Thursday, May 31, 2007

just turned 8 and she thinks she rules the world

the birthday party was a success, impromptu as it may have been. the pobble was a big suprise (sorry dondon, no pictures of her in a bathing suit and spiked heels). and i got 6 extra free cupcakes because they neglected to tell us they couldn't provide vanilla when hubby made the order then sent him home with all chocolate. (yes, i complained, yes, i told them they were ruining my daughter's birthday party and that they needed to provide me with 6 vanilla cupcakes. amazingly enough there were plenty of packages of vanilla cupcakes at the store on tuesday.)

of course now that she's 8 she believes that bedtime should be 9:30 instead of 9:00. apparently she has friends whose parents let them stay up until all hours of the night. honestly, i love it when the kids finally go to bed and i can just be me for awhile.

fyi: i am writing this as she sits on the guest bed in the computer room asking me what time it is about every 8 seconds.

poor princess kitty got sick on tuesday and the substitute teacher wouldn't let her go to the nurse... the sub did however let her eat one of the cupcakes i brought for her class (that i bought on sale because they made so many extra vanilla for the rest of the world). she missed school yesterday, but went back today. too much excitement for a little tummy i supose.

this weekend is my mom's birthday. the older her grandchildren get the older she gets too. she and my dad will be here sunday to celebrate. i'm working on a suprise. say a prayer it works... especially you mom, if you are reading this.

in the meantime i have a second deadline. something like 5,000 words by july 2. i'm writing in between every other thing i do. the first deadline is about 2 weeks after, about half the writing, and perhaps not as difficult an assignment as the second. this is what i get for wanting to write and actually have someone pay me to do it.

oooh... it's now 9:03 pm. time to wrangle the 8 yr old princess kitty into bed and then i think i will pour myself a drink and watch a scary movie from blockbuster.com.

God's peace y'all

Sunday, May 27, 2007

happy birthday princess kitty!

the princess kitty turns 8 tomorrow!


now let me start by saying that i have been a terrible mommy because i have done just about NOTHING to plan any kind of party or festivities to celebrate, but yesterday hubby and i went to the store and came home with this:



i had to take the picture from the window of the second floor porch so that i could get it all in the frame. it's been filling for the last 2 1/2 hours and is just about 1/4 of the way done (hence why there is a hose in the picture but not any people.)

hopefully a few of her friends will show up tomorrow for a swim after the memorial day parade and some hot dogs on the grill. and the pobble will be here as a surprise. we'll take her to the chinese buffet (it's becoming a birthday tradition) with grandmom and grandpop and i'll make some cupcakes tuesday morning (ok, i will probably wind up buying them pre-made from the store) to drop off at school for a treat for the whole class.

hopefully it will be a great day all around!

God's peace y'all

Saturday, May 26, 2007

good-bye to a friend

sometimes saturday comes and i got nothing. this wouldn't be such a big problem except that tomorrow is sunday and more than a few people will be expecting me to have something, namely an enlightening and uplifting sermon for them to listen to.

today is one of those saturdays. i got nothing and for pentecost of all times. pentecost being the day we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity who is supposed to inspire my preaching.

so, well over an hour ago i sat at the computer expecting to flit around the internet hoping for something to start my creative juices flowing when i stopped by a discussion board i like to frequent. mostly it's made up of other pastors from all over north america, who have become friends even though i have met none of them in person.

i stopped there because there is a link on my bookmarked page to another site where other pastors discuss the readings for sunday, but before i could clink on the link i saw a post entitled "sad news. a-w-g dead."

awg was a pastor in maine who worked with congregations who suffered from clergy abuse and with pastors who were suffering burn-out. there was more than once that he offered me encouragement and his prayers. i sat and cried before i responded to the post. funny how someone you've never met could touch you like that and yet it happens all the time.

there is a lot of ugliness that can be found on-line, but i have also found a group of people who have become dear to me... people that i could walk right by on the street and not recognize. awg was one of them and i grieve the fact that now i will have to wait until heaven to see him face to face.

God's peace y'all

Thursday, May 24, 2007

i'm "it"

YOUR TURN!

well, dondon just tagged me, which means that i will postpone what i was going to write about in order to answer his tag. (you'll have to check in later to see what it was i was going to write.)

So here are the rules of the tag:

* Post a similar post like this one and add a link back to the person who tagged you.
* List 5 reasons why you blog about the things you blog on your blog.
* Choose your 5 tag ‘victims’ and tag them nicely, just like I did :)
* Write a comment on their blog letting them know that you tagged them. VoilĂ ! Or, as less literate people will say, "Viola!" (Will they?…)

task one: completed
task two:

reason one of why i blog: i belong to a discussion board and on the board there was one particular person named rick of brutally honest who convinced a few of us that we should also blog.

reason two of why i blog: because in considering rick's challenge to blog i was reading someone else's blog and wanted to post a comment. in order to do that blogger made me create a blog... hence in order to leave a one sentence comment i had to give birth to finding avalon.

reason three of why i blog: cause all the cool kids are doing it and i am too dumb to realize i'm not a kid anymore.

reason four of why i blog: to keep family and friends up to date on things going on in my life. (my mother-in-law is one of my most devoted readers... hi mom!)

and reason five of why i blog: because like dondon i've found some wonderful people on-line and made connections i would never had made otherwise.

now rule 3 and 4 are going to be harder because dondon has already picked 3 of the 4 people i would have tagged. so if you are reading and you blog... consider yourself tagged... meanwhile i am off to tag the two left: rick and my brother.

