Sunday, August 29, 2010

Verse spoken to me by a co-worker this week...

Psalm 3:3
But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and liftup my head.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Diary of a Mad White Woman

1. The Mr. & Daboyz are moving his parents...again. Into senior housing.
2. I really need to scrub my bathroom floor.
3. Loving the cooler evenings and mornings.
4. There's a rabbit nest in our yard that Donny wants to eat. Is it terrible that as far as I'm concerned we should just "dispose" of it? Seriously, is there a rabbit shortage? I'm quite sure I don't want to spend 4 weeks staking Donny at the far end of the yard and listening to him whine.

5. The neighbors leaped the fence yesterday to save the baby rabbits from Donny. This is how we discovered the nest. This is also how we are being pressured to guard the little sweeties.
6. Have you ever heard a rabbit scream? Yikes.
7. I want some rain boots.
8. What's the best way to "dispose" of baby rabbits?
9. Don't tell me to call a wildlife rescue.
10. I made some fabulous porcupine meatballs this week.

Friday, August 27, 2010


A very difficult week at work. Exceptionally disturbed patients, injuries, property damage, exhaustion and actual fear of stepping out of my office. Six hours today just working on one patient's care trying to figure out, what are we missing?

Aching muscles from a combination of physical management and tension. Sleepless nights with a brain that won't shut down after a day of adrenaline.

But a house that I forced myself to clean last night despite my weariness with the promise of this moment. I'm home, the weekend awaits for rest and renewal. I'm gonna breathe in the peace and the quiet and let God soothe away the week that's passed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh My Aching Begonias

My poor poor begonias. I had a lovely lush basket hanging but somewhere along the line the seemingly constant rain and my lack of watering because it seemed like the rain was constant has taken its ugly toll. I kept dead-heading the little darlings but ultimately the yellowing leaves and blossoms that never fully bloomed outed me. I had not succeeded in maintaining the lush basket. After weeks of trying a snip here and figuring out a watering schedule, I figured I should just take the most severe route and see what happened.
I moved them from the shady spot they had been hanging (begonias like shade you see) into an even shadier spot on the back porch. Silly as it is, I had been avoiding doing this very thing because it made some kind of crazy sense that I kept dying flowers hanging there so that the spot wouldn't lack flowers. I know, I know.
I pulled out my garden sheers and went to work. I trimmed each yellow sad little stem down to about 3 inches. I only left the few healthy looking leaves and cut away every brown-edged blossom. It wasn't pretty like it was supposed to be when I bought it in May. It wasn't adorning patio where it belonged. It was in ICU. It was in begonia rehab. Serving no purse, it sat on my back porch ugly and giving nothing to the world around it. Stupid dying fragile ugly begonia.
Sissy begonia that needs to live on the porch because it can't handle the rough terrain of the back patio under the trees and next to my bistro set. Dummy begonia. Begonia that I should just throw away.
And I was prepared to do just that any day now but...
Doggone if that begonia didn't produce about a half dozen fat pink blossoms two days after it's pruning and move to the back porch. Ugly stemmy sticks with a scattering of leaves and six fat healthy begonia blossoms.
I pruned that sucker right down to nothing. I pruned it so seriously that you can see the dirt it's planted in. And it bloomed.
Would you laugh at me if I told you I teared up when I saw it? Never mind. I didn't. Ahem.
I am like that stupid sissy begonia. I hang around where the conditions aren't doing a thing for me. Then I hang around a little longer watching my blossoms drop off before they can even open up. Then I wait longer still while my leaves turn yellow. And when this entire process has taken it's toll, I hang there some more and think about how ugly I am.
Stop withering away as you hang around without enough nourishment. Stop watching the blossoms of all you can be drop around your feet and feeling ashamed at what you've become.
Move, cut away the life-sucking death that hangs on to your very limbs. Let God cut away everything you think defines you.
And then behold...
you might just find a begonia waiting to bloom.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mrs. Refocus

