Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Archive for the ‘Just for Fun’ Category

Being You

How are your Christmas preparations going?  Have you hung the oats and ivy yet?  Get at it, yo.  It’s Christmas.  What??

I hope you know what that means.  I haven’t the foggiest.

You remember I’m All ABOUT CHRISTMAS this year right?  I’m making good on my declaration to make up for Christmas past, when illness had us by the…throat.  In honor of  Christmas fun,  Olivia and I posted ridiculous Christmas videos on my FB page over Thanksgiving.  Just some absurd “how to” videos that show you how to do nothing, actually.

I think my friends might sometimes think this:  Does Miki ever stop and ask herself why she’s the ONLY adult she knows participating in public nonsense?  The answer to that, my friend, is, yes.  Miki does ask myself, I mean, herself, (this third person, first person conversation is getting away from me) that question.

I say, “Miki, are you sure you’re okay with your kids remembering you as this crazy parent who participated in juvenile antics?”

I thought long and hard about that question, and while I am a little nervous about me, and I do admire and aspire to be more like people who are more mature, my answer is still this:

Yes.  Yes.  I’m okay with it.

I’m not okay with all of it because I think the way I am is good.  It’s not.  If I had a choice, I think I’d choose to inhabit the life form of some grand lady with tremendous organizational skills, and a knack for getting things right.  But, I’m not that grand lady.  I’m a silly lady.  That’s me. The me that takes no effort to conjure up; I wake up every morning, and there she is again; like a bad habit.  Silliness is my native tongue.

I lamented to Scott recently.  I told him he just has no idea how much of my brain space is dedicated to silliness. It’s astonishing.  He patted me on the head, because he feels sorry for me.  And, for himself.

I guess it isn’t the worst thing.  We know some good people who are getting their heads kicked in by life right now.   Have you noticed that there’s never really a shortage of sorrow in life? So, I say, let’s just have some laughs.  Let’s enjoy feeling lighter for one moment.  The sorrow will be right where we left it.

And there’s this other thing I’ve been thinking about: One of the many things I want our kids to walk away from their childhood lived in the home that Scott and I built together (figuratively),  is the ability to identify the person God made them to be in this world.  I want them to embrace that person.   It is my belief that God stamps us each in a unique way, for a purpose.  Kids (and adults) can waste so much time not liking themselves; trying to rework their hard wiring. That’s not a happy existence.  I want ALL kids to be happy and fulfilled, accepting who they are and using what comes naturally to them to serve others.

THAT’S my Christmas wish for the world, sonny boy.

I’m paving the way for you by posting utter nonsense.  What I won’t do for humanity.

All my Christmas shenanigans are going over in a decent fashion in our house.  Zeke and Olivia are like little Christmas elves. They’re game for anything Christmas.  Most of the time.  We went Black Friday shopping.  On the way home, I thought we could sing a jolly round of Christmas carols. My sister taped this sing-a-long, which I thought went over much better BEFORE I watched the tape.  I see now the kids were not impressed:

 

 

Express Blog and Inconsequential Findings

I think I’m posting blogs further apart these days.  It feels like I am.  Quiet moments are not presenting themselves this past month; I’m not good at blogging around noise, or in a crowd.  I prefer no distractions.

Thank the Good Lord for creating Mark Zuckerberg.  Facebook satiates my hunger to express myself.  If you want to bet my Facebook friends that I am their most frequently posting friend,  you’ll win that bet.  I post a lot.

Here’s the alarming part of my Facebook presence.  My FB activity is an example of me exhibiting self control.  What my FB friends don’t realize is all that stuff I’m saying on Facebook is only HALF of what I WANT to say.

What’s wrong with me?

I give myself little lectures.  I say, “Okay Miki, that’s enough.  People have had enough of your shenanigans.  You’re going to resist the urge to post what’s on your mind for the next week. Got it?  Got it.”

Five minutes later.  Reggie is snuggled in the blankets projecting such cuteness, it would be a sin NOT to post a picture of him. Plus, I need to mention how much I love him.  Because, that’s original, right?  I mean I REALLY love my dog; nobody’s thought of that.    Suddenly, slipping back down the slope.

