Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I'm Still Here

In order to dispel any rumors surrounding my absence, like maybe........that I had passed in some holiday incident involving a leaky tree stand, a puddle of water, and a faulty wire on a 100 count string of Christmas lights, I decided I better check in with y'all.  I did get choked on a tortilla chip tonight, but....thankfully, I was able to dislodge it.....and that is as close to death as I've been since we last spoke.  Let me just tell you.......since we talked last, we have become a lazy, gluttonous, lethargic people group over here.

I have eaten everything that would sit still long enough and the sugar and Coke thing?.......out the window.  We've had so much rich food over the last week that if I were to cut my legs shaving, I'm certain that straight cream cheese would ooze out.  "Davis, hurry and get me a Band-Aid....I'm losing a lot of cream cheese in here!"  I'm going to continue this obscene food fest until January 1 when I will resolve to become a sensible, self controlled, productive member of society, once again.  This means I will want to make the most of the next 24 hours.

None of us were really feeling back to ourselves by Christmas.  We were still coughing and snorting and feeling like we needed frequent naps.  We postponed our annual Christmas breakfast to New Year's Day because we figured no one would want to come to this den of pathogens in which we live.  Carson was still running fever and had to miss Christmas Eve at my in-laws' house.  We have a new baby on that side of the family and couldn't risk getting anyone in her family sick.  Look at our adorable, new great-niece and her attentive big brother.      

Christmas Day was nice and quiet.  We got up and they opened four months of shopping in about 10 minutes and then we had a big breakfast and went back to bed for 3 or 4 hours.  It was a glorious and relaxing day. 
We finally showered and shed our pajamas just in time to go to my mother's house for a highly anticipated Christmas dinner.  She did not disappoint.  We all enjoy her prowess in the kitchen. 
A nativity play was also presented by the youngest grandchildren after dinner.  Dinner theatre, if you will.  Little known facts that you may or may not know about Mary and Joseph......Mary often used an office clip to secure her cloak and Joseph.....well, he was a Minecraft fan and, apparently, a messy eater. 
This was our sixth Christmas without my Daddy.  We always have a wonderful time together, but I think we all have the same nagging feeling that we're waiting for everyone to get there.  Someone's missing. 
 
Two days before Christmas, a tornado ripped through my parents' hometown and traveled right through the cemetery where Daddy and other family members are buried.  My grandparents' large headstone was thrown several yards from its foundation and most of the beautiful oak trees are now gone or heavily damaged.  Even worse, we have family members with damaged homes and there were also some fatalities in the small town.  Such a sad thing. 
Before and after.....
I don't know about y'all but our "Christmas-ing" goes on for days!  The night after Christmas, we got together with my extended family for another celebration.  Of course, eating was involved.....more cream cheese, sour cream, butter, sugar, heavy whipping cream, and all manner of saturated fats.  When we get together, it's what you'd call a house FULL of kin folks.  I believe we have 37 people and 18 of those are kids.  The balance of power could tip at any time.    
Fun was had by all.
 
On day four of Christmas, our family gathering centered around my nephew's 6th birthday.  You have to sympathize with December babies and their plight....getting all of their special days of the year out of the way in one, big swoop......and having 90% of their birthday gifts wrapped in Christmas tree and Santa paper.  Well, we tried to make his day special.  Blair made his cake and it was delicious, I must say.  I think Operation Celebrate Lelan was quite the success. 
Look at that sweet boy's face!
So, now I'm in the middle of this thing we call "inventory" in the retail world.    We'll try to finish counting tomorrow, so I can come home and watch the Orange Bowl without that hanging over my head.  I know you'll all be watching and cheering on my Bulldogs!! 

 

Let's ring in the New Year right, Dawgs!  Hail State!!!    

photo by Mark Whiddon -Whiddon Photography
 
I just wanted to check in with my peeps!  I've missed being here!  My plan is to get back to my regular blogging schedule on Monday. 
 
 I hope that you and yours enjoy a most wonderful start to 2015!
 