Are you a relaxer or a refocuser?
The Mr. is a relaxer. After a long day he has visions of a DVD and ordering in. Or going out if there's just enough energy left for a restaurant. Vacations for him stretch into late nights watching television or playing games with dayboyz and sleeping in a little later each day. He's a sound sleeper and this can include putting his head back on the couch and cat-napping.
I, on the other hand, am a refocuser. After a long day I need to regain my equilibrium with order, switching gears and moving my mind from point A to point B. I certainly have nights when I'm too tired to make dinner, but the order-ins or restaurants are always a little dissatisfying to me. I'd take a bologna sandwich and tomato soup over pizza any day. Vacations don't affect my schedule and I'm awake no later than 7:00 a.m. In fact, I'm often up before 6:00 on days off. Why waste time sleeping? To recharge my batteries I cook meals that are too time-consuming for work nights, bake a little something, clean the house, change the sheets. I work outside after enjoying my coffee on the back porch just breathing in the freedom. Cat-napping? Ha! I'm doing well to sleep at night. But this isn't a matter of a Type A personality running wild, this is how I recharge. Closing the door on work for me, requires opening the door on home. I love my home, my private life and my down time. So it's nurturing the best part of my heart to make a pot of soup and loaf of bread. It's the "Ahh, this is why I go to work. To have this."
Neither the relaxer nor the refocuser are wrong. And both of us need the other one to impart balance. Mr. Relax would use every moment not on the clock for Ford Motor for fun. The house has never gotten messy enough to compel him to use time off for housework. Vacation day to paint the living room? Unheard of! Still after all these years, I have the twinge of frustration that I, Mrs. Refocus, have to mention the shrubs need trimming or the garage needs cleaning out. My theory is, should I not shoot my refocus beams directly into his relaxed eyeballs; the house would fall down around his happily snoozing body.
Then again, Mrs. Refocus doesn't know when it's time to just relax. Always another item on the list, always something that could be done better or reorganized or spruced up. NEVER time to go to the movies! We have to do____________ and there is always___________to do. Unfortunately, like Mr. Relax would let the house fall down, Mrs. Refocus has her own kryptonite. I refocus myself right into oblivion and the end result is I become Mrs. Refocus-Resentment. I'm the only one running this joint! It must be nice to sleep on the couch never noticing how the toilet gets clean! Mrs. Refocus-Resentment has a little OCD problem. Mr. Relax has no such problem. He has IDNS. I didn't notice syndrome. As in, I didn't notice that I have accumulated 50 pairs of shoes in front of the back door. This is a risk factor for another terrible condition, WDYJSS. Why didn't you just say something? This causes a very annoying look of innocence and confusion as to why Mrs. RR. has awakened him with her shrieking.
It's not a new situation, the Relaxer vs. the Refocuser. Martha and Mary had the same issue.

Luke 10:38-42 (New International Version)
At the Home of Martha and Mary 38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed.
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

"Only one thing is needed..."
I don't think Jesus was belittling Martha. He knew she was a refocuser. And I know he understood that all of her work was for him, in honor of him, it was doing the right thing. Where she went wrong was when the Lord finally arrived, she couldn't stop.
We all need to be purposeful in our lives, balancing the nature of our minds with what is needed. The Relaxer sometimes needs to focus or he will while away his life. The Refocuser needs to relax or she will work hers away.
The Mr. must find the self-discipline to take pleasure in doing what is need. And I must find the wisdom to do the same.
So, how about you? Refocus or relax?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Refreshing Monday Plans

