Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Through the Looking Glass

Someone asked me the other day if, given a choice, I would marry a pastor again. I thought about it for a second and responded that, yes, I would marry a a pastor again, but only MY pastor. I definitely would not marry any other pastor, in love or not.

It's funny the twists and turns your life takes. 22 year-old me would never have thought almost 40 me would be here, in CountryTime, married to a minister, Super-mom and living with a "terrier with issues." In fact, I got to thinking about where 22 year-old me thought she was going.

My brother had just died and left me a $25,000 life insurance. I used $15,000 to pay off my college loans and started to look around at my life. I knew I wanted to sing and act, but where? Columbus wasn't really the hip-happening place to be, even though I was working with a professional-of-sorts company. I wanted more and now had a $10,000 cushion.

Charlitan, aka Chrysalis now, has a life-long friend whom I adored living in Chicago. He graciously allowed me to come out and spend the weekend with him to check out the lay of the land. I had lived in Bolingbrook as an elementary student, but couldn't say I knew a thing about Chicago. When I visited I just knew... I.....Loved....It! Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world. I knew that's where I wanted to be. I went home to Columbus and started plotting and planning.

As it just happened to turn out, I had done a show with a lawyer from Cinncinnati named Dick. Dick was a great guy, very personable and willing to help out a friend in need. Not what I thought a lawyer should be at all. Dick had a good friend named Jerry who had a small talk show in Chicago. When Dick heard I was thinking of going to Chicago but was too responsible to go without a job, he called his friend Jerry up and asked if he had any work for me. Jerry said sure, send her up, she can be a production assistant. I was set...I had a job...I had friends in Chicago...I had $10,000 to get started with, what more could I want?

This was February and I had a commitment on my apartment lease until September. I knew the job wouldn't wait forever, but I decided to move in three months. That would give me time to find someone to take over my part of the lease and give notice at my job. I was so excited. I was going to Chicago.

But a funny thing happened, I met this guy, this really southern, charming, good-looking guy who swept me off my feet. He was in Columbus for just a few months and during the coldest winter we had had in 50 years. He was miserable, but I kept him warm. And I feel head over heels in love with him. He was willing to do a lot of things for me, but go through Chicago winters was not one of them. So my plans changed and I let go of my dream to move to Chicago.

Which was probably a good thing, since the Jerry with the show was Jerry Springer and his talk show turned into something that would have caused my very soul to melt into a caustic goo and I would not have been able to look at myself in a mirror ever again.

So, instead, I am a teacher, a mom, a pastor's wife and a person who helps teach theater. Sometimes I sing with the church band, sometimes not. But that's okay. Almost 40 me is not as unhappy as this blog makes me appear. In fact, I think I am pretty lucky. It's not a bad life after all.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

But Not the Swine....

I haven't been posting because my life has been busier than I don't know what. I've been trying to get my living room and family room painted before our parsonage open house. That on top of work, training the raptor, soccer and church responsibilites, I've been just a wee bit distracted. But it got a lot rougher when my throat started to twinge....and by twinge I mean hurt like someone fed me crushed glass and then topped it off by shoving a hot poker down my throat.

Now several years ago I would have ignored this pain and pushed myself until I ended up so miserable I couldn't lift my head off my bed, but not this time. I went straight to the doctor and got a strep test. And then I got antibiotics. So even though I still feel like crap, I am on the mend. I really didn't want to have to go to the doctor's office, though, because I didn't want to sit among all of the people with the flu. The flu is hitting this area hard. An entire school system had to close down early last week because the staff and kids were falling like flies. One of my school kids had it and it turned into pneumonia. That gave me a moment's pause, but I am still sticking to my guns about the vaccine.

Anywho, whilst I am sitting here mending, I have been using the crushed ice out of my fridge at a death defying pace. I have to have my drinks ice cold, especially when my throat hurts. When I was in Europe, I was that weird, rude American who insisted on ice in my drinks. Not just the begrudging one piece of ice that I usually received, but enough to clank in my glass and cause the condensation to form.

Do you remember grocery stores and Green Stamps? You would collect the stamps and put them in a booklet and then go and turn your stamps in for some weird, made for tv gadget? I still remember the best thing we ever got. When I was 7 or 8 my parents let me choose an ice crusher. It was the coolest thing EVER! It looked like a toaster with a little drawer. You could put three or four pieces of ice in it at a time and the machine would grumble and shake for a few minutes and crushed ice would appear in the little drawer. Just enough for one drink, but I loved it. I used that machine for several years until one day it started to puff and smoke and my crushed ice was no more. I was despondent. It would be 25 years before I would own a refigerator that dispensed crushed ice and light returned to my world.

