What Kind of Mood Are You In Today?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The 11 Stages of Putting on a Musical

As I have mentioned before, I teach Music at a PreK-8 school.  Best job I've ever had!!!  Besides the kids, the Christmas musical and the Spring musical are my two favorite parts of my job.

Well, O.K., I lied.  But Tuesday night around 8pm it will be true again!  You see, in 2 days we "go live."  All 90 or so kids will be on stage, smiling and looking adorable, realizing the fruit of their labor.  And while the best part of the whole thing is the final bow, the few days before the program are, well...in a word, stressful.

This is the 11th musical I have directed at Pacific Coast Christian Academy and after experiencing 9 of them, I discovered that there was a certain rhythm to this whole thing.  Just as predictable as a lively song to start the program and just as predictable as the preschooler in the front row picking his nose, so are the stages of putting on a musical.

Stage 1: Research
It all starts with the question, "What are we going to do this year?"  It follows with browsing the internet, looking for musicals that are cute enough to make the audience smile and "cool" enough for junior high kids to sing.  (Not always attainable, but you try.)  You choose a few that have good sound bites and look entertaining and then order the preview pack.  (A choral book and CD packaged together at a very reduced rate.  It's like bait only it doesn't smell bad.)

Stage 2: Discovery
You get the bait in the mail and start popping CD's in.  You're simply listening to see if this is the program. It only takes 5 minutes or less per CD to decide.  If I'M bored in the first 5 minutes, the audience certainly will be!  No use in listening to the whole thing.  NEXT!

Stage 3: Deliberation
While deciding whether a certain program makes the cut or not takes 5 minutes or less, deciding which one of those that made the cut will be THE ONE takes a bit more deliberation.  Is it TOO predictable?  It the title hopelessly cheesy?  Can Kindergarten handle the music?  Is it too cutesy for Junior High?  Will the audience love it because if not, I'll be judged accordingly.  How complicated is the drama and can the kids handle the parts that are played by grownups on the CD?  What kind of message does it send?

Stage 4: Decision
After weighing all the options, I choose the one that excites me most.  Most of the questions I asked myself above are completely unnecessary because in the end, because I'll pretty much just improvise it all, anyway.  Whatever obstacle appears, I'll figure it out.  But not yet because I must enter stage 5.

Stage 5: Glorious Excitement
I love stage 5!  Oh, the thrill of creativity!!!  I pop that CD into my car and listen to it over and over again.  As I listen to the drama, I am creating the props, visualizing the staging, dreaming up costumes, and coming up with my own interpretations.  I'm tearing up at all the sappy parts and singing cheerfully to that first lively song.  So many ideas run through my head.  It's like a drug.  A natural high.  A most happy place where life is a hall of mirrors that reflect such beautiful light in all the shades of the spectrum.  It surrounds you and lifts you and you just want to skip through a field, only you couldn't skip because you'd be floating.  There is nothing else except for newly opened lilies and hummingbirds...

and...well, until someone calls, "MOM!" from the backseat.

Stage 6: Tryouts
This is such a fun stage!  Seeing those 3-8th graders get up in front of their peers and saying their lines or singing a solo is incredible and I stand taller because of them.  You have to admire the ones who seem to have no fear, but you have to especially admire and respect the ones who are frightened out of their wits, voices quivering, hands shaking, and determined to finish because they are more afraid of not doing what they set out to do than they are of standing there in front of everyone.  Right there.  That's where I stand taller.

Stage 7: Casting
I don't care to dwell too much on this stage.  It's painful.  Only a few kids will get the part they really wanted and there are always a few parents who aren't happy with my decisions.  Yeah, it's painful.

Stage 8: Rehearsal
We sing, sing, sing and sing some more!  Well, actually we've been singing since the start of stage 5, but this is where we begin to rehearse the drama, as well.  Oh, my this is fun!  This year's musical has been especially fun.  The drama is just over-the-top hilarious and one of our kids knows how to work an audience really well.  He's a total crack up!

This stage is also a lot of fun because I get to take quiet, reserved children and turn them into little acting machines.  It's fun to watch them at the first rehearsal, arms crossed, head down, barely audible...and compare it to the last rehearsal where they are loud (or at least louder), arms are moving about freely, head is up, and they begin to walk taller as they glide down the school halls, proud of what they've accomplished and feeling bonded with the other actors.  There is nothing like the bond of fear, hard work, and universal accomplishment.

Stage 9: Freak Out
It's how many more days until THE day?  What?!?  Are you sure???  Uhhh...am I as far along as I need to be?  Should I freak out right now?  No?  Oh, well, too late.

Stage 10:
This is where I am right now.  This is the most horrible stage of putting on a musical.  Horrible is a bad word.  Horrifying might be a better one.  It is only mere days before the program and everything is suddenly overwhelming.  All the weak spots are glaringly obvious, all the things that have been procrastinated on have come due, and all the extra space left in my schedule is now completely full and overflowing.  You're still freaking out because you can't for the life of you see how everything that needs to get done will get done and doggoneit, those kids better memorize those lines!  Fred's sick and can't make rehearsal?  Which parent am I calling back today?  What else needs to be coordinated?

I was tempted to make this another step, but I think dress rehearsal needs to stay in Stage 10.  Oh, dress rehearsal...  I get the whole, "You gotta do it so you can see where all the holes are and what needs to be fixed," but we only get one rehearsal on the actual stage we do our program on and it's not your normal dress rehearsal.  It's far worse than that.  We can't do our programs our own building because we can't fit 300 people plus the kids in our own chapel, so dress rehearsal becomes a field trip to the church we are renting, thus allowing us approximately 2 hours to do it "just like we're going to do it live!"

(forced laugh)

What really makes dress rehearsal difficult is that ALL the teachers are watching, the staff of whatever church building we are renting are watching, and all the parents who drove kids on this field trip are watching.  This is their first impression and it is always a mess!  The program is what everyone judges my performance on.  Whether or not I'm viewed as a good teacher or not depends 90% on how the program goes.  Overall, it's a very small glimpse into what I do.  Teaching is a complex art.  Somehow you're supposed to take a subject that 1/3 of your class is interested in, make 99% of them like it, find a way to engage 20 kids...at the same time!...who are all incredibly different and make sure they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are loved, good grade or not...that's a better measure of my value as a teacher.  But, reality is, all most parents see is the show.  So when they are watching the dress rehearsal and seeing all the most minute mistakes, it's a little unnerving.  I begin to say to myself, "That's it!  After this I'm done!  I'm so unqualified, I've made so many mistakes, the school will look bad because of me, and why am I doing this to myself, anyway?  I'm so tired...so very, very tired."

But Stage 11...

Oh, glorious, most wonderful Stage 11!
The show starts at 7pm sharp.  (Well, except for the one time I lost a kid's costume and ran back home and then back to my office to find it, but I'll have to tell that story later!)  By 7:10 the welcomes are complete and all the kids are assembled on the stage.  The crowd hushes, the children take a deep breath, and then the music plays.  Suddenly the kids and I are in a world of our own making.  This is what we've visualized in our heads for so long and now we are living that moment.  First scene, second scene, fourth song, fifth song...they fly by like the telephone poles on the highway.  Before we know it, the musical is done and we are standing there, taking our bow, and basking in the glow of Stage 11.

