Thursday, March 23, 2006

Monday, March 20, 2006

Shamrocks on my toes

It's hard to learn to "be kind to yourself" after years of neglect. It's not that I was ever really mean to me, just not governed or paced well. I was always in an all-out roar. Comments I remember from my twenties: "You have such passion!" "You have so much heart!" Translation: Always going at a dead run and a wee bit emotionally wrought because of it.

The blessing of children is that it's forced me to slow down... way down. It was either that, or destroy the little ones that God gave me. So in the name of not killing myself for ridiculous standards set by (and cared about by) myself alone, I practice the following:

1. I don't always shower every day. I have short hair that has a messy look anyway, even when styled, and I find that my skin care products last twice as long.

2. I can wear my pajamas during the day (or my day wear to bed, either way.)

3. I let caller-id and voice mail do their jobs.

4. I get a pedicure once a month, complete with jewels and designs. This month is Irish shamrocks.

5. Once I even served popcorn for dinner... on plates.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Enough to Belly-Laugh

I hate forwarded e-mails. Hate 'em. Don't care who you are. I hate them, except for what my sister, Kat, sends. She knows what I need and when. And I love a good story. I cannot vouch for it's veracity, only it's effect.

A Bad Day At Work

Rob is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers in Louisiana.
He performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs. Below is an
E-mail he sent to his sister. She then sent it to radio station 103.2 on
FM dial in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, who was sponsoring a worst job experience
contest. Needless to say, she won.

Hi Sue,

Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother. Last week I had a
bad day at the office. I know you've been feeling down lately at work, so I
thought I would share my dilemma with you to make you realize it's not so
bad after all. Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must
bore you with a few technicalities of my job.

As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to
the office. It's a wetsuit. This time of year the water is quite cool.

So what we do to keep warm is this: We have a diesel powered industrial
water heater. This $20,000 piece of equipment sucks the water out of the
sea. It heats it to a delightful temperature.

It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped
to the air hose.

Now this sounds like a darn good plan, and I've used it several times
with no complaints.

What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is take the hose
and stuff it down the back of my wetsuit. This floods my whole suit with
warm water. It's like working in a Jacuzzi.

Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my butt started to itch.
So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse.

Within a few seconds my butt started to burn. I pulled the hose out from
my back, but the damage was done. In agony I realized what had happened. The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit.

Now, since I don't have any hair on my back, the jellyfish couldn't stick
to it. However, the crack of my butt was not as fortunate.

When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the
jellyfish into the crack of my butt. I informed the dive supervisor of my
dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the
fact that he, along with five other divers, were all laughing hysterically.

Needless to say I aborted the dive. I was instructed to make three
agonizing in-water decompression stops totaling thirty-five minutes before
I could reach the surface to begin my chamber dry decompression.
When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my brass helmet.
As I climbed out of the water, the medic, with tears of laughter running
down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to rub it on my butt as soon as I got in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for two days because my butt was swollen shut.

So, next time you're having a bad day at work, think about how much worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your butt.

Now repeat to yourself, "I love my job, I love my job, I love my job".

Izak at 3 1/4 years

Liberty at 21 months

Levi at almost 5 months.

What's a Grit?

The two visitors look at the plate, and the guy says, "What's a grit?" As he takes a bite, his girlfriend takes a picture of him.

Does the scene sound familiar? From one of my favorite movies. I will not go into which one, as my mother reads my blog and would certainly not be amused.

Anyway, the other day I had grits for breakfast for the very first time. They were good!

I'm a northern girl, raised in mid-Michigan. The most south I've ever lived has been mid-Indiana (Marion, to be exact). It was too hot for me. That being said, I was reminded what a wonderfully different culture Indiana is as I drove through it's heartland on my way to last week's funeral. Big sprawling farms. Tiny little towns. Lots of stores that contain the word "Gramma". Acres of fields. Tire swings made out of real tires with long ropes tied up in 300-year old trees. People write their family names in colored shingles on the roof of the barns, and you can read it for miles. Some people live a good mile from their nearest neighbor (that must be awesome! writes the intorvert). Farm equipment as big as my suburban home. It was a really peaceful change. There was a quietness there that I coveted.

I stayed with my adopted mom and dad from college. In the morning my mom made me a gia-normous breakfast, which included grits! How fun! And good... I used butter, salt and pepper as she recommended.

Mom and Dad F. said they would be up to the windy city this summer for some Furrbaby lovin.' So last night, I bought a container of grits (all that was available was instant).

Dear Southern readers - what are your secrets for making good grits?

Friday, March 10, 2006


I can't believe I'm sitting here trying to sound together. Image management never ceases, does it? I'm so tired I can hardly blog. Last weekend Levi and I made our first big trip together to Marion, Indiana for the untimely funeral of my sister's FIL. It was supposed to be a family thing, but we were experiencing round two of boggers, coughs, and fevers. Travel really takes it out of me, I'm much more energized by staying home and checking off a list of things to do that's as long as my arm. But being on the road steals my pizazz... if there was any to begin with.

Things that seem precariously balanced start to teeter. Issues that need addressing are once again pushed out of sight. Conversations that need to happen are covered by communicating the urgent information, the "report" of the home happenings. Fix dinner? Well, it's 5p.m. and my husband's almost home. I guess it will be pizza. Balance the checkbook? Now when can I find an hour to myself for unadulterated number fun? Forget it. Check the balance online and hold your breath. Take a nap? I'm so tired I can't sleep, except for at night when I'm so soundly oblivious to the baby that my husband has to wake me.

But in the hustle and bustle I've heard from the Lord. It's like He's taken me out of my orbit just enough to give me a new insight, a new encouragement regarding my family. When I'm traveling in the same old pattern I almost unconsciously tune-out and mentally go to screen-saver. But when I'm scampering to merely survive I feel like God more readily gets my attention. Funny - I have to be tired and poured out in order to hear Him. Maybe it's as close as I get to "being still."

I wish I could tell you about His word to me, but it's too sensitive. Too private. But just know I'm sitting here, pooped out, sleepily grinning and trying to keep my face off the keyboard. I am tired. I'm sorry, I don't mean to whine. And I try not to blog when I have nothing productive or encouraging to say. But people, more than anything, God is good.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I am performing schedule trick-riding over here in Chicago... can you see it? My little sister's FIL passed away yesterday morning, so we're looking at how to get to Indiana for the viewing and funeral Friday and Saturday, returning Saturday afternoon. Thought we had it all sewn up when the 3-year old took another pass at the cold-fever thing. It'll be another 24 hours before I know if it's an ear infection needing antibiotics. So I'm leaving him and his sippy-cup (petri dish) buddy home with two amazing sitters and taking the baby. And then there's work... I shouldn't leave a sick kid with a sitter, so I'm calling off the first 4 hours of tonight's shift, waiting to see Matt in the doorway and then jumping in the car and heading into the hospital. Oy. And for my next trick...

Hey, what do you get when you combine an exersaucer with it's feet pulled up, a 3-year old who loves things that spin, and a 4-month old minding his own business in said exersaucer?

A human top!