Good grief, I just got out of bed after sleeping for 13 hours! And I only got up because I thought, "Good grief! I've got to get up!" I could have slept a while longer. I worked the weekend and it was a pretty busy one so I guess I was done worned out. I climbed into bed shortly after 6 p.m. with a stack of home decorating magazines and was out like a light. Which never happens. And I slept all the way through. Which never happens. And I slept for 13 hours! Which never happens!
I'm so glad I did haul myself vertical because mornings are my favorite. The windows can all be open because it isn't sweltering out, it's quiet because those people who live here are either at work or still sleeping. And coffee, ahh coffee. I've have big plans today on my day off. I'm going to cut my petunias way back and see if I can get one more blooming out of the leggy buggers. I already cut my begonias down to crew cut status and they started blooming out the next day. Gonna prune my geraniums and water everything. I am going out to my meadow (by which I mean a garden box that I let go to seed and is now full of various plantings au natural) and pick some raspberries. I planted my raspberry bush last year and they take a year or two to bear fruit so I'm very excited with my few berries and stand eating them in the grass with the dirt still on them. This also prevents me sharing my few berries. :)
I've got some baking on the schedule. The Mr. requested chocolate cookies, the staff want brownies and I've got the fixings for my mom's newly discovered favorite apricot bread. I may or may not get all of that done.
I'm going to change the bed linens, clean the bathroom, dust, vacuum and sweep. Laundry.
It may not seem like all that fantastic a day off but for me, it's just what I need. So excuse me while I go out to the back porch with my coffee and watch Donny scout the perimeter.
Have a wonderful Monday.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Zechariah 7:9
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Everyday Kindness

1. Picking up litter.
2. Apologizing.
3. Hugging.
4. Sending cards.
5. Baking cookies.
6. Encouraging.
7. Yielding the right of way.
8. Tipping generously.
9. Giving a gift for no reason.
10. Smiling.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Listening to talk radio the other day, I was treated to a lengthy discussion about how best to deal with a minor child in trouble for sending nude photographs via cell phone. Lengthy discussion. If for no other reason than time-saving; I say a beating beats a lengthy discussion. I do not kid.
The therapist host recommended having a conversation with said cell porn perp about disappointment, the moral beliefs of the parents and potential consequences of such action. Really? How's a beating strike you as a consequence. Get it? Beating strike you? Well, I think it's funny.
Do we really think these kids simply don't realize you might be disappointed that they have taken a picture of their scrotum and sent it out to their special someone(s)? If your child doesn't know this conflicts with your moral system, what exactly have you been doing since giving birth? Consequences? Believe you me; I'm all about consequences. However, I'd prefer to live my life by a moral compass as opposed to fear of getting caught.
Here's the deal, it's too easy to sin. Technology makes it easy, easy makes it common, common makes it ok. The decision isn't big enough, should I or shouldn't I? I mean, let's face the facts...if, in 1982 I had decided to take a picture of myself nude to share with my boyfriend; I would have had to get hold of a camera with film and then take it to be developed. Quite a lot of effort and great potential for discovery. "Hello, Mr. Trent? This is the guy inside of the Kodak film booth. Yeah, we have pictures here of your daughter nekked. You good with that? How did we find you? She put this phone number on the slip." You see, I didn't have my own phone number. Oh, it was rough being a home pornographer back in my day!
It's more than pictures. It's sexting, it's Facebook "like" pages, it's instant messaging and information out there in the hands of other people and other people and other people...And so many people have so much access very few people are shocked.
I'll tell you what's shocking. A beating. That's shocking.
Would I ever strike my now grown up children? Don't be ridiculous. Of course I would. I doubt I could successfully spank them but I could sneak up on them and clock them in the head. And I am entirely capable of doing exactly that. Also capable of kicking them out of my house. Of telling them they are being idiots. Of letting them fall flat on their faces and have to pick themselves up.
I don't say all of this because I think myself above it all and I don't take lightly what my kids do with their lives. And taking a single picture of yourself nude and sending it to one person qualifies as what you are doing with your life. But I am also not going to be held hostage to them. I'm not so very afraid of their behavior reflecting on my parenting that I won't call them wrong when they are. Not so afraid that they will hate me that I don't get in their faces. I'm far from a perfect parent. But I will tell you this without reservation, my children experienced nothing in their upbringing to justify some of the crap that kids are doing. If they choose to sin, they are going to own that mess for themselves. And after they have dealt with God, they are welcome to come on home to mom.
And they might still get a beating.


