Monday, December 11, 2006

Breath Prayer

I was talking to a friend this morning about Joni Eareckson Tada's book, "When God Weeps." I read this book several years ago, but during my conversation today, I recalled a story about one of Joni's friends who has never been through a real trial - that is, those circumstances God uses to refine our souls. The thing that struck me about that story is that here is a woman who longed for tribulations in order to bring her closer to God. Isn't it ironic that so often Christians get angry at God for allowing those things to happen; the pain is too great, the circumstances exhausting, the sorrow too deep, etc.? And, yet, those that never experience tribulations are envious of those that do if not simply because their faith grows as a result? Scripture is quite clear that once we become Christians we are not destined for a life free from persecution. In fact, quite the opposite is true. And I'm completely convinced that we are prime targets - for Satan will do all he can to get the better of us. But praise that we belong to God - we are His property. As such, wouldn't it be something if all Christians looked at their circumstances, whatever they may be, as an opportunity to grow, to be molded into Christ's image, to witness.

I've been trying to incorporate praise in a new way in my daily prayers - even has a breath prayer (a prayer that you just simply breathe up to God). Thank you, Father, for my circumstances. When I go through hard times, it is during these times when my eyes should be opened wide to ensure I don't miss what God wants to teach me. And sometimes it isn't even about me! It may be that how I respond as a Christian may very well witness to a non-believer. When I look at it from that perspective, it humbles me. Looking back on all the crap I've been through, I can easily see how God was there through it all. It sure looks different in midst of it, though.

But, thank you, Father, for my circumstances. I am not self-sufficient. I am God-sufficient.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Things I Learned About Burning Poo

It's a little known fact that septic tanks contain beneficial bacteria that help break down "solids" - otherwise known as poo. However, solids could also mean toiletpaper. Yes, you heard me. It's the white stuff that comes on a little cardboard roll that you wipe your poopy butt with. And most septic tank owners would tell you that you can, indeed, flush toiletpaper, as opposed to, I don't know, putting it in a trashcan next to the toilet. Ok, that part about the "little known fact" is just a damn lie. Unless you live in Santa Fe.

This may sound a bit far-fetched, but my eyes were opened recently with our trip to Santa Fe, NM. Before I go off on the poopy-toiletpaper, gritty bed, deaf dog stories, please read the following disclaimer:

I love my aunt and uncle very much. My uncle, for all intents and purposes, is like a father to me. My aunt, while a bit absent-minded and very (and I can't emphasize that enough) talkative, is a darling woman. These people loved me at my most unlovable moments: the teenage years. (You parents know what I'm talking about.) What I am about to say is in no way a reflection on their characters. Please forgive me. Did I mention I love them?

My husband and I left for a well-deserved vacation on November 9th. We spent the first 5 days in Charlotte, NC, and another 5 days in Santa Fe, NM to visit my recently retired aunt (by marriage) and uncle (dad's bro). When we arrived on our first night, we got this long dissertation about how they have a septic tank, and evidently theirs is a special one that has an anti-toilet paper warning label. (I grew up on a septic tank, and there are chemicals that break that stuff down, so there really is no other "special treatment" required, other than the occasional septic tank pumping every 3-5 years of full-time use by a family of 4.) Anyway, we were told that if you go #1 (that would be pee for the lay person), please throw the paper in the trashcan by the toilet. If you go #2 (that's the poopy), the first wipe (the most dirty) can go in the toilet, but the rest should be thrown in the trashcan. That is seriously disgusting. So... one day, we're driving home really quick cuz my uncle (God bless his soul) needed to "make a #2 deposit" (quote from my aunt). After a seemily very long ride home (for a number of reason, notwithstanding the fact that my uncle, who is in his mid-70's, shouldn't be driving), he disappeared for 10-15 minutes. My husband and I were sitting in the living room, when here comes my uncle with a big ol' wad of TP (obviously used), who just casually tosses it in the fireplace. Yes, I'm serious. Ass wipe in the fire! Ever smelled burning poo? It's a treat. We just looked at each other it utter disbelief. (So, as a joke, I went to the bathroom for a few minutes, and walked out with a big wad of tp (clean) and tossed it in the fire, just to get a rise out of my husband. He responded, "Please tell me you didn't just do what I think you did!" HAHAAHA I crack myself up.)

And then there is Gypsy. Gypsy is a VERY old (like 15 years or so, although no one knows for sure since she was rescued by the Humane Society) Australian Shepherd. As with all old dogs, she is pretty much deaf and almost blind (cataracts, I don't wish them on anyone). Her back legs don't really work, so every once in a while, she sort of spontaneously collapses to the floor after her hind legs give out. (Usually this follows a good rub-down, so you kind of have to weigh the pros and cons of petting this dog.) Gypsy is sweet... gives very sweet little kisses (you dog-lovers will know what I'm talking about). She also can't eat solid food. My aunt blends her food in a blender. Lord have mercy. I'm not sure I could adequately describe the smell of a dogfood smoothie, so I won't even try.

Let me divert for a minute. I did a load of laundry whle we were there. The dog's food dish is right by the dryer. As I was pulling freshly dried whites from the dryer, a perfectly clean and innocent white footie sock fell into the dog dish. In that dish was dogfood soup (a delicacy, I'm told). Needless to say, that sock had a very short life. It took one for the team.

Ok, back to the stories.

