Tag Archives: humor

Pretense

In memory of the recently recycled HealthriderPro let’s revisit a not-too-distant ruckus:

For weeks we’d been juggling some items between the main house and my cottage. We replaced my long craft/dining/kitchen table with a far more accommodating 41” round table. It’s not the drop leaf kitchen island I envision for the area – yet – but this certainly frees up more floor space.

And then Cole announced he must find a place for his treadmill.


After a quick flashback of the previous year’s exceptional weather I told him, “I’ll figure something out.”

With all the bells and whistles of a gym-quality machine, his Healthrider Soft Strider Pro is wide and sturdy, so it’s heavy. With the handy space-saving fold-up track it’s awkward to haul – especially over the gravel driveway.

After ten days of the treadmill and its electronic controls waiting under a moving pad – in the heat, the voices in my head got loud:

She canna take any more, Captain.  She’s gonna blow!”

Not willing to ignore Scotty, I devised a plan to move the obstacle that strong, fit Brother left by the porch steps (I’ve learned not to ask silly things like, “why,”).

With some boards over the gravel and an appliance hand truck I slowly, carefully rolled the treadmill through the car door into the cottage. Don’t be impressed – it’s all about leverage. Fine. Leverage, balance and the Luck of the Irish.

Once inside I needed to position that mammoth monolith for use with the least amount of effort. This was tricky. I needed it where I could view my 32” television/computer monitor, but not obstruct the flow. Feng Shui, people.

So, this is the part where I realize one of the wheels that would ordinarily move the thing easily over the concrete floor are jammed, immovable.

“Where’s the damn antimatter inducer, Chekov?”

That’s when I remembered a technique a friend described years earlier after her family had purchased a somewhat dilapidated farm house. After repeatedly asking her husband to fix stuff, and allowing a reasonable waiting period, she went all strategic.

Like FarmGirl described, I pulled out my tool box and every power tool I could get my hands on and tactically placed them around the treadmill, slightly obstructing the doorway. And then I waited.

As FarmGirl said,

“Nothing motivates men faster than the sight of  a woman with power tools.”

I’m not sure if I would actually have tried to fix the wheel myself, with or without the circular saw or grinder, or not. But I am now convinced that

sometimes a good pretense makes the best offense.

That evening, after a pitcher of iced tea Cole had the treadmill rolling easily. I can now jog to my heart’s content while catching up on my favorite audio books, programs and movies.

 

“The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25, 26 (NLT)

 

Featured Image courtesy ABSFreePic.com

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Over It

*

I can’t be that unique. With the flora that has fed and shaded us dying, I noticed emotions are also more heightened than usual. I wonder if that’s because the reminders of death are everywhere. Maybe it’s not just me. As life slows a bit everything seems to have more meaning.

We’ve passed Halloween. The Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) will be behind us soon. Perhaps that has me thinking more than usual about loved ones that have passed on.

**

Like it or not, loss is a huge part of life. I think the worst kind of loss is when humans fail to get over hurts and insults and neglect love.

With the year-end holidays in particular we like to gather with family and friends. My offspring and siblings learned early on to get over the bad stuff and appreciate our time together. Today we are geographically distant so keeping in touch requires extra effort, but I’m glad to say that with few exceptions we manage.

I imagine that’s part of why I can’t forget those who have gone on lately. I tried, but haven’t escaped the longing to see them, to be with them again. I’m just not ready to die to make that happen. Still, I miss very many loved ones.

So, today especially I thank God for my siblings, my offspring and my good friends. Though miles separate us, our mutual losses, one of our most prevalent common bonds also hold us together.

My prayers today are that we always remember that those we hold dear could be gone in a heartbeat. And that’s why I can be extra annoying with extra phone calls, texts and emails – now, before we are all caught up in the busy-ness of the holidays.

If some old issue continues to trip you up, I can’t encourage you enough to kick it out of the way and move on toward peace.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17, 18 (NIV)

 

*Image courtesy James Gussy, 2018 Chicago, IL

**Image courtesy pixabay

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In the Wind

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve enjoyed having a like-minded friend on the property these past few seasons. I especially enjoyed our good-natured teasing back and forth. I’d ridicule her for wearing pink kitchen gloves under her garden gloves. She’d mock the way I bent in half over the garden rows instead of stooping.

