Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: the awards

I would like to give out a few awards for the year 2010, just because they deserve it:
I'm calling these the "Slap up side the Head " awards.
1.In the " Pursuing an ideal to it's end, regardless of the consequences" category: The US Government, for finally designing a bill that is completely counterfeit-proof. The problem with this, of course, is that not even the US Mint can replicate these bills, which is sort of a problem!
2. In the "Talking the Talk, but Hiding Under My Party's Coattails" category, Barack Obama, for knowing all the right things to say, but not having a clue how to walk the walk.
3. In the " Way to Come out Fighting, and then Retire into Oblivion " category, all of the people who don't vote in any election except a presidential election. Pu-leeze, people, just vote already.
4. In the " Way to talk the talk but not walk the walk " category, everyone who complains about our country's sucky economy, but drives a foreign car. (Get real, already. Where do you think the economy comes from?)
5. In the "B%@*# all you can but don't do anything" category, everyone who voted Republican, but believes in : Gay rights, a woman's right to choose, a person's right to exist without interference from the government, a person's right to pay taxes and therefore have rights in the
government, anyone who believes they have the right to chose how and who to worship.
I could give out many more awards. But I won't , because most people don't have even a modicum of common sense. I am proudly a person who is a Christian, a wife, a mother, a conservative, a liberal. None of these things are exclusive if you have a even a bit of common sense. I love my God, my husband, my children, my right to chose, my right to vote, my right to demonstrate, my right to whatever I want to do that doesn't hurt you. But most people don't understand this, they think they have to indentify with a certain party or candidate. I have mostly voted Democrat, but I can tell you right now, I'd vote Green party or Communist or Independant or Write-In. I proudly voted for Obama, but if I had 30 minutes alone with him, I would certainly take the time to set him straight about his priority's. I love my country, and to paraphrase Ben Franklin, " Patriotism is loyalty to your country always, and your government when they deserve it."
I refuse to be indentified by my loyalty to a party, or a sex, or a belief. I will stand for what I believe in, and "teach the children quietly, for someday sons and daughters, will arise up and fight where we stood still".

Saturday, December 25, 2010

10 Things From Inside My Head

1. Aragorn? Seriously? SHAVE! I mean really, he has that sharp sword, it kills orcs, just flippin shave already.
2. I wanna rescue all the puppies everywhere. If I weren't married, I'd be the crazy cat lady, sans cats, with goggies .
3. I. cannot. drive. in . the. snow. ( It's the south in me. Sorry, can't help it. )
4. I have totally embraced the primitive look. Mostly because of the types of places I have lived. If I were rich, I would probably be minimalist, except in my closets.
5. My ideal house is the Frank Lloyd Wright house, in the Chicago 'burbs.
6. I wanna buy a pretty red truck, with four wheel drive, and cool paint job.
7. My Ideal day involves a manicure, a pizza, a Cosmopolitan, a DVD of Home Alone, a Snickers Bar, a Kindle, and my wonderful husband, all at the mall.
8. Ask me about the Hobbit, or The Lord of the Rings. Anything, Really. (Ok, maybe I'm a nerd. It's ok, I don't mind. I like it here. )
9. I'll try to cook anything you name. Might not be good, but I'll enjoy the challenge. and the food.
10. Speaking of food, I haven't met one I don't like. E.V.E.R.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Kindle and My Books

