Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A day at the DMV

I'm not sure what the deal is with the DMV. I have to order a copy of my driving record (which is completely clean, by the way). I was hoping I could just get it through my insurance agent, but apparently they can only order them for new business. I wouldn't qualify as new business since I've been with the same insurance company for 18 years.

After several calls to other people I know who run driving record reports, they all came back with the same dreaded answer, "You need to call the DMV."


The DMV is always such a nuisance. Sometimes you get lucky. You walk in to an empty lobby. You print your little "take-a-number" receipt, and just as you're about to sit down, your number is called. That's a good day at the DMV. But most times, like today, you walk into a very busy lobby. Some old guy who refuses to wear reading glasses (or forgot them) is standing with his equally old wife trying to figure out what the little sign about the "take a number" printer says. (Just in case you're wondering, it says, "Take a Number.") Once you finally get your number, you glance at it quickly, and starting looking above the counters for the number reader, which, much to your dismay, reads a number 20 less than the one you're holding. You scan the lobby for an available seat, preferably one that is in between two empty seats. (It's just bad form to sit right next to a stranger.) You slump into the half-cracked orange plastic seat and start rummaging through your purse for something to read or play with. You just know this is going to take forever.

Ten minutes pass and you're done reading the back of the gum wrapper (3 times), all the receipts that have crumpled into the bottom of your purse, and played five games of Brick-Out on your cell phone. You're pretty much out of entertainment options at this point, so you decide to just sit and subtly people watch.

You notice that no one is smiling. (Why does everyone come to the DMV in a bad mood? Doesn't that just perpetuate the problem?)

You notice that when there aren't 3 empty seats in a row (so that someone could sit in the middle seat - not too close to the strangers), people would rather stand.

You notice that there is at least one mother (or father) with a buttload of kids, all under the age of 5, who think the DMV lobby is a playground.

You notice that there is always one clerk who yells out the next number, but no one can hear her. She thinks she's yelling, but, in fact, she's not.

And then in comes a scrubby dude, who walks past you, entirely too close, and sits two seats to the right of you. Seconds later, you get wind of his body odor. He smells like cigarettes and alcohol and looks like he hasn't showered in a week. You immediately think that this guy is probably going to be sharing the road with you... and probably isn't doing so sober.

Moments later, his girlfriend (girl friend, sister, crack dealer) walks in behind him and begins to talk in "code". "Bev is ... finding... one of her 'places'... Call us when you're ready to go." You notice she has only a few rotted teeth left, smells of cigarettes and alcohol, and is very fidgety.

"81?" ... pause... "81?" ... pause... "82?" ... pause... "82?"

You pray, "Oh, please, please let 82 be absent..."

Dang. Number 82 meanders up to the counter.

Another 20 minutes pass.

A disheveled father and his teen boy walk in and sit directly across from you. They don't look anything alike. Father is heavy, wears his pants way too high with a belt way too cinched, hasn't shaved in a few days (at least), and what's left of his frizzy hair looks like Einstein with a bald spot. The son, on the other hand is well-groomed and focuses solely on texting. Maybe they aren't related. Maybe he's adopted. Maybe they just happened to come in at the same time and sit next to each other.

Bald-spot Einstein takes out his cell phone and dials. Seconds later, at a ridiculous volume, he begins to speak. "HI! Hey! How are ya?" ... pause... "Yeah, still lookin' for a job..." (No kidding?) "Well, I found a listing for..." (inaudible)..."but it's in Manila... Yeah, so... I guess I'll be buying a ticket to Manila..."

You try to stop listening, but it's almost impossible. It's like someone pressing their body against you and speaking directly into your ear, "Is this too close for you?"

It's not too close. It's just too loud.

And then you notice that on the other side of that same row, there are two guys sitting very close together hovering over a cell phone and laughing. They are looking at each other with 7-Up eyes. (You know… eyes that look like they are filled with fizzy bubbles.) They are probably gay. And look how happy they are.

You start thinking of your gay friend who just had a birthday and went hiking with his gay friends and took silly pictures of a big carrot balloon tied to a string, tied to your friend’s finger, who sat in an outhouse with the balloon hovering outside. (Seen here.)

You think everyone should have at least one gay friend.

