Speak To Me of Tongues

I woke up this morning thinking about the church I grew up in. Boy were there a lot of crazies there. I think it still exists. I'd link it, but you all would make fun of me. This church was absolutely huge in the eighties. It was a non-denominational church called Eagles Nest. My dad was an administrative pastor and was over the children's ministry, marriage ministry, and the women's ministry. I think. He may have been over other stuff too. I used to have to stay for both services, all my siblings and I. We lived an hour or more away and had little money so we only had a hatchback back in the days and all of us (all seven) had to pile in it. It was a very uncomfortable drive because my sister and I would sit in the trunk. We also had to sit a certain way in the trunk in order to fit. Our heads could not really peek out to see out the window, so we just ducked down some and talked the whole way there. The worst part of the whole thing was getting out. I am certain we looked like all the clowns getting out of the little car. Some people would comment. I was just so embarrassed. Eventually we got a big nasty van the church gave us, but that is another story.

The people at the church were very interesting. They were filled with the Spirit, you know, so they did weird things during praise and worship. I remember people slithering and quaking, gyrating, jumping up and down, etc. One guy looked like Orville Redenbacher and he would always sit on the right side of the pews. During worship he would get so excited that he literally would "pop" (he would jump as high as he could and clap his hands once) and so he definitely won the name. A couple of ladies in the front would have tambourines that had ribbons on them a number of feet long. They would lift the tambourines up as high as they could and sing at the top of their lungs---except they did not sing what everyone else was singing. They sang some horrible "AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" in unison and you could hear them clear from the back. They were like, the tambourine power twins. I could literally go on forever, the craziness does not stop.

Like I said before, we all had to stay for both services. The first service I would sit in my own Sunday school class, and the second service I would either help out with the toddler's class or sit in the service. The toddler's class is where I learned to change raunchy diapers, and the service is where I viewed all the unruly adults. What is really crazy is we were sort of on our own. I would see my dad here and there---and my mom, but they were always shifting in and out---doing something churchy. After both services we typically were in the kitchen, so hungry that we would eat scraps of donuts but not hungry enough to eat the typical Sunday school fare of graham crackers and apple juice. I sat and drank coffee and got tortured from any adult that happened to catch me. They always said that it would "stunt my growth." I got sick of that. Once in awhile we had some quarters and would buy a snickers at the church store. Adults would torture us about that too: "Did you know that sugar is the second cousin to cocaine?" Give me a break. We would sit in that kitchen or wander around the massive parking lot aimlessly while my parents were in the pastor's lounge casting out demons or praying for someone to speak in tongues. Someone was always possessed.

Sunday school was the most interesting. I always had the most interesting teachers. One was a lady that wore TBN pins and had gold teeth. She spent one particular class pressing on our bellies with one hand and pressing on our heads with the other, speaking in tongues as loud as she could. We all felt quite a bit of pressure because we knew she was trying to get us filled with the Spirit. I hate being the center of any attention, so when she started doing it to me I just gibbered some stuff right away to get her off my back. I remember particularly one Sunday when she made us repeat back to her that if we "died tonight" we would "go to hell." Everyone just did what she said. They repeated after her and everything. Finally when she got to me I refused to repeat her words.

"Now, Rachel, repeat after me...'if I die tonight, I will go to hell.'"

"But I am not going to hell," I protested.

"Why yes you are. If you died tonight you would go to hell," she continued. "Now repeat after me..."


"Why can't you just repeat it?"

"Because I am not going to hell."
I could tell she was getting angry. She started to give me more grief about it until finally I could take it no longer.

"Fine!" I said in a loud voice. "I'll go to hell then!"

"Now that's more like it," she said.

I just waited until I got home and told my dad (who was over the children's ministry, remember?). That was the last time she taught the kids, let me tell you that.

