Friday, August 29, 2008

Well, We Got The Knot Tied--Firmly, And With A Big Bow

Disclaimer: I am rather tired, and my eyes won't focus very well, and I can't seem to type or spell today, or even think very clearly. It's taken me forever to write this, and I don't think it's my best writing, but I want to share anyway, while it's still fresh, so bear with me.

Yesterday was the Big Day!

JD and LovelyDaughter were married at just about sunset in a park next to a small lake, surrounded by pine trees, and friends, and family.

It was all we could ask for. The weather was absolutely perfect. There were no bugs or mosquitoes, the sky was beautiful, the trees were pretty, the lake was full, the grass was green, and there was a nice, unassuming little breeze to offset the warmth of the sunshine.

JD's grandpa brought his little camping cabin/trailer that looks like a tiny log cabin on wheels, which we parked to use as a dressing room for the girls. When it was time for them to appear, they came out of the cabin and walked barefoot across the grass, down the "aisle" that was outlined with a string of white lights, until they reached the stage area, where the groom already was waiting. The boys and I played pretty music (and I got to use my new fancy five-string violin).

Then it was time for the bride. LovelyDaughter stepped down from the cabin's little porch with her dad's help and they walked, holding hands, toward the front. When they had gone about two-thirds of the way, Hubby dropped her hand and said, "Go." And LovelyDaughter picked up her skirts and ran the rest of the way to meet JD, which produced a burst of spontaneous applause and laughter from the audience. It was an action so typical of LovelyDaughter.

The boys left their instruments and stood in their role of groomsmen while JD and LovelyDaughter said their vows (which JD had written, and they were very heartfelt and real), and then exchanged rings. The pastor pronounced them man and wife, and then JD kissed his new wife, long and hard and enthusiastically, to the accompaniment of much laughter and applause.

Then the pastor led them in communion together, and then Hubby and two dear family friends, Swede, and RR, came forward to bless and pray for the new couple. RR is Jewish, and he gave a wonderful Jewish blessing, spoken in both Hebrew and English.

And then GuitarGeek turned everyone loose, and we had a picture-taking session with the lake and pines in the background, and anyone with a camera could take photos, which added a real audience-participation, party atmosphere.

When the food was ready we all went over to the picnic shelter to watch JD and LovelyDaughter cut the first piece of cake (which, by the way, was a beautiful four-tier chocolate-chocolate cake decorated with pink silk roses). I had strictly cautioned them not to have too much fun with the cake, because, how do you get chocolate out of white satin? (I had good reason to be concerned, because JD and LovelyDaughter love to have food fights.)

JD showed remarkable restraint, and managed to hang around and greet people for a whole hour after the ceremony, and then he announced to everyone that he was stealing away his bride and taking off. With that, he swept LovelyDaughter off her feet and ran to his waiting car.

And then-- he caught his foot in LovelyDaughter's dress and they both crashed down on to the gravel. If it had been me, I would have been crushingly humiliated. JD and Lovelydaughter just laughed and kept going. They picked themselves up, and tried it again-- but this time JD just walked, fast!

And then-- JD came running back, announcing that we had a serious situation on our hands. His car was trapped between two cars and he couldn't get out, and he was frantic to find someone to move those cars.

Yes, it was a "problem." Two cars had somehow been parked within an inch or two of JD's bumpers. Hm. I wonder how that happened....

Swede, MandoNut, and WTal confessed later that they couldn't resist the prank after hearing JD brag earlier about how he had parked his car for a "quick getaway"!

Anyway, I felt the delay was providential, because it had been a bit of a hard moment for me to have JD sweep LovelyDaughter away without me having a chance to say good-bye, and this way I had a few moments to make sure she was okay after the fall, and say "Good-bye, I love you" one last time.

Today, we are very tired, both physically and emotionally. I feel as if I've had a shock. A good shock, if that's possible. It seems like any kind of major change is a jolt, of sorts, and our bodies and emotions have to regroup.

Hubby says with every good new thing gained, there is a loss. We have lost our little girl who lives with us; but we've gained a married daughter and a new son. We have come to the end of these days; but we have new ones coming. As long as I look forward, I'm happy, excited, optimistic. When I look back, I grieve.

Tomorrow I will clean up and put things away, and tie up loose ends, and make new plans, and look with optimism to the future and all the good, new, bright things it holds.

But today is my day --just one more time-- to look back, to remember, to grieve for what is gone.

And then-- forward and onward.

