many ways... but... it was all about playing time. It made me angry.
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And then... it hit me. What I expected from my son... I did not expect from myself. His struggle with baseball all of a sudden so obviously mirrored my struggle spiritually.
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If you have been reading this blog for awhile you know that my Spasmodic Dysphonia diagnosis hit me hard. The day to day living with SD and knowing that there is no cure has been so very hard for me to get through. I hate the way I sound. I hate that in situations where there is any background noise, I cannot be heard. I hate that on days when I'm not thinking about it... someone tells me how awful I sound. I hate that even when I am alone in my house, my phone can ring and have someone on the other end of the line that I don't even know tell me how bad I sound. I get so tired of it!
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I want to do what I did before. I want that sense of purpose. I want to be a part of things. I want to be in the game.
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But, I've been on the bench. I've been on the bench with a bad attitude. I could only see what I wanted... where I wanted to be and what role, or position, I wanted to be in. I just have not understood.
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Just like my son, I am still part of the team. I was taken out for a season but now I need to prepare to be put back in the game. I don't know what position the coach is going to put me in but I do know it is going to be different. I have to stop thinking of myself and what I am going to do... but of the team as a whole and I need to trust the coach... He is going to put me where He feels it is best. I just need to be prepared, aware and ready to be called back into play.
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Let's Play Ball.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Zune Give Away


Pioneer Woman is giving away two Zunes today. You just need to say who your favorite band/singer is in the comments and then the winners will be randomly selected through a computer generator thingie-ma-bob. She wrote about some of the music she's been downloading on her Zune and the memories they brought back for her. She said she was crying over the fact that John Denver is gone and it sparked a memory of mine of riding in the back seat of my parent's blue Pontiac and crying as I listened to the song Wildfire. I remember the blue upholstery with the little diamonds in it... the way is felt and smelled. I wasn't going to post any You Tube videos on my blog for a long time after that marathon of them last week... but I did not know who sang that song and went looking on You Tube for it. A guy named Michael Martin Murphy! I listened to the song again and... it is such a beautiful song! Such a sad song! So, tell me what song or songs get to you and then go enter Pioneer Woman's drawing!

Something Fun

Julia over at My Bloomin' Life has this little bit up and I decided to participate!

Read my answers, then copy and paste to your blog, making sure to change the answers before posting. Can't wait to read about you! Please post a comment back here with a link back to your blog. If you want to, that is.

The Letter A

Are you available? No! Happily married for 19 years.
What is your age? 41
What annoys you? My voice.

The Letter B

Do you live in a big house? We thought so, but not compared to many homes in the area.
When is your birthday? September
Who is your best friend? I don't like that term at all. All of my friends are special in different ways.

The Letter C

What's your favorite candy? Caramel and Chocolate
Who's your crush? Mr. Macchiato, of course.
When was the last time you cried? Yesterday.

The Letter D

Do you daydream? Yes.
What's your favorite kind of dog? Golden Retriever.
What day of the week is it? Tuesday.

The Letter E

How do you like your eggs? Scrambled
Have you ever been in the emergency room? Yes.
What's the easiest thing ever to do? Eat.

The Letter F

Have you ever flown in a plane? Yes.
Do you use fly swatters? Yes.
Have you ever used a foghorn? No, but I should.

The Letter G

Do you chew gum? All the time!
Are you a giver or a taker? Definitely a giver.
Do you like gummy candies? Not particularly.

The Letter H

How are you? Right now, content.
What color is your hair? Blond

The Letter I

What's your favorite ice cream? Pralines & Cream.
Have you ever ice skated? Yes. Once. I could not move for days afterward.
Do you play an instrument? Nope. Just the stereo.

The Letter J

What's your favorite jelly bean brand? Jelly Bellies.
Do you wear jewelry? Yes, but very simple styles. My favorite is my cross necklace.

The Letter K

Who do you want to kiss? Mr. Macchiato.
Do you want kids? Well... I can't give the ones I've got back... so I guess so. I KID! Yes I want them.
Where did you go for kindergarten? El Paso, TX.

The Letter L

Are you laid back? Some would say yes... some would say no. I'm pretty much in the middle.
Do you lie? Generally, No. I do sometimes to avoid hurting some one's feelings. Sometimes I say I am fine when I am not.

The Letter M

Whats your favorite movie? Pollyanna.
Do you still watch Disney movies? Not really.
Do you like mangoes? Yes, frozen in smoothies and sliced on certain kinds of sandwiches, but not really by themselves.

The Letter N

Do you have a nickname? Yes, I have had several. My Grandma often called me Jelly Bean and Mr. Macchiato calls me Sneezy.
What is your real name? Kelly Jean.
Whats your favorite number? 5.

The Letter O

Whats your only dream? To be there for people and truly love them in their worst moments... to show them the love of Christ without judgment... to lift them up, encourage them and give them hope.
Are you an only child? No.

The Letter P

What fear are you most paranoid about? Losing my husband or one of my kids.
What are your pet peeves? Caps left off of things... detergent, toothpaste, shampoo... etc. Noisy eaters... smacking, too much saliva sloshing around, eating with mouths open... and I hate the sound of someone snorkeling their snot. HATE IT.
What's a personality trait you look for in people? Honesty.

The Letter Q

What's your favorite quote? Gosh, I really don't have a favorite quote. I feel kind of bad about it.
Are you quick to judge people? I don't think so but... I probably am on a certain level. I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I am usually harsher in my judgments of people that I feel are judging me or who have hurt my feelings.

The Letter R

Do you think you're always right? No, I am an idiot and I know it.
Are you one to cry? Yes, but not usually in front of other people.

The Letter S

Do you prefer sun or rain? I love them both but don't like too many consecutive days of either.
Do you like snow? Yes.
What's your favorite season? Fall.

The Letter T

What time is it? 8:30 p.m.
What time did you wake up? 5:45 a.m.
When was the last time you slept in a tent? 3 or 4 years ago. We went with friends who have a fifth wheel and we froze to death and burned holes in the bottom of our tent trying to light a tent heater over and over throughout the night. They came out of their trailer all rested and happy... we then bought a trailer.

The Letter U

Are you wearing underwear? Of course!
Underwear or boxers? Grannie Panties!

The Letter V

What's the worst veggie? Brussel Sprouts... GAG!!!
Where do you want to go on vacation? Home... to Seattle.

The Letter W

What's your worst habit? Procrastination . . .
Where do you live? Colorado Springs, CO

The Letter X

Have you ever had an x-ray? Yes.
Have you seen the x-games? No... I don't even know what they are.
Do you own a xylophone? No. Or as my brother would say, "Big bowl of Nope!"

The Letter Y

Do you like the color yellow? Yes! I love it! I reminds me of Frappacino!
What's one thing you yearn for? To be able to speak clearly and do the things I did before.

