Tuesday, March 31, 2015

LESSONS FROM THE LITTLE MAN

The Little Man loves to cry wolf in the form of these words--"HELP, I'M TUCK!"  There are times he is "Tuck", but in most cases he has stuck an arm or leg somewhere and is pretending he cannot get it free.  A great game guaranteed to have the adults in his world running to save the day.  Once he began to play the game, I began to pay less attention to his cries for help.  At times, he really is stuck, but I had heard his cries so many times, I ignored his pleas--not knowing he really needs help.  Be careful when crying, "Wolf"!



I was shadowing him outside today when he stopped by for a visit and began thinking this over.  Please know "I am NOT stuck".  "Suffering is the pathway of obedience."  God is teaching me--again.  I can be a slow learner.  A friend admonished me to go back and read my own book and take note of the steps on the journey of grief.  I know this will pass and I will rebound with joy once again reigning in my heart.  The joy and peace which has God as the only source.  I have read The Book and know the examples He has given to show me this promise.

So you, Dear Friends, become my sounding board when I am walking down the path of suffering.  You get to hear some of my thoughts, some of my cries to God, some of my heartbreaks, and some of my despair.  I PROMISE YOU THOUGH I AM NOT STUCK!  He will not allow me to stay in this place and I see His Light shining brightly through all of your concern and prayers.  Bear with me--I will move on.


38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39




Monday, March 30, 2015

MOVING ON-

It seems some think "Moving On" entails trading a single ride for a ride with a buddy seat.  "God is going to send you someone else to share life with."  I must have missed that promise in The Book!  No, can't find the scripture and not sure I could jump all those hurdles to make that happen.  The baggage I come with is a heavy load- even for me.




Well meaning friends have suggested I try dating sites on the WWW.  YES--that is the answer--since we all know we only tell the truth and show the real us to those cyber snoops!   The stories I have heard of others trying this avenue would singe your hair.  It seems people LIE---lead you on---and have certain expectations when you advertise you are lonely.

One friend told me her horror story which ended with the date's declaration, "I need to hurry up and find a wife to cook and clean for me, I am tired of having to do it all myself."  SIGN ME UP!  Yes a life of romance in front of the stove and in the laundry room!  I loved her comeback--"Hire a housekeeper!"

Stories of promises of marriage--which ended with announcements of the former girlfriend showing up and "We are going to try it again."  WAIT--didn't you just tell me we were getting married?  "I love you so, but I am not sure NOW this will work."  OR how about the just failing to ever contact you again after a several month serious relationship?   

The tales are legion and the story always has the same bad ending.  In an effort to be fair, I know a couple of couples who met on the WWW and it ended in a happy marriage.  Those stories are few.

A well meaning friend told me last week.  "You get out of it what you put into it.  Join an expensive site so you know they are serious."  HUMM--and I suppose no one would EVER think they might meet a "Sugar Momma" doing the same?  I am NOT anyone's "Sugar Momma"! I can't even find the sugar bowl--much less fill it! 

The cold hard facts are there are LOTS of single women out there looking--playing the game.  I am not going to the bar scene, not going to join a singles group, and not out trolling for love.  I am not interested in pursuing or playing games.  There are worse things than being alone--TRUST ME!

The couple of experiences I have had did nothing for my confidence in finding someone to share time with.  What would be nice is a dinner companion--someone to share conversation with--someone who enjoys the activities I do.  I was left with less than a good taste after my tiptoeing into the world of men.  I am not looking for rejection or anyone who bends the truth to fit their needs.  Always cautious, I meet people for a meal.  One particular guy--younger man-first mistake- I met at church.  After a very short time of getting to know him, holes began to appear in his story.  He moved to FW for work, but was always going home.  I caught him unaware when I asked, "Where do you stay when you go home?"  For once, he did not skirt the question to come up with a good answer later, but quickly replied, "With my ex-wife."   BELLS---STOP SIGNS--THIS WAY TO THE EXIT!  I put on my running shoes and RAN away from this mess.  Something was beyond stinky in this situation!   My distrusting paranoia sends me scurrying for the cave as soon as anyone looks my way after those encounters.

I have high standards with the one unbending rule---they MUST be a Man of God.  Otherwise I am NOT interested.   So moving on will not entail finding another man and that is Okay.  Look around there are many-many single women living full lives filled with joy--with no man involved. 


To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.
I Corinthians 7:8

Sunday, March 29, 2015

PSALMS

My Soul, wait in silence for God only,

For my hope is from Him.

He is my rock and my salvation,

My stronghold; I shall not be shaken,

On God my salvation and my glory rest;

The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;

Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us.

BLESSED SABBATH,
DEAR FRIENDS!



Another from my playlist

Saturday, March 28, 2015

MEANWHILE HERE IN THE HOOD

I have been watching my neighbors here in The Hood and have discovered a couple of mysteries.


Within my eyesight and in the direct line of vision when I am park gazing, is this house.  A nice man lives there alone with his dog--maybe two dogs.  He seems to have disappeared and no sign of the dog(s) either.  Instead there is now a woman staying there with a car which has an out of state license.  She comes and goes at strange hours--with no seeming pattern.  All traces of the man are gone--his vehicle--his dogs and him.   When the woman comes and goes, she quickly moves in and out of the house--never stopping or pausing as if she does not welcome conversation.  What could have happened to the man?  Has he met foul play?  Why would his dog(s) disappear too?  


