Sunday, October 9, 2011

Give Thanks

October is Pastor Appreciation Month.  Have you appreciated your pastor yet?  I have.  ;)

So here's to my Hubby

To the man who steers a ship that has at least 14 wannabe captains and a set full of oars that no one really wants to row but everyone insists his or her way of rowing is the best.

To the man who answers the phone in the middle of the night and disappears to sit at the sick bed of a parishioner or to give the last rites to comfort the dying soul of a friend of the family of a church member.

To the man who (without complaint) drives 200 miles roundtrip to perform a wedding for the daughter of a church member and receives only a day old flower arrangement for pay.  (Okay, so I complain about it, but he never says a word to these people.)

To the man who must pray with and for the people who would rather quote religious verses than actually live out their gospel and who must smile and keep silent when the Almost Christians in our church start throwing stones at those they don't approve of instead of inviting them in to hear the Word.

To the man who can put the shazaam into communion and turn the bread into the body, because no, not just any pastor is allowed to do that.

And finally, to the man who answered a call and never falters in his convictions when the lines get fuzzy and the roar of the crowds try to block out that small still voice he answers to everyday.  And sometimes that maddening roar is coming from me, but still he puts one foot in front of the other and does the best he can with what he has been given.

I love you and appreciate you Hubby.  Happy Pastor Appreciation Month.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Elise

I keep reading and rereading the story on Yahoo about the truck driver who murdered several women, including one in my former area.  I believe with all my heart that he is Elise's murderer.   He was incarcerated in 2007.  Elise was murdered in 2006 and the other woman was murdered in early 2007.  His method of killing also involved strangling and beating.  One woman had her skull crushed in which matches one of my visions.

I think he did it.  I really do.  I just feel it in my bones.  This story has been haunting me since yesterday.  The only thing I can't figure out is if he did it, he would have been in jail when the bodies where discovered.  That one I can't figure out.  As you can imagine, I will be following this story with much dread and anticipation.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9-11-2011

Ten years seems to have gone by in a heartbeat.  In ten years I have had a child, moved twice, survived a death-defying car accident, opened and closed my own business, put the world's most faithful and loving dog to sleep and had a best friend die in childbirth.  I have had a rough ten years.  But at least I have had those ten years.  2,977 people have not.  That does not include the number of miltary deaths that can be attributed to the "war on terror."  That's just the number of people who ceased to exist in one brief moment.

I wanted to write something profound and moving in honor of this day.  But the truth of the matter is, I can't.  There is so much being said about this day and so much being presented on tv and radio that it is overwhelming and in some way, at least to me, lessens the true meaning of this day.  To me this day is about taking stock of how much life has changed in 10 years.  I look at my daughter who was born in November of 2001 and I see how much it has changed.  She has never lived in a world without color-coded terror threat levels.  When we fly she automatically takes off her shoes as we reach the scanning area because she has never known anything else.  Words like "extremist" and "Osama" have been a part of her lexicon since entering school. 

When I was 9 going on 10 I was staying by myself at home.  I was walking myself to school.  I was young and naive and didn't know there were people who hated Americans and I certainly didn't know what a "dirty bomb" was.  I was in 5th grade learning "Deep in the Heart of Texas" in chorus and playing Bombardment in gym.  My daughter is learning about the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in school and has friends whose fathers are in Afghanistan right now.  My daughter lives in a world where I can not protect her from everything and things are just so much scarier.. 

So I think I will just end this post here.  I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the moment I first heard what had happened on 9-11-2001.  But I shared that on my blog 2 years ago and this year is not about where I was.  This year is about 2,977 who can't share their stories.  Instead of sharing my story again, consider this my moment of silence.  Consider their stories, or lack thereof....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Harbinger of Doom, otherwise known as my mom

My mother just spent the past 9 days at my house.  She was only supposed to be here 7 but my dad changed his mind about coming to pick her up and we had her 2 extra days.  My mother is a very easy houseguest.  She wants nothing more than to sit on a chair with the tv on at a normal (my dad blares the tv) level and sit and watch tv and read a book.  She eats whatever I make and goes wherever we go with no complaint.  It should be simple, shouldn't it?

But no.  In the past nine days my mom has said:

"You shouldn't pet your dog so much.  Did you know you can get ecoli from your dog?"

"Oh no, don't ever let someone bury you in the sand at the beach, you could get really sick."

"You should never go into a public restrooms.  All sorts of men and rapists hide in the stalls ready to get women."

