Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays

Of course I'm busy.
I'm also sick with a bad cold.
So are the grandkids.

Christmas shopping is done. Christmas wrapping is not.

We're going to my daughters house to celebrate Christmas with the entire family.
So I'm not too worried that my house must be spic and span by Friday.
Which is a huge relief because I want to take a nap right now.

My son bought himself a new cat and named him Jackson. Jax for short.
I'll post a pic when I get a chance.
He's adorable and I love him and he makes me feel like we waited too long to get another cat.
It's almost been a year since our boy Junie died.
I love cat antics and watching this little guy fly around the house while
chasing fake mice makes my heart full and happy.

It has rained or been foggy for the better part of 2 weeks.
There will be no white Christmas for us.
While I love the rain, I'd prefer snow for the holidays.

Sorry for the short note...but time keeps getting away from me.

To you, my 3 faithful readers, I want to say I appreciate you for following me
and for reading my stuff and for your comments.
I want you all to know that I read your stuff daily and also, I apologize for not commenting more.

Wishing every one of you a blessed and joyous Christmas and a wonderful and Happy New Year!

Love, Lolly

Friday, December 11, 2015


This baby girl I'm raising has no fear. She believes herself to be a warrior. She is afraid of nothing.
"Granny, I'ma climb a tree today", she says to me. And then she tries to do it.

Her brother challenges her to a race. Challenge accepted, and off they go. She shows no fear or hesitation.

She dons goggles and picks up a hammer as if it's perfectly natural for her to be a carpenter...
And it is!

Somewhere along the way I lost my courage. Fear rules me. I live afraid most of the time.
I no longer possess that attitude of "I can do anything" nor do I feel the safety of living in my small town in the USA.

I watch the nightly news (rarely anymore) and I have nightmares about what this world has become.
I keep my doors locked at all times.....Cars doors, outside doors to our house, the basement door.
I feel spooked. And I don't like it.
Last week in church there was a man of Muslim descent who I did not recognize sitting in the back row all by himself....and he made me anxious.
My sister and I went to McDonalds for a Frappe coffee...and in walked two black youths in black hooded sweatshirts...and it made me anxious.
My husband went to the gun range for some target practice and was gone for 6 hours.
And again I was anxious.
Had someone perhaps come upon him at the range and stolen his weapons??
Was he injured or worse??

Listen to me when I tell you that he is a jerk.
He spent 6 fucking hours at that damn gun range and never bothered to call home.
Not once.
What kind of a person doesn't check in, in this day and age??

I want to be big and brave and fearless, just like my 2 year old grand daughter.
But I don't know how to do it anymore.

I'm tired of the anxiousness.
I'm tired of the fear.
I want to live large and unafraid.
I want to give to the hungry my last dime.
I want to give the naked beggar the shirt off of my own back.
I want to listen to the story of the lonely widower.
I want to sit in church and not be afraid of the man with the beard in the back row.
I want to be brave and fearless like my 2 year old grand daughter.
Can you hear me?

Guide Me into an Unclenched Moment by Ted Loder from Guerillas of Grace

Gentle me,
Holy One,
into an unclenched moment,
a deep breath,
a letting go
of heavy experiences
of shriveling anxieties
of dead certainties
that, softened by the silence,
surrounded by the light,
and open to the mystery,
I may be found by wholeness,
upheld by the unfathomable,
entranced by the simple,
and filled with the joy
that is you.

Eyes to the sky by Joseph

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanks for giving

My 2 year old grandaughter had a temper tantrum as we were leaving the library today.
The quietest building on the face of the earth and she was howling at airplane decibels.
She had punched her brother in the gut and then run off down the aisle of books.
She fell off the step stool backwards while we were checking out and howled some more.
She was screaming by the time we got to the door that led to the parking lot.
And screamed louder when we didn't go out the automatic handicapped door, but pushed the door open by ourselves.
She dropped to the ground in between the vestibule and the outside world effectively blocking the flow of foot traffic coming in AND going out.
I let her lay there for a second and scream her damn fool head off, too tired to give a shit anymore.

I felt myself heave in a deep breath, and then heave the bag of books on to my back while I bent over to pick her up and out of the way of library patrons.
She kicked and screamed and flailed like I was a kidnapper.
So I put her down and started walking away. I'd had enough.
She wailed louder and took off running only to trip over her own two feet, clad in Elsa and Anna sparkly snow boots, and face planted on the icy cement sidewalk.
For a split second, I have to tell you, I. Did. Not. Care.
Her 5 year old brother was already half way across the parking lot of moving cars!!
I yelled for him to come back and stand by me until I could get ahold of her and the situation.
"My knees", she is shouting, "my knees!"
I hoist her up on my hip still carrying the load of books on my back.
I grab his hand, she's crying in my ear as we head to the car.
Once they are buckled in, I realize that I'm exhausted and frustrated and so very fucking warm in my T-shirt and jeans and wrap around sweater.
I haven't worn a winter coat in 7 years....I am so tired of being overly warm.
I take my frustrations out on that poor sweater by tearing it off and wadding it up and then non too gently pitching it onto the floor mat of the front seat.
I need a breather so I sit and collect myself for a sec.
What I really want to do is cry.

It's been a rough couple of days with these grandkids of mine.
I've lost all grace and gratitude for them at the moment.
Today especially this feels like so much work.

I see the cop car pull into the slot next to me out of the corner of my eye.
I hope he's here for me, I privately think to myself.
I hope he hauls me off to jail for not beating the crap outta these two.

He walks past my window and continues on into the library.
As soon as he enters, I start my car and make a clean getaway.

I don't know what he's doing at the library, but I think I might have gone with him if he asked me to.
I need a break from these kids.
And isn't that the most ungracious thing you've ever heard?
This week especially, we are told to be thankful and grateful and I feel too tired to give a shit.

I didn't sleep well last night. I watched the news before bed...big mistake...and had nightmares.

So I think to myself..Man! You've been really short tempered with these kids today.
What's a good way to make it up to them? That's when I remember that I have ready to bake Turkey cookies in the fridge...Hey guys! Who wants to bake sugar cookies?!
Yay!! Let's all head off to the kitchen to bake so I can be a nice grandma again.

5 seconds after we're in the  kitchen they are rolling around on the floor hissing and clawing like two cats fighting over the colored sugars.
They forget about baking the cookies and start asking for stuff to drink.
I want chocolate milk! More juice..more juice!!
(I could use something to drink myself ....heh heh.)

I send them off to watch cartoons while I finish the cookies....sigh.
I hear then fighting and I hear a crash and I hear crying.
Who's crying I don't know. It very well could be me.

When did this become such a chore, I ask myself?
By 4:00 pm most days I want them to go home.
I'm tired of them fighting and not listening to me as I scream at them to stop it!

It's not even Winter yet...good Lord but that's a frightening thought.
What are they going to be like when we're all trapped inside this house due to the weather?

As I'm typing this my grandson sidles up to me and whispers in my ear-
"Thanks for giving me cookies today Granny. You are the bestest Granny ever."

And boom. There it is.
The sweetness of hisself as he whispers thanks for the cookies in my ear,
and I can smell that he has wet his pants again.
I want to yell at him but I don't have the heart to yell about pee'd pants anymore.
She is over tired...way over tired and is asking to crawl onto my lap with her blankie.
"Granny, I sit with you pwease?"
And boom. There it is again.
That tug on granny's heart strings.