I can be no prouder than when the audience is clapping, yelling "Bravo!", standing to their feet, and giving their kids what they desire most in life...the look of acceptance and pride on their parents' faces.  No, there is no better moment when it comes to putting on a musical.

This is when I answer the question I asked myself earlier.

"Why do I do this to myself?"

Because you love it, Rachael.  You love watching these kids.  You love seeing them shine.  You love seeing them proud of themselves.  You love watching a kid who is struggling in school do something he never knew he was good at.  You love seeing the kid who was having a hard time being accepted by his peers suddenly the center of their praise.  You love watching the teacher's faces as they gain an even deeper appreciation for what his or her student is capable of.  You love the hugs.  You love hearing, "You're my favorite Music teacher" (even if I am the only one). You would be unfulfilled if you never did this again, knowing that you are missing the opportunity to make a difference.

Bring on the next musical!

(Here's last year's Christmas musical."  Feel free to click on parts 2-6 as well!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's a Curse, I Tell Ya!

I love Facebook!  It's so much fun to reconnect with people and it's a nice, quick way to keep in touch.  Some people make fun of this, but I like knowing that my friend, Rachel just canned 40-something cans of figs and that Patti wants to trade her kids in.  I enjoy hearing what one friend is hearing the guy next to him at the airport say about the Illuminate and I just love knowing that Matt loves his wife, Felicia.  Most of our friendships in life are nurtured during the mundane times.  They may become rock solid during times of crisis, but most of our time spent together is in the mundane.  I treasure those mundane posts.

Yesterday I reconnected with a friend that I haven't talked to since I was 15. It was so nice to reminisce and remember all those funny things we did as kids and to see how we have changed.  It was nice to hear what he was like as a "grown-up."  But mostly it was just nice to be connected again.

We instant messaged each other on Facebook for awhile, but I had to put a bit of time in at work today.  Once the kids were all ready and begging to leave, I asked him for his cell number and gave him a call.  We talked while I drove on my way to the gas station.

This is when I should have hung up.  Gas station...cell phone... You would think I would have remembered.  But no.  In fact, Robert (my old friend) and I joked about how I was "living on the edge" to use a cell phone while pumping gas.  Something about static electricity.  I even told him about how I drove off with the gas pump three times.  He didn't laugh.  He paused for a second and said, "...three times?"

I laughed, ran my card, turned to put the gas pump in my car, then realized I had forgotten to take the gas cap off.  Now, I'm holding a cell phone in one hand and the gas pump in the other.  I could have said something like, "Hold on," but that would have been too obvious an answer to this dilemma.  I'd never figure that out!  No, I put the gas pump under my arm and then unscrewed the gas cap.

I secured the pump with that little thingy that holds it in the "pump position" and continued my conversation.  I like to wash my windows while I wait for the gas to pump.  I cleaned the back window...and yes, I'm still talking on my cell phone.  I turn to check and see if my gas was done pumping and was surprised to see that it was done so quickly.  How nice!

I put the pump back.

Let me say that again.  I PUT THE PUMP BACK!!!  You're proud of me, aren't you!

I just have to say it one more time.  I put the pump back, screwed the gas cap on, got in my car, and drove off.  All the while, talking on my cell phone.

It's about 10 minutes to my work from the gas station and when I was oh, 3 minutes away, I glanced down to see a little orange light.  WHAT?  I'm out of gas?  Impossible!!!

That's when it hit me.  I forgot to pump the gas!!!  I didn't intend to (ok, who would actually intend to), but apparently I put the gas pump in the "pump position" and didn't make sure it was actually pumping gas!  Uh.... oops!

Robert got a bit of a chuckle out of that one!

So, as I told myself I would, I have to ask, "So, Rachael, what are you going to do about it?"  That's an easy one...

No more pumping gas while talking on the cell phone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What You Cannot NOT Talk About" Part 2: Worship. That Goes Deeper

Earlier this month I led the music portion of our worship service.  The pastor told me what he was preaching on and I went to work.  

I like to spend time reading the scriptures he tells me he's going to use.  I inevitably wind up travelling all over the Bible, reading things that relate.  That and finding myself fascinated on a word or phrase that leads me to so many rabbit trails that I begin to wonder if I should start chewing hay and carrots!

This particular Sunday I was fascinated with the phrase, "fire on the altar," specifically God sending that fire on the Old Testament altars.  I had chosen "Not To Us," for the first song, simply because I had just introduced it to the congregation the week before and knew I needed to do it another week in order to solidify it in their heads.  As I was singing the song in my head, the second verse suddenly grew an arm from my laptop and slapped me on the head.  

"Send Your holy fire
"On this offering."

Whoa!  God?  Is that You speaking?

Then, I chose the second song blandly based on the fact that it was an upbeat song and I needed an upbeat song.  Then, my laptop grew an arm and I got slapped upside the head again.

"Hear the joyful sound
"Of our offering
"As Your saints bow down
"As Your people sing."

Let me show you why I felt slapped on the head.

1 Chronicles 21:21-26  

And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.  

Ok, in modern English.  David needs a nice, flat place to build an altar.  He talks to Ornan, who happens to have a nice, flat place to build an altar, and offers to buy it.  Ornan says something like, "DUDE!  You're like, the KING of Israel.  You can have it!" to which David replies, "Look, man.  This is for God.  I'm not going to 'sacrifice' if it's not much of a sacrifice, you know?  I'm not going to even make an offer for less than what it's worth.  I'm going to pay you FULL PRICE!"  

And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: 

So Ornan, who doesn't seem to be too comfortable with this, says, "Ok, fine.  Not gonna argue with the King!  Duh!  But I'll give you the oxen and all that other stuff you need for the sacrifice."  David's like, "No, seriously.  I'm buying that, too...for full price!"

I love this part:

...for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. 

So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; 

David pays for it, builds the alter, and puts the sacrifice on it.  This is where someone usually prays and then fires up the altar.  But you have to check this out... oh, man, the chills are coming already!

and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.

GOD, yes GOD, sent fire FROM HEAVEN, I tell you.  FROM HEAVEN!!!

"Send Your holy fire
"On this offering
"Let our worship burn
"For the world to see."

I'm thinking that Ornan was no longer bowing before David, but before the King of all Kings.  Oh, it makes me want to bow myself right now.  Seriously.  

That's just one scripture.  The next one has me wanting to yell and bow at the same time!

Leviticus 9:22-24  And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.

And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: 

and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

Did you catch that?  Once again, GOD, yes GOD sent the fire!  And what did the people do when they saw it?  They went ALL CAPS and fell "Facedown" in worship!  I...I...I'm speechless!  I'm with them, right there with them, wishing there was no one else in this room right now so that I could lay on this floor I'm sitting on with my face smelling the dirty carpet and wetting it with my tears.  And yet, I just feel like jumping and throwing my hands in the air and yelling, "LORD, YOU ARE HOLY!"

