Thursday, December 31, 2009

Harry Potter and the Ex

a couple of months ago my almost 18yo daughter (my youngest child) came to me and asked me if i would take her to the harry potter exhibit in boston for her 18th birthday -- coming up in january. at the time i said that if i had the money we would go. now in the back of my head i was doing this silent calculation of how much the bus down and back would be ($140) and the cost of the tickets (unsure) and what a taxi from the bus station to the exhibit and back would cost (also unsure) and knew that somehow this might not come to pass. but i also knew that i had a few months to try and make this happen.

one day before xmas my child asked me again and i basically told her that it wasn't going to be possible because #1 i didn't have enough funds to get us through xmas without help and #2 since my birthday is also in january my car needs to be registered (its all done by b'days here in NH) and inspected -- at least an extra $200 i didn't have. so i didn't see how it was going to be possible for me to take her to the harry potter exhibit. i suggested she ask her father, since she's with him on her birthday anyhow.

so, i guess she took me up on that suggestion. and mind, its my own fault for saying it. but at the time i was feeling a lot like the reason i was in the financial pickle i was in was because of his uncaring attitude (since he stopped paying me alimony after only three years). he seems to have an unending supply of money and not just from his job -- but for a long time his parents and brother were sending him money left and right. even though he really didn't need it. but whatever ....

at any rate, as the date for them to go to boston looms closer and closer, i find myself getting sadder and sadder that i can't take her and that he can. i find myself being resentful for his financial ability to give her whatever she wants whenever she wants and my inability to even provide the most basic of needs. and i know that i need to give it over to god because it just eats away at me and makes me dislike my ex even more than i had when i found out he was cheating on me.

all the statistics i've read have said that when there is a divorce 90% of the women and children live in poverty. when i look around at the women and children living in the housing area i live in, i see that statistic looming large. its not just that we can't buy our children presents or give them elaborate trips or parties. its that most of the time we can't even meet the most basic of their needs. in most instances we end up going to food banks to put food on the table or go begging the office for an extension on the rent.

if i could have found a job when i first closed my store, i might not be in such bad shape. i had been an administrative secretary when i left to be a stay at home mom almost 22 years ago (a joint decision my husband and i had made at the time). i left my career to be a full-time mom and did in-home daycare and had a 10 year sewing business which helped to pay our bills. my ex never saw that as "income" unfortunately. but that's another story. having the store gave me back a sense of self and confidence i had long since lost. i knew i was a great mom, but could i be a great anything else ever again?? of that i was not so sure.

through a set of unfortunate circumstances i found myself unemployable. after tearing the rotator cuff in my shoulder i was unable to get a job lifting things. after being out of the secretarial workforce for 22 years i find myself unemployable as that. add to this the fact that the job market sucks right now for anyone and u can see how this is going downhill in terms of me finding a job.

last night i realized that the one thing that i'm really good at is caring about children -- caring for children. its something i can do well -- and have done. i have been looking for the past couple of months for jobs where i could be a mommy's assistant or do daycare in someone's home. it hasn't been easy. everybody seems to want u to have some degree in child development. i don't have a degree on paper, but i certainly earned my credits by raising two children and caring for others over the years. how do u document that??

at any rate, this whole harry potter and the ex thing has brought me to a place of suddenly feeling like i have somehow failed my child by not giving her what it was she really wanted for her birthday. and for not being able to spend it with her this year. it amazes me how one small thing regarding my child can make me feel somehow inferior. but then i realize that for a long time i felt like being a good mom was the only thing i did well. and its easy to fall back into that pattern of self-doubt that i carried for so long. so this is another time when i need to turn to papa god and see myself as he sees me -- and not as i have perceived myself for so long. to him i am something so much more than just a mom -- and this whole harry potter and the ex thing -- in god's terms -- is but a blip on the radar to self discovery ....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Raising the Faith

i have a facebook account. i've had it for eons. not as long as i have had a myspace (which, btw, i never look at anymore). i've written a zillion notes at my facebook. and i even set up a fan page for Angelic Adornments there. so imagine my surprise this afternoon when i went to upload some new photos to my fan page and discovered it no longer existed. and not only did it no longer exist, but all my notes were missing as well -- and who knows what else at this point. idk what the problem is and i can't get the higher ups at facebook to acknowledge my existence or the fact that some of my important items r missing. after much mucking through the different places to go to get "help" i finally sent them a message only to get a canned response about how they don't respond to individual messages but that they would be "looking into" my issues. how sweet.

normally i wouldn't get upset about this stuff. like the missing notes -- i've got all the important ones in files on my computer so its not like they couldn't be duplicated. but the fan page -- that's the pits. i have a link from my Etsy website to my fan page. there's a link at this blog page to my fan page. i would have to go back through zillions of photos to find all the ones that were posted on my fan page in order to recreate it. and then there is the question of the fans. i would lose them. mind there weren't a lot -- but still.....

as there isn't a whole lot more i can do about this, i have to "let it go" and let the higher ups deal with whatever the problem is. it reminds me about how there r a lot of things that i can do very little about and need to let papa god deal with them.

a couple of nights ago i was watching a live stream of a local church that we sometimes attend. during the service, someone called to say that a pastor from the west coast had collapsed during his service and was rushed to hospital. so we prayed. then later it was discovered that he had passed away and that ppl were going there to pray over him to raise him from the dead. having read some of the works of Smith Wigglesworth, i firmly believe that this is possible.

now before u go all postal on me -- this does happen in this day and age. it has been documented -- so its not something that can't happen. so we all prayed. and we kept in touch on facebook about what was happening. like how they had moved him to another room and that the glory was coming down and we should keep praying. and we were praying. but he did not arise and walk.

now some ppl would look at this and say well, god doesn't exist because if he did this man would certainly have been raised. but as someone reminded me -- did anyone ask papa god what he wanted to do with this man?? i'm not sure that anyone did. most of the ppl (and i have to admit that i was a bit of a lemming and just followed the higher ups here) saw that a man of god had been felled in the middle of a sermon before his time and knew that it was an opportunity for god to show his glory and bring the man back to life. which it was. but it begs the question: does our faith and trust in papa god stay strong even when prayers rn't answered the way we want them to be but the way that papa god sees as best??

i've had plenty of opportunities in the last 5 years to lose faith and trust in papa because prayers i made went seemingly unanswered. but i've also had many prayers answered and i've had many times when papa showed me his love when i wasn't expecting it. what i saw on sunday night/monday morning was a gathering of ppl of faith from all around the world, to pray fervently for a man to be raised from the dead and if nothing else, i saw their faith and trust in papa god and that made mine stronger. strange as that might sound. what i've come to realize is that my reality here on earth -- ie, what i see/hear, etc. -- is not always god's reality. so i have to trust that papa knows better than i in all circumstances and let go -- as hard as that sometimes is. papa god is in control and that gives me a real level of freedom -- freedom from worry, stress, the need to "fix it", etc. its another wonderful gift from papa god.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

overly blessed

some might say that i am poor and not blessed at all. but i know different. we may not have much money and bills might get put off from time to time, but we r most certainly overly blessed. the last two days were testimony to that.

on thurs. my neighbor told me about the turkey dinner fixings that her church was handing out at their food pantry. i really didn't have room for a turkey in my freezer, and my kids weren't going to be with me this year for christmas, so i thought i would wait until after christmas to pick one up at the grocery store for the christmas celebration i would then have with my kids. but when i got home from lunch with a friend, my neighbor had left me an almost 13 lb. turkey and a grocery bag full of food -- not just for the turkey dinner, but for other dinners as well. it was an amazing blessing. i didn't have room in my freezer for it, so i'm currently thawing it in my sink to make later today when my son comes over to eat. we will have plenty for our meal and much left over to freeze and make for other meals.

