This is how I feel about the current economic situation:
“I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the streets, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it.” ~Network, Film (1976)
Everyone say it with me now:
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” ~Network, Film (1976)
"Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can't buy more hours. Scientists can't invent new minutes. And you can't save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow." ~Denis Waitely
It is a pitiful thing when one has too much time during the standard workday and not enough work to fill it. The clock moves painfully slow: d...r...a...g...g...i...n...g from 0800 until 1600 while yours truly spends at least six of those hours trying to pretend to be busy these days. It is tiring actually. I would prefer to be busy, busy, busy so that the time can fly by. It is sad since I can not take some of those hours from my place of employment and spend them doing my other job (mommy) where I never seem to have enough hours in a day.
There was a time when I spent these slow business days typing and writing and composing, but lately I seem to have run out of words or inspiration. So, today I bring you another meme based off the alphabet system. I do not remember where I found the thing and I do not intend on tagging anyone ... this is merely a means of keeping me writing and helping me to fill some time while at my desk this fabulous Friday.
It is probably time that I admit to having a wee bit of a twang ... a good 'ole Southern twang. Ugh. By local Arkansas comparison I have no accent. Those who live farther north of me here in the U.S. claim to being able to hear a bit of the 'Southern Belle' in me. I fight it. I have no desire to sound like Scarlett O'Hara. Hell, I haven't even watched 'Gone With the Wind' in probably ten years and I still know I do not sound THAT bad.
No, thank you. Oh, I am not opposed to a glass of wine or a cocktail here or there but, you see, the thing is ... booze + bipolar meds = not so smart combination. There you go.
Chore I Hate:
This will seem silly, but I do not mind doing laundry. I do not even mind folding the stuff. It is the putting away that gets on my nerves. I abhor having to wander around the house putting all the piles in their designated drawers or closets. Don't ask me why. I simply hate it. I used to dislike the entire laundry process but I seem to have overcome that fact in recent years.
What about them? Do I prefer one over the other? Do I own dog? No. Do I own a cat? No. I have, however, had more cats over the years ... I think. I do love animals though and would love to have one or the other right now but I can not in this particular apartment. They like me too. If I were to have a super power it would be some manifestation of animal communication. I am no Dr. Dolittle but animals and I seem to understand one another somehow.
Oooooh ... um ... I do not know if I could ever really unplug fully ever again. I heart electronics. I have to have my cell phone. I do not have home phone service ... just two cells. Cheaper. Believe me. One goes with me everywhere. The other stays at my apartment and masquerades as a home phone. My iPod. My laptop. My DVD player and TV. Yeah - I do not want to give up any of them up right now.
A perfume snob I am not. Honestly. I have no favorite in this category. In general I like light clean scents ... nothing overbearing.
Gold & Silver:
Both. I do have a gold Africa pendant that stays on most of the time ... but I have more silver rings ... so I have to switch up the looks from time to time. You know that comment I made about the perfume? Yeah? Well, I'm not a jewelry snob either. I know that isn't a particularly "girlie" fact about me, but then ... that's me.
Home? Town? I reside in
Way too often the stealer of sleep and I are walking hand in hand like lovers who have grown comfortable in each other's presence.
Current? Former? All of the above? Mother. Travel Agent. Concierge. Friend. Bookkeeper. Account manager. Ex. Secretary. Daughter. Bank Teller. Assistant. Take your pick.
Two: Big K & Little K. I love my children. I do not do so well with other children. It isn't that I don't like them ... well, it's hard to explain. I don't have to justify myself so I am not going to try.
Not ideal. Single, working mother with two children in a small two-bedroom apartment. Things could be better. Someday.
Most Admired Trait:
Me? I do not know. Maybe I should ask someone. Actually, my most admired trait is also probably my most
I am quite obsessive about color-coding things in my work environment. Seriously. Do not mess with the colored, dated files.
Overnight Hospital Stays:
Four? I think. If there were others ... I've blocked them from memory. I do not particularly care for hospitals in general. They stink.
1) Birth, 1974, San Antonio, TX, USA
2) Measles, 1993, Nairobi Hospital, Kenya
3) Childbirth, Big K, 1995, Baptist Hospital, Arkadelphia, AR, USA
4) Childbirth, Little K, 2000, Johnston-Willis Hospital, Midlothian, VA, USA
Violent thunderstorms. I know. I'm a pansy. Leave me alone.
Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! I'm supposed to pick just one aren't I? Oh my gosh. Um ...
"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary." ~Sir Cecil Beaton
... is just one of the many I try to remember every single day in my own life. I guess that would make it a favorite. Wait. It just says "quote" up there. I just assumed it referenced a favorite quote. My bad. I could have written anything. Oh well.
What about it? Honestly, I do not care for the word. Don't get me wrong. I am a Christian. I believe I am saved by grace. If that makes me "religious" then so be it.
