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Showing posts from December, 2011

If I never have a cent, I'll be rich as Rockefeller.

Indignantly, my sixteen year old self would wonder if Dad expected me to change my own flats and check my own oil. Just in case. You need to know how, he would say, but I couldn't hear for my silent pouting.

I wanted this info about as much as I wanted to see the inner workings of the butcher shop he managed. But, there we were of a Sunday afternoon while I wore my lavender dress with matching undergarments. It did not smell like the freshly painted halls of my private school. And it was cold enough to give a man arthritic fits even during sunny seasons. Although, the neurotic dog my sixteen year old self could not live without seemed to enjoy the smell and taste of his Reeboks when dad returned home on Saturday evenings.

Several times each year, I was allowed a clothing stipend which I spent at discount department stores as I was forced to choose between a wardrobe or a single outfit. Of course, Dad got those new Reeboks that time.

I could have done without all those chores Dad…


• Mean To Do has become Meant To Do as Christmas break escapes me.

• Clean House has become A Relative Term as Christmas break escapes me.

• Skinnier, More Fabulous Me has become Try Not To Gain At Least as Christmas break escapes me.

• Read These Books has become Finish This One I Hope as Christmas break escapes me.

• Spend Less has become Coulda Been Worse as Christmas break escapes me.

• Gonna Get That Flu Shot has become A Tickle In My Chest That Won't Go Away as Christmas break escapes me.

• Get To The Bottom Of This Exhaustion has become Get Through The Holidays as Christmas break escapes me.

• Declutter has become Just Stick It In That Room as Christmas break escapes me.

• Educational Programming To Watch has become 3 Seasons of 30 Rock as Christmas break escapes me.

• List of Accomplishments has become Got Out Of PJs Today as Christmas break escapes me.

What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing?

My folks used to direct a puppet team. That is to say, a team of people who use puppets to entertain others. The team was church based and produced Christian themed programs. The puppets toured during the summer and took us along. The Muppets were huge during that era and, apparently, there was a market for traveling, God fearing puppets as well.

We took in lessons on how to perfect our craft. Lesson One: Don't flip your lid. That is to say, use your thumb while having your puppet speak or manipulate your puppet so that it appears to move it's "jaw", like a human. Never have the top of the head flip backward. If you could see it, you'd understand.

It's difficult trying to explain lid flipping and such, particularly when puppets have had their day. But, I can confirm a clear commitment to puppetry. Behind the scene, puppeteers are carefully considering the effectiveness of each manipulation. Every nuance is weighed. Every tilt of the head. Every hand movemen…

Real stuff my dad says on Christmas Eve.

Should we take one truck or two to do the jug band caroling?

Knee deep in the hoopla.

As younger parents, Lovin' Man and I were faithfully committed to video recording the wild shenanigans of little boys. It wasn't just Christmas, birthdays and special occasions. I'm saying there is enough material there to have produced a daily vlog. Many were even scripted in keeping with a mod vlog although we had never heard of such at the time. Little actors were delighted to be produced before they each decided in turn: I wanna be a director!

Each Christmas, Lovin' Man would take the year's offerings and edit them into a eight minute video and force our extended family to watch it at Christmas gatherings.

Oh, monsters, why did we create you?

Now I must duck behind corners in my own home to avoid inclusion into my offspring's youtube offerings. Much like our home movies, sometimes they're genuinely funny and terribly clever but, oftentimes, youhadtobethere is the refrain. Fred's mom undoubtedly feels the same. I can't be the only one.

When a…

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.

Sometimes you push and pull and work so hard to see results. Sometimes you catch yourself before you strain in vain to see results which aren't really there. The hardest work of all is the waiting and resting and trusting.

Sometimes you panic because you can't see beyond this moment and yellow brick has yet to materialize or fear you might not recognize it anyway. Then you fret or act in your own will or lash out because feeling hopeless has you angry and confused.

Sometimes you think you are doing your very best but someone is passively and aggressively working against you and you don't even know the depth of it yet. Sometimes you are working against your own self and you don't even know.

Sometimes you turn your back on every instinct inside of you because there is no other answer and too many are at risk for you to sacrifice at that altar again. But you can't walk away clean because it is almost unbearable and every moment is a trudge through prickly thickets,…

And you give yourself away.

When the little boys in the library say, "I'm so glad I'm not a girl", I know they mean it because grown men feel the same. They just know not to say it.

"I'm being a BOY Indian. Not a girl."

"I'm being a BOY pilgrim."

The girls don't feel the need to specify. I watch their faces but I can't read them. Who likes this pretty thing? Yes, they do, but, they also like soccer and cheetahs and bookmarks with monsters.

But there's one difference from the youngest female to the teenage variety. Girls love little things. Baby cheetahs and baby people and baby puppies and baby monsters. Girl hearts are wide open to little things. And weak things.

