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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm All Shook Up

That's right, folks, I live in So. California and we just got All Shook Up by a 5.4 earthquake. The epicenter was about 15 miles from my house, so we got a real good shake here. All my poor little animals are freaked out and my heart is still beating about a mile a minute, even though it's been approximately 45 minutes ago. Only felt one aftershock and it was very slight. When the quake hit, I was here at my computer. Remember all those decorative jars I bought last year? They are all sitting up on top of my computer desk, just inches above my head. Let me tell you, when the shaking started, I thought, "O no, those jars are going to come down right on top of my head!" So I quickly got out of the way, and, thankfully, none of them came down. I did have one vintage plate fall off the top of my kitchen cupboards and break, plus an antique teacup given to me by Hubs fell down off its shelf and broke. Our damage was extremely minimal compared to what it could have been. I have glass containers and china ALL.OVER.MY.HOUSE! Hubs and kidlet weren't home, we've all been in touch with each other and everyone is okay. My animals, other than just being scared half to death, are all okay. And things? They can be replaced. For those of you who've never experienced and earthquake - the good thing is that they only last seconds, not hours like when you're dealing with a tornado or hurricane, and once the shaking stops, you know if you've survived it or not! I dont like earthquakes, but I'll take earthquakes any day over the above mentioned types of storms that occur elsewhere in the country.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Training For Congress

An Indian walks into a cafe with a shotgun in one hand and pulling a male buffalo with the other. He says to the waiter: 'Want coffee.' The waiter says, 'Sure , Chief. Coming right up.'
He gets the Indian a tall mug of coffee. The Indian drinks the coffee down in one gulp, turns and blasts the buffalo with the shotgun, causing parts of the animal to splatter everywhere and then just walks out.
The next morning the Indian returns. He has his shotgun in one hand, pulling
another male buffalo with the other. He walks up to the counter and says to the waiter 'Want coffee.' The waiter says 'Whoa, Tonto! We're still cleaning up your mess from yesterday. What was all that about, anyway?'
The Indian smiles and proudly says ...'Training for position in United States Congress: Come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull, leave mess for others to clean up, dAsappear for rest of day.

The Invisible Mom

This was sent to me by a friend this week. It comes at a particularly appropriate time for me.
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix
this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. ; ; And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Monday, July 14, 2008

B-Day Celebration Continues

According to Cheryl, one is supposed to celebrate their birthday month, not just their birth-day. I love that idea. It hasn't been a month yet, but I have been celebrating. On my actual birthday, I received several phone calls from friends, wishing me a happy birthday. Then Esther (who has a blog, but I can't get her to post on it anymore - hee hee) took me to lunch at a local restaurant that has THE BEST!!!! coconut cake! We went there specifically for the cake, but after Esther told the server it was my birthday, she brought out a brownie sundae with a candle on top. Then the coconut cake came out, and I was so full from my lunch and the brownie sundae that I could only eat a couple of bites of the cake. We shared one piece, but between the two of us, we couldn't finish it all. Esther also gave me this card,
with a check inside that cute little pocket on the left side.
On my birthday, Hubs was doing a side job in another city and didn't make it home until almost 7 p.m. Then on Friday morning he had to be at the hospital with a member of our congregation for a surgery, and left the house around 5:30 a.m. I was having myself a nice little pity party 'cause Hubs wasn't acknowledging my b-day, but when he arrived home from the hosptial around noon-ish on Friday, he brought me these
beautiful flowers and, I think the sweetest card he's ever given in 28 years of marriage. It made me cry. That night we went out for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Oh. My. Gosh! I ate SOOO much I thought I was gonig to be sick afterward. But I couldn't help myself, because the food is so incredibly good there. I ate SO much, that the when I woke up the next morning, I was still FULL!! O man, between the browine sundae and the fabulous coconut cake on Thursday, then the Lemoncello Creme Torte on Friday, it's a wonder by Saturday that I could even get out of bed!
Then came Sunday. Every year at church on my birthday, the congreation receives an offering for me. Plus in our Sunday School class, we always celebrate each other's birthdays. So I received several more beautiful cards filled with LOTS of cash and checks, a Micheal's giftcard (one of my fave places to shop!), and this
gorgeous hand-painted birdhouse. Oh, yeah, and another cake! This time chocolate, just one of my many favorite flavors of cake. In fact, the lady that brought the cake asked me if I liked chocolate cake. I told her I've never met a cake that I didn't like and wouldn't eat! lol Can you guess what I had for breakfast this morning? And can you guess where I've been this morning?
So the celebrating continues!
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me-for-a-whole-month-(cause-Cheryl-said-so), {take a big breath here) happy birthday to me! TTFN