Across the street there is this house hidden behind the tall bushes.  With blinds always shut, the couple moves in and out of the door quickly, never pausing for conversation. I have never seen them say a word to one another-always silent as they stealthily move in and out. They also have disappeared for at least three weeks and their two cars are gone as well.  I spotted each of them coming by recently at two different times and both of them in a different car.  The lawn man has been by and mowed, and the lawn cart was put out and drug back..  When she came by, she quickly darted in and darted back out again with a bag which would hold a long formal dress-such as a wedding dress.  During his quick visit, I noticed he had grown a beard--as if in disguise?  No sign of life now for days.  Where have they gone--what has happened over there?  Are they secret agents--who are away on assignment?  

STRANGE Happenings--here in the hood!!!

To be honest--some of what I said is true.  A lot of it is my over active imagination and curiosity working overtime.  The man is gone--probably the woman is house sitting.  She has on medical scrubs so she probably is working shift work in the hospital district right by the hood.  Oh and the couple across the street, they seem to enjoy their privacy, but I have met the man.  He is extremely shy.  They obviously are not far--and quite frankly if they thought I needed to know, I am quite certain they would have shared where they are with me.

Perhaps equally as bad as navel gazing is neighbor watching!  A clear indication I need to GET A LIFE!  

Other than the mysteries or lack thereof, all is quiet in the hood.  The good weather has encouraged the theft of anything not nailed down and the emails are flying about that and the lost dogs.  One suggestion was to glue down anything you did not want stolen.  That could lead to problems if you enjoy re-arranging as much as I do.  The park is full every sunny day and the ball teams are practicing every evening.  Spring is quite lovely---here in the hood!


Friday, March 27, 2015

THE SMELL OF MINISTRY

We are all called to ministry in some form or fashion.  It has been amazing to see here in The Big City how many are involved in various forms of service.  It comes with a cost and is often not easy nor for the faint of heart, count it as the cost of obedience   If you want easy---write a check.


My passion and calling in the last few years has been "The Least of These"--working with children.  What could be more wonderful than having a sweet cherub sitting at your feet soaking in the wisdom you impart.  I ONLY WISH!

The children come from an unstable world with parents who are struggling so what did I expect?  At the end of the day, their little bodies are stained with the ravages of the day.  Noses running--dirt caked on them--clothing with remnant's of the day splattered over them--shoes untied--and spirits dirtied by all the world has thrown at them--it can be less than a pleasing experience for those with refined senses.



My nose is a finely trained sensory instrument.  I can detect the slightest aroma when entering a room and sometimes I am sent fleeing out the door for a breath of fresh air.  After the long day--these sweet children have a tendency--exactly like our own children--to have the smell of the day hanging like a cloud around them. Putting on my stiff upper lip, I have discovered over the course of our time together---it dissipates or perhaps I am focusing on the child and not the other. 

This past week as my little charged looked at me with angelic eyes and gave me the detailed description of throwing up on the bus, I am certain my eyes became the size of saucers.  I left with fear of what disease I might have come in contact with.  After getting over my gagging and careful analysis of every ache and pain I might be experiencing, I remembered why I was at the shelter.  Perhaps before I grab my wash cloth and clean up the child, I should take a scrub brush to my own lack of compassion.  Shame on me for looking at the exterior and forgetting the little hearts I am blessed to teach.  

So before you enter the mission field He is calling you to, know it can be smelly, dirty, and down right disgusting on the outside, but one of the greatest blessings you will ever receive.  As you serve and work, the not so pleasant becomes at most a mere distraction and your heart will reek of the sweet aroma of service and love for those you are blessed to serve.


 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.
II Chronicles 15:7

Thursday, March 26, 2015

FINAL SAY!

Yesterday's post seems to have hit a collective nerve in many.  So many have contacted me on Facebook, on the blog, by text, to tell me---OH YES, I GET IT! The fact is the sun will come up tomorrow, the tides will flow, and here in Texas the wind will blow--and life will go on--as it should.  Grief will ebb and flow as does joy and He will never leave me.  I cannot leave this subject of grief without two more thoughts.


Naval gazing grows old fast!
To begin with, most over forty and anyone who has had a baby will attest to the truth the old navel is not the cute thing it once was. Since to my knowledge, there are only two ways to gaze at your navel--looking down or in a mirror, I would like to point out a couple of problems.  Looking down for long periods of time can lead to the need for chiropractic adjustment and at a minimum  a pain in the neck. Behind door two is staring into a mirror, which will lead to the discovery of more that has drooped, sagged, bagged, wrinkled, or dimpled over the years.  It is best to avoid full length mirrors at all cost.  Go to any beach or pool this summer and take a gander---navels are cute when you are young--but with time and random hair growth for men and stretching for women, the belly button becomes less than pleasing scenery.

The best scenery is always seen looking out or up--not down at your own belly.  A breath-taking sunrise or sunset, the white sugar sand of the beach with rolling waves washing over it, the grandeur of the mountain peaks, the lushness of the verdant forest, the sweet smile of an innocent child, and on and on.  Why would I spend anytime belly gazing when the Master Creator paints a glorious canvas with unlimited gazing access?  So with time, I will grow very weary of naval gazing and look up and out again.  

