Thursday, January 31, 2013

Max's First Day of College

We are so proud. Most people don't start college until they graduate from high school. Or at least start kindergarten.
Or can tie their shoes. And they usually don't cry when you take their binky away.
Apparently "certain" community colleges have lowered their requirements a bit. (cough Mt Hood Community College, cough, cough.)
Josiah and Ashley had a business class last night to attend and their "baby-sitter" (cough, Aunt Amy cough cough) didn't get off work in time to make it back.
So Josiah and Ashley were on their way to school.
To take a test.
 With their 2.5 year old son, Max.
When they called to ask for emergency prayer intervention, I had a slight feeling of guilt, not only because I laughed really, really hard, but because I didn't offer to run the 30 kajillion miles down there to watch Max for them.
Also, and more importantly I was already in my soft-clothes with a glass of wine and eagerly waiting to watch American Idol with Rod. (side note: having trouble liking Nicki Minaj. At all. Even a little bit. Just thought you should know.)
 And FYI, I heard someone on television call their pajamas "soft-clothes", and I am stealing the word for my very own.
Ash and Josiah brought Max into their classroom, introduced Max to the professor and sat down to take the test. I bet they weren't distracted AT ALL.
I wish that they would have taken a quick picture or two, but they may have been too busy trying to finish their tests at the speed of light. You know, before Max started singing  "Call Me, Maybe" and the entire class would begin singing the chorus, or at least have the song wedged in their head. Forevermore.
When someone entered the room, Max asked loudly, "Who is that?" before Ashley reminded him to use his library voice. So he repeated it in his library voice, which I like to think of as his stage voice, because you can hear him from the back of an auditorium.
Max and his parents finished their tests and rushed out the classroom in as much time as it takes for Nicki Minaj to roll her eyes at anything Mariah Carey says. Which is fast.
This morning when Max woke up, he asked if he could go to school again.
Funny boy.
Maybe when he learns to drink out of something other than a sippy cup.

I'll leave you with these words of inspiration and greatness by Carly Rae Jepson.
You are welcome.

  Hey, I just met you
And this is crazy
But here's my number.
Call me, maybe.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ice Ice, Baby

I am sticking to the idea of using song titles as post titles. It works for me.
About a month ago,Rod and I decided we would post an open invitation on Facebook to friends/family who were traveling up to, or down from Mt Hood on the weekends. We started doing it because we felt sorry for the long lines of people at the Thriftway store waiting to use their tiny  disgusting restroom, and figured people might rather stop by here. They could not only use the (clean) bathroom with no wait in line, but also stretch their legs, have a mocha, feed the fish, pet the horse, dog,and goats or whatever.

 So we posted it on up.

No comments. No likes. No nada.

  I blamed myself because that is how I roll.  It wasn't that bad; I just felt ostracized by the entire universe.
 No biggie.

Last week, I figured out that I inadvertently had  my settings on FB so that every update I made only went to two friends.
Neither of whom traveled to Mt Hood in the last month.

On the bright side, I kept my house cleaned up every weekend in case anyone stopped by.

How about a weather report? Are you on the edge of your seat? If you are, it is no doubt because you are going to make a run for it as soon as I pause for breath.

Well, we have rainy-snow falling on top of about 3 inches of snow which is covering about 3-4 inches of solid ice. Rain, snow, ice.
 It is the perfect trifecta of mountain weather.
On Friday afternoon, it was still only ice with rain falling steadily, so for some odd reason, Rod and I thought it would be a grand time for a hike. We went a bit further than usual, and I was congratulating myself on not being knocked over by the dogs,who chase each other with zero regard for anyone they might knock over, when I slipped on the ice.

 I didn't fall, but I did a spectacular dance move that most humans are not capable of, and which enabled me to keep my balance. Unfortunately, I twisted my knee in an inhuman direction.

 You'll be happy to know I didn't use a curse word, but did scream. This was not only to vent the pain volcano that used to be my knee, but to get Rod's attention.

