Sunday, February 25, 2007

Movin' On...

You'd think after making so many moves- I'd be used to it, but I'm simply not. I hate that feeling of living out of boxes and being in between here & there. We're making progress with packing, but painfully slow. SO much to do. It's overwhelming and we are worn and somewhat short-tempered. I look forward to having this over with soon. Thought we were settled when we built our first house, but it was not meant to be. I do NOT like living this nomadic existence of moving every 1-2 years. The kids need some roots.

While working together on one part of our packing, Jay & I were not speaking- both lost in our own silent thoughts. He said, "You know, I did everything I could to make it possible for us to stay here." I disagree, but tried to be kind and said, "I know you did, Baby, it just wasn't meant to be and we have to accept that."
God has blessed us with beautiful children and a talent for music. Perhaps He allows all of our other struggles to keep us from getting full of ourselves? I don't know, but it's hard to believe that anyone's string of bad luck can last this long...

It was a full performance weekend with 'Message of Mercy'. It tears me up to be leaving. They are contemplating having me stay involved with the group- I'll just fly in for performances every once in a while and of course, I will still be writing music & arrangements for them. I would be considered an 'alternate member'.

God writes a lot of chapters into our life stories that we, ourselves would not have chosen. Here I am again with my life in boxes, hanging in limbo- not sure what the next step is beyond this move. However, I choose to learn what I can from each passage in my life and use it for good. Someday, I hope I'll be settled somewhere permanently though. I don't want to own another house until I'm sure it's where we'd like to be and where we're able to stay for at least a decade. Selling a house is too much of a hassle. I'm almost afraid to make friends anymore because it's been SO hard to say goodbye.

Used to be people lived their entire lives in one small town. As much as I enjoy living all over the place and getting to know the people & different parts of the country, there's a part of me that just wants to stay put for a while...

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Dog...

We closed on our house Feb. 12. Done deal. The new owners are a delightful young couple. Sadly, we lost $6,000 in the deal- didn't even break even. The bank appraiser didn't come out until 3 business days before closing and gave a low appraisel. We didn't have time to get a second opinion. So once again, we fail to prosper- after some much-needed vehicle maintenance, paying off the student loan, some bills and renting a moving truck, we have very little with which to move forward.

Yesterday morning, I was awakened when Jay came in and said in a disturbed voice, "There's a dog in our pool". I was immediately sickened at the thought of a dead dog floating in icy waters. However, the dog was still alive! Lord knows how long the poor Hound dog had been in there, she was barely keeping her head above water. She'd broken the ice into small pieces and ripped our pool liner to shreds trying to find a way out and although there is a ladder, in her panic either she didn't even see it, or she couldn't figure out how to climb out. She must have had an iron will to survive the ordeal!

Jay pulled her out and she lay shivering- half frozen, emitting this terrible moan on the deck while the kids rushed for beach towels to dry her with. I covered her & began rubbing her down, then Jay carried her into our bathroom where I stripped down and put her in a tub of warm water to begin warming her body. She had involuntary muscle spasms and still that pathetic moaning. She was too exhausted to stand or even sit, so she lay in the warm water with me holding her head and pouring the water over her. Her teats were heavy with milk and she was horribly thin. No collar. She was in such misery, her eyes rolled back in her head and her floppy ears were stiff with cold. Poor dear had probably tried to get a drink from the pool and somehow fell in. My heart sank. Somewhere out there was a litter of puppies. If she'd been away from them for any length of time, they were certainly frozen to death.

While I tended to 'Mama Dawg', Jay jumped in the car and drove all up and down our lane trying to find the owners so we could get the dog back to her pups ASAP. Nobody had any idea where she was from or wanted to claim her, but several of them said they'd seen her running around all weekend- no pups. I can't understand why anyone would dump out a mom with pups in the middle of the coldest season of the year. Was she just a stray- if so, where from and why would she leave her babies?

Took me 2 hrs to get her warmed up with heat pads & towels. I stayed by her side. Every so often she would look up at me with big brown eyes as if to thank me for what I was doing. I just fell in love! Finally she was able to stand & walk slow, but normal. I fed her a bit, let her rest and put her out so she could go find her babies and I could see where she had them hidden, but she never left the yard. A couple of hours later, I took her to a friend of ours who is a vet and dropped her off there. They are going to build her up and try to find a home for her.

