Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My good friend Sabrina posted a link to a blog that struck a chord with me on her Facebook page today.  I linked it to my page and I was told it's loaded with pop up ads but I didn't have that problem.  If you should want a copy, let me know.  Here's my response:  

Oooo, ouch!    Years ago when I first moved into the Tower District, I met Becca.  She worked at The Movies, an independent video rental spot.  Actually, the BEST EVER video rental spot.  The first night I met her she was sporting a shirt that read, "Recovering Christian".  I remember thinking that she was walking a thin line, but years have gone by and things have changed.  There's a reason why she is such a kindred spirit.  Hi Becca!  My name is Miriam and I'm a recovering Christian.  I was raised in a church where we were taught to love the sinner, hate the sin. In other words, "I'm better than you". It has taken years and years of undoing, moving along with fear and trepidation with thoughts of maybe I never really was a Christian to begin with. I'm well into my 30s now and I know what I believe. I know what it means to be a Christian... to me.  I try to be Christlike and that means loving everyone, showing grace, and not judging. When I lose focus and let my ego take over, I start judging instead of coming from a place of love.  I don't like that part of myself.  
I've just arrived home from church. Today, after reading this blog post and the service this evening, I'm challenged to really love. Put my money where my mouth is. Give more of my 'self'. Come from the place of love when I'm tempted to judge. Love when someone hates...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I want this to be in my entry way.  "To live content with small means".

Lots was spent this weekend in the city by the bay.  I don't really have much to show for it except for some good memories, which are most important of course.  What I didn't spend on clothes and trinkets I did spend on a decent hotel room, food, and my fact finding mission at some of the city's hip little watering holes.  My one regret for the weekend:  I wish I could of been a little more frugal... and not getting to eat at SPQR.  OK.  Two regrets.  However, had we eaten there, I would probably feeling even more regretful about not living so frugally.  Some of the things, not all of the things I wanted to do took cash, but yes.  Money was spent.  Money is hard to come by these days and not just for me.  The amount of people living on the street proves it.  We got hit up for change... everywhere.  It was hard not to have to think about it and not have it move me or affect me in some way leaving me to question, what's my role?  Food for thought.

Wanna see pictures?

I was all about the quintessential San Francisco experiences:  We had Dim Sum.  Just a general note: ALWAYS make sure it's cooked.  That's all I'll say about that.

We went to City Lights Books.

We went Bohemian and visited Vesuvio.  

We visited a modern day speakeasy.  Part of my fact finding mission.  Coming soon to my drink repertoire:  tinctures and bitters.  I was so inspired.  I also got the chance to visit 15 Romolo.  If I lived in the city, THAT would be my spot. 

I had Banh Mi at midnight... because the city has EVERYTHING at midnight!

We took a guided tour of the bay on a boat.  Thanks Groupon!

We had oysters and Bloody Marys at Fisherman's Wharf.

I introduced someone to The Buena Vista who had never been there before. 

We saw how chocolate was made at Ghirardelli Square.

We took taxis and hoofed it everywhere. 

We had dinner and listened to music while dining at Yoshis

And, I got to see the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square.  It's all hills!  

 I was busy.  Nevertheless, it was a good time and I experienced all that makes up San Francisco. But I know there's so much more to see.  I love that city.    Next time, I take my girl.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Years ago when I was on staff at a large church a member of the college worship team was walking down one of the hallways at the church when he ran into the senior pastor.  He greeted the Pastor at which point the Pastor commented on my friend's earrings (he sported posts in each ear) and asked him, "What are ya?  A homosexual?"  When our friend was relating this to me and my roommate, I think he was more upset about being accused as gay than he was at the Pastor (of this huge church) calling him out in the way that he did.  In the conversations that ensued, I came to the conclusion that in my mind, evangelical churches needed to reexamine themselves on this subject.  What if he really was gay and wanted our church to be his house of worship? Clearly, this sent a message that being gay was wrong AND it was OK to poke fun at them.  (This experience among others soon led to my demise there).

I came across John Shore's blog on The Christian Left's FB page this morning.  It's what's inspired this post.  Originally I had intended on posting a link to it on my page with a single comment, but it's a subject very near and dear to my heart, thus earning it a blog post.  Tell me.  Where does Jesus Christ himself say, "You can't be gay"?  And why is it such a big freakin' deal that people lose their jobs over wanting to love people as Jesus does?  It's sad that the church has moved away from this basic example that Jesus has set for us and created one of their own that causes devision and forces people to walk away from a very loving God. 

It's really a non-issue, yet it's been one of the biggest issues that divides believers today... and shouldn't we all be unified?  

Friday, September 23, 2011

my body.

I love walking around naked. I think I'm sexy. My body bears the marks of motherhood: stretch marks and a scar from which the midwife pulled my child from me. I think it's part of what makes me sexy.

I would venture to say that this is what I look like. A little less booty though, I've never been really blessed in that region. In the 1600s this was beauty. There are plenty of people out there who still think this is beautiful... myself included.

But somewhere along the line, this has become the ideal of beauty. She must have worked hard for that body and yes it looks like I could do my laundry on her stomach, but when did this become the image of what women compare themselves to?