So I finish up my song set, type in some lyrics, turn on my iPod, and begin practicing the songs.  I'm totally raising my hands while singing, "Send Your holy fire on this offering," and tears are making my voice crack.  

I get through that song and then begin the next one.  You know, the one I chose simply because it was upbeat.  I'm getting into it, clapping my hands when I get to this part...

"Hear the joyful sound
"Of our offering
"As Your saints bow down
"As Your people sing."

Ok, I'm done.  Undone is more like it.  There's no way I can keep singing this song...

...and I've just had a better worship service than I've had in a very, very long time.

Not everyday is like this and certainly not every time I put a worship service together.  I find myself "Going Through the Motions," way too many times because I'm tired, feel like what I do is pointless, get in a hurry, and pretty much just try to give God what I get for free.  But when I seek God, He is always to be found and when God allows me the opportunity to worship Him through His Word, combined with Music, I...I...I have no words.  

Worship.  It goes deep.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What You Cannot NOT Talk About

What?  Where am I?  I don't recognize this place.  Could it be...?  OH!  It's my blog!  It's been so long I forgot what it looked like!

October is always incredibly busy for our family.  I intentionally try not to schedule things in October because I know that every October is busy.  The calendar starts out with only a couple birthday plans scribbled in and evolves into something that resembles my daughter's bedroom...stuff everywhere!

It was one incredibly fun month!  We hosted lots of people in our home, including one weekend of some of our closest friends.  As one of them (James) was getting ready to head out, he said to me,

"Rachael, if I didn't know you and had just met you 5 minutes ago, I would know that you are really into worship."

...which got me to thinking about this quiz I took about what you should be blogging about.  "My Poor Husband" is not about worship and since the title, "My Poor Husband," seems like an odd title for a worship blog, I'm not intending for this blog to transform into a worship blog.  This post will just be for fun.  Besides, there are too many worship blogs out there for me to start a new one!

The quiz asks, "What can you not NOT talk about?"

The funny thing about James' comment is that I continually hold back from talking about it, most notably the music portion of worship.  The subject tends to halt a naturally flowing conversation and it doesn't take long before people are looking for something to do instead of looking at me while they pretend to listen.  Shoot, sometimes they don't even pretend and start talking to someone else or interrupt and completely change the subject!  I guess that qualifies as something I cannot NOT talk about!

Music moves me.  So deeply, in fact, that I am very careful about what I listen to.  Every part of me is involved in the process of listening to music.  My ears...obviously, but also my body as it instictively moves to the beat. (Actually, moving to the rhythm is a lot more fun!)  My mind is thinking about the chords and how certain notes make that certain part of that song so...so...gosh, I don't know.  That feeling you get so deep down inside your soul that you wish you could grab and hold onto it so tightly, yet you're afraid to let it out because you're not sure what might happen if you could actually look it in the face.  It might make you cry without an end in sight.  It might make you levitate as you dance across the room.  It might make you so angry that you fear the wrath inside of you.  Or it may physically knock you to the ground, searching for just a single word that you can offer to God to explain why it is you worship Him.

Yeah.  THAT part of the song.

My mind is also pondering the words to the song and wondering what the author's meaning is behind the words.

And my heart is experiencing such a range of emotions.  In one song I can feel energized, intrigued, sad, sappy, and dark.  There is a happiness in even the darkest songs simply because I am feeling.

That's what music does to me.

Worship.  That goes deeper.

...to be continued.  That's probably enough to digest for one night.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Poor Wife...or The Unimpressed Girlfriend

Yes, Travis has had a few of his own blunders.

We had quite a storm yesterday!  Thankfully, it was a warm one, but boy, did the wind blow and boy, was there a lot of rain!  So much so in fact that school got cancelled (nice) and my classroom got flooded (not nice).  I'll be travelling from class to class to teach Music tomorrow.  It will be like old times!

Driving home yesterday was a bit like driving through a car wash, only without the big metal things that crush your car.  Very wet, had to drive slow (well, you're not SUPPOSED to actually drive in a drive-through car wash, but we all know that story...), water splashing on the windows from all four sides of the car...you get the picture.  As I was driving through the third largest puddle I was reminded of a story...

*Dream sequence*

*That's an overused phrase, btw.  Have I written about those yet?*

Travis and I were dating.  I was quite young and he was, well, while 5 years older than I, he was still a guy who was living in his age of invincibility.  We had a terrible storm that lasted for days.  There was so much rain and wind and, unlike the storm we just had, it was cold.    Even the  main streets had parts that you couldn't drive through because of the flooding.

Unless you're Travis.

After some sort of young adult function (young adults are kids who are out of high school and don't think they are still kids, but aren't ready to grow up and hang out with "real" adults), Travis and one other guy thought it would be fun to go for a drive...

in the rain...

around signs that read, "flooded..."

and straight through puddles...psh!  more like PONDS!

And we're not talking about an Expedition or big 'ol monster truck.  Oh, no.  This was his beloved Honda Accord!  The first nice car he ever owned.  Apparently he thought that Honda Accords doubled as submarines.

Well, away he and his friend went to check out all the mess the storm had made and make a few big splashes while they were at it.  The road dipped down a bit, but had you been driving on this road when it was dry, you likely wouldn't have even noticed it.  But had you been driving it this night, you probably wouldn't have noticed it at all because the road was nice and level...

well, only level if you are looking at WATER!

Oh, yes.  They drove on down the road ever so slow, watching the joyous fountain of water spray up on their windows.  I can only imagine their delight.

They drove on.  Despite the fact that they were the ONLY ones driving through this part of the road, they continued their adventure.

Eventually the water became deep enough that the fountains of water stopped spraying.  It must have gotten quiet, or so I imagine, as the boys no longer had that bit of amusement.  But then...I can only imagine how much noise they made when...

the water began to spill under the doors and into the car!  And oh, I have to wonder...did it get quiet when the car stalled?  How about when the car wouldn't start?  At what point did they start laughing again?  When the people driving by began to point or shake their heads?  When the tow truck came?  Or perhaps Travis laughed when the car did finally start but was not fully operational?  I'll bet the sound of the car running all night for 2-3 days with the heat on full blast made him giddy.  I'll bet the blow dryers running had him ROFLOL.

Alas, the car did finally dry out and although he was told that it was an impossibility, the car was fully operational within a few days.

I was indeed an unimpressed girlfriend.  Unimpressed with his submarine skills, but still totally and completely in love with him...

and that has not changed.  I am continually impressed with his dedication to God and his unending love and commitment to his family.  I married well.  I have one of the rare ones that many women are hoping to find...

unless they are looking for someone who drives a submarine.

p.s.  Travis, I love you with all my heart.  Thank you for marrying me and loving me through all my own blunders.  *insert kiss*

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Blackjack and What I'm Going to Do About It

Found myself a phone...finally!

