Friday, May 17, 2019

In the Basement of an Office Building

As we pulled into the office building parking lot, Ellie got the text. It said that a transgender gentleman would be joining the facial night.

We'd been invited by the woman Ellie babysits for to a facial night put on by one of those companies that sells cosmetics and skin care online through consultants.

We walked into the room wondering if we'd be able to pick out who the transgender gentleman was. In my own ignorance, I was thinking along the lines of a made up drag queen like RuPaul or Nathan Lane as Starina in The Bird Cage.

Right away we saw an older gentleman with slightly longish curly gray hair wearing a beret, hot pink fingernail polish, a full length shiny black leotard and heels two sizes too big.

He did not look like RuPaul.

He looked like someone's uncle Al.

His voice was low and mannish as he asked lots of questions about skin care and makeup during the facial.

The consultant leading the facial apologized for mixing the pronouns when talking to him.

"It's ok," he said, 
"I look like a man."

Throughout the night, as we tried on various eyeshadows, lip color and blushes, he was so encouraging.

He complimented each of us individually in the room.

I couldn't help but laugh when he asked what the deal was with lip plumpers.

I've always wondered the same thing.

He was probably in his late 60s, worried about keeping up, fighting aging, hanging on to youth.

I could relate.

When we all showed off our completed facials, in a little parade around the room, he, scooting along in his too-big-for-him heels said,

"I look like a woman!"

Now, this is when I could've lost it and fell into a puddle of laughter, but I found it just so touching.

Somehow, this man felt beautiful, maybe for the first time.

Don't we all want that?

I tried to think of someway I could encourage him before we all went our separate ways.

All that came out was,

"Thank you for your encouraging words."

The love and respect the consultants showed him was inspiring.

The grace he showed them back was humbling.

I don't have all this figured out, but I don't have to.

I am called to love

and I saw that on full display in the basement of an office building 
on a Thursday night last week.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Things You Can Learn From Spring Break

Nothing says home to Monte like high humidity, hot temperatures, sandy beaches and the weirdness that only true native Floridians can view as normal.

Like the sinking boat we watched from our ocean front condo the first night we arrived in Florida for Spring Break.

The people stayed with the boat until it was towed. It was completely dark
before the tow boat came. The people never left their ship--even when there was only
a tiny bit of it left to sit on.


Monte had us watch it like TV.

The drunk twenty-something dude named Chandler who stumbled onto the grassy area by our condo's pool, set his beer down and then stood, both arms straight out in front of him for a longish period of time. Several twenty-something dudes from a balcony near by started hollering,

"Chandler, no! No, Chandler! You will NOT have a place to sleep tonight if you do it! No, Chandler! You can't stay here if you do it!"

Monte, Ellie and I all looked at each other wondering 
if we were going to watch Chandler die 
or be horribly maimed.

We didn't dare move.

The boat was still sinking.

After a ridiculously long time, Chandler finally moved, grabbed his beer and slurred loudly to the balcony of guys something about crab grass.

Yeah, that crab grass, 
THAT'S what was going to hurt you, 
Chandler.

Monte even felt a hint of nostalgia when we saw an old man walking on the beach in a thong bathing suit.

We thought he was naked at first because of his ample belly.

Note to anyone contemplating a thong bathing suit:  
DON'T. 

"You won't have a place to sleep tonight if you do it!"

Other than the drunk Chandler issue the first night, we did NOT experience ANYTHING like the college madhouse of our Spring Break 2018.

Thank the good Lord!

Our condo was filled with older people and families.

Each floor of our building had a laundry room.

Monte walked by one day and noticed a pair of granny panties that had been dropped by the laundry room door.

His reaction was compassion for the poor woman who had to discover her drawers were being seen by everyone on the 2nd floor.

We both commented that if that discovery had been made last year in our hotel madhouse, it would've meant something ENTIRELY DIFFERENT and we would've reported it to the security guards.

