Thursday, November 29, 2007

You Give and Take Away

And still I choose to say, God, blessed be Your Name. God is good because of Who He is, and I praise Him through tears of loss of a beautiful friend, a beloved wife and mother. I love you, Kim.

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name when I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

(Matt and Beth Redman)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


In church and Bible study, "kenosis" refers to the "emptying" of Christ in Philippians 2:7. Wow, I had no idea the concept was so complex (that's Greek for ya); it seems so simple. Anyway, after having scanned essays about it, I realize I didn't fully understand or appreciate its implications. It's a whole study unto itself.

Of course, I just deleted MY WHOLE POST with a single, misplaced stroke of the keys. I thought it was Satan at work but what he meant for evil, I can turn to God's glory. Yes, it really works!! I'll spare the diatribe and just say this:

The emptier I get of myself and trappings of "me"-ism, the more I am filled up with God. We have less disposable income right now than we have had in the last several years (or maybe of our entire marriage), yet I am more thankful. My wants are vastly fewer. My contentment and gratitude are at a near-record high. As I go out, God comes in. As I decrease, He increases. And the beautiful thing is, it's happening in my husband as well. It may be sheer desperation on his part, I don't know, but if it takes depletion of our earthly goods to bring about a deeper and richer faith in God for my husband, I have nothing but praise for the hand and works of our mighty God. My husband, daughter, and I are beloved children of the Most High God, and nothing satisfies more than a deep and abiding knowledge of that most imporant truth.

Hey, did you know that you are His beloved child, too?

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God"Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Okay, not so much, really

Of course I wasn't BORN Baptist. But here, in the buckle of the Bible belt that I am blessed to call home, people nod and chuckle knowingly when you say that. I really don't hear the same allusions made to being "born Methodist" or "born Catholic." Hmm. Wonder why. I guess being "born Baptist" explains a lot. Haha.

What I mean by that -- and what most of us mean by that -- is that my family, on both sides, was Baptist as far back as anyone can reckon. My earliest memories of my Christian heritage begin with my grandparents on both sides. My mother's father was a Baptist preacher. His wife, who is but a single angel's breath short of sainthood in my eyes, was the ultimate picture of a preacher's wife. She grew flowers and made the arrangements for the tiny little churches. She cooked meals and visited the sick. She taught Sunday school, VBS, Sunbeams. What sweet, sweet memories for me. I still have some of the little flannel board kits she used in those classes, and some hand-made activities she created back in the day before the slickly packaged kits churches use today. Precious.

My father's parents weren't involved in that way but were of the "whenever the doors were opened" ilk. They were involved more in fundraising, donating, etc. In their small church were a stained glass window and a pew both bearing a brass plate engraved with our family name to represent donations given for the building of the church. Whenever I went to church with them, I couldn't understand why we didn't sit in OUR bench. How can you have a bench with your name on it and NOT SIT THERE???? Well, my grandmother had HER PLACE in church. Everyone had THEIR PLACES in church. (Now I know what that's like. We were not in Sunday service most of this past summer, and when we went back in the fall we parked ourselves back in OUR PLACE. If anyone else had gotten comfortable there over the summer, they have since relocated with nary a sideways glance. And hubby and I are weird for Baptists -- out of some 50-60 rows of pews three wide, we sit on the right hand side, fourth pew from the FRONT, middle of the pew, me on the left and hubby on the right. Nerdy Baptists, I guess -- like we always like to sit up front in classes.)

Well, as you can see, both sets of grandparents were greatly involved in church and my parents, as children, were necessarily involved as well. My mother was forced to play the piano in church, which she hated. I think that when my parents both got to be teens (they hadn't met at this point) they complained enough to be relieved of mandatory church attendance. And that they liked. Church activities had become a chore and a drudgery for them.

