nonsensical text

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

the great flour spill of 2007

Hi, my name is T, and I have a problem. When I slip up, or don’t do something on the schedule I have imposed for myself, I tend to give up without even trying. It is in defiance of this trend that I bake bread today – on a Wednesday. I will follow through even if I am late in doing so.

I haven’t been feeling overwhelmingly alive of late. Puttering along and attaining a small percentage of success in knocking out the old “to do” list seem to be the highest summits I can climb. I once read that we, the human race, tend to judge others by their actions but wish them to judge us by our intentions. I’ve needed that merciful judgment of late. As I ponder my predicament, I become aware that this trend has been in the works for quite awhile now. Perhaps it is simply a byproduct of being a stay-home mom for so many years. Getting stuck in a rut tends to dry up a lot of the fuel that gives inspiration and sparkle to day to day life.

I am often an emotionally-driven individual. The logical side of my being is quite persuasive, but the catalyst for action is often found in the heart. It is, perhaps, one of the most difficult aspects of the spiritual journey for me - to soldier forth without strong emotional motivating factors. Each leg of the journey, then, feels even more obligatory; thus it is harder to press on. I am drained.

Ironically, this condition leads to some pretty impressive evidence of God’s hand in my life. The very fact that I can soldier on – just because it is the right thing to do – is evidence. Granted, the internal dialogue is deafening with each step. I often don’t accomplish what I set out to do. The tendency to become paralyzed by the whispers of guilt is still strong in me. But, I cannot simply stop. God has seeped into the fabric of me to such an extent that I am able, as an adult, to do what I was never able to do as a teen – keep plugging away. That knowledge – that makes me feel more alive than anything else ever could.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

blind faith

Sitting in the dark, I am forced to rely on my instincts. I am a two-fingered typist. I am also lazy. My husband just woke up from his accidental slumber on the couch and headed off to bed. On his way there, he turned off the light to the room I am sitting in – force of habit. The thing is, now I can’t see the keys on the keyboard. I must know their location better than I believe I do.

Trusting my abilities doesn’t come so easily for me. I am very good at expecting the worst from myself – or at least some level of failure. I have been given gifts. God is quite generous in that respect. I guess it’s just a shame that I never seem to trust in them until I have no choice but to rely on them in the darkness.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

growing up

The N boy got his license. I think I talked so much about its impending arrival that I forgot to mention when it actually happened. Today, I let him drive himself (and three of his brothers) to piano lessons for the first time while I stayed home.

Somehow a pro and con table just doesn't do this situation justice.

Goodness gracious, I guess I have to grow up sometime soon.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

me me me 1 - 2 - 3 and little white paw prints

So, even though Mary didn't tag me (see the crocodile tears?), I am going to grab hold of the 123 book meme too.

1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book & the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
5. Tag three more folks.

I must tell you before I start that I (of the anal retentive nature) found these directions to be less clear than they could have been (The fifth sentence which is completely on the page? The three sentences following the fifth, or including the fifth, or the fifth AND the three following it? Now you understand why my husband should be lauded greatly for enduring me for so long).

1. found it

2. The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier

3. found it

4."But being Americans of the middle class or higher, the only black people they would have encountered were, for the most part, the servants in their home and at the studios - blacks who attended Miss Hepburn in whatever ways she required. And as for Mr. Tracy, he struck me as a very human guy who, if given the chance, would come down every time on the side of decency and fairness for all. Now, maybe I thought that in part because of the memorable role he played in Bad Day at Black Rock, in which he was wonderfully compassionate to a character played by a black actor named Juano Hernandez."

5. tagging Heather, the spider lady, and Jouette though none of them need feel compelled in the slightest to accept said tag.

Onward and downward:

Have you ever noticed that, even if you tightly close the bedroom door while painting a radiator cover that somehow the cat will sneak in and walk across its freshly painted surface as soon as your back is turned? Murphy's Law, however, hit a snag. The feline in question chose to dismount onto the dropcloth as opposed to leaving perfect white footprints across the newly laid floor.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

huggin dat bread

sleeping with bread - in a bed!