I need to wrap this up.
But can't think of a nice way to do it.
So here....
I'm going to go rock my 2 year old grandaughter to sleep on my lap.
And when she's asleep, then I'm going to read my 5 year old grandson a book from the library.

And when I go to bed tonight, I'm going to thank God and my lucky stars that I have them in my life.
Have a great Thanksgiving everybody.
And don't forget to be Thankful and Grateful for the small things.

Monday, November 9, 2015

And so I shall.....

It was wonderful to meet Annette.
She was taller than I had imagined. Skinnier too if I'm being perfectly honest.
(Not that weight has anything to do with anything but her and I have discussed weight before.)
She had beautiful, kind eyes. And fabulous hair.
She was open and warm, gracious and Grace filled.
She bought me dinner.
Which I feel I need to mention here that I could barely order for myself because I was so nervous.
And over the course of our 2 hours together I made mention of the fact that I was nervous.
About a hundred times.
I felt like a nervous little bird. I felt like I was twisting my hands together. Was I?
I told her that I was afraid to fly and gushed over her braveness to fly the 4 and a half hours- All the way from California to Illinois.
I told her that I get nervous when I have to drive somewhere new by myself
and I don't know where I'm going so I don't go anywhere new by myself.
I told her that I am too nervous to try another Alanon meeting because the one I used to attend had become a soap box for the longest running member.
I told her about my anxiety and panic attack when we went on vacation to South Dakota and how the switchback gravel roads and elevation of the black hills caused me to panic and want to be driven back down that mountain.
About how I was nervous about telling my husband about my blog and how I came to know Annette, So I took Linda's advice and told him I found and followed Annette's blog when I started in Alanon.

He said he had no problem with driving me to St Charles.
His favorite outdoorsy type of store is in St Charles so we made a plan.
He would drop me off at her hotel and he would go to his store and then pick me up when I called.

Now here's the thing....
He did seem to have a problem with it AFTER we started driving.
In what is his true fashion, he gave me what I like to call The Speech the whole way there.

How he didn't like it that a complete stranger knew things about him.
That he knows nothing about me anymore...due to the fact that I never told him that I read blogs.
That he has nightmares that I am having an affair and how I need to do something about that.
How him and the kids all agree that I am self-involved and everybody sees it but me.
How I always tell him that It Isn't Always. About. Him. and how that makes him feel less than.
About our marriage and how we need to work on things because he's tired of being alone.
About how we don't talk about anything and the only time I do talk with him is to ask him what he  wants for dinner.

(Does anybody else see how he made it all about him the whole time we were driving?)

That's when I told him that he only ever talks about his job and his illnesses and meds. and how after a while he starts to sound to me like Charlie Brown's teacher-

Jesus, I think to he REALLY going to talk about his fucking insulin again? How his sugars are too low so he will eat more sugar even though he hasn't checked his levels with his little machine, or how his back hurts again....

Is it any wonder that I felt like a nervous wreck?
Or am I a nervous wreck already?
I berated myself the whole way home for sounding like a nervous nelly.
I played back the entire conversation Annette and I had had in my head.
And what I remember is me sounding like I was afraid of everything.
Which indeed seems to be true.  

And I wonder when in the Hell did I become a fraidy cat??
And I wonder what in the name of Hell  am I so afraid of?
And I wonder why it was so easy to talk to her and not him?
Again...still...after all these's always so damn hard.

Something about his natural smell is so appealing to me; he smells like Heaven..
My stomach still flips, in a good way, when his truck pulls into the driveway at night.
I love the timbre of his voice.
He pays the bills and I want for nothing material.
As a grandfather he is amazing to these grandkids and the fact that he IS a grandfather makes him rather sexy to me.
I like that he is in the business of firefighting (no longer an active firefighter tho)
and I like that his position at work is a rather important one.

He's been mad at God for 14 years for the accident that took him away from firefighting.
When I go to church every Sunday, he tells me that it makes him feel bad that I go without him. meaning that he feels guilty that I go alone. He wants to know am I lonely at church.
I tell him that I am not lonely or alone at church, that I am a big girl and that I go to church because it makes me feel good.
I tell him that I love Jesus, that Jesus makes me real happy and that I see Jesus everywhere.

I pray for him to find Jesus again and for him to remember what it felt like to not be angry or sick or so judgemental all the time.
I'm thinking I might need to throw my own name into those prayers every once in a while.
I'm also thinking that I'm starting to look like the poster child of a woman who needs to go back to Alanon.
Step One again, again.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for your thoughts and comments. Thanks Annette for meeting with me.
Looks like I've got some work to do.

I'll leave you with this from Ted Loder:

Touch Me With Truth That Burns Like Fire

Lord, send the gift of your Spirit to fill this place, and myself and the world. 
Touch me with truth that burns like fire, with beauty that moves me like the wind.
And set me free, Lord, free to try new ways of living; 
free to forgive myself and others; 
free to love and laugh and sing; 
free to lay aside my burden of security; 
free to join the battle for justice and peace; 
free to see and listen and to wonder again at the gracious mystery of things and persons; 
free to be, to give, to receive, to rejoice as a
child of your Spirit.
And Lord, teach me how to dance, 
to turn around and come down 
where I want to be, in the arms and 
hearts of your people and in you, 
that I may praise and enjoy you forever.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Big brave girl in a small world

It's Saturday.
And that means today I get to meet Annette.
I asked my husband if he would drive me to meet her.
I told him that I started following her blog about 4 years ago.
And I told him that I really wanted to meet her.
And he said - "No problem. I'll drive you".

So at 4:00 pm today, him and I are going to drive 45 minutes,
just down the road, to meet her.
Well I am going to meet her.
He's going to drop me off at her hotel and then go to his favorite store
which is also just down the road...Gander Mountain.

I'm nervous and excited all at the same time.
I am sooo bad at small talk.......I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pot calling the kettle

Most of the time...all of the time really, I let what he does aggravate me.

As  Annette says here-
 "My brain doesn't work like yours and it overwhelms me when you move on to the future steps before I have finished the step I am on. Then I get snippy and nasty, and then you take my ugly attitude personally, and it creates tension between us, but all it really is, is that our brains work differently from each others.  I need to finish up what I am working on before I can move on."

We are just like that. Him and I. Exactly.
I am always thinking that I know better and I am always reacting to him in a negative way.
I just want him to stop it, yet I couldn't stop the way I react to things if I tried.
It's what feels normal to me.
So why do I do this? Why do we do this?
Is this that codependent thing again? Always thinking we know better than anyone else or that people should do things our way because it's better??

The truth is hard for him to hear.
He grew up with a mentally abusive mother. And what he learned from her was that the truth is painful and people who are honest with you are not your friends. They believe that people who are honest are a danger and say hurtful things.

The truth about himself and us and her and his life always make him react with anger.
When I notice that he is trying to cover up a truth about himself, I usually try to say gently to him-
"Just tell the truth. The truth is ok."
But it always come out of my mouth like a shriek-
"God!! Just tell the fucking truth. Why do you always have to make up a story?!"

The truth is, he is afraid of the truth. It makes him nervous, it keeps him on edge.
And am I.
I don't believe he knows about this blog or if he does he would never admit
the truth about knowing about it.
And to be truthful I've never told him about this blog either.
I won't admit to lying about it because I haven't lied.
I just never told him about it.
I use this blog more as an online diary of sorts.
I'd rather tell 3 complete strangers my problems and how I work them out.