The Letter Z

Whats your zodiac sign? Not that I care . . . but it's virgo.
Do you believe in the zodiac? Not one bit.
Favorite zoo animal? Lions, tigers and bears.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Graduation dRaMa

Chai Tea's Graduation Gown
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Poor Mr. Macchiato... I was busy fixing dinner so he thought he'd help the girls by ironing their gowns for them. He came and asked me what setting to put the iron on and I told him warm. Moments later he was a hollerin'. He doesn't iron much and he just turned the steam button down... the iron was actually on the hottest setting and it burned this hole in the gown the second it touched the fabric. Everyone piled into my bedroom to see what happened. My mom came to the rescue and cut some fabric from inside the gown and patched it. It was only noticeable if you were looking for it. Mr. Macchiato felt really bad.
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The ceremony itself went well. It was your typical long, boring graduation ceremony. We are so pleased that even though Chai Tea left home, she still hung in there and finished. Both girls graduated with college credit and got to wear gold sashes. We were very proud!
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We all had a wonderful time! Everyone got along well and we were all so excited to have our niece here! We took care of her for awhile when she was two and it was such a blessing to have her here with us for the girls' graduation. She is 9 years old now and it was so much fun talking to her. She was riding in the back with Double Shot when we all drove to Cracker Barrel Saturday morning. Mr. Macchiato and I were up front and everyone else was with my Dad following us. We overheard the following and we got a real kick out of it.
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Niece: Knock Knock
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Double Shot: Who's there?
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Niece: Graduation
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Double Shot: Graduation who?
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Niece: Graduations are boring.
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Also,
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Niece: Knock Knock
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Double Shot: Who's there?
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Niece: Interupting cow.
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Double Shot: Interupting (niece jumps in before he can finish)
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Niece: Moooooooooooo
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We all really had a lot of fun! My brother was quite entertaining and had us rolling!
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Happy 62nd Birthday Dad!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Howdy Y'all !!!

I've gotten some e-mails and a couple comments wondering if I am okay. Y'all are so sweet and that really touched my heart! Yes, I am okay! I've just been real busy getting ready for my family and then spending time with them. We've had a fantastic visit and I got a BIG SURPRISE when my Dad and brother showed up with my 9 year old niece! I was disappointed that she couldn't come but my brother was able to work it out with her mother and the school and they decided not to tell me. I'll post more about it all tomorrow... and we had some last minute drama the night of the graduation!

I hope y'all are having a fabulous weekend!

God Bless YOU this Sunday!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Computer Problems?


Hmmmmm... I've felt this way before when having computer problems.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Enjoy!


Chonda Pierce, "Weird Things Happen To Me."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Please go Check this Out!

I'm gonna be real honest here people. I had a really bad day yesterday. Probably the worst day I've had since that first week after my daughter ran away four months ago. Blogging has really been an escape for me and I often wonder if it is a good thing since I can get so lost in it. Sometimes God just meets you where you are. Please go to Julia's at My Bloomin' Life... watch the whole clip and then read every word of what she has to say. I am so glad I did.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Might Have...

I might have once hit a parked car while riding my bike and hit the bar so hard that I was forever grateful I was a girl and not a boy.

I might have once walked into pole while walking past a boy I had a crush on in high school.

I might have had a girl I didn't even know shove my face into a locker and try to shut it.

I might have been almost severely burned by all of the toppings sliding off of my pizza and slapping onto my neck while making eyes at a boy across a pizza parlor after a Friday night football game.

I might have worn a backless jumper and heels to go four wheeling in the dark behind a college.

I might have slid 100 ft. or more down a water logged embankment when I tried to discreetly go potty behind some bushes.

I might have screamed very loudly and that might have sent some boys from my high school running to come help me...

I might have been basically naked at that point. And muddy.

I might have had snot run from my nose like a faucet all over my then boyfriend, now husband's face, while we were making out... causing him to call me "Sneezy" to this day.

I might have been stopped by the same policeman on my way home from my then fiance', now husband's college, four weekends in a row.

I might have gotten a ticket the last time he stopped me.

I might have once dumped out my purse while trapped in the Wendy's Drive Thru and puked in it.

I might have once made my husband Mac & Cheese with breast milk, watch him eat it, and then laugh for 19 years about it.

I might have once gotten a ticket for driving 94 miles an hour while changing CDs on my way home from a Women's Church Retreat in Florida.

I might have watched a surgery where three masses were removed from my left Ta Ta.

I might have asked questions the entire time.

I might have once had so many dirty dishes that I put them all into the bathtub to soak.

I might have to stop blogging, reading blogs and staring while I think about blogs before my family hides my computer. That or hire a maid.

So, what might you have done???

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Hope Y'all are Having a Wonderful Sunday!

It is a beautiful day here! Just fAbUlOuS, I must say!

I'm definitely starting to feel the pressure as I look around at all I want to accomplish this week before all the relatives that are coming descend on Thursday and the girls graduate on Friday!

I am so excited!

So, what have y'all got going today and this coming week?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Want an Accent... Darnit!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland
 

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
 
The West
 
The Northeast
 
Philadelphia
 
Boston
 
The South
 
North Central
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


I guess it is Doohickey Week here at The Righteous Buzz. I took this little quiz Thursday over at Flea's. I then saw that Karen at Fresh Fixins got ahold of it Friday. I came up Midland... which means no accent. I am so unremarkable... boring... Do you know Mr. Macchiato actually told me I was plain once? While I was crying (not really... more like shooting hate filled lazer beams through his very soul) he explained it was a good thing... like vanilla. VANILLA!!!That I was wholesome, like the girl next door type. Yeah, whatever buddy. I want to hear that I am SMOKIN' HOT!!! Of course, he'd probably have to be smoking something to say that to me.

So, I think I should have an accent. I don't want to be non-descript. I want to be unique and EXCITING!!! But... I have SD. So, unfortunately, my accent is quivery old lady whose dying of emphysema from smoking two packs of cigarettes for 40 years. Yeah, I am 41. I must have started early.

How about a blog accent? We could all say we have blog accents... yesssss! I can be a trendsetter here! I'm starting something new! I'm starting something exciting! You heard it here first people! I am NOT VANILLA! I am... I am...

WHACKED!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Yeah, That's About Right...




Your Slogan Should Be



Between Love and Madness Lies Kelly jean

I saw this little Doohickey on another blog, Prairie Air, I just recently found through another blog, Riding with MUD. I decided to see what I'd come up as. Yeah, that's about right...

jUmPiNg for JOY!!!

FRAPPACINO HAS BEEN ACCEPTED TO COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY!!!

Our First Camping Trip

I grew up camping. I absolutely hated it. I'm not quite sure why I wanted to get into camping when I had children of my own. It is one of the mysteries of my life.

I believe it was the Christmas that the kids were 5, 7 and 8 that we bought all of our gear. We got it all! Tent, sleeping bags, stove, cookware, dishes, canteens, whistles, huge first aid kit... anything and everything you could want or need. Then we waited for the weather to warm up. I was nervous about going because it had been years since I had camped so I talked Mr. Macchiato into camping in our backyard that first time.

We had a huge backyard. It was like a little fenced in forest. We lived in a strange little house. It was pink with red shutters and white trim. Don't blame me. Mr. Macchiato rented it without me. There were no windows or doors that led into the backyard. You had to go through a little side yard to get to it. There was nothing but forest on the other side of the fence. I thought it would be a nice place to have our inaugural camp out. That and I could use our own bathroom and still shower.

