Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving: The Next Chapter

Here's a re-cap of a previous blog in another forum from December 24th 2007, in green. Today's a new chapter to this story at the bottom in blue.

Monday, December 24, 2007
Christmas--it’s the thought that counts--really! This time of year is difficult. There's Christmas and my birthday within a week. I'm trying to adjust. Life without my mom isn't any fun anyhow, not to mention around the holidays. I try not to dread it too much. I try to make it exciting for my kids, just like my parents did.
So the other day I'm over at my dad's trying to find this piano keyboard that I know is somewhere in their storage. I searched high and low: in the house, in the garage, in the storage area, and then finally in the "barn" (a barn looking shed.) I came across all sorts of things that I had forgotten about. Like notes from high school Creative Writing class, and Big Chem notes too. I found an old dollhouse, my Lincoln logs, and other great treasures. Then on the very top shelf wrapped in a black plastic bag was my keyboard! Yeah for me! Now all I had to do was maneuver past all this crap blocking my way to it......
That's when I saw it.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I took a double take. I shut my eyes tight and then opened them again. Nope it was still there. Was this a joke? No, nobody would pull a joke like this.
Sitting perfectly wrapped in Christmas paper with handwriting I had longed to see for so long now.... Christmas presents from my sweet mama, wrapped up and tucked away for a special day. And apparently today was that day. Imagine that. Amazing..... When had she done this? Must have been sometime before she took a turn for the worse in September 2006. But here I was finding them, less than a week before Christmas 2007. What a gift.
Sometimes I feel so lost in the big world, and yet something this small, with such magnitude was meant for me. I am in awe.
I haven't opened my present yet. It's not even under my tree. It's up high and out of the way so it doesn't get damaged. I kind of like having one last present from my mommy, and I haven't a clue what it is. Honestly --to me it doesn't matter what is in that present. It's the concept that my mom thought far enough ahead to do this. It's the thought that counts-- and it's the most perfect gift ever.

Thursday, November 27th 2008
I slept like a baby last night. I was wiped out. Then up early to try and pull it all together today for Thanksgiving, gracefully, with a smile, thankfully, with peace. I needed another baking dish and couldn't find it. So out to the garage I go to look for the box with the last of the stuff for the kitchen. I find the box, and in the box is the baking dish, and in the baking dish, the un-opened Christmas present from Mama, stashed away where it was safe for the move. Even though it's been kept away from little hands, the wrapping paper has started to wear a little bit. I could barely peek inside and see what looked like potpourri or dried flowers or something, maybe just rosemary. I needed that baking dish, but didn't have another safe place to put the present. No one was around...and so I opened it. My very last gift from Mama. Oh and it was so much more beautiful than I ever could have imaged. Yes it was potpourri-like, and dried flowers, including rosemary, but pulled together so perfectly with delicate purple paper and twine, 4 little wrappings total. Mmmmm...this is so something my Mama had created. I have 4 huge windows in the dining room, and set each one in its own window. Perfect. I cannot ask for anything more. Mama's love, both visible and not, surrounded us this evening as we sat and ate and were thankful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Today is the day before thanksgiving. I LOVE thanksgiving. Love LOVE LOVE! I have such fond memories of Thanksgiving past. For years and years the entire clan (100+) of us would gather at my Dad's cousins' convent. Yes she is a nun, and would have a gigantic kitchen, living room and hall for us to gather in and spend the time together. All my aunts and uncles, all my cousins and extended family. And we were a pretty tame group. It was wonderful.

Times have changed. We haven't done that for many years. But this year Hubby and I get to host our OWN Thanksgiving dinner in our OWN new house for our little family, my dad, and Hubby's dad and family. We are super excited about this. Though I learned the hard way that I need to communicate my dinner intentions with Hubby before... oh well. I'm work in progress.

So today will be spent getting the house ready, cleaning, vacuuming, scrubbing, cooking, planning, decorating, preparing, baking...oh yes, and in 20 minutes Big Bebe and I are out the door to Stanford for an entire day of testing and doctor visits. Somehow by the grace of God alone I will make it through the next 2 days and be alive at the end.