Sometimes I’ll post something on FB, let it sit for a few minutes, then delete it.  Occasionally, I’ve had friends ask me where a post went.  I just tell them I’m sorry.  I had second thoughts.

What’s a girl with an addiction to writing words, and a head full of silly thoughts to do?

Thanks for the therapy sesh.  I’ve missed this between us.

Now, in the interest of time, I’m going to express blog the rest of my way through this. I thought I might highlight a few random tidbits occupying the space between my ears. This might be how I blog until I have time to go old school, long blog again.  Prepare for your life to be changed:

Bragging

When people say, “I don’t mean to brag”, they mean, “I do mean to brag, but I’d like to be excused for it”.  I generally don’t mind when people brag.  They should leave off the, “I don’t mean to brag” part though.   When I hear that I wonder if I SHOULD mind.

Fitbit

The verdict is in; I’m ready to share the results.   I’ve had my Fitbit for almost one year. It works.

I have a routine I follow each day to get my steps.  It is rare for me to change my routine.  I had a couple of extremely busy days last week.  Time did not allow for my normal routine.  I fell quite short of my step goal on those days.  I realized on those days that my default mode is inactive.  I am not your friend who will bustle around you, fluffing pillows and picking lint off your sweater, because I just can’t sit still.   I LOVE being still.  Love it.

For some reason, my mind believes it’s accountable to my Fitbit; I’m not telling my mind otherwise.

The Fitbit works for me.

Walking

Speaking of steps, my super good work friend and I walk at lunch.  We walk the same route each day.  One day, there was a man who was standing off the sidewalk, more towards the street.  The man was smoking, and yelling something.  He seemed angry. At first, I thought the man may be in charge of some construction in the area.  As we walked closer, we realized there was no construction in the area.

That day, my friend and I decided to change our walking route.

On a different day, I was walking alone.    I was startled when I heard a man yell something in my direction from behind me.  I looked, and I saw the same man who was yelling in the street. This time, he was sitting in a lawn chair, outside of an apartment.  He was a big man, with a big belly.  He was wearing tiny shorts.  Nothing else. It wasn’t  warm.

My good walking friend and I have discussed this man at length.  We have agreed that if he should ever pursue us, we will make every effort to push each other in his direction to save ourselves. I thought I might say “Take her.  She’s younger. She’s smart. She can do your taxes.”

Sometimes it’s just good to have your cards on the table with people.

Faith

Zeke and Olivia are in a church group called “Impact”.  The group is an off-shoot of normal youth group.  Impact is for kids who might be asking themselves, “Why are we doing  this again?”

Impact takes an up close look at the Bible. The kids discuss what they read, and ponder how it may apply to their lives right now.  The other day, Zeke happened upon this scripture in the Book of Romans.  He was excited about it:

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.  So nobody has a good excuse.

Zeke thought this scripture answered a lot of questions for him.  I agree.  God reveals himself to EVERYONE through creation.

I hear from God every morning.   I see the black sky dotted with white stars first, until the sky turns pink as the sun rises.  My eyes take it in, and I know: man did not create this.   I would know it, If I had never heard a single sermon in my life on Earth.   I see an eagle soaring over the river.  I look at my small hands.  No hands like mine put that eagle in the sky. I feel humble.  My heart knows a God like this should be worshiped.

Rebekkah picture

*Photo credit to my friend, Rebekah Brackett.  She is an artist. She captures beautiful pictures of her world, and shares them on Facebook.

Feeling Small, Living Big

Uhgg.  My brain is dead.  My brain is dried out. Crispy. If you grabbed my brain with your hand right now, it  would disintegrate; a thousand brain crumbs would fall from your palm to the ground.  There’s no juice there, people.  I’ve got no flow.

I think it’s this back to school business.

You’d think that someone with no flow would have the good sense to stop writing.  Well, I don’t care if I’ve got nothing to say.  I’m going to say it anyway.