So what does that say about me? About us? About him?

This weekend I have the opportunity to meet Annette.
She will be 45 minutes away from the town where I live.
I will not get this chance again and I want to meet her so badly!!
So I will have to figure out a way to tell him that I have been blogging for 5 years
and telling complete strangers about our problems.
And the truth about that will make him upset.
Not mad or angry or abusive but upset.

And I realize that I am in a situation where I am trying to think up a lie to tell him.
So the truth is making me nervous and keeping me on edge.
The truth is making me afraid.
Now isn't THAT the pot calling the kettle black??

Friday, October 23, 2015

Color me happy

So we went on a little getaway this past weekend.
We meaning me, him, my sister and brother in law.
Way up north to the great state of Wisconsin.
I love Wisconsin. Always have.

As kids, mom and dad would drive us 2 hours each way to a town called Lodi.
We did this every single Friday during the Summer for family camping trips.
We'd  roast hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks over the campfire
and sleep in sleeping bags in our canvas tent.
We'd wake up shivering on pillows made damp from the ground.
I can still remember the smell of it all...
The damp canvas, the wood smoke, the blackened hot dogs and burnt sugar.


We decided on the spur of the moment to go for a motorcycle ride.
Had a free weekend and the weather was going to be awesome
So we packed our bags and headed up north.
We hoped that we might see some fall color in the trees.
Wisconsin can be a little fickle.
Sometimes every thing is still green green green;
Other times the autumn colors are already past their prime;
Without a leaf to be found, only bare skeletal trees.

Last weekend we hit pay dirt.
The fall colors in Wisconsin were outstanding.

Red, mauve, rust, russett, brown, gold, yellow, ochre,
orange, yellow orange and 50 different shades of green-
Yellow green, olive green, pine green, forest green....
so many different shades of every single color!

Crayola hasn't even imagined any of these colors yet!

My sister knows a woman who owns a condo in The Dells
So we got to stay for free right on Lake Delton.

Can I tell you about the sunset that first night?
It was breathtaking.
Soft mauve and plum and dark gray reflecting on the lake.

Can I tell you about the birds that I saw?
A flock of red birds went shooting off... way up into the sky.
There was a blue/gray parrot type of bird that raced us off to our right.
I saw black birds and brown sparrows and gray geese in V formation.

There were curves in the road that lead to more curves...
That lead to more trees and more color and more wildlife.

I saw white feathery plants...what are those??...waving in the breeze.
I saw orange pumpkins fields and green pine tree forests.

I saw amber waves of grain that were tan, not amber.

Fields of unharvested corn sparkled in the sun.
I saw a farmer, in his tractor, beginning to harvest his field of corn.
A few years ago we saw a farmer plowing his stunted field under due to a drought.
The stature of both these farmers was so markedly different.
I remember seeing the drought farmer's stooped posture in his tractor
and how it made me hang my head and cry for his loss.

I mentioned to my husband that I really didn't know why
looking at dying trees would fill up a persons soul so much.
But it does. And it did.

I heard glory singing in my hears that was disguised as the wind and birds.
I saw glory with my eyes in leaves that were colored with hues I've never seen before.
I felt glory warming my face as the sun shined and the temperatures hit 75 degrees.

We watched from our balcony as the sun rose on Lake Delton Sunday morning.
And we watched it sink below the horizon when we were 3 miles from home
In a ball of flaming yellow and orange glory on Sunday evening.

My senses were on overload due to the sights, and the sounds, and the smells.
It's taken me the better part of this week to get this typed.
I need to attach pictures but will wait til tomorrow.

Thanks for the inquiries...I'm doing ok.
He on the other hand had his gallbladder out last week
(That's the Friday AFTER we got home) and isn't doing very well with it.
I'm exhausted and grouchy and super busy playing nursemaid
(He's a bad patient and I'm a bad nurse) along with babysitting the grandkids.

I'll write more when I can.
Hope to post the pics to this post tomorrow.
Miss the hell outta you people.

Much Love,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fool's Paradise

Addiction came back like a thief in the night.

Oh, he's not drinking again.

But the Dry Drunk in him reared his ugly ass self tonight and it felt like 2009 all over again.

As I've been taught in Alanon I quickly tried to exit the volatile situation but he followed still hollering and accusing.

Our son-in-law is having issues with Bi-polar disorder and alcohol addiction.
My qualifier says he is gonna go talk to him because he doesn't like the fact
that our son-in-law keeps booze under the front car seat.
I made mention of the fact that at one time so did he.
And shit hit the fan.
My qualifier became angry and self-righteous.
His physical appearance changed to red faced and angry.
You could see the change in his eyes, even in his stance.

Wait wait wait, I said to him. I'm only speaking your truth.
It's not a bad thing. It's not!
But when a well addict sees another addict in trouble, a well addict will want to help an unwell addict by sharing stories and truths about themselves and how they got well.

"Hey, man...I've been there myself. I know what you're going through."

My own qualifier didn't seek help from a 12 step program or any program for that matter.
He claims to have "fixed" hisself.
And by that he means that he doesn't drink anymore. That's it.
That's all he thought it was.... the alcohol.
His behavior modified because he removed alcohol from his system.
But he never got well.
He never healed what actually drove him to addiction in the first place.
Never revealed his "truth" to another living soul.
Never owned up to the damage he caused or the people he hurt.
Never made amends or apologies.

And tonight he raged at me and screamed that

In my own defense, I was sad that he refused treatment.
I had wanted him to enter treatment so he could find sobriety.
That Intervention we had for him was so hard on brutal emotionally.
And when he refused treatment it was like a kick in the gut.

And then tonight, to hear him say that he he is still pissed and resentful
at me for wanting him in treatment program....from 6 years ago???
Can I tell you that I am speechless? Would you believe that of me?

It truly makes me feel like I've been living in a fool's paradise.
Is this true? Have I been so blind for 6 years?

I am aware that he never went to a 12 step program.
But truly, I tell you that he did seem well...well, not really well per se
but at least relatively healthy enough to have stayed sober for 6 years.

I suppose that I was foolish in a way.
Foolish to have given up on Alanon, certainly.
Right now, it is 8:30 at night and I don't know who to call.
Well, I know who to call but I haven't been there in 5 years.
Are the same ladies still sitting in the same seats?
Is that over bearing and controlling woman still in charge?
Does it matter at this point, really?

I feel blindsided.
I feel like I could panic.
My qualifier sees himself in the actions of our son-in-law (like a mirror image)
and it is making an ugly dry monster re-emerge that I thought was long gone.

Jesus I am scared. I don't want this sober dry drunk to show itself anymore.
Isn't there some way You could intervene here?
His rage is uncalled for as are his accusations.
Isn't there some way You could show him the light?
He used to believe in You. Maybe You could reveal Yourself to him.
Could You do that? Would You do that? For me? For him?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My phone

My IPhone is busted again and I'm real aggravated.
I'm realizing how attached to that damn thing I really am.
I'm cranky and short tempered.
I'm panic will I go on with out a phone?
My new Instagram Account... my Facebook feed...
My word music that I've downloaded from ITunes...
My IPhone camera...The Internet...normally all at my fingers, is gone.