Being fragmented usually refers to thoughts and feelings which are internal - when one’s focus is spread in varying directions, and the gaps between them are not easily connected. Wholeness, on the other hand, does not necessarily denote a single area of focus, but a harmony to the varying aspects of life.

While it could easily be said that the past week contained the mental type of fragmentation, it was evidenced quite clearly in the physical realm as well. My children have been riding a roller coaster of sickness for about two weeks now. While one day is good and another not so good, the whining and need to be cuddled have certainly been present even on the good days. I have been trying to catch up on some of the schooling around here and also on forcing myself into some kind of recognizable routine – one which allows for spontaneity, yes, but routine nonetheless. Add to this the sudden and unexpected renovation of our bedroom, and you will get a picture of what things have been like around here.

The room had no closet. Da hubster bought a wardrobe. He was merely removing stuff from the room to take up the carpet in that spot to install the wardrobe. Da wife – that’s me – was sooooooo thrilled to see the ugly, orange, lint-grabbing , seventies- loving, bacteria-breeding carpet coming up that it ALL had to go. The wood floor underneath looked great UNTIL we got to the last corner which was patched with the wrong type of wood - and until we disassembled the waterbed to find the stained spots underneath. Said bed was discovered to be in very poor health during disassembly. Eldest son commented that, while the room was in such a state, we might as well take advantage of the emptiness to get rid of the horrible snowflake/star patterned ceiling tiles. We could not deny his rightness. Thus began the scattered phase.

My thoughts have been fragmented, certainly, but it has been so clearly evidenced by the condition of my house. My dining room table became a storehouse for all items awaiting sorting. The bureaus from the bedroom took on positions of priority in the dining room as well. Other furniture clogged one side of the living room. Paint, spackle, wood, tools and other construction supplies found resting places as varied as the bathroom, the kitchen counters, and the landing to the basement. Various baskets containing items in mid-declutter phase were perched upon any flat surface (and some not so flat). Blankets were folded on two of the living room couches which, for a week, doubled as our beds. Pandemonium. Fragmentation. Chaos.

It is a testament to the greatness of God that I actually managed to accomplish better school days amidst the wreckage than I have for some time.

The majority of the painting was finished Friday (except for a taping accident which shall remain unblogged). The flooring went down Saturday into the wee small hours – there isn’t a square corner in this house. Sunday was spent putting together a wardrobe -which is what started this whole mess. Today, I was not to be deterred by the fact that the poor husband came down with the sickies. I’m exhausted, my ankle hurts, my house is still chaotic, but there is purpose! The furniture went back into the room (some of it anyway). We bought a new bed frame (granted, we didn’t get the mattress yet). I am beginning to find the rest of my house. I actually managed to do laundry, dishes, and take a shower in the same day. Along with the physical manifestation of wholeness that a new room so clearly displays, my mind found wholeness this morning. I had drive and desire.

It’s a good thing that, spiritually, God can keep me whole even when there are bits of me floating all over the place. Even at my most scattered I still fit in the security of His arms.

Now hopefully I will get the table cleared off before school in the morning. If not, I can always blame YOU.


Thursday, February 15, 2007


egads! This was written yesterday, but I have been unable to sign in. In fact, I only managed to sign in today when leaving a comment to someone else.

Ice is no fun to walk on, drive on, or shovel. If it is ice from freezing rain, it does make the world even more beautiful – encasing it in shining crystal. Ice from sleet is crunchy, white, and looks like snow – you just don’t sink when you walk on it. It also offers the eye something to focus upon while buried in spackle, primer, paint, and exhaustion.

Last night, five of the kids seized upon the opportunity to use their snow saucers in the hour before bedtime. Off they rambled to what they term OG hill (It is in the yard of an “old guy” who lets them use it). Shortly after leaving, N reappeared with the pink one. She had pronounced the outside world “too cold” for her tastes. In her place, he departed with a raft which has somehow remained inflated since summer.

I thought perhaps the raft was going to be used in some sort of tandem-sliding exercise, and thought no more of it. As I looked out the window soon after, the real use of the misplaced floatation device became clear. The hill was so slippery that one child was stationed at the bottom with the raft which they would use to smash into their descending sibling to facilitate stoppage. Now that’s what I call ingenuity.

