Posted in Dear Diary, Faith, Family

What happened when I quit Facebook

I quit facebook.  It was huge for me.  I think either today, tomorrow, or the next day marks two weeks.  Two weeks!

I don’t even know why I did it, except that somewhere in the past few years, months, weeks, or days, when it happened I’m not sure, but at some point, I kind of lost myself.  It’s not face book’s fault, but just a combination of my choices.  Maybe it’s never happened to you, but I got to the point where I just found myself sick to death of everything, including myself.  So I pulled the plug.  I can’t pretend it wasn’t hard.  Within moments my mind was racing with pathetic thoughts. The first thing I worried about was that if I died, while not on Facebook, no one would be able to visit my wall to eulogize me and tell my loved ones how much they missed me.  Or give a nice story.  Or even know I died at all.  That thought process right there may be indicative of the health of my mind at the time.

The next thought, after the death one, was that my sister’s birthday was coming up in a couple of days and just how was I going to handle that?  Usually it was an ol’ happy bd fb post, but now I would need an alternate method.  To the card store I went.   It got me thinking that I didn’t receive one card in the mail on my previous birthday, except from Bealls, the local department store, with a friendly $10 gift to use toward my purchase.  I may not have received a card for my birthday, but I know I probably got more than a hundred fb messages.  What is that saying about us as people?  Anything at all?  Sending cards will soon be filed away in the same archaic vault as sending a lock of hair to a loved one.  I almost sent one to my sister, just for old times sake.

Then over the next few days of my fb fast, I would catch myself thinking “I should put that on Facebook”.  Or wondering about certain people who I only kept in contact with through that venue.  It was comparable to a grieving process, how for a brief moment you  pick up the phone to call your mom or your dad, only to remember they’re no longer living.  But as the days passed, it became easier and better.  I haven’t really missed it.  Except maybe, a little.

I did want to post Ashlynn’s first day of 10th grade, so here it is:

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Isn’t she lovely?  This was the day after she was released from the hospital with yet another stomach blockage due to adhesions.  It had been a while since we have had to deal with this, and it was downright scary. She spent three days in there feeling terribly.  Normally, I would have been straight on fb for prayer, because it is a great avenue for that.  My sister kept the Facebook world updated and many prayers came for healing and I am much appreciative. I know her healing is from God and I know the many prayers of friends and family reached the heavens.

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Friends helped keep her spirits up.  She developed a nasty cough right afterwards, but about has that whipped now too and is on to smooth sailing.

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So here it is nearly September, and we are squeezing the last drops out of summer as we can.  We went and took Emma out on a paddle boat the other day and found ourselves way too far out with just a few minutes to get back.  Our thighs were burning trying to get back to the dock in time.  Emma was crying in the beginning, she is such a cautious child and really tends to get anxious at new things, but she was all smiles in no time.  A package of m&m’s might have helped.

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She’s a full blooded two and a half year old now and keeps me laughing.  She’s so good and a true blessing and joy in all of our lives. I really need to write down more of what she says because they’re just so darn funny.

All in all, since my fb sabbatical (and my deletion of all other social media, save pinterest and words with friends) I am feeling much more light hearted.  I’m finding my focus, which primarily should be on the people who live under my roof.  Other than that, each day is just a repeat of the previous.  Sometimes it’s drudgery, sometimes it’s chaos, but there is always beauty to be found when I pause long enough to look around.

The big things are still the same:  I’m still trying to find my purpose in life and  still trying to grow my bangs out, both of which might take to the end of my days.  And in the event the end of my days might come, you might have to go to the card store to send a condolence.  Go ahead and stick a lock of hair in their too, okay, just for old times sake.

 

 

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Posted in Faith, Family, Uncategorized

You’d better listen.

This morning I sent this 14 year old off to school.

ash homecoming

It’s Homecoming here.  Last night there was a bonfire, today a pep rally, tonight a football game, tomorrow a dance.

We be busy.

So later, I was replying to some comments here on my blog and I ended up clicking on something that took me way back to some of my first posts.  I saw comments from my dad, which made me smile and brought a touch of sadness as well.  Clicking here led to clicking there until  I came across this post from a few years back that is entitled “Listen.”

I think it’s my favorite blog post of all time.