Preview to the next installment: The sixties were not kind to families. The sixties were not kind to faith. The sixties, I believe, were pretty much single-handedly responsible for much of the family breakdown and societal mayhem with which we wrestle today. Women's lib? Pffft. No friend of mine, let me tell you. Also, let me tell you how NOT to raise a child: "Oh, we were so unhappy with organized religion; let's just let her find her own way." Pardon my French but "finding my own day" literally damn near got me killed, certainly spiritually if not practically physically. I am NOT passing that legacy to my child.

Proverbs 22:6 -- Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Was Born a Baptist

Let me digress to say, "Really?" Over three months since my last entry? Gee, school must have started back in the meantime. Life is a blur.

I'm feeling compelled to write something here that will necessarily arrive in installments. I'm actually preparing for something I have to do in a few weeks. At school, every morning, the teachers meet for prayer/devotions. Thursdays are always teacher-led devotions, and this year we were given a theme: our testimony. I am actually looking forward to doing this. My day is about a month away and I have to start now, sorting out my thoughts. There is so much I want to say, but I need to see it all written down so I can prioritize. I mean, I'll only have twenty minutes. In a class that my husband and I used to teach for new Christians, we instructed the participants to develop an abridged version of their Christian testimony, short enough to give while crossing the street, so as to be able to tell their story succinctly. But me? Ha.

I do know how I'll start out. It's the same way I intend to start out here. Many who haven't known me for a long time probably assume, based on my zealousness regarding some moral and social issues, that I was born and raised in a Christian family. I truly was not. My story is one of coming to a saving relationship with Christ at a relatively late age and of the many abrupt, distinct changes that decision brought to my life (all good, by the way).

I have previously been envious of those who can claim to have been born to devoutly Christian parents, who were raised in church and with a knowledge of God and His Word, and all the other beautiful blessings that go with that heritage. I have recently, however, come to appreciate the unique perspective that my own delayed salvation has brought me. This is in no way to say that I wish this experience for anyone, for we never know when Jesus will return to settle the score once and for all.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5
1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day.

But, my experience regarding my late-coming relationship with Christ just cements the fact that I am blessed and protected by God and I always have been. This has given me, I think, a very different perspective on grace and God's faithfulness than many who knew Him from an early age. Oh, how I do wish I would have made a decision for Him when I was young, but He knew all along that I would be His. He even knew how I would fight Him along the way, and that makes His grace that much more precious. He did not give up on me, even when I gave up on Him. I know I do not deserve to dwell in His presence, but He created me out of a desire to be with me and He pursued me relentlessly for 33 years to have that relationship. I was caught, blessedly caught, and in being caught I was set free.

2 Peter 3:9-10
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Grace. Grace. Amazing, sweet, flowing, abundant grace.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

231 years!!

Happy Birthday, America!! We went this evening to our now-annual outing to the 4th of July fireworks at Lenox Square. We used to not want to bother with the crowds but we've done it the last couple of years and it's gone pretty well. Since this does take place at not just any mall, but at a mall in Buckhead, one of the most perenially congested areas of Atlanta, necessity dictates early arrival. We parked at Phipps Plaza, across the street from Lenox, as we usually do. We were able to score a great parking spot on the top level close to the mall entrance and close to the corner where we would later cross to Lenox. This great spot allowed us to be in the car and out on the highway within 20 minutes of the fireworks finale.

We arrived at 3:30 with fireworks to begin at 9:40, but thankfully we had a plan that kept us from having to a) wander through stores whose wealth detectors know the second we walk through the door that we don't belong, or 2) camp in the parking lot for 6 hours. We went to the theater and saw Ratatouille....for the second time in a week. If anything, we all (DH, 7 1/2 yo DD, and I) all enjoyed it more the second time. I was able to spend more time taking in all the peripheral details in the animation -- the bread that Remy was about to eat before he was interrupted by Gusteau looked as real as anything I've ever held in my own hand, with big crevices and a beautiful true-life translucence. The scratches and patina on the copper cookware, the unevenness of the floor in the old restaurant, the scratches on the floor under the furniture legs are just a few more examples of attention to true-life detail rendered splendidly in animation. The audience in this showing actually consisted more of adults than children, and to hear them engage in and enjoy the show really heightened the experience for all of us. It was great fun and the release of this movie on DVD may finally push me to buy a better television.

