Tag Archives: humor

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Dear Ladies Room Users Everywhere: A PSA

UnknownIt’s day 11 of my husband’s hospital stay. Since things are settling down with him, and I’ve used more public restrooms than a truck driver, in the past month- I thought I’d take a few moments to write a PSA for Ladies room users everywhere.

Dear Ladies, Girls, Women, Chicks, Babes, Dames Insert your preferred choice of colloquialism for woman- here.

I’d like to discuss: Potty Hovering. Really. I don’t care If you hover. Good for you if you have the quads, actually. I’m impressed. what I’m not impressed with- is the disappointing surprises you sometimes leave on the seat for the rest of us.

Girls- I live in a house of men.  I expect drippage at home. It’s part of the deal. I don’t however, expect it in the sanctuary of the ladies room. really? I look FORWARD to using public ladies rooms. We chat, we travel in packs, we (usually) wipe down counters after we wash up.

Which is why the hovering leakers disappoint me, so much. What was almost a moment of quiet without dogs scratching at the door- or kids calling my name and rattling the door handle- and most importantly- without the necessity of doing the potty dance of holding -while I wipe down the toilet before I can sit down- is turned into a nightmare of dancing the dance of holding in the 12″ square of space for my feet in the stall, AND cleaning up your drippage, while I  try not to drop my cell phone in the toilet (come on- you’re all checking your email and Facebook in there- too. ) or set my purse on the nasty floor.

Really? Come on. I thought You had my back. (Side.)

Again- Hoverchicks- I don’t care if you hover. I mean it. I’m jealous of your glutes and quads.  But girls- we’re in this ladies room thing together. we need to come to a lady like compromise.  Either improve your aim, or clean up your own mess.

I’d hate to have to start a #ladiesroompottyshaming hashtag on instagram.

Besides, let’s face it. I know the truth. When you’re at home? You’re just like me. Complaining about every drip left on the seat by the boys……Let’s not be pots calling kettles black. (HA! Pots! Potty!)

Anyway-I’ll do my part as well. I will clean up after myself, and, I promise to have your back.  Yes, yours- every time you tuck your skirt into your spanx or, are dragging TP out of the stall. I’ll even warn you if the stupid toilet-cover thing you tried instead of hovering? is hanging from your backside.  I love you that much.

With love and estrogen-

The rest of us.

 

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In Which a Heated Chair and an Allergic Reaction are Not the Same Thing- How We Survived Chemo Day 1,

IMG_6655Monday, we spent the day at the Cancer center. We needed to be educated to “choose” my husband’s next treatment plan. The whole idea- I find dumb. We are not doctors, how on earth are we supposed to choose? We didn’t even sleep at a Holiday Inn Express the night before.

They gave us several “equal” options. Basically, it’s literally  choose your own poison-when it comes to chemo.

Overwhelmed by the choices- we took a break from the appointment to talk through, pray and decide.

It was a hard decision. Eventually we made it- then- returned to the oncologist’s office and scheduled his appointment to begin treatment. This involved much signing of consent forms and even more information. Specifics about  potential side effects, common side effects and un common side effects.

There is something weird about chemo. (Well there’s a LOT that’s weird about it… but we’ll start here.) Or, maybe it’s just our response to the idea of chemo. Chemo? Is the ultimate denial buster. There is no more pretending.

Crap just got real. For our whole family.

Monday night was the beginning of pre- chemo meds (read: mega steroids) Tuesday was a long day of waiting and appointments. First with a Nurse educator who went over everything to expect and watch for, then- finally- the actual infusion.

Everyone responds differently both emotionally and physically to chemo. There’s really no way to predict what will happen to any one person. One of the things that can happen in the first few minutes is to have a reaction to the meds. The hospital is pretty firm about telling them if you feel anything “off” or different. If you do react- they have meds to counteract on hand and ready- so you can hopefully continue treatment- otherwise you need to start the decision making process all over.

We were pretty anxious about the risk of reaction.

