Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The randomness that is my brain

My brain is somehow mush this week.  I think I have I-want-to-be-in-Florida-itis.  For real.  It was 80 degrees and sunny there last week.  I have tan lines.  In February.  Someday, I will live in Florida.

So now this week I am crazy tired for whatever reason and am having one of those weeks where I feel like I can't get anything done.  And I have handfuls of projects that I just need to sit on for a bit and let them stew but at the same time I need to get things done because I love getting things done.  It gives me energy to have things done.  The combination of these things means that my brain is pulled apart and stretched to the point it has holes in it, the way cheap pizza dough does.  So, in an attempt to get it all out, let's do bullet points, shall we?

  • I think I need a writing retreat weekend.  I don't have any solid ideas in my head, but at the same time I feel like I need hours of uninterrupted time to write.  I am working on edits for story #1, the sequel needs working on and now that I have skipped working on story #3 for about two months I am itching to see what I can do with it.  And I have a full time job, a husband, Jesus, and a renovation house to take care of.  Admittedly, I am having a hard time figuring out how to fit it all in.  And this week I feel so segmented and that things are getting done in fits and spurts.
  • I'm part of an online critique forum/group and it's great getting feedback but it also makes me desperate and frantic because all these ideas hit me at once and I want to rewrite my entire manuscript but feel overwhelmed by it and at the same time read all these other things by other people and think to myself, 'no way in heck can I ever write this well!'.  Over.  Whelming.
  • Plus, I have 2 books from the library, another one on hold, one I ordered from amazon that a friend wrote that's being shipped, and another that arrived today that is an advanced copy that I won.  How am I supposed to fit it all in??  Ah!!!  I want to read it all at once.  And there are only so many hours in the day.  And American Idol to watch.
  • I'm trying to figure out how I want to hang pics in my living room.  This is one of those things I need to sit on.  Patience, grasshopper.
  • I am not a patient person.
  • We have mice in our kitchen.
  • Did I mention that I am overwhelmed this week?
  • I am trying to get better about not freaking out.  About taking the day and not letting the day take me. My husband helps me do this.  How do 2 type-A people ever stay married?  Dave is laid back and thank the good Lord for it.  
  • We were out of town and missed two Sundays of church. I miss it.  I want to sleep with the Bible under my pillow and have it seep into my brain via osmosis.  I remember these commercials they ran when I was little for orange juice where a little girl would stick a straw in an orange and drink orange juice from it.  If there was a way to stick a straw into a Bible and drink it in, I want to do it.  
  • CJ is my fav on American Idol this year
  • I made a wonderful yummy batch of pure refined sugar goodness tonight.  It helped make the mice discovery not so horrible.
  • March is 2 days away.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Middle of the Week

Listening:  to songs I love compulsively.  To the point where a coworker came in to my office and commented on a song I was listening to and said, "I've been hearing you play that one over and over."  Poor guy. I told him I would retire it for the day :)

Currently, I am loving this one:

And bless the person who took the main theme song from "Last of the Mohicans" (which is my favorite movie of all time and it has, hands down, the best movie soundtrack) and made a continuous hour long loop of it.  Thank you person, and thank you YouTube.

That song does things to me.  *shivers*
Eating:  down our freezer.  We are buying part of a cow and making room so we have had a lot of pork and chicken lately.  And ice cream.  And I have blueberry muffins because those are never a bad idea.  And they are one of my favorite things to eat.
Drinking:  Dr. Z.  This is the Dr. Pepper version that Aldi sells.  I thought we'd try it since it's cheap and other DP knockoffs taste ok.  This one does not pass the test.  Missing a couple of those famous 23 flavors I think.  But we don't waste food (or drink) in our house.  So we will suffer through drinking them.
Wearing:  All my sweaters and winter-y things because I am optimistic that spring is coming.  And soon the days of needing sweaters will be behind us.  
Feeling:  Anxious for our vacation.   Excited about the rewrites to Story #1.  Hopeful for Spring.
Wanting:  To clean and organize things.  Spring Cleaning Fever must have hit me early because I have had crazy urges to organize sock drawers and clean behind appliances lately.  I am neurotic, clearly.  
Needing:  Sunshine!  I suffer from winter blues in a real way.  I think we all do.  But it really gets me.  Towards the end of every January I feel that I am undergoing some sort of intense personality change.  Nope.  Just winter.  I need vitamin D--no telling how low my levels are.  We drive to Florida soon.  Thank you Jesus for making Florida.
Thinking:  Of all the things I need to pack.  And letters and phone calls that need to happen.  Thinking about Jesus and church and where Dave and I should be serving.  I'm wondering how bad the snow will get.  And that I really want some grapefruit.
Enjoying:  Books that I've been rereading.  My dining room which is so pretty and so DONE.  Dreaming about Spring.  "The Goldbergs" show on TV.  Have you seen it?  It's funny without being perverse (shocker!).  
And this:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bible Flannel Board: Ishmael

Talk about a guy who gets a bad rap.

So, Ishmael.  Son of Abraham, but through a servant Hagar, and not his wife.  (Side note:  Abram had many more sons than just Ishamael and Isaac.  Some by a 2nd wife after Sarah died.  Some by his concubines.  I know.  Totally shatters your view of Ishamael being the only tainted son, right?)

