Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Revelation Perspective

I love when someone shows me something from a different perspective; seeing with new eyes. It's a wow moment.

For example, as we studied Revelation, still in chapter 1, Beth was focusing us in on John's description of Christ in verses 12 - 16. It's a very descriptive paragraph, and we went through most of it in detail. But what really got me was the part in vs. 16, "...and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth." I mean, really, what is up with that? It is so weird that I have always shut that out and moved on when I read it. I can't even visualize what he's saying.

So Beth didn't blow past it. What does it mean "two-edged sword"? OK, so I've heard that phrase before somewhere else. It's Hebrews 4:12 - "The word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword." So it seems this is not a difficult concept at all. What comes from his mouth? A sharp two-edged sword aka the word of God. Well, duh!

Then I was thinking there's somewhere else where the word of God is described as a sword. I found it in Ephesians 6:17 where Paul is talking about putting on the whole armor of God. He says "take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

What better weapon for Christ to wield than the word of God? At God's word, the universe came into being, so I'm pretty sure that Christ doesn't need anything more than God's word against the enemy.

Anyway, I thought that was cool.

Monday, November 30, 2009


The year is sure flying by. We've got lots to be thankful for. Mike's getting his new teeth. We've got a great place to call home. I've got a good job. The family is healthy. Gerald has a full-time real-live job! Will starts basic training this week. We've got turkey leftovers in the fridge. God continues to provide.

It's all good.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Slow Revelation

Tuesday night was the last session of Beth Moore's Fall Bible Study. I was pretty good at getting to the study every week. I think I only missed one week when I was working. The study was on Revelation. And, in a nutshell, it was awesome. If you get a chance to do it (it will be released the first of the year as "Here and Now, There and Then"), I highly recommend it.

I've listened to some sermons on end times; I've read the "Left Behind" series; I've watched "The Hal Lindsey Report"; and I've read Revelation several times. Mostly I'm a "pan"-theist; I believe it will all pan out in the end. It's fascinating how many different interpretations there are out there. But it is definitely intriguing material.

Beth decided to stick to her 11-week structure which meant we really didn't do detailed and in-depth, more of an overview. But I have to admit, this was my first time through the book where my eyes didn't roll back in my head about halfway in. And as intense as it got, Beth is great at getting in those "lighter" moments. She even worked in some good stories about her grandkids and her dogs, if you can believe it. And she was adamant about letting us know that she was sharing several views and interpretations without saying any were right or wrong (though, she does say toward which ones she leans). So I really feel much more knowledgeable about the subject without really having any clearer idea about what is coming!

One of the highlights for me was on the first day. I've always struggled with why we take the Bible completely literally (which I do), except for Revelation. So, she read from the NKJV that says in Revelation 1:1; And He [Jesus] sent and signified if by His angel to His servant John...
So apparently the actual word for "signified" in the Greek is "semaino" which "carries the idea of figurative representation. Strictly speaking, it means to make known by some kind of sign." The reason we read into Revelation all these signs and symbols is that it says from the very start that that is the intent. Neat, huh?

Anyway, I'm still digesting the whole thing. And I've about got a hold on Session 1. I'll probably write more after I let it mull around in my head for a while. We'll see. Good times.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Football is fun. I really enjoy football season. I am winning in my fantasy league. It is all good.

Current favorite NFL team - Texans
Favorite NFL team of all time - Cowboys
Favorite player - Jason Witten
Favorite QB - Peyton Manning (for now)
Favorite broadcaster - Chris Collingsworth
Most hated team - Steelers
Most hated player - T.O.
Most hated QB - Big Ben
Most hated broadcaster - John Madden

I love trick plays - wildcat, flea flicker, punt fakes, etc.
I like offenses that use their tight ends and fullbacks to carry/catch.
I like to go for it on 4th down.
A good secondary is fun to watch, but I like the blitz.
Never underestimate the importance of your O-line.
There is so much I still don't know.