Our chemo- to-do bags at our sides- (I don’t believe in being bored.) we took our respective seats. Kyle in the big comfy Chemo chair- (Heated WITH massage. He might have gloated and been a bit smug about that…) and me in the not so comfy but serviceable “driver/ companion chair” directly across from him. My job: to watch him like a hawk.

We had a great nurse. She found a good vein on the first poke- then ran the pre-chemo meds through without a glitch. We also had a great visit with the chaplain on site- and prayed and talked about God’s presence even here- in this mess.

By the time they actually started the chemo meds- we were messaging obnoxious things with good friends….(a great distraction- BTW. I highly recommend giggling about stupid things in the infusion center.)

However- about halfway through treatment- Kyle suddenly got a pseudo panicked look on his face. “I feel hot. I think I might be having a reaction.” He said it quietly – to me. I looked at him and he looked fine which is what i told him… (they’d said he’d turn beet red and we’d know it if it happened.)  However- I am NOT the boss of the Cancer center- and THEY listen. within a few seconds his comfy chair was swarmed. 5 nurses and a doctor popped up from nowhere.

They immediately clamped off the infusion, and started peppering him with questions. “What do you feel?”

“Warm, kind of hot a little sweaty.” They readied the reaction cart and started opening the counteractive meds. At which point he got a funny look on his face. Kind of an “i’m either dying or, stupid.” look. I don’t know how else to describe it.

“Umm… wait a minute- is the heat on on the chair?” He sheepishly asked…..

“Yes- We’ve been pushing the buttons like 12 year olds playing in an elevator….” I responded (ish- I don’t actually remember what I said.)

“It could be the heated chair.” He said.

“Oh Lord…. can we turn off the chair and give him 60 seconds? I bet it’s the chair- because she looks fine.” I responded….

The entire staff waited with us…. tick tock…. tick tock…. he cooled down.

No- he wasn’t reacting. He forgot he was enjoying the heated massage……

Much a do about: nothing.

Within a couple of minutes his IV was running again and he finished up his treatment with some music playing and the heated chair turned : off.

We laughed about it all the way home. “You don’t kow the difference between an allergic reaction and a heated chair.” Is now our favorite line.

It was like a tornado drill…… we now know and trust that they really ARE watching (and listening) and ready for anything while you’re in those chairs.

Maybe next time, he won’t gloat so much about having the comfy chair…..justsayin.

So far the preventive  side effect meds are doing their job. His particular chemo med doesn’t even cause baldness- just some thinning- if anything. It does however take some time for what ever side effects you’re going to have (if any) to set in…. we’re still in the waiting phase.

So far? So good. Plus- hilarious. I’m sure they’l be talking about us all week at U of M….. it was an epic chemo-moment.

Continued prayers appreciated- and YES Kyle gave me permission to share ethos story- because: duh. Funny. And we’re looking for 2 things in all of this mess- 1) God’s presence 2) humor. We found both at that first chemo appointment-

Even here- God is with us and holding us. And- quite possibly- laughing with us.

Dear Lord =please use this treatment to kill this cancer. And please continue to wrap your arms around us during this process. (Just not in an overly warm way… Kyle will freak, and so will the nurses- if you do…) Thank you Lord for the little reminders of lighthouses you placed there for us…..and for the pastor who encouraged us with just the right words….words you’d already spoken to our hearts about storms and facing them with God….I love you lord- even here- amen.

Luke 8:23-25New International Version (NIV)

23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Matthew 14-

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

 

 

 

In which I decide we need a DSMM- Diagnostic Statistical Manual Of Mommy Disorders….

531884_624643007568545_930571928_nTruth: I’m a mom. I am crazy.

Also truth: I’m not the only one.

In another life I used to use the DSM on occasion. It’s a helpful tool that professionals use to diagnose and treat mental disorders. (It can also convince you that you’re crazy if you buy one on clearance at the book store- and don’t know what you’re doing.) In my case- as a pastoral counselor- I used it as a reference guide to understand  clients’ diagnosis’. Mental illness is not a joke. I’m not making light of it… I am however going to have some fun with the crazy that is mothering.