Last year for Christmas I received a Kindle from my dear husband, who knows how much I love books. It has been one of my dearest friends all year long, allowing me access to inexpensive versions of all of the books I currently wish to read, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who likes to read, and wishes to purchase books on the spur of the moment.
But how, you may wonder, does it compare to reading an actual paper and print book? I won't confine this to an actual review of the kindle, because anyone with even a limited imagination can imagine what it would be like to hold a plastic device and click a button instead of turning a page. What I will say is the biggest difference is the actual purchasing of the book.
Indulge me, just a moment, will you? Imagine a 9 year old girl, already in love with books, taken to "the big library" by her parents. It was rumored to be haunted by the lady who first lived in the old house, turned into a library, and she could be seen on the third floor occasionally. But the children's books, the ones I was interested in, were in the basement. That's right, the basement. As in , creepy, dark stairway, and old oak desk with scary lady at the helm. But past all of that, past creepy librarian and dark stairway, were the books. Rooms and rooms of them, picture books, first readers, first chapter books, Nancy Drew, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, Madeline, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, all of them. And they smelled like books. Like books should smell, I mean. And that scary lady at the desk? Well. She had the nerve to make me wash my hands before I handled them. I hated that then, but now I totally understand.She knew, you see, that not all of those books would be reprinted again, and that we had to take care of the copies we had.
Fast Forward. 32 years later. All of those books are at my fingertips again. They don't smell like books should smell, and I don't have to get past the scary librarian lady at the big desk to get to them. But they are mine. I never have to return them. I never have to explain to the librarian why I'm checking out Agatha Christie, A bible commentary, Nancy Drew, and The Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, all at the same time. I can read them anywhere. In a hospital waiting room, during naptime, in the middle of a football game. No one asks why I'm reading a children's book, or a theology dissertation, or an Amish fluffy cozy mystery. It's my world, you see. I get to control what goes on there, what goes into my mind. Mind candy, love stories, biblical commentary, british mystery stories, stuff I read as a kid. It's all mine!
And, as a bonus, in my mind, I can always remember that first visit to the big library, the hope of seeing a ghost, the smells, and even the scary librarian lady at the big desk. It's mine, all mine. All at the touch of a button.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Being "Broke"

Well, it happened again this morning. Notice from another client that she was taking her child to a daycare center, instead of here. Aside from the fact that I don't understand why anyone would want their infant in a room with a 20 kids to 1 adult ratio, there's the whole ,"Great, now I'm going to be really broke until I get more clients" issue.
Not, mind you, that I've ever been really poor. Quite the opposite, really. I've never really known hunger. Even after my first child was born, and I was so poor that the telephone got turned off, and I got evicted from my apartment for non-payment of rent, I always was able to eat. Not really well, and certainly not the way a doctor would tell you to, but I ate none-the-less. I've never had to sleep in my car because I had no where else to go. I've never worn shoes with holes in them or clothes that were too small.
God has always taken care of me, and I expect he always will. We have family who are willing to help out when needed, and there are so many opportunities in this great country of ours for people who need help.
So, I guess we'll cut out the soda and DQ runs for awhile, and Christmas gifts may be a little sparse this year, but you know what? By the biblical definition, I'm still rich. And if I have to work nights and weekends at a fast food joint to be able to pay all the bills on time, I'll just pray for strength to be able to do that, and thank the good Lord that He's given me all He has.
In the long run, none of this matters anyway. "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able, to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." 2 Timothy 1:12

Monday, October 18, 2010

Never Too Old To Learn

This weekend, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to learn a few things.
I spent the weekend with some dear friends, watched the Chilean miners get freed, cooked a lot, and lost a couple clients. All of which, combined with some other things, have taught me that:
1. Not everything has to be perfect. A little dust should be a part of every home-like house.
2. The little things are the most important. Kiss your kids every day(even if it makes them cringe), pet the dogs, skip the gourmet meal and nuke a pot pie, go shopping and spend a little money on nothing, laugh at nothing till you cry, grill whatever is in the freezer and add a bagged salad, hug a friend's grandbaby.
3. Dance nekked in the surf!!
4. Cook even if you don't have time, if that's what makes you happy. (If it's not what makes you happy, eat Cap'n Crunch and don't worry about what other people think!)
5. Don't worry all the time about money. Sometimes ya gotta buy something totally unneeded and worry about the bill for the pink sweater later. (But not all the time!)
6. Love your dogs and treat them well, no matter what every one else thinks. Because God Made Them Too.
7. Have fun, and don't take everything so seriously. Because, really, if a 5 month old can be happy just blowing spit bubbles, why can't we?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