After her we got a weird single guy named Dennis. He wore glasses and plaid shirts and jeans. When we would sing songs he would lift his arms up in praise and he always had sweat spots under his arms. He loved to make us do art work (probably because he was incredibly inarticulate). His goal was to get drawings of every Bible story (of the OT) that we studied up on the walls enough to cover them. This was something that I did enjoy because I was particularly good at drawing and so everyone made me do the really hard parts to draw. Around that time Julio, I am assuming an autistic kid, started coming to class. He was ridiculously energetic. I remember Dennis would have his hands full with him and he would get sick of it.
"Plant it, Julio!" He would yell when things got hot.
The best thing to make Julio do would be to make him draw. He was amazing. The biggest problem was to get him to actually want to draw the Old Testament stories. We mainly had to suffer through listening to him talk about the weird things he was drawing, like Stevie Nicks. I had no idea who Stevie Nicks was back then. I just remember this kid sitting with papers drawing these elaborate drawings of Stevie Nicks in utter peril.
"This is my drawing of Stevie Nicks about to be eaten by alligators!" He would spit out. I would look at the drawing. There was definitely a woman, gagged, and tied to a chair on a plank about to be eaten by the alligators with open mouths, below. She always had a frightened look on her face and some sweat jumping off her brow. So that was Stevie Nicks. I had no idea. He could not explain it to me either. I thought he hated Stevie Nicks. He drew her dangling over a pit of fire, about to fall off a building, you name it. He drew it. Class after class he had a new one that he was excited about.

So, if Stevie mysteriously dies in the future by some guy named Julio, I knew him.

Did I mention that this church was in Southern California? That explains it a little better.


Not So Smooth Criminal

So as of a few days ago we have a new fish. He is smaller, cuter, and livelier. The kids decided that since it is Dear Sir's birthday on Monday they would give him the gift of naming the fish. It was going to be a surprise, but Dear Sir could not handle the idea that no one could decide on a name. He was chomping at the bit. We were all feigning fish naming block. So finally this morning the kids told him (after his trying to suggest names for the fish).

The name: Tolstoy.

He was juggling Melville and Tolstoy.

The fish is already sick because the filter is not working. After church today we went to the petstore to get a new filter. I had to stop at Walmart to get a gameboy recharger because that broke (everything breaks) and while I was at it I got Dear Sir a CD/DVD of Coldplay. I was really upset because I forgot my wallet at home and I had to use Dear Sir's credit card. I got to the check out and they treated me like a criminal.

"I'm sorry, but the signatures don't match and the system won't accept it," the clerk says to me.

"It is my husband's card. Oh, you would like to see my ID? Well, the reason why I am using his card is because I left my wallet at home on accident and so therefore I don't have my own card or ID. See?"

"I'm sorry. I will get the manager."

She rings the manager. The manager comes over, looks at me, takes the card and after everything is explained to her she says very seriously and also very loud so others outside of our circle of privacy can hear, "I need a signed document by this cardholder or a power of attorney to allow you to use this card!" She waves the card in my face.

I look at my husband's wallet that is in my hand. I feel like a criminal.

"Oh," I say. "He is in the car, I guess I will get him. Can you keep the stuff here while I get him?"

"Uh, yeah, just let me cancel this and then when he gets here he can make the purchase."

I walk out to the car---way in the back of the massive parking lot. I make Dear Sir roll his window down. He winces as the sun gets in his eyes. "What."

"They won't let me use your card," I say. I feel like crying at this point because I have not eaten, I drank too much coffee this morning, and I feel like a criminal. Plus, I feel dumb for leaving my wallet at home. "So you have to go in there and get the stuff I was buying. I bought you something, which makes it worse, and I don't want you to see it...all you have to do is go to register 34---right when you walk in---and the stuff should still be in the bag--" I wave at Walmart helplessly and hand him his wallet.

He reluctantly gets out of the car and goes to wretched, detestable Walmart. I hate Walmart.

Finally he comes back and hands me the bag. I hope that he has not seen the present I got him.

"I saw the CD," he says. "They pulled everything out in front of me and re-rang it all. I couldn't help it, ok?"

He didn't even say thanks. I guess that is because he bought it anyway, right? Don't blame him. How crummy.


Nutty Nut-Nut

Yesterday I sat with my daughter in the old glider-rocker and pretended that she was a baby. I had one arm under her knees and the other arm under her head. She sat and giggled the whole time and then I tickled her after telling her she "had no teeth", or "she can barely walk", or "she just has a little bit of hair". She started to take her fingers and move my lips with them by wiggling my chin around. She was making me say stuff. So I did it to her. I made her say, "I am a big ol' nutty nut-nut!" (I like to call her that. It is a little phrase I learned from my time in South Carolina)

She took my chin and made me say, in turn, "I eat tons of chocolate and I am a big, fat liar!"

