Thursday, February 26, 2009

modification

Sigh...The following post is a clarification about list items found in a previous blog.

My random thoughts:
  • 98% of the time my husband is not a chore.
  • I enjoy doing things with my husband, with the exception of making repairs on his wheelchair when he doesn't give explicit directions and then sticks his head in my way just so he can see what I'm doing.
  • I appreciate the fact that he is disciplined in everything, especially because I'm only disciplined in a few things.
  • One area where my husband has not changed since dating days is in his support and encouragement for my hobbies. and I would take the time to brag on him for being man enough to enter a craft store with me on occasion, except if I publicly bragged on him for that he might not ever do it again - a violation of manhood or some other obscure, nonsensical reason like that.
  • While there are times it infuriates me to no end (maybe because I know he's right?), I like the fact that he cares enough to tell me I'm overdoing it or over committing myself.
  • 99.9% of the time when he comes in the house or the room and greets me with "I've got a job for you", it's usually something very small that doesn't take long to do or can wait until I finish cooking supper or ironing the shirt, etc so it really shouldn't make me exasperated.
  • I have more project ideas than I have a lifetime to do them in, so I expect life to interrupt; my hobbies are fun things to make life fun; they fill in the cracks of life, not the other way around.
  • If I had to choose an "interruption" to any project, it would by my husband, every time.
  • I don't consider my husband himself to be an interruption.
  • Regardless of whether it be he doesn't like my driving, it's really NOT safe for him to be anywhere else but the driver's position in his van, or because he's really afraid of where I might take him, the fact that my husband drives all 13 hours to Alabama and then back enables me to put some serious dents in projects. I've even finished a few on those road trips. Yes dear, I still appreciate and am eternally grateful for you stopping at Wal-Mart so I could buy more lace to finish a baby blanket even though afterwards we ended up with a torn gas line pouring fuel through Hwy 78 in B'ham, and one day Carly will love to hear that story about her baby quilt.
  • It was my husband's firm but loving suggestion that I abstain from buying any more quilting fabrics for my numerous quilt ideas until I complete some of the projects that has actually motivated me to get some things done. We just won't discuss the fact that the completed projects are all new ones.
  • And because I have a very understanding hubby, I should be able to post a picture of a completed project by Sunday evening.

Disclaimer: this list is by no means exhaustive and should not be construed by a particular state attorney as evidence to the guilt or innocence of this blogger.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

reasons why I seldom get things finished

  1. e-mail
  2. Blogs, blogging, blog-reading
  3. facebook
  4. cleaning off the kitchen table
  5. laundry
  6. cooking
  7. washing dishes
  8. sweeping
  9. feeding the animals
  10. finding stuff for Bobby
  11. reading'
  12. sleeping
  13. doing jobs for Bobby
  14. and anything else that doesn't have an immediate deadline

Can you tell I'm a queen procrastinator?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

reality check

For the fourth time in the last three years, on an upcoming calendar week when my schedule is full and my dream get done list is dinosaur size, my body quits on me. Just up and refuses to cooperate. It's an absolute nuisance.

Now, I could say that either a) my schedule is too full, b)I'm getting old, or c)I need to get in shape {and my Dear Hubby might add d) all of the above}, but the reality is it's an aggravation regardless of the reason.

I could tell the geese that they have to wait another week before they start laying eggs because my neck and shoulder muscles are tense from putting in posts and I don't feel like aggravating my muscles more by putting up the fence so they can have a safe and secure nesting area. (i.e, I don't want dead or half-eaten goslings in the yard or pond this year.) But seeing as the geese were all paired off this afternoon and have already isolated the duck from hanging out with them, egg laying season is soon to be upon us, if not already here.

I could do as Bobby suggested and simply wrap the booties we bought (that inspired this baby quilt in the first place) and include a note saying: the quilt is coming. After all, that baby's not going to know or care whether or not his great aunt finished the quilt before his baby shower or before he was born. But that would throw my schedule off as I have a large quilt I need to do before June. And my brain is telling me to go ahead and find someone who machine quilts and hire them to do the long and tedious job of quilting the layers together, but my heart says that's not what my Granny Rea did and she would want him to have this wedding quilt. Or even if I start the quilting and then pass it off to someone else to be finished...then I can say at least I tried. Choices.

We're embarking on our last week in February, and the reality is my month's to do list won't be finished. I hope to complete one thing, possibly two. But that doesn't really bother me because I'm still making forward progress, even if I'm not reaching the hurdles I'd like to jump.

