Saturday, June 27, 2009

Who will dance.....

...on the floor in the round?


Although I have said it before, I will say it again: "I was born to be a DJ".





Music has been an integral part of my life since I can remember. At a very young age I began associating music with feelings, times and situations.





To this day I can hear certain songs and my despite my previous demeanor, the song will take me to a mood fitting my general feelings from the time I most heard the song.





For instance, I could be having a crummy day and hear "Roll On" from Alabama and smile because it takes me back to a day of roller skating in our basement, in a bathing suit, with a sash- made of paper stapled in to end -wrapped around me, with crown made of foil perched on top of my head. Wasn't it common knowledge that roller skating in your bathing suit propelled you to the top rankings of the talent portion of the Miss America pageant?





However, the mood change isn't always a good one. There are other songs, innocent songs, that when I hear them, my mood changes to a very heavy, oppressed feeling. To this day, I am not positive of the reason why. Obviously those songs must be connected to a memory that isn't as positive as a Miss America/Roller Derby pageant, but hey, what memory could compete with that, right?





Music - all kinds- has influenced me my whole life.





My. Whole. Life.





I don't remember a time when it wasn't important to me.


***************************





I remember that back in the year of 1982 at the ripe old age of six, I received the album "Thriller" (I assume for my birthday) from my mom's friend Carolyn. I was standing in the middle of a nearby Softball Complex, waiting for my mom's team to play. We were by the concession stand as I ripped off the paper of the cassette tape.


I remember not knowing who Michael Jackson was, but not being able to wait to find out.



After, there was no looking back.





I even remember having a TV rolled into a school classroom and the class as a whole, got to watch the "Thriller" video unfold on the screen before us.





I also remember his "Remember the Time" video being shown to the world in the middle of Prime Time TV sandwiched between two TV sitcoms.





It seems the world did stand still for him.


***************************


Thursday, my sister called and left a message with Steven for me to call her IMMEDIATELY! He told me that she said it was "very important". I guess she had told him, but he wanted her to be the one to deliver the news.





"The King of Pop is dead"





It took me a moment to process this news. "What? Michael Jackson?" - just to make sure that we were on the same page. Knowing that I had introduced her to everything "Michael", I felt sure that she had it right....but I had to make sure that in a momentary lapse, she wasn't referring to Justin Timberlake or something.





Because, she is a lover of Justin and in her mind, he might possibly be "King..."





Fortunately for Justin and unfortunately for Michael....we WERE on the same page.





My stomach felt hollow.....and I felt sad.





I wasn't really sure why and for the past couple of days I have contemplated it.





In the last several years he became a freak show...for sure. There is no way to explain the bizarreness of his actions or words. His changing appearance only added to the oddity that he had became.





But as this sadness came over me, I think I was mourning a chapter of my life closing. Honestly, it had probably been closed for years now.....but with his passing, it will not open again.





I think that maybe I had hoped that at some point he would make a comeback and with his return would come answers to the questions and a return to taking his place as the Michael that everyone had fallen in love with many years before.





Now, there will be no return. There will also be no answers.





**************************


My husband who is nothing but country, except for an occasional "Back in Black" (which I think takes HIM back to high school), doesn't understand a lot of my musical tastes. He is very straight forward: Don Williams, Merle Haggard, Chris LeDoux, Hank Jr. and an occasional, Lynard Skynard.





He knows I love music and sits patiently in the wings, while I sing my heart out in the car - convinced I sound "just like" whoever it is I am imitating.





Last night, I was sitting in the car, with my iPod turned to Michael Jackson and was listening to "Dirty Diana" and "Smooth Criminal".





I found the feelings that rushed through me when the first couple beats of the song, to be nothing but positive. Almost euphoric, if you will.





My foot was tapping, my body was slightly rocking with the beat. I just couldn't sit still.





I looked over at Steven and said, "Doesn't this music just make you want to move and dance?"





While driving, he cast a glance over to me and I think I saw the corner of his mouth turned up in a smile. "I think I must have missed that. It isn't in me."





"What? - Not in you?" I began questioning the fact that I had been with him for 17 years and he didn't even feel the need to dance when Michael came on. My head was spinning....





