Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
1. A vacation.
2. A total house make-over.
3. A pony tail (I'm already tired of styling my hair for all of the three minutes it requires). This should be fun to grow out. I blame you.
4. TO STOP EATING!!!
5. Time to read all my new books.
6. A purse I like. Apparently it doesn't exist.
7. To take my Christmas tree down.
8. A manicure.
9. To study my Bible.
10.To clean out my car.
Friday, December 29, 2006
As you can see, I'm working on a new look for the new year and the one year birthday of my blog. I am a techno-dummy so I'm slow and not at all efficient in this task. I won't even tell you how long this effort has taken me. For those of you listed in the Blogfam links whose links won't link, I apologize. I've called in Jay for tech support but he is fed up with me and tired of playing blog for the night. I may work a little longer or I may just grab one of my new books and call it a night. I'll do my best to hook everybody up over the weekend.
Hey! I finally realized that I had my blog set to Pacific Time! Now I don't have to change the time every day!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Don't be alarmed but when I was driving home from work Mac called my cell to make sure I didn't need to go to the bathroom.
Got home to find the bathroom gutted. No toilet, no sink, walls painted a different color. Floor, uh, missing.
Wish I would've brought a cath kit home from work.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
We don't purposefully pursue huge piles of Christmas gifts. I've never been one to need to see boxes to the ceiling to feel Christmasy. Nonetheless, somehow when Christmas morning rolls around there we sit in the middle of wrapping paper and boxes and presents galore.
I'm at a kind of a nice point in my life, the lean days of not enough money are becoming more memory than reality now. And boy am I glad! But I gotta tell ya, this new-found prosperity makes Christmas a little more challenging, believe it or not. Because there's not all that much we are waiting and hoping for in December. I want a new pair of earrings; I go buy 'em. CDs, perfume, shoes...you get the idea. Same with daboyz and the Mr. We're blessed. And grateful.
So as I sat in the middle of this great abundance on Christmas morning I was curious about what I'd receive from these three guys. I had no doubt that the shopping had to be a challenge.
So what did I open up?
Love. Sweetness. Thoughtfulness. And my favorite gift of all. One I never get tired of. One that thrills me every time I open it. The gift of being known.
I got eight new books. Everyone looks better than the last. Everyone I would've chosen myself.
I got a soft and warm fleece hoody in the color everyone at works says is "your color", I mean my color. You know what I mean.
I got two new pairs of Sketchers. Need I elaborate?
I got a stack of new washcloths, something I'd mentioned in passing a month ago to the Mr. that I wanted.
I got a clear coffee mug which is the perfect thing to drink coffee from and a bag of Starbucks to go with.
I got my new favorite flavor body spray that I didn't even know was my favorite from T~ with a fabulously ridiculously trivially important book in a Hanukkah bag. Perfection.
I got Wyatt fudge and Margie cookies.
I got two, TWO quilts and a groovy watch set with multiple bands from my staff at work.
I got lots of other stuff too, all perfect in all kinds of different ways.
I got a beautiful, crazy mixed up pile of me wrapped in shiny paper and bows.
From a beautiful crazy mixed up buncha people that know me.
Man, do I love that.
I am humbled and thankful.
Monday, December 25, 2006
They used to wake us up before dawn to see if Santa came, now we often get out of bed early and make noise hoping they'll awaken to join us.
They've had Christmases of wild extravagance and those when a new winter coat was their main gift.
Now they watch A Charlie Brown Christmas with me because they know I love it.
Their eyes sparkle when the old Christmas ornaments are unpacked as they remember the years gone by. They talk about the days when their Great Grandpas were alive and how thankful they are for the memories.
We don't go see Santa at the mall anymore and we don't get special Christmas pictures taken in velvet knee pants and Peter Pan shirts. No more treasure hunts for "guys" led by clues and maps made by their dad on Christmas morning (this was how they found their action figures in the old days.)
Jay can't eat wheat, maybe Mac can't either. No more sticky buns and hot sweet tea on Christmas morning. It's coffee all around, or maybe cocoa. We use my Gramma's Irish coffe mugs and it's special all the same.