Where do you suppose you’re going to find wisdom like what I just said there, if I quit writing?

Exactly.

What’s that?  You think I’m kind of like a public servant, and you admire my bravery for writing even when I got nothin’?

Woah. Do me a favor. Don’t repeat that.  I’m shy about getting attention, and more than a little modest.  I’m appalled by the thought of making up pretend conversations in a blog to flatter myself.  That’s sick stuff.

On the last day of summer, my head was brimming with ideas, inspiration and enthusiasm.  I actually wrote out a few of my thoughts,  and saved them for when I had time to write.

Where did all the enthusiasm go?

Do you remember I told you that I was meeting with a group of women this summer?  We read the book, “How to Choose Joy When Happiness isn’t Enough”, by Kay Warren.  We finished our book club at breakfast on the last day of summer.   I was inspired by this book, and I think the other women were too.

Isn’t it funny?  And, by “funny”, I mean super irritating.  Within a week of finishing this book, and feeling like I understand how to access real joy and contentment,  I find myself struggling to remember what I learned.

Maybe if I tell you what I learned, it will help me remember:

There is practical wisdom in this book, I couldn’t begin to remember everything I thought was useful.  I’m definitely keeping this book to refer to later.

 I’m going to just tell you two ideas that impacted me the most.  The first idea is probably something you already know: Joy can NOT exist in the absence of gratitude.  Here’s something interesting about the group of women who read this book.  We all seemed to agree that the older we get, the mores successful we have become at seeing small stuff.  Is that just across the board, a true fact about aging?  Or, was our group unique?

Here’s how it works for me: I thank God for how soft my sweater feels against my skin, for the thick cream in my coffee, and for SURE, I thank him for this huge tree I walk by almost every day at lunch. I see that tree. I stop for a few moments to just take the tree in with my eyes.  I thank God for being so kind to make that tree, and for the power he has to create something as big, and beautiful as that tree.  Seeing that tree elevates my mood.

I know.  I’m well on my way to being a crazy ol’ lady.  We learned that joy grows more easily in a heart fertile with gratitude.  It’s easy to be grateful, if we start breaking life down to all the details.

tree picture

The other important part of this book was what I would call the author’s overarching theme.  If you walk away from reading this book without understanding this part of the author’s message, then you may want to consider a reread.   This is it. This is what Kay Warren is trying to say God has impressed upon her heart to share: Joy is a choice.  

The author stated this in a hundred different ways.  But, I understood her to say that I am an active participant in my ability to obtain joy and contentment in a life guaranteed to be filled with its share of sadness and pain.  The author didn’t just tell us it was our choice, and leave at that though. She gave us tools and insight on how to go about choosing joy.

One of the women in our group has a tremendous challenge in her life.  She didn’t ask for the challenge, it was given to her.  In one of our first meetings, this woman said something like, “Oh, choose Joy.  That sounds simple.  I’ve got to wake up tomorrow and face complicated and grueling decisions and tasks, but I’ll just start singing “Amazing Grace”, and choose joy, and then I’ll be all zippedy doo da…life is sure grand.”

I paraphrased what my friend said, but you get the idea.  I thought my friend made a GREAT point.  When she said that,  I was really hoping Kay Warren had something profound to share.  Because anything I said, I’d be whipping right out of my big, fat hiney.

I had squat on that huge life question.  All’s I really had was the dumb idea to have the book club.  That’s where my ideas ended.

Whew!  Kay Warren DID have her sister’s back.  She had some good ideas that were practical, useful and inspiring.  By the end of the book, we all felt like we had learned some things to take along with us in our lives.  It was a good book.  I recommend it.

Here’s the brave book club.  Our numbers started bigger than this, but do you remember how busy summer is?  Brutal.  I was grateful to have even one other person, besides me, by the end of the summer.

book club

I have had more on my mind than choosing joy.  I have been thinking about living big.  At least, I was, before back to school crushed the thinking out of me.

This lady I like shared this passage from Corinthians on Instagram the other day:

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life.
We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way.  I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!