I have an older brother. I love him though he can be a bit of a loon at times.
Time I Usually Wake Up:
The alarm goes off at 0630 during the week. I get up, shower, wake the boys, feed the boys, drop them and school and drive to work. Somewhere around 1100 I actually wake up and begin to comprehend what is going on around me.
Let's see, I can do ... no, no I can't. What about the ... no, not skilled in that either. I don't know. This is a hard one. Pass.
Vegetable I Refuse To Eat:
Canned asparagus has to be the nastiest thing ever. I love fresh asparagus, but the canned stuff ... yeah, I will never make that mistake again. I would rather offend someone then eat that if placed in front of me.
I've covered this before in some of my other random blogs. I interrupt people when they are talking to me. I don't do it on purpose. I promise. I am not so rude that I consciously make an effort to do it. I am not so vain that I love to hear the sound of my own voice above all else. I simply like to talk and I get caught up in conversations and accidentally interrupt people. I am aware of this habit and that is the first step in solving it, right?
Teeth. I don't think I have ever had an x-ray for anything else.
Yummy Foods I Make:
I'm a decent cook but the one thing I bake really, really well is chocolate chip cookies. People beg me to make them so I am assuming they are great.
I am a lovely LEO. ROAR!
There comes a mildly repetitive time in my life where I am so immensely frustrated with every aspect of my existence. This feeling resurfaces once a year or perhaps every two. Sometimes it is merely a nagging at the back of my mind. Other times, like now, I am consumed. I tend to question most decisions made, both past and present. I ask how I came to be where I am. I wallow a little in regret. For those of you near me . . . I apologize for my melancholy. This is a sobering period for me. It is a period of strengthening. I will be fine. I just need a little time.
". . . the shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed." ~Charles Dickens
It was a long and gloomy night that gathered on me, haunted by the ghosts of many hopes, of many dear remembrances, many errors, many unavailing sorrows and regrets. ~Charles Dickens
I have to drive down a dirt road to get to the Arkadelphia Youth Sports Complex. I know. I live in Nowhereville, AR. I am reminded of this every time I am required to eat dirt while going to/from Little K’s soccer practices and games. Today the dust seemed particularly offensive to me and I was on the verge of truly complaining when I suddenly realized that, if I am griping about dusty roads, I have been in America for FAR too long … the land of the paved road leading practically anywhere and everywhere I could possibly need to go … with, of course, the one noticeable exception of the sports complex. In my dreams I would gladly trade these highways for the red dust of the Rift Valley. As this would take a miracle these dreams truly are dust in the wind.
I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment's gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind
“Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.” ~Edith Wharton, American Novelist
Photograph Source - http://www.bbc.co.uk
I’m stuck in a rut and I do not like it. I seem to be going in circles … inadvertently digging the trench in which I am mired deeper and deeper. Stuck. Is there a way out? I know not. I must fight against the grooves in a desperate attempt to make a new path. I must rescue myself. Soon.
"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~Charles W. Eliot
I love being around my kids. You want to know why (other than the obvious fact that I’m their mother and I love them dearly)? When my children are around … absolutely everything is unpredictable. It brings a joy into my life that is sorely lacking from any other avenue.
You see ... I have the most incredibly random children on planet earth. You may argue with me that your children are funny and witty; I’m sure they are, but not like mine. Witnesses would agree with me. I wish everyone could have some sort of exposure with my kids.
“A little nonsense every now and then is relished by the wisest men.” ~Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Film (1971)
Big K is thirteen and, yes, is beginning to exhibit some attitude. He’s also developed a wonderful sense of dripping sarcasm (Of course, I have no idea where he obtained that particular trait. In all sincerity, both parents can be blamed for that one.), an astounding vocabulary which he uses to the fullest capacity and an overall amazing understanding of the nuances of the English language. Unfortunately, his good use of language means he’s extremely adept at playing semantics, but I digress. I often ask my children to remind me of things. All mothers know we give our brain cells to our kids at birth. I’ve learned to clarify every detail of my requests. I can no longer ask Big K to, “remind me to take the trash out in the morning,” because his immediate response will be, “take the trash out in the morning.” I know. It’s happened and he didn’t look up from his homework or miss a beat. The first time it happened I was torn between popping him in the back of the head for being sassy and congratulating him on being so quick-witted. Congratulations won. However, I now rectify my statements to eliminate such occurrences. They now sound similar to, “Big K – Remind me after I wake you up in the morning that I need to take the trash out before the garbage man comes.” Specifics … they are a necessity. In addition to our constant word play, it’s just plain cool to have a kid old enough to watch certain movies with you and actually enter into intellectual conversations about what he has seen … a kid who can read a novel and discuss finer plot points … a kid who is getting dangerously close to being able to beat me at Scrabble. I will now apologize in advance to any adult he meets in the future and stumps with his words or attitude. Just blame me … I tend to encourage him.