The children's Christmas programs are memories and the sloppy wonderful homemade ornaments are too.
I didn't fulfill their every Christmas wish, but they fulfilled mine.
My heart, my soul and my undeserved gifts...daboyz.
Time will fly faster then reindeer and sleighs my friends; cherish the moments.
And from our home to yours, a very Merry Christmas.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Got there and found out through a staffing error we were short a nurse. Then we had fourteen discharges (this means nothing to anyone but the nurses out there, I know.) It was very un-festive.
Two patients got into a fight because Schizophrenic A was convinced that Schizophrenic B was the "little tiny man from Kalamazoo" who lives under her pillow and "grows giant in the Lord" to preach on Sundays. Schizophrenic B was quite alarmed at this news and was trying to "disappear" Schizophrenic A so he didn't have to climb under her pillow. Security was called, shots were fired, I mean administered.
After work was the Behavioral Services celebration at a local joint I think might be a bar or something like it. Planned for weeks. I promised to be there. I should've gone there. I just couldn't go there. I couldn't give one more moment of my life to my job, even if there were free chicken fingers involved. I was fried and couldn't wait to get home to daboyz and the Mr. There ain't a connection to be had or a conversation to be conversated that could've convinced me.
I went by the uniform shop to get a Christmasy scrub shirt for Sunday because I'm working. They didn't have any I loved being that I've waited too long so I settled for one I didn't hate. Pulled out my coupon. Expired. The sweet cashier let me use it anyway.
I finished up there and left, feeling worn out and truthfully knowing I should have gone by the party but unable to make the car drive in that direction. Got almost to my street and realized in the crazy day I had at work, I hadn't finished the boss cards nor given the boss her Godiva chocolate bar which was still in my purse. So I ate it. God help me I ate that sucker as I drove through my neighborhood and I don't care. Clearly I'll have to re-purchase before Tuesday when I'll sheepishly present my late card and replacement candy.
I'm glad to be home although there is a lingering odor that I think might be cabbage from the corned beef and cabbage I made the other day. I think the leftovers got scraped into the garbage so I gotta check in to that.
I'm worn out. Wish I'd have gone to that party, glad I didn't. Will regret it tomorrow.
Then I walked into my living room and there on my tree is a brand new sock monkey/zebra. Jay reports my mom came by with it earlier.
Now why in the world would I want to be anywhere else when there are three men, a warm house and a brand new sock monkey/zebra just waiting to welcome me home?
Think I'll change the garbage bag, light a few candles and let the day roll away...
Maybe it's not bad or good, for goodness sake...
It's just life. Actually it's good even when I'm bad.
Kinda like Jesus.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
The malls and stores had not been very busy on my last few trips when the majority of my shopping was done. Tonight however, the worm had turned.
I actually had to wait for a full minute for a break in traffic to make a pedestrian left into a store from the mall corridor. Mac was chatting nonstop obvlivous to my rising panic and have I mentioned that I was experiencing some discomfort at the time?
All this , mind you, was because the same thing happens every year. I am not an over-buyer. I love to buy for those nearest and dearest to me. But most people are not near nor dear to me. And even amongst those chosen few we have either agreed not to exchange (MARGIE!! YOU BETTER NOT HAVE BOUGHT ME A GIFT!!!!) or we have drawn names. I don't feel the need to buy for every one I work with, the boss, the parking lot line painter, etc. At the start of this final work week before Christmas one of my co-workers asked if we were "doing anything" for our two immediate supervisors. "I'm not!" That's what I said. "I'm not!" I would've pitched in should a collection hat gone 'round. But I like to keep it real. Actually I'm lazy. But anyway.
Then this morning it hits me, what the freak is wrong with me? I have to at least acknowledge my co-workers! The stack of cards in my mail box and the gifts I've already received make it even harder to stick to my guns.
I had plans for my staff, mind you. I've got their small and inconsequential prizes ready for distribution. But my manager and director? Sigh.
So I grabbed a few cards to pass around for mass signature. Of course, this means that 50% of the people won't have signed and I'll have to fill in their names. I picked up some Godiva chocolate bars.