I want to model to my daughter a healthy self-image. I don't want her to compare herself to other girls or to think that if you can't shop at Forever 21, it doesn't mean that you aren't beautiful. Beauty is so much more than skin deep. Beauty is in your words and your actions. Beauty is what is on the inside. Beauty is compassion and love. Beauty is taking that money you were going to spend on that tummy tuck and boob lift and giving it to the hungry or your child's future. So I guess that means I have to actively be seeking that myself. It's hard though. I also bear the scars of hurtful words and actions of those once very close to me.  Being a girl, those things cut deep. However, as time goes on and as my daughter grows, how she sees herself becomes more important than whether or not I'll be wearing a size 10 by the time my 20 year reunion rolls around next summer.

I came across this on Pinterest the other day...

The quote beside it read:  "A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me.

It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That's OK. It was your home. It's where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it."

This is how I feel about things now.  I pondered hard the other day that if I had the means to do it, would I get plastic surgery?  I don't think so.  I don't think stretch marks are 'ugly'.  I don't 'hate' my body.  Life is a gift.  It's up to us to see it as such and to be that model to our children.  

There.  Got it off my chest.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I just got back from Winco where I witnessed one of the worst temper tantrums ever.  And before I go any further, no, it wasn't Miss Grace.  Thank God.  I'd like to think I nipped that one in the bud early on.  

I could hear this kid from the moment I walked in the store.  It sounded like demons screaming, "I want that flower!" over and over again.  They were in the produce section and I needed mushrooms.  Sure enough, there was this little towheaded little boy on his hands and knees hanging onto his mother's cart as she tried to push it along.  "I want that flower!  Aaaaaaaaah!"   I had to get out of there.  Mom was ignoring it all.  Dad too.  That's right.  Dad too.  There were two of them.  I only had a couple of more things to get so I made my way away from them.  But the screaming didn't stop.  After I had gathered my things, I ran into them again and Mom was finally giving him the 3 count.  Yeah lady.  I think it might be a little late for that.  As I was going through the check out, I saw Dad take him out... and he was still screaming.  And when I drove out, there they sat on the curb... where he was still screaming.  


I don't know their situation.  The boy could have behavioral issues.  They could be shitty parents.  But Gawd.  All that screaming for the 15 minutes I spent in that store sent me reeling.  I had to get it out of my system and you are the recipients.  


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes. And a cute one at that!

‎"If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, (or) we have to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition, and then admit that we just don't want to do it."
~ Stephen Colbert  (Borrowed from my friend Eric's FB page).

The other day Sophia came to me and tells me that rather than buying something with the money in her piggy bank, she would rather give it to the people we saw standing in line at Catholic Charities for a bag of groceries.  The line went clear down the street and around the block.  I could be there.  You could be there.  I explained to her the best I could what was taking place.  Yesterday, after a trip to Vons to buy some overpriced Spinach she says "that way people would have money to buy food and they wouldn't have to be hungry".  Sometimes I think all my kiddo sees is what she doesn't have.  Trips to Target are excruciating.  She does that, "you never get me anything!" rant every time she comes across a coveted toy.  But this time, she did her Mama proud.

Pow, right in the kisser!  I was forced to face up to something I don't do as much as I would like to do:  giving monetarily to those who are in need.  If I'm such a big advocate of being Christlike then I need to put my money where my mouth is.  When I woke up this morning I flipped on the TV (cause I can on Saturdays) and came across a show called Big Rich Texas.  Shows like this disgust me.  It profiles a culture of people completely obsessed with themSELVES.  Period.  But maybe I get so grossed out by this behavior because in some twisted way... I see bits of myself in them.

Time to change some more things.

You have my word.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yesterday I watched Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead.  Here's the trailer just in case you missed my Facebook link...

So for the past day I've been pulling up youtube testimonials of others who have tried this.   Needless to say, I'm inspired.  So much so I bought a juicer online which should be coming sometime next week.  I'm not even going to commit to the 60 days right now.  10 days though for sure.  Already for the past couple of days I've had the green monster for breakfast.  Unbeknownst to her, Miss Grace did too.

So why am I doing this?  I'm half way to 37 this year.  As I was watching this movie yesterday I noticed that Joe and Phil (the two main guys of the movie) weren't much older than me when they began their "reboot" - early 40's, but they both looked way older.  I know that's not my case... but I don't want that to be my case anytime in the near future.  I'm no spring chicken and there's no sense in going down when I don't have to.  It's time to go up... way up.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Today I am hugging my kiddo a bit more.  I am so sad over this whole thing... much sadder than I thought I would be over something I am so removed from.  But am I really that removed when I look at Sophia?  I love her with an indescribable love.  She was a bit of a surprise, but a very welcome one.  And yes, my life has changed drastically since having her.  Gone are the days of living entirely for myself.  I really don't miss those days at all.  But I can understand missing them.

So many thoughts racing through my head:  Why did she do it?  How could she do it?  Did she do it?  Why did she lie so much?  How could she party when her daughter was missing?  Why didn't she say anything for a month if she is innocent?

I just keep thinking: GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!!!  And then the other thoughts come in:  Well, she has what's coming to her.  She better watch her back.  What a nut job.

Anger kept creeping up on me today.  Some lady took forever getting through the check out at Vons.  It was annoying because what she was doing could of been done at the customer service desk.  Sophia used me as her human punching bag on more than one occasion.  Getting her to take her meds (for her lip)  was a bitch.  My non-paid vacation is coming up (yay and nay).  Health issues and a root canal tomorrow.  Grumble, grumble, grumble.