"I just don't get the 'kind of screaming' that he does." The final nail in the coffin. How could we recover from this?





I couldn't hold my tongue. I was grieving and he was speaking ill of the dead and, it seemed like, my musical taste. "Well.....you are one of very few. You have seen the TV. You have seen the numbers.......I think you are in the minority!"





And then, in a very wise move, he agreed with me.



I think he even muttered something about the fact that he wasn't "trying to take anything away from me..." (or him). And because of that I forgave him.





Now he will get the chance to put his money where his mouth is as he "allows" me to watch 24/7 coverage of Michael and bites his tongue when I feel compelled to dance and sing along in the middle of the living room whenever one of his songs come on......

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

As natural as me wrestling an alligator

So, tonight I went to work out.



Yeah, I'm an athlete, and I haven't lost a pound. Am I supposed to be eating less or something???



As I was working out I noticed a couple of new people.



These people, three girls and a boy, didn't look like everyone else.



Although I was trying not to stare, it was hard not to notice girls in long denim skirts and a guy in jeans and a collared shirt, at a gym in temps high enough to have a heat advisory issued.



The girls were not working out. The boy was.......well....actually, I am not really sure what he was doing. Picture Napolean Dynamite - with shorter hair.



Maybe he was trying to work out. To be honest, I am not really sure. You see, the first time I caught myself staring was when he picked up a weight that was obviously intended to be used with both hands - hence the three foot long handle. He took one hand and picked up an end and then put his other hand around his back and tried to grasp (unsuccessfully) the other end. It looked like an accident waiting to happen.



As I continued on the elliptical, what started out as an "accident waiting to happen", turned into a ten car pile up, so to speak.



He moved on over to a bar -not really sure of its correct name, but meant to be used for chin-ups - and reached up and began doing cherry drops. You know what I mean. I think we all used to do them on the monkey bars at the playground IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!



I kept on working up a sweat, probably because the entertainment was getting so good.



After apparently achieving enough of a head rush with the cherry drops, he moved on over to the speed bag and started punching. Folks, it was not a scene from "Rocky". In fact, it was completely awkward. And let me tell you, for me, Kim, while on an elliptical machine, to call anyone else "awkward", well, it had to be bad.



I think his frustration was rising and he began just punching wildly, but with more force. The next thing I knew the speed bag went flying through the air. What happened immediately after that, I honestly can't say. That would be because in an effort to hide the fact that I was laughing, I had to tuck my chin to my chest and try to "become one" with my workout.



When I found the composure - and confidence - to look up again, I found that he had reattached the speed bag and was going at it again, this time with weights gripped tightly in his hands.



Again, I am not sure if he felt the problem before had something to do with lack of equipment or I guess more specifically, weights. But I am pretty sure that it had more to do with form.



Actually make that 100% sure. All doubt was erased when, with weights in hand -no less-, he began taking his fierce frustration out, again, on the speed bag, to only, this time, have it come back and hit him in the face. It was his glasses that, this time, went flying across the gym.



This time I kept a perfectly straight face - only because I was sure that I had been busted laughing before.

However, when he walked towards me and jumped three foot high and cleared a piece of weight lifting equipment did I search the room for another set of eyes that mirrored my own incredulation. Unfortunately no one else made eye contact.

My guess is that it was on purpose.

The three girls, who had been just randomly walking in and out of the gym area, occasionally cheering him on, came out of no where and rounded him up and apparently told him they were ready to leave.

And so he left.

And, since my entertainment was gone, so did I.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Please leave a message after the tone....

Today, while at work, I answered the phone.

This is not uncommon.

After I finished saying the funeral home name there was silence on the other end.

So this time I offered a "Hello?"

Caller: "Oh, this is a live person. I thought you were a computer."

Unfortunately, this isn't uncommon either.

*********************

Although I hate to admit it, this happens to me frequently. People are actually shocked when I say "Hello" and then proceed to have a conversation with them.

If I have heard, "Is this a live person?" once, I have heard it a million times.

**********************
My thought is this: I can not imagine WHAT company would hire me to be their computer generated greeting.