Also had to buy something for my grandmother which is slightly more challenging than bringing a worthy gift to Baby Jesus. I bought her a purple sweater. On the way home I remembered the purple sweater she gave me a few months ago she had purchased for herself and not liked. Too bad. Grandma's getting another purple sweater.
I still don't think I have enough stuffing stockers.
I hope Santa brings me some Mylanta.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
To the right you will find a picture of my house last year at Christmas. As you can see, it's ever so charming. How can you resist having the holiday spirit when it's snowy and glowy?
Come kids! There's no time to loose. We must pray for snow!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Everybody knows my son, Jay, has Celiac Disease. We dont' like it. But he manages. He adheres to a strict diet and that controls the disease. When he inadvertantly consumes something containing gluten, he pays and ugly price and we're reminded what a nasty disease it is.
Yesterday our younger son, Mac, was assessed for Celiac Disease. He will have blood drawn for a definitive diagnosis on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. He has the more subtle symptoms of ealier disease that we missed in Jay. One of the more not-so-subtle symptoms is that he's lost 13 pounds in not quite two months. This from the not-so-subtle lack of appetite he's acquired in that time. My big football player son is starting to look a little skinny.
And I'm reminded how fragile life is.
There is no bright and shining star to guide me to a stable where all will be made right and my boys will be made whole. Just the same sky and the same ground and sounds and sights that were there last week before it hit me that he's sick. Like a few years ago before we had heard of Celiac Disease.
I won't play hero. I'm sad. I don't understand this. Why would one, much less both, of my kids end up with this bizarre autoimmune disorder that no one has ever heard of? There's a loud loop playing in my head accusing me of doing something that caused this and it compels me to examine their infancy to identify my crime. I'm mad with no one to be mad at. I'm afraid without an escape route in sight. I'm stomping my feet and screaming it's not fair.
Even so, I know there is indeed a safe refuge when I decide to lift up my head. The star continues to shine for those who really seek it. And the stable is empty, but my Redeemer remains waiting for my wounded heart. No longer a baby but a Savior.
We'll take the tests and wait for the results and ask for your prayer in the meantime. Something is causing this weight loss and poor appetite. Maybe Celiac is the least of the threats looming on the horizon.
No gold, frankincense or myrhh today from me. I bring sadness, anger and fear to lay at the throne.
And even as these run through my fingers like sand one thing remains...I will worship.
Come and sing a song unto Zion for Jay and Mac today, ok?
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
2. Matzo ball soup, yummy!
3. Light that shines forever (sound familiar?)
5. 8 Crazy Nights (terrible movie)
7. Gentiles who can't spell Hebrew words and spellcheckers that can't help.
8. Presents for eight nights!
10.The holidays are like buttah, enjoy!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Needless to say I'm flattered. At right is a picture of the Mr. and I just the other evening.
Who out there is brave enough to join the fun for a little winter-time exercise? Think how fabulous we'll look come spring!!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
A - Available or single: Umm. Unavailable and double.
B - Best Friend: The Mr., My Metro Homegirls (you know who you are), Fam
C - Cake or Pie: Yes please.
D - Drink of choice: Black coffee
E - Essential Item you use everyday: Moisturizer
F - Favorite color: Green
G - Gummy Bears or worms: worms
H - Hometown: Taylor, Michigan
I - Indulgence: Chips & Dip
J - January or February: January
K - Kids & Names: 2, Jay & Mac
L - Life is Incomplete Without? Jesus & Those 3 men I live with.
M - Marriage Date: October 25, 1986
N - Number of Siblings: 1
O - Oranges or Apples: Oranges
P - Phobias or Fears: Failure.
Q - Fave Quote: If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much. Jackie Kennedy
R - Reason to Smile: Life
S - Season: Autumn
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: If you're reading, you're tagged.
U - Unknown Fact about Me: I stuttered terribly in school.
V- Vegetable You Don't Like: Red peppers since an unfortunate food poisoning.
W - Worst Habit: Intolerant.
X - Xrays: Nose when Baby Jay wacked me with his bottle.
