Friday, October 24, 2014

In Other News…

 Day #24

As I was shopping last week for small pumpkins for the centerpieces for the women’s retreat,

I noticed that somehow Kroger decided to kick out Halloween early, 

skip over Thanksgiving completely

and move right into Christmas.

In mid-October.

This is live greenery, people!
Did I mention it’s mid-October?
I had to go to SEVERAL stores to find anyone still selling pumpkins.

In mid-October. 

I had a lengthy conversation with my friend Beth about not being able to find Halloween candy still.

It’s been relegated to a small 20% off bin at Kroger.

And not the good stuff either.

Seriously, who has NOT already eaten all their Halloween candy??

Don’t the powers that be at Kroger realize that there is more money
 in procrastination than planning ahead?

Have they met America?

No one wants live greenery in mid-October!!

 We want pumpkins. 

And candy.

I finally did find pie baking pumpkins at another grocery store for what I thought was $1.00. As I was checking out, I realized it was $1.00 a pound! And I picked the biggest ones I could find.


Meanwhile, across town at Cuco’s,

[That just sounded like, “Meanwhile, back at the Bat Cave,” in my head.]

Carisa ran into Plain Clothes Santa at her Mexican restaurant.

She said she asked permission to take his picture, but I’m getting a different story from this:

I’m getting more of a “Nooooo!” than a “Ho! Ho! Ho!"

I asked what Plain Clothes Santa ordered but Carisa left before she could find out.

I’m thinking he’s a chimichanga kind of guy.

Get it? Chimney? Chimneychanga??


Sorry, it’s been a long month.

Speaking of Carisa, she sent me this picture.

She texted,

“Yep. Right on the curb."

No, I will NOT be swiping this chair from the curb.
But the mint green seat and lid are a nice touch, don’t you think?

The only thing that would’ve made this picture more perfect was if Carisa were sitting on it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Welcome to the Jungle

Day #23

While I was repicking out kitchen cabinets,

and out of town at my church’s women’s retreat,

things continued to progress with our house construction.

This happened:

We found handwritten notes right on the outside of the house.

Which will soon be knocked out, so who cares.

Not sweet handwritten notes of greetings or encouragement.
 We no longer have a construction hole!

You know, Monte actually texted me that he was going to miss our hole.

It was fun.

But it’s over.

Time to move on.

We have walls now and a view from the upstairs bathroom that no longer allows for the windows to be cranked open.

Side view of addition.
Bathroom view.
 So it was decided that we would just take the window out.

It will be nice to not have to worry about if the girls 
are taking the time to close the curtains 
before taking a shower.

I have started to notice that 

ALL our bathrooms have windows.

Windows that always seem to have a construction worker 
right on the other side of them.

Many summers ago, we hired a crew of college kids to repaint the house.

I was using the bathroom upstairs when I noticed (too late) that there was a guy on a ladder RIGHT outside the window.

He waved at me.

Without thinking, 

I waved back,

while sitting on the toilet.

With that memory in mind,

I’ve started to use the basement bathroom.

And wearing my Nesbitt again because I want credit 
for all the stairs I’m running up and down!

When the worker, Jeremy, took the window out of the upstairs bathroom yesterday,

he found quite the colony, nest, hive or whatever you call a whole mess of stink bugs.


One flew up into his hat which he swatted and promptly squashed, thus releasing the aroma worthy of its name.

Jeremy handled it with all the panic and drama of the Child Detection Agency in Monsters Inc.


The debris piles keep forming and of course another dumpster was delivered the day Monte left town. He will be so sad if it leaves before he gets to throw in all the old paint cans and chemicals from our garage.

That man certainly does love a good dumpster.

Yesterday morning, I sat at the kitchen table doing my bible study homework.

We are doing Beth Moore’s Children of the Day on 1 & 2 Thessalonians.

It’s just fantastic.
It was a bit difficult to get the full impact of the homework with Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” blaring from the radio of one of the construction workers.

When AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” came on, 

I had to ask Jesus for some help 
and focus.

The booming and sawing and nail guns have put Nigel over the edge. 

If he isn’t on my lap, he’s right beside me. 

If he isn’t right beside me, he’s following me. 

If he isn’t following me, he’s hiding under the dining room table with a pig puppet that he snagged from Ellie’s room that I don’t have the heart to take from him.

As I typed this, I heard the familiar voices of my builder and workers rising louder and louder. There was a spirited discussion about something involving 5/18 or something in fraction form.

I looked around and Nigel was gone.

Not under the dining room table with puppet piggy.

 He chewed one of the eyes out!

 Is he “going quail” on me??

