Archive for September, 2016

Prayer alarm

It’s a good thing people have prayer requests.

We all garage our cell phones on chargers in the kitchen, theoretically at 9:00 PM. Last night I was working at my desk after our dinner with Josiah at Hook and Ladder Pizza Company, and when I looked up, it was 9:50 (my bedtime) and my phone was still up with me on my desk. I didn’t want to bother taking it down, so I took it into our room and plugged it in there.

This morning, my alarm went off as usual at 5:55, and as usual, I got up, turned it off, and got back in bed to lie there for a few more minutes before starting my day; few being a number between five and ten.

Suddenly my phone dinged with a text message, and I looked at the clock. 7:18!!! I leapt out of bed, looked at my phone, saw that it was a prayer request, prayed, and began hastening through an abbreviated version of my morning routine. Between Bible reading, stretching, walking and praying, harvesting, watering, showering, applying my face, lotioning, dressing, fixing my hair, and occasionally grabbing something to eat or drink, the full version takes about 2.75 hours, but as I needed to leave the house promptly at 9 AM, several things would obviously have to be omitted.

I did the essentials in high speed, but had my friend not texted me her prayer request, I suppose I might have slept all the way through church!

Jeopardy question: What is “TBD?”

Answer: The number of days (weeks? months?!?) between the time that one finds in one’s trunk the cooler of chicken breasts and pork egg rolls she bought at Sam’s TEN DAYS EARLIER and the time when her car no longer reeks of road kill.

NOTE: While the human gag reflex is indeed a powerful force, having coated the trunk with a solid layer of baking soda and having placed two half steamer pans of (unlit!) charcoal briquets in the seats of the car, a 17 year-old male who is desperate for wheels with better gas mileage than his only alternative (a 2004 Durango getting 15 mpg tops) will volunteer to drive said stench-mobile so his mother doesn’t have to. What a chivalrous son!

Depend-ing on slippers and a noodle

Today our church threw a surprise party for our pastor’s 50th birthday. It was a riot.

The planners decreed it would have an 80s theme, and we were all supposed to “dress 80s.” Well, as I told someone last week, “For one thing, I don’t know what 80s clothing looks like, and for another thing, I probably wear it every day!” So I did not dress up, but many folks did. We had all kinds of costumes:

Leotard-type outfits with off-the-shoulder T-shirts over

Big sunglasses

Big hair

A guy in gold foil pants

Foofy hair with skinny headbands

A woman in a tutu

The Blues Brothers(!)

Leg warmers

And a Richard Simmons look-alike who loved everybody

The first order of business was the “50 Year-Old Olympics,” which turned out to be a relay race. We were all asked to line up behind one of the two team captains, Pastor Barb and Kris, so I hoofed my compliant self right over behind Kris and waited for “Richard” to give us instructions. When he did, I realized I was in trouble.

The first person on each team had to put on a pair of Depends and a pair of slippers, run down a short course, pick up a pool noodle, throw it through a hula hoop being held aloft some 18 feet away, run back to the starting point, extricate himself from the Depends and slippers,and hand them off to. . .

the second person, who would put on the Depends and slippers, run down the course, put on a pair of goofy glasses, read an eye chart, return to the starting point, extricate himself from the Depends and slippers, and hand them off to. . .

the third person, who would put tn the Depends and slippers, run down the course, toss Kit-Kat bars into a bedpan positioned some ten feet away, run back to the starting point, extricate himself from the Depends and slippers, and hand them off to. . .

the fourth person, who would put on the Depends and slippers, pick up a set of crutches, crutch down the course to an inverted stack of five Solo cups, three of which he was required to stack pyramid style (two cups inverted on the bottom with one inverted atop the two) using only his crutches(!!!), crutch back to the starting point, extricate himself from the Depends and slippers, and hand them off to. . .

the final person, who would put on the Depends and slippers, get into a wheelchair and wheel himself down the course and back, weaving in and out among an array of strategically positioned traffic cones.


Kris asked me to go first for our team (thanks, a lot, Kris), and let me just say that had I taken my tennis shoes off, it would have been much easier to get the slippers on and the Depends off.