I have heard my recorded voice. I think it sounds very similiar to fingernails on a chalkboard or at the very least, a voice like Janices' on Friends....without the bronx accent. In fact, once after hearing myself on a home video, I decided that I would not speak when it wasn't necessary ever ever again. Ever.

Yeah, that obviously didn't last.

Maybe next time, I can just pretend to be a computer.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another year of (good) memories....

Yesterday Mr. B turned four.



My how time flies.......



I think back to myself four years ago today. New little boy in my arms....silver colored hair.....no name for him.




I remember looking over to his 2 year old sister, my little girl, sitting there on my mom's lap. An aunt came into the room and asked Miss L "who that was that I was holding?". I am sure she expected her response to be something along the lines of "my new baby brother", but instead she simply pointed and said, "that's mommys' new baby."



At that moment I remember wanting to scoop up Miss L, my twenty-six month old baby, and reassure her that she was my baby as well, and would always be.




She loved her brother, there is no doubt. She hugged, coddled and mothered him. Once, she even tried to change his (poopy) diaper.


As you can imagine, THAT was a disaster.
****************************


I seemed to adapt pretty well to two children and was much more relaxed the second time around. Breastfeeding was easier, I wasn't worried when he slept "too much", and the relaxed feel seemed to seep into the home and into our lives.


*************************
I think that God purposefully let me feel secure with this new life before he dropped the bomb on me.


You see, this was my second child. I knew what I was doing.



(Insert here something about "Same song second verse....")



I am sure God was laughing. You see I had two children, but I ONLY had one boy.



Come to find out.....boys are different than girls.

Imagine that!



One of the first inclinations that something was different - very different- was when Mr. B, at the ripe old age of (about) five months, propelled himself out of the (small, floor level) swing, onto the floor and rolled across the floor. I remembering entering the room and thinking "something is different"....and seeing Mr. B there on his belly looking up at me, smiling.



Happy? Yes. Content? No.



He needed action and he needed things a certain way.....his way.



This is the first time I realized that you could be happy, but not content. The two weren't mutually exclusive.



But boys....will be boys.



He is happy but he can also be rowdy, and loud, and into everything!



He is a dirt, tractor, monster truck and car lover. He loves to discover new things and as well as their purpose. He wants to know why things work the way they do.....and loves to learn the mechanics of almost anything.





He loves to play guns and trains.


He wants to be a farmer when he grows up.
But.........

He will play rough all day, come in smelling like a dirty dog..................and then curl up on my lap and say, "I love you momma, so much!"


He will squirm and run away when his sister picks up a frog....or a turtle.


He was the one to cry when a kitty passed away.

He likes to pick me flowers and he tells me he loves me at least ten to twenty times a day.

************************

He is such a mixture of personalities....my husband's and mine.

He reveals new things about himself everyday and I am so thankful that I am able to sit back and learn from him....and about all the mysterious ways of boys.

Yeah, I am thankful for that. But mostly I am thankful for the fact that I can enjoy him and his soft, smelly, dirty skin curling up on my lap for a little while longer and hearing the little voice whispering words of love in my ear.

I love you, B. Do momma a favor and don't grow up too fast!












Friday, June 19, 2009

Questions and mostly answers


I thought I would go ahead and answer some questions that have been left in the comment section of my blog.

1.) Although SEVERAL months late, TSK, the reason Steven wants more land (and later bought some) is because he envisions a day when he owns everything in a 100 mile radius.

OK, maybe THAT was an exaggeration, however, he would like that. For now, we will have to settle with 180 acres. And, as my dad says, land is something that they are "never going to make any more" of.

Some guys like flashy toys: trucks, cars, boats, you name it. My husband, on the other hand, prefers land and driving a 1995 farm truck with hit and miss air-conditioning and peeling paint.

Go figure.

2.) Bob, it was nice to "meet" you- I appreciate you popping in and vocalizing your concern for my feet. Although treatment for athlete's foot has helped considerably, oddly enough, the itching wasn't located between my toes. However, I do have this shoulder problem I was wanting to talk to you about......


3.) Jeff Becky "Anonymous" - You requested a picture of my feet. Here goes:

For the life of me, I can't really remember where I was when this picture was taken. I am guessing the bathroom at a Waffle House while I was waiting for Kid Rock.


