Monthly Archives: May 2010

At the ball game

We took the kids to a late afternoon baseball game yesterday.

In retrospect, attending on a 90 degree day was not the best idea we’ve ever had but we were powerless to resist the siren call of the hot dog.

The Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a gem of a ball field;  the giant cutout of the bull offering a free steak to whomever would hit it, the velvet green outfield, the friendly staff who launch t-shirts and peanuts into the stands.

We arrived about a half hour before the game was set to begin to ensure we had plenty of time to secure snacks and drinks.  After scanning our tickets at the entry gate, Travis and I peeled off to the left to head to the elevators while Mr. CPQ, Tommy and JJ took the stairs to our seats.  I entered the lobby and was met by the team mascot, Mr. Wool E. Bull himself.

He stopped and said hello to T and ruffled his hair and waited patiently while T ran his fingers over his fuzzy nose.  I hit the button to call the elevator, expecting Wool E. to head out to the gate to welcome other children when he surprised me by taking the handles of the wheelchair and pushing Travis onto the elevator when it arrived and then riding with us up to our floor.

Travis was delighted and kept giggling and looking behind his chair to see if Wool E. was still there.

Or maybe that was me.

The elevator stopped at our floor and I reached to push the wheelchair but Wool E. shook his head and pushed my hands aside  and proceeded to escort Travis through the crowds in grand parade fashion all the way to our seats.

He then spent a few more minutes with us, making sure T was settled in, high-fiving the other boys, and patting me on the back when I started bawling getting  a little teary over his kindness.  I hugged his neck and whispered my thanks into what I think was his ear and he nodded and waved and off he went to bring joy to other children and their mamas.

And we were off to enjoy a delightful afternoon cheering our Bulls on to victory.

And a good time was had by all.

Have a nice day.

It’s a holiday weekend and no one is going to read this anyway

I’m going to attempt to write a blog post that isn’t in list form today.

Though you can count on the heavy use of italics.

And.

One.

Word.

Sentences.

I woke up tired this morning because I spent all night dreaming of wandering the subway station trying to buy one blessed little ticket so that I could get to work on time.  I climbed miniature stairs, scaled a wall, walked miles of hallways, pushed all sorts of buttons, and received a jillion tickets all to the wrong destination.

Maybe I really didn’t want to go work.

Maybe my meanderings were just a cathartic rehash of all the things I did yesterday in an attempt to avoid mopping my kitchen floor.

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Speaking of mopping the floor, today I’m using an eye appointment to avoid doing so.

Oh, that dividing line looks like I’m trying to sneakily make a list by not numbering.

Which I am.

About two months ago my eyes got the memo that I turned 40 and they began to fail me in situations that required close proximity viewing.  I have found myself adjusting the focal distance between my eyes and reading material and it’s getting to the point of ridiculous so I’m biting the bullet and heading over to an optometrist’s office this morning to talk about bifocals a prescription adjustment.

Oh, this wounds my pride.

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Speaking of pride, I love a patriotic holiday and I’m planning all sorts of fun things for this Memorial Day weekend.  I found red, white and blue star-shaped marshmallows for a hopefully non-toxic redo of s’mores, we’re dusting off the ice cream maker for some homemade vanilla ice cream, Sunday afternoon we’re catching a minor league baseball game, and Mr. CPQ has a slab o’ meat primed and ready for the grill on Monday.

Doesn’t it sound dreamy?

Have a nice day.


Three Things Thursday

1.  I don’t know if a Victoria’s Secret delivery truck was in an accident or if someone is declaring their freedom from bondage but for the last two days I have been driving over bras in the middle of the street that leads to our school.

It has certainly added to the general level of hilarity in the car.

2.  I was surprised by the plumber this morning at 8:12 when he arrived 48 minutes ahead of schedule.

Or maybe I should say that he was surprised by the sight of me.

3.  I made a rookie mistake and took the kids grocery shopping with me yesterday and somehow all the ingredients for s’mores ended up in the buggy by the time we got to the checkout line.  They spent the afternoon collecting wood and googling “how to build a fire” in preparation for our after dinner dessert experience but none of us stopped to think that it had been raining for five days and all the wood they collected was soaking wet.

So we roasted the marshmallows in the carcinogenic flames of the newspaper.

And they were still delicious.

If not toxic.

Have a nice day.

GladiWednesday

With thanks to the lovely Gretchen for hosting the weekly Gladdies……

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1.  I’m glad my hair is finally long enough to pull back in a ponytail without the use of eleventy million bobbypins.

2.  I’m glad for blueberry peach vanilla smoothies.

3.  I’m glad that I live in the South and don’t think it’s weird when a strange woman says, “Those jeans look great on you!”

4.  Related, I’m glad for stretch Levi’s.

5.  I’m glad we have 10 days left of school because I’m ready for the notes from the teachers to stop for at least six weeks vacation.