It’s a voicemail from that sweet 14 year old above when she was a bit younger.   A bit more innocent.  But still as fun.  And crazy.  And tender.

You have to listen to this message.  It shows her heart.

A beautiful heart.

Here’s the original post from 2010:

My niece called me.  She left the sweetest, most precious voicemail.

Before you hear more, I must tell you this.

“Mama” in the message, works in bail bonds.  They were at the jail to bail someone out. Thankfully, not a member of the family…….this time.

My niece had been prostrate weeping and wailing for hours because her friend Perla couldn’t come over after she had been planning it for a whole entire week.  She was devastated.

And lastly, Jesus is her homeboy.

Click on the link below.  You must.  It’ll make you smile, I hope.

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=10255644-023

Authors Note:  It took me 17 hours, 904 online tutorials, and ten of my own dollars to learn how to post this to my blog.  I have yanked every hair from my head and am now forever changed, not to mention bald.  So it had better make you smile.

Thanks for listening 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Decisions, decisions.

Decisions, decisions. 
Thankfully not life or death decisions.  More on the caliber of comfort kind of decisions.  As in “should I do an exercise tape or go to bed and read?”  And along the lines of “I just ate mac and cheese, but I really want some milk toast.” 

Do you know what milk toast is?  Does the very mention of those two words together make you throw up in your mouth?  I was raised on milk toast.   Probably not exactly correct, but the modern day version consists of toasting some bread, buttering it, putting it in a bowl, adding sugar to it, then pouring milk over it.  Hence the name Milk Toast.  So yeah, if you don’t like the idea of soggy bread, it might not appeal to you, but to me, it’s like manna from heaven.

Since the weather here has turned colder and the wind has decided to rear his ugly head once again, my walking regimen has been put on hold.  Now for a little cause and effect.  Because my walking regimen has been put on hold, my belly has increased dramatically in size in the last couple of weeks. 

So instead of eating milk toast, then going to bed and reading, I decided perhaps to blog and bore you with more uninteresting stuff like milk toast recipes. 

I’ve reached the age where my mind still says I can but my body says No Way Jose.  Case in point.

Weekend before last, J-Dub, Ashy, and I took a weekend trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico.  We were hoping to see some beautiful foliage, visit some family, have a nice weekend get-away, and find a house to live in.  Not really on that last part, but my husband is set on moving to Ruidoso.  Or anywhere close to the mountains. 

Ashy and I decided to take a little walk around the neighborhood Saturday morning, so we set out with our tennis shoes, no cell phone, and a camera for a nice little stroll on a walking trail that wound around a fenced off golf course. 

We stayed on course enjoying the weather, watching the crows that were as big as my yard chickens, and simply enjoying one another’s company. 

Before we set out, we were told that the trail was about 3.5 miles long.  Not bad.  We could handle that.  And we did.  We did just fine until our trail ended and we were on a street. We didn’t know whether to turn left, turn right, or cross over.   You might say we’d come to a crossroads.  Literally.   We lost sight of the trail and were forced with a decision, decision. So we decided we’d take a right turn since that was sort of the way we came.   After walking a few several blocks, we still had our eyes on the golf course and knew that we weren’t lost.  But then somehow we ended up behind some buildings that dead ended into the fenced off golf course again. 

All during our walk we read signs posted on the golf course chainlink fence that read:

NO TRESPASSING
VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED

But before you knew it, we found ourselves trespassing across the golf course.  We could see the trail on the other side.  There were runners, walkers, and all we needed to do was get over there to them.  It made sense that the quickest route to the trail we needed to get on, was to cross over the golf course. 

Decisions, decisions.  So we headed out walking across this golf course with elevated heart rates, not from the walk but rather from the thrill of trespassing, and all the while Ashy chanting, please don’t prosecute us, please don’t prosecute us. 

Our destination was in sight.  The trail was right before our eyes.  We had traversed the golf course and made it to the trail.  There was nothing stopping us from stepping onto it except the dadgum chain link fence that surrounded the entire golf course. 

There was no gate nearby. No doorway.  No tunnel.  We’d been walking at least 45 minutes.  My feet hurt.  I was getting warm.  I was thirsty, and I was tired of this adventure.  I turned and looked around the area behind us of which we had travelled.  Our choices were either to turn around and re-trespass over the golf course prolonging my misery or climb the chain link fence. 