And all this to say tonight:  WWJD?  Yup.  I said it:  What would Jesus do?   I don't think he thinks any of those things about Caylee's Mom.  So what do I do?  Learn from this.  Love the lady in the big expensive car in front of me at the check out line.  Take that extra breath and spend more time with my kiddo when she's trying to get my attention by pummeling me.  Be thankful for vacation and use my finances wisely.  Be thankful for the fact that I qualify for Medi-cal.  AND... pray for Caylee's Mom, my reaction to it and what I'm showing my daughter.

(Not edited.  But then again, none of my post really are).

Monday, July 4, 2011

I started following a blog about healthy living.   This is the same girl who started The Green Monster Movement.  I'm hopping on board... See?  Something is up with my 36 year old self.  I feel like my teeth are falling out of my head, something is seriously afoul with my kidneys, my woman parts are jacked and I could stand to lose a few pounds.  It's time to change things up my friends.  There's a lot of living I have to do and I want to do it well!

This morning my smoothie consisted of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 banana, frozen blueberries, 2 c. of spinach and a pinch of Stevia.

And just a note, the fact that it's in the Hemp Ale glass does not indicate what kind of greenery is in my drink... Although I may be on to something.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I had an interesting session with the Therapy Lady this week as opposed to last week where it seemed like I was jumping from subject to subject in order to find something wrong.  But just because things may be OK for a bit doesn't mean talk therapy should stop.  I've been going solid now, pretty much once a week since September.  Nothing dramatic has happened.  No major revelations, just affirmations of what I've known for a long time:

I've been waiting for life to begin.  But the truth is, it already started and I've been sitting on the sidelines watching it happen.  So now this begs the question, how do I live my life?  Right now there's the matter of the CSET.  Nope.  Still haven't taken it.  Fear of not passing.  Fear of not getting into a program.  Fear of not being hired.  Rumor has it there are slim pickins' in the way of teaching jobs here in California.  Thank God for my job already which I absolutely adore.  But I need health insurance.  I need a retirement.  I need a raise.  Maybe I should concentrate more on my niche that I've created for myself at the 'Mark.  The bossladies have been good to me.  They usually let me run with ideas and always have my back.  Food for thought.

I deserve the best, but do I give myself that?  I want the best for Sophia, but if I don't allow myself the best, how will she in the future?  Something's gotta give...

Time to focus on me for a bit.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Exactly 30 minutes till I put the kiddo down for the night and she just asked me what "festant anarchy" means.  They just used that term on Open Season 2.  You know, that kid's movie?  I said stinking no government and she answered with an, "oh".  Easy.

I skipped church tonight, which is usually my beacon of adult conversation on Wednesday.  It's been a long day:  Rugrat Wednesday (the last one), Riverpark for swimsuits, water shoes, end of the year teacher's gifts, Sushi at Yoshinos, water play in the backyard, a clean kitchen, laundry, dinner and now a movie.  20 more minutes.

Oh come on.  I know the rest of you with kids do this too.

17 more minutes now...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

 A couple of posts by some FB friends on their own pages read after I linked my blog:

  • Whether we are upper class or lower class, powerful or powerless, married or single, is all irrelevant. What matters is your calling from God.
  • Do not let self righteousness get in the way of the enjoyment of life. you might just miss a whole bunch of experiences.

This morning was a new early for me.  At 4:50 AM, my eyes popped open.  While my profession lends itself to me catching my zzzzzz's in the wee hours of the morning, if it's not a work night, I'm down before 11 and up between 5:30 and 6.  So.  Top of the mornin' to ya!

This is what was running through my head this morning.  How is it OK to have 53 guns in your house, "some loaded and not locked up".  So now that this person has exercised his "God given right" to own firearms... was it worth it at the expense of such a precious little life?  Right after this happened the gun range offered a gun safety class.  Why though?  Isn't it common sense that loaded guns shouldn't be in the house where a toddler, who isn't a rational thinker yet, can get ahold of them?  I feel like gun advocates are quick to defend their rights when stuff like this goes down.  But the guy had 53 guns.  You can't possibly defend that.

Just saw this post to FB:  "If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove your weren't a racist, you'd better vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you're not an idiot".  Nice.  I love the fact that it's so overtly grammatically incorrect that the maker of the sign doesn't realize the irony in it.

Yikes.  This post isn't going in the direction I wanted it to.  I get all ranty in the morning and wind up offending too many people.  Ok, positive stuff:

- I also woke up with a little Chris Tomlin in my head.

"I will wait for you to move,
 For your mighty hand to save,
 When the troubled waters rise,
 Lord, you are my hiding place".

Lately I've been questioning Why and When on various matters. I remember having a talk with someone when I was about 20 and promising that if I was still not married by the time I was 26, I wasn't going to fret but to use my "gift of singleness" as a tool for God.  I wonder if way back in 1994 if the Lord chuckled when he heard that?

- Memorial Day went off with out a hitch.  The first ribs of the season were tasty.  (Pats myself on my back).  I love my new Tiki torches and my new plastic patio furniture.  Miss Grace was entertained although there were not other little ones.  Thank goodness my friends haven't forgotten what it's like to play like children.  Thanks to all who made it.  And most of all, thanks for your wonderful friendships.  More BBQs to come this season...

ohmygoodness.  It's June already... and a couple of minutes before 7.  Time to wake Sleeping Beauty.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A few things

After seeing a FB friend's post that he's finally had his first bowl of Pho, I have the sudden hankerin' to make a batch.  The problem is that it takes forever... or phoever.  Ha!  I was thinking about cleaning out the old smoker for some ribs and tips come Sunday, but maybe we're due for a nice bowl of noodles.