"Are you okay, Bed-Pan?" He asked as he came  over. Yes, he calls me Bed-Pan sometimes. It is a nickname. Please, just let it go.

Well, I clearly wasn't okay as I couldn't put weight on my leg without making sounds that may have sounded like a wounded rabbit on the Discover Channel.
 I needed a Waaa-ambulance, Stat.
But we were in the woods and we had to hike back a mile. Do you know how long that Incredible Journey on the icy trail seemed? Soooooo looooooong.
Do you know how long it seemed to Rod as he had to listen to my groanings and complaints as tried stoically to help me back? Even loooooooonger.

Finally, we arrived back across the creek, so Rod could go get the ATV and return to pick me up.
I found a big snow bank and collapsed down on it. The rain  was falling into my face and eyes, but I couldn't feel it over the white-hot throbbing pain in my knee.

Cooper came over and laid down next to me and stared into my face. I told him, "Go on, Cooper. Go with Dad and get the ATV."
 I just wanted to lay there and die a cold death, at least that is what the waiting buzzard circling lazily  over head thought. ( I am not kidding about the buzzard)

Imagine him making snow angels on your head. Yes, he was smiling while he did it.
But Cooper wouldn't leave me, and just as I started to think maybe he wasn't such a bad dog after all,  he rolled over on his back and tried to make doggy snow angels. On my head.
And Lucy just watched.
Where was that buzzard, anyway?
Doesn't she look like she would go get help? She didn't.

Finally, Rod came back, packed me on the ATV, drove me home, wrapped my knee, put ice on it, gave me a couple Advil, made me a cappuccino and asked me to stop complaining. Fine.
I guess it was the least I could do.

I'm sure I have convinced you that you should stop by on your way on your way to Mt. Hood, and  take a dangerous hike on the ice.
We look forward to seeing you.
The house cleaning may be a bit of hit or miss, though.

 I'm not making any promises.

Monday, January 28, 2013

I'm Blogless....

Blogless as a man can be.
But, clearly, that doesn't seem to stop me from posting anyway. (And who knew that Garth Brooks knew about blogs so long ago? I didn't.)

I was thinking that there are only so many things I can write about. The vast ocean of blog posts I could write about, I don't, because it would be wrong.
Oh, so wrong.
 But, you should know, they are all up there in my head, clamoring to get out. You could almost consider that a warning not to get on my bad side.

Suppose I wrote about our work and the cah-razy people we run into on a day to day basis.(Most of the time you would be bored to death and, frankly, I don't want your death on my conscience.)
 Suppose I mentioned that a client once told my husband that he was cute. And then asked our son (OUR SON, for goodness sake) how old his Dad was and then she let it slip what good shape he was in. Yeah, that might have been my Aunt Dorothy that was asking, but still.
 Hello--ooo, inappropriate.
Frankly, if we work with people at all, we are going to run into difficult people. And they are going to run into us, And we will be THEIR difficult people.
 It is the circle of life.

Nor, it seems, should I blog too often about family. This can get me in T-R-O-U-B-L-E. (I really hope you appreciate the time and effort it takes me to type that out like that.)

Such as, I should probably NOT mention that my daughter, Amy,  is coming up and bringing her boyfriend for dinner tonight.
 This is so we to get to know him better.
Yes, we have met him, but never really sat down and "visited." If you know what I mean.
Naturally, Rod and I have questions and some water-boarding time for "J-son" (We'll just call him that to protect his identity on the interweb).
When there is a lull in the convo, we can casually ask him questions such as " What is your favorite color?" or "What is your relationship with Jesus like?" or "Which do you prefer: Thai or Mexican food?" or "What are
I mentioned Garth Brooks so I thought I had better insert a GB photo. Also, this is the face that Rod is working on for this evening.
your intentions toward our daughter?" Oh, and one of my favorites, "Where would you go on your Dream Vacation?"
Anyway, I look forward to spending time with both of them this evening, and plying them with Asparagus Champagne Risotto and tiny little cream puffs until they tell me everything I want to know. (insert maniacal , evil laugh or maniacal demented mother laugh. They are similar.)