Pastor Barb’s team won, but only by a nose.

There were all kinds of decorations, Rubic’s Cube cupcakes, and a survey about the prices of various items in 1966. Our Guest of Honor opened a nice selection of gifts (many with 80s themes) and cards (most of which were funny; one evidently so extremely funny(?) risque(?) that she wouldn’t read it aloud and hid it from view).

Pastor Barb was truly surprised, and that was amazing, given the fact that (A) nearly everyone in the church knew about it yet said nothing, and (B) most of the planning and legwork was done by people who live in her house!

Way to go, Pete, Jessica, Taylor, and Pastor Guy!!!

A little excitement in the ‘hood

This evening we looked out the back window to see a police car pulling in to the house behind us. I say “police,” but it’s really “sheriff” since we live outside the city limits. Well, our “city” doesn’t have any limits. . . ’cause it’s not a city, but I digress.

Over the next few minutes, another police car arrived, a man in a tank top appeared to be handcuffed (but later he wasn’t, so maybe I was wrong on that), an ambulance came very slowly and quietly onto the scene, and a third police car appeared.

I didn’t want to text my friend who lives there while all that was going on, so I just watched and prayed.

In a little while, the ambulance left (silently, with no flashing lights), and then one by one the police cars left in reverse order of arrival. At that point I texted my friend who said yes, she was OK, that someone had had a stroke, and that that person was OK.

Now all is quiet again in our little corner of the world.

Mr. Bill to the rescue again

This evening, our good friend, Mr. Bill, accompanied by his extremely delightful assistant – the one carrying the toolbox and sporting the maximally becoming headlamp, arrived to repair our more-than-a-year-old cellar leak.  Our hot water was only off for 10 minutes, Mr. Bill had all the tools and connectors and expertise necessary, and everything went very smoothly. The two of them made quick work of it, and we now have no more cellar drips!!! It cost us the price of the parts, a bit of money for his time and knowledge, and a pan of Batchelators. I think they were both more excited about the Batchelators than the money.  = )

Walking cross-country

Katie and I are doing a virtual “Walk Across (the Eastern Half of) America.” We both walk nearly every day, and we’re both quite fond of planning, organizing, and details, so together we created a nifty online spreadsheet to keep up with our mileage and keep us motivated. She’s walking west from her workplace at Monticello, and I’m walking east from our home in Walnut Shade, and we’ll see where we meet. I’m figuring it’ll be well east of the halfway point because my walk’s basically flat, which she has to cross the Appalachians.  = )

As of today, I’m 45.73 miles east of Strafford, I’ve covered 8.11 % of the total distance between our starting points, and I’m exactly 911.4 miles away from Katie.

I’m going to keep walking!

“What’s making me happy?”

I listen to a podcast called The Simple Show, and near the end of it, the host always asks the guest to share one thing, “from the ridiculous to the serious,” that’s making her happy. Then the host shares her happy thing, too.

If someone asked me what’s making me happy right now, I would definitely say,”hanging out the laundry.” A couple months ago, when I was trying to come up with some small money-saving adjustments to make, I realized that we could probably use our electric dryer less than we were.

I started with hanging out our sheets, which is just wonderful. They feel so crisp and smell so good! I remember my mom hanging out sheets when I was a kid, and now I know why. My next step was to begin hanging out some other items like T-shirts and jeans, and before long, I was doing whole loads, not so much to save money, but just because it was so much fun.  = )

I have a pretty good system worked out now, what with where the clotheslines are positioned (partly in shade part of the day), which things take longer or shorter to dry, the realization that sun + wind = dry, Jessica’s tip to hang bright colors inside out so they don’t fade, and this truly amazing insight. Our dryer has a setting called “Fluff Air” which I had never used. It is entirely heat-free, and we I’m sure that running the heating element takes a lot more electricity than just running the motor. Well, let me tell you that with my new-found dryer setting, I can off the line a load of TOWELS that are totally crunchy (read: “rough as a Brillo pad”), throw in them in the dryer on Fluff Air for 30 minutes, and while they’re not quite as soft as they would be had they been dried on high heat for 60 minutes, they are certainly soft enough to use.