I believe in the redemption story!
I have read The Book and I get it.  Each and every page is filled with redemption---over and over the reoccurring theme--redemption.  SO I believe my story will be redeemed also.  When will it occur?  I may never know it has occurred--BUT I trust--I have faith that redemption will occur.  How will God redeem this?  I have no idea--and in the eyes of the world--it may never look redeemed--but again I trust--God will use this story for His Good purpose to further His glory and thus redeem it.  At this moment I am not "feeling it", but my head-"knows it", and I hope you know also---If you are His---He WILL redeem your story.  You can count on it!

So--yes I am grieving--but--I have hope---and that hope comes from
 Jesus-My Redeemer.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
Psalm 107:2



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

GRIEF REVISITED



I am struggling with a recurrence of what seems to be chronic grief. The tidal waves of loss roll over me at times without warning and at other times  triggered by an unexpected event. Thinking about my sweet friends who have lost children- those who have lost spouses and siblings-those who live with disabled children who will always need care-those with severe and debilitating illness-anyone who faces a life which has taken a turn they never thought possible--and understanding now how uniquely and unpredictably each of us walk this path of grief, I wonder if I will ever cross the bridge into peace.

"Just get over it"---OH I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!  You do not have to tell me to "Get Over It!"---I have told myself that more times than I care to count.  This is NOT a choice--my choice would be erasing the pain--tucking away the memories behind a closed door and moving forward.  It sounds so simple!  I have not found the door much less the key as much as I would like to.  If I only had a switch to turn my thoughts off!  

"Work through the stages and find release."  What I have learned is  many of the stages have to be relived over and over.  With each trigger, I have to review what has been dredged over the coals so many times it should be ashes and dust.  Perhaps the psychologist who came up with the five stages of grief forgot the multiplying factor of numerous trips down the list.  If ONLY it were so easy!  I will march down this list and be done with it--I SO WISH!

"Pray"---OH THAT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME!  I wonder if God grows weary of the same prayer over and over.  Does he ever tire of my "OH, GOD," ?  I know the scripture--claim the promises--understand Who He is--and am thankful for His faithful presence.  Why then do I feel at times as if I am returning to Square One?  My constant prayer is for this to be used for His Good Glory.

"Get Busy"--I promise you--I stay busy!  With four young grands here in town and volunteering--and writing--and gardening--and all the other busyness--I am not idle.  You cannot fill every minute of every hour of the day---and then there are the nights I cannot fall asleep--wake up at 2 in the morning--with the same thoughts rolling around in my head.  It is not my desire to spend sleepless nights trying to make sense of the senseless.

"Just Move On"---I do not have my running shoes on---I have my roller skates on.  SO ready to move on---It is not from lack of trying, I assure you.  I got my passport, bought the ticket, packed my bag, and started the car.  For some strange reason I cannot get it out of neutral and the scenery here in the rut of grief can be tiring and dismissal.

So I leave you with this---for all of us-who are grieving-this is NOT a cesspool of self-pity that we enjoy wallowing in endlessly. The fall into the quicksand of despair is not our life's ambition.  YES--we are living--yes we know we are blessed--and YES WE WANT TO MOVE ON.  It is not as simple as it might sound.  I pray you never have to understand where I am coming from.


Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

Monday, March 23, 2015

DUDE ALERT!

It has been brought to my attention there are two dudes wandering the streets causing untold havoc and harm to the citizens of this fair city.  With varying descriptions and modes of operating, I am at a loss at to how you might identify them.

I became aware of the two dudes when speaking with those who are called to serve, protect, and care for us.  It seems you can be sitting on your own front porch, reading your Bible, and the two dudes--who you have never seen---appear out of nowhere and shoot you for NO reason.



The same two dudes might jump you- when you are innocently standing on the street corner, minding your own business, waiting for the light to change so you can help some little old lady across the street- and beat you to a pulp.  Again without provocation--for no know reason--they randomly picked you to be their punching bag.


The two dudes cause all kinds of destruction, ruin, and damage to property and body always with no fore-thought or reason, but random acts of evil upon the innocent.  Those two dudes are to blame for all the evil visiting the city and can be at multiple locations at the very same moment.  A force to be reckoned with-be on constant vigil and alert for the two dudes.

I laughed at the story of the two dudes--but it made me think of the two dudes in my life--and perhaps yours.  Those whom I blame for my own problems in a feeble attempt to disallow involvement or responsibility for the messes I can make in my own life.  How much easier to disclaim my part and instead look to anyone and everyone else who might have been indirectly involved in my poor choices.  My modern day scapegoats who bear the full weight of my folly and sin--while I conveniently  plead my own innocence.  Something tells me--He sees through my blame shifting---and knows there are no dudes---only me!

But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat
Leviticus 16:10

Sunday, March 22, 2015

THIS IS WHAT IT IS

When there are no answers 

To life's sorrows

There is a sure and certain promise

He counts our tears

knows our sorrows

and holds us near.