that same day a friend called me and invited me to lunch. i don't get to go out to eat much. occasionally sammy and i will venture down the "strip" and get something at McD's, Wendy's, BK, or Taco Bell off their dollar menus. once in a while we'll splurge at Panera and can usually walk away with a good meal for a little over $10. but that doesn't happen often -- so to go to a real sit down restaurant with a menu that the waitress hands u is a really special treat. this particular friend has taken me out before and its so sweet of her to do that. we have some commonalities in our lives and enjoy each other's company.

afterwards she came to my apt. and looked through my wares. she was looking for presents for her female relatives and picked several jewelry pieces. she blessed me by not only feeding me spiritually and nutritionally, but by purchasing some items which then put money in my pocket to pay some bills and buy a gift card for my son for christmas from the local guitar shop. to top it all off, she gave us a bag of lindor truffles (if u haven't had these -- they r an extravagant chocolate -- even white chocolates which i can have). it was a truly blessed day.

yesterday another friend stopped by to pick up some speakers i had that she wanted to use to plug in her ipod. but she didn't come empty handed. she walked through the door with a huge basket of fruit in her arms and in a shopping bag attached to one arm was a spiral cut ham as big as the turkey i'd gotten the day before -- along with homemade mustard sauce. talk about being blown away -- i was...

the thing is that i don't accept gifts given very well. i'm always embarrassed and humbled by the experience. and here i was being totally humbled three times in two days. we now have too much food and i'm not sure how to handle it all. don't get me wrong, i'm so very very grateful for all of it, and i realize that christmas is the time for giving. but i am one of those ppl who feels this need to reciprocate in kind -- and i can't and it kind of hurts me that i can't. but i'm grateful for the blessings and i think that papa god is trying to teach me to be more accepting without feeling the need to reciprocate immediately. as my friend yesterday said -- u gave to me throughout the year when u just listened or talked to me about spiritual things and look today u let me borrow ur speakers which gets me out of a pickle -- that is ur gift to me. i have never thought of that as a gift -- doing little things or just spending time talking with someone as a gift-- i have always thought of it as just being me. and if something i do doesn't seem "above and beyond" the norm, then it doesn't seem like a gift. but maybe it is to others. and maybe i need to stop beating myself up for not being able to give "gifts" that come wrapped in pretty paper.

at any rate, today will be a day of cooking and feasting. i will be making both the turkey and the ham and we will have a bit of both on our plates along with all the fixings and i will freeze all the leftovers since my daughter will be going to her dad's on monday and not coming back till the middle of the following week. and every time i pull out turkey or ham to make another meal i will thank papa god for the wonderful friends who blessed me in a most thoughtful way.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ARE YOU READY????

so lots of ppl around this time of year get a little frantic because they haven't gotten all the shopping done that needs to be done for the holidays and r worried to some degree or another about the gifts that they were able to buy and whether or not they will be nice enough, etc. other ppl have been ready for months (some even were VERY forward thinking and bought this year's presents last year after christmas when everything was dirt cheap -- i really admire those folks the most).
since i haven't had a real income from a job (Feb. of 2008) for a while, its been a real experience trying to make christmas with no real funds to speak of. its really kind of exciting to see what i can do considering that after the holidays, i then have my daughter's birthday and my car registration/inspection fees to deal with -- which really makes it interesting.
but i've always been the kind of person who likes to make my gifts instead of buy them -- when i can. i learned early on when i was first married and had children how to take my creativity and use it for gift giving. but recently i saw this commercial where the guy kind of whispers "hand made gifts -- who wants them -- nobody" and then goes on to say how u can get other things off ebay. i'm not really sure if he's touting ebay or not -- but he makes some really disparaging remarks about handmade gifts (smells like church, etc.).
it kind of makes me mad because ppl who handmake something put a lot of love and time and effort into it and to be so unappreciative to think that the only gift worth getting (or giving) is one purchased off and online auction is really a reflection of the kind of person u r -- (insert some negative word here).
at any rate, i'm glad that in one sense i don't have to worry about what to buy someone (since i have no money i can't buy anyone anything). but i can make lots of things -- and am. and even got my daughter to make an ornament for her grandfather. so i'm sort of passing on the tradition of y buy it if u can make it urself. that's probably not good for the economy in any sense of the word -- or my purse if u think about selling things at my etsy site. and i understand that some ppl rn't talented with a needle and thread or hooks and yarn or paint. but perhaps ur a great baker or cook -- u could cook a meal or bake a special treat or give a hand made coupon for either of those -- or maybe u give great back massages -- that might be something someone who is overworked or over stressed might like. or to someone who doesn't have transportation u could give coupons for a ride to the store or mall or wherever -- it might give u a chance to get to know someone just a little better. one of the best presents i gave one year was a soup in a jar mix -- they just had to add hot water and let simmer a while -- with a texas cornbread mix (just add milk and an egg). they were recipes i got off the internet for gifts in a jar. a few simple ingredients and i had several jars to give as gifts -- attached instructions for cooking with a sweet bow and there u had it. ppl loved it.
All Free Crafts Gifts In A Jar Website

times r tight right now financially for a lot of folks and ppl r scrambling for ideas to make their dollars go a little farther in the gift giving dept. there r so many inventive ways to "make" a gift for someone special that won't cost u an arm and a leg, but will show the person that u really care about them during the holidays.
and as for me -- well, i'm just about ready. one more thing to make and i'll be done. my presents to my dad and my brother's family have already been mailed. so i'm feeling pretty good right now ....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

snowstorms and such ...

so we're having our first real snowstorm of the year. we probably got 10-12 inches since early this morning. when the phone rang at 5:30 this morning from the school district to say that school had been cancelled, i got up and looked out the window to see NOTHING!! i thought, was i dreaming the phone call ... but decided to crawl back into bed and go back to sleep. which i did.

three hours later i awoke to hear snow shovels on pavement and snow plows scraping off the parking lot and knew i needed to get dressed and move my car. at that point we probably had 6 inches -- which, btw, was the original estimate of how much we would get. the next several hours the snow continued to fall at a rate of an inch an hour. my neighbor, daughter, and i ventured out to the local craft store for yarn (to complete christmas projects) and grocery store. there weren't many cars on the road and the going was slow and slick.

i forget every year just how much i'm NOT in love with snow until it happens again. usually it starts sometime the tail end of Oct. or the beginning of Nov. we're kinda late this year -- although we did have a dusting a couple of days ago. sometimes it doesn't end until late march or early april. ppl who don't live in snow country r jealous. maybe they wouldn't be if they had to shoveling and wait for clothing to dry before venturing out yet again to shovel or deal with the wicked cold temps (something about 30 below with a windchill that makes it feel 20 more degrees lower than that doesn't make me happy).

don't get me wrong -- i love snow on christmas day -- i love looking at it and taking pics of it. but i hate shoveling it and i am not fond of driving in it. the schools here tend to NOT call school unless there is at least 10 inches on the ground or the promise of such so that's one reason i was so surprised this morning to get the call. i'm glad that my daughter didn't have school because i would have had to pick her up during the worst of the storm (noon). snow is great for taking pics and looking at and sledding (i'm not a real outdoorsy kind of gal if u haven't already figured that out) or skiing -- but when ur not into skiing or sledding or snow mobiling -- snow seems like a pain.

for right now i will be content to sit in my not so warm apartment and watch the snow fall and play my christmas music and crochet the presents i'm making. i'll take pics for my friends in warm places so they can oooo and aaaahhhh and be duly jealous...

