Friday, July 28, 2006


In my previous post I expressed a great deal of anger toward the man who walked out on his wife of 7 months - a dear friend of ours. My anger is not so much at the adultery, although I know that is bad. I know marriages and individuals can heal from adultery and I find those couples and individuals very courageous. My anger is at the verbal and emotional abuse this man was heaping upon his wife. Without an end in sight, that kind of abuse can leave permanent scars. Without any sign of remorse this man, I'm afraid, has forever changed the spirit of his young bride. That's what makes me so angry - angry enough to want to smack him. A couple can move on from a mistake and perhaps come out the other side better and stronger. I've seen it happen. But continual emotional and verbal abuse is an attack that wears away the spirit and leaves the victim nothing but a shell of what she once was. That is what I am praying will NOT happen to my friend.
So there it is. I just felt the need to soften my words a bit.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I have an ulcer. When seeing my family doctor about it, after hearing my symptoms, he asked if I had been taking those anti-inflammatories he had prescribed earlier for something else. Yes, I have. "Yep, I've put a hole in your stomach," he said. I told him I'd forgive him if he could correct this VERY PAINFUL condition.
It's been about 6 weeks since he put me on Nexium and I was seeing some improvement but I seem to have had a relapse. I'm sure vacation didn't help. I wasn't as careful of what I ate, and I took pain relievers for my headaches, and a sleep aid to help me sleep in the hotel. So I am starting all over with trying to heal my stomach. NO chocolate. My doctor said I didn't have to give it up, but it does seem to irritate it. NO soda. NO milk. And probably no caffeine. I had been drinking iced tea in place of soda but I might see if it will help to give that up too. Oh, and I can't take pain relievers for a couple of weeks. Now that is hard because I get migraines and the last couple of days I have had horrible sinus headaches.
Anyway, I ask for your prayers. The burning in my stomach is excruciating at times and I am praying that I can continue healing with medication and won't have to go in for invasive tests. So I ask for your prayers that I can find a helpful diet and that I can be disciplined in following that diet. Also, I just ask for prayers that I can be free of this pain.

Tomorrow my baby boy turns 15. I will probably do a "boo-hoo" type post for that. My mother warned me not to blink after he was born.....

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


True Confession Time. I read O magazine. Sometimes. I bought a copy to take on our trip to Boston - airplane reading.
Anyway, this month's issue has an article in it about how married couples are more respectful and courteous to others than they are to their spouses.
I've been saying this for years. I've said to Paul several times "the problem with lots of marriages is the lack of common courtesy." What got me thinking about this? You ask.
Well, years ago at a gathering of my family, I was getting up to go get something - probably more dessert - and I asked Paul if he would like something while I was up. He requested a Coke. When I brought it to him, he said "Thank you honey." My cousin's husband said "Paul is THANKING Heidi for bringing him a Coke!!" Like it was the strangest thing he'd ever heard. This was and is just normal behavior for Paul and me but evidently it was not normal for those around us. So I started listening to couples. And sure enough, in some couples there is just no common courtesy. No pleases, or thank-you's. No excuse me's. No "what can I get for you?"

Now, Paul and I ARE NOT the marriage experts. There are many times where the clod in him rears its ugly head. And there are many times when the shrew in me rears its ugly head. I have a hard time keeping my opinion to myself sometimes about something he has done. I sometimes forget that silence is golden and I just have to let him know....And Paul has a hard time thinking before he speaks (it's ok, he knows this about himself.) Someday I'll let ya'll in on some of his best.....
But. At some point in our relationship we decided that we were not going to treat the cashier at Kroger or the waiter at Applebee's with more respect than we show each other. As a side note: we do try to treat service people VERY kindly because we both grew up with a parent who does not; and it was very embarrassing. Anyway, it's really hard NOT to be courteous to your spouse when he asks if he can get you anything while he's up or when she thanks you for the little things you do. Paul always thanks me when the house has been cleaned and I always thank him for mowing the yard. He is better at all this than I am, though. When I ask him to do anything for me, his standard response is "I'd be happy to." Now how can I top that?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


We returned from Boston on Sunday. It was a good week. Very tiring, though. There is so much to see there and in the surrounding cities that we could have used a few more days.
We were able to catch a Red Sox game, which made the boys quite happy. We also went on a whale watching trip - a 3 hour trip into the ocean to spot whales. We spotted several (hope to post pictures soon) and a mother and her calf made several appearances for us. I can now cross "see the whales" off my life list.
We sat through a witch trial in Salem and our audience voted against history. It was the trial of the first woman to be hanged as a witch. Our audience, however decided (not unanimously) that there was not enough evidence to keep her over for the actual trial.
We also sat in the Old North Church and ate at a great little Italian restaurant reccommended by our first cab driver.
The subway system was fairly easy to navigate and we used it daily. And everyone was extremely friendly. Well, everyone but our 15-year-old son, who basically decided that if we weren't doing exactly what he wanted to do all week, he was going to be downright mean and nasty. The only thing that made him civil was cell phone time with his buddies back home. After talking with some friends who experienced the same thing from their teenagers on vacation we felt a little better; it must be somewhat normal. We only had 2 days left on our trip before I finally ripped into him about his attitude. I thought I held out pretty good.
But all in all it was a great trip.
But I'm glad to be home. I'm glad to be able to cross the street without dodging dozens of cars. I'm glad to walk on our bike path and pass 2 or 3 people instead of 200. I'm glad to be able to run my errands without spending 30 minutes on a train. I'm just a small town girl - Cities are nice places to visit.....
Next year, we have decided it will be a "lay on the beach and do nothing" vacation. It's a big year for our family. I will turn 40, Blake will turn 16, Kayla will turn 13, and Paul and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage. So we are seriously thinking of laying on one of those beaches in Hawaii.