I love new stuff. It is all so clean and pretty. I pulled all of our camping stuff out and we were all pretty excited. We cleared away a large area so that we could have a fire pit. I left Mr. Macchiato in charge to go buy some scalloped concrete edging that people usually use around the base of trees for planters to put around it. We briefly discussed the placement of the tent. Or so I thought. When I got back he had put the tent up in the lowest part of the yard. And it was FULL of neighbor kids jumping around and squealing. My brand new tent that I hadn't even stepped foot into yet. I was upset but hid it as I nicely shooed them all away. Then I saw that they had ripped a hole in the bottom of the tent. I was NOT a happy camper. We had us some words.

Things were tense but we tried to shake it off and continue on with our jolly family memory making. Our pastor friend came over to hang out at our campfire and have some dinner. As I was carrying food from the house to the backyard, I slipped and fell flat on my back. I was a bit shook up and it hurt, but I worked it out and we went on. We sang some songs, roasted marshmallows and managed to have a good time... for awhile. He brought his dog, Izzy, who happened to be the sister to our Maggie Mae. Only Maggie Mae had become very territorial and basically chased and terrorized Izzy throughout the evening which was stressful at times. The kids were anxious to sleep in their sleeping bags so we settled in as soon as our friend went home.

Our tent is one of those that has two rooms. We thought we could sleep on one side and the kids on the other. It is really just a large tent with a piece of chintzy, flimsy fabric that can be removed going down the middle. It also does not connect to the floor of the tent. It wasn't long before we had to put Mr. Macchiato and Double Shot in one "room," and the girls and I in the other. We wanted to include Miss Maggie Mae so we brought her into the tent with us. Along with the kids hands going back and forth under the wall of the tent... so was Maggie Mae. This made me very grumpy as we already had a hole in the bottom of the tent and I felt that each time Maggie Mae shoved her way under the "wall" she was making the opening bigger. The kids were in spazmo mode and we had a hard time making them settle down. And... my back was getting stiff and really hurting.

Then... Maggie Mae discovered that she could nose open the door to the tent and get out. She did this several times and would run all crazy through the yard and not come when we called her. And... the kids started fighting. I became outwardly grumpy, as did Mr. Macchiato. There may or may not have been some yelling. Okay. There was yelling.

After about two hours and many threats, Mr. Macchiato picked up Double Shot and drug him into the house. Double Shot was crying because he wanted to sleep in the tent but just would not settle down and behave. The girls and I snuggled in together and I looked forward to getting some sleep at last. Just as sleep was descending on the three of us, Maggie Mae up and decided to go for another joy run. I had to extract myself from my warm cocoon to go get her. The temperature had dropped significantly and it was cold. My back had stiffened to the point that it was difficult to stand completely upright. Maggie Mae made me so mad I decided to put her in her crate inside the house.

I rarely have my house completely together. Even when it is clean there is some sort of mess lurking in some room somewhere. Most of the time you really don't have to look far to find it. The weekend of our little camp out I did have my house completely together though. I am talking every closet, every drawer and all laundry done. I felt on top of the world! Everything was organized!

I stepped inside. It was warm. Wonderful toasty warm. Mr. Macchiato and Double Shot were both snoring away. I noticed that the house wasn't quite as clean as it had been earlier in the evening. I stood over Mr. Macchiato... watching him... suddenly becoming suspicious... wondering if he decided to bring Double Shot in just so he could sleep in the warm house... while I stayed outside with the girls. Yes, I was sure of it. There wasn't a thing I could do but to go back out to the tent and crawl back into my no longer warm at all sleeping bag.

My back hurt. I must have been clenching my teeth because my jaw hurt too. I laid there in the dark listening to the girls breathing... thinking not nice thoughts. Eventually, I fell asleep.

"Mommy... Mom?... MOMMY! It's raining!"

I don't know what time it was but it was before dawn. I told the girls to just go back to sleep and to not touch the sides of the tent. We all drifted back to sleep. I don't how much time elapsed but when I woke up there was water in the bottom of the tent. Remember Mr. Macchiato placed the tent in the lowest part of the yard. Well, that area also became a bog or swamp of sorts when it rained. There was standing water all around the tent. It was also still raining. I got the girls up and we slipped and slid all the way to the house. My clean house? HA!!! There was mud everywhere!

Amazingly, we made it to church that morning. We spent the rest of that day cleaning up the mess. Mr. Macchiato had to string a line between trees so that he could hang the tent over it and take the hose to it to get all of the mud off of it. It was awhile before we attempted another camping trip.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

This Makes Me LAUGH!!!

blog readability test

TV Reviews

I saw this little badge on someone's blog today... only he got a GENIUS Level. Back when I had the other blog, this little doohickey made the rounds and my old blog got the good old Elementary Level as well. I was curious enough as to whether I had improved any to click on the button and check this blog's reading level. I really wasn't surprised as, well, I am ME, afterall. The 41 year old woman with the funny bone of a 13 year old boy. So... tell the truth, how do all your blogs rate? And so you know, I already checked a few and find I am in good company! Come on now! Fess up!!! How smart is your blog?

editing to say: Hmmmm... there's a little TV Reviews button there that takes you to another blog that apparently came with the readability button... Sneaky of them, but I am going to go ahead and leave it because I am afraid I'll lose the whole button if I try to remove that one part. And are these things called buttons?

Need a Laugh?

Anita Renfroe, Women of Faith Speaker.

Also, check out April's post from yesterday. What a HOOT!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Wonderful Wednesday!

Yeah, it is one wonderful morning here at Casa de Cafe', let me tell you! The sounds of thundering footsteps, banging of bathroom doors, hollering over shampoo... yes, SHAMPOO. Oy. Teenaged children are such a JOY.

Hey, y'all remember my Dirty Little Secret? The one where I posted pictures of my disgraceful basement and gave myself a deadline to get it cleaned up... and then moved my deadline? Yeah, well it is now a DIRTY BIG NOT A SECRET. Those rotten shoemaker fairies never come round here. What's up with that?

So... instead of my routine of the last couple of days... Stare, Blog, Stare, Stare some more, Blog, etc... I am actually going to try to do something around this house. Did you just hear Mr. Macchiato laugh? IF I actually accomplish anything of note... you can bet I will be back later to let you know!

Why the picture of the cow? That is what I feel like today. Just so you know.

Have a Great day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do it Anyway


I've loved this song from the moment I first heard it... but at the same time it hurt to listen to it. When Martina McBride gets to the line about singing anyway I am always reminded that this is an impossibility for me. I never was a good singer but I did thoroughly enjoy myself when singing along to the radio or CD's when I was alone and along with everyone else at church. Now, I can't even sing Happy Birthday to my kids before they blow out their candles. They say you don't realize what you've got until it's gone. How true that is.

I have had a really hard time going to church for the last several months. I've gone anyway, although I have missed more than I ever have before. Worship has been so painful for me for the last several years. Not only can't I sing along with everyone else, but a lot of the time I get some sort of interference in my ear that is always annoying and sometimes painful. I have to plug my ears just to listen. It is as if all I've lost is thrust before me and it hurts.

I used to be involved in a ministry to inner city/homeless children. I used to teach Sunday School. I used to do a lot of things... In my lowest moments I feel rejected by God... I just don't understand.

This last Sunday I worked in the sound booth at church. I just put the words to the songs up on the screens. It is pretty easy but a lot more complicated than I thought at the same time. You really have to pay attention to the songs. It was the first time in a very long time that I felt like I was a participant in the corporate worship of our church... and it felt good.

