guest blogging today

Exciting news!

I have the honor of being the guest poster today at Melinda Todd's "Trailing After God" blog.  Here's the link -

Stop on over and I'll see you there!

don't tweeze and drive

I'll admit it.  Sometimes when I'm driving, if I glance in the rear view mirror and see a stray piece of eyebrow that needs to come out, I'll reach for my tweezers in my purse and start plucking.  It only takes a moment for me to shimmy myself up in my driver's seat and get as close to the mirror as I can and, with one eye on the road and the other definitely somewhere else, take care of those stray hairs that are ruining my look.

I always see it as getting two things done at once....driving and beautifying.

Works for me.

But I'm sure it's putting others at risk.

Which brings me to the word "multitask". 

Wouldn't it be great if either: a) my life were simple and uncluttered enough that I never had to do more than one thing at once or b) I had so much time in my day that I never had to double or triple up on tasks- I could do and focus on one at a time.

Are we better because we can and do multitask?  Or are we worse off because instead of giving one project (yes, tweezing is a project to me) 100% of our attention at one time we give two or more 50% or less?

I'm not sure there's a definitive answer, or will ever be one.  And the answer may change depending upon the situation we find ourselves in.

But I know for sure that when I tweeze and drive, there's no way I can pay full attention to either task.  This is surely a no-no for my face and for traffic.

I need to remember what's important.  What needs my full attention.  In the age of needing/wanting/trying to do many things at once, I'm still not sure that's how God designed any of us to be. 

What say you?

motherly advice

Since our youngest got his driver's license a month ago, now we have three children who all drive and have their own car.

We have 5 cars that need space in our driveway.

Someone's gotta park on the grass.

This wasn't a problem when I got my license back in 19(you fill in the blank).  My mom had a car and my dad had a car.  Simple.  And for me that meant that if I ever wanted to actually take advantage of my license, I needed to borrow a vehicle from someone.   Usually that someone wasn't Dad because he had to go to work all day.

Default loaner car = Mom's big green station wagon.

Yay me.

Since my mother didn't work outside our home, it generally wasn't a problem to get the car for an hour or a day.  The problem was that I didn't have much income, and the station wagon's gas tank took a fair amount of income to keep it filled even back in those days.  I did the best I could to help out on my meager summer-job salary, but I can remember being in a quandry one night over needing to give the wagon some juice because I wanted to go out with my friends, but not having any cash on hand.

My mother in her wisdom said to me,

"Maybe you'll have to tell your friends you can't go because you don't have enough money to put gas in the car."

Oh. My. Gosh.  The truth was out.  My mother really was from another planet.

I can't remember what happened that evening, but I'm sure I begged, borrowed or stole so that I could drive away with my head held high because there was no way a statement like that was coming out of my mouth.

Somehow my kids keep their cars running, gassed up, and on the road. I don't ask; they don't tell.  But if they ever need my advice, I've got some ready to give.

Thanks, Mom.

best and worst of friends

Lucy is trying to be good.

She's doing her darndest to be the best Golden Retriever ever.

But she's being taken down by a 10 pound cat.

It all started on Mother's Day when I got the gift of my not-so-distant-past dreams, a homeless cat from the SPCA that I had seen the week before.  As our family took turns renaming the kitty to make her our very own (they all thought "Lady" was a dumb name), I gazed at her black and white fur and said, "Moo.  She looks like a cow and we'll call her Moo." 

My kids were glad it was time for dessert so that they could have a reason to leave the room.

My cat/my name, I told them.  And Moo it is.

Lucy had been top dog here, literally, in the pet department.  Ever since Tiger died last August (another creatively named feline as you can tell), she'd been the only animal attraction on the property.  She got all the love, the hugs, the kisses, the bones and most of the water. 

Until Moo moved in.

That cat can hiss.  She can arch her back like the steel in St. Louis and spew enough venom across the room to kill us all.  And to see our 75-pound furry fourth child cower in fear, not wanting to come out of her crate in the morning because prima donna fuzzball is eating her Fancy Feast nearby, just saddens my heart.  And also makes me laugh.

Over the weeks we've watched their proximity grow.  Instead of living on separate floors, they now both live comfortably upstairs, preferably at least nine feet apart.  When Moo saunters in, Lucy watches her with a closely trained eye to see where she's going to nap next.  And I've caught Lucy sniffing out the house to see where Miss Kitty has gone so that she can curl up on the floor somewhere underneath the cat's current perch of a windowsill or easy chair.

Lucy means no harm.  And Moo means no kindness.

Maybe one day, they'll be friends.

You just never know.

happy birthday to him

He sits in his room shooting hoops, except the basketball is an item of clothing from his clean laundry pile and the basket is the top shelf of his closet.  With a throw that resembles magic in motion, he lands each piece precisely where he wants it without ever leaving the comfort of his desk chair.  This chair swivels as well so as I watch him from the doorway, I inquire, "Is that how you put your laundry away?" He refrains from gracefully arc-ing yet another tshirt in the air and seamlessly turns to me saying, "Yep".

Seventeen years old tomorrow this Michael Jordan of the laundry will be.  I reminisce back to 17 years ago today- I was waddling, hot, waiting, ready.  I was about to have child #3 and then we would be done.  But with children numbers 1 and 2 already having taken over the house, I knew the longer this one stayed unborn the easier my life would be, even if I was more uncomfortable than a whale out of water .

The next day the doctors decided that 2.5 weeks was a little too overdue and that this baby was going to be meeting his parents in just a few hours.  As I walked in my lovely gown into a sterile environment, I looked over at the waiting warming tray that was about 21 inches long and knew that although I felt fine at the moment, soon I would be plunged into the laborious kingdom and would have to follow through until child #3 joined us in the room as a participant in this whole adventure.

I was ready to run.

The story has a happy ending as Spencer came into the world just before lunchtime on July 6, 1994, which was a very good thing as I was mighty hungry that day.  And when child #3 goes home from the hospital he just naturally blends in with #1 and #2 and before you know it, he's driving his own car and shooting his own hoops of clean clothes.

And his mother is standing at the doorway just taking it all in with a smile.

Happy Birthday to my youngest!

Grounds for....

...sculpture, fortunately.

An interesting place with interesting art in Hamilton, NJ.

A very cool place on a humid afternoon!