Monday, February 27, 2012

False Expectations

My sister and I took a road trip to visit our brother and his family and then spend the weekend with a friend at her family’s beach cabin.

The bad thing about this is RetroGirls phone was acting up and people on the other end couldn’t hear unless you shouted. I was doing the shouting since she was driving. Fortunately, we didn’t use the phone all weekend, but then I needed to call my brother and touch bases before we headed out of state again. Even shouting, he could barely hear me. It was pretty ridiculous and I told my sister that there are few people I’d feel comfortable with in a car shouting at the top of my lungs (well, maybe not quite the top). Several hours down the road another brother called and I said, “Oh, great.” I wasn’t looking forward to another yelled conversation. I answered the phone: “HELLO!!!!”

My brother asked if it was RetroGirl. I YELLED THAT IT WASN’T. He asked who is this? I YELLED WHO IT WAS. We went back and forth for a while and it seemed he thought something was very fishy. My mind kicked in with a thought, I said in a normal voice, “Can you hear me?”

He said, “Yes.”

I laughed so hard at that point that he still couldn’t understand a word I was saying.

I think he was annoyed.

I'm glad it was my little brother and not someone else.

The End

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Mind of Man Plans His Way...

I don’t think God wanted me doing dishes today.

Planning to take yet another day easy, I kept snuggled in my bed and immersed myself in a book after everyone had taken off for the day. While I’ve been sick I pass the day playing/working on the computer, but I needed a break. When I finished about noon, I decided to get myself something to eat. I then realized that the huge pile of dishes in the sink was not going to do itself. It didn’t look like anybody else was going to do them either. And I thought maybe I’d like to try to fix dinner later as well.

Before taking on the dishes, I reheated a small bit of leftover pizza from the dinner my very dear sister-in-law had sent up last night. When I thought it might be done, I pulled it out of the oven with my bare hands. The pizza was very hot and I deposited it as quickly as possible onto a plate that I at least hoped was sanitary, if not clean. I know that doesn’t sound like it makes sense. Realistically, I was probably kidding myself.

I ate the pizza. I ran hot soapy water into a vintage pan with a red rim. I started washing dishes and the hot water gave me a realization: I had burnt my middle finger. Oh, ow. I’ll live. I looked at it a few times - as if that was going to change anything - and kept washing dishes. I did debate asking the only person home, my little brother, if he could wash the dishes for me, but hey, I’m tough. No really, I am. I think.

Merrily (or not) I continued on with my task when my clumsiness decided to kick in and I dropped a plate into the sink, breaking it into multiple pieces. Oops you say? Well, yes, and looking at my hand, on the same middle finger I had burnt, next to a scar where years ago I nicely sliced off a bit of skin also doing dishes, was a rather deep cut that was starting to bleed. How exactly this happened, I can't say, I just know that before the plate fell into the sink; no cut. After the plate broke in the sink; cut.

Well, I don’t think I’ll be finishing the dishes.

I grabbed tissue to stop the bleeding. I realized that I was going to have to doctor it myself - probably. Have I mentioned I don’t have a strong stomach? I did ask my little brother to run down to my sister-in-law and ask if she had any experience super gluing cuts. I found a cup and made myself a cup of tea. The message from Little Brother translated into, “did they have any super glue?” Which they did not, but she sent up some bandaging they did have.

I already have a noticeable scar on that knuckle, and beauty was of utmost importance and I had set my heart on super gluing the wound shut. Minimal scarying? It seemed like a good idea. We have the glue, so I decided to use the computer to see how to do this myself. I think I made it about half way through the YouTube video I found when I was to queasy to ignore it anymore and had to open the door and take deep breaths of the cold, snowy outside.