I spent lots of time on Craigslist trying to find the perfect deal.  Emailed lots of people, checked listings incessantly over the weekend, emailed some more people...and a few people twice by mistake!

And after hours of hard work, I now own a blackjack.  AT&T reluctantly told me that if I stick my sim card into a smart phone they would never know and I would NOT be automatically given a data plan and I could use my phone however I wanted.  Pay per minute for data usage of course, but I don't have to buy a prepaid phone, thank goodness!  I like the qwerty too much.

I'm loving my new phone!  The last one I had was a Blackjack II and while I'm "downsizing" to get the forerunner, I think I actually like it better.  Not so bulky.  Thank you to the Craigslist poster who sold me this phone!  :)  I enjoyed meeting you and your daughter.  :)

So, as I promised myself, I am asking, "So what am I going to do about it?"

I habitually lose phones and here's what I'm going to do about it.

I bought a purse.  (How many girls do you know who can get a purse out of losing a cell phone?)  It's a tiny little thing, just big enough to fit some cards, my keys, and a cell phone, but just big enough to have a nice long strap that I can hang across my body.

You see, I carry around this huge handbag and I keep filling it with stuff.  I don't really know where all the stuff comes from, but I think there's a brownie (Spiderwick Chronicles reference) that follows me around and sticks stuff in there.  He better be careful or he  might go flying off the top of my car and who knows if he'll be found like the rest of my stuff!

Anyway, big handbag.  I hate taking it in stores because I refuse to put my purse in the cart.  How am I supposed to keep track of three kids and a purse?  So, instead of hauling this mini-suitcase into the car, I take out my wallet, keys, and cell phone.  I'm usually wearing a dress or slacks without pockets and so I wind up holding a wallet, keys, and a cell phone in one hand and grab groceries and children with the other.  Not entirely convenient, but better than having my purse stolen out of my cart or picking up all my stuff off the floor when I bend over to check prices and everything comes spilling out.  Embarrassing.  Not that I would know or anything.

I digress.  I keep jumping off my train of thought and taking a bus.

So... now I have this little purse thingy that I wear into the store.  When I get in the car, the purse thingy DOES NOT COME OFF!  No, no.  If it did I would probably forget it, especially if I was hauling the moving van-I mean handbag.  So, I keep the purse strapped to me, open up the little flap, and plug in the cell phone charger.

Yup!  I charge my phone INSIDE my purse WHILE wearing it!

I tell you, I get odder and odder all the time...  Even I have to admit that one!

BUT...!  If it works then I don't mind the oddness.  The phone remains on my body until I get home and then I place it next to the external charger.  The phone actually came with an extra battery, so I keep a battery charging at all times.

Ta-da!  I've gone from forgetting the phone in the car or carrying it around haphazardly in my hands while shopping WITH a battery that's near dead much of the time...and that's when I can find it!... to having the cell phone strapped to me with a fresh battery everyday.  Sort of like underwear.

How does one go from cell phones to underwear?  Must be the trauma of childhood underwear horror stories.  (Story 1)  (Story 2)  (Story that's a little over-the-top.  That's right.  There's no link.)

Well, there you have it!  The tale of the cell phone.  I'd call it complete, but not until I get an iPhone...

I'll keep you posted.  (POSTED!  Ha!  Pun not intended.  Oh, dear.  That was a Rachael Joke.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Not to iPhone

Despite the fact that I think my laptop screen being the size of an iPhone screen is a sign, I've decided not to iPhone.  (Bugel call)

I've been on craigslist and I think I might be better off to get a phone from a private party and see if Travis will get me a laptop for my birthday.  ;-)

No, I just can't justify the cost per Rachael factor and I find it too hard to give up my cheap plan.  I know one of these days AT&T will say, "Look. lady, you live in the dark ages and we no longer wish to support your neanderthal way.  Either get yourself a smart phone with a data plan or start paying the going rate for your skin and bones plan.  $30/month just isn't gonna cut it anymore."

If any of you reading are from craigslist, have mercy on me and let me have the lowball price and I'll give you a shout out on my blog, which is worth...oh, nothing!  LOL

Pretty please with a charger on top?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

To iPhone or Not to iPhone

I stand at the crossroads.

My poor husband is not such a poor husband anymore.  He's got a fancy, new iPhone.  The man who kept his free phone for 4 years regardless of the fact that he was eligible for a free upgrade now has an iPhone.  And he looks so darn cool with it.  I look over and I think, "Forget the cars, that phone is a total chick magnet!"

Now, here I stand with no cell phone because...well...I think we know that story.  I feel stuck because I have this really old wireless plan at $30/month and now when I get those mailers that try to entice me with a "free" upgrade, it says that I have to upgrade my plan, as well.  Same plan, new price.  That' $10 more per month.  Even I can do the Math and see that the little free phone they offer me will actually cost me $120 a year.  That's $240 over the life of the 2-year contract I have to sign.

And now if I want a smart phone, I MUST also get the $30/month data plan.   And I can't get the data plan without upgrading my plan to the new price.  So, that leaves me with a stupid phone (wouldn't that be what you call one that's not smart?) but I have to pay full price for it.  Uhhh..no.  That's a lot of money!  Or I can buy a prepaid phone, but that will be $100 bucks because I want bluetooth.

There's craigslist of course.  I looked, but there's the whole it-has-to-be-an AT&T phone and all that jazz.

Oh, and I can't get insurance...which we have figured out is actually worth the monthly price in my case...without (I'll bet you can guess) upgrading my plan.

You know, I say upgrading the plan, but really it's just upgrading the price.

Now, interestingly enough, my laptop is going out.  Over half of my monitor is now covered in a pretty plaid design and I have minimized this window to, oddly enought, about the size of an iPhone screen just so I can type this post.  The whole scrolling back and forth thing is really getting old.

So I have to wonder...

If I keep this laptop and don't buy another, would it pay to buy an iPhone? I want the iPhone.  Travis says that if I can keep a junky (his word, ,not mine) cell phone for 2 years without losing it then he'll feel justified in buying me a fancy phone.

Can I make it work?  A few salespeople out there are tying to make it so.  What should I buy?

Yes, boring post tonight.  I'm a little OCD about this cell phone business right now!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Have a Confession to Make...about zits!

Zits don't bother me.

No, in fact, they rather fascinate me.  If it wasn't for the way they look, I might just pray for more zits.

I mean, the way they swell up, just like a cat about to pounce.  Like a fountain right before it sprays up like an explosion.  Or like (for my music friends) a C Major scale that starts at C, moves all the way up the keyboard, but stops at B with a fermata over it.  The C is begging, pleading to be played, just like a big, fat zit is sitting there, waiting to emerge like a baby from its mother's womb.

It's almost as painful, anyway.

I like to see them pop.  I do.  Even when it hurts.

And I don't mind popping other people's zits...if they would only let me.  (Family only!!!  Don't call me.)


