Monthly Archives: May 2009

Ranger Rick Laundry Tip

Do not wash clay-encrusted clothes with regular everyday clothes.

Unless you are looking to turn everything a lovely shade of ecru.

You may now resume regularly scheduled activities while I do a little bit of research into how to turn ecru-colored clothes back to white.

I got nada

I’ve started three separate posts and ended up hitting “Save draft” because they’re not witty, charming, or worth your time stopping in today.

I could show you pictures of my rose again, or the dead spot in the grass from where the basketball killed it, or the weird plastic finger from Sally’s Beauty Supply.

We could talk about how I got caught in the rain yesterday and learned the lesson about not wearing colored britches under neutral colored pants if the forecast is calling for stormy weather.

I could talk about looking like an Oompaloompa when I pulled out my tinted moisturizer and realized I’m not quite tanned enough to be using it yet.

I might mention that this morning when I told the kids to get dressed while I made breakfast, Baby A said “Make it a fantastic one, please, Mom.”  Oh, the pressure….

What about the Lego store opening today that has the boys wound up like Richard Simmons on speed?

The 14 mini-bottles of shampoo I’ve gone through this month in an attempt to clean out under my bathroom sink?

The recipe for my homemade alfredo sauce?

Nope, not striking me today.

Well, maybe the plastic finger….


Have a nice day.

Another one bites the crust AKA My food diary

What do you eat when you get the munchies?  I’ve had them today, and while I’ve heard that you are what you eat, I hope it’s not true, because if today is an indicator, I may be the next contestant on the Biggest Loser Price is Right.

6:30 a.m. Egg sandwich on toast with coffee (Starting strong and reasonable)

10:30  Potato salad, straight out of the fridge (Hmmm, anytime you’re shovelling ‘tater salad by the forkful before noon, it might be time to schedule an intervention.)

1:00 Takeout shrimp stir fry from the seafood restaurant next door to my nail place (And don’t EVEN get me started on paying $12 for 5 shrimp.)

4:00 Raisin Bran Crunch

6:30 1 slice of frozen pizza, Diet Sunkist, and banana cake with cream cheese frosting (There’s just something heinous about seeing all that typed together)

And while all of it was tasty, it left me oddly dissatisfied and searching for the next thing.

And in horticultural news (How’s that for a segue?), here’s my rose.


And my basketball.

Which I feel like right now.

Maybe chips will make me feel better.

Have a nice day.

May the Force be with you…again

It seems like just a few days ago we were talking about the light saber stuck in the tree.  Well, this morning after I came back from carpool, this is what I saw


We can’t seem to find the basketball when we need it, but that light saber is like a bad penny….

Speaking of basketballs, you’ll see it hiding in the jungle that is our waist-high grass because of all the rain we’ve had this week.  And while you’re gazing at the basketball and my unkempt grass, you can also feast your eyes on the one rose bush that the deer haven’t eaten.  I love these roses because they change color – they’ll turn from orange to fuschia before the bloom dies.


And I was crafty today – As I was cleaning out the stacks of stuff that I would love for you to believe I do not have on my counters, I found these three watercolors the boys painted for an art project.  I never got around to turning in the order form to have the paintings turned into a mug, magnet, or mouse pad, but what I did end up doing is going to Michael’s today and buying some inexpensive frames and putting the pictures together.

Want to see?  Sure you do – it’s my blog – I’ll make you.

These are the pictures.  Travis painted the top one, Tommy the middle one, and JJ the lower one


I then used my table knife  – I’m an expedient crafter – and pried the little bars off the back of the frame


In 5 minutes, I had this –


and I’m going to hang them in my new living room (I just like saying that) after the furniture arrives.  Here’s an in-between pic of where things will go – I could not shoot a before photo because that would have been a little too much honesty about what a disaster it looked like with Legos strewn everywhere.  It was so bad that when my sweet neighbor came over, she gasped.

Hopefully you’re not gasping at this….


See the lovely masking tape on the rug?  That’s where the couch will go.  The empty space on the right beyond the piano is where one of my recliners will go, and the other one will go where you see the WHITE PLASTIC FOLDING CHAIR that currently is the only seating in the room.

Did I mention that Martha does not live in my house?  Now might be a good time to do so.