We made a quick stop at Chick-Fil-A in the food court for a bite to eat and we headed across the street at about 6:30. The whole parking lot at Lenox was closed down by this time so we had ample space to set up our three folding chairs. Then DH and DD set off to garner her a balloon. What is up with kids and balloons these days? Why is a free, cheapo balloon still a big deal? They get them everywhere now, restaurants, dentist, bookstores, you name it. I think by the time I was her age I might have ever had 5 balloons, and helium? Forget it! Anyway, off they went. Now, last year when they made this trek, they stopped at a booth for some charity where they donated a dollar and DD got to spin a prize wheel. She came back with a DVD set of Season 1 of Boston Legal, so she was truly my hero. I was hoping she could snag Season 2 for me this time, or maybe a season of The Office. Alas, they returned with one balloon, two paper fans, two giveaway do-rags and one stadium cup, all promoting the local news show that was covering the festivities.

A few bands were playing -- one country, one southern rock, one more soul style. All were pretty good but I can't for the life of me figure out why, at such a family-oriented event, they sing songs with profanity? I mean, mostly d*** and h***, but one instance of b***h. Why??

At 8 pm the live television coverage began, so a military band played the National Anthem. Six words, people: STAND UP. TAKE OFF YOUR CAPS.

After the anthem, three Blackhawk helicopters did a flyover and I got the requisite lump in my throat. Typically they have jets fly over but I always choke up at whatever show of military presence there is. I am so grateful to our dedicated men and women in uniform and their families. Off subject, but the most impressive flyover I have seen was of some Apache helicopters at the November 1992 Hooters 500 in Atlanta for Richard Petty's last-ever NASCAR race which, incidentally, was the race during which Gentleman Alan Kulwicki won the Winston Cup. The three copters blasted in out of nowhere, it seemed, and flew low to follow behind King Richard in a lap around the track. Now THAT was a sight to behold.

The fireworks began at 9:40 as scheduled. This show is reported to be the largest in the southeast, east of the Missisippi and south of DC. Anyone who has been in the same county as me knows I love Walt Disney World and a highlight of our many visits has always been to close a long day with fireworks over Cinderella Castle. But man, oh man...if I may lapse into Southern vernacular for a moment: I ain't never seen no fireworks like I saw tonight. A full 20 minutes set to the usual rousing Southern- and American-themed music. We were so close that I had to relax my head back on my seat to really get a good view, and it looked as though they were coming right down on me. Actually, we all got dusted with debris from the casings and some ash. It was surreal. The fireworks that erupted during "Georgia" were peach and green, like peaches. And there were many new effects this year that were beyond spectacular. They just took my breath away and even 20 minutes seemed to fly by.

Some things I observed during our 2 1/2-hour wait for the show:

*While I am in favor of American citizens keeping more of our money and the imperial government getting less, I think we might benefit from financial assistance to provide mirrors in some peoples' houses so they can take a look before they go out. I saw too many 50-year-old, 250-lb women in miniskirts; too many bra straps; too many flabby bellies hanging out of shirts and flabby hineys hanging out of pants; and too many thongs and tramp stamps (sorry, that's the only thing I've ever heard them called).

*40- and 50-year-old-women still think they're hot and like to dance when they've had a little bit to drink. That is alternately amusing and pathetic. I guess it's amuthetic?

*Why do people take little babies to fireworks shows? Ok, if you're a few blocks down, maybe. But 200 yards from the launching point? The group beside us had a baby who was maybe 1 month old. Guess who wasn't happy when the REALLY LOUD NOISES began? That baby and about a dozen others within spitting distance. Poor little ears.

