Friday, March 27, 2009

Fancy Feet

You want to know what to do when you have a lot of deer? You get a free pedicure.

A few weeks ago, my friend Lori and her daughter had gotten a pedicure together. I have NO IDEA how this came up in her conversation, but she was talking to the girl who was scrubbing her feet, and somehow Lori found out that the people at these nail salons will barter for things they can't buy in the grocery store. Hey, we won't even talk about what goes into Asian cooking.

Lori then came up to me at church and said, "You can trade deer meat for pedicures!" It is public knowledge that my has a ton of deer in it. This was great news, because I have been wanting a pedicure since my feet felt like brillo on the bottom. My last one was about a week before I had Abigail, so I guess they were due for a good pumice-ing.

I asked my friend Angie if she wanted to go with me, which she did (who wouldn't?). Then I made the craziest-sounding phone call I have ever made.

"Hi. I have a friend who was there a few weeks ago, and she said that you....I know this sounds really crazy....will buy deer meat? Well, I have a lot of it. Would you like to buy some, or say, oh, I don't a pedicure or something?"

So, Angie and I went last night, armed with an Igloo full of frozen venison. The guy met me at the door to take it, assuring me that it isn't as strange as I thought, and that a guy had brought them a 15-pound catfish earlier that day so that his daughter could get her nails done. Well, that put me at ease right away because, you know, I guess I'm not the only one.

When it was time to pay, I thought at best, maybe they would give us half-price or something. And I thought if they offered me a free one, and not Angie, I would ask if they could just give us both half-price because I'm just nice that way. But the lady came up and said, "Thanks, girls! You're fine!"

We tried to play it cool. Really, we did. But we felt like we had just pulled off the heist of a lifetime. I mean, it's real deer meat, we didn't give them chicken livers or something. I just mean that it felt like we gave them a very small portion of the deer meat that I have, and got 60 bucks worth of pampering! I don't know what deer meat is worth, but it seemed like a good trade-off.

Moral of the story...if you have wild game of any kind in your freezer and just don't know when you will get around to working it in to your weekly menu, go get a free pedicure.

So, thank you, Lori, for somehow finding out that odd piece of information, and thank you a thousand times, Willmores, for giving us a freezer full of deer.

Maybe next time I will share with you about the time I bartered with Ecuadorian flute players at the Covered Bridge festival....turkey legs and fried spiral-cut potatoes for scarves. Because that really happened.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Unusual Prayer Request

Last night at our AWANA meeting at church, a group of kids visited from another church. They were a puppeteer group called P3. I don't know about you, but I haven't seen a really good puppet show since about 1988, so I was pretty excited to see that puppets never really died, they just got shoved deep into the church closet for a while.

They did a really cute job, and just performed a handful of songs for the kiddos. I sat in the back, but loved watching Abigail up there in the third row, bouncing up and down to the music, totally incapable of sitting still with all of the puppet magic going on on stage. One of the songs they performed was about, well, I guess the Devil. I don't really remember the song, but a little devil puppet popped up, and all the kids just laughed with glee. The Devil! How exciting! Of course, he wasn't scary-looking at all. Just your average devil, all red with horns and a black gotee.

After church, we asked her what she liked about the puppet show. She said, "I liked the funny- looking red guy."

We said, "That puppet looked like the Devil. Do you know who the Devil is?"

Abigail replied, "He's the funny-looking red guy."

We kind of giggled and Paul said, "Well, the Devil is a really, really bad guy. He doesn't like God at all, and he's really mean."

At bedtime last night, Abigail informed us she didn't want to pray for all of her usual people that she has prayed for every night since she could speak. Instead, she started describing all the puppets. And then she told Paul, "Pray for...what was that funny-looking red guy's name again?"

Paul: "The Devil."

"Pray for the Devil."

I guess we all need the prayers of a child every now and then, even though Paul said the Devil is beyond help.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why Not?

I am going to do something I have not yet been in the habit of doing. You see, in the bloggy world there are contests...lots and lots of contests. Sometimes I put a comment out there on a blog for a free giveaway and roll my dice for the chance to win a free cd or purse or something.