This passage speaks to me.  The smallness I feel comes from within me, but I’m not meant to live a small life.  God is asking me with great affection to live a BIG LIFE.  

Am I reading that right?  I hope I am.

I think what I’m hearing is that I’m NOT to live in obedience to my insecurities, or focus on my shortcomings.  I’m not to withdraw, or hold back, or create a facade to hide me.  All that is small.

For me, living a big life is measured in terms of my investment in people; encouraging, serving, loving the people I was dropped in next to on Earth.  Does it get bigger than that?  I can’t let my smallness stop me from living a big life.  How thrilling that I don’t have to.  A big life sounds super fun. I like fun.

I did this first book club/Bible study feeling very, very small.  I am small.  I know it.  I’m not a good book/Bible study leader.  That’s not false modesty.  I promise I hold this belief with every ounce of my soul.  There are times I laughed at my ineptitude.  I had to laugh, because the other option is feeling crummy about what I lack.  I don’t like feeling crummy.

I’m so glad I’m not letting the reality of my smallness stop me from living big.  God says, don’t do it, Mik!  He calls me, Mik. We’re just like that.  It’s an inside joke.

If you’re a woman, I’m inviting you to live big with me.  We’re doing another book club/Bible study this fall.  We’re meeting every other Sunday evening at 5pm.  Location tbd. Somewhere around Prairie du Sac.

 If you live in Pakistan, India or Switzerland, and you read my blog, may God bless you like mad.  Wow.  How did that happen?  I so wish you could join us, so we could ask you about Pakistan and stuff.  Perhaps you could live big, and start your own study where you live, and we can do this in tandem?

We’re shooting for a start date of Oct 4th.  We have not made a final decision on the book yet, but it will definitely be a book written to inspire us, and to help us grow in our Christian faith.  If you’re sort of iffy on the Christian stuff and church, but you’re intrigued, I wouldn’t let that stop you.  I’m not much for feeling like people all have to agree on everything to help each other grow.

If you start, and decide it’s not for you, I don’t get hurt feelings. It’s a gift.

I’m excited to live big.

You in?

Choose Joy and a Disgusting Story

I can really smell things.  I don’t know what that talent is good for, or how it’s helpful.  It’s true though.  I have always had a good sniffer.

Last night, I was woken up by a smell.  Has that ever happened to you?  Smells wake me up. It’s true.  Toots really wake me up. I feel like that would make a good T-shirt.  “Toots wake me up.”  It’s just cute, and something most people want to read about.

I thought there might be a skunk in our house.  Then, I thought Reggie really needed a bath.  I tried to put a pillow over my face, and then a pillow over Reggie. Nothing stopped that sour, skunk smell.

I reached my hand out to pet Reggie, and instead, set my hand in a puddle. Yep. Reggie peed in our bed.

I yelled, “Reggie PEED!!!”

Scott is fast when he’s disgusted.  He couldn’t get out of that bed fast enough once he heard “pee”.  Thankfully, we made one good decision in our lives; we purchased a heavy duty, water resistant mattress protector when we bought our bed. That’s the good part of the story. The part I’m going to try to think about.  The part I’m going to think about when I’m trying NOT to think about the pee in our bed part.

Poor Reggie.  He looked so shame faced when the lights went on that night.  His eyes drooped, and  he flattened his ears convincingly. I’d forgive him anything when he makes that face. That face doesn’t have quite the same effect on Scott. Scott was fairly unmoved.

I thought Reggie might have a bladder infection.  He doesn’t though.  Do you know why a dog would suddenly decide to pee in your bed, instead of outside?   Help me out.

I think Reggie gets to move into his cozy kennel for a few nights.  The kennel may become his permanent bed.   I gotta admit.  I won’t hate that.  I love Reggie like one of my children. But, our children don’t sleep with us either.  Why does Reggie? Seriously.  I’m asking you.  How does this happen?

We won’t be getting over this pee thing for quite some time. This probably isn’t the last time you’re going to hear about it.  I’ll be working through this for years. It’s called PTSD.