*Two ladies beside us with 2 small children were very conscientious to take turns watching the kids so the other could step away and smoke away from the children. Right in front of us. Please, move and take your cancer sticks with you. I don't know if there's any single behavior that looks less ladylike than waving one of those things around and blowing smoke.

*Never fails any time or anywhere we get somewhere early for something, and I'm sure it doesn't just happen to us: We get there early, stake out a seat, wait patiently for our event, and right at the big moment a group comes and stands in front of us. Oh, no, buddy, I'm sorry, you're going to have to move or sit down.

*Is it possible for a Mexican female between the ages of oh, say, 18 and 40 to NOT be pregnant?

*If you're in public, and especially in a public that includes children, is it really necessary to use profanity in your conversations?

*They're called TRASH CANS. They're those big cardboard boxes about every 20 feet.

*Port-a-potties aren't necessarily evil. This event always has more than ample temporary relief facilities, probaby 150 or more, and they are always spotless.

*My DH will get mad if, at the end of the evening when all 150,000 of us are trying to walk out of the mall parking lot, a big guy pushes in front of us and I say, "Hey, buddy, we're all trying to get somewhere." Learned that by experience tonight.

*Fascinating to look at some of the couples and try to imagine how on earth they got together.

*I don't understand people coming to something like this three hours in advance and not bringing something to sit on.

*Funnel cakes are worth the wait and the six bucks. Especially if you ask for extra sugar.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Random musings from today

Resurrection Sunday -- what a blessed day. He is risen!

Webkinz. Meh. Vile little cute creatures. Anyone want to trade Beanie Babies for Webkinz? I'll trade you 10 to 1. Sure do wish they had upgraded their servers before the Easter Bunny made his rounds this morning. Apparently everyone under 10 (or under 42?) got a Webkinz today. Their site has been trash.

Speaking of the Easter Bunny...I NEVER had Easter baskets like my daughter got this morning! Gotta have a talk with that rabbit.

Have you ever been to a movie that you were embarrassed to talk about? I saw one last Friday. Now, I LOVE war movies -- Saving Private Ryan, Blackhawk Down, Full Metal Jacket, etc. Violence and bloodshed, in realistic settings such as those, don't really bother me on the surface. I also LOVED Gladiator. Last Friday, my husband wanted to see 300. "It's like Gladiator, only with 300 of them instead of one." Hmmm. 300 bare-chested Russell Crowes? Gee, let me....okay, I'm game! Well, 300 is SO NOT GLADIATOR. It was appalling. I had my head turned away for more than half the movie. It is absolutely shameful. I should have just taken my tiramisu, smuggled in from Carrabbas, and sat in the lobby. The only other movies I have hated as much, though on much different grounds, are A Fish Called Wanda and Raising Arizona. Also very embarrassed to say that I have seen Boxing Helena. Forget you saw that.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What kind of Disney fan are you?

I was going to post this on my beloved Oct. moms' board but I think the other Mouseketeers and I may be wearing out our welcome, LOL. Anyway, if you're interested:

What Kind of Disney Fan are You?

As for me?

Now, who has no life?

It's been too long since my last entry, so I'm doing what any guilt-ridden blogger would do -- blog-lifting material from others. I actually saw this on Christi's blog -- she never fails to crack me up with her gentle sarcasm. It's like reading letters from me to myself. This is the "you have no life if you have seen more than 85 of these movies....." list. I am enclosing my list for the curious but I have to wonder about the person who came up with this idea and compiled the list.

Let's consider, for a moment, that these movies are on the same list:

Scream and Wizard of Oz
Jeepers Creepers and The Little Mermaid
I Spit on Your Grave and The Chronicles of Narnia
Anchorman and Blazing Saddles
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle and Sixteen Candles
Anger Management and Airplane
And Pirates of the Caribbean I and II? WTH? I only saw the first one about two months ago and now I've seen them both about 85 times. What does that mean?