Not that I was waiting for Kid in the bathroom....just at Waffle House.


Whatever.


(I still can't believe he hasn't contacted me. Maybe he didn't get this letter...or this one. I mean, Sheryl Crow? Really? I can totally sing "Picture" better than she can....)



4.) Jeff Becky "Anonymous" - Yes, you are correct, children pick up most of their behaviors at home. Although, Miss L didn't pick up "Ah, hell" from me (thank you, Aunt Sissy), I have passed on other endearing traits to, one, if not both, of my children. These include, but aren't limited to: incredible singing voices, ingenuity, fair skin, the ability to trashy dance to Flo Rida's "Low" and the apparent love of nudity - (UPS man, you are welcome).


Any others?




Thursday, June 18, 2009

What husband?

So, I was thinking about planning a little 5th of July celebration....

I had a similiar one on New Year's Eve.

Not many people......

So far I have only invited four couples and their children. All four have said yes.

Which is great and all, but I just remembered that I haven't even told my husband that we are having it.

Minor oversight.

Everyone is welcome. Even Steven. He just doesn't know it yet.

So.....? Who is going to bring the cheese dip?

Monday, June 15, 2009

You wanna see how crazy I am?

I wrote Friday about my less than stellar math skillz.



And since then I have purchased even more spray paint.

I am so smart it scares me.



That being said, I have matching deck furniture and folks, you can't put a price tag on that.



What?


You can?


Why didn't somebody tell me that sooner?



You mean, I could have marched down to Wal-Mart and actually bought matching pieces without spending $5000.00 on spray paint?




Oh I kid. Not about Wal-Marks (as Steven jokingly calls it), but about spending $5000.00. It was actually more like $4995.99.




Anyway, I didn't take before pictures because, to be honest, who would want to see a Adirondack chair with white peeling paint that had obviously seen better days.


Yeah, me either.




That is not to imply that anyone really wants to see these "New and Improved" pictures, but you see, after painting for two days and roughly 200 hours, you don't get a choice. That is unless you decide to close this screen right now and not look ahead, but I am pretending that you don't have that option.



Here is the aforementioned Adirondack chair:
Please do not look too closely because you will notice the inconsistencies in the paint color. Also, the painted brown spiderwebs.
I told you I wasn't into prep work.

A little further on down is the love seat, coffee table and two chairs that were the gifts courtesy of Mom and Dad, and Sarah and Jason.






The red umbrella was my $15.00 "garage sale" find.


The table and chairs, of course, would be the high quality furniture that I referred in my last post.


Below - The glider at the far left belonged to my parents and I remember them getting it when we lived in "the yellow house". We moved from that house when I was 10, and although we have established that math is not my strong point, I believe that makes this piece of "furniture" over (ahem) 23 years old. The fire pit in front of it was also a gift from my parents for Christmas and THANK GOD, it was already a color that matched!





Now, although I am very pleased with the outcome, we have encountered an obstacle.


You see, this furniture calls to me. It wants me to use it, entertain, relax and enjoy it. But something....or rather some things..well something doesn't want me to do those things.


MOSQUITO'S!



And let me tell you, I have done EVERYTHING I know of to "redirect" them. You want proof? Here goes:




Now the arsenal that I have called upon consists of citronella candles, tiki torches, off lanterns, a fan and aerosol fogger.

After about an hour....right around dusk, I could see the mosquito's swarming. Terrible!

Now I know that God made everything for a reason, and everything has a purpose, but for the life of me I don't know why I have to have such an abundance of mosquito's.

Seriously!

Any ideas for erradication?

Maybe I need to get a pet bat (or twenty).

However, with my luck, bats would probably cost me an arm and a leg and considering I have all but spent my life savings on spray paint......I wouldn't be able to afford them anyway.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Math has never been my strong point

Wednesday night as I returned home from work, I was greeted by my mom and sister.


I knew Sarah was coming because she wanted to use my cricut to make some signs for a wedding.


Mom, supposedly, was coming to see the kids.


As I walked into the house unloading different items I had accumulated throughout the day, my mom asked me if we had sustained any storm damage from the night before.