That's all that's new in my world. Sorry.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Birds do it...Bees do it....

First off, I have to tell you I found the cure to my fast food addiction. I watched "Supersize Me" on Hulu. I may never eat McDonalds again and I haven't eaten fast food since. Ick! So I have been doing a lot of cooking at home. Friday night, though, our church fed the homeless and it would have been really late for E by the time we got home and I made dinner and we got her to bed, so we went to our local Italian place for dinner.

While we were there, a couple with a three week old baby sat in the booth behind us. E's birthday is coming up in a few weeks and Hubby and I were reminiscing about E's baby days. It's kind of sad to know that I will never have another baby and get to experience all of that cuteness. Sad, but not sad enough to make me change my mind and have another child!

Anywho, E was listening to Hubby and I talk when Hubby asked me if I wanted to have another baby. E piped in and said, "Mommy can't have another baby, Daddy. You've been spayed." I stifled my laughter and corrected her. "No, honey, Daddy's been neutered." To which Hubby got all huffy and corrected me.

But it got me to thinking, E must have some semblance of how babies are made even though we haven't talked to her much about it. We follow the "Answer questions when asked" approach. So I asked her if she knows where babies come from. She very astutely answered that babies are made in their mommies wombs and come out their private parts. So I pushed her a little harder. How did the babies get in their mommies wombs? She didn't know but wanted to. Both Hubby and I were stumped. What is the correct thing to say at 7? How much is too much? So I said, "Well, honey, I have an egg in my uterus and Daddy has these things called sperm that kind of look like teeny tiny tadpoles. They join together to make a baby." But then, E asked, "Well, what about single mommies?" And this, for some reason, is where Hubby decided to join the conversation: "Sometimes they are divorced or the daddy doesn't live with them." This would have been a good place to stop, but then he said, "But sometimes doctors put them in the mommies." I halted the conversation right there. I thought that was too much information. E was confused, I was lost and Hubby, well, he was just a little too technical. So I told E we would get a book for 8 year olds and read it together.

I really think you need a license to have a kid!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Morning Greeting

Posted by Anonymous:

When will you realize the world doesnt revolve round you??? As poetic as your post may be (bbbbbleh.....I think i just had part of my breakfast come up from the back of my throat), you need to check your victim self at the door and just deal with stuff. Go see a shrink or find someone you can confine in. Yes - you have your fans - yes - but many of us who read your whining are truly sickened by your constant me me me me poor me me oh, I've got it so bad - bitch bitch moan moan moan bitch complain "I've seen ghosts" - I am SO ESP - I can't wake up - bitch bitch bitch moan - I am married to hubby - complain - I hate the neighbors - I hate E's teachers - i am so much better than ANYONE - I am better than the people I overhear at the store - cream cheese cream cheese fondue furniture . . . . . bleh bleh bleh bleh blah. Fucking deal with it all you fucking bitch. The world IS NOT out to get you (really!!!)

love twice removed,
the blog bitch

p.s. fuck your crying. If your're daughter reads this blog years from now, I would hate to have her think her mom was a wuss. you wuss. who fuking cares if I am anonymous - either way you are a whining bitch - will you EVER be happy ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? no you won't. throw in the towel now. I'd hate to see you suffer any longer.

That was lovely. Thanks for your thoughts. Hate much?

Anywho, on to why I am not getting the swine flu shot.

First, let me say, I think the shot is completely safe. My decision not to get the shot has nothing to do with the mass media warnings about the shot. I got the flu shot for the first time last year and got the regular flu shot again this year. I did it for convenience. I work in the childcare field and get exposed to everything. I just didn't want to get a full blown case of the flu. And E will get the regular flu shot. The flu is going through her classroom right now, so we don't want to get her the shot when we know it is coming, it just makes the flu worse. But when the rush of kids with the flu to the doctor's office eases off, she will get the regular vaccine.