Decisions, decisions.

“We’re just going to have to climb this fence.”  I told Ash.  Of course the fear of getting caught was weighing on my mind.  I thought surely no one would really harass a pregnant lady and a 12-year-old, but you never know in this day and age.  We took our chances.

We walked over by a little grove of trees away from the trail, behind some buildings which we later discovered to be the police station, and I stood while Ash positioned her sandaled foot just so-so inside the chain links and climbed up and over the fence.  I have never seen anyone climb a fence so slowly.  I was on high alert, looking around for golf carts and flying golf balls, men with badges, and passersby. 

“Hurry up!”  I snapped at her, hoisting her on the butt.  Then as she slung her leg over, of course her pants got hung on that pointy little part sticking over the top bar of the fence, and I had to wiggle it and yank on it to get her free as she gingerly positioned her feet on the opposite side and climbed herself down, safely on the non-trespassing side.

Now for my turn.  Piece of cake.  I mean how many chain link fences have I climbed  in my life?  At least 300.  Not only have I climbed my own fences,  I’ve watched COPS.  I’ve seen how criminals can get over a fence in a couple of seconds time.  My mind knew I could do this.  All I had to do was put my hands on the top bar of that chain link fence and hoist my six month pregnant self on to the bar, then swing my legs over and climb down.  

Now all I had to do was convince my body.  I hoisted.  I strained.  I grunted.  I jumped.  I stood on my tippy toes.   The fence was wobbly.  My upper body was weak.  After a few attempts, my heart rate was really elevated from the anxiety of getting caught climbing a fence and the exertion it was taking.   I was sweating.  In the mountains.  In October.

Finally, with all the strength I could muster, I hoisted and slung my leg at the same time.  I managed to get on top of the bar and laid there smashing my poor baby girl into my backbone, then flipped my legs over and let myself down.

Panting and red-bellied we limped home.  Well I did anyway.
Thankfully without prosecution.
But more than likely, the whole thing is on someone’s surveillance camera.  I hope they’re getting a kick out of it.

I think I’ll go eat some soggy bread now.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Football!!

Football in Texas is kind of a big deal.  More specifically, small town Friday night high school football in Texas is kind of a big deal.  Especially in my area.   It seems the whole town gathers in a sea of green and gold to cheer on our home town boys, The Harvesters.  Yep, the Harvesters.  Not the Bears.  Not the Cougars.  Not anything that can shred you to bits with their teeth or their claws, but The Harvesters.  Don’t get me wrong, we carry a mean sickle let me tell you.  Or is it a scythe?  I certainly don’t know what that harvester is harvesting with.

This Friday night just so happens to be our homecoming game.  Which I would be false in assuming everyone understands.  It pretty much took all my life to be proved wrong.  It wasn’t until last year when my sister, who now lives in New Mexico, said “you know…..I think homecoming mums are a Texas thing.  No one around here does it.” 

I was caught a bit off guard.  If you don’t do homecoming mums, what do you do?  I just figured everyone did it the way we did.  Let me explain. 

Not only do the students deck themselves out in green and gold, spray paint their hair, and paint their faces, all in the name of school spirit, but for the homecoming game, shy boys awkwardly ask out nervous girls, and then buys a homecoming mum (the gawdier the better) to be pinned to their shirts.

  The girls return the favor by buying the boy a homecoming garter to wear on his arm.  A parade kicks off the festivities, and the next night the football stadium becomes a sea of  green and gold ribbons, bells, whistles, and even feathers.  Not only are there concession stands, but it is almost equivalent to a fair.  Booths are set up and the smells of  burgers, turkey legs, roasted corn on the cob, fajitas, and just about anything you can imagine wafts through the stadium.  At half time, a homecoming king and queen are crowned and everyone hopes the Harvesters pull off a win.

As if all this fun and frolic isn’t already giving you a headache, imagine how I feel knowing my sweet, little, tiny, innocent 7th grade niece actually has a date to this thing!  When did she grow up???  Now granted, my first homecoming date was in the 5th grade with a neighborhood boy named Ryan and I guess I turned out alright, but I really wasn’t expecting this so soon with Ash.  