The cold air righted my insides and I set myself to the next task of cleaning the wound with hydrogen peroxide. Fortunately, it didn’t hurt. I didn’t even investigate the idea of using pepper as an anti-coagulant, I’m not that tough. Besides, surprising as it may be, we don’t have any pepper in the house. Needing something other than tissue to cleanse the wound, I had to get creative. Remember our living situation? Well, some supplies are scant. I finally settled on a burgundy pillowcase (hides any blood stains) and wet one corner with warm water. I gently cleaned up the wound. I think I then got some more fresh air. It would turn out that the best way to achieve this operation was to pause and inhale cold air until my insides felt right again. I had to do it every few minutes. Did I mention I don’t have a very strong stomach? I thought this was all ridiculously weak of me, but it was a way to get the job done. Once the wound was prepared, I enlisted the services of my little brother to put the glue on while I held the wound shut. He graciously assisted. I’ve heard of doing this, but neither of us knew what we were doing.

I doubted my sanity, the wound looked ghastly with the dried glue. Not too long ago, I actually took it all off (no worries, it just came right off) and dabbed it on less generously. It does look better, but boy is my hand sore. Which I think is the fact that I’ve been holding my hand funny for hours, but it could be the wound. Remember, I don’t know what I’m doing.

Oh, well, a little pain… I’m tough. I’m tough, I’m tough, I’m tough…….

I can also do poetry:

Thank God for dirty dishes,
For they have a tale tell,
If I didn’t cut my hand,
I’d be doing swell.

It turns out that a little pain in my hand is tolerable, but not having anything to eat but the 2”x3” piece of pizza (that I decided to save?) and tea isn’t enough for a grown girl. It's killing me! Okay, I aggagerate. A little. Starvation can kill a person. It’s tea time anyway, and I’m sure I can find a little smackarel of something. The whole problem is I got sucked into the computer. Now there is a scary reality for you.

First though, doing dishes was a good thing, a noble thing, but apparently it wasn’t what God wanted me doing today. I think for me it was a lesson that I need to apply and search the application to in the bigger picture of my life. Are there things that are good, but God doesn’t want me doing them? It’s something to think about.

Well, I’m sorry that there will still be dirty dishes when everyone gets home this evening. (Unless I can talk little brother into doing them?)

I don’t like wounds and I apologize for boring you with this, but I needed to share. It will make the whole experience seem worthwhile by blogging about it.

Thank you.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Old Train Station

Just a little something pretty.....

I love old train stations!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Thoughts


Behind someone's back
Say something nice

Some of the words that I remember the most are the nice things someone said about me, not to me. If you have something nice to say about someone, why not share it? You never know when a good word will touch their life at just the right time.

Good weekend to you all!


Friday, February 17, 2012

"A Grain of Truth"

Have you ever looked at a piece of toast and suddenly thought to yourself, “how many people were involved with this one piece of bread?”

Let me tell you something, you can get decent whole wheat bread from the store, but oh is it not the same as homemade. Unfortunately, with our living situation is such as it is, store bought bread has been a staple in our diet; toasted to be exact.

The toast

The farmer who grew and harvested the grain… (this probably included more than one person)

The driver who took it to the mill….

The flour mill workers….. (lots and lots of workers)

The factory with all the workers who made it into bread….(lots and lots of workers) I wonder what their day was like? Let’s just pull one out of the line and imagine that he woke up with a toothache but he took medicine and went to work anyway. Maybe because his two year old has an upcoming surgery and he needs to make sure they can pay for it. It’s just a thought.

Grain isn’t the only ingredient in bread, so think of all the other factories and workers who made the other ingredients. We’re talking about a lot of people.

Another truck driver takes the bread to a big distribution warehouse….

Yet another driver picks it up from the distribution warehouse and delivers it to the local grocery store…

Stock boys (it might have been a girl, a man, or a women, but a boy sounds so much more old-fashioned and cute)

One time I knew a cute lobbyist, and for some reason I always thought of him as someone who would have been a “bag boy” at the grocery store. It makes me laugh because he was a lobbyist for a grocery organization. I don’t think he would have thought it was funny. He would have been a cute bag boy. If I had owned a grocery store, I would have hired him. It would have given a good old-fashioned, all American feel to the store. I think about these things.

Back to the toast.

I wonder how many people work at an average grocery store in order for it to open and serve us every day?