It breaks my heart how people treat animals. Jay was upset by all this too. He later said he feels like that hound dog. In over his head, and drowning- only nobody is pulling him out... Now would be a good time for God to show up and do something... maybe help us find a ladder up...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Lonely Valentines

Okay, someone please explain men to me!!!

Originally, my man & two of the kids were going to head up to MI with the truck the day after we closed on the house and I would follow with the others 2 weeks later. But he was upset that we wouldn't get to be together for Valentine's Day. (Well, this was a very pleasant surprise as I didn't think he gave a flying flip for stuff like that.) So, then the plan changed and we decided to hold off so we could drive up together. I was all excited because now we could do something special for Valentines. Ohhhh, the ideas I had. But, alas, it's not meant to be. Monday after I closed on the house, he gets a phone call from somebody he's worked for in the past and decides to go off on a trip down to Louisiana all week to earn some money instead.

How can men take these things so lightly? Work always seems to win out over romance and of course, the lack of time together can greatly diminish romance.

Wish I could just shut off my romance button. I'm sooo that way. Valentine's Day and stuff like that means a lot to me. Wish I didn't like flowers and dinners out and having my man in bed with me every night. Can't sleep well when he's gone. It's nearly 3am and here I sit, because he'll be home sometime tonight and I am too excited to go to sleep. SIGH.

He says we'll go out this weekend to make up for it, but it's just not the same. Oh well... When life gives you lemons, make lemonade- right?!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Have you ever felt two ways about one situation? It's an unsettling feeling. We're moving to MI in just a few weeks- in a way I'm excited. Honestly, I would do anything to see my man happy again!
He announced this week that he possibly wants to go back to school. This time for X-ray Technician- a 2 year program. His family is willing to help him out financially. I'm happy that he has finally reached some kind of conclusion as to what direction he wants to go with his life. It's a good fit for him job-wise.

At the same time, I'm so very sad to be leaving MofM and my awesome circle of friends and adopted parents here. I feel split down the middle. Is this normal? I mean, shouldn't you just feel strongly happy or sad- not both?? I'm so wierd!! It was nice to think for a while that we could finally put down some roots. God MUST have a reason for this though, and I simply need to breathe and trust that ALL things work together for GOOD.

We closed on the house yesterday- finally! It's been a long, drawn out process, but I'm glad that's behind us. The family who bought it is very nice and I think they will be very happy here. At the same time, I feel sadness. We came here with dreams & ideas for ways to develop the property and improve the house. All of that fell by the wayside when hubby lost his career.

So, we're moving forward and hoping for a brighter future up North...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Power of Femininity

I'm on a roll with the gender thing. Today, as we pack boxes and scale down on our wardrobes for the move, I was thinking about what it means to be a woman and how powerful pure femininity can be.
First of all, I was thinking about historical figures. Queen Esther of Persia certainly didn't win over the Kings mercy by being a buff, in your face feminist asserting her rights. Nope, she won him over by serving him dinners. Granted, she probably didn't cook the meal- as she had servants to do that for her, she likely put on her best robes, pearls, perfume oils and looked gorgeous. Perhaps she gave the King a little shoulder rub while he dined in her chamber. This made him feel like big stuff in front of his right-hand man, Haamen.
Then let's look at the story of Abigail, she was a woman on a mission. Her drunken slob of a husband refused to repay the kindness of David and his men in saving Nabel's herds. David is outraged and bent on "killing every person who pisseth on the wall" (this means men- as that is not a woman's style) When Abigail gets wind of this, she acts quickly. Her servants rush around to prepare a feast, she puts on her best clothing and rides out to meet David and his men. Upon reaching them, she dismounts and falls to the ground before David in a submissive posture. She says, "My Lord, I know my husband is a fool, but please do not commit this atrocity. You can take your anger out on me. This was no empty sacrifice on her part, I honestly think David was blinded with rage, however, her beauty and humility tamed the beast in him. When Nabel heard that David was coming for him and that his lovely wife had saved his life, he had a heart attack and died. David was so impressed with Abigail, that he took her as his wife.
Ruth the young widow was a nurturer working to take care of her mother-in-law. We don't know what she looked like, but she was attractive enough to draw attention. Most of all, she was a courageous and honorable woman living in unfamiliar territory. She made a bold move by uncovering the feet of Boaz during the night and propositioning him to take her as his wife. She was not arrogant or prissy. She was not a pampered Diva. She was incredibly down to earth and Boaz found this highly attractive. It didn't take much persuasion for him to take her in marriage.
In recent history, Jackie Kennedy, Julie Andrews and Princess Diana charmed their generations with beauty and grace. There is nothing more attractive than a fit, well-groomed woman. These ladies weren't perfect, but had plenty of appeal without being cheap.

