Friday, March 31, 2006


today is my 36th birthday and it has been wonderful.

36 seems like such a grown-up age. i was 10 when my mom was 36 and for some reason 36 just sounds like the age a mom should be.

speaking of moms...

hubby woke me up on the way out to take the kiddies to school (i do all the prep work the night before and he lets me sleep-in.) i got out of bed, very lazily, got my morning tea (he had put the water in the microwave for me), did a quick check of my email, found out the secretary at work had left me a little present (homemade fudge) on my office chair, and found some clothes to wear after getting out of the shower.

took a nice hot shower, got dressed and said good-bye to hubby (who had just returned from dropping off the princess kitty and was on his way to work) and headed to my parent's house.

mom took me to a sweet little cafe for lunch... monte cristo and with perfectly grilled bread, a carmel flavored huge mug of coffee, and for desert... a carmel, chocolate pie of some sort that was so good i couldn't even finish it. oh, and fantastic macaroni salad recommended by the waitress who had added a birthday candle to the carmel chocolate desert.

now my mom is an amazing woman and i told her so as we were leaving the resturant.

you see, mom treats people differently than most people treat other people. as we sat at the table enjoying desert she mentioned that the waiter, at the counter, was named chris and was converting to judaism because he was getting married to a nice jewish girl. she had met him once before.

as we were leaving the resturant she stoped to chat with all the people who worked there. she was gushing with compliments and actual conversation... not the typical conversation one shares with people who are serving you.

"mom, you are an amazing woman."

look of confusion from mom "why's that?"

"do you think any other customer spoke to the people who worked here the way you just did?"

"life's too short and too important." was her excuse.

we ran some fun errands. mom and dad are redoing their kitchen and she wanted my opinion on which floor she should pick. really, she knew, she just wanted to be affirmed that it was worth the extra money to pick her favorite over her second choice. and she took me to buy bird food (mom and dad have a resturant for goldfinch and woodpeckers in their backyard) at a really cute store where i found funky earrings with buffalo carved out of this orange colored stone. buffalo are a power totem and mom added them to her bill. happy birthday to me.

yesterday she had done me a solid by watching the silent prince while hubby was home sick and i had two meetings out of town. so she took him to see gloria for a haircut. his first in-the-salon haircut and he looks too cute!

so we were driving around and talking about how cute he looked and how good he was for gloria and i decided i too needed a haircut so mom dropped me off at glorious hair to get a trim while she went to get groceries.

me to gloria while sitting down on the chair: "mom took me to lunch for my birthday and i was saying..."

gloria: "it's your birthday?" no pause for an answer "this is on me."

me: "oh gloria, you don't have to do that!"

gloria: "your mom's been too good to me. happy birthday."

later to my mom: "she wouldn't let me pay, she said you've been too good to her."

mom: "i've been good to her?"

and my hair looks great!

back home, after picking up the princess kitty and my fudge, hubby and the kids gave me a watch and beautiful flowers then we went to frankies gourmet fast food resturant(a step up from mcdonalds and really good, quick food) for dinner. then hubby went to pick up movies while i took the princess kitty to ballet.

afterwards i went to pick up another birthday present: 2 pints of adult ice cream one flavored with real bailey's irish cream and the other a chocolate raspberry... drool, drool, drool, from a friend.

and now i am home, waiting for the kids to both be asleep so that hubby and i can watch our movies and have some 36 year old adult, birthday time.

yup, it's been a good day.

happy birthday to me!

God's peace y'all!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

only 2 more shopping days left

until my 36th birthday!!!

and on a semi-related note... i'm sure mom looked just like this when she gave birth to me.

we should all have a bear's head to hold on to in the delivery room... i'm sure it's WAY better than the epidural.

Monday, March 27, 2006

pushing rope

one of my favorite phrases for that feeling like you just can't get anything accomplished is "pushing rope." it comes from my internship suprvisor's husband.

some of my other favorite phrases for those times when things feel futile:

goat roping
cat herding

goat roping comes from hubby. typically the statement follows an episode of particular frustration and goes somethin' like this: "what a goat rodeo!"

i'm not sure about cat herding, except that i've owned cats and they are impossible to corral.

God's peace y'all

Saturday, March 25, 2006

friday five

from the revgalblogpals

In the spirit of Refreshment Sunday:

Yesterday, as I drove past Planet Fitness on my way to Planet Dog, and remembering there is also a Planet Hollywood, I wondered, "If there were a Planet Songbird, what would it look like?" I began to envision a store selling all my favorite things, probably in the kind of house I lived in as a child, one of those late 19th-century houses with a long hallway on the side and double parlors on the other, with windows to the floor facing the front porch. Visit my place for a longer-winded version of this meme.

