Friday, March 26, 2010

Gifts in the Ordinary

The roads are ordinary, the same routes followed, but this week they held:

Blooms from the peach and pear trees, bright purple from the Japenese Maple and the truest yellow of spring in the forsythia. Blooms everywhere...
Hawks floating on the breeze...
Cars with white dots of flower petals stuck from the wind and the rain...
A class of kindergarteners playing follow the leader (the teacher), outside and around the school... huge steps followed by 20 blue topped children doing bunny hops... 
Grass blades beginning to turn green...
I love it, Spring is here!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



 Pretend to be a star,

Punch a hole into someone's darkness.

(I saw this in an email, thought it was a fun reminder of we never know what someone is
going through and what a difference we can make by the smallest of gestures)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Diary Of a Stressed Out Step Mom…

It is said that there is something to be learned in all things. Now, sometimes I wonder that, but I do believe if we are not aware of the lesson in the midst of the storm, we will eventually see it.

I also have begun to wonder if maybe the lesson is not always for me. I am not saying I am not capable of learning or need to learn, but I do wonder if, at times, we are not just a part of someone else’s puzzle. Maybe our purpose is to be stepped on (for lack of a better term).

I suppose the phrase “stepped on” represents where I have seen myself much of the time in the past year. But I am laughing about it today.

See, there is a kitchen problem in my house. The problem is, it is MY kitchen. I am and have been kind about that, but I am not as accommodating at this stage of the game as I have been.

The problem arises due to desire of my step son to express his creativity in the form of cooking. Now this was and has been supported. Notice past tense? But a couple weeks into this Lenten season, with what I gave up and what I took on, this kitchen creativity became impossible to tolerate.

I believed that I would have some enlightenment through these 40 days, but I did not realize it would allow me to close one door so firmly and kindly (well not without a little tantrum) in the midst of this clarity.

The problem with the creativity was this (quotes based on actions of above party): “I will use what ever food I find in the fridge – whether you need it or not- and I will leave major messes for others to clean up.” These moments of creativity were also usually started when I was not home, so in addition to the mess, I would open the door to the strong odor of oil having been cooked at very high temperatures or burnt food.

In all fairness, the mess part had improved some since the first few months of this living arrangement. But several weeks ago – three to be exact, the mess to end all mess was left! Just a couple days before, there had been more clean up than necessary and a text had been sent to the culprit that if there is not time to clean up behind your gourmet meals, said culprit needed to stick to sandwiches or fast food take out.

So on this said Friday, I came home to the finishing up of a foodie endeavor. I worked on my computer as the last sizzle of the steak in the pan was silenced. I smiled at the noise of the HOT pan going under the cool water of the faucet, thinking, at that age I probably did not know that you should not do that.

I chuckled, inside, as I heard the scraping of a hard object on the non stick pan, clearing the burnt on food (this has been addressed numerous times as something to please not do). I thought, “yes! When he moves out, that pan is his and I get a new one!”

The food was swallowed whole and the out the door he went in a rush not to be late for work.

I headed into the kitchen to do my next task at hand.

That is when the proverbial you know what hit that fan we often hear about.

Yes he cleaned and put away the skillet used.

But the food scattered on the counter.????


Steak juice and marinade splattered on the other side of the kitchen?!?!?

Dots before my eyes . . . .

In the sink, every dish used to create, covered with beef blood and marinade too!!!

The light left on and the ironing board up and the iron out, left for others to take care of…


And then through the door here he comes. He forgot something, but he is happily making plans on his phone.

I showed out. Yes, I did.

I let out one scream and a jump up down stomp (he was in his room).

I expressed more maturely to him, face to face, how not right, how not fair that is.

With a look of “chill out” on his face he said sorry that way teenagers say it, you know, sar eeeee….

I cleaned the kitchen and worked my way to calm.

That has been the last day that raw meat has been in the fridge in the house.

There are plenty of leftovers and lunch meat available. But no longer is there raw meat to work with. No longer do I leave enough rice to inspire any Asian concoctions (a lot extra gets frozen). I have not come home to the odor of any burnt food, burnt oil, sink full of un-rinsed dishes nor too many crumbs left on the counter.

Friday, as I was working on the computer, he came in to get something to eat. After searching the fridge for several minutes, he closed it, drank some juice and left the room. The inability to cook something from scratch created some discomfort on his part – I love body language- don’t you??

