Saturday, January 30, 2010

Be Prepared

I was not a boy scout, or even a girl scout, but I like their motto.

You know the sayings, "if you don't want it to rain, take your umbrella," and "if you want it to rain, wash your car." Well, we dodged a major bullet the last couple of days with a milder-than-expected ice and snow storm.

Gracie, playing in the snow.

Unlike earthquakes, ice and snow can be predicted days in advance. After the Great Ice Storm of 2007, us Okies were not taking any chances. Walmart actually ran out of milk and eggs.

My son got the generator out of the shop and parked it behind the house. Two 5-gallon gas containers perched next to it. Electrician was scheduled to install a receptacle for the generator to plug directly into the house. Problem number one--generator wouldn't start. Solution: Good Samaritan Mike loaded it up and took it to his shop Wednesday night and cleaned the spark plugs, brought it back the same night and it was ready to roll. Problem number two--parts needed by electrician were out-of-stock at Home Depot. Everyone else seemed to have the same idea. Solution: another truck delivering to Home Depot Wednesday night. Electrician came out Thursday evening and, in the midst of freezing rain and high winds, installed my special outlet. I carried several stacks of wood to the front porch, in case the fireplace was my only source of heat. My cupboards were stocked.

All that--to say this. I WAS READY! And I'm not complaining, but I didn't need any of it. I'm still proud of myself for being prepared.

Hurricanes can be predicted weeks in advance. Snow/ice storms...days. Tornadoes...hours. While we can prepare for these disasters, Haiti had no time to prepare for their major earthquake. (Well, unless you take into consideration that they knew they were on a fault line and should have taken precautions in the way their structures are built.) Kind of like us knowing that Jesus has said He is coming back. We just don't know when. There will be no warning (like a thief in the night). Are we as prepared for that great event as we were for the ice storm?

Friday, January 29, 2010

My Photo Entry

Today's theme for Mandy's photo contest is "Birthday." Appropriate since today is Neal's birthday. However.....Jacob's birthday pictures are much cuter, so I'm entering one from his first birthday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Signs I Might Be Spoiled

Here are some of the things I really missed on my weekend vacation....aka Signs I Just Might Be Slightly Spoiled.

DVR -- having to watch commercials, not being able to *pause* to go to the bathroom, not being able to reverse to catch something I missed.

Coffee Pot with Timer -- not waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.

Select Comfort Bed -- in case you're wondering (admit it, you're dying to know) my Sleep Number is 30.

Peace & Quiet of the Country -- trying to sleep (on an uncomfortable bed) with Sasquatch above and crying kid next door.

That said.....I feel very guilty for even having these thoughts when there are people in Haiti (and no doubt other parts of the globe) that would be happy with a drink of water and a bowl of rice. I'm a wretched person.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Random Thoughts

Warning: I'm writing this blog out of sheer boredom.

Yesterday came close to my Ferris Buehler day off. Breakfast at IHOP, morning nap, bargains at the mall, Olive Garden for lunch, afternoon matinee, Texas A-1 Steak House for dinner. Neal telling me all day..."whatever YOU want to do."

Five whole days away from the gym. This is the third day and I'm slowly realizing I'm addicted. An intervention may be necessary. I tried to do some of the things we've done at Boot Camp this morning. I'm sure the guests in the room below weren't too thrilled. But Smiley would be proud.

Left Jeff in charge of the homefront. Scary. Desperate call from him last night..."Is there a secret hiding place for the extra toilet paper?"

Grandkids called last night -- "I want to come to you house." "When are you coming home?" "Is Papa coming home?" "When it gets warm, can we swim?"

Bought a 5-cup coffee maker yesterday because hubby's cheap residence hotel "nickel and dimes" you for all the "extras." Also bought coffee and filters, but nothing to drink from. (You can "buy" a set of dishes at the front desk.) Resorted to a plastic Solo cup. And don't think I wouldn't drink it straight from the pot if I had to.

I think Sasquatch lives in the room above us. Hmm. The guests below us probably think the same thing after my morning Boot Camp.

I brought 2 novels, 1 Bible Study, and 1 Spanish language book...none of which interests me right now. *yawn* Maybe it's time for a nap.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thanks for the Signal, God

Since I've been so bold as to write about some of my frustrations with my local church, I feel it only fair to report the beams of light that are breaking through the clouds.

Last night was the kick-off for a new program that involves the whole congregation. I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the "program," which will remain nameless, in case you are doing the same thing at your church. In fact, I only went to the introduction meeting because they served donuts--just tryin' to keep it real here.

I was already praying with a group of people twice a month (which you may recall was the subject of one of my less-than-enthusiastic posts) and since I wasn't dealing very well with the pressure to participate, (I'm the girl that cain't say no) I elected to be part of the prayer team.