The bottom line is, I can't post about family too often without payback of some sort.

Speaking of the bottom line, I can share about the latest is my fashion trends.
 Such as the kicky sweatpants I wore tucked into muck boots when I needed to just run into the grocery store real quick.
  They were a bit worn, old and speckled with who knows what from the kitchen.
 But the piece de resistance was definitely the big rip where the seam had opened right up so I could share my the color of my underwear with all the people on the mountain. And the unearthly white leg/hip whenever I took an extra long step, or turned real quick.

 Did I feel kind of cold and breezy?
You bet I did.
 But I wrote it off to the snowy, blowy weather we are having and not to the fact that my pants were split wide open.
Did any of the good people of the mountain kindly stop me and mention my unmentionables?They did not. I don't know if I am happy or sad about that.

Well, I better skedaddle (yes, I said skedaddle) and start making those tiny little cream puffs and practicing my scary-Mama face and threatening tone for tonight.
Should be fun!
Have a happy Monday, everyone.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Note to self:

Dear Diane,
Sometimes you just need to be quiet.

I know you picture yourself as a kind and gentle woman bestowing nuggets of knowledge and wisdom to everyone within earshot.

You are a giver.

You imagine others clamoring around you, wishing, no needing, to hear your responses.
I get it.
Here is how you picture yourself:

 In actuality, you may be a bit more like this:

An annoying yappy little dog who doesn't know when to just quit barking.
Sorry if that is harsh.

But twice (2x people) this week, when approached and asked for a listening ear and a caring heart by people you love and adore, you have not responded correctly.
When some comfort was all that was needed, you filled up spaces with your own experiences.
 Bad form, Diane. Bad form.
While a simple hug and an "I love you" was all that was needed, you responded with brilliant, thought-provoking inane questions and comments instead.

Next time, remember, less of this:

More of this:

Please. Just listen better.
You can do it.
Carry on.
Take control of what I say, O Lord,    and guard my lips. Psalm 141:3

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Speaking up for the 7111

 I wrote this last January, and I still feel the same. Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Six or seven inches of snow fell up here the last couple weeks.  It is silent and pristine. After I cleaned out the stalls and fed the horses, I walked a little bit with the dogs and now I am making a pumpkin curry soup for dinner. (Mmmm-mmm. I know.)

But I feel a burden I can't shake and it is weighing me down just like those Douglas firs outside with their snow loads.

I am haunted by dead and dying babies.
Doesn't that sound awful?

I don't blame you for being totally offended and clicking off this blog right now while thinking happy thoughts of snowfall and football, birthdays and Modern Family.

 Or even mundane thoughts of your upcoming work-week, what you are going to wear tomorrow, your grocery list or what you are making for dinner.
That's what I want to do.

All of that is better than thinking about dead or dying babies.

Or is it?

Maybe you, like me, have turned away too often from the images of what we KNOW is happening every day not too far away from where you and your family live.

Not too far away from where you go to school or work.

 Just a few miles from where you buy your groceries.

Probably fairly close to the movie theater where you enjoy your entertainment, or the restaurant where you eat dinner.

I'm sure it is pretty close to the church where you go to worship God on the weekends.

 This child killing is taking place right in our neighborhoods and the thought of that today is wrecking me. Babies are dying.

Women in our vicinity are making appointments to abort their children this week.

One by one by one. They are lining up to abort their children.

One by one by one. Their children are dying. Are you getting this? Are you feeling the weight of this?
 We need to stop saying that there is nothing we can do and turning away.

In my metro area, there are approximately 7111 babies aborted every year. That is about 136 babies each week.
I looked up Lovejoy (a abortion facility near us) online and they have such a nice and welcoming website that it hurt to look at it. By the way, they call it "ending a pregnancy" as if a child were not even involved. They also offer counseling after an abortion. (I wonder if I could still go?)
 Click on their website and see the P.C. and sanitized version of what goes on there. Does it strike your heart like it does mine?

