Sunday, September 30, 2007

Letter to my college age friend #1


You are such a sweetie....thank you for your kind words, your compassionate heart, and for being willing to be REAL with me. :) You know what I mean. ;) Us Ragamuffins need to stick together.
WOE to the woman that marries Jason....(heehee)j/k I pray for whoever that will be all the time...and that she will be equipped to compliment his drive/vision/passion.
Our prayer for our kids (from the start) was for them to be stronger in their faith and walk closer with God that Mark or I ever would/could be (since we were not raised in Christian homes), KNOWING that the "next generation" would be facing toughter times than what we've known. We've also prayed this for "their spouses" (whoever they would have been) since they would have to have a equally yoked home, not only in "just" believing but in strength of passion to serve God. That they would ALWAYS love God more than our kids (since that's the only true measure of what real love is). (sorry...found a soapbox there...)
You are a blessing, and I look forward to getting together...talking ANY time you'd like. Remember, you DO get it. YOU have the key to the rest of the story, and you know it for a reason...it's just going to be a matter of time before God reveals why you know it...Christianity is a journey, not a destination. It might (like me) take years to figure out what we are supposed to do with it/on this road...I still am not sure. Just keep seeking His word...falling in love with Him daily and walking as close to obedience (but not legalism) as you can. Be the hands and feet of Jesus...the words of Jesus. Love. Compassion. Serve. Sacrifice. The rest of it will come together in His timing.
Sometimes I figure that the empty spaces in my life, the times I'm struggling to find more of Jesus in others and feeling VERY alone, are the times that He is able to do amazing things around me/in me/through me. If I was too caught up in the "busy-ness" of the norm, the everyday, I would have missed out on the AMAZING.
That's how this weekend was for me. All I did was show up to help cook (not even plan, organize, instrument, facilitate, etc...just help). What God did was show me that so many of the kids that I had week long friendships with 6-10 years ago (while cooking or serving at Maranatha back when they were in Jr/Sr High) were recieving a bit of what I was sharing...that when I felt like I was loving them like my own kids, that they were being loved like they were my kids...and that it made a difference (even if it was scolding them to turn off their flash lights and go to sleep in the dorms...) :). God's so good. I'm so grateful I got to experience this weekend. It was healing for me...

Friday, September 28, 2007

letter to J/J #1

Hi guys. It’s me, mom (haha..you knew that). I can’t sleep (figures, it’s a full moon…and dad’s snoring away…and my back’s bothering me…not what I had planned for the night before leaving for camp!). sigh

There’s not much going on here…it was really pretty today. I met Char for lunch in town at Aunt Cathy’s Cookies (they do sandwiches there too…and baked potatoes and soups). I had a pastrami sandwich…it was ok…sort of thin on the meat, but ok. Char had a bowl of soup…broccoli cheese. Neither of us had a donut!

Then at noon she had an appt. at the dentist and I went over to meet Pam for our normal Thursday afternoon get-together. Originally we were planning on working on her scrapping room, but it was so pretty outside that she suggested going to Roaring River for a walk…but by the time we got out the door from our house (I had to go get shoes, and we left my car home) we settled on walking the greenway trail. It was still nice. Then we picked up Kelsey from pre-school (a free program over by the middle school…it used to be in the white house on the highway/main st.) and she was all cute and happy to see me….it was funny. SHE REMINDS ME SO MUCH OF YOU IT’S SCARY SOMETIMES. Especially when she is all cute and quiet. You know that she’s got stuff going through her mind, this little twinkle in her eye…just like YOU used to get. It was sweet.

Anyways, they dropped me off, and I came home and waited for dad to get home for his softball game…a few hours passed (what did I do during that time??....gosh, I have no idea…). OH, I cleaned the outside refrigerator to get it ready for the chicken that he brought home for me to take out to camp, and straightened the kitchen up.

Then dad came home, changed, and we went to El Mariachi for dinner (we split the Tacos de Azada) and went to his game….where they went into extra innings tied, and ended up losing 11-12! I talked on the phone to Opa (he said to say hello) and we came home after the game…hit an owl (well, it hit us)…and that’s it.

