Monthly Archives: April 2012
It started a week ago with my responding to a need! I was checking my email, all three accounts, for a missing email and found a message from the Director of the Children’s Ministry at my church. Due to situations beyond our control! We need your help! Please call to volunteer! So I called…and boy did I surprise the Director with my response. I still have A Few Surprises Up My Sleeve!
She was in shock that I called her…
“Are you sure?” she asked with surprise in her voice. I chuckled and said “Well you needed help and I can help!” I guess the thought of my teaching had never occurred to her. She asked me a few questions about my schedule…”Are you singing Sunday?” I quickly responded…”I am not on the schedule…at this time!”
Here is a little known secret. I have taught Sunday School before. I have not been involved with this aspect of service for about 10 years…this is because the churches I attended during this period of time did not need my help or the timing did not work with the schedule of my other ministry. I have worked in Children’s Church and even organized and started one up in a church. I have taught every age group…even a couple of Senior Adult classes, when I was filling in for my grandmother. I grew up in a home where my dad was a school teacher…my mom was a church and school secretary…my dad was a Minister of Music. Is it any wonder that I would not follow in their footsteps? I love teaching…and have even worked in both public and private school situations.
Back to the Director’s conversation!
Once it was established, the date was set…She was still in shock! I said…”Many people have no clue to who I am and what I can do! I am more than just a singer!” Then out of no where came this voice… “I have been a Sunday School teacher before!” NOOOO! It was to late and the statement rang like the huge bells in a oversized church tower. It was like telling a thief you have a stash and giving them the combination to the safe. I could literally hear the lightbulb over her head turn on…”What?” I felt like I had been swept off my feet…Her next comment took me back to my “Happy Place!” “My husband would not like me to steal you and use you in the Children’s Ministry…” (Her husband is the pastor!) “He loves to hear you sing!”
A calm disposition replaced the frantic back peddling as we ended our conversation.
The Children’s Minister came up to me Wednesday night, as I was talking with the Director of Vacation Bible School about the class and age group I would teach during VBS, and told me my son did not believe him when he told him about my teaching his class the following Sunday. My son had told him…”You don’t know my mom…she doesn’t teach she sings!” I guess I have A Few Surprises Up My Sleeve!
Yesterday was the day…I was all prepared and put the lesson in my Bible. “I usually do not take my bible in book form…I use the app on my iPhone or iPad.” My son and I left for church and as I drove I got a text…”I meant to call you…I will need u if that’s ok! Tank u!” (This is the message as I received it..) The message was from my Minister of Music. I quickly called him as I maneuver the curves of the road and the very narrow bridge. He needed me to sing on the Praise Team and assured me that I would be done in time and would have time to spare. He was right!
I got to the class and began to set up…the children came in and sat down. There were 10 5th Graders…the five boys sat at the front table and the girls sat at the back table. The introductions were made as I tried to find out the personalities of the children based on their parents. As expected, I was constantly taking things out of my son’s hand and moving things from his reach. “His ADHD meds were not working….!” There was one boy, sitting at the other end of the table from me…His eyes twinkled with mischievous delight. “He reminded me of….well… me!” We got everything accomplished with no civil disruptions or violent outbursts. The children were dismissed! Off I ran to the choir room for preparation for the 11:00 service. My BFF, a public school first grade teacher, asked me how it went. I told her I thought it went well…”I was really quite surprised!” I was warned about the behavior issues with the boys…the only issue I had was my son. The other boys were just being boys. I can deal with that…and…I would much rather have a room full of mischievous boys than finger waving divas. She asked how I broke the ice with the young hooligans. “That was easy…I just mentioned a few things like…black belts…pulling legs of spiders…you know? She smiled her sneaky little smile!
After church was over I went to retrieve my son and headed home. I asked him how he felt Sunday School went…”They liked you!” “The other kids…they didn’t believe you were my mother…” I smiled on the inside! He seemed truly surprised and said he actually learned something…”Really…What did you learn?”
“I learned not to sit next to you when you are teaching!”
It seems that I have an uncanny ability to move pencils and papers away from my son while teaching a class and never miss a step. He was amazed at my moving around the class and keeping eye contact with everyone else while seeing him not sitting correctly in his chair.
“I’m Mom! I was please to hear that I still have A Few Surprises Up My Sleeve!
Will I do it again? “Probably!” Will I do it next week? “No! … Music Ministry commitment.”
I love to keep people guessing…”Don’t you?” It is fun to see the reaction on people’s faces when they figure out that I have A Few Surprises Up My Sleeve!
