On a lighter note…

I have gotten into the habit of buying chocolate at lunchtime. Not sure when that started. Perhaps it is the fact that the people we work for frequently ply us with chocolate and we have gotten into a habit. When I don’t have chocolate around, sometimes I run down the the vending machine and buy a Hershey’s with almonds bar. Generally I would call this “junk” chocolate but it does hit the spot when necessary.

What I don’t like….is to be told, by the wrapper how to open my chocolate! “Hold here” “Tear here” Come on! It is chocolate, I am gonna find a way to get to it without instructions! Is this really necessary? I seem to be slightly bothered by this every time I decide to have a Hershey’s bar.

Similarly bothersome in my opinion is road signs which yell at me. I don’t like being told what to do on a good day, it is infinitely irritating to have a road sign say “You are going 56 MPH, SLOW DOWN NOW!!!” Oh yeah? And what are you gonna do about it?


WordPress ate my Jonah post when I made the switch…trying again.

We are studying Jonah at church right now. This week was Jonah 1, the sermon was very interesting and insightful. But that is not what I will be writing about. I picked up on something which I wanted to keep as a reminder here.

First the story:

Jonah 1 (New International Version)
Jonah Flees From the LORD
1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
4 Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.”
7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
8 So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”
9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.”
10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so.)
11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.
17 But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

My thoughts and reminders:

Since I spent a good portion of my 20’s “running” it was rather interesting to delve into this first chapter. How many times I have ran! Ran to New Jersey, only to run to Pennsylvania only 7 months later, only to run to Nebraska fairly soon after. It has been an interesting journey as even when I was making decisions pell-mell on an adrenaline rush, I can frighteningly easily see where God has either “kicked me in the butt” for what I was doing or led things to happen even though I chose an option I do not believe he would have wanted for me. Funny thing, this ability to choose. So I was struck by Jonah and his running, so obviously against God’s will. Yet not only can he not get away with it, but God makes use of his peril, leading sailors to Him.

Though I would, at this point in my life, prefer to not make decisions in the previous manner, it is reassuring that though I have made some poor choices, the Lord is way more powerful than I and can turn something I have done into something better than it would be if it was left up to me.


Yes, I admit it, I can be a bit of an insomniac. It isn’t the usual insomnia where I can’t get to sleep. I get to sleep just fine. But I can’t stay asleep. Usually 2 AM rolls around and I am wide awake till about 4:30. At that point, I have a decision to make, do I just get up, have some coffee, and get on with my day? Or do I really continue to attempt another hour or so of sleep. Even if I do sleep through the night I have this slightly annoying habit of waking up quite early, between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning. Then of course around midday I hit a wall, I practically can’t think anymore and need a nap. Once I make it through the day and put my daughter to bed, I suddenly feel like 8PM would be a lovely bedtime. But I know that if I go to bed at 8, I am just exacerbating the issue.

Good thing tomorrow is Saturday. I can actually get a nap. Sunday’s are nice too.


Well Uncle is gone now. We took him to the airport this morning. I suspect my daughter is not going to take kindly to this. I do have to admit I sometimes wonder how she deals with people being in and out of her life so constantly. On the other hand, family is important even if they are far away.

I think our saving grace this evening will be that I have enabled her video habit by picking up cheap ($.99) VHS tapes of “Lady and the Tramp” and “Aristocats.” I know she will be upset about Uncle leaving and the house is trashed due to her being home for 5 days. Uncle helped as best he could but I know what it is like, she can trash it a lot faster than you can clean it. So some video’s might help facilitate my getting the place back in shape. Which is necessary for my own peace of mind!

I love visitors but I do love the place to myself as well. It is not a big enough home for frequent guests. I am looking forward to the relative quiet that being alone affords me.


I decided to make a hat for my brother while he was visiting. It knitted up quickly, was fun to do, and looks quite good on him. On the other hand, the hat is back in my hands because he “just doesn’t wear hats.” (Luckily it doesn’t look half bad on me either.)