Well, today my friend Elizabeth called to let me in on a little piece of info that I had glossed over on the blogs I read. There is a conference in late July called She Speaks. It is for bloggers, writers (and wanna-be writers), and women who work in ladies' ministry. I had glanced at it, and done no more. But, there is a scholarship offer to send one lady to this conference for free. So, thank for thinking of me, Elizabeth (by the way, I didn't see you name on the list yet...chop chop).

This is my post to enter myself for the chance to win a scholarship to this weekend conference. There will be people there with a lot of knowledge about writing and publishing and I guess I'll throw my hat in the ring, because I deep, deep down would really like to do those things.

If you want to read more about the conference, or just see what I'm linking to, you can go here. Oh, and Lysa TerKeurst is speaking in Terre Haute at the Ladies' Unity Night in May! You should totally go.

The end.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Trifecta

Today, I would like to veer off of any serious subject whatsoever, because I could totally go there right now. But I am simply too tired.

So, I will tell you about a few of my favorite things.

Saturday night, after a long day, I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning. My reason? Two of my three favorite can't-change-the-channel-when-it-comes-on-watched-a-million-times-and-will-watch-a-million-more movies were on. I'm sure you have your own movies in this category. It doesn't matter how many times you have seen them. They stop your heart a little each time. And they are made of pure, Wisconsin CHEESE.

I realized that my three top movies are all Julia Roberts movies. Now, I am not necessarily labeling these as my favorite movies. I'm sure I have seen better. They are just the movies that I must watch no matter how late I have to stay up to watch them. I'm not even a fan of ALL Julia Roberts movies. But, yeah, a lot of them, I am.

And now, in no particular order, are my top three:
1. Steel Magnolias. I love this movie for so many reasons. Julia Roberts pink-upon-pink-upon-pink wedding. The bleeding armadillo groom's cake. The gossip at Truvy's. The changing of the seasons and Daryl Hannah's change from wild child to religious convert to somewhere in the middle. I love that Truvy has a husband named Spud. I love Ouiser (Weezer). And I just adore Olympia Dukakis in any movie role. Some of my favorite quotes from this movie:

Ouiser Boudreaux: I do not see plays, because I can nap at home for free. And I don't see movies 'cause they're trash, and they got nothin' but naked people in 'em! And I don't read books, 'cause if they're any good, they're gonna make 'em into a miniseries.

Shelby: Mama, I don't know why you have to make everything so difficult. I look at having a baby as the opportunity of a lifetime. Sure there may be risk involved, but that's true for anybody. But you get through it and life goes on. And when it's all said and done there will be a little piece of immortality with Jackson's good looks and my sense of style, I hope. Please, please I need your support. I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.

Annelle: Miss Truvy, I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.

Truvy: I have a strict policy that nobody cries alone in my presence.

Ouiser Boudreaux: You are evil, and you must be destroyed.
Clairee Belcher: Mother Nature's taking care of that faster than you could.

M'Lynn: I find it amusing. Men are supposed to be made out of steel or something. I just sat there. I just held Shelby's hand. There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh god. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life.

And of course, the "HIT HER!" moment. It is movie gold.

2. My Best Friend's Wedding. When this movie first came out, I had a "best friend" of my own, and I secretly wanted to be Julia Roberts and try to break up his wedding. Then I realized that he wasn't having one. And he still hasn't. And I have. So, I guess I've moved on. Oh, I love Julia's big, crazy red hair, especially compared to the perfected coif of Cameron Diaz. I love the moment on the boat with Jules and Michael when the romance between them is palpable, but it passes them by. I love when she gets the ring stuck on her finger. And I love that dreamy Michael.

A few good lines:
Julianne Potter: Michael... I love you. I've loved you for nine years, I've just been too arrogant and scared to realize it, and... well, now I'm just scared. So, I realize this comes at a very inopportune time but I really have this gigantic favor to ask of you. Choose me. Marry me. Let me make you happy. Oh, that sounds like three favors, doesn't it?

Kimmy Wallace: He's got you on a pedestal and me in his arms. (ouch)

George Downes: Michael's chasing Kimmy?
Julianne Potter: Yes!
George Downes: You're chasing Michael?
Julianne Potter: YES!
George Downes: Who's chasing you... nobody, get it? There's your answer. It's Kimmy.

Oh, the love triangle. The heartbreak. The late 90s style. I adore this movie.