And I’m not sure if I’ll keep the low coffee table in the corner as a weird end table or if I’ll move it out into the center of the room.  I have this pesky requirement to keep traffic lanes open for a wheelchair, so that limits furniture placement for me.

And I obviously have an aversion to hanging things on the wall, but banging nails feels so permanent.  This was only going to be a temporary house until we decided to build, and we haven’t pulled the trigger on that project yet, so bare walls it is.

I did other stuff today but it was extremely boring except for my good leftover lunch of brisket, collards, and potato salad.

And I have no idea why I just wrote that down.

It has absolutely nothing to do with anything I just wrote.

And yet I’m going to leave it here.

Blame it on the light saber.

Have a nice day.

Memorial Day Recap

One of the benefits to year round school is that occasionally the kids have to go to school on a holiday.  That happened to them this morning, and let me tell you, it was hard for Craig and me to look appropriately downcast as we dropped them off at 7:45 knowing that we had the next 7 hours to spend together on a rare day date.  We started the date by heading to IHOP where Craig ordered this


and while I want you to think that all I ordered was this small plate, I have to be honest and say that I am conveniently leaving out the ginormous stack of pancakes that accompanied it.


And I ate the whole thing.

But only because I had serious shopping to do and needed to properly fuel my body.


From there we went to Target and got new sheets and mattress pads for the boys’ beds (nothing fun to look at there) and then to Costco which we discovered had the nerve to be closed on Memorial Day.

So we decided to go furniture shopping.

I have decided after living in this house for four years, that the time may have come to actually put living room furniture in the living room.  Heretofore it has been the toy room, otherwise known as the disaster area.  Now that the boys are old enough to have smaller toys i.e. Legos AKA Things That Make Me Swear, I’ve moved the toys into their room and decided to reclaim the toy room as my own.

The front living room is small (think “early 1970s ranch house” small) so oversized furniture is right out.  I also needed to find a sleeper sofa to add sleeping capacity when friends who have children come to visit us. So with that in mind, we hit every furniture store in town and five hours later, I settled on this fabric couch which is taupe with a tiny pinstripe.  I really liked the clean look and the retro lines.  Since we’re in an older house, I thought it lent itself to the feel of the place.


I needed a couple of accent chairs, and I really wanted to buy this one, but turns out it was beyond my price range.


I am cursed with excellent taste.

I can always pick out the most expensive thing in the store.

Before you feel sorry for me, though, for missing out on that chair, I’m going to buy TWO of these reclining armchairs instead (in a sage color) for less than what that one chair cost.  With the money I”m saving, I’ll buy some pretty patterned pillows to punch it up a little.


All that shopping took us right up until the school bell rang, so we dashed to carpool, picked up the boys and took them out for a chocolate milkshake to overcompensate for sending them to school.  After that, we came home and moved rugs, the piano and the curio cabinet in anticipation of the furniture being delivered Friday.

All in all, a VERY fun day, and even though we were running around all over town, we did manage to consume our obligatory Memorial Day burgers.  They happen to be purchased rather than grilled at home, but they were delicious nonetheless.

Have a nice day.

Get in the game

You’re looking at the wounded and bloody knees of a child who cannot walk but who REFUSES to let that deter him from going where he wants to go.

I watched this disabled-in-body-but-mighty-in-spirit child decide this week that:

A)  Life’s too short to spend observing from afar; and

B)  Living means experiencing the pain along with the pleasure.


He’d been asking me to take him to visit the “jungle” (otherwise known as the natural area in the back yard), but I had put him off.  I didn’t really feel like carrying him over the uneven ground, not to mention I wasn’t too anxious to encounter one of the coyotes that have been sighted roaming our neighborhood this week (when I talked about choosing life yesterday in my blog, I meant that LITERALLY).  So instead of the jungle, we compromised on hanging out on the back deck full of potted plants where I had prepared a pallet of blankets and loaded him up with toys and Cocoa Puffs.

I went inside to put the dishes away and was standing at the kitchen sink when through the window, too late to rescue,  I caught glimpse of him as he left the comfort of his play area, crawled on his hands and knees across the splintery wood, and hurled himself off the top step,  landing flat on his back, spread-eagle in the grass.

