Life With Hayden: The Little Merman

Now you know why I don't like to go swimming...
You never know what's lurking just beneath the surface...


Even The Coppertone Baby Makes Fun Of Me

I was told tonight that I am too pale...

Didn't I already discussed this topic a few posts back? Did no one read the epic tale of sunburns, tanning beds and ugly hats?

So anyway, someone came up to me tonight, right before church service was to begin and said I needed to get out of the house and into the sun. That I looked too white...

I'm a native Floridian...of course I'm going to stay inside...8 months out of the year the heat and humidity is miserable. There are two weeks in January that I usually go outside. But you have to time it just right. Any other time of the year and you're just asking for trouble.

But people are apparently concerned enough with my ghost-like appearance to mention the fact that I lack pigment, and look like a pink-eyed rabbit. I appreciate it, really I do...And I know my dermatologist would probably love the extra business an attempted tan would bring, but I think it's probably best that I stay pale for now. I think my feelings on the subject of my skin is best said in a poem...

The Florida sun was hot today,
blazing down upon my skin
A lily-white shade it is,
thanks to my kin.
The sun is my enemy,
creating all sorts of spots,
Sometimes I mumble to myself,
"my skin looks like Connect-the-Dots"
As the day draws long,
and my skin turns to red,
Any chance of a golden, brown tan
is now most certainly dead.
The sun starts to set,
turning the sky an orange hue,
and my elbow is hurting,
how I missed that spot, I haven't a clue.
So tonight in the coolness of home
where my skin can rejoice,
"More creams, more lotions, more aloe!"
I'll cry out,
in a loud, miserable voice.


Does That Bathing Suit Come With Gloves?

We spent the day at one of our family's favorite places...Blue Springs. It's a place we try to go to at least once or twice a summer and we finally made it there today. We had a wonderful time, some of our family came up from down state and we swam and ate and laughed most of the day. But I kept seeing something over and over again during the day that for the life of me I can't figure out...

Women of a certain age and body type,
walking around in two piece bathing suits.

Now being a gal with MORE that a full figure, when I go out into the world and there's a chance of being in any type of body of water, I tend to look like a woman straight out of 1922...practically covered from stem to sternum. Take today for example...I wore a one piece but I was completely covered by one of Mark's t-shirts, (one that was marked with a T, for tall he's 6'4, so his t-shirts usually land right above my knees). And even then I felt a little too exposed...if I could have thrown a pair of pants into the mix I would have...

So when I see women, who look like me, walking around in their itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeney, yellow polka-dotted biknis, I have to wonder...

Have they never watched "Steel Magnolias"?
Did they not heed the sage words of Dolly Parton...?

"these thighs haven't gone out of the house without lycra on them since I was 14!"

No truer words have been ever spoken by an actress...


Life Magazine Called-They're Cancelling My Subscription

I've always loved to look at photographs, doesn't really matter the subject, from wildlife to couture dresses, I love pictures. I received a beautiful postcard today with a photograph of Yosemite valley (thanks Barb, love you!) and I caught myself staring at it more than a few times today. I used to dream about being a famous photographer for Life magazine, traveling the world, dressed in khakis with a huge Nikon camera hanging from my neck. I'd be where the action was, swinging around and clicking,clicking,clicking...getting the prize winning picture every time.

But in reality, when it comes to actually taking pictures, I am what you call a "picture-attempter", not a photographer (I'm not really supposed to use that word), not even "picture-taker" is accurate for what I do to cameras and photos...

I'll get to the actual photos in a second, but first the equipment...

I had, up until this week, only been allowed to LOOK at the cameras in our house...not allowed to TOUCH in any manner. Strangers have no idea how bad it can be if I get a hold of their camera, so that's who I usually target if I want to get a close up look. Without fail, if I'm asked to take someone's picture with their own camera, like at a theme park, or a birthday party, the camera is never the same when they get it back. I've pressed a button, turned a knob, touched a lens, that I'm not supposed too (yes, I know now that you are NEVER to touch the lens with your finger, but sometimes when I look through the viewfinder it looks like it might be dirty so I figure if I wipe it off, I'm helping, I like to help)

The only camera I've been allowed to own is those $4 Wal Mart disposable ones (not even a name brand one) so that might give you an idea how bad it is. I've wanted a digital camera for a long time, but especially since I been blogging. I have seen so many beautiful photos on other blogs and thought to myself, "I can try and do that too!" So this week, I asked my wonderful husband, that since he rarely uses his little digital camera, the one that just sits there, in its little black case on the bookshelf, "could I borrow it for awhile?"

