2 Blondes and a Ginger

2 Blondes and a Ginger

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dead or Alive?

My mom called to tell me about an article on Yahoo. A 43 year old man was presumed trapped in a vegetative state for 23 years. In reality, he heard every word that was spoken to him. Because a doctor finally discovered this, he can now communicate via a keyboard. I think I believe in pulling the plug, but when I hear stories like this, they perplex me. My mom reminded me of a story I wrote about 5 years ago when the Terry Schiavo controversy was in the news. I'm not posting this to start another controversy...I'm just saying it makes you think. At least it makes me think.

My World
Somehow, that world was magical. We were poor, but I was unaware. I had another world to retreat to if the idea of poverty began to sink in. I draped a long, white sheet over the edge of the couch forming a small opening where I could crawl through. This was my world. This was the world behind the waterfall. This was the world I was made for. I would play Care Bears behind the waterfall, and then I would sneak out and take an adventurous rafting escapade on top of my mother’s freshly washed linens. For an hour, I had thoroughly convinced myself that I lived in the land of make-believe.
As I got older, my childish games matured into a more classy form of imagination. After school, I would dash away to the woods behind my house. Entrance into these woods was not an easy task. A thin log over a raging river was my balance beam into the heart of the forest. Perhaps I had watched Fern Gulley The Last Rain Forrest one too many times.
“Ah, look there’s another tree down. What should I do? The builders are taking over! I must save the forest!”
The deathly orange X on every tree stared at me with haughty eyes. Off I ran to mix some concoction of red berries, oak leaves, and pond water to erase the threatening X on all the trees of the forest. I single-handedly deceived the cruel construction workers and sent them home not knowing where to bulldoze or where to build a house. I saved the woods. I saved my world.
In high-school, my world of make-believe became reality.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Venice airport. We hope you have enjoyed your flight. Remember to choose KLM for all your vacations.”
No, these weren’t streets of gold, but they were streets of water. I relaxed in the back of a gondola as I took in the scenery. Could it actually be Marco Polo’s home? Oh, it was. Everything seemed surreal, but this time I wasn’t forced to tear down the sheets or emerge from the woods and enter the real world. I was in the real world, but this world was filled with beautiful boats, homes garnished with flowering window boxes, cathedrals with mosaic tiling that left me in awe, and hearty laughs from Italian men as they conversed with their families over a lengthy dinner. Perhaps I had been born in the wrong country. This land thrilled me. It intrigued me. This was my world.
I flee to my world every day now. I tell myself the stories of my childhood. I tell myself the stories of my future. They think I don’t talk, but I converse all day long. I tell my parents not to worry. I tell my husband I love him. I tell my daughter to smile. Oh, they think I don’t hear, but I hear everything. Their words play over and over like a tape recorder in my mind. Their words are what I cling to. Their prayers, their kisses, their kind whispers into my ear are like presents brought afar by the magi into this far away land where I reside. They reach my world, they really do. I unpack them, I examine them, and I delight in them until more come my way. If I could cry, I think I would, but I seem to have no control over my own tears. I try to invite these people whom I love into my world – even just for a minute. But my invitation never gets sent out. I try to pull myself into their world, but my efforts are futile. So I just let them love me, and I just hope they know I love them- even this moment. Welcome to my world.
This world does not satisfy me. It leaves me hungry. It leaves me thirsty. It leaves me longing for more. I want to emerge from this world. I want to close my eyes and wakeup behind the waterfall, in the depths of the forest, or dodging the pigeons in front of the Basilica of St. Mark. My gifts, my talents, and my character lie dormant only allowing my own self to peer in. I want others to see who I am. I want to learn more about this life, but no one will teach me. I want to further develop as an individual, but my growth seems stunted. So I wait, and I wait, and I wait. I just wait to hear the words, “Welcome to my world.”

A Bowl of Taco Soup and the Bible

Graham's napping. I just fixed myself a bowl of taco soup and sat down to eat while listening to an Indelible Grace CD. I was trying to think of all the things I could do while he was sleeping, and suddenly I realized that I should grab my Bible. I opened the Bible to a page and laughed to myself as I thought about a recent Bible study discussion over randomly reading Scripture verses. You know, when you don't know what to read, so you just open to a page, twirl your finger around as if you are about to cast a spell on someone, and point to a verse on the page. Well, I didn't twirl my finger, but I started reading the first chapter that struck me. It was Psalm 73. "Truly God is good to Israel.." it stated. As I read, I heard, "Surely God is good..." being sung almost simultaneously. I thought to myself, "surely this can't be?" I continued to read and listen. Yes, I was reading the words of Psalm 73 as they were being sung on the CD. The translations were different, but still! I was in awe. When I came to the end of the page, I almost expected the CD to "ding" alerting me to turn the page like those follow along audio books in elementary school.