"91?" ... Pause


Your mind starts to wander. You wonder when it will stop raining. You wonder why people even bother with umbrellas. You wonder when you’ll be able to mow the lawn again without sinking into the muddy slop that is your backyard this time of year. You wonder where the secret goal is in World 4-3 in Super Mario Bros Wii. You wonder how fast the rest of the afternoon will go so you can get back home and pop open a cold one. You wonder what the husband is going to make for dinner. You hope it’s something fried and salty because you don’t really care about Type 2 diabetes today. You wonder if you’ll ever fit into to your pre-moving-to-Oregon jeans again. You wonder when you’ll plan your next vacation. You wonder if you should just take the rest of today as vacation.

And then you realize this isn’t vacation. You’re at the DMV.

“95?” … pause… “95?” … pause…

“Oh, please, please….”

“96?” … pause… “96?” … pause…

“Just two more!!!”

“97?” … pause… “97?” … pause…

You think to yourself, “Really? Did that many people really just come in, take a number, and leave?”


YES!!!! The number 98 never sounded so good.

So… I ordered my driving record. It will be faxed over tomorrow morning. The clerk behind the counter was very pleasant. I smiled at him. He smiled at me.

A 45 minute wait and a $2 fee.

Hardly seems worth it.

I really do need a vacation.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

From a friend's dog....

We went to some friends' house for dinner on Friday night. The Picklebean stayed with Gramma (because having a toddler in tow really isn't condusive to deep conversation), but, of course, Eden tagged along because she's still pretty much attached to me at all times - except when I'm working at the church, and even then sometimes she is.

They have a cute, medium sized white powder-puff pooch named Sitka. He's a doll. Dogs are very interested in babies... Apparently, most babies freak out when a dog sticks its face into their space, but not my babies. (They come from a long line of dog lovers.) Eden was just as interested in him as he was in her. She just stared and stared, all while sucky heavily on her little binky - with a white ring that hangs off of it. (This is important to the story as you will soon find out.)

Anyway, we received this lovely note from our friends' dog.

Dear Eden,

I liked saying hello to you. You were down where I could see you in the little seat. I could get close up for a good sniff. You were the smallest people I have ever seen. But you were bigger than a cat. Do you like cats? You were really really small but you did smell like a people. I didn't know about that little round white thing under your nose. It kept twitching. I always watch for things that twitch.

I liked your eyes. They looked at me for a long time. When other smaller than big people come here, they make a really loud scary noise when I come close for a good look with my nose. You just kept looking at me for a long time like a good buddy. I nearly gave you a big lick but that makes some people make the really loud scary noise too so I thought I'd better not this time. Too bad you had to leave so soon.

Your big people brought me a bone. I chewed it the next day. Yuuummm! Do you chew bones? You could fit it on the little white thing. Thank you to them for the bone. And there's another one for another day. Some of my best days are me on the end of a bone.

My favorite lady people loves the flowers you brought her. They are getting bigger every day. I would sniff them but they're too high up. That's why I liked you being here. You were down where my nose is.

Love from Sitka

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm stuck behind two idiots!

I cannot tell you how much I fear Oregon drivers. I've been a lot of places and no one drives as terribly as the people in Oregon. I'd rather drive in the Caribbean (where they drive C.R.A.Z.Y.) than in this state.

For two days in a row on my way to work, I've been stuck behind people going exactly 2 miles per hour under the speed limit. Four lanes, 2 in either direction, 2 cars right next to each other, hogging the entire west-bound direction, driving slower than molasses.

First, don't drive next to each other. That's just bad form. It would be like two men standing at the urinal looking down at each other. It's just not acceptable.

Second, don't drive under the speed limit. And for God's sake, don't slow down at every intersection when the light is green, there are no pedestrians, bicyclists, babies, animals or aliens. Why in the name of all things holy, are you slowing down to 15 mph??

Third, don't ride your brakes. This isn't good for your brakes, your car, the environment, or the people driving behind you.

Fourth, you shouldn't sit 2 inches behind the steering wheel with your seat belt cut into your neck, or (worse) your shoulder strap stuck under your armpit. That's just too freakin' close to the steering wheel. If you get in an accident (which you will surely cause), not only will you slam your head on the steering wheel faster than your airbag can deploy, but you will be burned when your airbag deploys after you slam your head on the steering wheel.

