Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hear ye, hear ye...I shall now prophesy!

I have some super duper exciting news to share with everyone anyone (???) who reads this.  I personally play a very, very big role in the Bible.  As in, God foretold it.  I'm part of a prophesy from centuries past.  I'm pretty stoked.

Every once in a while (when I can't think of excuses to get out of the homework), I put on my pretend-you're-a-Baptist hat and join a couple of women pals at their church for a Wednesday morning Bible study.  It's kind of like a kid de-tox because one child is at pre-school and the other gets to enjoy the free childcare.  Both are happy and munching on some variation of child friendly snacks (e.g. crackers), and I get to sit and listen.  During most of my day, I'm the director of this cruise ship, so it's really pleasant to have someone else lead me.  It's a very welcoming environment, which is pretty great seeing as how a) I'm definitely not Baptist and b) I can surreptitiously cheat my way through knowing where the tinier, obscure-r books of the Bible are by sideways glancing at which way my fellow Bible study-ers are confidently flipping.  Hey, did you know that there are 9 books between the Psalms and Daniel?  I do (now).  I can't name them for you, nor do I feel the need to really try to memorize them (I kinda don't get that, so much...index anyone?), though at one point in the spring of my sophomore year in college, I could name all the books of the New Testament (when you have a professor who tells you to call him "Uncle Bob" and wears a Chinese gangster style dragon/fire shirt on the day that he lectures on Revelations, you give in and do what he assigns). 

So this particular Bible study is on the book of Daniel.  Two weeks in, we're only through chapter two, but there is some wicked cool stuff going on.  Thanks be to those who walk among us and take the time to sift through the laborious work of Bible historians and pedagogical experts and then share it with us mere mortals.  It's a blessing.  Turns out, Daniel is kind of like a mini Revelations (in my mind, at least), which includes P-R-O-P-H-E-C-Y.  And this is where I come in. 

Chapter 2 of Daniel includes an extended passage on Nebuchadnezzar's dream when he brought forth his astrologers, demanded that they first tell him what his dream was (a test, you see) and then interpret it.  They couldn't.  He had them killed.  Nice guy, no?  This was right around the time of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego debacle, and we all know the intent there, right?  Ultimately, Daniel stepped up to the plate, having already challenged the royal authority at least once before, and was all "Settle down, settle down big guy...I got this."  (He's no Richard Sherman, but Daniel also knew when he had 'dem skillz.)  So Daniel not only correctly described Nebby's dream, but he also interpreted it.  And you know's come true so far.  My chips are all in on this bet about what will happen next.  But Daniel isn't the only one all Prophesy! Prophesy! here.  Jeremiah also guest stars for a quick cameo.  It's a veritable trend.

Here's the deal.  I've been meaning to write a post for a couple of days anyways about my bi-zar-re dreams that I've been having every night of late.  (And they're not even pregnancy induced.  For the win!)  I've been thinking about what to write cause "Well, I've been having dreams lately.  And they're weird" just doesn't come across as all that interesting.  And I want to keep my one remaining reader coming back for more, you know?  Well, this morning around 10:53 a.m., it came to me.  These aren't just any old dreams; these are prophecies.

How else can you explain the random mishmash that is taking place while I'm in sleep mode?  Por ejemplo, I woke up a couple of days ago in the middle of being chased by a teen/early 20s blond woman dressed up in pioneer garb through a period reproduction home in a tourist-y spot after my daughter's pre-school teacher (also dressed as a pioneer woman) told me/us to go see what was in the other room.  There was also something about a field in that one.  Then, this morning, I was helping a friend jumpstart his car in "my" driveway (totally not my actual driveway) with "my" SUV (definitely not my sedan) and then my dad was there to help out even though he lives 2 hours away, and prior to the dead battery debacle, we were chatting about whatever while either cleaning out the dishwasher/putting dishes away/making tea/something kitchen-y (the memory is a bit hazy right there).  In hindsight, I realize that one can be all "Whoa..." and whatever, but it was uber-innocuous.  I assure you.  Those are merely 2 examples from the past 2 solid weeks of sta-rrrraaaaannnnnggggge dream shinnanigans happening pretty much every morning when I wake up.  