I've been thinking about this song a lot. I might not be able to sing out loud... but my heart...my soul... is singing anyway.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Twenty Years Ago...

Twenty years ago I walked in on my mother crying. Actually, it was more than crying. It was the weeping of someone with no hope.

I honestly cannot remember if it was the day after Mother's Day for sure, but I think it was. My grandparents had come up to Seattle from San Diego and a bunch of our relatives had all come over the day before. The last of the relatives had left that morning. I don't remember where I had gone, but when I opened the front door I heard her. I walked up the stairs of our split level home and then saw her. She was alone in the house and she was in a chair in the living room. I had never seen her cry like that before.

I had recently been released from a two month stay in the eating disorder unit of a hospital. I had struggled with bulimia since I was 15 but no one knew until that year. I was 21 years old and engaged to my husband. This was the reason I dropped out of college.

It was the first time I had been around my extended family since I'd been outed. I felt like a freak on display. Every time I went into the bathroom it was seconds before someone was knocking on the door. Every bite I took or didn't take was watched. I put on a happy face and did my best to appear as normal as possible, which included eating more than I was comfortable eating. I panicked. I took garbage bags into my room and purged into my trash can and then wrapped the bag in many more bags and then hid it in the back of my closet. And my mother found it that morning. The morning I walked in on her crying.

Two months I'd been in the hospital. Two months my parents spent going to therapy with me. Two months my yet to be husband spent driving two hours from his college every Thursday to attend therapy with me and my family only to turn around and drive 2 hours back to make his Friday classes.

I stood there and was so very ashamed. She looked right into my eyes, her beautiful blue eyes so swollen and red, and she asked me if that was how I was going to die. I couldn't answer her. I did not know.

I would like to say that that moment pulled me up and turned me around. It didn't. I continued on and was actually worse than before I went into treatment. I quit going to therapy. My father-in-law to be gave me a job and my yet to be husband finished college. Days before his parents threw him a big graduation bash he rushed me to a clinic because I was very sick and terribly weak. I had not eaten in days and had taken over 50 laxatives. My heart went into arrhythmia and they ran 6 IVs of fluid at one time. The doctor wanted to admit me but we were not at a hospital and I refused. He called my parents and talked to them, telling them I needed to be back in treatment.

A couple of days after my yet to be husband's big party he went to Ohio to see his grandparents for a couple of weeks. I sometimes went for long walks with my mother-in-law to be after work and we talked. I had not been feeling well but that was normal for me. However, on this particular walk she talked about when she was pregnant. Something she said made me stop at the store on the way home and buy a pregnancy test. My body had not functioned normally in years and I did not think it was even possible for me to have children. I bought a box that contained two tests and took one right when I got home to practice for taking the other one in the morning. Only it was positive. I spent a sleepless night drinking water and waiting until 5 am to take the test again. It was positive again. Neither time I took the test did I even have to wait until the time was up. The blue line appeared immediately.

I went to work early and looked up what doctors were on my insurance plan. I called at 9:00 am on the dot. I was in a panic because I was afraid that I damaged my baby. They got me in right away. An ultrasound determined that I was already 10 weeks pregnant. Pregnant.

My husband and I had gotten engaged on Christmas Eve. We had three different wedding dates and I had three different dresses by the time we actually got married in November. I was 6 months pregnant. During that time my parents' 23 year marriage ended. (editing here to say my Dad sent me an e-mail saying it was 24 yrs., 9 months, and 3 days... but I think that was from the signing of the marriage license to the signing of the divorce papers).

Our daughter was born on February 14, 1989, and was 22 inches long and 10 lbs. 2 oz. Valentine's Day. And she saved my life. No one... not my parents, not my grandparents, not my husband.... no one could get me to stop my self destruction... but her. She was a miracle. She got me to take my eyes off of myself and to put her... her life... first. I grew up because I became a Mom.

I often think about that day, twenty years ago, when I walked in on my Mom. To this day it makes me cry to know that I hurt her that way. I am sorry that I can't say that her love was enough for me that day to make me stop. It had nothing to do with her. It was about me and my illness. But, God had a plan for my Mom's life, for my life and for my daughter's life. Just as He has a plan for your life.

As children we do not understand. It is so hard to see beyond ourselves. For me, it was only once I became a mother that I was finally able to begin to understand my Mom. It has been a process that has taken time. It is hard to imagine when you are holding your baby that that child will ever bring you anything but joy. It makes me wonder if, as a child of God, I've yet to fully realize the love our Father in heaven has for each of us.

Today my Mom is not only my Mom. She is my sister in Christ. She is my friend. As my daughter now breaks my heart, I know that this too shall pass. I have to step back and allow her to find her own way. The circumstances and details are different but I know it isn't about me.

Being a mom is so hard sometimes. For so long you can move through times where it seems like no one is thankful for what you do. The burden of trying to do everything right and sometimes failing can be crushing. The desire to protect your children can be seen as control. Sometimes you just need someone to come along and know that you are hurting and truly understand.

I love you Mom
Thank you for all you've done
And for all you continue to do
Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kidz-N-Carz

In the state of Colorado you have to have your driver's permit for one year before you can get your license or be over 18. We did not let our girls get their permits until last year which meant they were both 18 before they got their licenses. Frappy just turned 18 on May 1st and she got her license on May 6th.

I was backing her car out of the garage for her (she's been driving mine) when I heard a squelching sort of noise. I stopped and Frappy looked all under the car. She said she thought she saw one of Double Shot's basketballs but she didn't know where it went. I continued but the sound was still there. I got out and took a look. The ball was wedged on the front passenger side.

Frappy got an old knife after we tried to push it out and it wouldn't budge. She stabbed the basketball to let the air out so we could push it free.


Good thing she used an old knife!

As if one morning at the DMV this week wasn't enough... Double Shot and I spent the afternoon there yesterday. We are letting him get his permit now so that he can get his license as soon as the year is up. This makes Frappy mad. She thinks he should wait until he is 18 too. If we knew then what we know now, we would not have made the girls wait so long.
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So, I, of course, forgot to bring a book. We were there for hours and had nothing to do but watch people. Not a good thing to do with Double Shot. His observations always make me laugh. Even if he doesn't say what they are... the look in his eyes and expressions make me laugh. The absolute funniest things we saw/heard was the two guys sitting right next to us. They were good looking teens but of the slouching sort. One of them was on his cell phone and this is what he said, "Dude, Steve and I are at the DMV dude. Yeah. Dude, he spent too much money next door and he's three dollars short to get his license dude. Can you bring him three dollars dude? No, dude, if we leave we'll have to wait for like another 2 hours dude. Whatever dude." Then, he would call another person. The third try was apparently the charm. I was going to give them the three dollars if he got called but didn't want to tell them as they were our entertainment.
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When it was finally our turn and Double Shot had taken the test and passed we found out that he could NOT get his permit. A new law went into affect on April 23rd of this year... just DAYS ago... and he has to have a certificate from a completed driving program before he can be issued his permit. Double Shot was crushed. We went to the Driving School next door and signed him up for later this month. He was NOT happy AT ALL.
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Ugh. AND... Why won't blogger let me have spaces between my paragraphs after a couple of photos??? It lets me after the first two... why? WHY!?!?!

