Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Savannah...

I have a beautiful fledgling writer who I love dearly. She was never a student of mine, but in the end, she became mine anyway. I have decided to publish her here on my Big Girl Blog. You will love her instantly. And, if you have any advice for this girl, struggling to find her way through those teenage years, please post. I will forward them on to her since she's actually not allowed to BE on my Big Girl Blog until she's 18. (Right, Savannah?) My words of wisdom are posted beneath.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2009

Fourteen going on Forty.

Typical is not a word to use for me. I'm definately not your typical fourteen year old girl. Yes, I may look my age, but looks mean nothing.

I hate my age. I hate it. I hate it. Being fourteen is horrible! I'm still living in my parents' house. Living for, and to, their standards. Following their rules. Doing what they want me to do... Does it end? Can't I be in college? Or even beyond that, starting a career and trying to make myself sucessful? Can't I be my own person? Do the things I feel are right? No. No, of course not.

You can't speed up time.
You can't slow it down.
You have to go along with it until you die.

And who, may I ask, set that stupid rule up? No one other than God, of course. Now, don't get me wrong, I believe in Him, I praise in Him... But, I'd assume like most, I just don't understand Him. He put me here and gave me everything I have. Shouldn't that be enough? Not at all. Deep down it is, but I'm always left wanting more.

No matter what I do. I want to be forty years old! Not really, but at least in my twenties. Where I can make up my own rules. Where I can start my own life. Where I can be me, not what everyone else wants me to be. Yes, that sounds typical, but I mean that more serious than ever before. Most all of the other kids will tell you that they are ready to be adults, and that they wish they were older so they could do 'whatever they want...' But that's not what I am asking for at all.

I know I won't be able to 'whatever' I happen to feel like. I know I can't just go out and be somebody. I know, God do I know, I have to earn it. I don't expect things to be given to me. They have never really been. Yes, I'll admit, I am spoiled by my parents. They buy me things. They give me things. They give me love and food and shelter. But when it comes to 'things', I have to earn it.
"Mom, can I have $10 to do ________?"
"What are you going to do to get it?"
"..."
"That's what I thought."

I mean. I don't get handed everything! My parents are poor. We live in poverty. It seems everyone makes more money then my mom and stepdad combined! I don't wear Hollister or Abercombie. No way in hell, do I wear Ralph Lauren or Marc Jacobs. I wear Wal*Mart clothes. Hand-me-downs. Most all of my nice things come from my aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Like I said before though, looks mean nothing. But I'm just trying to make a point.

I want to go out in the world and work my way to the top. Show that a small town--- yes I live in Nampa, which is big for Idaho, but I'm talking the whole world here-- girl can make it big. How? I want to be nothing more than an English teacher, which, we all know don't make big money... But I can still make it big. I can effect the lives of the youth, our future. Hopefully, when I'm a teacher, students can walk out of my classroom different than what they came in. They can have a new perspective on life and be ready for what ever life brings in store from them.

Now, can one see my as different? Or do I still fit under that horrific stereo type as the typical teenager?

I could say more... But do I need to?

Oh I don't know. Maybe I am typical.

Words of Wisdom for My Girl...

Wow. Wow. Wow. OK. Goodness gracious, let me get the mechanics of your writing out of the way before we start talking about life. In the two pieces I've read now, I'm loving the way your writing circles. What I mean by that is, you end in a way that is very similar to how you start. You "circle back around" so to speak. This is very clean and effective. Your voice is spectacular. Having first-hand experience with 14 year olds, you're atypical in that you don't use the word, "LIKE" fourteen million times in your writing, and hopefully not in your speaking. I'll give you one or two every once in a while, but no more. "LIKE" makes you... like, not seem... like... you know... like SMART or anything. And uh... yeah. (That's my favorite: "uh... yeah." It makes me want to hurt somebody.) This piece flows. You make yourself completely understood quite easily and strike upon another universal theme--especially among teens--which is wanting to speed up the process of growing up and conquer that beast we call TIME! Shakespeare had a love/hate relationship with time and wrote about it a lot. Several sonnets he devoted to that very subject. Anyway, this begs the question, who is your audience, Miss Savannah? Teens? Adults? Anyone? Try to answer this question before you begin. Be clear in your own mind about who you are talking to without saying, "This piece is for teenagers..." or "This piece is for the adults who torture me..."

Now for the content. Lovie! Let me lay this out for you so we're both on the same sheet of music here--you being 14--me being 43 this month. Your teens can be rough, and everyone thinks their journey is the roughest. However, all it takes to correct THAT delusion is to LOOK AROUND! And be continually GRATEFUL for all that you have that other teens don't. If we all put our problems in the middle of the table, you'd probably grab your own right back out again, right? After that, let me be the first to tell you--your 20s suck. You don't have a WHOLE lot of respect from the world because... well, let's face it. You're 20. What do you know? Not much. Life actually starts looking pretty good about 30. Especially for women, the decade of their 30s is MUCH better than their 20s. Why? Well, in a woman's 20s, she's usually all about OTHER people. Lots of girls get married and have small children in their 20s and life never really seems to be about HER--but about doing what she needs to do for other people. Her husband, her children, her job, her church... the list of needing machines is LONG in a girl's 20s. This isn't necessarily a bad thing--it just IS. She's the GLUE! It's not a bad thing being the GLUE! It definitely has its perks. But by the time she's 30, she wakes up, sits up in bed and looks at her husband drooling on her pillow, smacks him in the arm and says--with authority, mind you--"I'm TIRED! Go make me a SANDWICH!" And he DOES! For the next DECADE he does! It's FANTASTIC! Her children are older and more self-sufficient. She can concentrate on herself a little more. A massage. A pedicure. A night out with the girls. It's divine. Her 40s are even better because she has more money. I have nothing to say about the 50s because I'm not there yet, but Madonna, Cher, Tina Turner, and Oprah don't seem any worse for it. I think my 50s will bring grandchildren into my life. I can squeeze them, buy them things, cuddle with them, and still sleep ALLLLLLLLL NIGHT! Who wouldn't love THAT, right? So, my darling, you're certainly aiming for the right decade. Your fabulous 40s.

But here's what I'm coming to realize more and more about the "getting there." I can't leap tall buildings in a single bound. I'm not faster than a speeding bullet or a train. Life cannot be barreled through with no regard to "The Power of Now." In fact, we are not promised tomorrow. No one, Savannah, NO ONE knows whether or not she'll even be here. Not one of us. This is a sobering thought. Yes, I've arrived at a very wonderful place in my life. It took many steps to get here. If I were able to simply LEAP to this place, then guess what? I'd be living my life in my 40s, but I'd still be 14 in my own head and even MORE frustrated in a world I could never navigate through because I just don't have the life experience. It sounds trite to say that I needed every experience before this one so that I could be successful in THIS experience right now, but it is true none-the-less.

Be grateful. You're lucky. Some people remain tethered to their pasts and do not develop as they should. Some people really ARE 14 year olds living in 40 year old lives. Due to some traumatic or debilitating event from their past, they have not matured how they should, and now they have bills they don't know how to pay, children they don't know how to raise, and relationships that remain broken because they have no clue how to fix them. They are fragmented people. YOU, my darling, are about as authentic and sincere a young lady as I've ever seen. And I'm not going to add that ever-patronizing phrase, "...for a girl your age."