Almost 20 years ago my grandmother…Mema…came to visit me in Washington State. I was always excited to see her. “She is a light to my sometimes gray and dingy world.” While sitting at dinner one night she told me she was beginning to mark Items in her house to give members of the family when she passed away. I loved the idea of having my name on certain items…my little claim to those precious memories of my Mema. She asked me what items I would like and why. A smiled filled my heart as I reached into my memories of her house. “There are a few things I would love to have to remind me of you…I would love to have my “Mema’s Chairs”!”
Her expression covered a small range of emotion as I began to describe the chairs.
I would love to have the White chair that sits at the writing desk in the living room…I have a fond memory of you Mema…sitting at the desk taking care of your daily bills and your correspondence. You instilled in each of us the importance of writing a letter or short note to those who were important to us. You would lay your heart upon the page as you kept those dear to you current with the aspects of your life. “People need to know they are loved and a short note can brighten anyone’s day!”.
The Princess Chair that sits in your bedroom in front of the window. I remember watching you as you sat in that chair to put on your shoes. This was also the chair I sat in while you put on your make-up. I would sit there…with my ankles crossed like a little lady. I felt like such a grown up because it sat low to the ground and my feet could actually touch the ground. My grandmother had a puzzled look in her face…”Princess Chair?” “Yes ma’am…the little pinkish chair…that looks like a small throne.” “I always felt like a princess when I sat in that chair.”
She smiled and said she knew exactly which chair I was talking about.
There is another chair…well 2…they sit in the dinning room in front of the window. The extra captains chairs that you recently had recovered. (The one in the picture above!) They are so elegant and embody your grace and style. I would love to have them so I could have you with me at dinner time. Manners and conversation, each taught while sharing the simplest meal or full family dinner. Those memories should be passed down to my children and having these chairs would preserve your influences in my life daily.
A graceful chuckle escaped as she reached out to give me a hug. “Thank you for being able to share those wonderful memories with me…What a lovely explanation of why you wanted these items.”. She asked if there was anything else and I quickly shared with her about two sets of dishes and the biscuit tin and a glass set that sat on top of her refrigerator as we completed our meal. That was the last of that discussion and we never talked about this topic again.
My mother told me a couple of years later how much my explanation had meant to her. She had been surprised a bit by the items I had asked for. She related the stories and told my mother that she could see, after my explanation, why I must receive these particular items.
Within the past few years my Mema could no longer live in her wonderful home without assistance. Her health had become an issue and she was being moved to an assisted living complex. Needless to say…she needed to begin the division of her property. “I went over to help with the move!” My aunt and uncle, as well as my parents, told me to make sure I packed up the items I wanted and take them home with me. Sticky notes had been put on certain items by others in the family and anything not marked was far game. “What a lovely thought!…She was still sitting in her long time home and people were sweeping in and taking her belongings right in front of her.”
I went up to her bedroom, where she and my sisters were going through her clothes. She immediately motioned for me. “I want you to take that chair with you today…I will be taking the other chairs with me to the apartment.” Mema was pointing to the Princess Chair still sitting next to the window in her room. “I would not let anyone take it…it is for you!” We both fought back the tears. I did not like seeing her like this…
She told me of a few other items she had put aside for me as we went through her clothes. “I will share those items with you another time!”
Mema was not in her apartment for long due to her health growing increasingly worse. She has since been moved two other times. My presence was again called for and I drove from my home in Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama. It was at this time I was given the other chairs. The set from the dinning room were used in the apartment’s living room. One had been clawed and torn beyond repair by her always invisible cat. Finicky does not describe this well loved member of the family who remained hidden away from visitors. “He did not like large groups!” I retrieved the chair left unmarked by the cat and took it to my car…I went back in and began the sorting of items for storage and those being moved to her new home. In the corner of the small room which held her desk was sitting the White Chair covered in books and photos needing to be boxed. My aunt walked into the room as I was running my hand along the back of the chair…
Long story short…these 3 chairs are all in my home now. The Captain’s Chair, with the elegant blue and white pattern, sits in the corner of my living room giving me the feeling that Mema is with me. The White Chair sits next to my desk in my office/sitting room and has inspired me in my writings on many occasions. The little pink pillow was in the chair when I picked it up and still accents the bright white chair. The Princess Chair came home with me that first visit and is in my bedroom…by the window sitting next to a slender chest she wanted me to have. My Mema has touched my heart and now fills my home with loving memories. It gives a comfortable, at home, feeling to extended family when they visit my home. To have these pieces brings a familiar tug to the heart and anyone who loves my Mema are drawn to “Mema’s Chairs!”