Stay safe and God bless!   
 
 
      

 


 
 
          


   

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Expectations

Well, sickness has descended upon us.  Blair got this flu-like thing Thursday and, despite my purchase of every cleaning product containing the word, "Clorox", Carson woke up with it yesterday morning.  Unfortunately, when he woke up, he was at his cousin's house, where he'd spent the night and so now........he's sick too.

From our home to yours, we bring pathological tidings. 

Basically, it's a short-lived illness, but it really packs a punch.  High fever, headache, body aches, and a chesty cough....that kind of cough that keeps you expecting a lung to shoot out across the room at any moment.  I've had the aches and cough part but not much fever......until tonight.  Until now, I have remained upright to tend to these "ankle biting, bacteria ridden, disease carrying children of God".....as Madea so accurately describes kids.

The only thing that could make this more special is if Davis catches it, too.  When Davis is sick, everyone is apprised of his condition on the quarter hour....you know, just in case your sympathy starts to wane or in the event you mistakenly thought you were sicker than him.

This was not, at all, what I had in mind for our last weekend before Christmas.  We still have things to do.  We had weekend plans.  The candlelight service at church.  Gifts to deliver.  A party.  More people to visit.....people, who would not appreciate a visit from us in our current state. 

"Merry Christmas....we brought you some fudge........and swollen mucus membranes with post nasal drip, a violent cough, and aching that will make you wish that was the Death Angel on top of your tree". 

Yeah, people don't really appreciate Christmas visits like that from those who smell like menthol and have Kleenex lint hanging from their swollen nostrils.....nor do they like to sit next to such people at church, so some of us stayed home today.

Fighting over the vibrating heating pad and pouring Advil down our throats wasn't in the plan.      

We always have a lot of expectations about the Christmas holidays.  It's probably the holiday for which we build our expectations the highest.  We spend over a month planning and preparing to execute this idea that we have in our heads.......an idea constructed by Hallmark Christmas movies, snowy Christmas card scenes, Bing Crosby, Visa commercials, and romanticized Christmases past. 

The picture of Christmas in our heads looks mostly like this...... 
"Chestnuts roasting by an open fire" and ALL of the lights working on the tree in our immaculate home where nothing is out of place. 
"Frosted window panes, candles gleaming inside, painted candy canes on the tree"....... and loving children who never fight and only have good will toward each other. 
Moist turkey on a beautifully set table surrounded by family "passing around some coffee and the pumpkin pie".   
"Parties for hosting, marshmallows for roasting" and beautifully decorated cookies for Santa.
 
"Where the treetops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow" with no Apple products or other electronic devices to distract them.    
"Jack Frost nipping at your nose" and a light snowfall on Christmas Eve that doesn't affect travel and a husband who does his shopping at Tiffany's.  
"Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow" and the warm, uncomplicated
 love between kith and kin. 

  When, in reality,

Christmas can sometimes turn out looking more like........
Overcooked bird.  Family flaws.  Congealed salads.  Cousin Eddie's RV in your driveway. 
Fallen faces.  Gifts that miss the mark.  
Traffic situations.
Children who are full of mucus.  
Dry trees.
Pinterest fails.
 
The Christmas explosion that scatters Yuletide debris over every square inch of your house.
Unreliable tree stands and great-grandma's broken ornaments.  (God rest her soul, which trusted you completely.)
 
There's always something that doesn't go smoothly or according to our best laid plans.

The turkey is dry.  The kids have intestinal flu.  The gift didn't fit.  One string of lights goes out.  Mother-in-law overestimates you by two sizes.  Backorders.  Someone didn't seem as excited as you imagined.  Travel delays.  Relatives, who stay too long.  No hot water.  Bad weather.  Being caught without a gift for someone.  Having to run the air conditioner so you can all wear your Christmas clothes.        