 I encourage you to go see what is happening in your neighborhood and your city.

In his video 180, Ray Comfort shows a video of people that lived in the neighborhoods surrounding the concentration camps where the murder of millions of Jews took place. After the war was over, these people were taken in to visit the camp so they could see what had happened there.

They had seen for themselves themselves the billowing black smoke rising from the camp day after day. But they had turned away, dismissed the signs, ignored what they saw. Until the devastating day they went to visit. Click on the 180 link to watch this video yourself. So striking.
The most moving image in the archives is a recently discovered picture of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.
The smoke on the left-hand side of the picture is being produced by the mass burning of bodies in funeral pits.

We have to look at this.

We have to look at what is happening.
We have to talk about this.
When we are quiet, babies die.
When we do nothing and look away, women are condemned to a life of hiding their shame and grief, covering it up with a barrage of attitudes, habits and behaviors, none of which are healthy. I know about this. See my testimony here and here at EPM's site.

So, please.
Please talk about this.
Blog about it. Make it your Facebook status and Tweet it.

 Offer both grace and truth and don't be more concerned about offending people than about saving people.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, to defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The 1 Habit God Really Wants for Your New Year

I am addicted to so many things. So many bad things.

  • Sweat pants. They have an elastic waistband. I can eat whatever I want and they just streeeeeetch on out. What's not to love?
  • Fruit Snacks. Scooby Doo, Dora the Explorer, it doesn't really matter. I've love them since the kids were little and now all I think is, thank goodness for little Max. I can say I'm buying them for him. 
  • Reality television  Not all of it. But some. I can sit there in sweatpants tossing down my fruit snacks and try to figure out if Sean will give Taryn a rose. (No, Sean, NO!!)

My addictions just seem to flow together like the Cap'n and Tenille (darn I just thought about Muskrat Love.) like Salt and Pepa. Like sweatpants and fruit snacks.
And we're back.
Anyway, lately I have been addicted to memorizing scripture.
Yup. I just went from fruit snacks to memorizing scripture.
Follow along, please.
I read Ann Voskamp's blog last week and found that she is starting a group that memorizes verses together. They are going to learn Chapters 1,8 and 12 in Romans. All three chapters. Memorized.
Sounds pretty much impossible, right?
The group called The Roman's Project is meeting on ScriptureTyper, which facilitates memorizing verses through typing.
Let me say this: I am a horrible typist. However, ScriptureTyper has this to say about memorizing while typing:

  • ScriptureTyper accelerates memorization by utilizing both visual AND kinesthetic memory.

  • Tap into your kinesthetic memory which combines your sense of touch and your innate ability to remember patterns and feelings.

  • Combine touch typing with Bible memory and feel the patterns of the scripture as you type them so that you memorize faster, increase retention, and enhance your capacity to memorize verses.

Memorizing scripture. I've never been good at it. I seem to paraphrase all my bible verses into the DIV. (Diane's International Version.)
My mind is telling me I am not able.
I can't type,
I don't memorize.
 I never finish what I start.
But I really, really want to. This just calls out to me.
And I have memorized four verses so far. (actually eight, if you count the fact that I switched bible translations after a few days.) I am enjoying doing it, and God is speaking to me through his Word.
Crazy, right?

Why should we memorize verses?
Really read these words from Ann Voskamp. Hear the truth of what she is saying.

What to do this year.