What a lovely, fantastic, incredible 
difference a year and new location makes.

We thoroughly enjoyed the warm sunny weather, 
the beach and reading most of the day.

In the morning, Monte and I liked to sit on the balcony and watch the birds.

There was one noisy bird who sat on the globe of a light from the pool patio squawking to let the big black birds know that they were not welcome.

The noisy bird was much smaller than the black birds and his tail stood straight up, near his head, as if he was always in a salute/attention position.



We named him Sentinel.

After some research, 
we think he was a mockingbird.

He had no problem dive bombing and chasing out of his territory any black bird who dared to come near the pool area.

Their flying capabilities was Top Gun at its best.

Every day it was the same thing, 
the chasing, 
dive bombing, 
squawking, 
defending, 
always on guard.

It seemed as if the mockingbird won each day,
successful in keeping the black birds at bay 
yet not deterring them to try again as soon as the sun came up. 

It was fascinating 
and great entertainment for us.

What a great reminder that size doesn't matter 
when it comes to defending our territory.


While we were watching them one afternoon, we saw a flock of colorful birds fly overhead and we heard someone say they were wild parakeets.

What was this place where colorful parakeets flew free??

Monte was sitting on the balcony alone when he saw a seagull fly close by with an enormous muffin in its beak.

No less than the entire population of seagulls in Florida was hot on his trail behind him.


Not only did we get some much needed down time, but a week at the beach showed us:

to not jump ship, but to fully wait out the rescue, 

surround ourselves with friends who will talk us out of dumb decisions,

to never wear a thong bathing suit,

and to STAND OUR GROUND,
aware of what wants to steal, kill and destroy,
not so that we live in fear, but so we can live life to the fullest.

(John 10:10)

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Raunchy Grandmothers and Busty Fictional Women

Ellie is in an AP Language class.

She recently worked on a paper about a short story they had to read.

I read it too, because I like that kind of thing.

Ellie worked super hard on the paper.

I proofed early drafts of it but she turned it in without me seeing the final draft.

The other night, her and her friend were at the kitchen island, staring at the screen of Ellie's laptop, reading the teacher's responses to the assignment.

Ellie was curious about a certain comment the teacher made to a word she used to describe the woman in the story.

BUSTY.

No where in the story was there any reference to the woman's physical appearance other than she was tall and plain.

I think busty would've come up.

I asked Ellie if she knew what busty meant and she said,

"Husky."

No…

I told her that wasn't implied in the story either
and, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE
not a word usually used to describe women.

For me, husky meant a jeans size 
at Sears for bigger boys.

Which is terrible.

Her friend didn't know what busty meant either.

I explained and they dissolved into giggles.

Is it possible, busty is a dead adjective?

Not that I'm mad about it…

But how is it that in one generation a word just STOPS being used?

Now, I know, the world needs a good many words to stop being used, but how is it that BUSTY was chosen and not some of the others?

It made me think of McDaniel and how she used the word RAUNCHY because she thought it meant fancy in a tribute essay, for school, to describe my sweet, proper, Christian grandmother.

My grandmother never did anything EVER in a remotely raunchy way.

Including saying the word "cancer" 
or "the sugar" (diabetes) 
or "divorced" above a whisper.

What happened to using a dictionary?



I was just talking with girlfriends about how we took 
HUGE, heavy dictionaries to college with us.

Some were gifted them.

Now there's access to one on the phone.

There is literally NO EXCUSE for using words we don't know the meaning of or even slightly question.

Yet, here we are with raunchy grandmothers and busty fictional women IN MY HOUSE.

It paints a picture, doesn't it?

One my grandmother would be too horrified to look at.

Friday, March 01, 2019

P

McDaniel had an encounter with a guy in a restaurant in her college town.

She and her male Young Life co-leader were sitting at a table reading the bible.

A young man who resembled Bob Marley, walked right over to McDaniel in the restaurant, looked her in the eye and said,

"Hey, I know I'm not good with words and all 
but you are pretty as @#!*$."

