do good- be kind

{Jesus} went about doing good. Acts 10.38

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

day 7 tiny shoes

My niece recently lost her son.  He was born way too soon.  He lived only a few hours and passed to heaven from his mama's arms.  She grieves deeply for him.  She grieves in a way only a mother who has lost a baby can understand.  Fathers grieve, and grandparents grieve, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins all grieve.  Friends and other family members grieve with a mother- but a mother's grief is a hole that can never be filled.  It is literally an emptiness inside of her.  It is empty in her womb and empty in her breasts.  Her arms are empty, but her heart is so full to bursting.  It is full of indescribable sorrow that makes her forget to breathe, it is full of anger, and questions and it is so full of love for the tiny person she carried inside her body.   She loved him because he was.  She loved every moment of him.

Then he was gone.  He shouldn't be gone.

He shouldn't be gone.

Today I was at the thrift store.  I saw a tiny pair of baby boy shoes.  They looked new, but they were stiff with age. I wanted to buy them, but I put them back on the shelf.

They broke my heart.

I had a son who never wore shoes.

My grief lives in me.  It's not always raw- as it was at first.  It can still take me down.

He shouldn't be gone.

Michael Eugene Burnham 2.8.16

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Day 6 Advent boxes

When all the school supplies were on clearance I had this great idea.  I should get all the kids crayons, markers, colored pencils, pencils, a drawing pad, glue etc and give them an "Art Advent" box for Christmas.  I tell you I am full of excellent ideas that require quite a lot of prep work.  So, I spend much of my weekend sorting tiny buttons and pompoms into project size containers.  I think it will be fun for the kids, and me as I'm *planning* on making instructional videos for most of the projects.  I think each video will be less than five minutes. 

There are many things to do this time of year- I would like to find a good Santa for pictures- ASAP after Thanksgiving so that I can get them some pictures printed and send out Christmas cards earlyish this year.  I always get about halfway through and say 'screw it- I don't even care anymore.'  But- baby's first Christmas and all- gotta make the effort.

Soon it will be time to get out the Christmas tree(s) and nativity sets.  I've got a thing about trees.  I resist getting a big tree (it's always little people with little fingers wanting to touch things and pull them down- I might be able to do it next year.) So- I have full on collection of little trees. It's like a mini forest up in here by the time we're done.  I also collect nativities- I think there were a dozen plus up last year.  I'll clear off the bookshelves and the mantle for them.

I've already got my Christmas socks on.  I start legit Christmas shopping in July.  This is what it's all about.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

day 5 FAIL

So- 30 day challenge- who said it had to be 30 days in a row?  Well- probably me.  That was the intention. 

The other day when I realized that I had forgotten to write, after I had snuggled into my bed, before I closed my eyes,  I thought, 'Some people would get out of bed and grab the computer and get to writing. . . some people would do that ... not me (close my eyes).  Never me.'

Then the next night when I realize again that I had forgotten to write again, after I turned off the light, before I had gotten in bed, I though 'Some people would turn the light back on and go grab the computer and get writing  . . . some people would do that . . . not me (get in bed). Never me.'

Oh what would I have written? 

I should have a list so I don't forget my ideas:
Being the dummy in the room
My burden of stuff
Gill Village and government cheese

I'll need to think of more, because at it turnes out, not every day is an adventure.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

day 4 midterm elections

Voted.  Talked to the girls about voting.  Maybe they will grow up to be more politically active citizens than their mother.

Going to bed- gotta go to bed- politics wear me out.

Palpable not the same as a papal bull.

Monday, November 05, 2018

day three: pumpkin spice chai latte

I was wandering through the grocery store the other day when I saw on the shelf "Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte Concentrate."

It has natural AND other flavors. 

Now- I'm not always a pumpkin spice gal- but I am a chai latte gal, and this chai concentrate was marked as $1.00.  I thought, 'for $1.00 I'm willing to try pumpkin spice chai.'

So, I brought it home, I poured myself a glass, and I latte-ed it up.  I walked into the living room and announced, "This is a pumpkin spice chai latte." 
My husband said, "You are so white."
I said, "Yup!"
I sat down and took a sip. 
I immediately questioned my whiteness.  I mean, I know what the DNA tests said and all, but this pumpkin spice thing seemed like a pretty legit test of white-middle-class-American-ness.

