April 1, 2016

16 Truths for for a Happy Marriage

Do read the book “The 5 love languages” early in your marriage.
Don’t accept jewelry with “You should return this, it cost too much” because your love language isn’t gifts.

Do take your long hair out of your husband’s hairbrush if you use it.
Don’t share a hairbrush.  

Do tell your husband he is really, really tall.
Don’t decide to challenge his height by measuring how tall he really is.

Do make homemade meals for your husband.
Don’t get offended when your husband says your homemade pasta ravioli tastes like Olive Garden.

Do shower your husband with lots of attention.  
Don’t ignore your husband for a year after you have your first child.  

Do leave detailed instructions for your husband when he cares for the children as if he is a babysitter.  
Don’t offend your husband by saying it is like he is “babysitting” his own children.   

Do get a mommy’s helper occasionally if you are home with little children all day.
Don’t threaten to lock your husband out of the house if he is home five minutes late from work. 

Do act like you have missed your husband all day when he returns from work.
Don’t talk to the dog before you talk to your husband.

Do answer your phone when your wife is trying to reach you.
Don’t act like you are going to run over your husband when you finally get a hold of him. (especially in front of his business associate)

Do talk openly with each other.
Don’t tell your spouse, “Wow, it is hard for me to talk to you with that big zit on your forehead”

Do find the name of the closest drycleaner.
Don’t promise to iron if you don’t know how to iron.  

Do apologize to spouse when you are wrong.   
Don’t tell your spouse you have an “Unable to Apologize Disorder.”  

Do refrain from keeping secrets.  
Don’t tell your husband about late public library fees.

Do tell your spouse how smart they are.
Don’t feel the need to look up something on the internet to prove them wrong.

Do enjoy a sense of humor with your spouse.
Don’t enjoy a sense of humor at your spouse’s expense “all the time”

Do let your spouse know you can’t imagine your life without them.
Don’t follow that up with, ‘I can’t imagine life without our [newest dog]”.

Seriously, eat a family meal whenever you are together at dinnertime as a family.

And…



March 29, 2016

Do Easter Miracles Still Happen?

I wasn’t looking for an Easter miracle.  Although getting to church early enough to get a seat would have been a nice surprise.

 I kept telling my family, “we are going to be on time”, but they were all right….
on time on Easter is very, very late.
On Easter eve, I asked my Walk to Emmaus Reunion Group to please pray for healing in my arm and shoulder. I was tired of the unexplained nerve zinging across my shoulder which felt like someone was playing the “Devil Went Down to Georgia” on a fiddle.  The zinging was hindering the diagnosis of other arm pain. That after a x-rays, a neck MRI, a shoulder MRI, a round of steroids, a steroid shot, a neck cortisone injection, 800mg of ibruphrophen regularly, and enough time with my PT I thought we were dating…. I was ready to be better and move on.   

I had a sweet friend take me to two of the mentioned my doctor appointments, because she said, “You take care of enough people, someone can take care of you!”  I shared with the group that maybe God wanted me to learn through this experience to learn to ask for help.   
Later that night, I helped the Easter Bunny fill the baskets and went to bed.  I was unable to sleep due to my jelly bean sugar high and my arm. I ran the scenario in my head of storming in my doctor’s office telling them “to just cut my arm off”.


Rushing the next morning to get ready for church “on time’, I didn’t give a lot of thought to my arm.  And we did eventually get a seat.  As I was listening to the sermon I thought, this is the first time my shoulder hasn’t hurt in church in forever.  I almost said something to my husband. 

Then the pastor says, paraphrasing of course, “as we were praying for today’s service and the church members, we felt like it was pressed upon us that someone was going find repair in their marriage, a grown man was going to cry for the first time ever, and someone was going to find healing in their arm.”  I looked at my husband wide eyed. 

Well folks, it’s been two days and it is feeling better than it has in months. 
So I am going to assume he was talking about me.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -Albert Einstein









March 2, 2016

Conversations In a Closed MRI


MRI Nurse “This will be a piece of cake.”


Me “Oh, it is my third. I am good.” Why did I just brag about that, am I 75 years old? When is getting an MRI cool?

MRI Nurse “Just lie down and don’t move.”

Me “Got it. This is when I close my eyes and pretend not to be here.”

