Thursday, January 29, 2009

Icy times




Greetings blogland! I am happy to be able to check in with you today as half of our little town is totally without power! Our house went without for only one night and then it miraculously came back on and seems to be doing fine even though the whole electrical unit has been ripped off the side of the house!!! What an ice storm we've had!

I went by myself for an overnight trip to Oklahoma City (three hours Southwest) on Sunday because I wanted to attend a special cousin's funeral service scheduled for Monday morning. The ice started there on Monday but several of us were able to get to the church in a town outside of OKC and then over to the graveside service and back in the freezing rain. By the time we made it back to my mom's house on the North side of the city, the streets had become way too dangerous to go any further. Though two of my relatives from the panhandle decided they HAD to get back home, my cousin Kris (who had travelled 4 hours from Dallas, Texas) and I couldn't face the increasing ice. So, there we stayed. And stayed some more until Wednesday when the sun peeked out to melt some of the highways enough to brave our solo trips in opposite directions.  

In the meantime my boys were fending for themselves and suffering a 24 hour power outage in a state just above and to the right of me. Needless to say, I felt more than a little selfish having a constant gourmet snack fests and rollicking game times with my parents and cousin, who we rarely get to see but thoroughly enjoy.

After Krissy decided she'd better try to get back to the helm of her business, and my parents to theirs, I wandered around the house in full dorkdom trying to get up the nerve to leave myself.  If you dare to watch this riveting video you will realize I'm suffering a touch of the cabin fever.  That's the excuse I'm sticking with anyway...

video
When I realized I was just stalling for time, I too decided to head out and try the roads.  They were totally fine for more than half the trip so I only had to kick the bravery in toward the end of the last turnpike.  Ahh, but there's no place like home.  Even if home looks like a crystalized war zone.  Stay warm everyone!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Born to shine, or past my prime?

My phone made its last call this weekend and slipped away some time Monday without so much as a final vibration.  I'd only had it a few years but that didn't keep the shoddy workmanship from shining through, no sir.  Nor did it keep the nice saleslady from mocking my "ancient sim card" when she whipped the back off of my lifeless companion and dug out the tiny fingernail sized chip under the battery.  She managed to retrieve the old info pretty as you please and copy them over to my 2009 model so that was just swell. 
 I thought as they waited to have me pay until the end of the process, that it might be a funny joke to painstakingly choose a new celly after quizzing all workers and shoppers on each phone's specific differences, get everything transferred over and all the new contract bits approved  and then say "Yeah, like, this is cool and all but I think I'll shop around a bit before actually deciding on my new phone."  But, sometimes my joke thoughts are really not very funny at all and this was one such time.  

So, after a quick blank stare to wander that mental rabbit trail, I whipped out my debit card and swiped the thing to get my new phone paid for and myself back from that day long communication hiatus. (Can you even imagine the isolation of only having a home phone and internet? Why, anything could have happened!)

My shopping trip took no more than 15 minutes. And I thought I had handled all of this electronic decision making pretty well considering it usually takes me longer than that to pick out the right lip balm.  Normally when buying cell phones and such, I use my phone-a-friend option and call Jamey for some in-depth research and decision help. But I had this thing in the bag! I knew that my phone needs were completely basic and that I would not require any huge roll out key pads or touch screens.  I thought if this particular phone was Born to Shine then that sounded like a motto I could get behind as well!! 

And then she showed me how to put a picture of my "grandkids" on the main screen.  

Apparently some of us are born to shine and others of us merely shine with a light coating of age-defying facial creme.  I understand.  Do you suppose Jennifer Aniston gets this when she goes out shopping? Hmph.  I think I'm starting to feel like a two year old cell phone.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I smell drama

video

What chemical reaction suddenly caused my candle to turn Roman and start hosing the place with wax and sparks?  It was close to the bottom so I suppose it found the end of the wick, but where does the plastic effect come in?  Candles are way up there on the list for fire starting so I'm sure this is completely normal for some demon spawn variety candles, but I've never seen the likes of one of these before. Have you? 