"Never go to Detroit.  Do you know the white girl slave trade is huge in Detroit and no one talks about it?"

Playing tug with the Raptor "You shouldn't use a string tug with a dog, they can choke on the strings."

Raptor chewing on his bully stick, "Aren't you afraid that's going to get tangled in his intestines?"

E standing on a chair to get something out of her reach, "You know, chairs have been known to just break underneath people."

E rollerblading, "More kids break their bones rollerblading than they do bike riding."

My impending split from the church, "Aren't you afraid Hubby is going to be punished with his next placement if you move?  Aren't you afraid he is going to divorce you?"

"Aren't you afraid that one of those sink holes is going to get you and your car is going to crash to the bottom?'

OH...AND MY FAVORITE, "Aren't you afraid a hawk is going to carry off the Raptor if you leave him alone in the backyard?"  (He's 18 pounds and I live in a pretty urban setting.)

And on, and on, and on.... I really hate the phrase "Aren't you afraid..."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Strange Eating Habits

My daughter is an awesome eater.  She always has been.  We have a rule in our house that no one has to clean their plate, but you must at least try a little bit of everything offered.  Because of this she eats (and likes) broccoli, salad, all fruits, sushi, grilled tuna or salmon and  a lot of other healthy offerings.  She does not like chips, potatoes or heavily fried things.  I envy her taste buds.  I even remember once, when she was two and we were traveling to Florida, we stopped in a Wendy's and I got a potato with broccoli and cheese.  She systematically picked off all of my broccoli and ate it.  A mother at another table with two kids very loudly pointed out that "that baby is eating broccoli!" as her two kids stuffed another fry into their mouths.  The mom really made it seem as if E was doing something wrong.

However, I am not knocking bad eating habits.  Chrysalis and I have put away more goopy cheese and potatoes than should be allowed in a human body.  My go to comfort food is nachos or mashed potatoes.  I have slowly had to retrain my lousy eating habits.  But when I observe E, it makes me think about my own upbringing.

When I was an elementary student, my favorite thing to take for lunch was a sandwich.  But not just any sandwich.  This sandwich consisted of salami, pickles and ketchup on white bread.  That's it.  I ate that almost every day for a year.  Occasionally I would switch it out for a brunsweiger sandwich, another favorite.  E has never had either of these meats and would never have had bologna if my mom hadn't given it to her..once.  She didn't like it, thankfully.

Another thing I remember eating was City Chicken.  Now, this was really weird to me.  City chicken is meat skewered on a stick, soaked in milk, breaded and then baked.  I remember liking it, but I always thought it was chicken.  When I asked my mom one day why she called it City Chicken she told me it was because it was made from veal!  I have never made veal...isn't it expensive?  I can't figure out why we ate it so much when we were so poor.  But I have to say, I have never found anyone else who knows what it is.

Then my grandma would make porcupine.  For years I thought I was eating real porcupine until I grew old enough to know that there is no such thing as a Pennsylvania porcupine.  It is a Polish dish of ground beef, rice and tomato sauce all rolled into one.  I don't remember liking it that much, but it could have been because I was afraid of choking on a quill.

There was something else my grandmother made...milkshakes.  I hated her milkshakes and she always made me drink one whenever I arrived at her house (as if I wasn't overweight enough as a child.)  The thing is, the milkshakes were made with one raw egg (from HER chickens) and marshmallows. NOT marshmallow cream or flavoring, marshmallows.  Have you ever tried to swallow a milkshake with raw egg and the added chunkiness of gooey marshmallows?  It's making me a little queasy just typing this.

All of this is brought on by a squirrel story I heard a few days ago.  Tune in tomorrow for the next episode of Southern Victuals!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stop the Presses

Today Hubby took the Raptor on a field trip.  For the first time in 2 months someone came to look at the house, and rather than put him in his cage, Hubby took the dog to run errands with him.  The car is, after all, the Raptor's all time favorite invention.

The Raptor went to church and was very excited to see Hubby's secretary.  Hubby's secretary is one of those woman who has a beautiful soul but has hidden her beauty away.  She is so overweight she needs a walker and just hides herself in her actions and clothes.  She is a hoarder and her office is a mess.  But the Raptor has loved her since the first day he met her and sits on her lap (which she loves) while Hubby gets his work done.

