Monday, January 31, 2011

Putting Faith Into Action

Today, I awoke with "visible" symptoms.

I have been complacent lately, feeling fairly well all in all, and I don't recall performing my "daily inventory" like I usually had done each morning.  You know..."did I hear my alarm?  Ears. Check.  Did I see the clock?  Eyes. Check.  Did my legs swing to the side of the bed, touch the floor, and carry me to the bathroom?  Legs. Check."  Yeah, that.  I haven't done it in awhile.  So this morning threw me for a bit of a loop.

I heard my alarm and popped up out of bed to silence it with a flailing maneuver that Mary Lou Retton would've envied, had I stuck the landing.  Her record stands, however, because I immediately fell...into the wall.  Since I was only about one quarter of the way awake, I wasn't really putting the reality together.  As I gathered myself, wondering what just happened, I stood up and...thud.  Nice.  I found it hard to stand on my shaky right leg.  Never fear, I told myself...I've got two legs for a reason...let's just count on the left one to get us through the day!  I limped down the stairs to start the glory that is coffee making.

I grabbed the coffee pot handle with my right hand, flicked the tap upward with my left, briskly moved the pot under the running water to...whoopsie!  SLAMMED the glass pot into the faucet!  Praise the Lord it didn't break, but it certainly got my attention and woke the basset hound, who methodically situates himself in front of the stove with the hopes of catching any dropped breakfast.  I sat the pot down and noticed my right hand shaking like a leaf.  Before I left my home, I had dropped nearly everything I picked up (keys, purse, lunch bag, water bottle, sunglasses...and then I gave up).  It was to the point where my daughter asked if I was alright.  Okay, so it's going to be a weak/shaky Monday.  But I was confident I could pull it off without it being too noticeable to others.  Nope. 

I nearly leveled an innocent woman who was merely attempting to check out of her doctor's appointment.  Dear right leg, thanks kindly for letting me down at just the right time.  Now there's a woman walking around town with an undeserved upper arm bruise.  If I counted the times I've had to apologize over the course of the last 7 days, then factored that number, it would require exponents.  

This would probably get to me a little, had I not been blessed to spend time with a dear friend yesterday.  She's struggling.  A lot.  But you know what she said?  "I can see God working through it" and "if you don't go through times like these, you'd miss out on what God will do in your life".   

So I've got a couple of choices.  I can worry about what these symptoms will look like in a day or two, which is typically when they're at their worst...a day or two after onset.  Or?  I can put my faith into action and trust the Lord to carry my through, shaky right side and whatever else ms throws my way during this flare.  I'll take "Lord carries shaky and uncertain me", thanks. 

Lord, You're my healer.  Thanks for letting this song be the one playing on my radio this morning when I needed it most. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grocery Store Sell Out

Yes, that's my cart from last night.  Yes, that's the large cart.  Yes, I gave in to the peer pressure that the bagger man and well-meaning customer from the other week applied.  "You should've gotten a bigger cart" played over and over again in my head, just like the boy on the bicycle in the 80's movie "Better Off Dead"..."two dollars, two dollars".  "Bigger cart...bigger cart"  Ugh.

Wrestling that beast from stop to stop fatigued me.  The fact that I had to scale the shelves in the cat food aisle didn't help matters.  Do you think it was purposeful when they stocked the food that my cats eat on the very top shelf?  And that there was only one bag left, which was pushed all the way back?  Admittedly, I contemplated going to the cleaning supplies aisle, retrieving a mop, and swatting at it like a pinata until it fell.  But I realized that method may be frowned upon by others, so I decided to climb.  See, I can climb all day long.  I just can't descend.  Gracefully.

Shortly following my dismount, I became dizzy and wasn't seeing clearly from one end of the aisle to the other.  By the time I reached the breads, I was steering poorly and practically laying on the handle, which I was using as a walking aide. 

The thought had crossed my mind that, if one was able to be "pulled over" in the grocery store and sobriety tested, it would surely be me.  I could envision it unfolding.  "Ma'am, I noticed you swerving back there in produce.  Have you been drinking?"..."No, sir.  I have ms."..."May I see your membership card, please?"...knew I should've bought that.