He went on to say she was beautiful, amazing, and that he hoped she was as cool as she looked. 

She assured me that she had her hair up in a bun, 
no make up on 
and was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. 

She wondered if he was really talking to her.

He called himself P and thanked her and her friend for not calling him Pete.



P looked at her co-leader and informed him that he was in love with McDaniel and they were going to get married. 

"That's the love of your life! 
You are going to marry her!"


P was pretty excited about it.


No matter how they tried to tell him they were just friends, co-leaders in ministry, he insisted that history was happening tonight, they were in fact, in love, and going to get married.

P was so sure of it that he slapped a total stranger in the chest, pointed to McDaniel's table, and told the guy that he was watching history!

The guy didn't rise to P's level of interest or enthusiasm.

P went to the counter of the restaurant to order food and McDaniel and her co-leader tried to process what had just happened.

They laughed.

They freaked out a little.

They felt awkward.

They noticed P never blinked.

They caught P looking at them from across the restaurant and he whispered,

"That's your wife, man! 
THAT'S YOUR WIFE!"

They were amazed that they could hear him!

They wondered if he was some sort of 
dreadlocked prophet who never blinked.



He came back and asked what they were reading.

They explained it was the bible.

His response,

"You know the letter J?
The letter J is 500 years old! 
That's heavy, that's heavy!
If the letter J is 500 years old, how old is Jesus?
Think about that. THINK ABOUT THAT.
That's heavy!
We have to deal with this."




They answered that Jesus was older than 500.

McDaniel's friend asked what P believed.

"I believe that God knows I don't understand everything."

Whoa.


Then P turned to the two inebriated guys sitting near him and announced,

"These two are reading the bible! What are YOU doing?"

McDaniel feared a confrontation.

Then P focused on one of the guys and said,

"You are amazing! You are incredible!"

The guy looked like he was ready to fight him 
but didn't.

P mentioned how old the letter J was again (500 years old), how much he loved them, that his love was genuine and he loved their love for each other.

"Me and my mom were driving tonight and saw a UFO, 
that's heavy. She was in the military. Think about that."

P asked where McDaniel and her friend were from. They asked where he was from.

"Everywhere."

Then he left.

McDaniel and her friend were left with many questions.

Where was P really from?

What does P do?

Wait. A UFO?!?

P has a mom?!



After McDaniel finished telling me this story over the phone, she told me she had this feeling she's going to run into P 30 years from now, somewhere completely random, and he's going to look exactly the same and he's going to say the exact same things to her.

I was retelling this story to friends the other night and we all wondered about P.

Not if he'd been sniffing Sharpies or drinking some mushroom tea, but how was it that he was so free to speak in such an affirming way to people?

Strangers.

He looked at people like he really saw them (and not just because he didn't blink).

He spoke life to people, not just compliments.

It seems harder to receive 
yet impossible to forget.

What if that drunk guy who P called amazing and incredible, was hearing that for the first time?

What if, for a second, he believed it?

What if the goodness P exuded inspired someone that night to pay it forward?

What if someone overheard that God knows that we don't understand everything and it made all the difference?

What if Jesus has dreadlocks?

Oh, I am not claiming P is Jesus.

But he sure loved like Him in that restaurant.
Yes, I know he used explicit language, he didn't blink, and the letter J is way older than 500 years, 

but I know God uses flawed and broken people all the time to impact His kingdom.

God looks at us and really sees us as we truly are, not how we feel.

In Judges 6:12, an angel of God appeared to Gideon and called him a mighty warrior even though he was hiding, scared on the threshing floor.

God sent a messenger to remind Gideon who he truly was, not how he felt.

That's heavy.

In Hebrews 13:2 it reminds us to always entertain strangers because they might be angels.

Think about that. 
And in Mark 12 we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. 

THINK ABOUT THAT.

I don't know who P is or what his motivation was that night, but I won't soon forget him and I wasn't even there.

