Sunday, July 25, 2010

Plant Killer Strikes Again!

I said I would keep you posted on my new plants. The news is not good. Captain Brown Thumb should be my new superhero name! I appear to be a normal, child-nurturing, law-abiding citizen by day, but when no one is watching, I can kill a plant in 2 months or less!

My latest victim is the peace lily by my door. I had been able to keep one alive for almost 4 years (my only plant success story) so I purchased a new one with high hopes and good intentions. It died in about 8 weeks. What happened? I did the same things as last time. Same amount of watering, etc. What was the difference?

Then it hit me...John is not here! He is working out of town this summer with the oil spill. We know all the great things he does for Emma Grace and me (cooking, laundry, cleaning), but we realized that he was also my plant fairy. He was watering my plants behind my back! Now that he is not home all the time, I guess the plants are just giving up!

Thank you God for all the unseen and unsung "fairies" (angels if you prefer!) you provide to all of us. I forget that we can not do it alone and SHOULD NOT even try!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hope for the Future for just $20!

In my last post I told you about the $20 solution for blindness. In this one I will reveal how $20 has helped me once more and renewed my hope for the future! Are you curious yet?

Think about what you can get these days for $20 bucks...
*1 large popcorn and drink at the movies
*Lunch for 2 at Chick-fil-A
*2 Sham-Wows (if you call in the next 20 minutes!!)

I got desperate the other day over my yard that was getting higher and higher. With John working so many hours this summer ( and knowing that I am not a yard person), something had to be done. I saw my solution in the form of a teenage neighbor out cutting his grass! I approached him with a small smile (so as not to frighten him) and asked in my sweetest kindergarten teacher voice if he was willing to come over and just mow my front yard for cash!

He "yes ma'am ed" me and we struck a deal! He came right over and went to work. Afterwards I had to force him to take the money when he kept saying that it was His Pleasure to help me out! Awe! Turns out he is an Eagle Scout (of course!) with the sweetest manners! He will be starting college in the fall (I swear he looked 15!) and I know that he will do well as long as he keeps that wonderful sense of helping others.

WE are so quick to say that kids today don't have the same values or work ethic as we did. I don't believe this is true. Good parents (today and in the future) raise good kids (usually!). So I will continue to teach my daughter about serving others and always look for the good in this next generation. I hope she will give someone else a reason to have hope just like my Boy Scout next door!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I am a bad mother (sometimes!). My poor-sighted daughter decided to swim on a swim team this summer. She is unable to wear glasses in the pool. People kept suggesting that she use prescription goggles. I kept saying that I would check into them if she wanted to continue swimming into the fall. I assumed the cost would be high (kinda like prescription sunglasses, right?)

Never assume!

On a whim I checked out prices on line (what did we do in the old days?!?) I found out that these special goggles that could help my very blind child not worry about hitting the wall on flip turns only cost about $20!!! Seriously?! No prescription needed. Who knew? Obviously not me!

It's a whole new world at the pool now for my Emma Grace! SHE CAN SEE!! A $20 miracle!

Sometimes the solution is so simple if we take the time and ask the right questions (and anyone who knows me, knows how I ask questions!). I had not asked any of the aforementioned people about the suggested prescription goggles. If only I had, Emma Grace would not have had to squint for the past month!

Internet search: free
Prescription goggles: $19.24
My child recognizing me from across the pool: Priceless!

Friday, June 25, 2010

What are you willing to take a risk for?

How you ever played the board game "Risk"? (Are you seeing a theme developing here?!) My husband John use to play it all the time when we went on vacation with friends to their river house. The two guys could spend HOURS on this game of war and armies fighting armies to gain more control over countries and continents. The winner declares "world domination" and can then gloat about victory until the next time!

Finally on one long, lazy afternoon when we were bored, the women folk decide to play this game we had listened to them argue over for so long. As the next 3 hours unfolded, it became clear that I was going to win. (Imagine that!) I was then told to declare world domination and end the game. I decided to instead declare "world peace"! Apparently the men folk had a problem with this change in the ending! They claimed I could only win with the domination term, not peace!?!