What the heck was that?

She laughed and laughed and then we were done.



I just finished a book by Michael O'Brien called Strangers and Sojourners. It was on my list, remember?

[At the moment I am suffering greatly from touching the cookie dough I made and put in a pan with bare hands. I itch so profusely that I almost feel insane. It is the raw eggs, perhaps the raw flour. Oh goodness, it was such a bad thing for me to do! My hands already looked horrible (I have terrible eczema) so now they look like red, swollen, cracked and bleeding sausages.]

Well, the book was really good. I love the man's insight on life as a mother (how he has that insight I have no idea). I could relate to it a lot. [Hold on, my fingers itch---must scratch] It made me feel less alone when thinking about my life as "this is it." I think I have written about this before---or something similar. God teaches me this many many times. Daily, I think. I get so clouded with my own dreams that I do not realize that those things that I think I want are probably not what I should have.

In old age, the woman dies at the end of the book and leaves her husband to reflect as he looks at her dead body:

"Then he saw that she had already laid down a large portion of her life long ago. Piece by piece she had given it away as she wrestled with existence, as her self was absorbed as nourishment into his life and the life of the children and the community. And laid down most piercingly as she abandoned, one by one, the shapes of dreams she had planned. Only to take them up again in other forms."

He put it perfectly. [And now my hands feel ok again---but still burning.]



Yesterday I was trying to tell my oldest to do something. I can't remember what and it is not important to the story. When he would approach me I would smell something. I couldn't put my finger on it.

"Come here. Closer,"I said to him.


"You smell weird, like onions," I said. I sniffed his head (I removed his hat to do this), I sniffed around his shirt, I sniffed myself, I sniffed the surrounding kids.

"It's probably my breath," my oldest decided. He ran upstairs to fix the problem. He came down again.

Onions and toothpaste, I smelled. Funk onions. At this point we were in the kitchen and I was standing there inspecting. It literally took me forever to put two and two together. "Lift up your arm," I said. I took a whiff. What I encountered caused me to cover my mouth and nose with my hands and bolt the other direction.

"You took a shower last night!" I cried.

My oldest was laughing at my reaction (which was not meant to be funny) and was telling the younger ones that it was a fun trick to pull on Mom to make her run away.

He said, "Yes, I took a shower."

"What's the deal? Where is your deodorant?"

"Well, I don't always put it on after I take a shower..."

"Get up there right now and scrub yourself like crazy to get that rank off you and then put deodorant on."

"I have an idea! I can just put deodorant on!" He really hates taking showers.

"No. You will just smell like a stinky boy trying to smell good at the same time. It doesn't mix well. Get up there."

"Oh, alright." He sort of moped while he went upstairs, but the end product was nice. I can't believe that a nice ten year old boy like that can produce such reek.

If you have boys, prepare yourselves, ladies. I told Dear Sir about it and he was mortified. I have never known Dear Sir to ever smell bad. Ever. I think this man produces flowers out of every orifice. "This has to be stopped," is about all he can offer from work. I can picture him, the Man of Clean, banging his fist on his desk in defiance of dirt and rank. "We can defeat this, Rachel, my competent side-kick."

The other night on our date we were talking about liquor. He was telling me about a girl he knew that loved Yagermeister (not sure if I spelled that correctly). He told me of a time he tried it to please her and he went hot from his belly north and almost threw up. I was telling him that I was not a fan of it either. Which moved us on to Tequila. He told me of a time some guy bought him a round of it and he drank it to be polite. He told me he went straight to the bathroom. I am certain that I had alcohol poisoning in high school because after I drank much vodka and too much warm tequila I was sick for two weeks. That was the last time I ever got drunk. We laughed about how we hate the same drinks. We both love gin though (although Dear Sir will not touch any liquor anymore period), we noticed. "I think it is because we are both so clean," I said.
"What do you mean?" he laughed.
"It tastes like Pine-Sol."



The new Keane album called Under the Iron Sea is amazingly good. It is everything I love about European rock/pop. If you love Coldplay, get it. You absolutely must.