Fifth, when a pedestrian enters a crosswalk, that is not a signal to you to hurry through and beat them across. Remember, you're driving a 3000 pound steel missile. Just stop and let the pedestrian cross safely. It's the law.

Sixth, just please stop driving like an ass.

These are the same people who merge onto the freeway going 40 mph slower than the speed of traffic, and who drive 35 mph all through town, regardless of the posted speed limit. Example: Cordon Road is in some places 55 mph and in other places 40 mph. There is hardly a day that I don't get stuck behind someone going 35... the entire way. It's like they have blinders on and don't pay attention to ANY sign, much less the posted speed limit sign. 35! EVERYWHERE. It drives me nuts. These same people go 35 mph through school zones... and turn the wrong way on one-way streets. Seriously??? Do they not see the freakin' signs???

They are probably the ones who are on their cell phones and texting. (Seriously, the dumbest and most unsafe habit behind the wheel. Get your eyes off your stupid iPhone and pay attention to the road!)

And don't get me started on 4-way stop signs.... Everyone just sits there, refusing to go... and when someone finally does, it's like they all got the idea at the same time, and start entering the intersection together... then they stop and wave each other on, no one going... It starts all friendly. They smile and wave at each other as if saying, "No, really. I insist. You go first." Then after 3 minutes of going, and stopping, going and stopping, they are now pissed at each other and wave at each other as if saying, "Just freakin' go already!!!" 

I just can't believe this actually happens. Why is stopping at a 4-way so confusing? It's not that hard, people. Whoever stops first, gets to go first. When in doubt, yeild to the driver on your right. And if someone waves you on, GO! Don't wave back at them unless you're waving to say, "Thank you, kind person, for letting me go first even though you had the right of way."

These are the same people who freak out when they drive, say, in Los Angeles. Or Chicago. Or any other major metropolis.... And then come home to tell everyone how crappy those drivers are, even though they merge at the speed of traffic, drive the speed limit (or 5 mph over), pay attention to street signs, yield to pedestrians, accept their right of way and enter a 4-way intersection properly, and use their mirrors when changing lanes.

Why isn't driver's training an absolute prerequisite to receiving a driver's license in the state? When I was learning to drive in California, I was required to complete 30 hours of class instruction, and 6 hours with a state-licensed instructor behind the wheel. The state-instructor verified that I completed the requirements - not my parent. This was in addition to the parent-trainer scenario of driving with a permit... In Oregon, a parent can sign off... There is no requirement to complete class instruction or behind the wheel training with a certified instructor. A parent can just sign off to "certify" your driving experience. (I can see it now... A 16-year old goes to his parent after backing out of the driveway 10 times and driving around a few parking lots, and the parent says, "Yep. You're a safe driver. I've seen you avoid a dumpster and 2 parked cars. You're ready for the road! Let me sign that for you.") So, that means, a crappy driver gets to teach a naive, inexperienced, uneducated teenager how to be a crappy driver. The result is a state full of ignorant, inexperienced, oblivious, dangerous drivers.

Oh, the humanity! I really wish Oregon would get a clue and require driver's training courses. The roads would be safer, our kids would be safer, and it would just be a much more pleasant experience for the rest of us who have to share the road with you.

Now, seriously, if you learned to drive and received your license in this state, please don't email me to tell me how wrong I am. Every other person from another state agrees with me. Ask them. They will tell you. And if they don't, it's because they are just inherently crappy drivers and their opinion is now moot.

Ok. **sigh **  I got that out of my system. I feel much better now. My day can go on. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Streams of thought...

I discovered the deliciousness of Granny Smith apples dipped in peanut butter & honey. Yummers. It's my new favorite mid-morning snack. (All natural peanut butter, of course. Just peanuts and a pinch of salt. No added sugar or other gross things... like HFCS - high fructose corn syrup.)

Speaking of high fructose corn syrup... It's in everything. The other day, Scott and I were looking at the ingredients of a can of chopped tomatoes and discovered, yes, high fructose corn syrup. Someone please tell me why this is necessary. Tomatoes are sweet on their own. Sweetener of any variety is not required... Kind of ridiculous. Needless to say, we were a bit peeved and we are now committed to reading the ingredients on everything - even the foods we think would be left well enough alone, but now know that they aren't.

