Posted in Faith, Family

The Clock on the Wall

When I was 25, I had a birthday party.  Just a family party.  Nothing out of the ordinary, we celebrate birthdays until we die and my mom goes all out.  My grannie was there.  My dad was there.  Neither of which are here anymore.  My dad got me several presents.  He never really knew how to shop and this could have been the last birthday that he physically bought and wrapped presents.  Later it became money, which was appreciated just as much but not as nearly as sentimental.

One of the gifts he gave me was a clock.  Just a wall clock, nothing fancy.  It has a pendulum and it chimes on the hour.  It probably cost him $19.99, maybe even $14.99 from Walmart.  We talking 13 years ago.  It’s moved with me and always hung in a prominent place in the living room.  It takes 4 AA batteries to get it to work.  Two for the tick tock part, and two for the chimes.  I haven’t had batteries in the chiming part for a long time.  I can’t even remember the last time it chimed. I’m sure I didn’t have enough batteries to change out, and only replaced the two for tick tocking.

This past weekend, it stopped.  Like most clocks, it slowed down at first, began losing time, then the second hand just stood on the number ten and twitched for a while before it completely shut down.   Like a slow death.  Like a person dying.  First they slow down, then began losing some of their function, and then they just seem to hang on for a long time, like the second hand on the number ten before they’re gone.  Just gone.

Today, I dug some AA batteries out of my big gallon jug appropriately labeled “batteries” and took the clock off the wall.  I began the simple task, or what I thought would be, of getting a clock to run again.  I had to pry the old batteries out with a butter knife, then replace with new ones.  Nothing happened.  I pried them out again, checking that they were in the right direction, nothing.  I dug through my gallon jug for different batteries, replaced them and still….nothing.  I wiggled the silver parts that hold the batteries in place, I jiggled different things, nothing was working.

And then I was hit with emotion.  Wham!  Bam!  It took me completely by surprise and waylaid me.  My heart started to hurt, tears began to well up.  I took a deep breath and did some internal talking trying to make sense of why this was so upsetting to me.  It’s just a clock.  But on the flip side, it’s not just a clock.  It’s a clock that I like, and my dad gave it to me.  And that, my friends, put me into a tail spin.  My mind began racing, tears flowing, fingers still using a butter knife to place and replace batteries in a clock, trying to find the meaning, the symbolism in all this.  One more thing of my dad’s that’s gone?  Lost time?  Am I losing time?  Am I wasting time?  What does this mean?  Why is this wrecking me right now?

I sat the clock down on the kitchen table and walked off.  I had to get a grip.  But my steps took me to the living room where I instinctively looked at the wall and saw the bare spot where it hung.  I went back to the kitchen.  I needed something to eat.  Eating would stop the shaking.  I popped two pieces of bread in the toaster, but couldn’t leave it alone.  I went back into the utility room and pulled the jug of batteries off the shelf.  Rummaging through all the triple A’s and the C’s, I found my last two double A batteries.  I said a prayer, please God let this work.  I need help.

I put the batteries in, and the clock began to tick.  It began to tock.  Relief swept over me.  I looked up and said, Thank you Jesus.  Thank you.

I then put two of the batteries that were not working in the chiming part, and it began to chime.  I will never allow it not to chime again.

I hung it back on the wall, my wall of favorite things.

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The clock from my dad, with the family prayer plaque from our dear friends Brad and Suzanne.  The cross was given to me by my sweet friend Mrs. Z.  The dog on the bed picture was something I bought for myself from JC Penney.  I paid $109 for it when I was in college and it nearly broke me.  My dad gave me the cedar chest.  My sister and family gave me the old red truck, and I’m going to have one like it someday.  The little church was bought with some money from my Aunt Bert after she sold us our house in Texas.

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Posted in Children, Family, Pregnancy

Breast Weaning Woes

I’m categorizing this blog under the Public Service category because somethings just need to be said, that no one said to me.  And also because I feel the need to vent.

I’m a little bit peeved at the female race right now.  Yes, women, you.  Don’t point at yourself with your eyebrows raised in surprise like that.  Yes, you.  I’m feeling a bit uninformed, a bit left out in the cold, and a whole LOT OF  shocked at the fact that nobody told me how painful weaning my baby from breast-feeding would be.

To my male readers:  don’t check out quite yet, I have something for you too.

To the mothers out there:  you told me how much pregnancy sucks, you told me how painful labor would be, you warned me of the pain of beginning breast-feeding, how badly it hurt when they latched on. You told me about the hard recovery from a c-section, the hormonal swings, the postpartum depression.  But no one, I mean NO ONE mentioned how painful weaning would be.