I was trying to choose between getting this album and getting a book called Melmoth the Wanderer.

It was really nice. My neighbor came over and took care of the kids while Dear Sir and I went out. We had not been out in four months (alone). ---Except maybe when Dear Sir's sister took care of the kids when we were at the beach and we got some time alone then. In a way, it has been good for us to have the kids with us all the time. It has sure helped us to develop some kind of patience. So, we went to an Italian Restaurant (where Dear Sir could get some pizza and I could get some lasagna that did not make me sick like the kind I make) and then to Borders. Of course Dear Sir got some book on Orthodoxy or something.

Although the book sounded pretty cool (reminded me of something by Dostoyevsky), I could not resist getting a new CD by Keane. I figured that the book would probably sit on the shelf for a long spell anyway---no one reads that stuff except me.

I will write more interesting things later. I have hoards of laundry to fold and many other things to accomplish.


The Devil

I am waiting for paint to dry. I have been renovating this bed that my neighbor gave me that matches this old furniture in my daughter's room that I also renovated. I initially told the boys that they could help me, but it got a little out of hand when they both took paintbrushes and started just going at it and not paying attention to what they were doing. I got pretty fussy. Eraser Eater bounded across the house in a long yelp (he also got red paint on the carpet), and my oldest banished himself to the rocking chair in the office---letting me know how ticked he was. He told me that it was rotten that I would say he could help paint and then change my mind at the last minute. Oh how I wish that they could understand things immediately!

One of the worst things for me to do in the morning is drink more than one single cup of coffee. I feel jumpy and terrible the whole day---almost fatigued, almost wired. I never know what I need. This is how I feel right now. I just decided to let the boys watch TV so I can get this bed done. I have to get SOMETHING done today. I have called people a lot lately just so I could #1 keep in touch and #2 have something to tell Dear Sir when he gets home. I forget everything though. The other night he asked who I talked to during the day. I told him I talked to my friend Ann and he said, "You've been callin' the people, huh?"

"Actually, she called me," I said, feeling like a slacker.

Summer gets this way. I feel like the biggest bum. And I don't even get any books read. What do I do? I really don't know. I take care of kids, I guess and paint stuff.

But things will pile up once September hits. Mass chaos. I will have to try to command the three that will be against me. Dear Sir is worried because the oldest is finding joy in reading Arthur books. "Rachel, it's baby stuff. What is he doing?"

"I don't know," I say, "he is reading.. that is good."

"Not good if it is that stuff..."

"Hey, he reads text books..."

"But where is the literature? How about a reading list? He is supposed to be reading Foxe's Book of Martyrs."

"It goes over his head---he doesn't really get it. It is the old version."

"He's reading it. That's what he's doing. He is reading it. Come on, Rachel! Arthur?"

Yes, I have failed this summer. You know what it is? It is cable. It is all cable's fault. I have just received a revelation. Cable is the devil. It prevents every child in America from reading Foxe's Book of Martyrs and I have been blind to it.

I know, I know. It is all my fault. Just say it, won't ya?


Music for the Masses

I am not running out of things to write about (cough, cough)---I was truly running this morning and thinking about the music I was listening to. I am a fairly musical person (I sing and sort of play guitar and have always written songs since I was really little)---so I wonder why I don't mention music so much on my blog. I think it is because everyone is so steeped in their particular musical taste that I don't think I can influence anyone to listen to something that I enjoy. I think some people are so far gone (perhaps I am the judgmental one!) in bad music like Journey and Peter Cetera or Phil Collins that I find that there is no hope. I do like Chicago (that is the little bit of "bad" music I do like). No offense.

And I am confused greatly as to what kind of music I produce. I have had people say I sound like Joan Baez (I have never actually heard her sing in my life but have heard of her), Sarah McLachlan (which I admit, is what I prefer since I have listened to her for years ) and Amy Grant (which I grew up on). My music itself is sort of weird. Well, not really. It is probably boring. It is sort of mellow and sad and I am sure would do well in a funeral. I like it though because it is like me and is that not what musicians hope to produce---a reflection of themselves to show the world? It is like showing everyone your soul. Not that I like that too much, but what can you do when you make music? So, I have had people say that I am sort of folk, sort of worshipful, sort of sultry and earthy I-don't-know-what. I guess I should stop thinking about it.

