Tuesday, November 30, 2010

That's Not My Name

I used to hate my name. Only for the fact that I could never find anything with my name on it. It was such a bummer to see all of those personalized kitschy things, but none of them had my way of spelling. As I got older I grew to love the spelling of my name. It's unique. It's fun. I'm not the only one, don't get me wrong. There are a lot more ladies out there that spell their name the same way.

At this point I really don't get upset when service repair people come to the house and start filling out the invoice with the wrong spelling of my name. I just think to myself, "Ah. I may never see them again. Who cares. It'll take longer to correct the mistake than to just get the guy outta here".

But when people that I've known for several years still misspell my name, it irks me, to almost no end. I know some people would say, "Get over it", but it just bothers me through and through. My name is spelled out in one of my e-mail addresses. I sign pretty much all of my emails that need it. If I can keep up with how your name is spelled with an "ie" at the end how hard is it to remember that mine has "ee"?

I know we all have a lot of things on our minds at all times, but it's a simple little gesture. Possibly even a gesture that you care. Even if you don't care, spell my name right. I deserve that much in my forty plus years.

P.S. When I say L-E-E-S-A, why do you hear, Lessa, Leisa, or just Lisa?????

An Open Letter to the Woman My Mother Gave Up for Adoption

Secrets always have a way of coming to the surface. It's so cliche', but still so true. My mom had a secret that she would have liked for it to stay buried. The secret started calling everyone in my family to get information. I received my phone call on an Easter Sunday a few years back. The attempts to contact family has started again and I'm fed up. I have some things I want to get off my chest to this woman.

Dear One Who Was Given Life, 

Stop means stop. You've been told many years ago that my mom wasn't going to come forward with any information for you. She gave you a life with a family that she could not provide. You may think that you will get some information from someone in my family, but when this was kept secret from many in my family you won't get that far. My mother's wish is to keep it in the past. 

You've involved practically everyone in my family. Even family on my father's side who had no idea. I'm not sure I can forgive that you included my father's side of the family. Things were chilly between my mother and people on my father's side and now I can imagine why. You were born long before my mother met my father. There was no reason to involve my father's family. 

As far as health issues, there are none. My mother's diabetes was adult onset. It is not hereditary. Most of the people in my mother's family who have died have died from old age. No cancer. No nothing. My aunt wonders if my grandmother would have lived longer if the private detective you sent to her door hadn't shown up. My grandmother died a couple of weeks later. Your doctor should be able to run tests to see what you are genetically predisposed to. 

Please. You have to accept that my mother is not going to come forward with any information. Those in our family will show their allegiance to my mother first. My mother chose life for you. Let it be and let it go. This will not change.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Things I Like About My Job as a Crossing Guard

During the cold months when my face is freezing I am going to have to remind myself why I do this job. Well, I guess I'll be reminding myself, "Why" again when it's 100 degrees as well....

1. I get to tell people what to do! A ticked off crossing guard is not pretty. That red sign I am holding up  really means to "STOP". Don't go anywhere. Nothing else. Just wait. You will get to where you are going in plenty of time. 

2. I can walk to work if I want to. The school is only four doors down. 

3. I have my own parking spot. On days when the weather is really bad, I just park my car in my spot next to the farm*. It's like this little parking spot just for ME. 

4. Most of the kids who walk through my crosswalk are great. They are sweeter than sweet and so polite! 

5. I only work on the days my kids have school. 

6. I get paid for three hours worth of working, but I only work about an hour and fifteen minutes. It's like getting paid to take my kids to school and walking them home. There's just a few more kids in the mix. 

7. There are some moms that are very friendly. I'm not sure I ever would have met these moms since I live in another direction of my corner. 

8. It gives me something to look forward to besides doing laundry, cleaning the house, and doing the grocery shopping. I feel like I am contributing something to more people than those in my own home.

9. I do it because I want to, not because I have to. 

Those are the reasons I like my job as a crossing guard. I have the best of both worlds. Don't knock it! 

*Yes, I really do live near a farm in what some may call a "snobby, uppity and pretentious city"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flip Floppers of the World Unite!

I am what's known as a "flip flopper". I change my mind according to my mood on a daily basis. After all, I am a woman. There are just some things in life that are not so convincing. They're not important enough to make a decision and stick to it. It's good to be flexible in some areas.

