Monday, July 02, 2007

Oh, The Insanity! Part 1

When we last saw our heroine, Clemntine had packed a duffle bag, gassed up the MomMobile and launched herself southward to spend the night in the lap of luxury...

I meant to leave at 2. I actually left at 3, and that was really fine. I mostly wanted to get an early start on the Solitude, so I wasn't stressed. Why stress?

::cue music::
Get your minivan runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for peace and quiet
Or whatever comes my way
::fade music::

Long about Gainesville I encountered the Monsoon of 2007. It was raining like pouring pee out of a boot. It stayed like that for the better part of the next 50 or 800 miles. I began to seriously regret my decision not to stop at the Love's in Ardmore to answer what was then a faint and distant call of nature, said call having become a blaring air horn as I careened down the interstate through a curtain of rain at the breakneck speed of 24mph trying not to listen to the noise of the rain on the windshield and the roof and under the tires and forcryinoutPete, why didn't I just wear a Depends? That astronaut chick had a few things figured out, anyway. You don't get to be an astronaut by being stupid. You get to be an astronaut by consuming copious quantities of brussels sprouts, according to my mother, which explains perfectly how I came to be a Domestic Engineer and Headmistress of Grow Up Buttercup Academy. But I digress.

Oh, the rain! Sheets of rain, and a sky that was darker than God's pockets.

::cue music::
I made it through the rain
I kept my seat protected
I made it through the rain
I didn't pee my pants
I made it through the rain
My bladder not infected
Did the peepee dance
In a hypnotic trance
Across the Texas expanse...
::fade music::

Long about Hillsboro, the sky grew curiously bright. Remember I had just driven from The Land Of A Thousand Rains. 16 straight days of rain. Clouds and rain. I tried not to panic, but I had to call my mom and tell her that there was a large orange ball in the sky and it seemed to be following me. I told her not to worry, that I would use my Ninja Driving Tactics learned in public school drivers' ed and that orange ball would not be having ME for dinner. No siree!

Well, I eluded the mysterious ball of fire in the sky and made it to my 2 1/2-Star Moderate Plus hotel. It was a brand new Extended Stay America and it was most comfy. I freshened up and went out in search of dinner. I found it at a local TexMex place. Don't remember the name, but it wasn't a chain and the food was yummy. I went back to the hotel to enjoy the silence and sleep.

Saturday morning, I headed east into the corn fields to retrieve my children. Around the curve, Farm to Market roads, state highways and County Roads. Cows, corn, alpacas (!) and mud. Lots of muddy mud. Up a hill, down a hill and around the bend. Are we there yet? Why didn't I stop at the Starbucks off the highway? Finally, down the hill that leads to the turn in for the camp.

So much dirt and sand and deep ruts...what the...dangit! power steering!...jeepers...the engine light and the temperature light are blinking and the car's beeping and...

This is where I dazzle you with my vast and consummate knowledge of all things auto and mechanical:

I put key in car, car go vroom. Or, you know, not.

Friday, June 29, 2007

This Is What It's Come To

I am getting ready to get in the car and drive to Waco (which I insist on pronouncing "Whacko"), TX. I will spend the night in the hotel I scored on Priceline for $40. It's a 2 1/2-star "Moderate Plus". I'll wait here while you recover from being green with envy.

That didn't take long. Maybe you missed the part where I typed 2 AND A HALF-star Moderate PLUS. Plush,eh? You want to know what the PLUS is? It's me in a place I don't have to clean, sleeping in a bed that I will not make with only my lofty thoughts to keep my company. I'm so happy, I could be twins.

I will get up in the morning and drive about 45 minutes into the bowels of central Texas to retrieve my two eldest children from the camp where they've been for a week. I'm very happy to claim my girls. I'm not so psyched about getting their smarmified camp laundry. Is there anything more rancid than camp laundry? If you know of something, I'll thank you very kindly NOT to mention it in my comments. :~D

We will pile into the Mom-mobile and point our noses northward and the girls will chatter incessantly about the lake and the bugs and the crafts and the archery and the sky and the rain and the counselors and the horses and their cabin-mates and the heat and the cold and the showers and the girl who hurled her fish dinner all over three tables in the dining hall because she stood up and spun around as she blew chow (it's the same girl every year ~ I'm thinking her Mom needs to spend some time on Emesis Etiquette, but nobody's asking me). What they won't talk about is the boys.