Fat people. They are everywhere. (There's one typing this post... That's me, if you haven't figured it out.) Whenever I see fat people, I think High Fructose Corn Syrup. I say to myself, "I'll be that person eats a lot of high fructose corn syrup." Even if it's not true (which, I bet it is even if they don't know it), it's just funny to say.

Here's my problem. I love crunchy, salty foods. I'm just as happy with a cucumber with a bit of salt on it as I am with a handful of potato chips. My mother-in-law has a cupboard full of 10 different varieties of chips... and no cucumbers. So, while I pretty much avoid chips all week long, come Friday and Saturday, I could gobble down a half a bag without thinking about it. In case you're wondering, that's not good for me and may or may not be contributing to the size of my butt. I'm just sayin.

But speaking of tomatoes, the Picklebean loves them. I grew 3 tomato plants last year, and he pretty much cleaned house on every one of them. Whether the tomatoes were green, orange or red, he didn't care. He polished them off every day. I think I got one or two. There are worse things for my son to eat, so I certainly am not complaining. However, I think this year, I'm going to hide a plant somewhere so I get to enjoy a few myself. The little stinker.

I have a piece of Granny Apple skin stuck between my front teeth. I hate that.

And speaking of stinkers, something has gone a-foul inside our yard debris can. It's like 3 years worth of fermented grass has seeped into the plastic. I can't get rid of that smell. Seriously nasty! It's like stale pond water and decaying amphibians... Just not okay. We've tried power-washing... (which, by the way, you have to be very careful about, otherwise if you spray just right (or wrong) it will all come blasting back out at you like a canon... I don't know about you, but I'm not crazy about smelling like stale pond water and decaying amphibians. Gross.)

And speaking of gross, my hair is falling out by the handfuls. One thing I love about pregnancy is how thick and healthy my hair gets. I may look like a bloated cow, but at least my hair looks and feels good. But... as predicted and expected, just a couple of months after the baby is born, my hair begins to fall out. I lose the thick, luxuriousness and end up with the stringy, baby-thin hair I've lived with all my life. Hair is everywhere. It's stuck on the shower wall. It's in the sink. It's on the floor. We found a hair in the refrigerator. IN THE REFRIGERATOR. Seriously? At what point is this even remotely okay? It's not. Ever. I heard a comedian talk about wet hair... I don't remember who it was but it went something like this:

You could be walking on the street and accidentally touch someone's hair and it's no big deal. But get that hair wet and stick it in the drain and you could rob a bank with that stuff. Put it on the end of a stick, walk in and say, "Yeah! You know what this is! Gimme all your dough!"
I believe that is true. Wet drain hair is disgusting.... All soapy and slimy and foamy and wet... **heebie jeebies**

But, it's time to get my hair cut. Now that half of it has fallen out, it's time to give it some TLC. (The last time I had it cut was in September, 6 months ago.) Needless to say, it's not lookin' so good.

If you haven't played Super Mario Bros for Wii, you should. It's super fun. I always love Mario Bros video games, but this one is especially fun because a) it's on the Wii (bonus), and 2) you can play with up to 4 players simultaneously. That's at the same time, people. Four. I've never played with 4, but Scott and I have played together. It is a freakin' scream. We get laughing so hard that we can hardly play.

It's kind of like racquetball. We used to play racquetball quite a bit when we lived in Lake Oswego. We had a racquetball court in our apartment complex. Oh my goodness, did we suck! It was hysterical. Scott got really good at being able to serve the ball such that it would go straight into the corner. I couldn't hit that thing to save my life. We laughed so hard we'd almost pee.

A few weeks ago, we got invited to a friends house (mamasan's neighbors, to be exact) to hang out. For those of you keeping up with this, this is Bella's family... Bella, as in Jeffrey's little girlfriend (seen here).

Anyway, Bella's mom and I were enjoying a margarita (or several). I don't remember what we were talking about, but apparently I got on a roll. She started laughing... and laughing... And eventually had to excuse herself to go pee cuz she almost peed on the floor. That, to me, is comedy. If you can make someone laugh so hard they pee themselves, that is success right there. Score.