I hope to instill in my kids (and anyone else willing to listen) that life IS hard. And despite that, it is still good and wonderful and there is SO MUCH to be thankful for. Our happiness comes from the Light within.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Listen Up

Part of His gift to us, is providing us with the most amazing people in our lives. AMAZING. I have acquaintances and family and friends. And then there is small precious group that I can have complete conversations with, with just a look in the eyes. Sometimes less is more. My words and explanation can get in the way and muddle the meaning, but my eyes are a window to my soul and can tell the whole story. There are some people I can't look in the eyes, because then they'll know, whatever I'm trying to hide. Those are the same people that search me out when the time is right, and can tell in an instant by looking in my eyes, and the same for me for them. For when there are no more words to be said, the silence is beautiful. The eyes can tell the story, and the Spirit can hear.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Come to Jesus Talk

Sunday I didn't see Dad but I saw his car parked at his daily diner when I was coming home from church. I try to visit him frequently, cause I know he's lonely. And cause he's my dad. He's what I've got. Usually he'll meet me either before or after singing for dinner on Mondays. But it's a standing arrangement that he and I will not feel obligated to go. No guilt no hard feelings. He didn't make it last week because he was sick. And this Monday he didn't show either. No worries...yet. Called him on Tuesday, but didn't leave a message. Didn't get a hold of him.

Called him Wednesday morning and left a message. By noon I hadn't heard back and now I was worried. If you know my dad, he has a way of not wanting to bother anyone. So, let's say he's having a heart attack or just totaled his car--he isn't likely to want to bother anyone. At one I hadn't heard anything from him. I called his daily diner and they hadn't seen him since Sunday either. Ugh. I finished things up at work to head to his house. I get in my car and Brad Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going" is playing. Oh crap. Now I'm having a real serious conversation with God. Now listen here Buddy, thanks for the signs and everything, let's just hope I'm a little paranoid right now. I drove away from work thinking rationally about where he could be. I was ok. Calm.

By the time I'm turning down his road 20 minutes later, I'm a mess crying, trying to prepare myself to find him dead in his house. He's getting older and he's not in the best of health. I'm so far gone emotionally I'm already debating with myself if I call 911 first or call Hubby? The evolution of these thoughts are capsizing my mind. It's not that far-fetched of an idea, but these are the things that I deal with. Anti-depressants are now my friends. So I pull into the driveway. No car. This is good...and bad. I check his house, he's not there, and all looks fine. But that means he could be ANYWHERE. Ok. Breathe deep. At least I didn't find him dead. I go to my house and furiously clean it to keep busy and do to something constructive with my time. At 4 I call again. No answer. My dad does carry a cell phone, but always has it off. (He's the type doesn't have a computer, barely has a microwave, barely has VCR...) He only uses the cell on rare occasions for out going calls. Breathe Meg, breathe. Breathing is good.

I pick up the girls from their afternoon program and we head back to Dad's. Oh thank the Lord. His car is there, I get out and RUN into the house. He's there, a little disheveled looking, tired, and breathing. I unload all my worries on him, gently. He looks at me and says, "Aww Honey, you don't have to worry. You don't need to keep tabs on me. I know how busy you are." This is where my little Come to Jesus talk comes in..."Let me break it down for you...Let me remind you: you are my only parent left, you are not a bother, you are my father. If nothing else, EXPECT me to keep tabs on you and care how you are. You are loved and I would be lost without you. "

This morning he calls me to tell me he is fine and that he just got back from his daily diner and he said as soon as he walked through the door there, they were ALL OVER him shaking their fingers at him and telling him he was in TROUBLE (based on my call to them yesterday looking for him.) They really read him the riot act! Love it. Love the small town . These are the same great ladies who refuse to give Dad potatoes with his breakfast after his heart attack a few years ago. Even if he orders it, they nod and write down cantaloupe. HA!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Found the Key!!!

Guess what was in my desk!?!?! Lemme tell you. Not a darn stinkin' thing. One down, two to go. Ya know, someone is laughing at me up there. They're getting a real kick outta this. Cute. Real Cute.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Learning is Human

It's fun and exciting at its best, and awkward and embarrassing most of the rest of the time. Ugh. Wish I could just be a little less human. The last couple days has lent itself to teaching me I'm not the only one this happens to. Ha! I feel better already...

Bitty Baby is learning how to walk. She's learning how to fall too, by tripping over the rug and then falling face first into the table leg she was trying to get to. Oh Bitty. She's learned that she likes mommy's lap to snuggle in when she's not feeling well. She feels better when she wipes her sticky snotty runny nose right across my blouse before work. Maybe she's marking her territory?

Middle Bebe has been quite perfect lately. This is excellent, especially considering the chaos that encompasses our world has offered her. Nonetheless, she borrowed a pair of Ugg boots from a friend for her Halloween costume. The mom left a message a few days ago that they need the Ugg boots back before a trip down south. Of course I did not get this message until after they left. That was the first mistake. The second was thinking that a 2nd grader could dutifully take care of a pair of Ugg boots. Not only did she wear them in the rain, and into the puddles, but they were a little snug on her feet, and so apparently her toes are just peeking through the toe of the boot in a nice BIG HOLE! I asked her what she thought we should do. "Give them back," was her answer. Smart but wrong. Here is a prime time to teach this dear little one about borrowing. If you borrow something, you'd better return in the same shape IF NOT IN BETTER shape than how it was first received. It's just what you do. She wrote the friend a note saying thank you for loaning them, sorry I ruined them. She will return the damaged boots in a bag to the friend with this note. And at the bottom of the bag will be a new pair that she has put allowance towards and will work off the rest. She said on the way home tonight that she was sad about the whole thing. I said yes, that is okay to feel sad. But it's also okay to feel good about doing the right thing now. That's how we learn to make and keep good friends.