Name five things that would be on the shelves of Planet (Your Name).

planet cats:

hmmm... the funny thing is that i had actually begun something like this in the bathroom off the kitchen of the parsonage. i have a treasure chest of odd things that really don't fit in with anything else. so i began to hang them in the bathroom.

1. an antique washboard
2. a picture of jesus praying (you've probably all seen the one or one remarkably like it with a blonde haired, blue eyed, haloed head) in an antique, but horribly gaudy gold frame. (this went right above the commode)
3. a circular tray with a map of pennsylvania
4. a 6" ceramic ash tray from mcdonalds, back when you could still smoke in fast food restaurants, before the little black, plastic, ashtrays were introduced. we found it while cleaning out hubby's aunt's home.
5. the only piece of artwork that was in the parsonage when we moved in... an old photograph of the parsonage from way back when. i was told that i could put it where ever i wanted but that it had to stay in the house.

more importantly i made a decision that once back in the house i plan on making myself a little altar where i can do regular meditation. (yes, we all like to meditate in the potty, but i'm thinking a little more seriously)

it will probably wind up on the second floor back porch, which is "my" room of the house.

on it would be the following:
1. my bible
2. a beautiful crocheted doily that one of the women from church made and then gave me before we moved into the apartment. (it was one of the last things she made before her hands became too bad to crochet anymore.)
3. a candle (i'll have to think about which one, but perhaps i'll have more than one and at least one of them will go in a purple, glass, candlestick that my parents brought home from israel.)
4. a worry stone with an angel engraved in it. (i'm not really into angels like some people are, but this was also given to me by a member of the congregation to remind me that she was holding me in prayer and support.)
5. my prayer scarf... another item made by a member of the congregation. it's soft, warm, and a beautiful muted blue color.

God's peace y'all

Friday, March 24, 2006


welcome to the parsonage. if you squint, you can even see the old dishwasher on the front porch.

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here's the kitchen

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and here's where the new dishwasher will go

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and this is the hole in my backyard where wonderful things will grow

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i didn't think you'd want to see the garage which is now resided and waiting for new doors.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

writer's block

it happens...

i once told a friend of mine that when you go through writer's block you should just sit down and write... write anything... good or bad... just get back into the habit.

and her first novel is about to be published and her first non-fiction is in the final stages of editing for the shelves.

pobble, i am so proud of you!!! (and not just 'cause you took my advice.)

now, to listen to my own advice...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006


i was in the car today with hubby (who was driving) and the mist in the mountains was so beautiful that i took the digital camera out of my purse to see if i could take some pictures and in the process i somehow deleted all the pictures that were stored on it...

including all the pictures from the princess kitty's recital.

i am too stupid to live!!!!

well poop, maybe next time.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

sunday's thought

if we weren't doing something right the devil would be leaving us alone.

Friday, March 10, 2006

have we lost our minds?

well, it might be obvious that i have, but what follows seems to be a mass loss of complete sense:

apparently penguins are gay and unfit to raise children.

here's the book, order your copy today.

personally, i think we should make this a best-seller... not that i've read it, but readers have given it 5 stars and it's won awards (but then maybe that's all part of the gay-penguin-agenda too.)

churches on fire... that's a good one.

apparently, setting churches on fire is a big joke and we should just laugh along... especially when the ones telling the joke are such good kids. read abb's take on this one. (warning: she uses pretty colorful language)

one of my favorites (because i have always know harley riders are the best kind of people)

and as hubby and i are working to pay off our debt... here's a scary story.

and as a public service a piece of advice: NEVER, EVER use a debt managment company. don't ask why, just trust me.

and now i have to make certain that we are all ready for the princess kitty's ballet/hip-hop recital tonight and get the silent prince off the little yellow school bus... ahh sanity... how i miss you.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

a crisis of faith or more on my breakdown

yeah, i've been going through a crisis of faith. it happens sometimes even to the most faithful of us where we start to doubt or get really, really mad at God. and the other night i had reached the climax of everything i've been feeling.

someone told me that i've been handling this situation with grace and faith. maybe, but all i know is the other night i was done with grace and faith and trust in God. it was over. i told hubby, "i don't even want to believe in God anymore."