I have the BEST question for you.  Here it is:

What’s it like to be on the other side of you?

What I mean by that is this:  Have you ever asked yourself what it’s like to be the person on the other side of a conversation with you?  How do the words you use, your mannerisms and your general disposition make people feel?

This was the question posed to the group of women I meet with by author, Kay Warren.  Kay Warren wrote this book:

choose-joy (1)

See that title?  “Choose Joy Because Happiness Isn’t Enough”.  Boy, she said a mouthful there.  I need this book.  Especially now that Reggie uses our bed as a toilet.

Kay Warren is smart.  That girl knows how to break it down.

I’m not going to recap now.  I might in the future.  I just wanted to talk about this one question she asked, because I think it’s so good.  I started to ask myself this question, and I wondered why I had never asked myself this question before.  The fact that I haven’t asked myself this question is telling.  Do you know what I mean?  I hear this word being whispered in my ear…aaarrogaance.  See what I did there?  I was trying to draw out the word arrogance, and make it sound like it was being whispered.  Hey!  Are you listening to me?  I’m talking.  Listen to me.  Because l like to talk, and talk and talk…

Blaach!

I’m sorry I haven’t asked myself these questions.  I’m asking now.  I’m going to try to pay better attention.

Kay warren talked about being a good listener, not interrupting, and offering gratitude to people whenever possible.  Yes.  Sign me up.  I want to be that kind of person.

What would happen if everyone just started behaving and communicating in a way that was always mindful of other people’s best interests?  Sounds like a cockamamie idea, Kay Warren.  Yer just askin’ for trouble planting those kinds of fancy ideas in our heads.

I’m in a bit of a rush today, but I’ll give you a full book report when we’re done. Don’t you worry about that. And, you’ll sit quietly and listen without interrupting, right? Because, you heard the lady.

Cheers to a Future…

Hey y’all, give me a little hug around the neck. Ya hear?

Sorry.  “Friday Night Lights.”

I’m heavily influenced by whatever story I am currently following.  Remember when I was Scottish?  I’m a Texan now

I told you, I’m not that good at pacing myself; a pretty standard trait for those of us suffering with some bits and pieces of attention deficit issues. That’s a paradox, right?  People who struggle to apply their attention, actually OVER apply their attention when they’re engaged with something that is of interest to them.  Like “Friday Night Lights”.

Scott said he feels like I’m cheating on him with this show.  I’m always sneaking away to catch a few more minutes with my Friday Night Lights friends.   I half listen to Scott’s stories, because in my head I’m busy trying to solve all my friends’ problems from Dillon, Texas.

Not to worry.  I’m almost done with all these people.  I haven’t been eating and sleeping as much lately; I’ve watched almost 5 seasons in one month.  It’s called commitment.  You might want to try it.  Maybe you could finally make something of yourself.

Other things that have been happening while I’ve been living in Texas are college visits.  Here we are.  It’s time.  Eddie has always seen himself as someone who’s going to college.  When Eddie was in Kindergarten, he would come home from school and immediately put Scott’s videos of the Iowa Hawkeye wrestling tournaments in to the VCR.  I remember thinking that was a little unique for a 5-year-old.  Shouldn’t he be watching “Caillou”?  Eddie couldn’t abide that little Caillou.  Not even for a second.

Poor Eddie. He’s so much like me, I hate to tell him how much. He loves what he likes. Eddie had an insatiable appetite for college wrestling.  He still does.

So, college is certainly on the horizon for Eddie.  Good for him.  Can I be serious for a few lines?  I want to say out loud how much I  appreciate the opportunity to consider possibilities.  I didn’t always believe we’d be here.  Eddie has a future. Eddie has a future.  Eddie has a future.  I’m just going to keep saying it until I believe it.