Here’s the thing: The crazy that is mothering is not listed in the DSM. I think we need our own version. I see some common issues that could be helpful if we had a guide to help us understand.

Here are a few potential Diagnosis’ I’d like to present to get the ball rolling: Continue reading

Garbage Jenga— “winner” takes all …the trash out…

garbage jengaShoe boxes, sushi containers, empty coffee cans, paper towels with nefarious stains.  Empty milk bottles, dirty chopsticks and vaguely-recognizable foodstuffs.

Each object is precariously perched upon another. A leaning tower of garbage. A haz-mat situation in the kitchen.

Really? It’s a rousing family game of Garbage Jenga.

What started as a necessary kitchen garbage can, has become a family past-time. Each day’s game of Garbage Jenga offers a chance to win. The game grows through out the day, every family member adding to the tower, bit by garbage-y bit.  Each one quietly backing away from their last addition, afraid the vibration of their footsteps could lead to jenga-tastrophe.

The rules of the game are simple:  Whom ever placed the last item on the garbage pile prior to it’s toppling, is the tortured soul who must: (cue the ominous music) TAKE OUT THE TRASH.

It’s  amazing to see the engineering skills employed to reinforce the garbage tower.  Please note the turned up edge of the garbage bag that gives just enough support for items to be slipped into the sides without adding to the height. (It’s the height that gets them-every time.) I have explained countless times- that the energy exerted in reinforcements, arguing (about who’s turn it is) and studying garbage tower engineering is considerably more than what would be required to simply TAKE out the TRASH… but alas… they disagree.

And so- each day..the game begins anew.  An empty box- coffee grounds, a candy wrapper, a broken toy or *gasp* a pile of old schoolwork at a time…

Just one question?  Garbage Jenga- does this count towards our one million minutes of family game time?

I will refrain from describing the argument that ensues over who has to replace the garbage bag with a clean one…or who has to pick up the garbage that inevitably drops off the jenga pile and onto the kitchen floor as it’s being bagged.. Suffice to say, it’s not  pretty . Really- I have no clue why my extremely intelligent family seems to be incapable of taking out the trash without waiting for a trash-alanche or my (loud) complaints…. but there you have it- just another adventure in motherhood, you gotta laugh to survive ;)

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Life is Complicated… Underwear Shouldn’t Be

I walked into Walmart a woman on a mission.  I was focused. I was ready. I strode confidently past end-cap, after end cap full of impulse purchase inducing swag. I chuckled at “the man’s” lame attempts to dissuade me from my goal.  “No, no way,not today Mr Marketer. I am not buying a bag of BBQ Rib flavored potato chips… or Shrek Oreos… Today it is about: ME and my panties.”

Today, I will buy: underwear without spiderman or a fly front!” I smiled in satisfaction at my Marine like, mission focus. I confidently strode toward the underwear aisle. And upon arrival, fell into a panty- induced stupor.

There was an aisle. Yes, I said aisle. An entire Walmart aisle of underwear. No wonder my confidence wavered. I was overwhelmed with underwear. And this was just the panty aisle.. I hadn’t even made it to the bra aisle.

Overwhelmed by underwear?  Why, Yes. Yes, I was. Continue reading

Christmas Card Conundrum. In which I both love and hate Christmas Cards.

Christmas Cards... A Love/ Hate relationshipConfession: I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas Cards.  I love getting them. But, sending them? Well….

The angst created by trying to choose a card that is both reflective of my sentiments AND respectful of others views….. and doesn’t come across like a tract…..is epic..  I don’t want to be preachy…. or deny God. I don’t want to send pretentious cards that are more expensive than the average car payment. I also don’t want to send inferior cards that imply: “I don’t care enough to send the very best. ”

I usually just chose: pretty cards. Although last year I went with Charlie Brown. I can’t say WHICH Charlie Brown cards I sent- Because I ran out half way through- and had to go back to the store. THEY WERE OUT OF THE ONES I finally CHOSE. Update: This year I didn’t buy enough cards either. Ran out half way through. AGAIN. I should actually COUNT before I buy them. I suppose.

