Thursday, July 26, 2012


I don't exactly remember what grade it was, but I distinctly remember my first introduction to getting in line.  We were told to be quiet and to follow each other, to be orderly and to stay directly behind the person in front of us.  We were probably going to lunch or something, and I'm fairly certain that I would have wanted to be the line leader...because such was my personality in elementary school. 

This was back in the day when children actually did what a teacher told them to do because to not do so was just not a risk that most of us wanted to take.  We walked like "ladies and gentlemen" to and fro and were usually just glad to be going somewhere instead of learning something ridiculous like the metric system. 

Oh, come on, you know that you secretly hoped the metric system wouldn't catch on over here outside of the whole liter thing with Coke.  That seems to be the last remnant of that sad little period where our Weekly Readers told us was happening along with the totally-did-not-happen-upcoming Ice Age or the Attack of the Killer Bees. I mean, seriously, we should have totally been carted off by now.  (Except about that bee thing...every so often news of the bees resurfaces as if they are coming our way to carry off goats or small I never, ever feel completely safe...thanks, Weekly Reader!)

Weekly Reader did teach me about erosion and some other stuff that I'm sure has added greatly to my knowledge bank...but then again...I was also taught that there were nine not. 

Where was I?  Wandering off point, apparently. 

I mean, I have stood in line, walked a line, dropped a line, and even towed the line...but I am fairly certain that I've never really known exactly where the "line" actually is.  Am I alone in this?

Some people seem to be born with an innate sense of where boundaries are and they flounce around happily within the confines of decorum, taste and approval.  They know exactly how far to push someone before they snap and also what the appropriate thing is to do in any given situation.  They rest before they completely exhaust themselves, take care of things before there is an emergency, and know when to shut up. 

I, of course, know none of this.

Any of it.

Where most people stop eating when they are full...I stop eating when something is gone.  Where most people handle a delicate situation with tact...I handle it by either withdrawing and freaking people out or charging ahead like a bull in a china shop.  I never know what to say at a hospital or funeral I don't go.  I'm afraid I'll say something boneheaded and send someone into therapy.  Because I think that might have actually happened in real life.

To someone.  Somewhere.  Possibly.

Anyway, I'm starting to believe that the older I get, the worse this tendency is going to become.  I'm starting to see it already.  Like the fact that the line between "comfortable" and "tacky" is pretty much non-existent to me right now.

I realize that people should dress up for occasions that merit it, but let's be clear here...if it is hot outside, I'm going to look like a hot I may as well be as comfortable as I can be.  I gave up heels years ago, and would give up all forms of clothing except for pajama pants and tee shirts from Walmart if I could get away with it.  Even to church.

Lately I've realized that more and more people are drawing lines in the sand (which if you think about it sounds pretty stupid, but we all know what it means, right?) and daring other people to cross them.  And people - being who they are - couldn't care less about our little lines.  They have their own set of lines that their set of friends has to stay within or risk the friendship.  Civility is pretty much shot...because what we care more about these days is sticking to our guns and standing our ground.

Of course "sticking to our guns" and "standing our ground" are fighting words these days with a lot of folks anti-gun and embroiled in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman controversy.  There really is very little that anyone can say anymore that isn't going to offend somebody.

Even Chick-fil-A. 


Never mind that Ben and Jerry's has their own agenda and nobody has a problem with that.  Most everyone understands that...and if you don't like their philosophy...then don't eat their extremely tasty but very expensive ice cream.  That's pretty much the way I feel about Chick-fil-A...but that's not good enough for a certain segment of the population (and I'm not talking about the gay community...although they have their share of activists...but more of the folks who are on the bandwagon in the name of being supportive who are seriously just itching for a fight.)

Yes, Rahm Emmanuel...and the mayor of Boston...I'm talking to you.  It's annoying.

And I've found that in spite of my inability to find the parameters that most people find easily...I do know when one of my lines has been crossed.

I have read a lot of good and not-so-good commentary about this whole Chick-fil-A one-man and one-woman marriage support that has fueled the boycott of Chick-fil-A and has brought a lot of fence sitting Christians who hate confrontation into the frey.  Let me just say this...for now...we are free to support or not support any business that we want.  And the people who own those businesses have those same freedoms.  I don't want Truitt Cathy silenced any more than I want Ben and Jerry to be told that they can't donate their money to causes that they feel deserve it. 