When Eddie was in grade school, we knew this wonderful family.  This family had a couple of boys who wrestled for the Iowa Hawkeyes.  One of these boys put together a care package for sick little Eddie from the Hawkeye wrestling team.  The package included Hawkeye t-shirts worn by some of the wrestlers, including one t-shirt signed by everyone on the team.  There were also some nice notes in the package, including a short note from  Coach Dan Gable.  If you say you’re a wrestling fan, and you don’t know Dan Gable, you’re busted.  Gable is a wrestling legend;  besides those Olympic gold medals he owns,  he was also the coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes for many years.

This note from Dan Gable gave Eddie a few words of encouragement.  Gable told Eddie that it was good Eddie was getting all this sickness out of the way when he was young, so when Eddie was older he could do all the wrestling he wanted.

This. For sure. This was the best gift Eddie has ever received. Hands down.  No contest.  We framed all of it, and it might be the only Earthly possession Eddie cares about.

I remember reading Gable’s words, and feeling kind of hopeful.  I mean, Gable didn’t know Eddie, or even what was wrong with Eddie.  But, he was Dan Gable. Maybe he knew stuff about the future.  I loved him for pretending he did.

So, the future is now.  Eddie’s looking forward to a college, and, hopefully, more wrestling.  Gable called it.

The first college Eddie wanted to visit was my Alma Mater. I wish this visit had something to do with me; it’s purely coincidence.  Or, I should say, it’s purely about wrestling.

When we were on vacation with Scott’s family last week, we took the opportunity to visit campus.  I have not been to my Alma Mater since I graduated.  It’s funny how quickly you remember things.  I gave my family a tour; I wasn’t half bad.

The kids wanted to know where I stayed on campus.  I told them that their Dad and I were married then.  I lived off campus with their dad while I finished college.  The kids responded to this information with instantaneous disgust.  Especially Olivia.

Olivia is appalled that I did not have the independence nor the dignity to earn a college degree before I chained myself down to a man for the rest of my life.  I told Olivia that while I respect her point of view, I do admit I really liked her Dad a great deal; I think there’s a decent chance things are gonna work out, despite our foolishness.

UNI

Just hangin’ around campus in our Crocs.

zeke uni

Zeke wishes he was as cool as that guy.

la la uni

Her wrestling stance needs some work.

Midwives and Crusty Coots

I’m glad  you came to my blog today so that I can tell you that you are crazy for having your kids vaccinated, and crazy for NOT having them vaccinated.  I’m totally firm on that.  Don’t even TRY to make me budge.

I keep thinking I’ve made my mind up about things, but then I keep changing my mind.  I only seem to change my mind when other people tell me to change it.  So, at least there’s science behind what I do.

I started thinking about how wishy washy I am when I was chatting with all the crusty ol’ coots I hang out with on the Wisconsin Wrestling forum.  I’m a regular reader and contributor to this forum.   It’s weird that I do that.  Trust me.  You probably don’t know just how weird, but it’s weird.

Hanging out on that forum reminds me of when I was fresh out of college, selling time on the radio.  I had to visit a LOT of “seasoned” businessmen in a rural area.  These guys were hunting, fishing, farming type of guys who often gathered for coffee in the morning, to jaw about oh, I dunno, whatever guys like that jaw about. Maybe guns and trucks and 4-wheelers…whoa.  Sorry.  I just fell asleep while I was writing that sentence. I got really bored.

I don’t have much in common with those kinds of guys.

I was in my early twenties then, and not from around those parts.  Sometimes, I’d walk into a store with a group of these guys, drinking coffee, yacking away; they would see me coming and the conversation would abruptly stop.  The group of buddies would stare at me while I’d make my spiel to the shop owner, trying to convince him to do business with me.  All those guys were completely comfortable with making me completely uncomfortable.

I really forgot about that part of my job until I started writing this post.  I’m glad I remembered, because I want to have this story on hand when my kids complain that they have to do something hard at work.  That was hard for me.  Truth be known, even though I am not shy, I do NOT like a live audience.  Really, I don’t.  Ask the people who know me best.  I’ll joke around all day when I’m in a comfortable group.  But, I don’t like real people looking at me with expectation.   I actually suck at official performances.  Makes my bones rattle.