I found Nigel in the basement at the bottom of the stairs, shaking like a leaf.

He keeps asking for a nerve pill

with his eyes.

Please, Mommy!

As it turns out,

it really is a thing for dogs to go on Prozac and Xanax.

For the love of Pete.

In between Motley Crue, 
Ozzy Osbourne, 
Guns ’N’ Roses 
and what seemed like a loooong stretch of Pink Floyd songs,

I heard a big BOOM and a loud exclamation,


It seems about right that Yosemite Sam would be apart of our “not so typical crew”.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Trouble with Stitches

Day #22


I’ve never had them.

Unless you count the ones in my mouth 
after they removed my wisdom teeth.

They seem like a lot of trouble.

Or maybe it’s just me that has trouble with stitches.

where they removed drain balls (painfully), 

you know I am not so good with recognizing 
what is a loose hair 
and what is a stitch.

Hint:  unless you know the difference, 
don’t yank it!!

I got a text from Carisa last week saying that she made an appointment to see her plastic surgeon because there was a “place” that never healed from surgery.

She said it almost felt like a stitch that didn’t dissolve.

That surgery was 2 1/2 years ago.

Now that is some heavy duty thread.
And procrastination.

I went with Carisa to her appointment.

I know, I’ll never learn.

I figured it was going to be a quick peek at the “place”,

a yes or no to it actually being a stitch 

and then a consult on how to handle it,
at a later date.

What is the worst that could happen?

In and out and then we could go to lunch.

I know, it’s like I don’t even read my own blog.

The sweet southern lady at the front desk

(from Knoxville, Tennesee. I asked.) 

gave Carisa about 57 pages of forms to fill out.

I promised not to talk or distract her.

Thank goodness, Carisa realized the BIG FAT LIE that was.

The paperwork kept asking if she had the sniffles, sneezed a lot and seemed VERY interested in her sinus condition.

I told her with the length of that one tube of her drain ball, they may very well have stripped her sinuses.

So the question seemed pertinent.

We were led back to an examining room where we waited for almost 45 minutes, with Carisa in a robe.

She chewed every bit of flavor out of her gum and my stomach growled itself silly.

The doctor came in and determined “the place” was a stitch and it needed to come out.

Right then and there.

Carisa lied to me about where “the place” was located.

It wasn’t “on the side” as she previously led me to believe,
it was RIGHT BY the word that I can’t. even. handle. 

So I had to hear the word thrown around the room 
like confetti at a party.

The doctor asked if I wanted to wait outside.

My face must’ve screamed yes.

But Carisa said to stay.

Dear word, when the numbing shots went in and Carisa hollered, 

“Ow, ow, OW!

The room went a little dim.

Luckily, the doctor’s back was to me, blocking any sort of gore.

I busied myself with texting.

First to Monte explaining my deep hunger.

He told me that I put myself in “hangry” situations too much
and I should carry protein bars in my purse.

I imagined myself unwrapping a bar right there,
in the doctor’s office,
with Carisa getting cut open.

It made me dizzy.

And oddly more hungry.

Then I texted Sumita and Julie that I just couldn’t. even. handle. the word that rhymed with cripple.

And I didn’t even get to the part about it being 
thrown around the room like confetti at a party.

Julie kept telling me that the phone's autocorrect must be changing that word to cripple.

Sumita finally explained.

There may have been exclamation points.

The doctor kept asking Carisa if what he was doing was hurting her.

She said it wasn’t.

But it was hurting me.

He kept asking the nurse for different tools.

When he asked for one “with teeth”,

Carisa and I shared a horrified look.

I envisioned the nurse handing over something like the jaws of life.

But I couldn’t make myself look.
 My neck started to sweat.

The doctor seemed to be tugging on something and the nurse put on her glasses to check it out closer.

I guess a fair amount of scar tissue had formed around the tiny piece of stitch making it look like a grain of rice.

I was so curious to see it but feared passing out if I stood up to look over the doctor’s shoulder and got a peek at way more than I wanted to see.

Carisa said that they should put it in a bottle for me to take home.

If there had been a single ounce of anything in my stomach, 
I would’ve thrown up.

It was around then that the doctor noticed what he called a “distorted mole” and offered to remove it.

The whole classification of that struck me funny.

Leave it to Carisa to have a “distorted mole”.

And leave it to me to laugh at it.

Thank the good Lord they made another appointment for that because

I needed air and a sandwich in a bad way.

They talked about “packing” the hole they had just made into Carisa

and keeping gauze on it 

and I swear the room started to sway ever so slightly.

