Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Walking with God in the day-in/day-out course of life swells your assurance that God is faithful and inconceivably enjoyable even when a request goes unmet. Recognizing all the other works God is doing in your life will prevent discouragement as you await your answer.
                                        -Beth Moore, Jesus The One And Only 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Great (Short) Read

I have to admit that when the name Peter Farrelly is mentioned, I can only admit to seeing a couple of his films. As a writer/producer/director his films don't quite fit into the comedy basket that I like when I want to pull out a film and just laugh.

When I read this on the Huffington Post recently I was in awe. I had to share it right away with Hubby. Is the article groundbreaking? Certainly not. I'm sure it's been written about countless times This one just happened to catch my attention. 

Hubby needs to unplug. I need to unplug. Kids need to unplug. Do you? What would happen if you actually got on the dirt road a little more often? Work will still be there in the morning.

The Addiction 
Posted: 01/14/2013 8:27 am

I don't have a cellphone. Never have. I'm not bragging. Fact is, I realize that to most people this makes me Dooshy McDouche. 

'What the hell is wrong with you,' they say, 'what if your wife or kids need you?' 'Well, I do have an office phone and built-in car phone, I just don't have a cellphone -- you know, something I carry in my pocket.' 'But what if you're not at work or in your car and your wife wants you to pick up milk?' 'Well, milk's not really that good for you anyway.' 'And what if it's an actual emergency, what then?' 'If it's an emergency then my wife can call whoever I'm with and they'll hand me their phone.' 'But what if she doesn't know who you're with, or you're not with anyone?' 'Then she'll do what wives have done for thousands of years and she'll just have to wait until I get home.' 

Half of them turn on me right there. 

'Yeah,' they go, 'but this isn't a thousand years ago, Dooshy -- aren't you going to want to know where your kids are the next time there's a flippin' (sic) terrorist attack?' 'Correcto,' I state confidently, weighing whether to cave or wrack my brain for a response, 'but, um, in the 1950s and '60s weren't we constantly on the brink of atomic war and didn't daddys get by without cellphones?' 'Okay, what if someone close to you died and no one could reach you,' she says, slapping down her trump card, 'how would you feel then?' 'Well, how would it hurt to get a few extra minutes of happiness before getting the bad news?'
Look, if I just found out about 9/11 today, I'd be on my back counting my breaths. But I guarantee I would've had a better last decade than you. While everyone was on pins and needles waiting for the next blow, I was a care-free idiot.

Remember when cops used to throw drunks out of bars and then help them to their cars? They'd plop us in the driver's seat, start it up, and point me in the general direction of home. Well, that's where you guys are right now. You're completely out of control with the cellphones and nobody's taking the problem seriously. The worst drug addicts on that God-forsaken street in Vancouver have a vague recollection of sobriety. Not you. You all look at me like I'm the nutcase. People say, 'Wow, must be weird not having a cellphone,' and I tell them, 'Well, not really. It's just like how it was for you before you had a cellphone.' 'But how do you text?' 'I don't,' I say, and I get that empty look which reminds me how alone I am.
And let's admit something else -- they're not really cellphones anymore. Calling an iPhone a phone is like calling a jumbo jet an oven. Yeah, there's a phone in there somewhere but that's really a computer your kids are staring at when you're cruising past the Grand Canyon in your Odyssey. Doesn't that make you a little mad? What happened to driving in a car and just looking out the window? Your kids are giving up the entire physical world for this narcissistic/sychophantic/addictive need to follow someone or see who's following them.

I'm not a complete technophobe. I do email and got lasik surgery and I like those new, vaporizer one-hitters that you can use in restaurants, and I've even done a few tweets from my computer this year. And, like I said, I have phones at home and at work and even built in to my car, but you know when I don't have one? When I'm walking down a country road or on a beach or at a football game. 

I know the arguments -- I'm just an old man, horse and carriage, etc. Until recently my kids were embarrassed by my refusal to come on board. My little daughter would say, 'You're stupid! Why won't you get a cellphone, everyone else's dad has a cellphone!'

And I'd say, 'Well, because if I had a cellphone, honey, I'd be on the phone right now instead of sitting here with you, deciding whether I want to fight your mother for custody.'

Actually, my daughter doesn't talk like that and I'm not getting a divorce, I don't think, but for a long time my kids were upset that I didn't have a phone. My wife, too. She keeps suggesting that I get one and just keep it turned it off. But everyone would know it's still with me. Isn't there an implicit understanding when you have a phone that you're going to check in periodically with the other phone-carrying people? 

I admit, there would be some advantages to having a cellphone -- like being able to hound my kids any second of the day no matter where I was. But I also know myself and I'm weak. If there's a chocolate cake in my house, I eat it, and if I had a cellphone I'd be on it all the time. I'd be checking scores and injury reports and emails and stocks and I'd be Tweeting and Vextstering and Instagraming and, even when I wasn't on my phone, the anticipation of incoming information would be cluttering my brain and distracting me and keeping me from ever just sitting in a room with my kids and talking, like I do now.

I get this a lot: 'You're lucky. The rest of us have to have phones, we don't have a choice. We need it for our jobs.'

