Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I am at a loss for a title for the blog post today. Everything that comes to mind is too tacky.

We will be moving next month. I can't tell you how excited I am at the prospect. Right now we live next to a church, which is a significant con.

Before I begin my tirade, let me first say that I do not mind helping those in need. In fact, I enjoy it. "Just a cup of water," right?


Some people have serious nerve. Living next to a church means that every drug addict, alcoholic, and professional beggar stops by the house, wanting to know where the pastor is and if they can have some money. I have had people come by who were in genuine need. Those people are always humbled by the experience of having to ask for help. They will take only what is absolutely needed. I once even had a man who lost his home to arson ask for a scrap of carpet that was going to be thrown away because he could use it as a rug. I would do anything for those people. The former? Not so much.

I used to think it was just limited to this part of the country I live in, but I am increasingly deciding that there is a large population of people who think they are owed something, and get very demanding if they can't have that something exactly when and how they think they should.

Here's a little tip to the professional beggars (not that they would be reading this blog): You will get a lot more out of people when you are humble and not demanding. Try "please" and "thank you," for starters.

Do not pull up in my driveway on a Saturday morning and honk your horn. I do not run a drive-through service, and I will not come to your car when you are perfectly capable of walking to my door and knocking.

If I tell you that the church does not provide gas money, do not argue with me. I don't have it to give to you, either. When you ask for money for food, do not turn down the food from the pantry. I will remember when you come back and won't offer the food that time.

Don't tell me you are from out of town and need money to get to Florida. All I have to do is look at your license plate to know that you live in the county.

Don't bring your kids when you are begging for money. I am not stupid enough to think that you will spend the money on formula when I can smell the alcohol on your breath.

Do not push past me into my house. I do carry a gun.

I can't help you get your crazy check.

I have a five-year-old son, and there is no way I am going to drive you anywhere if it means putting you in the car with the two of us.

Do not ask me for the preacher's phone number, especially not after you've called him the Antichrist. I'm not telling you where he lives, either.

When I say that the benevolence house is open on Tuesdays from 9-11 am, do not ask me to make a special call and have it opened for you. I do not have keys to it and I do not have that contact information. If you tell me that you knew what time it was open, but just "couldn't make it," I am even less likely to want to help you.

Arguing with me will get you nowhere. I can't give you what I don't have, and I don't know anyone who can help you. Do not huff up, do not yell at me, and do not come back.


*sigh* I sometimes wish I wasn't so jaded. I know that God looks at our intent, and not the actual outcome, when we are extending benevolence to others. But after almost ten years of dealing with people who abuse the system (and all the above have actually happened to me at least once), it's hard not to be cynical.

No, I will not miss it one bit.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's the Weekend!

First - thank you for the prayers! Jeff's dad was able to return home. Jeff and his brother and sister went for a visit, and it's the first time just the five of them have been together in years and years. I miss him, but I'm glad they're getting that time together.

School has officially started again. I had a bit of a panic attack about my textbook for Microbiology, but that has been resolved and I got notification this morning that the book has shipped. Whew. A&P 2 looks to be a total bear, and I am going to have to wrap my mind around it quickly - every day that passes puts us closer to the move, and I am going to have to be more on my toes than ever to keep up with it all.

I'll leave you with a hybrid page (only my second - can you tell what's digital and what's not?). Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Needing Prayer

My father-in-law is very sick. He went into the hospital Saturday with an infection. Turns out it is a blood infection (probably staph), and we found out today that it is collecting in his heart. So far the treatments seem to be ineffective. He asked Jeff to make sure to take care of his mother if something happened. Jeff told him not to talk that way, but we are going to have bags packed and on standby in case we need to leave quickly.

Right now the family is scattered across three states, and we are all worried. Please pray for his healing, and that no permanent damage be done.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pride and . . . Embarrassment?

We received a delightful Christmas card this year from Braeden's Wednesday night Bible class teacher. I had one of those Parent Moments - you know, the kind where you swell up with pride and delight that someone else thinks your child is as wonderful as you know them to be. Here's part of what she said:

"Braeden is a joy to teach. He wants to learn. He's one of the most well-behaved and police children I have had. Ruth & (the other teachers, I'm sure), feel the same way. You have taught him well."