Let me caution you, my love. Your very ANGST at being this age will be the very thing that will strap you to it. Read that line again. Read it ten times. Your ANGST at "now" will inhibit your development, as surely as I type this. Here's the lesson: If you cannot be content at 14, then how will you know how to be content at 15? How will you figure out how to be happy with "now" at 16? 17? 20? 30? 40? 100? Happiness and gratitude are never, never, never, NEVER for the future. These are gifts God has given us TODAY! Not this afternoon, not this evening... but right now. Take a little inventory, sista. You have a HUGE list of things right in this moment to be so grateful for, and think on THESE things. Your beautiful property. Your parents are poor how? Money in the bank? That just equals free money for college for you. No big deal. Look at that beautiful place you live on. All those animals. That beautiful landscape. That river that flows through your property. Sean-Martin wants to live on land with a river that runs right through it. Basically, we want what you already have. What I would have given for a mom and dad like yours. Uber cool--most days--you have to admit.

At the end of this year, I will have a journal with every page filled out with what I've done. An entry for each and every day in 2009. I've never done that before. I will be able to hand it in its entirety to whomever I please as one book. One life. But you know what it took to create that? I had to show up and put a pen to it every day. Every single, solitary day. That's like your life, Savannah. At the end of it, you will have made a beautiful life--one that you can hand back to God and say, "I did it. I did everything I was supposed to do on this earth." But in order for that to happen, you have to show up to it every day understanding how each day is critical to your whole life. Today. Right now. This moment. You cannot have the next moments without the one you're in. And what will you take with you from THIS moment into the next? There's always something...

Find it.

Right now.

And one more thing: "Don't let anyone [including you] look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

I found that in the Bible. Uhhh.... yeah.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I write. I vent. I post.

This much is true: I love my country. I’m a registered democrat. I have opinions. I voted for Obama. I pray to Jesus. I want the best possible future for us all. I check my facts. I pause. I think. I even pause TO think! I’ve participated in political discussions when I believed that my words might count for something. I’ve opted out of political discussions when it became evident that no one was really interested in listening to anyone else. I’ve also dismissed myself from conversations whose subjects I clearly know nothing about, readily admitting as much; and I have rolled my eyes at those in the same boat of ignorance I’m in, but who just keep talking anyway. I’ve actually deleted one person from my friends’ list when he crossed over the boundaries of mutual respect and a general sense of decency and continued to splatter his dogmatic sentiments on my facebook page. These are not secrets to anyone.

Here are some things that I’ve been accused of that are not true: I’m “sold out” to Obama (although sometimes I do refer to him as “my boyfriend, Barack.”) I “fall for” everything he says. I usually vote with Hollywood. I’m a bleeding heart. I’m a liberal. I’m persuaded in my politics by the left-loving media. I’m intolerant of anyone who does not agree with me (that was Splatter-guy. I didn’t, incidentally, agree with him.) I’m not a “true” Christian, or at least not a good one. I have given my own political opinions precedence over the Scriptures to the point that I am now “blind” to God’s truth. AND—drum roll, please—I am a bitter malcontent.

Love that one.

I have also been accused of “persecuting” someone for his faith, when, truly and honestly, I was only persecuting him for being a dumbass. He had it coming.

So, let’s clarify: I’m “sold out” to the One who brought me to this place in my life and, I assure you, it’s not Barack Obama. I don’t “fall for” what my President says. I listen to him—God knows we can hear him every day if we want to anytime of day. He’s always on. I believe he is a good man who wants to make the most of his Presidency and do right by this country. I don’t give a shit what Hollywood does or doesn’t do. My heart does bleed. I’m only a liberal when I stand next to someone who calls himself “ultra-conservative.” Next to liberals? I’m Doris Day. My feelings of and for the media vacillate between acknowledging the fact that they are crucially instrumental in protecting us from bad government as well as bad ANYTHING and wanting to drown them all in the deepest ocean. Am I a Christian? Sure, if it makes you feel better. Or not, if THAT makes you feel better. Suffice to say, Christ knows me. If I could just touch the hem of His garment and, perhaps, lie with Him, swinging in a hammock between two palm trees on the beach and talk and talk and talk and talk—just the two of us. Am I a good Christian? That’s a WHOLE other blog post, my friends. Like Yancey says, I’m just a pilgrim, a foreigner in this land, trying to get home.

Let’s see… What else? Have I elevated my own opinions over the Scriptures, thereby, poking my spiritual eyes out with my “pride-stick” ‘cuz I’m just SMARTER than the average bear? I wish you could hear me pray. But, no.

No.

No.

No.

And I know what bitter looks like. It’s a block I’ve been around, and I promise you, bitter I am not. Angry I am not. I can get my panties in a wad when provoked just like everyone else, but I have a joy that this world did not give me and, therefore, cannot take from me. If one doesn’t recognize that in me, even when I’m responding to political or social ideas or events, then I’m at a loss as to how to even respond, so I won’t. I cannot loiter around the random and senseless incriminations of others. It’s a trap designed for debilitatation, and I’m free of it.

I’ve lobbed my religious and political views together here to make the point, really, that they are not mutually exclusive. I don’t vote a certain way because I’m a Christian (if that’s a label people are willing to pin on me), and if I’m voting contrary to the “moral majority” (whatever THAT is!) that doesn’t mean I’ve disassociated myself with the church. Believe me, I’ve done plenty of disassociating myself with the church before we ever get into the political arena. I mean, let’s prioritize, right? In fact, I always throw up in my mouth a little bit whenever people start intermingling their religious views with their political views at best, and I go screaming from the room in utter terror at worst. This can get really frightening, especially when it occurs on a macro-scale.

And I see it plainly: People who have planted their flags against any and all things discordant from the groupthink to which they adhere and will not BUDGE from the hills they’re so ready to die on. Too often, it’s a hill THEY call Calvary. Is that too bold? Did I just type that out loud? The mentality being, if one should “compromise” even an inch in his political stance, then he is diminished somehow in his faith—that, somehow, he has let down God or let down the church. Or might I suggest that the underlying current is simply fear? Fear of rejection from the church for having an opinion of your OWN is NOT small potatoes for most people. I know—I deal with it often enough. I’m not making these claims as an outsider trying to understand and look inside the stereotypical “christian” (lower-case “c” there!) mentality—I am VERY much on the inside of this subculture, and although I will be BLASTED by Christians for this, I’m telling you—I’m nailing it, folks. I am! No one can tell me this does not occur, because I’ve seen that it does. Repeatedly. And because I have such an aversion to this way of thinking, I can’t help but see that this is one contributing factor to the polarization that is, at this very moment, preventing us from moving forward in our endeavors to care for the citizens of this country.

WHICH, in my mind, is the irony of ironies.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to meet in the middle. Certainly, posts such as this will only validate those who already agree with me and piss off those dying on their hills, flags in hand—OR make them martyrs, loving the chance to pull that “persecution” card.

So. What to do? What to do?

I don’t know.