Ok, no.  This is just wrong.  I watched this video that a friend on Facebook posted and I almost had to run to the bathroom.  I can't post it because it was full of bad language and, well, call me what you'd like but I can't post something that uses God's name as a swear word.  No, I stand in awe of Him and His name is so powerful that I refuse to use it so carelessly.  That and it had the F bomb and potty language.  Kid-friendly site here.

Anyway, this video was 4 1/2 minutes of popping a zit.  Yes, it took that long!!!  And the zit doesn't open up at 2 minutes into the video or anything. No, it's like...at 15 seconds into the video.  The blood involved was about as much as a bad bloody nose.  The zit had quite a squirt to it.  I kid you not, sometimes it looked like brains coming out!!!

I think some alien squirrels that eat brains attacked this guy in his sleep, ate a portion of his brain and saved the rest for later by storing the rest of his brain under the skin of his back.  It is THAT bad!!!

A girl in the background said that it was the worst smell ever.  SMELL?!?  I didn't know that zits smell!

My fascination with zits might actually be over.

On second thought, maybe I'm only getting started...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You Mean, She Wasn't an Ornament?!?

Travis and I started dating when I was 17.  He thought I was 18, but what he didn't realize was that just because I had graduated high school, that didn't mean I was 18.  He was 23.  I have that whole story written already, but Travis said I have to wait until February to post it.  That will be fun.  Our first date, his proposal...good stuff!  I hope you feel sufficiently teased.

As I was saying, I was very young when we started dating.  His friends had already married by now and had a baby and one on the way.  We met up with them one night at her parents' house.  If I remember right, I had never been there before.  What I DO remember correctly is that I was nervous.

I was and am a city girl.  Born and raised.  Not that I've never dreamed of living in the country, but I don't really know much about it.  And I knew far less about being a rancher or a cowboy or any of that kind of cool stuff.

What I also knew was that cowboys and ranchers pretty much think that all city folk are stupid, wrong, and have no common sense.  Not that city slickers don't have their own set of stereotypes for country folk.  However, there were a few members of this family who really did think that city folk were stupid, wrong, and had no common sense.

Can we say REALLY nervous?!?  I was entering the home of people who were probably just waiting for me to say something stupid.  I felt it best to keep my mouth shut most of the time.  I didn't ask what a cattle guard was.  I didn't ask what part of the horse the bridle went on and I surely didn't ask what a bridle was in the first place!

Hey-at least I didn't ask who their cattle guard was!

So, there we are with our friends, sitting beside a comfy wood stove and a beautiful Christmas tree.  The sound of crickets chirping in the dark and the view of thousands of more stars than you'll ever see under city lights was mesmerizing.  If you're not careful, you'll start to dream of quilting and canning stuff.

I have always loved babies and our friends' baby was one of the most adorable babies I knew.  She had this happy head of curls that bounced when she walked and a smile that lit up the entire-and I do mean ENTIRE-room.  And boy could she talk and she didn't know a single stranger.  She was just so cute that I just had to play with her.

So, I talked to her, tickled her, then decided to pick her up.

I laid on the floor, reached out, picked her up, and began to swing her over my head.

It was all fun and games until I realized that she was beginning to go past my head and there was no way I could stop her.  Next thing I knew, she was all the way over, head first into the Christmas tree.

If only she hadn't cried, things might not have been so embarrassing.

If only she weren't the firstborn for our friends, it might have been funnier.

If only I wasn't a city girl, the whole thing might have been forgotten.

But no, she cried, my friend jumped up with all the urgency of a first-time mom, and there I sat, a city girl with nothing to say for myself.

I am happy to report that the baby wasn't hurt...too bad.

She is now a beautiful young lady who babysits our children.  She does a great job and it's only at Christmas time that I worry about my kids and whether or not it would be funny for her to exact revenge.  Her parents have threatened a few times.  I'm pretty sure they were joking.

So far, so good.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Will They Say About Me at my Funeral?

There are three things people talk about after a funeral.

1.  How memorable the service was.  (Nice neutral term there for those of you who don't quite know what to say when you feel the service didn't accurately capture the person you loved.)
2.  How sad it is that the only family reunion your family has is at a funeral.
3.  What one would like to have at his/her own funeral.

Now that I've entertained the idea that serial killers could be reading my blog (this is where you laugh), I thought this would be a good time to pull this blog post up from the "drafts" section and put it in the "published" one.

So, dearly beloved, let me entertain the thought...what will they say about me at my funeral?

(crying...at least I hope there's crying.)  "Remember those nights at the dinner table?  She always served dinner with a generous portion of love.  No  matter what it was, she had us on her mind the whole time.  

"Wait-was that a good thing?  Remember the time she forgot the rice?  Or the time she served us salad with pancakes?  And what of the smoke alarm calling us to dinner?  Maybe she LIKED to see us running with hands over our ears and towels under our armpits, running to fan the smoke detectors."

"Yeah.  And remember when she was fasting?  Maybe she didn't eat because she knew what it was going to taste like!"

"No, that was just Mom."  

"Yeah, you're right.  Well, remember how much fun it was sometimes?  (One of my rule-bound children might say weird, but I think the other two would call it fun.)  Like when Dad went out of town we'd have pizza and she'd actually let us have ROOT BEER and then we'd have a burping contest, RIGHT THERE AT THE TABLE!!!??"  

Then another child would say, "Yeah, until Grandpa did it with us and then she quit.  She said it made her feel sick."

"Remember when she had us SING the prayer instead of SAY it?  That was...ummm...that was Mom, alright!"  

"Yeah!  And remember the time that we played that game where we had to decide which description fit Mom?  I still don't know why she didn't think, "grumpy as a bear," was a good one!"

Hopefully now they would be laughing.

(crying...again, I hope someone is crying!)  "Wow.  I can't believe she's gone.  I don't know if we can talk about the "Rachael joke" the same ever again.  I mean, it seems distasteful to call every bad joke a "Rachael joke," now.  Man, she could say the non-funniest things!"

"Yes, but at least she was funny, even if she wasn't trying to be.  Remember the time she threw my baby into the Christmas tree?"  (Yes, it's true.)  

"Oh, yes!  That poor child has never looked at a Christmas tree the same.  What about the time she set off the fire alarm at school?  Remember when she fell off the stage at church...and fell on the drums at the school assembly...and fell, well, she fell a lot!"

"And who could forget when she...oh.  Uh, nevermind."

Blog Readers Who Don't Know Me in Real Life:
"Oh, my GOSH!  Who WAS this lady, anyway?  Reading it was fun, but she must have been dangerous to be around!  Scary.  By the way, are they going to place a gas pump in her casket?  And did they do her makeup with Sharpies?"

Ok.  This might have been a bit morbid, but I thought it would be fun to write and maybe a little fun to read.  I expect a few people might mention some of these stories one day, but the one thing I want said (take notes) is that I lived by the motto I saw on a page in high school about leadership...

"Brighten your own corner of the world."

I have never forgotten that and it is something I try to live each day.  I don't dream of changing the world.  I dream of having a greater influence than that by the mark I leave on people in my own little corner of the world.  Jesus put it well when He said, "Walk in the light as I am in the light."