“It takes time to be funny. It takes time to extract joy from life.” ~Elizabethtown. Film (2005)
Little K. Well, where do I start with Little K? He’s eight and, by his own admission, insane. Truly. In fact, he habitually runs up to me while I’m on the phone and hollers, “I’m insane!” into the mouthpiece and subsequently startling the crap out of whoever is on the other end. Those who converse with me on a regular basis are pretty much prepared for it. I keep threatening to write a book titled “Little K-isms” because he is so incredibly random and I can never account for the things that come out of his mouth. He has told me that he was going to, “learn me how to throw a log” after watching the caber toss at the Scottish festival one year. He was three. One day he told me he was going to be a “toilet tester” when he grew up. Don’t even ask me about the “flying doomie-crash.” His wit and randomness are never ending and keep me in a state of great amusement while in his presence. One of his teachers told me what a joy he was to have in class. I smiled, thanked her and made some side comment about how random he is. “He is that!” she laughed. At least someone else appreciates his brilliance.
“Loosen up. Unbend. You’ll feel better.” ~She Done Him Wrong, Film (1933)
Again, those of you with kids know what I’m talking about. Those of you who have no children or, heaven forbid, you have boring children … yeah; you need to all come visit. Trust me; it will lighten your load in life.
“Nothing is more necessary than the unnecessary.” ~Life is Beautiful, Film (1997)
Prayer has never been the strongest of my spiritual gifts. It does not come easy to me. I envy individuals, like my mother, who have prayer journals dating back weeks, months, years … even decades. I have not the discipline.
I am struggling.
In fact, I have procrastinated in writing the words I now type but it has been weighing heavily on my mind. I know the answers to my own questions. I know what the responses will be and who they will come from and, yet, I must compose. There is some soothing in composition.
What are we taught about prayer? Christians, in general, what are the fundamentals of a strong prayer life that we are encouraged to adopt at a very young age? I am not going to regurgitate every lesson I have ever absorbed on the subject, but there are three things that we should all (me included) remember.
1) God commands us to pray.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7
Prayer is our form of communication with Our Father. I have never had a problem with communication in the past. Most people ask me to shut up. Who am I to ignore such an invitation from my God? He is actually asking me to talk to Him.
2) Specifics Matter
And when you pray, do not keep babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. ~Matthew 6:7
Praying specifically forces us to identify exactly what our concerns are. It helps us to prioritize. It weeds out the frivolous from the important.
3) Persistence Pays Off
Pray without ceasing ~1 Thessalonians 5:17
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. ~Luke 18:1
There you go. I can't elaborate much on that one. We’re supposed to keep at it. Pray!
I know what you are thinking. There it is in black and white, Beth! What is the problem? Why are you struggling?
I am tired.
Where is the breaking point? When do you throw in the towel and cry out to God, “Lord, You know the desires of my heart. You know my every need. I am tired. I can’t voice them anymore.”
I know. That point is never supposed to come. God sums it up with that whole persistence portion. And yet …
The snowflake. Winter's Butterfly. My favorite shape. Ironic, really, since I absolutely detest cold weather. Still, I love snowflakes which is why a snowflake is part of my tattoo (see right). The cross is simple. It represents my faith. The snowflake represents the fragility of that faith should I attempt to go through this life on my own as well as the purity of Christ. There you go.
“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake...” ~Sir Francis Bacon
All pictures taken from: http://www.partow.net/miscellaneous/snowflakes.html
Cascading crystals dance a windblown waltz
intrinsically drifting downward to obscurity;
coldly conducted by whimsical accord to dance
in unique unity and the icy common conviction
of a wasteful demise thru jagged sting on skin.
I have come up short on words of late. Rare. Perhaps I have needed the break.
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” ~Mark Twain, American Author
"The world is supposed to be full of possibilities, but they narrow down to pretty few in most personal experience. There's lots of good fish in the sea...maybe...but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea." ~D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
"No matter how hard we try words simply cannot express the horror, the shock, and the revulsion we all feel over what took place in this nation on Tuesday morning. September 11 will go down in our history as a day to remember." ~Billy Graham, American Evangelist
It’s raining. The flood waters are rising rapidly and I can’t see my ark … yet. I know it will be here. I do. It always comes. Sometimes I have to build it myself and sometimes it appears, miraculously, at the last possible moment. In all actuality, it’s usually not an ark. I’m not that lucky. That doesn’t mean I’m not important. On the contrary … I still get rescued which indicates that I am worthy, but my liberation normally comes in the form of something resembling a dinghy or a rowboat … just adequate enough to get me through the imminent threat. Still, I’d love an ark.