I'd say that we all have to back down from our positions, but after years of being expected to do just that...I'm fairly certain that a sleeping giant has been awakened.  Maybe that will be what it takes to make some people understand that we all have to accept that this world isn't nirvana.  It was never meant to be.  And no set of rules or banning of this and that is going to make it so.  People are going to choose to be athiests or agnostics and very little that we say will change that position.  God can...and sometimes He pursues these people with a vengeance.  Don't believe me?  Read a little about C.S. Lewis.

I think that we've come to a time in our history where we are forced to take sides and to not continue to accept everything by trying to just get along.  We are called to love...but we are also called to be seekers of the truth.  We have a rulebook that we follow and a mission field out there that consists most often as those people in our address book or our Facebook friend list.  We don't have to judge or try to change anybody's mind.  We just have to be faithful to living our own position and be aware of how God wants to use us in the Master Plan. 

Most of the time we want everybody to get in line with us and we dream that if this could occur...the world would be a much happier place.  Possibly.  But more likely, it would be just a wee bit boring.  I find that some of the richest experiences that I have had have been in learning something new from somebody that may or may not share my beliefs, traditions, or background.  There is something beautiful and of God in every person that we come in contact with.

Although, seriously, I've been trying to find that in Bill Mahar and have come up empty.

I hope that as we draw those invisible lines in the sand that we know when to lay down our demands and when to fight.  When to be reasonable and when to live and let live.  How to be true to ourselves and how to be loving to people who we are so lost to our way of thinking that it is absolutely inconceivable.

A friend has been posting things about kindness lately...and how he is striving to be more kind and less harsh.  At least that is how I've taken the posts.  I realize that in an election year and with the Liberals and Conservatives in different solar systems right now (or so it seems) and with so much craziness in the is tempting to just try to box yourself in with some hard and fast lines (or perhaps some barbed wire).  There are days when I'd like to just find an underground pod somewhere with some air conditioning and "Pride and Prejudice" on a loop just to stay clear of making someone mad.

But life is designed to live. And living is a messy business.

Go out there and be who you are and be as kind to others as you can.  It doesn't mean that you have to sell yourself short or even that you have to sanction what they are doing or believing.  Just try to look past the issues into the heart of the person.  After all, over 2,000 years ago, a man walked the earth and did very remarkable things before the Very Remarkable Thing.  He sought those who were lost and offered them hope, acceptance and no judgment...while also gently reminding them of what was right and true.

Take care, my friends, to watch those lines because they can be mighty tricky.  On both sides. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On Getting Older

I realize that at some point in time we all notice that we are getting older.  Maybe it is the little kid who was cute and charming on television one minute who suddenly becomes annoying the next (I'm looking at you Gary Coleman) or when we realize that it is time to retire from something that we had always Big Dave did from softball years ago.  Of course, that last example may have been because his wife (ahem...) got tired of sitting in bleachers in the broiling Alabama sun in places that were so small that we actually had to drive twenty miles to find a restaurant...but whatever.

Anyway, when we are younger, we eagerly anticipated being old enough to do something from showing all of our years on two hands, to being tall enough to ride everything at Six Flags, to being able to drive and date.  We lived in a perpetual state of feeling like there was something right around the corner that was better.  Graduation.  Wedding.  Children.  New house.

And then we actually got older and instead of running toward whatever it was, we started seeing that time was rushing at us far faster than it used to.  We started losing important people in our lives, and realized our dreams...or that those dreams weren't going to happen for us.  We got a little cynical and hopefully a lot wiser in the process.  We remembered "glory days" and the songs that were the soundtrack of our lives in a whole new way.

In other words, we finally grew up.  Now, of course, we'd like to be kids.  Just with more money and more sense.

We get the opportunity to live some experiences again through our children or young people close to us, and we laugh to ourselves as we play with Play-Doh or teach them to do something that we enjoyed when we were young.  We teach them about "our" music and why they should know who Lynyrd Skynyrd was and that Def Leppard had a one-armed drummer.  Why we rolled our eyes at the Backstreet Boys and why we totally don't understand rap music, if truth be told.

And then one day we realize that our children have become adults.  And that they are looking for something right around the corner that is better.  Graduation.  Wedding.  Children.  New house.

We realize that we are the important people in their lives, and we watch them chase their dreams or abandon them for something better.  We see them mature and make decisions that are far wiser than we gave them credit for and are grateful.  We see them going to work or working toward an educational goal that is worthy and right for them.