People are fleeing their homelands due to war.
People are going to bed hungry tonight.
Somebody just got shot in Chicago and died.
Somebody's baby just got diagnosed with cancer.
There are more than 18 Hispanics living next door to me
And all of them (women and children too) sleep on mattresses
Placed side by side on the cold basement floor.

Do any of these people give a shit about having an IPhone?
They are all just trying to get thru the day.

I'm taking this as a message from God to put down my phone.
After all what's more important?
Taking a picture for Instagram and checking my Facebook account?
Or maybe paying attention to my grandkids?

I take that damn phone with me everywhere.
I pat the side of my purse to make sure it's in there.
I feel all panicky when I can't find it.
What the hell!?
It. Is. A. Phone.
How did I become so attached to this thing?

We have an appointment for Monday afternoon to get it looked at.
Most likely it will have to be replaced.
So when (if?) they give me a new phone what should I do?
Should I delete the apps that are taking up my time?
Should I only use it for emergencies?
I hate that I am so attached to this thing.
I really do.
What do you think?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


My sister died 7 years ago this past August.
She was 48 years old at the time.
A strange and barely known infectious type of bacteria entered her brain in January  and put her in a vegetative state that left her on life support for 8 hellatious months.

We battled with her estranged and drug addicted spouse to follow her wishes of no life support and to let stand the power of attorney which her son was executor of.
Her spouse was out of his mind with grief and out of his mind due to his pain medication addiction.
He was estranged from my sister and all 3 of their kids at the time of her illness.
Her becoming sick brought him back into their lives in the absolute worst way.
At the hospital he was combative with Drs. and care givers and nurses.
He threatened to sue the hospital at every change in her condition-whether good or bad.

Sound confusing?
It was that and more.
I'll spare you the gruesome details but her eventual death by removing all care except comfort, devastated me and my 2 remaining sisters.
And it's a pain that doesn't go away.
Part of my childhood died when she did.
I lost a best friend and the keeper of my secrets.

Two weeks ago the proper authorities caught up with her estranged husband.
He'd been living in their house for the last 7 years without paying the mortgage.
He phoned my brother in law to let him know that if we wanted anything of hers
that it would be on the curb August 25th.
He was moving to a studio apartment and could no longer keep everything he had amassed since her death.
He spent her life insurance on shit from Ebay or on clearance items found at Menard's.
We found 8 ladders that were $8.00 a piece that he said he was gonna put on Ebay for $20 each.
Blow dryers...plural, 75 bars of soap, pool supplies (no pool), Halloween decor,
a heated towel rack, Christmas decorations galore that he had then individually wrapped in bubble wrap and then wound clear packing tape around that (5 full totes of this).
20 pieces of luggage with the tags still on...a closeout deal from Kmart.
Amidst all of this and more we found her Midge doll and her Barbie from 1969.
We found her baby dolls and a chair we had used as children.
We found her clothes that he had washed, dried, folded and then placed in Space bags that were too heavy for us to lift.
We found my deceased father's tackle box and lures that he had swiped from my mom's garage and denied that he had.
That and so much could have been an episode of Hoarder's.
We just wanted the sentimental stuff...the Barbie's and the dolls and that chair but we had to dig through a mountain full of crap to find anything.
He was awful while we were there...he wanted to let nothing go...wanted money for the stuff we did want... the fucker!
I know he is ill....I know he has issues..medical, physical, spiritual, mental.
I know he is lonely...painfully so.
He has no wife, no kids, no home, no job, no friends, no future prospects.

Yet I hated him for what he had put my sister through.
I hated him for the condition of her house.
I hated him for not giving a rat's ass for her stuff.

It took eight of us two nights to go through that stuff...for 5 hours each night.
That first night when I got home, I drank 4 glasses of wine whilst bawling on the phone with my other sister...and I cried until I passed out.
In the morning I told myself that I. Was. Not. Going. Back. to that house anymore.
But I did. And that's when we found her dolls and her childhood mementos that he didn't give a shit about in a corner of the basement.
So while he loaded his truck with AM/FM radios and VHS machines that he had purchased at Circuit City's close-out sale, we loaded up the last of our sister's childhood toys.
Walking to my car I passed her rock garden and stopped to pick up a few stones for my garden.
It was well past dark so I couldn't get a good look at them.
I thought to myself that it didn't really matter what they looked like, I just wanted something from her garden to be in my own.
When I got home I looked at the rocks that I had picked from her garden in the dark of night.
The first was a round boulder...about the size of a cantaloupe.
The second was a rust colored triangle about the size of a sandwich cut in half.
And this was the third....

Forgiveness is so hard, isn't it?
It is something I battle with in my life, a lot!
I find it so hard to forgive people who have hurt me.
I also find it hard to forgive my own self for stuff that I have said and done.

Every time I look at this rock it reminds me of love.
The love I had for my sister.
The love that she had for her garden.
The love that she and him must of had at one time.
The love that Jesus says I should have for another human being.
Especially a human being who is so lost and broken and alone.

I've found myself praying for this husband of hers lately.
Praying that God would ease his suffering and give him some measure of comfort
...whatever that may be.

This heart rock sits by my computer and reminds me that love is all anybody really wants.
Even stupid, angry, sick, drug addicted, fucked up people need love.
I'm thinking it wasn't a coincidence that I picked up that rock in the dark.

So, maybe, if I can't love him just yet, maybe the least I could do is pray for him.
That's love Jesus style...loving the unlovable.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


It seems to be a bit of a thing here lately...
at least with some of the blogs that I read,
To give the audience (You guys) a chance to ask the blogger (Me) questions.
It scares me a bit.
What could the 4 of you possible want to know about me?
Or what if the 4 of you don't even have any questions that you want to ask me?
How horrible would that be?
So I guess I'll take a leap of faith here and just ask-
Do you have a question for me?
Anything you're wondering about me but afraid to ask?
Any burning desire to know what makes me tick?
Something that really isn't any of your business but you're curious?
Cuz now is the time to ask.

Summer is quickly coming to a close here.
My gardens are starting to wilt no matter how much I water them.
The grass is turning brown..lots of heat and no rain.
Some of the neighborhood trees have leaves that are starting to change!
School starts for my perfect and tiny 5 year old grandson in 12 days.
When did THAT happen? Holy Cow! He's in Kindergarten!!

Him and I are getting along and liking each other.
Hills and Valleys with us...always.

I got a new IPhone with a shitload of more space.
So I joined Instagram and am loving it.
Want to follow me?
Let me know and I'll give you my Instagram name.
It's my real name in case you are wondering.
But I feel like I can trust you ladies.

That's it for now.
Looking forward to your questions...(I think)
Enjoy the rest of your Summer!

Love, Lolly

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tripping on vacation

Took ourselves on a family trip to the mountains.
It was supposed to be a vacation.
Ended up being a trip instead.
What's the difference you ask??
A vacation is something that relaxes you...
You feel the cares of the world slip away
There is no plans.
A vacation replenishes a person-body & soul.
Not so much with a trip.

We drove 19 hours that first night and day.
Mapquest said it was a 12 hour drive.
I guess Mapquest doesn't factor in traveling
with 3 kids under 5 and potty breaks.
And stopping for gas. And snacks.
And walking around to ease the aches
in the back and legs of the adults.
And wind driven rain and flooded roads.
The first four hours we drove in rain and wind and on black shiny wet roads.
I thanked God when I saw dawn break over the Minnesota horizon.
It was an easy drive once the rain let up.
Minnesota and South Dakota are basically flat.
Except for the Black Hills.