Sad that my friend wasn’t there, as I gathered the last of the tomatoes I reasoned, “There must be something more important going on.”

But I’d been at it all morning. I’m not only very ready to be done with this years’ garden, but with the wind whistling past my ears I hear strange things. When I look around there’s nothing there.

Disappointed the sunflowers didn’t produce any seeds, I left the last row to have been planted last spring, the wildflowers, for mother nature to enjoy as they dry up. We both love them so I can’t bear to pull them up.

Finally done filling my bucket, I pushed the business end of the water hose back under the fence, gathered my tools and gloves, lifted the bucket and headed toward the house for the last time until spring.

Why couldn’t she and her pink gloves be here to finish the job?

I thought I heard someone again. I’m sure it’s the wind carrying sounds from the neighboring homes through the trees that are rapidly losing their leaves. I shrugged it off again and closed the gate without turning back. Certain nothing would come up from the rows till spring, I assumed it’s just my heart missing my friend and walked on.

Whatever it is, it will keep till spring.

 

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me [Jesus].” John 14:1 (NLT)

Dear Readers, this is as horrific as I get. ❤ Roo

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Red Faced

For the first time in way too long I took a vacation.

I don’t mean a road trip on the way to my next home, a wedding or a funeral. For two years I saved for this leave. Even with the kids’ help my carefully planned time away from home included lots of air travel departing during inconvenient hours. Most important, it provided down-time with my darling offspring.

Since I would not be available to help gather the tomatoes, they had to be harvested before I left.

Seasoned travelers and most smart girls know to get together with friends the week before a vacation. Together you shop, update your wardrobe, enjoy a meal or two, and they share the little details that enhanced their recent journeys.

Instead, Izzy and I spent that time spreading tarps beneath tomato vines. Then we shook and cut the vines, loosing tomatoes. This also scattered THE DUST that collected since the sprinklers stopped rinsing everything clean daily. And then we drug and lifted the loaded tarps into wheelbarrows, stirring up the dirt that had been drying for a week.

Yeah. We know how to have a good time!

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 (NIV)

Despite masks and goggles, the dust set me to sneezing, with my sinuses filling and then draining profusely. My skin also itched terribly – especially the tip of my nose. The following day, my apex nasi* became tender and by the next day it was incredibly sore. *I looked it up. It’s a thing.

And did I mention RED? Not a flattering shade either.

The day before I was to depart on the next length of my travel, despite all known precautions and remedies, the redness became deep purplish-red. Yes, a painful heat radiated from above my columella. (*It’s the flesh that separates the nostrils.)

Makeup barely concealed the colors resembling orangutans backsides. What’s more, it needed touch-ups every couple of hours…

As I boarded my first flight I felt like Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer guiding the last remaining passengers onto our plane. Still, I actually appreciated people quickly averting their eyes from my bleak beak.

During the flights I imagined AlmostSixYearOld taking one look at my face and bursting into tears in fear of this unfamiliar, scary-looking person. I could well imagine EightYearOld staring in wonder or stifling giggles.

Unfair as it was, I was determined to enjoy time with my gang – and to shop around the airports between flights for a miraculous concealer, mask or perhaps a stylish niqab. As anticipation rose, I imagined the heat and pressure on my face did also.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

To be continued…

 

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Support

Have I mentioned the frustratingly unstable internet connection here in my cottage? I often miss the good old days, hard-wiring Ethernet cables into the backs of desktop computers. They were buggers to move about, but the connection was usually dependable.

*

Annoying as the unreliable cable/WiFi repeater service here often is, I get by. I utilize my laptop, my smart phone and my tablet. By tablet I mean my old Galaxy S (ahem) 3.

