Friday, September 26, 2008

Minimum Wage = Minimum Results

So the Princess and I are starting piano lessons. I'm pretty stoked about this. I took a year of piano as a teenager so I could get my ears pierced a year early but haven't touched one since. I always hoped to get back to it, and here we are!

Two weeks ago I took the Boy's godfather with me up to Guitar Center to get his opinion on digital pianos. He's a musician, and we really trust his perspective. We finally decided on the Yamaha YPG635. They had sold the two they had in stock that week, so they told me they could order it to be shipped to my house at no extra charge. The sales guy said it would be 4-5 days. This seemed like a good idea at the time, so I signed my life away and that was that.

After patiently waiting for a week I called and very politely asked where the wayward keyboard might be. I was transferred from one stoner dude to another who said he would find out the tracking number ASAP and would call me back in 'like, 45 minutes, k?'. I waited, forlorn, by the phone. Ok, I didn't, but my phone never rang. The next day I call them back and get connected to my same guy, who is 'totally sorry that he forgot to call' me back. He misses the part where I am reaching through the phone to strangle the Pearl Jam out of him. He says he will get the tracking number for me and puts me on hold. Five minutes later (which, as you know, is an eternity to wait on hold listening to Marilyn Manson) he comes back breathless to ask if I would mind waiting a while as he tries to find it. I acquiesce and go back to listening to thee worst version of Sweet Dreams Are Made of This ever. I take the phone with me while I move laundry to the dryer, correct math homework and remove the cat from the pantry.

My BFF finally returns and he does not have good news. Apparently the guys at the other store dropped the ball, and it's totally not his fault but they didn't ship it yet and he sent them the confirmation twice and they lost it and he is really frustrated with those guys and it's shipping out today and he's sorry and it will probably not arrive until this Friday. I asked about my parting gifts but only received a bright shiny apology and that was it. I'm not feelin' the love.

The next day, as I wrote out the list of things I would need to plot the demise of the ball dropping other guys, my knight in shining brown armor arrived with the blessed piano. My UPS guy never lets me down and even got it into the house for me. The Man assembled it later and the sounds of the children fighting over it now fill my happy home.


Monday, September 22, 2008

New Books

I love new books. The smell, the feel of crisp pages, the dream of reading an entire page without being interrupted. It's all lovely. I recently ordered some new books for my recovery journey. I have started reading them and hope to actually finish them soon. I say 'hope' of course, because there is just something about a phone or a book in a mother's hand that attracts small children like moths to a flame.

As Bill Sees It - "Selected writings from the cofounder of A.A. touch nearly every aspect of A.A.'s way of life. An aid to individual meditation and a stimulant to group discussion, As Bill Sees It contains 332 short writings with topics indexed for quick access." I really love how they have collected helpful & powerful things that Bill Wilson said not only in his books, but in his personal letters as well. This man was no doubt divinely inspired.

12 Step Sponsorship: How It Works - "Passing it on is a key concept in the Twelve Step community and many of the traditions and knowledge of the Twelve Step recovery program have been passed down by word-of-mouth from one generation of sponsors to the next. Twelve Step Sponsorship effectively takes this knowledge and tradition and applies it to a working manual for sponsors, guiding them through their role in reaching out and helping new program members."
I have never had a sponsee and I recently talked with my sponsor about the possibility in the future. I know how to stay sober, but I worry that I don't know enough of the details of the program or where to find certain things in the Big Book. I later had a realization; the same fears I have about being someone's sponsor are the same ones we Christians share about witnessing. We think that we don't know enough Scripture or that we will say the wrong thing. We forget that it isn't about us or our fragile egos, but rather about Him and what He can do through us if we are just willing.

God & Me, Devotions for Girls (Ages 10-12) - We found this book at an outlet yesterday and the Princess is very excited about it. They had one for boys as well but I wasn't sure that the Boy would actually sit still for it? I was rethinking it this morning and I may go back and get the one for him as well. I also got her a Bible cover so she can carry her Bible and Awana book all in one place.

I realized that as much as I love books and love to read, I don't think I ever post about that? I will point out, however, that I do use Shelfari to keep track of what I've read, and if you look down my right sidebar you will see a shelf with what I'm reading. (You can view my Shelfari Profile here.) I'm currently just finishing up the first in the Sunrise series by Karen Kingsbury. Her books are a quick read but I can't seem to put them down. Her ability to bring characters to life truly impresses me. I have literally found myself starting to pray as I read of someone's trials, then stopped myself as I remembered that they were fictional characters! Kingsbury has a gift, no question.


This & That

Sleepin’ in Omelette - This is a beautifully written recipe, accompanied by helpful pictures to teach you all you need to know about making this omelette. That said, do not ever make it. You will die of a heart attack within five minutes of eating it. You have been warned.

Never End Game - If you have an hour or 19 to kill, try this game.

Followers - If you look on the top right of this page you will see where the Followers section is. I am forlorn and lonely here folks, so throw me a bone. It's Monday and I need to feel loved! Click over there to Follow me!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Her dog's name was Magnum

I wanted to change the temperature here today, to bring back some laughter after the sorrows of this past week. But first, I need to talk about something that is weighing very heavily on me today.