The cycle of life.

In my case, I am recently awed by the fact that I am not expected to fight my daughter's battles for her.  She is a grown woman with a job and responsibilities.  She is capable and strong and amazing.  I am finding it hard sometimes to get out of our old patterns - but I'm doing pretty well - if truth be told.  She has earned the right to make her own decisions about her life...and I have no doubt that she will make good ones.  And if she doesn't...she knows that she has a safety net of family and friends who will help her heal and dust her off and send her back out there.

My son intends to be an engineer...and this doesn't even remotely surprise me because that's what I believe he was born to do.  He has a brilliant mind that has the added bonus of being able to write well and do mathematical equations that I know not of.  It still awes me that he takes classes like Calculus and Physics and only struggles in History.  In the four legged stool of memorization (quite important for History), computations (Mathematics), theory (useful for Economics) and expression (English)...he has three of the four of these down cold.  Most of us are lucky to have one or two that get us through.

But while I am enjoying watching my two conquer the world, I am equally enjoying seeing my folks enjoy my children and their accomplishments.  They keep me grounded by reminding me that "this too shall pass" and that what I think is the end of the world really isn't.  After all, they have survived Jimmy Carter's presidency.  They have been where I am in the struggling and striving years when you are trying to navigate excellence at work with the very real pressure of an upcoming merger or layoffs that may put you involuntarily on a different path.  Where they know that we have to let our children find what makes them happy and whole instead of insisting on limitations that we are tempted to impose because it is all that we can fathom.   

Each day, I remember a time when I was more hopeful about the future and had so much to look forward to that I couldn't wait to get started.  Somewhere along the way I started feeling the pressure of people depending on me...but I didn't really mind.  Now I am feeling that some of the pressure is coming off...and it is a little bit liberating.  It gives me hope that there are more dreams to conquer and more assignments that I am meant to fulfill.  At least I hope that is what this means.

Today I woke up at 4:30 a.m. because I had slept so hard that both arms had fallen asleep.  It is most uncomfortable to try to go back to sleep in that state, so I got up and decided to write instead.  I've had an hour to think and pray and contemplate a little bit...and here is my offering of that time back in written form.  I've had time to complain about being older...but I've also reflected on the fact that I'm still here and in relatively good health.  This, of course, totally rocks.

I don't know if I will like all that is ahead of me on the road...but I'm equally aware that I'm taking for granted that the road will be a long one.  I hope it is.  I do know that even on the worst days of being an adult, there is always something new to learn and something amazing right around the corner if I am patient and expectant. 

There is something in me that hopes and dreams and is unfinished.  Something that keeps me going when I feel that my life is a wee bit boring or unnecessary in the grand scheme of things.  I'm grateful for that part.

Very grateful.

Friday, July 20, 2012

On Being Bored

Today has been very strange.  First of all, I am on vacation, have no agenda, and I awoke to news of a mass shooting in Colorado.  It has rained on and off all day - at the beach - which I'm certain breaks some kind of understanding that I have with the universe about my time off - but whatever.  I've spent time looking at the various articles written about the shooter, and have even stooped so low as to look at the Season 3 cast list for what I'm certain is a very, very scary show on ABC called "Bachelor Pad."  It brings back participants from previous "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" shows for what purpose I'm not entirely sure.

Other than advertising dollars.  Because apparently people are all over watching this kind of hooey.  Including my mother and my daughter.  Oh my.

Anyway, as I sit here thinking of all of the things I'd like to be doing right now, I can only think of a few that don't involve extreme effort on my part.  I'd love to see a movie, but I'm a little heebie-jeebie-ish about movie theaters today.  I'd like to go out to eat, but I've prepared dinner for those who are traveling and I think it would send the wrong message if I elected to not eat my own cooking.  Besides...I made two tomato-basil pies, and am throwing together an awesome I'm pretty much on the hook there.  I can't watch cable TV because it doesn't exist in either of the beach houses I've stayed in this week, and I've watched just about every conceivable Redbox offering that wouldn't require intensive therapy after viewing.  (I don't do horror or suspense movies because my brain will not let me forget those images for decades.) Except the "Friday the 13th" movies...and only because I watched a marathon with Jill and her then-boyfriend and he made me laugh through all of them.  Because, seriously?  All you have to do is listen for the music and you pretty much know what's about to happen.  Something that allowed me time to cover my eyes and just listen for the commentary (which was generally mocking) of Jill's ex-beau.  Good times.