Now I can hear some of you say, well, culture has changed a lot. Here's a personal story. My Freshman year in college, I had an English Composition professor who was very passionate about his class. I was one of his top students and he seemed to favor me. Well, that is, until an error in the testing schedule caused me to miss my final exam. I called him when I learned of the error and a few other students missed it as well for the same reason, but he was LIVID and yelled at me on the phone. He accused me of not being serious about his class. When we hung up, I was in tears and called Jay who was my boyfriend at the time. Jay told me to dry it up and go use my power of feminine persuasion. Huh?! I had no idea I had such a thing! He said to put on my make-up, my prettiest, most feminine shirt and go down to his office and talk to him face to face in a humble, unemotional manner. I was unsure about this, as I'm a very non-confrontational person and didn't want to get yelled at again. However, I took Jay's advice. I did my face & hair, wore a pretty poet shirt, my best pair of jeans and shined up my boots. I didn't call ahead, I simply showed up. (didn't Esther do this once?) When he looked up, he had a very disturbed look on his face. When he saw it was me standing in his doorway, he softened a bit. "Come in". I was calm and in a soft voice, I re-explained what happened and pleaded with him to be reasonable and let me take the test. I told him how much I had enjoyed the class, reminded him that I had worked very hard the entire semester and asked him to give me a chance. By the time I finished my short little speech and stood up to leave, he had MELTED! He docked me several percentage points as penalty, but he let me take the test. I passed the class with an A-.

Ladies, could feminine persuasion be a very real thing today? Our softer side has a way of soothing even the hardest temper. In Japan, ultra-feminine Geisha girls were a soothing presence to men for decades. In today's society, girls seem to be unsure about who they are. We do not hold ourselves in high esteem and because of this, we bare our bodies and souls to people who are undeserving of our treasures. The younger girls don't seem to feel special unless they have a boyfriend. They go from guy to guy as if they're not comfortable with themselves as individuals. Some girls are so desperate- they'd rather be with a jerk and "put out" than be alone. Any guy is better than none-at-all.... right??? Also, it seems there is this trend that being a crabby user is cool. I've seen it on t-shirts: "Pamper me, I'm a princess", "All I Want is Your Money", "Look ALL U Want, but Don't Touch", "Bitchy is Beautiful", "Who's Your Diva?", "Shut-up & Feed Me Chocolate", etc.

For years, I denied my feminine side. I matured early-on which brought me unhealthy attentions from guys. Being a lady only seemed to bring abuse. So, to protect myself, I wore oversized clothing to hide my shape, cursed like a sailor, played sports like a boy- even had a spiky, flat-top hairdo one year. My mother was so horrified by this that she destroyed my school pictures! Perhaps girls like me were hiding their greatest strength because they were afraid? Studies on sexual abuse show that many obese women actually are using their fat body as a shield against unwanted advances. I went the opposite way, starving, purging & over-exercising to get rid of curves.

I don't think ladies should be teases, letting it all hang out for every Tom, Dick & Harry to feast their eyes upon, but I don't think we should be prudes in frump-wear either. Someone once said, "Clothes should fit snugly enough to reveal you are a woman, but loosely enough to show you are a lady." I agree. Though you'll probably never see me wearing pink with ribbons and high heels (hate 'em) I have embraced my softer side.

So, what do YOU think? Is there power and grace in genuine femininity??

Monday, February 05, 2007

I'm All for It!!

Heard a little talk on the radio about a new trend called 'The Mannaisance'. It's a movement meant to re-introduce maleness in our society. Gender roles are blurry these days- that's not entirely bad. I enjoy voting & equal pay- however, I also enjoy seeing a good contrast between men & women. I think it's neat when women are lady-like and men are..... well, MANLY. (In saying this, I'm not addressing homosexuals- they accept being different than their physical genders indicate)
I don't think we should worship fashion, but we seem to be fashion flunkies these days. Used to be, people dressed up and tried to look nice for public events, now everything- including the symphony are dress down occasions. I'm all for comfort, but is nothing special anymore? People even attend weddings & funerals in jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops these days. We've been looking at the same ill-fitted fashions for about 15 yrs now. I'm tired of the sloppy, droopy-pants look on guys, the painfully tight tops for girls and show-yer-undies jeans, the slouchy, I'm-a-loser postures and messy, I-don't-care-a-flying-flip hair.
I am not homophobic, I'm a reasonably fashionable person and have a strong tomboy streak. I do jeans & boots well, but I think it's WAY cool when women have a more tailored look & good hair. Conversely, guys in a manly role should look.... well.... MANLY.