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Experimentation

Ahhhh....the art of being relationally understated.  Or is it a science? I'm not sure yet.   I'm coining a descriptive term for my husband here because he can lack for personal exuberance in his delivery at times.  I don't mean that negatively as I appreciate an even keel. I just mean he is lacking a certain element of drama in his stories when you might expect to get, well at least a tidbit of rise and fall.  

Like the time when I decided to wax on about... oh, I don't remember but it was something happening to me equivalent to, say, a tight head band.  I was no doubt reeling around and dramatically pulling the thing from my temples having Jamey rub the indention on my head until I could muster up the strength to go on.  All I really remember was that I was voicing my woes about something silly and then a few minutes of ample sympathy later, he raised his shirt six inches looked at his stomach and said "Hmmph."  in a slightly annoyed tone.  I of course said "What?".  Then he mumbled in the laziest way "Oh I guess I've got a hernia."  "WHAT?" This time I was louder, and I looked to see what he was talking about.  Sure enough, there by his navel was an obvious blowout between his skin and muscle layers! ( I apologize if that makes anyone queazy.)  At this point I'm feeling like my "tight headband" condition might pale ever so slightly to this new revelation.  Yet, Jamey was giving me close to nothing reaction wise while discovering that his guts were practically spilling out on the floor!!  (See, I know how to give attention where attention is due. ;)

That was one of probably many examples where a casual presentation on the husby's side leads to a larger  than normal reaction on my side.  I'm sure there's some law describing this imbalance like Newton's third law "For every action there is an equal or opposite reaction". Only it would be a fourth or fifth law that states "For every under reaction, there is a wildly overdone counter reaction to equal out the overall level of general action ."  or something like that.  I didn't finish college so my scientific analysis may contain nuts and or milk products.  

My whole point here is not whether or not I remember science(or math?) rules but that this phenomenon has happened again.  And it never fails to catch me off guard!  There we were at a restaurant sitting around eating chicken and taking pictures of each other eating chicken.  

(Ratchet and friend )
( Me, the under reactor, and Dandy)

Then, as an afterthought, Jamey looks at his hand and says to himself  "Yep, that seems to have done the trick."  Well, this is of course where I look up from my battered french fries and mutter through greasy lips "What?" with little or no enthusiasm.  So he lays out his giant manly paw and says "I fixed my nail."  Ok,  I'm confused.  And I say as much, so he continues.  " Well remember the other day when I said my fingernail got torn a little and it went to the quick?"  "Sure, sure," I say wondering why we are talking about fingernails.  "Well, I fixed it and it doesn't hurt anymore."  "OK.  But I don't see what you are talking about.  You're nails look fine."  Then to myself "gee you'd think he had a hernia or something bringing up his nail again."  And then the surprise.  "That's because I put a fake nail on it." he says with the same lack of affect as before.  "WHAT?"  I ask for clarity.  "WHERE?"  "Right here."  He says showing me his hand again.  "I CAN'T SEE IT!!!"  I say now with disbelief and increasing inquiry.
  
And there it was on his ring finger.  I still couldn't tell it was fake, just that it was a hair longer than the others.  It looked absolutely congenital, like he was born with Sally Hanson's on!!!  I absolutely guffawed as I imagined how that thing got on his nail without me having ANY part of it!!  I sat there laughing at him as I imagined the shopping involved in the process.  Then I moved on to the skillful sizing and trimming he obviously had done and then to the gluing and the clear coat of paint that was on all of his nails and I laughed some more!  How does he manage to be so understated even as he dabbles in cross dressing????  

OH MY I needed that little surprise.  When I asked how he possibly got a set of fingernails big enough to fit his manly proportions, he just said "It's a thumb, so I have two that fit."   You know.  Just when you think you're aware of what's going on in your house......surprise, surprise. 