So, I’m just having a blast hanging out laundry these days; so much so that I’m frequently looking for reasons to do a load of wash! And on Thursday, when I was so diligent to get the (admittedly very small) load hung out before I left home in the morning, and when it poured down rain that afternoon while I was gone, and when even more rain was forecast that evening overnight, get this: I had the absolutely stellar idea to put those three very damp items, including a pair of jeans, on hangers and suspend them in the playroom from the garage door track right above the dehumidifier. By the next morning, they were totally dry

This clothesline experience really is making me happy.

Jeopardy question: What is “plus 3.0?”

Answer: Your scale’s display of net change (in pounds) the morning after you spend several hours visiting with your pastor while partaking of an abundance of chips and salsa before, during, and after your main course of a chicken chimichanga (minus guacamole and sour cream), rice, and beans.

Family Fun Night

Our Wednesday night services have, for several months, featured the youth and adults combined, which means things are just a bit louder, dimmer, and more active than some of us are accustomed to at church. But, as Larry tells Bob says in the intro to Veggie Tales, “It’s for the kids.” And so it is, and we are glad to spend some focused time in ways that minister to our young people.

We usually have silly ice-breakers and group discussions with lots of interesting questions, but tonight was billed as Family Fun Night, a time for youth and adults to interact with each other in many ways involving spirit, soul, and body. It ended up being more fun than I had anticipated and some of the events were totally hilarious.

I opted to pass on Bubble Ball Soccer. I actually experimented with it earlier in the week, but the Bubble Ball was just too claustrophobic for me. I also declined all three rounds of the Hula Hoop challenge. Round One was standard Hula Hooping, which Nevaeh won, hips down, Round Two was using a Hula Hoop as a jump rope, and Round Three was jumping rapidly back and forth among four Hula Hoops that were lying on the ground. See Kris bounce like a maniac and fall to the ground on her back!

I did, however, hold my own in solving riddles and playing Four Square. I came in second to Tara in Four Square; turns out we were both champions in our elementary school years.  = )  I think I could have competed in the Jeopardy-style Bible Quiz questions, but we left that to Bob and Sister Jean, who were both quite successful.

And then there was the matter of Dodge Ball. I only hit a victim twice, and I was also only hit twice, but I think that was because they considered me an “older” woman, and so were being nice to me.

Overall, thanks to Zach’s Bubble Balling, Cheryl’s Hula Hooping, Bill’s Ball-Dodging, Jean and Bob’s biblical answering, Tara’s Four Squaring, and my logical deciphering, our team took first place. We were proud and happy, and then we all worked together to re-set the sanctuary for Sunday. . . when things are likely to be a bit calmer. . . or maybe not.

If discipline were easy, I’d already have done it

I am trying hard to develop a habit of being in bed by 10:00 PM. Do you have any idea how hard that is to do?

I get to about 9:15 PM and think of several little tasks that I really need to finish. I start Task A, get partway into it, get side-tracked, start semi-related Task B, accomplish not very much on it, and then suddenly remember Task C that absolutely HAD to get done today. By then it’s 9:55, and I think, “It will only take a me a few minutes to finish C, and then I can probably get B done, and A will have to keep till tomorrow, but I can surely get in bed by 10:30.” What a joke!  C takes longer than I think, B requires information I don’t have and can’t get at 10:30 PM, and I’ve totally forgotten that A even exists. And sometime around 11:30 or 11:45, I finally go to start my bedtime routine – which I wish were like Scott’s (decide to go to bed, get into bed, read a few minutes, and fall asleep; total time 10 minutes), but which unfortunately involves things like deciding to go to bed, taking an evening med, writing a blog post(!!!), setting out tomorrow’s morning meds, brushing and flossing my teeth, reading a magazine in the bathroom, asking Scott (who’s only awake enough to grunt) a question, setting the alarm, remembering and dealing with something at my desk, blessing Andrew, etc., etc., etc., finally getting into bed, reading for a while, and eventually falling asleep; total time 42 minutes.

It is now 9:37 PM, and I am going to go start that process. If I stay focused and do it all fast, I’ll at least be horizontal by 10:05 PM. Sigh.

Ready, set, GO to bed!

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