And he is WAY better with words than he thinks he is.






Monday, January 14, 2019

That Time I Wondered if I Was Allergic to Life

I have been sick since Christmas morning.

I had one decent week last week where I felt good enough to clean out closets and drawers.

Saturday morning the sickness returned. Sunday morning, I decided to go to the Minute Clinic inside CVS to get some meds.

I was diagnosed with Acute Sinusitis which I decided was way too adorable of a name for how bad I felt.

Plague seemed more appropriate.

I was given a strong dose of penicillin and sent on my way.

I came home and ate a bowl of Life cereal and took my first pill.

I was talking to Monte 
when my chest started to itch.

I was wearing a Waffle House sweatshirt from my daughter's closet and I wondered if there was something in the dye that was irritating my skin.

I took it off, right there in the middle of the kitchen.

I had a tank top underneath.

Monte commented on all the welts all over my chest, shoulders and back.

I ran to the mirror and noticed my face looked sunburned.

I pondered,

"I wonder if I'm allergic to Life?"


Meaning the cereal. 
The cereal I just ate.

Monte thought I was being all "tragic" and meant life in general.

He's a girl dad. 
That reaction came from 
YEARS of solid experience.


But this was no fake drama. 

Something bad was happening.

Monte drove me back to the Minute Clinic.

There is a touch screen computer you sign in with.

I tried, but by this time my hands were two red swollen mitts of meat.

Not so good on the touch screen.

Monte knocked on the doctor's door.

She took one look at me and dragged me by the arm inside and told Monte to wait outside.

She poured me a generous cup of Benadryl and inspected my welts.

She said she needed to call someone.

For the first time, 
I noticed just how young she was.

She hung up the phone and gave me a blood test to determine if I had mono.

I guess mono can sometimes cause a reaction to penicillin.

We had to wait five full minutes for the test results.

To kill time, 
I watched my hands and wrists 
swell even bigger.

She kept asking if my throat or tongue felt funny and if I could breathe.

I told her no, 
I could not breathe, 
which is why I came in.

I also told her I was allergic to grapes and used to the feeling of my throat swelling.

Growing up, I called that feeling,  "Communion Sunday".

She asked if I had an epi-pen.

I told her no, it was the 70s. My mom just gave me a Velamint and a drink of water.

She blinked a lot at me.

Especially after I asked her where the water from the Neti pot went 
when it didn't come out the other side of my nostril like it was supposed to? 
Did it get absorbed into my sinuses because they were FULL UP?!

It was determined I did not have mono.

She told me I would start feeling pretty sleepy soon from the Benadryl.

She ordered up a new antibiotic for me and some prednisone for my hives.

She told me that even after a lifetime of taking it with no problem,  I would now have to tell doctors I was allergic to penicillin. 

I got up to put on my coat and got super dizzy and the room started to spin and I got all sweaty and shaky and sat down quickly. 

Before I knew what was going on, I had an ice pack on the back of my neck 
and a blue plastic sock thing in front of my face that she told me I could puke in if needed.

I thought there was NO WAY 
that plastic sock was going to do it for me. 
And I've thrown up in those little bags on an airplane. 
I should know.

As I was bent over the blue sock, she got Monte and I overheard talk about calling 911.

For whatever reason I got real concerned about being taken to the ER in a Waffle House sweatshirt.

I overheard Monte saying not to call the squad and he'd take me to the emergency room.

I thought, 

"For the love of Pete, don't cheap out on me now!" 

The next thing I remember, my pants were down and the doctor was spearing my thigh with an epi-pen and holding it down HARD. 

I'm not sure how long I was in that chair, but I slowly started to feel better.

She told me that I would be shaky for awhile from the adrenaline of the shot which was exactly the opposite of the feeling the Benadryl was causing.

My body was at war with itself.

At one point, I overheard the doctor tell Monte 
she had not given very many epi-pen shots.