Second, I am fairly certain I had the swine flu last year. I even blogged about it

Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Going on Record
Okay, I'm going to go to go record and say that before this month is over, there is going to be a lot more discussion regarding this year's flu reports. We have been hearing all flu season how the flu vaccinations given this year "hit the mark" and did "pretty well" at fighting it off. Tell that to my school. We had someone come in and vaccinate the whole school in November and today we had a less than 40% attendance rate. The culprit, the flu. And it's starting to trickle out into our community. This may be the worst season in a long time.

The more I learn about the H1N1 flu, the more convinced I am that that is what went through my school last year. Specifically the rebound the flu seems to have. All of my kids got sick, seemed to get better and then got worse.

But last, and most important, I am not afraid of the H1N1 flu in its current form. I am afraid of what it is going to mutate into. I would rather E get this flu now, when she is healthy and I have time to be with her 24 hours a day to monitor her and nurse her to health then her get it when it is truly deadly and have no immunity to it. The flu vaccines wear off very quickly. It's not like our 25 year MMR shots. If she gets the actual flu, her body will create a natural immunity to it and possibly protect her in the years to come. How long will the next H1N1 vaccine take to get on the market? Will all of the people who never had the real flu have time to wait for the vaccine to come out?

And if you think I am being reactionary and far-fetched, think of MRSA. My entire family had it. It was the single-most scariest disease I can imagine. It took round after round of antibiotics before we finally got rid of it. No one thought bacteria would mutate to become so deadly. Will that happen to H1N1? I don't know. What I do know is that I believe in ibuprofen. I know I can stay awake for 72 solid hours to watch and monitor my child for any danger signs. I know that E has the healthiest immune system I have ever seen. I do not, but I still am willing to get the flu.

So, Enthusiastic, that is why I am not getting the swine flu vaccine. It may not make sense to anyone but me. I do think the media has caused a huge panic and feeds off the frenzy and I don't want to buy into it. I am not speaking for anyone else and think anyone who has health issues should get the vaccine. But I will end with this. Last year, when all of my school kids got the flu, the only children who never got sick were my organic, chemical free children. I worked at a posh private school and about 10 percent of my kids were raised with no chemicals. They never got sick. Just food for thought.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bad Daughter

This is not a funny post. I am essentially writing this for my IRL friends who know my pain. Sorry. I'll bring funny back another day.

My parents spent three days last week at my house. My mom asked me no fewer than 9 times why my family was not getting the swine flu shot. She was just obsessed over this and would not leave it alone. By the end I snapped and just...well...I wasn't as patient and loving as I normally try to be.

My dad was my dad. I just duck and cover the entire time we are together. I can do no right and so I have just stopped trying. So you can imagine the relief I felt when they went home. I feel so guilty that I feel that way, but it's true.

But then they were in a bad car accident a few days ago. A young girl rammed into them with her brand-new SUV. No one was seriously injured, but their car was totalled. My dad, however, in his stubborn state of mind that he lives in, DROVE THE CAR HOME! His seat was broken and he DROVE IT HOME. He won't see a doctor about his pain and my mom just had all that neck stuff going on, now she gets to go through it all over again.

I can't control my parents. But I don't feel like they should be 5 hours away when they can't make good judgments for themselves. I just feel trapped. And I feel like a bad daughter. I should be there, but I can't do that to myself.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thoughts after two glasses of wine

Do you every think about where you come from and who you are? Where you really come from? And who you really are? Not the city or state, but the nitty-gritty core?

I come from the river surrounded by grist mills and cliffs, where scientists and college students exhange banter and banality.

I come from a dad who can down several pints of ale and still name all of the elements on the Periodic table. I come from a mom raised in the ash of the coal mines and the by the whip of the belt.

I come from the coldest of cold and the hottest of hot. I am from the land where the wind blows bitter and where the swamps take over. I am where the Midwest meets the South.

I am the sister of ashes 6 feet under and the wife of the the man who can offer comfort to those beyond comfort.

I am "you'ns" and "Y'all" all rolled into one. I am both "Mommy" and "Woman" and balance between the two.

I am fondue on Christmas Eve and ham on Easter. I am the corner stool in the corner bar and the last row in the movie theater.

I am the whispered about one, the one who holds the line in the lost relatives and keeps the secrets no one must tell. I am the gift that jumps generations and the curse that follows.

I am the alto voice you call on when you marry and again when you put your loved ones to rest. I am the person your children lean on when their scissors don't feel right and they can't cut a line; and again when they're older, and their hearts break from the loss of their first loves.

I am the person who holds the last rope when all else fails. And who won't let go...who never let's go...who will catch you even when your falling will crush me.