Folks, this came from a lady who has taught Bible class for 50 years! Nothing she could have said would possibly have made me prouder of my little man.

Fast forward a few weeks....

We've had a good family sort of night. Oh, we didn't do anything special - just a trip to the grocery store, a snack at Taco Bell, and homemade brownies when we got home. Jeff was watching videos on You Tube, and unsurprisingly, Braeden wanted a piece of the action.

"Daddy!" he yelled, bouncing on the balls of his feet. "Can we watch pooting pictures?"

Yeah. You heard right. My son, the well-behaved little boy, wanted to watch videos of people farting.

Oh, what is my husband teaching this child??

Boys in the Car

This is what happens when two boys are stuck in the backseat of a SUV for an extended period of time. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gas Explained

The newest member of the family, whose name has been shortened to "Siz," is a flatulent little creature, one of the silent-but-deadly persuasion. It seems to be worse lately, and I suspect it's because he's been eating the dog's food more than his own. Purr-motor on overdrive, he will lovingly weave himself around your legs and drop an invisible bomb. He'll be gone before you ever know you were attacked. He is indiscriminate, leaving clouds of noxious fumes anywhere he chooses. (Word to the wise: don't ever pick him up by his belly.)

Last night Braeden was on the receiving end of the torture. "Mommy, he stinks!"

"Yes, he is rather smelly tonight. Why do you think he poots so much?" I asked, knowing whatever answer he came up with would be amusing, to say the least.

"Well, I'll just tell you. He got runned over by a stunk!"

In Braeden-ese, "stunk" means "skunk." I had a brief visual of our little yellow tomcat being plowed over by Pepe LePew, and decided Braeden's explanation was right on target!

I like to scrapbook.

I can just hear the shock in your voices. :) School doesn't start until next week, so I am trying to get as much done as I possibly can before the study-induced coma begins.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Finally moving...

I already touched on it in an earlier post, but this weekend it was finally confirmed - we are going to be moving!! Sometime around late February or early March, we will load up our belongings and shuffle them across the county. The house is only about three years old, and it's a bit off the beaten path, though not in the boonies by any means. Yes, it's just a rental, but I don't care. It will be the first time I felt like something was even sort of ours.

Don't get me wrong - I am eternally grateful to the church for letting us stay in the parsonage, but it is time to move on. I want to let Braeden play outside without fear that he'll get kidnapped or hit by a car. I don't want to worry about leaky ceilings or drafty doors. I don't want to hesitate when someone knocks, not knowing the character of the visitor. Privacy will be a blessed relief.

We're slowly beginning the sorting/trashing/packing process. A huge yard sale will be necessary, at which time I'll post more details. (Let me know if you want a full/queen size bedroom suite!) Ten years is a long time to accumulate junk. My intent is to be brutal at the chopping block - hopefully I won't wimp out. Stuff just has to go! The new house is a good bit smaller, and frankly, I'm tired of looking at a lot of this stuff anyway!

I will most likely become rather scarce by springtime... in fact, it might appear that I have fallen off the face of the earth. ;)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cough. Hack. Sneeze. Repeat.

We interrupt this program for an important pity party....

I've been sick since I got home from Christmas vacation - well, actually before that. A week ago I spent one entire day sneezing. That's all I did. Sneeze. And sneeze. And sneeze.

I knew I would pay for it, and boy, was I right. Since Tuesday, I have done nothing but cough. And cough. And cough. I've tried cough drops, cough syrup, expectorants (hoping it would just get it over with), inhalers, etc. Last night, hubby said I should take some Tylenol nighttime cold medicine so I could get some sleep. So I did.

And for two solid hours, I did nothing but cough. I'm talking the hacking, muscle-pulling, pee-yourself-if-you-aren't-careful kind of cough. I drank (yes, drank) some Chloraseptic spray, and finally it quit. By that point, I had a rip-roaring headache, my back muscles were aching, and my nose was running (side effect of all that coughing). Eventually I dozed off, but sleep was fitful at best.

So this morning I'm skipping church. I got up and showered, hoping I would feel better, but it only made me feel worse. As soon as I finish my oatmeal, I am going to read my Bible for a while and then go back to bed.

We now return to regularly scheduled broadcasting.