Anyway- I had to buy different ones. *gasp* my cards are not all the same. I’m afraid some people may feel slighted. Or puffed up by the one I sent to them…. some may be upset they weren’t in the first batch…..like they were called out in the first round of a Christmas Card Reality show— and then “saved'” at the last minute. I chose Charlie Brown- because apparently- only Linus can apparently quote scripture without being offensive. Unless you’re offended by Linus. Or his blanket. Then: I’m sorry. (For you- not to you.. cause really….. LINUS? Sheesh. touchy. Get a grip.) This years cards= not Charlie Brown.

Once I’ve procured the cards, another crisis arises: Creating the list. WHO do I send to? Who do I not? I can’t afford to send cards to everyone I’ve ever met- (that would involve a detective agency and hiring a database manager. Besides,I don’t have the time or fine motor control to sign that many cards. … so there has to be a cut off, somewhere. But where do you draw the line?  Who do I Christmas Card un-friend? I cannot share the complex formula I use for that… it’s proprietary information. But I will say this: If I don’t have your address readily at hand…. don’t wait for a card. Also: I tend to run out near the end of the alphabet. It’s not personal. It’s alphabetical.

Then… I have to remember how to do a mail merge. GAH. Continue reading

Laundry Dysmorphic Disorder- In which I am incapable of appropriately loading a washing machine.

“Boom. Boom. BOOM BOOM BANG. Thump. thump thump thump thump!” No, it’s not the fourth of July. No, That is not the sound of me attempting  to conquer Just Dance on the Xbox 360. (Confession: it has however- been. In the past. PS: I lose. Always.) Contrary to the dusting of snow outside my front door… it’s also not the sound of Frosty the Snowman Sledding in my yard.

It’s the sound of my washing machine. No, it’s not broken. (Yet.) It’s once again- suffering the effects of my Laundry Dysmorphic Disorder. I have made several attempts to solve this personal issue. I’ve consulted Laundry specialists. (Well, several sales guys at Sears…..they’re specialists, right?) I’ve sought the great and wise internets for answers. Yet, I still struggle.

I am daily haunted by the thumping protestation of my over worked washer.

I confess I’ve caused harm in my illness. I’ve allowed my disorder to run rampant and several washing machines have suffered the consequences. I have killed (washing machines and gaskets and pump motors…..) in my illness. I’ve sat through loving but- humiliating interventions. Where my repairman and family gather to tell me the truth about my harmful actions. I have treated their concerned outcries with disregard. I’ve taken out my anger on washing machine brands. “Front loaders just suck. It’s not me, it’s the washer. That one isn’t big enough. Washing machine companies lie. How can this be the heavy duty model? Lies. They all lie.”  I’ve ruined clothing. (They make clothes so poorly – it’s pathetic.. is my response to that…) I’ve wasted time. (Contrary to my sick brains belief- an over loaded washer does not get your laundry done faster. 1) it if runs through it may not actually be clean. 2) the number of times I have to run upstairs to stop the thumping before light fixtures fall from the ceiling, and I then attempt to redistribute the “unbalanced” load thinking if I just move the towels to the other side of the comforter it will finally balance and turn out clean…..is ridiculous. I’ve wasted money due to my disorder.  (If it’s not me, and it’s the washer- then- I need a new washer. Or another visit from the repairman. Or, for my husband to go pick up parts and repair this stupid appliance AKA: bane of my existence.

Truthfully? I might be better off washing the clothes in the creek.

I have no idea why I suffer from this disorder. I searched the DSM IV and could not find a diagnosis, cause or recommendation for treatment. I fear I may be alone in this disorder. Could I be the only sufferer of Laundry Dysmorphic Disorder? Could I really be the only one incapable of judging the appropriate size of a laundry load? Maybe. But, I doubt it.