He said, "no" (look of disappointment on my face at that point) then he said, "okay, you can have it" (smiling now), I guess he thought he'd might as well just give it to me, that he'd probably never get it back in one piece if I just "borrowed" it.

So I ran, okay, walked fast, to his office and took that precious little camera down from the shelf. I think I heard a faint whimper as I pulled it from the case, like it knew what was coming, but whatever, I had a camera! I put new batteries and a memory card into the correct places (amazing) and turned the knob (to the right symbol, thank you very much). And it happened...at that moment I took another step into the 20th century. Of course it happened during the 21st century, but who cares, I had a REAL camera!!! And it wasn't made of cardboard!!!

Now for my picture taking skills...the photo I took of our sideboard with all the pictures on it (in the post below) took getting into four different positions to take:

Standing up, Sitting on a chair, Schooching back across the floor in the chair, and finally, Sitting on the floor.

Then I had to "google" to figure out how to edit the picture, discovered Photobucket, poked around that for 20 minutes and then spent another 45 minutes editing ONE picture.

I'm not sure I wanna be a photographer now (slightly whiny voice), its hard...

No, no, no! I'm not giving in...I will go forward, I will push myself to learn, I will dedicate days, weeks to the art of photography ( well, maybe a couple hours a month)

And after all that...

eh, the picture could be better...but at least no one's head is cut off like usual.

The Sideboard

table 2
This is a cherished corner in our home...
some of my favorite people in the world.


Proverbs and Psalms

This post is hard to write...I have been in a self-imposed pity-party for months now. I jumped into the pit myself...no one pushed me, lured me, or tricked me. I just jumped, eyes wide open.

My sisters-in-Christ have encouraged me, loved me, and tolerated me. I started to reach out a couple of weeks ago, and they have blessed me with words of comfort, accountability, and truth. And today I finally reached up for that first rung out of the pit. Around 6:15 p.m. this evening, I grasped that rung and got my foot firmly planted to push up. Why? Because I finally understand why...why i jumped into this particular pit.

This morning Mark sent me an email containing Scripture that he read early today, probably around 5:00 a.m.

It's Proverbs 24:30-34 NAS

I passed by the field of the sluggard
And by the vineyard of the man
lacking sense,
And behold, it was completely
overgrown with thistles;
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.
When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,
Then your poverty will come as a robber
And your want like an armed man.

It took me all day to digest this Scripture and then realization and understanding finally came these evening...

Solomon's words speak to me this; that I am at this moment in my life,
both the sluggard and the vineyard.

My flesh is the lazy farmer...
my slothfulness and self-indulgence over the past fourteen months
has robbed me of good.
I have let the enemy use against me,
the failure of our business and the mourning of it.

He turned an event into a lifestyle. And I let him.

Our business failure hurt and it felt like a death, something that was alive and now isn't. But instead of moving on, starting fresh, I've continued in a state of self-pity and "don't-want-too", encouraged by the enemy and perpetuated by this misleading flesh,
feeling good about doing nothing.

My spirit is the vineyard...
I've allowed it to become overgrown with the weeds of this world.
The thorns, thistles and nettles have taken over, running wild.
The stone wall has begun to crumble,
allowing the vermin and venom of the enemy a way in.

Sleep, slumber, and still hands are all
that my flesh and spirit have wanted
these past months,
and I have been willing and happy to indulge them.
And the result?

A mind that has wondered.
A hand that has been idle.
A heart that has become lukewarm.
A spirit that has suffered.

Tonight I cling to His promise in Psalm 73:21-24

When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless, I am continually
with You;
You have taken hold of my right
With Your counsel You will
guide me,
And afterward receive me in glory.

He has grabbed my right hand and is guiding me out of this pit.
I reached up and He got a hold.

Lord, please help me not to look down as You lift me up.


It's July, Happy Thanksgiving!

I went into a national chain craft store this afternoon and there were three full aisles of Autumn and Halloween items for sale. And I liked it...

It gives me a little thrill to see pumpkins and fall leaves in 94 degree heat and know that cool air is only 117 days away.

Maybe it will be cooler this Thanksgiving, last year we ate outside in our shorts.

People gripe about the stores jumping ahead and putting out their wares months before the actual holiday and if I'm in the midst of one of those conversations, I usually join in and say things like:

"I can't believe they___________ (the store in question)
are already putting out__________ (whatever the holiday is)."


"I just put up ___________ (whatever decoration the last holiday was)
and now I've got to start thinking about_________?"

But to be honest, I just say those things to fit in. I don't want anyone to know how weird I really am. I like walking up and down the aisles, looking at Valentine hearts in December, and Easter eggs in February. I don't have a problem with Christmas trees at Labor Day.