"Here we go now.
Don’t move, and Katie, don’t open your eyes. 
Do not open your eyes. 
Well the headphones fit tight now that the
machine just compressed my head.
I am glad I recently watched Star Wars, this sounds like I am fighting Darth Vadar. 
Luke…
I should have asked for an eye mask.
Darth Vadar has a mask. 


Don’t open your eyes. 
Oh, a cool breeze. That’s nice, they have AC in here. 
I can relax, well, that is ironic. 
Don’t open your eyes. 
Are you kidding me, its blowing the one loose piece of hair that is on my forehead. 
I can’t reach it. Can you push the panic button for that?
Has anyone really had a full panic attack in one of these? 
Breathe. 
Don’t move.  
Oh wait, now, wait for it, oh yes, 
I am inside a jackhammer on a NYC. Street.
Don’t open your eyes. 
Why are you curious if you are claustrophobic? 
This is why people take zanax before an MRI.
You can always push the panic button.
I wonder if anyone has died in one of these.
At least I have cool Nascar like headphones. 
Oh, now I am actually at a Nascar race. 
No, in the engine of the car.   
These headphones really should have music in them. 
And why is the pretty picture on the wall, I can’t see it from in here?
It is interesting that when you swallow the noise actually changes. 
Swallow, remember to swallow.
Oh crap, that’s a tickle. 
Now I have to sneeze. 
Really, if I sneeze, I will hit the roof of the machine and break my nose. 
Can you push the panic button for a sneeze?
Don’t move, whatever you do, don’t move.
Do not open your eyes.

Has a machine ever crushed someone?
Should I have researched this?
What is an MRI?
Is it going to kill me?
If there is metal in my mascara, will my eye lashes get sucked to the side of the machine? 
I am glad I skipped deodorant. The aluminum in it could make me get pulled into the machine.  
Now it sounds like I am living in a NYC apartment while renovations are going on. 
I can hear a phone ringing in the background.  
Answer the phone. Please.
Oh, its not really a phone. 
You moved! 
Yikes. 
You moved your foot.
 This is for your shoulder, phew.
I wonder if I was supposed to have my arm by my side?
Was I allowed to have it crossed on my chest?
Darth Vadar is back. Didn’t I kill him a while ago?
_________________________________

MRI Nurse “I hate to wake you up, Katharine, but you are all finished.”

Now…that was funny.



September 4, 2015

The life lessons we learned at the animal shelter


When my children stated they wanted to do community service by volunteering at a local animal shelter, I couldn’t have been happier.  Truth be told, I would probably be a hoarder with fifty dogs if it wasn’t for my wonderful, conservative husband.  
I have to admit we were caught off guard our first trip there.  Not only is it hard to see all the animals in kennels, we were also side by side with female inmates from the local jail which was a first for us.

 
We also witnessed several owner surrenders.  A family brought in their three yard dogs; one with its ears ripped open and bleeding after being bit. We noticed that no one in the family seemed upset.
Then we watched as a woman surrendered her sweet bulldog at the front desk because “she was moving and they wouldn’t allow dogs there”.  The dog had a heavy chain for a collar and leash, which was bothersome to see.  My daughter whispered after the woman left, “she is probably going to jail and that is why she can’t keep the dog.”  I chuckled a bit at the irony of her comment.

We felt validated at the animal shelter. we were doing the right thing.  We have two rescues at home, and loved getting the sweet dogs out for some play time.  And, who gives up their dog?
Then on the way home, I remembered that we actually surrendered our dog Buffi to an animal shelter 12 years ago.  She had tried to bite our baby.  I tried to rehome her sitting with her at Petsmart on Saturdays, but as she snarled at people and bared her teeth, it didn't really go well.   When my husband took Buffi to that shelter years ago, they didn’t even take her collar.  She would immediately be put down.  My husband was one of those people in the foyer. 

But many years had passed, and I was quick to judge the owner surrenders I witnessed.   

Several visits later to the animal shelter, we were walking the dogs outside for some time in their chain link fence pens. The male inmates in the jail next door were given their “outside” time in their much larger chain link kennel.  My girls were quite uncomfortable by the all the inmates in uniform.  They chose to stay inside in the puppy room and avoid seeing the inmates.  I was uncomfortable too.  I was envisioning cat calls and chose to avoid the dog run areas which were close to the inmates. 