Friday, December 4, 2009

sick again ....

i can't believe this, but i'm sick again!! it doesn't help that i had two little boys coughing all over me at the beginning of the week. i remember the days when my kids brought stuff home from school and inevitably i would get it too -- which, of course, in mommy terms means u don't rest because ur too busy being nurse to sick children. but i had several good years of not much more than the occasional cold until this year.

idk what it is, but when i'm feeling really ill, the one thing i want more than anything is my mommy. it probably harkens back to when i was little and she would take care of me when i was sick. its funny, but i don't remember my mom ever being sick -- which is probably a testament to how well she hid it when she was sick. i'm afraid i don't hide sick very well ...

when i was little i got a lot of bronchitis -- especially around the holidays. finally, my mom decided to have me checked for allergies, since she and her mom both suffered from them. sure enough i was allergic to a zillion things -- not the least of which was the evergreen tree we would bring into the house for christmas. and not only the tree, but the mold on the tree. so i was getting a double whammy every year. of course, allergies by themselves r just a pain, but they don't usually cause much more than a sniffling runny nose and a cough. but mine would eventually settle in my chest and i would end up really sick with bronchitis, which evidently scars the lungs and leads to more episodes of it. lucky for me, i outgrew some of that.

this year seems to be an exceptionally bad year all around the country for illness, what with the H1N1 flu. i'm pretty sure i don't have the flu right now -- although i might have had a slight bout of the regular flu earlier in the season. i still had the residual cough from that when i got hit with this -- whatever it is. like i said, i am pretty sure its not the flu because i only have a mild fever. but still, its enough to make me feel bad enough to want to stay in bed 24/7.

of course, as a mom i can't stay in bed 24/7. i thought about this the other day when i came home feeling really ill and there were two sinks worth of dishes to be done. i stood there and did them, but it was about all i had energy for and promptly collapsed afterwards. my daughter still needed to be picked up at school and of course, there was dinner to make. who feels like doing any of that stuff when all u want to do is sleep because every muscle and bone in ur body hurts?? today i have bills i need to run around and pay -- so there will little rest for me and probably i won't feel up to making dinner tonight, but i need to do it.

i was supposed to do a crafts fair tomorrow night -- and i really need the money -- but if i'm not feeling well its not going to happen. but the world doesn't stop revolving and things don't stop needing attention just because i'm sick. as moms well know, u keep going even though u feel like u can't. do men feel this way to keep going? my ex never did. at the slightest sign of pain he was a wimp. won't go into the details, but it was never pretty. so i wonder if its a general difference in the sexes thing.

at any rate, i'm doing what i always do -- loading up on the vitamins and zinc and forcing the fluids till i think i'm going to float away. what else can i do when there is so much stuff that needs attention?

Friday, November 27, 2009

so i lied ....

u know a couple of posts ago i said that i wasn't going to put up a tree this year because no one was going to be around and that it was this pitiful little 4' charlie brown type tree that was 27 years old. well, i lied. someone on the freecycle board published that they had a tree to give away -- so i went to get it and i thought it was going to be little like my 4' -- but its as tall as i am (5 something) -- and its in better shape than my old one and so we decided to go ahead and put it up and one box of ornaments later, i have my tree and my little victorian village up. we put up the tree the day before thanksgiving but didn't decorate it until thanksgiving evening when my son was here. then i finished it up today and put the little village up. the little village has so many pieces now that i can't put the road in and i guess next year i'll have to come up with a more clever idea. and to think -- i'm only missing 3 years' worth of pieces.
well, at least my daughter and son and i and anyone else who happens by, can enjoy it now. and it won't be so awfully hard to taken down because we only got out one box of ornaments. although that's like a jigsaw puzzle (without the picture) trying to fit them all back in the box.








Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Holiday Sale

FREE SHIPPING AT MY SITE TO ALL US BUYERS NOW THROUGH MON. NOV. 30TH.
GREAT CROCHETED ITEMS AND JEWELRY ITEMS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING.




Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

gifts from the heart

back in the late 50's or early 60's my dad sat down with my then very elderly grandfather and recorded him reciting poetry. i couldn't have been very old since i was born in '56 and i'm pretty sure my grandfather had to be nearing 80. the recordings were done over several sessions because my grandfather, who was a perfectionist, didn't work from notes, but from memory and got easily frustrated when he made a mistake. some of the poems r repeated several times on the tape -- since it was done over several sittings -- and it was originally taped on a reel-to-reel tape deck. eventually, that got transferred to a cassette tape with my dad adding a narrative of explanation at the beginning. my dad had a copy and my brother had a copy, but i never did and idk who of my dad's family had copies -- i suspect at least one of my uncles did.

at any rate, when we went to visit my dad this summer, the tape came up in discussion and dad dragged out his copy and we attempted to listen to it. nadda -- nothing -- zip -- zilch .... cassettes over time go bad, just like CDs do and so there was nothing left. my brother said his copy was fine and i asked if he could make me a copy because i had a plan.

earlier this year, i managed to discover that with a simple $10 cord, i could put cassette recordings into my computer using garageband and make mp3s from them. i had done it with some other recordings on cassette (mostly prophetic words that ppl had spoken over me) and it worked great. so with the copy of my brother's tape, i went to work.

now i have to preface this a bit because my old tape player had died before i completed my project with the prophetic words and when i went shopping for another one i found they were high priced and few and far between. i had looked in several second hand stores on a continuing basis to only come away empty handed and disappointed. here's where a god moment comes in. while at a second hand store with a friend i happened to look down and there was a small hand-held sony one for $4. so i bought it knowing i could bring it back if it didn't work. however, it worked perfectly. now if i hadn't gone to the second hand store with the friend that day i would not have found it. it was such a god moment to be at that store at that time, standing in that exact spot and then looking down to see it. i love when papa god helps me with a problem.

i set about downloading the cassette recording into the computer and all the while listening to the poems and making notes. listening to my grandfather's voice and hearing him chuckle at certain humorous parts. i went searching for some of the lines to the poems using google because there were only a few that i knew the names to in order to find them. i found all but one of the poems. it took me an entire day and my arm was really sore from using the mouse, but i wanted to make cds for my dad and uncles and brother with not only the recordings on it, but the poetry as well.

when i do things like this -- which in reality cost me very little money since i already have the cds -- i tend to go at it full force -- nothing done halfway and we have my dad to thank for that ethic. and i can see -- by listening to the poems -- where his work ethic was formed. several of the poems spoke to a job well done and living right. if my grandfather knew them by heart -- they meant enough to him to carry them there and model his life after them. i'm sure all of his many children learned from his values.

i'm still holding out hope that i'll find the words to the last poem before christmas rolls around. i was hoping to give them as presents. very inexpensive -- but given with lots of love and lots of meaning. sometimes it isn't about what u buy when u present someone -- sometimes its about the thought that goes into it that really matters.