I guided what felt like an old Chrysler Newport into the checkout and began unloading.  Another reminder as to why I prefer the little cart?  Stretching for the cans that rolled to the very back of the cart was nothing short of an acrobatic routine.  If only I were the same height as I was in high school.  At one point, I nearly had both feet off the ground.  Who wanted those baked beans, anyway.  Oh that's right.  I did.
But then, something amazing happened.  The cashier not only checked my items, but bagged them!  I wondered...does one get more respect when shopping with the Chrysler Newport?  And if so, is it worth it to nearly face plant in retrieval of a can of baked beans?  Because if I fall in next time, the respect factor goes right out the window. 

From this shopping experience forward, I shall return to the comfort, speed, and agility that my little cart affords me.  I'm sorry I sold out on this occasion, but have learned a valuable lesson in the process.  There's a reason they stopped making the Chrysler Newport.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

MS...Showin' Me Love.

Yes, that's right.  MS was lovin' on me today.  I suppose I should reconsider this unwelcome companion's attitude toward me.  See, I've felt as if it was here to annoy me, to wrestle with me, and to think up fun and interesting ways for me to make a fool of myself.  You know, like causing me to stumble, fumble, and stutter my way through life?  While that's all also happens to love me.  It really loves me.

Today, I decided to wage war against approximately 13" of heavy snow covered driveway.  I was armed with a plastic snow shovel, my daughter's 2-sizes-too-small-for-me snowboots (because I haven't owned a pair of those in 25yrs and refuse to spend money on them), a giant winter hat (that made me feel like I was part of Fat Albert), and a couple of my husband's fluorescent yellow work sweatshirts.  Didn't want to bundle up too much, because I was afraid I'd become overheated and see 26" of snow with the double vision and all.  Plus, if I were to fall, I wanted to be plainly visible.  My version of Life Alert.

So there I was, pushing my fragile shovel into the rock-like snow boulders.  I dug, I pushed, I heaved snow to the side.  I was on fire!  No, really.  I have a spot in my left hammy about the diameter of a silver dollar that feels like someone's lighting a match.  Anyway, I continued...digging and pushing and throwing...and my back began to scream out, "hey!  What's going on out there!  I haven't hurt this bad since field hockey circa 1987!", but I fearlessly pushed on.  My shovel began to shake in my field of vision.  Oh hey, Nystagmus!  Love how you come 'round when I'm tired and all, but in case you haven't noticed, I'm kinda busy here.  See, this black car I'm digging behind?  It's gotta get out to that road.  I'm almost out of creamer, and that's the real definition of a "situation"...well before any tv show made the term popular.

After what seemed like hours and hours of work, I was completely exhausted.  I stopped the driveway assault, dug my shovel into the next pile of snow, and slowly inched my way up to full 5'1" upright position for an assessment of my progress.  Was I feeling overconfident?  Absolutely!  I turned to see how far I had gotten.  The answer?  Nowhere.  Not quite 1/3, and that's with the bare spot my car contributed.  Okay, where's Alan Funt and his Candid Camera?  Surely I accomplished more than that?  But alas, the proof was in the pudding.  Or driveway, as it were.  Alan never showed.  I'd have stuck a shovel in his hand and told him to get pushin'. 

Ah yes, the agony of defeat.  Exhausted, in pain, dejected.  I made my way to a tall snow bank, overhead karate chopped the shovel into it, and turned for the front door.  All of the sudden, I felt the unmistakable squeeze around my head.  Then it began around my chest.  Awww, it was ms!  Giving me a hug:-) 

It's been about 8 hours since the onset of these loving hugs.  Okay can (breathing deeply) let go now...kay?  Yeah yeah, I love you too...(breathing in) really I do...(breathing out).  It's just that I like to hug and depart.  There's an unwritten rule of conduct for hugging, in that you hug for 2.2 seconds and release.  Otherwise, it becomes awkward.  You've exceeded that rule by...hours.  It's officially 8+ hours of awkward.  I'm just sayin'. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trade Ya...A Hot Mess For A Beautiful One

Yesterday morning, I was led to write a post about the dark and depressed state I found myself in.  Within a few minutes of submitting it, I decided I was INSANE to have put all that out there in such a broad forum and ran back to the computer to delete it.  Prior to doing so, I checked the "stats" tab in the hopes that no one had read.  There were already 12 views.  Ugh.  12 people knew I was a hot mess within about 3 minutes.  Stellar.