Take for instance, one day I think I'm going to grow my bangs out. Then I get tired of the whole process and cut them back. Hair. We take it for granted when we have it.

On a daily basis I fight the urge to pull the carpet up in my front room  just to walk on concrete. I guess that's just a weakness in the part of my brain that controls urges. For the most part the carpet is okay. But, it's carpet. Yuck!

I can't decide whether we want to attend the corporate holiday party. In one aspect it's a chance to get dolled up for my hubby and spend some time together as adults. As husband and wife. Out on the town. On the other hand, getting dolled up costs some bank. We'd also be with some other folks who might get closer with the drink in their hand than the date they came with. Awkward!!

I constantly change my mind on whether to stay in the house we are in, or just move again. Pour dollar after dollar into this house that we've already started to make our own, or buy that house that already has everything we want in it. Is there such a house?

I can't decide on whether to bother with Christmas cards. The number that we receive has gone down steadily each year. I guess others are thinking the same thing we are and not bothering. If it's another reason we're not receiving them, I could care less. Trying to find that perfect picture for the Christmas card is getting stressful. I want a holiday with a little less stress.

Nothing major. Just some silly stuff that I am allowed some room to be flexible.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Lately I have found a new appreciation for my smartphone. I love that I can play music without having to plug in some odd fitting earbuds, that hardly stay in. I love that while I'm "standing on my corner" not doing anything I can play any playlist and not feel so alone and bored out of my mind. The last several days, morning and afternoon, my favorite playlist has been a CD by the name of Streams*. It's a Christian compilation CD. Artists such as 4Him singing a duet with Jon Anderson of Yes**, Cindi Morgan, Delirious with Amy Grant, Point of Grace and Sixpence None the Richer. There's even Marie Brennan singing with the oldie-but-a-goodie Michael McDonald.

This CD is an attitude changer for me. It's a spirit lifter. Here's a little something about my two favorite songs from the CD. 

When Jaci Velasquez sings "I Will Rest in You" it's a letter of love, from someone who needs hope and comfort. She sings,

Lord, I'm in the dark
Seems to me the line is dead when I come calling. 
No one there, the sky is falling. 

Lord, I need to know. 
My mind is playing games again. 
You're right where You have always been. 

Take me back to You
The place that I once knew
As a little child 
Constantly the eyes of God watched over me. 
Oh I want to be 
The place that I once knew as a little child
Fall into the bed of faith prepared for me
I will rest in You. 

I didn't become a Christian as a child, but as the saying goes, "I got here as fast as I could". I look at it as not necessarily being a child of young age, but a new child of faith. Going back to the excited fervor that only children have towards following Jesus. In my opinion, resting in Him means to hand it all over. I can't fix it. Why let it chew at me, piece by piece. 

Another of my favorite songs on the CD is from 4Him and Jon Anderson. What a wonderful collaboration of Christian music with a little bit of 80's blast from the past. 

Eyes closed in a veil of tears when I hear the sound,
Once more you've come to me, You've calmed me down
You still the raging sea inside of me,
My Lord has come for me
So why, why is it so hard for me to see?
Why is it so hard to just believe? 
Show me what it means to be free 

The only thing I need I already have,
The fullness of Your mercy in my hand
The only One who loves me as I am
The only thing I need I already have

My heart a companion to my wounded soul
Again You comfort me, You take control
You quell the fear that owns too much of me
As it was meant to be,
So why, when each and every word becomes a war
When there’s nothing I can see worth fighting for
You come into my heart and set me free

Every one of my needs is taken care of. All I need? I already have it! It repeats the chorus, "All I need. I already have it." just about fifteen times. Enough to really sink in when stuff gets in the way. 

I have found a new love and admiration for this CD. It brings me peace. It brings comfort. It calms my heart, soul and spirit. Couldn't we all use a little more of that? 

*Circa 1999 
**Owner of a Lonely Heart ring a bell? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What He's Ruined

A few weeks ago one of my favorite people on this earth steered me toward one of my new favorite web sites. It has pictures of things that have been ruined by their children. Then, another web site came to follow. A web site that features pictures of things ruined by wonderful, well meaning husbands. This made me start reminiscing about my wonderful, well meaning husband and things that he has ruined. Unintentionally, none the less very funny now. 