I think I will change the political status on my facebook page from simply “Democrat” to “AMERICAN who often votes democrat, but who recognizes that BOTH parties have valid points to make—neither party should be excluded or ridiculed or harassed or lied about—and encourages both parties to take turns actively listening to each other, paraphrasing what the other party is saying, validating that stance by seeking first to understand the other—THEN to be understood—PRESIDENT INCLUDED, and MOVING THIS COUNTRY FORWARD!”

Do you think all that will fit?

I doubt that will bring people on opposite ends any closer to the middle, but for what it’s worth…

For my conservative friends who love Jesus who are not dying on any hills or planting any flags, please know that when I speak of “christians” (lower-case “c” there!) as I have in this general sense, I am not singling out anyone in particular—at least not anyone who is still in my life. I’m not thinking of those in my inner circle of friends or family. Please don’t send me a message asking if you’ve done something to provoke this diatribe because the answer is no, my loved ones. You haven’t. I love you. If you can be reasoned with and have the capacity to see and understand the other side, I love you.

As for those precious souls that I have TOTALLY pissed off and whose knees are calloused because of the many hours of prayers that you have offered up on my behalf because I am in the evil clutches of Satan and the democrats, I have already deleted you.

I write. I vent. I post. Nothing more—nothing less.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why I Don't Want a Dog

In deciding what to include and what to leave out of the book I'm writing, I found this piece that is outdated and won't make it in the final draft that I will submit to a publisher. I thought I'd share it here. I wrote this back in Vegas about Jenna, the dog we had there. If you recall, she wasn't my very, very favorite. It's funny to compare this with our Sofia, with whom I'm absolutely smitten. Anyway, just a little "toss-away" piece for ya'll.

Much affection,
Daisy Rain




“If you’d like to continue to call yourself a Christian woman, you should be nicer to that dog.”

This from my 89-year-old grandfather who hasn’t been to church in about 80 years.

I’m not mean to that damn dog. I mean, that dog. It’s not my fault she thinks her name is Getthehellawayfromme. It’s not like I’m serious when I tell her to go play in traffic. Most days. I don’t know why everybody gets their panties in a wad over my relationship with her, such that it is.

Everybody tells me she’s such a great dog. Oh yeah? Then why does she poop? Great entities don’t leave poop where I walk. And they don’t deliberately put saliva on my body. And, certainly, they don’t leave HALF of their body hair all over my house, regenerate all that they’ve lost overnight and leave the same amount on my carpet and my furniture the very next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. And the day after that.

“Look at those eyes!” her advocates implore me.

“She’s in love with my husband, and he’s in love with her. That’s what those eyes tell me,” I retort. Last New Year’s Eve, we were watching the celebratory countdown on television. “10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 5! 4! 3! 2! 1! HAPPY NEW YEAR!” When Old Lang Syne started to play, my husband got up from his Archie Bunker chair and kissed HER! I unpuckered my lips, shook my head in disbelief, and went to bed. Our first fight of the year.

You want a good pet? A turtle is a great pet! We got one to put in our pond out back, a wonderful habitat for a turtle. No barking, no shedding, no licking. And if that thing pooped, I certainly didn’t know about it. And would you like to know what happened in the first twenty-four hours we had dear, sweet Leonardo?

The dog ate him.

My husband flew to her defense. Of course he did. They’re in love. Why wouldn’t he? Damn dog.

She knows just how to make me look like an idiot. Whenever I am home alone with her, she doesn’t do a thing I say. I used to think she was just stupid. I told my husband, “I don’t think she’s very bright.”

“Are you kidding me? She’s one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever had!”

I remained silent as to the obvious plethora of possible replies and simply said, “Do you really think so?”

Just to prove a point, I called her over. “Getthehellawayfromme, come here.” She never came to me when I called. I wasn’t worried. Until she came straight to me and sat obediently in front of me, wagging her tail, that is. My husband folded his arms and raised a “this-is-going-to-be-interesting” eyebrow at me. Coincedence. The dog NEVER listened to me and NEVER did anything I told her to do.

“Sit.” I commanded.

The bitch sat.

“Lay down.”

The bitch laid down.

“Up!”

The bitch sprang up.

“Shake!”

The bitch put her paw right in my hand and, I swear to God, she smiled.

“Mommy does not love you,” I told her flatly and went to pour myself a glass of Reisling. Of course, her boyfriend--my husband--reached down to scratch her behind the ears and tell her affectionately, “Goooooood daaaaaaaaaaaaawg!”

Just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I waited till the next time I was home alone with that damn dog. “Getthehellawayfromme, come here!”

The bitch sat right where she was.

OK, I thought. She can NOT do what I say from across the room where she is.

“Sit!”

Those eyes that most believe are sweet and innocent looked up at me to let me know that she was completely unaffected.

“Lay down!”

She didn’t budge.

I walked over to her and put my hand out. “Shake!”

She turned around, farted in my face, and walked away.

Then there was the time she locked me out of the house. I’m not lying. This is not hyperbole. We were home alone; I was sitting out back by the pond (post-turtle) writing something brilliant on this very laptop. I looked behind me. She was standing inside looking out our sliding glass door. She wanted to be outside just to annoy me in her usual form.

“I don’t THINK so, sista!” No way was she getting out there with me. I no more turned around smugly in my lounge chair than I heard the CLICK! We have a button on the bottom of our sliding glass door which is an extra security measure. When it’s pushed in, the door will not open. Period. Of course, she took her nose and pushed it in. I about broke my neck swinging around in that chair.

“You did NOT just do that!” I yelled.

She smiled back at me through the glass.

I jumped up out of my chair and tried the door. Locked out. I knew the front door was locked. I always locked up when I was home by myself. God knows if anybody broke in, Getthehellawayfromme would lead them straight for the good stuff. Well, my stuff anyway. My husband--her boyfriend’s stuff would be safe. She’d never let anybody get HIS stuff! I had to fold up my laptop and haul it over to the neighbors across the street to get one of our spare keys.

Damn dog.

Someone suggested we get another dog to keep her company. She needed a friend. There was NO WAY ON GOD’S GOOD GREEN EARTH I was getting anything else that pooped as much, shed as much, or licked as much. Just one more being in the house to torment me. Forget about it! But the suggestion of a distraction was not lost on me. I brought home a kitten. A boy kitty. I wanted to name him Madonna, but ended up naming him Lofton--my family name. It suited him.

Getthehellawayfromme didn’t know what to think about this new addition to our family. I know she thought I’d brought her lunch. When she figured out she probably didn’t want to eat him, she made him her own. And it did alleviate her always being underneath my feet. It did my heart good to see Lofton stalking her, perched like a hunter on the stairs, waiting for Getthehellawayfromme to walk by. I loved how he pounced on her head and clung by all four sets of claws while she hobbled like a drunk trying to shake him off.

Gooooooooooooood kitty.

She knows I’m writing about her. She’s lying down by the couch looking at me with those big, brown eyes. Right now. Those big, brown eyes. Big. Brown. I’m not going to look at her. She’ll just come over here and try to put her saliva on my body.

Now she’s sighing. Crap, I looked. Here she comes. She’s nudging the laptop off my lap so she can put her head on my lap. With those eyes. Big. Brown. Eyes.

Oh, hell. Jenna does like her ears scratched.

Guess I’m done writing this...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Survey Question

How do you feel about the way people go about debating political issues in this country?