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I have a lovely older coworker who is my “adopted grandmother” here. She and her husband have been very good to me, making sure I felt that I have family in the area. The other day she mentioned that she was going to give up chocolate for lent. Now, last year, I cannot remember where (though I have my suspicions) I heard the argument that it might be more logical to have someone besides yourself pick something to give up for lent. I do not come from a denomination that practices lent, so the concept is slightly foreign to me but I thought that was a neat idea. This year, when my coworker talked about giving up chocolate, I remembered this and stated that I should perhaps get to pick what she is giving up and it certainly wouldn’t be chocolate. I argued that coffee might be a much better option. I said so flippantly. I was practically joking. I just was expressing what I thought was an interesting concept. Well she went right home and told her husband and told her church group and I found out today that she is indeed giving up coffee for lent. She thought that it might just be a great idea for lent and that if she could do it for lent perhaps it would “stick” making her healthier all around. She said it never occurred to her to give up something which was so much part of her routine and her life. It never occurred to her that coffee was an option. She was grateful that someone would point that out to her. (Seriously, she drinks pots of the stuff all day long!) So this morning is her first coffee less day, though I noticed she was trying out tea yesterday as well. She enjoyed a chocolate frosted donut in the meantime and I mentioned to her that she wouldn’t have been able to enjoy that little treat had she gone on her first instinct.

I have learned something from this too….You just do not know how your words affect those around you. This is a lesson best learned quickly and remembered. I said something flippantly and it “took”. What seeds do we plant daily in the minds of others that we would rather not plant? What seeds do we plant daily that would be helpful and beneficial to another person? What do we say to our friends, family, coworkers, children? Is it uplifting? Are we making statements we want to be remembered by? What seeds do we plant daily in our own minds that are not the least bit beneficial or uplifting? Can we plant good seeds in others minds when we can’t do so with ourselves?

A very special thank you to Cherie, my “sister of the fingers” (and sister of my heart) for your help in putting this post together, meanwhile being reminded and learning and “walking” along side me.

James 3 (Contemporary English Version)
The Tongue
1My friends, we should not all try to become teachers. In fact, teachers will be judged more strictly than others. 2All of us do many wrong things. But if you can control your tongue, you are mature and able to control your whole body.
3By putting a bit into the mouth of a horse, we can turn the horse in different directions. 4It takes strong winds to move a large sailing ship, but the captain uses only a small rudder to make it go in any direction. 5Our tongues are small too, and yet they brag about big things.
It takes only a spark to start a forest fire! 6The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person’s entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed. 8But our tongues get out of control. They are restless and evil, and always spreading deadly poison.
9-10My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses. We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn’t right. 11Can clean water and dirty water both flow from the same spring? 12Can a fig tree produce olives or a grapevine produce figs? Does fresh water come from a well full of salt water?

Wisdom from Above
13Are any of you wise or sensible? Then show it by living right and by being humble and wise in everything you do. 14But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy and selfishness, don’t brag or lie to cover up the truth. 15That kind of wisdom doesn’t come from above. It is earthly and selfish and comes from the devil himself. 16Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things. 17But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. 18When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice.

All better

My daughter seems to be feeling much better. She really tried to be grumpy with me this morning but she just couldn’t! She didn’t even want to take her binkie in the car (thank goodness for small miracles).

Her father brought her a small Dalmatian stuffed puppy which she is quite enjoying. It is old, obviously used, I have no idea where he got it, but she loves it. She wanted to take it to school today. She said while in the car “my puppy is SO silly!” She just couldn’t wait to get to school and show her little friend Thomas her puppy. Luckily Thomas was there when we got there, and she just ran right up to him, showed him her puppy and her gloves. I was rearranging her things when she comes barrelling toward me and grabs my legs. I look down to see Thomas right behind her and she is just giggling and screeching and saying “Thomas chasing me!” Then she turns right around and returns the favor. I just looked at her teacher and laughed because it is so obvious she is feeling better and we are both so relieved. I do feel a twinge of guilt for the teacher though, poor gal, she is going to have her hands full today.