If You Give a Mom a DustCloth

If you give a mom a dustcloth, she's going to want to dust.
She'll start dusting. She'll dust the whole house.
While she's dusting she'll notice that it would make more sense to hang the coats on the coat hooks by the back door.
She'll grab the coats and move them. When she gets them there, she'll notice that the hooks are too low and need to be moved up. To move the hooks she'll need a drill. She'll get the drill that her wonderful husband gave her for her very own.
While she's getting the drill, she'll notice that the craft room needs to be cleaned, so she'll start cleaning. She'll put away all the projects that aren't done yet. When she opens the cabinet to put the projects away, she'll see the glass she left there last time she was crafting. It's her favorite glass, and it needs to be cleaned, so she'll take it upstairs to the dishwasher.
When she opens the dishwasher, she'll notice that she already ran it today, so she'll put away the clean dishes. When she opens the cabinet to put away the glasses, she'll notice that they don't all fit at once, and needs to be rearranged. So she'll start rearranging, and soon the contents of every cabinet in the kitchen is on the countertops.
When she sees the empty cabinets, she'll notice that they need to be washed down. So she'll go downstairs for a cleaning rag. When she gets downstairs she'll remember that she was going to clean the craft room.
So she'll go upstairs to get the vacuum. When she gets to the closet to get the vacuum, she'll remember that she was going to move the coats to the coat hooks by the back door, and that she needs the drill to do that. When she goes to get the drill, she'll see the dustcloth, and if she sees the dust cloth, she'll want to dust...
When her dear husband gets home, the house is a mess, he can't find anything, dinner isn't ready, and she's rearranged again!
(This post is for my children and husband, who wonder why the flying farts I feel the need to rearrange every thing every single day, with thanks and apologies to Laura Joffe Numeroff for my unabashed use of her style of writing in the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" series. )
(Thankfully, I don't have my particular form of ADHD kick in every day, and most days aren't like this!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'll Be Seeing You in all The Old Familiar Places...

We live in a small-ish town near Chicago. How small? I recently took my neighbor some tomatoes from my garden, watched as he took a bite, then casually asked me who I was. (OK, so we don't spend a lot of time with our neighbors. In my defense, I work 12 hour days on a regular basis. But you're missing the point!)
We used to live much closer to the 'big city', but moved here because of housing prices. The big deal for the entire first year was the fact that everyone we met knew we were new here. My children, born and raised in the 'big city', couldn't get used to the fact that everyone we passed said hello.
But eventually they, and we, did get used to it. So used to it, that recently when I gained a client for my home business, it was absolutely no surprise to us that the client had a sister who worked for the doctor who treated my daughter for her broken ankle, and that she learned of us through another client who temped for said doctor when said sister took a maternity leave. (And if you don't understand that, just imagine what my daily life is like! ) And that my daughter's boyfriend saw the children who come to daycare here when he was in the emergency room recently, and introduced himself with the usual two degrees of seperation that exists here in our small town.
I am most definately not a small town girl. Give me a mall and a highway anyday. But, here? I don't know why, but I love it. Maybe it's my age. I'm not 20 anymore. ( 29, um kay?) And the thought of anonymity isn't so attractive anymore. But I still love the thought of sort of knowing my neighbors, and having room for a garden and a patio, and maybe saying hey to the cashier at the only grocery in town.
But it is still seriously cool to live close enough to 'The City' to go shopping when I want, while being able to take garden produce to a neighbor.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Signs I Might Be Getting Older

1. I saw a woman at the store, about my age, pull into the first spot, which was a handicapped spot. I was jealous.(Don't worry, I'm still very grateful for my health. It's just that I worked all day before I went to the store, and it was hot, and well...whatever.)
2. I carry pictures of my dogs in my wallet. Whenever my friends pull out pictures of their grandkids, I pull out the pictures of my dogs. They are sooo cauuute!
3. I have friends my age with grandkids.
4. I wear short sleeves year round, and sometimes they're too hot!
5. My idea of the perfect Friday night is delivered pizza, half a glass of wine, and a ten hour nap.
6. My idea of a wild Friday night is two glasses of wine and a twelve hour nap.
7. I like pot pies. When did that happen?!
8. I have no patience whatsoever with people who disagree with my political viewpoint. I won't try to win you over, I don't care to discuss it, I just know I'm right.
9. I'm beginning to wonder what, exactly, I can afford to hire out. Dishes? Cooking? Grocery shopping? Breathing?
10. I don't really care what anyone thinks about what I think or do. Don't like it? Too bad. I do.
Of course, all of this could just be in my mind, because it's August, and it's h.o.t., and it's so close to fall I can almost smell it, and it would really really really be nice if I could turn off the air conditioner for one flipping day and open a window, for goodness sake, because I might as well not even have a back yard it's so redonkulously hot outside. But I guess we'll see in a few weeks!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Me, one. Lingerie gods, zero.