The inmates were a big point of conversation that day.  We talked about life choices and how you don’t want to end up in jail.
Then something happened the next night at dinner.  As we were saying grace before the meal, my oldest prayed for our sick friends.  Then my youngest added, “We should pray for the inmates too”.

That’s when I realized volunteering at the shelter wasn’t just about walking the dogs.   

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ "Acts 20:35.

August 24, 2015

Why you should really bring tissues to a Nascar Race

I attended my first Nascar race this past weekend.  My friend googled some helpful tips for newbies, among the suggested items:

bring tissues in case the bathrooms run out of toilet paper
Well, I am sure glad we had tissues.  
I left for the trip anticipating the “People of Walmart” combined with a football tailgate, and that is pretty accurate. But, it is also SO much more.   


It is an event where fans-


...never meet a stranger.  Our campground neighbor left their outdoor TV  on for our group to watch the Friday night qualifier race we didn’t attend.



...can let it all hang out.  

...repeat, let it all hang out.

...get 5-star service with cooler check-in.  Take that college football.


...show other fans they are in fact a “professional Nascar” regular attendee by sporting the  well-stocked, clear backpack. 

(clearly an amateur fan)
...Pray with over 100,000 of your best friends for the safety of the drivers, before you go purchase your 20-ounce beer.  

 
...get an arm workout as you wave at your driver as they pass in front of you, 500 times.  

500 times!





...see stadium parachuters, a jet flyover, fireworks and a car burnout in the same evening.  


Okay, this was really cool to watch in person.

Although some of these moments were either touching or made me laugh till I was about to cry, that is not why I needed tissues.   It was these 2 babies that were stowaways in our friends rented RV bus that were found Friday at 4 AM.  

They only saw a tail at first and thought it was a rat, but then they started desperately meowing.
They were alive, but had endured  over 12 hours in a drawer underneath the bus.   

 

The Nascar fans jumped into action.   




A friend who had an infant let us feed the kittens her pumped milk.
 
 

Another neighbor gave us their dog’s food in case we could soften it for them to eat.  Another got us a tall box we could leave them in while we attended the race on Saturday night (in the A/C of course). 



And all came over to wish them well in their make shift pack n play.


At maybe 4 weeks old, it really is a miracle they were alive.  Luckily, between the milk and soft food we purchased at the local store, we were able to not only keep them alive, but see them flourish and act like fun little kittens.


We later found out that there were more kittens the RV owners removed from the RV, but they couldn’t get to these two.   I can’t comment on that with my own words and keep this post clean, so I found a bible verse:


A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. Proverbs 12:10

 These babies have a great life ahead of them and quite a story to tell.  They were taken home by our friends who had rented the RV they were found in (they said we should take them, but as the owner of 2 dogs, about to add a 3rd rescue, I thought, "we are good")
I was totally caught off guard when I said goodbye to these sweet babies I cared for and loved on for two days, I bawled like a little baby.   
I followed the kittens into the RV bus as they were leaving and thought about becoming a stowaway myself. 

Well, they say to bring tissues to a Nascar race and I am glad I did.


June 28, 2015

Why Christians should really be upset.



Christians we should be upset.  Very upset. But not because the Supreme Court upheld gay marriage.


We should be upset because someone can walk into a church or our children’s school and shoot them dead.  

We should be upset because college students raped an incoherent girl in their dorm and people laughed while they did it.

We should be upset that everyday someone finds out they have cancer.

We should be upset because everyday children are dying or being abused at the hands of their caretakers and/or parents.

We should be upset because there are people with children who can’t care for them physically, emotionally or financially.

We should be upset because everyday people commit suicide.

We should be upset that there are people in our community, maybe our own neighborhood, that didn’t eat dinner tonight.
 

We should be upset that we live next to pedophiles, murderers and rapists.

We should be upset that some people would rather to beg then to work.

We should be upset that our schools don’t have the resources they need to teach our precious children.

We should be upset with what is on TV.  

We should be upset that we don’t know our next door neighbor.

We should be upset that so many don’t know the love of Jesus.

So be upset.  But don’t spread hatred.