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Love My Dogs...

I love my dogs. I really do. But... sigh. They are A LOT of WORK!!! Benny is 15 months old and 80 lbs. Poor Mr. Macchiato and Double Shot worked real hard last weekend to get all the sprinklers up and working. Benny... well, he keeps digging up around the sprinkler heads they worked on. Our backyard is a mess. Our fence is a mess. Our deck is a mess. And there they are... clueless.

We run the sprinklers at night so the ground is often still wet in the morning. Our dogs are indoors most of the time so that Benny doesn't eat anymore of the siding, dig more holes, kill more bushes, or eat more of the deck. Somehow, he manages to any way. I have a bit of a routine that I go through when I let them back in if their feet are wet or muddy. If their feet are wet I just rub them dry with a towel. If they are muddy... oy...

1. I fill a bucket with warm water.
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2. I get a towel, the bucket of water and I sit on the floor real close to the back door.
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3. I throw the throw rug to the side so it doesn't get dirty.
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4. I lean close to the glass and lock eyes with the dogs. I ask them to please cooperate.
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5. I slowly open the door (sometimes it helps to be an amazon queen because I can still do this with my rear planted on the floor) and grab Lu Lu's collar with my right hand and quickly shut and bolt the door with my left. I have to do this because both dogs can open the door. Benny gets upset and presses his head to the glass and paws at the door.
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6. Lu Lu whines and yipes as she flips on her back and sticks her paws in the air. That works when the paws are just wet, but they are muddy so I have to wrestle her into a sitting position on my lap. She kicks the bucket of water, spilling half of it. I say bad words.
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7. I wrestle her some more and get her paws, one by one, down into the water where I massage all of the mud out of all the little crevices.
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8. I thoroughly dry all of her paws. Then she wriggles around and yipes some more and kicks the bucket of nasty water, spilling more of it onto the floor, me and herself. I say more bad words and I clean her up and dry her off.
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9. I put Lu Lu in her crate.
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10. I dump out the little bit of remaining dirty water from the bucket and feel it with clean, warm water. I mop up the mess on the floor with the towel and go get another towel for Benny.
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11. I sit back down on the floor. Benny is leering at me through the window panes on the door. I take a deep breath and say a little prayer. I ask for forgiveness for the bad words. I count to three...
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12. I open the door and Benny bursts through it. I grab his collar with my right hand and shut his tail in the door with my left. I open the door back up to let his tail out while he twists around and my fingers get twisted in his collar causing me to whimper and yipe. I get the door shut and yank him around in front of me. He knocks the bucket of water, spilling half of it on the floor and on me.
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13. I tell him to sit 3,217 times.
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14. He finally sits and is actually fairly cooperative for the front paws. He looks into the bucket of water and seems to thoroughly enjoy his foot massage. He then leans down and takes a few slurps. He looks up at me and I melt into his wonderful brown eyes. He then leans his head on me and gives me a Benny hug.
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15. I say, "I love you Booper." He starts to wiggle and I am yanked back into the task at hand. I have him stand and try to position him to get his back paws into the dirty water. He no longer cooperates.
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16. I grab hold of one of his back legs and he twists around making me afraid I am going to break his leg. I don't let go because I don't want him to get loose and get mud on my carpet. I say bad words.
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17. I finally get the foot in the water and he stops to enjoy his his foot massage. He has to be wrestled to the floor and put on his back before I can dry it. I notice his teeth need brushing.
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18. I go for the last muddy paw. It is his paw that is missing a toe. We didn't notice it when we got him. We don't mind. It's just something else to love about him. He is done. He wants no more of the paw washing. More wrestling, more bad words and more dirty water spilled. But... I win.
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19. I grab his toothbrush. He gets excited because he likes dog toothpaste. It tastes like chicken. The trick is to actually get the brush and the toothpaste to make contact with the dirty teeth. It's a struggle and I don't think it really happens. Benny eats the toothpaste and smiles at me.
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20. I put Booper in his crate, clean up the mess and take a shower... and pray they take very long naps and don't need to go back in the backyard for awhile.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

For E.L. in Greeley!

My laptop up and quit this weekend. We found out today that the hard drive is shot and I've lost everything. This is a blow because I've been attempting to write a book and everything was on it... and I did not back it up. It'll be okay though.

Anyway, you have very much been on my mind and I am praying for you, your Dad and your family. Your e-mail address is in my laptop... If you read this, please e-mail me so I can get your e-mail address into this computer (the horrid desk top in the basement... the basement that is still a mess).

And... anyone else that reads this, if you feel led, please pray for E.L. They recently found out her father has cancer and there is a lot going on. E.L. has SD like me.

Milo

Milo is our next door neighbor's dog. He is a little Jack Russell Terrier. The summer before last, T came over to see if we would take care of Milo for a month. He was going to join his wife, C, in California who was in the process of bringing her elderly parents back here to live with them. Of course, we agreed and were happy to do so.

Our neighbors moved into their home a couple of months after we moved into ours. They have four boys with their youngest being the same age as our oldest. One New Year's Eve we were all invited to another neighbor's party. This couple has three boys that are all grown with families of their own. Most of our neighbors are quite a bit older than we are. So, we went to this old people party. We played games. And we got to know one another. It was all going swimmingly until C told me that when our kids picked up our dogs' poo they just chucked it over the fence and into their yard. Nice. I didn't tell her her kids smoked in the backyard and flicked their butts into our yard and said bad words. I also learned at that party that C made homemade dog treats for Milo but that one time her sons ate them.

T doesn't really like Milo. He only tolerates him because everyone else loves him. One time we saw Milo running back and forth while the boys threw snowballs at him. They had drawn a bulls eye on his side with colored magic markers. I'd hate to think what they might have done had they not liked him.

T and several of the boys took off at 6 am on a week day. At approximately 6:01 am, Milo started screeching. Yes, he screeches. It is loud and horrible and he just doesn't stop. He makes those noises every time he's not let back in the second he wants to be. We did not know what to do. Eventually, he quieted down. Double Shot and I went over there later in the morning and could not find him anywhere. I started to worry that maybe he stopped screeching because he ran away. Later that day, I went over again and was in their garage... I turned around and he had crept up behind me and was staring at me. It was pretty creepy. I talked to him soothingly but he ran out the doggie door into the backyard.

Milo was so distraught at being left alone that he would have these episode of screeching that would go on for an hour or more at a time. One day after T left, people started banging on my door. They all wanted to know if I knew where T was and what was up with his rotten dog. Suddenly that month looked like it was going to be an eternity. And it was. One of our neighbors even called Animal Control. We talked to the officer and showed him that he had a doggie door into the garage and food and water. The guy that called said that he'd just been left and he could see into the yard and didn't see where the dog even had water. Someone else called another time and they got some nasty notices.

Well, one night it got stormy. Milo was having a fit and it was on a level we'd not heard from him before. My husband and I went over there and thought we'd just have to bring him home with us. We hadn't done that yet because we were afraid of how our dogs would react to him on their turf. We could not get Milo to come in through the doggie door into the garage. We knew he was in the backyard... so we went into the house. He was throwing himself against their sliding glass door and was out of his mind. I thought we'd just let him in and then put him in the garage. Only, when I opened the door he ran all wild into the house and disappeared.

