September 25, 2009

Size 5? No problem...

When Jimmy and I decided to get married the first thing I did was go to the shoe store and order my wedding shoes. I had long since learned that finding size 5 shoes was not only difficult but sometimes impossible. The last thing I wanted was for this to be a glitch in our special day. Just as I had thought the store didn't have the wedding pump in my size, so they ordered it and handed me my prize two weeks later. Fast forward twenty some years and things haven't changed a bit, in fact they've gotten worse. Now, the smallest shoe major department stores carry is size 6, which is terribly frustrating.

A couple of years ago Jimmy and I were in Toronto, Canada and I stumbled across the cutest tangerine Clarks I'd ever seen. It was love at first site. Oh, if only I could have a pair of those lovely sandals. What I wouldn't give to take those babies home. Well aware the odds were slim, I asked with pessimism, "You don't have these in 5's do you?" Of course they didn't and if they had I'd have dropped dead on foreign soil. This not so unusual rejection, however, served to spur me on to new heights. I can't explain it but something inside me snapped and a full blown search was underway. With a fury for foot fashion brewing as never before, I went home and began surfing the net for my little orange beauties. It was then I found and oh the bliss of being able to find my size from the comfort of home. The cost for delivery, including returns, is free. And get have 365 days to return them! No joke. As long as you have not worn them outside the home, you have one year to return them for a full refund.

I've been looking for winter shoes and ordered these four beauties. I'm sad to say none of them will work for one reason or another, but no despair, I'll simply print off a return label and send them back. I have two more pairs arriving today, so all is not lost. Oh, and did I tell you they deliver within 24-48 hours. Oh...wait a sec...I hear the door bell. Yes! It's my shoes. Ta ta.

September 21, 2009

Retro Monday

Last February I blogged on "Memories" from the past. It was so fun I'm doing it again. Jimmy enjoyed walking down memory lane with me and added a few himself. So, hop on board and let's reminisce about things of the past.

I remember...
  • Rotary dial phones. Loved the phone numbers that were full of 9's and 0's.
  • Jaw breakers the size of baseballs. I'd take my oversized treat, place it in a kitchen towel, grab a hammer, and smash it into bite sized bits. I'd be gone by dusk.
  • Lushy chocolate malts.
  • Manual typewriters in high school and layers of carbon paper.
  • Ditto machines that printed in lavender and had a weird indescribable smell when fresh off the roller.
  • When children were the remote control.
  • How movies like Frankenstein, Mummy, and Wolf man were extra spooking in black and white.
  • Replacing T.V. tubes.
  • Dialing "O" for the operator to make a long distance phone call.
  • Cars without A/C, power steering, power windows, or power brakes. Driving to the store was a workout.
  • Crawling in the engine compartment to work on a car. This is Jimmy's. I only crawled under cars to retrieve a ball or frisbee.
  • AM radio only. You knew a storm was coming when it got all staticy.
  • When gas was 29 cents/gallon.
  • When filling station pump dials only went up to 99 cents. As gas prices exceeded 99 cents/gallon, the price had to be cut in half and when it was time to pay, the price was doubled. Now that was confusing.
  • 8-track tapes. Never like them.
  • 45 records and their colorful adaptors.
  • Defrosting the ice box with pans of boiling water. Once defrosted we'd use every towel the kitchen had to offer soaking up the wet mess.
  • Cold aluminum ice trays that stuck to your hand when you pulled the lever to release the ice.
  • Full meals were served on airplanes.
  • When there was no Tylenol, only Aspirin.
  • The first home hair dryer that consisted of a plastic cap with a vacuum-type hose leading to the machine. There were also hard fold down dryers like in the beauty shops.

  • When the first hand held hair dryer came out to replace the plastic cap. Mine was light blue, I got it for Christmas, and it was handier than a pocket on a shirt.
  • When hot rollers replaced pink sponge rollers.
  • Stamps were 5 cents.
  • When cheese slices were peeled apart not individually wrapped.
  • Wax lips.
  • Penny candy.
  • Sea monkeys.
  • When JFK was shot. I was four years old and it seemed as if the world stood still.
  • When Elvis Presley died. My family was on vacation on Padre Island. I was sitting on the hotel deck looking out at the ocean when my dad came out and told me the news.
What are some of your childhood memories? Where were you when you heard the news of JFK and Elvis? I'd love to hear what lies in the cobwebs of your mind.

September 18, 2009

God's Invisible Qualities

"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities —
his eternal power and divine nature —
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made,
so that men are without excuse."
Romans 1:20

We went to visit my sister the other day. She lives on several acres of land, so we brought our dogs to play with her pup, Pilgrim. Standing amidst a swirling tornado of canine chaos, she pointed to the back end of the clearing to her swing. She said she moved it to that location because it is so shady and peaceful near the woods. Looking at the swing off in the distance, I could see what she meant and chimed, "Isn't it funny how much more peaceful it is to sit out in God's creation than inside, even in your most comfortable chair? Somehow anywhere else just isn't the same." She agreed and we both stood amazed at the beauty of God's creation that surrounded us on all sides.