I love to laugh. I don't just like it. I love it. I love a good belly laugh. I love the kind of laugh that goes silent, save a few little squeaks here and there. Or when something strikes you so funny so quickly that you don't even have time to take a breath. What's cool about laughing is that it is so contagious. Do you ever find yourself laughing along when you see other people laughing, even if you don't know what they're laughing about? (And hopefully it isn't you, but so what if it is? It's still a good laugh.) Not only do I love a good laugh, but I love good laughs, as in the sound the people make. Some laughs, granted, are annoying as all hell. But some people have GREAT laughs. Scott has a great laugh. There is something about his laugh that just makes me laugh too. Jeffrey has a great laugh. He actually has a few of them, but there is one that is particularly cute. I can't even begin to describe it. You'll just have to trust me. My mother-in-law (Mamasan) has a bunch of laughs, too. They are HY-STER-I-CAL!!! She makes all kinds of noises. She squeaks, she squawks, she rattles, she snorts... It is one of the funniest things I've ever heard. When the whole family is together, this is like the ultimate goal: get Mamasan laughing so hard she loses all control and starts making hilarious sounds. Thems some good times.

Welp... I think I've done enough damage for one day. I could just go on and on like this. But... I won't.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another funny word


That word cracks me up.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hurting my feelers

I've discovered recently that I get my feelings hurt rather easily. I'm not sure exactly how I developed this trait. I had a pretty thick skin - kind of like whale blubber - for a long, long time. Over the last several years, well, mainly since Scott and I became engaged, I've been slowly working on stripping my layers down.

Growing up, my mother was (and still is) very critical. She got this from her mother, who was very critical. Oh, the things these women have said to their daughters... Awful stuff. I won't go into the bazillion stories I could tell you, but I'll give you an example. When I was in the 7th grade, I had a violin recital. (I played piano, violin and viola from a very young age... which, by the way, my mother made me do.) I studied violin with a private teacher; her name was Anita Baker. She had a thick accent from I-don't-know-where and had the body of a Dr. Seuss Who, only much more round. (I remember she used to think I was crazy for washing my hands in cold water...) Anyway, I can't remember her hourly rate, but... she was "the best," so my mother spared no expense in hiring her to be my private tutor. (She had big dreams of me becoming some sort of concert violinist, I think.) Well... needless to say, I'm a stubborn girl with my own dreams and I wasn't about to let my mother force me into the little box of people she thought I should become. So, sometimes I would just go on a practice strike. I had better things to do with my time than sit by the piano with an instrument under my chin for 3 hours a day running scales and finger exercises, blah blah blah.

Anyway, back to the recital. I can't remember the concerto I "prepared." I do remember that it was very, very difficult. And I remember that I hadn't "prepared" it very well at all. So little so, that the day of the recital, I had one last lesson with Anita when she decided to cut out about 2 pages worth of music (the really complicated stuff). Now I had about 10 minutes to learn the new transitions, etc.

We were in a little Lutheran church in Corvallis. It had a balcony. All of the other students' families sat on the main level, pretty much near the front, showing their support of their son or daughter. My mother sat in the very back of the balcony.

It was my turn... I slowly made my way up to the stage, violin under my arm and music in hand. I put the music on the stand, placed my violin under my chin and took a deep breath. The first few measures were ok, but it quickly fell apart. It was awful. And it seemed like it took forever. I could see out of the corner of my eye the looks on people's faces. I was so embarrassed. I didn't want to go to the recital. I had "told" my mother I wasn't going. She forced me to go (in a way that only mothers can), and she knew it would suck. She was teaching me a lesson.

She didn't need to teach me anything... I was there. I knew it was awful. I was completely embarrassed. I was completely ashamed. I finished, and everyone clapped, but it was sort of that I-suppose-I-have-to-clap clap - they didn't really mean it. It was so awful that I'm sure most everyone in the audience that day felt embarrassed. 

I took my music, put my violin back under my arm and sheepishly left the room, making a quick retreat, wandering down to the little room where I left my case, and began packing my things.  My mother was soon with me once again. She was furious. She told me how awful it was, how embarrassed she was, and how embarrassed she was that I was her daughter.