Y - Your Fave Food: PASTA
Z - Zodiac Sign: Taurus but it's all a bunch of bull. Ha!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
"Do you find Christmas just isn't as exciting as when you were a kid?" This from a co-worker just the other day.
I told her I love Christmas, no, I'm just as excited now as ever about the holidays. We chatted a few minutes and away she went. I felt a little sorry for her, wondering why Christmas used to be exciting and now it wasn't. I thought about it quite a lot. Have been thinking for several days now. I think I have figured it out.
As a kid I loved the sparkling lights, stockings on the mantel, surprises under the tree. I loved the Christmas specials on television, the family celebrations and the special food. New Christmas outfits for church and sacred moments at our church's Christmas service the Sunday before Christmas.
I loved decorated classrooms and Christmas cookies baking and Christmas carols on our record player. I loved it all. And today, I love it all.
My kids aren't little any more. They go to bed with a wink and a grin on Christmas Eve and stumble into the living room on Christmas morning with sleepy eyes knowing that Santa has come to fill their stockings. They have grown, like me, to treasure the old ornaments that have now become a part of their childhood which has gone by us so quickly. They aren't tired of Christmas either. They are not observers, you see.
We are celebrators of our own redemption. We are stunned at every consideration of Emanuel, God with us. I cannot hang enough lights nor sing enough songs to do justice to this miracle. No, not the miracle of a virgin birth or a star leading wise men to a manger. Not angels speaking to shepherds. None of this is worth a celebration. I celebrate my birth on Christmas. And the birth of my husband, my sons and all those who are called to this Christ of Christmas carols and candle-lit chapels.
So this is why Christmas is more exciting for me today than when I was a kid. And it is my prayer that this is a tradition my kids will carry on to the generations beyond. If you are a celebrator and not an observer, the Christmas lights will forever be exciting with the knowing of your salvation.
So little boys (like the ones pictures here in 1989) and little girls who wished for Barbies and Love's Baby Soft, will never lose the child-like amazement at God, with us.
Am I the only one crying?
O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here. Until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show, And teach us in her ways to go.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save, And give them victory over the grave.
O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
O come, Thou Key of David, come, And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high, And close the path to misery.
O come, O come, great Lord of might, Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law. In cloud and majesty and awe.
O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree, An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall; All peoples on Thy mercy call.
O come, Desire of nations, bind. In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, And be Thyself our King of Peace.
Monday, December 11, 2006
The electric blanket is on as I snuggle down into my black wrought iron canopy bed. Beside me lies the love of my life, the Mr. The temperatures plummit as is the way of winter Michigan nights. Bright starlight shines outside as the house quiets and settles creaking on time-worn foundations.
I become aware of something then. It is familiar enough to not alarm, and yet powerful enough to disturb the slumber I seek. It parts my hair and makes me squint as I open my eyes in frustration. What is this force that interrupts the chill night air and steals away the promise of sweet, warm sleep?
Is it the famed Nor' Easter?
A blizzard? The Winter Warlock of Christmas tales come to vent his wrath on mankind?
No, it's the Mr. with this freak high-powered exhale he does when he sleeps. Sometimes accompanied by skull-vibrating snoring but oftentimes just a weird pursed lip sort of rotten night-breath blast either into my face or the back of my head.
There is no way any person could exhale this hard and not be doing it intentionally.
It makes me want to sock him in the eye.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
What do you guys think is weird about me?
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Every year the Mr, the Metroband and a few others show up at the hospital to sing Christmas carols with the patients on the psychiatric unit and the Alzheimer's unit.
That is not what this post is about.
Sunday afternoon the Mr. sat down with his bass and his sheet music to practice for the upcoming carolling.
That is not what this post is about.
So Dean makes himself a cup of hot tea, gets out his bass and settles on to the floor. I gave him one of my Stella Dora Biscotti to go with his hot tea. He doesn't want to eat it right away but he's worried that if he puts it down the dog will eat it.
THAT is what this post is about.
So he put the biscotti behind his ear, like a pencil.
And he is singing Jingle Bells softly to himself as he practices.