Our cabin was nestled in the forest at the top
of one of those hills. Elevation 5600 feet.
It took 1 hour on switchback gravel roads
to get to it.
The actual driveway to the cabin was 11 miles long.
And once we got there I wanted off that mountain.
The air was too thin. I was filled with anxiety.
We were in such a remote spot. No people. No town.
And knowing that it would take an hour to get back down those twisting gravel roads to civilization made me panic.
The scenery was beautiful. The cabin was amazing.
And I wanted nothing more than to go home.

In the middle of the very first night I woke up short of breath.
Woke up my husband and said to him-
"You gotta get me off this mountain. I can't breath."
It was a full blown panic attack.
I don't know if it was from the long drive
or the switchback roads or the thin air.
He tried to calm me down by talking to me.
But it didn't help.
I was wringing my hands, my mind was whirling.
Our bedroom was so damn black. I felt disoriented.
I wanted someone to call a helicopter to come and
fly me off that mountain.
I couldn't imagine having to drive back down those roads.
Guess what? No cell service. No Wifi. No internet.
Not that I would have really called a helicopter.
But in the middle of a panic attack most people
aren't thinking rationally at all.

I tried praying but couldn't concentrate on the words.
I laid there on that unfamiliar bed made out of logs
with only one word swirling around my head....Jesus.

The last thought I remember having before I fell asleep was this-
"Ok GOD, You've got me on this mountain.
Now what do you want me to see?"

This was the view out my window at 5:30am.

I jumped in the shower, got dressed, grabbed a cup of coffee and my journal and went outside.

First thing I saw was all of the pine trees...
All of them reaching towards the heavens.
It looked to me like they were raising their hands in praise.

The very next thing I saw was a doe and 2 fawns walking up the gravel driveway.
One fawn was older than the other.
I imagined that the older one was like a 10 year old
sibling to its 5 year old brother.
The 10 year old was prancing sideways and skipping.
It leapt high in the air and kicked its hoofs out.
The doe kept eating the scrub grass and the 5 year old stayed right by her side.
But this older fawn just kept leaping and skipping and prancing.
It seemed to be filled with so much joy!
And I was too entranced to take a picture.

The next thing I noticed was the sound of the wind.
It seemed to pick up in intensity just as I started to notice it.
The leaves of the Quaking Aspen trees were fluttering
and the saplings started swaying.
I swear I heard whispering.
Put it together with the smell of Pine and the sounds
of birds and a clear blue sky and scurrying bunnies
and I could feel myself starting to relax a bit.
I kept walking and found wild flowers and swaying grasses
and so much purple clover.
At the end of the driveway on the left side
was a gurgling little creek filled with rocks.

Nice and quiet and tranquil, right?

We spent the next 4 days driving up and down those darn gravel roads.
Every touristy thing we wanted to do or see was at the bottom
of that switchback mountain road.
We were centrally located to all of the area attractions.
Which meant that once we got down to the bottom,
which took anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour,
then...THEN it was another 30  miles to our  destination.

We saw Mount Rushmore and Custer State park.

We saw Crazy Horse Monument and the town of Deadwood.
We saw Sturgis and the tiny mountain town of Rochford.

We saw Buffalo from this far away---
We saw Prairie Dogs and some sort of deer.

And finally on the last day of our vacation we saw The Badlands.
Simply stated they were stunning, beautiful, awe-inspiring.

Every day trip we took we saw something beautiful.
We let our 5 yr old grandson pan for gold.
We got all 3 grand kids ice cream and souvenirs.
Him and I got Harley shirts from Sturgis.
One day we let our grown kids sleep late and fed the grand kids breakfast.
All of us got irritated with each other and short tempered after so many days of close proximity in the car.
Our 1 year old grandson is a pincher and a hitter.
Our one son-in-law showered once in 5 days.
Our other son-in-law was mean and strict to his nephew and niece.
(our 5 yr old grandson & 2 yr old grandaughter)
I complained about the speed of the car as we careened down that mountain every day.
One daughter was sloppy. One was ultra neat.
My husband took around 800 pictures.
And walked much slower than the rest of us, so we were always waiting for him to catch up.

Honestly? I felt like I started to unclench my fists and my jaw on the way home.
I learned that vacation to me means The Ocean, not The Mountain.
I learned that both of my son-in-laws could be jerks.
I learned that altitude sickness causes anxiety.
I learned that I could drive on I-90 through 2 states and not be afraid of the Semi's.
(I usually don't drive at all on trips. This trip was a game changer for me.)

When we got home I looked up the meaning of those Quaking Aspen trees.
And here's what I learned:

Aspen: Tree of Loyalty and Harmony 
Symbolic of the "Voice of Spirit" 
The Aspen, considered part of the poplar family, has a habit of shimmering or quivering in the breeze making a distinctive rustling, whispering sound. 
In many cultures and religions the wind is associated with the "Voice of Spirit," and in the boughs and leaves of the Aspen, the wind finds a distinctive voice to inspire those who would listen with patience and sensitivity. The movement of the wind through the canopy and the sun dappling through the leaves can have a mesmerizing effect, encouraging a contemplative and meditative frame of mind.

The wind blows all around us as if it has a will of its own; we feel and hear it, but we do not understand where it has come from or where it will end up. Life in the Spirit is as if it were the wind of God.  John 3:8

I learned to appreciate the voice I heard in that wind.
It was telling me that everything was gonna be all right.
And indeed it was.
After 6 days together in a cabin in the woods at the top of a mountain,
After being aggravated and panicked and hot and tired,
After driving that long road back home,
Everything was indeed all right.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


We've been away... on our trip to the mountains.
It was a trip not a vacation.
More on that later.

We've had a rather wet summer so far.
Lots of indoor swimming
No sand box, no playing out of doors.
Lots of DVDs and books and Legos.

I'm struggling to keep up with reading my blogs.
I've also got a large stack of books that I want to read
and am finding I have no time for that either.

If you asked me what I do with my time
I wouldn't be able to give you an answer.
I don't know where the time goes.

7:30am the grandkids get here.
Noon we eat lunch.
5:00pm they get picked up.
8:00pm I'm more than ready to go to bed.

I blink and the day slips by me.
I close my eyes and the night slips by too.

Still processing all we saw and did on our trip.
Will post when I find the time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

No complaining, right?

Went to my last dental appt today. Finally got that last cavity filled.
Had the rest of my teeth cleaned. Had the last of my gums scraped.
And realized that my dental hygienist is a condescending bitch.
Sorry Lord.
That must be the pain talking. But for real...she was rude.
Asking me questions that she really didn't care about.
Interrupting with a new question as I was answering the old one.
Asking me if I liked to eat embarrassed me.
I cried cuz it hurt and she told me to stop touching my face,
As I was wiping away my tears.

No more complaining, right?
Thank You Jesus for my teeth.

It's mid summer here and I'm waiting for some summer sun.
No complaining, right?
Thank You Jesus that I haven't had to water my gardens yet.

We are going on vacation with all of our kids and grandkids.
No complaining, right?
Thank You Jesus for kids and grandkids and vacations.

Thank You for the verdant green of a lush overly wet summer.
Thank You for libraries that have children's DVD's and books to read.
Thank You for time-off of work and schedules that coincide and
and enough money to be able to afford a family vacation.
Thank You for cabins in the woods and for Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands.
Thank You that we are all healthy enough to travel and to drive ourselves
in cars that we can afford and that we get along better than well enough
to spend the next 7 days together in 4 rooms plus a kitchenette and a bathroom.