Looking back, I'm sure I would have done the same thing. That is, I'm sure I would have made my daughter go to the recital. (I think it's important to follow through on your commitments.) But I would have sat in the front row, smiling at her the entire time, stood up on the pew and clapped the loudest, maybe even shouted, "Bravo!" I would have sat through the rest of the student's performances, and I would have told my daughter how proud I was that she finished what she started. It isn't necessary to pour salt in the wounds. Everyone else's looks are enough. Additional punishment certainly isn't necessary.

This is just one of thousands of instances where my mother was so critical of me. As a result, I had to grow whale blubber - I had to in order to survive. It shut her out, but it also shut out everyone else.

For the last 10 years I've worked at peeling away the blubber. But I wonder if I didn't hit the other extreme. I get my feelings hurt. (I had a roommate that called these her "feelers.")  

So the rest of that story is about a year or two later, I had viola recital. I prepare that thing to death. It was a duet with my viola tutor. (I can't remember her name, but I remember she didn't shave her armpits, which is never a good thing when you play a stringed instrument. Gross.) I nailed it. My mother was so proud. Not for me. For her.

The rest of that story is that when I was graduating high school (Chaminade College Preparatory, West Hills, CA) I was first violist for the Cal State Northridge Youth Symphony. My conductor knew the music department head at Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA). I was basically offered a full scholarship - violists are hard to find. (But I would have had to major in music, which meant that I would have had to eat, breathe and sleep music... and end up with a music degree. That would have made my mother very happy, no doubt.) I declined. And went to community college.

I said no. To a scholarship. To Pepperdine.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Singing a new song

At our weekly staff meeting today, our Lead Pastor led us in a devotional about change; "sing to the Lord a new song."

One of the things he mentioned was that often people hurt us (or we are hurt... or we suffer so much) such that we ask, "Lord, will I ever sing again?"

As I pondered, I realized that I have never wondered if I'd ever sing again. It's in my moments of pain and suffering that I sing louder. It is in these moments when God shows up in amazing ways.

I love change. And I actually look forward to suffering. If ever there was a time I was singing a new song, it would be these last 14+ months. I've been singing so much my voice is hoarse. I don't have a clue what I'm singing, but I know it blesses the Lord.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Things were awfully quiet....

Scott and Mamasan went to the grocery store, leaving Jeffrey, Eden and I to hold down the fort. I was in the livingroom with the baby, and I hadn't heard Jeffrey for some time.

I yelled out, "Jeffrey, what are you doing?"

I heard a faint voice, "I'm going pee-pee in the potty!"

This causes concern... Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes... not so much. More often than not, more pee-pee ends up on the floor than in the potty.

So, I went to see.

Jeffrey's underpants were on the floor, and he was sitting on the potty... going pee-pee... keeping all the pee-pee IN the potty! Impressive!!!!

I was so proud.

He finished up and said, "Mommy, your turn!"

I put the baby down, and sat on the potty. I grabbed jeffrey's diaper in the mean time and said, "Ok, let's put your pants back on."

He said, "No. I go naked."

I replied, "No... we need to put your pants back on."

Right then, he noticed gramma's pedometer sitting on the counter. Intrigued, he asked, "What's this?" as he picked it up to inspect it.

I said, "That's a pedometer."

He said, and I kid you not, "I put it in my butt."

Now, please, somebody, tell me how he would have gotten the idea that pedometer goes in your butt???

I said, "Um, no... That doesn't go in your butt."

He asked, "Where does it go, mommy?"

I said, "It counts your steps."

Satisfied with my answer, he simply said, "Ok," put it down and walked out of the bathroom.

I still have yet to figure out why he would think a pedometer goes in his butt.

Jeffrey's girlfriend Bella, her little brother Brayden and her dad Jeremy came over a short time later. I relayed the story.

He said, "It goes in your butt to count your poops."

There it is. Poodometer.

Got it.

In the words of Mamasan, "Sealed it."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Funny words list

Scott and I have a running list of funny words. The problem is we've never written it down, so we often forget which words are really funny until one of us says one, which usually comes at a very inopportune time, when we both look at each other and have to refrain from giggling. And you know what happens when you have laughter building that you can't let out. Yep. It gets worse... and builds and builds until you let out a massive snort or "HA" for all to hear.