3. Stepmom. Now, this is the one that was not playing on Saturday night, but I have stopped through many a channel surfing to watch it. You know, Susan Sarandon is the kids' mom. She has cancer. She can't stand their new stepmom, Julia Roberts. The fight back and forth through the whole movie on who knows what is best for the kids. Then they join forces in the end to make the most beautiful photograph projects for Susan Sarandon to give her kids before she dies.

A few good lines:
Isabel: Look down the road to her wedding. I'm in a room alone with her, fixing her veil, fluffing her dress, telling her no woman has ever looked so beautiful. And my fear is she'll think, "I wish my mom were here."
Jackie Harrison: And my fear is... she won't.

Okay, so there are not as many good lines in this movie. It's more of the back and forth, the giving and taking. It is a tear-jerker to it's very core, and I love it.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a good cryfest. Sometimes you just need a good cry, and Julia Roberts is as good an excuse as any.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Different Zumba

I had a new Zumba experience on Monday. One of the male teachers came over from the Big City (Terre Haute) to teach the first half-hour of our Zumba class. I think he was there to promote Zumbathon '09, which is a real thing at a local high school. You get to pay 15 bucks to do Zumba for three hours straight. I love me some Zumba, but I'd also like the ability to walk the next day.

Anyway, Ron came over to teach the class. I think our first reaction was "Oh, this might be fun." Then my personal reaction was, "Oh, this is completely different." Ron is Filipino and has moves that white guys have never seen. I know this, because my husband is a white guy who has some pretty good moves, and he has not seen what Ron could do with his hips. Ron wore one of those little Britney Spears' microphones that wraps around your head, and shouted to us while doing his thang. Now, in his defense, he has a lot of energy, and I think if he were the Zumba instructor we had all started with, we would have thought he was the best thing since Sweatin' to the Oldies. But we have all learned with our beloved Kandy. She is wonderful, peppy, lets out a big "WHOO!!!!" at just the right time, and doesn't tell us to "Shake it! Shake it! Shake it! Shake it!" (which seemed to be Ron's favorite instruction).

I managed to hardly break a sweat during the first half-hour. Okay, maybe I wasn't trying hard enough. I was doing a lot more of swaying back and forth with a clueless look on my face and trying to find a place to stand where the huge white pillar wasn't blocking my view. But once Kandy came up to do the second half of the class, I jumped right into my Zumba groove and was sporting a nice gamey glow within five minutes.

What can I say? We love our Kandy.

And here is what I would liken our half-hour with Ron to:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Family Man

Some day, I hope so much that we will be a family of four (or five!). But until God allows that, I have a pretty wonderful little family of three.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Journey

I know I have not blogged in almost a week. I want to....I really, really want to. I felt I didn't have anything worth sharing. No cute stories. No news. No big funnies. I still don't think I do, but I just want to write.

Paul's mom, as many of you know, has been battling stage IV breast cancer for almost a year. It has moved through much of her body in her bones. She lives alone. It has been a long year for her. So, she had a doctor appointment on Monday, and due to various things, including her pain levels, numbness in her feet, swelling in her legs, etc. she was admitted to the hospital Monday night. She was told she will not be going home from the hospital, but instead will be admitted into a skilled nursing facility.

In the last two days, things have moved very quickly for Jean. I hurt for her. To have such physical pain, and then have to sit in a hospital knowing that when you leave, it won't be to your home again. I mean, the house is getting sold. We went there yesterday afternoon to her place to clean and start boxing things up. I can only imagine how it must feel relinquishing all control to your kids....knowing they are boxing up your things, hoping that everything goes to its rightful place. How frustrating. How helpless it must feel.

After a very long day we came home, tired both physically and emotionally. Lots of thoughts in our head. And after being a week and a half late in my cycle, I started my period. (sorry, male readers) Another month, seemingly gone by in this journey of faith and hope. Trying for a baby, knowing this is not the month. How frustrating. How helpless it does feel.

So we face another day, another month, another cycle. Hoping, yet knowing it simply isn't up to us. How I pray that God shows up. I know He is here. He always is. But with Jean, with all of her children, with us, with so many uncertainties. I just need to see Him move somehow. And to know that He is strong when we are not. He is wisdom when our vision is cloudy. He makes sense of things that just don't right now. He is rest when we are so very tired.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

That's A Lot of Diapers

I'm not sure if it was Abigail's talk with Sherri about how C-sections work. Or it may have been the picture that flashed on the screen of the pregnant "Octomom" with a belly that went from here to Utah. But at some recent point, Abigail's understanding of pregnancy has number. She now understands that there may not just be one baby in a lady's tummy, but more. Much more.