And so I've decided to coin the term "Relationally understated" as a descriptive for my husbands type of personality. He has got the quiet physical comedy down and half the time it seems purely accidental. Don't even get me started on the "neighbors slide incident" that story is for another time and place!   
Do you know someone like this? If so please feel free to use this terminology next time you speak of their drama inducing delivery. It is the equal and exact opposite of the way I'm wired and so I find it quite entertaining.  It's clearly an art form. Or maybe it's science.  I still don't know.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Year's 360


Happy New Year Everyone!!!  I know I'm a little late with this latest proclamation but I was trying to wait until it felt genuine and like I actually yelled it with glee.  Let me just admit to you now that those last two to three exclamation marks weren't necessarily from the gut. I tried but really they were a little forced to be honest. 

Of course I mean for everyone to have a fabulous year-don't get me wrong-but I'm just not my usual chipper self about it all.  I'm ready to hear some really good news folks!  I would like to hear that Ladybird Rufflebottoms* got her dream job that pays just the right amount saving her from doing anything drastic about her house. I'd like to hear "business is getting stronger" from a close relative who's worked most of his life to build a company toward retirement only to have it screech to a halt and dry up just when he needs it most.  I would like to know that our precious friends the Wondersteins* will soon get a clean bill-o-health report on their little trooper boy suffering from cancer.  It would in fact be awfully nice to hear that news from some of you as well!  How about less premature death this year?  Or maybe just a specific life rescued from drug abuse and mental woes with a miraculous full recovery.  

YES!  I NEED TO HEAR SOME OF THAT NEWS THIS YEAR!  

If it seems like I'm just looking at the dark side of the room, that's because I have found myself there lately.  I've had a few glimmers of happiness recently though and I don't think I'll reach for the antidepressants just yet.  I feel like it actually takes times like these in our lives to remind us that we are not just here for our own pursuit of happiness, but we are here to muddle through a fallen world until our Saving Grace arrives to scoop us up and say "Well done, good and faithful servant!"  

I don't really expect to hear that upon scoop up.  Right now I'd hear something more like "Why such a weakling, mediocre and lackluster servant?  Could you not have put forth just a touch more effort in my name?" I, of course, would deserve much more of a talking to, but I really can't bear to think about my personal failings right now. 

 Right now  I've got these worries for my beloved friends and family.  I want to help each one of them but in every case I find myself lacking.  All I can really do is pray and sometimes my brain is even too confused to do that well.  I realize I don't have to pray eloquently or list every detail.  I just have to do it.  And often.  God is so amazing to watch in action as he takes care of his people.  He knows more than we do what needs to happen. And he can reach people in ways we never expect him to.  

So I'm forced to trust Him in his choices.  He wants us to need Him and He expects us to call on Him for comfort and answers when we can't find them ourselves.  He has not failed me and He will not fail those who call on Him, even as the heat cranks up on our discomfort.  We can choose to be refined by these fires rather than destroyed by them as the study of Daniel once taught me.  I've made it through a few personal "fires" and I know how the Lord was never more real to me than in those particular instances.  He cares about us more than we can possibly perceive and I know in my human failings that I can trust Him!!!  And it seems as though I might even be getting my three exclamation point exuberance back!!!  

Ok, I think I'm through giving myself this extravagant pep talk in front of you all.  And now that I've dragged you to the darkened corners of my mental room and back, can I offer up some hopeful news?  We have a God that can take over where we leave off!!!  May He help us each pull ourselves up and be all that we were meant to be this year in the joyful and difficult times!  And, my prayer is that He protects us and shows us just what we are individually gifted to do to bring Glory to His Kingdom. YOU ARE MIGHTY LORD!!! And I give you my praise.  Amen
Now that I'm feeling a tad less mopey, how about you tell me something you are hoping to accomplish in 2009.  Do you have a  new exercise plan, a work challenge, or perhaps a new hairdo on the horizon?  Do tell.
(C-berg's in front of some brilliant LED Christmas lights in Oklahoma City)

* some names slightly altered for privacy sake