I spent the vast majority of the day wrapped in my snuggie with a cup of coffee in one hand and my Bible in the other.  I wanted to completely immerse myself in truth, so that I could get back to that metaphorical sliding board with the right perspective.  I prayed, asking that the root causes of this funk be shown to me.  Because come on, none of us are free of trials and crappy circumstances.  We are the fans, and I don't have to finish the cliche statement about exactly what gets thrown our way on a regular basis!  I was wondering why I was at the bottom of the slide all the sudden? 
Fear, anxiety, worry, and guilt.  I had that checklist set out in front of me in fairly short order.  And those negative feelings are intertwined together like a Seinfeld episode.  Again, hot mess.

I even noticed it in some of my recent blog posts as I read back over them.  Like how I didn't feel very useful, on account of not being able to work the hours I used to, or perform the physical tasks my coworkers easily complete...all with invisible symptoms that others just can't understand.  I feel like people may be thinking, "ugh, she's so lazy".  Like how the grocery bagger man must've felt before I openly announced my medical affliction in front of a line of patrons in the hopes that he'd just do his job...'cause I had already put my full day of work in.  I wasn't displaying any Fruits of The Spirit that day!  And then I feel guilty about it.  All of it.  Hot mess.
I occasionally slip low enough down the slide and worry that my husband might come to resent me, because of how hard he works and it still doesn't seem like enough.  Or that he just might resent me, in general.  Or that my parents will resent me for needing to ask for help at my old age.  Or that my kids might resent the fact that their friends' moms don't have holes in their heads.  Okay, that sounds kinda funny when I put it in those terms.  I'm now laughing.  Of course my rational mind knows far better than to actually believe these worries, but emotions aren't always rational.  That's why I absolutely love the statement, "emotions will lead you astray, but the Word of God stands firm".
So the end result is...this spirit is recharging:-)  I jumped into the Word armed with a submissive heart and a snuggie, and can feel it slowly lifting.  It's very slow, but that's ok.  This isn't the first time God has had to pick me up and dust me off, and it won't be the last.  But He began a good work in me, and we know how the rest of that verse goes.  Trading in a hot mess for a beautiful one (thanks for the reminder, Debbie!)...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Depression On The Playground

I can feel it happening. 

To provide an amusing visual...picture me as the little kid climbing up the slide.  I used to do that often, because everybody could do the ladder/slide down...but not everybody could climb UP it!  I digressed again.  Back to the visual.  Now picture a whole bunch of rambunctious little kids lined up at different portions of the slide.  Shouting, pushing, laughing.  They don't play well with others.  They make a game of climbing over the rails and sliding down, sometimes two or three at a time, as I carefully set about my climb to the top.  Each one bumps into me, but I maneuver around them with my cat-like reflexes.  But afterwhile, I become fatigued by the constant bombardment of annoying kids.  I begin to focus more on them than the top of the slide.  And I allow them to cause me to slip...but I catch myself!  I cling to the sides with my hands and feet, but they just keep coming.  Now, even the lightweight kids are hard for me to dodge.  I begin to focus more on the slide and the obnoxious kids piled up underneath of me and those stacked in front of me, pushing and shoving against me.  I forget to look up, because there's a hot mess going on all around me.  That's when I slip, can't regroup, and slide backwards on my belly into the mud.

The slide = life
The obnoxious kids = my stressors
The top of the slide = God

Right now, I'm near the bottom of the slide.  I haven't fallen into the mud yet, but as I said in the beginning...I feel it happening.

When I do try to reach out and let others know how I'm feeling, they do their best to encourage me.  The typical statements I receive in response are:

1. "it could be worse"
2. "so and so is going through this and that"
3. "what would you complain about if you actually..." had that go right
4. "your problems are mostly 'abc', at least it's not...(careful pause, because they almost said 'health')...something worse"

They think it's "mostly abc", because that's all I chose to share.  I didn't tell them about d-z.  Know what's funny?  I'm sometimes the person they cite to others who are feeling down on their luck.  "Hey, look at Tina.  She's got MS!"  True story, I've witnessed it.  My reaction when that happens?  Smile and nod.  Internal questioning of, "did they really just say that in front of me?" begins.  Exit stage left.

