January 30, 2010

stereotypically confused

A grandmother uses knitting needles and sewing machines.
A grandmother does NOT use Bonnie Bell kiwi-watermelon lipgloss.

A grandmother bakes cookies from scratch.
A grandmother does NOT microwave "grilled" cheese.

A grandmother wears face cream to bed.
A grandmother does NOT facebook in bed at 2 a.m. from her laptop.

A grandmother wears a floral housecoat.
A grandmother does NOT wear a black bra.

A grandmother sends $10 checks for your birthday.
A grandmother does NOT send unlimited text messages.

A grandmother has short silvery-gray hair.
A grandmother does NOT threaten to kill you for calling her "Granny".

A grandmother listens to birds sing outside her window.
A grandmother does NOT listen to Jason Mraz on her 32g iPod touch.

A grandmother has occasional hot flashes.
A grandmother does NOT still ovulate.

A grandmother is nice and sweet.
A grandmother is NOT me.

. . . at least that's what I thought until today.

January 26, 2010

lipstick and the Big Shoe dance

Jane's visitation was tonight. I have never seen so many people in a funeral home. We stood in line for over two hours and the line was just as long when we left at 7:15 as it was when we arrived at 4:45. Not surprising though, if you knew Jane. Jane knew everybody, Jane loved everybody, and everybody loved Jane.

Jane always made me laugh, mostly because she just found the fun in life. If anything EVER happened in church that could be taken out of context, Jane would lean forward and whisper it in my ear because she knew I was already thinking the same thing, and we would both try not to laugh out loud. (Once I was sitting 3 rows in front of her and she actually wrote it on a piece of paper and passed it up to me.)

Jane never let me live down the "lipstick test". This is where you compare your used lipstick shape to all your friends - slanted, angled, flat, concave, pointed, and rounded. Supposedly the shape of your lipstick tells something about your personality. In a room of 25 or 30 women, mine was the only one rounded, or as Jane often reminded me, "phallic-shaped". She said that spoke enough about my personality.

My favorite memory of Jane was at her 40th birthday party when she, being the amazingly great sport that she was, jumped up in front of everybody and danced the "Big Shoe Dance" right along with the clip from PeeWee's Big Adventure on the big screen tv. So funny. So cute.

Occasionally when I put on my lipstick I think of her. When something inappropriate happens in church, I will think of her. When I eat watermelon I always think of her. When I watch anything with Steve Martin, I can hear her quote Bernadette Peters, "I don't care about the money, I just want the stuuuuufff."

Jane, you brightened every room you entered. I'm guessing even God's face lit up when you entered His presence Saturday afternoon. As we were leaving the funeral home tonight, Carla said, "I imagine most people bowing down in the presence of God. I imagine Jane doing the Big Shoe Dance for Him." Yep, that's Jane.

January 20, 2010

he just ACTS like he was dropped on his head . . .

So in the last post I said the worst thing about being a homeschool mom is that your kids learn EVERYTHING from you . . . this is especially true with Kevin and his sarcastic wit.

This morning he finished getting ready before I did. Not unusual, except that his routine this month involves bottle feeding two cows when his dad (the cowboy) is on day shift. Yeah, you know Kev is loving that. Anyway, I finished curling my hair, tossed it upside down to brush it out, then flipped back up. As Kev walked down the hallway toward the bathroom he asked (for like the 9th time) "Are you ready YET?" To which I responded, "No, I am still doing my hair." Arriving at the bathroom door, and taking one look at my hair, he stated, "Good, 'cause I am not going out in public with you. It looks like the back of your hair is trying to eat you."

Last Saturday night Kevin was picking on his sister. She was play-whining and I told him to leave her alone. "Are you serious? She started it!" I informed him, with a big grin on my face, that I was serious and that "I ALWAYS mean everything I say!" Under his breath he mumbled, "What you mean to say is that 'Everything you say is always mean!'"

To preface the next story: 1) Kevin was born at home in the bedroom floor, where, despite his continual lies, he was NOT dropped on his head, and 2) I am not the most modest person in the world, I prefer to sleep in the same clothes I was born, much to my son's dismay.

So anyway . . . we are having dinner at my parents' house Monday for Kevin's birthday. At his request, we are about to feast on ribeyes, double-stuffed potatoes, green beans with bacon & brown sugar, brie & cranberries, homemade bread with strawberry butter, and cheesecake. (The menu is not at all pertinent to the story, but oh my goodness it was amazing.) So, before we eat, Dad prays. And he prays this sweet, sweet blessing of thanks over Kevin and Dad gets choked up and has to stop. Precious. I'm very grateful for how much the two of them love each other. When Dad finished praying, Kevin looked at him and said, "Thanks, Papa." Mom said, "I can't believe how old you are." And I said, "Has it REALLY been 17 years since I was sitting naked in the bedroom floor? Seems like last week." Without missing a beat, Kevin says, "That WAS last week, Mom."

January 12, 2010

circle of life

I’m not a birdwatcher, but this week I seem to be noticing hawks. I’ve rarely noticed hawks before, partly because they don’t seem to be all that common, and partly because I’m not into that “old person hobby” phase of life just yet. (I know, soon. There is no shortage of people who take far too much enjoyment reminding me of the fact that the half-century mark is looming on the horizon. But I digress. . .) The point is, the hawks are everywhere this winter. Why?

Because of the ice storm.

Remember that nasty little wintry phase of life when everything was dark and cold? Those nights when the tree branches snapping around you sounded like a war zone? Those days that seemed to drag on forever when you had no contact with the people you loved to know if they were even alive, much less safe and warm? That following spring when you wondered if our little corner of the world would ever be beautiful again?

Yep. The ice storm. It all began to make sense. The trees that had been standing solid for years were broken to make a way for new life. Raccoons, moles, possums. Squirrels and rabbits, and skunks, oh my. Those thousands of fallen limbs and branches and dead trees have provided safe shelter this past year for our little friends to reproduce and repopulate. Which, with the small mammal population increase, has provided more prey for our hawk friends. Circle of life, and all that.

God has a reason, and a time, for everything.

There is a time for everything:
a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

There is a time for everything. In His time.

January 07, 2010


Jane is dying.

To see Jane's name in the same sentence with the word "dying" is almost more than any of us can stand. The very definition of Jane, the very essence of who she is screams "LIFE". She is beautiful. She is funny. She is spunky beyond most. She is the wife we all want to be. An amazing mother. A loving daughter. A natural hostess. A friend to everyone. An example of Jesus to her world. In nearly eight years of battling cancer we have seen her tired, we have seen her without hair, we have seen her not look like herself . . . but we have never seen her without a smile. We have never heard her complain. We have never witnessed her be anything but radiant, inside and out.

Jane, you are a blessing and an inspiration to all of us who have the honor of knowing you. You are loved.