Really, the Christmas story is full of expectations that weren't met either.  I'm sure Mary didn't plan on being a virgin mother and it probably dashed her parents' expectations for her, too.  The situation wasn't the start that Joseph had dreamed of for his new life with Mary.  Mary didn't expect to be away from home without her mother when her first child was born.  The world didn't expect the Savior to be born in a stable and placed in a trough.  The shepherds weren't who you'd expect the angels to invite to see the newborn King.  You wouldn't expect Him to grow up and die in the place of those who loved Him and those who didn't....even those who weren't born yet...like us.     

I guess if we look to our circumstances and food and gifts and weather and family and that one overinflated day to fulfill all of our Christmas dreams, we'll most likely end up disappointed in one way or another.....on some level. 
 
But, if we just focus on Jesus, Christmas will exceed all of our expectations. 
 
"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”   -Matthew 1:21
 
""Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power He can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine."   -Ephesians 3:20 
He never disappoints.       

I won't be back until after Christmas, so from our house to yours.........
Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! 
May God bless you and your family!  




   


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This Post Could Cause Drowsiness

Christmas is the time of year when we all try to make our rounds and visit with those we love.  Our family has a list of friends who we try to spend time with over the holidays, but there are few visits that my children anticipate more than our annual Christmas "date night" with Mrs. Wright. 

Mrs.Wright was our next door neighbor.....two houses ago.  It was our first house.  The house we returned to after our honeymoon.  The little abode where we brought both of our children home from the hospital.  Mrs. Wright lost her husband while we were neighbors, too.  Between us, we experienced a lot of life changes while we lived next door to each other. 

She will turn 90 on Saturday and I can only hope to be as active, social, and spry as her.......if I make it to 90!  She's still living life to the fullest and we treasure the time we get to spend with her!  There are some people that you just cant leave behind.....no matter where you move.  My kids would put her up against Mrs.Claus any day! 
Also in the news.......

*The tree is still not taking any water.  We have a 2 gallon tree stand full of stagnant water.......probably breeding mosquitos under our tree skirt as we speak.  The tree has gone from a lovely, deep green color to more of a greenish gray shade, but....oh.....my.....word.......it smells so good!  If you stop by, we just ask that you not walk too quickly across the rug and generate any static electricity sparks.   

*I've been making bows every night to try and stay ahead of the store's gift wrapping demands.  Having bows already made really speeds up the wrapping process.  If I had a penny for every bow that I've made this month, I'd have.....well, a whole lot of pennies.  Yesterday, we observed that people had hit panic mode in their Christmas shopping.  We've even had some male shoppers this week, so you know Christmas is coming soon.  While the Advent calendar is widely used to chart the progression of the season, spotting men in the stores is the most accurate indicator of Christmas' approach.   

*Carson is allergic to peanuts like so many other kids these days.  Davis bought him some Wonder Butter, which is a nut free peanut butter substitute made from soybeans.  It's amazing how close the taste, texture, and color are!  If your child is allergic to peanuts or if they're not allowed to bring peanut butter to school because of another child's allergy, you may want to try this stuff!  It's really good! 

Like anyone with life threatening food allergies, trying new things is a little disconcerting for Carson.....especially when it looks and smells so much like the thing he's been taught to avoid his whole life.  As you can see, he was apprehensive as he got his Epi-Pen before he took the first bite even though it says "peanut free" on the jar about 25 times.  He liked it....just has to get used to the texture that's new to him.  Bless his heart....
* I made a couple of large purchases today.....for myself.  It is required that some of your Christmas bonus is to be used for things that you'd generally not just run out and buy for yourself, right?  That's what I thought.  Just checking.  I've felt like some kind of illegal professional today.....doling out those bills that require inspection under a light.  It was fun while it lasted.   

Thanks for your patience with my infrequent posting this month!  Like you, I'm being pulled in all directions with more responsibilities and obligations this season of the year and I'm really enjoying time with my family and friends.  While I absolutely love the Christmas season, resuming a normal schedule and routine in January is something I always look forward to right about now!

I'll check back in when I can! 