See, I want to be the woman who "does all things without complaining", and who is "thankful in all circumstances".  I want to "count it all joy" when I face trials.  Sometimes I fall short of those qualities and when I do, I feel like I've somehow not fully appreciated the way God has worked in my life.  The guilt begins, because I am thankful for my blessings...I'm just feeling the pain of the obnoxious kids sliding into me, the heavy rain on my slide, my pressure cooker stress level, and the surprise party ms is throwing.  Before I know it, and if I'm not careful...I find myself sitting alone in the mud, drawing frownie faces with a stick.

While that "tendency to isolate" can seem like a good idea, it's a dangerous place for me to be.  I justify it in my mind, telling myself that there's safety in the Hide Out.  I've been down that road before and it's had its own slippery slopes called "bad choices".  That's why I decided to put pride aside and write this post.  Can't get that much more "out there" than this!  So there it is.  Blogger confessions.

Now I'm off to my favorite place...the grocery store!  Reminds me of that merry-go-round thing on the playground, where you hang on real tight and the biggest kid grabs onto the bars, runs as fast as he can, and jumps on?  That's where I'll be if anyone's looking for me:-)

The steps of a man are established by the LORD; And He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.  - Psalm 37:23-24

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sometimes I Don't Feel Very...Useful?

This is the face of the girl who was picked first for playground games.  First.

And it wasn't because of my Trak shoes or Garanimal outfits, though I'm certain my keen fashion sense only added to my popularity.  If there was such a thing as a "Garanimals casting call" back in the 70's, I'd have won...hands down.  I still dress this way today.  I match my socks to my top.  But I digress...

All through school?  Active.  Athletic.  Hard working.  In college?  Same as in school with the exception of the last quality.  The 5 years in between graduating college and becoming symptomatic?  Wow.  I worked so hard that just thinking about it tires me out.  Even up until this school year, I worked 50+ hour weeks.  I never said I worked them with ease...but I worked them.  On many occasions, I felt like this:

But we just had a teachers' In Service day, and while that may ordinarily mean sitting down to perform cerebral tasks like lesson planning and such, it meant the complete opposite for us on this day.  We were to clean our classrooms and perform maintenance tasks around the building.  It's a great time of fellowship and feeling like a team.  Unless you're me, being passed on the left by your expecting coworker who had twice as much trash in both of her hands than I could muster.  Thankfully, there are no Team Captains for In Service days.  I'd be lucky to be picked last, if at all. 

See, when I do physically strenuous tasks, it's not long before I'm slightly foggy in the noggin.  It's as if my muscles pull energy reserves from my brain.  My left eye checks out.  My legs become weak.  And I feel less useful than this:

...because at least Car Pool Kenny can get you to work on time if you live in a state that has those HOV lanes.  We don't, so that doesn't make me feel quite so bad.

But it's not as if no one gets me at work.  For instance, my boss stopped by to vacuum my classroom for me, because she knows that attempts at completeing a "push/pull" sort of exercise is my kiss of death.  As I sat on top of my desk, swinging my tingling feet, I tried to make myself feel better.  I told myself, "she's a couple years younger, that's why she's so energetic" and "it's really okay and totally not embarrassing to be sitting here on the desk while she's working" and "vacuuming's just not my thing".  After all, I sponged my chalkboard off all by myself, didn't I?  That brought back fond memories of the detentions I served in the 9th grade for excessive talking, laughing, and throwing my pencils into the spongie drop ceiling tiles.  Digressing again... 

That was my big contribution du jour.  Straightening up my room, sponging off my chalkboard, and taking 2 handfuls of trash to the dumpster.  Sadly, that was all I was capable of.  I then had to go home to rest a bit before going back to take another shot at being useful.  By the time my friend, Vertigo, left...and my strength came back...the work was pretty much done.

So for the next In Service day, I think I'm going to get me one of these...