Monte helped me to the car and went back for the new meds.

I came home and told my daughter and her friend about the visit.

It didn't seem possible that so much could escalate so quickly.

Walking up the stairs to my bedroom with a recently stabbed leg was interesting and involved some dragging. 

It took a while for the war in my body to settle down so that I could sleep.

I had a dream that night that I was being pulled into a dark tunnel. 

I resisted at first but finally gave in because I was so exhausted and it was so relaxing to just let go.

I woke up and told Monte I thought it was a death dream 
and I gave into death!

So, in conclusion, no more penicillin for me and I can now cross off my bucket list getting pantsed in a CVS Minute Clinic.
The End.





Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Watching

We were standing singing a song Sunday during church when I noticed a little girl staring at me. 

I smiled and she quickly turned away but I thought to myself that I was glad I had been singing when I was being watched and not just standing there, 

lost in my thoughts 

which sadly, 
happens sometimes to me 
during church.

Later, during a spirited part of the sermon, I watched as three dear, sweet, older ladies, helped each other out of their chairs and up to the front of the church for prayer.

I was watching.

It hit me that just as that little girl was watching me, I was watching those sweet dear ladies.

We never get over our need to watch someone.

To watch someone praise God.

To watch someone need Him.

To watch someone pray.

To watch someone sing.

To watch someone love.

To watch someone live like Jesus.

It was a good reminder to me that I'm being watched when I'm not at church too.

By people who may not know a single thing about Jesus.

They are watching how I handle disappointment.

How I handle stress.

How I handle anger.

How I handle forgiveness.

How I handle pain.

How I handle celebrations

How I handle friends.

How I handle people.

I don't handle any of those things perfectly but I want to remind myself that I'm being watched.

And to keep watching others.


Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors, 
waiting at my doorway. 
For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 8:34-35

Monday, October 29, 2018

Tis the Halloween Season

Halloween is our favorite. 

We dress up as a family every year. 

We were the characters from Grease last year.


It's a whole thing we're known for.

But we really haven't been big on decorating for Halloween. 

We aren't into the scary scene of the holiday.

We have new neighbors with two little boys that come over and make Monte and I want to be better at all the fun things, including decorating for Halloween.

Monte has ALWAYS wanted inflatables for our yard for Christmas.

Not anything subtle, 

if an inflatable could be subtle.

No, Monte wants the Santa riding a motorcycle inflatable. 

Does Santa have tattoos?


Or Santa hanging out of the door of an Airstream inflatable.



Neither have ever fit into my outdoor decoration plan for the Christmas holiday.

The last few years, we've noticed a big decline in trick or treaters at our house.

We are close to the end of our street and I think kids have been turning around instead of walking all the way down to our end.

Monte suggested we needed something 

big, 

in the yard, 

a visual perhaps

to get the kids excited to keep on walking.

An inflatable.

I agreed only if I got to pick it out.


It's the only one that made sense.

Especially sense I found Monte looking at this one on display at a store months ago.

I can't even.
Too many questions.

We've been waiting forever to put up the dinosaur and decided this weekend was the time.

My parents were in town so my dad helped Monte.



He's 7 feet tall and lights up at night.


Our neighbors told their kids Monte is inside the inflatable.


I also decided to paint a few boards to decorate the front of the house.


I picked up precut four foot boards from Lowe's and painted them black.

I printed out one letter per page and used an exact knife to cut them out.

I thought I would stencil the letters but I didn't use card stock and thought the computer paper would let the paint bleed. I just traced the letters I cut out with a gel pen and then painted them white.

I propped the boards up on either side of my front door.


I also decided to make a new wreath out of eyeballs that I ordered from Amazon.

Note:  the eyeballs came with four Halloween plastic cups. 

I think I unknowingly ordered a spooky beer pong set.

I hot glued the eyeballs to a grapevine wreath I already had.


Yes, we still have the ancient door with the three windows.
It's been a big hit.

