Thursday, November 29, 2007

Being Monk-ish

Uh-oh. My OCD is showing. This morning I ended up at Price Costco about 5 minutes before opening, so I grabbed a cart and settled in to wait with the little group that had gathered to get their shopping out of the way early in the day. I knew right away that the shopping cart I had chosen so carelessly was a reject, so I quickly pushed it to the side and pulled out the next one. It rattled too loudly--no way was I going to stroll around PC with that! I felt a little self-conscious pulling on the next cart, but what could I do? It came out easily, but a little unevenly. I gave it a little shove as I strolled nonchalantly around to the other line of carts, hoping nobody would notice. (i.e., "What is the crazy American lady doing?" Oh well. At least I can't understand them.) I groaned inwardly as I realized that the next cart I pulled out was horribly unacceptable. I could see now though that just a couple of carts away was one that looked relatively new, so I quickly tugged on the two intervening carts to move them out of my way and, sure enough, slid out the cart of choice. It glided smoothly and quietly as I turned to the faces of my fellow-shoppers. The lady closest to me (an islander) smiled what seemd to me to be an understanding smile.

And then there's my bed pillow compulsion. . . .

Friday, November 23, 2007


Fourteen pies (Kait made the two pumpkins AND rolled out the crust for several others), 32 for dinner, and 1 Pie Night open house later and we've once again come happily through what is possibly the favorite holiday in our household (actually it's an impossible-to-call-it tie between Thanksgiving and Christmas).

So much to be thankful for and so little ability to express it:
  • Alexa's home. She arrived at 3:30 A.M. last Sunday morning. The kids didn't know. The day before was Ezra's birthday, and since we were pressed for time to do all the things we had going for that day, I had told him that we would give him breakfast in bed on Sunday morning (it's kind of like birthday cake in our family--it may not be everyone's favorite thing, but it's expected by both the givers and the receiver), and I'd get a special surprise for him. Anyway, so we had 6 Japanese high school athletes staying with us that weekend (OK, so there's a thing or two that happens here that I don't get around to blogging about--yatahay), so our boys were all sleeping in Sam's room. The girls got up to make Ez's breakfast, and we took it down with a cheery rendition of "Happy Birthday". We just stood there chatting for a while and trying to wake up Sam and Jake (teenagers sleep like newborns--awake when you'd like them to sleep and vice-versa), when Kait asked me what the special surprise was for Ezra. "Oh yeah. Just a second, I'll go get it." So I ran down to my room where Lex was sleeping and told her that we had a little window of opportunity to totally surprise the rest of the kids. She got up and grabbed the gifts she had brought for Ez and you should have seen those faces when she walked in the room!!! It was so fun! For a second everything just stopped, and then Kait threw herself at Lex and held on. She kept her eyes squeezed shut like she was afraid of waking up from a dream. Jacob kept saying, "It's Alexa! It's Alexa! Sam wake up! It's Alexa!" and wiping his eyes with a shirt I had tossed to him (he was still under the sheets). The little kids were just watching with big grins on their faces as if they weren't quite sure what was going on--it was great!

  • Wonderful friends. Not the least of which happens to be my husband. I learn so much that I need to know and understand and work on from watching my friends and they are so kind and patient and tolerant of me that it just amazes me sometimes. I'm also grateful for the ability to store these friends in my memories and recall those incredible people who aren't physically near me anymore for whatever reason and the things I gleaned from my association with them.

  • Time and perspective. I don't think I'm particularly slow to understand concepts, but I am very slow to put them into practice. My aunt used to say, "Oh, if I only lived as well as I know." But I can look back on my life from here at almost 50 and see that in many things I am better--I am kinder, more empathetic, even stronger in some ways. I'm thankful that the Lord has given me the time to have the experiences that have helped to polish off at least some of the rough places.

  • The ability to realize my blessings. I knew that the Lord doesn't think or act the way we do and many blessings I asked for came in the form of trials, but I found that I was having a hard time recognizing these things. So I asked the Lord to help me so I would have the joy that comes from feeling grateful. He did and I do. Very grateful.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

He Just KILZ Me!

We've had a great week. Thursday was our 27th wedding anniversary and we went "away" for a few days and stayed at a resort here on island. It was so fun--we went kayaking and snorkeling and played at the waterpark...Case said it would make up for all the anniversary dinners we ate at Sam's Club. Actually, I never minded the Sam's Club dinners....

Anyway, his mind must have still been on vacation when he was getting ready for church this morning. I was at the bathroom sink putting on my makeup and he was ironing his white shirt. I heard him get out the spray starch, but I guess I was too focused on what I was doing to notice the irregularity of hearing a mixing bead rattle as he shook the can. The next thing I know Casey's saying, "Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!" Yup. Luckily he noticed that he had sprayed his shirt with KILZ primer before he laid the iron to it--what a mess that would have been! It actually did a pretty good job of sizing the shirt while covering stains at the same time, but the shade was slightly off. It was the only good white shirt he had, so he quickly pulled a blue shirt out of the closet and hurried out the door.

He told some of the guys at church what had happened. When he said that he had accidentally sprayed paint on his shirt one Filipino brother simply asked, "What color?"