I was raised by a lesbian ERA hippie. I am now a Christian stay at home mom and vote republican. Who would have thought?

Preach less. Pray more.

January 27, 2015

Common Sense You Need to Know

Remember the nice poster we all have read,

“Everything I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten.”  




After reading the news,
I came up with a new list.
What is wrong with people!
 

This... could save someone or something’s life.

  1. If you have sex, you can get pregnant.
  2. Plan accordingly now that you have read #1. 
  3. If you don’t read #2, know that children need caretakers, food, clothing, shelter and love.
  4. You cannot leave infants or children in cars, or home alone to fend for themselves, or lock them in cages.
  5. You should not leave infants or children alone with child molesters or any type of animal. Even ferrets.  
  6. If you cannot abide by #3, #4, AND #5, please give your child up for adoption.
  7. Animals can reproduce just like humans, but more quickly.  Take the same precautions as #2. 
  8. You cannot board a plane with any weapons, chemicals or animals that are not allowed.
  9. It is not okay to drown a puppy in the toilet in the airport once you are told you are not allowed to board the plane with the animal.
  10. Do not swim alone.
  11. If you cannot swim, do not go in a lake or ocean where the floor drops off abruptly.  Even if you can swim, be careful.
  12. Tell your family or friends where you are going and where you have been.
  13. Respect and obey the police. If you resist arrest or fight with police, you may get shot.
  14. If you barge through someone’s front door, you may get shot.  
  15. Don’t drink and drive; and if you engage police in a high speed chase, you could get killed or kill someone.
  16. If you kill someone, the death penalty may be the punishment, so please don't act suprised. 
  17.  Salt and chili powder can in fact be lethal.
  18. Stealing is against the law.
  19. The addicted, lost, angry and homeless all have a story.   
  20. Tell the truth.
  21. Go with your gut instinct, always.
  22. If you don't like something in the store, you won't like it any better at home. 
  23. If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else.
  24. You catch more flies with honey, so remember to smile and bake cookies for someone.
  25. Pray daily.  Not just for yourselves and your family, but for our whole world. 



Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

October 6, 2014

My child, I won't promise you ice cream, but I will promise you this...


This about did me in this weekend.  “But Daddy, Mommy PROMISED she would take me to the store this weekend. She always breaks her promises. She forget to print two things out for me this week too.”

Let’s look at the definition of promise:

Promise [ ˈpräməs ]

noun

1.     a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen:

synonyms: word (of honor) · assurance · pledge · vow · guarantee · oath ·


2.     the quality of potential excellence:


3.     an indication that something specified is expected or likely to occur:

synonyms: indication · hint · suggestion · sign

verb

4.     assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen:

synonyms: give one's word · swear · pledge · vow · undertake · guarantee ·

contract · engage · give an assurance · commit oneself · bind oneself · swear/take an oath · covenant · plight

I didn’t break a promise about the  store, I changed my mind. I get to  do that, I am the parent. And forgetting to print something out is called being human.
When did this word promise become part of our children’s vocabulary? Oh, at a very young age apparently.

“YOU PROMISED ME ICE CREAM” followed by the 3 year old tantrum

Really, ice cream is a vow, pledge, undertaking?  Here is what a promise to you my child, as your parent.  I will:  

Love you unconditionally like the day you were born.
Raise you in a Christian home.
Love you father.

Care for you when you are sick.

Make sure you have food on the table.

Make sure you have a roof over your head.

Make sure you have a shirt on your back and shoes on your feet.

Support you in your academics.

Help pay for college to the best of our abilities.

Support you in your afterschool activities, as long as they don’t interfere with academics.

Discipline you.

Teach you.

And once again, love you.
 
These, my child, are promises.

 

 

September 22, 2014

I'm letting my life go to the dogs.

I was walking my dogs this morning around the green space in front our home.  
There isn't anything special about this grassy green space.   

It was actually line with trashcans today.

But my dogs were so excited to go around the circle.  Checking everything out, taking in everything for the first time.  Then we went around that same, ordinary circle, six more times.

But the funny thing is, my dogs were just as excited to go around the circle each additional time - as if each was the first time.  
Noticing something new to see each trip around.