Friday, November 13, 2009

here we go ...

the holidays r always pretty much of a blur for me. usually we stay put for thanksgiving and go away for christmas. this year we're staying put for both and i'll be alone for christmas. my daughter is going to be with her dad this year. she likes going to my dad's for christmas because his church always does a very sweet candle-light service late in the evening. we would go and afterwards come back to the house (where it would now be past midnight and technically christmas day) and open presents. its been a tradition for several years now. this being her last year of high school, its kind of sad that we don't get to do this, but its the price we pay for being divorced and having to "share".

last year we went to my dad's but my son wasn't able to go. its been a couple of years since i was able to spend christmas with him since he lives with his dad. so much for "sharing".

this year i'm probably going to be helping out a friend, which on one hand is a good thing (i won't be alone) but on the other is a bummer since i won't have a christmas dinner or a church service or family to come home to. some years r just like that.

i am going to get to spend turkey day (well at least the latter part of it) with my kids, so i'll make a turkey and all the fixing and we'll get to visit for a while. money is tight and i'm praying that somehow i can come up with the cash to purchase what i need. truly for just the three of us we wouldn't need a turkey -- but i like having the leftovers to freeze and make soups, etc. with after -- its cheap meat.

i've been doing a lot of crocheting lately -- learning new techniques -- but mostly making scarves and hats and hooded scarves for an upcoming crafts fair. i'm praying that i'll sell a good deal of what i have and perhaps that will take care of turkey day's fixings and maybe even christmas presents as well. last year i made almost all of the gifts i gave away -- idk what i'd make this year. sometimes ideas rn't free flowing when it comes to gift giving.

i told my daughter last night that i probably won't put up a tree this year since no one will be here. its a 4' pitiful looking (truly it drops more "needles" than a real one now) thing that my ex and i got the first year we were married (27 years ago). he got to keep the 7' one that looks more real. i walked away with almost all of the ornaments since its been a tradition in my family to give ornaments every year and most of them were either mine or given to us both by my parents. i kept this tradition going with both my kids and they each have a big box of ornaments now -- so if they go out on their own, they will have something to decorate their trees that have meaning to them. some of them were hand made by me.

i have these little victorian village pieces that hallmark makes for ornaments. my mother started giving them to me back in the 80's. i think i'm only missing one or two from the time period right after she passed away and before i started buying them for myself. we always set them up -- even if we never do a tree. i used to put them on the tree -- but after a while of collecting them there wasn't room for them and the other ornaments on that 4' tree. so now i set them up on a shelf on the bookcase and lay it all out like a little village. i think the tallest one is like 4.5 inches -- so they really don't take up a lot of space height-wise, but the last two or three years i really had to get creative with how i laid them out because they take up the entire shelf. i haven't gotten this year's yet -- its a police station. i look forward to at least setting them up again this year.

the holidays were always a big deal for my mom. she was an amazing cook -- which in itself was amazing because her mother was a really lousy cook -- and my mom would make these elaborate meals that would gather her chicks and their families around her. after she passed away -- holidays were never the same. i certainly couldn't make the elaborate meals she did (i inherited half of the lousy cook gene). but i've learned how to make some of the things over the years that she used to make -- so they r somewhat reminiscent of hers. but still, not having her around somehow just made things seem more somber and less celebratory.

i think once my baby goes off to college next year, things will be even more somber. i loved the days when the kids were small and christmas was really fun. seems like that won't happen again until maybe there r grandchildren in the picture. until then i'll just have to be content finding something else to do on those christmases when no one is around to share it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

to vaccinate or not to vaccinate?? that is the question

my daughter and i got our annual flu shots again this year. she got hers at school and i had to wait in line for 45 minutes several weeks later to get mine. at any rate, her school recently sent home a permission slip to sign for her to get the H1N1 (here after called by its truly improper name of the swine flu only coz its easier to type than H1N1). i sat her down and we discussed the pros and cons because we've been getting this barrage of "information" (which i put in quotes because honestly, how much of this stuff can we believe -- most of it, from either side of the fence, has been manipulated to suit a purpose -- ie, support their side of the fence).

the real problem, though, is that there is a shortage of the vaccine and even if i sign the form she may not get the vaccine in a timely fashion (it takes at least two weeks to build up an immunity after having the vaccine). ppl r already dropping around her at school (90 in the junior high alone) -- and i don't mean dying, i mean just coming down with it (or symptoms similar to it). several ppl in her math class have already come down with it -- one of whom is a good friend. and i've been coughing for two days straight (even though i think this is my asthma idk for sure that it isn't the beginning of the swine flu) after taking care of two boys last friday and this monday and finding out yesterday that the dad has it -- he works at a nearby college where its been rampant.

so i'm inclined to think she should have the vaccine (and i should too), but then u hear all these horror stories of ppl who had terrible side effects from other flu vaccines (not the swine flu yet) and u wonder which is worse -- the side effects from the vaccine (which could be life-altering) or the flu itself. i mean ppl have already and still r dying from it -- and many of those ppl r young adults and children. and who's to know which information is accurate and not being distorted to the point of non-recognition of the actual facts. its just so confusing...

to vaccinate or not to vaccinate -- that is truly the question.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

manners???

so i've been thinking about the fact that no one in my immediate family seems to feel the need to communicate with me when they changes the plans. and i have come to realize that there r probably quite a few reasons for this. can anyone else relate to any of these:

1) i'm not worthy of notification -- truly the only ppl worth notifying of plans changing r good friends -- family don't count

2) y bother telling me because i have no life outside of revolving around theirs, therefore it won't be a big deal to me since i won't have had anything planned prior to or after their need anyhow

3) certainly i'll be able to read their minds because after all, i gave birth to them and have basically read their minds all their lives

4) its too much trouble to pick up their cell phone and push the speed dial button (their fingers r worn out from playing video games)


honestly, if i had changed plans and didn't let my parents know, i wouldn't be here to talk about this. even to this day -- even though i'm 53 and my dad is 83 -- if i didn't tell him when my plans had changed and it was affecting him and his plans, i probably would be disinherited. i thought i had done a good job of conveying to both my children the need for communication -- but obviously, i failed. after all, the eldest used to not show up for dinner on the nights he was supposed to be here and took little mind to actually communicating that with me -- so y should i expect anything less from the youngest ...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

no more home ....

well, my dad forwarded an email to me today to say that our old home (the one i spoke about below) is no more. its been razed -- by the Eureka Fire Department apparently -- for practice because Rutters is going to build yet another Rutters gas station/convenience store there -- according to this article i found. like that tiny little town needs another Rutters - they already have one about a mile from where they r building the new one ... i'm just really sad ... nothing ever stays the same ...
Rutters Builds Another Gas Station where there once stood a magical house

Thursday, September 17, 2009

too much stuff ...

i love the way my apartment smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and apples after i've baked an apple pie in my oven. it reminds me of my mom's kitchen when she was cooking and baking. funny how certain smells can set off certain memories in ur head ...

the last couple of days i've had this itch to move -- well, not really the moving process itself, because truly, i've moved enough times to know that packing and unpacking basically sucks (sorry for the language folks but that's the only word that describes my feelings on that topic). before i was married, i had moved 7 times. once i got married i was dragged from state to state and several places within one state to the tune of exactly 9 times. its amazing how well u learn to pack and unpack when u have to do it that many times. i've been in this last place for 5 years. before that, i had lived in the same place for 12 years or so. that was a record for me considering the longest stay in one place prior to that was 9 years (when i was a kid).

i digress. so i have this itch to move -- but not really -- i mean i have this itch to go somewhere else and set up shop -- but without all the packing and unpacking part. and i'm beginning to see the benefits of not being a pack rat (which i so obviously am), or to not getting attached to things that belonged to other ppl in my life (my mom's, my grandmother's, etc.), or to not wanting to keep a pictorial record of every blasted thing my kids have ever done (maybe they will appreciate it some day but really, who knows).

part of this feeling came over me when i looked around my tiny apartment and realized that at some point, i'm not going to be able to stay here anymore (once my daughter goes off to college) and that i'm going to have to find a probably even smaller place to live or move into that house that my brother wants to buy in PA (which may or may not become a reality -- not holding my breath on this one). but it also came from digging through scrapbooks and boxes of photos to find photos for my daughter's graduation scrapbooks and realizing that i couldn't find what i was looking for if i tried and those two areas of my life r pretty well organized -- believe it or not. so the unorganized bits could do with a little work (or a lot, depending upon ur viewpoint).