Headache started yesterday at work and got worser and worser despite taking Ibuprofen. Last night I went to bed with it thinking surely it would be gone this morning. Up at 4 and guess what?
So I've called in, which I don't like to do. Was sitting here hoping that I would feel better enough to go in late but I feel God telling me that staying home is His will for me today. Why? No idea. But I'm going to be still and let Him have the day.
Even if He isn't managing it according to my plans.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jeremiah 20:11
But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior;so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ain't Never

1. Had a professional pedicure.
2. Been to Washington D.C.
3. Eaten Cuban food.
4. Pumped gas.
5. Not believed in God.
6. Been too sick or tired or busy to read.
7. Been in a fist fight.
8. Paid more than $20 for a purse.
9. Been on a cruise.
10. Smoked.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


As you might guess from the lack of new posts, we have been busy of late. Dean's parent's will be moving in a few weeks to a senior citizen's apartment complex and last week they started in-home assistance. Hopefully after the move the Mr. can relax a little bit and we can find some kind of normalcy around here. The physical time spent along with the constant preoccupation with their situation can take its toll on our usually relaxed home life.
Speaking of that, tomorrow we are running away. Well, we are going away for the night. That's about all we can manage at the moment but you gotta grab the moments when you can! We're just going to Birch Run and Frankenmuth. Not very far but far enough to re-focus a bit and hopefully even to recharge. There's something about getting out of town that seems to give you permission to forget the "real world" for a minute or two.
This evening it's band practice for the Mr. and I'll do a little housework and then treat myself to a pedicure. By which I mean give myself a pedicure. We'll sleep in just a bit and then on the road for a little shopping, a little eating and a little romance *wink*.
See ya later!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Coming Soon

1. Back to Weight Watchers
2. Back to school for Mac
3. Cooler days
4. Christmas shopping
5. Our anniversary trip
6. Digging up our back yard to de-root the sewers
7. Dean's folks moving to Seniors apartments
8. Cleaning out my closets
9. Soup weather
10. New shoes for work

Thursday, August 05, 2010

There was an old woman

I know an elderly woman who loves a good story. And by that I mean she loves a good story about bad things in the lives of others. She was excited to tell us about a woman whose minister husband left her for another woman. She was downright scandalized sharing about a young man who married someone of another race and even included the tidbit that she bet the young lady was a mail order bride and his parents didn't know a thing about it. And a nephew who was a wild child in high school? He's now nearing 50 but she can tell his children are as wild as he ever was and she bets his daughters will end up pregnant or his son will drive drunk and don't we think he might be an alcoholic?
If there are no stories to report, she starts an investigation of her own. "What's going on at ___________church? It seems like something's fishy." How is ____________'s marriage, doesn't it seem like they are having some problems." "Do you think_________is pregnant?"
It's exhausting, really, to be on the receiving end of these conversations. I try to nip it in the bud, steer her away, put a positive spin or just say it's really none of my business. But still, exhausting. And boring. BORING.
But there is something even worse about this gossipy old woman. She is a Christian. You think I'm going to say Christians shouldn't gossip, and you are right, they shouldn't. But that's not the worst of it. The worst of it is that I will never go to this woman for prayer or counsel. I will never look upon her life as a mentor. I will not learn lessons from her, save the lesson of what not to be. I will not share my heart with her in the pursuit of wisdom. As a woman of God she has rendered herself almost useless. She cannot be the hands, feet or heart of Christ because she isn't to be trusted. Even those who are not offended by her gossip don't expose their lives to her. She is so utterly distasteful in her disregard of the pain and destruction in the lives of others that I don't even share prayer requests with her.
Oh, she says, "Isn't it just awful?" and "I just feel so bad for them." and "I never would've imagined." and "We just need to pray for them."
But shouldn't the awful, bad situations that call you to intercession birth a heart of compassion? And wouldn't a heart of compassion protect and guard the vulnerable?
Something surprising and wonderful has happened to me over the last five or so years. I've stopped needing to be young and beautiful. I'm comfortable with the fine lines and gray hair that indicate how much of my life is behind me. Lessons and hard times earned me the signs of age. I am ready to now be the voice of Jesus for the young women who are just entering into those young, beautiful and difficult years. It would break my heart to think that someone wouldn't trust me, couldn't look upon me as a mentor, because of my behavior.
Seventy years old and a Christian since childhood, and yet, not a sister in Christ to me. Not someone who can be entrusted with the troubles of others. Not someone who will ever have the privilege of my hurts being shared with her. I am guarded and careful.
Dear God, let me learn from this woman and be careful. Let me be a woman who can be trusted. Let me never snicker and gossip about the pain in the lives of others. May I see all of mankind through your eyes and give me a heart that will break like yours when satan raises a hand against any person. Let me never become someone of whom it is said, "Don't tell her....." Let me be a sister who is known as a burden bearer, not a story sharer.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Cassock