Big bebe said today in the store that she'd like some body wash for the shower. Ok. She is getting into a more girlie stage, so what the hey, she wants body wash and not black eyeliner and a tattoo? We've got a deal. So we are looking through the shelves and she says she really needs body wash...she's already got something for her head and shoulders and now she needs body wash. (apparently good ol bar soap is not in the equation.) Hahahaha I'm laughing because I know I just stocked the little girls' shower with "Head and Shoulders" shampoo. Oh to live and learn. I explained to her that the NAME of the shampoo was head and shoulders....hahahaha

Hubby learned that if you get mad at a raccoon who keeps getting into the trash NO MATTER WHAT, that if you shoot at the raccoon to scare him away, and that if you accidentally actually hit him and kill him on the front lawn, you'd better have a plan what to do with it. Don't tell me you're a marine who is trained for war, but now you're squeemish at a dead raccoon. Sorry buddy, you're on your own.

I've learned this week that when I wear high heels and then my back hurts, I feel oddly guilty when I go to the chiropractor. Hmph. I've learned that in the move I've misplaced:
1/my camera
2/my new checks (great way to save money!)
3/the key to my home desk.
**note here that items 1+2 could very well be IN the desk that I cannot open. **

I just can't win. But I can laugh!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sounds of Mama

Don't know if you know this or not. But you remind me so much of my mama. I try not to stare. I try not to gaze; it's just you're so much like her. The way you speak, the way you laugh, the way your lips form words and sentences. Sometimes when you talk there seems to be a hint of hidden southern drawl. It's soothing to my ears...just like mama. I'd give anything to be right next to you all day long, silently relishing the sounds so familiar to me. Such a beautiful sound. I just want to sit and listen for a while...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't Know Much About Nuttin'...

But these little ones keep me right where I need to be:

Love Love Love these sweet girls of mine. I am blessed. And thankful. And humbled.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Little Vent

What a wonderful, glorious, beautiful day. Go to church. Take a nap. Get up and visit with a friend. Take a longer nap. Go to a RAW (church-ish thingie.) Stop to get groceries on the way home. This is where it takes an ugly turn. =(

I have a medium filled shopping cart of groceries. (Very healthy-- I might add. Tons of veggies, milk, rice milk, bananas, long grain brown rice, whole wheat bread...) There are only two check out lines open, both of which are 15 items or less. I actually walk the ENTIRE length of ALL the stands to make sure there isn't a regular one open. Nope. I then let the little lady behind me go in front as she has so few items.

I'm making a conscious effort here. Then out of NO WHERE, maybe 15 (FIFTEEN!!!!) people are now over flowing into the aisles WAITING for ME and my MORE than 15 stupid grocery items. They are glaring at me. Then the checker has the nerve to GLARE at me. Maybe I'm too sensitive. They call 2 extra checkers who have just left for the day, or are outside getting carts. The glares continue.

I open my purse. No checks. Oh hell. No credit card. Oh you have got to be kidding me. But never fear: I am a super-multi-planner-ahead-er, so I pull out the "back -up" check book. (This would be the savings account and not the regular checking account.) Write the check. Hand it over. It's over $100 so they need the manager's approval. More glares. Wait for the manager. Then process the check. "Is this a new account Ma'am. Cause now I'm gonna need to call the manager back down here to approve this too." Glares continue.

No it's not a new flipping account. It's old as all hell cause I try and do the right thing and actually save a little cash when I get a chance. I just choose NOT to always write checks to the grocery store with it. DUH! Please make me feel MORE insecure here standing in YOUR stupid line when YOU didn't provide ANY OTHER check out stands. Is there a law I missed that said no one can purchase more than 15 items after 8pm? I am paying for GROCERIES. I don't expect my money to pay for your fabulous attitude, but it sure as hell better not buy my your mean, glaring eye balls while I'm buying veggies, rice milk and long grain brown rice.

But you know what. Even though I know your job description says you should ask me if I need help out to my car, and you didn't ask, I won't hold it against you. I said thank you when you handed me my receipt. If our paths ever cross again I hope you recognize me. Maybe your family member will be sick and need help with their bill, And I'll be the one to help. Maybe you'll come to my church and I can pray with you there. Maybe your child will ride in my car on the next 2nd grade field trip. I'll make sure to give your kid an extra hug and smile. Cause the good Lord knows it sure as hell isn't coming from you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Finished my book last night: Secret Life of Bees. I am in love with that book. I am in love with reading and being transported to a world that transcends my common every day life. Anything to take me away.