1. Our bedroom carpet. When we were new homeowners and we had no children, Hubby would go through the house and spruce up the paint with touch ups. Constantly.It was cute. For a little while. The slightest little nick and he was there with brush and paint to fix it. One time when he was on spruce up duty Hubby had paint and brush in hand. Paint lid very absent from the can. He walks into the bedroom. It's nighttime outside. He didn't turn on the light. He walked right into my dresser and spilled paint all over the carpet. 

2. Fuel filler upper at the gas station. You know those pictures of cars driving off with the gas station gas hose still in the fuel tank of a car? Yep! That was him one morning. When he returned it, the gas station people were very understanding. They said, "It happens all the time". 

3. Our SUV. My car battery had completely lost juice and so we were going to get a jump from the other car. He has the SUV running. The fan is going full spead ahead. The first cable has contact. Woohoo! The second cable in his hand and about to make contact. I'm not sure if he was nervous or his hand wall sweaty from the 100 degree weather that day. But, the cable lost contact with his hand and fell into the MOVING fan. Things were flying everywhere in the garage. I was a few months pregnant with our second child, so I shut the door to the inside of the house and prayed he found cover. Finally, after the cable had no more stuff to throw around and it was completely wrapped around the fan my SVU was no more. That was by far, his most expensive mistake. 

4. This towel. I still have almost all of our towels that we got as wedding presents, thirteen years ago. They're in pretty good condition. One thing that Hubby and I gross out over is if the grout in the shower gets disgusting. We keep bleach in the bathroom to pour over the grout when it gets a little unsightly. I would rather just pour bleach on it, then be on my hands and knees scrubbing it with fumes that could bring on brain damage. After one of those times of pouring bleach, he steps out of the shower onto the floor. On the towel on the floor.

I now have his footprint immortalized. This by far is the least expensive and easiest to replace. 

In the moment we weren't laughing about any of those things ruined at the time. It takes a while before we can 
look back and laugh. And laugh we do, and laugh, and laugh.....

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Good Bug

We've been battling a bug in this house for the last couple of weeks. It's just one of those that wouldn't go away. We gave in to the bug. Don't get me wrong. It not of the gross kind, that drips from the nose or gets tossed up from the stomach. Or other types of bugs that leave unspeakable atrocities. It's a wonderful kind of bug. This bug comes with bows and ribbons. Lights and garlands. Chubby little men in warm suits grace this house now. The nativity has been placed in it's treasured spot for all to see and adore.

Yes, it's only the first week of November. Yes. It's 72 degrees outside. No. We haven't even planned Thanksgiving yet. No. We haven't started shopping for gifts yet. But Christmas has shown up in this home!

My husband and I get excited when we see our kids want to take part in decorating the little trees that go in their room. It's fun. It's enjoyable. It's beautiful. It's exhausting.

I love pulling my stocking out of the box. It was made by a family friend for me when I was a child. It has sequins all over and it's just a fond reminder of this wonderful lady who made it for me.

Bring on the Christmas season! Bring on the wonderful food, decorations, carols, and family. The headaches. The over-scheduled calendars. The stress.

Besides all of those things, and the Christmas trappings, let me never forget the reason for the season. The birth of my Lord, Jesus Christ. The baby born in a manger, sent to save us all.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

JULIAN SMITH - 25 Things I Hate About Facebook

Although I happen to enjoy the notes, flair and most bumper stickers, he's pretty funny about the other things concerning facebook.

Facebook Fast

Some would say that life, in general, is a love/hate relationship. That's how I would describe facebook at times. It's high school all over again. It's not that facebook causes drama. It's not facebooks fault. A lot of it is unintentional. Just words.

I could put this out there:


 The clean version is "A pen is in his hand". Other people could read it another way. Then there's drama.I used to think facebook was like crack cocaine. I would jokingly call it, "crackbook". I would spend way too much time on it.  My wonderful hubby once said this about facebook, "Facebook is such a weird phenomenon, and I’m not sure most people really know what to do with it. It’s such a blessing and a curse at the same time that it’s hard to know how to interact, especially with people you don’t see outside of the FB world. Or, on the flip side, with people who you do see normally but feel freer to say things on FB that wouldn’t be said otherwise."