College football is a nice diversion when the NFL is not playing. Go Red Raiders!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 1 Rant

Mike's dental appointment is this week. Hopefully, that means whatever needs to happen with his teeth can finally get started. This whole year has been a trial just in regards to his dental problems. Actually, it's been a problem for years, but ignoring it hasn't seemed to work. Unfortunately, he came down with a cold over the weekend. I'm praying we don't have to re-schedule....again. It would be great if he could get all of this taken care of before Christmas (Thanksgiving even, but that seems so soon). It also means he'll probably give up his job at the Space Center...he'll at least need a leave of absence. He is looking for some other type of employment that would be closer to home. It's weird. Everything in our life is on hold while we wait to see about the teeth.

I used to like going to the dentist. As a kid, I thought it was great. I liked that just cleaned feeling. I never had cavities or any problems. The orthodontist was a little unpleasant, but I still got out of school to go, so it wasn't so bad. But ever since I left home and had to find my own dentist, it's been difficult. I had one dentist who rubbed up against me in an uncomfortable way; another who filled a cavity I didn't have; another filed down a back molar so far it feels like a stub (I'm still not sure why); another wanted to do a "special" cleaning that wasn't covered by my insurance. Now every time I go (which is rare) I'm on edge - trying to make sure I'm not getting taken. I think it's indicative of most service-oriented businesses anymore - nobody cares.

Was there ever a time when people actually did their jobs? Where they took care of the client or customer's needs first? Where it mattered that the end result was positive for both sides? Our dealings with contractors to get our house repairs done was almost worse than the dentists. "They" all seem to want to get the most money out of us for doing the absolute least amount of work possible. Customer satisfaction? Who cares?!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Glorious Day!

This is absolutely the most beautiful day I can ever remember in Houston. The sky is a brilliant blue - seriously, it's electric, almost hard to look at it's soooo intensely blue. Not a cloud. A nice, cool, gentle breeze. Birds singing away. Mike's flowers reaching to the sun. Just wow.

So I walked over to the grocery store because I'm planning on making enchiladas for dinner, and it turns out my corn tortillas are all moldy. Ew. I remembered to take my cloth bags (which I love because they hold so much, and I don't have to figure out what to do with all the plastic ones). I almost never remember to take them. My little shopping list ended up growing enough that I couldn't go through the express lane. But I did keep it under $30. The only thing on my original list that I didn't get was toilet paper - I bet I'll regret that later. I managed to convince the bagger that I really did want all of it in the two cloth bags. Really. Especially since he turned down helping me with my bags, once I mentioned I had to walk several blocks. What good is helping me out with my bags if it stops in the parking lot? I stopped and checked the mail when I got home and found the grocery store ads. Good thing I didn't see those before I went.

I'm so glad I went out. Saturday is my housecleaning day because Mike is at work. For whatever reason, I get all self-conscious about cleaning while he's home. I do laundry and dishes and "spot cleaning" when he's around, but usually not the big stuff. Plus, the last time I really cleaned the living room when he was home, he had an asthma attack (dust, cat hair, etc.), so it's really better that I do it when he's gone. Give the dust time to settle before he comes home. I did get the upstairs done this morning. I had plans to continue on down, but those are fading. Did I mention how nice it is outside?!?

What am I doing here playing on the computer? I gotta go!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Happened?

Where did August go?

Well, regardless, it is gone! So, happy September! I always have thought of September as the beginning of autumn. But around here? Not so much. Maybe October.

The good news is it's the start of football! Today, the first season game - Titans at Pittsburgh. And finally, after a half hour waste of television time with some weird musical tribute to the NFL, we have reached game time. I am a resolute non-Steeler fan. And I'm fond of the Titans, inasmuch as they once were the Oilers. So, bring it on!

I don't actually have any fantasy players in tonight's game. I benched Chris Johnson in favor of Ray Rice for the weekend, so I just get to watch "for fun". My first opponent is my brother, and he has a couple players in tonight, but I'm not really worried. :)

Other good news about September is it's time for a new fall Bible study with Beth Moore. This study is on Revelation, and it's going to be a wild ride. I'm excited. We've also started some new things at our church that I'll probably go into more at another time.

Oh, did you know that "apocalypsis" is Greek for "unveiling, uncovering, disclosing" - in other words - "revelation"? It really has no negative connotation at all. It does not mean anything like "devastating end-of-the-world disaster". Hmm.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Dog's Life - Part Five

Mike got a job offer across the country - Western New York. The Roberts had grown especially fond of Dingo; the cat had become accustomed to him (she was even emulating his behavior now - rolling her eyes, coming when called, snorting while she eats). But taking Dingo out of his desert environment (especially five days in a truck) seemed like a cruel thing to do.