God's peace y'all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

jerry

well, my friend dondon has some pretty funny political cartoons on his blog about jerry falwell and not long ago crackerlilo wrote about his death as did the pobble who grew up in falwell land.

and then there was this cartoon



when the pobble called last week to ask if i had heard about his death, i hadn't. i told her that i had no doubt that God was right at that moment wrapping arms around jerry, but that jerry was most likely very suprised by who was embracing him. (God as a black lesbian perhaps...)

i've been thinking about whether or not i was going to say anything about his death because frankly i had a hard time with him in his life. i have a rule about speaking of the dead. it comes from having to preach at funerals of all kinds of people. my rule: honor the dead, but be honest.

on that note, this seems to be both.

God's peace y'all



Thursday, May 17, 2007

10 inches shorter


well, i finally did it! i had all my hair cut off... 10 inches to be exact and here's the picture to prove it. actually it feels as though i took off 10 unwanted pounds. gloria did a great job. i can't even tell you how freeing it was to have her chop away that ponytail.


the next step is to fill out the form for locks of love and send it away. any gray hairs they find will be sold as well as any strands that measure under 10 inches.


i know i said i didn't want to go too short, but i am grooving on this cut... and hair always grows back.


God's peace y'all

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

getting paid

a few posts ago i mentioned that i was offered to audition for a worship resource with my denomination's publishing house for a new, not-yet-named web resource. at the same time as i received the offer to audition i also put my name in the hat to write for another of their worship resources. this all came about because i sent in a worship service i wrote that sat on the desk of the person who reviews such things for several months. she read it 3 times wondering how they could use it.

well, yesterday i received a call from said person who, based upon the service that sat on her desk for 6 months, offered me a small free-lance gig for the worship book that is published annually.

i am going to get paid for writing something!!!

this is and has always been a dream for me. and i am thrilled!!!

now i have to start scheduling time to really sit and write. i have to finish the audition piece in the next week to submit it and then as soon as i get the details of this new gig i need to begin work on it. and this doesn't even include the 2 novels that i am still working on.

oh, and here's the sermon from mother's day... hope all you moms had a happy!

God's peace y'all

Monday, May 07, 2007

tranquility


sunday the princess kitty and i took some time to clean off my porch. she had an ulterior motive, she wanted the other half of the space for a play room / club house. i still have a pile of papers on my desk that need to be filed away either in a file or the trash, but the space is ready for actual use. it's a three season room; way too cold in the winter to spend any time on and there aren't any outlets so i have to drag an extension cord out to turn the lamp on, but i like the candlelight at night and the tranquility of the space when i have it to myself.
i'm the kind of person who needs her own space which is strange for an extrovert. extroverts get their energy from others, but i need time for just me to process it. now that the winter feels like it is finally over the porch becomes my me space... a place to find a different kind of energy. i've begun to light a single white candle that the pobble gave me for christmas every time i go out there. my plants have begun their journey out of the kitchen and back onto the porch, though now i'm wondering if i want to take them all out of the kitchen. i've grown accustomed to them there. maybe i can grow some herbs for the windowsills to keep the green in the kitchen.
it's all helping to add a peace back to my life i've missed and didn't even realize.
God's peace y'all

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Friday, May 04, 2007

"sex-workers"

maybe i've said this before, but i'd like to say it again.

probably because i've been reading dondon and abb talking about the resignation of the bush administration's AIDS czar, deputy secretary of state randall l tobias after it was discovered that he had been using a "service" to have women come and give him "massages".

you might notice that i never capitalize anything in my posts, except that is the "g" in God and all the letters in AIDS.

while i am no longer active in the work i once did around AIDS' issues i can still tell you more than you'd probably like to know on the subject especially when in comes to AIDS in africa.

things are better and worse there. better because more information, more programs, more money, and just more help is reaching people who desperately need it... worse because that help seems only available to a certain group of people. help in the fight against AIDS in africa needs to be for everyone regardless of what they do AND (yep, i used capitals again) must include the "c" word: CONDOMS (i'm on a roll now).

except that the bush administration doesn't like condoms despite the fact that it is our leading weapon (they do like those) against the spread of AIDS.

they also don't seem to like the idea of helping women who find themselves caught in a vicious cycle which propels them into the word of making money with their bodies since policy dictates that american governmental money can only go to those programs which only teach abstinence and do not give out condoms.

now i don't support prostitution on any level, but i do know that there isn't anything i wouldn't do if forced with little choice on how to feed my children... so i want to tell you a story. it's fiction only in the regard that i've made up this particular version, but it is a non-fiction story because it happens all the time.

abeni hasn't seen her husband in many months. chimelu had to travel to find work to provide for their family, but now he is returning home. she is excited to have him home and meet their second child who was born while he was away. but when chimelu arrives abeni realizes that he is terribly sick. she takes him into their small home and wonders how long it will take before others in her village begin to talk and say that he has AIDS.