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Feline Acne

That's right, folks, Feline Acne...or the Case of The Cat With A Fat Lip! Who has ever heard of Feline Acne before? Certainly not me. But the other night my cat, George, who is a big goober anyhow, looked like he was sticking his tongue out at me. I thought, o, how cute he looks. Upon closer inspection, though, I realized that it was not his tongue sticking out, but his bottom lip. I held him down and pried his mouth open and it was, indeed, red and swollen, and even a little "puss-ish" (that's puss, as in the nasty stuff that oozes out of an infected sore, not puss, as in cat. Just thought I'd throw that in for good measure.) Anyhow, I figured one of the other cats had probably nabbed him with their claw to make him leave them alone, and that it had probably just gotten infected. So, I held him down again, put some hydrogen peroxide on a q-tip, and cleaned it. Next day, it was a little bit worse. So, I cleaned it with the peroxide again. Yesterday, it was still getting bigger and by then, he was starting to look like one of those Ubangies in Africa who put bones in their lips to make them jut out like a bowl under their mouth. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but it ws starting to concern me that it was more than just a scratch. So this morning, I called the Vet and took him in. The doctor took one look at him and said he has Feline Acne. And, it's not curable. Managable, but not curable. So, doctor gave him a shot, and a prescription of steroid tablets that I have to give him every day for a week, then every other day for a month. And, doctor said that it will probably flare up at least every few months, if not immediately after finishing the steroid prescription. He told me, "We're going to become very good friends over the course of the cat's life." The cat is just 2 years old, and my last cat lived for 17 years. O, and by the way, don't cats have 9 lives? So if their life expectancy is somewhere between 15 and 20 years, and they have 9 lives, wow, I can't even do the math right now, but I'm quite sure I won't be around long enough to outlive him! Here's what he looks like: I feel sorry for him. My little Boy George.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today is the 52nd anniversary of the day I was born. Wow, I'm more than half a century old! How great is that?! I've never considered myself as getting old. Just old-er. Growing up, I remember hearing people lamenting the fact that they were 30, or 40, or older. I always wanted to turn 50, because at 50, you've lived long enough to, hopefully, have gained a pretty good wealth of knowledge, and yet, still young enough to enjoy the knowledge you've gained. So, I've been 50 for 2 years now, and I think it's just getting better. I definately would NOT want to go back!

Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm Still Waiting...

I did what you told me . I sent the email to 10 or more people like you said .
I'm still waiting for that miracle to happen.
To all my friends who in the last year sent me best 'wishes', chain letters, 'angel' letters or other promises of good luck if I forwarded something,
For 2008, could you please just send money, gasoline vouchers or airline tickets instead?
Thank you!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Car Wash

Okay, so I don't look or sound like Rose Royce, and it's a pretty sure bet that after today, I would never get hired to work at a car wash, either.
I was there, bee-boppin' along, washing away on my car, when all of a sudden, the power washer hit a "spot" on my car that sent the water straight back into my face, just like a waterfall! It shocked me to suddenly get hit in the face with a blast of water! I quickly looked around to see if anyone was watching. Thankfully, no one saw me. At least I hope they didn't. I'm a total dork, standing there in my shorts, white legs glaring in the sun, with my hair now totally soaked and water dripping off my chin. So, I don't think a job at the car wash is a likely career for me! :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

In the words of Lee Greenwood:
I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.
Happy Birthday, America!