Congratulations, JD and Lovelydaughter. I will love you both as long as I live.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Wedding Countdown: TWO DAYS, y'all!

At least, I think it's two days. Let's see, today is Tuesday, tomorrow is Wednesday and, yes, the next day is IT.

You know, these big, fun, Life Events would be even more fun if LIFE didn't interfere. If somehow food would appear on the table, ready to eat, and laundry would suddenly be clean, folded, ready to wear. And the bills would send themselves. And no one would get sick.

Oh well. It's good. We are all excited, but actually, kind of ready for it to HAPPEN already.

Besides, it occurred to me the other day, that all of our favorite people are going to be in one place at the same time. How cool is that? We are not just having a wedding. It's a PARTY!

Monday, August 25, 2008

So I Had All These Great Things I Wanted To Write About...

...But I feel horrible today. I ACHE ACHE ACHE all over, and I'm so tired I cannot hardly see straight. Really. The eyes do not focus well when everything hurts.

And that's on top of feeling absolutely rotten yesterday as well.

I need a good night's sleep very badly. But over the last week I've been suffering from night time achiness-- which now has expanded to ALL DAY achiness-- that makes my legs and arms extremely restless, and sleep is not easy. And when I do sleep I wake up tired.

How will I do this? The wedding is in THREE days.

I'm not worried about the wedding. But I AM worried if I feel this bad. How will I ever do the last minute stuff, and enjoy the wedding?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

And now I'm EXHAUSTED...

...but not for the reason you think. You see, I watched a movie last night.

I don't watch movies, not REAL movies. The movies I've seen over the last few months include "Robots," "Monsters, Inc," "The Incredibles," "Toy Story 2." Okay, I've also seen "Enchanted," and "The Princess Diaries." But are you seeing a pattern? In general, I tend to watch, on the rare occasion I do watch, tame, light-hearted, family-oriented stuff. Stuff that makes you laugh and has a happy ending.

Well, the movie I watched last night was a little different. It had a happy ending, but it was not exactly light-hearted.

What happened was this: about a month ago, when Hubby and I were getting ready to go to Denver with Swede, I thought it would be a great idea to take my laptop along for the ride. I knew that I would have the backseat to myself, while Swede and Hubby chatted in the front seat and I was sure I'd get bored.

And I remembered that iTunes now lets you download movies to watch, so I thought, "Cool, I'll just rent a movie. I'm so hip!"

I did a little research, and narrowed my choices down to three, and the morning we were to leave I made my final selection.

It reminds me of the time years ago Hubby and I were on vacation. We were in Colorado Springs very early, while it was still dark, and we thought, "Hey! Let's watch the sunrise from the top of Pikes Peak!"

Oh the innocence of ignorance.

If you don't know-- like we didn't-- there is a gate at the bottom of Pikes Peak, that doesn't open till well after sunrise, and then you have to pay to go through it, and then it takes a good two hours to drive to the top.

We got to see NOON from the top.

So, about my movie.

I began downloading it, and was informed that estimated download time was eight hours. EIGHT HOURS? EIGHT? Are you kidding? Steve Jobs said nothing about it taking ALL DAY to download a movie. He made it sound quick and easy.

Suffice it to say that we were in Denver by the time the movie was downloaded, and it and the computer were at home.

All that to say, that since then I've had a rented movie waiting to be watched whenever I had a spare two hours. I finally got around to it last night. I figured I'd better, since I had two days before the rental expired, and that would be a total and complete waste of $2.99, not to mention the HOURS of download time, and the pain and agony of going on a trip WITHOUT MY LAPTOP.

The movie was Ladyhawke. Anybody seen it? It came out in 1985, and it was exhausting to watch.

The movie is set in the middle ages and the cast includes a man and woman in love, a disappointed and furious rejected would-be suitor, an immature sidekick who was in prison for pickpocketing, but escaped, a drunk monk, and lots of vicious soldiers.

The plot twist is that the man and woman have been cursed so that he is always a wolf by night, and she is always a hawk by day. They travel together, she as his pet by day, and he as her sort of wild pet by night. Always together, but always apart.

There is lots of killing (although DrummerDude said it's not as bad as Lord of the Rings--which, in that case, I've thankfully never seen), and Hubby said they left dead bodies scattered EVERYWHERE. There were also lots of swords, and horses, and beautiful scenery, and suspense. In fact, every possible moment of suspense was drawn out to the breaking point. To. The. Breaking. Point.