I'll call her "Take Along Tina"...and I'll prop her in my classroom with the vacuum handle in her hand.  She can't do any less than I'd ordinarily do, right?  Meanwhile, I'll be at my desk, performing cerebral-like tasks.  Because the mind is a dangerous thing...and I've still got mine;-) 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Grocery Store Meltdown In 3...2...

It was bound to happen at some point.  When you continually rock the little compact cart, odds'll encounter a bagger for whom you're just too hot to handle.  Today was that day.  Today was the wrong day for it to be that day.  MS is kicking my tail.  My legs are weak, my eye is fuzzy, my energy forgot to show up, and my neck is sore.  I think that's all.  Stupid invisible symptoms. 

I was so proud of my little cart today.  I mean come on, it was a thing of beauty.  See?

I had plenty more room under that case of water.  I was being courteous to others.

In any case, I was nearly to the check out when I realized that my husband had recently expressed a desire for squirt cheese.  Well, he didn't call it that.  I think he said something like, "I'd like the cheese that I can put on crackers."  To which I said, with repulsed face, "squirt cheese?"  My grandmother once said, "you eat with your eyes".  I'm someone who does.  I can't eat squirt jelly, because jelly should be in glass jars.  The sight of that squirt peanut butter and jelly they make turns my stomach.  Squirt cheese?  It's just wrong.

Like any good wife, I threw physical discomfort aside and went back for his squirt cheese.  When I returned with my rocked out little cart, there was only one lane available to me.  So I began the unload...

As I wrote my required life story on the top of my bank check, I was forced to listen to the tiny bagger man as he tried his best to impress the 20yr younger cashier girl with a story of his weight lifting escapades.  Honey, please.  Men can't be cougars.  Much like squirt PB&J, it's just wrong.

I took my receipt and went to leave, but six of my bags were still on the counter...not in my cart.  The next order had begun.  The cashier, with annoyed face, turned to me and asked if I would like another cart.  Temper temper...

Me:  "No, thank you.  What I'd like is for him to help me by putting my things in the cart I have."
Cashier, turning to 105lb Mighty Weightlifting Bagger Man: "ugh...can you please help this lady?"

This LADY?  Hold on.  I know she didn't just...

I explained, chewing on side of face, that I was sorry to have the little cart and all?  But I have ms and this is the cart I need to use.  And that I know you can't tell, but I'm havin' a REAL bad ms day.  Next time, I will wear a sign (complete with hand gestures across chest).  But right now, I really just need these bags (complete with double handed point) to go in this cart (complete with double handed point to cart).

Bagger Man: "I don't know what to do with all of it"
Me...more annoyed: "You pick them up from here (double handed point to counter)...and put them in here (double handed point to cart)."

Bagger Man holding bags in the air, looking catatonic...

There goes the temper!  Internal nuclear siren sounding...WOOOOP...commence meltdown in 3...WOOOOOP...2...WOOOOOP...1...

Me:  "GIVE ME THE ... BAGS!"  (the pause was the near swear word that almost slipped out, but thankfully, did not)

There are two areas I need to be more diligent with as far as maintaining my Christ-like attitude.  Hockey and grocery shopping.

Let the record show that today's blow up was all due to squirt cheese, people.  Because had I not gone back for it, I'd have had "my" bagger.  The man who not only can reassemble my items back into my little cart, but who admires my mad skills. 

You'd think my husband would be thankful, but no.  I told him of my negative little cart experience and his reaction was...well, he didn't really say anything.  Barrett Jackson auto auction was on.  In my frustration, I opened the pantry, grabbed the can of squirt cheese, brandished it and said, "know what?  All that happened because of THIS!"

His response?  A look of confusion, followed by..."what the heck is that?"


Squirt cheese.  Not of God. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

MS Has Candid Camera

MS is like a terribly annoying kid that makes me want to stuff it in its locker or beat it up after school.  That's extreme, yes.  But don't judge me just yet.  See, it makes me feel as if I'm on Candid Camera, but this show runs daily...not weekly.  And the guests never change.  It's always just me.  Or someone like me.  I picture it standing behind a wall, pointing and laughing at me, awaiting the perfect moment to jump out and scream. 