Which is another thing -- why are workers suddenly expected to have their cellphones on them pretty much all the time? And why is no one questioning that? Your lunch break isn't really a break if you're electronically tethered to your boss. Even if he doesn't call, he's there. And when you go home or out with friends, you're not really away if you're at the mercy of someone's fingertips. Remember the old reach-out-and-touch-someone phone ads? Now you're being molested!

So today, right in this newspaper or whatever you call it, I'm starting a movement. What I'm proposing is simple: Every human being should have the right to unplug. There should be laws, amendments, legislation. When you leave your place of business, you should be done. Seven o'clock should mean seven o'clock and a phone call from your boss after that should count as a pinch in the ass -- that would make them think twice. And when you're on the golf course or at the movies and your wife or husband call about nothing, that should be viewed as some form of verbal abuse that would be admissible in court later.

One night this week when you go out, try leaving your cellphone home. Pull off the information super-highway and come back to the dirt roads for a while. It'll be hard at first, like quitting drinking for the month of February, but after a while it'll get easier and quieter and you'll find a clarity that you've probably forgotten about. I don't know, maybe this movement already exists. I don't have a cellphone so I'm not up on a lot of things.

Mommy Growing Pains

Warning. This may get heavy. So, if you're not in the mood for heavy move along.

As a mother of girls, I'm struggling. I struggle at times to feel like I'm making a connection. And that's critical. I am well aware that a connection needs to be made. Does it have to be at all times? Is that asking too much?

Believe it or not, even though I may seem as old as dirt, I remember how it was growing up girl. Awkward at times and not necessarily what we all think childhood/growing up should be. Is it ever? That's why I have tried to do things a little different than when I grew up. Have I done things differently everyday? Definitely not. Sometimes I do feel like I am creating the situation that I grew up in. And I have to fight it. But when frustration kicks in, it makes me crazy.

How can I make my kids understand I only want what's best for them? Is there a way? I am the adult and I have to act like one. But it's so easy to treat them the way they treat me. But I can't.

For whatever reason showers were not had last night before bed. So, the kids had to take showers before school this morning. It's snowing this morning so I told the girls their hair must be dry before leaving the house. Was it? Nope. And one of them looked like they had a rats nest growing in the back. And this was acceptable to them. I'm sorry, it wasn't acceptable for me.

I couldn't let her leave the house the way she looked. Is it that I care too much about looks? Honey, my hair usually isn't brushed and I'm in my pajama pants and sweatshirt when I left to drive them to the bus stop/school. I don't have time to care about my looks before 7:45am. Does that make it a double standard? That early in the morning and this time of year, it's dark outside. Nobody sees me. But when I do get ready to go somewhere, I'm ready.

When I made one of them come with me to my bathroom to dry and fix her hair you would have thought I killed the dog*. I was trying to show her (in a very calm voice, mind you) that if she brushes her hair back away from her face while drying it she will be able to train her hair to naturally fall away while growing out her bangs**.

With my other child, I can't get her to tell the truth at times and that scares me. During dinner one night I could tell she was on the brink of having a cryfest***. She said she was fine. So later when I heard her crying upstairs I went to check on her. She came up with some reason as to why she was crying. But you know those times when the alarm is sounding and it doesn't quite ring truth? This was one of those moments. Turns out that around 9:30pm rolls around (she's supposed to be asleep at this point) and she's still awake. I think it's because the truth hasn't come out yet and she's trying to come up with a way to get it out. But not quite. She said she was too hot upstairs. I'm not sure how much cooler we could go upstairs without the girls freezing so I just pretended to turn down the heat. But when I got to the reason of why she was so upset, we took care of the problem and she fell right to sleep.

Within these walls is a safe place for them. I'm not sure how to get my kids to understand that. 

We are at the brink of the teenage years for my oldest. At the end of the day, I'm still Mom. I will try and correct their path and guide them. I will not let them run over me and control every situation.

Girls, you may not believe it, but I'm on your side. I truly am. You are smart. You are sweet. And you are wonderful young ladies in training. I couldn't imagine my life without you and I only want what's best for you. You make me proud. With you, it feels like I have done something right in this world. You bring such joy. And I love you very much.

God, figuratively I'm scratching my head so much I'm afraid I might scratch a bald spot in the back of my head. I need patience and wisdom. I need strength to get me through the difficult times. I pray that the girls get what they need from me as a parent and don't hate me for it later. There needs to be a balance that can only be achieved by focusing on Your grace and mercy. At the end of my journey I want my kids to look at me and say, "Thank you for everything. Thank you for loving us and being a great mom to us." But now I'm so unsure of asking for a thank you. Is it motive? Is it wrong to have a motive of your kids wanting to say "Thank you"? God, only You can handle this. Please handle this.

*Which after eating two more socks and regurgitating them on my dining room rug yesterday, I'm very tempted. If Golden Retrievers are so smart, I'm ready for him to catch on that eating socks is BAD.

**Growing out bangs, what a  royal pain in the arse!

***Don't we all find ourselves on the brink of one every now and then? Sometimes it does the mind good just to get it out.