One is sassy and wants her way. She will get it too because she's little and irresistible. But she has a heart for a misfit that redeems her little attitude. The way I see it, she doesn't have to be kind to her Misfit. He's on the outside looking in. But she does have a Need to be. E…

Tidings of comfort and joy.

My blogs get weird in the winter because I am unhappy in winter. No other season illustrates why I'm not that good of a person quite so well as gloomy, doomy winter. Sometimes I catch myself on the way down but often those around me have to shine some light before I can see just how deep this well runs.

I haven't seen the bottom in a while which makes for a particularly tricky season. I get curious but, blessedly, it continues to elude me. There are other distractions, responsibilities and joys on a downward spiral but a filter of Grace is required to see in the darkness. Being not that good of a person, the Father mercifully distracts me with those Responsibilities and, in them, His Glory is revealed and I can see the foothold which helps me reach higher still to Joy.

Joy reveals itself when my Beautiful Daughter sings Christmas carols in her opera voice for my entertainment because the innocence in her eyes still protects her. Or when my HMB says he needs to hang up now bec…

"Not all who wander are lost." - JRR Tolkien

Sometimes they're at the top of their game but sometimes they're on to mine. There's a loophole peeking around every shelf and on each spine.

Me: What are you looking for?

Clever Boy: A book.

Me: Well, I get that. What do you like to read?

Clever Boy: I'm looking for a 4 or 5 point book on a 5th grade level without too many pages.

Are you a mathematician? Because you don't sound like a literature lover. One must reach one's goals and this one is a player.

It's not exactly high brow literature but before judgement is cast consider that the addition of Captain Underpants into this library may be the first book to which a 3rd grade boy will relate while he's learning to assimilate. It may be just the spark he needs to get lit with Wimpy Kid or Clement's Frindle. A couple of smart writers have the ability to deftly absorb a self-described nonreader so he doesn't feel quite so Square Peg against rounded civility.

No one can resist Calvin and Hobbes&…

Real conversations my dad has.

Dad: You may not underdstand the level of our notoriety.

Dad's buddy: Yeah, we started with an ironing board and a busted rope.

You have to learn to crawl before you can learn to walk.

YG Wittlepants sure knew how to get what he wanted. He only wore little pants with little windows. He only played with the green blocks. His Batman shirt had a hood with a hole which was still handy for storing important items. He considered blanket washing a nuisance as well as chit chat and posing for family portraits.

Each day brought a new opportunity to embody the Thing he liked most. A particular superhero, a cowboy, a pirate, a soldier, a spy. He hadn't yet learned the entertainment value of any one but he only needed an audience of one. The rest was static, easily tuned out.

He would flip through his mind's rolodex, easily sorting and separating which contact suited his needs. The rest were efficiently plucked out and put aside to be replaced with the Next Thing. Some resurface multiple times sounding an alarm his mind is incapable of hearing because YG Wittlepants only needs what he needs for that moment in time. Hence, the rolodex.

He fancies himself an action hero…

Throw your soul through every open door.

Scarlett O'Hara may have been onto something. She often gets a bad rap, the green eyed vixen. But, she is experiencing trauma from a civil war and loss of life so she extrapolates her considerable charms into a coping mechanism which has heretofore succeeded. As for the rest, it's beyond her control and today she must do, not think.

The difficulty lies in the thinking because, for some, You Must Be This High is never high enough to ride That Ride. Once y'all are strapped in, there's no place to go but Low. Soon enough, the thrill is gone and y'all are left with a throbbing head and churning guts. For which, there is no help. Just cut your day short. Stuck on the hot pavement, feeling cheated, on the longest walk of a lifetime back to the car lot. While some planned ahead and noted the location of their vehicles, y'all skipped off carelessly and look what that got ya. It's probably gonna rain and y'all don't have the right shoes. So now, with the blu…

Oooh, you make me live.

Try as I might to implement a strict rule against dogs and street clothes on bed sheets, Lovin' Man persists with cozin' a dog under the covers. Usually Freddy. He is so casual with his watch duty that he's already there.

While inbred Fred begrudgingly receives love, Lovin' Man graciously gives.

Sometimes he treats Freddy to a spoonful of organic almond butter even though it's kinda expensive. Sometimes he lets him stay warm inside while the crew jogs about the perimeter of our back yard. Often, he lets Freddy sleep in little girls' beds under his very own cover. Once or twice he attempted to take him on a fun car ride but Freddy doesn't think it's fun at all. He stopped that because no one likes an unhappy Fred.

But, sometimes, he sends Freddy out of the bedroom for the rest of the night so People can stretch out. Often, he reprimands him for trying to run out into the street. Always, he feeds him just enough and never too much because no one likes a…