Off the subject: Scott's mom (Mamasan) is the champion of HA! It's hilarious. The last time she did that, we were at Lowe's. I don't know what caused it, but this loud HA rang out and echoed all over the store. Jeffrey was in his little cart and looked at me with great concern, asking, "What was that?" HAHAHAHA

Back on subject.

Here are words we think are funny:

#1 - Pork. This the all-time funniest word. You can't even say the word "pork" without smiling. There's something about the way your lips shape when you say that word. Go ahead. Say the word.

Say it.


See? You're smiling, aren't you? Funny word.

Also on the list is:

Now, true, there are words that in and of themselves aren't funny, but their meaning is... But that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm just purely referring to words - the sound of it, the way your mouth looks or feels when you say it, etc. It has little to do with the meaning. That's a different list. Poo and corn would also make that list.

I'm just sayin'.

I'll add words to this list as I remember them. I always said I would, and now I'm finally getting around to it. I'm curious, though. What words do you think are funny?

TMI too often

Someone called me the Queen of TMI a couple of days ago.

I have to be honest when I say that kind of hurt my feelings, but then I realized that it does ring a bit true. I do tend to just lay it out there (until recently). But perhaps that's a turn off to a lot of people. Here's the dealio. I am who I am. I'm not ashamed. I'm sorry if you (or whomever) thinks I'm too open, but... that's just the way I roll.

Additionally, I noticed on the last 3 blog entries, at least, I said something to the effect of "here's the quick low-down" and the proceeded to write an entire freakin' novel. That's pretty funny. Scott always tells me that words are like gold. The fewer you have, the more precious they are. So I guess my words aren't worth much. Ouch.

I haven't been known for my brevity. I'm trying to learn to be more "to the point" when I speak and/or tell stories. I, like so many women, feel like I need to set the stage and give all the extraneous details of everything before I get to the meat of the story. It's almost like reliving the entire moment when retelling a story... and it takes almost as long. Men aren't like that.

I've actually found myself recently biting my tongue - wanting to say something more (or something at all) and consciously stopping myself.

I won't necessarily do that here, though. I write unfiltered (for the most part) for my own benefit. If you happen to stumble upon my entries and either get bored or start skimming because it's way TMI, well... that's ok. You don't have to read it. You're welcome to stop at any time. But this is often where I sort through my thoughts, chronicle my life's events (and, yes, I actually try to get as much detail in as possible) and just sort of allow my thoughts to stream naturally.

But when it comes to speaking, I'm going to continue to try (try is the key word here, folks) to keep it brief. Don't laugh.

I just had a conversation from the past fly through my thoughts. Tim and Scott will remember this well... it had to do with me being "quiet in nature." I won't relay it here because I don't need all you readers nodding your head in agreement.

So... that's my confession of the day. I talk too much.

But I also love peanut M&Ms too much.

So I have that going for me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Life and the times

My better half made it home Monday night... After 6 days out of town - retreating, renewing, visiting his best friend - I was ready to have him home. It was a lot of fun hearing all the stories from his trip. He sure needed that time. He returned home with a sense of purpose, hope and direction. Exciting stuff!

His being away really reminded me of how blessed we are as a family. I mean, aside from having an awesome marriage (which is huge! I'm not undermining that at all... If there is one thing I know for sure, most people do not enjoy half the fulfillment we enjoy in our marriage. That is really sad to me.)... I really respect single parents. Having our house on the market means having it in tip-top shape and ready at any given moment to be able to get everyone out of the house within 10-20 minutes. It took me 3 hours to get out of the house every morning Scott was gone. I had to get myself ready... Jeffrey fed, clothed and stuff packed, Eden fed, clothed and packed, and out of the house cleaning behind me on the way. Making beds, wiping down counters, sinks, toilets, bathtubs, folding clothes, setting out clean towels, doing dishes, vacuuming carpets, mopping floors, dusting, wiping fingerprints off of walls, windows, the TV and glass doors, picking up toys and making sure everything is just so... Good grief.

It takes a lot of energy and organization to stage a home. And doing it alone is kind of a big deal. It's nice to have a significant other - divide and conquer!

Life is so very different these days. Some day I'll go into much more detail about what has been happening, and what is about to happen. For now, we're just keeping it to ourselves to make room for God to move.