So, I compiled an idea of what I think the best albums are (that may have or have not had any influence on me. I actually just enjoy them.) And here, I am bearing my soul once again showing you my musical taste:

1. Fumbling Toward Ecstasy by Sarah McLachlan
2. Mighty Joe Moon by Grant Lee Buffalo
3. Grace by Jeff Buckley

Those are the top.

Here are some more that I love but are not the top:
4. The Invisible Band by Travis ("Side" is a great song)
5. Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay (when I first heard this I almost fell over)
6. Room Noises by Eisley (they opened up for Coldplay)
7. Hopes and Fears by Keane (this guy is Freddy Mercury)
8. Virginia Creeper by Grant Lee Phillips (alternative country)
9. Don't Believe the Truth by Oasis (this is the greatest album to workout to)
10. Let There be Morning by the Perishers (these guys opened up for Sarah and are from Sweden)
11. The Shore by The Shore (The Verve reborn---you know, Richard Ashcroft)

Of course I love many others like The Verve, Morrissey, The Smiths, The Beatles, U2, Jars of Clay, Jennifer Knapp, Keith Green, Blur, Starsailor and tons of classical.

And I am sure you have noticed that a lot of my favorite music is not Christian music. As much as I hate to say it, I don't usually like Christian music because it is completely outdated and most of the time horrible. No matter what Christian music does it tries to sound like the world, and somehow they do it badly. It is always stuck in the 90's or the 80's---always synthesizers and cheesy lyrics. Some of it is done very well, but it is few and far between. And perhaps I have not made it in the Christian music world because #1 I have not had the chance #2 I write bad songs #3 I don't sound cheesy #4 no one has heard me (except maybe a few people). And what really ticks me off is that I wanted to start my career off musically by doing "worship music recorded" but well done---back when no one was doing it. Now the biggest thing out there is worship music CDs and it really bugs me. Oh well. Now I have the pleasure of hearing them constantly and tiring of "Draw Me Close," "Shout to the Lord," and any type of Matt Redman stuff like "The Heart of Worship." People do get sick of worship songs so maybe my idea was bad. I am sure sick of them.

Again, I am just stating my opinions so don't get too irritated. I mean, you can hack at me, but be sure to bring a cloth to wipe up the blood...

And umm, give some of those albums a listen on Amazon. If you scroll down you can hear samples---but I am sure you knew that.



It is kind of cool living where we are. I have met the neighbors on all sides of me, and they are all nice. It sure is a different feel from Idaho where everyone has their yard fenced in and people never say boo to you.

I remember in our old house in Idaho we had a couple that lived across the street from us. They were probably our age on the dot. They had a boy that was a little older than our oldest, and I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter, the woman was pregnant with her daughter too. We would go and get our mail at the same time and I saw her pregnant tummy. I am not sure if they would wave back to us then or not. We were just under the impression that they did not want much to do with us. I don't think they ever did. Eventually, during our last couple of years there, we started to go out of our way to be friendly. We would wave at them when they drove by, say "hi" when passing, etc. They would barely pay us any heed though. I remember distinctly a few times I would be outside trimming that crazy hedge and the wife would drive by (we were the very first house on the street). I would wave to her and smile. She would look straight at me and then turn her head the other way. Nice.

I started to have dreams. I had dreams that she really in her deepest heart wanted to be friends with me and she finally invited me over to her house. I remember that her walls were splashed with vibrant colors and everyone knew her. I think she had original art too. I only think I had this notion because I saw her outside painting a big wooden Noah's Ark on the grass one time. I had many dreams like this though.

The man was fanatical about his lawn. He had a perfect golf course. I think he had something wrong with him, he was so particular. Dear Sir has always been somewhat eccentric about our lawn so maybe he had an issue with how we did things. Dear Sir is a complete green thumb and does tremendously well with the yard. He just dreams big and thinks long term. He is famous for planting tiny trees and freaking out when the kids would almost walk over them. And the hedge.