BLESSED SABBATH, DEAR FRIENDS


Saturday, March 21, 2015

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING

I am once again climbing a mountain---trusting--holding on to the promise


God meant it for good-Genesis 50:20

Praying that God uses me for HIS Good glory. 
Climbing and listening to this song-
Expectantly waiting to reach the top
As He Reveals Himself to me
and helps me along the way.
Why am I amazed when He shows Himself
By using you in my life to remind me of Who He Is
Claiming James 1 as I endure the climb.

Can you listen and not at least tap your toes?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

AN IRISH HYMN

IN HONOR OF APPROACHING
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
& MY SCOT-IRISH ROOTS
THIS ANCIENT IRISH HYMN

MY DAUGHTER WALKED DOWN THE AISLE
WITH A STRINGED QUARTET PLAYING THIS
SO IT ALWAYS TUGS AT MY HEART STRINGS

BLESSED SABBATH-DEAR FRIENDS




Friday, March 13, 2015

TRASH HEAP

Fort Worth has bulk trash curb side pick up for large items once a month.  I never cease to be amazed at what I see on the side of the street.  One man's junk IS another man's treasure.



I have been through the process of discarding when moving 3 times in a very short period  and down sizing each time I moved.  There are times now when I break out in a cold sweat thinking about all I had to either give away or chunk.  It was a true to life representation of what was happening in my life as treasures I had stored up were stripped away.



#1 Daughter is moving.  The good news is closer to me--a mile away.  The bad news is a colicky baby is limiting her ability to even begin packing.  She could never possibly move without me in the big middle of it anyway.  Four moves in college, post college & post marriage moves, a move to Pennsylvania, a move back to Texas, a move from a rental to their own home, and now across town.  The girl has moved more in her short 31 years than I have in a lifetime.  She hired me as her moving coordinator, packer, unpacker, and general laborer each and every time.  I must do a pretty good job since once again, she is looking to me for some help. 

This week I began the first steps of packing boxes.  My own packing philosophy is if you do not use it--do not take it.  I am a minimalist--she takes after the gene pool from the other side--they are keepers.  Everything is a treasure.  I try to be respectful of her desire to keep her stuff, but we have already butted heads over a vase which once contained flowers from a florist. She does not grow flowers, she does not buy flowers, she never arranges flowers, but she thought she needed that vase.   After it was all over, I felt bad since Dr. Daddy was home and took my side.  I wonder how he will feel when I start going through his stuff?

I am reminded of the book The Velveteen Rabbit.  A well loved toy who gives his all for the boy he loves, the rabbit was discarded to be destroyed after a long time of always being by the boy's side.  He was worn, and not very pretty anymore, and a new rabbit of much greater beauty could replace him.  No matter all those years of being by the boy's side, his usefulness was over.  He cries from heartbreak and- surprise- his tears work magic for him and he comes to life as a real bunny at the end of the tale.  




All to say, be careful what you throw on the trash heap, discard and abandon. The choice of what is junk and what is treasure is to not be taken lightly. Perhaps daughter is right to want to keep her "stuff".  She sees value in each and every possession and honors that value and usefulness by holding on to her treasures.  Perhaps we could all learn a lesson concerning our eagerness to discard anything without careful thought.  The beauty of the velveteen rabbit was in his worn nape, torn arm, and missing eye--after all those years of being by the side of the boy and loving him well.   He was no ugly toy, but a well loved toy whose true beauty only shone after all those years of serving.  


21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:21

Thursday, March 12, 2015

YO-YOING

As a child, I loved playing with yo-yo's.  Only knowing a few "tricks", for the most part I threw the yo-yo out and it came back.

As with many words in the English language, yo-yo conjures up many images.  I laughingly called the years between graduating from high school and final launching for my children, the "Yo-Yo Years".  I sent them out and they invariably came back.  We wore out furniture by moving it back and forth--not from use.



Then there are the yo-yo dieters.  Those who take off 20 and put it back on even faster  as if they were in a revolving door.  There have been more fad diets and new weight loss techniques and secrets in my lifetime than I can count.  How many sizes of clothing are in our closets?  Friends laugh and tell me about their "Fat Clothes" and "Skinny Clothes".  How unfair to live in a country rich with fast food and more types of "food establishments" than I am able to recount.  The food industry is conspiring against us in hopes we will put on the dreaded 20 so their first cousin the diet industry can lure us in.  Affluence is not always good!


Weight is not my struggle--my confession is I am a Yo-Yo Exerciser.  I went back to weight lifting class this week after a five week furlough while on LuLu Duty.  I had GREAT intentions while helping with the grands--you KNOW what they say about good intentions.  I have jumped on and fallen off the exercise wagon more times than I care to recount in the past seven years.  I could paper the walls of a mansion with all the excuses I have come up with during this time.  OH--but I pay--and I pay dearly when I get with the plan once again.  The older I get--the more difficult it becomes to climb back onto the wagon and the longer it takes to get back into some semblance of shape.  You THINK I would learn--I appear to be in need of special education--it never sinks in.


My most distressing yo-yo ing comes with my spiritual life.  I draw so near--so close to God while pursuing Him--seeking Him.  Then I find myself distracted by the world--busy--running around in frantic circles and falling into the bed at night with only a brief prayer.  I cannot seem to get it through my thick head how much better I handle life when I am near Him--when I spend time daily with Him.  When I throw myself into the world, it takes time to make my way back to the Only Source Of Strength in my life. 