in the weeks that follow abeni tends her husband as best as she can. she doesn't have medicine for him or gloves to wear when she touches him. she worries about letting her children get near their own father. almost no one in their village will come near her or her children. none come to see chimelu except the pastor. his eyes are glazed over when he visits; he has done so many funerals that his visits seem rote.

when chimelu finally dies everyone from his family arrives for the funeral. they weep and cry then hurry into abeni's home. as his relatives, tradition says that they are entitled to an inheritance. by the end of the day they claim everything that once was owned by chimelu; furniture, sheets, blankets, cookware all depart with them.

abeni is left with an empty home and small children to care for. eventually she makes a difficult choice, if you can call it a choice. she goes out to the place where she knows men like chimelu work. away from their wives and families they are lonely and willing to pay for the only thing left she has to give.


at first she considered herself lucky because she was able to obtain some condoms and a stern warning from the relief workers who had given them to her that she must use them if she didn't want to get sick herself. but as the day wore on she discovered that none of the men would pay her for sex if she asked them to use one. disheartened she returnes home to her hungry children.

the next day she tries again, this time she finds a man willing, but he only gives her enough money to buy food for one meal for her children. by the end of the week, she gives up on the condoms and makes enough in one day to feed her children for the rest of the next week.

when the money runs out she works another day and feeds her children for another week. but as time passes so does the virus she is unaware of in her body. more chimelus go home to their abenis. some of these infect their wives through sex some when their wives care for them as they die. some wives escape their husband's disease only to find themselves needing to feed their children like abeni did and the cycle continues.

this is just one story, but it is the one that haunts me the most. in the eighties our government kept quiet and did nothing to prevent the spread of AIDS because it was a "gay disease." today our government refuses to do what is really necessary to stop the spread of AIDS in africa because it is a "sex-worker disease."

except that it is a disease, a terrible, horrible disease that attacks anyone it can get into. and it is on the rise in america too. young people who didn't live through the eighties epidemic believe if they get it they can just take drugs to keep themselves alive and healthy. abstinence programs don't work here and they don't work in africa. and while condoms are not the cure they are the best line of defense.

but perhaps the most important lesson to realize is that hypocracy will pull us further and further down into a cycle none of us can survive.

God's peace y'all

Thursday, May 03, 2007

the lazarus phone

in the bible, lazarus is one of jesus' friends, one of his best friends in fact. shortly before jesus goes to jerusalem to be crucified he gets a message from lazarus' sisters, mary and martha, that he is very sick and dying. they tell him to come right away, but jesus waits before going to bethany to see them. by the time he gets there lazarus is already dead, for 4 days.

in their grief both sisters tell him that, "if you had been here our brother would not have died." it's an impressive statement of faith. it's also the story in the bible (the king jame's version at least) that contains the shortest verse in scripture: "jesus wept."

jesus goes to his friend's tomb, tells them to roll away the stone, and then calls to lazurus to "Come Out!" and he does!

so yesterday hubby and i took the kids to play in the backyard before bath time. when it was time to come in i suggested that we throw their sneakers in the washer and dryer. they were pretty dirty and the silent prince had managed to step in the dog poop i had neglected to clean up from the back yard.

now hubby does all the laundry (yes, i am a lucky woman) so i hand him the sneakers, we strip the kids and he gets the rest of the laundry from upstairs to make a full load. somewhere in the process i had taken off the sweater that i had been wearing and tossed it over the arm of a chair because i had gotten hot. i got the kids in the bath and ran down to get it because now i was chilly. it wasn't there.

"hubby, where's the sweater that i had right here?"

"i put it in the wash."

"MY CELL PHONE WAS IN THE POCKET!!!"

hubby made a mad dash down the steps to get the cell phone and i poured another drink. my brand new hot pink cell phone (which i hadn't insured) was filled with water.

it was dead. it was a bath toy. bath... the kids were in the tub! back upstairs i went, the tub was filled with bubbles and the kids were still alive.

later i went on-line to see if there was any way to upgrade a phone that i had owned for about 1 1/2 months. nope. called cingular. the very nice woman at cingular told me that i was sunk, but that she had once dropped her phone in a glass of water and it had dried out and worked again. i could also buy a new phone at retail. the cheapest they could offer with the blue tooth was $99.

after a conversation with hubby, where the phrases, "i hate you" and "i love you" both came out of my mouth, he told me to go ahead and get the new phone for $99. i called cingular back... they were closed. i went on-line, but i couldn't just buy a new phone without getting some sort of package... which i didn't need. i would have to wait until this morning to call cingular back to get the phone.

so this morning i go downstairs to get my morning cup o' tea and just for the heck of it i decide to try putting the battery back in the phone (which still has lots of condensation) and see if it will turn on.

AND IT DOES!!!

it's like a miracle!

now onto the next technological problem... how to watch both grey's anatomy and er tonight when they are both on at the same time and i don't have TiVo.

God's peace y'all and always remember to check your pockets before doing the wash.

"and vivian followed."

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