The Bible says that Ishmael was a wild man and an archer.  I always liked to imagine him as this:

Ok, so he's not an archer.  But still.  He's wild and rugged.  Yes. 

So anyways.  Here's Ishmael.  Son of Abraham.  He's about 13 when little Isaac shows up.  To which his reaction was probably this:

"You gotta be kidding me?"

Abraham throws a feast for Isaac when he was weaned (historically, about age 3 from what I've read).  This puts Ishmael at 16.  And Isaac's mom (Abe's wife), gets really ticked because of some way she saw Ishmael mock Isaac.  Now, from what I was able to gather, this was a big deal.  Some think maybe Sarah was just jealous, but that doesn't make sense.  One, she had a son at this point.  Who was heir to the covenant God made with Abraham.  So I don't think she felt a threat to that.  Evidently Ishmael did something really offensive, and it was serious, because Abraham gave it weight to.  And after much distress and prayer, he sent Ishmael and his mom away.

So here you have a perfect opportunity for teenage angst.  Dad tosses you and your mom out because your dad's wife said so.  There was more to it than that, and we think Ishmael was at blame.  But imagine it.  You're sixteen.  You've seen how everyone worships your baby brother.  Your mom, who defends you and fights for you, is kicked out with you.  And you feel responsible.  I have sat here and wondered what this did to Ishmael and his relationship with Abraham.

Ishmael was a fierce young man with family issues.  People, Ishmael was Four.

Do you see it?  Different family drama of course, but he is so Ishmael to me.  

What I find particularly interesting is that when Ishmael and his mom were kicked out, they wandered in the desert, ran out of water, and were going to die.  So Ishmael's mom wonders off because she doesn't want to watch her son die and she was crying.  Then it says that God heard not her, but the boy. Ishmael.  Interestingly enough his very name means "God hears."  God heard Ishmael's voice.  I like to imagine that it was like thunder, big and booming.  Because that fits Ishmael.  I want to know the rest of his story.  Because there's more I feel.  God made Ishmael into a nation because of his love for Abraham.  And this was not the end of his story.

I am dying to know about Ishamael's wife.  Scripture says his mother (who was Egyptian and they were all national pride back then) sent away for an Egyptian mail order bride.  There is a story I long to know.  Was there love between Ishmael and this woman his mom brought for him?  Did she fall head over heels for this wild man she traveled out to the desert to marry?  Did wild Ishmael have a tender place in his heart for his bride?  He had twelve sons and maybe more daughters.  I want to know more about this man that God redeemed even though he wasn't part of the original plan.  God heard him.  Saw his mom.  Heard Ishmael.  I have to wonder if he called upon the name of God again?

FYI, it tells us later in Scripture that when Abraham died Isaac and Ishmael came back together to bury him.  What was that family reunion like?

Wolverine vs Sabertooth?  Lots of nastiness?  No?
Daddy's favorite vs Not-so-much?
Power struggle?  "Real" son versus Not?

I wonder about these brothers. Isaac was so young when Ishmael was sent away, but you know he heard about him.  Was there hostility between them?  For all we're told, Abraham was a good father to both.  Was it love for him that made them see past their labels?  Did they love each other?

Siblings are an interesting relationship.  But God's faithfulness and redemption are written through both of their stories.  

Sorry Isaac, but when I get to heaven, I want to sit and talk to your ousted big brother before I come and hang out with you.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dining Room

This last room took more effort than all the other rooms before it combined.  Like so many things in life, it was more work than what I had originally anticipated.  And like so many things in life, it made me curse and cry and act like an absolute terror.  Totally did me in.  So let's recount the horror, shall we?

We started with this:

Ah, nasty carpet, dingy walls, and lovely wallpaper.  
And the chandelier, straight from 1970.  One of the many things in this house that were older than both the hubs and I.  And again, do see the nastiness of that carpet?  We contacted the CDC when we pulled it, because we were certain there were some things in there they would be interested in.

First things first!  Carpet came up!  **Who puts carpet in their dining room?  Bad idea.**

New flooring!  This was the experience during which we vowed we will never lay linoleum flooring again.  Ever.  It was such a mess to work with.  It was rolled the wrong way and we ended up ripping it.  It is bulky and messy and just, no.  Never again.  
Ah, but look how nice it looked when it was finally down.  Looking better, but my hatred for this room had already started to fester.  

We moved the furniture in and took a break.  And I remember thinking to myself, "There's not that much more work left to do in here."
Naive.  That's the word you're thinking right now.  Naive.

Because this.  Wallpaper with more sheer will than a marine.  It clung to the wall until the end, and even then, some of the drywall died with it.  At this point, I hated the dining room passionately.  

It was at this point that I spent WEEKS removing wallpaper and wallpaper paste residue from the wall.  Then I had to putty all the damage.  And prime it.  And sand it.  And repeat.

And finally, here we were.  The paint job is horrible.  The part right above the chair rail had a weird texture to it so the line is a mess and all over the place.  No painting or taping trick I knew could get it to paint well.  Which honestly, made me want to cry.  Because I had worked so long and hard to get it to look good, and it doesn't.  But, ah well. You win some, you lose some.  And some just don't paint well.  But, it is finished.

Now all I have to do is get some pictures up on the walls.  And turn a blind eye to the many, many imperfections.