They are widening the intersection at hwy 37 and W…putting in turn lanes and making it the way it should have been done in the first place. The feed mill is about done, so there are more trucks going through there now too. The runner/driver job is open again, and they are having to hire someone to drive a street sweeper at the feed mill full time too (on top of all the other jobs). I’m not sure what Dad’s working on…but he’s busy.

I can’t believe that I leave for camp tomorrow…I’m so NOT ready for this. I know that there will be a lot to do, but a lot of helpers too…she said that a lot of the students come in and help. She (Joyce Embree) was disappointed that I didn’t know how to run the washer/sanitizer, but I’m sure we can figure it out….I had always left that up to you kids so I never remembered how to use it. I have a feeling that I’ll figure it out and be in there all weekend, which is fine too. I’m just along to deliver the chicken, and help however she needs help. I’m trying not to be very possessive about this, and go along with the flow, but with 250 expected I’m a bit scared….she has it planned to BBQ chicken on Saturday night for dinner on a charcoal grill….it sounds good, but the dynamics of trying to keep the chicken from burning on the outside and staying juicy (but completely cooked) on the inside baffle me. And she’s doing it with baked potatoes…so the ovens will all be used already (so we can’t cook the meat in there if it needs to be…). I may throw my roasters in the trunk just in case….

I can be so anal about stuff like that…how did I get this way?? GRrrrr……

Sigh

Oh I wish I could sleep….I think I’ll copy this whole letter…well, most of it…and post it at my blog. That will save some time!

Not much else is up…at all. No news from Melissa…or Jason (besides him not playing rugby, and needing to improve his economics grade, which I think I already sent to you…).

That’s it. Oh, I got a nice letter from Spring…the girl from China who is in college in Singapore. She’s busy with classes, will graduate next lunar year, hopes to come to the US someday, but will look for work in Singapore first….she’s getting a complicated business degree there. It will be interesting to see where she ends up.

Well, I guess I’ll close now…love you, and thinking of you always…

mom

Monday, September 24, 2007

play.blogger is my new hobby...??

Ok, it just started...it's all because I read one of those notices that Google (or whoever) sends you to let you know about the new "features" you have access to. This caught my eye for more than one reason...one was that it was about photographs and recent uploads...and two was because it was about ANY of the public uploads that we post...they all go through a site that they have, they actually sit around and look at all of our recently uploaded photos/graphics/etc and then you can go and watch them too at: http://play.blogger.com/

Ok, so it's sort of creepy to think that when we post photos that others can watch them, and then it's sort of cool that we can watch what everyone else deems to be public uploads.

Maybe it's from being brought up on years of family slide shows...but it's sort of cool. I've not been offended by anything (which surprised me...I admit), and mostly it's photos of babies, people, landscapes and some guy surfing (which is sort of nostalgic). The landscapes are showing bits of fall color, so I'm guessing someone is posting from farther north than where I am (we don't have a touch of color yet). It's good to see.

So, when you are really bored...and too tired to play games or read on line papers, you too can watch everyone else's slide show....

Fall

The Autumn Equinox took place the other morning, with little to-do about it. The weather has been flip-flopping between "still summer" and "brrr...". Although the water in the pool is too cold to go in to swim, it's frequently nice to sit outside by it and enjoy the warm sun (now almost always accompanied by a breeze).

True to my history, I'm ready to bake! Today I rearranged the kitchen cupboards, moving things from one side of my kitchen to another, wiping down the shelves, rearranging the pantry to be mostly for baking supplies (out of sight, out of mind?) and bringing the items into the kitchen that we use more often (canned vegetables, soups, etc).

I even moved the plates and bowls from a bottom shelf to the pull out drawer that's under the silverware drawer! A bold move I know, and Mark will have a hard time getting used to it, but it will save my back and shoulders when I'm unloading the dishwasher. I saw it in a BH & G magazine that was featuring ideas on getting organized.

Tis the season!! Tomorrow I'm picking up the paint (taupe) to do some odd painting around the house, a wall here (my office area) and there (one bathroom wall, and one wall in the living room!), and perhaps I'll finish out the week with getting the rest of the WHITE white painted around the house...I thought I was out of that paint until Mark found a gallon of it out in the shed. It should be enough to get the rest of the living room painted, with the one taupe/brown wall too. Hmmm...maybe two walls should be that color??