Then they went to the post office and the Raptor waited patiently in the car (with the windows open) for Hubby to mail out some top secret, super important papers.  No one was waiting by the car when he returned to inform Hubby that they would be suing us for owning a vicious attack dog so we're pretty sure he didn't bite anyone.
 
But then came the piece d'resistance...Hubby took the Raptor into the local coffee house which allows well-behaved dogs.  He told me this and I almost choked on my own uvula...(not vulva, don't go there...and damn if Hubby didn't just say that!).  Inside the coffee shop was a miniature grey hound.  On no!!!  But wait, the Raptor loved him.  A woman even talked to him and held out her hand (seriously, we sound like actors from Jaws when we scream at people "Don't hold out your hand!") and he let her pet him without causing bodily harm.

All the rest of my world is crashing down around my ears and my dog goes on a field trip and acts like a perfect gentleman.  Have I really gone through the looking glass?  Is there a pill I am supposed to take to make my reality go back to bearable and even fun?

But I do like having a normal dog....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't you know what's out there in the world

I work with this amazing group of teens.  Truly amazing.  They are intelligent, well-mannered, fun loving...and they have decided that I am their go-to non-parental adult.  I get to share in their excitement of their first kisses and first heartaches.  When they have a fight with a parent, I am the person they come to seeking comfort and knowledge that their parents will forgive them.  And when their energy is high and they are in full teen mode, I get a glimpse of remembrance of what it was like to be at that age.

This group of kids has decided that they want to write a play on bullying.  I can see you shaking your head, everyone is jumping on the bully bandwagon, enough already you are saying.  Every tv show you turn on is showing those NC girls fighting it out.  Every talk show is talking about cyber-bullying and what to do about it, surely it can't be that bad.  But not only is it that bad, it is so much worse.

The stories my kids have been sharing with me scare me.  They talk of guns being taken away at school from students who are tormented every day for being different; fights involving large gang members pummeling smaller, weaker students, fights that are occurring in front of teachers who themselves are too scared to stop them.  Packs of girls that roam the halls looking for victims just because they have decided a certain girl didn't have the right look.  They are afraid everyday that today is going to be the day that someone snaps and does the unthinkable.  Only it's not unthinkable.

As we were talking yesterday I asked them what they do to stand up to the bullys.  Almost all of them answered, "Ignore it,"  or "Nothing," because that's what the adults in their lives have told them to do, to which I responded, "Do you know you are being trained to accept bullying when you do that?  The bullying now is so much worse than when I was your age, what's going to happen to your kids?"  They all fell silent.  I asked them if anyone had ever gone to a teacher or guidance counselor to report a bully.  One girl laughed and said yes, she had, and the teacher gave her a pamphlet on bullying.  She received a piece of paper in place of help.  And her response was, "What am I supposed to do, use it as a shield?"  What is she supposed to do with it?

Everyone is talking about bullying right now, but is anybody taking the time to stop and listen?  Stop and ask your child what he or she sees going on in school right now...and after you ask, don't say a word...just listen.

If we don't protect our children, who will?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sick Day

I am staying home again from my preschool job because even though I am on my third day of antibiotics, I am still sick.  My strep throat is getting better, but I think I also had some nasty chest cold that was being masked by it.  I have never taken this much time off, not even when I had pneumonia.  But I don't want to get pneumonia again, so I am taking time off.  Vicious circle.

I haven't been able to sleep at night.  I try, but the congestion is killing me and keeping Hubby awake.  My house is so small I can't go into the living room and watch tv because it will wake E and I can't stay in bed because it keeps Hubby from sleeping, so I have been going into our tiny office, closing the doors and surfing the net.  Have you ever surfed the net at 3:00 AM?

First, I have found, no one is on FB at 3:00 AM.  I suppose that's good.  But it is so addictive, I would keep checking just in case.  Then I would stalk people and look at their photos and info pages.  Finally, I searched through ALL the friends it recommended I friend and decided to play 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon with my potential FB friends.  First you have to check through all the recommendations and find the celebrities.  But it can't be their public page, it has to be their personal page or it ruins the fun.  I think everyone has a friend who has a friend who knows someone.