   

   

 

      
          

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Little Girl's Room

It's that time of year when we all find ourselves out and about more.  Out in the bustle.  Traveling around in the frantic pace of the holidays.  Shopping for long periods.  Eating out more frequently.  Attending parties.  We're in shopping malls, hotels, stores, churches, banquet halls, restaurants.  Always on the go and away from home a little more than usual. 

Today, I would like to discuss a sobering topic which all of this "going and doing" brings to the forefront of every woman's mind during this time of year......

The public restroom.

Here, at Motherhood and Muffin Tops, we like to cover a wide and varied scope of contemporary, relevant....pressing topics and, in keeping with that effort, we cannot overlook the challenges we, women, encounter in the public restroom.  Day after day....after day.  I feel that, if we talk about such issues and bring them out of the shadows, then we will all feel better for doing so. 

1) Perhaps the most distressing obstacle that women have to navigate through in a public restroom these days is the automatic flush.  As the daughter of a germ conscious mother, I was always taught that you never.......ever, ever, ever, ever..... make contact with a public restroom toilet seat.  Doing so will ensure immediate contraction of incurable and fatal diseases.  I was never told what the diseases were.......just that they were diseases and you didn't want them.  You might as well go play in the red hazard bags in the dumpster behind the pathology lab as to sit bare legged on a public toilet seat.  True or not, I have bought into this way of thinking and as the Good Book says......even in my older age, I have not departed from it.  For this reason, I only utilize public restrooms when it is completely unavoidable.    

Since the functioning of the automatic flush relies heavily on contact for its timing accuracy, distressing issues can arise for those of us who were taught that sitting on a public toilet seat is not in accordance with the little known 11th commandment.  When one doesn't actually sit, it confuses the sensor.  It cannot process that concept......and so it does one of two things: 

   A)  It just starts flushing and flushing and flushing before you're done, spewing water everywhere and scaring you half out of your mind.  If it flushes prematurely, you can just forget it.....it's not going to flush again when you really are finished.  Automatic toilets take 15 minute mandatory OSHA breaks after each flush.  (And you do know that anything that accidentally falls into one of those industrial toilets during mid-flush....well, it will be in the Atlantic Ocean within 3 minutes.  They're just that formidable.)  

OR

   B) It will refuse to flush at all and there you will stand.  What is one to do?  I always wave my foot in front of the sensor a couple of times.  If that doesn't work, I tap the toilet seat with my shoe to play along with its little game and try to simulate seat contact.  I know if anyone is looking under the door to check for occupancy, they must wonder what I'm doing in there on one foot, but that is not for me to worry about.  If all of those methods fail, the last resort is to find that tiny, bacteria coated, black button that is on some toilets that will cause it to flush.....if you can locate it.  Oh, how I miss those big, silver levers that I could just stomp down with my foot as I exited the stall.   Flushing on demand.......it is a thing of the past.  A thing of beauty.   

2) I would be remiss not to mention the problems that arise when businesses do not install purse hooks on the back of their stall doors.  You've all been there.  There you are with your heavy purse, a couple of shopping bags from American Eagle, a hanging bag from Dillard's........oh, and your free panties in the pink striped bag and a white Styrofoam box containing the remnants of your lunch fajitas.....all while using your head to hold the door shut....you know, the one that has a big hole where the lock should be.  In this position, someone opening the unlockable door on your head can seriously throw off this delicate balancing act, resulting in undesirable and unsanitary consequences.

I'd challenge any man anywhere to keep a 10 lb purse on his shoulder and hold 4 bags and a half order of chicken fajitas from a squatting position....all while maintaining accuracy in shooting a target that's behind him.  Doing this effectively takes great skill that, too often, is not given proper recognition considering its high level of difficulty.  Leaning forward at the waist with bent knees can also cause dizziness and feelings of faintness as blood flow has a difficult time getting to where it needs to go in order to maintain consciousness.  This is why head rushes are common in women who are exiting the restroom and should not be cause for alarm. 