To the very core of my being I (falsely?) believe that if I can fit (shove) something INTO the washing machine- it should in turn be cleaned without breaking down or thumping about as if each item of clothing is exploding on after another during the spin cycle. Is that really too much to ask? I think not. Actually I’m kind of proud of how much I can shove into a washing machine….it’s a challenge. I WILL WIN. (Except , not so much yet.)

In case you’re wondering- YES. I am sitting here right now- after re-balancing a load 3 times- listening to it, that demonic beast-yet again, attempt to beat it’s way through my ceiling.

The truth is- I’d much rather write about it than do anything about it. We’ll call this confession-the first step in my laundry recovery. Maybe. Probably not.

Please pray for my washing machine. I am an evil overlord. It needs help. Quite possibly- it needs rescuing.

Maybe, I just need a smaller laundry basket.

Smaller kids? (No- somehow laundry is a constant. Big kids= same amount of laundry of dirty little kids…. it’s a wash… HA! So to speak.)

A bigger washer?

So….am I alone? Do you over cram your washer to oblivion? Do you smile embarrassedly when the repairman suggests smaller loads- all the while thinking that washer needs to suck it up buttercup and build its strength by working harder?

Maybe we can start a support group. If I’m really lucky- I can get my insurance to recognize this disorder and my dream treatment of a live in laundress could be covered!!!!!

I’d post a pic of the poor mistreated machine- but I fear retaliation by Appliance Protection Services. In case they’re reading: This is a work of fiction.

(If they’re not: it’s not.)

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Time I Goosed a Stranger…..In which Insecurity leads to excessive spending, mayhem and humiliation.

Opening the invitation, I’ll admit my response: “Oh no. Not one of “those” events. You know….events where pretentious people gather and pretend to care, all the while making clear how important they are by name dropping, house dropping (not as exciting as when it involves witches with stripey hose and flashy shoes. This type of house dropping is mentioning aspects of your home (s) that make your affluent status apparent.) And Pedigree dropping.(In which you introduce yourself as if you are your professional accomplishments. In my world- Pedigree is a dog food that produces digestive “issues” in my Shorkie. )

My husband is a successful sales exec. Sometimes we attend “those” events. Occasionally, I’m surprised to find someone equally not all about impressing but about connecting….often times- not. These events involve gowns and layered spanx induced and lack of oxygen. I think I have PTED- post traumatic event disorder. Between pretense and my own insecurity- (hello- my house is a blessing- and messy. The most “droppable” part is a giant master bath….. and bathroom talk is one of those things you are supposed to avoid in “polite” society. Or, so I hear. When it comes to that moment in introducing yourself and pedigrees start flying? I duck them like flying monkeys.”I’m a mom. ” Just doesn’t feel like it compares to the doctor princess barbie rocket scientist I’m usually seated next to. Yup. “those” events? The 6th circle of hell.

I thought of a thousand reasons to bow out. (I am a justification ninja. Just sayin. I have skills. I have responsibilities. Not to mention: I have: excuses.)

But…. There was something about the invite that held potential as being different. This was a donor event. For an organization I’ve loved for 23 years. An organization that had helped me learn to parent, to lead and to trust…..(if you haven’t guessed by now- yes- it was a MOPS International donor event- held during convention. Several years ago.)

Part of me wondered if it would be a high pressured sales pitch. The truth is- what we’d already given was a stretch….. I didn’t want to feel like I hadn’t/couldn’t do enough. I didn’t want to feel intimidated or “less than” in what had become a safe place for me to be: enough. Valued. Respected. The other part of me wondered if maybe…. Just maybe- it was a gathering of people who also loved MOPS…. How bad could that be?

I (mostly !decided to go. (Mostly because it made me feel special to be invited. A little like an invitation to sit at the cool kids table in junior high. Yes. I felt guilty and stupid about that, of course.) I rsvp’d. But- honestly? I wasn’t positive I’d go or not. I figured they’d never notice if I didn’t show up. I did pack an outfit I thought would work. Just in case.