That little girl who made Santa Claus beards with the bubbles in her bathtub now has a boy asking her to homecoming.  He bought her a mum, she bought him a garter, his parents are driving him over to pick her up, they’re going out to eat Mexican food before the game.  Oh my.  Oh my. 

My niece Ash doesn’t have the best table manners in the world, and J-Dub harps on her all the time.  I’ve even been the one to mention, “Ash, someday you’re going to have a date, and if you eat like a hog at the trough, that boy is never going to ask you on a second date.” 

I almost hope she eats like a hog at the trough.  
It’s a hard pill to swallow, this growing up stuff.
 

And then I think of this little bundle of pink who is busy growing toenails in my comfortable, safe womb, and a ripple of panic courses through my veins when I think that this day too will visit us.  One day, when we least expect it, she’s going to grow up and catch the eye of some boy who will ask her to an innocent homecoming football game.  We’ll blink our eyes, and before we know it J-Dub will be walking her down the aisle, giving her away to some stinky boy.

Whoever said “Time flies”  sure knew what he was talking about. 
I wish someone could figure out how to slow it down.

Posted in Uncategorized

Wide Load

Easter Sunday when I posted this on my blog I was trying to be funny.

 Today, there is nothing funny about it. 

My butt hurts.  It’s the truth. 

Ashy and I decided to go for a bike ride yesterday.  A pleasant country bike ride on dirt roads next to green pastures. 

We headed south atop our cheap Walmart bikes, rode to the first county road that runs east and west, and took a left turn. 

Being married to J-Dub, he has taught me a couple of things.  One of which being,  there is a mile between each county road.  I hadn’t been out more than a mile down the road my house sits on and we were up for an adventure to see what lay beyond the mile marker.

So we pedaled east on an extremely rocky road for about a mile, took a right, and began pedaling down a tiny dirt road with nothing but cows on the left and oil equipment on the right.  I turned on my IPod and we sang Sugarland and Rod Stewart at the top of our lungs.  We saw a fearful coyote running from our melodies, cows curiously eyeballing us, quail skittering across the road, the green of wheat fields gently blowing.  Life was good.  But the road was long.  My sitting bones began to ache.  I hadn’t ridden a bike in, hmmm, let’s say, 3 years.  After riding the lengths of a couple of county roads, I cursed sitting on that tiny little pointy bicycle seat when what I really needed was a tractor seat. Plus a yellow banner across my backside screaming WIDE LOAD in black lettering. 

But what do you do when you’re a long way from your home and your house is no longer a speck on the horizon?  Do you turn around or continue on in hopes of a road soon?  We continued on, enjoying our afternoon and ignoring the pain.

Finally high wires and electrical poles came into view and I knew we were nearing another road running perpendicular.  Sure enough, the next road appeared.  We took a right turn to head back west.  Then Ashlynn needed to pee.  After a pit stop in the bar ditch, we walked our bikes a while on wobbly legs and sore keisters, gathering a couple of pretty rocks on the way.   Time was crawling by and we decided it would be faster to get back on and ride, to push through the pain like real athletes.  Then Ashy began developing a blister on her thumb from holding the handlebar and being jostled through dirt roads.  The  sun burned down on our necks, the wind gave us a bit of resistance, but the IPod was on shuffle, so we kept singing and kept on riding.

An eternity later we came to our road, made a right turn heading back to the south, completing a four mile square.  But before we made it home, first Ashy had to stop and pick some cotton from another barditch. 

With bulging pocket of rocks and cotton, our little trailer house on the prairie greeted 2 tired, sore, hot and thirsty wanderers as we crept up the lane.

It took us way over an hour and a half to ride 4 miles.  On a good day, if I book it, I  can walk faster than that.  It just didn’t make any sense to me.  Even with dirt roads, and stopping for walking, peeing, and picking rocks and cotton, it shouldn’t have taken us that long to ride a bike four miles.   So I hopped in my car today to measure the distance.  J-Dub hopped in with me.  Come to find out, on two of the roads, they didn’t have intersecting roads every mile, instead it was every two miles.  So our 4 mile ride that I thought we’d taken ended up really being close to 7 miles.  And boy let me tell you, my tail bones can account for  every inch of it today. 

But even with the soreness, yesterday held one of the most enjoyable afternoons I had spent in a very long time. 

The simplicity of sunshine, songs, and sweat does a body good. 