 I began to think, how many times have I treated each day, or even a moment of the day, like a second trip around the "ordinary" circle. Thinking I was doing the same thing or routine, and just going around and around, and not really looking at it as anything special. 


So today, my eyes are open, and I am going to act more like my dogs. I'm not going to start peeing on everything and chasing chipmunks BUT, I am going to go around EACH round of that ordinary circle as if it were the first time.   

Recognizing that each trip around the circle is an opportunity to see something special.

Is there a butterfly to see, or a flower I didn't notice before, or a friend to wave at or talk to as I am walking around that "ordinary" circle?

Although I love my dogs, it would not be fair to give them all the credit for my eyes being wide open this morning.  Actually, this is my "first" day after My Walk To Emmaus.  And to continue in tradition of our gifted table of Ruth, I can summarize the experience in one word, "WOW".

I dedicate this post to all the Sisters that were there at the Georgia Foothills walk to Emmaus #26, as we now are walking with, not only our eyes, but our hearts wide open.  

Psalm 104: 1-3

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great!
 
You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.
 
He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot;
    he rides on the wings of the wind;





June 23, 2014

We didn't start the day out mullet hunting...

The plan was for the kids and me to drive to Panama City and pick my husband up at the airport for a conference.

We were about 30 miles out from the airport,
 in the middle of nowhere when...
Really? So, I get fancy with my husbands two year old vehicle's gadgets and search for the closest Automotive Center. It was only 4.7 miles away, the other way. And I was watching it get further away, 4.9, 5.1, 5.3, 5.5, 5.7 miles.... hmmm... turn around or push forward and see what happens.

After some praying and a couple minutes of driving, 
fighting flashbacks from college when I had a loser of a car,
maybe some cussing (not in the same breath) 

I see this glorious place. 
I pull around to the back as instructed by the sign on the door and a  nice gentlemen walks up.  I ask, "Do you work here?" Great first line, did I mention we were in the middle of nowhere? The helpful man thinks its the radiator cap, and fills the car with water and says I should head to the dealership 22 miles away, near our destination.  He explains it's clearly under warranty.

Meanwhile, I am scoping out the place for a getaway, grabbing a pen in the car for a weapon, realizing my cell phone has NO SERVICE and no one knows I am here and my kids are in the car.  

Then I give him a small tip and get his business card because I realize if I breakdown, he will be the one to save us.  We begin the trek to the dealership and get a hold of my husband on my oldest child's $9.99/month trac fone. It's working great. Just great.

My husband grabs a cab and tells me to call the company vehicle maintenance people. I'm instructed to "Pull over immediately", and a tow truck will come get us. After driving 38 MPH with the flashers on with people angrily passing, this is a welcome thought. We pull into a shut down diner, however there is a lovely Subway right across the street. 

My husband arrives, and we play pong with cars to cross the four lane highway to Subway. I have seen women in strollers do this in the big city, so I've got this....right?

Did I mention the Subway is inside the convenience store. I mean, that is convenient.
We make ourselves at home while he handles arrangements. 

Dog food, water, and pepsi!
I was relieved when a friend agreed  to come get us while my husband went with the tow truck, because "we were out of our element in this part of town". Wait....what?

Over the next hour, I had a lovely conversation with a local who said we needed to be careful we don't get over charged from the mechanic. You see, that happened to him in Kentucky. Then the Subway worker's son came in and they asked how his leg was after the chain saw "accident". He said that was nothing after the machete injury to his arm. Everyone decided he should really be more careful.


They even had a great place to charge my cell phone. 

And then wobbly guy came in who looked at my oldest one to many times. I initially thought he was special  and ignored it, then I decided he was especially drunk and maybe a little special. But if you look at my kid to many times, I don't really care what you have going on because the crazy in me will come out. He successfully got his sandwich while carefully holding steady on the counter. He then walked slowly up to the convenience store cashier, and gave her a hug, smelling her hair for a few moments. He tells her, "Your hair smells reeeaalll nice." 

Thankfully, our friend showed up immediately after that. 

So, after ALL that excitement, what do my kids say?

"Mom, did that cashier have a mullet?" 

Later that night, we let the kids watch the TV version of Joe Dirt with their friends. I figured after everything else they had seen that day, it should be the least of my worries. 
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