And you...what will they say about you?  What do you want to be remembered for and what are you doing to live up to that?


It's Monday.  According to Google Mondays and Thursdays have the most traffic.

Like I said, it's Monday.  And do I have a post?  Does this count?

I'd love to sit here and finish one that I have in the making, but unfortunately I have been sick and have a pile...make that 2 piles...ok, 3 piles of dishes in my sink, on the counter, on my stove, and they are threatening to take over the kitchen table.  (Not that that's ever happened before...)

There's also this thing called reality and that is that I have one day off a week where my children are at school and I am not and this is when I need get the majority of my housework done.  Today happens to be the day.

So, let's hope I can (sniffle, sniffle) get into overdrive mode (*sound of blowing one's nose*) and (grabs another tissue) get my work done quickly.  I have a new post I'm dying to write.

If you subscribe to any feed or sign up as a follower, Google will let you know when it's done.  If you join the My Poor Husband Facebook page, I will let you know personally.

Teaser:  "What Will They Say About Me at My Funeral?"

Until then...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Videos are Suspended For Now

I got a notice today that someone subscribed to my Youtube videos. "Cool!" I thought at first. "Someone is interested!" So I clicked on his link to see if it was someone I knew.

If I do know this guy, I wish I didn't.

The videos he had on his favorite list and/or subscribed to were 90% porn of the strangest kind, both gay and straight. Some of the look to be of a violent nature, but I didn't care to watch any of them. Another 5% or so were teens doing nothing but being silly girls, but many of them looked like girls who could use some direction in life. Another 5% or so were concerts and the most recent videos he has added as favorites are all girls marking themselves with sharpies. (I know the math doesn't come out right, but there are only a small handful of sharpie marking videos that it wasn't worth giving it a percent.)

Why in the world he put me on his favorite list and decided to subscribe, I have no idea. There was NOTHING in my video that would give any normal man some sort of jollies and I can't really think of how a pervert would find anything worth watching. I guess this guy has a thing for sharpie markings. He definitely has a thing for extreme tattoos. That's another 15% or so. (I know...the math. I forgot about those.)

Needless to say, the guy (shoot, could be a girl, I suppose) gives me the creeps. I don't like the thought of this guy watching my videos.

The dilemma...

You know that when you put anything on the internet, anyone-anyone at all-can view it. And I knew it when I posted it.

But "everyone does it" and is it being overly cautious or extreme to never post videos and tell stories about your life publicly? We seriously could know people like this in real life and not be aware of what they do on the internet alone, so does it matter that they know us on the internet?

Is this guy just a gazer or could he be one of the very few gazers in this world who are also real-life threats?

Do you just shrug it off and say, "There are sick people in this world, but I'm going to go on with life as normal?"

Do you stop displaying things publicly and only allow people you know to read or watch?

Do you stop communicating with people who kind of make you uncomfortable but you have absolutely no reason to feel that way? What about the people you've met online that you have a good "vibe" about and enjoy their friendship? Should that make a difference?

Or do you decide that the internet truly isn't a safe place to be and you pull out of all social networks and putting on personal, day-to-day happenings in your life?

I've done the last one once before for something less creepy than this...unless those strange phone calls at work weren't a coincidence...but just figured that the odds were so, so, so slim that there would be any real-life threat. I went full-blown and started sharing my personal life online, only to be reminded of what sick things go on in this world and remembering how much it stinks that women are unfortunately the prey most of the time, or so it seems.

Does this happen on blogs that guys write? I hear about the rude, completely inappropriate, horrible, sick comments they get, but do they ever have to deal with stuff like this? Do they get comments about their wives, girlfriends, etc.? Do they worry for their wife and children and what do they do about it?

I would seriously appreciate your input on this one. Not about this blog, but posting on the internet in general. How much is too much? Where is the line between safe and paranoid? How much are you comfortable posting online and why? Do you read blogs/watch videos/visit sites with the author's personal life on display? Do you think they share too much but read it anyway?

Fellow bloggers, have YOU ever had to deal with this?

These are serious question, not "conversation starters" to generate traffic. Seriously.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Soaked Carpet and What I Did About It

A week or so ago I wrote a post about how I left the utility sink that my washer drains into plugged up after mopping my floor and then ran the washer. My carpet was sitting under half the amount of water it takes to do a load of laundry and I had the wonderful privilege of having a cold, damp, stinky house while I waited for the fan to do it's work and the carpet to be dry. Yeah. Good times. Notice I didn't use any ! marks. And I always use ! marks!

So, I posed the question, "So what am I going to do about it?" and I got a few answers. The most popular suggestion was to re-plumb the washer. Personally, I think this is a FABULOUS idea! Travis, on the other hand, well...Travis hasn't mentioned a word about it. I don't think he wants to do it.

Me do it?!?  Psh! You mean you actually want me to mess with this stuff? Have you been reading this blog very long?!? (I did fix the dishwasher and washing machine once, though! *pats self on back*)

Since re-plumbing isn't going to happen anytime soon, or so it seems, I came up with this plan:

Yes, I printed out a picture of the mess, put it on a legal-sized file folder, and wrote, "Never Fordet"


"Never Foraet"


"Never For...huh?"

G.  It's a g.

I guess I "forgot" that the file folder has a piece cut out for the label and my "g" wasn't going to fit.  Oh, well.  I know what it says and now so do you.

I posted this picture right above the utility sink.  I hope it works and that I never forget to unplug the washer again...

...or pull out the drain hose and forget to put it back in.  Yup!  Done that more times than I care to think about, too!

Monday, September 28, 2009

David Crowder Band Read This Blog!

I received a message today FROM THE DAVID CROWDER BAND on Twitter today!!! I'm not an autograph chaser...because it seems silly to me...but getting a direct message from a famous person is pretty cool!

Seems he/they/someone from the band read my blog post about how I LOVE David Crowder Band music, but can't stand the poor grammar in one of their songs. The last line of my blog post says,

David, I know it's officially illegal, but do you mind if I take out the word "might" when I sing it at church? Or should I keep that as my little secret? Please don't make me sing it, David. Please.

Well, I have been given permission to omit the word, "might" in that song when I sing it at church!!! That's going to ease this worship leader's conscience! Whew! Here's what he said:

you can omit might if you'd like. sorry for the bad texan grammar.

Cool, huh! Well, for those of you who don't know who the David Crowder Band is, here's a little video for you!

Here's someone's rendition of "Wholly Yours."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Swimming Anyone?

I don't know if I'm weird or not...

let me try that again.

I don't know if it's just me, but this kind of humor makes me laugh so hard I almost cry...or pee my pants...or both.  

I'm trying to figure out how to use this at church, so if you have any ideas let me know!

OK.  Empty your bladder, grab a box of tissues, and hit play!

For more addicting blog posts from the swimming guy, go to his site.

Friday, September 25, 2009

5 Things You Should Never Say From the Pulpit

In one way or another, we all have targets painted on us.  Whether it be for criticism or practical jokes, at some point someone is going to grab a handful of darts and start a game.  