6.  I’m glad my hydrangeas are blooming.  Exceedingly glad.

7.  I’m glad that I get to see my parents and my oh-so-beloved brothers in two and a half weeks.

8.  I’m glad that LOST is finally over and I can watch television normally instead of through the fingers that are covering my eyes.

9.  I’m glad that the frogs have moved on to another loving home.

10.  I’m glad the doctor’s office had fresh coffee available this morning since my coffee fairy forgot to make a pot at home.

It might not have been a good idea to down a large cup  right before they checked my blood pressure, though.

Can you say “caffeine spike”?

Have a nice day.

It seemed like such a little thing

I renewed our handicapped placard registration yesterday.  It should have been simple; fill out a form, have it blessed by a medical doctor and head to the DMV to receive the new one.  And while the steps to accomplish this task weren’t difficult in and of themselves, the process was hard.

Oh, so hard.

Ten years ago when I got that placard, Travis had already been diagnosed with cerebral palsy but we didn’t know the extent to which it would affect him.  I remember hanging the card on the rear view mirror hoping that he would make significant progress and overcome his physical limitations by the time we would need to re-register the card in May, 2010.

It didn’t happen.

We have known for several years now that he has most likely reached his maximum physical capacity on this earth.  Our therapists have gently told us that his gait will most likely not improve, that he will not be able to walk unassisted, and his wheelchair will be a constant companion.

So yesterday I turned in our temporary placard for permanent handicapped plates.

And turned in my dream for a reality.

I do not dwell in the land of self-pity.  That land is a dangerous one, sucking life, joy, peace, energy and contentment from my soul.  I serve a God who has brought me out of that place and set my feet on solid rock.  He has promised me an abundant life and a peace that passes all understanding.

But every so often the tentacles of sorrow reach out and drag me into darkness.

I asked for prayer yesterday from a sweet group of friends and the encouragement I received from their prayers helped me lift my head and soldier on and even laugh a little while I was in the DMV parking lot attempting to remove my old license plate and install the new one in the rain without the benefit of a screwdriver.

Use a dime.  Works perfectly.

So I’m here this morning to rejoice in new mercies and to affirm that God has set me back on the path of contentment.

I know He loves me.

I know He has a plan for me.

I know His authored plan is perfect and good even though it involves difficult chapters that in my own selfishness I would not have written.

For you see, He also has a dream.

And I bet it’s better than mine.

Have a nice day.





At the swap meet

The women in my Sunday School class got together Friday night for a clothes and accessories swap party.  We were all supposed to bring something that was still current and/or something that we didn’t love but someone else might.  I carefully went through the closet pulling things out, unsure how well received my clothes would be.

I mean, not everyone loves six-year-old Race for the Cure t-shirts as much as I do.

I settled on a few dresses and skirts that I used to fit into I had tired of wearing and at the last minute also grabbed my gold lame (I can’t find the accent – pretend there’s one over the “e”, and the irony is not lost) jacket and tossed it on the stack.

Michael Jackson called and wants his costume back

I bought that jacket on a shopping trip with Cheryl and she was desperate to make me over made me try it on and proclaimed that it was perfect for me and because I have very little fashion sense of my own, I took her word for it and brought it home where it has hung in my closet for the last 15 months.

In my defense, I did try to wear it.  Truly, I did.  But when the children laughed and Mr. CPQ stood in stunned silence as I entered the living room,  my confidence crumbled like a week old cupcake.

I was so hoping that one of my friends at the party would take it off my hands fall in love with it, but alas, all they did was howl talk about how perfect it would be for a party and they made me take it back home and promise to wear it for New Year’s Eve.

Which I will do.

If we’re in Vegas.

Have a nice day.

3 Things Thursday

1.  I didn’t post yesterday because I opened my work email to discover that overnight my workload had doubled and it took copious amounts of carbohydrates and a box of Kleenex a while to process this new paradigm and while Mr. CPQ is I am grateful for employment, it has come at a very busy time in my social calendar life.  I may be hit or miss for the next week or so until I can clear my in-box.

Not that it will affect your life in any way, shape, or form but typing those words out in black and white gives me psychological permission to not blog.

And yes, I’m weird.

2.  My sweet friends Candace and Jack had their baby.  Congratulations to them!  I love reading Candace’s blog (she’s my personal Beth Moore) because she’s an encouragement and inspiration to me.  Her open and seeking heart is a beautiful example of a well-lived faith.

3.    Speaking of inspiration, I went to see Chicago in concert Tuesday night and, people, they’ve still got it.  Mind you, they’ve still got it while wearing orthopedic shoes and sporting a hip replacement or two but the sound is as brassy as ever and the lyrics still tug at your heart and transport you back to the day when you sang to yourself in the mirror holding a hairbrush as a microphone as you cried over the loss of a boyfriend.