The good news---He is waiting for me to return---and loves me --even at the lowest point--He still loves me.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. - 
Isaiah 53:6

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

NAVIGATION APP

I have spent most of my life being the navigator.  From the days of paper road maps which required an engineering degree to fold--much less read--until "Sweetie"-my old Garmin GPS.  Today I have slipped over to the pilot's seat and find myself alone in the cab of the plane -I MEAN-car.  This means I have to navigate and pilot--thus the need to learn how to use the map app on my smart phone.  I fought going there--but after a few episodes reminiscent of the Israelites wandering in the desert--I bit the bullet.  I am proud to say---I have mastered this app and as long as I keep the volume of the music down--can actually hear and follow instructions.



Living here in Fort Worth for almost two years, I have become slightly cocky and know just enough to make me dangerous.  I tend to not always listen to the nice lady in the phone as she gives me directions.  When traveling to New Orleans this past weekend, I decided I needed to avoid all the high over passes after our 4-5 inches of snow and ice.  Traveling an alternative route through the city to avoid all these bridges, Miss Lady In The Phone kept telling me the error of my way.  At each and every intersection, she would calmly tell me how I could get back on the right track.  She never became outraged--never screamed--never raised her voice--never felt the need to degrade my navigational abilities.  She just kept on trying to get me back on the shortest route according to the computer.  Programmed to keep me on the safest and shortest route, The Lady In The Phone is for my well being--not to frustrate or confuse me and she is unfailingly always a lady.

As I drove to New Orleans, listening to the instructions, I began to think of the other Navigator in my life.  He knows what is best for me, He knows the paths I should take, He has the plan that is perfect for this path I am on in life.  He also is unfailingly a Gentlemen--LONG on patience--Never short--Always loving as He gives me direction. Even when I go off on an unplanned detour or not such a safe route, He hangs in there with me and keeps pointing me back to the correct route.   If I could just learn to listen and avoid thinking I know the best path, life would be much easier--and even during those difficult detours He is always right by my side navigating and guiding as I go along the way.  What a blessing to have Him pointing the way.

BLESSED AND SAFE TRAVELS!

God will show me the path of life.
Psalms 16:11


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

LU'S DINER

It has been a while since I have cooked for anyone other than myself.  After a month of cooking for The Little People, I  could apply for a job as a short (pun intended) order cook.



The big people in the house were happy with whatever I cooked--even those never tried recipes which left a LOT to be desired.  The Little People are another story all together.

To begin with---you will note the sign on the diner door--open 24 hours---YES INDEED!  After 3 meals a day and countless snacks between---the boys were ALWAYS starving at bedtime.  PERHAPS a ploy to drag out hitting the hay?  It was difficult to argue with "My mom and dad give me a bedtime snack."  What I wanted to say was--well in fact I am guilty of saying "I am not your mom or dad and Lulu says it's bedtime, so turn over and go to sleep."  I know MEAN--right?  After shoving food at this trio approximately every 30 minutes all day long--I might have been a little short on patience AND I counted on bedtime!

The oldest of the Little People does not eat anything---well a VERY limited menu.  I will not cast stones--since I grew up  existing on peanut butter, bologna, and white rice with butter only.  I also managed to raise a son who was just as picky .  He only liked ham when he was 3--so we told him every meat was ham.  HEY it worked for a while!  The beauty of #1 Son--if he didn't like what I cooked--he prepared himself a peanut butter sandwich. For the oldest to be SO limited in what he eats, he  is a connoisseur of those few items.  "I will take a peanut butter & jelly sandwich--light on the peanut butter and heavy on the jelly."  SERIOUSLY!  Both the older boys were guilty of asking for one thing and having eater's remorse one bite in.  Whatever the other brother had was what they really wanted.  BACK to the kitchen!

The Little Man and the next up the line are quite adventuresome and will try almost anything.  Heaven help if they do not like what they try.  The Little Man lacks social graces and will spit out whatever has offended his palette on the spot.  I did get some "What IS THIS?" in a tone that advised they found it visually less than appealing.  With a little persuasion, I could usually get them to try a little bit.

I am proud to say #1 Daughter has everyone sit at the table for their evening meals.  The remainder of the day is reminiscent of hors d'oeuvres at cocktail hour. With the only difference being you order whatever tickles your fancy. You walk around trying to balance what you have snagged in your hands with hopes of getting it in your mouth before it hits the floor.  When various items of food are found on the floor, on the couch, on the end table, and other non-eating areas,  they all quickly deny any wrong doing.  It seems all the food I am scraping off various surfaces magically appeared--or perhaps the family that is hiding in the attic is creating this mess.  

AND the dog--he is one step away with his drooling mouth following the crew around waiting to pounce.  If a cartoon gets turned on, he is licking his chops waiting for someone to put their bowl/plate down for 2 seconds of distracted fascination so he can grab and run.  I found a hardened waffle at least half a dozen times during my stay.  He would re hide it every time he got it--his squirrel like stowing probably in the event of no further roaming and eating policy.

I am back home--and when I went by today--Dr. Daddy was cracking the whip.  Eat this or no snack policy was being threatened.  Oh--he only made the threat after having to make the next choice after one bite of their first.  It seems the peanut butter and jelly was too runny.  WELCOME TO MY WORLD-DR DADDY!