Please click just one response in the space to the right, and you most certainly can post your opinions in the comments. Thanks for your vote and your thoughts!
Love,
Daisy Rain

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tribute Video for My Dad, Donald Eugene Lofton

Ever since my dad passed away in December, I've wanted to make him a video. Really, it's for myself and for everyone who loved him. Today, this is what I did. I hope he likes it. I miss him.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Darling Karen,

My darling Karen,

I so appreciate your words, and I'm sorry I kept you up with mine! :) You ARE and always HAVE BEEN a woman who loves all and loves well, and you are my good friend. You have proven that time and again. And there's no BUT in there. You walk out your faith with integrity and authenticity and compassion, and I am thankful that you have always had my back whenever I've chosen to make my opinion known--whether you agreed with it fully, partially, or not at all.

The effort to "protect" marriage on the part of heterosexuals would not be so laughable if the divorce rate were a little lower, perhaps. No one, including myself here, has done a stellar job of protecting the sanctity of marriage. Not that giving gay people a legal crack at it would improve the divorce rates any--I'm just pointing out the blaring inconsistency of people who want to "protect" it while they are concurrently trashing it. We truly ALL fall short...

So, your question, in our quest to right this wrong, do we compromise? Here is how I've resolved this whole thing in my mind, having been raised and taught the very same things you are bringing to light in this dialogue: What is the most compassionate thing I can do in this situation? I think there are two things, actually. #1 I can speak out against the haters (which I've done and will continue to do) and #2 I can acknowledge the inequality of this situation. I really do see this as a civil rights issue. These are tax-paying Americans, yet they are not allowed the same privileges as straight people. We can try to throw that moral wrench into that by saying that homosexuality is not right. But there is another moral wrench here in that not everyone is being treated fairly and, like you said as well, many are even being harassed, bullied, and threatened. The people who do not wish to see gay people marry haven't really acknowledged the inequality. I mean, at LEAST say, "OK, then gay people should get a HUGE tax credit since they don't enjoy all the rights and privileges that straight people do..." which is ridiculous--namely because tomorrow, there would be so many gay people in this country, we couldn't count them all! I would consider switching teams myself! Why lie? Anyway, if the peeps who want to keep marriage between a man and a woman would at least ACKNOWLEDGE this and bend just a teensy-weensy bit, then maybe folks wouldn't be SO polarized. But, since there is NO ROOM for compromise, then I can't stand with those folks. Hatred is a moral issue--one that I believe poses a much bigger threat to our country than homosexuality. I mean, if I were raising young kids today, I would shelter them from the haters before I would ever shelter them from gay people, for crying out loud! I would NEVER let my child near someone so enraged that they would make a hate sign and go protest downtown, screaming "TURN OR BURN!" to folks just trying to be happy like everybody else. THOSE people are nuts! They scare me!

I also believe that marriage would alter the gay culture--whether that's in a big way or a small way, I don't know--but it would still promote monogamy. Monogamy brings many benefits in terms of health and stability. Having been exposed to the gay lifestyle by the friends you mentioned, I think this is a good thing--just speaking pragmatically.

So, let's talk spiritually because that is really at the crux of this conversation. One might ask, how can we vote to legalize gay marriage and dismiss what the Bible says about homosexuality?

I'm not dismissing anything the Bible says. I struggle with that book. It's amazing, and I love it, and I cherish its words in my heart. I ponder it. I grapple with it. It gives me hope. I pisses me off in spots. I don't get it. I SO get it! It truly is the only book I've ever read that is ALIVE WITH ME, if that makes sense. But there are so many other questions...

What does the Bible say about the law? It says the law doesn't save us. The law CAN'T save us. Regardless of WHAT the law is, the only One that has the power to truly save us from ourselves is Christ.

What does the Bible say about sin? It says it separated me from God, but that Christ came and bridged that gap. This is nothing any of us could ever legislate.

What does the Bible say about love? It says if I say I love God and hate my brother, that I am a liar and God is not in me.

My brother wants to marry his boyfriend. Should I let him? Or should I prevent him? But if I try to prevent him, I build a wall of hurt and distrust and regret between us, and every brick in that wall belongs to me. Said wall prevents me from being able to put my arms around him and LOVE HIM, which is my command and my responsibility. Why would I erect such a thing that blocks my love and stands between me and my brother when the law is neither HERE NOR THERE in regard to his own redemption or his relationship with God?

Can't do it. I can't build that wall. And Jesus gets me. He gets it. If I'm wrong, it is just one more thing He will work out in me. I do keep Him quite busy...

I know you get me too, my friend. :)

Love you,
Daisy Rain

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dear Mike,

Dear Mike,

I thought your Facebook post was spot on yesterday, and you know I was biting my tongue in regard to some of the responses that people were posting. I bit my tongue out of a simple respect for you. It’s one thing to light your OWN Facebook page on fire; it’s quite another to light someone else’s on fire. I have no desire to do that. That’s what blogs are for. Incidentally, I’ve lit my own Facebook page on fire—it took me about three weeks to put it out.

However, since it wouldn’t be inappropriate in the least to express my opinions here on my own personal blog—the “Libs” haven’t taken THAT right away, have they? If they have I didn’t get the memo and I AM one so you’d think I would have heard—let me say a few things.

To catch everybody up, here was Mike’s post:

I'm not looking to the Republicans and Democrats for leadership. Live as citizens of the Kingdom of God. Jesus never fails.

I thanked Mike for his wisdom. Justin wrote:

Justin Webb at 9:45pm June 20
You may have to pick especially if the Libs say you can't have any sermons condeming homosexuality in your churh service. It may be considered a hate crime!

I simply responded with: Ugh.
Here’s what I didn’t post:

Dear Justin,
I’m sure you’re a very nice guy. I’d like to ask you respectfully to consider this possibility: There are no “Libs” who have ever entertained such a notion. The “Libs” are not out to squelch anyone’s freedom of expression, speech, or religious beliefs. This notion was most likely born straight out of an ultra-conservative camp, which puts out these hypothetical scenarios in order to stir up fear in the people they are trying to manipulate. I’m astounded that it works, but alas, it works. It WORKS! BUT, let’s just say that it IS true. It’s not, but I’m entertaining the suggestion here. Let’s say that preachers can no longer even broach the “hot button” subjects. The gospel will still be preached. Can I get an amen?

And, on a side note? I’m personally appalled at how gay and lesbian and transgendered citizens are treated by Christians in general. I don’t want anyone’s right to free speech to be taken away, but these sermons “condem(n)ing homosexuality” really don’t do a thing for me, I gotta be honest. I don’t think they do anything for anybody. I don’t think gay people come screaming down the aisle to the altar to get saved after hearing those sermons. I don’t think STRAIGHT people come screaming down the aisle to the altar to get saved. I don’t think ANYBODY comes screaming down the aisle after a sermon like that. I think people get up out of their seats after hearing a sermon like that and feel more justified in their contempt and disdain for gay people. Period. I choose simply to love people—all people, gay or straight—and let the Holy Spirit do His job in bringing ALL people—gay or straight—to a place where they can live a life that is holy and pleasing to God. In fact, I’m so sickened by the treatment of gay and lesbian and transgendered people that I’m a bona-fide Jesus girl who votes to legalize gay marriage every chance I get because I see it as an issue of equality, and I think that the REAL moral issue here is the hatred that these Americans continue to endure. I think WE need to repent!