As we soaked in the moment the Lord reminded me of the ultimate purpose of creation. While designed to bless us with awe and wonder, its primary purpose is to point all men to Him! Yes, His handiwork is captivating, but it's ultimately an invitation to meet and grow near to our eternal Creator.

According to Romans 1:20 the world's beauty and all that is in it is evidence of God's invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature. Perfect and powerful, each work of His hand carries His unmistakeable fingerprint. This is how He makes Himself known and why no man can say he has never seen God. We all have seen the work of His hand and make a choice what to do with what we've seen.

Look for God today in the sun rise or as it sets, in the fall leaves, puffy clouds, birds of the air, or wild creature that crosses your path. Marvel at His gift of creation but don't stop there. Praise the Holy one who created them all!

September 14, 2009

Odd Ads

I received an envelop in the mail from our son Drew, the one who sent me the Disney tiara a few months back. I couldn't imagine what he was sending and for some silly reason thought it might be bad news.

Eager but pensive, I opened it with caution and was pleasantly surprised. Up to his old tricks he sent an ad for "TV Ears" from Newsweek magazine. Apparently while doing his laundry he was perusing through the magazine and saw this, prompting him to think of good ole ma and pa. He writes, "I couldn't quite get over how excited the woman looks. I seriously wondered what they were doing to get such an extreme reaction." He was further amazed it claimed to save a marriage.

Leaning against the counter of our kitchen, I howled out loud reading the ad and accompanying letter. Then, I wanted to kick myself for not mailing him an ad I'd seen the week before. Searching through the trash I clipped a few gaudy goodies and mailed them to him with glee. I shall not be out done!

What are some of your favorite ads that make you laugh?

September 12, 2009

Wigged Out

Now, first off you have to know that when our son Drew was a little boy he didn't like the feel of grass. We'd lower him on to the lawn when he was 12 months old or so and he'd hike his legs up refusing to stand. He out grew the aversion, but when Dani came along we started all over again.

With her full-blow Autism she had many dislikes. She didn't like to be held, refused to hold her bottle, hated animal fur, and to this day despises the fringe on rugs or blankets.

With this in mind you can imagine our shock when she allowed a wig to be placed on her head at work. Jimmy went to pick her up and was so amazed he took this picture with his phone. Why... for crying out loud she won't even touch her own hair much less allow another kind of hair touch her. For some odd reason this day was different and for that we are proud of her. Good job Doodle Bug!

By the way does she remind you of anyone in particular? Broadway's Annie perhaps?

September 5, 2009

Memory Lane

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in 1882. In 1884 the event of honoring working men and women was made official and the rest is history.

Labor Day also marks the last holiday of the summer, an unofficial end to summer, and the traditional queue to pack away the white shoes, slacks, and jackets.

This celebration of hard working American's got me thinking back on all the jobs I've had over the years. It gave me a chuckle, so I thought I'd share them with you in hopes you'll share too.

1) My first income came from my mom who paid me $10 a week to iron dad's hankies. Hankies are those delicate little square pieces of cloth that men and women used before Kleenex arrived on the scene. I'd go into the basement each week and transform freshly washed wrinkled rags into crisp folded and presentable hankies in no time at all. It was an easy ten bucks.

2)The next form of income came through babysitting. I remember taking care of cute little Blake, our neighbor on the south side of our home, and Kelly and Casey who lived on our north side. More than once or twice I've wondered what these darling children are up to today. They must be in their 30's by now. Heavenly Father I pray you bless them this day!

3)My third job was official as it payed taxes and social security. I don't recall my hourly wage, I only know it taught me I never want to work with food or retail. It was a dairy store called Zarda Dairy. We sold milk, eggs, egg nog, sundaes, banana slits, pop, and a few other sundries. I took the job because I wanted to make some money but I hated everything about it. If I ran the cash register I had to learn all the sales for the week. People actually cared if I didn't charge them the sale price for their milk and they'd say something about it. I, on the other hand, couldn't figure out what the big deal was. After all, what's ten measly cents? The truth was I was too lazy to memorize the forever changing adds. If it had been up to me I'd have set the prices permanently to make it easier on everyone.

Then...there was the ice cream. Would you believe that at 16 years of age, though I had heard of a banana split, I didn't know how one was made. I'd never had one. When the manager showed me how it was made, I stood wide eyed and slack jawed wondering why in the world anyone would want such a conglomerate of food mixed into one bowl. I was never able to make one with passion because I couldn't get past the disgusting mixture of food. (If you love banana splits I apologize) Between not caring whether folks saved a few cents and slapping food together that was fattening, unhealthy, and disjointed, the dairy store served well to avert me from sales.