It doesn't help that facebook has made changes that make no sense at all. When I write on someone's wall, I don't want everyone on my friend list to view it on their news feed. When this person and that person comment on So and So's status, I could really care less. Especially when I don't know So and So from Adam. I hate to see fifteen items from the same person in one day. Don't they have something else to do, or do they view themselves as that important that every thought or viewpoint needs to be on facebook? Don't make me hide you. If I have to hide people then I wonder why are we "friends"? I'm a little bothered when facebook points out that I should be friends with someone who has previously deleted me as a friend. HUH?

Would we delete people as often if facebook sent a notice telling that person they were being deleted as a friend? 

There are those people who post something so lame, and on a bad day they'll get at least fifteen responses. On a good day it's twenty five or more. There are some people that post things that make them sound like they are on the brink of suicide. It's sad. I want to think that if I were in that place, facebook would be the last place I would want to reach out for help to keep me from committing suicide. I'm not really a fan of seeing what events other people are attending. I'm thinking electronic invitations worked well before, why don't they work well now? You don't even need a facebook page to use an electronic invitation. 

In one way facebook has been very good to me. It has reconnected me with best friends from my childhood. They are wonderful people who I agree with on many issues. Whether they are social, religious or political issues. They have been welcomed in my home and we have gotten along so wonderfully. It's good to have them back in my life. I  can credit facebook with that. 

But, the green-eyed monster sometimes rears his ugly head and I let it consume me. The green- eyed monster points out the events in family life that we weren't included in. When family comes to town and it's really not to see family. Or, the extended family. The green-eyed monster points out when people you see on a weekly basis stop commenting or having communication. I've got better things to worry about than, "Why weren't we invited?" Or, "Why are we friends on facebook, but you don't even say "hi" at church?"

I'm shoving the green-eyed monster into a closet somewhere. If that means shoving facebook into the closet, then so be it. My time on facebook will be very limited. It may even come to a halt.

 No more waiting for affirmation from others. I know I have affirmation from the one true God. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Laughing Gas is No Laughing Matter

My latest adventure at the dentist was almost a trip! An acid trip.

I was scheduled for  a regular cleaning and my dentist knows that (a) I stress out while in their chair (b) It's not her I hate, just the procedure (c) I fear they are out to get me and take all of my money that I have and will ever have. For those reasons, they give me nitrous oxide, aka laughing gas,  as a courtesy. I am able to chill. I am grateful for that gas every time I go. I can get what I need done, with minimal pain involved and be refreshed after it's all done. Let me tell you, someone could have kicked me in the stomach and I wouldn't have cared. 

But as my body was in a vegetative state, my mind was racing. My goal was to set my phone to my favorite talk radio  app and listen to my favorite talk show host while I drift off. Here's how it went: 

I could really get addicted to this stuff. Maybe addiction could be in the genes. Can life be lived on nitrous oxide? Cool. Mark Davis is about to have Congressman Mike Burgess on and I love to listen to him. It sure beats the country music on the dentist office speaker system. Ding! Hey! Where'd my talk show go? I knew I shouldn't  have commented on so and so's facebook status. On a bad day she gets at least fifteen comments and now I have to get to my iphone to start the talk radio app again. I need to have hubby take off the facebook alert on my phone. It's overrated. I hear Tracey Lawrence on the office radio. Gag. Wife beater. Alleged. I knew I just should have brought my regular ipod that can play the radio. How can a stream of water hurt so much? I am feeling high as a kite and I love it. Now I have to listen to the hygienist talk and hearing what the dentist is saying and I know there will be tears later. 

As I'm feeling high as a kite, it's over.  My dental hygienist turns on the oxygen and I'm coming back to life. Ugh. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Everyday while "working my corner"* I see a mix of people. People going to work. People going to school. People just out getting exercise. Young, old and in between. Some of them are nice, Some are jerks. There are some that seem indifferent. 

There is one little girl that has stood out. Her mom drops her off each morning by car. But, whatever the weather, the little girl rolls down the window and waves to me and smiles. While I was bundled up this morning in below sixty degree weather, she still rolled down her window this morning. She waved to me and smiled enthusiastically. Her happiness was contagious. 

I am not necessarily a morning person. Not on days when I HAVE to get up. On days that I am allowed to sleep in it always works out that I wake and and I'm ready to go at 0 dark thirty. So me venturing into a job where I have to have myself and two kids ready to go by 7:10 in the morning is wild. Much less having to be cheery about it. 

This is easier said that done, but may we approach things and people with the same enthusiasm of that little girl. 

*My trainer kept referring to it as "working your corner". WOW. Where the mind goes....