Back here in the bungalow, I am eating baked potatoes and peanut butter sandwiches.  It just is NO FUN cooking for yourself!


 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children--
Psalms 103:17

Monday, March 9, 2015

ANOTHER DIAGNOSIS!

I have quite a few letters attached to my name---some I am proud of--some that came with the gene pool--and occasionally a surprise from left field!  This weekend---I drove to New Orleans from Fort Worth for my sweet niece's wedding.  The plan was to drive to Ruston and ride with my brother and his wife--but plans are made to be changed--via 5 inches of snow/ice and brother getting the flu. 



SO-early Friday morning--I hit the road to make the 560 mile journey to join in the joyous celebration.  When you have 9 hours of alone time--in a confined space--you may learn a great deal about yourself----ACCOMPLISHED!

I openly admit to my mental diagnosis of OCD---it's not all bad---but I thought I was on the right side of the crazy bar---turns out I was WRONG!  I seem to be suffering from MPD induced by nine hours in crazy traffic.

The day began with my being near normal--as close as I ever get and then I hit the DFW rush hour traffic--approximately 5 minutes into the trip.  NO--I kept it together---Miss Nice Person--please you go first---"Oh Yes I will allow you to zoom around all the rest of the waiting traffic and break in--I am sure your time is much more precious than any of the others---so PLEASE you go first."  My "Play by the rules" personality was front and center.  OH---we all like this person--she is so nice!  Obey all the laws and rules WITH a smile on my face!

The day wore on and I began to wear down and who should show up but the game player.  Brought on by mile upon mile of boring-flat country and lighter traffic--this person likes to find a target in the distant horizon and play catch up and pass.  I find my foot becoming heavy and the little needle over in the red zone.  The need for speed and to be out front play out as the Grand Prix of I-49.  Miss Nice Person has morphed into Miss Competitive.

As I begin to see the sights of South Louisiana--alligators, swamps, bayous--I can only think of all the delicious food I am going to enjoy.  And THEN--I hit Baton Rouge Traffic.  Louisiana is a poor state and the road infrastructure has been out-grown-with no funds to expand--Baton Rouge since Hurricane Katrina is a quagmire.  Miss Cool Calm and Collected became slightly irate--out of patience and muttering under my breath.  After 30 minutes on the Mississippi River bridge in stand still traffic, Miss Out-raged made her debut.  I sit totally alone in the car carrying on a tirade against all the traffic engineers as well as the lame drivers.  Who knew I could rant and rave with the most obnoxious?

At long last---the Super Dome is in sight--and the thoughts of unfolding as I emerge from the prison cell my little car has become are keeping me from pulling a Dukes of Hazard's move and flying over the edge of the interstate.  THEN--I hit downtown New Orleans traffic.  Miss Over The Edge who is an hysterical, babbling maniac has turned me into someone I do not recognize.  Thirty minutes later after sitting at 3 different lights while they change multiple times with very little forward movement, I no longer recognize myself.  By this time, I am ready to leave my car in the middle of the road and walk to the hotel.  

FINALLY--I arrive at the hotel--Miss Over The Edge hands the keys to the valet and WAA-LAA Miss Nice and Normal re-emerges.

Perhaps if I refrain from driving more than a couple of hours--Miss Nice and Normal will keep the others at bay!  BUT the GOOD NEWS---what a joyous and wonderful weekend with my loved ones as we celebrate Amanda and John's wedding!  We all---the entire package of me---loved every minute of the weekend!

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20

Friday, March 6, 2015

TEXAS MOUNTAIN RANGE

I posted earlier this week about my daughter and her family living on Mount Mattel-the only known active volcano in Texas.  Who KNEW that here in the flatter than flat side of Fort Worth, her house would be smack dab in the middle of an entire mountain range.  This range is known as the "Dirty Clothes Peaks".  Why there are peaks surrounding the laundry room door, which put all those peaks I have climbed to shame.  A ten mile hike to the top of one of those lovely Rocky Mountain peaks pales when lined up with the mountains of laundry spilling from the laundry room into the kitchen.



Having been raised by the Queen of OCD--I have delusional thoughts that laundry should be done in a systematic way.  Laundry put in a central location to be washed--sorted into like colors and materials---washed and dried according to their labels.  WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!!



To begin with---the Little People tend to enjoy undressing--ALL OVER THE HOUSE--SO this means the first step is searching for all the unclean clothes--in each and every room--above and below every available surface.  How silly of me to think the laundry basket placed in the bedrooms/bathrooms would be the target for those items needing laundering.  Strip and Throw is the motto of these Little People. 

SO--I gather the clothes and then begin to sort---only to find after I have been called away to save one of these Little People from some impending doom or disaster- that #1 daughter has stepped in and crammed an entire load and a half into the super sized washing machine with total disregard for the correct sorting protocol. My eyelid began this funny twitching upon discovering the over-loaded-ill-sorted washer filling with water. 