By the time the movie was over-- I'm seriously not kidding-- I was drenched with sweat and shaking. And that was after covering my eyes for lots of it and telling DrummerDude to tell me when it was safe to look.

At least it had a happy ending, but boy did we have to pay for it in emotional drainage. Doggone!

One of the very, very few light moments in the movie had the drunk monk telling the pickpocket, "I'd better see you at the Pearly Gates someday." And the pickpocket answered, "I'll be there if I have to pick the lock!"

So that's why I'm exhausted today. Completely aside from the hours of yard work I've done over the last three days, that made my muscles so sore I couldn't sleep last night, and had to get up and take aspirin and calcium and homeopathic preparations for muscle aches before I could finally rest. No, I'm not tired AT ALL from that.

It's all the movie's fault. Of course.

Friday, August 22, 2008

For ME? Aw, Shucks.

Carrie at ChocolatetheOtherWhiteMeat has presented me with an award.

(I accidentally typed "awardy" the first time. Just a cute, little award I guess...)

But to get my award I have to do a meme, so forward and onward to the prize set before me....

A. Attached or single? Attached, definitely.

B. Best friend? Hubby, and then LovelyDaughter

C. Cake or pie? Cake, if it's chocolate.

D. Day of choice? Whatever day I've been looking forward to.

E. Essential item? hot showers.

F. Favorite color? For walls, yellow. For flowers, red. For clothes, pink or brown.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Ugh. Do I have to choose? Sour worms, I guess, but I'd rather chocolate covered pecans.

H. Hometown? A small town in Nebraska

I. Indulgence? Dove dark chocolate

J. January or July? January. I love curling up by the woodstove while it snows outside.

K. Kids? Four of them, who are not exactly "kids" anymore.

L. Life isn’t complete without? Hearing God speak to me regularly

M. Marriage date? October 10, 1981

N. Number of brothers & sisters? one brother

O. Oranges or apples? oranges

P. Phobias? disappointing people, therefore I have a phobia of expectations. I don't know if I can do it, therefore you'll be disappointed, and AAAAAAAAAAHHH!

Q. Quotes? "This is a PERFECT time to panic!" (Toy Story)

R. Reasons to smile? the family gathered around the supper table telling jokes

S. Season of choice? Fall

T. Tag seven peeps! SEE BELOW

U. Unknown fact about me? Unknown to whom?

V. Vegetable? Broccoli

W. Worst habits? Procastinating. Jumping to conclusions.

X. X-ray or ultrasound? for what?

Y. Your favorite food? fresh homemade bread with lots of real butter, beside a plate of pasta

Z. Zodiac sign? Um, as I recall it's Pisces, but does it really matter?

Okay! I get my award now!:

And I have to get to pass it on to another incredible seven, um, FIVE (sorry) people, who write at the following blogs:

curiosities of my brain

How the Lilies Grow

Baby Makes 3

Honey, I Fed the Kids

Thoughts From Miller Manor

When you five have done the meme and collected your award, be sure to pass it on!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wedding Countdown: ONE Week-- ONE!

Well, y'all. It's time to either panic or not. We have ONE week left (in case you missed that).

Actually, plans are going well, and there really isn't much left to do, until the day itself.

We have Hubby's suitcoat, which we thought we had, but it didn't fit, and we weren't able to get one that did, and I hunted and searched and shopped, and FINALLY found a suitable (ha-- get it? Suitable?) option. JUST LAST WEEK. Too close for comfort, my friends.

Anyway, we also now have many other miscellaneous details accounted for.

So. I think we're... yes, I really think... is it possible? We're READY!

Now to clean house, and give myself a pedicure, and trim my hair, and cut DrummerDude's hair (if he'll let me), and mow the yard, and weedeat, and put new siding on the house, and weed the flower borders. You know, last minute stuff like that.

Taking a deep breath. I'll. Be. Fine.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wanting To Believe

I had a dream two nights ago.

Before I tell you about it though, I have to confess something: I believe God speaks through dreams.

Not that every dream a person has is a message from God. Just that sometimes dreams are a vehicle God uses to communicate with us. There are many examples in the bible, and I've heard many stories of people today who have heard from God via a dream. I've had quite a few myself.

It's been a while since I've had one of those dreams. In fact, it's been a while since I've had any dream at all, that I can remember, so I took notice.

In the dream, I was sitting and chatting with someone, when a dark-haired girl about nine or ten years old walked up to me. She was trembling just a little, and she looked intently right into my eyes.

In almost a whisper, she said forcefully, "Your days are numbered!"