I've thought about just lying down and reading...but I don't sleep well enough at night as it is without adding another layer of insomnia from having slept all afternoon.  Besides, people are set to start arriving in an hour or being passed out at 4:00 p.m. CDT is probably not advisable at this point in time.

The last time that I remember being bored was during a weekend where Big Dave had taken the children somewhere, I was caught up on my scrapbooking, and my house was clean.  I'd watched all of the movies I had and since we didn't have cable at the time...I couldn't just find the Hallmark Channel or Lifetime.  I remember thinking to myself how nice it was to be bored since I so often am pushed for time that I truly respect it as a commodity. 

Except today I am spending time like a drunken sailor spends money on leave.  I'm wasting it.  Just refusing to do anything remotely productive outside of tracking down Jill's duvet cover (they never sent it due to some malfunction on their part) from somewhere in New Jersey (I think).  They found it possible to charge my AMEX though...and so after filing an inquiry with them...I got on the phone to find out where the package is.  After has been two weeks.

And that...along with cleaning the other house and moving to this beach house...comprises the sum total of my productivity for Friday, July 20th.

Yes, I'm bored.

Not in the way that kids are in the summer when days stretch out endlessly and the highlight of the week is time in the pool, tracking down the ice cream truck, and catching lightning bugs.  Which having just written that looks really, really odd.  Lightning bugs?  Really?  I suppose that they are technically "fireflies" - but that's probably what they are referred to up North.  Down South, we put them in a jar and watch them glow, or smear the glow-y part all over us so that we glowed instead.  The poor bugs that I disassembled without a thought makes me a little sad now that I think about it.  But not as sad as realizing that these memories are close to forty years old.

Forty.  As in 4-0.  Wow.

But bored in that way that you really don't have an agenda...and there is nothing that is clamoring for your attention.  Where you are just part of the minutes that roll into hours and then into days. Or something like that. 

I can handle a day of boredom...specifically because I know that it is a truly temporary position.  Some people might call it "rest" or "taking it easy"...but since those words aren't really in my vocabulary...I'll just choose to believe that I'm bored instead.

I guess I will give in to the urge to rest a little bit and am about to go curl up with a book and a blanket and try to catch forty winks...whatever that means.  After all...once every decade probably isn't going to hurt me too much, right?


At least I have today.  Which is something that a lot of families in Colorado are struggling with in the aftermath of one person's extreme selfishness and apparent mental illness.  In that light...I intend to enjoy it as well as appreciate it immensely. 

As I should.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Today my spirit is a little unsettled.  Not in a way that requires a lot of explanation or is even a real cause for concern...but in a way that tells me that I'm trying to carry too much in my own strength again.  It is a fairly common occurrence for me, so I've come to recognize the signs.  I also know that this too shall pass...which is a good thing.

Like most people in this economy, and even in this day and age, I have a lot on my mind.  My long-term planning window has shifted from five years to about six months.  I dare not assume that I can look into the future with any sense of confidence...and have just stopped worrying about what might happen and have steeled myself to prepare for what each day brings.  I guess you can say that I've finally accepted that a lot of things are outside my control.

Like recessions, mergers, political elections, and the agendas of other people.  I can only manage what comes in and deal with it the best that I can. 

Not that I in any way feel like a martyr or that I'm just being tossed around by the sea of life.  That's not it at all.  I just know that sometimes when something is bothering me, it generally has a root in some truth that I have to dig out before I can move forward.

Specifically, I tend to stress out about issues with relationships, finances, and timing.  I fare a little better in the world of the unexpected, the temporarily difficult, or making do.  I suppose that each of us has ways of coping that may seem unusual to others but we've come to rely on them over time.  As a Christian, I realize that I am supposed to turn over my troubles and fears, doubts and weaknesses and expect that all will turn out for my good.  As a human, I realize that the sense of self-preservation is a constant reminder of the disconnect between the spiritual and physical sides of the person that I call "me."

We all have coping mechanisms of one kind or another, and they serve to make us either feel better about ourselves...or...sadly...worse.  Most of the time people give us a wide berth to work through things, but sometimes they won't because they are just tired.  Often we have either run people to death trying to get along with us to such a point that they just feel the need to take a stand and refuse to get caught up in our drama.  The fact that causing "drama" wasn't really our intention in the first place seems to get lost in the shuffle.

Or maybe that's just me.