The last time I had to perform this "contortionistic" act, I thought about how a room full of men in some budget meeting at headquarters somewhere probably decided that eliminating the installation of purse hooks in the ladies' restrooms would be one way they could cut costs.  Oh, if they could only go in there with us and see how their decisions affect everyday people.  It would be crowded.....and a little embarrassing, but, oh, so enlightening for them.   

3) In today's skeleton crew economy, too often, we, women, find ourselves in the confines of the 3x4 toilet stall, standing on our head with blood pooling in our legs, only to discover that there is no toilet paper.  Why, just the other night, I had to pass some tissue under the partition to a poor lady stranded on the Cracker Barrel porcelain throne.  I could hear the desperation in her voice as it quivered.....pleading for anything I was willing to share with her under the metal wall that separated us.....the haves and the have nots.

In the worst of situations, you can even find yourself pulling at the little, tiny strands of paper left clinging to the cardboard tube at the end of a roll or frantically digging in your purse for a Wal-Mart receipt or anything made of paper or any other absorbent material.  As you're burrowing around in your purse, the automatic flusher feels that you've had more than ample time to complete any of the bodily functions and it goes to flushing.  Your time is up. 

Dang it.

It always helps to know that you're not alone in your struggles.  The next time you find yourself in a public restroom predicament, know that these trials are not unique to you.  There are women around the world who are also using the crowns of their heads to keep the door from swinging open while having the backs of their legs soaked with the sea spray of the premature automatic toilet. 

Let's stand together and support one another. 

We are not alone.

I hope Monday finds you in well equipped restrooms stocked with an embarrassment of toilet tissue riches.

            



 
      

              
    

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What Are You Looking At?

Well, the Millers finally have a Christmas tree.  I can report, though, that the people, who wait until December 8 to shop for their live trees, will go home with ones that are not without their flaws.  I walked through the tree lot and looked around at all the rejects of those who'd shopped from November 27-December 7.  I asked the nice tree man if they had any others that could've been stashed away in the back and he just chuckled under his breath and assured me that I was looking at the best they had to offer.  He twirled a few around for me as I struggled to find one that would work.  The plight of the unsung Christmas tree salesman is not one that should be underestimated or overlooked.  I imagine spinning trees around for indecisive women all day is one of those jobs associated with a high incidence of alcohol abuse and frequent urges to step in out front of a bus.

The tree lot on December 8 is a lot like the island of misfit toys.  You just have to pick your poison.  Would you prefer a broken top, a sparse, scraggly bottom, brown needles, or a hole big enough for Santa to walk through?  I had to go with the hole.....hoping I could remedy the problem with placement, ribbon, and angles.

The tree hasn't drunk a drop since we brought it home.  I think, having not been chosen for so long along with the other ugly trees, that it had convinced itself that it would be in the burn pile on Christmas and had lost all its hope, given up, and quit taking nourishment.  Whatever the reason for its refusal to drink, we paid $80 for this soon to be dehydrated fire hazard, brought it home, set it in a bucket of water, and hooked it up to electricity.  That's sounds safe, right? 

I also put the cards in the mail today.  Mercy.  That. Is. A. Job.  We could almost all load up in the car in our Christmas clothes, drive to every house on our list, and wish each one a "Merry Christmas" in person with considerably less trouble than it is to complete the Christmas card process from beginning to end.    

I bought the last gift on my list today.  All of the presents are wrapped......I just have to make the bows.  Blair's coming home tomorrow, so I've been planning what I'll have ready for supper when she gets home.  Carson has exams coming up and projects due and a lot of basketball games and practices before Christmas.  We're busy, busy, busy at the store.  We've got a full weekend of parties and programs and gatherings.  And next week.....well, it's just as full as this one.   
   
I may be just a little stressed.  Monday night before my hair cut appointment on Tuesday, I dreamed that they found lice in my hair while I was getting it cut.  Forget the visions of sugarplums dancing and all that hoopla.  I'm over here with dreams of head lice and forgetting I'm on the tour of homes until I see people coming up on my porch with tickets in their hands.  I think it may be safe to say that I have a lot of inner Christmas stress that I'm trying to sort out in my dreams.