And speaking of hurdles, my shoulders and neck are telling me it's time to stop...so 'till tomorrow or whenever my body and schedule cooperate...adios.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

when the norm becomes strange

I did some outside work Tuesday afternoon. Add that to the frantic quilting taking place at my house, being at a computer 6 hours a day, and my hands and shoulders are quite sore. Last night one of my hands was really hurting, and I was afraid the muscle had knotted up. It's strange how you can look at your hands all your life, but once you start hurting you're suddenly not sure if that's how they've always looked. If I hold both hands flat, they look the same. If I tighten them into a fist, one has a small knot/bump on it. It's very possible it's just a big wad of fat, or that it's been there forever, but given the intensive work I've been doing with my hands this week and the pain I had yesterday and some today it kind of makes me wonder. I don't mind doing physical labor, but I don't want muscular hands.

And I find myself in the same dilemma at work. For example, I'm working on things for the Missions Revival at the moment, and after typing and seeing the word "foreign" umpteen hundred times, I'm suddenly not sure if it's spelled right. I've spelled it all my life and never gave it a second thought, but now I'm not so sure and it looks strange.

Now if I can just get to the point where eating chocolate seems strange, I'll be set!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

why God never asked me to write part of the Bible

I'm not a Hebrew or Greek scholar, so I don't know how things read in the original language. I have studied Shakespeare, and the KJV often reminds me of the Shakespearean plays with its strange wordings and politely masked jabs. And yet, despite the translation, the distinctive tone of each author is clear in the books. Take Genesis, for example. We know Moses didn't want to be God's spokesman before Pharaoh, claiming a lack of eloquence. And that roughness comes through in the first book he recorded. It never ceases to startle me how abruptly he jumps in the story line. It's like talking to a southern male who matter-of-factly states what he thinks and jumps to the next thing. Why waste time on details? We know the books of the law were either written directly by God or directly dictated to Moses (I'm leaning more toward God carving them into the stones...can you imagine how many MONTHS Moses would have been on the mountain doing that?). And I think that's why the OT law books are so detailed, methodical, and organized.
Thankfully, God knew that it would never EVER do for me to have any part in writing or recording His words. I can see it now. That verse from Proverbs that says "Wine is a mocker and a strong drink. He who drinks it is not wise." coming from me would read something like "Only idiots drink wine." Doesn't quite sound the same, does it? Or the teen's memory verse for this week (John 13:17) comes out in my translation as this: Obey God and be happy. That's not exactly poetic or uplifting.
I like to think that by reading the sophisticated wording that does exist, that my mind will be instantly renewed into a softer, gentler nature. So far, it seems I only pick up the harsh doctrine and it is regurgitated from my tongue as welping barbs. We can all relax that God will never ask me to write the Bible. If I can just master some of what is written I think that would help the world (or at least those around me) tremendously.

the value of a dollar

Last year we gave our summer kids an allowance. The deal was that we would provide the necessities and they would buy the wants with their money, but everything was subject to approval. (In other words, no rap CDs or skull covered t-shirts!) And it became very interesting to see how we valued things differently.
For example, at the cash register in Michael's are these ugly, small, kid-appealing in pens for $2.99 At first, the kids all wanted one, and I told them they would have to use their money. They thought that was a very reasonable price. I told them it wasn't. My "faulty" reasoning was that you can buy a whole pack of pens for that price! Their line of thinking was that this was a really cool pen, PLUS ice cream at McDonald's only costs $1. I guess if ice cream at McDonald's is a $1, then a small, fancy pen should certainly be more than that.
Had the boys had the money, they would have gladly plunked down $200 for a cell phone, or an i-pod. I would never pay that for either one, but yet I wouldn't think twice about spending that same amount on a sewing machine or a nice camera. Granted, a camera and a sewing machine should last me the rest of my life (or at least half of it!), whereas a cell phone or i-pod will most likely be dead or extinct within 10 years. But it's still interesting to stop and think about why we place value over certain items, and how our mind determines why things are "worth it".
I want to say the price of a car is not worth it, but when i consider the alternatives (horse & buggy, walking, bicycle) then I think maybe it is. After all, as expensive as a horse would be in care & feed and time, I think the car might actually pay for itself. Note the word might. There's nothing like car problems to sink you deep in a financial abyss. But that's another blog for another time. And now I have my curiosity peaked...what items do you feel are worth splurging on?