I actually walked over one time to see what their exact address was so I could look them up and at least know what their names were. I know, I am weird. It took me about six years to do this. After that Dear Sir and I always referred to them by their names (he didn't think me so odd to look them up, I was so relieved) when saying stuff like, "I waved at Mrs. Carson today. She was REAL nice." "Yeah, it looks like Mr. Carson is putting in some extra fence to block us out of their vision."
So, we have not had a lot of luck with neighbors except for the few (like the Real Estate agent that sold our house that lived across the street, or the widow next door who was really nice but pretty much kept to herself for the most part). I never understood my friend Jade who had neighbors wherever she went that she remained close to. One of them became one of her best friends and mentors. Another neighbor of hers traded off with babysitting. I remember her asking me one time when I did not have a sitter if my neighbor could watch the kids for me. "What, are you kidding?" I would say.

But here it is different. Here they actually find me interesting and want to be friendly. The kids and I have already been invited to a birthday party, I have a lady who has an Asperger's kid right next door to ask questions if needed (she came over to offer herself), I am watching the other neighbor's daughter (she has given me a beautiful solid wood bed for my daughter!), and then the neighbor across the street is the Orthodox priest of the local Orthodox church. They are all very nice, very helpful, and a relief.


Good Morning

Ok, so we are probably not getting the turtle. If you want more information read the comments under the post, "Turtle".

Eraser Eater is in a sort of despair and it is driving me nuts. Oh well.

I have been so lazy and focused on recovering lately, that I have writer's block, cleaner's block, runner's block, reader's block, and anything important and I should do block.

I slept til eight forty-five. [Slap! Slap!]

And I think my daughter is running around without any underwear on. I just caught her getting a couple of sprays from the inhaler that has been hanging around.

And I think also (which I think it totally went over my head at the time but now I remember it) that when I said to the boys, "Go brush your teeth, will ya?" Eraser Eater said, "no" from upstairs.

How do people, when something has sucked about 50% of their brains clean out, get it all back? I have probably blown out snot about comparable to my body weight.

This house is still. That is bad.

Better go.



We are planning on getting a turtle for the kids as a pet. You know, you read a lot about them when you look them up and they seem like they are a lot of work, but then again, if you read about how to care for a dog they seem like they are a lot of work as well.

We are thinking a box turtle about the size of a fist and from what I understand, they do not get any bigger than that (although I would love to get one that gets huge---I have fond memories of a neighborhood turtle that I rode on the shell of when I was little). Dear Sir is not up for anything bigger. He is petrified of birds and other sorts of reptiles, so a turtle is what will work besides a fish (like our dear departed Hemingway). I did not mention to you that Eraser Eater is allergic to cats and dogs.

Anyone own a turtle or have any advice? I am thinking of purchasing one this weekend. Any comments, advice, words of encouragement are greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.



I just have to say that I HATE it when people call me "religious." They are usually people that are familiar with Christianity and maybe even go to church (of some kind) but have no idea. I heard someone say recently that at a particular church the kids stay with the adults for about ten minutes and then they go downstairs to partake in various "religious activities." I about threw up. I hate hearing, "yes, she's a religious type of person," or "they are really religious so they like angels and stuff."

Gag me.

My neighbor (bless her heart) thought I was "so religious" I must be a Mormon. I showed her some pictures on my pc of my family and there were some photographs of icons (Orthodox and Byzantine ones) and she wanted to see them because she thought that they were angels. I had to explain to her that they were saints.


Grant Lee

Grant Lee Phillips has a new album out called Nineteeneighties. It consists of some of the underground stuff (covers) from the time of the Breakfast Club and Atari. It is mellow (just my style) and pleasant. He does "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)"by REM, "Boys Don't Cry" by the Cure,
"Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loves Me" by the Smiths, "Wave of Mutilation" by the Pixies, etc.

I am totally bummed because Grant Lee was in Arlington a few days ago (I know, I had the sickness really bad then anyway) and I did not know it until I went on his website. I feel stupid. I am just hoping he comes around again.


Day 3

Last night Dear Sir and I agreed to allow our daughter to sleep on our floor since she was feeling so bad. In the middle of the night I had to cough once.

"Are you ok, Mom?"

"Yes. Go to sleep, honey."

"Whatcha doin' Dad?"



