Wednesday, May 25, 2016


When you ask, last minute, if anyone has any ideas for a blog theme this week “or should we just write about whatever” … “Whatever” becomes the theme.


I usually take a scatterbrained, stream of consciousness approach anyway, so this’ll be great.

I was in the coffee shop this afternoon, attempting to reach adequate caffeination for achieving coherent thought, and alternating between work-work and writing work … when a childhood friend recently back in town walked in.

A long overdue catchup was far more important than any work at that moment. So we closed the place down (it’s the one not open particularly late) while sending off a couple emails & texts but mostly just catching up.

Speaking of catching up … for my regular readers who are aware my house went on the market one week ago today … it’s in contract already. Praise Jesus. My Cinderella-esque scrubbing of the floors was not for naught. The Old Englishing by multiple parties was worth it. A few weeks ‘til closing and then onward …

I may have celebrated with Starbucks iced green tea and a mani/pedi the other day.


I totally have Princess Ariel toes. No, not webbed and mermaid-like. Aqua with glitter.

Sometimes life goes according to plan, and mostly it does not. It just doesn’t. Sunday’s sermon was on the subject of Gideon and “How God Turns Nobodies into Somebodies”. The story is all the way back in the Old Testament in Judges 6 and 7. Joshua Judges Ruth. Just like the Lyle Lovett album. What an odd little story, that of Gideon. Are any of us that obedient to God’s will? Oh hey dude who is hiding out threshing wheat in secret so as not to be caught by the enemy who has laid waste to the land and everything … go rip down the Asherah pole and then gather an army and then weed ‘em out to a ridiculously miniscule number by some bizarre means and then defeat the enemy’s giant army pretty much just by making a lot of noise.

But God.

Gideon and his Israelite peeps certainly didn’t have plans anything like how it actually went down.

Also none of the Latin translations I’m seeing on the interwebs for “laid waste” sound familiar. We used to talk about laying waste all the time in Latin class. And yeah. The memory is the first thing to go.

Speaking of Latin.

You may or may not be aware of the Catholic tradition of burying a St. Joseph’s statue upside down in the front yard or a flower pot to ensure a quick sale of one’s house. Not being Catholic, I’m only semi-familiar with the practice. It’s supposed to be representative of and accompanied by asking for intercessory prayer from the patron saint of homes. The previous owners of my house dug one up from a flower pot on the front porch on closing day as I dropped off a few things and they finished packing up.

Again not being Catholic, I didn’t intend to do anything of the sort. During staging, however, this did wind up backwards on a bed pillow. Granville Latin Club members from the past, um, few decades (ack!), may recognize this symbol.

The Cult of the Evil Black Sheep. 

Just to keep things fun, Magistra Collis sometimes had us translate sentences about evil black sheep jumping off the roof.

And you wonder why we are the way we are.

But my house was on the market less than a week. Just sayin’. 

Prayers for a smooth closing process and happy campers all around are much appreciated. To God, not sheep or Asherah poles of course.

A few random pics of whatever …

Weeds and whatever.

Somewhat reminiscent of Wizard of Oz trees.  

You call them weeds, I call them pretty spring color. 

How MacGyver prepares to mow the ditch. Seriously, if you know where to find zip-up galoshes like this, give me a shout.
Free to a good home. Otherwise being passed down to the next owners. It's art. 

Keep looking up.

For more about Whatever from my friends, see Sue Bowles at and Leisa Herren at

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Coming Out of the Dark

When this blog theme was thrown down last week, my exact response, after googling to ascertain the exact vintage, was …

Coming Out of the Dark is a Gloria Estefan song from 1991.
At least it's not Celine Dion!

Okay so it was the first song released after she almost died in a tour bus accident, which was horrible, but you still can’t make me like the song.

I went and listened to it on YouTube. Ugh.

You can’t make me like it.

And in 1991, let’s see … I was doing research on artificial intelligence and hanging with a cute baby boy who, once he achieved crawling status, liked to drag my organic chemistry book off the shelf and pretend to read it.

Was I ever really in the dark? I’m sure in some ways yes. Who isn’t. I’m always learning and always acquiring new perspectives. But coming out of the dark seems a mite melodramatic, even for a girl who’s a fan of bling and pedicures and stages and good stories.

As I write this week’s post I am what is referred to as dangerously tired. I believe that is a technical medical term. My knees hurt. They haven’t done that in a long time. Lots of things hurt.


 … is about as much coherent language and thought as I can muster. Again a technical term.

Interestingly, a weekish ago that cute baby boy was driving and, kind of on autopilot, took a right when he should have gone straight. I did the exact same thing last night! Bahahaha! I need sleep and a vacation.