Today, the freckled one (M) could be seen using the same raft to teach our neighbor’s 18 month old not to fear sledding. He pulled her around her yard, down small hills, around in circles – both of them giggling every step of the way. Now that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about!

P.S. Trim painting tomorrow and flooring Friday. We MAY just be back in our room by the weekend.

P.P.S. So sorry I missed bread this week.

P.P.P.S. I am attaching a group of poems written about 22 years ago because they are seasonably appropriate (though somewhat depressing).

Reflections on Snow

Starting with
unique white flakes
dirt & ugliness.
The dirt seeps through
and white
turns gray.
Man’s efforts -
blackness from the core.
Away on a mountain,
the white remains.
That’s what you do
for us, Lord.

Ice, snow, more ice -
rock salt, sand, cat litter,
shovel sounds,
tires skid,
sirens - a fall, a crash -
another day.
Will winter never end?

Snow -
delicate, soft, white -
harmless from picture windows,
chills, freezes, kills


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

the baker overslept

No longer Monday, and no bread in sight (I will try for the morning).

I just wanted to thank you all for your thoughts for the pink one. Yes, H, it was YOU who dubbed her as such. She is doing better than she was, but still cranky.

Other children are doing the low-grade fever thing, so we shall see. The N boy got it bad Sunday, but he seemed a bit better today.

We are bogged down by an unexpected construction project which I may get a chance to blog. For now, though, I had better make my way off to sleep.


Friday, February 09, 2007

just to let you know

The pink one has been under the weather for a few days, and I am finding it rather difficult to type while she is using me as a pillow. I've been reading, though. I'll try to get to the comments and post something at some point tomorrow!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

the camera

So, the dear husband got me a new digital camera for Christmas, and I have yet to take even one picture. Isn't technology supposed to make things easier? I have pointed the thing a few times and hit the shutter button, but to no avail.

I tried reading the manual, but ADD and, "See page 11 for more details," don't go well together - especially since turning to page 11 leads to the suggestion to turn to page 34, and so on.

It sort of reminds me of the dictionary hunts I used to enjoy in my early teen years. Looking up one word would lead to a definition containing another word I didn't know. Before long I would be flipping from page to page. Eventually I would forget the original word I was looking up.

And just think, once I manage to take a picture, I get to battle uploading images. I used to know how to do such things. Is this what age does to the mind? Will I soon be to the stage where I have to get my children to set the clock on the DVR?

Well, I guess I will give the manual another shot. At the least, it might cure my insomnia!


Monday, February 05, 2007

a trail through the woods

As I wander on a path through the forest of relationships, I leave a trail of bread crumbs in my wake. Although I walk a familiar path, my internal compass is malfunctioning. I need to assure myself safe return to the cozy warmth of home. Unfortunately, I think a pigeon is following me and eating up the trail.

I sat down with the intention of pondering belonging. This is my sixth or seventh attempt. Thoughts abound, but none of them are drawing in to a closed circle of understanding.

Lately, I have not felt a strong sense of belonging. I can see the physical evidence of relational ties – to my family, my church, an online community of women who have experienced the loss of a child, several recreational sports groups. I know those connections still exist, but I seem incapable of touching the knowledge of oneness.

I don’t feel like I belong to anything right now. Perhaps saddest of all, I do not feel the indefinable connection to God. It is still there – of this I have no doubt. I just can’t feel it. Emotions are fickle. I know this. Yet, my temperament makes me prone to putting perhaps too much value on how things make me feel. Instead of taking part in the celebrations of community, I sit in the corner of the room and silently watch the goings on. Deep down, I long for someone to hear all that I am not saying.

This atmosphere is conducive to guilt. God hears it all. He is there for me in every situation. Yet, I find myself wanting something. What? I have no idea. By reaching out to the physical aspects of a spiritual need, I am putting my dependence more on the people and things in my life than on the Great Comforter. When I begin to do this, my own shortcomings are magnified. I notice all of the little ways I have failed to be the mother/daughter/sister/friend that I should have been. This knowledge makes me withdraw more into a room with invisible barriers.