And the dog comes flying by out of nowhere, leaps at him and grabs the biscotti then continues running down the hall to eat it.
Yes, the Mr. does have a slightly injured dog-bitten ear.
What kind of yuletide freak show am I living in over here?
THAT is really what this post is about.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
It's a silly thing. A moment that passed in a flash but more slowly in my heart. Meaningless beyond the confines of those ten seconds. Of no import to the outside world, no hidden lesson in it. Nothing for you to take away to apply in your home. Just a silly moment with five people, a bon fire and a cup of hot apple cider.
We went to Greenfield Village on Saturday for their Holiday Evenings Event. It was cold. FREEEEZing. Long underwear, snot frozen to your nose, fashion sense long-gone cold.
Here and there on the street corners were little bon fires to stop and warm up a bit before venturing on. Scattered throughout were chestnut (roasted on an open fire) stands, strolling muffin vendors and hot cider & cocoa stands. We gathered around a fire and the Mr. took orders for hot drinks. A little bit of debate amongst us all concerning cocoa vs. hot apple cider. What to choose? We placed our orders with about an even half split.
Back came the Mr. with the hot drinks, my parents sharing a cocoa and the Mr. with his hot cider. So the Mr. takes a sip and passes it to me. I take a sip and offer it to my dad, my mom. Mac tries it too. Then back to Dean who finishes the remaining cider.
Just a passing inconsequential moment around a bonfire. The least of all the moments of the evening to be sure. Not worthy of a photograph. Not even commented upon in the moment. Certainly not blog material. But sweet to my mind.
In a world of air kisses and pocket-sized hand sanitizer we still drink out of each others cups and kiss on the lips. I heard nothing of germs, "I've got a cold", "Do you have a cold?" Not a pause in accepting the community hot apple cider. No second thoughts by the Mr. on finishing what was left of his drink after passing it by four other people.
I don't know, I just liked it; this fleeting breath of a moment. To my silly heart it spoke of unconditional unflinching crazy passionate devoted germ-infested love.
Nobody ever gets sick from that.
Monday, December 04, 2006
The Mr., Daboyz, Dad & Mom, sister Amy and guest Sara (a different Sara)and I went to Greenfield Village for what may become a yearly tradition. I'll tell ya when we thaw out. Kathy and Brooke were scheduled to come along too but Miss B got an earache and ended up staying home to all of our disapopintment. I think we have to go again next year just to include the two absentees!
Anyway, for the first time in my life, I had chestnuts roasted on an open fire. A steaming warm paper bag full. Let me tell you, fire-roasted chestnuts are high on Christmasiness and Yuletide fun. And gross. Nonetheless we passed them around, peeling off the woody shell to nibble away at the spongy meat-like inner-nut. Then we smilingly offered each other the remainder of the bag. Then I crammed them into Mac's backpack when he wasn't looking.
So I have in my possession roughly 20 leftover now cold chestnuts roasted on an open fire. I gave some to the dog and it was good times for several minutes while she spit them out, rolled around on them and tried to break them open. When I finally peeled one for her and gave her the nut itself, she spit it out and walked away. Jazz lacks Christmas spirit if you ask me.
So I'm thinking I might go buy some miniature wreathes and hot glue those bad boys on them for each of we Greenfield Villagers as a keepsake of the evening. I'm not at all artsy craftsy but I think I could manage that. Perhaps I could fashion some kind of Christmas ornament or something. Or some earrings for my mom.
Next year we will probably have forgotten that we were so cold we couldn't feel the snot dripping off our noses and that our legs actually stung as they thawed. We will have rewritten history so that the pitch black danger of the Village paths will have become lit with the golden glow of kerosene lanterns along the way (which throw off less than no light, let me tell you.)
We will call the $2.00 hot cocoa worth the price and laughingly pull out the long-johns and yank our hats down to our eyeballs.
My guess is off we'll go en masse to Greenfield Village Holiday Evenings because this crowd only needs one go at something before we grab it, call it a tradition and claim it as our own.
Will I buy another bag of chestnuts roasted on an open fire?
My mom's gonna need a necklace to go with those earrings.