Sixty-five dedicated servants showed up on a Monday night to be a part of this effort. Mind you...our church is small...little...teeny tiny. We had all seen each other just the day before, but it was obvious how happy we were to see each other again.

After we shared a meal, seven of us went to our designated room to pray. And pray we did. All of us. Four men and three women. For an hour and a half. We prayed individually for people that are struggling with health issues, emotional issues and spiritual issues. We prayed for our shut-ins, for new members, for visitors. Maybe we prayed for you. And God showed me that He can change minds and hearts without me having to say a word.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Night (and morning) at the Circus

The grandkids spent the night with me last night. Which also meant church with Nana this morning.

Since we were still experiencing frigid temperatures, we also had Gracie in the house. Ladies and Gentlemen! Let the circus begin!

The kids were ecstatic that the dog was in the house. The chair where Gracie camps out, covered in a flannel sheet to collect her hair, also became the favorite place for Jacob to play his Nintendo DS. Sorry for all the dog hair that made its way back to your house, Trista.

Notable conversations and soundbites:

Last night:

Me: "No, Lauren, Gracie can't have a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.....Gracie, drop it....I said drop it!"

Me: "Jacob!--what did I say? DO NOT FEED GRACIE YOUR CHEESE!"

Playing checkers:
Jacob: "Nice move, Nana...but you're goin' down!"

Jacob: "Nana, I love you so soooooo my heart!"
Me: "I love you with all my heart too, Jacob."
Lauren: "I love you Nana."
Me: "I love you too Lauren."
Jacob: "I love you Lauren."
Lauren: "I don't love you Jacob."
Jacob: (heartbroken) "Nana, Sissy said she doesn't love me."
Me: "She's just teasing you, Jacob, she really loves you."
Lauren: "No I don't. 'Cause I'm angry."

This morning, getting ready for church:

Jacob: "Can we have these (Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes) for breakfast?"
Nana: "Yes, but no chocolate in your milk." (I'm not a complete pushover.)

Lauren (waving her magic wand): "Nana, I turning you into Trista!" Oh how I wish. Then maybe I could manage getting 2 kids bathed and fed and ready for church on time. How do these people do it? How did I do it? Oh yeah, I was 30 years younger.

Jacob's Teacher: "Jacob said I could come spend the night with you for five days." Sure, come join the circus!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Dog Days of Winter

I have rules about animals in the house.

#1: No animals in the house.
#2: Animals only allowed inside when temperatures drop below 20 degrees.
#3: No dogs on the furniture.
#4: No dogs in my bedroom.

Over the past week or so, Rule #2 has trumped Rule #1.

Ever so cunningly, Gracie has decided that rules are made to be broken. She has now taken over one of the living room arm chairs.

So much for Rule #3.

And what's this? I believe the only carpet in my house is in my bedroom, thus breaking rule #4.
It's part of her diabolical scheme to take over the world.

The sunshine feels so good beaming in through the patio doors of my bedroom.

Looks like the perfect spot for a little siesta.

Now, if it's too dadgum cold to stay outside, how come when she goes out for a potty break, she can't get enough of the white stuff?

She literally ROLLS in it.

But who can resist these eyes?Sleep well, princess.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Boot Camp

Today was the first day of Boot Camp. Thought I needed a little variety in my workout routine. So at 8:00 this morning I, along with 9 others, began our training with Smiley (bottom left photo), a body builder/former Gladiator contestant/youth pastor. Go on the link. I'll wait for you........... I've watched him train others and always said if I ever got a personal trainer, I'd want it to be him. He doesn't yell and cuss like Bob & Jillian and he always has words of encouragement.

Now, I've been working out, to some degree, for over 20 years. When I work out with the hubby, he tells me to "go for the burn," which I have always interpreted as "keep doing reps until your muscle is fatigued and you don't think you can do any more." I didn't realize until TODAY that there is an actual...literal...BURN. I mean my muscles were ON FIRE!!!

At one point, while doing wall squats with dumbbells, my left thigh began quivering uncontrollably. And when I partnered with my extremely fit and strong daughter-in-law to do bicep curls with a shared band, I thought she was going to sling shot me into the mirrored wall.

At the end of the hour, Smiley told us that we would increase the intensity as time goes on. Say what?

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Eve Extravaganza

I like to hit the sack early. I can't remember the last time I saw midnight. I don't like to be out on the roads on New Year's Eve. Yesterday after work I was tired and debated whether to go to the gym or home to nap. I opted for the gym, and with a second wind and an offer from the Ringles to pick me up, I agreed to go to the church party/talent show.

Can't believe I almost missed this:

Ricky and the Wailers

Rick O'Dell's rendition of ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man"

Yep, that's our laid-back, subdued preacher going crazy on the drums.

Great way to ring in the new year. You guys rock!