While I was getting out our big nativity set to put on the foyer table, I was quickly setting them in place so I could send the empty box back up to the attic with Davis.  I got busy doing other things and came back to the nativity later to finish it.  I noticed that the way that I'd hurriedly placed the wise men on the table....they weren't even looking at baby Jesus.  The myrrh guy was staring over at the Christmas tree.  The frankincense man was looking into the dining room...probably wondering when I was going to get around to decorating the dining table.  And the fellow with the gold......well, he was gazing out the window.....he must have seen his reflection in the glass and was checking to see if his crown was on straight. 

In my simple, third grade level mind, I thought that's just how we get at Christmas.  We've got our eyes on sparkly things and lists and dates and obligations........and ourselves.  There's always one more gift to buy.  One more table to decorate.  One more address to find.  One more party to attend.  One more person to visit.  One more dish to make.  And there we are...........looking everywhere except where we should be looking. 

I don't want to be like my ceramic wise men.  Looking off at other things.  Distracted.  Oblivious to the One of most importance, who is right there under my nose. 

It's HIS birthday.  It's HIS gift that I should be honoring.  It's HIS sacrifice that I should thinking of.  The fact that He left heaven and took on our fragile form and endured our cruel world, so that we could have a chance to be saved.....so that He could sympathize with our struggles......that's where our eyes should be.
My friend, Jean, shared this video on Facebook.  (For some reason, this isn't not showing up on some mobile devices)  I'm normally partial to classic, traditional songs, but this is one of the most beautiful Christmas songs I've ever heard.  It's what Christmas is all about. 

It's time to redirect my gaze. 
  
 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Week's Worth of Disconnected and Unrelated Thoughts

Well, my busy, busy, busy, busy, busy week has f-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-nally come to a close and I've missed y'all.  I feel like I have so much ground to cover.  Not interesting ground, but.......ground, nonetheless.  I feel the best way to organize my disconnected and unrelated thoughts is in bullet form, so here we go.....in no certain order. 
 
* As of 9:00pm Central time tonight, the pilgrims set sail for the attic.  They will be spending Christmas there.  It was a painful goodbye.  We'd grown so close in our 5 weeks together.  Mr. Pilgrim with his pumpkins and buckles on his shoes.....and Mrs. Pilgrim with her bonnet and basket of fruits....they'd become like part of our family during their extended stay this year.  Knowing how far they'd traveled, I just hated to rush them out the door. 
 
* I've been in and out of the gift shop this week and I can report that we've had NO male Christmas shoppers yet......only female.  I suppose in male years, Christmas is still 5 months away.  Shopping, here at the first part of December, would be like....you know.... jumping the gun.  Why go now while there's a good selection of colors and sizes when you could wait and go later when......well, there's not?  Silly women. 
 
* I keep getting emails that cyber Monday has been extended for another day.  It's now Sunday and yet it's still cyber Monday? 
 
* I saw there were a couple of California shoppers arrested for fist fighting over a Barbie doll on Black Friday.  I'd like to know what goes through one's mind as they throw that first punch over a plastic doll.  Is it something like......"I've waited my whole life for a cause that I could fight for......risk everything for.......put my life on the line for.........and I finally found it.....and this is it......this is my moment.......my time.......Malibu Barbie or death".           
 
* I'm exhausted from seeing all of these elf on the shelf shenanigans that these young mothers are posting on FB.  There's a reason why God gives children to young women.   I saw pictures of where one elf had made a huge mess in someone's kitchen.....flour and dirty bowls everywhere.  Young mothers, why do you do this to yourselves?   I already clean up after two kids, a husband, and the dog.  I'm not about to start cleaning up after imaginary people.     
 
Yesterday, I met a young woman and her daughter.  The little girl was carrying around an elf and her mother explained to me how she'd touched the elf and the elf had lost his magical powers and so Santa had to send her another elf.  Something about.....if you touch it, then it can't go back and report to Santa?  I tried to listen without my eyes crossing from all the confusion.  I, then, said a silent prayer of thanks that I was allowed to parent young children before the day of having to remember to move stuffed elves and take pictures on the same day each month with those number stickers on their shirts. 
 