Enter the Eisenbergs. Gena and Mike had known Richard Eisenberg for as long as they had known each other. Richard was Mike's best man, and he and wife Patricia were frequent participants in Roberts schemes. They also had a five year old son - John Z. Every boy needs a dog - right?

Mike talked Richard into a "trial period" with Dingo. When the Roberts visited, Dingo refused to go out front for fear they would take him away. The Eisenbergs spoiled that dog to no end - long walks in the hills, gourmet food (delivery!!), baths and brushings, and of course, Dingo had his very own boy. It was a match made in heaven. (Well, the Eisenberg cat wasn't too thrilled, but he didn't have a vote, so learned to keep his distance.) Dingo became John Z's protector and friend. They had many adventures, but John will have to one day tell their story.

Even after the Roberts had gone and come back again, Dingo was an Eisenberg. He started to have trouble with his joints (especially his right hip) and the walks got shorter and shorter. He had some little "tumors" removed from his skin now and then. But he never lost his appetite! Eventually, Richard had to help him get up and down. And finally, Dingo didn't get up again. He lived with the Eisenbergs for 7 years.

I think he was 19 or 20 years old when he finally went to the hunting ground in the sky last month - happily chasing rabbits once again. Dingo was the best. He is missed.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Dog's Life - Part 4

Dingo milked it for all he was worth - hopping around on three legs with those big sad eyes. Every door had at least a couple of steps down to the yard, so every trip outside was an adventure. The curious cat tried to get close for some detailed inspection, but Dingo brought out a back-of-the-throat growl that had not been heard before. It gave him at least an 18 inch perimeter (when he was awake).

Weeks later, Mike dropped Dingo off at the vet hoping for an all-systems-go; otherwise, it would be surgery. When Mike came back to pick Dingo up and hear the prognosis, he was invited back to the exam room. There he was confronted by a committee of doctors, aides, and nurses demanding an explanation.

"What can you tell us about the bullet in Dingo's shoulder?"

Mike was speechless (a rare occurrence). "Bullet?" he eventually managed.

Someone had noticed Dingo limping on one of his front legs, so they decided to do an x-ray. Floating inside the shoulder joint was a bullet. Mike's apparent surprise (plus the fact that no entry wound or scar was found) kept them from calling PETA. Mike was of course not familiar with Dingo's history, so had no explanation. They showed him where the bullet was located and how to massage it out of the shoulder joint. No need for surgery (for the hip or the bullet).

Later, Mike asked Papa Junior about the bullet, who asked Papa about the bullet, who said, "Well, there was this one time he took off for several days - maybe a week - and I thought he was gone for good. But he dragged himself in looking like he'd had a run in with some kind of ornery critters. Guess they were the human kind. He bounced back, though." Obviously.

Dingo healed up fine, and continued to work his seasonal job at the theater in Virginia City. He even got a write-up in the program. But after three years (and several moves with the Roberts), the theater closed down. Dingo's future was uncertain.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Dog's Life - Part Three

Dingo stoically endured the half hour rides up and down Geiger Grade between the theater and the Roberts house in Reno. He would sit between the front seats of the van - front legs straight, knees locked, lightly panting and staring down at the floor. One time upon arrival, he jumped out of the side door and collapsed with a pathetic whine - his legs had fallen asleep.

The Roberts decided to make it legal, and they purchased a manly collar with an ID tag that said Dingo on the front and their phone number on the back. The very next night they were awakened by a phone call - "Do you have a dog named Dingo?"

The back gate had blown open and Dingo was wandering, as was his nature. He was hit by a car about three blocks from the house. Mike and Gena got him into the van and drove to an Emergency Animal Clinic. He had a dislocated hip. The doctors were able to pop it back in without surgery, but they had to put him in a sling which they expected he would need for several weeks - no running or jumping, and definitely no wandering.

Much to the cat's dismay, Dingo became an indoor dog.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Dog's Life - Part Two

Meanwhile, some friends of the Alvarezes (we'll call them Mike and Gena Roberts) had started an outdoor theater up in Virginia City (Papa's ol' stompin' grounds). Papa, Jr. was invited to participate in the first production of the season, and once rehearsals started in the dusty rustic amphitheater, a plan hatched in Junior's brain.