One of us had to select the bread, and then there was the cashier that checked them out, and probably, well, for diversity sakes, we’ll say a bag girl put it in bags.

But backing up a little bit, somebody had to be the breadwinner (ha,ha!) in order to pay for that – bread!

So it comes home, in car that was manufactured by how many hands? It waits in a house with doors and windows, and a woodstove, and just think how many people had something to do with that house? It is then toasted in an oven (imagine that whole process) and then handed to me, all crisp and buttery. Should we go through the butter? Rubber boots, dairy barns, cows, all sorts of things come to mind.

I take a bite and stare at the bread, suddenly thinking how much was started with just a single grain.

Never think you’re insignificant.


(Putting a damper on my imagination, I think that actual piece of bread came from a warehouse store, so adieu to the bag boys and hello to the “box people.” Oh, well. )

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Personal Topic

Today, I’m going to talk about a very personal topic.

The weather.

Bats her eyes at the prince, “Very fine weather we’re having for this time of year.” -Esmeralda

“You really shouldn’t make such very personal remarks.” -Prince Charming

(By the way, I’m not so good at exact quotes, so those are rough estimates of what they said.)

No, I’m not really going to talk about the weather unless you factor in the analogy that my life is not always sunny days. It’s sunny, cloudy, mostly cloudy, stormy, icy (he!), light showers, snowstorms – well, you get the point. It’s like everybody else’s life!

Right now there is a part of me that is very frustrated because I don’t know what God is doing in my life. At least, I don’t have the full picture. Some inklings, yes, but then I think, what if I’m wrong?

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1 KJV


I keep planning things, and God keeps redirecting. I’m supposed to be working today and instead I’m sitting in bed with a cold. What is so frustrating about that is the fact that I’ve been sick with different colds for over a month and I’ve had to cancel and reschedule my job as a live-in caregiver many multiples of times. I’m really surprised they haven’t just found somebody else, but they’ve been very gracious and just keep telling me to just get well and then rescheduling. They are so very kind, but I feel very awkward about it. It feels like somehow I’m being irresponsible, but there isn’t much I can to about it.

While it might seem I just have a case of bad luck or a weak immune system, I feel it is bigger than that. I’m at a point in life where I feel it is prudent to focus a little more on earning money so I’ve been switching away from “stay-at-home” mode to seeking monetary gain. :) Some might judge that harshly, but I’m aware of a greater picture and it is the prudent, responsible thing to do. At least, so it seems. ;) My life has changed a great deal over the last few years and I don’t feel that I’m being as valuable in the home anymore. (Partly aided and abetted by the fact that we, um, don’t have a typical home to speak of. :)) Personally, I enjoy home duties and would be content fulfilling them, but that isn’t practical at the moment. Unless, does anybody know of a housekeeping job? (Warning: I don’t come cheap.:))

Last year I left home (and the chaos that was unfolding – sorry folks!) to stay with my grandmother for what turned out to be something in the vicinity of a four month duration. When I returned, life was really up-at-ends and I decided to get a job as quickly as possible. Which I did. But, an issue came up that I felt strongly about and decided I needed to decline the position. God, what where you doing? I felt God’s leading, and things seemed perfect, but I didn’t have a complete peace about it. I still feel that I was supposed to pursue that job, and that I also did the right thing in turning it down. (Most of the time, but sometimes I wonder) It doesn’t make any sense, I know. I’m not some great spiritual guru, so please don’t ask me to come up with a very deep answer.

So while that was not coming together, the job as a live-in caregiver did. I enjoyed doing the job with Bessie, but getting up four times a night takes its toll. At least it did for me. So while I was sad that it ended not too much later, it was probably a good thing. From Bessie’s I went almost directly to my brother and sister-in-laws for around a month to stay with them and help in any way I could. I loved getting to spend time visiting with my sister-in-law and hanging out with my nephew! Oh, and of course seeing my brother too, but he wasn't around as much. When it was safe for my SIL to leave bed rest, I went to join my sister’s in house sitting for a couple weeks. That brought me to about the end of November.