He never stopped smiling.

And in that instant, a voice deep within whispered…

Are you in the game?

In the tall grass?  Where the snakes slither and the ticks and ants crawl?


Are you in the game?

Are you willing to venture where others dare not go?  Where poison ivy stings and rocks tear flesh?


Are you in the game?

Is what you want too much effort? Too much pain?

He lacks the abilities that most people would consider necessary for an abundant life. Yet with what he has, he lives vigorously, focused and intent on what he wants, determined to achieve that upon which he has set his sights.


Laughing, even.

With bloody knees.

And a fistful of grass.

Are you in the game?


Those of you with whom I chat regularly may have noticed that I wasn’t around much this week – not on Facebook, not on Twitter, not IMing, emailing or calling.  It wasn’t that I didn’t feel sociable or didn’t have an interest in what was going on with you.

It’s just that I was thinking.

Truth is, I’ve been thinking a lot since Sunday about life in general and my life in particular.  The last few weeks have been intense for me – lots of moving pieces, uncertainty about new job responsibilities, weirdness in relationships, stress over decisions about the house, etc.  And when I read John’s post, it helped clarify the incoherent thoughts that had been rattling around my brain for some time now, and I was finally able to begin making sense of what was troubling me.

I feel like life has been making decisions for me instead of me stepping up to act upon my life to take it in a direction of my choosing.

Before anyone gets nervous about the missionary kid talking about taking her life in the direction of her choosing, I’m not talking about taking control away from the One who directs my path.  I firmly believe that He orders and ordains my life.  But I also believe that I am not a robot and that He gave me brains and courage and moxie so that I could live this life abundantly and fully engaged in what it has to offer.

I have felt carried along by my life for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve felt like I’ve been at the whim of outside forces exerting pressure, a slave to others on my calendar, defenseless against events and situations that have conspired to worm their way into my happy place.




This has not made my happy place very happy.

And you know what?  I’ve realized that I’ve just let it happen without doing anything to stop it.

What kind of wimp am I?

Not the strong woman I want to be.

What kind of life is that?

Not the life of my choice.

So yesterday, I took charge.

I chose the life I wanted.

I chose not to live another day with pain in my shoulders, so I got a massage.

I chose to feed my spirit with something that brings me joy, so I went to the library and checked out smarty-pants AND fluffy books.

I chose to take delight in decadence, so I ate ice cream at 1:00.  Out of the carton. For lunch.

I chose to soak up the sun, so I sat on the back deck and read my fluffy books and pinked up my nose and shoulders.

I chose to spend fun time with the child that takes so much of my daily time, and in so doing, learned a a powerful lesson in perserverance and courage that moved me to tears (more on that tomorrow).

I chose to stop the madness and do something to make it better, and you know what?

It was bliss.



I had so much fun that I halfway pondered making these choices every day, but then I remembered that I also choose to get paid for work and live in a house with clean toilets and folded laundry.

So today I’ll make other choices that may not be as indulgent, but are equally as important in shaping this life that I’ve been given.

Because I choose to make it a good one.

Have a nice day.


I’m thinky today.

About this blog post.

And choices.

Important things like The Bachelorette

I could bore you with the story about the boys chopping down my favorite dogwood yesterday, or the fact that I spent all day talking to my new best friend Julian at the IT Help Desk at work, or the fact that VBS is in less than a month and I haven’t even cracked the leader’s pack.  But no, I’m going to be a mature adult and talk about Grey’s Anatomy and The Bachelorette.

I know I’m a day late and a dollar short to the  Grey’s Finale.  I had backlogged episodes dating back to March on the DVR.  But Sunday night I got caught up (and thank you to my West Coast Tweeps who talked me out of starting the two hour finale at 1 a.m. Eastern time.)  Late yesterday I treated myself to a little me time and finished the season out, and I have to say, I loved the finale so much that I watched it TWICE.

That would be in the same afternoon.

It may or may not be the reason my kids had dinosaur chicken nuggets with a side of leftover spaghetti for supper with chocolate cake for dessert.