As I was replying that aside from a few limbs and losing our power for five hours everything was alright, I noticed that the furniture on our deck had been moved.



So as I began to take that back.... "I didn't think we had any damage but it looks like the wind must have blown really hard....." I noticed that the furniture had indeed been moved, but not by any force of nature, but rather by my mom and sister. (On second thought, they just may be considered "forces of nature"). At the end of my deck sat a new outdoor love seat, two chairs and a coffee table.



A couple of weeks ago when my sister and I were shopping, I had jokingly told her that if she ever felt "compelled to buy me something"....ending the trailing thought with a gesture in the direction of this particular outdoor set.



We both laughed at the absurdity of it all....and I am sure that she also mentioned a few things I could buy her..."should I ever feel compelled to do so."


I never expected it to be sitting on my deck. An early birthday present.



As we sat on the furniture and talked about how nice it would be to relax out there.....something became painfully obvious to me.



My other furniture looked atrocious.


Seriously. Atrocious.


****************************


As I laid in bed that night I thought about the different ways I could arrange the furniture on my deck.

(Of course, this is normal for the girl who, while in school, used to map out my bedroom and figure out different ways to re-arrange it.)


I also thought about how I must paint the other furniture so that it would:


1) cover the existing very attractive rust stains and

2) be the same color as the new furniture.


Both, being an obvious plus.

If I would've thought that I could round up enough shop lights to adequately brighten the painting area, also known as the driveway, I probably would've went right then and there and bought paint and started painting.

Because, did I mention that I had decided that it needed painting?

And when I get something in my head.....

Let's just suffice it to say that once an idea has started, I can not rest until it is done. Yesterday the furniture might have been fine....but today....I can't get it painted quick enough.

****************************


I feel the need to interject that the furniture that was in need of some, lets say, refurbishing, was not exactly high dollar furniture.



My husband and I picked up the table and chairs at Orschelen's Farm and Home a couple of years ago and gave around $120.00 for them.

Yeah, you can imagine the exquisite workmanship.



As I woke up the next morning at 'six something or other', it was all I could do to restrain myself from waking up the kids, putting them in the car -with their pajama's still on - and heading off to Lowe's.


As it was, we headed towards Lowe's a little closer to eight.


*************************************


I found the appropriate color of spray paint and loaded up. I had no idea how much it would take so I made an uneducated guess and came up with eight cans of this stuff:



I returned home and quick went to work saran wrapping...yes, I said, saran wrapping, the seat and back portion of the chairs. Which would also be the area that I didn't necessarily want to paint.

(I hate prep work. I just want in on the action.)

Then came the time to see results. As I started spraying I was excited to see that the color was almost identical to the new furniture. Texture, too.

My enthusiasm died down with the emptying of each bottle. After eight cans and only two chairs and a table "completed".....I was disheartened at the prospect of another trip to town.

Disheartened....but not disillusioned. No sir-ee.

We piled back in the car and headed off again to buy more paint. Eight more cans, because I had two other chairs to add into the whole "Extreme Deck Makeover".

I got home just in time to finish up the two chairs left of the original set before it started to rain.

Yes, rain.

Steven and the kids had went on a buggy ride, so I began running with each piece to the garage to save my paint job that I had worked all afternoon on.

As I got the last piece in, under cover, the rain stopped.

********************

Since Miss L had a t-ball game in a little over an hour, and I had been spooked by the rain shower, I gave up for the evening.

Now, however, we are going to be out of town for the weekend and next week they are calling for rain EVERY DAY!

As you can imagine, I have already started twitching.

**********************

Later as I thought about what I had, and hadn't accomplished that day, I realized that I had bought, and will use every bit of, 16 cans of paint. If not more.

16 cans of paint at $5.97 a can = $95.52 spent on painting a table and chairs that didn't cost much more than that.

Essentially, I could have bought a new table and chairs. And if you add in the new throw pillows I bought to incorporate the colors of my garage sale umbrella......well, lets just say that Suzie Orman will probably NOT hire me as a consultant.

I have never been so glad that my husband doesn't read my blog.

Ahem.


Monday, June 08, 2009

I said "Hello, I think I'm Broken"

So, first off, we have established that I am Catholic.