I thought, "Oh wow, this person with me is hearing me get a prophetic word! I'd better explain."

So I turned to the person and said, "That sounds strange, to be told my days are numbered, but really, it means God has heard my prayers, because for a while now I've been praying for God to teach me to number my days."

(And that's true, I have been praying that, from Psalm 90, verse 12: "Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.")

When I woke up, my first reaction was fear, because usually the phrase, "your days are numbered" has a bad connotation. But I reassured myself that in the dream it was a good thing.

Later I told Hubby about it, wondering out loud what it could mean. The girl was so intent, her eyes boring right into me, that it seemed like it must have significance.

Then, suddenly, I remembered another verse:

"In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed." (Psalm 139:16)

I began to cry. God has my life in his book. Each day is accounted for. Even when I feel like I have no dreams, or I'm trapped, or I'm failing.

That's exactly what I needed to hear.

You see, while life has been good this summer, and full of changes and excitement, when it all comes down, it's been about LovelyDaughter and HER dreams.

Of course, it's all part of my dreams, too, to see my daughter (and all the boys, too) well married and successfully living their lives.

But after next week, life will be back to MY life. No wedding, no honeymoon, no big plans to travel, or be missionaries, or move to another state, or...or anything. Because those are LovelyDaughter's and JD's dreams.

It's been fun to piggyback on their dreams this summer. It feels like life is going somewhere, even though, really, MY life is just staying right here, helping with tree work, supporting Hubby through his depression, doing dishes, cooking meals, trying to help GuitarGeek overcome his chronic fatigue, living with dirty socks and gross jokes and loud music, and other people's stuff everywhere.

But-- God just told me that my days are numbered. He's keeping track. And it's all adding up to a great book someday!

DISCLAIMER: I love my boys very much; even though I joke about "living in a boys dorm," the socks DO get washed, and the grossness only happens occasionally, and the stuff eventually gets picked up, and the music is not loud ALL the time. But some days it still adds up to feeling like my life is all about other people, and who am I?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Changes, Changes; or, Happy Blogoversary to Me

July 27 marked for me one year of blogging. The date went by unnoticed by everyone but me, but I was too busy to do anything about it at the time.

In the past year I have experimented with different styles of writing, and different subjects. Sometimes I've tried to be amusing, sometimes I've tried to be poignant. Sometimes I've tried to tell stories, and other times I've just ranted.

I still don't feel like I've found my "voice," and I really have no idea what my blog personality should be. Probably because I have no idea what my Real Life personality is. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? What do I want to be when I grow up? (see, that's me trying to be funny. Is it working?)

And lately I've even considered abandoning the blog altogether. You know, blog angst: What do I have to say, really? Who is even reading? Does anyone care? (Does anyone know what time it is....? Blah, blah, blah....)

However, I've decided to hang around for a while longer, and in honor of that decision, I'm in the process of changing the look of my blog.

How do I have time to do that, you ask, seeing as I have lots to do for the upcoming wedding? If you remember, I said I was sick for two days. A person can get a lot of computer time in, laying on the futon with the laptop, in between running to the bathroom and sleeping. Playing around online takes one's mind off of how LOUSY/ACHEY/NAUSEOUS one feels.

So during that time I found a cool website called The Cutest Blog On The Block. They have a couple of hundred creative and cute Blogger backgrounds for FREE, and they are very easy to implement. I highly recommend checking them out if you are in need of a blog change, and aren't ready to fork over real cash for it.

And now, back to my regularly scheduled life, which today includes finishing the corn-freezing project (did 37 quarts last night) and running wedding errands.

By the way, I actually made it to the grocery store yesterday. Can you say Hallelujah!?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wedding Countdown: Two Weeks! or, Keeping The Main Thing The Main Thing


Not really, but yeah, sort of.

I've been sick for nearly two days, and not only have I hated feeling that bad, I've also felt my panic meter rising. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO BE SICK!

I have stuff to do. Not tons of stuff, since this is a simple wedding, but still, there are things that need doing, and need doing NOW. Or very close to NOW.

I'm also worried that somehow I will forget some important detail that will rise up on the day of the wedding and cause chaos and panic. LovelyDaughter and JD tell me that is an unfounded fear. After all, they say, what else is there to do? What could go wrong?

LovelyDaughter insists that as long as the result is that she ends up married to JD, nothing else matters very much. And she's probably right.

Of course she's right. What am I thinking?

Besides details like ice, and porta-potties, and music gear, and water, and people, and feeding our crew on the wedding day, and everyone getting through the shower on time, and picking up flowers, and buying stuff, and...and....