"Hmmm, " thought Junior, "I could leave Dingo here. And if he runs off, he would find himself in the hills he knows and loves. He would forget Papa."

And so, Dingo came to rehearsal.

The cast thought Dingo was adorable. He wandered around the set (which was a big house that opened up for "indoor" scenes), hid out in the "house" (the audience seating which was a huge slope dotted with straw bales), and took off into the hills beyond for hours at a time. Mike was concerned about Junior's plan to leave Dingo there overnight. He didn't want the responsibility of having an "unleashed" pet. But then again, if Dingo stayed at the amphitheater he might keep any would-be squatters from taking up residence in the set.

And so Mike took Junior's plan, and made a few changes. "This dog is a stray," he explained. "He wandered onto the property and we just sort of adopted him. But he isn't ours. He comes and goes as he pleases." Once spoken, the story was set. In fact, you'll never hear it differently (except for this unauthorized version you're reading right now).

By the time the second production got under way, Dingo was a fixture. He always wore a bright red or blue bandanna (so he could be seen out in the hills, but he thought it was his costume). He would greet the audience before the show, begging for handouts from their picnic baskets and concessions. Eventually, the concession stand started selling official "Dingo snacks" for people to give him. Dingo would always accept these gifts, and if he was not hungry, would take and hide them up behind "his" straw bale, saving them for later.

During one of the melodramas, when the heroine was despairing, Dingo ran in and laid his head in her lap. Scene stealer! And later when the hero was tied to the railroad tracks, Dingo ran in to start untying him! Classic!

It was soon discovered that Dingo did not like guns. He would always run out the amphitheater before the shooting started. He also became a bit of a diva, and would not go onstage at all the night his bandanna got left up in the dressing room.

He squirmed his way right into everyone's heart. And after the third trip to the sheriff's department to bail Dingo out of doggie jail (he was picked up for causing a disturbance - a neighbor claimed he barked all night, although no one had ever heard him bark, and the deputy couldn't get him to bark even with the other jailbirds barking up a frenzy), the Roberts started taking him home with them after the shows.

Dingo, the wonder dog had a new home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Dog's Life - Part One

Once upon a time, oh about 15-20 years ago, on an old Nevada ranch outside of Reno, a purebred German Shepherd went into heat. She was locked in a high fenced kennel while arrangements were completed for an appropriate "suitor". However, in the morning it was discovered that she was not alone - 3 coyotes had made it into her pen to keep her company. The coyotes were run off, but the damage was done. Fraulein Shepherd was with child(ren). Is it even possible, you ask? Well, I dunno, but it's my story, isn't it?

Obviously, Fraulein had been sullied, and her progeny (is that a word?) was worthless. I don't know how many were in the litter, but one puppy was taken in by the Alvarez clan. They named him Dingo (I have no idea why - he didn't look like a dingo, he looked like a coyote). He would be a gift for Papa.

Dingo was greatly loved by Papa Alvarez, and Papa Alvarez was adored by little Dingo. Together they lived and wandered the Nevada desert (Papa was something of a hermit, though he did check in with the rest of the family now and then). Dingo was never collared or leashed, and loved to chase rabbits and other critters up and down the Nevada hills. Many times he had to fend for himself foodwise, as Papa sometimes couldn't feed himself, much less a dog. But Dingo loved to "hunt". He was fond of roadkill and horse poop was an extra special treat.

There was an incident once when Papa and Dingo were riding in Papa's pickup truck. A bit of an accident (the truck flipped over) caused a toolbox that was also riding in the truck to land on the little pup. Dingo was ever after skittish about riding in vehicles.

Years passed and finally Papa's family made him come home. They wanted to keep an eye on him; make sure he ate, bathed and wore clean clothes (at least once in a while). And so began a new phase of Dingo's life - confinement. This was a difficult time for Dingo. Although the Alvarezes had a large back yard, he was required to stay inside the fence. Oh how he longed to run with the pack - he could hear the coyotes calling as they roamed the nearby desert. Sometimes he could talk the family dog into breaking out with him, but mostly he had to go solo. He never meant any harm - he would always come back.