Mark and I rarely agree on tv to watch...if it's on at all. He's happy to watch anything, but prefers to watch adventure/war/action movies, sports, anything else. IF I have the tv on (and I'm content to keep it off!) I like to laugh...so comedy, romantic comedy, then go to the documentary non-fiction stuff that I like to read...even cooking shows and decorating and renovation programs. That's where we have gotten together...shows like "Flip this House" and the like where there are drastic changes made within the hour long show (or just 1/2 hour remodeling shows). I think that it's helping us to see that there is a lot we can do to this house, without doing a LOT to it!!

It will be nice to have things settled in for the winter months. New paint completed, the plants and fountains moved in (hmmm...both running in the house? or just for decor??). Just to get the plants in will be great!

Then there's that nagging issue of BAKING. I love to bake (almost as much as I love to eat!!). I have a bunch and a half of just turning brown bananas...as I was cleaning down in the kitchen I kept smelling their ripeness...and thinking "mmmm...banana bread...with LOTS of walnuts and cinnamon....mmmm". I think that will have to be the top item "to do" on my list. :)

I can smell it already....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

needing sleep

My time clock is all messed up! Well, I'm able to go to bed normally...around 11 at night...but I have been waking up early in the morning...usually around 4...with back pain, too many thoughts (my son is playing rugby now...yipes!), and end up just laying in bed...trying to adjust my back out of pain without waking up Mark. *sigh*

Mark's alarm goes off at 6, and some days (like today) I'm able to just stay in bed till then, but other mornings I'm out of bed long before his alarm goes off. Usually I get on line to see if anyone else around the world in my circle of friends is up....usually not. That's ok, as I've gotten lots of free digi-scrapbooking stuff downloaded and organized 8D

They are finishing building a feed mill near our home, and by 7 the machinery is going...it must be the paving machines on the road...this odd vibration of airwaves that reminds me of the droning of jet airplane engines. So, like now, I'm feeling that I should try earplugs or something just to get away from this sound...

Hmmm...it means stepping away from the computer...but perhaps I'll just go to the basement part of the house and hang out there! Ah...maybe a little tv down there...a nap on the couch...hmmm this is starting to sound like a good plan!

Perhaps I'll write more later today...I'll be out of town the next few days...so it might be the weekend before I'm on again....

blessings!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A good sense of humor...

I think that God has a sense of humor...
I see that He sometime leads people to believe that their baby is one sex during pregnancy, then it ends up being the other...
I know that He sees us through the difficult choices we make (or situations we bring upon ourselves) and wonders "what was SHE THINKING?"
He gave ME, the total non-competitive non-athletic person; a husband that loves sports and a son who plays them all!

I'm amazed that I survived Jason's high school years (which was almost as bad as the several years that we had 3 kids in sports all at the same time but on different teams). I don't know what Mark was thinking to sign up to play softball now....although it IS funny to watch the team playing...I'm sure it wasn't my sense of humor that encouraged him to do it.

I'm grateful each Thursday night he plays, that he is able to walk off the field....a little bruised and battered, and sore the next day....but he's walking!

At least they guys ON the field were laughing as hard as we were in the stands...

Thanks God, for sharing your sense of humor with us....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I guess I'm still "deceased"...

...well, at least according to the rest of the graduating class of '77 from NHS. Grrr...it's frustrating sometimes, and other times it means nothing to me at all...but at the 20 year reunion someone listed me (in error...a joke??) as deceased. I supposedly died in a bar fight, which if you knew me in high school (well, if you THOUGHT you knew me) would make sense. If you REALLY knew me you'd realized how screwed up I was because of my circumstances. I'm not trying to blame ANYONE, but truth is, girls that go through a lot of the things I went through generally will make the same decisions that I did, and end up the way I was. That's why it's easy for one of "us" to pick "us" out of a crowd.

Well, by the time the reports of my demise were disclosed, I had been all cleaned up (by the grace of God and a lot of environmental changes). No longer the life of "sex, drugs, rock and roll" that I lived in the late 70's and early 80's...my life has been pretty boring in comparison now (to most Californian's). Sorry folks...no wild orgies here.

