Wednesday, April 30, 2008

pond hike

Hike to the neighbor's pond with my doggies

Sunday, April 27, 2008

foster care

We were asked early Friday morning if we could take in a boy whose family has been blown apart by a nasty thing and who was in the care of a retired couple, along with his older brother. Something came out in counseling that caused the social worker to require the boys to be separated. They brought him here Friday evening.

What's funny about this is that only days ago a friend said, "What compassionate friends I have" in response to the sacrifice and loving-kindness of two mutual friends who are caring for people who aren't relatives. She said, "I just don't think I could do that," to which I replied with a shrug, "We don't have to."


She doesn't have to.

Lord, is this Your wack idea of payback? Lord, thank You for this opportunity...

He's the fourth of six kids, has an easygoing disposition, obedient, not terribly messy or noisy, seems pretty unaffected by any harm that might have happened to him. He does have the tendency to interrupt and to think that every question within earshot is for him or at least fair game, and to say things in a way that makes you feel like he's trying to educate you. Quirky is a good word. But his family has big problems, and the kids didn't get socialized or taught a lot of practical behavior. I'm praying for his protection, as it looks like he's going to yet another home in about a week, that he never doubts that he is precious and wanted and enjoyed. I feel like inserting here "by You and that retired couple anyway" because we've prayed and don't believe we're called to adopt him or have him long term.

fos-ter: promote the growth or development of; further; encourage: to foster new ideas. bring up, raise, or rear, as a foster child. care for or cherish.

At least for now, these are the goals...


Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I really, really, really enjoy my dogs. They make me laugh, make me feel needed, and motivate me to want to be who they think I am. I mean, look at Dooley here. He is completely laser-focused on this ridiculously mutilated jolly ball. He carries it everywhere. (He wishes he was a marsupial.) Look at his face--eager, honest, and hopeful. If I could be all those things, all the time… that’d be sweet.

Monday, April 21, 2008

just wait a minute

All my life I've heard, "If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute." I always forget this little adage until spring rolls around. Then yeah, it comes back.

The before shots were taken at 8 a.m. The afters at noon. Not only little snow, but sunshine as well. It’s not that snow is bothersome and indeed, certainly sunshine is not. It’s the inconsistency that meddles with the day since it makes for two climates when we pack up to go somewhere. But small inconveniences aside, this region at least makes shallow conversations like the weather more interesting when standing in line and being addressed by total strangers on the subject. Yep, grateful for that.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

everyone needs at least one fan

Poor Ryan. He bought a CPU fan for the computer tower, and when it arrived, he realized it never occurred to him to check the fan’s dimensions. Makes sense. A fan is a fan is a fan, right? This one is as big as his head. He would have to pimp out a tower in order to accommodate its freakishly mondo size. He was pretty amusing. I heard him in his room laughing and holding the box with both hands as he entertained the visuals of fitting this in. Not a good marriage. He’s divorcing it and getting a new one. Mail order parts. The way to go, but note the dimensions first. (I could go somewhere with this, but it’s late, and you’re intelligent…)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

at the end of the day

At the end of the day, I count my many blessings and consider this quote: A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle (~Erin Majors). Did I shine a little? Did I matter? Did I pour any life into someone? I want to give more than get, live more than get by, get on with joy rather than ruminate over how to get some. I want to live simply, fully, and well. That is a life well-lived. Which brings me to the second quote that comes wafting in at eventide: The glory of God is man fully alive (~St. Irenaeus of Lyons). O, worthy aspiration! †

Thursday, April 17, 2008

odd day

It was one of those odd days, just kinda weird stuff that you never saw coming, a list of head scratchers.