Secondly, although I have never said it, our current priest is responsible for:

1.) Keeping me sane (Oh, 1999, you were not good to me)

and

2.) Keeping me Catholic.



There was something about his humanness that was shown to me, and shared with me, that made him easy to talk to.


Now, keep in mind, prior to me showing up (at the insistence of my mother) on the doorstep of the parish office, I had not been attending my church, the church of my childhood. I had been going to a Catholic church a little closer to my home.


I felt then, as I do now, that continuing to find a relationship with God was imperative. I had done all the steps, went through all the motions, but something, Catholic guilt, my own anxiety....something...was keeping me from feeling the peace that I had always heard about. In my life, I had never known that peace.

About anything.


*****************



I first remember having an actual anxiety attack at the ripe old age of ten.

Yes, ten.



I remember sitting on the floor of the house that my parents had just bought and while furniture was being moved in.....I sat there and watched, trapped and unable to do anything else but try to "appear" normal - that is if you can appear normal while you are sitting in the floor with your legs pulled up against you consumed with your own worry.



Weeks went on and I remember once when I tried to vocalize my fear. It came out all wrong. I just didn't know how. I knew that my worry had to do with God, my inadequacies and my guilt.

And yes, I was ten.

All my mom knew to do was to encourage me strongly to come out of it....or else take me to go talk to a priest.



Of course, this was not going to happen. I remember thinking...."A priest?" "You have GOT to be kidding me! I only think I am going to hell now.....after talking to a priest I will KNOW it."



Needless to say, I got myself together and went on. Well, at least as "together" as I knew to be.



*************************



I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't worry about something or somebody. If a time came where I felt like I was "too carefree" I would actually stop myself and think, "There HAS got to be something I am supposed to be worried about."



I still can't believe I started this cycle at such a young age.



*************************



In 1999 I went to a friends church to try and see if maybe what I was looking for was somewhere other than the Catholic church. I attended a revival and ended up going on - coincidentally or not - the night that they preached about hell. I remember hearing the preacher yelling about how is OWN mother was going to hell.

He just knew it.

She wasn't saved.


Of course, being Catholic, the whole saved notion was a little different to me. To be honest, it still is. I believe that what you believe in your heart is more important than a series of words you are supposed to say in a prayer.....



That night instead of finding the relationship with God that I was searching for, all I found was more anxiety and worry. I was a person who needed concrete facts. Why did I believe what I did? Was it wrong? Was it right? How will a person ever know until it is too late?

With eternity at stake, there was NO room for error.

**************************



After losing my appetite, ten pounds and my ability to go through days without being all but crippled with worry, it was again my mom who "threatened" me with a priest.



As it would be, this time I didn't resist.



My home church had just gotten a new priest. He was younger than the priest's we had before and that was only one of the differences. Having been attending the neighboring church I didn't know much about him.....but my mom was sure that he could help. He had, after all, his own counseling office. And lets face it, that is what I needed wasn't it? Counseling.



*************************

On a Friday night during Lent, after the church's fish fry, I walked in the rain from the church basement, to the door of the office and knocked. When he answered the door he told me to come in....and we could talk.



I remember wondering where in the world I would start, and how I could convey my deepest worries and thoughts, without making me look like a crazy woman. A 22 year old CRAZY woman.



I think in the two hours I was there I covered everything from Kindergarten up until the eighth grade and as I made an appointment to come and see him again, I thought (laughingly) to myself that next time I would cover everything from the eighth grade until the present time.



So much for not looking like a crazy woman.



**************************



For over two years I met with him. Sometimes weekly, sometimes bi-weekly...maybe at times only once a month. To be honest, I can't remember.



What I do remember is the comfort that I had with him. And by comfort I mean that I was more comfortable with him than I was with most any other male. Males, high school age to eighty, made me uncomfortable. I always felt uneasy and clumsy and my words and actions never came across as I meant for them to.


Granted with him I was still clumsy, awkward and said all the wrong things. But I was able to tell him that I was clumsy, awkward and that was a start. My nervousness and awkwardness was no secret.

Not that I would have had to tell him.....I mean, it was pretty obvious.