Pastors have it the worst.  They get up every week and tell people how to be like Jesus and are expected to practice what they preach, even if we would never expect that of ourselves.  They become the target of our own feelings of insecurities, failures, and judgementalism.  After all, it's easier to blame the pastor.

One tool people will use to throw darts at the pastor is criticizing the sermon.  And so, to help all you pastors out there, I've compiled a list of 5 things you should never say from the pulpit, all of which I have heard said.

1.  If you can't see because the overhead light that illuminates your notes is not on, do NOT say, "Can I get a light?"  Someone might bring you a cigarette and a lighter and that could seriously cause some darts to start flying after church!

2.  Unintentional potty jokes.  DON'T double the word, "do" as in, "We don't do bad things, but we DO do good things."  The "do do" part will make all the children make that laugh in the back of their throat.  This will make me laugh, too because I just can't resist.  This goes hand-in-hand with putting a dramatic pause right after an enunciated, "BUT..."  Your dramatic pause will be wasted.  Try, "However..." instead.

3.  I'm not sure I should mention this one, so I'll try to put it as lightly as I can.  Remember that you are NOT the microphone, thus you should be careful how you ask the microphone to be turned on.  Read that carefully a few times.

4.  Any reference to an rated-R movie you've seen.  Yes, half of the congregation has seen it, but you'll be the only one who's the hypocrite!

5.  And finally...and this one actually came from one of my junior high students...never, ever from the pulpit mention your wife's age!

My father-in-law has said some pretty funny things from the pulpit.  I'd love to compile a bigger list, so bring it on!  Let's hear from you!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What REALLY Happened

I let the kids tell me exactly what happened in the kitchen and put it on video.  This was the first time I had heard from them.  I made them NOT tell me until then.

They did not use my waffle maker to bake the cookies (thank goodness!) but they certainly used their creativity.  (I'm so proud!)  So, please nominate me as Mother-of-the-Year...or maybe Crazy Mother-of-the-Year...or maybe an article about why people who drive off with gas pumps shouldn't raise children.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Need...More...Brain Power!

Well, I've had people tell me that they are going to post something in "The Post With LOTS of Brain Power!" but haven't yet.  I'm going to continue this post another night.  Meanwhile, I'm going to find out from my kids what REALLY happened in there!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Post with LOTS of Brain Power!

Sunday night I let my left brain take a vacation and my right brain filled in.

When my daughter asked if she could make cookies...all by herself...my right brain said, "Sure!  Let the sweet child express herself!  Let her know that she is an important part of our family unit.  She's the middle child, after all."

As promised, I stayed out of the kitchen and cringed in the living room while I listened to the conversations my three kids were having.  The middle child became the instant leader and put her brother and sister into action.  Probably because she promised to clean up or else fold all the laundry and she knew it would be quicker to have 6 hands than her 2.

I sat in the living room and took notes on the things I was hearing in the kitchen.  It was fun frightening to hear, and boy did it spur my imagination!  

I imagine it will do the same for you, so today, you get to write the blog post!  Read the following quotes that I overheard and tell me what my kids were up to.  The first clue to get you started is, "chocolate-chip cookies," and the 2nd is, "3 kids."  Put on your detective cap and tell me what happened.

premature p.s.  (What else would you call a p.s. that's not at the end but needs to be inserted in the  middle?)  I have invited my blogger friends to use their creative juices and come up with some funny ones of their own.  If you like it, check out their blog, since I told them they could shamelessly post their link.  If you don't, make yours better!

And now...the quotes:

1.  "Oooo! I got glop on the book!"

2.  "Cookie cupcakes!"

3.  "Rebecca! Hurry, they're burnt!!!"

4.  "(GASP!) Rebecca! They're dripping onto the bottom of the oven!"

5.  "Run it under cold water!"

6.  "It looks a lot worse than it is."

7.  "Wanna cookie? We overcooked them a little." 

8.  "OOOoo! Muffins!"

9.  (Timer rings and rings and rings...)

10. (Timer has been ringing for 5 minutes. Does no one hear it except me?)

11. "Let's check on our ice cream!" (We don't have any ice cream.)

12 "I'm so glad Mom isn't in here right now."

13. "It's done. You can't even eat it now. It's just like ice cream."

14. (sound of something breaking) "Oh...it broke. Mom's waffle thing." 

What the heck was going on in there?  Do tell!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

So...About That Carpet

Like I said in my last post, my carpet is sitting under half the amount of water it takes to wash a load of laundry.

This is the 3rd time.

The first time this happened, I was surprised.  I walked down the hallway in my socks and my first step went, "squish" and then I felt the cold, icky feeling of wet socks.  I hate that.

Where the heck did all that water come from?  Well, it didn't take me long to figure it out because at that moment I heard the unmistakeable sound of water spilling onto the floor and I knew exactly what happened.

How did I know exactly?  Because I've heard that sound more times than I care to remember...which I don't.  You see, there is a nice, big utility sink in my laundry room.  The hose from the washer dumps into that nice, big utility sink.  Unfortunately, when you leave the sink plugged after mopping your floors and run the washing machine, it overflows.

Leaving the mop in the sink has the same effect.

Up until this point, it had only overflowed onto the laundry room floor.  And since I have laundry piled in the hampers AND on the floor, the dirty clothes serve as sponges and sop most of the water up.

However, when the overflowing water is not caught in time, it overflows past the pile of laundry into the kitchen, then into the carpeted hallway.  The carpet serves as a gigantic sponge and sops up the rest of the water.  Unfortunately, I can't roll up the carpet and throw it in the washing machine.

In case you don't know, whenever you pull up wet carpet that's 10 years old or so, it smells really musty.  In fact, your entire house smells musty.  In fact, your entire house smells musty for days!

The first time was a learning experience.

The second time a pain.

The third time...well, the final straw that leads me to my life theme question...

What am I going to do about it?  I have an idea, but first I want to know what YOU would suggest.

(Check out Travis' side of the story!)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

So What Am I Going to Do About It?

I've been reading some articles from "the guy with the nametag", Scott Ginsberg.  This guy decided at 20 years old that he was going to wear a nametag...forever.  Yes, everyday he slaps on a nametag.  There's one on his suit jacket.  One on his shirt.  He even has a tattoo on his chest that says, "Hello, my name is Scott."

When Travis told me about this guy, I wasn't so much interested in all his profit maximizing strategies, but the name tag thing made me want to stand and shout, "Bravo!  Bravo!"

I'm jealous.  Jealous that I haven't done all those crazy, off-the-wall things that I think of.  

Anyway, we're best friends now.  He's my friend on Facebook, we email each other regularly, and he follows me on Twitter. 

Ok, really I just joined his fan page on Facebook and his email was something of a funny sales pitch, but he really is following me on Twitter.  Me and 7,000 other people.  

I am reading an article on blogging and doing a lot of soul searching in the process.  The biggest question I've been asking myself is, 

"So what am I going to do about it?"