But I will say that while things are tough, there is so much joy. It's such an odd place to be. It makes me wonder how people get through stuff like this if they don't know Jesus. There hasn't been one single day that I felt anxious or worried about the future. And it isn't because we've planned so well... It isn't that at all. God has poured out blessings and met our needs in ways we would have never anticipated. His goodness abounds! It's a blessing to build our faith and testimony in this way.

Here's the quick low-down.

House officially hit the market on Monday, February 22nd. (Pictures finally made it up on MLS the following Thursday or Friday.) That very morning, we got a call that someone wanted to come see it. She fell in LOVE with the house. She spent 40 minutes there just taking it all in. She's preggers with her first baby and they want to be in a house by the time baby arrives in May. However, they are living and working in Portland, and haven't yet decided whether or not they will be moving to Salem (although her entire family lives here). All we know at the moment is she hasn't talked to her husband about it and they have not been back to see the house again. But, we're praying. We know from experience what it is like to have our first baby in that home, and commuting to and from Portland. Just praying that the husband will fall in love with the house, too, and that we'll see an offer come of it.

We had our first open house on Sunday, Feb. 28th. That was a total bust. I'm convinced that open houses are a waste of time for many reasons. People don't do open houses the way they used to. Most people would rather visit a house with their realtor privately. Not one single person showed up. I was pretty hopeful going into it, just because I (we) had put so much effort into making the house look perfect. The day before (while Scott was away) I spent 5 hours cleaning and polishing. The morning of, I baked cookies, set out freshly cut flowers, created a photo journal of the different seasons of the house, and wrote a letter to the potential buyer. Not one single person came. Not one. Ppppbbbbth.

It's all good, though. It only takes one. And we're just praying for that right "one."

The kids are officially home full time. Jeffrey's last day of school was last Wednesday. That was bittersweet. I love his school. I love the teachers. I love the kids. I love that Jeffrey learned songs about Jesus - reinforcing our values but in a different environment. This was such a great experience for him. It was really sad to pull him out. But... keeping the kids home is saving us quite a bit of money every month. It means more time with daddy - who is now Mr. Mom - so we just have to be creative in the way we plan our days so that he is introduced to new things the way he was in school.

Eden is growing so fast. I gave her her first solid food 2 days ago - mashed bananas. She was definitely ready to eat. She takes great interest in our dinner plates, and almost always tries to snag something off our plate when we're not looking. Amazingly, at only 4 1/2 months, she hardly spit anything out. She was so excited to try something new! She totally chomped on the spoon! Next week, rice cereal.

Scott is more relaxed than he's ever been. It seems strange to feel that way since being laid off - job eliminated, fired, whatever you want to call it. But it became perfectly clear to us that the way he'd been feeling up until that decision wasn't for nothing. It was not a good fit. He didn't have a good experience and was completely worn out. Several people have asked if he's looking for other church jobs. The answer is a resounding no way. I think we both feel that he would have greater impact for the Kingdom in a secular environment. Additionally, being able to focus on (the prospect of) teaching full time has renewed his energy. His talents were not utilized. His gifts were overlooked. And he's not ashamed of what God has put on his heart. Rather than having to fight to do what he feels God has led him to do, he's now free to pursue those desires. What a blessing! This is one area that makes me so proud of him. He is a teacher. Plain and simple. And he's so good at it. There is nothing that gives me such pleasure than seeing my husband do what God has created him to do. I am so very proud of him.

And me... well... I'm conflicted. I'm disappointed. I'm perplexed. I'm annoyed. I'm very frustrated. And yet I'm delightfully hopeful. I've spent a lot of quiet time sorting through my feelings. I'd love to lay it all out there to talk about openly, but....

I just feel like I need to keep more to myself these days. I don't trust people the way I did, so I'm very careful about who I'm letting in to my world. Many of the things I've told people in confidence have made their way to others' ears. That has been hurtful. But... I'm grateful to those who have kept their word.

Changing the subject quickly, there are some funny things that have happened. Of course, funny things happen all the time. I'm sort of a magnet for funny things. I love funny things. I love to laugh. I love to make other people laugh. I love to laugh at other people. I love to laugh at myself (which, actually, is where the vast majority of my material comes from).

Unfortunately, I've run out of time, so I'll have to save the funny things for later. Stay tuned.