"One Memory Project — This year — The Romans Project, chapters 1, 8, and 12 of the book of Romans. John Piper said it in his last sermon as pastor and I listened to it during the final hours of 2012, that Romans 8 may be the most powerful chapter of the whole of the canon — and memorizing only 2 verses a week through 2013 will have us know by heart three Great Chapters of the Christian faith.
This is how you make the calendar for the year: you set Christ at the center.
This is the question: Will you spend your days meditating on His Word or your worries?
This is the resolution every new year needs — a revolution: A turning every day to Christ.
This is the thing: No one sends you a memo that Today is the day you’ll need a certain verse to keep you breathing through the day.
When you memorize Scripture, it’s like carrying your own oxygen tanks.
And then there’s Jesus:  Christ’s weapon against Satan in the desert was memorized Scripture. And if you aren’t memorizing Scripture — what IS your weapon against Satan? "

Isn't that beyond awesome? 
I am in.

Here is what Ann says about memorizing The Sermon on the Mount chapters last year:
So come join me if you want. Click on the Roman's Project link up above. 
Are you in?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Might I suggest...?

Could we not all agree to bring 80's hair back?
Remember how high you could rat those bangs? Me, too.
Here is the thing;
I can totally do my 'do in a Miss America  circa. 1986-ish way. It will wave and fluff all around my head, I can feather like nobodies' business AND I can make it all stay put with a virtual helmet of AquaNet Redken Forceful 23.

I just can't seem to master the hair of this century, which is a problem as I live here.

Seeing me in all my 80's glory makes me  consider doing something different when I next get my hair did.

Maybe something that will help me fit in for with my this?
There is no doubt Rod would really love the whole camo theme.
Pretty, right? But would you even see me, or would I be invisible? Hmmm. There are real pro's and con's to this one.

Maybe I should go more cutting edge, more wild. More like this....
Can you imagine the fear I would inspire in all the wild creatures in my woods? Can you imagine the fear I would inspire in my dogs, not to mention my husband?
But,be honest; wouldn't you like to show up to greet people at church with this? "Welcome....Welcome...Glad you could make it...Grrrr...Welcome...Good to see you..."
If I had this hair, would totally be compelled to throw in a low growl every now and then, just to really make them jump. Good times.
A girl can dream.
But I will probably just do what I usually do with my hair and end up throwing it in a pony like Cooper does when his hair becomes too unmanageable.
He really rocks in a top knot.
Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Three-peat or Phoning it in.

 I have posted this before.I am phoning in this post that I believe I have posted twice before.
 But on this dark and rainly Monday morning, when Rod is leaving for the job because our employee (son Josiah) has the flu, I need a smile. This video does it. I even watched a couple times  because I enjoy it so much.
FYI to the Spelling Nazis: I know that "rainly" was a typo, but I enjoyed it too much to correct it. Thank you.

Cats are on my mind this Monday morning.
That can't be a good thing.
I consider myself to be a dog person.
I consider there to be something wrong, deeply wrong, with cat people.
Dogs will be in Heaven.
Cats belong in the seventh circle of hell.
That said, I could really use a cat right now. Because there are mice in my house. My dogs don't even notice. But I can hear their tiny mice feet scurrying around at night. Unless Mr.Squirrel is visiting or Mrs. Raccoon and her Baby Daddy are moving back in
Someone sent me this video this morning and even though I have seen it before, it is SO worth watching again. A few times.
It made me smile and I think I even COL.(chuckled out loud)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Mushroom Cloud of Shame

I wonder how many posts about snow we will have before Spring. Right now it is still all fresh and magical and no one at my house is cursing at it.Yet. 
It is awfully cold outside, but that didn't stop the dogs and me from crunching through the snow and ice this morning. I had Rod take this picture so you could see how you need to bundle up if you come and visit me. That is a fur hat and a fur lined hood I am wearing. And I was still shivering me timbers. My face is still frozen in that expression.  Lucy was impervious to the cold because she knew a blazing fire and warm couch were waiting just a few feet away. What a couch-pig.

(I need to stop this blog post with a brief hand-clap of praise for hypothetical women everywhere that MAY be experiencing the peri-menopause symptom known as the HOT FLASH during these days of freezing temperatures. Theoretically, all they would have to do when a hot flash ignited is throw open the closest door and breathe in all the icy frigid goodness. Thank you, Jesus. That is all.)