The day of the event- I was nervous. I was also: busy. (I hold a MOPS Volunteer Staff position- convention – now called MomCon-During which is  MVS work in hyperdive.) During an hour break in my schedule, I walked into a shop. That’s when I saw it: a satin leopard fit and flare trench coat. I tried it on. Suddenly, I felt like I ruled the world. “Okay… In this jacket- I can attend that event.”

I checked the price. Oy.  I should have known. It was at a swanky hotel shop….. Way over priced, even if it fit perfectly and was fabulous. I bought it anyway. I felt like it was my golden ticket to acceptance. (I’m emotionally a perpetual 15 yr old. I know this.) To this day it’s the most expensive item of clothing I’ve ever bought.

I know…… Some people go into these situations wanting to blend in…. Well… I want to shine. The more nervous I am- the more animated. The more plumage I apply…. (This was a leopard print peacock of a jacket- trust me. Total plumage.)

I climbed aboard the bus to the destination feeling a bit overdressed. (It was a bit more conservative than flashy crowd. Oops.) But- my rule of insecurity: when in doubt-better to be over than under- dressed. I put on my chatty if you’re not the most important person be the most charming funny, witty- persona (thats what it was in my head, trust me.) and wore it like armor.

By the time we arrived. I was really wound up. Introductions were made. Without realizing it- I was suddenly THAT chick. The one swinging her arms and talking with her hands as loudly as her voice,
(Which is always the loudest. Thank you Italian genes.)

Which was fine. Except – the event was on a small river boat.

And as we were standing- chatting. Servers were weaving their way through the crowd to serve beverages and hors-devours (which auto correct wont correct. But, you know what I mean.) which is when I swung my arm as I turned in my satin leopard jacket and suddenly felt what could only be a handful of um…… Butt. Out of the corer of my eye- I saw a server. A male server. I jerked my hand away and tried shove it in the pocketless jacket. I wished I’d worn something ummm. Less memorable. I walked to the other side of the boat hoping to blend in or fall overboard. (We were below deck….but there was a slim chance I could be sucked out a porthole if a tornado suddenly blew in…. No such luck.)

I felt heat rise from my feet to my head. Italians don’t really visibly blush…. But I think I did. That, or I was smoldering.

The only thing I could think to do, was pretend it didn’t happen.

And sit down and shut up. Or at least, sit on my hands. Which is what I did. No one knew I was dying of horror inside.

I carried on. (waiting to see if the police were about to swarm the boar and arrest me for groping some server…) But slowly i realized that no one appeared to be either impressed by, or afraid of me. They also weren’t into “dropping” anything. They were just… There. Because they love MOPS.

I heard stories of how they each got involved and why they stay involved. I met people I’d only known as “celebrities” “Board Members” and staff…who turned out to be: people.

There was no guilt laden sales pitch – it was a thank you and here’s what you’ve helped accomplish thing. One of my favorite preachers shared a message that resonated so much that it still affects my daily life. (Thank. you, Pastor Gelinas- your message on call and respond gave me permission to share my walk with god exactly as I live it…. Call and response that’s what I share here…..his message that night was from his book- “Finding the Groove- Composing a Jazz Shaped Faith-if you haven’t- you should read it. Just sayin.)

There was no swat team when we docked. (Ha! Get it? Swat?) Honestly, the “goosing” may not have been noticed by anyone but me. The servers’ face never changed.

I still have the jacket. I think I’ve worn it one other time – for a speaking engagement- you know- when you want to be the center of attention- because its your job…..vs when you want to get away with goosing some college kid at a donor dinner.

Best part? Not long after that awful wonderful night….. was asked to become a member of that board of directors. I thought it was a joke.

It wasn’t.

I love it.

At all MOPS events- i have a personal mission-to make every mom ( person, really) feel accepted and welcomed like I was, at that donor dinner. I know what insecurity feels like. I know it wears both hidden faces trying to blend in and not be noticed or embarrass themselves so they can be accepted….and rambunctious faces who goose servers in their attempt to be noticed and accepted. And then there are people who are comfortable in their skin and want to connect with others who are equally passionate about family and mothers. I want every mom to feel like a rockstar.