There were two or three songs that struck me this week while I had shuffle or iHeartRadio on. I remember thinking, “Oh I should remember this one and maybe write about it in the weekly blog post.” Songs much more enjoyable than the aforementioned pop hit that makes me want to stick my fingers in my ears and say “la-la-la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you”. I’m too tired to remember them all, but The Afters’ “Broken Hallelujah” was one of them. I was either cleaning windows or Old Englishing at the time. If I never again hold a bottle of Old English in my hands, it will be really very much okay. Between myself and a couple of awesome friends nearly every square inch of wood in my house has been oiled up and polished up.

I had early soundcheck Sunday. Which normally requires caffeine anyway and sometimes invoking of airline rules, i.e. on time is anything within fifteen minutes. I’m usually pumped and awake enough by the actual service to be just fine, but this time I really just wanted to fall asleep at the piano. During the service. While playing. Oh we sounded fine. But I wanted to fall asleep on the piano.

I contemplated running these stairs to stay awake, but I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t be heard in the sanctuary. You know, during a prayer or something. Tripping was also a distinct possibility.
The next evening I was feeling rather Cinderella, and I don’t mean in the glass slipper belle of the ball sense. I mean I was on the floor mopping. Well spot cleaning after using a mop. And then scrubbing the bejesus out of the marble inlay by the front door. With my trusty Murphy’s Oil Soap mixed up in a quart size yogurt container. Cinderelly, Cinderelly, night and day it’s Cinderelly. That baby shines. It sparkles. Sorry, I didn’t take a pic. Trust me and my achy knees that it’s beautiful.

A few days ago (I have no memory offhand of which day) a friend messaged me with the perfect words at the perfect time. You can blame the Holy Spirit for that one. Do you ever have just the right verse or just the right words or just the right little message show up in your life? This friend mentioned a passage from Job (Ha!!! Job versus Cinderelly. Compare and contrast. Go.) and said they sensed a time of respite coming up for me. Me too. Praise Jesus. It’s nice to be reminded.

I have been waging a veritable Sherman’s March against dust and dirt and grime and clutter and unnecessary things. I have been cleaning and organizing for weeks. And I am grateful for the stellar help I have had in those endeavors. For tolerance of my crankiness. For the prayers of those offsite.

I have heard secondhand desks are a dime a dozen, so I elected to call the ones in my house “kindling”. I feel this pile has a very Beverly Hillbillies aesthetic.

Nothing dark here. Also we have both kinds … fire AND brimstone.

And then.



My house is for sale.

Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors (that you’d like to lose, lol). 

For more about Coming Out of the Dark from my friends, see Sue Bowles at and Leisa Herren at

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Intentionally Askew

The sky was incredible the other day. Mother’s Day to be exact.

It was a slightly discombobulated, play it by ear day for us this year. Finished off with a dinnertime trip to Texas Roadhouse followed by an oops the people are flowing out the door waiting for a table right turn into City BBQ across the street. It was a tasty and much more efficient right turn.

The sky was so magnificent that – had I been driving or by myself – I likely would have pulled over somewhere to snap photos. What you see was taken from one of the middle seats of a minivan.

No one else said a thing.

Am I the only one who noticed or is everyone just tired and full. Hmmm.

When I arrived at home I spent some time marveling at the pictures in the sky and snapping a few pics.

Intentionally askew.

That cloud formation. Wow. I don’t really have words beyond wow.

And sometimes you have to change your perspective a bit to appreciate God’s beauty.

I’ve been listening to Final Flight Radio’s weekly show lately. Classic Christian rock with some newer selections mixed in, along with the occasional or maybe more than occasional something different. I had heard of Keith Green, but I was probably still listening to the K95 Country my mom kept on in the car, or we may have transitioned on to disco at the time this song was released. It was 1980, but this song definitely has a seventies vibe about it. In any case, it caught my attention, much like spectacular looking skies.
A phrase has been running through my head lately.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

It’s from Psalms.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
~ Psalms 61:2 (NIV)

Or as the groovy version says,

When I’m far from anywhere,
down to my last gasp,
I call out, “Guide me
up High Rock Mountain!”
~ Psalms 61:2 (MSG)

High Rock Mountain, which is a whole different thing than Big Rock Candy Mountain.

Your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi googled “higher than I” versus “higher than me”. Turns out there is a long standing debate on whether “than” is a preposition or a conjunction. The answer is yes, and both versions are correct.

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

I also googled “lead me to the rock that is higher than I”. Did you know that every recording artist of the modern era has a song called “Lead Me To the Rock”? Every one. It’s true. And then there’s an old school hymn from the nineteenth century.

And since psalms are songs there is the original version, of course.

Where was I anyway.

Intentionally askew. A friend claims this is their motto. They’re probably not kidding. I suggested we form a club because I could get behind such a theme.

I get antsy if I’m in a rut.

I get uncomfortable if routine has become too routine.