My husband and I went through the house searching for him. We did not know where he went... and then I saw him. He was up on a chair in their living room and he was staring at me like he had when he sneaked up on me in the garage a couple of days before. I felt bad for him because I knew he was scared and he didn't understand why his people were gone. I went over to him and talked to him soothingly. He seemed to ease up a little so I reached toward him to pet him. He let me and after a few moments I went to pick him up so we could take him home with us.

Oh. My. Lord.

That dog turned into a little devil and bit my wrist and then... he... bit my Hoo Hoo! Then he ran off again. Both my husband and I were shaken. We decided devil dog could just stay in the house and we went home. He had broken the skin on my wrist and you could already see a bruise developing. I went into the bathroom and, amazingly, my under britches had holes from his teeth, he had broken the skin and I was bleeding but... there were no holes in my sweat pants. Is that not bizarre?

Well, the remaining 3 weeks we let the dog stay in their house and just went over there to let him out several times a day. He and Double Shot came to an understanding. To this day, when he is out he will come say Hi to Double Shot. However, me and my Hoo Hoo stay far away.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Geraniums

I love geraniums, especially red geraniums. I love them because my Grandma loves them. She always had tons of them planted around the house my Grandpa built for her. Whenever I see them I think of her. I have several silk geraniums I keep on the entry level of my home.

If you are new to my blog you are not aware of the fact that our oldest daughter, Chai Tea, ran away in January. It was a shock to say the least.

I always wanted to be a Mom. I've regretted not finishing college but only because I don't have that piece of paper that would have said that I could have done something else if I wanted to. I actually wanted to have ten children. I'm not particularly fond of teenagers at the moment, but I've always loved children. I can't remember ever not feeling that way.

A friend of mine gave me two books recently, Mama Get the Hammer! There's a Fly on Papa's Head! and I'm So Glad You Told Me What I Didn't Want to Hear. Both were written by Barbara Johnson. A couple of days later another friend gave me a copy of Fresh Elastic for Stretched Out Moms, which was also written by Barbara Johnson.

Years ago, when our children were small, my husband bought me a book of hers for Mother's Day that I don't recall the title of. At the time, I was a bit taken back by what it was about. My husband bought it because he said it was supposed to be funny. It was, but it was about her son coming out of the closet and I just didn't relate. I read it and then stuck in on my bookshelf until a friend's son left his wife and two kids for a man. I then gave it to her.

I flipped through the books a bit but didn't really start reading them until a couple of days ago. I recalled that my Grandma had one of her books called, Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and be Happy. I learned that Barbara Johnson had four sons. One was killed in Vietnam and then five years later, to the day, another son was killed in a car crash. Then she learned her third son was gay. Prior to all of that her husband was in a terrible car crash and sustained some brain damage and almost died. Wow. That all certainly put my heartbreak into perspective.

I decided that I wanted to know more about her and find out what she'd written recently. I googled her and went to her website. I learned that she died in July of 2007 and that she'd been one of the Women of Faith speakers. I was dumbfounded. And then I cried. And I don't know why. I guess because as I am reading her books... I somehow feel connected.
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Patsy Clairmont is one of the Women of Faith speakers. I went to the conference they had in Denver in August 2005. I didn't know anything about it or the speakers before I went. I read somewhere on another blog (I wish I could remember where) that Patsy had started a blog. I've never read any of her books but I remembered her from the conference. For the life of me I can only remember that she had, at one time, been afraid to leave her house and something about riding a bicycle... and that I laughed so hard I hurt... and her name. I went to check it out and have left some comments. She has sweetly visited here and left a few of her own. Imagine my surprise when I learned that Patsy has actually co-authored with Barbara Johnson.
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How aware are y'all of the Women of Faith conferences? Because, I've been in church for over twenty years now and... yeah, I heard of them but I just didn't pay that much attention. How come they weren't more on my radar? They are all over my radar now.
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It's funny, a friend's husband wanted to treat his wife and a couple of her friends to see Anita Renfroe some months back. I was honored to be included. I didn't know who she was but I was up for a girl's night out. She was HiLaRiOuS. And guess what? She is also a Women of Faith speaker.
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I am definitely going to the next Women of Faith conference that comes my way! And y'all should too (unless you are a dude).

This is one of the planters of many that surround my Grandparent's home. We were last there 4 years ago and I was upset that the planters were empty. My Grandpa had died two years before and my Grandma was living there alone with my Down Syndrome Aunt. Those planters were always filled with geraniums. Before we left, I went and bought some and planted them for my Grandma. I hoped that she would be able to water them and that they would grow and cascade outward as hers had always done in the past.
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My Grandma is now 94 years old and my Aunt is 50. They are living with my Mom and Step Dad in Washington state and the home my Grandpa built, seen here, is in Southern California and being rented out. My Grandma has dementia. Sometimes she remembers but she often does not. It is heartbreaking.
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Patsy Clairmont said something in one of her posts in April about the combination of laughing and crying. We've been seeing a counselor since Chai Tea ran away and he likes to pick up his coaster and say, "Anger and hurt are a two sided coin, the amount of anger you feel is equal to the amount of hurt and the amount of hurt you feel is equal to the anger." He usually spouts this when I say that I am not angry about something, just hurt. When I read that about the combination of laughing and crying it made me wonder if that is also like a two sided coin. Not in the same way as the anger/hurt.... but maybe in the context of having to have experienced deep sorrow in order to truly experience joy.
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My geraniums draw my eye now more than ever. Not only do they remind me of my Grandma and make me long for the way things were, but they now remind me of Barbara Johnson and the fact that, although she is gone, her words of encouragement live on and give me hope.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

You Just Never Know

The Country Doctor's Wife is having a little contest this week and has asked for birth and/or adoption stories. I am posting my two entries here as well.

Entry #1

Years ago we had the opportunity to be in regular fellowship with a family that moved to Mississippi from the Northwest for about a year. Somehow, through both of our families moving to different states... and them several times, we have lost touch. But, I will always remember them fondly and hope that we are able to re-connect at some point in the future. This is their story.

C and J were married fairly young and had their two boys close together. They decided at that point that they only wanted to have two children and they were fine with that for a few years. C had had a vasectomy which they then had reversed. They had not had any problems conceiving the boys and were disappointed when the reversal apparently did not take. They were sure that they were meant to have another child and had prayed about the decision.

After some time passed (I believe it was a year or so), J learned through a family member or a friend of a woman who was related to that person by marriage that was pregnant. She was married and had several children but they were in bad shape and she did not want the child. She was planning on getting an abortion. J was so moved that she wrote the woman a letter asking her to not get an abortion and offered to take her child. The woman was very offended and it did not go over well at all. She was going ahead with the abortion but she did tell her family member that she would not do it if she felt the baby move. J and the women in her bible study prayed that she would feel the baby move. She did and at a much earlier time than usual.

Time went on and J continued to pray for this woman and her family but there was no contact at all between them. When the woman was 8 months pregnant, she called J up to see if she had been serious. They could not afford another child and she didn't want it. She said yes not knowing how they were going to work it all out. Things got very crazy as this woman had never seen a doctor through the entire pregnancy and they couldn't find an OB willing to take her on. Eventually, they found and OB who had adopted himself and was willing to take the risk. They had to get a lawyer and make sure that everything they did was legal. They also had to have a home study done. All the while, they had no idea how they were going to pay for all of it and it was really racking up.