In my case FB recommended I friend Andrea Bendewald (courtesy of Chrysalis who really is her friend).  I went to this site and entered her name.  Shazaam!  She was in Picture Perfect with him so I won.  Next I tried Nathan Fillion (damn Stoney Westmoreland) and again, shazaam, they were in Super.  Again I won.  But then I was sad.  I typed in Celia Rivenbark.  I know she is a writer but I thought maybe, just maybe her tv appearances would link her.  Alas, I lost.  Sadly I lost one more time when I tried Dan Knechtges.  He was the Tony award winning choreographer I went to school with.  Again, no match.  But may I say, of all the people in the world I went to school with, he is NOT the person I thought would make it.  He was an awkward little guy, kind of socially backwards and a little shy.  Look at him now, who knew?

Anywho, then I started watching 80's music videos.  I watched all of the Alarm videos!  I loved Mike Peters.  I also watched some Nik Kershaw, Limahl and very young U2 at Red Rocks.  Oh the hair!  I also watched snippets of Moonlighting.  Now that I am older and more worldly I see just how much that show stole from famous writers.  They pull scenes directly out of Neil Simon plays and pay homage to Danny Kaye's Court Jester.  But it still stands the test of time.  I loved Bruce Willis then (not so much now).

Lastly I stared at those encrypted notes the FBI put out yesterday.  I stared at them for a long time but I got nothing.  Nothing!  By this time it was time for E to get up.  I waited until she went to school and then I went back to bed.  I should also mention that I have been watching Doors documentaries.  When I finally got to sleep I had all of these weird dreams.  One had a voice in my head saying, "This is your life" as I saw glass doors opening and then saw an old Super 8 film of things I had seen in "When You are Strange."  Bizarre.  (although I would highly recommend the movie Sliding Doors/Glass Doors? with Gwyneth Paltrow.)

I am sure this is all more than you wanted to know, but I am bored and lonely and decided to blog today.  Lucky you!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just a blurb

I was watching an old x-file episode today and it was about a southern loch ness monster.  There were two kids who were driving through the country in a pop-up VW van sitting by the lake.  Seeing that van brought back memories.

We had not one but two VW campers while I was growing up.  The first one was that godawful 70's orange color.  It had a back seat that pulled flat into a bed just big enough for two adults.  It also had the pop up top that contained a foam pad where two kids could sleep.  There was no bathroom, but it did have a little stove, small fridge and the front passenger seat turned around to face the back seat.  It even had a hammock for toddlers to sleep in.  There was a hole in the floor that allowed you to put up a small table where the family could eat.  I loved it.  It had no air conditioning and the windows had roll things to open, but I saw a lot of Texas in that van.  My family and I would drive it down to Galveston and spend the night on the beach. 

After we moved back to Columbus when I was a teenager, my dad bought another camper.  This one was cream colored and HAD air-conditioning.  Unfortunately my dad never opened the fridge before he bought it.  We got it home and as I was exploring I opened the fridge door only to be hit by the worst stink ever.  I can still smell it to this day.  The previous owner had left some sort of raw meat in the fridge and forgotten about it.  The fridge was crawling with maggots.  We cleaned it out and bleached it, but we never could get the smell out.

The cream van held a lot of my teenage angst in it.  My friends would come over and we would just sit in the van and talk for hours.  I remember having long discussions with Chrysalis and our friend Pete about the movie "When Harry Met Sally" (it had just come out).  Could a man and a woman just be friends?  If I am not mistaken, although we were both just friends with Pete, we weren't just friends with Pete, if you get my drift.  I know I at least fooled around with him in that van.

I only drove the van once.  When I was 16 or 17 I flew back to Houston to visit Jenn.  My dad had business in Houston but wanted a road trip so he drove up with the intention of me driving back with him.  Only I was young and stupid.  Jenn and I went to the beach that weekend in her Javelin (or did you have your Nissan by then?)  For some idiotic reason I refused to wear sunscreen, even though we were out in the sun for 5 or 6 hours.  I was SO sick.  I never went to the ER although I probably should have.  I had blisters upon blister, I shook for hours with chills and wished that I would die, all the while Jenn's mom was yelling at me about how my parents were going to be so mad at her that she let me get sun poisoning!  I think she even told me I better not have sunstroke or she might kill me. 

When my dad came to pick me up I thought he was going to kill me.  We got on the road and started to head back to Ohio.  Somewhere along I-40 you go through the mountains and the road is really windy and curvy-maybe Nashville?  It was then my dad decided to punish me by making me drive.  VW campers had giant steering wheels and the seats were this tweedy material.  I was fairly new to driving so I had to manhandle the bus to keep it on the road.  Every movement was a new experiment in pain.  Trust me, I am the world's largest proponent for sunscreen now (and yes, I get a skin check every year!)