Because she is.

MomCon is coming up in October. I can’t wait. I can’t wait to meet: YOU. I can’t wait to hear YOUR MOPS story. Look for me. Say hi. I’ll be watching for you, too.

But I promise to keep my hands to myself. I’m a little more comfortable in my skin than that now…. Mostly. But I usually do have some form of leopard print on…. A scarf. Bag… Shoes….something. It’s my little reminder now…. To chill out. All “events” aren’t circles of hell….. Some? Are little tastes of heaven;)

If I’m going to see you in Kansas City- speak up! I want to know!

So…..what’s the craziest thing you’ve done as an adult to try and “fit in” with a certain crowd? Satin leopard overpriced jacket? Nervous goosing? Please tell me I’m not the only one…..

Dear lord- women (and a few men) from all over, are getting ready for MomCon. I pray that anyone who’s afraid or nervous would hear my experience had know that we’re all in this together- on a common mission,. This (and all MOPS events) are not “that” kind of thing…. They aren’t about dropping things…they’re about picking up things…. Lifting up people… Truths, encouragement. Prepare us now, and help us to reach out and connect then. In Jesus name amen. Ps lord? I still feel bad about goosing that kid….. It was an accident, I swear!

I hate pumpkin and it knows it.

Half baked?  Been there.

Burnt crust? Done that.

Patio stone of burnt orange stink?  Done that, too.

It can’t be my fault. I know how to cook. I can make homemade pasta, and my apple pies are epic.

At least I thought I knew how to cook until I started my saga of Pumpkin pie baking. I have found 100 ways to fail at pumpkin pie baking.  (I’m getting closer, right?) From burnt at the edges and raw in the middle… I suggested it become a pumpkin smoothie, which no one was brave enough to try. They said something about raw (ish) eggs….and food poisoning… the gall! I’v produced pies that could be used for a professional curling tournament, They were so solid and burnt that your fork begged not to be subjected to it’s doom. (Maybe thats why the dish ran away with the spoon? It feared my pie!  I’ve tried several recipes, from can backs to cookbooks, with no success.

There are rumors of a canned pumpkin shortage..  I fear I caused it by wasting more than my share in my failed attempts. Even the compost pile rejected my pies… I find them tossed to the side by the proud vegetable peelings.

The thing is, I hate pumpkin. It all smells like punkin guts to me which makes me gag.

“So why are you devoted to making a pie?”

It’s love.

Not of the squash.. (let’s face it, squash + pie is just not right.) it’s love of my people. they love the orange goo.

So I try again, every year.  I purchase the ingredients. I ask for recipe recommendations.  I set out to bake: the perfect pumpkin pie.  (Or an edible pumpkin pie, at this point my hopes are minimal.) Each year I steady my nerves with a good cup of coffee and a moment of prayer. I ask the Lord to be with me in battle, and to bless the work of my hands…

I arrange the ingredients on the counter like I’m building an altar to the pumpkin gods… or maybe the Great Pumpkin?..  I’ve tried organic canned pumpkin and the “gold standard” every-mom -uses -it -so -how- can you -go -wrong- canned pumpkin. (You can if you’re me. Just sayin. ) I’ve even tried some high end pumpkin praline in a jar. That was a pricey fail.

Each year I carefully measure and combine those ingredients.  Each year, I follow the oven time and temperature, whether low and slow or high to begin then medium to finish… and I wait the results with nauseated anticipation. (I’m never sure if it;s my nerves or the smell that does it..) And each year it’s a flop of turkey tamping proportions.

They either cook too fast, or go from raw to radioactively over done in an instant.

Yes, I’ve checked my oven’s calibration. It’s spot on. I can’t  explain what happens.

I think the pumpkin knows I hate it. I think it hates me right back. or maybe my failures have made me paranoid.

One year, I tried to trick the orange tart- I decided to go with an un-baked version that included a creamy layer…..it. was. just. wrong.