When nobody else is home and the cable service isn’t down – yet again, I can also carry my laptop up to the main house and log in there. And when all else fails I can drive into town and connect at the local library, book store or coffee shops. Above and beyond security risks the latter comes with a myriad of distractions and diversions. One of the perks to being me is having nothing anyone else wants. Still, public WiFi is an absolute last-resort.

I consider myself blessed to have options.

This all brings me to another reason why I especially appreciate the blogging community. It’s another aspect of how marvelously God draws like-minded people together.

  • Like me, most of my blogger friends strive to post only seasoned, final drafts. Even so, sometimes mine have little errors. On the rare occasions I don’t catch an “oops” between scheduling and an actual posting, at least one of my fellow blogger friends (knowing I’d agonize over such a thing) will shoot a heads up my way right away. Typically mockery and witticisms ensue at both ends.
  • The same friends also realize I often comment from the aforementioned GS3 device – with not-so-nimble fingers. They kindly correct obvious keying errors before approving them (yeah, typos).
  • Then there are the ever-so-fun Speech-to-Text translations that can hijack an intended point, confusing the cleverest comment – often hilariously so. These same friends intercede as necessary.

*

So finally, my point (you’re welcome):

We all experience times when life and technology seem to get the better of us. Life itself is a learning process. In the grand scheme of things, however silly I may feel, I’m delighted to find that often I’m not the only silly soul around. I believe God orchestrates us to bring out the best in one another. This helps us get over ourselves in the kindest ways possible.

 

“Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults.” 1 Peter 4:8 (The Voice*)

 

*The Voice Bible (VOICE) Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

*Image and Feature Image courtesy Pixabay

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Acquiesce

I was to board another plane soon. Nothing new: hurry, clear security, find the right gate, and then wait. Walk around. And wait…

With planning and foresight long journeys have never been that big a deal. But as this third departure date neared the deal felt huge. Traveling on an unforgiving budget required me rising at ungodly hours. By ungodly I mean – no matter how I tried to rest – I’d drag my exhausted self up 60 – 90 minutes after I finally drifted off to sleep.

Despite all my forethought and intentions, as desperately as I wanted restful sleep before traveling, my mind unfailingly kept me awake. The beast is simply unruly.

*

I was packed and ready to walk out the door. And yet hours after praying and retiring as I’d planned I was still awake, rehashing my mental check list:

  • Clean house.
    • Why? First thing upon returning I will clean again.
      • Wait. Did I vacuum under the bed…
  • It’s been too long since I visited the grand kids. Skype and Phone calls don’t tell all.
    • What if they don’t like their gifts?
  • What if my hand washables don’t dry in time – a first ever since the 1960’s?

This is crazy. I  MUST sleep.

  • Did I chuck perishables from my ‘fridge? I don’t want foul ‘fridge when I get back.
    • I refuse to get up and check.
  • What is that smell? Did I overlook something?
  • Crap. Did I pack the new underwear?
    • I am NOT getting up to check.
  • Did I send the final version of my last submission?
    • (Still haunted by that time I actually posted a first draft by mistake,) a panic-stricken Roo sprang from the bed, unpacked the laptop, started it up… Yes, I’d sent the “final.”
      • I repacked even better this time.

Before long I wondered if I dozed through my alarm. My phone blindingly insisted it was after midnight. Hmmm… The date was the 29th.

My flight is at oh-dark-thirty – on the 30th.

I laughed out loud. And then prayed again, “Okay Lord, the joke’s on me. Please, please take over now.”

With that amen I was sound asleep.

I awoke the next morning refreshed, energized, all packed and ready to go. After a great work out I hiked the river trail and then gathered from the garden. When it was time I went right to sleep and woke as planned.

You’d think God planned it all that way.

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:6, 7 (NLT)

 

*Image and Feature Image courtesy APSFreePic.com

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Late March Moon – Walk #12

They can appreciate some cooler thoughts in the Tri Cities this week, so

Reblog from March 23, 2017 via Late March Moon – Walk #12:

 

Dawn broke despite my slumber.

I rose and bolted, then watched the moon lumber.

I ran to catch up with the day.

Then I stopped; some clouds had swept the moon away!