I know that right now I have a lot on my mind.  I have at least three close family members that I need to talk to today.  One is going through something because of someone else's immaturity and is going to require some assistance that I cannot offer because of this week's schedule.  The second is due to me not working out something like a normal person would because I was caught off guard and needed to take a step back to think.  The third is due to my negligence in keeping up with someone that probably feels that I am uncaring.  I really want to settle the latter two because the former is something that Big Dave can work out and the last one is completely and totally my fault.

Other than a few issues with making sure that bills are paid, chores are done, and everything I can take care of is managed properly...I honestly have no reason to allow an unsettled feeling to keep me from enjoying this week of vacation.

Except right now...I'm allowing it to do just that.

But this can change, you know...if I really want it to. 

  • By putting Towanda in charge of the "Vacation Departure Checklist."  Which basically means...pack your own stuff and don't worry about anybody else's.  If they aren't grown enough to remember underwear...they can drive to Target and purchase some more.
  • By leaving what is undone right where it is and on hold.  If it has been undone for weeks, it can stay undone for another week.
  • By using the 3 1/2 hour drive to deal with at least two of the calls I need to make because I need to get that behind me.  If people want to be mad at me...that's their choice.
  • By letting my kids work things out in their own way without my involvement.  Jill is on her own and can fight her own battles and Brian is a mighty capable 20 year old.
  • By committing to not worry about what might happen and to enjoy what is happening.  Because next as usual resumes.
  • By attempting to not try so hard.  I spend way too much energy trying to get along with people and it always ends up backfiring.  I'm just going to say what I mean instead of holding it in and then exploding in an inappropriate fashion.
  • By not worrying about my weight. I am in my 50th year, and I'm not going to look 20. The goal is to eat right every meal and the weight will take care of itself.
  • By letting go of any expectations for this week and just attempting to unwind...because obviously...I am pretty much a hot mess right now. Internally, anyway.
Having written that...I feel somewhat better...and I'm ready to go pack the car. I don't know what the week will bring...but I do know that it will go by way too fast. Vacations always do.

I am praying that God will give me the right frame of mind and will give me the peace to get through this week without any drama. I know that this is a tall order...but you never know. It might just work. How's THAT for a mustard seed of faith.

Guess we'll see...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Preparing a Place

So, tonight I have hit the wall. Not the Facebook "wall" but the "I have people coming to this house in 48 hours and if I don't get after it I'm going to be seriously mortified" wall. I am out of time, motivation, and sadly...down a soldier in the "War on Funk". Big Dave came home from work today overheated and needing a nap. He is currently snoring on the couch. It is 8:02 p.m. CDT. 

Seeing as Big Dave is the deputy in charge of sweeping, mopping, kitchen cleaning, and cobweb removal, this is a serious blow to the team.  Of course, sitting here writing (what I want to do) rather than actually doing something about this problem just means I have to think about a good "Plan B."

Seeing as it is too late for Merry Maids, calling in every favor from every person I know, or staying up all night because I actually want to be coherent enough to enjoy the visit...I am going to have to think about this a bit.

There's always doing nothing and acting like everything is copasetic...but that's really just lame.  After all, even if I try...we aren't talking about Southern Living's Dream Home all up in here.  I am woefully lacking the decorating "clean" is about the most that I can hope to offer my guests.

That and a pool. 

Yes.  The pool is always helpful in the summer months.

Of course, I'll also feed them well and we'll have a good time in spite of my fairly sad little housekeeping skills.  But back to motivation...

There are a lot of options that I have open right now...or so my outside-the-box self thinks...such as...

Caffeine.  I love the idea of being hopped up on Starbucks and running around the house like I'm sixteen years old and a night owl.  The reality is...that I am having enough trouble dealing with "Magic Mike" - the CPAP...(who is FAR less magical than Channing Tatum) without dealing with a night of insomnia. 

Boxing stuff up and putting it in the attic.  Otherwise known as "Operation Out of Sight/Out of Mind".  Of course, boxing the c-rap up that has been living homeless waiting for the Queen of Decisiveness (who is obviously on vacation) to waive her wand over it and make it disappear is probably a fairly decent alternative since time's a-wastin'. I tend to take most things in spurts...meaning that if I'm not in the mood for cleaning something out or finding a home for waits patiently wherever I leave it.  Then one day, without warning, I swoop in and deal with it in a burst of productivity.  I have no idea what that says about me, but it is fairly accurate.