There. I said it.

And I know a bunch of OTHER Christians who are also personally appalled as I am and SECRETLY vote to legalize gay marriage too—even a PASTOR who would NEVER admit it to his congregation, but he admitted it to me because we are very close friends. I’m not even remotely kidding.

So, whether or not Mike and I vote the same way or are members of the same political party is less relevant than the fact that we are making our way as best we can, ultimately, to the same location after we die. He seems to suggest that we walk hand in hand toward a kingdom that, unlike the United States of America, will never pass away. I mean, let’s face it folks. Everything on this earth is born, it lives, it declines, it dies. People, careers, cultures, nations. Anyone who thinks America is going to last forever is living in La La Land. This is earth. Don’t get too attached.

And, Mike, I think that’s all you were really trying to say. You weren’t suggesting that we don’t vote or “check out” of politics. You didn’t tell anybody HOW to vote. You’re just encouraging us to keep it all in perspective: We are merely pilgrims here, just trying to get home. And what should we do in the meantime?

How about love one another? As John the Beloved Apostle said, if it is ALL we do, it is enough.

And now… let the firestorm begin! For all those of you who believe I’m going straight to hell with all the gays, lesbians and transgendered… post away!

Mike, buddy, I’ll see you in Heaven, if not before! HA! ☺ Kiss my Heather for me!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

The plan was to consolidate the patio into a nifty little re-fi. The numbers were great. Ah, you should’ve seen the payments—hardly more than what we’re paying now. Sheesh! And that interest rate? Four and a quarter percent! I just about had an orgasm when that USAA agent quoted me that. Nobody in THIS house was worried about not qualifying for the loan. What ‘nobody in this house’ didn’t bank on was that our property value has bottomed out due to the predator loans and all the foreclosures and the economy and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

So, as it stands now, Sean-Martin’s shoulder isn’t paid off (nor is Sofie’s, for that matter), we owed a CHUNK in taxes this year, we’re looking to send the 18 year old to college and bring the 91 year old here to live.

And forget about the re-fi.

We were just like a lot of people: working hard, strategizing our financial plans, and banking on a banking system that we—like everybody else—thought was A-OK. Predator loans? What were those? We didn’t know. Thank God we didn’t take the BS loan we were offered. Looking back, we sure know what they are now and the damage they can do to a whole financial system. And you know now too. And so does every six year old in America.

People are downwardly mobile these days. They’re dropping down entire social classes. It’s true. Oprah had a whole show on it. Of course, she featured the whole gamut of people: those who were crying because they now had to shop at the dollar store and could no longer afford to get their hair and nails done. Those who’d lost people they’d considered good friends as soon as the money ran out. Those whose identities were completely wrapped up in their ‘upper-middle-class’ status, who were embarrassed and humiliated now that the economy has knocked them down to ‘lower-middle-class’. Those who seem a little lost these days and are simply asking, ‘Why me?’

I have said before, and I will say again that whatever circumstances Sean-Martin and I find ourselves in, neither one of us—and I would venture to say very few of you—have ever really known poverty. I can’t help but look at our current economic crisis from a global perspective. I can’t consider myself even broaching poverty unless I send Geoffrey down to the contaminated river for our daily water and hope that no one in our family dies of dysentery. The fact that I can take the entire weekend off of work is unthinkable to people in countries far, far away, who must work every day of every week of every month of every year for their whole lives—or not eat, and therefore, not live. Poverty, to me, is a place where it’s illegal for girls to go to school—a place where meat is a luxury and certainly not FDA approved.

I’m not sure what to think, then, of people who break down in tears on nation wide television because they can no longer afford their high lights.

I’m not minimizing the current financial mess this country is enduring. People certainly are facing tough times and tough decisions. People are working harder than ever for less. They are coping with major financial disappointments. But I’m not maximizing these tough times either. I think people are much more fortunate than they think. Losing friends over a lower social status? Well. Losing every bit of equity you put into your dream, 3-bedroom home? I know. Even losing a job—it’s horrifying. It’s terrifying.

It’s temporary.

Here’s a quote from one of the guys featured on Oprah the other day, Ernie Bjorkman, a former news anchor in Denver, Colorado. He made a quarter of a million dollars a year for the 36 years that he worked for that network. He is now a veterinarian technician for a mere $30,000 a year—an 80% pay cut for him. Incidentally, he loves it and is very, very happy. I loved what he told Oprah. He said:

“My favorite saying is, ‘You make plans in life and God laughs.’ He’s having a good laugh right now—hopefully with us and not at us. And I think that laughter will be our strength in the future and our wisdom to maybe not be as extended as we were, that it could end tomorrow, and to live a much simpler and a much more frugal life, and I think we’ll be just as happy.”

Yes, we’ve all made our plans in this life, and sometimes those plans go south. Even now Sean-Martin and I are thinking about Plan B. Or Plan C. Or D, E, F, or G. Maybe God laughs because He’s just good-natured that way. Or maybe He laughs because He remembers what we all too often forget: that HE has a plan or two of His own. For us. Every one of us. I think if we figure that out, then we will, indeed, be just as happy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bumper Stickers and Bikini Girls

We’ve all heard someone say, “Now THAT’S what’s wrong with this world today,” right? Here’s one for ya—a bumper sticker Sean-Martin and I saw last Sunday that said:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I threw a fit.
I got it.

Why anyone would be bragging about acting like a two year old is a blot on our culture in and of itself. Why would this be attractive in anyone’s mind? So, I gotta say it:
Now, THAT’S what’s wrong with the world today!

How about a bumper sticker that says:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I worked my ass off.
I earned it.

That used to be the American Dream, didn’t it? Generations before us weren’t afraid to put forth whatever amount of effort was required to attain the material possessions they needed and wanted to provide for their families.

How about a bumper sticker that says:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I threw a fit.
My mother beat my ASS and I shut my damn MOUTH!

Or a bumper sticker that says:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I saw someone else who had even less than I did.
I was suddenly grateful for all that I have in my life right now.

Or:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I realized that the only reason I wanted it is because I live in a culture so all-consuming that I am only PROGRAMMED by marketing agencies to want it, and in another three months this thing I want now will be completely meaningless because I’ll be manipulated yet again to want something else.
I did an inventory of all the truly important things I have in my life, and decided that I am the one who determines the value of all that I have.

Or another possibility:

I saw it.
I wanted it.
I tried to get it, but it didn’t work out.
I realized then that people don’t ALWAYS get what they want.

I’m not trying to poo poo on anybody’s dreams, but this epidemic sense of entitlement is grating on my nerves of late. This belief that things can be attained without effort or skill or talent or ability and can be had for the asking—merely by wanting it is ludicrous! I get sick of people telling our kids, “You can be anything you want…” and ending that sentence right there, very irresponsibly, without telling them they’d better learn to bust a HUMP!