But the Alvarez clan, though they did have a fondness for Dingo, came to realize that they just could not train him to stay. He was after all part coyote and needed to roam free (plus he was a bad influence on their border collie and the neighbors complained about his howling). And so the family took a trip to the other side of Pyramid Lake and left Dingo there. Don't judge - it wasn't abandonment - they were trying to help him find his way back to the wild.

The bond between Dingo and Papa was strong. And two days later Dingo was home, thrilled and tired from his adventure. The Alvarezes did not know what to do.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Life is Not a Caberet

So, Mom said she's tired of checking my blog and seeing "Twins!" still at the top. So, here's a new blog for you.

I've been working this week for the gift shop for TUTS. They are producing "Cabaret". I have to admit it's a fascinating show - very dark, very disturbing, plus a tad bit of nudity and "simulated sex acts". So I'm somewhat surprised that I like it. I've been thinking about this a lot. There are a lot of shows out there that I find very distasteful. (I started to list them, but changed my mind; the specific shows are not important.)

What I'm trying to figure out is why I don't put this one in the same category. I've always told myself that I just don't need to see this kind of stuff on stage - sex, drugs, profanity. I want to go to the theater to be entertained - to escape reality. I don't want reality thrown in my face. And here comes "Cabaret" which is basically about a group of people who hid from reality but reality didn't go away. Hmmmm.

When it comes down to it, "Cabaret" is a morality play. It portrays a debauched society that is trying to pretend they are happy. And they aren't. None of them. I was trying to tell a younger audience person what the show was going to be about. As I described Sally Bowles and her sad life, the girl said, "But she wants to have a better life, right?" And I had to say, "No. The life she has is the one she wanted, and she won't admit she's miserable." It ain't a happy ending.

All of this PLUS the rise of the Nazi party make for just a fascinating story. "Cabaret" suggests that the German people let the Nazi party take power because of apathy and denial. They drowned their sorrows and misgivings in the lusts of their flesh. And they didn't sober up in time to stop it.

Do I have to point out the similarity to current America? Do you think that's too harsh?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Mike called me this morning. We had two monarch butterflies escape from their chrysalises today. Mike's very proud and was going to try to take pictures with his phone. If he can figure out the camera and we can figure out how to get them off the phone, I'll post them.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I am not known for my compassion. If anything, I am known for tactless sarcasm. So it may be a stretch for everyone to believe how moved I was by several appeals recently from Compassion International. Compassion International is that "sponsor-a-child" outreach to third world countries. I can't remember a time when I had not heard about Compassion International. Being somewhat jaded, aloof, and downright selfish, I had never considered actually sponsoring a child. Until now.

I can't tell you exactly why, but for the first time I guess I actually trusted the people who were showing me the "materials" - standard videos of poverty-stricken countries and sad, under-nourished kids. And these people are normal people who sponsor kids and have for a long time. Add to that the fact that Melissa Fitzpatrick (daughter of Beth Moore and highly respected blogger) is just now returning from a trip to Calcutta with Compassion International (complete with pictures and even video - see here - most of these kids are in the Compassion program and they look happy and healthy), and I suddenly felt that little tug. You know, that twinge in the heart area that makes your eyes fill up with tears and gives you a desperate sense of longing for something you can't name.

Well, after getting the thumbs up from Mike (more of a shrug and a "whatever", but I took that as a positive), I am now a sponsor. I chose a child. It's weird that you can pick one. It's like shopping online for the best birthday card, except you feel bad for the ones you don't pick. I am sponsoring a 10-year old girl in Ecuador named Ximena. She's not drop-dead adorable or anything, but something in her profile caught my attention. "She likes to tell stories." I love story-tellers (ex. Mike), but I also wonder if this is their gentle way of saying she's a liar (which I can also appreciate). Anyway, I took the plunge. I'm writing here before I write to her. I'm a little nervous about the actual making contact part - connecting.

So since most things aren't true until I say them out loud or post them on my blog, here it is. Once I hit that Publish button, it's real. I have to step out there and start writing those letters (the money is automatically charged to my debit card each month). I want to keep this overwhelmed, somewhat humble feeling of making a difference. I hope I can maintain this and see this little girl through the whole program (that's like, years....).