A week and a half ago I was in my kitchen and I noticed a dog in my yard. I went out and greeted him, and he came to me. He was big and white and very friendly. I led him to the back yard so he wouldn't run off, and checked his tags. After I gave him a dish of water, I called the number on his tag and left a message for the owner. A short while later she called me back, and when I told her where I lived, she said that she would walk over, as she lived just around the corner. When she arrived we introduced ourselves, and chatted about her dog. He had an invisible fence collar on, and she figured the battery must have died in it. The woman was very slim and pale and I felt an urge to be extra kind to her. She thanked me repeatedly and I told her it was my pleasure and he had been no trouble at all.

Yesterday I found her name on my caller ID. I hadn't remembered her name. It was the young suicidal woman who was shot to death last week. My heart broke when I read the name, realizing who I had had in front of me just a week before her death. I know I could not have prevented what she did. I know that she was not my responsibility. But still.... I had this woman in front of me, and I have the peace in my heart that she was so desperately unable to find. How I wish now that I had been able to give it to her, to share my Jesus with her, to be a friend to her.

I am blessed to have found my way out of the pain and turmoil of my past, and into the life of freedom and peace that I have today. I know the kind of pain that girl felt, and it hurts me now to think of how she must have been suffering. I don't know why God led her into my life for that brief moment, but if nothing else, I will choose to think of her whenever I feel homesick for hell. I don't want to go back to the pain I used to live out each day. I don't know why she was depressed, or what struggles she faced that led her to her decision, or if addiction played any part in her problems. We may have nothing more in common than pain. But I do know what it's like to wish for death, to not know how to cope with that pain for one more day. The difference is that now I know how to live my life free of those burdens. I can only hope that she is resting in peace, and pray for the hard days ahead for her family.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today was a sad day in many ways. I watched some of the coverage of the 7th anniversary of 9/11 this morning, and my daughter is old enough now that she asked me a lot of questions. Not hard questions, just looking for information, but.... I found myself unable to finish some of my sentences as I choked up, remembering how it felt that day. I live in a central location to where the four planes crashed, but was not in any danger. I did not personally know anyone who died that day. I was not affected in any way except the most common one, which is that I was an American who fell to my knees in complete horror when I turned on the tv that day. I prayed fervently, rubbing my pregnant belly where I carried the Boy, and feeling afraid in my own home for the first time in my life. Without my faith in God, I do not know how I would have coped with all the swirling emotions of that day. I wonder what it is like for those who feel they have no one to cry out to when life does not make sense.

Today was a reminder of the evanescent quality of life in other ways as well. A suicidal woman around the corner from us barricaded herself in her home, and then shot at police who were forced to return fire and kill her. I live in the suburbs where these things are very rare, and very shocking.

When my husband left for his evening shift at work, he had to take a longer route to avoid a huge accident that had shut down a highway. Several people were killed. He called only a few hours later to say he was on his way home. A car had crashed into one of their sweeper trucks at 70mph and four adults in the car were killed. A newborn baby in the back seat survived, along with the driver of the truck who was taken to the hospital. My husband spoke to one of the passengers in the back, who was still alive at that point. The man was groaning in his pain. My husband cleared broken glass from the baby girl's face as she screamed. When I watched the news coverage an hour ago, I could see him standing near the wreckage of the car, it's roof sliced off and the entire car crushed. He said it was one of the worst accidents he has ever seen, and he saw many when he was a volunteer firefighter for a dozen years.

These tragic things happened on the anniversary of tragedy. I think about the families of those who died today, and wonder what it will be like for them on 9/11 in years to come. I wonder if any of them knew Jesus, and I shudder to think of those who did not. I just ache for them. I have no wise or thoughtful words for times like this, and can only rely on God, and ask Him to show us the way through the valley of the shadow.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy Best Mom Ever Day!

I'm trying to think of a way to appropriately commemorate something that happened yesterday. It was my first experience and I know I'll want to mark it on the calendar and celebrate accordingly every year. It's these little moments as we raise our children that whisper softly to us about the joy that we feel when we look at our little ones.

I got my first phone call from the principal about my child's behavior. Please hold your applause. I am deeply moved. *bows*

So the Boy made it through all of Kindergarten and one day of First Grade before doing what we all naturally want to do.... Hit the annoying kid next to us in the head with our lunchbox. As I bask in the glow of my stellar parenting skills, I silently thank the good Lord that we bought him a soft sided lunchbox. I was at a Deacon's meeting last night at church, and as we had our umpteenth go-round with an endless argument, I found myself wishing I had brought my son's lunchbox with me. Being a grown-up can be so tedious sometimes, always having to restrain ourselves and be the bigger person. I really think that a good brawl would have moved the meeting along rather quickly. But alas, I not only had to behave like a lady, I had to take the minutes of the entire train wreck. Don't get me wrong, there are many things I enjoy about being Deacon in my church, and they are truly a wonderful group of people. But no one knows how to beat the dead horse longer than a Presbyterian committee.

But I digress.... The Man and I had a discussion with the Boy about inappropriate behavior, Christian manners and beat-downs. Neither of us is admitting that we find it funny, at least not to each other.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kids, can you say 'IRONY'?

You know, wherever you stand on politics and the war, what kind of jackass do you have to be to think that acting this way at an anti-war protest makes ANY SENSE??