Monday, February 16, 2009

the rules

If I were one of those people who could care less what others think of me, here's what I'd post in my office at work:

The Rules:
  1. No cutting in line.
    Your project will be done in the order in which it was received.
    (And yes, this applies to department heads!)

2. Color inside the lines.
There are rules for design that are rarely broken.
I know these rules.
You don't.

3. Be specific.
The words "contemporary" and "modern" mean different things to different people.

4. Turn your papers in on time.
Do I look like your secretary?

5. Read the instructions FIRST!
Yes, that little HELP button does help you, but only if you push it.
Why ask me when you can read the instructions?!?

But I won't post these in my windows. Maybe this fall I'll get around to doing a drawing I've been thinking about for ages...you know, that Bible verse that talks about God setting a guard before our mouth. As you can tell, I certainly need one!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

metaphors and such

Today in Junior Church we reviewed previous lessons before covering our lesson on Noah's ark. When we reviewed the fall, some of the kids started laughing. Evidently when we say "God kicked them out of the garden" the younger siblings interpreted that to mean God literally took his foot and kicked them out, like the cartoons. I think they were a little disappointed when I told them no, God just told them to leave. Then one of the picture cards showing the ark being built also had Noah making a sacrifice. They asked about it, so we briefly discussed why people had to make annual sacrifices before Jesus came. And since I try to give examples on their level whenever I mention the word sin, I said "For example, if Josh is tired and Jacob gets on his nerves and he snaps his brother's head off..." and they all died laughing and the boys start jerking their head to the side. So I explained the metaphor and on we go with the lesson about how that unkindness would require a sacrifice to cover it. Some of the other questions they asked from today's lesson:
1. What are the clean animals (you know, God took 7 of those)?
2. Is an unblemished sheep white, or can it be another color?
3. Was the ark bigger than a football field?
4. Did God take 2 dogs, or did he take 2 poodles and 2 beagles, etc?
5. Did Noah open the window at any time before letting the birds outside?
6. Were Adam & Eve killed during the flood? (guess we forgot to mention they died in previous lessons!)
7. Does that mean we're really related to everybody? Just how many great-grandpas is Adam?

One thing about it, Sunday mornings in Junior Church are never dull.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

car show

Last Saturday Bobby and I went to the Convention Center downtown for the International Auto Expo. It was a blast. The only thing I regretted was not taking my camera. At the entrance was a monstrous Rolls Royce that cost way more than our house, and we found a three wheeled, two-seater Harley Davidson with white siding and red flames for the price of Bobby's van. Today we headed to another show at the Fairgrounds, as they had the companies that bailed out of last week's show, and this time I did remember to take my camera! Here's some of the cool vehicles we saw today:


The back seats in this van fold down to make a bed! Who needs a camper when you have a vehicle like this?
AND, it had a sun roof, PLUS above each seat was a brown compartment (look toward the roof). It opened up into a storage area that would hold quite a bit of stuff.


And I've never seen a full-size television MOUNTED into the ceiling of a van before.

We joked about this being the car for me, but finally decided it wouldn't work for two reasons:
one, Bobby's too tall to fit in it, and two, it would mess up my hair.

This little vehicle, while cute, doesn't meet my four door requirement, and I also don't like the modern small passenger windows. Besides, if you had a car like this, you'd have to at some point play Dukes of Hazard and I'd never ever fit through the window of this thing. Of course, I'd paint the number three on the doors instead of one. And it would have the Alabama state flag on the roof, of course. And heaven forbid it have a name like General Lee. I'd probably call it something like, "Bobby's girl" or some other name that would make all the men in my family cringe or roll their eyes. Yes, there would definitely be some minor adjustments.

Friday, February 13, 2009

my McDonalds menu

1. Sweet tea (if you get the large it's only $1)
2. Fish Fillet
3. Grilled Chicken Sandwich
4. Salad with grilled chicken
5. Fruit and Walnut Salad

and if I'm feeling really wild and adventurous I'll get the fries with my fish fillet. Some days a girl just needs some salt!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

warm weather

The moon is full.
The weather is warm.
The animals are stirring.
My dogs are driving me crazy.


What kind of ball is this that has them barking non-stop?

