Monday, June 28, 2010

Pillow Talk

Back in our early years as a couple, Mr. Macchiato and I would lay in bed and talk for hours. We'd gaze into each other's eyes and tell each other how good looking we thought the other was... We'd talk about how much we loved each other... We'd talk about things we wanted to do someday... We'd talk about names we liked for children even years after we stopped having them... We'd reminisce about fun times...

Last Night:

Mr. Macchiato: Did you make an appointment with Penrad? (follow up mammogram, I've been having to go every six months)

Me: No. I told you you had to make your appointments first.

Mr. Macchiato: I have an appointment with the dermatologist. (he had a melanoma cancer removed from his back in 2004 and is late for this year's check)

Me: Yes, and I told you I also wanted your cholesterol checked.

Mr. Macchiato: That is a waste of money. I lost all that weight, exercise regularly and I'm sure it is fine.

Me: You haven't been for a physical in over four years and there are plenty of people walking around that are active and not overweight that still have a cholesterol problem. You are probably within normal limits but I want to know for sure... for peace of mind.

Mr. Macchiato: What is more important? High cholesterol or breast cancer?

Me: You are the hold up! Make the appointment and I'll make mine!

Mr. Macchiato: You are so stubborn.

Me: No, you are stubborn.

Mr. Macchiato: Ugh! Fine!

Me: Fine!

I'll spare you the play by play recounting of other recent conversations/observations involving gray and thinning hair, errant nose, ear and eyebrow hair... possible mustaches... geezer necks, wrinkles, and flabby skin.

There's also the wide eyed nights of questions that just hang in the air that are full of worry. College expenses, needed house repairs, medical bills, etc.

I have to laugh about it all a little bit. I don't think we ever really believed that we would get old some day. It is a bit shocking to see the signs.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rambling...

This was taken from our front porch last year. This time of year we can sometimes see hot air balloons early in the morning... usually on Fridays and Saturdays. I haven't seen one yet but am hoping to soon. To me they mean summer has officially arrived.

My goodness... I went to a worship/bible study in a men's prison last night. It was the first time I'd done that and there is so much I want to share. I'm just not able to articulate it all yet... I'm still processing. I will tell you this, I learned some things and there's been a major shift in my perspective.

I am doing a difficult hike on Saturday. It is a 11'er (11,000 ft in elevation) and the most difficult hike I've attempted. I'm a bit nervous about it. Last year I had some trouble on hikes on the way down with my right knee. I'm very careful and really listen to my body's warning signs (that comes from ignoring them in the past and paying the price) and have avoided those hikes with huge elevation changes. Each pound that you are overweight adds an additional 4 lbs of pressure to your knees and when you are going downhill it is brutal. I weigh less and am in better condition than last fall so I'm hoping I'll do okay. The only way I'll know if I'm ready to progress is if I try a hard hike.

I met with a gal yesterday that has her own employment agency. Mr. Macchiato knows her through work. I actually had a good time just talking with her at a restaurant and she had some great insights to offer about what she thought would be good for me. When I got home I checked my e-mail and had the most wonderful recommendation letter from someone waiting in my inbox. I'm feeling much more positive about the job search. I'm just hoping and praying that when I do get a job that it will be a perfect fit where I'll be able to continue doing the other things I want to.

Oh... and... my voice is the best it has been in over 5 years. I almost feel "normal". I'm actually beginning to feel more confident on the phone and am finding it easier to pick it up to call people. I developed this crazy avoidance of the phone that is almost like a phobia. I cannot tell you how freeing it is to have the phone ring and be able to answer it with only slight hesitation.

Have a Great Day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One of my All Time Favorite Kid Stories...

When we lived in Mississippi we were part of a small Calvary Chapel (first one in the state) that initially met in a day care. Our friends that visited this past weekend were also part of that church. They started coming when their fourth child (of 7) was just 4 weeks old. Anna, the oldest of their children, was five years old. After the service the kids would all go out to the playground while we parents talked and packed up all the church things.

One Sunday Anna came inside and informed me that Double Shot would not allow her to play on the monkey bars, that they were a boys club and girls were not allowed. I told her to go tell Double Shot that I said he had to let her play with them.

Anna always wanted to play with the boys. They didn't want her around because she told them what to do. For whatever reason, Double Shot, who is a year older than her, was the one that most commonly elicited her ire.

Moments later Anna came back inside and stomped right up to me with her eyes ablaze.

Anna: Miss Kelly! Double Shot won't let me play with the boys AND HE HIT ME!!!

Well... I went right on out there and pulled him to the side.

Me: Anna said you won't let her play and you hit her!

Double Shot: She tells us what to do! We don't want to play with her. This is a boys club. NO GIRLS ALLOWED!!!