There were some tense moments as, with all adoptions, the mother can change her mind at any point. The birth father, C and J were all present for the birth of a perfect baby girl. The birth father actually handed C his daughter and told C, "Congratulations Dad."

A couple at their church heard of their story and were so touched that they paid for everything. Just like that. If ever there was a story of God closing one door and opening another, this one is it. They came into our lives when little A was about 7 months old. She stole my heart and I was blessed to have her take some of her very first steps with her arms outstretched to me.

Entry #2

This is my story. My last birth story. I am sorry to say that I am not a good breeder. All three of my pregnancies were high risk and each a frightful tale. My son's takes the cake though.

I went into labor at 23 weeks. We had gone to the hospital because we knew something was wrong. My husband was not allowed back into the labor and delivery unit with our girls who were then 2 and 3. It was very early in the morning and he was trying to find someone to take care of them for us. Admitting called to find out why I was there and I heard the nurse tell them from the other room that I was in labor. I did not know that and it was a shocking thing to hear while lying there alone.

They were eventually able to stop the contractions. For the next 13 weeks I was on bed rest and we had to put our girls in daycare. There were many more trips to the hospital and I basically kept a log of contractions for 3 months. Once I hit 36 weeks I was taken off of the drugs because they said that at that point it would be better to have my son a little early than to keep taking them. And nothing. Nothing!

Some good friends came to visit us from Connecticut. We had both been in their wedding and hadn't seen them since before they had their little girl. We were living in Pasadena, CA and they wanted to see the sights. I was told I no longer needed to be on bed rest and so we went. We went to the L.A. Zoo and we went to the beach. New Port Beach. In fact, I loved boogie boarding and thought it would be fine for me to catch a few waves because my belly would hang down into the water. I had some great fun until I caught a wicked wave that hurtled me toward the shore at frightening speed... and caused by belly to run up on the sand and leave me flailing about like a great white beached whale. Still, no more contractions.

A bit later, my husband and I discovered that we were badly sunburned. I also felt that I was becoming a bit swollen. We went to the hospital just to get checked out and make sure everything was okay. My husband actually had sun poisoning and wallered on the floor moaning. The doctors and nurses were not very kind and we were lectured a few times. I was 25 and my husband was 26. We both looked younger than that though and the fact that we already had two other children caused palpable disdain to be shot our direction. And really, what were we thinking? Oh, and so you know, our girls did not get sunburned. We made sure they were protected. Gosh, that sounds pretty lame.

Well, our friends left the next day. My husband stayed home from work because he was a mess. In fact, 4 years ago we caught a nasty melanoma on his back and he has a lovely 6 inch scar across his shoulder. I noticed that I was getting even more swollen. I called the doctor's office and talked to the nurse. They knew all about our trip to the hospital the night before and weren't real happy with me. After 3 months of back and forth and stress tests and call after call, they were tired of me. I felt pretty ashamed and stupid and dumb.

But... I kept swelling. I called again the next day. I was told to keep my feet elevated and to drink more water and to not eat anything with salt in it. I tried to explain that I was really swollen. The nurse was rude to me to the point where I said that I wanted to talk to the doctor myself. My doctor called me a bit later and I told him that I was very swollen. He sighed deeply and told me that I had an appointment the very next day. I could tell by his tone that he was tired of me. I cried when I hung up.

The next afternoon my husband took me in for my appointment. I could not fit in my clothes. I could not fit in any shoes. I had to wear a ginormous nightshirt with snoopy on it and black stretch pants.. and slippers. I was mortified. I waddled into the office and the nurse first took me to the scale. In a matter of days I had gained 19 lbs. I started blubbering and making incoherent attempts at speech. They checked my urine and my blood pressure. The nurse kept telling me to calm down. The doctor came in and checked my blood pressure several times himself. I needed to go to the hospital immediately. I had toxemia. And after 3 months of counting contractions, I had to be induced.

My doctor was not scheduled to be on call that night but he was very concerned about me. His wife played in an orchestra and he had to go to an event of hers but he said he'd come to the hospital when he was done. He did and he stayed until I had my son the next morning. It was a rough delivery. The umbilical chord was wrapped around our son's neck several times and there was an actual knot in it. In fact, our doctor had never seen that himself and put it in a pan and left it in the doctor's lounge for others to see. Our son was 23" long and weighed 8 lbs. 11 oz. and was nearly 4 weeks early.

Later that night a nurse wheeled a scale into my room. After giving birth to that big baby boy... I had gained another 5 lbs. in addition to what I weighed BEFORE I had him. Yes, it is true. I am the only person I have ever known to have gained weight while giving birth. I did also lose 40 lbs. in 4 days though too.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I Once Had a MiniVan...

I never wanted a minivan. Sorry. I really didn't. Mr. Macchiato felt that is what we needed and bought me one. It was a 1998 Dodge Caravan. White. Boring. We were hosting a bible study in our home and he didn't make it back in time. He got home as we were ending things and was all excited. I wasn't too happy and there were some remarks made by others there to the tune that I was not appropriately thrilled by my husband's provision for me. I think they were expecting me to be weeping as I jumped for joy. The truth is, I didn't want to give up my shiny black Taurus with the camel colored interior. I loved that car.

To appease me, Mr. Macchiato said that I could get vanity plates. I thought that if I had to drive a minivan, at least it could have really cool plates. I wracked my little ole brain and came up with, "BRAT BUS." Amazingly, it was available.

Well, my little boring, white minivan wasn't quite so boring after all. In fact, my plates caused a bit of a stir. In fact, my little boring, white minivan became somewhat of a legend in our town. Once I picked up our babysitter in the Taurus and on the way to our house she went on about this minivan her family saw at a stop light with a license plate that said, "BRAT BUS," and how much fun they had joking about it. Then we pulled into the driveway behind the van and she saw it... her eyes got big... and she looked at me in utter disbelief. She then pointed at me and kept stuttering, "It was ya ya you!" Her eyes then filled with admiration and I didn't care that she was going to eat all of our food and leave our house a mess.

On several different occasions, out on the soccer field, I was surrounded by exclamations from other soccer moms as it was pointed out by someone that I was the owner of the, "BRAT BUS." My heart would swell and I would think that driving a minivan really wasn't that bad after all. I especially loved the calls from friends that would tell me that someone was talking about my van and they got to tell them that they actually knew me. I thoroughly enjoyed my notoriety and admiration of my wit.

That is... until the day I was at the gas station. I had just gone inside when a guy came up to me and asked if the "BRAT BUS" was mine. My heart quickened and a big smile came quickly to my face as I answered that yes it was. He then felt the need to lecture me about my lack of driving skills. It seems that I had cut him off on the spillway the week before. Ouch. I'd like to say that that was the only time a stranger felt the need to recount my grievous traffic violations while we stood in public places, but it wasn't.

There was also the fact that I was often told by acquaintances and strangers alike what parking lots the "BRAT BUS" had been spotted in. That isn't a big deal but sometimes people would ask me questions as to why I shopped certain places. Whu??? (that is teen for what? and you have to imagine it with an unflattering slouch and dull look about the eyes... I see it often around here).