There towards the end of Carson's tooth losing age, the Tooth Fairy would go 4 or 5 nights before he'd finally remember to bring any money.  Mercy....if we had little ones now, Davis and I could really hurl some young kids into lifelong dysfunction and standing therapy sessions.  Thank goodness, no four year old's emotional development is dependent on our memory.  We could really mess some kids up.           

* I've been getting all these little coupons in the mail for free stuff and, like always, I go and redeem those suckers.  Bath and Body is always sending me free things, which I tuck away for stockings and happies.  And Victoria Secret sends us a coupon for a free pair of panties every week.  I'd understand it if we were big customers, but I usually only go to get their free stuff.  I'm sure when they see me come in there, they're like, "Barbara, get out the free panties.....here she comes."  I only redeem the ones for the more modest styles.....not the ones that could be confused for a slingshot and I always make it a point to mention that they're not for me so to help the girl, who's stuffing the pink tissue into my bag, combat her nausea. 

* After this week, I'd just like to say........Christmas lights are from Satan.  They are sent here to lead us into sin.  If you look carefully on the back of the box, I believe it says "Made in Hell".

*  I must have been subconsciously overwhelmed by all of the things that I had to do this week.  When I get overwhelmed, I have stressful dreams.  My stressful dreams always involve a deadline.  Friday night, I dreamed that I had several houses to go and decorate and I was thinking about how I should be back home by 4:00 that afternoon.  That's when the phone rang and I was reminded that my house was on the Christmas tour of homes that night starting at 6:00.  I'd forgotten.  While I drove to work, I tried to figure out how I would get my house ready in just two hours......seeing as how I'd left the kitchen dirty, furniture dusty, floors sticky, beds unmade, pilgrims and pumpkins out, and no Christmas tree or any sort of Christmas decorations, for that matter. (The dream was a frightening blending of real life and dream life.)  I've never been so happy to wake up as I was Saturday morning.......realizing that no one had forked out any money to come anywhere near my house that night.    

* Did you see where there was a blackout in Detroit a few days ago?  It was during the day, so it could've been worse.......except for the hundreds of people who were stuck in elevators all day.  Ok......just so you know and won't be caught off guard....if I'm ever trapped in an elevator....for seven hours......in the dark......without circulating, cold air.......when they finally get to me.....I will be with Jesus.  I also started thinking about whether I'd want to be trapped alone or with strangers.  I'd definitely want more than one stranger with me.........you know......witnesses. 

* Friday night, we got a phone call from Blair at college saying that her car had quit in the middle of a busy street.  She was blocking traffic right in front of Chick-fil-a and everyone knows it's dangerous to get between people and Chick-fil-a.  It was towed and now we wait for the mechanic's report tomorrow.  Saturday, Davis ran over some foreign object that slashed one of his tires.  Tonight, the washing machine refused to agitate.  In the last 48 hours, we've found ourselves in the market for a new car, tires, and a washing machine.  Oh, and did I mention.......it's Christmas?

*  Last night, Carson came down with a mild stomach bug.  Having a family member with a stomach virus really does something to your head.  My stomach's been "hurting" all day.  I feel like Fred Sanford......."oh, here it comes.....this is it......it's the big one".        

*  Tomorrow and Tuesday have been set aside to 1)  Go back to sleep after Carson leaves for school.  2)  Finish addressing our Christmas cards  3)  Pick out a tree/Get it in the stand/Light it/Decorate it.  4)  Decorate the outside of our house to dispel any rumors that we are unbelieving pagans.  5)  Decorate the rest of the house and fill the emptiness left by the pilgrims.  5)  Finish wrapping gifts and making bows for all of them. 6)  Get my hair cut.  7)  Go to the grocery store and expand our options beyond a can of evaporated milk, a box of saltines, and a brown banana. 

Well, I won't prolong your misery any longer.

Hope y'all have a good Monday!