and then, of course, we add to this the fact that the shelf in one of my cupboards came out and dumped its contents on the kitchen floor in front of me. i realized after digging the remainders out (so that the shelf could be fixed) and scattering them on the floor and very small kitchen table that there was a lot of stuff i wasn't using and hadn't used in eons (now that my family was no longer 4 but 2) and that perhaps i should get rid of a LOT of those things. but where to start -- and where to put the stuff i was getting rid of (considering there is little space) until i had enough to warrant a yard sale.

this all got me to thinking about jesus telling the disciples to leave their families and possessions and go out to tell others about the good news. they were to take nothing but the clothes on their backs. they weren't even supposed to take food with them -- the hope was that ppl in the lands they were traveling to would be hospitable and offer them food and shelter. i'm sure that on their travels that it didn't always work out that way, but nevertheless, the basic concept was that u can't take anything with u when u die, so don't get attached to anything while ur here.

so i'm pretty sure that as a disciple of jesus i'm failing abysmally in the area of not being attached -- because there r lots of things that i can't seem to live without -- like this computer for instance -- or pen and paper (for my writings if i didn't have the computer) and those photos in those albums -- yeah, i love looking at them and remembering the good times. when my mom passed away my dad handed over a ton of stuff (owls and such) that she collected over the years. for a long time, i kept it all, because somewhere inside of me i felt like if i got rid of it, it was like i was casting off my mom. eventually, i came to realize that i couldn't cast off my mom if i wanted to because so much of what she was had become a part of me. that realization helped me to let go of a lot of stuff. i still have a few items that were her's, but i know i could let go of them if i had to. still, those pics ... yeah, not so much.

they r, after all, just "things". but they have so much meaning and hold so much of our history -- bits and pieces picked up along the way as momentos of happy times we want to hold on to. is that a bad thing?? perhaps not the gathering of them, but certainly putting them so high up on the "can't live without" chain is. i know that there r ppl who have gone off to live in some other far off place and only taken a suitcase or two. i even have known one or two of those ppl. and that is essentially how i went off to texas when i finally left home. with a couple of suitcases. however, once i was firmly planted there, boxes of "things" started to arrive or were brought down by my parents. that began this whole life of pat rackery. don't get rid of it because some day u might have a need for it. but who could ever really NEED this stuff?? maybe its just more a WANT -- i want this stuff. i want my momentos around me because it makes it feel like home.

and then there is the whole ideal of what is actually home. that's a topic for another day ... in the meantime, i just need to get rid of some STUFF so that when the day comes to move, i won't be overwhelmed -- well, u know i probably will be anyhow!

Friday, September 4, 2009

home???

this is a photo of one of the many homes i grew up in -- its vacant now and "dying" but i still have fond memories of it. ever since the two-week visit to PA i've been thinking about what is "home". my brother has it in his head to buy a home in PA to move to when he retires and wants me to live in it until he does retire. my father thinks its a great idea. i'm hesitant to even contemplate the idea for a lot of reasons, but my father and brother seem to think i'd be stupid not to take the deal.

on the outside it looks rather tempting. i get to use the house for however many years it could be till his retirement (3-7 r the numbers that have been bantered about) without paying any rent -- only paying for utilities. considering i currently don't have a job and that my daughter and i r living off of $650/month in child support (with no unemployment or food stamps) -- a child support that is likely to end when she goes off to college (or sooner if what her father tried to pull when her brother turned 18 in the middle of his senior year is any indication) -- having a place to live without paying for anything but utilities seems like a dream come true.

but all these questions started popping into my head -- like what happens to me when my brother and his family move into the house -- do i become homeless? and what do i do if i can't find a job down there to help me pay for the utilities (as well as food, etc.). and how will this impact on my daughter, who is about to go off to college (most probably somewhere in New England)? she wants to come back to what has been the only home (NH) she's ever really known. I can't blame her for that desire, on the other hand, if i'm in PA will she ever come to see me when she doesn't have any money to travel and i don't have any money to help her travel and we know her father isn't going to be forthcoming with money for travel -- esp. to see his ex-wife. plus there is my desire to go back to school -- possibly Bible school to become a youth pastor. how does that factor into this. i have friends here, but is there where i'm meant to stay.

in having a discussion with my father i was stating how it seemed like nobody was taking into consideration what i wanted -- that everybody had an idea of what was good for me without even consulting me. it was rather disconcerting to realize that at the age of 53 i was so incompetent to make a decision for myself that everybody around me felt they needed to make the decisions for me. my father pointed out that my children would marry some day and move away (much like i had done -- like i had a choice in this) and then where would i be. that i needed to stop living my life for my children (who says i am -- maybe i like the idea of being as close to my kids geographically as i can while i can). he also pointed out that "home" is where ur family is (hello, i have family here in the form of two children and a church family). my father said this was a way for my brother to help me. if my brother really wanted to help me -- there r lots of ways to do that -- like maybe giving me a low interest loan so i can consolidate my debts and get myself out of the mess i'm in. idk -- maybe i'm just expecting too much.

so i started thinking about what is really home and i remember that i read this book once called "home is where the heart is" -- and its true. my heart is with my kids and my church family and my friends. but is also with papa god and wherever he might take me. hey, i've moved around enough in my life to know that i can make friends wherever i go and hang onto the ones i have in different places (at least for a time). its becoming easier to do the latter with the internet and email and facebook. but the real issue here is, where is papa god going to take me -- where does he want me. and maybe that place isn't with my family (dad) in PA -- maybe that place is right here in NH or maybe that place is CA or Hawaii -- idk.

having someone trying to tell me where i SHOULD go isn't the same has papa god guiding me to where i am meant to be. and maybe that is what bothers me the most about all of this -- is that idk if papa god's hand is in this deal in PA. as much as i love my dad -- and my brother -- and i know they love me -- that doesn't mean that they have papa god's interests in their hearts. they could see this as the best solution, but maybe papa god has other thoughts. and as i told my dad, papa god's ways don't always mesh with man's so-called "logical" ones.

i only know that at some point papa god will show me where it is he wants me to be -- and until then, i'm reserving the right to not "jump" at this idea and to take the wait and see approach...

mi familia

two weeks ago was my family reunion in PA. we do this every year -- sometimes we can make it -- sometimes we can't. this year my brother got to come -- he lives in Texas, so its a big deal when he's here at all let alone for a reunion. the last reunion he came to was the year my mom died -- 21 years ago. so imagine the surprise on ppl's faces when they saw him there yesterday.

most of the time ppl show up at these things and we haven't seen each other for a year or more and there r so dang many of us -- my dad was the baby of like a dozen -- and we don't really know each other and we have to introduce ourselves all over again. then there is this sort of self-imposed "clique-ishness" that happens and idk y it happens but its kind of annoying how ppl push themselves into pockets and don't come out of the pockets to chat with others. this year, that didn't happen and it was kinda cool.

sometimes i feel like there r so many ppl at these reunions that they can't all be related to us and maybe they r just strays off the street looking to belong to a family. i mean, everybody needs to be able to say they belong to a family ... even the family of papa god.

this year we also all got to meet the great great granddaughter of a man who was my great great great grandfather's son -- and the brother of my great great grandfather. yeah -- confusing i know. there is some speculation that my great great great grandfather (john) came here from ireland -- although there is also speculation that he was born here to parents who came from ireland. we know where he is buried and so after the reunion we went to visit his grave (i'd never been there before) and there were a zillion daughertys there -- no lie!!! so i took photos of all the headstones -- many of which u can't read anymore coz they r so worn down.

when ur standing there looking at these names on these stones and realizing that somehow ur related to them its kind of overwhelming. u don't really know them -- sort of like the living ppl at the reunions -- yet there is a real sense of family connection.

i discovered that i had a great uncle who was a pastor and before that i had two great great uncles, and a great great great uncle who were all pastors. idk where their mantles went when they passed on coz my great uncle had a daughter and she didn't become a pastor and i also wonder how many other ppl in my family were pastors. it makes me realize though that my love of papa god was forged a long long time ago in ppl i don't even know.

watching ppl at the reunion├č, seeing faces, i can see resemblances in them to the ones in the old photos from generations past that i put in my scrapbook. it isn't just looks that r passed on -- all the talents can be passed on as well. the artists and musicians who were in my family show up in my children and my cousins, and their gifts. all of that is passed down from generation to generation and needs to be cultivated and activated so its not lost. we can't afford to squander what gifts we've been given -- future generations can't afford it either. we need to be mindful and protect it and grow it to pass on to the next generations.