Then, the big cherry on top of it all. The good parent police. Apparently, my license plates were seen by some as sarcastic and hurtful toward my children. How dare I call the vehicle I tote my little blessings around in a "BRAT BUS?" Little did some of these people know that my kids had all had brat names for a couple of years prior to our getting the van. They were Bratola, Braticia, and Brat Boy... and all said with the utmost love and affection. I made the mistake of trying to explain that our kids weren't offended by it and that we had pet brat names. Oh, the horror of it. I quickly learned not to relate that bit to any future offended good parent police.

Well, I no longer drive a minivan. The move from Mississippi to Colorado and life above an elevation of 6,000 ft. killed the transmission in the old "BRAT BUS." It served us well and we will always remember it fondly. We will also never ever own vanity plates ever again! We do jokingly come up with ideas for fun though. We kicked around the idea of getting one that said, "EAT MEAT" for our SUV... but living in Colorado... that might have gotten us killed.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What If?



One of my readers this week said that she doesn't believe and that she's lost friends over that issue after reading this post. That just breaks my heart. So many in my own family do not believe, but I still love them. I received a newsletter in the mail this week that had an article in it about tolerance and the gist of it was that Christians have become too tolerant. What is happening? Our forefathers here in the United States set up our constitution so that there would be freedom here and it was based on Christian principles found in the Bible. I don't want to get into a debate here on my blog. I'm not a theologian. I am not an expert on anything. I am just a wife and a mom... a daughter, sister and friend... who happens to believe that Jesus is the messiah foretold of in the Old Testament. It doesn't matter to me where you are in your life or what you believe because you are welcome here. I just want to be upfront with where I stand.

I first heard this song at a Women of Faith conference. Nicole Nordeman was sitting at her piano and she said she wrote it for a dear college friend of her husband's. They love him very much and he doesn't believe. I loved that she wrote this song for him and it really touched my heart. It just asks the question, "What If?" It doesn't draw a line in the sand and demand. It doesn't have an expectation that the song will just change everything. It is just a question. That is how I see it any way.

Being a believer in Christ... I would love for all to come to believe as well. You know if you have read some of my past posts that I do not have all the answers and that I struggle with things. What goes on in the hearts of others is not for me to say. Wherever you are at, whatever you believe, you are welcome here and I really mean that.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Day Paco Flew Away

Double Shot likes to eat his breakfast out on the deck when it is warm. He used to eat his breakfast with Paco on his shoulder. That all ended the morning he flew away.

Getting Paco's wings clipped can get expensive and I just don't like the way other people do it. He's usually flying again within a few weeks. So, I do it. And I do it in such a way that he doesn't fly for months. Don't feel sorry for him. He's a terrorist.

Well, we usually have some indication that he is getting close to being able to fly again but not this time. He just flew up over the house and was gone. I was still in bed and woke to Double Shot's frantic screams. The whole neighborhood did. He was beside himself. I was very conflicted. A secret hope filled me with the thought that Paco, the terrorist, was gone. It made me feel guilty at the same time. I was also very concerned for my son whose wailing and carrying on caused me to call Mr. Macchiato for some support. He was running through the neighborhood and causing quite a stir as he looked for Paco.

I quickly made some scrambled eggs, put them in Paco's dish, and rolled the cage out onto the deck in the hopes that he would come down to the cage on his own. Yes, Paco, the terrorist, eats eggs. He loves them and goes crazy whenever he smells them. Yes, he is a bird and it is weird that he eats eggs. But, that is another reason why he is a terrorist. However, this did not work.

Things began to get critical with Double Shot. He was scaring me and Mr. Macchiato was rushing home. He was so beside himself with grief that he was throwing things around. I was afraid he might hurt himself. He was also well on his way to a major asthma attack. Mr. Macchiato got home and they went around the neighborhood some more. Mr. Macchiato was very taken back by our son's reaction and went for a walk by himself as I held him pinned on the couch trying to get him to calm down. We both were afraid we were going to have to call the people in the white coats to come sedate our child and take him away. It was that bad.

As Mr. Macchiato was walking and trying to figure out what to do about Double Shot he heard a familiar squawk. He couldn't believe it. He looked up and all around and then spotted Paco when he squawked again. He was about 15 feet up in an aspen next to a neighbor's house about 1/4 a mile away. He really struggled for a bit as to whether he should ever tell anyone he saw him. But, he thought of our son and knew he had to try to get Paco. He tried to call me on the phone but couldn't get through because I was sending out a prayer request that we find the bird. Double Shot went back out and heard his Dad hollering. He was on the roof of the neighbor's house and he couldn't reach. He told Double Shot to run to the house and have me bring a rake back in the car. Double Shot grabbed a rake and we jumped in the car and raced to where Paco was. The whole time I was fully aware that Paco could just fly off at any moment.

As we came to a screeching halt in front of the house, Mr. Macchiato motioned for us to be quiet. Double Shot handed him the rake and just as he got close to Paco, he flew up another 10 feet or so. Aspens are not the sturdiest of trees and the branches can be quite thin. Double Shot was just about to turn 13 and still pretty small. Mr. Macchiato jumped from the roof and helped Double Shot into the tree. The stress of watching our son climb the tree while cooing to Paco and asking him not to fly away was incredible. I stood there praying to God that Double Shot would get him but very afraid that it was going to end in disaster.

Once Double Shot was close enough, Paco went straight to him. Double Shot then tucked him into his shirt and got out of that tree as quickly as possible. There were some pretty tense moments as he was about 20-25 ft up and the branches were flimsy. He lost his grip a few times and slid. I had visions of them falling out of the tree and Double Shot crushing Paco with his body. As they got closer to the ground we could see Paco, the terrorist, looking out of the armhole of our son's shirt. Once on the ground, we all hopped in the car like crazy people with my husband shouting at us to roll up the windows quickly. We got Paco into the house and into his cage and we all collapsed.

The whole ordeal took just under two hours but it took us much longer to recuperate.To this day, whenever we are outside, neighbors stop by to ask us about Double Shot and Paco.

Friday, May 2, 2008

DLS Update: I need to move my goal...

This job is just too big with all we've had going on the last couple of days. I have found the things I need and could just shove everything back and it would look better... but I don't want to do that. I want to do this right, which means I need more time. I am going to try to finish this weekend but that may be too optimistic as we've got a lot going on. Frappacino has a bunch of girls spending the night tonight for her birthday so I may make a pot of coffee and just keep plugging away down here. Or.. I might slink off and crash. I've decided to not have the filing be part of this goal too. I'll hold that stuff out and try to work on that next week. In fact, that will be my next Dirty Little Secret job.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

DLS Update: Little Fairies? Anyone?

I'm plugging along but it is slow going.


Why is it I always make a bigger mess when I clean? I was excited to find some things that I'd been looking for. I thought they were in our storage unit and had gone out there a couple of times to look for them (pictures and blankets) but they were here in the basement all the time. And... yes, we have a storage unit... which is another Dirty Little Secret that needs taking care of.

Ahhhh... Spring in the Rockies. Gotta just love a May 1st snow storm. Ugh.

Good thing I restrained myself and did not plant flowers in my planters yet.

Yup. A very good thing.