Those rural business owners actually ended up not being so bad.  Turns out a lot of them were salt of the earth type guys, who helped keep me employed.  I think guys like that just think people should have to work for things.  They sorta like making people sweat.

So, about this wrestling forum.  The deal with that is somewhere in the last 25 years of watching wrestling, I’ve become a fan.  I like the forum, because they talk a lot of wrestling, and I can learn a lot from all those crusty guys.  This week they’re talking about a unique type of head gear.  One guy would say this head gear is the best.  He loves it.  Then, I’d think, yeah, me too.  I love it too.  Then, the next guy says the head gear is dangerous.  It does damage to the opponents face.  The head gear should be banned.  And, I’m like, yeah.  I think so too.  Let’s ban that head gear.

See what I mean?

Scott has always said that if people say things with enough confidence, everyone believes them, whether or not the person yammering on is speaking the truth.  I think Scott says that because he doesn’t now how to make false proclamations. And, maybe it bugs him that other people do. Scott is very, very (Did I mention very?) slow to state his opinion.  He won’t make a bold statement unless he’s completely and totally sure he has the facts.

I, on the other hand, get excited about things all the time, and can’t wait to share my opinions, based on quasi-truths.  It’s just one more thing I’m good at.

I told Scott he gives know-it-alls too much credit.  I said most people know that the folks who think they have all the answers are generally people who are full of crap.  How can a person know so much about everything?  They can’t.

Wow. That’s kind of mean.  Doesn’t mean know-it-alls aren’t nice people.  You can be nice AND full of crap, right?

That’s a lot of rambling with no particular point.  I’m sorry about that.  It’s been a quiet week.

Here’s one thing I DO know.  Take this statement to the bank: Netflix is awesome.  Definitely one of our family’s best purchases.  Zeke, Scott and I have invested about half our lives so far in various intriguing series.  We just finished “Lost”. That took some commitment.

Eddie has always accused Scott and me of not having a life.  Netflix isn’t helping.

We are currently searching for a new series to start.  I suggested, “Call the Midwife”, produced by BBC.  Scott saw just a few scenes, and he was completely appalled.  He couldn’t understand why anyone with a shred of dignity would watch this show.  It’s about women having babies a long time ago in London.

Every episode has multiple birthing scenes.  “Lost” had a few birthing scenes in it too.  Those scenes for sure were Scott and Zeke’s least favorite.

The first episode of “Call the Midwife” has a lady who is pregnant AND she has a venereal disease.  She takes off her underpants to be examined, and the nurse almost passes out from the stench.  There’s some talk of terrible discharge, and I do mean from her body, and not from the hospital.  You get the idea.

Hard to believe Scott doesn’t like that, right?  I knew you’d agree.

I guess I’m going to watch this one on the side, and  I’ll watch some other low-brow series with Scott and Zeke, if I must.

Call the Midwife … 'We don't go out on bikes.'

Maybe if the show would have put these midwives in race cars, or given them guns, the show would appeal to more people.  Shortsighted on the writers’ part, really.  I might send an email to the producer, and give them my suggestions.  I know a lot about all that stuff.

43 things I Have learned in 43 years

I know.  That’s a lot of things.  I was trying to think about how to commemorate another year on this Earth.  What I thought of was a really, really big surprise party.  I mean, I’m simple. So, not a formal black tie thing.  Just a couple hundred people (or so) waiting to surprise me  at a fine restaurant.  Special people from throughout my 43-years will be there to offer their kind tributes and special memories.  We’ll have a table set up for gifts and money.  A really big table.

I tried organizing this thing, but it’s weird.  No one was calling me back.   I have a sneaky suspicion they’re organizing this whole thing without me. They probably don’t want me to lift a finger.  I get it.

I keep spying on Scott when he’s on the phone, to see if I can catch him in the act of making plans for my party.  He’s so good.  He always makes it seem like he’s talking to his assistant coach about wrestling.  He’s very convincing.

While I’m waiting for the gala to get off the ground, I thought I’d make a list of 43 things I’ve learned during my 43 years on Earth.  If you don’t have time to read the list now, don’t worry.  I’ll read them out loud for everyone at my surprise party.  You’re invited…to organize it.