I remember him asking me what I believed. About God, faith and religion. As I began my statement with a disclaimer stating that what I believed, or thought I believed, didn't really hold any relevance, I then began to speak.

After I finished he looked at me and said, "You are so very Catholic". And I was relieved. However, what would he have said? "You are definitely Baptist.....you need to change faiths."

I don't think so.

This was the beginning of me finding out what being Catholic meant for me. And it started with me realizing that first off, priests were people too. Yes, I knew this.....but when you step into a confessional (which I haven't done since I has eighteen..Father forgive me for I have sinned..... ) and confess your sins, it doesn't feel like you are telling them to someone who can relate to you, much less sympathize with you.


Secondly, I was amazed at his acceptance of my acceptance of other beliefs. Christian and not....

Although at that point I was scared of God......the God that I wanted to believe in and felt that should be, was a God who understood all of us, our shortcomings, the reasons behind choices and our heart of hearts. This God could hardly judge us when he knew the VERY reason we did the things we did and if we had reason (bad childhood, mental illness, life struggles) then what was there to be judged? We are all broken.

If that God, the one I would call "my" God, was indeed God.....then why was I scared?

However, who was I to place my expectations on God? Because, obviously I was screwed up. What did I know?

Many conversations later I began to trust myself, and my heart, more.....and this time I was armed with reasons why I believed what I did. Some he helped me with, others he just helped me uncover.

*************************

Over two years later we had discussed many aspects of our faith and many more of our lives. His and mine. I knew him better than any other "person of faith" and was comforted by his humaness. To some people this may not make sense, but to me it completely does.

Although in those two years I got to know him very well, I was still an awkward, clumsy person who stumbled on words and when the words finally came out, they came out all wrong.

*********************

Because of all the information that passed between us in those two years you would think that we would be very close even to this day. That, however, isn't the case.

One could speculate, and believe me, I have, why when we were out of the informal setting of his living room....(yes, our meetings moved to the rectory), the relationship between us became very formal.

When I would enter church I would offer a shy, "Hi" and go on. After church most times we wouldn't even speak. I struggled with what to say. Superficial conversation after baring your soul at your weakest most vulnerable moment seemed out of place. But what do you say?

I knew that he was probably responding to my distance and to be honest, I don't know why it existed. Or, maybe he was pretending that he didn't know me any better than he knew the rest of the congregation, so as to keep it "confidential". Or maybe, it was just his personality (and mine).

I think it was all three.

In fact, as open as I was about my shortcomings, he was open about his. The persona that he turned "on" when up in front of the church was different than the person he genuinely was. He was like an actor on a stage. Not that he was dishonest or pretending to believe something he didn't, but rather turning his back on what was (as my dad says) his nature.

He was shy. An introvert. One on one was fine, but he would rather be on his own than in the middle of a room full of people, or much less be the center of attention. In a way it was that very thing that made his choice of "profession" so odd. Someone that was for an hour every Saturday night, Sunday morning and two weekday masses the very center of attention.

Being the accountant that he went to school to be would have much better suited him.

But if he would have done that, where would I be?

********************************

He married Steven and I.

He baptized my two children.

However, Steven, Miss L or Mr. B never even got a glimpse of the man that I knew. And truthfully, for the last eight years, I haven't either.

*******************************

That being said, now that I am faced with his leaving, and the likelihood that I will never see him again, I am filled with a desire to let him know what his counseling.....and his friendship...meant to me.

My anxiety isn't gone. Neither is my awkwardness which is probably why it has taken him leaving to prompt me to tell him what those two years did for me.

After having two children I feel closer to understanding the unconditional value of God's love. However, I still feel like I am searching for a deeper relationship with Him and maybe that is what we are all called to do until we are no longer. That being said, I am now well enough to do this and in large part it is because of my priest and his understanding, forgiveness and guidance. His giving me a glimpse of God at work in this world. And for that, if for nothing else, I want to thank him.

I was broken and now I am not. True, there are still cracks showing, and sometimes you can see how they didn't all fit perfectly back together, but when you look at me, you see me, cracks and all......but it is still me. I am still here and at times I wondered if I would be.

For that, and for him, I am thankful.

But how do I tell him that?