This blog is not (yet) read by thousands of people everyday, but there are complete strangers reading it, not just my friends.  People from 23 different countries and 291 cities have visited it, and I've made $66 dollars just from AdSense.  Personally, I'm amazed.  I just started this July 27th.  I expected 20 people and all them friends.

"So, what am I going to do about it?"

That is the question I must answer and it is going to be my theme for the next year or so.  

Or until the newness wears off, but I figure that even if that happens, I'll be a few steps closer to the person I want to be.

Rachael-you have this blog that seems to interest people who aren't just your friends.  So, what are you going to do about it?

Rachael-you have a problem with losing your cell phone.  So, what are you going to do about it?

Rachael-you've driven off with the gas pump 3 times!!!  So, what are you going to do about it?

Rachael-your house is a disaster.  So, what are you going to do about it?

Does that mean my goal is to not have a life that doesn't have any funny, crazy, how-in-the-heck-did-you-do-that moments in it?

If you think I could accomplish that you don't know me well enough yet and need to read a few more posts!

No, the goal is to learn from each of those moments and perhaps start saving money from not taking gas pumps for a drive (at least not more than once), buying new cell phones because the old one is lost, car repairs...  You get it.

So, my carpet is drying out right now because half of the water used to wash a load of laundry is sitting on it.  My fault.  So, what am I going to do about it?  Guess it's time I go figure that out!  Wanna go with me?

Story on the carpet tomorrow!

errrr...make that Monday.  I'm closed on Sundays.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baby Phobia

So I was sitting here tonight writing a serious blog post and Travis started doing the same.  I guess he was doing a little "research" because he started watching videos on YouTube.

Suddenly, I heard this baby mobile song chiming.  Then a mother singing sweetly to her baby.  And then some ominous minor chords stalking behind the sweet major chords of the baby music and my heart began to race.

It's doing it right now, in fact, just from writing about it.

My blood got cold...I mean hot...shoot, I don't know!

I knew what it was.  It was one of those killer baby movies.  The ones where the baby or the kid or the doll is a freak of nature, demon-possessed, horrifying monster that goes around killing everyone.  Omgosh, the images are killing me!!!  I am SO glad I'm not in the house alone because I would never be able to get up off this couch and go to the bathroom!

Chucky is the worst.  He totally freaks me out!!!  I have never seen any of the Chucky movies because the previews were too much for me to handle.  Even THINKING about that (deep breath) (shutter) (ok, gonna have to say this fast) stupid doll with a knife pointed at me and demon eyes (deep breath) makes me shutter deep inside.

Oh, man I need to finish this post.  This is totally freaking me out.

It all started when I was a kid.  At some slumber party I watched Friday the 13th.  Some time later a show came out called Friday the 13th about a man that owned an antique store and some of his antiques were haunted or possessed or magical.  It intrigued me.  The show wasn't really all that scary, which disappointed me, but there was this one...

(Another deep breath.  I may have to get the paper sack out soon.  Ok, that was my first exaggeration.)

The antique shop owner (sole owner and only employee, by the way) bought this doll...a very special doll.  A beautiful one with a lacy white dress and sweet blond curls.  She was very beautiful...

...until night fell.  And then she would come alive, scramble down the bookshelf (Omgosh, that gives me the chills!!!), and spend a night on the town killing people.  I don't know how she was able to keep blood off her pretty, white dress and somehow she got the blood stains off her face before the shop owner came back.

(This post is killing me.  Oh...not the word to use right now.)

That is when all the dolls in my room became evil.  I had to put all their faces to the floor, get them off my bed, and pretend they weren't there.

Now, I buy dolls for my girls, but I must tell you that I deserve an award for buying Amazing Amanda.  First of all, I don't know why anyone would want to spend more than $30 on a play doll, but Travis has a hard time resisting his girls (me included). When Rebecca opened it on Christmas morning, I braced myself.

When we put the batteries in, I braced myself.

When we turned her on and she said, "Hello, Mommy!"  I was done!  I was NOT going to program this doll.  She's a freak, I tell you!

And sometimes she talks in the middle of the night.  That's just not right.

Then there was this movie about a mutated baby.  The mom is in the delivery room, having a hard labor.  The doctors and nurses get this awful look on their faces and the mother starts gushing over her baby.  Suddenly, the gushing turns to screams as her baby tears her to pieces with his teeth.

Ok, what sick mind came up with that?  That is just WRONG!  I couldn't watch it.

Babies and dolls are not supposed to kill people.  Period.

So, there is Travis with his laptop and freaky music with baby jingles playing and the next thing I hear is a


And so I let out a


And Travis caught it all on video.  You know, I'm not feeling any pity for him right now.  Poor husband, indeed.  Hmph!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pet Peeve #2-Love and Above

I started a post on overused cliches that I meant to post tonight, but I just can't seem to finish it because there is THIS post hanging over my head like a dark cloud (oh, there's one for my next post!).

I just can't clear my head until I get this out of my system.

I'll be listening to a new song, totally loving it and finding myself with eyes closed or hands raised or dancing around the room when suddenly I hear at the end of the phrase the word, "love."

I get nervous because I just know what the next line will end with.  


Oh, it is SO SO SO SO SO and I mean SOOOO overused!!!  Love and above, love and above.  You know, stuff like-

(read with lines dripping with gag-me sweetness)
For you I feel so much love
It must have been sent from God above.

I made that one up, but you get the gist.  It's just so...overused!  (Have I mentioned that yet?)

Here are some songs you may know that are coated with the sticky-sweet lyrics.

1.  Mariah Carey's "Sent from Up Above"  (You're scared already, I can see it.)
"sent from up above
"so much love"

2.  Bonnie Raitt, "Thing Called Love"
"Are you ready for the thing called love?
"Don't come from me and you it comes from up above."
(I'm dyyyyyyyying!!!)

Christian artists are particularly susceptible to the "love and above" hangup.
3.  Charitie L. Bancroft, "Before the Throne of God Above"
"Before the throne of God ABOVE
I have a strong, a perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is LOVE
Whoever lives and pleads for me

I think the most common place I find it is in children's music.  I guess they figure sappy works for them,  But I, being a K-8 Music teacher, not only has to listen to these songs for 6 months out of the year, but I have to sing those words over and over and over again while teaching my students.  (Who happen to be the best students in all the world, in case you were wondering.)

Look, I know it's hard to find a word that rhymes with love.  But please...don't end the line with "love!"  Step out of the box. Live a little.  Put the word love in the middle of the line.  I know, it's so unconventional.  But seriously, Do NOT put love and above together as a pair.  They don't get along.  

I have to give some credit to Chris Tomlin.  He has figured out how to rhyme "love" and "enough" and totally make it work.  

"You satisfy me
"With Your LOVE
"And all I have in You
"Is more than ENOUGH"

He actually uses those words together quite a bit...which I hope will not eventually get on my nerves because I really like Tomlin's music!  

How many songs do you know have "love" and "above" together?  You don't know?  You've never noticed it?  Don't worry.  You'll be hearing it everywhere today!

Feel free to post those annoying little lines under comments.