Monday, July 17, 2006


We are all leaving for Boston today for our week of family vacation.
Things we hope to do: Red Sox game, whale watching, the Freedom Trail, Old North Church, Paul Revere's house, Salem, JFK library and museum, Sam Adams Brewery, and all the other great history stuff.
Please pray for our safe travel.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Yesterday three men were severely injured in the plant at the company where my husband works. They all received severe steam burns.
One of the men died last night.
He was not a soldier. Or a firefighter. Or a police officer. And yet sometime yesterday his wife got The Call. It's a call I've feared getting. Not because my husband has a dangerous job. He works behind a desk. But he travels a lot. And every time he gets on a plane I know I face the possibility of getting The Call. Especially since he travels overseas. Like to Peru and Columbia and Pakistan and Brazil and Singapore. And even Great Britain and France and Belgium. Seems no place is safe any more.
But this man had not boarded a plane. He had simply driven to work to do his job in a plant that maufactures sweeteners and other food products. A factory located in central Illinois, surrounded by corn fields and soy beans. And now his wife and the rest of his family are facing a life without him.
And the families of the other men are sitting beside their bedsides waiting and wondering and watching their loved ones suffer.
Please pray for all of these families. Pray for the recovery of the two men who have survived. Pray for the wife and family of the man who lost his life.
And please treasure Today.

Monday, July 10, 2006


That's me banging my head against the computer screen.
I am trying to create a floral arrangment for my mantle.
When we built our house five years ago, I was lucky enough to find cabinet builders who would also build my mantle (to match my kitchen cupboards). The mantle (or fireplace surround) goes to the ceiling and the designer (a woman) did a beautiful job.
Anyway, I have struggled to find just the right things to set on it. I want something that is beautiful but fairly simple so as not to detract from the beauty of the wood of the mantle piece. I have tried pottery, candlesticks, framed prints (propped, not hung) and they all looked fine, but nothing has taken my breath away. Then I decided what I needed was a floral arrangment. That's it. Just a floral arrangment in the middle with nothing on either side.
I wanted one just like the one I saw in Nashville, Indiana. For 299 dollars. And 99 cents. Didn't get that one.
So happens, Hobby Lobby had floral stems 1/2 off today. So I bought some beautfiul reds and golds (not much green cause I have green walls) I've done arrangements before but never one in so prominent a place so I had put off starting this one.

My mind is picturing exactly what it needs to look like. My hands are not getting the picture. At one point I decided it looked like "Floral designs by Helen Keller."
I have at last decided what the problem is. There's too much. And what was making it "too much?" My favorite of all the flowers I bought today. So when I took out the favorites, the big puffy hydrangea-like ones, it started looking better. I am not ready for the state fair, but I now have hope. It is a work in progress.
Could it be that some of my favorite little things in life are ok by themselves but when put with the rest of it, are just "too much?" Could it be that if I take away just a few favorites, I might find that things will start to look just right?
It's just a flowery day. Today Kayla received flowers. From her Daddy. Just wishing her good luck in her upcoming softball tournament. Blue carnations and yellow daisies. Team colors.
What woman doesn't love to get flowers???

Friday, July 07, 2006


We now have two baby robins in our tree that we are keepin an eye on. They should be trying to fly soon - their feathers are getting nice and full.
Kyle and Mandy are home from Russia with their new son. He is ADORABLE. Very personable and social.
We seem to have lots of little ones close to us now. Our friends with a 0ne-year-old, Kyle and Mandy, and our neighbors with VERY friendly children, ages 5,4, and 18 months. We're kind of in a "been there, done that" phase. They sometimes ask advice about the kids, tell us the different stages they are going through, handle tantrums while we just sit and watch, feeling relieved we are past it all. And I like it. I LOVE being around all these little ones. And I like having a LITTLE bit of knowledge and experience in this area where these families are just getting started. And I miss it. Most of the time.
I hate seeing my kids hurt. Not only the physical hurt, like a broken bone, or sickness, but especially the kind of hurt that attacks their hearts.
Actually I don't remember Blake hurting in his heart in a way that was brought on by his "friends." Boys just don't do that. They poke and jab - verbally and physically - and then they laugh and move on.
Girls are different. Girls can be nasty. Girls can really hurt with words. And girls remember.
My daughter is hurting in her heart. And the pain is being caused by other girls. All because of a math class. Seems a certain group of girls continues to make a huge deal over the fact that they got into pre-algebra and one in particular asks Kayla every time they see each other if she "made it in." She didn't. Which surprised us, because she's always made A's in math, but that's not the point. She will be in basic math.
So when this happens, I almost turn twelve myself and I just want to ....well, pinch the little snots or something. But I try to think of words to make Kayla feel better. Like, "well, maybe some of them won't be so excited after a couple weeks of the class." Or, "you know, isn't it sad that these girls are choosing to judge others based on ONE CLASS in jr. high. I mean if that's all they have, let them have it." But it doesn't work. Because really, she isn't going to feel better until she gets into the routine of school and realizes that there or lots of great kids in basic math. And when it's not the math issue, it will be another issue with these girls because that's the way they are. That's the way their parents have allowed them or taught them to be. Yeah, I hate to see my children hurt.