Apologies, verse and images by E.V.A. Lambert (c) 2017 Rapture Practice! Publications

“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

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2018-08-10 · 06:00

Love Long Distance

Despite the unusual few weeks leading up to this past weekend I had an exceptionally nice two days – which was welcome after a rough week.

Typical for this time of year, schedules must be juggled. Sometimes we must reschedule my “Grand Dates” (regularly scheduled time where my grand kids – all long distances away – bring me up to speed with the previous week). For the past two, maybe three weeks everyone I usually talk with at least every other week was unavailable to Skype, Duo, talk or text.

With the days getting longer and warmer I sorely missed our times together. I stayed busy with our gang, the pups, the pastures and the gardens. Still, I wondered how my grands fared without my input, encouragement and advice – or if they even missed visiting with me. I prayed long into the SansGrands silence.

On Saturday Izzy and I rescued our patio tomato plants from curling leaves, moving them to The Garden. Knowing the move wasn’t ideal timing, we assured our precious nearly orange tomato-lings to hang in there, they’ll feel far better despite the shock of moving.

Okay, so maybe my empathy wasn’t as much for our tomatoes. The day’s gardening finished, I returned to where I’d left off in my Bible:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8:35 (NIV)

The relationships I share with these amazing young humans are strong and endure occasional separations – no matter how they may feel sometimes. Still, I consider how anxious I get when my time with God gets shoved down the priority ladder. I’m a grown up (mostly) and yet I feel the burn every time my prayer time is rescheduled – or dropped.

After praying again, God’s assurance that the grands shall continue feeling the love comforted me.

I was no sooner into other chores when my phone rang. A couple of hours later two sisters and I caught up with one another. Then FirstBorn called. While waiting in a backed-up toll booth line he realized how long it had been since our last talk. We mostly prattled and reminisced some as he drove from Wadsworth to Milwaukee. By my bedtime I felt far better connected than I had in weeks.

On Sunday SecondSon’s Firstborn called. He reiterated every exciting detail of the last two ball games – that sent his team to state. And his sister, FiveYearOld, could hardly wait to describe a new growing thing she discovered in astoundingly accurate detail.

Maybe it’s just me – the ways God uses the garden and my family to bless me is amazing. Though I could hardly wait between their calls, He assures me it’s all gonna be just fine.

“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”

1 John 2:28 (NIV)

 

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Be-longing

I’ve been thinking a lot about things I don’t possess anymore. I don’t mean items I remember disowning. No, I’ve wondered where I left some things behind.

I really don’t care too much about possessions. I won’t carry anything into heaven. But weeks into this phenomenon, I’m now paying close attention.

This morning I wondered about a mug.

This “wonder” even bled into my normal routine, beginning my day with prayer and Bible time. Instead of flipping my Bible to where I left off last time, I got stuck paragraphs back. I tried, but I couldn’t move on.

Again with the mug. I was getting concerned.

How does one seriously approach God about something as insignificant as stuff anyway? Well:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:28, 27 (NIV)

I wish I could say I always have the presence of mind to pray at the first hint of something beyond my grasp, and especially something that taunts at me. But without a dramatic crisis it usually takes me a while to remember little things – like stuff – until they become big things. Eventually I just asked God why stuff had been haunting me.

I prayed and then I worked in the garden before my study time.

Soon I could see past that mug. That’s pretty remarkable from where I stood on soggy ground by a pile of freshly pulled weeds, while being serenaded by horses, the steer, hens and the dogs.

But I saw my brother Seagh standing in my kitchen with me, his fingers comfortably gripping the mug. During Seagh’s routine pause before sipping his coffee, the mug literally broke away from the handle, fell to the floor, creamy coffee splattering dramatically.

As he gazed in disbelief I:

  1. marveled at how, of all the mugs on that shelf, he picked the one I had repaired and forgotten,
  2. hoped he’d clean the mess, and
  3. hoped the surprise wouldn’t make him late for his appointment.

Breath bated, I watched him – I imagined the entire drama playing out behind his curtain. In a moment (which actually felt much longer) he set the handle down, took another mug and began pouring the last of the coffee saying, “‘Guess it sucks to be you.”