I chose to breast feed because I believe in it.  I believe in its goodness.  I never expected to last 6 months, never mind last a year and onward.  My little EK loves to nurse.  She asks for it all the time.  “muck”.  It has been beneficial to her, to her health, to our bonding, etc., etc., etc.  I could go on.

I must be honest, I felt a little weird nursing a toddler, even though deep down I knew I shouldn’t.  But Western Society sexualizes the breast, rather than embracing its intended function and breast feeding a toddler or older is frowned upon.  Dare I even say stigmatized.

I slowly began to wean the baby around 12 months.  First we night weaned, then we began dropping a feeding here and there.  Finally we were down to 2 feedings a day.  I kept it like this for several weeks.  And then the tantrums began.  When I had to postpone her desire for “muck”, she got mad.  She cried.  She pouted.  She hit whatever was closest, sometimes me.

This past Thursday, after a hitting episode, I just said.  “no more, there’s no more milk”.  I’ve stuck to it, but it’s a lie.  It’s one big whopper of a lie, because let me tell you folks, there’s still milk.  There’s a lot milk.  And my bosoms are engorged!  The pain is almost unbearable.  They’re hard, and hot, and lumpy and leaky.  Originally XS, they’ve expanded to a size XXX.  It’s not fun.

To my male readers:  I think I now know how it feels to have testicles.  You know how you guys are always protecting yours?  I get that now.   If something comes near you; a ball, a small child, you instinctively put your hands up to guard your jewels.  I get that now.  Because they hurt.  And especially when they get bumped.  I get that.  You have no idea how much I get that now.   I cry out like a little girl.  And feel like hitting back whoever or whatever has bumped them.

You have no idea how badly I want to allow my girl to nurse again to relieve the pain and discomfort, but I feel like I would really be taking 300 steps backward.  She still asks for her “muck” but the fits have stopped and she seems to be happy with substitute nourishment and comfort.  It’s not really her suffering from weaning.  It’s me.

I think I did this the smart way.  I weaned gradually.  There was no “cold turkey” .  And yet, I still have an overabundance of supply.  I’ve pumped a little just to grant myself an ounce (pun intended) of relief.   And now I have cabbage leaves in my bra as a home remedy to help drain and dry up.  So guess what?  Not only do I hurt, I am uncomfortable, I am downright grouchy, but now……I smell like slaw.  All I lack is fried chicken.  Just add that to my woes.

Which brings me to my advice.  To all you young mothers or ladies thinking of becoming a mother or thinking of breast-feeding.  Do it, it is a wonderful thing, don’t get me wrong, the benefits are astounding.

But  for me it has not been a piece of cake to wean, I’m here to tell you.

Since no one else will.

<END OF PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT>

But can anyone bring me some fried chicken?

Posted in Uncategorized

Five Dollar Advice

When you’re unemployed you have to think of creative ways to make a little cash.  Lately I’ve been wheeling and dealing on the various selling sites on Facebook.  Basically every community has a “for sale” site where you post your wares:  those clothes that are too snug in the waistband, the mini food processor you’ve used twice in the last 15 years, your old tires, your velvet hanging of “THE KING” with the microphone cocked and his hips swiveled.

It works out good when the buyer actually follows through, shows up to buy the merchandise, and doesn’t try to haggle you down to a buck twenty five.  Recently I sold a little whatchamacallit and made arrangements with the buyer to meet in a parking lot of a fast food joint.  She’s waiting on me when I get there.  Nice lady, had a daughter with her about, oh 13 maybe?

We greet one another.  I’m happy to be making five bucks.

She stays  in the car, cigarette hanging out her windows, while her daughter hands me the cash.  I stand there leaning through the passenger car window  explaining how this contraption I just sold works.  Suddenly she interrupts me.

“I have to say something, and I hope you don’t get offended.”

Oh boy I thought, here it comes.  When someone starts a statement like that, you really never know what to expect.  I braced myself.

“You look so much better in person,”she said smiling a big toothed grin.

I couldn’t help but laugh.  Should I be offended?

“Ok, thank you?” I say not sure if this is a compliment or an insult.

She went on.

“I mean, really.  You look great. You look younger.  You look great.  I’m not even sure I would’ve recognized you.”

Her teenage daughter, experiencing one of many embarrassing moments that her mother will cause, looked over at her, earrings dangling to her shoulders and said, “Really, Mom?”

Obviously she was not concerned with how her deal of the day worked.  I handed over the five dollar buy convinced this sale was final.

As if I didn’t quite get the lady’s point, she continued. “I don’t know, you look great.   Maybe you should rethink your profile pic.”

Well I just had to laugh.  My favorite way to be complimented is when it’s rolled up in an insult.