Unfortunately, I'm more like King Neb (sans the murdering vein) than Dan, however.  A Daniel, a Daniel, my kingdom for a Daniel.  (Name that reference and I'll send you some cookies for winning my self-imposed contest jackpot.)  My dreams may not have the full import that Nebuchadnezzar's did, but wouldn't it be cool if...???     

Friday, January 24, 2014

I won't thank my husband for watching our kids

I won’t tell my husband “thank you” for watching our girls when he’s not at work.  

I used to, but I won’t anymore.  I had this moment of realization when I caught myself saying thank you to him when he was simply doing what he is supposed to do naturally given that he is the father of these two lovelies, and they are his responsibility as well. 
I won’t say thank you for going to work today (though given the amount of snow days as of late, I’ve secretly been calling his school to thank them for not cancelling despite the detestable weather).  I won’t say thank you for going to the dentist.  I won’t say thank you for putting air in the tires of your car.  So why in the world did I find myself repeatedly gushing thank you!!! as I was putting my coat on to go to my job?  Why would I do that?

Reason: He’s working a regular job, and I know how tired that makes you feel.  Except that I also know how full-time parenting is a regular job and how tired that also makes you feel.  We're often meeting on equal levels of energy on any given evening.

Reason:  I don’t want to bother him.  Except that if I can’t “bother him,” then what recourse do I have?

Reason:  He’s a guy who wants to do other things.  Except that he’s foremost a guy who is fully committed to being a full-time father, and if I don’t let him spend alone time with his children, then I am the problem.  And we both want to do other things.  We share the time we have.

I deeply value the little extras that he gives me, including the rare hour home by myself upon occasion.  I choose to reserve my heartfelt thank yous for those times when the gift was proffered unexpectedly rather than for the day-to-day existence when we are both doing our understood jobs.  

Hey…thank you for giving me some time yesterday to work in silence.  It was exactly what I needed.  Thanks.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Not Much at All

I should be grading/setting up my gradebook/emailing grades for any of the 3 different courses that I'm currently teaching.  Oddly, and sadly, enough, my motivation hasn't joined the party yet this semester, which is all of a week old.  I don't normally struggle with this fudge-muddled mind, but it's been hitting me hard lately.  And I joined a new Bible study this week all about the book of Daniel, but the word around the room is that each daily lesson for the week takes about 45 minutes.  And my less than stellar motivation to do anything of substance didn't just giggle self-mockingly at me but downright chortled uproariously.  Yeah.  Right.  I'm doing that right now???  Pish posh.  (It also doesn't help that the woman on the video that corresponds with the study, the leader of it, is very SHOUT-y.  Not my style.  We need a break, and our relationship is only 45 minutes long at this point.)

I'm in the doldrums, friends.  Here's the real deal.  Our continuing where-are-we-going-to-be-where-do-we-want-to-be-where-should-we-be? saga has no end in site.  And I'm downright tired of it, resentful even.  Apathetic almost.  Remember when I blindsided the owners of a cute as a button Cape Cod just across the street from us and was all like "Yeah, I want your house.  Please sell it to me"?  Wheels were finally set in motion to the point of realtor intervention today, and I found out that it's actually out of our price range, and pretty convincingly so.  We're apparently no good at figuring real estate value in the local market, which has been evident time and time again, and I was really under no grand illusions that this would be any different.  But still.  How could we be so wrong about it again?  It's a little bit bummer-worthy cause this house has such a good vibe for me, like some serious mojo.  So I'm sad to see this fish slip away, but it's also one big question mark that has been answered.  It might be the catalyst, actually, for the next decision at hand.  The safe choice may not be feasible after all, which means that the scary choice may be the only one left.  And the absolute biggest bummer of all that's been dragging me down is my unequivocal realization of what a big scaredy chicken of change I am.   Some days there isn't enough chocolate...but that's mostly because the littlest sprout in all of her 1-year old cunning has found my stash.  And knows what it is.  And eats it.  She gets it (and me); I love her. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My lotion is potion

How do you like that title?!?  It's the best I could come up with on 2 seconds notice.