The first week the Princess was here, I diligently sorted her clothing into its own pile of spit up and poop drenched items so that we could wash them in special soap to protect her delicate skin.  That lasted until #1 did a load one day and I discovered everything from baby clothes to dirty towels all in the same load.  Her rationale was we will use the gentle soap on it all.  I cringe and my mouth begins to jerk to one side, when I discover blue jeans and white big boys all in the same load---but hey it gets clean.

The MOST frustrating part of the laundry detail is the socks.  #1 has the philosophy if they have two clean socks on of the same length--all is well--NO NEED to match.  I begin to twitch when I see these precious little feet in mis-matched socks.  SO the first week there, I take the boys' socks and play match the sock.  I am left with a sack of mis-matched socks.  My plan is to throw them away---this does NOT make #1 happy--we NEED to keep those mis-matched---EVEN THOUGH there are 20+ pairs of matched socks now.  So slowly over the next three weeks we have once again ended up with a basket of mis-matched socks.  OBVIOUSLY the evil demon living in the washing machine eats one sock of each set to torment me.  Never mind that I find various lone socks outside, in the tree house, in the garage, in the car, and hidden in every conceivable crevice imaginable.



After the cleaning and drying comes the folding chore.  The Little Man has NEVER seen a basket of folded laundry that he did not feel the need to unfold and scatter.  THEN there is the confusion of what is clean and what is dirty since he has scattered them from room to room where the Little People have also shed their dirty clothes.  WHY????

I found it so perplexing that there was so much laundry, especially since one of the Little People is prone to wearing the same thing day after day---especially his favorite shirt.  NO MATTER that those jeans are so stiff they can stand alone with no leg needed for support.  What's important is having on your favorite super hero outfit.  Since one of the Little People is far from concerned about the cleanliness of his clothes, it became apparent to me another family must be living in the attic---or the neighbors must be sneaking over and throwing their dirties in the piles.  There was NO way six people could create this much dirty laundry.  I would go to bed with everything clean, dried, folded and put away to rise to more mountains of dirty clothes.  There could be no other answer than another family of 6+ contributing to the cause.

As a single person, I had been doing laundry only once a week--3-4 loads--in an orderly process ---with no confusion as to what was dirty and what was clean.  Those days have flown out the door while staying with the Little People--but on the bright side--I am well trained for another career as a Clothing Maintenance Engineer-if I can only get all these in-voluntary jerks and spasms to stop!  


A joyful heart is good medicine
Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, March 5, 2015

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

It becomes necessary-on a daily basis to get these people from Point A to
 Point B.  "D" Day troop movements were easier to plan.



The simplest solution is the lovely mini van.  #1 Daughter laughs and says you fly under the radar if you drive a mini van.  It has begun to take on the appearance of a vehicle used in armed combat after two years of use and abuse by this crew.  The scrapes down the side are the beginning evidence of being rode hard and put up wet--but the true give away is the front bumper being held up by plastic ties.  IT IS A LONG STORY!


NOT THE ACTUAL VAN--SIMILAR-
-BUT YOU WILL NOTE THERE ARE NO SCRAPES OR PLASTIC TIES

Back to Point A to B---this land yacht at least has a seat for each of the four various styles of car seats.  The problem is there is no place for the resident Nanny except for the 4.78 inches between the two big boys seats on the very back row.  My wide load needs MORE than 4.78 inches.  Thankfully, the biggest boy can buckle himself in and out--but balks at helping the next in line in and out.  The last time I asked--after coercing him by playing the "OLD GRANDMA" card-I overheard him telling brother, "You have got to learn to do this yourself, I CANNOT keep helping you---I am getting tired of this."  REALLY!!!  The middle row contains The Little Man--who needs full assistance by an adult and The Princess--who gets to admire the view of her Big Brothers while facing backwards.  HEY---I am ALL about safety!

At any rate--after 15-20 minutes of loading the darling children up---we are off.  NO--NO we cannot leave until everyone has a snack and a drink of some type.  We cannot pull out of the drive for a few block journey to the park without nourishment.  THUS the fact there are various and sundry wrappers littering the floor and the spill stains on every cloth/carpet surface.  Why to drive the 20-30 minutes to my house, we have to pack a picnic hamper!  AND oh yes, we all need a book, toy, car, some form of entertainment for the next few seconds--so what is not filled with wrappers and stains is covered with remnants of the eruptions from Mount Mattel.

SO at last, we hit the road.  The fighting on the third row  and the wailing on the second road commence. The Princess does not enjoy these outings.  HOW I am able to get a block without slamming into someone is a mystery.  This occurs every time we are riding in the vehicle UNLESS it is 5:30----one and one half hour until the blessed bedtime---and I DO NOT WANT ANYONE NAPPING!  The entire back of the van falls asleep---ARRRGHH!   A 20 minute power nap means at least another hour added to bedtime.  I will not tell you about the day, I was desperately trying to keep the Little Man awake by offering treats from the picnic hamper.  When we got home, his mouth had to be scraped out since he fell asleep with a mouth full of cream cheese.  

SUCH FUN--Point A to Point B--

There are those days that I take all three of the boys in the back of my SMALL CAR!  The two boys by the window ALWAYS jump in first--meaning I have to lean over them to buckle in the Little Man.  THAT IS FUN!  Our trip conversations center around---"HE TOUCHED ME!"  "Brother HIT ME!"  "He TOOK MY CAR!"---there is NOT ENOUGH SPACE on the back seat of a Camry for these three!  The good news---I can REACH those little darlings---As I look in the rear view mirror--the threat begins with, "There is a red light up here and I am going to turn around and-----"  There should be warnings with small cars about the number of children you can safely transport without causing them bodily harm at red lights.