This kind of smoke-up-your-shorts advice produces people like “Bikini Girl” (does anyone even remember her NAME? NO!) who showed up to audition for American Idol in a swatch of material held up by strings and stiletto heels. When they passed her on to Hollywood she announced confidently, “I’m going to be the next American Idol because… because… because I AM!” I looked at the TV and shouted, “Honey, SOMEBODY in that room is going to be the next American Idol BECAUSE THEY CAN SING!” The outcome for her was really rather sad. At some point she had to put some clothes on and sing a song. Yeah. That’s when her situation started to disintegrate.

How many boys have I taught who truly believe they are going to play professional football? I’ll tell you: too many to count. No Plan B. These gentlemen do not study, do not get good grades, and have no intention of going to college. I’m not sure how they think they are going to be recruited by the NFL, but somehow in their minds, like Bikini Girl, it’s all going to work out. Why? Because that’s what they want!

You know what’s great about all this hoo ha? I AM A TEACHER! I have kids who walk through my life, year after year, just waiting to learn a thing or two. They may come IN deluded, but by God, they’re not going to LEAVE deluded! This summer, I’m making sure there is a “reality” component in every single lesson I teach! Like my good friend and fantastic educator, n!c, says, “It may not be in the standards—but I’m not afraid to teach it!”

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Moon

Has anyone seen my boyfriend, Edward? Please don't tell me he's in Italy right now trying to piss off the Volturi! I'm coming for you, Edward! November can't get here soon enough!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cardboard Testimonies

I am so touched to be asked to give a "cardboard testimony" on Easter Sunday. I think my sign will say, "Accused God of being weak or cruel..." And on the back side: "Now I'm a TOTAL 'Daddy's Girl'!"

Please post a response on this blog with YOUR cardboard testimony. I don't get asked to give my testimony that often, really, but I do want people to know what God has done in my life. I want us ALL to have an opportunity to share how you have been transformed on your journey. Let us know what He's done in YOUR life and how your life is different because of God's grace and mercy.

Love you ALL!
Daisy Rain

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dating Debacles!

You know, I was just thinking about this yesterday. I feel sorry for you "kids" with your whole "progressive" dating scene. I know you're not kids, but... Anyway, it seems like the dating culture now is full of people whose mantra is, "Oh, I'm not looking for a commitment?" WTF is up with all these commitment-phobes? I need to call some bullshit on that! Now, I can see males saying that and MEANING it! I can. And now they've got all the females saying it too! I'm here to let you know, if a girl EVER says that she is not looking for a relationship, SHE IS FULL OF SHIT! Colossally! Take that to the bank. Let me tell you something, my friend! Girls are not MADE that way! They are innately relational. Women need intimacy. We need meaningful connections, and don't believe any girl that tells you otherwise. You know why she's saying that? Because she is SADLY trying to change who she is to appear more appealing to a man who is not looking for a commitment, but just wants to wiggle his wiener in as many hoo hoos as he can. Girls are LINING UP to let boys wiggle their wieners in their hoo hoos, with the FALSE HOPE that SHE will be THE ONE who convinces him that intimacy WITH HER and a meaningful connection WITH HER will REALLY be what he wants! He just didn't KNOW IT until he met HER! I've never witnessed this amount of El Toro CaCa in my LIFE, and I can't figure out who I want to slap FIRST? The boys or the girls? It's a tough one!


If I were single right now, sitting across from some guy who has taken me out to dinner, I honestly can't imagine that I would sit there blowing smoke up his arse, postulating like I'm "not looking for a commitment..." I just think that people who are EVOLVED to any degree of maturity have come to the realization that the sun does not rise and set on THEM ALONE. The hedonistic pursuit of self-gratification and self-indulgence, nor the accumulation of things, stuff, possessions, etc. are really the way to leave one's mark on this earth. Being significant on this earth, strangely, is never accomplished alone, but REALLY through the collaborative efforts of people who LOVE EACH OTHER! And the most intimate bonds are those between lovers and those between a parent and child. Hmmm? Sounds like a family to ME! So why are people claiming NOT to want that? Why do people say, "Oh, I'm not the marrying type?" Bullshit. Everybody's the marrying type if they find the right person. And if said guy across the table from me claims that he's not looking for a relationship, GREAT! I couldn't be happier! I'll assume he's not "evolved" to any degree of maturity that I REQUIRE, and REGARDLESS of how "cute" he is (that one always aggravates me) or how much money he makes or what car he drives, his wiener is coming nowhere NEAR my hoo hoo, he is off my radar before he ever got ON, thanks for the steak. Why can't women do that? I'll tell you why. They're insecure. They don't know their value or their beauty or their significance on this earth. They don't know who they are. They believe they need a man to tell them who they are because, due to the absolute onslaught of lascivious grime the media feeds girls in this country, girls believe they must be defined by men. And people are going straight to hell over it, believe me! These girls need to wake up, put one hand on their hip, snap in "Z" formation, and LEARN HOW TO SAY THE F-WORD!


In a somewhat related arena, Sean-Martin and I have discussed in the past, which gender is most responsible for the world being what it is today, and we come at it from two different perspectives. He, being a man, claims that men are to blame for the ills of this world, and if men would just do "such and such", the world would be a much better place to live. I, being a woman, claim that women are to blame for the ills of this world, and if WOMEN would just do "such and such"... you get it.


Here's the "such and such". We both agree that the bottom line problem in this world are insecure people who, as I stated previously, don't know that they have such VALUE and BEAUTY and SIGNIFICANCE on this planet. Sean-Martin says that if every man simply cherished his FAMILY, protected them and provided for them, then collectively, men could rid the world of so many of its ills. Think about it. The best thing a man could do for his children is to love their mother, command respect for her by his example, provide an intact and stable home, teach his sons how to be men and do the same with their own families, cherish his daughters and teach them how to command respect for themselves, and let nature then takes its due course. Sean-Martin argues that men could change this world within one generation.


I don't disagree. I concur with Sean-Martin 100%. I just think women could fix the world, not in one generation, but in one WEEK if every woman would only live by this ONE RULE: "In light of the fact that I am VALUABLE, BEAUTIFUL, AND SIGNIFICANT, I will not ever allow ANY man to wiggle his wiener around in my hoo hoo unless he is ABSOLUTELY WORTHY!" Period! No exceptions. No excuses. Not negotiable. I am here to tell you, my friend, men would straighten up within DAYS, and the world would be fixed by TUESDAY!


What do you think?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lucy vs. Ricky

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/03/13/p.techniques.use.husband/index.html

Here’s a cute article about a woman who tried parenting tricks on her husband, with some margin of success, in order to bring him into a closer alignment with what she thought would make for a happier home. Her strategies included rewarding good behavior, keeping “honey-do’s” short and to the point, using “Time Out”, giving quality time to him to get quality time to herself, and finally, implementing creative discipline!

I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything so emasculating in my life. Where does this woman keep this guy’s testicles? In her purse? Her make-up drawer? Where?

I admit, I chuckled a few times reading this article, and I’m sure she didn’t mean any harm, much in the same way that Lucy never meant any harm for her beloved Ricky. An article like this, though, does bring up certain “Battle of the Sexes” questions, doesn’t it?

I would imagine that there are many reasons that a woman might resort to using these techniques to get her man to do what she wants him to do. Perhaps she feels the need to “mother” her husband? Perhaps she is frustrated? Perhaps she has “lost her voice” in the relationship? That last one is the saddest-case scenario, I think.