I have to admit that I often think its cheesy when people start talking about things like this, but maybe its just because I rarely experience them. My eyes watered as I continued to read. "Surely God is good," and "But for me it is good to be near God," are still stuck in my head. As ridiculous as this sounds, I often forget that God is good. I thought about the Psalms and the men of women of Scripture. Often when it was difficult for someone to see God's faithfulness in a situation, they dwelled on what God had done in the past and they implored him to be faithful like he had been before. This enabled men and women to persevere in the midst of hardship. Maybe that's how I can trust in God's faithfulness in the future. It is God's character to be faithful and nothing can change that. Even if it is difficult to see his faithful hand in my life at a given moment, I know that he has always been faithful in the past and he will continue his faithfulness in the future. And even if something terrible happens....even if Graham hadn't been okay...God is/was still FAITHFUL. It is who He is. I hope I can be like Asaph in verse 28. "I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works." God's faithfulness should motivate us to tell everyone what he did, does, and will do. There is no one tense than can capture His faithfulness- it is past, present, and future, and that is where my consolation lies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Feeling Nostalgic- Graham's Story Part 1

This day a year ago I noticed that one foot was a little more swollen than the other. I went to the pharmacy section of Kroger and took my blood pressure. I cried all the way back out to the car. It wasn't good. I phoned the on call doctor and he said not to worry but to come into the office in the morning. I went to see the doctor. My blood pressure was still a little elevated. They sent me to be monitored at the hospital. I cried as I changed into my gown in Labor and Delivery. Jeff was working outside of Murfreesboro, so I was by myself until he could make it back into town. I wasn't supposed to be in Labor and Delivery. It was only the beginning of my first tri-mester. Thankfully my blood pressure was stable at the hospital. They sent me home, I was put on bed rest, and I missed my baby shower in Memphis. I read about preeclampsia like crazy on the internet. I prayed that I didn't have it. I cried a lot. I went to see the doctor on Monday, and he took me off of work...just to be safe. Over the next month life was enjoyable. My blood pressure was doing well, and I was getting to enjoy life at home. I couldn't do anything that stressed me out. So I went shopping, visited with friends, and started blogging!

Sorry, I'm just feeling a little nostalgic these days. Maybe nostalgic isn't the best word because I don't know that I look on those days fondly, but there is some part of me that misses the experience that led up to Graham arriving- the good and the bad. I didn't feel like writing much about the complications in my pregnancy as I was in the midst of it, but now it is comforting to look at what happened and then see little Graham. But I do have to wonder...what if things didn't turn out the way I had hoped? What if Graham wasn't okay? Would I still look at God as faithful? He IS faithful regardless of the outcome. Sometimes that terrifies me, knowing that there will be trials to come. Sometimes it comforts me to know he loves me and is taking care of me. Anyway, there will be more to this story over the next couple of months as I dwell on the events leading to Graham's birth and the amazing truth that God is faithful.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

To Shave or Not to Shave

To shave or not to shave. Almost every woman faces this dilemma in the shower. You have to think about how much time you have, what you're wearing for the day, and if going one more day without shaving will be painful when your clothes rub against you legs. It's a serious decision, and you need to make the right one...or there will be consequences

Wednesday was one of those should I shave or not shave days. I got in the shower, and after a couple of minutes my attention was drawn to the upper corner of the shower curtain. There lay the mother of all cockroaches. It was the longest, fattest cockroach I had ever seen, and I was terribly frightened. You are suppose to find bugs like this in the rain forests in South America, not in a small bathroom in the Middle of Tennessee! I'm not a fan of bugs, but when I'm with a group of girls, I don't mind stepping up to the plate to kill the little critters. Now, if Jeff is around, I am suddenly terrified of bugs. I don't know what it is, but when Jeff is present, I loose the ability to fight them. I feel helpless and would much rather call on him to rescue me.

Well, Jeff wasn't around, but I still couldn't get the courage to fight the gigantic creature. It was stuck in between the shower liner and the shower curtain, so killing the bug wouldn't be an easy feat. I knew I had to finish my shower. I huddled in the far corner of the shower with one eye constantly on the bug. I decided on the shampoo bottle as a weapon should the roach come my direction. Distracted, I tried to put the conditioner in my hair before the shampoo. Oh, and the decision about whether to shave or not shave, it came easy. I wasn't going to stay a second longer in that shower than I had to. I jumped out of the shower, ran out of the bathroom, and shut the door behind me. I really don't think that a shut door is going to keep a roach away, but it eased my mind. I immediately called Jeff to see if he was close to the house so that he could come kill the bug. I felt a little silly, but as I said, this bug was HUGE! He couldn't come. I would have to face the Honey I Shrunk The Kids like creature by myself.

I finally got the courage to battle the roach. I went into the bathroom with bug spray in hand only to find that the bug was gone. Ahhhh....that was even worse. Every corner I turned, ever step I took, I never knew where the bug was going to be. I thought about just not going to the bathroom for the day. What if it was hiding in the toilet? I could run down the street, buy a pack of gum, and use the Shell Station's bathroom every time I needed to go. Thankfully, I was gone most of the day, but when I did have to go to the bathroom, I went in with vigilant eyes and a can of Raid.