Any encouragement would be appreciated.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Saga Continues

So the 4 little caterpillars turned into 20 voracious ones. (I don't really know how that happened, but I know it did - maybe they divide like amoebas or whatever it is that divides.) Anyway, our poor little milkweed was devoured. Just twigs now. And the squigglies crawled away. No idea where they went. Supposedly they don't go much further than 40 feet from home, but there's nothing within 40 feet worth eating, so desperate times must have called for desperate measures. One little caterpillar is left on the milkweed trying to get sustenance from the stalks. We have found 3 chrysalises (???) on the fence, so that's exciting. There should be a bit of fluttering in a week or so!

Sorry I don't have pictures. One of these days I'm going to get a digital camera. It's hard to keep up with all my technological needs. And it's embarrassing when my parents have more tech toys than I do. I may have to get cable before I get the camera though. The fancy digital converter box is not all it's cracked up to be. Or maybe satellite radio - then I wouldn't need the cable because we could listen to the baseball games. Oh and an MP3 player or iPod or something would be cool. And the GPS thingy. Or just the phone that does it all. But, let's see, where was I? Oh, yeah, caterpillars.

Actually, butterflies - they are the coolest things. How does a caterpillar turn into a butterfly? It's goofy! And these caterpillars were way too big to fit into these little cocoon thingies. The whole idea is even ridiculous. Who would come up with this!? And yet, somehow it's just a beautiful cool thing. Could it be a picture of the new life that happens when a person is born again? MMMMMaybe. Interesting, too, how butterflies don't make new butterflies, just new caterpillars.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mike's Garden

Once upon a time, I married Mike. We had a 1300sf house with a huge backyard, large deck and bricked in grill, lots of mature landscaping and no irrigation. We made a deal - I take care of the inside of the house; Mike takes care of the outside. Pretty sweet deal really. I'm handy with a plunger, and I know how to change a light bulb; my standards of cleanliness are much higher than Mike's, so I beat myself up over housecleaning long before he would ever notice the grime. I don't like to sweat or get dirt under my fingernails. I hate bugs.

Fast forward 12 years and 8 addresses. Oddly enough, although we've mostly lived in apartments for the last 7 years, Mike has clung to this deal. So even when exterior maintenance is covered by landlords or HOA's, our deal stands. (Doesn't seem quite fair to me, but a deal's a deal, right?) So now we own a townhouse (exterior maintenance part of the HOA responsibility) and we have a teeny, tiny back patio. The majority of the patio is the sidewalk from the carport to the back door (our main entrance), the rest is split between the a/c unit and some little spaces of dirt. This is now Mike's domain.

I have to admit, it's pretty amazing what he's done these last few months with that space. His vision is to have a butterfly garden, and he's spent much time and effort to get just the right plants (you need caterpillar food and butterfly nectar). I am partial to orange flowers, so I really like the Mexican milkweed (a must for Monarchs) and the potted hibiscus.

A few days ago, Mike noticed a sticky residue and bugs on the milkweed. Then I pointed out the webs, and that pushed him over the top. The internet research frenzy began. We have aphids and maybe some kind of spider mites. You can't use pesticides if you want to have caterpillars, so Mike began trying to spray off the aphids with water and wipe down the leaves, etc. Plus there were lots of little nibble spots on the leaves. And then! He saw these little tiny wormy things that he thought might be aphid larvae or something. More research! Wonder of wonders, they're Monarch caterpillars! Eureka! We have caterpillars! They're growing like crazy (at the expense of the milkweed, which was the point after all)! I haven't seen Mike this excited in a long time. I don't think he's named them yet, but he's pretty sure there are four of them, and he checks on them regularly.

The garden continues to flourish and we look forward to lots of butterflies this summer. For our 12th and 1/2 anniversary we got ourselves a little (really little) patio set, so we can sit outside and enjoy the fluttering. So, all in all, I think our little deal has been ok. Besides, once I set the trash outside the door, it becomes exterior maintenance and Mike has to walk it to the dumpster.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm funny, really

Seriously funny - that's me. At work, at church, everywhere I go, I keep 'em laughing. But I can't be funny on my blog. What is up with that? I read a lot of blogs, and bloggers are funny. They have great stories about their everyday lives that are just hysterical. But I can't come up with a thing. Maybe it's my writing skills (or lack there of). Or maybe my life really is dull and boring, and I just haven't noticed yet.