Putting everything back in my bedroom.  This has been "Plan B" for the past three years.  Since I've cleaned a lot out of there, re-c-rapping it just seems too sad.  Of course, it remains a top option. 

Setting it all on fire.  Well, this would certainly make some nice carbon for my compost bin, but it is likely that I will need at least some of this stuff.  Possibly.  I think so anyway.

A long time ago, I realized that I am not motivated by deadlines particularly.  I am more motivated by the joy of the job.  Seriously, this is my problem with housework.  There is no joy in it for me whatsoever.  I have friends who love cleaning house, and others who just gave up on it and hired domestic help...which I would happily do if I could ever get it to a point where everything could have a place.  Right now it is just too heinous.

What?  Doesn't everybody clean up on the day that the maid comes? 

Of course they do.  (Note the use of the word "they" there as opposed "we". I still dream of waking up to Merry Maids at the front door....already paid...and totally nonjudgmental...but I'm not holding my breath.)

Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong, though.  Perhaps I am looking at it from my own perspective of how I am going to appear to my guests if I don't offer my best.  What I should be doing is being excited about the opportunity to provide a place for them.  The chance to be hospitable and to welcome people I love into my home.  After all, THAT description certainly sounds way more appealing than the dreaded "housework" descriptor.

I think sometimes that we forget that while we are hanging out here on the third rock...someone is preparing a place for us someday.  And instead of sitting there dreading it, He is looking forward to it with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming fellowship.  He wants to move you into the place that has been prepared for you...and I believe that it is being prepared with joy.

So, I'll be off I try to figure out the best way to get everything done in the limited time that I have.  But I'll try to do it with joy in my heart for getting to see the sweet faces that are arriving on Sunday.  Hopefully, Big Dave will be up tomorrow and can help me a bit after work.  But seeing as it is my 27th wedding anniversary tomorrow...I really think that I want to just enjoy the day grateful and amazed at how fast time flies.

Because it totally does...


Monday, July 2, 2012

On Heat and Rest

I am writing this tonight sitting in a level of air conditioning that is making Alabama Power say "Who's your Daddy?" in a big way while eating a little cup of Luigi's Real Italian Ice to cool off in the hopes that this particular combination will make me sleep well tonight. 

It. Is. Hot. 

Not as hot as the people in the Washington D.C. area who are without power, the folks in Colorado without their homes after the wildfires roared through, or anywhere near as awful as it must be in Afghanistan where the troops are...

But hot enough for me to whine about it.  In a totally mature way, of course. 

Part of the whining is because not only am I living through a heat wave in the South...I am having my own issues with "internal temperature control."  A friend of mine used to refer to this as the "personal summer."  Let me just say that adding this layer of "flashing" on top of what has begun to feel like meandering through what most assuredly must be the foyer of Hades has more or less made this the "Summer of My Discontent."

I have given up on having my hair look decent because the second I switch off the blow dryer, I will be overcome with a sense of radiant heat that seems to come out of nowhere. The hair I just dried looks like it did right after I got out of the shower.  Of course, this morning I had the added bonus of chasing Rebel over two of my neighbor's yards before he finally encountered the dogs that live three yards over who were restrained only by the "Invisible Fence" and decided he might want to come home with Mama after all.  This wouldn't be a big deal...except that "two yards over" when you are on five acre lots basically meant that I met my cardio goal for the day.  I will not even attempt to describe my hair after said exercise.

Yeah, that's pretty close.

I spent most of the drive to work trying to dry my hair with the air conditioner seeing as I was  Which meant that some of my makeup (hey, it is a 25 minute drive and I spend at least 6 minutes at red lights) didn't get on.  So, I was basically (as Madea would say it)..."Loverly."

 Not to mention that today was Monday.

I normally don't detest Mondays too much because I'm honestly grateful to have somewhere to go and something that I enjoy doing that I get paid to do.  However, sometimes the day just insists on being ridiculous.

In spite of the fact that I had an egg at 6:30, I was hungry and ended up eating my lunch at 9:30...which meant that I had to have a "snack" at about 1:00 today.  The "snack" meant that I wasn't hungry tonight for I didn't cook.  After working all day in primarily heated conditions...let's just say that Big Dave was a little less than thrilled.  He got over it when I made him the yummy BLTs that I invented on Saturday because I had more tomatoes than good sense.  (In case you missed this, you take a piece of white bread, use a biscuit cutter to get the edges off, put a little bit of Hellman's mayonnaise on the little round, sprinkle bacon bits, some tomato slices, salt and pepper and some chopped basil on top.  You must use Hellman's because all other mayonnaise just simply will not do.  Don't even get me started on Miracle Whip...the imposter!)