I am all of these things...and so much more.

Monday, October 5, 2009

And a Secret Decoder Ring, too...

First, I apologize ahead of time if this rant takes strange twists and turns or has a lot of spelling errors. My mom and dad will be here any minute and I REALLY want to write this.

Second, I have a healthy respect for Pentecostal and Evangelical people, it won't seem like it in a minute, but I really do. Something about their practice of their beliefs reaches out to a large number of people who would be lost, morally and spiritually. So even though I don't want to be in the same room with them, they have their place.

Thirdly, I want to make it very clear that I respect everyone's right to believe or not to believe, practice or not practice as they chose. It is not my place to judge your spiritual walk. Honestly. But you might get offended if you read on, so fair warning. NOW....ON WITH THE SHOW!!

Hubby came home last night from THE RETREAT. All morning at church, and on FB and via emails and phone calls, people had been telling me that Hubby was just "glowing", he was "ecstatic", "happier" than they had ever seen him. They all went out to a special late night candlelight ceremony on Saturday to honor him. I was getting scared...had my Hubby been indoctrinated? Had he been changed? Had the cult infiltrated his normally rock solid faith and perverted him?

HELL NAH!!! (sorry I'm yelling so much). He did come home unable to get the music track out of his head. He keeps singing some Elijah song. He also came home loaded down with bags of goodies that he received. Essentially he was at a Vacation Bible School for adults. He did find out why it was so cult-like, however. The group was run by the Pentecostals. It was supposed to be non-demoninational, but it really wasn't.

So, highlights of his trip:

The spritual Pentecostal leader made fun of Muslims and the way they pray, I don't know a lot about Muslim prayers, but have you ever heard the high-pitched keening way they pray? The leader mocked that and said it wasn't prayer. However, he was the same leader who asked people if God have given them their "own, secret prayer language yet?" (aka speaking in tongues). It was so forced on people that one of Hubby's cell, I mean, roommates felt like he was failing because he wasn't receiving the Spirit enough to fall-out.

Then there was the group that was trying to show how God needed to be a propeller in your life. So they drew a picture of a slanted infinity with a giant stick emerging from the top center. Go ahead, I don't have a scanner, so I'll wait while you draw it. Do you see it yet? Then the people kept saying the stick was the "shaft of God" as they kept rubbing their hand up and down the picture! Hubby was having enough trouble not breaking into laughter when he looked around and saw two other pastors from our denomination shaking with laughter. He lost it. The Shaft of God, eh?

But possibly the funniest thing occured after he came home and was reading the comments on my blog. Anonymous said, "Hmmmm, sounds like "True Blood" where Jason Stackhouse got hooked up with some scary 'fang haters' who hid behind Jesus. Wow! I'm kind of speechless! I mean it just wouldn't be a secret hide away retreat if he doesn't come back with a special secret cross with mystery symbols on the back or maybe a spin ring that when it lines up right signals flocks of angels to stab demons . . . oh, wait that's "Supernatural" with Sam and Dean." Hubby fled from the room in laughter only to return with a....SECRET CROSS!!! I kid you not. He's only supposed to wear it at future Retreat meetings! Hubby also watches True Blood and said he knew the episode Anon was talking about and so it made it even funnier because he/she was RIGHT! There's even a secret Jesus catch phrase that they use with each other. I won't repeat it here because I don't want to inflict the wrath of the cult on myself.

So anyway, I fought off attack after attack of the Retreaters while Hubby was gone. They just don't understand why I don't want to go. Hubby even told them to never expect me to go, but they insist on praying for my heart to change. Yea, that's going to happen! Hubby, sadly, is kind of stuck now. He is thinking about volunteering to be a spritual leader to offset some of the radicalism, bigotry and just plain bad theology that has become of this group. Some of me appluauds him for wanting to make a change and try to reset this group. Part of me thinks its egotistical on his part to think he needs to be the hero. But the biggest part of me is scared that maybe, just maybe they got to him and this is his way of continuing in it without me knowing his true reasons.

Maybe he did drink the kool-aid!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Not Fair

I call foul on all things psychic in my life. It's bad enough when I have "those" dreams, but to have one when Hubby's away is just not fair. You have to understand, there is a different feel to one of my regular, old, naked in front of coworkers kind of dream and a dream were I feel like something is happening. In "those" dreams, usually I am not myself, I am the person I am dreaming about.