Me: Oh NO! You are NOT to hit other kids, especially girls! You are going to have to tell her you are sorry and let her play with you.

Double Shot: I don't want to play with HER! And I'm NOT sorry and I WON'T tell her I'm sorry!!!

Me: I grabbed hold of his arm... Yes, you are going to tell her you are sorry and you are going to let her play with you.

Double Shot: he kicked dirt at me while wrenching himself from my grasp... I WON'T!!!

I didn't quite know what to do. Needless to say, Double Shot has always been a challenge. Anna was sitting a bit away from us on the merry-go-round watching and waiting. The other boys were playing and not paying any attention at all to what was happening. I decided this was going to have to be dealt with at home so I sent Double Shot to his father and went over to Anna.

Me: Anna, I am very sorry that Double Shot hit you. That is not okay. I'm not going to make him say he's sorry to you right now because he wouldn't mean it. I promise you though... when he does apologize, he is going to mean it.

Anna: Yes, well... if you don't discipline him now he will grow up to be a man who abuses women!

She was FIVE YEARS OLD. I was STUNNED and I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open. Double Shot did apologize to her the next time he saw her. They continued in their conflicts over the next several years. Anna, ever watchful and ready to point out any and all infractions and Double Shot ever resentful of her telling him what he should or should not be doing.

After I retold this story as we all sat around the table on Father's Day...

Double Shot: Anna, I want to officially apologize for hitting you eleven years ago and I want you to know I am NOT a woman abuser.

Anna: I officially accept your apology.

Oh my, did we all laugh!!!

Anna has been homeschooled her entire life and has been touring colleges. She's been to Africa twice. Once with her mother and sister and then last summer as part of a missionary team. She's thinking about studying criminology and becoming a lawyer. She mentioned that she might like to work with an organization like the International Justice Mission. I showed her the book I was reading about IJM... she hadn't seen it before and spent some of her time here going through it herself.

I am amazed by how consistent this girl has been throughout her life. She is driven... or being pushed along by the very hand of God. I've no doubt that she is going to be a champion for those who cannot stand for themselves.

Visit Anna's mother's blog Musings from Graceland! Their 14 year old daughter is currently on a missions trip to Romania and the entire family is looking into moving to Africa permanently in the next 4 years.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day... a day late!


We had a great weekend filled to the brim! On Saturday Mountain Man (a.k.a. Mr. Macchiato) hiked Mt. Lindsey in Southern Colorado. He and a hiking buddy drove down Friday night and slept in their vehicles at the trail head. This was his most difficult 14'er to date and required a little bit of climbing for which they had to wear helmets and gloves.



I really need to get back on the ball with my weight loss and physical conditioning so that I can join him on these difficult hikes. My goal is to hike Pike's Peak by the end of the summer. The thing that is hardest for me on the hikes at the higher elevations is not the walking/climbing part, but the effect the elevation has on my breathing... and the headaches. As I lose more and get stronger I'll be able to get over that.



I saw this picture and thought I could have gone and just hung out there all day while he hiked the mountain! Gorgeous!


You know, pictures never really do the Rockies justice. It is just breathtaking here!




There's nothing like being out where as far as you can see there is no sign of modern civilization.




I wish we had a super fancy camera that we knew how to use with all those telephoto lenses so we could better capture what we see. I am camera kryptonite though and I could never bring myself to buy something like that even if I had the money because I knew it would only be a matter of time before I broke it. I do check Pioneer Woman's photography section of her blog for the contests she has for cameras though. LOL!

Can you believe they climbed this? Wow. Mountain Man/Mr. Macchiato was late calling me to let me know they made it down safely. It was about 2 hours after I expected to hear from him that I started to worry and a good hour where I spent some time pacing around and looking up who you contact if you've got a lost hiker. That is the part I do not like about some of the hikes he goes on... the worrying I do when he's late. Once Double Shot and I were getting in the car to head to the trail head in the dark when we finally heard from him.

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Anyway, he called and I couldn't understand him because the signal was bad but I knew he was alive. Then when he called with a better signal he was pretty excited and proud of himself. I was excited to see him until... he called while I was trying to plant some stuff and covered in dirt and water and frustrated because we had friends coming in later from Mississippi and the kids rooms were disasters and they weren't helping me with anything (Double Shot had been in 7 on 7 football tournament all day out at the Academy and Chai Tea had been out with a friend... it was hot... I'd had a busy day as well... y'all know how it goes... I was getting gRuMpY)... and he said, "Hey, can you make me a pot of coffee?" Grrrrrrr... I did all his packing for him before the trip, I worried about him and I was covered in dirt.

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Then he walked in the door. BURNT. TO. A. CRISP. I was P*SSED. Mr. Macchiato has a six inch long scar across one shoulder blade from where he had MELANOMA removed in 2004. He also has other scars from where they've found A typical cells and decided to remove moles.