In other news, it was a full day:

  • Rugrat Wednesday included painting and then some "supervising" for those who sold so many boxes in some various Bounce Houses.  Problem was, where said Bounce Houses were set up, there were a ton of thorns.  It was pleasure mixed with pain for the kiddos.  While they wanted to bounce their little hearts out, there were stickers everywhere!  
  • Playdate with Miss Emily M.  This one went better than expected.  Still learning the "we don't have to agree on everything but we can still have fun concept".  
  • The Money Grab.  Miss Grace won the opportunity to grab as much as she could in 30 seconds for selling 30 boxes of cookies.  She was one of 10 in the entire school from what I understand.  The whole concept trips me out:  she stands in this plastic box in the middle of this pile of cash that's being blown around her for 30 seconds and what she grabs is hers.  The whole thing has GREED written all over this... but how come I'm the only one who's weirded out by this?  
  • I cleaned the house from top to bottom. I love a clean house.  
  • Dinner at Piazza Del Panne with Miss Grace.  We had originally planned to picnic at the park, but Holy Moly the wind was nuts tonight... and it got cold!  
  • Church at The Well.  Well.  I don't know.  Tonight's message was kind of unnerving.  Yesterday I posted a link to a charge that a Republican senator from Minnesota gave to his constituents and colleagues regarding the measure concerning gay marriage on the ballot.  I feel like the Pastor, while he isn't my Facebook friend, read my post and gave a public rebuttal.  I still don't agree.  Still, I do think I'm a Jesus freak... but I don't think being gay is a sin.  So why was that EVEN brought up tonight?  We were talking about idolatry...  Argh. I feel like that's a huge dividing line that really shouldn't be.  Think about how much more unified we would be as a church if we could stop judging things we just don't understand and just start loving...

Anyhoo.  I got some laundry to fold...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well I just had one of the most scariest 30 minutes of my life.  Deanna, Sophia's little classmate across the street went missing.  Yes, missing.  For a solid hour...  maybe more.  I am seriously emotionally exhausted right now, but thank you Jesus, she was sleeping under a pile of blankets in the living room.  The police came out and our whole neighborhood... even the disabled and the punk ass kid next door were up and down the streets searching.  But yes, the whole time little Deanna was just in a deep, deep slumber under some blankets.  Mind you, she has 4 other brothers and sisters so this definitely feasible.  Mom and Dad watch those kiddos like hawks.  Anytime anyone of them is out front playing an adult is always out front so it was a sheer mystery of where she would of went.  While Mom and Dad were dealing with the authorities I held onto the baby of the family who was inconsolable herself.  The worse was racing though my mind as Sophia stood beside me asking me what was wrong.  And the wails coming from the house  were something I don't want to hear ever again.   But again, thank you Jesus - she's ok.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Today I came across a couple of things I wanted to repost and share.  Alas, while I would like to spend my time on the social networks socially networking, keeping my home and single-parenting my almost 6 year old doesn't allow for such things these days.  So here you go in a lump:

I get it that politicians are not perfect and only human. The problem comes though is when they throw stones at us.  Why would you try to legislate what you deem to be morality if you can't even hold to that moral code in your own household?  Do you really stand for that then?

And on another note.  I love you Rachel.  The lesbian in me will emerge if you should ever sit at my bar.

"Ghandi was so fucking Christian, he was Hindu" and "Saying you’re a Christian and not following His commandments is like joining Green peace and hating whales".  Oh Bill, how you make me chuckle.  I came across a lot of "Burn in Hell" posts on Facebook when Osama was killed.  I had trouble with that, but with such a sensitive subject I decided to stay silent and reflect instead.  Last year a friendly acquaintance passed away suddenly. I always kept her at an arms length because she had made it a point to call me out on things way personal that were absolutely none of her business.  It was really more her problem than mine but my insecurities always got the best of me and I let it bother me.  So when she passed, I was still dealing with her stuff she brought around.    And because it was still sitting with me when she passed...  I felt like what I felt toward her was still out there, but really insignificant.  I don't even want it to be out there.  It was more me and how I responded than her calling me out.  Bill Maher calls out Christians to where it hurts.  I want to love despite...

Alrighty.  It's off my chest.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's so quiet.  Sophia's at school right now but I have to pick her up in about 10 minutes.

I haven't at all been on the social networking very much as of late.  I found myself during Lent missing it... and not.  And now, well, I haven't been wanting to post at all.   I kind of like my privacy.  Privacy is something I sort of let go little by little as my internet community began to grow.  However now, I'm feeling rather quiet.  Me, quiet?

It's not like I'm not doing things... because I am.  The sun is out and everyday is beautiful.  I just don't feel the need to clue EVERYONE in on that.  I would rather have you there in person with me enjoying the sun.  This is not to say I'm not going to post anymore.  Just not as much and maybe I'll ponder things a bit more before I hit that "send" button.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yesterday at Yosemite Falls. It was only 1/2 a tank of gas to get there. You need to go!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The end of Lent is near.  And can I say - Thank God!  I miss Facebook.  And not.  Admittedly, I've checked it here and there.  It was kind of like giving up meat.  It was there and I could see it, but I didn't indulge.  Giving things up was hard.  In the beginning it was exciting:  this idea of being silent and devoting myself to holiness for a set period.  Yeah, that lasted for about a couple of weeks.  However, this was the most serious I've been about observing Lent in years.  Maybe because I had an accountability partner of sorts.  I haven't had one of those in years.  Yes, I slipped up a couple of times, but that my friends is between me and God.