A few minutes later he came back down, loudly opening and roughly closing the fridge and silverware drawer, giving me inspiration for this post…

The sandwich won!

Which means, there was a clean kitchen and peace....

Friday, March 19, 2010


I started this post a week or so ago and never finished it. As I have moved through this Lenten season though, I have wanted to post more, but this particular thought might be needed for some of the funnies and for some of the more insight I hope to come:  
"For this Lenten season I have chosen to give up something and take something on.

The past 12 months of adjustment have been difficult and the full adjustment has not been achieved. We remain rockin’ on this sea of differing views, values, morals.

I do not believe we are on the same boat, maybe we are all in our own little dingy’s and sometimes we are floating along fine and next thing you know we are playing bumper boats. Unfortunately the bumper boats are over the same thing each time.

Even though I do not have a tradition or history of observing Lent, this year I have. I have carried much anger over the last year at issues that just cannot be resolved. One being pitching in around the house. There are six of us and we all contribute to the need of common areas being cleaned - dusted, vacuumed, swept, etc., you all know – not a new battle in the least or unique to my home.

The anger comes from the asking and being ignored. Eye to eye, “yes, I will do that” in action – “hahaha, you THINK I am going to do that? Right, ‘scuse me I have a party to go to, you know real life, see you at 4 a.m. …”

Anger has been around too much, and it has been a little zapping of energy and joy. So for this season, I gave up request. I took something on, if it needs to be done, I will do it. Don’t get me wrong, I will accept volunteered help, but no request or expectations will be or, for the most part, have been issued.

So now it is 4 weeks into this season and the end is coming.
I have worked deliberately at times to chase off the anger. I have purposefully not gone past opened doors as often, thus not seeing the mess or smelling the need for an area to be cleaned. There has been less anger about certain actions, and less moments with the feeling of the rise of my blood pressure.

The problems are still there, but the break from trying to figure out how to fix them has been good too. Trying to figure out how to get buy in to make this living situation work, had become too big of an issue in my life. By stepping back, I have realized some about myself, about my expectations.

Now I am hoping for insight on how to live out my life, in this particular situation, the way God would have me to. Show grace where needed, but not compromise my own values and how I see my household. I hope not to give up the desire to have openness and honesty and pleasant interactions, but not to hold on to expectations of such. To not be frustrated when the choice is made to avoid, to be alone, to not interact.
I hope that there will be a change in me, and that change will change the dynamics of this home.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A nice surprise

For the past several years, several Churches in the community have join together to have a Discipleship Now weekend for the youth. There are usually several bands and one usually stays over and leads our worship service on Sunday morning.

I attended one of these 2 years ago. Last year I went to the traditional service instead- I felt rather old with the volume of the previous year and not being familiar with the group beyond one song.

Saturday my Demolition D was talking about the Sunday morning worship. He had helped set up Friday night for the Saturday event. He mentioned the name of the group. It meant nothing to me. But I figured if he was excited for me to see them Sunday morning, I would endure the volume and the migraine inducing lights.

Will and The Man have been involved with a Scout event this weekend and I went out and helped some too. Last night on my way home I was listening and singing along with the radio. As the song ended they gave the name of the group - The Museum.

Wait a minute...that is the name of the group playing tomorrow at Church.

Y'all it was great! They have many songs I know from the radio, they weren't quite as loud as previous events. It was just great! I could only find this video to share, but they have several songs on the radio and will be interviewed tonight on KLove.

Hope you have a fun moment today too...


Friday, March 12, 2010


He was going to be all that a mortal should be
No one should be kinder or braver than he
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who’d be glad of a lift and who needed it , too;
On him he would call and see what he could do
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight
It was too bad, indeed, he was busy to-day,
And hadn’t a minute to stop on his way;
More time he would have to give others, he’d say,
The greatest of workers this man would have been
The world would have know him had he ever seen
But the fact is he died and faded from view,
And all that was left when his living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do

Edgar A Guest 1916

Blogging, completion of tax paper gathering, ironing, that storage room that needs empting and organizing....hmmmmm
Blogging wins! As I was reading, an author said "procrastination produces a false sense of self control."  Again, hmmmm. Naw it actually just makes me nervous and overwhelmed.  So off to another task!
Hope all of you are well and you have a beautiful day ~ other than yucky rain today, spring has started to emerge here and the color of blooms abound. Yesterday the sun was so warm and the birds were singing happily.  Glad the sun will shine bright again...To-morrow.