When I was in college my dad finally decided to get rid of the bus.  I was so sad, but it had a lot of miles on it and was starting to cost us money.  I asked around at school and my friend Mel said he wanted it.  Mel was the greatest guy in the world.  He had long blond hair, played all sorts of sports and was just a total surfer dude.  He never met a person he didn't like and he just made you feel like you were the most important person in the world even if he was surrounded by people (which he always was!)  I warned him the van was in bad shape but he didn't care.  He brought his father and his French girlfriend over to our house with a $1,000 check and bought the van right then and there.  My dad still talks about how his girlfriend said, "And I will make you crepes for breakfast every morning."

Mel took that van another 50,000 miles.  He drove to Mexico that summer (deep into Mexico, not just the border), around through California and back to Ohio.  The next year he drove it to Florida and parked it in a tow away zone.   That was the end of the van.  It got towed away and he never had the money to get it out.  He and his girlfriend hitchhiked home and he was still getting bills and notices on it by the time I graduated college and left him behind forever.  I hope they auctioned it off and someone else got to spend a few more years bumming around in it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Good to Know

I always wondered if I was hallucinating when I saw "things."  I always thought that maybe there is a glitch or a loose wire in my brain that creates this sense of images of the paranormal.  I have never actually hallucinated before, so I had nothing to judge.

But I am incredibly ill.  Whatever this sudden flu is, it has me in a bear hold.  But at least I know now what a hallucination is.  I looked out my back door and saw a large yellow monkey climbing up the gum ball tree.  (Not real chewy gum balls, the seed pod gum balls).  But the monkey was real.  Or at least, my brain saw it as real.  I know there is no such thing as yellow monkeys running wild in the...oops, almost typed my location.  But it sure did look like I could send the raptor out to chase it. So it has to be a hallucination.  Definitely a different sensation entirely.

Rule number 1, one should not Facebook when feverish.  Rule number 2, one should not blog when feverish.

I'm going to go back to the couch now.

Friday, March 25, 2011

102.3

I am invincible!!!  I developed a 102.3 degree fever and still stage managed tonight for a show that just had it's final dress rehearsal tonight.  Ha HA!!

Everybody sing with me:

I've got the flu, flu, flu, flu,
down in my gut (WHERE?)
down in my gut (WHERE?)
down in my gut!

I've got the flu, flu, flu, flu
down in my gut
down in my gut today.

I have heebie jeebies
Oh heebies jeebies,
Heebie jeebies and little
green men.

They're very creepy,
I'm so so sleepy
Let's hope my fever doesn't
rise again! (okay, so rhythmically that doesn't work...but I have a friggin high fever, what do you expect?)

Thank you...thank you very much!  I'll be performing here all week!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dear Hubby

I promise if you don't divorce me I will try to never PMS again during the biggest full moon in 18 years.  You have the patience of Job.

And no..your mere existence is no longer repellent to me.

Love,

Wife

If you think my blog makes me sound mean and irritable, imagine what Hubby must have gone through these past two days.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Demon-be-gone

Oh Lord. 

You are never going to believe what happened to me the other day.

Hubby is on this council of local ministers.  There are about 12 ministers of various denominations and color who get together once a month to see how they can work together to better the community.

Sometimes they do really good things, like raise money to donate to the local schools, organize volunteers for local non-profits, etc.  But several weeks ago someone got a thought in their head and I ended up in the hot seat.  They decided they wanted to have a Unity service and get local representatives of the arts, health, law enforcement, schools and one other thing I can't remember to be at the service to be prayed over.  They mapped out the service and asked a local "Bishop" to preach a sermon.  The service was expected to be one hour long with the sermon being 15 minutes of that time.

Now, the group wanted my boss to come and represent the local arts community since he is the executive director of the local arts council.  My boss had a few problems with doing that.  First, he is very busy as this is prime grant writing season.  But second, he is an openly gay man living with a long time lover.  Not the kind of relationship most area churches approve of.  So, since I am the director of the local kids' theater and my Hubby was helping to organize this, he asked me to go in his place.

I should have said no.  But I have this little problem in that I love my Hubby and try to support him.  But I should have said no.  I knew better, too.  Any time you get a group of pastors together, they feel like they have to out-do each other.  In other words, this service was doomed to fail from the outset.