We decided to carve our pumpkins Friday night since the squirrels had already started.

Ellie decided to paint hers and one for McDaniel who is away at college.

She used glow in the dark paint for the BOO.
 I keep forgetting to look to see it glowing at night.
It's candy corn!

Monte went with the Kit Kat commercial carving design. You know, the whole "I'm sorry for what I did to your face" one.

Monte's

Kit Kat's.


I attempted to carve a T-Rex head and was really sorry for what I did to his face until I saw it lit up.



Then I wasn't sorry at all.

We had a bit of wind last night and Ellie and I decided to watch the inflatable since Monte was running an errand.  When we watched him do the splits, we decided it would be a good idea for him to spend the night in the garage so he wouldn't end up blowing all over the neighborhood looking like a Macy's Day Parade float.

On top of being the house with the inflatable, Monte also insisted on buying full size candy bars to hand out this year.

It's on, Halloween! We are ready!!


Thursday, October 25, 2018

What's Really Scary

The other night Ellie walked out of the bathroom and casually mentioned we had an ant problem.

I remember seeing one teeny tiny ant during a shower once or twice the week before but clearly nothing that prompted me to dig out the ant traps

When I walked into the bathroom the vanity was COVERED.

As in, the whiteness of the porcelain was darkened 
by the immense number of the ant masses.

Translation:  there were 4 billion ants.

I have NO IDEA where they came from 
as there's no window in there.

Can ants climb up drains?!

In my shock and horror I grabbed what was nearby.

A bottle of rubbing alcohol. 

I started pouring it on the army of ants and once I saw its effectiveness,

 I. MADE. IT. RAIN. 

all up in the bathroom with the rubbing alcohol.

I wiped up the carnage as Monte laid out a few ant traps.

The next morning I flipped on the light in the bathroom to find a circle of ants surrounding the ant trap.

Since the ant circle was about 4 inches from the trap, I assumed they were dead.

Then I took closer look.

They weren't dead at all, but seemed to be MARCHING IN PLACE,

in a circle

surrounding the poison filled ant trap.

I'm pretty positive there was chanting 
the human ear could not pick up.

I'm not sure what your take away would be upon finding such a sight on your vanity first thing in the morning, 

but it felt DEMONIC to me.

SOURCE

I grabbed a spray bottle of bleach and squirted every inch of the bathroom. Then I followed it up with another rubbing alcohol rain.

Not today Satan.

Not today.

Monte came in and said the smell was getting toxic and my face was intensely red.

I forgot I had prayer group that morning and needed to change and start the coffee.

It was mentioned that it smelled "bleachy" in the house.

I just wanted it to smell like ant death.

Monte and I were walking on our street later that evening and saw all the Halloween decorations:

skeletons, 
ghosts, 
big spiders 
and spider webs.

Why aren't ants a Halloween decoration? 

They are no less creepy.

And no less welcome in our homes.

On top of it all, a few nights later I saw a mouse scurry across the kitchen and duck under the stove.

I have to admit, 
I was somewhat relieved 
it didn't have a long tail.

Monte was out of town.

Earlier that same day, I had to pull out a cheese cube from Nigel's throat.

As it turns out, when you hear what you think is a quack coming from your dog, 
he's not imitating Donald Duck, he's choking.

A few days later, Nigel peed on the cream rug in the family room 
RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

Monte was still out of town.

If I walk upstairs right now and find ants covering my bathroom vanity again, 

I am going to put out a Haunted House sign 
and charge admission.


Come see the horrors of a demonic ant army in the bathroom!

Come see a crazy lady making it rain poison in her pajamas 
to kill the demonic ant army!

Watch out for what lurks underneath the kitchen stove!

Beware of the stink in the basement--if you're lucky, it just might be two huge dead rats in the dryer vent again!

Come use the hairbrushes of our not once, not twice, not thrice but FOUR times lice-infested family!

Watch your step! You never know where the ghost of the quacking dog has decided to leave his mark!