And a soul.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Marble Cake

She’s 12 today.

A beautiful joy.  Even with a wad of orange gum in her mouth.

She asked if she could have a marble cake.  Sure, you can.  And then she looked at her grandmother, and in her best 12-year-old, you’ve-got-to-be-kiddin-me, pre-teen, on-the-verge-of-knowing-everything voice, she said “You know that’s a KIND of a cake, not a cake with real marbles.”  She may have even rolled her eyes.  

Oh my.

As if my mother, her grandmother, has managed to live 60 some-odd years and not know what a marble cake is. 

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, Hey teenager! Tired of your parents?  Move out, get a job, and pay your own way while you still know everything.

Last night I baked a birthday cake for my niece.  It was one of those beautiful double layer chocolate cakes.  I wish I had a picture to show you, except it was an awful mess lying out in the pasture where I chunked it.  First of all, when I flipped the cake pans over, half the cake stuck to the bottom of the pan leaving lopsided, gouged out layers.  Not the total end of the world, I thought.  Maybe I could level it out and still make it look nice.  Icing it was another problem as crumbs mingled with icing causing a gloppy mess.  Finally to top it off, I picked up a big bite-size chunk of cake and popped it in my mouth.  It may look bad, but at least it tasted good.  Wrong.  I was talking on the phone when I was mixing the batter and, well, I must’ve been a bit side-tracked and doubled or maybe quadrupled the salt.  Salty cake just ain’t all that tasty, let me tell you.

After rinsing my mouth out under the faucet, I picked up the glass cake  stand by the pedestal, carried it out to the pasture, reached back, and slung the cake off the pedestal as far as I could.  I’m sure a coyote had a nice treat last night.  And probably a belly ache.  Today I imagine he’s suffering from hypertension due to an elevated sodium intake.

My husband, who hangs his Superman cap in the closet each night, cooked ribeye steaks, risotto, asparagus, and spinach strawberry salad for my niece’s birthday dinner tonight.

Oh yeah, and he stayed up until 1:30 IN THE MORNING baking  her a lovely cake.

One that came out of the pans beautifully,

Iced wonderfully, and

Tasted divinely.

The best  marble cake I’ve ever had.

Happy Birthday Ashy!

Posted in Uncategorized

In Your Name, we ask these things

This post may not apply to you tonight.  But it’s heavy on my heart.

Tomorrow many children all across my town, and my state, will be taking their state assessments.  And although I don’t have children of my own, I have gobs that have passed through my classroom doors in the past.  I also have one very special student on my mind tonight, my niece Ashy.

Even though it’s “just” a test, for many it causes stress and worry.  The students have been working hard all year preparing and the tests are often long and laborious, taking several hours to complete. 

Ashy and I have been spending the last several days tutoring for the math test. Tomorrow is the big day. I called her a little while back to wish her luck, and to tell her I’ll be praying for her throughout the day tomorrow.

I do believe my anxiety is greater than hers.
I believe in prayer.  I believe it holds great power. Jesus himself intercedes for us to the Father.  I believe in praying scriptures. Jesus himself quoted scripture when tempted by Satan.

I compiled a few scriptures that I will lift up on behalf of my niece tomorrow while she is figuring circumference, finding common denominators, and choosing which expression can be used to solve the problems.  Perhaps it may be helpful for others as well.

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Scriptures for peace: 1 Corinthians 14:33a For God is not the author of confusion but of peace. 

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded.

Dear Lord, grant her peace of mind.  Clear any confusion she may have during the test.  Make her mind free of hinderances.  Keep her focus where it needs to be and free the room from distractions that may interfere with her thinking.

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For confidence: Romans 8:37 In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Father God, in you, help Ashy to be more than a conqueror.

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For Anxiety:  Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Dear God, take away any anxiety or fear she may have while taking the test.  Lord, give her  peace from You in her heart and her mind.

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For Stamina:  Matthew 11:28  Come to me all those who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 

Dear Lord, when Ashy gets tired, grant her rest and renew her so that she may finish strong. 

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For Success:  Phillipians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

Dear Jesus, strengthen Ashy.  Grant her success with her tests.  Remind her, Lord,  that she can do all things through You.

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For myself: Matthew 6:34  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. 

Thank you Lord for your word and that You hear us when we pray.

Amen.