You see the problem here? Why could I only be a winner if I dominated instead of united the countries? Freaky how this board game scenario is often played out in real life conflicts between individuals and countries. We so need to change the rules! It is OK to have peace over domination! Aren't two winners better than one? Think about it!

I have decided that I would rather take a risk for two winners (peace) instead of my own domination over something or someone. How about you?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Game of "Life", How do you like to play it?

I use to love to play the board game called "Life." You started with a car and a little peg person (pink or blue) and than drove your car around a big board. The spinner was kinda of like the wheel of fortune and let you know where to go next. There were not a lot of career choices (I seemed to always get the teacher job? weird, it didn't pay so well even then!) and you usually got married and had a few kids (more pink or blue pegs to add to your car!) and continued on the journey until you either landed in a mansion or the poor house! Game over!

I got the updated version of Life for Emma Grace excited to share this fun childhood memory with her. John, Emma Grace, and I got out the new game and realized that it was not the same simple game we had played 30 years ago! Just reading the instructions and setting up the game to play was almost too much effort to even continue, but we bravely dove into this new version. The career choices were expanded (I STILL ended up as the teacher!) and you even could change careers in your mid-life crisis period! We continued to have to read and reread the rules as we played. The simple game of our childhood was now VERY complicated! We have only played it once. I miss the old version.

It amazes me how that board game's updated version is like a mirror of our world today. We have really complicated life (real and game!). It is not as easy to get around and they seem to be changing the rules mid-play. WE don't have the choice of putting this real life version on the shelf, but I am beginning to think that we do have the choice of which version we choose to play. Simple or complicated?! I am looking for the old one. Let me know if you can find it, too. I just hope I don't end up in the poor house!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happiness is...

The Lower School Chorus that I help with sang a song from the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." It is called "Happiness Is..." The song is about the little things in a kid's life that makes them feel good or happy such as climbing a tree or catching fireflies.

This made me start to think about what are the little things that make me happy as a "big" kid. Now I am not talking about the normal answers that we would all say such as family, friends, health, etc. These are important and do make us happy, but I want to make a list of the quirky stuff that makes us smile. This is different for everyone. I want to know what your happy triggers are. Make a comment and let me know.

Here are a few of mine to get you started...
Wandering the aisles of the Dollar General Store and buying cheap cleaning supplies.
When my cat wakes across my back as I am going to sleep.
Freshly sharpened pencils!
Laying on a newly made bed
The smell of clean laundry

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Coming Clean

Shower or bath? Which do you prefer? I shower in the morning for washing my hair, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my bath at night! My dear friend Lisa B. calls them "tubbies" and since it makes me smile when she does, from here on out I will use the term also.

It is my favorite alone time in the day. Hot (very hot!) water, good (or not so good) book, and a cold drink is all I need for the perfect tubbie time. It is like therapy for my soul. Remember the old commercial for Calgon (I am telling my age here! I don't know if they even make this bubble bath anymore!) where the stressed out woman always said, "Calgon, take me away!" This is how I feel each night right before the first toe dips in.

Funny how a bath makes me feel so good inside and out. Kind of like being Baptized. I take my time in the tub as a renewal of myself and sanity. I hope others have their own method of coming clean in body and spirit. It's a dirty world out there and it is up to us to guard and cleanse ourselves daily from the negative energy that can surround us.

So take my advice and grab your favorite rubber ducky, slip into the warm water, say a little prayer of gratitude, and enjoy a good, clean tubbie!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Family Ties

I have the honor of being apart of 2 new moms-to-be baby showers. My favorite part is that I now have a legit reason to go in the baby department and ooh and aah with Emma Grace over all the cute baby things and complain that they didn't have this or that 11 years ago.

All this baby shopping and planning has got everyone from my mom to Emma Grace asking if I was sure I didn't want another baby. The truth is that I never planned on only one child. John and I just assumed we would have more. Now I realize that is not going to be the case and that is OK. Some things in life can not be planned. I am grateful for the chance to live life as a one child family. We have a dynamic in our little household that is sweet and very close. John teases Emma Grace enough so she knows how a brother might have tortured her and I try to provide enough girlfriend time so that she understands the fun of sisters. We make our friends into family. I hope she will do the same.