Monday, July 27, 2009

ramblings ....

i did the crafts fair on sat. we didn't have as big of a turn out as i expected for all the advertising they said they had done - but nonetheless i managed to sell a few pieces, for which i'm extremely thankful. they asked me if i was coming back for the one in december (more like november) and i said sure -- its not like i have to make a lot more stuff -- i certainly have enough inventory. i did put up a few things on etsy this morning. and i'll continue to add things this week. perhaps that will generate some sales ....

its finally gotten sunny and hot here -- we've had so much rain that most of my plants have rotted away outside. i don't have a green thumb to begin with -- so this is quite upsetting. all of the spinach was "eaten" by some critter -- probably the two ground hogs that were out there -- and the one and only squash that was on the vine disappeared (probably the same critter) before it had a chance to get big enough to pick. i probably won't try this container gardening thing again -- what a waste of time and money it was.

at any rate, with the heat the apartment heats up. i decided not to the put the a/c in this year as they upped the amount per month they charge for them. that means i keep all the doors and windows closed and the blinds all pulled throughout most of the day. kind of makes me feel like we're vampires or something... i've been keeping things closed up a lot anyhow because they pulled all the siding off my building in the hopes of re-insulating, etc. but for months they haven't been able to do anything because of all the rain. now there is mold growing everywhere and i'm allergic to it -- so i've had to deal with itchy eyes and constant coughing. one would think i wasn't taking any allergy meds at all for all the issues i've had. i guess some things just can't be cured with a simple pill.

the last couple of days i've been dealing with pain in both arms. i had to go to PT last thurs. for the arm that wasn't injured in the fall. evidently, this is a common thing because we tend to favor the "bad" arm and use the good arm to excess -- plus, we're not as young as we used to be and things don't work as well and blah blah blah (this is all according to the orthopedic surgeon). i basically wanted to tell him to shut up because i'm still contending for supernatural healing. after i said that to him (not the shut up part) he said, "yeah, how's that working out for ya?" yeah, shut up ....

my neighbor told me the other night that i'm like Job in the bible. she's not the first person to tell me this and quite frankly, i really wish ppl would stop comparing me to Job. he kept his faith in papa god regardless of what the devil threw at him, or his friends said to him. he was amazing and frankly, i don't really measure up. someone this morning said that i would be happy in the lord even if the healing never came -- and they r right, but that doesn't mean that i don't expect it to come -- or that i give up hope of it coming. let's be real about this -- to say that u'll be happy even if it doesn't come is a cop out -- its like saying well, i believe that papa god will heal me and yet i don't. i expect that he will heal me -- period. duh!!! i have put all my trust and faith in him and it doesn't waiver when there is pain, i don't shake my fist at the sky and ask him y he's putting me through this -- i just trust and love him because i know he loves me. how much more simply can i put that -- the pain i feel has nothing to do with him -- the love i feel from him has everything to do with him. pain or no pain, i still love my papa god!

my daughter is back from being with her dad for the last week+. i think she's happy to be home. i'm happy to have her home, but it made me realize while she was gone, just how much i'm going to miss her when she's away at college. sooner or later i have to let go -- but i know its gonna be hard. probably for her too -- although she'll have lots of new adventures and friends to make -- so that will make the time easier for her. she says she'll call me every night, but i don't expect that and its ok if she doesn't because i know she has to move forward with her life.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

still making new stuff

i'm still working on new things for the crafts show this coming saturday. i've been told that there will be 15 vendors there and that its been advertised all over. i'm hopeful that even though the economy is having issues right now that ppl will still be willing to buy things that r hand made!! wish me luck. here's some of the new items:






Monday, July 6, 2009

crafts bazaars

so i'm getting ready for a crafts bazaar on the 25th of july at a local elderly living community. i've been working really hard on making new things. here are some of them:










Thursday, June 18, 2009

new things ...

new earrings i've been working on:






Tuesday, June 16, 2009

walking a mile ...

i've been thinking a lot lately about being transparent. its been really heavy on my heart for months now. there r several places in the bible where the idea of transparency comes forth -- although finding the word itself there, would most probably yield little if any results. especially not in the context that comes to my mind. but if u do a search for the word expose -- u will come up with quite a list of the places in the bible where someone's sin has been exposed to god or to others around them. i don't really care for the word expose because it has such a negative connotation, but i like the word transparent.

in james 5:16 it states: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." later in verse 19 it states that if one should wander from the truth, another should bring him back because its saving him from death. and this is the kind of transparency that has been brought to my mind.

a couple of weeks ago at church, i was amazed because in the middle of the service a gentleman in our church (who i must admit i don't really know), got up and exposed his "sin" to everybody in the congregation. i had been thinking about transparency for a while at that point and the fact that a lot of ppl in the church wear nice neat little masks that hide what is really going on in their lives. i'd even had a discussion with another church member because i felt as if more ppl in the body could be transparent about their flaws and not feel a need to hide them, that more ppl would come to christ. and of course, i could "feel" things when i'm around certain ppl and it made it apparent to me that stuff was being hidden to keep the appearance of perfection.

now here's where it gets messy, because basically, i'm a mess -- i have been all my life and i know where i fall very short of being what it is that papa god would like to see of me. i also know that only by his grace and the gift given of his son on the cross am i cleansed. that doesn't mean i'm free to sin again -- it means that if i fall, papa god still loves me, picks me up, dusts me off and sends me on my way again. its that simple. and i don't try to hide what is going on in my life -- i did that for 22 years and the only thing it got me was divorced and miserable.

when i was getting ready to file for divorce i went to my bible study group and said, "i think u all need to know that i'm filing for divorce" -- they sat there stunned -- not one of them knowing (except for the pastor) that that was even in the cards. and y -- because in the three years i'd been going there i hadn't once shared that i was having problems -- good christians rn't supposed to have marital problems -- r they?

well, here's a reality check -- good christians do have marital issues -- they probably have more than most because they feel they need to "hide" it and therefore don't seek out help in the form of counseling or prayer. but when thinking about transparency, i realize that if more ppl in the body would expose their "issues" it might be a gateway for those who see their imperfections as something they need to hide to bring them out in the open where others can pray for them or lead them to help. how can someone be praying for another when they don't know that the other even needs prayer?

of course, part of the problem here is that ppl r afraid to expose their sin for fear of being judged or ousted from the body. and that fear is justified in my view because christians can be extremely judgmental and self-righteous ppl. its unfortunate, because when i see ppl come into the church off the street and then compare themselves with these same said judgmental and self-righteous types, they fall very short and feel unworthy to even be in a house of god.

a few years ago, i counted myself among those who were not worthy to be there. i could see all my flaws -- they were so glaring -- and felt that god would never accept me as i was, that i wasn't worthy to be there and the feeling of judgment was high. it would have been easy to walk away from it and from god, but papa is amazing and he kept pulling me back and attaching ppl to me to pull me back. every time i would get close to that edge of the abyss, they would be there to remind me that i was the daughter of a king and there was nothing i could do to earn papa's love -- because it was a gift freely given. and for me, learning this has opened up my life for everybody to see my "ick", a chance for me to let down my mask and let others see my struggles so that they will know they r not alone, but that they r still immeasurably loved by papa god, regardless.