And no, Amy, I am not going to make him a mixed tape. I feel compelled to do something. Face to face is too hard eight years later and I know the words wouldn't come out right. A letter? Yes, probably so.

But what do I say? And how do I say goodbye?

Even though I haven't called on him to be there for me like he was in the beginning, in the back of my mind I knew he was there if I needed him to be.

Now I know he isn't going to be.

Deep down it scares me to think about the me that is "pieced together" and what would happen if something shattered me again.

(Amy, have you practiced "Jesus Loves Me" lately?)

I know this is all over the place. It is, however, what is on my heart right now......and usually putting it down on "paper" makes it clearer to me.

This time I am not so sure that clearer is better.


Friday, June 05, 2009

What the H E double hockey sticks......?

This morning we were getting ready to head into town to my sisters house, to prepare for the garage sale we were having.

I was hurrying the kids into the garage and then into the truck, reminding them to help each other out and to please hurry...

Miss L had her hands full with two Taylor Swift CD's that we were bringing to town to share with a friend. As she was climbing in she dropped the CD's and busted the cover open.

"Ah, hell." she said calmly as she reached down and started to pick up the pieces.

I waited for a while as I processed this and then asked, trying to keep from smiling and my tone neutral, "what did you say?"

What? When? Obviously not knowing what I was referring to.

"When you dropped your CD's. What did you say?"

mmmmm....I don't know, ahhh hell?

"That is what I thought you said. Please don't say that, it doesn't sound good."

Genuinely surprised she was like....OK.

I was wondering where she picked it up. Not that I don't sometimes let a word slip or two, but that combination isn't something that I ever remember saying.


When I asked she didn't know.


I arrived at my sister's house and was outside with my mom and brother-in-law. When I recounted the story to them they both agreed that this sounds like some "wisdom" that my dad has kindly passed on.


That being said, I am surprised we made to the ripe old age of six before the gift of language that he, and yes I am TOTALLY passing the blame on to him, has so lovingly bestowed on her was shared with others.

***************

I just looked up from the computer to see that obviously my son hasn't figured out that we are in town - NOT AT HOME...he is at this moment standing at the edge of the road for the fourth time today with his pants down peeing. Great!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

To all of you in the major league......

take notes. This is how first base is really played:

You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Who's going to foot the bill?

Every summer I have a foot condition. I am not sure what you would call it, but my symptoms include, but are not limited to, intermitent itching, pain, and generally the phenomenon that I like to call "my skin deciding that it no longer belongs on my feet".

It is very sexy.

Steven especially loves it when I rub the nice rough skin up and down his legs as he trying to sleep. I do have to say that his legs are nice and soft from all of the exfoliating. (Don't ever accuse me of being unromantic.)

I digress......


Anyway, this year week I decided that I have athlete's foot. Granted, my feet are no different than they are any other summer, but this summer week I have been working out.

And, that my friend, makes me an athlete. Sort of.

So since I am sort of an athlete, I think I have athlete's foot.

That being said, I have tried Tinactin, lotion and the aforementioned simultaneous exfoliation of my husband's legs and my feet. I am at a loss.

***************************

To give you an idea of the severity of my situation let me tell you this:

My sister and I are close. Very close. There isn't any much of me that she hasn't seen and some a lot of me isn't pretty.

Last summer while at her house hanging out, I curled up on the couch relaxing and enjoying her company.

I was talking to her and noticed a look of disgust come across her face.

"What?" I asked.

"Your feet!", she exclaimed.

I was like, "What? Oh, I know. Aren't they disgusting? I think I need a pedicure", still watching TV and relaxing.

She looked at me with disgust and incredulation....."Pedicure?! Are you kidding? You NEED a doctor!"
*********************

So, on that note.....do any of you have any suggestions for my athlete's foot, foot rot or whatever YOU want to call it (I am sticking with the athlete's foot. As I said before, I HAVE worked out like FIVE times......).

And by suggestions I mean, home remedies, medicines, lotions, or for Sarah's sake, physicians?

Anyone?

(crickets)

Please?

(crickets)

Anyone?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Question

So, when watching a commercial about the up-coming show "I'm a celebrity-get me out of here", I had a question.


Since when has Sanjaya been considered a celebrity?