Now, it started out okay, with a really good musical group performing two very long songs.  They were a little on the holy roller side and the lead singer was proselytizing a little too much , but they sang well and so I was okay with that.  But then the representatives were asked to come forward one at a time to have a preacher chosen just for them pray over them.  My "preacher" was a parent of one of my theater kids, so I thought I was safe.  The prayers started, only they weren't just prayers.  Each pastor needed to have his moment in the spotlight so they were more like homilies (mini-sermons).  Each pastor was spending about 7 minutes praying over their person.  Remember, this service was supposed to be one hour.

So my turn came and I reluctantly stood up front and the preacher/parent came forward.  He is of a Protestant faith, so I really thought I was safe.  Really!!!  Oh, I was so wrong.  He started out by reading a passage from the Bible, but then went on to rant against artists who sin against God.  He prayed that God would forgive us for our wicked ways and turn us back towards Him so that our art might glorify Him only.  Um...yeah....I may not do religious theater, but I can tell you, none of my theater kids are out there doing Equus.  I was furious and felt singled out.  If Hubby had not been on the spot, I would have left right then and there.

So by now we are 55 minutes into the service.  It is time for the "Bishop" to preach.  Only before he preaches, 3 of his 10 sons come onstage (and that's what it was, a stage, not a pulpit) and sang some song.  It too was very good, especially since it was all a capella and in perfect pitch, but they took 10 minutes to sing the same damn line.  Over and over and over!  AND...the woman seated beside me started to speak in tongues.  I have never truly been to a Charismatic church and as she babbled, I was going through my head trying to remember if I had ever learned the proper protocol to follow when one "falls out" with the spirit.

But we only had the sermon and one hymn to go and this nightmare of a night would be over.  The sermon was going to be 15 minutes.  The "Bishop" opened his sermon acknowledging that his wife was his time keeper and he would be brief.  ONE HOUR AND 15 MINUTES LATER HE WAS STILL TALKING!!!!  He posed and preened onstage, licking his lips and sticking both his butt and his tongue out.  He seemed almost serpentine to me, but the crowd seemed to love him.  ME?  Not so much.

So after 2 hours and 30 minutes I was finally able to take my sinner artist self and escape.  But as God is my witness, I will never be prayed over again!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A day of highs and lows

The man who told Hubby the Tootie Green joke came all the way from his job as Assistant to the Grand Poobah to preach at our church today.  He is a very nice man and preaches a decent sermon.  Most people look at him and see a serious, earnest pastor with the aura of faith circling round him.  I know him as Hubby's friend, capable of downing a few beers at a time and a man who likes a wicked joke now and then.

Anywho, there I was today sitting between Hubby in his clergy robes and AGP in his clergy robes and the devil got into me...just a bit.  All I could think was I must look a bit like the stuffing in an oreo.  This made me start to giggle.  Of course, once you start to giggle in church you are going to hell in a handbasket and the only way to escape is to pass the giggles onto someone else.  So I innocently leaned over to Hubby and whispered in his ear, "Tootie!"  That was it for Hubby.  Here we are singing "Shout to the Lord" and his face starts turning pink as he tried to stifle his laughter.  I almost leaned over the other way to whisper "Tootie" in the AGP's ear, but realized it was a long time ago that he had shared that joke with Hubby and might take it out of context.  God forbid he thought I was telling him I farted.  So I kept quiet.

I had been asked to sing a solo song for the offertory in honor of AGP's visit and I did.  I chose a song I wouldn't normally do, but it fit my voice and was easy to sing.  When I was done, everyone was telling me how beautiful it was, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I appreciate the compliments, but my voice is just a part of me, like hair or eyes.  It makes me uncomfortable at how overly complimentary these people get when I sing when they are just as quick to cut me down because I am not friendly enough.

But, I was having a pretty good day (even though I was at church) until after the service.  One man, trying to be nice, came up to me and said, "You really missed your calling.  Such a loss."  Now see, I hate the back-handed compliments.  It sounds like what he said was nice.  He was trying to imply he liked my singing.  But it really came out that my time was over and I had wasted my talent.  Which I don't think is true.  Heck, I teach kids how to perform 4 days a week and I sing to my two-year olds all the time.  The best compliment I ever received was a letter from a three year old that said, "I love when Muddy sings, it makes my ears happy."  That's a compliment I can sink my teeth into!  Just because you don't know my name doesn't mean I have wasted my talent.