Ironically, this very separation draws me more closely into relationship with others. I am in good company. Each person on this earth knows what it is like to feel alone among many. Jesus himself experienced this as he prayed in the garden – as he alone understood the big picture while preaching to the multitudes.


fear tactics

So, I almost made a row of old ladies have heart attacks today.

I have this habit of pouring coke from a can into a bottle for drinking (cheaper, resealable). Upon leaving for church this morning, I couldn't find an empty soda bottle, so I opted for a water bottle. This was not a smart idea.

Being a detail oriented person, I have noticed on previous occasions that the caps are smaller on most water bottles than on their soft drink counterparts. Unfortunately, the common sensical side of me stayed in bed this morning.

After the church service, as we were leaving the sanctuary, I pulled out my drink. Being an impatient soul, I decided to unscrew the lid before completely exiting the sanctuary.

You know, lower thread count on a screw top translates directly to higher pressure?

Imagine my surprise (and everyone else's) when said cap explosively detached itself from the bottle. Fortunatley, my husband is tall enough that I could effectively hide - and I only have a small bruise.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

the years of living dangerously

As N drove the Daddy’s car home from the local wholesale club, the following conversation could be overheard in my vehicle.

S: Mom is really aging ten years for every birthday.

J: So she is really 410 years old.

Me: And I don’t look a day over 399.

S: I thought you were 800, but I wasn’t going to say anything.

M: We should take you to the Antiques Roadshow.

Me: I probably wouldn’t be worth very much.

J: But you’re old. And everything old goes to the Antiques Roadshow.

S: And don’t worry, I wouldn’t sell you (under his breath) for less than $300.

Me: Yeah, I’d like to see you find someone to do all of your laundry and cooking for that, even if I have been slacking lately.

M: Mom’s a slacker.

T: I’d never sell mom. She’s MY mom!

J: But we could get a Wii.

R, respectfully, remained silent during this exchange. After all, we of the double X club need to stick together.


Friday, February 02, 2007

treasure hunt

So I got up this morning in a somewhat grumpy mood.

Sleep was slow in coming last night. Okay, so I fell asleep at around 4:30 AM, so I guess that is an inaccurate statement. Grumps not withstanding, I was bound and determined to locate my sense of humor under the pile of rubble I so affectionately call home.

I figured I'd try the refrigerator first. I've found many unusual items in there before, and I could kill two birds with one stone as gnomes were climbing all over me in effort to bring forth the inner breakfast chef. Since my humor wasn't to be found, however, the predators had to content themselves with Pop Tarts and cereal.

I looked in the pile of laundry next. I did manage to find a marble, a rubber band, three half eaten tortilla chips, a W-2, and countless legos, but no trace of comic relief.

Off I trundled toward the hall closet. After I managed to dig out from under the assorted coats, scooters, and power tools which avalanched upon opening the door, I did a thorough search. Nope.

The upstairs was beckoning. I stalled - knowing as I do that the upper reaches of this domicile are more likely to contain nuclear waste and biochemical weaponry. Soon, however, I could delay no longer.

No humor. I did locate a pile of mismatched socks. Does that count for anything?

If you happen to find the more lighthearted side of my nature, feel free to leave it in the comments section of the blog. My family would be most appreciative.


things that make you feel old

N: Hey, mom, you said I couldn't drive your car until after I passed driver's ed, right?

Guess what he did yesterday? I suppose it doesn't help that my birthday hit then too.

My mother brought me a journal she has been writing for me since 1996. My tangents do come naturally. Many pages have scrawled notes up the sides. Other pages are no more than scattered collections of thoughts with no clear beginning or end. Reading it has served as a reminder of just how quickly time passes.

I blinked, and suddenly I have two children who are taller than me. I fell asleep for an hour or so, and my baby turned into an almost 4 year old. I turned my back for just a second...

T drew a picture of us together. I am not quite sure which stick figure is which, but we are holding hands.

T: And guess what, Mommy? (lowering voice to a whisper) We kissed each other!