So, when I contacted the folks (SURPRISE!!) that organized this reunion (our 30th) I thought that a retraction of some sort was going to be printed....at least remove me from the deceased list!! But, no, I've just found out that I'm still listed there....*sigh*

I suppose it's not that big a deal...in a lot of ways that person IS dead...I'm not much like that anymore (although "once an addict always an addict..."), and more than boring my life is REALLY relaxing....with bursts of change thrown in there for excitement. I figure I'm living life now through my kids, and in the next few years things will get really exciting...with a grandbaby due in NY, kids studying overseas, traveling to catch up with them wherever they end up.

But, hey....could they at least acknowledge that I'm alive??

Oh well...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What a great weekend!!


Mark had the weekend off, and he and I took off for Springfield on Saturday, despite the threats of rain. We had some shopping errands to run, a few "window wishing" places to stop, and of course, had hoped to see Jason for a good visit. We had to meet with him to get our canoe (he had borrowed it the weekend before), and play mail delivery person to get his mail to him that had been delivered here.
Jason had enough of his homework done to have dinner with us, and join us for the soccer game over at MSU. His roomie plays on the team (GOOOOO BRENT!!) and there was a group of the International Students that were planning on meeting us over there...so after a great dinner at the Rib Crib, we headed on over there to the stadium. Jason's International friends were there already, flagging him down, and we got to sit with them and root the Bear's soccer team on.
It was so much fun to talk with these young men, all of them from the MSU exchange program with one of their campuses in China. There were a few more that showed up after this photo was taken, and a female friend of his that is from Nigeria too. Brent loved the LOUD attention we gave him as he came on and off the field, and the weather was really perfect for the game...although it was a bit muggy from the rain all day. MSU tied the game (after overtime too!) but it was the sharing of experiences and cultures that held my attention.
The drive home was foggy last night, something we don't see TOO much around here, but it occurs none the less.
This afternoon, after listening to TWO sermons on line, Mark and I went to the neighboring town to our north to shop at their Walmart...he's been looking for new work boots. We found them there, then went to a favorite Chinese restaurant and each got an order of crab rangoon and shared an order of chicken fried rice "to go", and took a drive...we saw Jolly Mill, took a drive down to the "Smack Out" public use area, and drove down farm roads that we hadn't been on before (which is hard to imagine, considering we love to do that...and we've lived here 16 years!). It was an overcast but not rainy day, and we saw acres of sunflowers, miles of green rolling hills, and beautiful scenery. Sadly, I had taken the camera out of my purse, thinking that we were "just going to Walmart." I'll not make that mistake again!
I hope everyone else had a great weekend!!
Blessings!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Way We Were...


It's funny...just after I posted the photo and typed these words, Mark found the movie on tv...I recognized the song, but thought it came out around the time I graduated from H.S., but it was much earlier.

ANYWAYS... I've been feeling nostalgic this week. It's traditionally a bad time of year for me anyways...call it S.A.D...the need to hibernate...missing my mom (and entering the season that she suffered the most before her death)...or even my attempt to draw attention from my birthday...I just don't do well emotionally this time of year. *sigh*

As a kid, I remember almost always being ill in the fall. Even in So.California my body protested the change of the season. (How much farther south could I go to get more sunlight...and survive??)

So, it's been a week of RAIN, STORMS, WIND. I've been cold in the house, but the a/c is still set at the same temp it's been at all summer long. The pool water is too cool to get into, and I know we'll have to close it up soon. The shadows get long too soon in the afternoon, and it's dark out when Mark's alarm goes off....way too early since my circadian rhythm is WAY out of whack. (Gosh, I love that phrase..."cirdadian rhythm"!).

So what's a mom to do? An empty nesting mom? With no kids around??

Well, I cleaned today...not the WHOLE house, but a good deal of it. I plan on shampooing the carpets when it gets a little drier...no need to add to the dampness of the basement. I went shopping and even bought stuff to make cinnamon rolls!! I am so ready to fire up that oven!! And tonight, as Mark and I were watching tv, I brought up the "D" word...."dog". I'm not convinced yet that we really "need" one, and I hate the thought of having to deal with boarding, vet visits, and Lord help us, another dying puppy...(we lost one last winter to a mystery illness/allergic reaction?). But it's just THAT quiet in the house. I'm just that lonely during the day.

It's just a thought...and one I'm not likely to act on...but perhaps there is room in there again for one...just a small room...just starting to get that space ready, but not willing to fill it up yet.