I love my family that I was born into, but I feel the same for my family of friends. How blessed we are with many people to call on in good times and bad. It's not always easy keeping up, but always worth it! So to all my friends (family!) from Texas to New York and all in between, know that I love you and am grateful that you help provide Emma Grace with the extended family that helps make her who she is and will become.

As for babies, John and I are willing to wait 15 or 20 years for a grand baby to spoil rotten!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Big Picture

Do you know the eye color of your best friend? How about hair color? Moles? Tatooes? I can not always be counted on the remember these things, even for very dear, close friends.

I love peanut butter pie. My dear friend, Diane, does not! It has taken me about 10 years to remember this fact! We have had this same conversation many, many times...
Me, "Let's go get peanut butter pie!"
Diane, "I hate peanut butter pie."
Me, "Really?!? I thought you loved it. Did I know you didn't like it."
Diane (paitently), "Yes, I have told you this the last time. And the time before that, etc."


I have wondered about myself and why these little details escape me. I know just chalk it up to the way I am and the way I look at things.

I love the big picture more than the details. I may not remember your hair color, but I do remember the way you make me feel. Happy, sad, mad, excited! I feel your heart first and get the outside appearance later. I like that better than details! And as I grow older and saggier, I hope I meet more "Big Picture" people, too.

So don't worry if I have forgotten your favorite food or where you grew up. I will remember your heart and why your are my friend! Thank you for the chance to learn that. It's MY favorite thing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reality Check

My birthday is tomorrow. I was not really dreading it as I still have a couple of years before the BIG 4-0. I was feeling pretty good about myself and my age until tonight!

Our church was in charge of providing food for the college students at Wesley Foundation tonight. I was excited to bring food and be a servant to these students. It was like coming full circle from my college days at Wesley and eating meals provided by local churchs in Columbus, MS. How great to give back in a way I was given to at The "W".

Here is the AH HA moment of the evening...

As I carried food into the building, a cute, YOUNG college student stopped and asked in her sweet, YOUNG voice, "Oh are you one of the student's mother?"


Then reality hit me. I COULD have an 18 year old! Holy old lady, Batman! How did this happen? When did I age? I only feel about 30 or 28 or 27.

I will look at this new year differently. I now feel the need to embrace this age and make it work for me, the girl at heart in the body of a"mother". Maybe next year the body will be better, I hope the girl at heart is still the same!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Have you ever seen the ads for a certain air conditioner that claims "It's hard to stop a Trane"? Well, apparently I am Superman (Superwoman?) and can stop a "Trane" in its track! Our less than 7 year old unit is no longer working. I knew it was bad when the repair men would not look me in the eye and said they would have to call back with a quote on price. NEVER a good sign! I saw the hopes on a new sofa go out my open windows!

After a small indulgent pout, I put on my big girl panties (big being the main word) and rethought my options. I realized I needed to be thankful that I had the money earmarked for my sofa to now use on the air conditioner. God is good. I than used my creative side to redo my 12 year old sofa into a fun, unusual piece of furniture with the use of a slipcover and old curtain fabric that I had saved. This project gave me more satisfaction than picking out a new.

Thank you, God, for reminding me that from set backs or adversity can come wonderful, beautiful things and people. Now if I could just leap buildings in a single bound!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Here I go...

Let me tell you a not so kept secret. I am a plant killer. I kill plants and am now admitting it to all. Well, maybe more like a plant neglector. I don't do the killing on purpose, they just seem to die slowly and silently.

My husband, John, would worry about this BC (before child). His concern was that if I couldn't keep a plant alive, how would I keep a baby going. I explained to him that plants die without so much as a peep to me, but babies tend to make lots of noise! Our daughter is almost 11 years old now. I was right about the noise. She never missed a watering or feeding!

Wish that was also true about our own spiritual walk. Our spiritual life needs attention much like those plants (and babies!). Without time given in study, meditation, and worship, it will start to wither and die slowly. But lucky for me, God never gives up on us even after a dry spell (unlike all those plants I have killed!). We always have a chance to start the watering and nurturing again.

So here I go with a new sense of direction in my spiritual walk. I am also turning over a new leaf (pun intended) with plant maintance. I will buy new ferns for my front porch tomorrow! Wish me luck. I will keep you posted!