But I can't be the only one. Surely there has to be others. Maybe if enough of us came out and admitted our love of early holiday shopping we could start a support group. I could bring Christmas cookies to our first meeting...


It's All Tony The Tiger's Fault

My son loves cereal,
he loves cereal so much,
he considers it to be the fifth food group...

Dairy, Meats, Fruits/Vegetables, Breads,
and Lucky Charms.

This love for cereal has grown stronger over the last 14 years, and sometimes it worries me.

Not long ago, I woke up and walked into our kitchen, and found him sitting at the kitchen table, in the dark, eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (buy one get one free that week) The stove clock read 2:08 a.m. And he wasn't awake, sleep-eating I guess.

He is actually becoming quite the cereal connaisseur (I had to look that word up). He's no snob, he just knows what he likes and he knows his stuff.

He recently informed me that there is a HUGE difference between Cocoa Pebbles and Cocoa Krispies, not mention the chaos that ensues if you throw in the generic version. I believe he could have argued that point before the Supreme Court and won unanimously.

And if we are low on milk (we go through about a gallon every two days), he will call me, leave me notes, offer to walk to the store...all to make sure that liquid white gold will be waiting for him in the fridge.

No soap in his bathroom for a week? Not a peep.
No milk in the fridge? We never hear the end of it.

And so, I have to hope,
hope that he will eventually learn to love other foods,
hope that someday, his future bride will walk through their kitchen,
in the middle of the night, and find her husband, my son,
sitting at the kitchen table, eating a bowl of fruit...

heaven help her.


Loose Ends Vol. 1 No. 4

Sunday afternoon, just sent an email out to friends and family, reminding them to look at my blog...
ugh, my stomach is starting to hurt a little...that always makes me feel queasy...asking those you love to read what you've tried to write.

I told my friend the other day that I'd been snooping around other blogs again and I was starting to feel like a total idiot, comparing my feeble attempt at blogging to these super-women of the internet, those incredible ladies that are able to blog, fix dinner for a family of 11, change a flat tire, and plant a garden all at the same time.

I went as far as to purchase a "for Dummies" book on Friday, about web sites, a great book, especially since in was on sale.

And as I looked over the book, I thought about the purpose behind blogging for me...to share snippets and words, pictures and funny things that have found their way into my life...the blog shouldn't exist to try to create some over-processed, staged portrait of my life...that's not what I want it to be about. I want my blog to be about small moments in the evening or, a few minutes during the day, a time to create.

Not the center in which my life swirls around. I've been around enough scrapbookers to know when photos are taken of life moments just to have something to scrapbook. And I don't want to think, "okay, nothing happened today, what can I create today to put on the blog?", or "did you see her blog site? I've got to get music in the background of mine too!"
So far it has flowed pretty naturally and I want that to continue...

So this is how my blog is going to be...probably no fancy clip art, or ads, at least for now. I hope you drop by and check it out--

And PLEASE leave a comment...I love hearing from you!


He Also Knew How To Cook

Our cat, Tinker, used to play fetch...

We discovered his unique talent
by chance, naturally...

I mean, who thinks their cat will play fetch?

We lived in our first apartment
and one day, Mark sat down
in one of the two chairs we owned...

and felt something moist,
actually something wet,
actually something covered in cat spit,
stuck in the chair cushion

so he pulled the object
from the cushion
and discovered it was the cat's
stuffed fish toy

so as Mark threw the wet fish
down the hallway of our apartment,
Tink, who had been resting
on the top of the chair,
leaped up and scurried down
the hallway, took his fish in his mouth
and brought the toy back to Mark

so he threw the fish again...

and Tink brought it back...again, and again, and again

Tinker was a great cat...


I Didn't Realize Hefty Made My Size

Okay, I'll admit it...

I don't have an ounce,
not a gram,
not a milli-anything...

of fashion sense.

As someone who wears
a pink gabardine duster
around the house,
I'm well aware of
my non-existent status
as a fashionista...

I have trouble with
the whole "package"

my lack of fashion sense goes waaaay back,
my mother's fault actually...
because she did have the whole "package"
she just forgot to pass it down to me...

and here's proof:

mom....1963...giving Jackie Kennedy a run for her money

me...1983...giving anyone within a 5 mile radius a reason to run

yes that is a trash bag I have on...don't bother to ask,
but I will say this...
in the room who looked like that...
no names will be revealed
to protect the innocent


Long Dresses and Candlesticks

'Pride and Prejudice' was watched this afternoon,
for the umpteenth time at our house...