I do know you can't be funny on purpose or it isn't funny. So I will NOT try to be funny. Absolutely not. Ever.

My cat is looking at me like I'm a nut; it must be the anguished expression on my face and the forceful clacking of the computer keys. OK, I admit it - I'll probably try just a little bit.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rock Star (stolen blog entry)

I was so going to do this over the weekend, and forgot! So I'm stealing this idea from kelliebean's zoo, and she got it from GlamLife's blog.

Here are the rules:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”or click The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

My band is: Arachnis

2 - Go to "Random quotations" by clicking: The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

Our album: The Crown of Life

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”or click no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

And the cover:

I was on a roll there until my first cover didn’t copy over – when I went back, of course, I got something totally different. This guy! But I can work with this. Here’s the finished product (obviously this guy must be the drummer or the bass player or some other white rhythm trash type).

That was fun (for me)! I'm going to do at least a band a week -- don't worry, I won't involve anyone else in my madness (at least as far as this little whim takes me).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Valentine

My husband loves events (his own). He likes things to be big and memorable. He likes big gestures, big gifts, big moments. So we got to go out-of-town for Valentine's weekend. Actually we did a Friday - Saturday event (he had to work today). It was much fun.

We drove to San Antonio Friday morning. On the way, we stopped at Buc-ee's for a little sustenance and a Cherry Lime for me (my favorite). Then we drove through historic downtown Seguin just so we could say we'd been there. (Really, that's about all I can say.) We got to San Antonio too early to check into our little motel, so we left the car there and walked to the Riverwalk. It was nicely uncrowded. We wandered around checking gift shops for the perfect SA trinket to commemorate our trip (plus our last trip here when we didn't get anything).

We have a wall clock with a curio cabinet thingee, that we've put little memory stuff in from various places we've been, etc. There's a sand dollar from South Padre Island, a bottle of sand from Catalina Island, a picture of Mike at Lake Tahoe, a little mug from Yellowstone, a magnet from Nashville, a few little things from Disneyland, stuff from my brothers' weddings, a key chain from the Christmas show we did in New York (state), a crystal clock (a clock in a clock - I just think that's funny), and some other random stuff. Anyway, it's full. So we need to start expanding our mementos elsewhere, and Mike determined that we'd do a shelf in the coffee bar. But in our wanderings around SA, we came to the conclusion that we're going to start getting coffee mugs as our travel remembrances and hang them on the back of the coffee bar (we already have mugs hanging there, but now we'll replace them with memory mugs as we get them). Brilliant, yes? We are very exciting people, I must say. However, the perfect mug presented itself too early in our trip, and we didn't make it back to that gift shop before we left, so we'll have to go back another time. Oh well.

After our afternoon wanderings we went back to our motel to check in. It wasn't bad! Not luxurious by any stretch (the shampoo came in a packet like ketchup), but it was clean and the big king size bed was comfy. We kicked back in the bed and watched cable for a while (USA channel, I miss you!). Then we gussied ourselves up and drove back down to the river. After finally coming to the conclusion that more people had come downtown for the evening than had been there earlier in the day, we actually pulled into a PAY lot (Mike does not believe in paying for parking or tolls, so this was a big deal).

We tripped on down to The Landing which is on the river level of the Hyatt. It's a little jazz bar that has been there since before the Riverwalk was anything worth visiting. The banjo/guitar player Howard Elkins has been with the Jim Cullum band for 30 years, and my parents always talk about going down to listen when they go to SA, so I've always wanted to go. Howard is the son of the pastor that led the church we went to when I was teeny tiny. I don't remember Howard, I believe he's my parents' age, but I remember his dad, and you can certainly see the resemblance.

I was pretty sure they served food at The Landing, so we had decided to eat there. They did have food and it was quite expensive, but we went with it. Then there was the 1-drink minimum. OK. And, of course, the "Performance Charge". Hmm...good thing we went for the cheap motel. :) But, the music was great, the musicians amazing. Anyway, Mike's not big on hanging out and listening to music with 100 of your closest (very close) friends, but he endured it for me (ain't he the sweetest thing), and I thought it was wonderful! We didn't stay too late because we're old people, and tire easily, and were already out way passed our bedtime.