So Facebook.  Will I come back?  Yes, but I might be changing some things up.  I wear my heart on my sleeve to the point where it's been sort of detrimental on my part.  I'm going to try and make a conscious effort not to be so "raw".  This absence has made me realize how much hiding out I do with the guise of being attached to everyone because I have the internets streaming into my kitchen 24/7.  How attached am I though?  When was the last time I had a dinner guest over?  Speaking of which, what are you all doing for Easter?  Nope.  Not going to church.  It's way too crowded.  I'm definitely firing up the grill.  A little lamb.  Maybe some ribs?  Anyway, lighter posts are on the way, (includes the blog) and some not (I'm still me).  

Subject change:  

What I did for Spring Break (and sadly it didn't include margaritas).  

I procured an extra kiddo for 24 hours beginning Monday night.  It was Sophia's first sleepover with a friend and Marianna was on Spring Break.  Her Mama's a teacher who's  Break is next week so it was me and the two rugrats... alone.  Did I mention that both are "only childs"?  Sleepover was interesting.  Mari accused Sophia of being mean... which she was, but Sophia had ideals of what should be taking place.  This in turn made Mari feign a stomach ache and request (one of many) that she wants to go home.  I stuck it out and this smile in the above picture made it's appearance many more times throughout our adventure.  

Here they are the next morning.  We took a road trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and they started out telling secrets.  I still don't know what they are.  So it was two kindergarteners,

my faithful friend Digger

and me.  (You have to be a little nutty to do what I did).  

First stop, Casa de Tourist trap.  Still a fond childhood memory.  Took the girls through all the stuff I did when I was their age when I stopped through with my parental guidance.

We got our wiggles out.

We loved on each other.

We greeted the ducks.

We got tangled up with the doggie.

And we walked the rails back to our car.

We arrived!  



Starfish with long spindly arms with pokey things coming out of those arms.  I think these were my favorite of the day.  


The bottom side to a starfish.  

Cuttlefish.  These guys change color right before your eyes!

A seahorse.


They realized they would get a better view if they crouched on their knees as opposed to trying to hang on the rail.  


All sorts of cuteness.  They lasted for a little over an hour in the aquarium.  And as opposed to last time, this time we made it through the whole thing!  

Next stop the Carmel River Beach.

The girls wanted to bury me.  I let them do my feet.  

Dying to go in to the 50 degree water. 

A souvenir.  The germaphobe in me saw flesh eating bacteria written all over it.  

And my artsy shot at the end of the day.  From here we headed out.  Home by 7ish.  Pizza by 7:30ish.  Bed for the both of us by 8:30ish.  I was out by 10.  

Believe it or not, I want to do something like this again.  Maybe with another adult though...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day #3 and the kiddo is still sick! And well, let's face it: I am too, but not as bad as her. While she hasn't been running a temp, there's still a lot of hacking, congestion, and stuffy noses. I, on the other hand am on the mend. I suppose she is too, but the process for her seems to be a bit slower than mine. Or maybe I've been sick but as a Mom, the world doesn't stop. What happened to the days when someone took care of me? My Mom came out yesterday to chill with Sophia so I could head to the gym and to the grocery store but she also charged me five bucks for gas. Understandably so, but, well - Waaaaaaa!!! Ok. That there is my cry for the day. Did I also mention that my Internet is down? Having not been on the Social Network for a good month now it's not that big of a deal but on a day like today...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And your point is...   I knew someone who was picked up for soliciting a hooker as well.  I would imagine you do to except you may not know it...

Monday, April 4, 2011

People who open doors for others officially make up for Santa Claus not being real and all.

- as Tweeted by Soulpancake just a few minutes ago.

Coffee at the Iron Bird while listening to my friend of a few years and barista Kevin strum while on his break. Read the paper and have decided I want chickens. Read my Nouwen for the day and I know I am loved.

"... when Jesus talks about faith, he means first of all to trust unreservedly that you are loved, so that you can abandon every false way of obtaining love".
- Henri Nouwen

Time to get to work.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm feeling rather posty today.  Funny because when I stepped away from Facebook I kind of stepped away from the computer all together.  However this morning I was a bit frustrated and I had to get it out.  It's been sitting with me all day.  On my way to church this evening I prayed that God would show me how do deal with this.  Do I pursue it, or do I drop it?  How do I conduct myself with the neighbors?  How do I respond to the kid next door next time I see him?

Tonight the Pastor taught from Luke 19:11, The parable of the Ten Servants.  This is what I came away with: Be faithful with what God has given you.  Be about what Jesus was about -

"For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost"  Luke 19:10.  

And then we closed with a song with lyrics from Micah 6:8.   I looked it up in The Message and although less poetic from the King James I like the message it conveys better -

"But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, 
   what God is looking for in men and women.
It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, 
   be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don't take yourself too seriously— 
   take God seriously".

And there's my answer.  My reoccurring theme that I suppose will remain with me until the end of my days is Grace.  When the Pastor closed he charged us to "keep the main thing, the main thing".  It's easy for me to forget when I want justice... for me.  (Gosh Darnit, $400-$600 gone!)  But the kid next door needs the same grace I do... everyday.  Wow.