But then another man came up to me and did the worst thing of all.  He worked for a subsidiary of Columbia records for 30 years and he pulled the "I know people" line.  I can not tell you how many rabbits I have chased down holes because a person told me he "knows" people.  He said I should have been recording and with my voice I would be famous.  He could make a call....And that's when I stopped him.  I politely told him that I used to be a professional singer and even made a cd, but I left that life a long time ago because it was not conducive to married and family life.  Because people like that aren't really trying to help me, they're trying to relive their own glory and power days.  I long ago gave up believing anyone in my world could just make a call and make me world famous.

So I was deflated as I walked out of church.  Neither man was trying to hurt  my feelings.  They were just trying to be nice.  But as I was walking out the door the AGP grabbed me and said, "I really want to get you at the Annual Gathering and have you sing."  Now that would be something.  For just a few minutes I would be famous, at least in my state.  I jokingly told him he would have to get me to the gathering first (it's not my scene) and left.  It would be nice to sing in front of a large crowd again. I just wish it didn't have to be a damn church song.  I want to sing something raunchy!  Something rock and roll.  Something where I can dress all in black leather and spike my hair.

Maybe I'll even call myself Tootie!

Friday, January 28, 2011

You get to be the judge

Hubby thinks this joke is funny.  I have heard it twice and, although I get it once he clarifies it, I don't get it.  Here it is, as told by the Assistant to the Grand Poo Bah:

A new pastor is appointed to a church.  While being introduced to the church, he has a conversation with the deacon: "I just needed to warn you about Tootie Green," says the deacon.  "She's a woman in our church who is just beautiful, but she's a vixen and can get a man in a lot of trouble, so just watch out for Tootie Green."

On his first Sunday in the pulpit, the pastor is sitting next to the deacon when a beautiful woman wearing a very short skirt comes walking down the aisle.  She sits on the very front pew, and although he tries not to look, the pastor can't help but notice that the woman isn't wearing any underwear.  Of course, he thinks this is the woman he was warned about, so he turns to the deacon and asks, "Is that Tootie Green?"  The deacon leans over and looks closely, then replies to the pastor, "No--I think it's just the lighting."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH!!!!

If you are squeamish and choose to read this post, I cannot be held responsible for your heebie jeebies or possible vomiting.

In November I went for my annual eye check and discovered that, truthfully, my age has caught up with my eyes.  I cannot see things that are incredibly close to me.  I should have gotten bifocals, but I was too proud and not ready to admit that I needed them.  Of course, I wear contacts most of the time and was wearing them today, so I am not sure that the incident that occured today could have been prevented by anything but me being more alert.

I also woke up at 4:00 AM this morning having had nightmares after watching a scary X-File from season 2 about child possession.  Shows and movies on demonic possession scare the hell out of me (no pun intended).  But I watched it anyway.  Which led to nightmares, which led to to me being very tired today and not quite on top of my game.

It was my turn to sing today for both church services.  After my songs were done for the second service, I walked out of the sanctuary before Hubby started preaching.  E followed me out as well as another woman who had sung for both services.  We walked over to a small table in the foyer that had chairs on either side.  On the table is a fake floral arrangement with several long reeds that look like 18 inch skewers, just slightly thinner.  I bent down to put my music binder on the table not realizing the close proximity of the "reeds.'

The next thing I knew I felt this mild pain but couldn't see anything out of my left eye.  I straightened my body wondering what I had done when I noticed out of my right eye that I could see the long end of a skewer STILL ATTACHED TO MY BODY! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the skewer had gotten poked into my left eye!

For just a moment I panicked and wondered what to do.  I know you are supposed to leave things that have punctured you in...not pull them out and risk injuring yourself more.  But I was there with E and I didn't know how she would react seeing me with a foot and a half long stick hanging out of me.  I also wasn't in a huge amount of pain.  If this thing had actually punctured the orb itself, wouldn't it have hurt more?  I reached up and pulled it out.  It took a good 3 or 4 minutes for my sight to return to that eye and there is a red scrape mark, but I really don't seem much worse for wear.  The nearest I can figure is, amazingly, the reed must have traveled in a diagonal fashion and slid between the eye and the skin of the socket and gotten caught in that lower eye pocket.  Hubby disagrees and thinks it might have actually pushed in my eye.

I don't know...it wasn't like I was going to wait long enough to walk to a mirror and look.  Oh wait, I COULDN'T SEE!!!!  But anyway, that was my adventure for today.  Go ahead and laugh.  Eventually I did.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Like a Man-Bra, but Bigger

Okay...Hubby has pleurisy AGAIN!!  But he will be fine. 