At this point if a zombie or a ghost walked into the house right now, I'd tell them to 

GET IN LINE.



I've got much scarier things to attend to.



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Something to Chew On

Monte and I had lunch together recently. The steak in my salad was super tough and I had to keep giving up on the pieces that my teeth could not get through.

Monte was too busy devouring his fried chicken to notice my meat struggles.

Until he did.

He commented on the grossness of the "masticated meat" I piled up near my plate.

Who says masticated?

It has a super inappropriate vibe to it 
for a word that simply means chewing.

Monte said it would make a great band name.

Would you wait in line to go see Masticated Meat on a Friday night?

He reminded me of a band bus we saw outside the venue where our friend got married many years ago.

The band name printed in big letters on the side of the bus was Dilated Peoples.


Can you imagine Masticated Meat opening up for Dilated Peoples?

Monte could.

And he'd go.

Mainly for the t-shirt.

We named other bands we remembered from living in Atlanta:

Betty's Not a Vitamin


and Kathleen Turner Overdrive.

We never saw either one in concert 
but appreciated their creative effort 
when selecting a name.

It made me think of all the memorable names of nail polish colors:

I'm Not Just a Waitress.

My Chihuahua Bites.

Aphrodite's Pink Nightie.

I wondered out loud if I'd every select Masticated Meat for a nice brown Fall color for my toes.

Nope.

Not a chance.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

All the Things

I'm not sure why this month has been so incredibly busy.

Probably because I've yet again over committed myself.

And just when I thought 
I was making strides in that area.

Here are some things that have happened, I like or I found funny.

Back in September a big box arrived on our doorstep.

I called Monte to ask what he ordered.

He said not to open it since it was a birthday present for me that wasn't supposed to come until October.

Which is weird because I had not dropped a single hint 
about anything that I wanted for my birthday
mainly because it's not until November.


When Monte got home from work he said he was just too excited to wait and wanted me to open the present now.

So I did.

This is what I found.


Monte bought me a Jurassic World robot raptor.

It is a complex robot with a remote control that you "train" 
with clicks and commands and pushing of buttons 
and saying of things and touches, etc.

There are levels of actions to achieve 
once the basics have been taught and learned.

I never knew what was happening.


Sometimes it would just give us the side eye slowly and Monte said, 

"I feel like he's going to turn on us one day."

Which is how I feel about most technology.


I did scratch its head and under its chin when it did what I wanted and it made Nigel furious.

He'd run into my side hard with his nose as if to remind me that he still existed.

Nigel, not the robot dinosaur.

He alternated between being afraid of the raptor to challenging it with the same hate-filled intensity he saves for the mailman and the vacuum.



Nigel in the other room trying to decide what to think of this robot dinosaur.



Nigel retreating because the robot dinosaur moved.
Nigel safely hating the robot dinosaur from underneath my desk.
He got a hold of the robot dinosaur's tail once.

The toy quickly proved to be WAY too complicated for me.

I was at a neighborhood gathering when I told the mother of a kindergartner who loves dinosaurs about the toy. She asked for a link which I had to get from Monte.

It was only then that I discovered the price.

Monte spent $250 on a toy!

For me.

That I didn't ask for.

What in the Jurassic World?!

He defended himself by saying it was going to be the Tickle Me Elmo this Christmas and we could always sell it.

A few days later I was having lunch with a friend and the overpriced robot dino came up.

Her daughter LOVES dinosaurs AND robots and was old enough to really put the time in to learn and enjoy the toy.

I told her I'd talk to Monte and sell it to her if he gave me the ok.

He did.

He admitted he'd saved the box 
in case this happened.

Our friend's daughter LOVES the toy and calls it her comfort raptor.

Nigel is MUCH happier.

Monte grumbled only once when he realized 
the going rate for the raptor on eBay.


Speaking of dinosaurs, I had a dream the other night that I was being served dinosaur.

As an entree.

To eat.