Before we came home Saturday, we went to Market Square and checked out the merchandise. It's a neat little place. Then we headed back home (and Buc-ee's again). All in all a good trip. Honestly, my favorite part was jut sitting in the car and actually having conversation with my husband. It gave us a chance to get on the same page with some things we just hadn't gotten around to talking about, and I'm so glad we did. I highly recommend long drives with your spouse.

So the Valentine event was a success. Usually we just go out to dinner (like we do almost every day) and maybe stop by Starbuck's or Coldstone before coming home. So this was a special one (our 17th Valentine's Day together). I still love him very very very much.....

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rough Week

It's been a bit of a difficult week. 3 of the 18 employees at my company were let go on Tuesday. It's not that the owners are playing scared or trying to hedge their bets, just in case. The trouble is, most of our clients are doing the hedging and have really hit the brakes. Prospective clients are playing "Wait and see". These tech guys I work with rank some pretty high salaries, and it just isn't possible to carry that big payroll for very long. It was still a shock. We really pride oursleves on being a team, a family. And being a small company, well, it hurts. Thankfully, I wasn't the one who had to tell them. I did have to process them all out, though.

The rest of the week I was just under a cloud. I didn't feel like doing anything, but I made it through. Even went to Bible Study Tuesday night more out of habit than a desire to learn anything. And of course, I still learned some things. And I also ran into some women from church. So I didn't even to get to sit by myself and wallow. I went to choir practice Wednesday because I had said I would be there, and joined the alto section. (Which was fun, actually.)

So now mostly I'm feeling guilty for having my job. It's a lot like when someone dies, but not you and you eventually have to move on with your life. It feels wrong to go back to "normal". Nothing is normal. But life does go on. The good news is these guys aren't dead, and none of them should have that much trouble finding a job. The dudes have got some skills. But it still seems rude to carry on as usual.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Skewered Again

Wow, Beth Moore sure can inspire some good old-fashioned conviction. So this week it was "Do you believe, really deep down, that God is a giver or a taker?" OK, so we all know that the right answer is "Giver". But I know, for me, I really have a hard time believing that "deep down." Honestly, as we struggle and pray and seek to live every day more and more for Him and less for us, I often find myself holding back, afraid to take that next step, wondering what He's going to take next? How much is it going to hurt? In my head I know God is a giver - it's His very nature. So where does this come from? Miz Beth nails it again - Satan! What was the very first thing he used to cause Eve to stumble? Satan told her that God was holding out on her; that God didn't want her to have the best. And she bought it! And I'm still buying it! Dang! I just have to say, that sucks! Now, where do I go from here? So I recognize the problem, can I get over it? I sure hope so.

It's neat to see the Bible application, too, of course. What we're looking at is the story of Abraham (that's where all the inheritance talk starts in the scriptures) and we read about Isaac. God told Abraham to take his son, his only son, the one whom he loves, Isaac, up the mountain, and to sacrifice him to God. So Abraham does - except that God stops him right at the last minute and provides a ram for the sacrifice instead. But Abraham believed God when He told him that he would have many descendants through Isaac. So Abraham also believes that if God wants Isaac to be sacrificed, God must be planning to raise him from the dead. Now that's some faith! All of this is a foretelling of the Gospel, as well.

Anyway, even though we see God "take" sometimes (like with Job), God always gives back a thousandfold (like with Job). So yes, God gives and God takes away AND God gives back again. Nope - it's never boring.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tuesday night Bible study

I'm attending another Living Proof Bible Study with Beth Moore at First Baptist Church. Once again it's overwhelming to be in a study with near to 4000 people, but at the same time it's fascinating to see so many hungry for God's Word. The topic is "The Inheritance" - which is an expansion of her message at the Living Proof Live event which I went to in San Antonio last summer. I really got a lot out of that weekend, so I'm excited to get a more in depth look at what she was talking about back then.

My Killeen ladies where not there for week one. I met them at the first Bible Study I went to (Esther) and they were there in San Antonio, as well. It was fun to have buddies. Of course, I went to the first Bible Study by myself (and then met my new friends there), so why does it seem daunting to go by myself this time?

Anyway, week one was great, as expected. Favorite declaration from week one - "If you're bored or boring, you aren't in the will of God."