Thank You for eyes to see and ears to hear.
Thank You for legs that work and teeth that chew.
Thank You for these creaky bones that hold up this 53 year old body-
Without them I'd be a puddle on the floor.
Thank You Jesus for dentists that give a shit about my teeth.
Thank You for cranky rude hygienists that ask me inane questions.
Thank You Jesus for popcorn.

Thank You Jesus for left over spaghetti for dinner
And for the Pinot Grigio that I drank with it.

Thank You for the sunshine today
and for the grandson that I played outside in it with.
Thank You for 3 hour naps for 2 year old grandaughters.
Thank You for a husband that works overtime
so he can be free for a week of vacation.

Thank You Jesus for all of it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


My 2 year old grandaughter likes washing her hands.
When we play outside, I prop open the screen porch door
so they can come and go as they need to-
to fetch new toys and so my 5 year old grandson can go potty.
Yesterday my grandaughter came up to me with mud on her hands.
There is a tiny hill of mud in one corner of the yard leftover
from planting a bush and they have been digging in it.

I brushed the dry mud from her hands and said to her
"There! All clean!"....and unleashed her fury.
NOOOOO!!! she screamed at me.
She marched herself  right back to that mud pile
where she grabbed 2 fist fulls of mud, marched back to me,
then marched passed me with her two tiny clenched fists
and with all her strength hurled that mud into the screen porch
via the propped open door.

She turned around, walked back over to me and with the sweetness of a Viper
said  "Me wash hands Granny?"

Uh...sure. Let's go wash your hands.

Back in the yard a few minutes later they both want
to play with the bubble mower at the same time.
They spill 32 ounces of bubble mixture on the ground
while wrestling each other to fill the "gas tank".
When she asks for more bubbles I tell her that they are all gone.
NOOOO!.....more fury is unleashed.

Earlier in the day she had asked to play with their tiny pop up tent.
She said "C'mon with me."
Brother refused ....and unleashed her fury.
She dove at him with her fingers extended like claws.
He defended himself a little too harshly.
She howled and scratched and clawed,
He threw her down after shoving her in the face.
I physically had to pull the two of them apart.
Into separate corners they went for a 5 minute time out.
One minute into this time out he says to me-
"Granny? When I'm done with my time out can I play
with the pop up tent?"

What the.....????
Seriously??? I wanted to lose my mind right then.
Five minutes later they both crawled into that tent and laughed
and played nicely together til snack time.

I have the day off today unexpectedly and I'm lonely for them.
I need my head examined I suppose. I feel at a loss sitting here by myself.
Most days are spent feeding, chasing, wiping, separating the two of them.
What do I do without them?? Laundry? Mop floors? Grocery shop?
Work on this blog post for two hours??

Okay, okay...Time's up. I'm gonna head out.
Wasted too much time trying to say I miss my grandkids.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A day in this life.

My painful tooth has been pulled.
I cry when I come out of anesthesia...anybody else do that?
Wonder if it's my body's way of feeling the loss of that tooth.
I go back to the DDS in 2 weeks to have two more cavities filled.
Geezaloo...wish me luck on that day.

It is a beautiful day today. Temperature is going to be 72.
Gonna take these grandyoungins of mine on a field trip
to the local department store which in this case is Walmart.
We went to Target on Wednesday to get prescriptions.
They got popcorn and juice boxes from the snack bar.
You'd have thought it was Christmas for them.
So damn excited to be eating stale popcorn.

Found bugs in every single box of cereal in the pantry.
Threw out 4 mostly full boxes. Shit.
At nearly $4.00 per box that really sucks.

The man has been overworked lately at his job.
Which makes him surely and rude at home.
Been trying to pray him through it.
Meaning I keep asking God to keep watch over him.
(In my head the prayer comes out like this-
Jesus..shut him up. I'm sick of listening to him complain.
Please help him find gratitude for something..ANYTHING
in his life that will help him to know You)
(( The fact that I complain about him is not lost on me))

As I type this my windows are open and I hear the birds.
The grand kids are watching cartoons
and eating bowls of cereal without bugs.
Yesterday we planted carrot and radish seeds in clay pots.
First thing this morning they checked to see if there was growth.

Last night I went shopping with my sister.
I found a cute new swim suit that doesn't make me look fat,
and it is comfortable at the same time.
And a new pair of jeans and a $7.00 pair of really cute sandals.
Shopping is sooo cathartic...yes??

In 2 weeks we are going on vacation to South Dakota.
It's been a long time since we've gone anywhere,
and we've never been west of the Mississippi River.
Well... once, 34 years ago, we drove to Dallas Texas
by way of Missouri and Oklahoma.
We drove threw the night so we didn't really see anything.

Are you bored yet?
This is the mundane stuff of my life.
And honestly?? I wouldn't trade it for anything.
(well, I could do without these damn painful teeth of mine)


Friday, June 12, 2015


I have a toothache.
Most likely an abcess in the molar my dentist just filled 2 weeks ago.
He told me the filling wouldn't last long.
It was a rather large cavity.
So I made the necessary arrangements to have it pulled today.
GOD! but I surely do hate teeth.
Aside from the fact that I eat with them on a daily basis,
My teeth have never been kind to me.

My mom calls them sugar teeth- they are prone to cavities.
Every filling eventually fails leading to a root canal.
Which in turn will fail, which leads to extractions.

To be truthful, I would need 4 dental implants to replace
the teeth I've lost to extractions.
I've already had 1 dental implant done which cost $5000.00!

How do they expect people to afford this??

I'm nervous and anxious for it to be over and done with.
I want the pain to stop but I hate the feeling of that
bloody gauze clenched between my gum and teeth
after the procedure is over.

Have you all figured out that I am never happy on this here blog?!
That I complain Way. Too. Much.???
Sorry friends.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting.
I promise you that I am working on my positive attitude.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Conversing with a 5 year old

How many sleeps til tomorrow?
Yay! Can I see your calendar?
What day is tomorrow?
No, I mean what day is tomorrow?
Tomorrow is tomorrow buddy.
But you just said tomorrow is Saturday.
It is.
But when is tomorrow?
What day is tomorrow?
Tomorrow is Saturday.
But last week you said Friday was tomorrow.
Tomorrow is always the day after today.
How many days are there?
What are they called?
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
But you didn't say tomorrow. Which day is tomorrow?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Lolly the Lamentor

Back in medieval times people were given strange names-
Like Pliney the Elder or Fiona the Fair or Sir Rodrick the Brave.
I've named myself Lolly the Lamentor.

Son-of-a-mother-inlaw but right now I surely feel like I have
quite a few reasons to lament.

I've got ants in my kitchen and weeds in my garden.
It has rained for 3 days and our basement is starting to collect water.

Our neighbors little boys won't stay the hell out of my garden
where I am growing 2 kinds of squash and 2 pine tree saplings.
I'm afraid those little tiny trees are going to be crushed.
There is a language barrier so they don't understand when I tell them to stay out.
To them I must look like the crazy mean plant lady.
I need to put up some fencing.

Last week my grown son and I lived thru a 3 day bout of gastric distress.
Stomach cramping and vomiting, loss of appetite and trips to the bathroom
that were distinctly unpleasant.