Last Monday I had a dream that I was drowning under a huge wave of water. It happened all night long. I would wake myself up only to fall back asleep and have that dead body floating just beneath the surface kind of feeling. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions on that.

But last night I had two occurences. The second one was brief and more of a flashing image as I fell asleep. I dreamt I was in a library with hard-wood floors and a man had shot a mother and child. He was lying on the floor and still shooting at people trying to escape. I don't know if this has already happened or will happen, but it scared the crap out of me.

The first one was the most horrifying one. I dreamt I was a woman who had come home to find her front door open. I went next door to get the neighbor woman. Together we walked into the house to find the tv on. I questioned it, but thought I might have left it on when I left. There was nothing else unusual about the first floor so we climbed the stairs. When we got to the top we entered a pink room with white Scandinavian furniture. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until we turned to see a door that led to the storage space swing open and a man come barreling out. The other woman and I ran for the stairs but the man beat us to them and blocked our escape. I ran back into the room and grabbed something off the child's desk that was there. I picked up a pair of child's safety scissors and tried to stab the man, but it was obviously ineffectual.

Just as he was starting to overpower me, I managed to wake myself up. My hands were clenched in tight fists and my entire body was tense and sore. But it was the air. The air in my room was ice cold. And I know I was awake because it took me almost an hour to get back to sleep. The air warmed quickly, but that cold prickly sensation lasted for a few minutes.

I don't know why I dreamed either thing, if they meant anything or if they were anything more than just dreams. Maybe I have just been under too much stress lately and this is how it manifested itself, but I was terrified. I still am.

I'll be glad when Hubby gets home.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Retreat Update

Hubby broke the rules to call me.

There was speaking in tongues! (not by him)

Definitely not my cup of tea.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Zealots or not?

My husband has left me for a religious cult. No....really...he's gone. He left without his cell phone, laptop or car. Someone picked him up and away he went to an unknown location to spend the next 3 days being indoctrinated in "The Word." He will be surrounded by ultra-religious people who will be praying and laying hands on each other and generally "glowing" with their religious fervor. I just hope no one brings snakes.

He didn't want to go. He was really in a no-win situation. In our state, possibly others, there is a multi-denominational spiritual retreat that is extremely popular. A person has to be "sponsored" to attend and there is a lot of secrecy about what goes on there. Hubby has managed to avoid going for the entire 10+ years he has been a pastor. And honestly, it wasn't an issue at our last church. People at our last church attended the retreat, but that retreat location wasn't the same. People enjoyed attending, but didn't walk away from it saying it was life-changing.

But the Retreat in our new area seems different. When we had our meet and greet with our new church, the very first question asked of Hubby was "Have you been on Retreat?" When Hubby answered no, he was actually told, "Well, this is a Retreat Church." But we have come to find out it is not. A lot of the people who have attended the Retreat have alienated other members of our church by being so clique-ish. The Retreaters constantly ask me when I am going to go. They walk around talking about it in whispers and with sidewards glances so the non-Retreaters can't hear what goes on there "in case they ever want to attend." They judge non-Retreaters as having a lesser faith then they themselves. And apparently, the only way to get the full Retreat experience is to go in completely blind and unknowing, to just give yourself up to God.

So you can imagine the rush that occured when Hubby agreed to go. He agreed because he doesn't feel he has a right to tell the Retreaters to back off unless he has actually walked in their shoes. So Hubby agreed and the secrecy intensified. I was asked to do this and that to prepare him for his journey. The Retreaters held meetings behind close doors to discuss what they were going to give Hubby, or say to Hubby at the actual retreat. And on Sunday, everyone who had attended the Retreat kept walking up to him saying, "I'll see you there! You won't know when you are going to see me, but you will." It was all just so high school.

So anyway, Hubby is gone and not allowed to call home (how is that possibly Christian? Family is supposed to be the backbone of Chrisitanity). He will be kept in religious meetings and prayer sesssions and hear testimonies from dozens of people from 7:00 AM until well after 10:00 at night. He is cut-off from tv, computer and the world. Sounds like a cult to me. And if you are wondering how I know this since it is all so hush-hush, remember the Retreat in my old city wasn't like this at all. The program is supposed to be the same, unless it has been truly bastardized by these people.

I just hope Hubby doesn't come home with the "glow."

And I hope if someone offers him Kool-aid that he will run far, far away.