I think my favorite part of the whole episode was watching Christina Yang finally crack.  She let her guard down (at last!) and smiled.  And hugged Meredith.  And said “Yes” to Owen.  And the scene between the two of them in the mechanical room?  Sheer perfection.  I think I may have a slight crush on Owen.  Anyone that can rip icicles out of somebody with his bare hands is kinda’ cool in my book.  And I also think Korev rocks.  And McDreamy.  And Sloan is growing on me.

Moving on…

…to Jillian.

Dear Reader, Jillian was my first choice for He Who Must Not Be Named in My Blog Again on last season’s “Bachelor”, and while I was throwing things at the television in devastation slightly miffed that What’s His Name didn’t choose her, who knew that getting the short end of the stick would turn out having her smelling like a rose? 

Lamest attempt at a pun ever.

Let’s cut to the chase.  I’m assuming you all watched it so I won’t bore you with the details of the cute skinny jeans and boots the Jilli rocked, or the gratuitous shots of men without shirts on.  My #1 choice is Jake the pilot.  He’s from Dallas (where I was born), he gave her bling the first time he met her, and let’s face it, she’ll get to fly free for the rest of her life to wherever she wants.  Perks, baby.

Running a close second is Kiptyn, mainly because he spells his name kinda’ funky and he looks pretty darn cute in a wetsuit is kind to puppies.

Rounding out my top 10 are Josh the lifeguard, Ed the IT consultant, Jesse the winemaker, Mark the pizza guy, the Non-Creepy Tanner, Dave the trucker, Mathue (please find a new way to spell your name) the trainer, and Sasha can’t-remember-what-he-does-but-he’s-from-Texas-so-he-must-be-okay.

In the “I can’t believe she wasted a rose on this guy” category, I would include breakdancer Michael, Brad who pretended to brush dandruff off his jacket when he stepped out of the limo, “sassy minx” redneck Brian who annoys me, and Creepy-Foot Tanner.  Something tells me she’s going to regret that choice in particular.  And his jacket was shiny.  Bad form.

The highlights for upcoming episodes were riveting.  I think I saw my boy Jake crying over a balcony.  I am not going to take it as a bad sign.  I am undeterred.  I’m going out on a limb to say that I think he’s going all the way to the final four and may even get the final rose.

You heard it here first.




Have a nice day.

Ask Church Lady Sus

Sus, did you really think you manage the boys by yourself in Big Church yesterday?

Dear Reader, I seriously think that there was a bit of a hangover effect from the magic pills on Friday.  I don’t know what possessed me to take the boys by myself to Big Church.  Mr. Sus was out of town for the day and I needed to stay for a picnic after church, so I momentarily lost my mind and decided they would remember how to behave.

They did not.

There was poking.

There was pinching.

There were moments they forgot we were Baptist and did a little Pentecostal handwaving.

There was loud stretching.  And saying “In Jesus Name, AMEN!” when the prayer had not quite reached the end point and they thought it should have.

Didn’t you take stuff with you?





What was I thinking?  I had two pens and a tampon in my purse.

That’s it?  Nothing else?

They’re NINE – I was sitting on a pine log on the backside of nowhere for three hour church services at their age.  But I forget that all important GENDER difference.  Yeesh!  By the middle of service I was pulling out Moses and playing Hangman and scrolling through the screensavers just to provide a distraction.

Then Travis got the giggles.

Then Tommy and JJ got the giggles.

The lady in front of us did not.

Did you learn anything at all?

You mean other than finding out that the end caps can be pried off the tops of the chairs in our sanctuary?  Or that our preacher can be a bit wordy?  And that I need to teach Travis that church isn’t called “The Show” and that we can’t rewind it and play it all over again?

I did learn something, though.  I learned where the nearest exit door was, because trust me, I was searching.  And I think a few of my fellow parishioners were searching for me.

Well, what about this picnic thing?

The picnic was lovely.  It was an opportunity to get some of the special needs families in our church together for a time of fellowship. After spending an hour and a half in the service, I came in on two wheels looking to fellowship with the spiked punch.

Again, Baptist.  There was pink lemonade. 

Close enough.

My dear friend who helped coordinate the lunch made the mistake of asking Baby A why he was laughing. Oh, wrong kid to ask…. He was laughing over an inappropriate joke that he chose to share with her and the rest of the table.


Can we pray for you?

Help a sister out.

Have a nice day.