I’m not insulted.  Actually, I’m thankful for her insight.  If I ever use one of those online dating sites, I’ll be sure to use my current profile pic.  That way  when I  meet face to face with my potential beau, they’ll be as blown away as this lady was.

I took my five bucks along with her smidgen of wisdom and hit the road.

Posted in Family

Summer twenty thirteen

I’m such a slacker and I make myself so mad when I don’t blog regularly.  My thoughts and words are a bumbling rambling mess in my head which means the best approach to empty out  is with a list.

  • Today is the first official day of summer.  Here in Ruidoso, the weather is a dream come true to us.  We don’t even have air conditioning in our house and the highs are in the 80’s right now.  It gets a bit warm in the afternoon but not unbearable.  Especially if you’re laying around, which is pretty much what I do.  Despite the cooler temps, I still hate cooking in summer.  Blah!  Heck, I hate cooking in winter, spring, and fall too.  Who am I kidding.
  • My baby is a week away from 17 months old.  It doesn’t seem possible.  We did a practice run at potty training the other day, and well, let’s just say we need a lot more practice.  Within 45 minutes, we’d been through 5 pairs of training panties and a pair of sheets.  Laundry, laundry, laundry.
  • I lost a chicken the other day.  Another mystery in the art of poultry ranching.  My last black chicken was lying dead in the yard.  It could’ve been the dogs, but they’ve lived with the chickens for more than 2 years without killing one.  It could’ve been another chicken, it could’ve been a stroke.  It remains unexplainable.  Nevertheless, I’m down to only 4 chickens but still plenty of eggs and noone to give them too. You may be hearing me describe all the ways I can prepare eggs soon:  fried eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, boiled eggs…..
  • EK talks like nobody’s business.  It’s not always decipherable by most, but me and daddy have it down pretty good.  Yesterday she woke up from her nap.  I asked her if she’d like a snack.  She ran to the pantry and said “m&m’s, chocolate, donuts”  in that order.  No worries that we’re raising a health nut here.
  • I’ve had a lot of people tell me over the years that I should write a book.  That is such a huge undertaking, but not out of the question.  I’d love to, but I’m not there yet.  So, I’ve taken a direction with my writing that comes as a bit of a surprise as I’ve been hired to write a little romance novella.  I’m actually going to get paid a small pence.  Haha!  It’s a bit ironic as I have as much romance in me as a white boy’s got dance moves, but with a little help from wine, I’m hoping to unleash my inner love starved heroine.
  • egg florentine, egg drop soup…….
  • We’ve finally found a church here that we’re enjoying and meeting new people.  I think the hardest part of moving is losing the familiarity of people.  But all in good time, all in good time.
  • J-Dub and I had an anniversary this month.  We celebrated 8 wonderful years and one really bad one.  Nah, I’m just kidding.   It’s not an easy thing, but it’s a good thing.   I hope to grow old with him and watch our grandchildren play in our front yard, feeling satisfied that we did our best.
  • egg custard, eggs benedict, egg salad…..
  • I’m currently reading 4 books, yes 4.  What the heck is wrong with me?  I’ve got a romance, because obviously I need some research in that department.  A book club book by Jodi Picoult, and Remember Ben Clayton.  Also Captivating another book club discussion.  So many books, so little time.
  • Currently I’m in love with a rack of dresses at Walmart.  Economically priced at $9.94 and in a myriad of colors, I am the proud owner of 3 so far.  I’m not usually a dress person, but you know what?  These don’t bind me up.  They flow, they’re loose, and airy.  It’s almost like wearing a gown all day and who can go wrong with that.
  • Life is good.  It really is.  I’m happy in this season of my life.  God is good to me, and His love is indescribable.   Sometimes I’m filled with so much love, I don’t know what to do.  I only hope that it overflows out of me and splashes onto others a little.

I enjoyed writing this little love letter to you, but supper doesn’t stop because it’s summer.

So I’m off to cook steak.

And eggs.

 

Love,

Angel

Posted in Children, Family

Dreaming Like a Baby

Our local library launched its summer reading program this week with the theme Blazing the Trails.  It is phenomenal and the librarians have put an immense amount of work into this.

On opening day for the Tiny Tots, we dug for pennies in sand, panned for gold, lassoed ponies, raced stick horses and sat real ponies.  EK loves the library and loves the books.  She wouldn’t put her book down before getting on the pony.  She walked around with her book open like she was reading it.

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The next day at the library, a trick roper entertained us with his horse, his rope, and his dog.

Understandably, EK’s new favorite word is “hosh”.

Early this morning, still sleeping but stirring, eyes shut, she rolled over in bed and let out a soft “neigh”.

Ah, the sweet dreams of babes.