I don't recall it being in rib form.
Or even where I was.


I woke up the next morning and asked Monte if dinosaurs were white or red meat?

More steak or chicken?

He didn't weigh in but commented,

"So you're eating them now?"

Days later, I took the question to girlfriends and we decided that if the prehistoric alligator meat was white and tasted like chicken, dinosaurs probably did too.

Ok. While looking for the Fred Flintstone rib picture above, 
I found a link to an oddly extensive article about which dinosaurs 
would taste best.

Apparently, it's the ankylosaurus for the juicy white meat win.

How. Could. Anyone. Really. Know?

Not long ago, a friend got lost coming back from another friend's lake house. There was construction so she was forced to take back roads rather than the interstate. She was very low on gas.

She called me in distress. I was on the road home too but found a way to get back to the interstate. I told her to call our friend back at the lake house who knew the back roads and I could possibly catch up to her since I was making good time on the interstate.

My stomach hurt with each mile I didn't hear from her. In my head I worked out how I'd find a gas station, buy a container and get gas to take to her on whatever country road she was lost on.

Another friend called to say she'd found a gas station and was on the right road for home.

Thank goodness!

It wasn't until the next morning that I realized I was almost out of gas myself!


In conclusion, I'm probably not the best first call in an emergency situation.


Our pastor retired after 24 years and I helped make and set up decorations for a celebration party. It was a fiesta theme.

Monte helped me set up the day before and the ground was soft from a lot of rain the week earlier. I was busy looking where to hang lanterns instead of holding the step ladder like he asked me when he fell.




He jumped up super quick after the fall and kinda hopped around trying to see if he was ok.

I could see the dirt on his back as he was hopping and I lost it.

Someone else walked up and asked if he was ok.

I couldn't pull it together for awhile.

Falling will always be funny to me.

The party was such a good time.

I am not sure what a shark hat has to do with a fiesta.



On a completely different note,

we are thoroughly enjoying the new show God Friended Me.


It's about an atheist podcaster who accepts a Facebook friend request from God and all that happens as a result.

I really like it.

COMPLETELY different from the above, is a show on Amazon Prime called Forever.



Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen star in this weird, bizarrely slow show that I can't help but be intrigued by.

The language is unnecessarily bad but the subject matter is interesting enough 
that I need other people to watch it so I can talk about it.

DO NOT read anything about it before you watch or it will spoil some significant plot points that I think are better to discover on your own while they are happening.


Switching gears again, 

I am LOVING Lauren Daigle's album Look Up Child.


I got to see her in concert last week and her voice is so good live. She's like a hippie Adele.


I'm also enjoying Tori Kelly's album Hiding Place.


Wow, can she sing!

McDaniel came home last weekend. We hadn't seen her since we moved her back in August.

She called before she left to say that all her roommates (five girls live in her townhouse) had lice.

In fact, most of the people she hung out with had lice.

She told me she was going to drive to a lice center nearby that only took cash and needed money asap.

We'd been to this lice rodeo before.

Too. Many. Times.

Why? Why of all the weekends it had to be the one she planned on coming home?!

I kept texting her for updates and she kept saying the line at the lice center was super long.

I worried it was going to be super late when she got home.

She surprised us by walking in before it was even dark with a report that she did not have lice.



I didn't even understand these words because I'd never heard them before.



The guy at the center took one look at her hair in a bun and asked if she wore it like that a lot.

She said she did and he said that just may have saved her from the menacing lice.

So, yay for messy buns!

And WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD US THIS NUGGET OF GOLD BEFORE NOW?!

McDaniel was here for one short weekend and scared us with the possibility of lice, ruined our bath mat with red nail polish and then left her wallet in a Target sack that I found on the bathroom floor hours after she left.

But it was so good to see her and hug her lice free neck.





In the Basement of an Office Building

As we pulled into the office building parking lot, Ellie got the text. It said that a transgender gentleman would be joining the facial nigh...