Is there any comparison to those that I've highlighted above? There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to the selection of genres; A-grades vs. B-grades v.s., oh, M-grades; or the movies themselves. How on earth can anyone with any sort of reasoning ability put Saw and Finding Nemo on the same list?

I will confess to having loved Children of the Corn many years ago, but I sincerely believe that was in another lifetime. And Evil Dead, why, those were the first movies with which my DH began to woo me (I'm sure the rum and Coke helped...). But hey, anything with Bruce Campbell is a hit with me, as evidenced by the hours I spent alone with the portable DVD player and all 27 episodes of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. last fall.

Anyway, for what it's worth (which, methinks, is not very much), I enclose my list for your your reading pleasure. By my count I get 54. This puts me safely below the "having no life" level (34% below, to be precise). But then, you have to factor in that I am spending way too much time trying to analyze this list, so that probably pushes me, relatively, back around the 10% +/- range. Sigh.

( I plead the 5th – I have never forgiven my cousin) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(X) Grease

(X ) Pirates of the Caribbean
(X ) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
( ) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(X) Neverending Story
(X ) Blazing Saddles
(X ) Airplane
(X ) The Princess Bride
( ) AnchorMan
( ) Napoleon Dynamite
( ) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
(X ) Anger Management
(X ) 50 First Dates
(X ) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
( ) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
( ) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
( ) American Pie
( ) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
(X ) Harry Potter 1
(X ) Harry Potter 2
( ) Harry Potter 3
( ) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
( ) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
(X ) Lilo & Stitch
(X ) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
( ) Signs
( ) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
( ) 13 Going on 30
( ) I, Robot
( ) Robots
( ) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(X) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
( ) Never Been Kissed
(X) Meet The Parents
( ) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
( ) King Kong
(X) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(X) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
( ) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving Christmas
( ) Flubber
( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
( ) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(X) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
( ) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Sleven
(X) Ocean’s Eleven
( ) Ocean’s Twelve
( ) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremecy

( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
X) Independence Day
(X) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
(X ) Christine
(X ) E.T.
(X ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(X ) Maid in Manhattan
(X ) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
(X ) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She’s All That
( ) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
( ) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
( ) Ever After
(X ) Wizard of Oz
(X ) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
( ) The Terminator
( ) The Terminator 2
( ) The Terminator 3
( ) X-Men
( ) X-2
( ) X3
( ) Spider-Man
( ) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
(X ) The Little Mermaid
(X) Freaky Friday (the original)
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
( ) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(X ) Shrek
(X ) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
( ) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
( X) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf’s Tribe
(X ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
( ) The 40-year-old Virgin
( X) Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
(X ) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(X ) Lord of the Rings: Return Of the King
(X ) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(X ) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
( ) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
( ) Base-ketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three
( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(X ) Monsters Inc.
(X ) Titanic
( X) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
( ) Hook
(X ) Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
( ) Kill Bill Vol. 1
( ) Kill Bill Vol. 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
( ) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
( ) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
( ) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
( ) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(X ) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
( X) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks: Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks: The Battle For Endor
( ) The Matrix
( ) The Matrix: Reloaded
( ) The Matrix: Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
(X ) Evil Dead
(X ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(X) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

If you really, really love someone. . .

I know you're probably thinking about all the really deep, compassionate, philosophical ways we could end that statement. I started to give examples but I don't even feel like going there -- so trite. But what I really want to say is this:

If you really, really love someone. . . and their true heart's desire is to be on American Idol. . . and they can't carry a tune in an epoxy-lined bucket with a vacuum-sealed lid. . . please, please, please do us all a favor. And hit them on the head with a cinder block.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

This is serious, this is real, this is....WAR

Let's rewind a bit, shall we? To oh, say, about 6 months ago. Dates are irrelevant for these purposes but they have happened over the ensuing 6 months. You must understand that, unfortunately, I sleep in a bedroom separate from DH at the other end of the house because it is impossible, both physically and psychologically, for me to attempt to engage in productive REM sleep while in the bed beside something making a noise that is some combination of foghorn, chain saw, mad mama bear, warthog, and steam engine. [Author's note: That situation has long since been remedied, thankfully!]