With that I burst into laughter. Perfectly played, straight-faced Joe Cool effortlessly stepped over the mess, out of the kitchen and through the front door. I imagine he had a strangle-hold on every cell in his body to not laugh – at least until he was well out of ear-shot.

So, I get it now.

It’s not about stuff, acquiring or eliminating possessions. Seagh left us in early spring. As did our second brother, our father, and now our oldest brother. Don’t ask me why it sneaks up on me every year. It just does.

Though I’m sorry he had to go on without me, Seagh and I both experienced the strange, new sensation of home living here on this property. I left here intent on returning once sister Roan had settled in Texas. Who knew?

Naturally I miss him and especially his unique sense of humor, but really he’s as much a part of this property as the ground.

I’m determined to let the trivial stuff go and stay focused upon what’s important.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

Stacked mugs image courtesy Pixabay

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Weddings, Funerals and Games

Each day during this past week and two weekends I’ve felt as though I was being pulled in every direction, my emotions jerking me around substantially. To cope I’ve been hanging out with my blogger friend Christi at Feeding On Folly more than usual.

For much of my life overwhelming, upsetting emotions was my normal – disappointments, heartbreaks and tragedies continuously shaking my foundation. Thanks to God I developed impressive sea legs early on and became very good at the hiding my feelings game. I got so good playing mind games I wanted to be a contestant on The Price Is Right. I would have seriously rocked that!

Image courtesy CBS.com

Jesus becoming my best friend, the Holy Spirit my closest companion was my game changer. Now God’s got me to where I enjoy relationships with my family and friends without the old, dramatic crash-and-burn episodes that once hobbled me.

I cherish my family. Being scattered all over the country as we are, I’m simply not used to talking at such intimate levels, each day with so many loved ones. But it’s what you do before, during and after weddings and funerals – right?

Most people I know embraced this reality in their 30’s. And if you’re like my family, at each wedding and funeral everyone’s astounded by how quickly the weddings and funerals thing is becoming their reality. The farther we get from thirty-something the more we gather for the latter.

So this morning as I resisted getting out of bed, I primed myself just in case I make the cut for The Price is Right. I crunched numbers on how many hours I’ve been on the phone as compared to how often I converse with extended family other than for weddings or funerals:

Big surprise this morning: not only has CBS NOT called me, but my mind is slightly scrambled, I can’t brain. Very old memories (good, bad and ugly) continue to surface at not-necessarily-opportune moments. My emotions range from deliriously happy to prickly-volatile as I’m sure the most former  more mature – fine, the older members of our tribe are experiencing as well.

Though the Bible says we actually are fearfully and wonderfully made*, the fearful thing for me is a no-brainer, the wonderful, well, let’s just leave the emphasis on the wonder. But while I am indeed special, I am not so unique. I imagine this sort of thing happens to most people reaching these milestones.

“Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.”

Job 14:1, 2 (NIV)

Honestly, with Jesus I feel so much better in my reality. BIG PLUS – I get to choose:

Option 1 – We can continue the practice of keeping our focus upon God, trust Him to carry our concerns, fears, upsets as well as our grief and pain. When we do, the darkness recedes, we can feel hope springing eternal again, and the worst of times (that actually are not a surprise in the grand scheme of things) become a milestone instead of a stumbling block.

{Insert audible Ooohs-and Aaahs here}

-OR-

Option 2 – We can wear ourselves out trying to figure it all out without God, carrying burdens He ever intended for us. While it’s an impressive work-out, it also stresses the mind, body and soul to unhealthy degrees and steals joy from our lives. I certainly don’t want to pass that example on to my loved ones…

{Insert audience “Oh…” here}

I’m gonna go with God’s Overcoming Power in my life, Bob. (Drew, Dennis, Tom, Whatever).

Dunt – ta-da-daaaah!

Oh my God! I get heaven too!! Wowee!!!

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

1 Corinthians 15:55 (NIV)

 

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)

*Psalm 139:14

Raise challenge image courtesy Pixabay

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