4)After the frigid dairy store, I got a job working as an orderly (yes girls can be orderlies) in the Recovery Room of a hospital. This job solidified my love for medicine and it was there I eventually became a student nurse.

5) As a new graduate I worked one year on the orthopedic unit. I worked the 3-11 shift and carried a ball bat in my car in case my late night drive home became more eventful than planned in the not so good part of town.

6) I always had a passion for critical care so after orthopedics I moved to the Intensive Care Unit. To this day my favorite area is that of cardiac intensive care.

7) After seven years in ICU, I took a job as House (hospital) Supervisor in order to get off nights. Now, talk about an interesting job. The nursing supervisor was the one who took over for all the department managers after hours. I took calls and problems from every department of the hospital. I'll never forget the night I was so busy I thought my legs were going to fall off. My pager was buzzing off my belt and I was hungry as a horse. I grabbed a sandwich but didn't have time to take much of a break. Being near the ER I ducked into the Out Patient Department, which was closed, turned on a few lights and sat down at the desk to eat and review the staffing schedule. I'd taken three bites of my sandwich when something felt funny. Looking up I peered through the glass window into the dusky dim patient care area ahead. Squinting to see into the darkness, I was not so pleasantly surprised to see a dead body perched on an ER cart waiting for a funeral home pick up. I was so disappointed I couldn't even eat alone.

8) After many years working in the hospital, I went to work as the nurse at a school for children with communicative disorders. Having Dani made caring for these children somewhat natural, but believe it or not this job proved to be one of the most stressful jobs I've ever had.

9) For the next ten years, I home schooled Dani. As her mama, teacher, and caregiver this time of focus was by far the most touching jobs I've ever dedicated myself to.

10)At the present I am back into the hospital setting working in the Quality Department. Relying on all my past years of experience we monitor and help maintain the highest standards possible for safe and efficient health care. It's good to be back in the hospital setting. Sure beats making banana splits!

Ok. Now it's your turn. What are the jobs you've had through the years? Which ones did you like most and which ones were you most happy to leave?

September 1, 2009

Rotten Fruit

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."
Colossians 3:12

I stood at the counter waiting for my hamburger and tater tots to be cooked. It took a few minutes because they're made fresh. As a result they are delicious as can be. I watched as the chef and his assistant took orders, gathered the ingredients, and prepared the plates for each customer. Suddenly, like a couple of dusty tornatos, two older ladies approached the counter. (If they knew I was writing this they'd kill me.)

Abruptly approaching the counter the first lady blurted, "I had your Phillie sandwich yesterday and it was awful. It was the worst thing I've ever eaten!" The chef stood stunned for a moment then quickly gathered his wits and told her she could contact the manger down the hall. His restrain was remarkable.

Seemingly content to have unloaded her grievance, the woman commenced ordering a steak sandwich, but made it very clear it needed to be rare. Amazingly enough, she and the chef picked out a steak that fit the bill and he commenced preparing her sandwich. He put the steak on the grill to heat it up, to which she brashly scolded him because she wanted it to remain as rare as possible. Her mouth no sooner cooled from the first reprimand when she scolded him again for cutting it into slices in order to put on a hoggie bun, as per normal preparation. "I want it whole on a regular hamburger bun! Not sliced on a hoggie" she spit across the counter.

With the patience of Job the chef prepared her and her friend's order, as well as mine and a host of others waiting for lunch that day. My hamburger and tots were delicious, but my heart was heavy. I felt for the poor chef and his assistant because no matter how hard they try there will be people who will never be pleased and are happy to tell them about it. My heart was also burdened for those two ladies. The Lord used their example as a sober reminder of the importance of making a conscious effort to nurture His fruit of the spirit in my heart lest I slowly but surely drop rotten fruit wherever I go. Foul and distasteful fruit such as bitterness, anger, unkindness, impatience, selfishness, and rudeness. What a frightful thought.

I made sure to thank the cook's assistant for my food and give him a big smile. I wanted to somehow compensate for the ladies' rude behavior, but most likely it didn't. I can't reverse what they did. The only thing I can do is make a point to drop fragrant fruit wherever I go and pray for those bearing a rotten crop. After all, they are the most miserable and in need of help.

How is your produce basket? Is it appealing and attractive to those around you or does an accidental bad fruit fall from your tree every now and then? We are all sour once in a while, but making a conscious effort to plant God's word in our hearts and live it out every day of our lives is a sure way to nurture healthy growth. Like a farmer weeding his garden, we must search out any rotten fruit, remove it, and replace it with things that are good and godly.

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it." 1 Peter 3:8-11