Hard but good lesson learned.
Innocent shminocent.

"The sad thing is that my son is the innocent bystander in it all".
    - The mother of the boy who was an accomplice in the breaking in of my house.

I finally got a chance to catch my neighbor this morning as she was pulling back into her driveway.  She's been avoiding me, even not returning my phone call after all this went down.  How is that possible?  She says she's been on him, but he comes and goes with his friends as he pleases.  Her son distracted his grandfather and kept watch while his friend broke into my house.  He's not innocent.  She also said that the other kid said that he did yard work for me and that's how he knew where my stuff was.  The other kid has never done yard work for me.  This is how I know they knew where my things were:  twice before the side door to the garage was open.  Her son could have advised his friends against it.  He's so not an innocent bystander.  My Mom's husband said it was due to the expansion and the shrinking of my house.  Only twice in the three years I have lived here and within a couple of weeks of each other?   I told the mother I thought it was strange that none of the parents involved have apologized or had their boys apologize and offer to pay me back.  This included her.  It seemed to fly right over her head.  She told me that the mother of the other boys is an addict and a panhandler.  I asked her if their counselors at school knew about this.  She said they don't go to school at all.  I asked about CPS.  She knew nothing.  In other words, she didn't really know about the company her son was keeping until after the fact.  Bottom line:  it's her mess that she's created but isn't really doing anything about cleaning it up right now.  This is frustrating.   I called the DA's office and they said I should be getting a letter in the mail, but it's already been a full month and nothing...

Do I let it go?  Is letting it go part of forgiving?  Then how is the neighbor going to learn his lesson because it's obvious his mother isn't teaching him.  I don't like how I feel:  violated and angry.  It's uncomfortable seeing them (the boy and his Mom) on the few occasions that I have since the incident.  No apology from them... nothing but excuses.  This is why I want to teach.  I want to make a difference, even if it's the tiniest bit.  I don't expect to be Jamie Escalante, but kids like the neighbor and his punk ass friends have slipped through the cracks because of their home life.  This also makes me want to do even more "right" by my own child.

On Monday after I got home from work and retrieving Sophia from her grandparents I fell onto the couch.   Mondays are long.  I go from 8 until I put the kiddo down for the evening.  Miss Grace was by my side on her Leapster and I was on my phone perfecting my Angry Birds score.  I looked at the kiddos face all blue from the glow of her game and I freaked.  While we were sitting next to each other, we weren't engaged with each other.  I asked her if she wanted to play some Hi-Ho Cheerio and she was completely down.  The next hour and half was spent fully engaged with Miss Grace, not just keeping her entertained, but playing a fun board game, chowing on some Strawberry Shortcake,  telling jokes and talking about our days, giving her a "pink" bath and reading stories before bedtime.  Sometimes when it's just me and her and I'm tired, I find myself tuning out and only entertaining, but not engaging.  My 5 year old is a smart one with a full mind of her own now.  I remember being 5 and being a fully rational thinker complete with my own secrets.   I wonder what Miss Grace knows?

I don't want her to be that kid that slips through the cracks because of her Mother only entertained her...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The future has already begun and is revealed each time strangers are welcomed, the naked are clothed, the sick and prisoners are visited, and oppression is overcome.
- Henry JM Nouwen

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My copy came yesterday via Amazon.  I can't wait to read it and see what the controversy is all about.  It hadn't even come out and left and right there was criticism calling out Rob Bell as a "heretic" and that he's preaching "Universalism".  Gather the angry mobs!  Bring this man down!  Seriously.  I read that garbage. Even my own pastor, without naming Rob Bell directly preached a Hell, Fire and Brimstone message a couple of weeks ago just as the book was being released.  He cautioned us against Universalism.  What's so wrong with questioning and looking at the Bible with an open mind?  The older I become and the more people I meet with diverse backgrounds, I have trouble believing that my way is the "only" way.  (And I know what many of you may be thinking:  that I'm treading on thin ice).  But really, if you were raised in Islam the way you were raised in Christianity, you would probably look at Christianity and you might think it was a crock.  So who's to say that I'm right and you are wrong?  And as far as Christianity and the Bible is concerned, there are so many different interpretations out there of the original Aramaic and Hebrew that isn't it possible some of the context has been lost?  This is what I know:  God is Love.  He sent his son to live among us as Love.  As a believer, I need to show that same Love and Grace to everyone.  In my humble opinion, calling out Rob Bell as a heretic and a Universalist isn't very loving... to him or to the Universalist.

I'm struggling these days.  The novelty of Lent has worn thin and I'm officially in the thick of it.  I want Pho.  I want an Irish Coffee.  And yes, I want to hop on "the book" and see what my friends are up to.  On the other hand it's been fun finding Veggie recipes and making meals that Miss Grace is devouring, even though meatless.  Not imbibing on a daily basis has allotted me a clear mind and a ton more energy.  And refraining from Facebook has caused me to go outside myself and actually call a friend or two and build friendships the old fashioned way... over tea and dinner.  Who would of thought?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday morning Iron Bird redone: Revue ex-patriots 13 years later.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This is something I would have posted on FB yesterday.  Instead I'll share it here.

On giving up Facebook

It's only Day #2 of no Facebook and I'm fine.  It's not like I thought I would have withdrawals or anything but I am very well aware of how often I'm logged on.  At one point on my phone, it was completely a subconscious thing when I toggled over before I recognized what I was doing.  I have 3 notifications.   I didn't look at them though.  I need to remove it from the phone all together.  Yesterday was nice.  Already I'm on my phone and my computer a whole lot less.