Of course, tomorrow is looking a little dismal as well already.  I have to take my CPAP machine in again because they forgot to attach the modem to it.  Plus, one of the settings is obviously wrong because when I first put on the mask I have the feeling I'm hyperventilating and breathing into a paper sack. 

That can't be normal.

At least I'm not snoring, and I only roll over once or twice a night now along with the required 2 a.m. trip to the bathroom.  You'd think I'd quit drinking 32 ounces of water before I go to bed, but I always do it and then think..."Oh, yeah..."

I've also been lamenting the fact that I have everything 85% organized in this house.  If it was only 70%...I might have been able to push through for a better outcome.  But last time I checked...85 is a "B" and it is difficult for me to muster up a whole lot of enthusiasm for getting rid of the 32 books that I have sitting on this table that I can't part with yet have no idea what I'm going to do with there they sit.  Or the unmade beds in the room formerly known as "Jill's" that requires washing sheets...and I'm not into doing laundry yet.  Or the empty living room that may as well have tumbleweeds rolling through it since most of the furniture is no longer with us.  (I guess that the dust bunnies will have to do.)  I don't want to clean the bathrooms yet since Big Dave and I are empty-nesting this week and I'll feel the need to do it all over again before company comes anyway.

Yes, it does seem that I've taken my "B" and moved on.  At least for a day or two.

My garden is doing okay...our biggest crops have been in marigolds, basil, cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes and sunflowers.  In that order.  We are holding out hope for the eggplant, cucumbers and the beans, and we have a lame little watermelon lying out there looking all sad and not watered enough.  Our squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash and cilantro just checked out...and the okra, lettuce and parsley can best be described as "eh."  They aren't any bigger fans of the heat than I am.

I won't go into the political realm or whether or not one should attend "Magic Mike" this week.  I honestly don't need the blood pressure spike on the former, and I think that the latter is a personal decision.  (Although, seriously, someday you'll need to see Channing Tatum's dance moves in this movie on YouTube or something.  Believe it or not...he was mostly PG.) 

Most of the time, life rocks along with these little, people who pull out in front of us in traffic, a house that needs some TLC, or a dog who thinks that taking a field trip on a day when you're cutting it close sounds like an excellent plan.  When politicians (and Supreme Court justices) make you want to pull your hair out and fear for the future of the nation.  Where you begin to wonder if there is anything to be excited about anymore.

I had a little reminder this past week that put everything in perspective. 

I launched a prayer about something specific that was very important to me but that I honestly thought God might be too busy dealing with the "natural disaster de jour" or because He might consider it a little bit trivial in the grand scheme of things.  But, you see, He didn't.  He answered my prayer in a way that told me that even if the outcome wasn't what I prayed for...because only time would have addressed that...that He is listening to me and that I was important enough to Him to answer me.

Sometimes we forget that, you know.  We get used to the "not yets" and the "no's" to such a degree that we are honestly shocked when we get a resounding "yes" on something that could have only come from my prayer to Him and his answering by prompting someone to do something.  Miraculously...they did it.  And while I'm not sure of what will happen...possibly was like a cool drink of water in a world that seems to be hot and annoyed most of the time these days.

Or maybe that's just me.

So, as you go out tomorrow and deal with your version of "whatever"...I hope that you will stop for a minute if you are prompted to pray for somebody and send one up in faith.  That you will intentionally ask for guidance before you buy something you are looking for like my friend, Judy, does, or that you will feel rested and refreshed in the midst of chaos or whatever is facing you.

Rested and refreshed sounds like paradise to me right now.  From a physical standpoint...I've been anything BUT that lately.  After fighting a CPAP for a week to sleep and being "hot" (and not in a good way)...I appreciated that drop of refreshment into a spirit that was more parched than my raised garden beds were this afternoon.

I hope that you find that as well.  That you'll be showered with blessings and that a cool breeze of contentment will fill your spirit.  And that your air conditioner continues to operate as intended.  Even if Alabama Power is doing the happy dance right now.

(My recipe for the rest of this week?  Rest.  Stay Cool.  Pray.  And eat some more of those little sandwiches.)