It’s that time of year again. Time to face my baking nemesis. The classic pumpkin pie. I’ve procured my offerings of sweetness and light. I’ve beaten eggs and blended spices. I’ve pre-heated,  carefully timed and mindfully watched. I’ve tested and sniffed and I’ve choked back my gag reflex and followed directions….

guess what?

I maked a pie. A pumpkin pie! I cooked it until the knife inserted in the middle came out clean. I used the standard back of the Libbey’s can -recipe. Nothing fancy- nothing creative. Just plain ole’ pie.

It may taste like pumpkin poo. I have no idea. I won’t know until after dinner. Even then, I’ll have to rely on those who are brave enough to try it. (nd if they love me- they will lie if it’s more poo than perfect.)

But- for now… I celebrate. For now- it’s my first “win”. At least, it’s pretty.

Maybe the starts aligned, Maybe God intervened. Maybe it’s the Edison effect and I finally failed enough to succeed. Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m now bionic.. that did it…

I don’t know.. but for now— I’m thankful for family, friends, for walking without a limp and for (what appears to be) a well baked pie….

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Questions-

Do you have a cooking nemesis? (Or am I the only paranoid freak?) What is it? What happens?

Favorite holiday recipe?

A no-fail pumpkin pie recipe?

Part of being thankful is sharing… post away in the comments!

Continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col 2:6 b & 7

The thing about hair dye- it lies….(caution: do not dye your roots on “one of those days”)

I should have known better.

The day did not start well. I stumbled down the steps and landed in not quite fresh cat-puke. The coffee maker malfunctioned and leaked coffee all over the counter. Not once, but three times. (I kept trying to make it work… addicted, much?) After sopping up the coffee and drinking what could only be called a slurry of grounds and hot water.. I landed on the couch.

I thought the dog was being extra friendly…. cuddling up right next to me… wriggling to get comfortable…. I was wrong. She was getting ready to throw up. On the couch. While I ran for the spot cleaner and paper towels.. she tried to help clean it up.. in that wonderful way that dogs clean up barf…. I almost threw up.

After cleaning up the mess (and cleaning myself) I realized the garbage hadn’t made it’s way to the curb. I opened the garage door to find bags blocking the path… I tossed the one nearest the door- attempting to clear a path and it opened like dandelion.. sprinkling garbage seeds all over the garage.*Sigh*. The sound of approaching garbage trucks pushed me on… Must. Beat. Truck.

I did. After waking up a college boy to help. Which is a little like waking a hungry lion. Dangerous. Cranky.

When I noticed that a shower was no longer an option but a necessity (garbage bags leak.Hate that.) I decided that it would be a good idea to multi task and dye my roots while my youngest ate breakfast.

I was wrong. I should have read the signs…. today was not a good day to dye my hair.

I should have rinsed it out when I noticed the goo was exactly the color of cat litter clumps.

“It never turns out the way it looks while its developing” I thought.

I waited the recommended 10 minutes, and then showered. I hoped a long hot shower and fresh hair color would refresh my  day. The “dark chocolate” color I’d chosen sounded like a fat free dessert treat for my roots. I should have known from the smell that the box had lied. It was a little more gassy beagle than dark chocolate… but I remained hopeful. I rinsed. And rinsed. As I watched the murky muddy water rinse down the drain I told myself… “it can’t be that color… that’s not dark chocolate.. ”

I toweled it dry and noticed that the roots and ends were somewhat different. (Think a nice cheap 1972 ombre’ yarn dark parts and light parts… browns and reds with some black.) “It’s just that it’s wet. It’ll be fine once it’s dry.”

It wasn’t.

My  “dark chocolate” is more “accidental goth.” Which is ok.. if that’s what you want.. but it’s not what I had in mind for Thanksgiving… and it’s a little too late for Halloween.

Yup. Today is one of those days… where everything goes wrong and you keep trying to make the best of it… as an accidental goth.

Ever have one of those ?

What do you do?

I think I’ll hit the bookstore…although with all those sharp pages I could end up dying of papercuts…