My poor husband... He's been dealing with chronic, stabbing pain in his right ankle for a year now. I went with him to the doctor to review the results of his MRI and were told he has marrow edema--fluid where ankle bone should be--as well as cartilage that's worn away. The words "degenerative osteo necrosis" flashed thoughts of "dying bone and it's only gonna get worse" into the 300-ring circus that is my imagination. His first questions was, "Can I still ride my motorcycle?" (No, but he will anyway.) They put him in a walking cast for a month in hopes that immobilization will allow the body to start healing itself. If this doesn't work, he'll have surgery where they'll break a bone that's in the way in order to get to the edema. All this was pretty disheartening to him. "I feel like a racehorse that's been tied to the fence."

I drove from that point on because the boot's so wide that he hits the gas and brake pedals at the same time. Except when we got to our road. He drove the rest of the way with his left foot just for giggles.

At the grocery store, a couple of people asked questions of me in the same tone as you would an employee. I was even pushing a cart. I swear I have tattooed on my head, "I can help you." No big deal though, I was glad to help. Wish I could've helped my own self. Somehow, the dollar I saved on milk got swallowed up by the extra $2.50 I spent on Coke because I forgot to tell him I had another one, and it was a must-buy-2 deal, so he charged me full price for each in two separate transactions... When I unloaded the groceries at home, the handle of the Coke case completely tore out of my hand, and cans rolled out in slow motion even as I tried to tip back the box and stop the bleeding. A small amber puddle grew as one can spewed from its tiny puncture wound. Served that one on the rocks to my still bummed husband.

While I went for a walk, Kev went for a motorcycle ride. When he got back, his registration was missing from the saddlebag. He either accidentally pulled it out with the package he delivered to a friend, or else it blew out on the way home because he forgot to buckle the li
d, which actually seems too heavy to "flap." We retraced his route looking for it all the way to town and back, but nada.

[Turns to Thought Salad here...]

My horse had a rock in his hoof. His feet stink. Did you know the soft, rubbery thingy in the center of a hoof is called a frog?

I didn't drink enough water today. I always drink enough water...

I saw two bees doing the birds & the bees thing. Didn't know they did that outside the hive... It's not as gross as dogs. Did you know that the males (drones) don't have stingers? They have only one purpose in life...

Jylle made a weird video of herself on my camera. She's hugging a wall and singing. I've got to ask her about that...

It was generally an odd day. Stuff happened that was out of the ordinary. The sweet blessing in it was that no matter what happened, odd or boring or otherwise, I was okay with everything. My insides were still spring green. Normally my mood absorbs the emotions of the person I'm with, but I never felt disheartened or bummed myself, even though Kev was. I felt protected from going there, and for that I am sincerely grateful.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

cell phone

Ryrie lost my cell phone a couple of weeks ago. It's a bummer. I really liked my cell phone. It was the best one I ever had, a great fit for people like me who want something practical AND with easy to use gadgets. It's a great phone--it just suited me. I'll miss it. It was like a little robofriend, if you can imagine that... I felt naked without it the day after I learned it went MIA. I had a 2GB microSD card in it, too, loaded with all my caller ID pics and hours of my favorite songs. It had great reception, good speakers, took decent pics and video, and except for the echo when the other person is on speaker, it had really good sound.

Sounds like I'm whining as I reread this, but I'm honestly not. I'm just listing the great stuff about it. That's why I wanted to replace it with the same phone, but Verizon discontinued it.

Thanks to a friend who owns a Radio Shack (whose husband could have any phone in the world, but chose the 8300), I found about the 8350, which has all the same features AND comes in red! I ordered it today, and it should be here on Friday. I'll wait to get a memory card till after we pay for this. I'm looking forward to establishing a new friendship with this bebe. Thank you, my Kevvie, for always wanting me to have the best. YOU are exactly that. XO

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

chemo day!

Going with Sandy to her 3rd chemo appt today

stopping at Clayton for a Glacier (took another
try to get mine right, but the gal was sweet...)

"Now why are you taking pictures...?"


the now customary chemo luggage, stylish I must say,
with the large pink bag AND the Maggie Bag!

coffee remains...

Glenice makes a surprise visit! (Sue, RN, took our picture.)