I have a dilemma though.  Whereas I should of posted to FB where I'm sure I would have dozens chiming in offering their advice it's very rare that I get a comment here even though my "counter" indicates that people are stalking... um, reading...  Anyway, my dilemma:  My friend and I are hosting a baby shower for Jason, my cohort behind the bar.  While I have personal invites, his circle of friends is huge being the Tower regular that he is.  I want to make an event on FB, but am I breaking with the swearing off of FB for Lent if I do?  I'm going to post a link to this blog.  I can do that without logging on.  What I would like for you to do, even if you don't have a blogger account is to respond here.  You can do so anonymously and sign your name on your comment.  Should I just log on to create an event?  Or should I get one of my graphically talented friends to draw up a flier?  Should I create the event here on my blog?

Yes, it's quite the quandary.
Good Choice #1 today:  I'm having oatmeal for breakfast - or rather oatmemeal as Miss Grace would call it.      On a typical day I skip breakfast.  I know, bad choice.  I'm usually just not hungry.  But this morning I am. I'm going to attribute it to my meatless dinner last night.  While the kiddos (playgroup at my house before church) had chicken tacos I made this:

A burrito filled with diced sweet potatoes sauteed with onions and blackbeans, topped with salsa, avocado, and queso fresco.  It was magnifique!  Meatless will be fun but meatless will be challenging as well.  This weather makes me want to use my newly restored grill for things of the fleshy nature like a nice rack of ribs.  I make a mean rack of smoked ribs you know...  For now though my Moosewood Cookbooks are out and bookmarked.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hate hit close to home this week.  Way to close to home.  First there was the kids that broke into my home.  I've come to the conclusion that this isn't the first time they were in my home either.  Second, there was a shooting at a family party where my daughter was.  I was at work and she was with her grandparents.  Two people were injured and a family member was killed.  Somebody just walked up and started shooting into the crowd out in the front yard.  Luckily Sophia was in another part of the house but there were children everywhere.  Last night she talked of fireworks going off and hurting people.  And worse?  The shooter got away.  My heart is breaking for Sophia's Dad's family.  His Mom even is in hospital now from all the stress.  These days I'm a little removed from them so it's all I can do to pray.

A few years ago my relationship ended horribly with Sophia's father. I harbored so much hate from that.  And then more recent when what I thought was supposed to be forever came to a bitter end, I got really angry as a result of my hatred for the situation.  All the hate affected me physically now that I think about all my ailments this past year... It all came to a head in one really ugly episode...  a solid two months ago now.   Maybe I needed that.  Hate is exhausting.  We all have our own paths to follow and my own is what I should be focusing on.  Since then it's been a slow humbling climb back up but I can honestly say that the hate is gone.  What a great weight to be lifted!  All is becoming right in my world, or as right as it can be which I guess is right for me.

Why all the hate?  Jesus.  Let it go!  Why break into my house, rifle through my things, steal from me, shoot up my extended family with MY child in the house?


So here we are fast approaching the Lenten season.  Actually it's here already being Fat Tuesday.  I'm giving up a few things:

  • Facebook.  Yup.  While it's a great tool for communicating I'm going to take this season to look within and also to reach out.  Facebook makes it way too easy to be present... but not.  Facebook also kind of creates a false social circle that can be entirely way too large.  I'll be back in 40 days, but time to go outside and play.  
  • Flesh.  It's traditional.   And while I'm not traditionally catholic by any means, just the idea of denying myself something that I indulge in every single day makes perfect sense in this time of self discipline. 
  • Booze.  I'm a bartender.  I could use this.  

Even more so than giving up things I think I need to take this time to focus on:  
  • Loving more of myself and others.  Had I done this YEARS ago, maybe I wouldn't have been so angry the last few years.  I want others to see Jesus in me by not what I'm giving up, but what I'm focusing on.  Love.  
Anyway, just so you all know I will be keeping the blog going.  You can check me here, but as of tomorrow morning bye bye Facebook for 40 days.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ok. I'm a little freaked out and rightfully so. My safe space was violated yesterday. The kiddo is with her grandmother and tonight it's me... and my vicious dog and rabid cat... and my dead fish. While the perps are just punks and either currently incarcerated or on house arrest, I still feel not as secure as I did. Fuckers. I work hard for what I have and they came in and took it like they were entitled to it...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

So all is well in the Widenham residence again... all except for missing a few hundred dollars and feeling incredibly violated.  Yesterday while I was volunteering in Sophia's kindergarten class my house was broken into.  The spare key was missing and my side door to the garage which leads right into my house was unlocked.  The perpetrators?  The neighbor kid (17) and his friend.  They only took a couple of things:  my old iPhone and my "mad money".  Every shift I work I take 20 off the top and throw it in a jar with all the spare change of the day.  It had been going for at least a couple of months and now, it's all gone... except for the $61 that the cops returned after the kids 'fessed up.