Ahh, a heinous 'possum...the creature that had it no feet could easily have been the serpent that deceived Eve. I honestly would not be surprised if such a creature is the wormwood found in hell they are so repulsive. Mutant rats is what they are. Last night the dogs stayed at the trees by the pond barking, possibly at this same creature or its relatives (though it could be for a raccoon). I'm hoping tonight they hear or smell nothing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

intricate details

I knew that trees had rings inside their trunks. But today I discovered a certain root also has rings inside it.
Who would have thought that carrots contained rings inside? And if a baby carrot has this many rings, how many rings does a large carrot have?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

expressions of jubilation

This morning our church was blessed with "preaching through music". Our music man, Dave Mincy shared with us not only songs he has written and recorded on his new CD, but also a few that he's written since the CD's compilation. One of the songs, titled God's Plan (I think that's the name of it!) ended with lines about what we'll sing in heaven. I couldn't help but think about those we love who've already gone before, and I must admit, it was a bit funny trying to put their actions as I knew them on earth with a celebration scene in heaven. I have no problem picturing Rea-Rea (my grandmother) throwing up her arms and shouting or whooping or dancing. Whereas when I think of my father-in-law rejoicing, I see him with a contented smile, closed eyes, and then him grinning real big and saying, "Hm, pretty good, ain't it?" Grandma White will be nodding her head and saying, "That's just the purtiest thing!" with joyful tears swelling up. Both of my grandfathers will be nodding their heads and saying, "Thank You, Thank You", though it would not surprise me in the least for Papa Guyton to throw up us hands. And Mrs. Richardson from the Cordova church will be throwing up her arms and pinching everybody's cheeks while exclaiming, "Isn't this just blessed?!" I wonder sometimes what it will be like when we get there. I can't wait to see everyone again, and am curious to see our new bodies and what jobs or chores our Father has awaiting us, as well as how different everyone will look and act in the new and unblemished bodies.
If your view of heaven is from tv (you know, those stupid cream cheese commercials), then I suggest you read Revelation chapters 5, 7, and 19-22. You can also go to www.biblegateway.com and type in the word Heaven and study all the verses it pulls up. It's not only neat, but gives a new perspective on planet earth and how things could have been had sin not entered our world.
I do know that until the time comes when I see those who've already gone on, I'm thankful that God did have a plan in place to cover all the selfishness and pride and other sins that so easily snares us. It's humbling and comforting to know that our Creator loves us so much that He put an emergency plan in place for when we botch things. And that itself is worth singing about.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

the birth of morality


Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports...let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
~ George Washington, in what became known as his farewell address, as recorded by Noah Webster

It's the simple truths that continuously astound me. Lying is a sin, and according to Revelation 21, liars go to hell. And yet, we live in a nation where lying is commonplace. No one is surprised that the Obama administration has already reneged on a few of its campaign promises because we don't expect politicians to tell the whole truth. High school girls quickly learn that when a boy says "I'll call you." he doesn't really mean it. A handshake and a firm word no longer mean anything. Hence, we have extensive legal contracts, notarized statements, and lawsuits. And if someone gets caught in a lie, people rant and rave and the accused merely shrugs and says, "Yeah, well..." We have a "refined education" and yet without our adherence to Biblical principles, we have no honesty.

And the same can be said for drunkenness, profanity, adultery, etc and so on. Sometimes I'm still totally appalled and shocked by the things I see. A former classmate of mine recently posted some pics on his Facebook page that made me gasp in horror. And yet when I stop and think, a small part of me understands. His devotion to his gods is based on what meets his needs at any given moment, or what recent family member died and who his main god was. And he has the main family god, and he shuffles them all in accordance with what happens in his life and who other Buddhists favor. In essence, there is no one Supreme Father to guide His steps or light his path. So why should I be surprised to see him succumb to the depths of immorality or perversion?

Since reading David Aikman's biography of George Bush "A Man of Faith", I've really thought a lot about the importance of religion in America. I want America to be a land of the free where people can freely worship whatever way they want. But I also recognize that as more people turn their back on the one true God and the directives he has set forth for us to follow, the more depraved and enslaved our nation will become. The very freedom we value will also be the very freedom that will ultimately do us in. I find it interesting that so many people, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Bush, for starters, rejected the notion that every single word of the Bible is true, and yet all of them recognized its importance and necessity for our nation. I pray that our current calamities will drive us back to our roots, to the wilderness if you will, to the God who lovingly dictates commands for our own good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