And so I am nesting in my new house. My new-to-me house that I'm trying to "nest" into my home. Now that most things are unpacked, though not neat by any means, I can get to the stuff that really matters. When the baby is asleep, and the big girls tucked in, Hubby watching TV or already nodding off, I can start to unpack my favorites...safely, methodically, thoughtfully in the peace of the night.
I have a small little nightstand next to my side of the bed. It is my shrine of sorts. A couple pictures, a handful of delicate cards from precious friends, an angel of peace, a bouquet of dried flowers from mama, three candles, a bible...

Somehow my book collection has multiplied. The books I HAVE TO HAVE close by and now I have too many. So I couldn't just shove them in there. These are the books that speak to me. So I stayed up late sorting through them, feeling guilty about which ones I could keep there and which ones would have to be put on the bookshelf. Like they had feelings or something. And why do I think I'm going crazy? Maybe cause I think my books have feelings. But these are the ones whose feelings I ended up caring most about:

White Oleander - Janet Fitch
Taking Care of Your Child
Intercessory Prayer - Dutch Sheets
My mom's 2006 appointment book
The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
Jarhead - Anthony Swafford
Peace Life a River - Leif Engler
A Book of Love Poetry - edited by Jon Stallworthy
Sunrise - Karen Kingsbury
Mind as Healer Mind as Slayer - Kenneth R. Polletier
Mystic River - Dennis Lehane
When I Was a Girl - edited by Allison Pollet
Remembering Blue - Connie May Fowler
Becoming a Woman of Excellence - Cynthia Heald
Chesty - Colonel Jon T Hoffman USMC
Small Miracles for Women - Yitta Halberstam abd Judith Loventhal
Tara Road - Maeve Binchy
Strength For Service to God and Country
The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans
I am Not but I know I AM - Louie Giglio
If You Want to Walk on Water You Have to Get Out of The Boat - John Ortberg
Christian Truth and His Defense - For US Marines
and 3 Bibles

Books are a safe place for me and always have been. I've always loved to be lost in writing and reading, scripture and poetry, music and lyrics. Can't wait to have the piano in the house soon too. It will add another much needed dimension to help transform my heart and house into a home. And so I nest.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Voting Day

I've been really watching and listening and taking in all this information leading up to election day. I'm not particularly politically outspoken. I've got plenty of stances and opinions, but choose to keep these mostly to myself. Except for Dad. Because he and I can disagree and still have the most respectfully intelligent conversations. I get more out of those talks than I do with anything else. I actually THRIVE on hearing a view different from mine. I am appreciative of all of it and think that God made us all different and special for a reason. The least I can do is try to see the beauty in the variances.

What I don't understand is why some people think that taking down someone else's signs or defacing them is a way of getting a leg up at the polls. Is their self worth and ethical beliefs so poor that they would actually PREFER winning this way? What is heroic about win this way? Wouldn't it feel better to them to know that they won the people's vote because they BELIEVED in their cause, and NOT because they had to prove the other party wrong?

I've been trying to explain to my kids the differences in McCain and Obama and this and that and on and on, and what each brings to the table. Just because we choose to vote for one, does NOT mean it makes all other opponents wrong. All can be an okay choice, and we get to vote for our preference. It doesn't need to be a taking sides thing. In a time in this world when we're trying to desperately teach our children acceptance and caring and community, there is this election that pits us against each other. It doesn't have to be that way. We are all "fighting" for the same team. Remember?

Just because my husband is a Marine does not mean I support the war. It doesn't mean I DON'T support the war either. He didn't join because he wanted to kill or be killed. He joined to make a difference.

This is how I define it:
A veteran is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is honor and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

So many people are talking. I think we've got to shut up and listen in order to get anything accomplished and moving in the right direction. You have to know when to prod and when to be quiet and when to let things take their course.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Back

Loving the whole IDEA of an extra hour's sleep, not particularly diggin' the second guessing of time that I'm doing now. Paranoia for sure. I'm a geek anyhow who checks and double checks the time on my phone, the alarm clock, triple check the oven clock and then the car clock. This is already a normal daily routine. Ugh. Toss in there to the mix a time change, even if it means extra sleep, and I'm SUPER paranoid. I'm just short of leaving sticky notes on every clock I see to remind myself if I've already re-set it. OCD much? Gotta be good at something I suppose. This week I'm a really special over-zealous clock setter-checker.
Check. Check.