I'm feeling much better about things today.  In fact, I'm feeling really bad for the kid.  His home life isn't that great, resulting in the fact that he has a total lack of respect for the adults in the house.  His mom, who thinks she's doing the right thing, lets him and his friends blaze up in the backyard with the mentality that "at least she knows he's safe".  He's in a Continuation program instead of real school.  I understand personal responsibility and it's high time he learns that, but really... it isn't his fault.  Still, I will be pressing charges.  All is forgiven but at 17 there is still time to learn the hard way.   I also want to talk to him...  I don't think anyone has in a long time.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Saw this on a license plate yesterday: In case of rapture, the car is up for grabs. Found myself thinking, "Is this really what it's all about?" I wondered how this represents Christianity to the one who is searching or to one of another tradition. It makes Christians look like the latest get rich scheme or some kind of exclusive club. This scares me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The season of Lent is coming.  In years past, I've observed it, but somewhere along those 40 days I tend to lose focus.  However, reflecting back I realize that it's all just part of the journey.  Since the last few months have been marked by a return to faith I'm going to give it a go again.

Want to know what I'm thinking about denying for the 40 days?  Facebook.  Yup, I said it:  Facebook.   I've noted before:  there are whole days that go by that I don't talk to another adult except for on the internets.  But 10 years ago I was fine without social networking.  Today I'm online more often than not.  It's brought me a little grief, nothing I can't handle, but I think it's time to step back for a bit here, be proactive and maybe get out of my house to talk to another grown up, or maybe to invite people over here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Even though I may blather on and on here, I am a person of solitude.  Yes,  I have 960 something people on my friendslist on Facebook.  I'm not sure how to trim that list down or even if I should.  It's been fun catching up and I value everyone I've met in my past.  I have had many an adventure and I know many people.  However, aside from work, church and other commitments on the weekends I tend to spend a lot of time by myself.  I've also made the comment before, there are somedays that I go without speaking to another adult except for on Facebook.  Although yesterday I didn't post much.  I didn't really have anything witty or charming to say.  And I still don't.

Maybe it's time to take a "social networking" break...

The whole idea that I have voyeurs that don't know me freaks me out.

Why don't you comment?  And I'm talking to those who don't know me... well, I guess those that do too...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 12

A picture of something I hate

I don't hate my yard.  I just hate the fact that it's going to take a lot to get it back to what it once was.  (See yesterday).  I guess we could say it's love/hate because I know it's going to be good for me.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

While in the ER I finally got to finish Jay Bakker's book, Fall To Grace. Some quick thoughts:
  • God's grace is unfathomable. 
  • Grace calls one to challenge one's core belief of what being identified as a Christian is. 
  • Grace compels us to love without finding fault and judgement. 
  • Grace compels us to love with a compassionate heart. 
  • Grace compels me to forgive.
  • Grace asks me to love in the same way.  
I suppose there will be more to come.  This is what I have for now.  Just wanted to get this out there.  

Photo Challenge - Day 11

A Picture of Something I Love

This was my yard June 15, 2009.  I absolutely loved coming out here everyday.  This is my goal for this summer.  It's going to happen.  Time to get some dirt under my nails.  Spring is coming!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 10

A picture of the person you have been close to the longest.

This is my girl Stacy.  We've been buddies since, well, Girl Scouts!  Stacy is my BFF to this day.  This is a picture of us right after she got her new wheels.  We were on our way to Santa Cruz to get out first tattoos. We did some fun stuff back in the day.  We still do fun stuff but with 4 kids in tow and usually an SUV to haul everything in.  She's awesome.  I am blessed.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I love Rev. Run's tweets. Here's his latest: Hating on others will hold up ur blessings.. Scripture talks about this critical spirit.... Its #wack

Recently I found out that there are people that read my blog who don't know me. They only know about me. They make fun of me when they read it... So I'm told. Wow. That's mean.

Stuff like this makes me come face to face with how ugly I can be to people. I don't want that for my life.

I write what I write because I'm trying to better myself and to help others to do so by being so vulnerable. Here's to loving more. Even the haters.

While taken sick this weekend I watched the following movies:

Loved this movie.  Favorite lines -

We have a whole life to live together you fucker, but it can't start until you call.  - Christine
(As me.  I can so identify with this).

I don't want to have to do this living. I just walk around. I want to be swept off my feet, you know? I want my children to have magical powers. I am prepared for amazing things to happen. I can handle it.  -Richard

Too Fat for 40.  Couldn't find a trailer link.  So here's a clip.  Funny stuff... but definitely not for everyone.

I will never get tired of this movie.  It's time to dig out A Mighty Wind.

Crazy good movie.  Wow.  Dysfunction at it's finest.

Photo Challenge - Day 9

I'm hoping this isn't a cop-out, but since I play by my own rules, here you go.

The person that has seen me through the most in my life.

This morning when I was all freaked out about the "coughing up blood" thing, my Mom was the first person I called.

My Mom rocks.
So this is where the part of being partnerless blows.  Do I take myself to the ER or do I wait to see the Dr sometime this week?  I got dressed and the last two times that I've coughed, it's been clear.  Have I been coughing up blood the last three days and just not noticed it?  I only noticed because I actually took a look this morning in the shower.  The coughing fits are less and less, fever and aches are gone and I feel surprisingly good today.  Although it could of been the good company yesterday that hung out and couched it with me all afternoon and evening.  I think I'm going to keep an eye on this a bit more today.  Being by myself though, my mind tends to wander...  I once thought I had leukemia for a good 5 minutes because I thought there was blood in my urine.  Then I remembered I had beets for dinner the night before.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 8

A picture that makes you laugh.

Even fairy princesses have to learn how to potty. 

This would make her around 2 1/2 here.  Maybe a bit older.  My, we've been on our own for a while.