Well, it's been awhile since I posted. Sorry about that, but life-you know. It took me three tries to remember my password so I could make a new post. Would've been one, but apparantly I typed it in wrong the first time.
So anyhow, I went bra shopping last night. A manufacturer whose bras I like has a new product out, and they were on sale, so off to the lingerie department off the local department store I went. I was fully prepared, from pre-sale advertising, to buy one of these sight unseen. Being the wise consumer that I am, I refrained from that particular folly until I could drag one of those bad girls to the dressing room and see how it worked in real life.
Now, the draw of this particular bra is that it is supposed to adjust to your size when you put it on, hence forgoing the need for the normal sizing, and just going with small to extra large. Yeah. Not. So. Much. Can you say, " Good Idea, Poor Execution!" ?
Of the four types of self-adjusting bras I tried on, only one offered any support what-so-ever. The other three were just sort of glorified elastic bandages. Which is fine if you're nineteen, or have never breast fed a child, or can afford plastic surgery. None of those apply to me, however.
But I kept looking and eventually found a product I did like. After that humiliation in the dressing room, I almost left right away, but passed through the clothing department on my way to the door. Hello. Is that a 70 percent off sign I see? Trying on clothing after trying on lingerie is like escaping Freddy Krueger to throw yourself into the arms of Jason, but it just so happened that the first pair of jeans I looked at was on clearance for ten dollars. Ten bucks!! For name brand jeans!!
Of course I had to try on a pair, and apparently God felt sorry for me or something, because I bought a pair that's a size smaller than what I normally wear, and they look awesome on me! Some days every thing goes right, but most not. That one worked out ok.
And the sun went down on that day with me sitting in the back yard, in my newly built black-walnut-tree-sitting-nook, with my darling husband, and my dear daughter, sipping cold soda, and watching the bats catch bugs overhead. It was sort of peaceful, and a great end to the day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

House, Chapter 3?

In which I am defeated by three layers of wallpaper,
Or, abandon Hope, all ye who enter here...
So this morning, while dear Hubby was at work, I started ripping lovely 80's hunter green and mauve striped wallpaper off the kitchen walls. It came off easily, like it really wanted to be torn down. Except that underneath it were two more layers of wallpaper. Wallpaper that did. not. want. to. come. down. Ever.
I have hated that wallpaper since the day I took my first glance at it. Which would have been fine, except that it was attached to the house I wanted. Bought the house, made plans to re-do the kitchen. (Hubby, for some reason, would have preferred a newer house, with no electrical- leveling- foundation- plumbing-leaky windows-wallpaper- yards of wood to refinish issues. Go figure. ) So while my fantastic husband was at work,( did I mention how wonderful my Husband is? ) I started in on the kitchen. Only, like, it won. Because under the three layers of wallpaper is a lovely shade of green. We're talking Martha Stewart in the early 90's, neon, aqua green, here.
Not that I plan to leave it that color. It's just that I have to live with it while I scrape the rest of the wallpaper off of those walls. Did I mention that I hate green as a house decorating color? Or that the floors in my kitchen are a lovely shade of hunter green? Um, yeah. I hate green.
So my kitchen is temporarily that lovely shade of green, while I destroy the rest of that wallpaper. Destroy, because it's all coming off in tiny little bits. But I promise, I plan to simply annihilate that wall paper, and remove all vestiges of green from that kitchen. *shaking fist in the air* "I will win!!!"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Real World