A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about the names of baby quantities. I explained to her that two babies are twins, three are triplets, etc. You want to know what number she picked for herself? Five. She has five babies in her tummy now.

Paul and I tried to tell her that it is very unusual to have that many babies. Most mommies have one, every once in a while there are two. But five? That's a lot of diaper-changing.

So now she regularly, almost daily, reminds us that her five babies are still in her tummy and that she has to get them cut out soon (thanks, Sherri). She has already talked to Memaw about using the extra crib at her house. She loves thinking that when she has these babies, that makes me a Memaw, too.

Oh, and their names? They are doozies. Charlotte and Barlett (for the girls). Buster, Duster, and Puster for the boys. Sometimes she changes her mind about Buster, though, and wants Chester instead. I'm so glad that she put a lot of thought into the names and chose rhyming ones. She won't regret that at all when it is time to call them in from playing outside.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pendulum Parenting

I think this article might describe my parenting style to a T.

Archive: That'll Blog

Seriously, sweet readers. I feel at a bloggy loss for what to write. Abigail had her first sleepover on Friday night. It was fun. We started our Beth Moore Bible study this week at church. I get to try on bridesmaid dresses on Saturday. Paul went to Zumba with me yesterday.

Heck, I'm just gonna post an archive. It has got to be more interesting than my last week.

June 20, 2007
That'll Blog

I don't know exactly how to start this blog, but I know I feel like writing. I have had these fleeting thoughts over the last couple of weeks, and I think, that'll blog. That sounds funny, but when faced with a life lesson of some sort, Paul always says, "That'll preach." I love can have something really funny or really sad or really ordinary, and turn it into some lesson or story or sermon, even.

For instance, last weekend we were canoeing with friends from college. It was so fun to float down the White River and feel like we were real outdoorsy people (which is a laugh for pretty much all of us). Anyway, there were eight of us in four canoes. Paul and I were in a canoe together. We were pretty boastful about how good we were at this game...the first ones out of the gate, way ahead of our friends, taunting them to catch up to us. We laughed at Cherish and Joanna's canoe, way behind ours, always getting turned horizontally or caught on the river bottom. I felt so special to kindly point out to Joanna that she was holding the paddle wrong, and that she would get more leverage if she put one hand on top of the paddle instead of holding both hands on the side. About two minutes after that correction, we saw some "rough" waters ahead (as weakly rough as White River currents get). Every time we hit any kind of current, Cherish and Joanna's canoe would get turned around, and they would laugh hysterically for ten minutes trying to get their oars going in the same direction to get turned around. So, Paul and I saw the currents ahead, and looked back at the girls' canoe, just waiting to see how they got through this one. Problem was, WE weren't focused on getting through this one. Before the girls' canoe even hit the currents, our canoe was completely flipped. We were both up to our shoulders in water, my flip-flops were escaping me upstream (Paul told me to leave my tennis shoes on, but my feet were ho-ot), and our backback of belongings was completely soaked. The only canoe in the group to flip. And, oh, did the girls get a good laugh at us. My face felt hot, either from sunburn or from the embarrassment of Joanna asking, "How was I supposed to hold my paddle again, Amy?" And Paul said, "That'll preach." (Oh, so if any of you are sitting in on one of his sermons any time soon and hear this exact story, act all interested and surprised).

So, we took our eyes off the road ahead. So, we were more focused on correcting our friends than on keeping our own oars going in the same direction. Oh, and the girls were fine. I mean, they got a little turned around every once in a while, but they never got truly off course, and they were having a great time. So, we ended up all wet. Lesson learned, God. We're listening.

But the best part of the lesson is, our friends that were ahead of us stopped. They waited on us to get our canoe back on track. They caught our stuff out of the water that had already floated out of our reach. And they only teased us a little. We deserved that.

This was not the blog I planned to write tonight, but it is what came out. God has been teaching me a lot lately. When it happens, Paul says, "That'll preach." I think, that'll blog.