After returning to my grandmothers for ten days in December, I finally returned “home” (the cabin) and settled in for Christmas and the holidays. By the first part of January I was feeling like, ‘okay, take a breath, I don’t have any impending travel engagements, it’s time to work on cash flow. (a.k.a. - a job!)

If memory serves me correctly, it was the next day that I was asked if I would do the job with Bessie again. I thought about it, talked to my counselors (:)) and said yes. I hadn’t even had time to look for a job and God gave me one! The first part of January, they kept changing when I would start working as they had to bring her home from the hospital/nursing home and get her settled. I realized the delay could be a problem because with a cold going round the family, I was bound to get it. And I did. So fast forward to now and I’ve managed to work once during the entire month and a half this has been in the works. Do I think I blew it accepting this job? No. I keep feeling like God brought it along to keep me from pursing anything else. But he probably has more reasons than that, God isn’t limited you know.

Am I frustrated? Yes. Well, a little bit. More with the practical aspect of this journey, such as calling and saying, “I’m really sorry, but I have another cold and I don’t want to expose Bessie to it.” As far as focusing on the big picture and trusting that God is working? Yes, sometimes my own lack of faith leaves me frustrated. I want to know what he wants me doing, and what the next step is so I can get cracking. Instead, I feel like God has me in a holding pattern. Not “doing” is really hard for me. Not feeling top notch and being overwhelmed with everything I should be doing, is really hard.

The good thing is this has made me pull out my Bible and seek God. Ask him, “what?” Saying, “this is a hard journey, I don’t understand it, but give me faith and let me trust you.” That is good. God is always there, but I come and go. When I don’t feel him by my side, it means not that he has left me, but that I have wandered from him.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. I Corinthians 13:12KJV

I don’t know or understand what God is doing at the moment, but I need to trust him. I also feel that I need to go forth and strive, to try, and trust that he will lead and direct. I want to have faith, but I don’t want it to be without works. Works is a little hard while you’re sick, but there are things I can do. Sometimes it is hard to do them though, it shouldn’t be an excuse, but when you’re sick, it easy to not want to be bothered.

Okay, that’s some of the real me. :) It isn’t exactly a stellar ending, but that is because I’m sharing part of a journey and it still stretches before me.

I’m excited because I see God working. I’m frustrated because I don’t always understand. That is where faith comes in thought, right?

Next, I think maybe I should try to take a nap. :) That is one work that might help me get well! After a rest, then maybe some MotherAde.

It seems cloudy at the moment, but rain and snow are part of the growing cycle!



Update on Life

I suppose, after all the hullaballoo that surrounded the Blue Castle, I should give an update on what we are doing. Life is still an adventure! Behind us is the undertaking of living in the middle of a remodel project with only cold running water, no showers, and little insulation on the walls during a cold winter, but life is still, shall I say rustic?

We have sort of moved back to the property we left about two years ago, and are now “camping” in the if-I-really-stretch-it-I-can-call-it-a-three-room-cabin. A few of the kids continue to “bunk” down on the property, but showers, cooking, etcetera is done in the cabin. It’s interesting. We expect the “redneck” plumbing job to go out at any time, but I am so grateful that it has lasted thus far. In that light, I am even more grateful for a mild winter.

Except for a few possessions, beds, a few cooking things, some clothes and such, everything is in storage until a more permanent solution can be found to our housing situation. I’m not sure I remember what it is like to have drawers, and a closet, or even a bedroom, and a real kitchen seems like bliss! I’ve learned some really great things through this experience (really, I have!), I appreciate living with a lot less “stuff,” and I realize how much more freedom is possible when things aren’t cluttering your life. That being said, it would be so nice to have an actual place to organize “few possessions.” I’m just saying. There’s no place like home. You ain’t a’kidding me.

Okay, so the goal is to sell our country property and buy a place in town, but these things can be complicated. I have to say, though I don’t deny the situation is difficult and I would love to be settled in a home so every day living isn’t as difficult, I’m very grateful that we have a warm place this winter. It is especially nice since we seem to have had one cold after another for over two months. I don’t deny that it is a distinct possibility that the stress of everything going on has been hard on our immune system. I’m just trying to have a good attitude through it all and take one day at a time!