My mom and brother are due in today at 1:45ish. Doesn’t look like it is going to happen. They were delayed right from the start. I asked them to please call me when they get to their layover but have not heard from them. I suppose I can just stay at work though I was really looking forward to leaving early today. I have been telling my daughter that Nana and Uncle are coming to visit, but she keeps getting irritated with me, telling me that surely PopPop will be visiting too. I try to explain that it will just be Nana and Uncle but she will have none of that. It will break my mothers heart if she cries when seeing that PopPop indeed is not coming but I have a feeling that is what will happen.

To those of you who catch me online on a regular basis, I will be very scarce this weekend but look forward to catching up on Monday.


I got another fax call from JCR distribution. I really had wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. It is unfortunate that they did not take care of this issue. I again called the company and got the name and extension of the man who handles such things. He had a doctor’s appointment this morning and I had to leave a voice mail. Have I mentioned that I hate the phone? I did leave a very precise and logical voice mail message much to my own surprise and we will see if he calls me back.

My daughter seems to be ill. She had a terrible day at childcare crying most of the day, though no one called me to tell me. The next day went better but she did not eat at all. She didn’t eat for me either once she was home barring a small chunk of cheese. I suppose the protein helped. She is drinking plenty of fluids and I am not concerned. On the other hand, I am not feeling so well either. It came on strong and fast last night. I tried to get some sleep early but the insomnia was kicking in too. It is OK though, my mom and brother will be here tomorrow and I can be actually sick while they watch Riley providing I need to be. Just have a few important things to get done today and I will be free up tomorrow.

Laundry list

To start with, no 2:30 AM faxes so I must be off the list. Considering my great fear of the phone, I am surprised the incident managed to get me so worked up so fast that I would choose to call the company. After all, I am sitting on all those payday loan spam text messages on my cell phone which are costing me 5 cents each and making me angry yet not angry enough to call the phone company and complain about it!

My daughter woke up yesterday morning with a whole laundry list of complaints. It is apparently in our very nature to complain. And the more words we have the more willing we are to use them. I got up early and started my morning routine but somewhere along the line heard her crying. Typically she would play happily in her bed until I am done with my routine and it is her turn, but not this morning. I went up to get her and the complaints just came pouring out.

“My nose is runny, need a tissue”
“Need a binkie!”
“I’m wet”
“Chocolate milk all gone!”
“Chocolate milk on Baa” (this one might need some additional info, Baa is a white stuffed sheep she sleeps with)
“Mr. Potato head arm fall out!” (the arm was on the floor next to the crib)

I just laughed and marvelled at how fast language develops in this age. A month ago she would not have been able to get all those thoughts across. Maybe one or two complaints, but not a laundry list!

In anticipation of the arrival of my mother and brother this weekend, I have been hard at work doing some additional deep cleaning. Last evening I went to look under my bed and saw that my daughter has been using my bedskirt as a cool hiding place. All neatly lined up next to a chair she sits in to watch tv, but under the bedskirt, was a sippy cup, a bottle (both of which who knows how long they have been there!) a small dancing girl figurine, and a peanut butter sandwich I was under the impression she had eaten. I will have to remember to check there more often.

In other news….I have been asked to share my “story”, all of it, from start to finish. It may take some time but I am commited to at least working on it. I have been asked before but to present before groups of women is very intimidating. So I have not accepted. Perhaps writing it down will give me the courage to share in other venues when asked. We will see.


I called JCR today and thought I would start out as sweet as sugar. The whole “draw more flies with honey” saying and all. I called and asked if they had a fax machine with the number 214-XXX-XXXX associated with them. The person I spoke to said “no.” I explained that I did indeed receive a call from said number at 2:30AM on my home phone and that the caller ID showed his company. He then mentioned that they did have a fax machine that dialed out overnight. OK so now we are changing our tune. That is fine, just get me OFF that list! We will see….

Wake Up!