For example, there are Russian guys who come into the YMCA. They are students, but they have also been in the military. They aren't dressed overly trendy and they aren't all pretty in the face, but they are totally buff and masculine. They are not overly flirty, but walk with heads held high, shoulders back, chest out and there is a dignity about them that is positively magnetic. They are ALL guy and you can feel their presence when they are around. Perhaps it's in the genes?? When they talk to me, I suddenly feel more lady-like. I've observed how other people react to their presence. The girls are suddenly paying attention. They play with their hair and giggle. Seriously, these guys attract the girls like crazy! Men notice them too. When the Russian guys walk by, men suck in their guts and try to go heavier with their benchpresses.

Manly men helped shape this country. True, some men were egocentric jerks who treated women as sub-human sex objects, but there were also strong, honorable, Godly men. The men who weren't afraid to stand up for what they believed in. The kind who defended a ladies honor, built cabins with little more than an ax, hammer, wooden pegs & bare hands. These guys could bring home the bacon, look danger in the eye and they took care of their families. Their hands were calloused, their arms strong and they had a lot of heart- putting women and children in lifeboats ahead of themselves. Don't think manliness matters anymore? Then look on the cover of any women's romance novel and you'll see pictures of ladies in the arms of MANLY men- pirates, soldiers, natives, firefighters, cowboys, etc. with big muscles and torn shirts. While the women are petite, demure and look somewhat helpless. For some reason the contrast between the genders is still considered sexy.
Personally, I'm not attracted to guys in a tie and loafers with delicate skin. They may be smart, sweet and good with technology, but my man has to wear larger pants than I do and be able to hold his own on the field. I'm also not attracted to the insensitive "dumb jock" type of guy or the beefy, beerhead wannabe quarterback stereotype.
The 'Mannaisance' is attempting to break a lot of myths about men. For example, men CAN be strong, spiritual AND sensitive. Guys don't need to go around wearing their hearts on their sleeves, and they don't have to know how to exfoliate, but they should be able to open up and communicate their feelings with the ones they love. Men with dignity know who they are and can look good in a tuxedo or a flannel shirt & jeans. They aren't afraid to sweat, but they respect themselves and others. A lot of guys let themselves go- weight gain, foot rot, gross teeth, BO and dandruff are all indicators that...... ah-hem... a little more attention is needed. Real men know that taking care of themselves, sounding intelligent and dressing well doesn't make them gay.
I want my son to have a strong sense of who he is. I want him to walk tall, look sharp, smell good and use manners with the ladies, but I also want him to be able to fix a tire, wield a chainsaw, go camping/fishing and hold his own in a fight.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hoosier Humor! :o)

I won't be able to post much over the next few weeks as we plunge headlong into the moving process. However, when I read this story, I just about fell off my seat laughing and had to share. Enjoy!


In most of the United States, there is a policy of checking on any stalled vehicle on the highway when the temperatures drop down to single digits or below.

About 3 AM, one very cold morning, a Trooper responded to a call there was a car off the shoulder of the road southeast of Michigan City. He located the car, stuck in deep snow, and with the engine still running. Pulling in behind the car with his emergency lights on, the Trooper walked to the driver's door to find an older man passed out drunk behind the wheel with an empty vodka bottle on the seat beside him.

The driver came awake when the Trooper tapped on the window. Seeing the rotating lights in his rearview mirror, and the State Trooper standing next to his car, the man totally panicked.

He jerked the gearshift in to 'drive' and hit the gas. The car's speedometer was showing 20- 30- 40 and then 50 mph, but it was still stuck in the snow, wheels spinning.

Trooper Nixon, having a sense of humor, began running in place next to the speeding, but still stationary car. The driver was totally freaked, thinking the Trooper was actually keeping up with him. This goes on for about 30 seconds, then the Trooper yelled at the man to 'Pull over NOW!'

The man obeyed, turned his wheel and stopped the engine.

Needless to say, the man from LaPorte was arrested, and is probably still shaking his head over the State Trooper in Indiana who could run 50 miles per hour. Who says State Troopers don't have a sense of humor??