Our only other alternative is Dr. Daddy's COOL RIDE---a Land Rover.  It seems he does not allow all this consumption of supplies in his car and he insists there is no need for entertainment.  HUMMM!  At any rate, the only problem with the cool ride--is I have to crawl over the back seat to get into the only available spot for the Nanny on the third row.  The logistics of this happening were NOT pretty--but quite entertaining for the neighbors.  When my SIL threw down the challenge by saying, "I can get the screw driver and take this seat out so you can get in"---WELL here is the result of that trip

NO COMMENTS ABOUT THE PJ'S-

IT IS AMAZING the lengths you will go to when you have been house bound for a few days just to get from Point A to B!


He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting. 
Job 8:21



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

VOLCANO ZONE

Scientist are baffled by the occurrence of frequent earthquakes in the DFW area during the recent past.  When you leave mid North Louisiana--my home for most of my life (will always be home)--you are in the rolling hills.  Those same hills continue almost to the edge of Dallas with a brief re-occurrence mid Fort Worth.  It becomes flat on the edge of the Dallas area--and except for the last effort at rolling mid Fort Worth-it stays flat---FOREVER!  When I say F L A T, think of pancakes--no flatter---think of the finely sanded grain of the floors which have been trod upon for almost 100 years in my bungalow--no flatter still--in other words flatter than flat!  NOT the terrain you associate with earthquakes!  Why the only faults imaginable around here are the personality traits of some of the neighbors in The Hood!  WHY THEN ARE WE HAVING EARTHQUAKES--I DIGRESS!



It has come to my attention during the past month, that the house which Dr. SIL & #1 Daughter call home is directly on top of a live volcano which erupts daily--in fact SEVERAL times each day.  Appropriately, I have named the hissing and spitting volcano--MOUNT MATTEL.  For you see they are living upon a giant geyser which spews toys of various sizes and shapes multiple times each and every day--without exception from one end of their house to the other.  The eruptions are so violent that toys spill over into the garage and eventually bleed into the yard in streams filled with plastic/metal/wood- shaped as miniature versions of life size objects from all venues of life.  An eternal spring pouring a constant stream of child size objects bubbles from each and every room throughout the day--with no end to the supply ever found.



Once a day---we stop---and pick up--and put back---and try  to dam the flood--to no avail.  The eruptions begin the very next day---pre-dawn and continue until the last pint sized person is slumbering in their toy filled beds.  Not even the dark of the night and the quiet of slumber ceases their need to be surrounded by the objects of their amusement.  And yet--hope obviously springs eternal--for once again--we pick up--put up--and stow away the remains from the ash heap of today's eruption.

The NRA will never have to face extinction with the likes of these boys around.  Each and every room has an armament case of some type.  Guns, pistols, swords, knives, tanks, soldiers, armed hummers--and on and on.  The bullets come in all sizes and shapes and the supply is endless.  There is no limit to the number of single shot, semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons in the chests of the dwarf soldiers living within the confines of the fort within the house.  Why if all else fails, they will pull a finger out and shoot you between the eyes before you know what hit you.

I am quite certain one of the boys will be an engineer- for the blocks and building conglomerate is comprised of every known material---man-made and other.  There are enough of these tiny elements to create a pint size New York City.  DO NOT get me started on the millions upon millions of Legos.  WHAT demented inventor came up with this brilliant idea?  NOT one universal set to create many versatile replicas--but instead a new box and new set of Legos for each and every item to be built.

The rolling stock comes in all sizes and shapes with various uses.  Road building equipment, bikes, skate boards, cars, trucks, tractors, every possible item which might have a wheel--there is a replica.  NOT to be partial to wheels--there is also tracks, skis, and various other forms of movables in this collection.  From the very tinest to the size a small child could ride on.  Do not forget Thomas--and his friends and the thousands of train tracks nor the wooden road set with the village of wooden houses to go along.  Thomas also has cranes, engine houses, bridges, trees, and depots to name only a few.   Lest I forget--there is also little plastic people--to go with each and every venue.  There is also a closet dedicated to stuffed and plastic animals as well as every action figure who has ever donned a costume or cape.

Shelves of books, games, DVD's, flash cards, coloring books--and for heaven sake do not forget the colors, paint pens, clay, and sundry other forms of art and creativity.  The DVD collection alone fills a large binder.

Why would you pick it all up---why not let the volcano erupt and leave the field of debris where it landed after blowing from the chasm.  You will get a clearer picture of the need if you strew 3000 tiny lego pieces over the path between you and the children's room.  NOW turn off the lights and be sure it is the pitch dark of the night---you need to be sound asleep and have the wail of a two year old jerk you out of bed and take off blindly staggering to scoop up the shrill scream which threatens to wake up the rest of the mob.  THEN as you step bare footed onto lego after lego--you will understand WHY the volcano debris MUST be picked up before the blessing of sleep.  IF ONLY I could stem the flow--for ONE DAY--the perils of living on Mount Mattel!

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2