Last night, I woke to my phone ringing at 2:30 AM. It brought me out of a dead slumber and all matter of emergencies went through my head as I ran for that phone. Could it be a friend in trouble? Could something have happened to my parents? My grandparents? Am I going to have to buy plane tickets first thing? What could it be?

I picked up the phone and heard the annoying beep of a fax machine on the other end.


Now my adrenaline is pumping, I am wide awake, and shaking like a leaf. Not to mention a bit sore as I kept banging into things in the house in my mad rush to get that important call! I also know that this is going to wake up my daughter, but not right away. You see, it takes her awhile to come out of a deep sleep, so I know she won’t wake up until a half hour to 45 minutes later. I look out the window, SNOW!!! I even contemplated shoveling at 2:30AM but thought that might be dangerous. I got online as the caller ID registered a JCR distribution with a 214 area code. With the help of 2 night owl friends of mine I found that this company sells HVAC products on ebay. I emailed the information to my work address and decided to deal with it in the morning.

I crawl back in bed, turn up the heated mattress pad and try to sleep. I just drift up when what do I hear? My daughter coming out of her deep sleep. Upstairs I go to cover her back up and calm her down. It is now 3:15, she is right on schedule. Look out the window again and contemplate shovelling. Decide to attempt sleep again. The last time I looked at the clock it was 4:30.

Now, those of you who frequent my blog probably already know this but I never use an alarm clock. I don’t like them and they are pointless as I always wake up before they go off anyhow. If they go off and I have to listen to that it makes me grumpy. So I have given up on alarm clocks trusting my internal clock instead. Which has never failed me. I woke up at 7, needing to be at work by 8:30 and needing to shovel the mass of snow I was worried about all night. Usually I allow myself about that amount of time to get us up and around but my internal clock did not factor in the snow shovelling. And I am anal enough that I insist it ALL be done, not just a pathway. I did manage to get it all done, get ready, and get to work still 15 minutes early and I even put on make up and jewelry, no ritual was sacrificed in the attempt to get to work on time. Even my lunch got made.

Now here I sit with a cup of coffee looking up information on JCR distributing. I have an ebay profile, I have an address and phone number, I even have a map. Not that I will be travelling to Dallas, TX anytime soon. I have also had a lot of time to think. Now why else would a company in the same time zone as myself, be faxing something at 2:30 AM unless it was spam fax? I will be getting to the bottom of this today. Stay tuned…

Challenge Part II

I realized that I left it unclear as to what other challenges our Pastor might have offered. So I am going to take time to write about the challenge we participated in last summer.

Our church had committed, in January, to raise 1 million to start a hospital for women and children in Mali West Africa.


This being a large sum even for a large church, our pastor decided to use it as an object lesson. He spoke about the parable of the talents and then handed out envelopes. Anyone who wanted to participate in the challenge was to take an envelope. In these envelopes were bills, $20, $50, or $100, to be used as seed money so that we could find ways to raise money for the Mali Project. A total of $20,000 was handed out that Sunday. Over the summer, church attenders came up with all sorts of ways to raise money. They were creative and they were persistant, and in the end, over $438,000 was raised, exceeding the expectations of everyone. And it was fun!

The Parable of the Talents

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

The man with the two talents also came. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

Then the man who had received the one talent came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”

His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

– Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)


Our pastor has issued (once again) a challenge. We are to memorize a large (for me) chunk of scripture. He loves to issue challenges and we love to accept and exceed expectations. To add an additional element of interest, he has divided us into 2 groups, 45 and older, and then us younger crowd.
I sit with a few single women who are older than 45, all of whom are single parents with now grown kids. They are, of course, very eager to go for the challenge and encourage me to do the same. So, in my attempt to do so I am going to type it out once which I do feel will help.

2 Peter 1:1-11

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perserverance; and to perserverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

(I will be keeping myself updated as to my progress and do have some other tools that I may post here to attempt to memorize this. I have 6 weeks, we will see what happens.)