We entered the guest room to find rocks and grass all over the guest bed, which, I might add, was a double. (K. This may not be a big deal for you tiny little people, but my husband is 6 feet and over 200 pounds. I'm 5'5" and I won't tell you what I weigh (cuz I'm still in denial) but I can tell you that I ain't no size 6. Picture the two of us on a double bed. Got the image? Good.) The only thing I can figure is that the throw blanket at the foot of the bed must have been a dog blanket at some point, because there was dog hair and gritty stuff all over... We had to take the blankets off and shake everything out before we crawled into bed. I've heard that is an honored tradition for guests in some homes. No it isn't. Now, when you're used to a king size... a queen is a stretch... now squeeze into a double. Those are some good times. Now I'm not saying this happened, but I could imagine that if my husband had accidentally passed gas in the middle of the night, the vibration from his butthole, which may have been right against my hip, would have woke me out of a dead sleep. That is, if I could fall asleep. Which I couldn't.

And this is why I drink.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

39 Cent Stamps and Other Things in the Ghetto

I'm still a little confused over the 39 cent stamp. It seems like just a few months ago (actually, it really WAS just a few months ago) that I bought a bazillion 37 cent stamps - really cute ones, too, with Muppets on them. Beaker, Chef, Animal, Miss Piggy... the whole gang. Then, about 2 weeks later, the USPS decides to up the ante again. Great... Here it is, several months after the fact and I have refused to buy the 2-cent stamps. That is, until yesterday... I caved. I bought 40 of them - to get me through the 40 37-cent stamps I still have. Sumbeach.

I got a call from Officer Morales who kindly informed me that he is closing the two cases against the ghetto neighbors - one for noxious weeds and the other for bark mulch in the road. He says, "Thanks to you your neighborhood will remain a nice place to live." It sounded somewhat sarcastic to me, so I took offense. Just cuz I'm the only one with enough danglers to call the City, even though ALL of the neighbors are complaining about it doesn't make me the neighborhood snipe. Seriously.... Is it really that hard to mow the weeds or spread the bark mulch that you bought in relatively short order?

He also told me that I should call City Enforcement regarding the birds and the parking situation.... This stuff is wearing me out.

Do roosters crow in the winter? Just curious. Maybe we'll get one of those super NW winter freezes and it'll freeze the little bastard's throat. (As a disclaimer, I do not hate animals and would never intentionally harm one. But there is a place for farm animals and it is NOT in the suburbs.)

I love Cliff Bars, but, really, they are like chewing on petrified turds. (Not that I have ever experienced chewing a petrified turd.) How on earth they can make a bar 3 inches by 2 inches weigh a pound, I will never know.

My hair seems to be falling out more frequently. Maybe it's my imagination, or maybe it's just time for a hair cut. Probably is time for a color change, too, now that it's fall.... oh, and the fact that I look like white trash with my 1 1/2 inch roots. Very classy.

My new neighbors rock. Diego and his wife brought over homemade tamales. May I just say they were sent from Heaven by little Mexican angels? Note to self: keep in good with the new neighbors. Ya never know when they might shower me with homemade tamales again.

I've been meeting with my new accountability partner. It has been about 5 years since I've had one. I highly recommend getting one. She's tough, thoughtful, straight forward, and challenging. I love her. And she makes me think. Think hard.... About a lot of stuff. God is good.

What's the deal with back fat? My husband says it sounds like a Vietnamese guy's name: Bak Phat. Either way, I don't like it.

Our friend left Farmers yesterday. I will not incriminate anyone here, other than the stupid heads in the Farmers' HR department. Seriously, I am appalled at the way they treat their employees over there. Anyone working for Farmers knows what I'm talking about. They have completely taken the "human" out of their human resources, and are trying to turn their employees into robots. They have successfully created a performance standard that even a super-human could not maintain. Way to go, corporate A-holes. So, I give my friend a huge high-five for standing up to them and not compromising his ethics or his character. That fricken rocks.

I hate ADP's ezLabor software. It is so not ez. What was suppose to cut our time spent on timekeeping, has more than quadrupled our time, in addition to causing me great stress. No matter what some people may say, technology is not always all it's cracked up to be.

I'm looking forward to vacation.

Peace out, friends.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Update on the Rooster Next Door

That damn rooster's head isn't chopped off after all. I didn't hear it for a couple of days, so I thought that perhaps the City finally came out and confiscated the stupid bastard. But... nope. It is starting to interfere with my ability to focus on season 2 of "24". Sad, but true.

Now don't get me wrong. I love animals. But there is a place for everything, and roosters just don't belong in the backyard of a suburban home, living underneath the swing set. My prayer is that the falcon (oh, yes, they have a falcon, too) would somehow peck its way out of its cage and eat the rooster. That would be something special. And, really, it would be perfectly natural.... Survival of the fittest and all of that.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Random Thoughts

My best friend and I played phone tag for a few days. She told me she had news, so... of course I HAD to know. Scott and I immediately thought she must be pregnant because what else would have her so excited. I knew she wasn't engaged cuz she already said she didn't want to get married again (like a billion times... adamantly). It couldn't be a new house... Well, we finally connected this morning, and (drum roll please)... She is pregnant! Holy cow! She's very excited about being a mom, and I can't help but be excited for her. Disappointing that she and her man-friend have decided not to marry (seems the way of the world anymore). I'm totally bummed that I'm not in the same state now. (Particularly cuz, for those of you who don't already know, Scott and I are "trying" (in a very loose sense).) It would be way cool to have our babies around the same time. Obviously, she'd be a few months ahead of me. She's going to make a cute little pregnant person. Tiny people always do.

So, there's that. And it's Labor Day weekend, so at least we got that going for us. I was hoping that our ghetto neighbors would have their stupid bark mulch pile picked up by now, but alas, they do not. Somehow they defy all things logical and reasonable. But I haven't heard the damn rooster for a few nights now, so I wonder if they finally set him free. And by "free" I mean chop his noisy head off.

I just got the shiver-me-timbers. It must mean something.