Do you have things that belonged to your parents or grandparents that have been passed down? Do they hold a special place in your heart and home? “They do in mine…I love my Mema and I hold on to those memories everyday when I see “Mema’s Chairs”!“. Have a great day!
With a Wedding and an Anniversary Dinner on Saturday and Sunday, respectfully, I already knew it was going to be a non-diet weekend. I just didn’t realize the unique challenges that were ahead of me! It was Too Much of a Good Thing!
This past weekend I attended my niece’s wedding with a dinner afterwards at a restaurant called “The Sage.” The menu offered included 4 selections: A fancy chicken dish…”I was not in the mood for chicken!” Another dish which was a gumbo type of dish with scallops…uh..nope! A filet…”With my anniversary dinner the next night at Pappadeaux and the fact that I already knew what I was going to order there…no filet!” The only thing left on the menu was a dish I have never had…Mahi Mahi! The appetizers were brought out…calamari, beef and chicken on a stick and bruschetta on sliced baguettes. “Sorry…I am the basic appetizers type of girl!” You know…Cheese sticks and marinara, shrimp cocktail, or chips and salsa. Any of those would have done nicely. But alas…none of these were presented. I was going to have the full experience of new foods tonight…so…I tried the calamari! It had a good rhythm but you couldn’t dance to it! Oh sorry…that was the piped in music! I will never order calamari if I have other favorites available but all in all it was not bad. The next course was the Greek Salad…which was very delightful! The left over dressing provided the perfect dip for the bread. The main course was delivered to the table!
Sunday evening my husband and I celebrated our 26th Wedding Anniversary by dinning at Pappadeaux. I have known, for a long time, the reputation of good food at this restaurant. Ordering did not take long…we both chose the Filet Oscar. A creamy Hollandaise Sauce with chunks of Crab and bites of Asparagus topped the filet.
The thing about diets is the same as any rule! They can be broken….
I enjoyed every tasty tidbit! “Except for the amount I still have sitting in my fridge.”
I have not recovered from the abundance of delicacies this past weekend! My diet is trying to pick up where it left off…really trying! My hands are still puffy from the extra salt! It has been a very long time since I have eaten this type of food in such a short period of time. I can honestly say there really is such a thing as Too Much of a Good Thing!
Do you find yourself enjoying the same type of food when you eat out? Would you have been able to eat the whole thing? “I could have too! But I would have hated myself and been miserable all night.” I think I will have another plain green salad tonight! Have a great day!
Fortunately my ears woke up this morning. My “Sounds of Nature” had faded giving way to the sounds of light snoring coming from the other side of the bed and from my Precious Princess on her oversized pillow. I peeked over at the large numbers, lighting the side table with a blue glow, and squinted…”Crap!” I had forgot to push the always set alarm…and would have overslept. My body woke up right on time…well 2 minutes late…but who is counting? Thankfully I got up without the numbing and stirring tones of my shuffled song list that usually start “The Sounds of My Morning!”
I traveled the pre-set path to the front door as my body began it’s auto piloted routine. The sound of the front door opening followed by the Beep…Beep…Beep, of the door sensor, brake the silence. My precious princess came down with me this morning and needed to tend to her duties…”Out you go!” I step out onto the front porch and take in the waking morning. There is the sound of large trucks rumbling through the darkness as the birds begin to sing. A Rooster stirred from his sleep and gives his “Cockle doodle do” wake up call. I turned the handle with a squeak, as the frame of the heavy glass door opened, and let my precious princess back inside. I lock the front door and head off to the kitchen…open the treat jar with a gentle snap and wait for the clicking of nails against the wood floor to stop. “Good girl!” “The Sounds of My Morning!”
The refilling of the various machines begins…water flows in and out of my container as I refill the water kettle and espresso maker. The rattling sound of the Oatmeal packets as I set them in a bowl next to the water kettle. The microwave chimes…”Ahh! Coffee!” The refrigerator hums quietly as it cycles on…I turn to fill my youngest’s cereal bowl. The ping-pong sounds of Cap’n Crunch and Crunch-berries against the plastic bowl lessen as the bowl fills. I set it at his place on the table and take another sip of my coffee. The laundry room…I check the washer, with a click of the vacuum sealed door, and notice my 21 year olds blue jeans lying wet in the drum. “He will need these today!” I reach over to the dryer door and click…pressure released and door swings open…my 19 year olds clothes are all dry. I reach in and remove his clothes placing them on the dinning room table, presently known as his closet, in hopes he will take them to his room later. The jeans and a couple of shirts are put into the dryer as the buttons clank against the drum. I set the desired temperature with chimes and clicks as the tumbling and clicking begins.The house is filling with“The Sounds of My Morning”!