Here are those situations:

- When I'm done blow drying my hair, attempt to put the dryer away, have a hand tremor, and drop it.  Our vanity is directly next to the toilet.  You can see it, can't you.  Needless to say, I make certain the toilet lid is closed prior.  Fool me thrice...

:::I hear you laughing, ms.  Very clever:::

- When I'm fully finished with the daunting task of drying and brushing my hair (and occasionally fishing the hair dryer out of the toilet), and decide my hair is ready for its "coat of armor"...I have a tremor while spraying and shoot myself in the side of the face or in the eye.  This is no less than a weekly occurrence.

:::I'd like to say I see you laughing, ms, but I can't see on account of the array of chemicals I've just propelled into my eye.  Not cool:::

- When I trip up the front of about 32 high school students.  At least they're cordial enough to laugh later. 

:::ms, settle down.  See how the kids hold it in?  Give that a shot, kay?:::

- When I remember my keys are in the the door is shutting.

:::nice try, ms.  I have a spare set in my purse for such an occasion.  Try again:::

- When I remember my house key is on the the door is shutting.

:::the joke is on you, ms!  I have a 12yr old who's MUCH more responsible with her key than her mother.  She's got me covered:::

- When I get as far as the bottom of the staircase and realize that I don't have pants on.  Thank goodness something stops me.  Pants are part of the dress code.

:::Really?  REALLY???:::

And tonight:

- When my son feels like something is in his eye and does what any little boy would do...go to Mom for help? And I do the "stretch the eyelid open" thing? And I get a tremor? And I accidentally put my finger in his eye?  Betcha he'll rethink that the next time around.

:::keep on laughin', ms.  My son has my sense of humor.  He laughed even before you did, then found his own stray eyelash:::

I keep waiting for ms to jump out at me and scream, "SMILE!  YOU'RE ON CANDID CAMERA!", but that hasn't happened yet.  So in the meanwhile, I'll attempt to laugh along with ms as my hair dryer dries out from the swim it took in the toilet, and my eyelashes are stuck together with hairspray, and I cleverly place extra sets of keys, and I leave my room without necessary apparel, and my son goes to the dog for help with his eye before he comes to me.  It's okay.  I'm a patient woman.  I can't wait...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Icewoman

Over the years, I've thought it funny to sneak up on my husband and place one of my cold hands or feet on his bare skin.  I feel an unhealthy sense of joy when I hear him yell out something like "aaaaargh!" or "what the!".  By the time he realizes what just happened, I'm already gone.  Cat-like reflexes.  Simply stated?  He can't catch me. 

Now that I'm getting um...older...the cold hands/feet have reached a level of temperature that would rival dry ice.  Therefore, my game is even less fun for my husband...and of greater humor to me.  I mention my age in this, because I've noticed that my monthly migraines and middle-of-the-night-wake-up-gasping spells have morphed into middle-of-the-night-wake-up-freezing spells.  Let me tell you, and if you've ever had a migraine you will understand...I will take ANYTHING over a migraine. 

Last night, I went to bed in my husband's giant winter jacket and hat to be funny.  My husband?  Didn't think it was so funny.  In fact, I think he said something like, "what is wrong with you?  Nevermind.  Don't answer that."  At least my kids thought it was funny.  They followed me to bed, turned on the light, and photographed me as if I was the Sasquatch.  Or something from Attack of The Killer Tomatoes.  I'm seriously not that big.  It's totally the jacket...

My hands and feet are not just freezing, they're frozen.  Despite wearing 2 pairs of my husband's socks, my feet are not warm.  Last night, after I delivered a masterful "freezing hand to the armpit" placement on my husband, he added, "good God, woman!  Go to the doctor or somethin'!" to his word bank. 

Go to the doctor.  Oh come on.  As if that's going to happen.  I'll tell you when I'll go.  When my hand or foot sticks to him in the same way your fingers stick to an ice cube.  That will be worth the $50 copay.

I've read that I may be able to blame ms for this trait.  Something about spinal lesions and communication problems with the parasympathetic nervous system.  So I'm really not sure who gets the blame or perimenopause.  I'm kind of hoping it's the latter, because perimenopause means the start to "the end"!  Ladies!  You hear me, right?