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So, nobody here liked me for the next several hours. I didn't like me either but sometimes a girl has just got to grab a broomstick and go for a little ride.

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And so you know, my writing here about this is some passive aggression on my part. My mother-in-law reads this (Hi Sara!) and... well... when she reads her son went and got himself fried she will be all over him like white on rice. I only hope to be present when he's on the phone with her getting one of her famous lectures. (you get him Sara... GET HIM GOOD!)

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Our friends from Mississippi arrived late late... well, actually, early early. As in 4 am. We had beds ready and they stayed back while the rest of us went to church later that morning. We might have skipped but Frappy and Cuppa Joe were meeting us there after getting up early to drive down from Ft. Collins.

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We had a wonderful day. Cuppa Joe's 23rd birthday was Saturday so we gave him a coffee grinder and some coffee. I loved when we were all sitting around the table reminiscing about the Mississippi days. Only the father and oldest daughter of 7 were here as they are touring a college in Denver for her this morning. I got to retell one of my all time favorite stories... which I will tell you all... tomorrow.

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Have a GREAT day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thinking...

Yesterday I drove up to Denver for more Botox injections into my vocal chords. It went a little differently so I'm afraid that the injection on the left will have to be re-done. I'll talk to my doctor on the phone on Monday and we will decide then. That side felt funny last night and actually hurt a bit. This morning everything seems fine. I usually know if the injections are going to work 2 days after I get them so we'll see how things are tomorrow.



I sometimes like driving places by myself. Interestingly, I find myself choosing silence more and more. I don't know when that happened exactly. I think it has something to do with all the years of struggling with SD and frustration with trying to communicate in competing noise. There's something about the silence that is comforting to me and my mind wanders.


I've been thinking a lot lately. Truthfully, the thing I think about the most is myself. I also find myself looking at my neck in the mirror a lot. I definitely have the beginnings of a turkey waddle and it is upsetting me. Laugh lines and crow's feet are much less distressing and acceptable for my age... although, I don't really have those yet. But... a turkey waddle? Good Lord.

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Yet, I also think of other things beyond myself. Well, no, they still include me. Like... What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Am I ever going to find a job? How can I make a difference in the world around me?




I wish I could fix things. I wish I could make things better for certain family members and friends. I wish I had answers for so many problems I see in the world around me.

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I wish I understood.

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I just don't. There is so much that I just don't get. Sometimes I think if I can just understand why that I would then be able to see clear to the how.

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I've been helping a ministry that serves breakfast to the homeless on Saturday mornings. Double Shot has started coming with me which blesses me greatly. We aren't there every Saturday but we do go often.

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Initially, the breakfasts were served in a park near a creek bed where many of the homeless had pitched tents. There were problems with the city in retaining the use of the park pavillion for that purpose so we've moved down the road and across the street into the parking lot of a very small church that has agreed to let us use it each week.

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Earlier this year our city passed a camping ban and cleared out "Tent City." Now that the weather has improved those people are having to leave the shelters they were sent to. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

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The opinions on the homeless vary widely as well as opinions as to what should be done about them. Politically, people set themselves up in camps and muddy the issue with fighting back and forth, whether it be amongst family and friends across the kitchen table and/or through the media and at the polls. Most often, however, the solution most people choose is to ignore the problem completely. Whose responsibility is it anyway? We all have lives to live... bills to pay, families to raise, and problems of our own.
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Who are the homeless? Where are their families? Aren't they all just drunks and drug addicts?
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No.
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There are drunks, drug addicts, ex-convicts and the like on the streets, in the shelters and in line at the soup kitchens. There are also families... children. There are people who lack the mental capability to function normally within society. Homelessness is not a simple issue.
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Sometimes I have fantasies about becoming a famous author, making a ton of money and then taking that money and changing the world. I've had so many different ideas... buying homes specifically to be used for transitional housing that includes education and health care, writing public policy, and starting businesses that train and employ those in our society that have become unemployable.
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But... in my fantasy life as I try to work out solutions I come up against wall after wall. The problem seems insurmountable. Sometimes when you are surrounded by many that have an entitlement mentality that are simply reaping what they have sown in their lives... or see you as an easy mark... you can feel like there is no point.
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I've been reading Terrify No More by Gary A. Haugen who is the president of International Justice Mission (IJM). This is a group fighting present day slavery throughout the world. This is another subject but I was completely struck by a quote from a speech made at the White House by one of the IJM workers, Sharon (I believe her last name is Cohen), when she was recognized by George W. Bush.
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"While there are millions of girls and women victimized every day, our work will always be about the one. The one girl deceived. The one girl kidnapped. The one girl raped. The one girl infected with AIDS. The one girl needing a rescuer. To succumb to the enormity of the problem is to fail the one. And more is required of us."
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To succumb to the enormity of the problem is to fail the one. And more is required of us.
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Like the words to a catchy song, these words have been playing over and over in my mind. The truth is I don't need to be a famous author or wait until I have a ton of money to make a difference.
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The One for me right now is an older homeless lady. She is cRaZy! She is very intense in her delusions and has frightened me at times. She's called me Charlotte on several different occasions and one day informed me that I was going to be murdered by a 5'6" tall man... in 1971. She obviously sees things the rest of us don't and talks much about the master of this realm while handing out warnings about mud gators (genetically altered beings) and robots.
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There are others... others that are incapable of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and getting it together. Others that will never function within society. Others that can have a day where they don't have to walk quite as far for a meal.
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I know I only see the picture in part. I know I don't understand why or know what the answers are. I know that the enormity of the problem is absolutely overwhelming.
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I do know that I serve a God of Love and Compassion and Forgiveness.
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I am now going to go rifle through my stocked fridge to see what good things I can eat for lunch, bemoan my recent lack of good hair days and stare at my neck in the mirror.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Settling into Summer