i worry about those who come to church and see all these "blameless" and "perfect" ppl and feel unworthy to be there. i know how it feels to be judged and found wanting and thinking i should just walk away now because i'll never "measure up" to that appearance of perfection (false perfection) that i see before me. and how can that be in any way comforting to someone who doesn't know about papa's unconditional agape love -- who sees us as his children and loves us through our flaws?

after this man at church revealed this, i went up to him and thanked him for being so open and willing to share -- because i had it on my heart that one of the great flaws of the church was that it wasn't willing to be transparent -- that it felt this need to set itself apart as something perfect or better than the rest of the population. we've been warned in romans 12 to not be proud but be willing to associate with all ppl and to not be conceited. to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

if we r to live in harmony with one another, to love and pray for each other, than we need to be "real" with each other -- flaws and all. as uncomfortable as that might make u, how can u be anything less than that. we're to help others come to know papa's love and that means understanding that papa loves us 'warts and all'. and that love is for everyone -- not just a few "elite" ppl who pretend "perfection".

the native americans have a saying about getting to know someone by walking a mile in their moccasins. its a great gift -- walking around in someone's life and seeing what they have gone through, what they r going through, beginning to understand them more and more, knowing how u can help them, pray for them -- and them doing the same for u. that can only happen when we share with each other, when we r open and transparent with one another. peaceful existence comes from knowing all the ick about someone and still loving them -- not putting urself above them or wishing to control or manipulate them -- but praying for them and guiding them -- its a back and forth exchange.

try being transparent -- christian or not -- and see how it opens up ur life.... u might discover than ur not alone in some of what ur going through -- that someone else has gone through that and come out the other side (encouraging) or has some solid advice for what they have been through that can guide u in ur struggle. its an amazingly freeing feeling ....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

new earrings ....

been working on new earrings -- here r some of the results -- some of which r already sold...







Saturday, June 6, 2009

minute details -- big picture

i admire ppl who know their bible history backwards and forwards -- who understand every aspect of what is written there and the time frame; ppl who can quote u scripture (book and verse) at the drop of a hat. frankly, most of the time i'm just lost and i tend to read the bible as if its a good story (some books better than others, obviously).

yesterday i had lunch with some friends. before we sat down we started talking about the current book of the bible that our church is reading (ezekiel). the woman who had graciously opened her home to us was talking about trying to figure out where this story falls in the grand scope of things (because if ur not aware, the books in the bible are not arranged chronologically). she was showing us all sorts of information and pulled out about 6 bibles. it was really fascinating. but see, she really studies the scripture and gets the whole picture. whereas, i never was very good at history and honestly, does it really matter what came first, the chicken or the egg.

to some ppl (probably this woman and my dad most likely), it really does matter. when i listen to my dad talk about different aspects in the bible, i'm just amazed. not that it really helps me to understand things anymore than i did before -- truly. i am looking at these books and saying, what lesson am i supposed to learn from this? i'm not saying, gee, where does this fall on the time scale and what was going on in the time period.

maybe this is naive of me. maybe i should be taking more of an interest in what was going on. i mean there is scripture to point out the fact that many will hear but some will not understand:
Luke 8:10 NIV
He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, " 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'

so then it makes me wonder, am i meant to be one of those who doesn't understand. actually, what i really wonder is, does it matter if i don't understand the time frame that something happened or can't remember the sequence of events or all the names and the order of those names in a lineage or what the name of a particular king was at a particular time. will remembering or knowing any of that help me to get the true message behind what is written?? somehow, i doubt it, but maybe that's just my warped mind trying to make me think its ok not to know this stuff backwards and forwards like other ppl do.

here's my thing -- i can take a particular piece of scripture and i can find god's love there -- love for all of us. i can see god's heart in passages like isaiah 58 -- i can understand his sadness when he sees that his ppl will not obey his law and ignore what he has said, seeking only religiosity and nothing else. where does remembering lineage or time scale fit into that - where is the importance? idk

the best thing would be if i could remember everything, understand all the time frames, etc., along with getting the message -- but for some reason, my brain doesn't seem to be able to retain the minute details. i can't quote u scripture by book and verse. most of the time, if i haven't marked it in my bible, i can't tell u where it is, but most likely i'll be able to tell u the meaning. what's more important?? idk

being able to point something out or back something up with the actual place in the bible where that point is being made, is really an asset sometimes because it just solidifies the point ur trying to make. its like the bibliography at the end of an article citing all the places where u can go to check out the facts as they were presented in the article. its back up information. so for me, i can't provide that when i'm speaking to someone about the bible; so i have no way to prove that what i'm saying is true. from that aspect -- its not a good thing.

i can't say that my brain does much better in retaining all things in my own life either. i mean, i have crystal clear memories of certain things growing up -- but they r just snippets in time -- not full movie length versions of each year. some things i remember really well -- other things not at all. what was important to my head at the time seems to stick to me -- what wasn't, falls away. and i feel like that is true for reading the stories in the bible as well. what's important sticks and sticks really well. what doesn't add to the message's importance, seems to fall away.

idk, i'm still feeling my way through the bible. i haven't read every chapter -- but some chapters i've read multiple times (mostly in the new testament). being raised in a conventional church setting, we were never encouraged to read the bible on our own -- only listen to snippets on sundays -- whole stories during special times of the year (christmas, easter, pentecost). i remember my mom sitting and reading her bible every morning. i wish i could say i do the same. sometimes i feel like a bad christian because i don't have a set schedule in that regard -- not even for prayer. i read when i want and pray when the need is there and give thanks for all the blessings that papa god has bestowed upon me. maybe that does make me a bad sort. idk

i only know that papa god loves me and wants to love on all his ppl if they would just let him. that there is such a need in this world for ppl to start caring about one another. and my thoughts on how wondrous papa is rn't going to be amplified by remembering time frames or lineage names.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Stuff

I have been doing lots of experimenting with the jewelry lately. Lots of wire bending, etc. Here are some of the results.


Lots of swirls in the form of rings and bracelets. I've also been experimenting with making some wire wrapped beads. I love the rings and bracelets. But in the process, I've made a real mess of my work area:

Paradise Falls

ATTENTION: If you haven't seen the Disney/Pixar movie "Up" and plan on doing so -- STOP READING right now because there is major spoiler in this blog.

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Sometimes things hit me at the oddest moments. Yesterday was one of those moments. My daughter and I went to see the movie "Up". It's a story that starts when this little boy (Carl Fredrickson) meets this little girl (Ellie)and they are in awe of this man named Charles Munz. Mr. Munz is an explorer -- who travels to South America in a blimp and collects exotic specimens of animals. Ellie shares her adventure book (scrapbook) with the Carl after he breaks his arm trying to rescue his balloon. She wants to travel to South America. She's written on one whole page the words, "Things I'm going to do."

Carl and Ellie grow up, get married, get jobs (Carl makes balloons and Ellie works in the South American exhibit at the zoo), discover they can't have children, and make plans to travel to South America. They start saving their coins in a jar for the trip, and even paint a picture of their house sitting on Paradise Falls. But as life has a way of doing, a series of bad "blows" mean taking money from the jar to fix a flat tire, help with medical expenses, etc. Pretty soon, time flies, Carl and Ellie are elderly and then -- well u can guess.... (and this is where I was crying during the movie) Ellie gives Carl her adventure book ....

Eventually, construction of a city starts to go up around Carl's house, and the court decides (because of something Carl does that makes him appear to be a harm to others) to ship Carl off to the old folks home. Carl figures what the heck -- he'll tie a lot of balloons to his house, float it away to South America and sit it on Paradise Falls for Ellie's last wish.