Either way, I feel like a superhero.  Forget leaping tall buildings in a single bound, or flying in my invisible airplane and stopping bullets with my 4" wide bracelets...I can make a large man spring approximately 6" off of any flat surface he's sitting on with the touch of one hand...or foot.  THAT is a cool trick.  Just call me "Icewoman"...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Husband = A 70's Enjoli Commercial

Remember when I posted about baking the cookies that another woman had so kindly offered to bake for my husband?  And how, in my immaturity, I was certain I rose to the challenge and exceeded his cookie expectations?  Yeah.  I got schooled.

Mine were chocolate Hershey kisses cookie batter with mini-Reeses Peanut Butter cups in the center.  These?  Are better.  Peanut butter chocolate chip cookie batter with a Hershey kiss in the center.  Know who baked 'em?

My husband. 

Because I'm not competitive in any manner (:::cough:::), I was fine with it when he gloated.  He strutted his peacock-esque feathers around the kitchen in an "oh yeah, THAT just happened" manner, then he retired to his oversized chair to catch the last quarter of the football games. 

I couldn't help but stare at his creations.  How does he do it?  He works 3 jobs.  He's a truck driving, construction kind of man...yet he makes perfect cookies in his spare time?  Mine are not perfect, they're more "slap the dough on the tray and hope for the best".  And I burn the bottoms...every time.  I lack the necessary patience to bake something that requires me to get up and down 58 times to load and unload, cool and stack.  I want to use the electric mixer, throw it in the oven for a decent amount of time, and call it a day.

But my husband?  He's an Enjoli commercial from the 70's.  He "can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan (as he does every Sunday morning), and never never let you forget he's the MAN!" 

The song played in my head as I stared at his "plated cookies".  My head/neck tremors roared back and I shivered from side to side, violently.  What could I possibly do?  And then it came to me...

Mash them? 

No...I couldn't do that.  I don't want to be the Tonya Harding of baking.  Could I instead give them to our Basset Hound?  No.  That's not right, either.  Guess there's just one thing I can do.  Accept it.

And maybe hide the milk?


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello 2011! Wishing You The Best!

It's not that there weren't bright spots in 2010 and all?  But I'm enjoying the changing of one Basset Hound calendar to the other.  And I shouldn't say "bright spots".  Hits a little too close to home.  Ha!  Made myself laugh...

The plan for 2011?  Well, there's actually not much of one.  Many of my friends are list makers.  I think it's the "teacher" in them on account of their fancy lesson plans and such.  This is why I'm not a traditional classroom teacher.  The students I work with are quite bored by "plans", as is their instructor.  In my life, it's not that I haven't tried to make plans, it's just that they've never come together.  I typically forget my course and don't follow them.  Let me just err on the safe side and call it a "hope" list.

  • I hope my family and friends remain healthy and take every opportunity they're blessed with to enjoy themselves!
  • I hope to have tan lines by the end of June. At the very latest.
  • I hope to be able to volunteer this year at the summer camp my children recently started attending.  It's a great way to do the Lord's work and completely wreck someone else's kitchen in the process.  We chocolate covered everything 2 summers ago...pickles, bacon, meatloaf.  Nothing was safe, nor will it be, upon my return.
  • I hope the numbers in our ebanking account always look like this  $xxx  and not this  $-xxx .  That'll be somethin' new!  Ha!
  • I hope ms behaves itself.  Pretty please...
Not necessarily in that order.  Well, the "tan lines" hope would still be pretty high up there.  A summer spent under fluorescent lights certainly didn't bring out that slight bit of Native American heritage I have within me.  I was looking more like Casper than Pocahontas.  Pretty Stylish Friend taught me to look in the mirror and say, "I make this look good".  I tried that, but all that came to mind was, "I make milk look good..."  Ha!  Made myself laugh again.  That's important to do, you know.

Above all, thank you so much for reading, for your support, and for your prayers.  Writing this blog has been such a blessing to me, because I've been able to connect with so many people, some of whom I may never meet in person.  I write in the hopes of blessing others, but it is you who bless me.  So that brings me to one last...hugely important "hope":

I hope that you all are abundantly blessed!