having a crisis of faith is not always a bad thing. sometimes it is an important part of growing in faith. if you always believe blindly, never question, or struggle with belief it can begin to lack substance.

there is a german word that martin luther used called anfectung. as far as i can tell it doesn't have a true english translation; the closest you can come is: struggle.

i have been suffering from anfectung; this struggle of belieing that God really does care about what is happening to me and that in the end it will be ok. but it's more than that too. it's about the struggle between living the trust i have in God and wanting to say to hell with you, i don't want to do this anymore and you can't make me.

it's a rock hard place to be.

so today i decided to go through the motionss and went to a stewardship meeting with 2 very dedicated members of the congregation, made two communion visits, and then had soup and lenten devotions with 8 people. the princess kitty was my communion assistant and lead grace at dinner; she'll be 7 in may.

and i put a new cd in my car: the five blind boys of alabama and listened to them sing "too many troubles... gotta take 'em all to the Lord." sometimes when i have trouble praying i've found music the place to go. i've never been one to listen to praise music or christian rock (i much prefer actual rock), but gospel... there is nothing like it when you are feeling despair deep down into your bones. it was like my own personal chelation (the treatment the silent prince is getting to remove the lead from his system, including his bones.)

and then i went to my friends at the dps only to discover that there were over 25 posts offering me prayers.

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words." romans 8:26.

i still feel weak, but i can hear the Spirit sighing loud and clear.

and i'm beginning to think that it's ok if i'm suffering from anfectung. it sucks, but it's ok.

and while my crisis is far from over, i'm beginning to think it will eventually be over.

God's peace y'all and some for me too.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

the definition of irony

yesterday was a particularly low day for me and last night I let it out: crying, screaming, yelling at God. hubby held me and let me get it out then promised it would be ok. when i finally was able to settle down, before letting me go to sleep he told me to come with him: “none of that stuff matters,” he told me. “let me show you what matters.” he took my hand, led me through the short hallway to the kids’ room and opened the door.

“this is what matters.” he turned the hall light on so I could see my sleeping children. i peaked at the silent sleeping prince and then went to pull the covers back over the princess kitty only to discover that she had thrown up all over the bed.

yes, vomit is what really matters.

it was so ironic that all i could do was laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

in the wilderness

today's sermon can be found here.

the adult forum's confirmation for grown-ups began today. wanna take a look at what we're doing? check it out here.

God's peace y'all.

Friday, March 03, 2006

running the race

i grew up with for better or worse cartoons. mike the oldest child is about my age. and now elizabeth, the second child is growing up and falling in love.

this cartoon, from a few days ago, really struck me. and it's worth sharing.

the revgalblogpals friday four was this:

Tell us four things you have made a practice at some time or other in your life. Feel free to interpret the word "practice" as widely and deeply as you like. Did you stick with it? Was it too much? Did it change you?

of all the things that i've "practiced" in my life the idea of prejudice and ridding it from my life is constant. am i an accepting person? (let me toot my own horn here) yes, i am. do i judge others based upon color, religion, sexuality, etc... (toot, toot) hardly. and yet, i have found that not being prejudice is something that takes practice.

a very wise man once told me that racism requires three things: power, prejudice, and priveledge. just by virture of the color of my skin (which happens to be white) society has given me two out of the three: power and priveledge. i didn't ask for it or even do much to deserve it, but as a white woman i have power and priveledge by default.

and that makes it pretty easy to cross that line from accepting to racist.

that means that i have to practice acceptance and recognize those times that stereotypes or fear sneak into my judgement of others. it takes work to love unconditionally, to accept others at face value, to not let society paint a picture of one particular group of people.

so that's of four things that i practice. the other three don't seem nearly as important.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

pampered by the pobble

well, after what has seemed like weeks with no time to myself i finally made it out of town yesterday to visit the pobble in woo (that's worcester for you non-new-englanders).

and she pampered the poop out of me.

lunch at a fantastic resturant (i had a quesidilla with chili and sour cream and many of the pobble's yummy french fries dipped in the sour cream, a mudslide martini~omg was that GOOD~ peanut butter pie, coffee, and about 1/3 of the pobble's white chocolate bread pudding made out of croisants. and yes, i ate every bite.)

and then back to the apartment where she invited me to take a nap under her electric blanket and the puppies.

she woke me up with enough time to actually wake up and then head home to the pancake supper at the church.

ahhh... did i ever need it.

the pobble rocks and i love her!

and yes, her pampering made it into today's sermon.

"and vivian followed."

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