Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dangers at Home

My dog tried to kill me tonight.

I'm not sure he acted alone. It could have been a murder conspiracy. There's always somebody mad at me for something, and any one of them could have put him up to it.

After spending hours trying to find the reason my IPad photo stream isn't working (instead of sleeping like normal people do at 1 a.m.), I needed to get up from the sofa and visit the ladies' room. The light was off, and I guess the dog thought it would be fun to lay on the floor behind the ottoman where I couldn't see him. I put on my slippers, walked around the ottoman, and...


I have no idea how he managed to conceal himself so thoroughly. He's large, old, breathes heavily, and makes random grunting noises. (Actually, that entire description sounds a lot like me.) However it happened, I face planted on the tile floor, smacked one knee really hard, jammed toes on both feet, and bruised my hand. And the only thing I was drinking was water.

Not one soul came downstairs to check out the commotion.

If I do finally sleep tonight, I'll do it with one eye open.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Upward Falling

Today I found myself teetering on the brink of sanity, wondering how I could go on or if I even should.  And once again, I found God waiting to pull me back into His loving embrace.

The world can be a cruel place.  Sometimes even those we love hurt us more than we can bear.

It's during those times of extreme anguish that God's presence is often most evident.  Lately, I find myself ending each day simply praying for the strength to make it until morning.  And in those moments, I feel God's love and know He will get me through.  I certainly can't do it on my own.

The past couple of decades have brought heartache into my life, accompanied by anxiety, fear, grief, anger, frustration, depression and an overwhelming lack of self-worth.  But I have never before felt this close to God.  The circumstances of life have been difficult, but I find peace in knowing the pain has taken me exactly where I need to be.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mothers are People, Too

We weren't always mothers. Our lives didn't begin when we had children. Once upon a time we had dreams. We were people who didn't yet spend our days cooking, cleaning endlessly, kissing boo-boos, peeing with the door open, handing out discipline, handing out snacks, wiping tears, loving with everything we had, and crying ourselves to sleep because we never felt good enough.

Once we were children ourselves. Our lives weren't always perfect. But we moved forward, determined to fulfill our dreams of Prince Charming, a castle (or just a house with a white picket fence in Suburbia), and children who would fill our lives with joy.

Those of us fortunate enough to be blessed with everything we ever wanted try to be the best mothers we can possibly be. But The Perfect Mother doesn't exist. There are horrible mothers, really good mothers, and somewhere in the middle the rest of us live, just doing our best every day with the tools we have and the burdens we bear.

And that's all any mother can do.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

What Really Matters

Today was going to be a productive day. I was finally going to get a jump on all those crafting projects I had collected in my mind (and on Pinterest). Of course I first had to do laundry. (I didn't want to completely lose the procrastination skills I had spent years honing, so I decided to blow off cleaning my bathroom.)

As usual, the girls had presented their laundry baskets late and in sloppy condition. Instead of getting better at preparing their dirty laundry, they now seem to take for granted that Nana will unknot their clothes and turn them right-side-out. 

And I did.

I've been suffering symptoms that lead me to believe my blood pressure is much higher than is safe, so I'm trying to pick my battles. This wasn't going to be one of them. It was too early in the day.

So I calmly reminded them that I expected them to do better next week or I would not wash their clothes, nor would I allow them to do their own laundry unless they paid for the use of excess water and electricity. (This was because I knew they wouldn't wash full loads, but would instead wash only what they wanted that day. I've lived long enough to know how most kids operate.)

The Princess decided to apprise me of The Law. "I'm pretty sure that isn't legal", she informed me. "You can't make us wear dirty clothes". She's 17, knows everything, and feels it's her job to share her vast wealth of knowledge with her grandpa and me.

I kept calm and carried on.

Later, inspiration struck. Instead of neatly folding her clean clothes as I always do, I haphazardly tossed them into her laundry basket. They were clean, and I'm pretty sure that's the extent of my legal obligation.

In the evening she returned home from picking up her boyfriend for a visit, and seeing her laundry basket heaped with rumpled clothes she asked if I was indeed not going to wash them. "They're clean", I said, "I just didn't fold them. I'm pretty sure that's legal". She wasn't amused.  Actually, she proceeded to act like a two-year-old. And I'm fresh off a visit with one, so I know exactly what a toddler meltdown looks like.

But it gets better.

It was now dinner time and I had just washed a sink full of dirty dishes that had appeared out of thin air, just like magic. My hands were still a little wet when I pulled out a baking sheet and started to set it on the stove. It slipped and dropped a few inches onto the edge of the glass cooktop. 


Yeah, I broke the stovetop.  And no, it isn't in my budget to buy a new one.

Through my tears (and some profanities) I reached into the refrigerator to get a few things. After all, the show must go on.

For the past few days, I've noticed the vegetable and fruit drawers had been making a grinding sound when I opened them. I figured now was the time to get at least one of my appliances in good working order, so I removed the first drawer completely and found the problem...

There was a giant sheet of ice covering the bottom of the refrigerator.

When it rains it pours. And then it freezes up.

I was feeling pretty despondent at that point. Then my phone rang.

The details of the call aren't important to the story, but suffice it to say I was facing a real potential tragedy. And it scared me straight. 

There is nothing material on this earth that matters in the grand scheme of things. God blesses us with people to love and, if we're really lucky, people who love us back. If we're fortunate enough to have them in our lives for many years, and they are healthy and safe and hopefully also happy, that's really the only thing that matters.

Thank you, God, for blessing me today.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Giraffe Birthday Card

I've whined enough lately.  God has been very good to me over the years and He continues to forgive me EVERY SINGLE DAY. (I'll need that today more than ever.) So back to crafting...

Well, actually this is a card I made a very long time ago.  But I haven't felt like making anything lately (it's hard to make stuff while throwing a pity party), so I dragged this out of my "archives".

It's definitely a little on the bright side, possibly bordering on painful-to-look-at. But for my sister, Teresa, the brighter the better.  She's in a persistent vegetative state, and I'm pretty sure the doctors told us early on that she was blind.  But I'm not convinced of that, so a bright, colorful card seemed like the way to go.

The giraffe was cut from the Cricut cartridge Paisley (Teresa loves giraffes).  The solid background was cut using a Spellbinders Nestabilities die.  

Overall, nothing to get excited about. Unless you consider that I actually made something. Yes, it was a year ago, but I did make something once upon a time.