My daughter is developing a love for Disney movies. She used to not be the least bit entertained by TV in any way so this is a more recent development. All of a sudden, movies are fascinating, which is great when she is sick, but on more than one occasion, we have had to say “bye bye” to the movies because she forgets how to play with her trains and her dolls.

What most amuses me is what she calls these movies, and what she picks up from them.

First there is Toy Story 2, Pronounced Stoy Schtory. She loves Mr. Potato Head and has her own which she feels the need to take to bed with her every night. Her favorite part is the beginning where Buzz Lightyear “fly.”

We have just started Pocahantas, prounounced Pocapontas. She hasn’t seen it enough to pick anything up yet.

Lion King is “Tigers”

Charlotte’s Web (the cartoon version) is “Itsy Bitsy Spider”

Cinderella is as it should be pronounced. She loves the first scene where Cinderella is waking up and singing. For the longest time she would run around the house, almost stomping, and saying “Modder, Modder, Modder” and I had no idea why. Then I realized it was because the evil step sisters are often seen in this movie running around and calling ” Mother, Mother, Mother.”

101 Dalmations is “Puppies” and there will be more to follow as soon as I remember….

This post will be updated as to record these things for my own posterity.


On Monday, My daughter’s school called to tell me she had a fever of 101.9. I was ordered to come pick her up. The school has a rule that she must be fever free without medication for 24 hours before her return. That means even if she is well that day, we have no choice but to take the next day off too.

I don’t do so well with an unexpected day off. Especially with a sick kid. She really wasn’t acting all that sick but then she never does. She was acting demanding though. I gave her Tylenol and let her watch movies. She slept well for her nap and that night. Then the next day, she woke up early, acted fine, her fever broke early and she was very grumpy about not being in school. Apparently neither of us knows what to do with herself when we have a day off. I hesitated to take her out as she was supposed to be sick. By that evening she was so grumpy that nothing was right and she was throwing fits all over the house. I was ready to gouge my eyeballs out with a dull spoon. She went to bed but didn’t sleep until late as she had already slept too much. That left her sleepy and grumpy this morning so we had a repeat of yesterday afternoon in our attempt to get up and around to go to school. Once she knew she was going to school though, things were much better. I was very relieved to get to work and realized that I see work as my time away and rather stress free compared to living with a toddler day in and day out. I suppose that if I was a still a stay at home mom, we would have a certain routine we were in and it wouldn’t be so bad, but the way yesterday went, I am glad I am working.

Just think of it!

My daughter has been rather amazed by glasses lately. I attribute that to “The Nose Book” by Al Perkins which she received from my parents for Christmas.

The last section of this book talks about various strange things which would happen if we had no nose. Something like….”If we had no nose, where would our glasses sit? They’d all fall off, just think of it!”

She recites these lines in various toddler form regularly. Her facial expressions are too funny, shrugging her shoulders, tilting her head and asking me…”glasses fall off?” “what would happen?” with her eyebrows furrowed. Adorable. And just for kicks I let her try mine on.

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Siblings, or lack thereof.

My daughter does not have a sibling. As a single mom we can assume that none are on the horizon anytime soon. What I didn’t realize about only children was that they still have it in their nature to fight with siblings. But all we have to substitute is a doll. Now, when she first started to call her little dolls “baby sister” it about broke my heart. I want more kids and she wants them too! But now I am not so sure. Last night she was laying on my bed with her favorite doll, Miles. Miles was my doll as a kid. I hear her saying “Mommy Mommy!’ I turn around and she says “Mommy, Miles touching me!” I laughed and told her to move Miles. A little later I hear “Mommy Mommy, Miles bugging me!” Once again, I tell her to move Miles. Then I hear a thump. Yes, she has shoved Miles out of bed! But then I again have a change of heart because pretty soon she is upset as I refuse to give her a binkie. She wants Miles back. I give her Miles, and see her cuddling him and crying and telling him “Miles, I need my binkie!” And just this morning I went up to get her out of bed and I see her holding Miles on her lap and reading Hop On Pop to him. Maybe a sibling isn’t such a bad idea!