Checking the time…”I have plenty of time!” I go over to the recliner and sit with my coffee…the tags on my precious princess’ collar tinkle and clank as she shuffles over the wood floor behind me. She stretches and yawns…up in the other chair she jumps. She will be snoring soon! I follow my routine and read through various places…My Bible app, Facebook, Swagbucks, Blog stats….and play one card game! Releasing the latch from the difficult recliner…I am back in the kitchen for the swirling and swishing sound of the espresso maker. The boiling water in the kettle begins only to fade as I click the switch off. The stirring of the spoon against the bowl, grainy at first, as I mix the two packets of oatmeal. Up the squeaky stairs to the office door…a gently series of beeps as I punch in the code for the lock…and in I go. “Little hands loved seeking and finding things that did not belong to him in my husband’s office…thus the lock!” I retrace my steps back down the hall and turn on the light for my youngest. He greets the day with a crinkled face and moans as he rolls over. I move quietly to the door at the end of the hall as the threshold creaks…flip n the light in the bathroom and gently tell my husband “Your breakfast is in the office!” I head back down the squeaky steps to enjoy my latte’ and listen to the series of knocks and creaks as the two begin to move around upstairs. “Good…they are up!” I think to myself as I hear “The Sounds of My Morning!”
Here is the point where the noises increase in full combat mode. I do not understand how so much noise can come from one little boy…”The fact is…I had 3 small children, close in age, eating and getting ready for the day, at the same time, all quieter than this one little boy!” The cascading stomps down the stairs hide the squeak as he moves into the kitchen. The milk is poured over his cereal in a rush…”Sorry!…overflow!” The crunches and slurping mix with conversations and unique tones and pitches, unknown to man, as he eats his breakfast. He finishes and throws his bowl in the sink. He begins his lunch preparation and fills the kitchen with sounds of shaking potato chip bags and digging in the large, almost empty, cookie container. The lid to the peanut butter jar is flopped onto the counter so that it spins like a top. He comments about that sound and does it again. Off to the refrigerator for the jam. Mumbling comments as he removes the lid from the jam. Clink…onto the counter! Laughter as the lid performs it’s “top maneuver”. The quick snap from the plastic bags, as he closes them, lets me know he is done. He is off again with the stomping up the stairs to brush his teeth and then the return stomping down the stairs. The multitude of zips and clips as he readies his book bag and the continuous pleading for candy to take to school fill the remaining minutes till he walks out the door. “Like I am going to send a child to school with candy after all the noise and flurry of activity I have experienced!” He moans and groans, questioning my parenting nature…but the No’s have it! He heads out the door. “The Sounds of My Morning” are reflecting the peaceful calm now that the “tropical storm” is waiting for his bus!
My husband is almost done as his shoes sound across the tile on the bathroom floor. Off to the kitchen to fill his commuter mug. The glass against the metal on the base clink as I pull the coffee pot out and replace it on the base. Beep…Beep…Beep! I open the door going into the garage and open the car door. Back into the house I go! The closing of the office door and mechanical locking let me know my husband is coming down. The creaks and squeaks of the stairs and our normal series of hugs and goodbyes. The garage door rises as the metal panels move and shake like a large roller-coaster slowly clicking it’s way up the first hill. The car is started and the seat belt alert chimes…he leaves! I return to my coffee!. A few moments of solitary silence…
It won’t be long and the other two, still snoring upstairs, will start their day. My 19 year old has an interview this morning at a very large exercise chain facility. “Keep him in your prayers or keep you fingers crossed!” The 21 year old works late today at his Jewelry Store job. It will be almost noon by that time and the morning, which was packed with sounds, will give way to a slower pace of normal activity. I will settle back in my chair, with my cup of non-package oatmeal, next to my snoring princess and finish my latte’! I have a list of things to do today…I will be walking plenty today and lifting heavier than normal objects. “OOO…exercise!” I will not hear these sounds again…not until tomorrow…then once again I will hear “The Sounds of My Morning!”
Think about it…what sounds are you hearing everyday? I bet they are the same as mine! Have a great day!
Just in the time I took to proof and eat my breakfast my 19 year old left for his interview. This was his third interview and he just called…He got the job! PARTY! Whoop…Whoop…Whoop! Sorry…he has been looking for a job for quite a while!