Because there are no boys.

This camp is all girls, ages 7 to 18. The counselors, cooks, nurses and horseback riding instructors are all women. The girls study, discuss and apply Scripture in an environment where the distractions are wildlife, not wild life. The come home changed a little bit each year. Noticeably more Christlike, mature and lovely than when I dropped them off. They also seem taller and in desperate need of a soak in the tub.

So, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with two tired, grimy, beautiful girls.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It Left Again, and It Took My iPod

My watch is gone. The perfect watch that I lost a few months ago and miraculously found again. The one I swore I would take excellent care of from now until Jesus comes back, and even after that if He'd let me keep it and if it went with my glorified body. I could have a few links taken out so that it would fit my dainty, slender, glorified wrist. I love that watch and it's just goner than gone. It's the gonest. And this time I think it took my iPod with it.

I'm pretty sure they're in Vegas taking in The Blue Man Group or Cirque du Soleil. Or, by now, they are in Nambia awaiting the birth of their little iPod mini with a second hand.

Come back, you two! Please come back!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

1 Year, 100 Posts and Rockin'!

Yesterday was my one year bloggaversary, AND this is my 100th post, AND I am a Rockin' Girl Blogger. Dcrmom said so.

A year ago, I was overwhelmed, under stress, and doing my dadgummedest to figure out how to have the attitude of Christ in my circumstances. A lot like now. One year and 99 posts later, I have laughed, cried, rejoiced and mourned in my own life and with a lot of former strangers that I will surely recognize in heaven.

A lot of bloggers post 100 things about themselves for their 100th post. Whenever I come across those, I read every. single. one. And I'm glad to know more about my fellow dwellers of Blogdom. Here's the problem: there just aren't 100 things about me. There may be, at most, 17. I wasn't thinking, or I'd have posted "17 things about me" instead of this.

So, to commemorate my bloggaversary, my 100th post and my Rockin' status, I submit the following haiku:

Jumbled tumbled thoughts
Fears hopes prayers challenge laughter
Type click publish life

I want to thank dcrmom for thinking that I rock, and for giving me a lift on a day when it was much needed. And here is my (by no means exhaustive) list of Rockin' Girl Bloggers:

Barbie at Just Barbie. This girl oozes faith. Click over and check her out and see if your own faith doesn't grow just a little. She has a heart as big as all outdoors and actively looks for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus in people's lives.

Bev at Scratchin' the Surface (formerly Blessed Beyond Measure) rocks because we've never met, but we have an eerily similar wonkerjawed vocabulary with words like "flowerdy". I enjoy her blog and I look forward to her comments on mine. If you don't already know her, go on over and get acquainted.

Jules at Everyday Mommy and Rabbit at The Hutch both rock and they're cousins, so I'm listing them together. They're women of faith and conviction who have been willing to take the time and go to the trouble to speak the truth in love to this relative stranger. AND they snort when they laugh. Don't we all need friends like that?

Deena at Wholly Devoted is one of the Rockin'est commenters in all of Blogdom. I've appreciated her visits here, and I'm always moved by her sweet comments when I see them on other sites. Besides, this post solidified (punny, I know) her Rockin' status. Read it and be blessed.

So go visit these Rockin' Girl Bloggers, and then come back here for cake. Okay. There's no cake. But I hope you'll come back anyway.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

But I Don't WANT To...

Following is a devotional reading from Elisabeth Eliot. I subscribe to her daily devotionals through Back to the Bible, and every day there is something in my in box that challenges and encourages me.

I wanted to share this one with you:

How to Do the Job You Don't Really Want To Do

Certain aspects of the job the Lord has given me to do are very easy to postpone. I make excuses, find other things that take precedence, and, when I finally get down to business to do it, it is not always with much grace. A new perspective has helped me recently:

The job has been given to me to do.
Therefore it is a gift.
Therefore it is a privilege.
Therefore it is an offering I may make to God.
Therefore it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him.
Therefore it is the route to sanctity.

Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God's way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness. The discipline of this job is, in fact, the chisel God has chosen to shape me with--into the image of Christ.

Thank you, Lord, for the work You have assigned me. I take it as your gift; I offer it back to you. With your help I will do it gladly, faithfully, and I will trust You to make me holy. ~Elisabeth Eliot

Be blessed, my friends.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Following is a Public Service Announcement

I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives.

By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished." So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel. Please pass this on to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace .

This has been a public service announcement.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What Do YOU Want To Eat?

This meme's theme is dining out, and my blogging buddy Elle at A Complete Thought has tagged me. It would seem impolite not to play, so here I am.

As an aside, I'm considering going with an All Meme Blog Theme and doing "All Memes. All The Time." It worked for MTV.

Anyway, back to today's meme.

Here are the rules:
1. Link to name of person that tagged you.
2. Include state and country you live in.
3. List top 5 favorite local restaurants.
4. Tag 5 other people and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Oklahoma, USA

1. Nonna's. The food is exquisite, the atmosphere is perfect and I feel like a card-carrying Grown Up when Gadget Man takes me to this wonderful restaurant. The dining room is elegant and perfectly lit. The wait staff is solicitous and the service is impeccable. When we're in the mood for something a little more casual, we ask to be seated on the second-floor outdoor patio, where we can watch horse-drawn carriages go by with locals and tourists alike.

2. Inspirations Tea Room. This is where I take my girls for a lovely lunch or tea. I also love to meet friends here to laugh, talk, shop, eat and laugh some more. Gadget Man swears there's enough estrogen in this place to turn him into a girl. Fine with me. He can stay far, far away from the pretty dishes, little quiches, homemade coconut cake and French Carmel Creme Brulee flavored tea. Just leaves more for me. As you can see in these photos from TeenQueen's 16th Birthday Mother-Daughter Tea, the decor is lovely, the setting is peaceful and the presentation is artfully delicious. The first photo is of some dear friends and a luncheon tray to.die.for. Cucumber sandwiches, girls. CUCUMBER SANDWICHES.

3. Ann's Chicken Fry. No website, sorry. Trust me on this, when a restaurant has a particular dish in its name, THAT'S the thing to eat when you go there. Case in point, Ann's Chicken Fry. Real, made-from-scratch chicken-fried steak as big as your head. Fried okra. Fried green tomatoes. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Cholesterol? What's that? Can you deep-fry it and cover it in gravy? I'll have mine with sweet tea, please.

4. Bad Brad's BBQ. So good it will make yore tongue reach up and slap yore brains out. If you've read more than one of my blog posts, you know I'm a victim. Ideally, I get my brains slapped out every couple of months or so.

5. Coach's Restaurant Brewery. Our favorite location is situated on the second floor along the third base line at The Bricktown Ballpark, home of the Oklahoma Redhawks, 3A farm team for the Texas Rangers. The ballpark is beautiful and comfortable and it's a great place to take the kids on a springtime field trip. Date night is altogether different, though. We make reservations for a patio table overlooking the third base line and enjoy some great baseball along with a BBQ Sampler Platter followed by a shared entree (there are so many that we enjoy), plenty of iced tea and one or two of their yummy desserts with a cup of decaf coffee to wash it down. The important thing to note here is that we're enjoying a live sporting event and our refreshment is continually, promptly delivered to our table, hot and fresh. Proof, in my mind, that God loves me and wants me to be happy.

Now I'd like to virtually dine out with Carly at Talking Myself Out of the Tree, because she's Canadian and I think that's terribly exotic and fabulous. Also, I hope that Diane will tell us where she likes to go when she eats out on Sundays (or any other days). I love that a certain percentage of the time, her Sunday Dinner Menu is "I'm planning on eating out. If my sisters or whoever may show up would rather scrounge around and have a sandwich or whatever, that will be fine with me. Whatever." My kind of girl. Dcrmom at Musings of a Housewife really deserves a night on the town after this day so I'm tagging her to see where she would want to go. Chilihead writes great reviews on stuff, and has been remodeling her kitchen, so I KNOW there's been some eatin' out going on. Maybe she'll let us know what's good where she is. I've had the pleasure of emailing with Jean at Working Momma 247 so I'm tagging her too.