Glenice had a flat tire when we came out of the bldg, so we took her to Alton's across the street to see if they had a portable compressor she could borrow, but no. She changed the tire, then we followed her to Les Schwab on N. Division & dropped off her car, where we all three proceeded to Wal-Mart.

My camera batteries were low, and the spares were spent, too, so the rest of the trip after this went undocumented. Glenice bought a foot-long at the Wal-Mart Subway & had it cut into three parts, which was a perfect lunch! What a perfect sweetheart, that girl! THANK YOU for the red onions!!!

Sandy & I went on to Fred Meyer, then to Viv's Hair Care in DP to see if they could fix her fried wig, but it was closed. At least she has their number in her cell now so she can call ahead.

I found out:
  • Sandy & I have similar shopping styles & values.
  • Glenice is a must-have for a good time and well-defined smile muscles.
  • There is nothing I do not love about Sandy. She is a true hero in my life, and the fact that she cannot see how on earth she can be that only further endears her to me.
  • People involved in cancer care are the most approachable, gracious, and real souls you'll ever meet, and I wonder how it would be if we all lived as if we had cancer...
Thank you, Dan & Sandy, for this day. I will never forget it, and I will treasure it as a day of fun, blessing, learning, and loving--simply and true-ly.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


The nail on my ring finger ripped backward and sliced down into the quick. Hurt like a freakin’ paper cut! Yeah, that bad!

It was still attached at the not-so-deep side and levitated there above its former home. Owie. I carefully maneuvered the clippers to snip as little skin as possible. Still owie. From that point on, I banged it into everything I touched. You know how it works. Someone will make some good bucks by inventing a bandage that's truly a good fingertip bandage, not something that sits huge atop the end of my digit like a turban.

By evening it was throbbing, and it's still hurting this morning. (And I'm not a whanny. I know what natural birth is--twice over.) I looked at it, studied the unnatural exposure of the delicate tissue that's designed to be covered by a protective shield. It was red at first, but is a bright pink now. Not healed, but the body is doing what it does to get there.

Exposure makes the body vulnerable to attack and pain and further damage. It's the same with my heart. I keep it fairly protected, which is something of a recent revelation to me as I thought I'd evolved further than that in this spiritual, mental, and emotional journey. I am still so afraid to tell people what I really and truly want and need. I have been made fun of, slighted, and ignored because of it in the past. Here's my heart... what will you do...? Gimme that thang--*stomp*. . . See my thinking? that to hurt is BAD and something to be avoided altogether. THAT is not exactly in line with what my Abba purposes, and I am slow to absorb & own it for myself.

What I can do though is listen and pay careful attention to the promptings that tell me to put it out there anyway. Only He knows the perfect when and who and what. For now, He has to speak up, enunciate, and often repeat Himself. Fortunately, this does not bother Him even a tiny smidge. After all, even I show compassion and patience with the mentally impaired. How much more shall He who IS Compassion...

This is not new ground for me. I have been in this place many times. It's probably a good guess to say that most of us live here, even if we're not aware of it. I am made aware of it again now, and it's my most earnest hope and desire to spend and give away whatever He wants from my heart. It's a jar of oil that He created, and He's never disappointed me yet. XO

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

key challenged

We've had to call AAA about nine times in our married life to break into our various cars because the keys were locked inside. Today, Ryan has been the cause of that for the fifth time. Kev & I have been driving for 30 years, Ryan three. He's done this more times than years he's been driving. Granted, the first two times it was just a dumb move by a kid. But these last three--he's NOT paying attention!

Today he grabbed a set of keys that he thought belonged to the Saturn. Stick the key in the ignition, go to school. I get a call, and he's going off about how is it the stupid skinny key fits the ignition but not the door?! I tell him that's not a Saturn key, it's a spare truck key. I'm trying to figure out where the real keys are, and he keeps going on about the stupid skinny key in that one-octave-higher-than-necessary voice. Finally we figure out neither of us has one clue as to the whereabouts of said keys. Kev was the last one to drive the Saturn, and in keeping with the eerie history of something weird, trying, and/or calamitous happening every single time on the very day he leaves town, he's incommunicado in the wake of this dilemma.