It has not been too cold for visitors, though. We've had lots of family and friends stopping by during the holidays and it has been a blast. I love to feed people. In fact I think I have the gift of loving to feed people. I am not saying that it is tasty food, or even edible, but I do love to feed my people.

On Christmas Eve day, I spent the day in my pajamas cooking up some victuals for our family get together at Papa Garden's (Grandpa Arden's) house. My pajama top was inside out, I was wearing only one slipper as one had fallen off my foot somewhere and I couldn't find it, I was rocking my fabulous bed head hair, and I had a solid line of caked-on flour just at belly level (from leaning on the floury counter, I'm guessing) on my inside-out pajama top. 
 Rod married a winner.
But I was happy because I was cooking and baking and bacon was involved. Also, sappy Christmas movies were playing. 
Then somebody knocked. It was our neighbors. Our hippie neighbors. Whom we really love. If you have had difficulty to getting along with neighbors, you really appreciate good neighbors.Like our hippie neighbors. 

Before I had time to think that I wasn't really dressed appropriately and I hadn't showered, I happily flung open the door and invited them in. They came bearing a gift. That was when reality began to set in. 

I had no gift for them, and no real food to offer. Well, I had the partially cooked bacon, some raw cinnamon rolls and a stick of butter. My happiness began to fall like a row of dominoes on ice. When I get nervous I tend to use too many words and fill up the empty silences. This is a curse.
I asked them how their annual mushroom harvesting was going, and then added how I know nothing about mushrooms and really hate them and never forced my kids to eat them because they are a fungus anyway, blah blah blah blah....

That is when the woman hippie neighbor(WHY can't I remember her name??!!WHY??!) gestured to their gift bag and mentioned that they brought us mushrooms. They had grown them, harvested them and dehydrated them. It was a home-made gift; the very best kind.

Inside my head, I was screaming, "I am a giant IDIOT!! I am a  dufus!!" But on the outside I was backtracking like a crazy woman and telling them how Rod loves and ADORES all mushrooms in ANY form and he will be SO happy, and I LOVE to cook with them, and you hippies are SO nice blah blah blah... No, I didn't actually call them hippies, but I doubt they'd mind.

The whole ordeal visit began to take on a dream-like quality after that mushroom  episode, but some things remain clear, no matter how I try to forget.
Like when I told them that where I grew up people hunted and ate squirrel, and that I had tried it. Obviously I was trying to be more hip, more hippie, more like them. Brushing at the caked on line of flour on my pajama top I basically was trying to say, "Look, I'm cool. I eat squirrel." Do they even eat squirrel? I doubt it. I think they are vegetarians or vegans.

I also remember at one point racing and twirling around the house like the Tasmanian devil looking for my lost slipper. Like everything would magically be transformed if I COULD JUST FIND MY SLIPPER. And why, on earth, would I still be wearing just ONE? 
I don't even know.
Eventually, they left and I dashed into the bathroom to change into clothes, wash up, brush my hair and teeth, don't forget the TEETH, as though I could somehow erase the past half hour.

 I so wanted to run to the back door and shout out into the woods toward their home,"Come back, hippy neighbors, come back! See, I do own a brush! Here is your nicely wrapped gift! Care for a few hors d'Ĺ“uvres? And,Ta Da ! TWO slippers!"
But that isn't an option.There are no do overs, even on Christmas Eve day. 
The devastation from the Mushroom Cloud of Shame is complete.

Happily, Rod made it all better later by returning home with two bottles of wine and some luxurious, chocolaty morsels.  I asked how he picked the wine out and apparently he told the lady at the wine shop that his wife didn't like any "pinon nuway" 
She avoided his eyes, correctly interpreted his "pinon nuway" as Pinot Noir. and sent him home to me with a nice cabernet. Have I mentioned how much I love him lately?
I have to go, Rod is trying a mushroom.