Now...on to the subject. 

I have been exercising very hard now for 7 long months.  I have spent 8-9 hours a week at the Y doing cardio everyday and weight machines three days a week.  I had lost 10 pounds.  But the holidays hit and I gained 4 back.  Four I could handle, even forgive myself for, but last week hit and I gained the ALL THE REST BACK.  I swear, I didn't eat more or cheat on my diet.  I have even cooked from scratch all but one meal in the last two weeks.  I have decided that stress makes me pack on pounds, whatever my diet.  I have had several people make that comment here, but I don't understand how it can add pounds when I am not adding calories.  But I have to admit my stress level has been so high this week that I have almost ended up in tears several times.  And the weight just piled itself on so there's got to be something to that.

So, I have decided to redouble my efforts and make a change in my workout.  It was time for me to change the weight routine anyway, so I lowered the weights and am doing fast reps to complete muscle failure.  I'm not talking 15 or 20 reps, I'm talking 45-50 reps.  It must have worked because I am one sore puppy.  Trust me, it hurts just to type this post.  But the other thing I implemented today (and it was one of the hardest things I have done in a long time)... I started running on the treadmill.

Now first, remember, I hate sweating.  I loathe that tickling, dripping feeling of sweat running down your back.  I hate clothes sticking to me and my hair getting frizzy.  I....hate...sweat.  But I hate running more.  I hate running because I still have some chest pain from time to time after my lovely medical drama last year and I am slightly afraid of it.  When I started running today I had such a tightness in my chest that I was about to call for the defibrillator myself.  But I kept telling myself that it was just anxiety and I worked through it.

But the real reason I hate running is because I have a big old BUTT.  I have a big old butt and chunky thighs.  When I run I feel all that weight bobbing up and down.  It's like the Anti-Baywatch, where their boobs just sway back and forth when they run.  My butt lobs itself three feet in the air and anybody who dares to get in its flight pattern better be wearing full body armor.  It's embarassing and a little painful.  I feel like I need a butt-bra just to contain the thing.  But alas, that would just be biker shorts and I am definitely not putting my ass on that kind of display.

But today on the treadmill I would walk for 8 minutes and then run for 2 minutes.  I know, 2 minutes is not a a lot, but it was the most I could do at one time and I ended up doing it 4 times.  I have to start somewhere.  Maybe when my butt reaches a manageable size I will be able to run a mile, but until then, if you see me at the Y, be prepared to duck!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Deep breath-es -es -es

My goal for 2011 was to have a drama-free year.  Knowing I cannot control those around me, I decided that I would not participate in any drama being thrown at me by other people.  I would not engage rumors, battle lies or try to be someone I am not by "being involved" in the trivial goings-on of CountryTime.  Little did I know that the potentially biggest drama of my life is about to unfold and it is coming at me from E.

I took E to the doctor today for her well-child appointment.  The doctor was 40 minutes late because he had to rush to the hospital to see one of his patients.  In fact, while he was examining E he had to leave the room to answer a call from the hospital.  He was frazzled, to say the least.  He mentioned that E was a little underweight for her height.  She is still solidly in a healthy weight zone, but he was concerned because her height and weight growth were not quite proportional.  Then I asked him to look at her eczema which has made a reappearance.  All seemed okay, until he had her stand in front of him so he could check her thyroid.

He started the exam and a worried look appeared on his face, he poked and prodded her and was just about to say something when he got called out of the room by the hospital.  When he came back in he put her in position again and said he was trying to see if he was feeling a node on her thyroid.  He eventually determined that he did and he went in to high anxiety mode.  He issued an order for a blood test to check her levels, spouting terms like Grave's Disease and endocrinologist at me.  He went to talk the the nurse since E has a tendency to pass out with needles and they discovered that the last lab drop of the day had occurred and they could not take her blood there.  He then wanted me to take her to the hospital for the blood work right then, but my insurance company treats any hospital test, even one ordered by a doctor as a hospital visit and I end up paying 100's of dollars out of pocket.  I told them I would bring her back first thing in the morning and he said okay, but it has to be done tomorrow.

So now I am scared , but trying to be nonchalant for E's sake.  I Googled this, but now I really wish I hadn't.  Oh please, blog friends, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  And if any of you has had a child with a harmless node on his or her thyroid, please let me know.  She needs to be okay.  I need her to be okay.