Teenage girls inhabit our home, not only our two,
and they all seem to love
Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott...

and as I've watched them, watching
Jane and Elizabeth, and the March girls...

it occurs to me that they seem to desire
the simplicity these authors offer...

the language and style

the modesty, courtships, and romance

the long walks, the ice skating on frozen ponds,
the carriage rides, the letter writing,
the feathers dipped in ink...

and that if, given a choice,
of the distractions of this world
or the world of Jo and Meg,
they might just choose the latter...

Put Your Sunglasses On-The Reflection Is Blinding

I have the whitest legs on the planet

Trust me when I say they are so white,
they're almost translucent...

I have always dreamed
of having a golden brown hue...

shimmering like light on the water,
basking in the white sands of Clearwater Beach,
glowing in the moonlight off the Bellair Causeway...

and I have gone to great and stupid lengths
to achieve something that my DNA just won't allow

Like slathering my 12 year old self with Hawaiian Tropic OIL,
circa 1977, and frying myself to a crisp,
more like extra-crispy.. so badly I couldn't walk for a week,
waking up the first morning,
on the bathroom floor,
because the tile floor was cool...

Buying "QT", circa 1980, and applying that caramel foam
to my legs, just my legs, mind you,
leaving the rest of me, pale
and walking around for a week,
oblivious to fact that as the week progressed,
I had patches all over my legs,
that were fading from dark brown,
to orange peel, to pale again...

Once, and only once, lying in a tanning bed,
circa 1983, when tanning beds first showed up,
I didn't tan...but my tongue was neon green for a week,
gamma rays, I guess...

So after numerous visits to the skin doctor
to have things
frozen, sliced, and cut out of my skin,
I have finally realized that my lily-white skin
just doesn't want to be brown...

so, now this is me, yesterday, at the beach...
yep, that's me under the hat, the hat Mark likes to make fun of...

but, just for a moment, yesterday
as I sat on the sands of the Atlantic,
I thought I smelled the faint,
but familiar scent of Hawaiian Tropic
waifing up from between my toes...


He Only Weighs 116 Lbs-Where's He Putting Them?

The leftovers of 4th of July,
potato salad,
baked beans,
crunchy coleslaw (oh baby, yum)
seafood salad (okay, I just wiped drool off)
but sadly, no stuffed eggs
(I don't give the devil credit for anything good)

These guys are just sitting there, in the fridge,
waiting patiently...

I didn't mention hot dogs and there is a reason...

It has to do with the news...

I can't watch the news on the 4th of July,


Because the news runs a constant loop
of the hot dog eating contest
at Coney Island in New York...

and I gag each time I see it,

even if I catch just a glimpse out of the corner of my eye...

I don't gag...I'm not that kind of gal...
I've cleaned up so many different kinds of messes
as a mother, that my gag reflex, out of desperation,
took a permanent vacation...

But a few years ago, someone turned on the TV,
after everyone had gone home from our 4th cookout,
and there he was...

a little tiny guy,
with a Japanese Kamacazi headband and
a Nathan's Hot Dog t-shirt,
(the uniform I guess for hot dog eating contests)
SHOVING, hot dogs, (ugh...)
hot dogs in the bun,
that he had DIPPED in a glass of water (whoosy...)
to make the hot dogs GO DOWN easier
64 of them...
(yep, just gagged a little)

It's gross enough to make you want to give 'em up...

And so now you know why I didn't mention the hot dog,
even though we ate them yesterday
and I think a few might be still lurking around in the fridge...

on the lookout for that guy in the headband


Kaitlin's Journey: His Mercy Is Great And Mighty!

Another God story...

I've asked for prayer the last few months for Kaitlin as she has had this stronghold upon her...
a stronghold of fear

She has been afraid of her future, afraid to take that next step into adulthood...

but He is faithful and hears our petitions, our cries, our whispers...

Kaitlin came home from Honduras and shared that she is ready...really ready, to go...

She's a little nervous about the unknown but she is no longer consumed with fear...

Thank You Jesus...


No, I Didn't Cuss

I hate it when I think,
"I haven't put my foot in my mouth in quite awhile".

I hate it because,
without fail,
every stinkin' time,
literally within 24 hours of thinking it,

I end up with the smell of rubber sole on my breath and a Payless price tag stuck to my lips.

And sure enough, I thought it Sunday and I spoke it Monday...

Why do I think this thought and then as if my mouth is forced open by some unseen arm-twisting, I say something that I end up regretting? Or worse, fret about at midnight?

Do I somehow want to fulfill some self prophecy of stupidity?

Do I forget past lessons hard-learned from this former potty mouth?

Do I see some non-existent opportunity to impress the flesh with careless words?

Yes to all of the above...

A simple shopping story...

Her cart was dripping. The grocery cart she was pushing around the produce section of the big box store I had just entered was drippin...