Spring is a pretty tumultuous time weather wise here on the front range of the Rockies but everything has finally bloomed and the landscape is getting greener by the day. This was my favorite break spot yesterday. I watched the leaves dancing in the breeze with peeks of bright blue here and there... and I couldn't see the hellishness of that backyard from this angle. LOL! Every time I go out there I start hyperventilating. The deck is rotting, the fence is falling down, the grass died in great big patches, and... it just depresses me.
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Boy, do I ever hate looking for a job. I spend so much time writing cover letters and sending off my resume only to hear nothing back. At. All. What is up with that? Couldn't people set up some sort of automated response to at least let you know that your resume has been received? Going through the computer for everything is so impersonal too. The fact is I've been a stay at home Mom for 22 years and things are rough for those that have work experience. It is hard not to get discouraged. I have days where I feel pretty bad about it all.
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My voice has not been doing well. I actually started the process to get my next set of injections before I really needed them and still ended up waiting too long. It is all so very frustrating! I am getting them later today and it'll be a week or so before my voice starts coming back in stronger. It'll only take a couple days before it evens out though. I've lost so much volume in just the last several days that I find myself slipping back into my old coping mechanisms of whispering (my voice is more understandable at a whisper when I have breaks) and avoidance of talking in the first place. Because I have so many resumes out I have a bit of a panic attack every time I have to answer the phone.
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I'm thinking about consolidating my blogs. I hardly ever post on the Uneducated blog anymore. The two blogs sort of make me feel like two different people. Sometimes I like to talk politics, sometimes I don't. I set up the other blog back before the 2008 elections because I was posting a lot about that sort of thing and didn't want to bore those that were used to this blog.
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I need to get the house ready for my mother-in-law to move in. We thought that was going to happen in July but it is looking more like the first part of August. Even so, I should get things ready now in case, by some miracle, I do get a job. It would be nice not to have a mad scramble to get things moved around.
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Well, this is where I am at this morning. It is a beautiful day and I'm looking forward to my drive up to Denver.
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Have a GREAT day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Back to Blogging!!!

Sometimes I get tired of blogging and need a break. I took a break from facebook as well, although not as long of one. Before I lost my voice I only got on the computer when I had to. I was terrible about returning emails and didn't understand the people that frequented message boards and the like. I really don't know how I would have gotten through the isolation brought on through losing my voice without it.



It's only been about a year that I've been really active on facebook. I got one almost a year before that but it all confused me too much. I love how I've been able to reconnect with old friends and family on there. There are ladies from church on there too and it is a lot of fun.

The truth is the computer has become a big part of my life. I haven't always been okay with that and have struggled with it. I'm a people person and prefer face to face contact. I have met so many wonderful people through this blog. People I consider to be good friends... and I don't even know if I'll ever get to actually meet them in person. That has bothered me and I've thought that computer friends are not really real friends. But, you know what? They are. In fact, I've come to realize that sometimes the absence of some things allow the communication to go to another level that isn't always possible in real life.


Of course, there is a danger that what is being represented isn't true. You do have to be careful. Very careful...


Let me tell you something... this here dog is LOVED! What a pure spirit he has! Too bad people can't be more like dogs in some ways. He loves everybody. Well, almost. Believe me, I sit up and take notice if he doesn't like someone.


This picture so perfectly captures Benny's essence. He is a big hairy dog that can be a pain in many ways. The love he gives far exceeds anything we do for him though.


Oh Booper!


I hope all you blogging buddies have a wonderful day! I look forward to getting caught up with y'all over the rest of this week and finding out what you've been up to.
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God Bless!!!