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

(That is a sound, not a word. I’m hoping I didn’t just swear in Arabic or something.)

I am content.

Perhaps that isn’t exactly the right word, but I think it expresses the correct feeling. While I truly desire a more stable living situation, I feel content with where we are. What I cannot change, I must accept.

“Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

It isn’t always easy. While some might think I sashay through life blissfully ignorant of the problems around me and doing little to correct it, I’m not. I’m very aware of the problems, the stresses, the pressures that are simmering in my vicinity. I don’t always have a good attitude and sometimes I get very frustrated. You might not see it though, because I try to keep it inside. That doesn’t mean I’m always grumpy and just hiding it, usually I’m pretty at peace with things, but sometimes they really get to me. It is hard watching my family struggle because of a lot of factors (beyond our living situation as well), that make this a difficult journey. As a sister and daughter, I wish there was some way I could make things easier, but I can’t. But I think it’s better this way, and here’s why:

We called our school, Cocoon École (English translation of École: school) and perhaps this is a time of struggling, just as the butterfly in order to show its splendor and beauty after growing in secret must work to come forth in order to build its strength for flight, so this is a time to build our character and strength for life. If I could wave a wand (or somebody would!), it would also be robbing us of the ability to fly; to fly high and far!

Now, I’d like to think that because I’ve tried to be positive, and “change the things I can,” I’ve at times been an influence for good things happening. Well, a girl can dream can’t she?

The family has stood together through some pretty tough times. For some it has been harder than others, but I really appreciate that everyone tries. No, we don’t always get it right, but when difficult times come calling, we draw together. That is a blessing from God in the midst of difficulties.

God never promised life would be an easy journey, he did say, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5.

Well, I guess that's an update! :)


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Little Random....

Well, maybe a lot random.

All the pink around Valentine’s must have done something to my brain cells. I dreamt last night that someone our family has known for a while got married. None of us had been invited to the wedding or even knew it was going to happen. Just one day my brother received a letter in the post (A.K.A. the mail) with an elaborate announcement that the wedding had taken place and lots of pictures were included. One fat letter became a Mary Poppins bag with huge pictures and wedding memorabilia. That is one way of announcing things.

All the men in the wedding party we’re wearing pink tuxedos.

I think I was surprised by the color choice, but it surprisingly didn’t look as awful as it should have looked. Besides, I was too busy being offended on behalf of my brother, who hadn’t even invited to the wedding, let alone known it was happening. The nerve of some people!

The bride was pretty, and her beauty was very unique. She had very white skin and very dark curly hair. And she also might have been wearing a tiara, which is probably because I’ve been seeing lots of pictures of foreign royalty lately. I’m wondering if I’ve seen her somewhere before or my mind just very creatively combined a lot of influences into a clear picture. Our brains can do very mysterious things.

But, pink tuxedos? Wow.

Off to make myself a cup of MotherAde and try to fight off ANOTHER cold! Grrrr & grrrrr. Do I make myself clear?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In Honor of St. Valentine's Day....

I'm sharing some love - and I love to laugh.

Yes, it is worth the 8+ minutes!

The Three Little Pigs by John Branyan

Did you get some good laughs from this?

This was shared by Rachell Gardner and my writer friends might like to hop over and take a look. Rachell shares some great information on this site and I'm sure I'll be gleaning lots of good tips!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Thought Provoking

I also have such a perfect picture of what I want my “Prince Charming” to be, that I’m dreadfully afraid to face his reality. -KM

I think that is a moment of pessimism talking.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Does Anybody Have Super Bowl Sunday Plans?

If you do, I envy you.

I care little enough for football - no offense, I just wasn't raised with it and I'm not usually into sports unless there is someone I'm rooting for or I'm playing it.

So why do I envy those of you celebrating this great American sport? The food. Yes, quite simply, I wish I was joining a Super Bowl party because of all those delicious looking foods that are purportedly served.

I'm jealous, that's all.

Over and out.