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In Lieu of a Thousand Words....

Here are a scant few of the pictures DrummerDude took while on our trip to Colorado.

In the van on the way out. Thank technology for laptops! (Those are LovelyDaughter's feet.)

DrummerDude chillin' to some music.


Lovely, lovely Colorado woods. They have such a wonderful, distinctive smell. LovelyDaughter and I gathered up bits and pieces of leaves and bark to create our own "Colorado Potpourri" to bring home.

Mist on the lake. (We were in the Red Feather Lakes area.)

Friendly chipmunks. These guys were incredibly tame. One of them jumped up on JD's lap and stole his cookie-- the whole thing! Faster than you could blink, it was gone.

A shining example, not only of water and sky, but of DrummerDude's photography.

On the rocks. Go, JD!

MB3, LovelyDaughter, and JD

Breakfast at BaseCamp. GuitarGeek, Hubby, and me.

MB3 climbing,....




The view from the top of the rock pile.

Lake and mountains, clouds and mist

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Home Again

We arrived home last night from our trip to Colorado, tired from driving all day, but happy, and a little fruity. LovelyDaughter spent the last hour or so of the trip singing all the old folk songs she could think of, and by the time we pulled in the driveway we were down to the silliest camp songs we know, and even the boys were joining in.

When we walked in we saw a stack of UPS boxes: all the stuff I'd ordered for the wedding right before we left. It was like Christmas, and of course we had to open everything before we unloaded the van. MB3 tried on his shirt and vest right away, and they fit.

Well, he says he's swimming in them, but he LOOKS good, so I think we're all right.

It's very quiet around here today. We've had a whole week of extreme togetherness, and, while it was very fun and enjoyable, now we're needing some alone time, so everyone is scattered to their little corners, resting and re-charging.

I may or may not post photos of our trip later. I didn't take along our camera for various reasons, but DrummerDude had his fancy new camera and took several hundred pictures. I'm sure I'll want to show you some of those!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Colorado, Here We Come

"Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

That's what we're doing this week.

Although, we could argue that getting the family out of the heat and humidity for a few days is a necessity...

See y'all in a few days.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Melts in your mouth AND in your hand AND in your house AND...

It is SO hot here today. Temp reached 96F with about 90% humidity. Ugh.

It doesn't help AT ALL that today was the day our old, hard-working window air conditioner groaned dismally and breathed its last.

And then I pretty much did the same thing.

It also didn't help that today was the day I was trying to get a lot of baking done, preparatory to our leaving for Colorado on Monday. You know we can't live without our homemade bread (and cookies), even on a camping trip.

ESPECIALLY on a camping trip, where we're trying to save money while eating as healthy as possible on easy-prep foods.

I tried, really, to get as much baking done early this morning as I could, but I still ended up heating the house abominably with the baking.

LovelyDaughter and JD went swimming in the late afternoon-early evening, and I wish I had just dropped everything and gone along. Believe me, I didn't get much done beyond melting. But they inspired me to at least take a COLD shower, which definitely helped. My brain actually began functioning again-- and I hadn't even realized I was lacking.

Tomorrow we have a big day planned. There is a bridal shower in the afternoon for LovelyDaughter, for which we have to drive to BigCity, so she and I are going to go in the morning and attend church with some friends, and do a little shopping before the party.

Alas for the guys: they are on their own ALL DAY. However, they won't be totally bereft-- I'm leaving them a Pizza Hut coupon.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's WONDER-ful

I've been using the Book of Common Prayer, which uses its own translation of the Psalms. It's been interesting to me to see verses I've read all my life in the King James version come alive in a new way in a different translation. The slightly changed wording often gives me a fresh understanding.

A couple of examples:

Psalm 118:24
KJV "This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

BCP "On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

If you read this verse in context, you find the psalm is talking about the "stone the builders rejected" that has become "the chief cornerstone," referring to Jesus Christ, and in the changed version I suddenly realize the verse can be applied to the day Christ rose from the dead. Just an interesting little twist, I think.

I also like to think about this verse when I'm praying. I know that when God answers my prayer, I will be able to say with the psalmist: "On this day the Lord has acted," and I will rejoice!

Psalm 4:3
KJV "But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him."

BCP "Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful: when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me."

I've always heard this verse used to show us that we belong to God, and he has set us apart, making us holy, which is cool.

But I love the picture the other version gives me: The Lord does WONDERS. For the faithful-- which can be ME!