Today our girl Chihuahua has a pancreatitis flare-up
which means she's not eating and has bloody diarrhea.

Both grand kids developed high fevers mid-morning.
By noon my grandson had stomach cramps.
By 1:00 pm they were both fast asleep
due to their fevers and a dosing of Tylenol.
At 3:30 they were throwing up......

2 weeks ago, our girl dog got out the front door.
I caught her 3 feet from our busy street by pouncing on her.
Scraping up my elbow and my knee in the process.

3 days later, I was pushing my granddaughter on her bike
when I slipped on the loose gravel and fell on the same elbow and knee.

The day after that I opened the kitchen cupboard and 7 glasses
crashed down on me -1 hit me in the chin, 3 others hit that same sore arm
as I swung it up to protect the rest of my face.

Yesterday in church I found out that my church pastor is leaving and
I am heart broken.
This man is such a great speaker or preacher...whatever.
He is so honest and real and has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.
I truly don't know what I am going to do without him.

5 days ago my 31 year old daughter went in for an ultra-sound
for a mass near her ovaries. We are still waiting on results.
Hopefully no news is good news.

All I can say is Fuckity. (Thanks for the use of that word Birdie!)

Sorry for the profanity Lord...but I feel wrecked and tired and weary....

Guide Me into an Unclenched Moment  from Guerrillas of Grace
by: Ted Loder

Gentle me,
Holy One,
into an unclenched moment,
a deep breath,
a letting go of heavy expectancies,
of shriveling anxieties,
of dead certainties, that
softened by the silence,
surrounded by the light,
and open to the mystery,
I may be found by wholeness,
upheld by the unfathomable,
entranced by the simple,
and filled with the joy
that is You.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


I am alone for a few days.
The sad man went on his annual trip to a place
he calls The North Woods...somewhere near Lake Superior.
And it is a Thank YOU Jesus kind of moment for me.
By the time he is ready to leave I'm on the verge of a meltdown.

I am driven to the brink of madness watching him pack.
Mostly, he is fueled by a wild sort of mania.
There is no rhyme or reason to his packing, sorting and gathering.
He waits til the last minute to begin packing which drives me crazy!
Articles of clothing and much needed camp supplies are forgotten
in his haste and confusion to load the car and leave.
He becomes short tempered and sarcastic.
He becomes very self absorbed and "all about me".

It's a lot like watching a train derail.

Like how the engine puts out so much power and it plows headlong
over a large precipice without noticing how deep the gorge really is
or all the damage being done to the train cars rolling along behind it.
Crash and burn.

It's 4:00am. Every light in the house is on.
I hear pounding footsteps as he runs from room to room.
I hear the front door open and close what must be a million times.
I hear the car doors slamming shut every few minutes as he loads his gear.
I hear him chuffing, out of breath from exertion.
It. Is. 4:00am!

I am angry that he is going on this trip.
He has made it a point for the last week to talk incessantly about this trip
AND about how  ill he feels most days and the meds he needs to take.
Blood Pressure this and Diabetes that.
Sleep Apnea here and back pain there.
Here is a man who should not be in the middle of some godforsaken wilderness.

And yet when I question him about the wiseness of his decision he gets angry.
I'm fine he shouts. I'll be fine he insists.

Really?? He's standing in front of me, red in the face from overexertion
and the sweat is running off of his face. His eyes appear a bit wild.

The last thing he does before he leaves is to sarcastically say to me
"Thanks for the send off" before slamming the front door in my face.

I stand there mute and frozen in place, stunned.
I can still feel the coolness of the breeze from the door as it was yanked shut.
I feel like I want to cry but I don't.
This is behavior I have seen before.
Why it still surprises me I don't know.
The words Narcissistic and Passive/Aggressive
and Hypochondria float through my head.
So do the words Jerk and Asshole and Son of a Bitch.

He is sober, still. (Thank YOU Jesus)
But the dry drunk in him has enormous issues.
Which in turn become MY issues.
Perhaps it is time I ventured out on a Tuesday evening to reconnect
with the group of people that saved my life 4 years ago.
Perhaps it is past time.

All I know is that I'm feeling tired, and angry, and shat upon.
And there is no better place to be on a Tuesday evening than with
like minded people who love me and accept me and don't slam doors in my face.

Welcome back they will say.
And I will repeat those same words to myself again and again.
And I will wonder why I ever left this group.

Step one. Again.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

60 seconds


The 2 year old throws her bottle of cranberry juice on to the couch.
It starts leaking red before it slides down the crack between 2 cushions.
As I grab for it she jumps on my belly eliciting a painful oomph from me.
The 5 year old standing on my right is reading to me from a book.
He is also doing what I call the "potty dance".  Go potty I tell him.
Doc McStuffins is doing a song and dance number on the TV.
My IPhone dings in my back pocket telling me that I have a text.
The Chihuahua sitting on the back of the couch over my left shoulder
drops her bone into the fray that is me trying to sit up with a 2 year old
on my lap while still reaching for the leaking bottle of juice.
The dog starts barking; wanting her bone back, and wagging her tail.
Granny are you listening to me? say the 5 year old.
Yes, I lie to him.
Go potty I tell him again.
I don't have to he lies right back to me.
The older Chihuahua gets out of his bed, turns and pees on it right in front of me.
Jesus! I mutter to myself sitting up.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

a sense of Entitlement

There is another one of my ugly rants at the end of this overly long post.

It seems that all I do on this blog is bitch or rant  or complain about stuff.
In my heart of hearts, I truly don't mean to be a complainer.
Nor do I want to harp or rant as much as I do on here.
So what are my options?

I do use this blog as a place to process things that happen in my life.
Writing it down and getting feedback from my readers truly helps me.
It gives me another perspective, a different way to see things.

25 days ago on April 10th a tornado touched town an hour away from us,
In a tiny farming town named Fairdale, population 2902.
2 women lost their lives... neighbors, living right next door to each other.
Dozens of homes and barns were lost and by lost I mean gone, obliterated.
Tornado sirens were going off in our town too that night.
We were all of us (dogs included) safely ensconced in our basement.
We had some large hail and heavy rain and wind but no tornados.

Watching the news reports over the next couple of days was awful.
Seeing all of the storm damage seemed to ratchet up my gratitude factor.
I'm thankful that we as a family and as a community were spared.
I bawled when they showed a horse that survived although his barn was gone.
They found him standing in the pasture...his coat was matted and looked to be
blown the wrong way..he looked like he had some abrasions & sores on his body.
His mate didn't survive.
That horse looked so forlorn...I wondered what the poor guy was thinking.

The rest of the TV news coverage was just as harrowing...zooming in on others
misery and showing us, the TV viewers, what little remained of their lives.

As it always happens, the TV news crews go home after showing us the carnage.
Then people forget and no more pictures of the town are ever seen again.
Everybody moves on, the news crew wait for the next disaster to strike.


This past Saturday, my husband and I went on an escorted Harley ride.
An Escorted Harley Ride is a ride sponsored by a club or an organization
to raise funds for a local disaster or something of the like.
This ride benefited fallen Firemen and Police officers of northern Illinois.
The ride was mapped out and at multiple crossroads across different counties
the local fire or police department would block traffic to let all of
us riders pass uninterrupted. In total there were 250 motorcycles.