Too much traveling in my future right now...to see Melissa and Ryan bring their baby into the world...to hopefully get to see Jessica and Joshua sometime in the next few year(s). I think I could handle being alone a bit longer...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

If I wrote a book...

I THINK I will write a book someday...now getting it published would be another matter all together...but writing it would be possible...perhaps.

I used to often wonder if other writers are constantly writing things in their head when they can't sleep. I can't tell you how many books I've written in the wee hours of the morning, thoughts (all wonderful, of course!) running through my mind; creative and witty first lines to lead to great works of non-fiction.

Perhaps I'll be one of those undiscovered authors; only to be published long after my demise...someone will search the blog world over to find my pages left unmanned, unpenned, in cyberspace.

Perhaps I'll just go on dreaming of writing a book...or rather...writing my book in my lack of dreams....

sleepless nights...

I'm up again, not able to sleep. Actually, that's not completely true NOW...I went to bed early, and couldn't get to sleep. I finally got up around 10:30, and sat here playing scrabble, catching up on email, looking at photos and reading articles on the emergent/emerging church. NOW my eyes are finally getting tired...and my fingers too (although I'm hoping I am catching all the typing errors!).

My daughter started school today, and it reminded me of my childhood...how there was always something different about the FIRST day of school...there was a different smell in the air, a different feeling....like the dew was heavy on the grass or something. I'm hoping it went well for her...

There is an owl outside in the tree up front...it "whoooo whooo's" as if it's calling for someone to answer. Thankfully, Zoe (our outside dog) must be used to it, as she is not answering. : } I am grateful.

Well, the errors are winning....I am able to sleep (and need to).

Sweetie pie dreams....

Monday, September 3, 2007

Empty Housing...again...

Every now and again I hate the fact that we live in a larger house...don't get me wrong, it's not HUGE...but we had all 5 of us (Mark, the kids and I) with Mark's sister Sandra, living in a really small house (800 sq. ft?) with just one bathroom....and the last house we were in wasn't that much larger...and then we started sending the girls off to college...and now we live in the largest of the homes and only have Mark and I at home. *sigh*

So when we have had our kids home for short stays, it's been great...there's two main master suite areas, so there's lots of privacy. Recently Melissa was with us for a bit, and then her hubby Ryan for their vacation. Today they went over to his folks house for the rest of their vacation time here...and again, the house is empty. Quiet.

I can go downstairs (my "living area" is upstairs on one side of the house), and the house is quiet. No one watching tv. No lights on. No meals to plan. No events on my calendar.

It would be easy for me to stress about this...I like having people in the house, cooking for them, serving them and still letting them make the space their's to live in as they wish. For now though, it's transition time. Things have been happening so quickly the last several months that I feel like we've not even caught up to where we are supposed to be...perpetual motion. Constantly on the move.

So it's the end of summer...the pool needs to be closed soon...not that it's cold out, but as the daylight decreases the water cools off...and soon it will be too cool to go into. In mid-Oct. I'll be going to NY to see Melissa and Ryan (and greet that baby that will come!!), so it would be good to get the pool covered and the area winterized before I leave (although I'm sure Mark would and could do it on his own).

My back's been wretched this week...riding in a car really sets it off...and I'm not sure if it's a pinched nerve, being out of alignment or a disc issue...degeneration or whatever. All I know is that the exercises and stretches from the chiropractor help...and ibuprofen does too...and I just want to be able to go and do what I want - when I want - and that is not happening yet. sigh

So this week I'll sit, and sew on the baby's quilt, and enjoy the last of the summer's sunshine glistening on the water. I'll maybe even get out on the treadmill and walk...something that it's finally getting cool enough to do (at least in the morning). I may try to shampoo the carpets downstairs (something overdue on the "to do list"). I'll pray through this empty house, pray for the kids that have lived here, my own and those that have visited. I'll remember the pool parties of days gone by. I'll pray for this soon to be here baby, that it's entrance into the world will be as hoped for...no surprises...and for Melissa an easy delivery...and that it won't be too long before we're all together again....either in NY or here.

I know, from experience, that soon enough the snow will come down, the icicles will hang from the eaves, the kitchen will be warm with fresh cinnamon rolls from the oven, and there will be *new* friends sitting at the kitchen counter, playing games at the table, rooting for favorite sports teams as they watch games on tv.

But for now...it's just quiet...