43 Things I’ve Learned:

1. Keep your expectations for birthday’s and other holidays low.  Then, you’ll be happy with whatever you get.  I always do this.

2. Beans make you toot.  (I’m sorry.  It’s just that I’m scared I won’t be able to think of 43 things. I thought I’d start with the basics.)

3. Exercise helps almost everything.

4. So does a positive attitude.

5. Exercise outside whenever possible.

6. Being outside helps when you’re sad.

7. If you’re sad all the time,  something is wrong.  Address it.

8. People who know you shouldn’t have to worry about what kind of mood you’re in.  Be predictably pleasant.

9. Happiness = gratitude

10. Gratitude = liking the way God made you, and what you have already.

11. Don’t be hard to please.

12. If you’re thinking a kind thought about someone, tell them.

13. If you’re not thinking kind thoughts, ask yourself why.

14. Hear people.

15. Don’t interrupt.

16. Always bring more than your fair share.

17. The only right place to brag is on your resume.

18. Be curious.  Try new things.

19. Figure out what comes naturally to you, what you’re passionate about. Embrace it.

20. People want you to listen and care.  They rarely need your advice.

21. Root for other people.

22.  If you don’t like Doctors and taking medicine, eat real food.  Don’t eat more than you need. You don’t need as much as you think.

23. Don’t spend more money than you make.

24. Be organized.  If it’s hard for you, you can teach yourself how to do it.  Pinterest.

25. Work hard.

26. Being nice isn’t the same thing as telling people what they want to hear.

27. Be quick to forgive.  Don’t hold grudges, especially against yourself.

28. Say you’re sorry.

29. You know  you’re with good friends when it feels effortless.

30. Read.  A lot.

31. Look your best.

32. You can’t look your best with no effort.

33. Don’t be easily offended.  If things bother you a lot, that’s not things, that’s you.

34.  The more you talk about religion and politics, the less likely people will be to listen to you.

35. Don’t say mean things.

36. Don’t believe mean things you hear.

37.  Some people will never like you.  Like them anyway, and let them go.

38. Figure out what you believe.

39. Little kids and pets.  The best stuff life has to offer.

40. Laugh every chance you get.

41. Wearing fancy name brands for others to see.  Joke’s on you.

42. Quality over quantity.

43. Beans really do  make you toot.

This is my list.  I doubt these things have ever been said before.  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s like you just heard from a modern day Socrates.  I’m not trying to be a control freak about this surprise party, but you might want to think about mentioning the Socrates thing  in your tribute.  Just a suggestion.  But, really, do what you want. Remember? I’m not hard to please.

P.S. I asked Zeke and Scott to listen to my blog as their Birthday gift to me.  I’m not sure those two guys even know I write a blog. Well, they listened, and they gave this post the thumbs up.  Almost.  Scott said he had some slight reservations.  He said he really just doesn’t think beans do make you toot.

Then, he wanted clarification.  Scott said, “I mean, are we talking green beans, black beans, what kind of beans? Because, I’m not sure you can just simply say beans make you toot.  How do you know they do for sure?”

P.P.S. I’m not going to read Scott any more of my blogs.

P.P.P.S. Zeke didn’t like #31.  He thought it was weird that I said looking your best was something I would say I learned.  That IS weird, because mostly I’ve told my kids it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

I told Zeke that I thought looking your best gives you a psychological advantage.  And, I told him it’s good for a marriage to…

“Stop, Mom.  I don’t want to hear another word.”  Zeke interrupted me.

P.P.P.P.S. I didn’t enjoy reading the list to those guys as much as I thought I would.

Your visits here helped make my 43rd year AWESOME! That’s your gift to me, and I want you to know I’m grateful!  Here’s to 43 more great ones, and to staying the heck away from beans.  Tooting jokes always kill.

Birthday 43

I’m actually 43, not 34. I just wanted my age to be perfectly clear to my dyslexic friends.

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