In my own relationship with Sean-Martin, I can tell you that I haven’t (by a long shot!) lost my voice, although it’s not always easy to confront an issue. I’ve learned a few things. Timing is everything. (Probably the best time to voice a concern is NOT during a sporting event.) A little sugar goes a LONG WAY--and if that doesn't work, try LEMON BARS! (And a little nookie in the morning is a big WIN-WIN for everybody!) Respect his cave. Use your words—not your tears. (Save THOSE for the really BIG STUFF!) And, at the end of the day—even if your crap is not resolved and you’re at a loss as to what to do next—just remember that you guys have about 60 years to figure it out.

So, women! What are the best tricks of your trade and your reasons for using them? And, men! What are YOUR tricks? And why are they necessary for your survival?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Waiting for What? By my friend, Cody!

May I introduce my friend, Cody Stauffer? I'm completely addicted to his blog--I post often--and I have just GOT to share him with my inner circle. He's occasionally brilliant, and I like those kind of people, so ya'll need to check out his stuff. Click on his blog--you'll see it on the right there in the blogs I follow.

I've got two posts this morning: Cody's first and then my response below. I know some of you have something to say about this. Post away! Love you guys!

Here's Cody:

Waiting for what?

Often times, when people come to a new church, there is a waiting period before they are allowed to get involved with serving or doing some form of ministry. First of all, I have issue with the whole "membership" system, but that's another topic we can talk about at some other time. What really bothers me is that we basically tell people you have to jump through all of these hoops (membership class, intro. to our church class, basics of Christianity class, what SHAPE you are class, etc., etc.).

But here is the funny thing- we are already equipped to help others and to join God in the work of restoration. It's what we were made for. In fact, in the Book of Matthew, Jesus sends out his disciples after a very short period to go and minister (Mat. 10).

So why do we think that we have to line everyone up and make sure they talk and act like we do before they can go and help others? When Jesus sends his followers out, he tells them not to worry about what they will say and do, because the spirit will work through them.

Of course people are going to make mistakes- but they are probably going to make the same mistakes people who have been going to church and who have sat through all of those trainings and programs will make. But see, we always use an entirely different system than Jesus used for his followers. Jesus used the discipleship model. We tend to use the "come-and-sit-in-a-chair-while-I-talk-to-you-as-you-fall-asleep-oh-and-lets-only-interact-once-or-twice-a-week-at-a-specific-place-and-specific-time" approach. (I believe that is its official name).

Now, there is nothing wrong with having conversations and talking about issues that might come up. But what tends to happen in our normal way of doing things is that someone comes to a class and goes through the process designated by the church to make "disciples"- but really all that is being made are people who are great at sitting and taking notes. Congratulations, if what you are looking for are stenographers.

But a disciple went with Jesus, walked where he walked. These guys were teenagers, folks, and Jesus says to them, "Alright, two of you go together and go take care of business. Yeah, I know you feel like you're not ready yet. That's why I'm sending you. Here are a few instructions. See you when you get back- we'll discuss what happened."

How would things be different if we took this approach? Assumed that God knows what God is doing when God calls people to be ministers (which is everyone)? Believed that God has equipped people to serve one another?

What are your thoughts?

My Response

Hey Cody,

Sean-Martin and I remember going to a church which seemed the quintessential example of this. (We lasted a while but ultimately had to bail.) When I look back, the thing that is most disconcerting to me is the way that pastor who, for all intents and purposes WAS the church, was actually the only one allowed to DEFINE what ministry even was, how it should be implemented, who should implement it, yada, yada, yada...

The man was in love with his programs, and he was the one who decided whether or not they were working. I've never been to a place that browbeat a congregation like that into working so many programs. This guy just wore people OUT, starting with his wife. His wife was and still IS a big supporter, because that's what Godly women do, I guess. Anyone who questioned him was deemed UNgodly--aka ME. He told me that I hadn't been "discipled" as far as he could see and that I needed to attend one of his discipleship classes.

You remember Bible college, Cody? Remember Old Testament Survey? Did you NOT get choked up when you stood at that burning bush and realized that "I AM" STILL IS? I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure if my professor had given an altar call, I'd have gone forward! FOR SURE! Bible college rocked. It was truly the place of my birth.

There are a million little pieces of lives weaved together, equipped and commissioned to be Christ on this earth and to further God's kingdom right here--right now. What a slap in the face of the Holy Spirit who has--with the power of a mighty, rushing wind--led, comforted, taught, admonished, healed, prepared, AND DISCIPLED all of us who are willing to be about our Father's business. I would like to say, "So what if some pastor isn't secure enough within himself to 'Let go and let God...'" But people get sucked into this. People get burned out (and subsequently BLAMED) from implementing all these programs and meetings and Sunday school and bringing the donuts and setting up the chairs and folding the bulletins. Does anybody really get saved over a Boston creme and a cup of Maxwell House? Really?

C'mon, people! Put your arms around somebody! Make someone a lasagna! Babysit for free! Pop somebody five bucks! Feed, clothe, visit. Ministry is JUST not that complicated! It doesn't necessarily have to occur underneath that steeple. Our silly, little efforts to make it harder than it really is is only a ploy to elevate ourselves in this crazy hierarchy of importance in a social network of knuckleheads! Put the donuts down, folks! Step away from the bulletins! Just remember what Christ has done for you, and go do it for other people. It doesn't have to be during the ten o'clock hour on Sunday morning. In fact, just to be different, make sure it's on a Thursday at, like, five! Get crazy! Be creative! Act like one of those teenagers Jesus chose!

Cody, I'm posting your blog post on my blog and my response. I'd like to get MY social network of knuckleheads in on this discussion too! :)

Love you, brother. Congratulations on getting all those funds raised for your trip! Can't WAIT for all the great writing that is going to come out of THAT!

Take care of yourself--and somebody else!
Daisy Rain

Sunday, March 1, 2009

All's Well

A colossal come-apart could occur in my very near future.

Should occur,

Might still occur.

Freaks and fiends whose leashes broke long before they ever met me

Knocking on my door, demanding my defense.

I’d cry the day away if I were smart.

Throw a fit,

Froth at the mouth,

Though dutiful expectations unfortunately prevent.

“No chink in MY armor!” I lie!

Susie Sunshine has NOT left the building!

The good ship Lollypop is still afloat, folks!

All aboard!

Don’t concern yourselves!

All’s well!

After all, if it seems that IF my seams

Stretch threateningly

And my life starts spilling out,

I simply look down the hall at another woman

Stooped low,

Picking up the pieces of a life already seeped out.

Can she gather again all the pieces of her personage,

Precious to her,

Laid waste on the pavement?

Ah, perspective.

And so, I’m thankful.

But still pissed, let’s be honest.

And still smiling.

Or is that seething?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lost Generation

This video is for all those I partner with every day to make sure that the next generation is blessed and happy and fulfilled: McKenzie, Chelsi, n!c, Casey, Cherise, Jeremy, Abby, Chris, my Sean-Martin and everyone else who pours out their lives at Sage Valley Middle School. It is a pleasure to share my life and my efforts with you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I love Jesus, but I drink a little...