Or the hopes of a new one.

Please tell me that wasn’t just me.

Chicago, you’re a hard habit to break.

Have a nice day.

Stump the hardware guy

I was at the orthodontist’s office this morning with JJ paying a high price for a delightful thirty minutes of magazine browsing when I ran across an idea that I think is genius. A mom was talking about how she reduced the incidence of spilled drive-through milk containers in the back seat of the car by using a 1/4″ metal punch to put a hole through the plastic lid of  said containers and pushing a drinking straw through it thereby maintaining the original safety strip securely attaching the lid to the container and also allowing the kids to sip their beverage in a more controlled fashion.

I’d been having the same problem with the kids’ milk containers that we picked up when driving through Dunkin’ Donuts Whole Foods for their Sunday morning triple chocolate old fashioned quinoa salad and had almost given up asking for milk because a couple of the kids who shall remain nameless but they know who they are seemed to have an issue with keeping the lids on when they weren’t drinking.

I stopped by Ace Hardware to pick up the metal punch and since I’d never seen one or even knew how to describe them, I asked one of the handy dandy helpers to show me where they were and he asked, “What do you want to do with it?”

*sigh*

I wasn’t aware I needed an excuse to own one.

Or a license to operate it.

I told him and he looked at me as though I had three heads and then proceeded to spend the next ten minutes discussing with me how metal punches were designed to be used and that I was going to be using it for something that was clearly off-label and I was tempted to explain to him that Botox was used off-label as well but something told me that it would confuse him further so I chose to keep my mouth shut.

After convincing him that I did not mind spending $3.29 to see if it could save me a $100 detailing bill, I paid for the metal punch and walked out the door.

We were both shaking our heads.

Have a nice day.

Ramen Noodles

I did a little grocery shopping over the weekend and JJ asked me to pick up Ramen Noodles for him and I agreed because nothing delights me more than to realize he has inherited my love for salt packets and processed carbohydrates.  I’ve had a long love affair with Ramen Noodles going back to my freshman year in college.  My parents dropped me off at Hardin-Simmons University which was to be my home for all of four short months before I ditched the tumbleweeds that rolled through the dorm parking lot and headed east to Arkansas, chasing after a boy that I would eventually break up with.

But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Anyhow, my parents dropped me off at school with a hug and a check for my bank account that was to start me off on the rest of my life and for some reason I thought that was the money I had to eat off as well and so I set about to eat as cheaply as possible by purchasing Ramen Noodles and discount hot dogs.  I ate them twice a day for weeks, in my dorm room, saving as much of my cash as possible while going to class and looking for a job.

I was painfully shy and completely overwhelmed by this whole big new world, but after a few weeks at school I finally managed to make a friend and as we met in the student union one morning, I noticed she went through the snack line and slid her student i.d. to pay for her food.  I asked her if she had to set up an account to do that and she said, “Silly, everyone has their food plan tied to their i.d.”

Food plan?

Everyone?

I grabbed a sandwich and a coke and walked up to the cashier, but this time instead of pulling out my precious (and rapidly dwindling) supply of pennies, I handed over my card and held my breath.

She handed it back with a receipt and at the bottom of the receipt was my remaining balance.

HUNDREDS of dollars.

I ditched the hot dogs and proceeded to gain the Freshman 15 as I enjoyed spending my new-found wealth in the cafeteria and made new friends in the process.  Eventually I left those friends and moved to another school, but I never ditched the Ramen.

Some friends you just don’t abandon.

Have a nice day.

In which I declare I’m no longer a vegetarian

Well, the “vegetarian until 6:00” thing turned out not to be the life changing event that I had hoped.  On the up side, I’ve developed some new eating habits and given my vegetable bin a reason for being.

On the down side, I also learned new ways to rationalize eating copious amounts of Pringles.

The nice part of being off the plan is that I had a great lunch yesterday at a restaurant that had been recommended by a friend.  I knew it was going to be good when she told me it was in the same shopping center as an African braid place, a car repair garage and Mike’s Romantic Torture tattoo shop.

I ordered the panang chicken which is Thai for “open your sinuses” and as I was ladling the curry onto my fish-shaped rice, I noticed the man at the table next to me was spooning his rice into the bowl and then I started to obsess about whether or not I was eating Thai food in a culturally inappropriate way and spent the rest of my meal trying not to stare at other diners to find out which way was correct.

One of these days I’m going to stop worrying about what other people think of me.

Or consult a shrink.

In case you’re worried about me not having a food plan now that I have kicked vegetarianism to the curb, fear not.  I am never without a backup plan and I’ve moved on to drinking cranberry water with flax seed because I have no idea why.  I’ll let you know how that goes, and in the meantime….

Have a nice day.