I’m amused by my internal faith struggle regarding this particular topic. On average, I feel like as though the skies open up and every dilemma known to mankind rains down upon my head about every three months. If I am lucky … six months; it is normally a much shorter time frame. I anticipate it now and try to live with faith strong enough that my ark is always there … perpetually biding its time until I need it again, but I doubt. Somehow I always end up losing that focus until I find myself dog-paddling in the deep end and looking for the prow of any sort of floating vessel. In fact, I have probably grabbed on to driftwood from time to time. It still saved me, didn’t it? I’m still here … waiting for the next downpour … losing sight of the fact that this will pass and I will not drown despite the fact that I’m not a strong swimmer. Rescue always comes. Still, it would be nice if my raft (if that is all I am to get) showed up sooner than later this time.
1) Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. 2) I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. 3) I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. 4) They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away …
…13) But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.14) Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. 15) Let not the water flood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. 16) Hear me, O LORD; for thy loving kindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
I will not blog about politics. There it is. Simply put.
My refusal to write about the current political situation does not mean that I do not care that this is an election year here in the United States. I care. I am an American. The right to vote is a responsibility and I have voted in every election since I turned eighteen. I do not vote party lines. I have voted Democrat. I have voted Republican. I will not vote for Obama simply because he has ties to Kenya. I will not vote for McCain simply because he is a war hero. I will vote my conscience based on the information I have gathered about each candidate and their respective running mates. I will not listen to celebrity endorsements for they mean nothing to me. I will, however, vote. I WILL VOTE!
As for the blogging … there are a lot of bloggers out their putting in their two cents. If you want to read about politics there will be no shortage of sources for you to peruse in mainstream media outlets and the grand blogosphere. Have fun. Learn as much as you can. If you are an American … please vote. This will be the last you hear from me on the subject: Vote. VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
“Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: 'Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am. I ... am ... FINE!
Sure. Why not?
1) experiencing frightening feelings or hallucinations, especially as a result of taking a drug
2) an experience or scene of unrestrained excitement or irrational behavior.
You have no idea!
1) subject to fears, doubts, etc; not self-confident or assured
2) uneasy and anxious
Aren't we all?
1) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of neurosis (a relatively mild personality disorder typified by excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal maladjustment)
I haven't been this emotional in years!
1) pertaining to or involving emotion or the emotions
2) subject to or easily affected by emotion
"I'm fine. Insane people are always sure that they are FINE. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit they are crazy." ~Nora Ephron
"Passengers - there is nothing to worry about. We have just hit a little turbulence, but we should be FINE .... Oh! By the way, does anyone know how to fly a plane?" ~Airplane!, Film (1980)
Really ... I'm fine!
Of course, it isn't really falling . . . but there are days when I'm convinced that it must be coming down. I know I'm going through a lot lately, but for some reason I just feel really wiped out today. Am I getting sick? Am I just tired? Or, although the odds are not in my favor, is the sky really falling on my head? Either way - I don't feel great today and to top it off I am bored at work and I am cranky. I wish I had some flunkies that were willing to carry me around on a shield all day.
So, on this cranky day, I bring you words of wisdom from the greatest comic book series in the world. Yes, I still love DC & Marvel characters, but this . . . is . . . ASTERIX! Genius!
Contraria contraiis curantur: Opposites are cured by opposites
Gnothe seauton (Greek): Know thyself
Ira furor brevis est: Anger is a brief madness
Quot capita, to sensus: There are as many opinions as there are heads
Vae victo, vae vicits: Woe to the vanquished men, woe to the vanquished people
Vinum et musica laetificant cor: Wine and music gladden the heart
(Disclaimer: I am not a Greek or Latin scholar so I hope these are translated correctly.)
If you don't know Asterix . . . educate yourself!
You could just buy them.
“Me..I'm rusted and weathered
Barely holding together
I'm covered with skin that peels and it just won't heal”
I am feeling weathered. Weary. Worn out. Does this mean, as defined in the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, that I have been well LOVED … or does that only apply to toys?
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." ~Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
I do not mind so much being hurt anymore. If there is pain … then there is feeling and I know that I am not quite as numb as I oft pretend. Breakable I am not or I would have broken many a year ago. I do not have to be kept quite as carefully as most. It is true that I look much shabbier than I would like. Being real is a risky business. One must be willing to take chances in life … opening the heart and mind with the knowledge that one will likely feel pain along the way. There will be pain, but pain is not alone. There will also be: joy, sorrow, happiness, anger, envy, surprise, anticipation, fear etc.
And, there will be LOVE.
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” ~Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, American First Lady
I learned to love books … stories … very early in my life. Here are a few children’s classics that are a mere sampling of my many favorites:
1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
2. Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
3. “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” by Patricia Thomas
4. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
5. Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
6. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
7. Noah’s Ark by Peter Spier (This book has the greatest illustrations!)
8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
9. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.”
~Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go