Today is our 26th Wedding Anniversary…where did the time go? Happy Anniversary! to my Honey! I remember the day very clearly! My then fiancé’ came home from work about 4 that Tuesday afternoon. I got off about 5 and drove the five short blocks to see him standing out in front of our apartment. He was grinning from ear to ear…”I am off tomorrow sooo….let’s get married! I immediately ran inside and called my boss in a frantic excitement. Every nerve in my body tingled and the tears were welling up in my eyes. I knew that this was short notice and was nervous my boss would not let me off. “Well congrats! That will be fine…I will take your class for you! Will I see you on Thursday?” I told her she would because he had to report back for duty on Thursday. With that settled I turned into the arms of my love.
Everything had already been gathered…the blood tests were completed and placed with the other paperwork. My roommate and her boyfriend would be our witnesses and they were thrilled when we told them that evening. I only had one hurdle standing in front of me…my parents! But what they didn’t know they could not stop.
Wednesday morning I ordered a few flowers and made a bouquet. The love of my life washed his truck. “I guess that is a guy thing!” We headed down to the courthouse and met up with our Best Man and Maid of Honor. My stomach was tossing and turning as it grumbled. I had been to excited to eat…we waited for what felt like an eternity…until the calling of our names stunned the silence.
It was a Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 when the Judge said “I now pronounce you husband and wife!” I floated out of the building and down the never-ending cascade of steps. We went home and I fixed dinner…we ate…and I left for choir practice. “Don’t shake your head!” My dad was the Minister of Music and there is no excuse for missing choir practice. Besides they did not know we were married!
I will not bore you with the unique and tedious details…we never have been the average couple. We only knew each other for 11 weeks. We were introduced and went on three dates in two weeks then he left for field exercises for 2 weeks. He proposed when he got back and then he went to Desert Training for 3 weeks about six days later. That was the longest three weeks of my life. When he returned from the Desert Training we were married 3 weeks later.
My dad bet me it would not last a year and thought I was only getting married because I was pregnant. “It was three years later when we welcomed our first son into the world!”
I guess I won that bet…to bad there was no money involved!
I found out from my mother that she and my father had eloped too! Imagine my surprise as she told me all about that tasty detail. Relief flooded over me! I had taken our marriage certificate to my mother and broke the news to her as she opened the envelope. My dad…well that was the hard one! I called him at work. “He could not throw a fit and had to remain calm!” He got us back for not telling them by calling us at 7:30 in the morning the Saturday after our wedding. “Good morning…you still sleeping? We are celebrating my birthday with a family picnic at the lake…the whole family…see you there!” The order was received and followed! We survived the family event and flurry of cross-examination type questioning.
My family have long since accepted my husband into the family and my parents do live him! It only took a few years…but they did come around. It may have been easier had we not moved back to his home state after he got out of the Army. “We moved from Georgia to Washington State…and I loved it!”
So here we are 26 years later… I have said goodbye to him this morning as he headed off to work…I will bake his one of his favorite cakes…Three-layer Chocolate Cake with almonds and clean the house and prepare and cook a dinner for him. We went out last night not knowing what time he might be able to get home tonight. I will clean the house and light the candles. Romance may have to wait…with three boys still living at home and normal schedules to follow…but our time will be special!
They said it would never last but here we are celebrating 26 years…I never considered the number of years…I just saw the happiness and love we would share together. So let me say it again…Happy Anniversary! I love being married…to my husband! Have a great day!
Up as usual and down the stairs! My Precious Princess wants out for morning for morning stomp through the freshly laid garden mulch. I open the door and see the trees bending over as the flag, in our yard, flies fully extended in proud fashion. I stepped out onto the front porch and feel the coolness in the stiff breeze as it blows by viciously. Only two things on my mind…check the weather forecast and I need my coffee!
Have a great day!
We have our favorites whether they are plain colored cups or pack a punch and make you smile. We instinctively cling to this cup and sip our coffee or tea! They give insight to our mood, our wants and dreams and reveal who we are! Welcome back to Coffee Cup Mentality 2! I asked my friends and family to take a picture of their favorite coffee cup or mug and posted several of them last week. I received more pics and inquiries so….I will give you a peek into the psyche of my friends and family. Hold on…because here we go!
The next couple of pictures are of a cup I gave my mother during her Country Duck decorating phase. She has admitted this is one of her favorites. I wish there had been another one…I would have bought one for myself!
The next picture is not a mug…but is a definite favorite among my little Peas in a Pod!.
The next one was given to me by a dear friend almost 24 years ago! Hmmm! I don’t have mood swings…Do I?
Do you show off your personality or your favorite cartoon character? Do you have memories of places you have traveled or concerts you have attended? What do others learn about you when they see your Coffee Cup Mentality?
Send me those pics! Time for a refill…Have a great day!