My friend Kevin called me into his office the other day to share something with me. He is thinking of wearing cassocks. I should explain that he is an ordained minister. But still, cassocks? He went on to say that he feels God leading him to reduce his possessions into only what would fit into a box. A box I tell you!
Then he told me about how he was at home the other day and looking around his living room he thought, “I really like this room!” “I like it a lot!” “What a nice and relaxing room!” “And if I ever move I would really need…” looks around room, “well, I would definitely want to take…” looking some more “well, I guess I would only need my Bible.”
A few evenings later he was getting into bed and thought, “This bedroom is the perfect place to get away from it all.” Well, you can probably figure out what came next. “But really I’d only need to take that cross that was my grandma’s and…well that’s about it.” This continued for about a week of putting on his cross in the morning and realizing that he only needed one cross and he could give the rest away to ministers who were newly ordained as a gift. One morning he looked at his grandfather’s ring on his right hand and his band on his left hand and decided he could give away the ring on the left hand and just move his grandfather’s ring. His birthday was that week and I sent him a fruit bouquet, I was afraid of buying something that wouldn’t fit into his box! He hasn’t told me exactly how big this box is.
Being a spiritual and supportive friend, I laughed at him and called him Friar Tuck for several days and suggested he sew some pockets inside of his cassock for extra storage in case his box gets lost.
And then, then! Then I was running errands and at Target where one is required to spend $150 even if one has only to buy Q-tips. I needed shampoo and toilet paper. I put the shampoo and t.p. into my cart and then proceeded to wander around Target. That’s a law, that you have to wander around before you check out to make sure you have your $150 accounted for. I finally got in line to leave and realized with horror that I only had shampoo and toilet tissue! I didn’t even need to use my debit card! Well needless to say I was flummoxed. Flummoxed!
Don’t worry too much, there is a Bigby’s on the way home so I at least I could stop for a mochacarmalattecapawhippyvente. And just as I was making the turn in a bizarre impulse overtook me. I could make coffee at home. Coffee from home! In the middle of the afternoon! Can one even make coffee at home after 10:00 a.m. if there is not birthday cake? Turns out you can. The things my mother never told me.
Now I’m a little worried because payday came and went and I didn’t feel like buying anything but groceries. I haven’t bought shoes in several months. I used to, back when we didn’t have two cents to rub together, buy shoes by the armloads at Payless. Quantity vs. quality was my motto!
What’s happening to me? I’m a little worried that Kevin is influencing me. I’ve asked him to keep his box list down to the cross and Bible so that if indeed God tells me to live in a box (well, not literally in a box), I can put a few of my overflow items into his.
However, I really hope the Lord doesn’t start mentioning cassocks. I fear I may have put my foot into my mouth on that one. Friar Tuck, I mean Kevin, will never let me live it down.

Psalm 11:7
For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.