my chinny chin chin

Observation is not my strong point, or so I've been told. The first three years of my college career, I paid my college bills by working in the school cafeteria, babysitting, and cleaning house. (I think it goes without saying that I had very little social life.) The cooks in the cafeteria were older women of African-American descent, and one of them had, for lack of a better word, curly chin whiskers. I had never, ever seen this before, and was never sure whether I was simply befuddled by them or repulsed. Fast forward ten years, and the church I was attending had an older lady who had LONG hairs sticking out of her chin. Not only were they long, but they really stood out against her pale skin. I was appalled. It wasn't that there was so many of them, but they were just so prominent. I decided then and there that if it should ever happen to me I would either pluck them or cut them. Not long after that I ran across several magazine articles about women who had taken hormone treatments for medical reasons and then had problems with beards. At the time I was writing quite a bit, and in one of my stories where I was attempting to illustrate something being out of place, I wrote "It stood out like the hairs on a woman's chin." When that was read in my critique group, every woman in the room gasped and rubbed their chins, and all the men died laughing. I was a bit surprised. Four months later I discovered not only was this normal, but that I too was victim to this strange phenomenon. Hence, I can't help but wonder: Were the three little pigs actually sows?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

my best ideas

In response to Sara M's blog, here's my crazy answers:

My best writing/drawing ideas come to me when:
  • I'm in church
  • I'm in the shower
  • I'm supposed to be working on something else that has a deadline
  • I'm asleep

and if I don't forget and have time, I'll post on the bearded ladies conversation tomorrow.

Monday, February 2, 2009

February projects

January was a nice, calm month, and February has blown in like a whirlwind! Thanks to Mary Booth and her get-together Saturday, I did get all the pieces for the baby quilt cut out and I have two strips sewn, so that's progress. Maybe tomorrow night I can sit down with the sewing machine and finish off the top. The baby shower has been planned for the end of Feb instead of in March, so that means I really have to get busy! It might be later in the week before I post pictures, though.
Also on the agenda for this month is a nesting area for the geese. The boards I painted last year have now been somewhat assembled, but I'm just waiting for a semi-nice day to dig out a spot for them (don't want the wind blowing them over!). The fence I think I'm going to need help with. That's one part I'm not looking forward to. Hopefully this will be the year that they can successfully hatch their own and we won't need our incubator. But I have this dreadful feeling that I'll go to all that work and trouble and they'll still lay eggs in the middle of the yard, though they did better last year at hiding their nests.
I'm trying not to think about the next month, and the next, but focus on each week and month as it comes. Maybe that way I'll get more accomplished and be a lot less stressed about things. I'd like to say it worked for January, but our calendar this month already has just as much, if not more, on it. I think my strategy should continue to work, but we'll see. Redeeming the time...though some days I feel more like I'm just reviewing it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

1/12 check-up

It's here. God has graciously brought us through the first month of 2009! And as we embarq on the second phase of this year, my heart is heavy for a dear, small friend as she begins yet another battle at the hospital today. Her name is Lauren, and she's a feisty but feminine child facing another surgery in her fight with spina bifida. Our prayers are with her and her family. Two weeks ago today, I passed Lauren and her friend in the hallway at church and they stopped talking. They looked up with wide eyes as if they were in the middle of a conspiracy. Lauren sweetly smiled and said, "We're talking about MOVIES. I'm telling her about Prince Caspian, 'cause there's two girls, and in the end of the movie the big girl..." and at that point I started thinking "Oh, no...she's going to talk about the kiss." when she continued "...had on the most beautiful dress. It was white and had little gold ropes here and here and had a flower..." and I'm standing there dumbfounded. I've seen that movie twice, and I couldn't tell you what any of the characters are wearing ANYWHERE in the movie. Yet that little munchkin new every single accessory and every cut and tuck of that dress. One of these days I'll probably be buying the Lauren brand in Belks. If she doesn't go into nursing, that is. She and Bobby were both in the hospital around the same time last April. Bobby's hand was still recovering and bandaged from his IV backup, when Lauren came into church with her band-aids on each hand from her IVs. She wheeled up to Bobby, looked at his bandage, and without saying a word, held out both hands and struck a pout. Had she not tugged at our heart strings so much, I think we both would have laughed at her expression. My prayer is that when I post on March 1, I will again be rejoicing in God's faithfulness and mercy, that he will not only have brought Lauren through another ordeal, but that she will also be well on her way to regaining her strength and using her walker that she is proud of.