The day gave me time to contemplate this larger than life creature. If this roach was so big, then what did this roach's mother look like? And was this roach's mother in my house as well? The only consolation I could provide myself was dwelling on the fact that this must have been the original roach God created and thus this roach did not have a mother or a grandmother or a great grandmother.

Finally, Jeff came home for the day, and he too had an encounter with the roach. I was glad he got to see it for himself because for some reason he thinks I'm prone to exaggeration. He didn't give me details on the death of the roach, but I imagine that Jeff was a little more frightened than he let on. Thank goodness I had left the can of Raid in the bathroom so that the fight was short and sweet. Jeff was a hero, I was relieved, and the bug, well, it was dead.

Now I hesitated on whether to tell this story. I don't want anyone to be afraid to come to my house. I have a feeling that almost all of you have had some kind of critter in your house that you're a little embarrassed by, so please don't judge. And by the way, the exterminators were immediately called and they have thoroughly sprayed our house. So long cockroaches. I hope I never never never see you again, especially in the shower.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just one of THOSE days

I got into the car to go to Bible Study. Bible? Check. Book? Check. Diaper Bag? Check. Baby? Check. What were all the ladies going to think? I might actually arrive on time or just a couple minutes late. As I started my 10 minute drive, I looked down at my arm. "Please, please tell me that is water," I thought to myself. My brown shirt had a spot, but it had been raining. "Maybe a big rain drop landed on my arm? Yeah that's probably what happened." I lifted my arm to my nose. "Nope, I was wrong." I continued the drive to church a little concerned about what awaited me in Graham's diaper. Oh well. What was I going to do? Sure enough, Graham had an explosion in his diaper, and sure enough those explosives were on me and him. Good thing I put that extra outfit in his bag! "What a good mom I am! I'm all prepared," I arrogantly thought. I forgot for a moment that I also needed an extra outfit for myself, so I wasn't that prepared. I took off my shirt and zipped up my jacket. As long as they weren't doing an airport security search at the bible study doors, I would be okay. I enjoyed an encouraging and thought provoking 2 hours about Christians and persecution, then I headed to pick up my little chunky monkey. To my surprise, the little chunk was only garbed in a polka dot diaper. Where were the child's clothes? The babysitter informed me that his juice had spilled all over his outfit, and of course I didn't bring 2 extra outfits for him to wear. For a second I thought about wrapping him up in my jacket, but only having a measly camisole underneath, I figured if one of us needed to go topless, it might as well be the baby. I borrowed a blanket and strapped him in the car seat. Was it really only 11:45? My, my, what more could the day hold? Well the day did hold more. It involved Graham getting the stem of a leaf stuck down his throat, me finding him about to put a dime and a penny in his mouth, and me also fishing out of his mouth a water bottle top. Did I mention that he also somehow picked up my water bottle, got the cap off, and spilled it all over the couch and himself? I'm really not sure how many outfits he went through today. I felt a little out of control and maybe shed a few tears of frustration, but in the end had to smile at my adventures with Graham. And this all happened just when I thought life was getting a little boring.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cheese Muffins...because that's what you should eat at a Barn Dance!

It was Saturday afternoon, and I hadn't made anything for the Barn Dance. Everyone from our church and local RUF group was supposed to meet on a farm for good food, bonfires, and of course, some square dancing! I needed to bring a side, but I really didn't want to go to the grocery. Graham was asleep, Jeff was painting the outside of our house, and I needed something I could make quickly and with readily available ingredients. My mind immediately went to Pioneer Woman. She is often on my mind. Her style of writing, her carefree life on the ranch, and her delicious cooking all intrigue me. She always has recipes with the most simple ingredients being that she is so far from town, and I knew I could rely on her for some good food. I was going to make her sesame noodles because I knew I had the ingredients, and I knew they were tasty, but I stumbled across Cheese Muffins. "Now that sounds good," I thought to myself. Cheese, flour, baking powder, salt, milk, sugar and eggs. Now I can do that. Plus, who wants to eat sesame noodles at a Barn Dance? You need something good, homey, and pioneer-like....just like Cheese Muffins. I quickly started following the recipe. I went to grab the one egg I needed, and sadly came out of the fridge with zero eggs. I had eaten the last one a few days ago. "Ahh....I've already started making it, and now I don't have what I need! Who doesn't have eggs?" I decided I would ask my neighbor to borrow one...or perhaps just to have one since I don't' think you can give eggs back. She wouldn't come to the door. Maybe she was scared or maybe people just don't borrow eggs or a cup of sugar like they used to. My mom used to do it, so I thought I would give it a try, but unfortunately I returned home empty-handed. I had no other choice but to go to the grocery store. I paid my $1.07 and headed home to finish my muffins. I tasted them to make sure I wasn't feeding poison to any takers these muffins might attract. Yum Yum Yum. They were good. You "might could" put a little less salt, but they were still delicious. Here is the recipe if you want to try them! From personal experience, they are great with a big bowl of soup!

Fig’s Cheese Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded colby-jack cheese
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter (I used salted)
Whisk together dry ingredients, then stir in cheese.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg, milk, and butter together. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir with a spoon to combine.
Bake in greased muffin tins at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Makes 12.