Literally, this is all going to be about my lotion, the miracle that it is.  Feel free to join me in a little love fest over it for a brief moment.  It won't be long.

Lesson #1:
It pays to ask questions at the doctor's office.  Case in point--at our little bean's 18-month well-baby check-up, I randomly asked how doctors and nurses keep their hands from being all dried and cracked during these wicked winter months.  When my 20s hit, my hands began a yearly revolt against all things dry air.  I would always have this chapped, reddish demarcation between my always covered forearms and my rarely covered hands.  My knuckles and the thick skin around my fingernails would bleed.  It was uncomfortable from November-April.  No lotion worked.  None.  Then, I struck up a conversation with someone in the know, who glanced at my hands, and quickly responded (after first answering my question by pointing at a bottle of lotion...that part wasn't helpful) "Oh, I can help you with that."

Lesson #2:
Medicated lotion is the be-all and end-all in my day-to-day life now.  It is the best $20-some that my flex health account has ever spent money on for me.  I use it twice a day and nothing else.  That's right, home-skillets.  Nothing else.  No more Jergens.  No more Aquaphor.  No more St. Ives.  I could go on cause my list of lotions tried is purty extensive.  I love it like none other. 

Lesson #3: 
My medicated lotion has a weak acid in it (which I don't really get as it seems that an acid would work against my end goal), and it will find any minute cut in your hand.  However, this is how I know that it's working.  The first time I used it--egads.  Burn, baby, burn.  Two days later (yeah, yeah...two days!!), barely a burn at all.  Three days out and ever since--nothin'!  This stuff is incredible (imagine me exclaiming that in Spanish since that's what it sounded like in my mind when I wrote that short sentence). 

There you go.  My life has come to this: hand lotion.  Bring on the hot, hot water whenever I want.  Jealous, much?
I feel like you might feel this post a bit lacking in anything interesting.  Here's a freebie.  She wasn't asleep when I took this picture, though here eyes are closed.  It's pretty much hilarious watching her get horsey rides around the house. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nostalgia Lane

A box unearthed a few days ago stuffed with college shtuff.  Since the boy and I went to the same institution, these boxes that get moved from various nooks to crannies around our house every few months are often a grab bag of memories.  In this box, I unearthed a symbol of many laborious collegiate hours--my teaching portfolio. 

This hulking piece of nonsense was so stuffed with every single piece of everything that I could unearth in my 4 years (of which only 2 1/2 were actually spent conjoined to the major) to prove that I was brilliant! passionate! spirited! enlightening! encouraging! and caring! that it literally weighs as much as our two cats combined, though not nearly so snuggly as they are.  "Hulking piece of nonsense"--what??  I think education is a "hulking piece of nonsense"???    Oh no, no, my good friend.  Education itself is most definitely not.  The portfolio, however, which was intended to "prove" my ability to teach most definitely is.  In fact, I believe that this specific torture device was only used for about 2 or 3 years, right around when I graduated.  I haven't been up to date on my requirements to graduate from a 4-year institution with a major in education, but I believe that the specific portfolio requirements in place about a decade ago (ouch!) were quickly changed.  Rightly so, dear state educators.

But this relic did invite me to take a loving stroll down Nostalgia Lane for a few moments because it has a handful of original essays that I wrote in my dearly beloved core classes--i.e. my other major.  And these originals have the handwriting of some of my favorite English-y minds that I have had the privilege of learning from or with. 

I glanced through the essay where I learned that it's okay to use "I" and, subsequently, how to do it correctly.

I found one of my favorite essays that I ever wrote whereupon I realized what is undoubtedly some intentional (and seriously clever) Dickensian wordplay.

I read through a couple of my first bungling writing attempts alongside some that show a couple of years of work and dedication to writing better.  That's some sweetness to see overt progress.

Those were a fantastic 4 years, which I'm not claiming because of wearing 10-years-later blinders.  I knew they were fantastic when I was there.  It was a sweet, sweet time.  Here's to my professors (even you, Dr. Oy Vey): it was fun times.  Thanks.