One of the towns we got to ride through was Fairdale.
Access to this town has been denied since the tornado.
There are construction and clean up crews still working and assessing damages.
Huge ROAD CLOSED signs were moved and 250 motorcycles slowly
rode right down the middle of Main St.
I got out my camera but hesitated as soon as the town came into my view.
I whispered to my husband that it felt invasive to take pictures.
I took three pictures then stopped, unable to take more.
I put my hand over my heart and left it there as we cruised through.

I saw families still picking threw the rubble of what used to be their homes.
I saw cars that were flattened... roofs caved in, glass smashed and gone.
I saw houses with out roofs. I saw houses with blue tarps as roofs.
I saw driveways with no homes.
I saw cement foundations with nothing on them.
I saw an entire town plucked free of all vegetation.
All and I mean ALL of the trees were damaged or broken or gone.
I saw a pile of yellow flowers placed near the foundation of one of the homes.
Someone had erected a makeshift shrine there with a wooden white cross.

It made me grateful in a way that I hadn't been in awhile.
Don't get me wrong...I am always grateful for morning and eating
and grandkids and life and trees and birds and jobs and our home.
But this grateful feeling was a little bit different.
This was me being grateful that we had been spared.
This was me feeling grateful that we even had the money to buy this Harley
and had a free Saturday to take a 6 hour ride, in the sun, with friends
past towns and grocery stores and gas stations that sold ice cold bottles of water.
That I had my husband in front of me and our kids and grand kids all safe and sound and living in their homes with jobs and groceries and personal belongings that were not strewn about the neighboring countryside.

Speaking of is my rant-
Yesterday after church I stopped at the market.
I needed a watermelon, hot dog buns, coffee creamer and a bag of apples.
I wasn't in a hurry, so waiting in the grocery line was not a big deal.
There was 1 woman in front of me..her order was already rung up, and she was waiting
for the bag boy to finish putting her stuff in those horrible plastic sacks.
The bag boy got called away and the teenage boy who was the cashier, because it should be an easy job for heavens sake and he needs a little cash in his pocket, finished bagging her stuff albeit
he left her bags on the conveyor belt.

She turned her head and gave me a look as if to say "Can you believe this?!"
She then says to the cashier "Where's my bagger? Has he abandoned me?"
She's informed that the bagger has been summoned elsewhere and then her shit hits the fan.
She starts yelling! "Are you kidding me?! If I wanted to bag my own groceries
I would've  gone to the local discount store! Where's the manager? (Still yelling)
I've complained about this before many times. I'm never shopping here again!"

I was stunned. Technically her groceries had been bagged.
They just weren't placed back in to her empty shopping cart.
Wait a minute I think to this woman really bitching about having to load her own
full shopping bags back into her empty cart?
Is she really gonna just f-ing stand there and keep yelling at this poor teenage boy and the manager?
I'll be damned.... she did!
The manager placed the bags in her cart and the woman bitched loudly all the way out the doors about how horrible and lousy was the service in this store and how she'll never be back!

This woman had a manicure. (she had hands)
This woman had had her hair done. (she had hair and a head)
This woman was dressed in clothes. (not standing in a store naked)
Lemme say something nasty here-
This woman had not missed a meal or a snack in a good long while (do you get what I mean by this?)
This woman had driven herself to the store so she was able to afford gas and a car.
She also picked out, placed in her cart and then purchased these groceries from a store.
(which means that somebody, either her or her spouse, earns enough to pay $115.00 in cash)

How do people become so self righteous, so entitled that they demand what they want,
demand what they think they need, demand service that is ridiculous and bitch when they don't get it?

She looked a fool standing there as if she had no hands or arms or enough brains to figure out how to pick up a full grocery bag and place it back in the cart!

The whole thing made me furious.
Her sense of entitlement made me furious too.
Just the day before I had seen a family putting what was left of their belongings
into a single wheel barrow....A. Single. Wheelbarrow.

What is the matter with people?

And why does her behavior bother me so much?

Lord Jesus Christ,
Thank you that you are with us,
Every moment of the day.
With us in joy,
With us in suffering.
With us to bless us,
With us to confront us.
With us for confession,
With us for forgiveness.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Thank you that you are with us,
May we look and see and give thanks.
Christine Sine

Monday, April 20, 2015

A tisket, a tasket...

I stole a purple basket.
I didn't mean to.
But I did and it made me cry.

Last week I watched as the neighbors across the street moved out.
Every day, for 4 days moving vans showed up and people loaded them up.
Furniture, clothes, toys and home goods came out of both doors-
the front and the back.

On Friday, before they left for the night
they placed a huge stack of stuff next to their garbage cans.
A dolls house with its roof smeared with magenta nail polish,
2 chairs and a table without its glass top,
a child's motorized car, something that looked like a hammock,
a broken bathroom vanity with a shell shaped sink and
a stack of Easter baskets...yellow, blue, pink and purple.

After they left I asked my husband did he want to go garbage picking with me.
Truth be told I had my eye on that doll house.
He said "I don't think that stuff is garbage".
I said "Yes it is..Look! it's all sitting next to the garbage cans".
We waited til dusk because, you know, um.....garbage picking.

That is when we saw that most if not all of this stuff was damaged in some way.
Like I said missing glass, smeared polish, broken wood.
But I saw that basket and it was purple and sparkly and I grabbed it.
We linked arms and sauntered back home in the very near dark
with my newly acquired basket looped over my arm.

Imagine my surprise when later that night the neighbors came back!
They brought back the van to finish loading the rest of their stuff!!
They loaded everything except that broken bathroom vanity and sink.

In my ear, as I watch them thru the living room curtains with one horrified eye,
my stupid husband whispers  "I told you it wasn't garbage."

Crap crap crap!
My entire body went hot then cold...I wanted to throw up.
I wanted to run it over to them quick but I was embarrassed.
Too embarrassed to admit that I had gone through their stuff.
Too embarrassed to admit that I had stolen their purple basket.
They packed up the rest of their "garbage" and left.
I don't know where they went nor do I even know their names.
But I have their sparkly purple basket.

My husbands whispered words made me feel even more shameful.
When our grown son came home, I told him what I had done.
I asked his advice...what would HE do with this basket?
He suggested giving it to the Goodwill Store.
NO! I yelled. I like it....I want to keep it.
Except it isn't doesn't belong to me.
I don't know how I will ever enjoy it now.

I felt ruined. I shoved that basket in a bag and put it
in the spare bedroom, refusing to look at it, trying not to think about it.
I prayed to GOD asking Him what to do about it.
I confessed it to my sister at our Bible study and cried when I told her.
She said that I hadn't taken it in a malicious manner, and she believed
that GOD would forgive me for it.
My husband said-"I bet they don't even know that it's missing".
My son agreed with him.
They both also guessed that this family would assume that
this basket had accidentally gotten thrown out or lost in the move.

God forgive me, but I started to believe them.
I had to or the guilt I felt would have eaten me alive.

I realize that this really is a small thing here...
I hadn't robbed their home. I had mistakenly assumed that their
junk sitting by the garbage cans was meant as trash.
If I could undo it I would.
If I had the chance to go back in time I swear I wouldn't take it.
I have learned my lesson well. Garbage picking isn't for me.

So now that I still have this basket...what do I do with it???
Will I ever be able to use it or enjoy it without feeling guilty?

What would YOU do?

>Spray paint this basket a lavender type of purple and add some sparkly glitter...and there you have it.