I get frustrated if I’m not learning new things.

I get agitated if I haven’t traveled anywhere in a while.

I’m a traditional girl and yet at the same time I so very much am not.

Embrace the change. There will always be change.

This week I am in the change zone. For instance …

I got to provide input to a design. A design for something I don’t normally get to review and comment on. Stay tuned to the interwebs … oh maybe sometime Friday.
I’m sitting here eating quinoa .I don’t know how much of a change that is, but I usually don’t think to fix it. This afternoon it’s just quinoa. With a little butter, salt, and pepper. Typically I’m writing over coffee or chai tea, sometimes with a yogurt cup or spinach & feta croissant.

If you’re going to embrace the carbs, might as well be quinoa. Oh I know people tout the protein and the fiber and the vitamins and all that. Indeed. But it’s carbs. Far healthier than a cup of pure sugar. Like a million times healthier. But it’s carbs.

Remnants of quinoa. I tried to make this pic landscape because I like it better that way, but the gremlins of blogger have decided you-all should see this perspective. 

I don’t know what intentionally askew thing or intentionally just different thing I’ll do next. But it’ll be something.

This pic feels askew.

Unintentionally slightly askew.

In case you were wondering, the deer still like my landscaping.

A happy accident that this turned out as grainy as it did. I like the effect. Keep looking up.

For more Intentionally Askew writing from my friends, see Sue Bowles at and Leisa Herren at

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Groundhog Day

Last week I mentioned the movie “Groundhog Day”. I rewatched the movie a couple days ago. It seemed like as good of a blog theme as any. I think that’s the theme we decided on.

For those not familiar with the plot, a weatherman played by Bill Murray relives the same day – Groundhog Day – over and over and over. Every morning when he wakes up … poof … it’s February 2 all over again.

Phil the weatherman, who shares a name with the famous Punxsutawney rodent, is aware he is reliving the day but no one around him is. I had forgotten many of the details of the story. What would you do if you were reliving the same events in an endless vicious cycle? If every morning you woke up with the clock reset? With the slate wiped clean? 

Phil starts by doing whatever he wants, whatever unhealthy sometimes bad boy behavior strikes his fancy in the moment. There are no consequences! Everything resets in the morning, and no one else remembers. Eat, drink, and be merry.

Quickly he picks up on memorizing details and using them to his advantage on subsequent repeat days.  People’s stories, their likes, their dislikes, what they do and when. Sometimes to create an instant bond. What? That’s your favorite drink? I had no idea. Sometimes to time the armored truck stop just right so he can snatch a bag of cash unnoticed.

Being stuck in the Twilight Zone in small town Pennsylvania sends Phil over the edge a little. He jumps off a building, in front of a vehicle, and – in true Thelma & Louise style – drives off a cliff into a quarry with the rodent in tow … and explodes in a giant fireball.

He wakes up the same as always the next morning. It is still February 2.

His mercies are new every morning.

Eventually Phil uses his situation to learn everything he can about his new crush. He perfects what he says and what he does a little more each time. In the midst of this “developing” relationship he learns to speak French, memorizes poetry, and becomes an accomplished pianist. All to impress a girl. Along the way, though, he starts to use his powers for good. Not that impressing a girl is bad, but he develops some altruism for his fellow man in general while he’s at it. He shows up immediately to change a tire, catches a kid falling out of a tree, and gives the Heimlich maneuver just in time to save a man’s life.

An accomplishment for a self-centered narcissist.

So kids, what can we learn from all this?

If you’re feeling stuck …

Eventually this too shall pass. Sorry, I probably should have said spoiler alert, but the movie is a couple decades old.

If you’re feeling stuck …

Short of driving into a quarry in a goodness gracious great ball of fire, do something a little crazy.

Such as watch this video about groundhogs.

Just do something different. I just watched a man walk by enjoying what appeared to be a post-workday ice cream cone. Nothing over the top or anything but really enjoying it. Try a different flavor. Get the sprinkles. Change it up and order the grogg at the coffee shop. It might be delicious. And make for part of a great pre-public speaking caffeination routine.

If you’re feeling stuck …

Look around and see who you can help.

Yes, I’d be glad to.

If you’re feeling stuck …

Ask what you can learn. By doing something crazy … by helping others … by using the time you’ve apparently been gifted.

If you’re feeling stuck …

Seek friends to help pull you out.

“Thanks for helping me get unstuck.”
~ Jim in the movie “Brennan”

Don't fret.

I may have texted this pic to a friend today … who replied that Big Brother is watching.

The land of swirling twirling new bathroom flooring. 

Revamped vanity in the land of swirling twirling flooring. 

Sometimes you have to stop to actuate the signal. 

For more thoughts on Groundhog Day or whatever they feel like writing about this week from my writing peeps, see Sue Bowles at and Leisa Herren at