I wasn't passing the pumpkin spice test.
This stuff was so bad. 
It made me think that possibly everything I thought I knew about myself was wrong. 
But the crazy thing was -I kept drinking it.  I drank it to the halfway point thinking- 'Maybe it will get better,' 'I need to finish this or else I've wasted a glass of milk,' and 'This tastes like a chemical pumpkin threw up in a cup of liquid that was trying really hard to be Indian chai.'

Then- miraculously at the halfway point (maybe because some discerning brain cells and taste buds died) I started thinking, 'It's not that bad.'  'It's only as bad as regular chai concentrate.' 'Pumpkin spice, you don't un-define me!'

Then I thought, 'Wait, what just happened to me?  Who am I?  Who was I before?  Who have I become?  I certainly was not born into pumpkin spice latte concentrate.  Or was I? '

I question now if I can go through all that again for another glass.  Maybe it should be named "Emotional rollercoaster of undefining everything you ever thought you were, then turning it around and reasserting that original assessment of self, but leaving questions about self-identification pumpkin spice latte concentrate."

FYI I am a chai snob, sometimes I gotta slum it. I usually regret it soon afterward.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

day 2- the ketchup of God

Little known facts about ketchup- it was originally a Chinese fish sauce- made from the brine of pickled fish.  It migrated to England where the main ingredient became mushrooms-  Later in the American colonies, tomato ketchup became the in thing.  Recipes until the 1850s included anchovies.


Of all things- I have to say anything even remotely fish is kryptonite to me.

Fortunately for me and my fries, ketchup is now blissfully fish free.  But this does answer of my old questions as to why some packaging says "tomato ketchup"  as if there were another kind of ketchup.

How very American of me.

To the point---

My church asked that we bring some nonperishable foods to service today to share with a family in which both parents had recently lost their jobs.  I was looking in the pantry this morning to see what I could share that wasn't too weird, or out of date.  The "New England Clam Chowder" from  2012- nope.  Saurkraut- nope.  Keylime jelly?  Probably not. 

I pushed the ketchup aside.  I picked out some green beans, some pineapple, moved the ketchup out of the way again.  I asked myself-"should I put that ketchup in?" 
Then I answered myself with, "No, I need that ketchup, I'll find something else for them."  I put in some macaroni noodles, pushed the ketchup aside, a few cans of soup, pushed the ketchup aside.

Then I looked at the ketchup again.  It was looking back at me, as if to say, "I think I should go."
I said, "No, you're my ketchup.  I need you.  I'm almost out!"
It said, "You don't need me, you need to learn to give away more than what you don't want.  You need to give things that others need."

I'm all, "Ugh!  Fine!  Get in the bag, ketchup!"

Did that family NEED ketchup?  I'm going to tell myself yes.

More importantly, I NEEDED to be reminded to do what I tell my children to do daily.  LISTEN and OBEY.  I know that if I had a strong, inexplicable urge to do/not do something- it's not really inexplicable.  It's God saying- LISTEN and OBEY.

Even when it's "just" ketchup.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

30 day challege

I decided to give myself a thirty-day challenge starting November 1. Obviously, it's already been challenging, since it is now November 3 and I'm just now starting my thirty-day challenge.   Since November is 'write a novel' month I thought a great thirty-day challenge would be to write a blog entry every day for thirty days. 

Thirty days can start any day- so here I begin.

On Halloween day Eowyn said, "Tomorrow is the Day of the Dead."
I said, "Yup."
She said, "So, what are we going to do about it?"
I said, "Nothing."
She said, "Why not!?"
I said, "Because We're not Mexican."
She said, "But, I speak Spanish!"
I said, "Oh- right, so what do you think we should do about it?"
She said, "We'll need orange flowers, some special food and I think we should watch Coco."
I said, "Oh, so what kind of special food should we get?"
She said,  "Tacos."
I said, "I think I can deal with tacos and Coco. Is that enough?"
She said, "Yeah!  That sounds great!"

And so it was- tacos and Coco

Then I talked to my students about Day of the Dead they said, it is really two day, November 1 and 2.  So, last night we had a second movie night and watched The Book of Life. 

Maybe next year we can be more on top of things- do a little more research- get some flowers, go to a graveyard- make some sugar skulls. 

Someday we'll go to Mexico to see the celebration.