The doctor asked how Carisa was doing after the surgery (2 1/2 years later) and she voiced some concerns about some “areas”.

I swear, she was pranking me.

The doctor offered to “take care” of the “areas" when he removed the “distorted mole”.

It was so stinking hot in that room by then 
and I really wanted to take off a layer of clothing 
but feared the doctor would offer to 
"take care" of something on me!

As we walked out with the nurse, she asked if I was okay.

Clearly, I must’ve not seemed okay.

Carisa explained my wooziness and NOT LIKE of certain words.

She looked at me like I was odd.

Those words were her business.

It was ALMOST 3:00 when we walked out of that office,

Carisa numb and skipping along, 

me noodle-legged and contemplating eating my own hand.

She finished off the day by saying,

“You WILL be coming back with me for my next appointment.”

I need back-up, people.
LOTS of back-up.
And possibly a nerve pill.
And most definitely protein bars in my purse.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Am NOT Good in Medical Situations

Day #21

I need to back up a little,

like 2 1/2 years, 

in order to tell about my most recent visit 
to the doctor with Carisa.

I have a history of not being the best in medical-like situations.

And Carisa has a history of dragging me into them.

I get clammy.

And nauseous.

And there are words that I 


And one time there were pictures!

So click HERE to read, so I can tell you about what happened just last week. 

It will make SO MUCH more sense with the back story.

Monday, October 20, 2014

We Know How

Day #20

There is something about a church women’s retreat.

We certainly know how to make things pretty.

How to put out a spread of food.

And how to eat it.

How to keep the coffee brewing.

How to take the conversation to the next room when it dives deep.

How to laugh.

How to laugh hard.

How to laugh at ourselves 
and then share it with others 
so they can laugh too.

We know how to talk.

How to share our feelings,

our hurts, 

our misconceptions 
and what God is doing with all of them.

We know how to hear when a word is being spoken

and when to notice when someone in the corner 
is being split wide open from that word.

We know how to hug.

How to stay up too late talking

and laughing

and playing games.


We know how to ask for prayer and when to offer it.

We know how to make a mess

and how to clean it up.

We know how to encourage.

We know how to cheer.

We know how to celebrate that we are 
fearfully and wonderfully made.

And we know that that looks differently on every single one of us.

We know how to lead

and when to follow.

We know when to acknowledge the struggle

and when to suck. it. up.

We know when to look up

and notice all the beauty around us.

And we know that sometimes it takes leaving

what’s comfortable 

and close 

and tidy

to find what we’re really made of.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

It Seems

Day #19

It seems that the world doesn't want us to "voice" our opinion.

They don't want us to point out a wrong.

That is "intolerant".

They don't want us to stand on a principle.

That is "narrow-minded".

They don't want us to speak up for our child.

That is "not letting them grow".

They don't want us to hold them accountable

for their jobs, 
their actions 
or their word.

That is "being difficult"
or “judgemental”
or “not supportive”.
This is how things seem.

But I know that God can be held accountable for every promise He ever made.

Every. Single. One.

He doesn't whine that it isn't in his contract.

Or turn it on me to uphold.

He doesn't accuse me of not having any promises.

Or "being difficult" for asking Him to keep His.

He just keeps them.

Before time began He had every intention of keeping His promises.

Before I ever acknowledged Him,

He kept them.

When I don’t understand,

He keeps them still.

And it seems the gap between this world 

and HIM 

will always feel IMMENSE.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Look Up

Day #18

Is it just me or is EVERYONE looking down at their phones ALL THE TIME?!

I’m certainly guilty as well, at times.

But it’s the walking and looking down that baffles me.

Droves of people walking down the sidewalk or even CROSSING THE STREET,

not looking where they are going, 
not noticing their surroundings, 
but looking down.

At their phone.

Not only are they missing the possible dangers of tripping

or getting hit by a car 

or just running into someone else,

but they are missing what’s around them.

They are missing seeing a friend drive by.

They are missing the wispy white clouds against a beautiful deep blue sky.

They are missing the orange and yellow and red leaves on the trees.

In their need to not “miss out” on news, TV, emails, etc.

They are missing out.

A friend and I went on a walk the other day.

It was a beautiful day after several days of rain.

We wanted to take advantage of it.

We were chatting away at the very beginning of our walk when my girlfriend stopped and pointed up.

It was a monarch butterfly flitting just above our heads.


I’ll never forget the beauty of the orange of its wings against the gorgeous blue sky.

My friend put her hand to her heart and smiled.

She has always associated monarchs with a loved one who is now in heaven.

It felt like such a wink from God.

A promise,

that if we just look up,

we’ll see He is all around us.