Saturday, October 31, 2009

enhanced gratefuls

253. White accents - the pinecone's finishing touch.

254. Coffee and a bite or six of chocolate.

255. Seeing my daughters hug their daddy. Getting hugged too. With a little bit of back scratchy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

For the Birds Gratefuls

249. Sunlit yellow leaves.

250. Birds chatting it up when there is finally a break in the rain.

251. Momentary lulls in bird chatter.

252. The cheeseburger bird. There's a bird (actually many of them) that has a call something like 'chee bugga chee bugga chee bugga chee'. We've never caught a glimpse of it. We call it the cheeseburger bird.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Let's hear some virtual applause

Sometimes I feel like I'm being dragged along by technology.

A few months ago, I was in the church parking lot to pick up Mo from youth group. I didn't feel like getting out of the car, so I sent her a text to let her know I was there. She answered, and then I texted back to let her know that I was at the front door. The trouble is, my second text consisted of a single word.


She did.


See, I had planned to reply with an actual message. But my old brain got confuzzled.

It kind of happened again the other night. I thought of a brilliant status update for facebook. I got my phone, hit the facebook app and 'wrote something' -- directly to Mo's wall. Apparently the app opens facebook at whatever you were doing last. Mo would probably say I had been stalking her. But she would be wrong. I had been looking at her wall and there is a difference, thank you very much.

I got the giggles. Somehow I explained what was so funny. She thought it was funny too.

Stefanie "would like to take this opportunity to offer a round of virtual applause to the inventors of the following: crock pots, corn bread, and garbage disposals."

Stefanie "Oops that was supposed to be my status! Hahahaha"

Mo "Why, thank you mother! No other person has ever commented me on my many inventions!"

Mo "Reply"

Stefanie "tee hee"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

H2O Gratefuls!

242. We have running water in the kitchen!

243. No more washing dishes in the bathroom sink! No more drinking water from the bathroom faucet!

244. Dishwashers are magical! My new one works! And it sounds like a little waterfall!

245. Perfect frozen quarter-moons fall into the freezer at regular intervals! And they know when to stop falling!

246. Filtered water tastes fantastic!

247. A little filtered water with my glass of quarter-moons tastes even better!

248. The garbage disposal no longer threatens to jump out of the sink and devour me whenever I use it!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Everyday Gratefuls

236. A few forkfuls of the perfect ice cream to apple pie ratio.

237. Every day brings us closer to having running water in the kitchen.

238. Loading my friend's dishwasher after she made dinner for all of us.

239. Watching the morning fog being burned away by the sun.

240. Crazy prayers prayed for me and mine.

241. Anticipation.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I wrote a facebook status this morning that sent me awhirl thinking about seasons and life and change and crap.

It's official. Autumn. I've traded shorts for sweaters, itchy allergy eyes for equally itchy eczema spots, and pesky afternoon bees for wet morning cobweb slaps across the face.

What have you traded?

It bothered me afterward that other than 'shorts for sweaters' which is a positive trade (or at worst neutral) since I am usually ready for seasonal wardrobe changes, the trades could be perceived as one negative for another.

Since then I've wondered what bothers me most about that. More whirling thoughts, but different. Is it that someone may read something that may seem negative regardless of intent and think badly of me? They may think I am always negative or they may think that I am in a crappy mood. Can a pastor's wife be in (or say she is in) a c-word mood? Is that what this is about? Is it about the things I say and the way I say them?

They may be upset that I would use the word crappy. Even though I did not actually use it, I just thought they may think it. They may suspect that my crappy language hides a deeper propensity to use worse-than-crappy language. I admit that I used to use way-way-worse-than-crappy language, but I no longer (ok, extremely rarely, and usually only when I am quoting someone else) do so. Evidenced by the fact that I now worry if my language languishes for a while at crap level. Even when it doesn't yet, until I worry about it and then it does, and I use the word crap or a derivative thereof precisely eight times, and then go up to the first sentence and put it there too because suddenly my meaningful thoughts (and the thoughts I have placed in other people's noggins) have taken an unexpected detour to the crapper. Is it wise for me to admit that this paragraph just made me laugh out loud? Probably not.

Did you ever go to a fair and pay $1.00 (you would have to add the cost of inflation over the last 35 years or so if you were interested in trying it out now) to make a spin painting? My friends and I made them every year at Cattle Congress, our town's local fair. Yes, it was really called Cattle Congress. I can smell the Tom Thumb donuts and cow crap (my apologies, I did think I had moved on) right now. A thick piece of cardboard was affixed in some manner I cannot recall at this time to the bottom of a deep cylinder that could spin with the mere flick of a switch. The painters had a few color choices in squeezy bottles at the tips of their fingers. Several painters could be at work at the same time. The secret to a beautiful masterpiece was short bursts of pure color and not too many of them. Paintings were clothespinned to a line to dry. The really wet ones dripped and the colors dulled as they were ruined by gravity. What was intended for the edges gradually forged an ugly path down the middle. Those were usually left on the line, unclaimed at the end of the day.

I stand above the canvas carefully choosing colors and placing them in layers. I try so hard. I pin the results on the line proudly sometimes knowing they are good, but more often I suspect the colors will bleed. I reach over and add a bit of red to yours without asking and I think you've squeezed some red on mine out of spite. Only you are unaware of the red from me and I can't see the red that's supposedly from you because they are not really there. Because those colors are not real. Here's what's real. I've managed to give my own painting a double shot of muddy brown. A really real one.

We've begun a new Bible study. It's about our thoughts, the things that we tell ourselves that no one else hears, and truth. Here's one. I'm not nice to me. I suspect others of thinking of me what I think of me, but I forget that I am hardest on myself. I don't judge others as harshly as I judge me. I can assume others don't judge me as harshly as I think they do. I think you are probably too hard on yourself too. Do you put words in other people's heads that aren't there? Maybe you've put words in my head. Trust me, I'm not thinking them. I'm too busy thinking I think I know all the bad stuff you are thinking about me.

I hope that my work, even the crappy stuff, makes yours better. I hope that it helps you see where you can place your own colors. We can hang it all up to dry and pass it on to someone else to enjoy and add their own color and spin. Your work, your lives, do that for me.

I'm thinking that I still have a lot of trades to make. I need to rid myself of a load in exchange for pure color. Regularly. Care to go for a spin?