  • Sometime in the summer, I am sitting at the computer, upstairs, and hear scritch-scritch-scritching in the attic above me. Oh, crud, there's a squirrel in the attic. Ignore it.
  • Repeat 4-5 evenings.
  • Tell DH, "There's a squirrel in the attic." Receive reply: "No, there's not."
  • Start hearing squirrels playing in the morning on Saturdays when I'm not getting up at 5:30 am. They start playing about 6 am.
  • Tell DH there is now more than one squirrel in the attic. Receive reply: "No, there's not."
  • Hear squirrels arguing/playing/chittering/mating/smoking cigarrettes in afterglow. Go upstairs and find miniature champagne glasses and a flower-laden ponytail holder, escaped from Olivia's bathroom, that was apparently used as a squirrel-sized thong. Not to mention a CD single of "Muskrat Love." Show DH. He claims they were left behind by a band of gnomes that was adopted by the family who lived here before us.
  • A few weeks later, the resident rodents have apparently extended an invitation to friends and/or family to set up house/nest at the other end of their plantation, which would be above DH's bedroom. DH tells me, "There are squirrels in the attic." Deliver reply: unprintable.
  • I am told that moth balls are a deterrent to squirrels. I toss moth balls in the attic. Squirrels are apparently turned on by moth balls. I think they use them for bowling or croquet; based on the sound, I cannot determine exactly which. I cannot retrieve the moth balls because they have sunk into the blown-in insulation. My upstairs smells like moth balls.
  • Spend the next few weeks banging the attic door, flicking the attic light on and off and yelling "SCRAM, YOU FUZZ-TAILED, EAVES-GNAWING FIENDS!" at dusk and dawn. The squirrels have responded to this, oh, yes -- by inviting friends over to hear the crazy lady and eat popcorn; there's no way their friends would believe it unless they see it for themselves.
  • Look online and inquire of friends as to measure for dealing with squirrels. Options are the catch-and-release-them-ten-miles-away-cage (not a long-term solution) or a professional extermination and a carpenter to re-seal all possible entries. My husband suggests putting rat poison in peanut butter in the attic. ??? I don't want live squirrels in the attic, I sure don't want dead squirrels in the attic. He is positive they would go outside to die. But then he's also positive they don't nest and have babies in attics. Funny, that's not what my extensive research told me.
  • Finally, DH decides to research the matter himself. He disappears in the basement to his computer for an hour and proclaims that he has decided to go with the experts. I am relieved -- we'll have a professional exterminator remove the rodents and have the soffits checked and sealed. He looks at me as though I am nuts. No, not THOSE experts, silly -- the OTHER experts -- rednecks. (Wonder if that sage advice will come from his uncle or my cousins....and, did you know that if you Google "squirrel attic redneck" you get 20,100 results? Try it!) That's right, my husband is going to sit in the attic with a gun. And, of course, none of the 11 guns in the cabinet downstairs will suffice -- I'm actually very relieved that he has opted NOT to hunt wildlife in our attic with any of his current shotguns, rifles, pistols, or even the Germany military semi-automatic something-or-other (I don't know, don't ask). This calls for a high-powered pellet gun. Which he has yet to purchase. It has to be a particular brand of gun and he knew right away which kind that was. I'm starting to think he's been hankering for this thing for some time and maybe invited the squirrels in, himself, as an excuse to acquire a new toy.
More to come at an undetermined time. Unfortunately (fortunately?) this is the week where my husband has to work late and can't go pellet-gun shopping for a few days. I will admit, I have just enough good 'ole girl in me to be mildly intrigued and, perhaps, turned on by his pending display of machismo. Stay tuned. I have no idea what happens when live 110-volt wires are hit by a screaming 4-mm ball of high-density plastic at high velocity.