Thank you to Miss Donna Wallace who brought this to the attention of... everyone on our Facebook friends list. I love her. And I love Ellen. And I love Gladys.

Ellen DeGeneres ~ I Love Jesus But I Drink A Little (HQ)

Donna says that I will be Gladys when I'm 88...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm Bored!

I’m bored.

My husband is fishing. My son is with his girlfriend. I’m still in my pajamas. I just won a game of solitaire without cheating, which is pretty hard to do, and I’m staring at the dog who is staring back at me. I think she wants some of my top ramen noodles.

There are a million and one things I could be doing, but most of them fall in the category of “have to”. I don’t want to do the laundry. I don’t want to clean out the cupboards in the office. I don’t want to get on the treadmill. I don’t want to plan all the meals for the week and go to the grocery store.

I don’t even want to do the things that usually fall under the category of “leisure” for me. I don’t want to read. I don’t want to write. I don’t want to watch TV. I don’t want a pedicure.

I want to build a swimming pool in the back yard.

And people in Hell want ice water.

Maybe it’s not that I’m bored. Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to take one day and relax and do NOTHING! How does one go ABOUT doing nothing?

I need a hobby.

Scrapbooking? That’s Dee Dee’s gig. Chasing down emergency vehicles? Devin’s got that one.

Ho hum.

I want to be the editor in chief of a major magazine that is totally original, totally raking in the big bucks, and totally mine.

Today.

I want to go to the inauguration on Tuesday and sit with Oprah and Stedman and Gayle.

I want to be on tour with the Dixie Chicks—if they would ever go on tour again. I wonder if Natalie Maines is playing solitaire right now and eating top ramen noodles?

Staring at her dog?

Sigh.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Perspective

Perspective
Many of you have been concerned about my brother, Jimmy, who was in a serious car accident earlier this week and have been emailing me to see how he’s doing. Thank you SO MUCH for your thoughts and prayers. He is doing GREAT!
His story is amazing. He’s a walking miracle.
Jimmy works for the city of Carterville, Missouri. He was driving some water samples over to Carthage, probably thirty minutes away. He called his wife, Keri, because he was suddenly feeling sick. After a few minutes, he began to feel lightheaded and dizzy. The last words he heard were “Jimmy, pull over!” He passed out cold while he was driving down the highway, veered to the right (probably in an attempt to pull over) and drove off a thirty-foot embankment. His truck wrapped itself around a tree. His engine pushed into the cab from one end, and the tool truck that had been bolted to the back pushed its way in from behind him. He’d had poles in the back that impaled the back window, but missed his head. He woke up pressed against the driver’s side door. He couldn’t get out that way, so on pure adrenaline, he kicked out the passenger side door, climbed out, and tore through the branches. He then climbed UP the thirty feet he’d fallen to get back to the road. Another driver stopped and was there to help him when he reached the top and told him to sit down. Instead, as my brother stood there teetering, he realized, “Wait a minute! My WIFE is still on the phone!” So what did he do? He climbed thirty feet back down the incline and tore his way back into the truck. He found the cell phone on the dashboard.
“Honey?”
She was still there! He told her he was fine, even though he wasn’t really sure about that claim. He climbed BACK UP the thirty-foot incline for the second time and waited for the emergency crews. When they arrived, Jimmy pretty well collapsed in sheer relief that someone else could be in charge for the next little while. The paramedics took over, picked him up, strapped him to a backboard, and whisked him to a hospital in Carthage for x-rays.
The diagnosis? The boy scratched his nose.
That’s it. In all fairness, he was pretty sore, he did find a bruise on his thigh later, and he had to wear a heart monitor for a couple days since they are still a little curious as to how he passed out while driving and wanted to rule some things out. Otherwise, the only thing broken was the skin across his nose as you can see in the picture.
We are so inexplicably thankful. We’ve all taken a moment to stop and step back and just breathe deeply with the most profound gratitude. Most of you know that we lost our sister, Tabitha, several years ago, and I cannot imagine my world without my brother in it.
Sean-Martin and I look back over the last few months and are amazed at some of the events that it seems we’ve been hit with: his shoulder injury which invariably required that dreaded rotator-cuff surgery, the DOG’S THWARTED attempt at getting her OWN shoulder surgery (you know, if Daddy gets x-rays, drugs and a procedure done, she thinks she is entitled to the same treatment), Geoffrey’s car accident, another THWARTED car accident on our way to the cabin over Christmas, my dad’s passing, and now my brother’s accident. (I do love the word, THWARTED!) We’re scratching our heads wondering what the heck is going on? But with every incident, we cannot resist being so phenomenally grateful! Sean-Martin’s shoulder is healing very well, and we are so thankful for our very capable doctor and physical therapist. Our insurance has covered most of the expenses. The dog? Well, truthfully that mostly just sucks, but we ARE thankful that she did not have a cartilage flap in her shoulder that would have been very expensive to fix. And, gosh darn it, we already love her. Sean-Martin would have paid the money to have her patched up—no question. But we didn’t have to! Whew! Geoffrey forewent even a scratch on his nose when he had his accident. The other driver was at fault and was INSURED! Our good friend, Dale, fixed the truck through his shop, and we know that his work is excellent and reliable. Thankful! My dad’s passing was very, very sad and unexpected, but I’m so thankful for the years I was able to have him in my life. I can’t imagine not being able to talk to him and get to know him so that I could get to know myself. Again, so thankful. And now we are counting our blessings once more that my brother is alive and well. Seeing the pictures of that truck makes ME want to pass out, but Jimmy is still here with us, and he is safe and well, healthy and whole. THANK GOD!
Friends have commented that it seems we’re getting more than our share of trials lately, but Sean-Martin and I only feel blessed. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose. We think, If you don’t have to send your children down to the contaminated river for your daily supply of water in the morning, you’re probably doing pretty well. If no one is dropping bombs on your neighborhood, life is A-OK. If your existence doesn’t depend on the kindness of others, then you have enough to bless somebody else. Perspective.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Twilight"

I admit it. I’m a “Twerd”, a “Twilight” nerd. Edward Cullen is my boyfriend, and I don’t care who knows it. I’m taking him to school with me when we return from Christmas break tomorrow. Seriously. I am. Geoff bought me a life-sized, cardboard cut out of Edward, and I’m putting him right behind my desk. I’ve seen the movie three times, I’m more than half-way through the third novel for the second time, and I’m anxiously awaiting the release of “New Moon”.

Call me crazy. I’ve been called worse. I’ve been called a fang-banger. I have a T-shirt that I wear every time I go see the movie that says, “TEAM EDWARD! Because Jacob Doesn’t SPARKLE!” Yes, it’s hot pink. Yes, it sparkles. Of course, it does! Sean-Martin wants a T-shirt that says, “Suck THIS, Edward!” but I won’t let him have one. Geoff wants the T-shirt that says, “Meanwhile, in a town called ‘Spoons’”.

I never understood the Potter/Wizard frenzy or the Rings/Hobbit frenzy or even the Force/Vader frenzy, although Lando WAS hot! But, boy, I’m telling you what! I sure get the Vampire/Cullen frenzy! Can’t get enough of it!

Can anybody relate?

Twilight Trailer (final) from Summit Entertainment!