What happens next is exciting and thrilling, and scary, and funny -- one big adventure after another, as Carl discovers he has a stowaway on his porch (a Junior Wilderness Explorer named Russell who is trying to earn his last badge for assisting the elderly and has an absentee dad that he longs to see).

The story has a happy ending and there were laughs and oh mys and all the sorts of things you expect in a great movie. It's probably the best movie so far from Pixar -- not so much for the animation but for the storyline. But I couldn't help thinking about Ellie -- and how sad it was that she never got to fulfill her dream of going to Paradise Falls. She got to do lots of other things -- which are shown near the end of the movie -- but her one big dream was never fulfilled.

So where am I going with all this? Well, a verse in Proverbs says that "hope deferred makes a heart sick and that a dream fulfilled is a tree of life" (Pro. 13:12). I once heard Danny Silk (church leader at Bethel Church in Redding, CA) say that there is nothing more exciting than to spend your day working on your dreams, but most of us spend our days working on somebody else's dreams. I've written about all this before, but from the negative perspective of all the things I had planned for my life and how a great deal of them hadn't ever materialized.

After seeing this movie, I realize that a few of my dreams did materialize (having children, living different places, meeting new people) and that perhaps I wasn't looking at my life from the right perspective. Instead of looking at my life and seeing only what's wrong with it -- I ought to be looking at it from the angle of what's right with it. I know -- there is a LOT wrong with it -- but honestly -- I have a great deal for which to be thankful -- just like Ellie. I have two healthy children, I had a great mom who loved me dearly, I have wonderful friends and some very close brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, I don't always have money to pay the bills or make ends meet let alone tie a knot, and some days are filled with a great deal of physical pain -- but all in all -- what matters most is the people, the relationships -- and those are pretty solid.

So what am I complaining about -- and that's basically the message I took away from this movie. That I really have no business complaining because the things that matter most, I have. The other stuff -- and that's all it really is; stuff -- matters little. The real meaning of the title of this movie has very little to do with the house going up -- it has more to do with Carl's attitude looking up -- and that's major -- its all about our attitude!

You know that saying that today is the first day of the rest of your life. It's kind of cheesy really -- but I'm going to look at today as the first day of the rest of my life -- and I'll keep pursuing my dreams to travel and write -- but I won't be looking at them with disappointment and longing if they don't happen. I'll be grateful and happy with the things that do happen and the people that God brings into my life and the joy they give me. My Paradise Falls is right now, today, right here -- every day...

Monday, May 25, 2009

memorial day

well today is memorial day. actually -- it really isn't but its when the gov. chooses to celebrate it to make a three-day federal holiday so that ppl can have a three-day weekend. i read a whole lot about the history of memorial day at this site:

US Memorial Day History Website


some ppl in congress tried to get the day put back to its original day with a bill back in the 1990's -- but its basically been shelved -- who knows where. there is a petition at this website that u can sign to help get the day put back to May 30. part of the problem i have with it being a 3-day weekend deal is that the original intent of memorial day kinda gets laid aside for BBQs and days at the beach and u know.

i can remember the first memorial day parade i ever marched in. i was 4 years old. i had been taking baton twirling lessons from the head majorette at the high school where my dad taught. my outfit was custom made for me -- just like all the other little girls -- and it was a white two piece with a flouncy skirt. the top had red and blue sparkle rick rack on it. i wore white socks and brand new white sneakers (which was a big deal because we didn't have a ton of money). i had a baton that was like 3/4 the size of a grown ups and i was so proud. my dad has silent home movies of me marching in place and twirling that thing like crazy.

i didn't march in another parade until i was in high school. i carried a snare drum on my knee and basically had a good time banging it in time to the beat. i wasn't a real part of the band, but my dad figured after all the instruments i'd gone through in high school i could probably handle a snare drum. it was a real learning experience for me. a mile walk carrying and beating a snare drum is hard work!

the next parade i marched in was when i was a junior in high school. then i was a flag twirler. we wore hot wool long-sleeved uniforms and majorette boots with huge blue and white hand-made (out of yarn) tassels. i liked the sound that the boots made on the pavement as we marched along. i think most of us were ready to pass out after the mile long march in the blazing sun. but we all stood at attention during taps.

parades r cool and be a participant is great. but really, what we r honoring is so much more than a parade or a BBQ. being the daughter of a man who went through WWII, the niece of an uncle who was shot down and sent to a german POW camp, and the sister of a brother who served in Vietnam, i understand the price that a lot of families pay when they send their loved ones off to war and they r killed in action. my family was blessed in that no one died -- but so many families lose loved ones in times of war.

i've never been a big proponent of war either. i think a lot of women rn't -- especially moms. peace was something i thought we should always strive for --but i always understood that sometimes war had to happen in order for there to be peace. someone once said that i wasn't a patriot because i didn't believe in war. i disagree -- i always supported the troops and what they were doing. just because someone doesn't like war doesn't mean they r unpatriotic. and just because i don't believe in war doesn't mean that i don't want to honor the men and women who served our country. they were brave and valiant and deserve the recognition for the sacrifices they made. god bless them and their families.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

papa god is amazing ....

so yesterday i went for my scheduled physical therapy appointment (just one day after being in the MRI machine). after i had been suitably tugged, pushed and twisted -- she let me look at my MRI scans. pretty amazing technology they have there. they had taken scans from several different angles -- all without moving me once. i got to see my shoulder from the top down, the side in and the front and back in.

the pics were pretty telling and as the PT said, i will probably need surgery (more thoughts on this in a minute). the rotator cuff is completely torn and the muscle that the runs down from the top of the shoulder to the arm bone is "sloughing off" -- her words -- not mine -- and look "weird" (again, her word not mine). but as we all known, i'm not normal -- never have been so y should i think that a torn rotator cuff on my body would be anything but weird??

so i got this news and on the drive home my head is like digesting the thoughts and pretty much saying i don't wanna have someone cutting me open (been there and done that awake for a c-section -- not really treasuring the idea of doing it while asleep). i'm a lot older now, things that can happen on the table (operate on the wrong arm, crash while under, u get the general picture). so i started to freak (well, cry, but to me that's pretty much freaking). i had the radio on to the only christian station in the upper valley (and its range stinks but that's another story). and this song is playing -- the girl is singing that she will believe in the sun even when its not shining, keep her eyes on papa, etc. i'm like -- ok -- i get it -- but i'm still scared.... then another song comes on where the guy sings, we cry out, ur beloved needs u now -- and i'm hello -- u hit me once, i get it!! really i do. but i wanna talk to someone in the natural.

so i go to my friends' house and they lovingly allow me into their home even though i'm sort of falling apart. and we talk and pray and they set me back on the path to keeping my eyes on papa and what he wants to do here. i leave feeling so much better and i know that papa has been with me the entire time -- through the PT, through seeing the damage to the shoulder, through helping me drive to my friends', leading me to them for comfort in the natural, he was with me through all of it. he already knew the damage done, he is already healing it -- i needed the MRI for proof of the damage so when the healing comes i can have true fact-based testimony to give to his healing powers. it was awesome -- after everything was said and done to look back and see how he had been there and guided, and held me through all of it. how could i believe anything but the fact that i will be healed by him -- not by a surgeon -- but by papa god's healing power on me.

i've had a lot of angst lately -- and i've let it sometimes rule my day -- consume my sleep at night. that's not having trust or faith in papa god. that's letting the enemy get a foothold and try to take me out. i'm not going to let him. he has no power or authority over me. papa is an amazing daddy and i know he wants to provide for all our needs, we just need to pull aside our stupid silly pride and let him.