When I was young(er?), I pretended to be lots of different things: A career woman in an office, the perfect mother, a missionary, and many other things as well. One of the things all those pretend careers had in common, was that I never knew want or need. Even when I pretended to be a misssionary, God always provided.
When I got older, and got a boyfriend I actually considered marrying, I never thought of where the money would come from. I just knew it came every week in the form of a paycheck.
It never occurred to me, that even though I was willing and able to work, I might not be able to make ends meet.
After I got married, it was a couple of years before the real world intruded upon my life. It was after my first child was born, that things got a little dicey financially. At one point we had our phone turned off. But I was always able to eat, and have a place to live.
Now that I'm older, and run my own business, I see others who are struggling every day to make ends meet.
One in particular, is a single mom of one, who got pregnant at 19. She went on to nursing school, became an LPN. After a few months of working as an LPN, she realized she would never be able to make ends meet on that salary, and she applied to a school with a reputation for turning out fantastic RN's. She got a scholarship, and financial aid for housing, etc. Her first year went well, and she's back for the summer.
Here is where the real world intrudes: her financial aid, transferred to the county her college is in, is not good back in her home county. Even though she qualifies, it would take 4 to 6 weeks to transfer the financial aid back here, and then another 4 to 6 weeks to transfer it back to the county her school is at. Um, that's the whole summer. So, what is she supposed to do for daycare?
As for me, I'm faced with two options: tell her to make other arrangements for daycare, or reduce my prices for daycare so low that they don't cover expenses. I already know what I'm going to do, of course. Been in that situation myself.
But it really rubs me the wrong way to see someone who is honestly trying to make it, being screwed by the system of the wonderful government of Illinois.
I suppose that there's nothing anyone can do to fix the messed up club of money-hungry, greedy, do-nothings we here call a state government, but I'm sure gonna try next November.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Look! A New Post!

OK, so it's been awhile since I wrote a post here. But really, I've got some fantastic reasons. Like, my children shook up a Mountain _ew an_ it explo_e_ on the keyboar_. (In case you haven't figure_ it out, the "comes after c in the alphabet" key, no longer works. So, any time you see a _ , assume it's a "comes after c". ) An_, I've been working like a crazy person. I can have 8 full time enrolle_ chil_ren, an_ that's what I've got. Plus a part-timer or two. Plus my girl, with a broken ankle, an_ a house that's almost a 100 years ol_ , in constant nee_ of remo_eling, an_ what you've got is one very busy mama/wife/_aycare provi_er.
So, the blog has gone by the way for awhile. I still love writing, it's one of my first passions. I'll be back when I can. In the meantime, may I suggest a goo_ book?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Long Overdue

This post, as you can probably figure out from the title, is long overdue. It's been on my mind for awhile now, but life, you know. It kind of gets in the way. The minutae.
See, this post, it's all about honoring God. There's a verse in the bible, in Luke , chapter 6, verse 38, " Give and shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom."
Well, I've recently (and forever back), seen the proof of this. You see, when we moved into this house, it had a huge, old, people-eating size deep freeze in the basement. We had our own, but for some reason we left the older one powered up and used it instead. For awhile it sat nearly empty, in spite of my usual stocking-up ways. But last year, when Mr. GraceandPeace was off work for awhile, I noticed something a little, well- odd. It started to fill up. Not due, mind you, to anything we were doing.
But odd things started to happen. Like one night Mr. GraceandPeace called me and told me not to buy any bread. So I didn't, but didn't know why. (He'd been given the extra's from a food bank.) When we met up, he had a trunk full of bread products. And I don't mean just white bread. I'm talking about wheat bread, croissants, doughnuts, danishes, muffins, cake, and on and on. And this is what he had left after he opened his trunk to everyone he works with and said," Take whatever you want!" So, the extra's went in the freezer. And then, the holiday meat parade started. Both my husband and my son get holiday hams. But it didn't stop there.
Oh, no. Mr. GraceandPeace brought home extra hams from co-workers who don't eat meat. And my simply darling mother-in-law, who is retired and volunteers her time, brought two extra food baskets to us, that she hadn't been able to deliver.
And I began to find some really unbelievable deals at the supermarket. And so the freezer began to fill up. But not just the big deep freeze. Also, the 'fridge-top freezer, and the pantry.
And when things got really, really rough, we got a check in the mail from a relative we never expected to get one from.
And so, I guess I just want to honor God with this post. To say thanks to all the people who've been open to being His instrument of good measure. Because things here, while always abundant, have lately been, "pressed down, shaken together, and running over!"