AAA gives their guys an hour to get there and help you, and our guy was 50 minutes. Wasn't raining, but it was cold. He was young, nice, and so efficient that he didn't even bother to turn off his engine while he broke into my car. I gotta get some o'those tools--they were cool! He shoved something that looked like a square blood pressure cuff into the door jam, and then pressed a white plastic wedge into the space above that to make room for the long wire thingy that presses the lock open. Nice!

He was genuinely sorry for the trouble, and that goes a long way with me. I wasn't mad or anything, just thoroughly puzzled about where the keys could possibly be. Did Kev unknowingly take them on his trip? Did they fall out in the driveway and get picked up by a dog? Do I have them?! He ended up taking twine and stringing it from the door handle to the lock and tying a great big bow as a very odd, and thus effective, reminder not to lock the doors. It was Jylle he was more afraid of than himself though. The girl's muscle memory is far stronger than the one in her brain.

All went well. They arrived home without incident, and I heaved a huge sigh of relief. We have five get out of jail free cards left this year with AAA, and it's already April. You can do this, Ry, you can do this, baby…

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Remember when grown-ups laughed at you when you were a kid, and you didn't know why? This kid must've thought his dad was nuts. Or evil.

Monday, April 07, 2008

the inimitable Dr. Suess

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Suess

This is so for me. I've been known to turn right around and call someone or write a letter immediately following our time together. I miss you most right after I've seen you. I'm all over the emotions of life, good, bad, or twixy.

Having come off a week with Brett, and then a week with Ry & JB, I miss having my kids around. Brett's the hardest because he doesn't live here anymore, and his time with us is marked by countdowns. I cannot drink in enough of him to satiate the part of me that simply wants him near. I miss knowing Jylle is right around the corner, or having her come up behind me and kiss my shoulder, then rest her chin on it. I miss knowing Ryan is in the basement--not exactly mixing with us, but still here. I miss him coming up and scoping out the fridge every half hour as if something really good might have shown up magically since the last time. I miss his being able to laugh & joke all the time instead of being weighted and bent down by the bearing pressure of finding money for college. This is a hard time for him, so as a mom, it's hard for me, too.

That's why when I read this quote, it plopped down on the big arm chair in my heart and hunkered down. I think I'm a fairly grateful person most of the time. But it's easy to be grateful when there's no pain or longing involved. I'm A.D.D. enough that my emotions yank my eyes away from the positive with no struggle, away from what I really and truly can be thankful for.

So I dust off the I miss you's, look with pleasure and gratitude at the fun and blessing I've just had, and look forward to the more that will come, I bet even sooner than I think.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


"Everything" Skit by Lifehouse
Performed at Winterfest in Knoxville, 2006

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

things you may/may not know about me

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Shoe sales
2. Police dispatcher
3. Human resources
4. Commercials for Safeway

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. The Princess Bride
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
3. Sound of Music
4. Singing in the Rain

Four places I have lived:
1. Philippines
2. Albuquerque
3. New Jersey
4. Oak Harbor, WA

Four TV Shows that I watch:
1. 24
2. Lost
3. American Idol
4. The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Four places I have been:
1. Canada
2. Hawaii
3. Japan

Four people who e-mail me regularly:
3. Stephie
4. Alan

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Mexican
2. Chinese
3. Italian
4. Chocolate

(These are huge food groups because I generally love all the food in them and can’t name just four specific foods.)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Hawaii
2. at a movie with Cheryl
3. Getting my hair cut
4. anywhere with Glenice

Four things I am looking forward to this year:
1. Training my horse
2. Seeing dear friends at my 30th h.s. reunion
3. Every single one of Brett’s breaks
4. Learning Love.