She later came to sleep with me on Dear Sir's side of the bed once he left for work. She kept coughing. I gave her some drops and she seemed to like that. I kept falling asleep. I know, what is wrong with me. I slept until almost ten o clock. I have not slept in until ten for hundreds of years. My oldest tried to charm me awake with a "get well" card, and Eraser Eater tried to ask for cough drops to get me up. Finally I did.

I have to tell you, my life is so different from what it used to be. I would usually HAVE to get up because someone needed to be fed or even entertained. Not so anymore. I think Eraser Eater already found something to eat, my oldest SCRAMBLED HIS OWN EGGS (he did wait until I could watch over him though), and I sat by myself and ate my Total.

So when I finish my cereal my daughter (who feels awful) says to me: "Mom, lets go back upstairs and sleep some more. I'm tired and you like sleeping."

Maybe I will take her up on that.


Book Tag

I just noticed that the lady at Moomin Light tagged me on books. If anyone knows me at all they would know that I would most likely be prompt with this (even if I am operating with half a brain right now---thanks, funk that I have).

I have been a book reading slacker. I know I have had a lot going on lately, but to me, I think of that as no excuse. So here is my sorry little response to the tag (all one really has to do is read any "reading list" I ever post and you have me):


I have a few, so saying one is not going to cut it.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde got me into reading the classics. I remember reading this while walking to the bus stop. I was hooked.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I know, join the slew of others, I am original.

Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis. To this day because of this book I see that my desire for Wonder Woman t-shirts is really not some sick childish thing that I harbor. It is my glimpse of heaven.


I rarely do this. This is why: there are only so many hours in one's lifetime, I think it is almost silly to re-read something. There are too many books to read and so little time!

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
You have the Heath, a handsome man newly come from Paris, a "hussy" who stands on Rainbarrow with a telescope and a bonfire, and the Reddleman. With that combo and more you got a good story. The best part is that people die at the end and you can sit and argue with someone about whether it was a suicide or not. I love it!


That is a ridiculously hard question and I think quite unfair. If I don't say the Bible I will be acting like a pagan. If I do say the Bible, I will sound like I am better than everyone else. So I guess I pick the Bible.



If we bound Cannery Row by John Steinbeck and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith in one volume I suppose that would be considered one.

Cannery is like reading a Seinfeld episode or something. But a Seinfeld episode on crack. It is really odd. I loved it. Castle is just romantically funny and witty. If anyone starts a novel by saying they are journaling from the inside of the kitchen sink, it has to be finished.


To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I cried when I realized that the two main characters in the novel are Boo Radley and Jem. If you read the novel and think that way, it will make you cry.


There is nothing new under the sun, from what I understand. I have no clue.


What is it called? Left Behind? I have never read it, but it annoys me anyway. How about Shattering Your Strongholds by Liberty Savard. How about The Book of Mormon or that L.Ron Hubbard book, or Madame Bovary?

There are too many....


None. I know, shoot me, but I am currently reading NO BOOK. I sat around today watching the food channel and TLC. I finished Cakes and Ale by Maugham on the plane but have not read anything since. I feel simply wicked. I did start a little snippet of The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins, so maybe that is presently reading something.


There is a huge list a few posts back about all the books I am meaning to read (and I have already added a few more in my brain). I have a massive headache right now so it hurts me to think about it.



The Idiot by Dostoyevsky. Think: Holy Saturday, symbolism of Christ, the Trinity and the Resurrection, and you have an immensely deep book. I love how Dostoyevsky integrates his history with execution in the novel as well. That man was brilliant.


This is stupid, but Life of Pi made me think. It's that crazy book about the boy and the tiger on the boat in the middle of the ocean by Yann Martel. I like how the guy put the book together and I like the ending. I think my take on it is correct, so I feel completely relieved with my findings. As anyone that knows me well enough, I am very opinionated about books and I argue a lot about them.

So, in Moomin Light fashion, please pick up a copy of Grant Lee Phillip's Virginia Creeper on CD and listen to his beautiful voice croon out his own little kind of country. If this man could write a book he would write O! Pioneers! I think.

I will tag in turn:

Anonymous at The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Being Ill

I have the world's worst common cold and everyone else has it too. Wonderful, eh?

I am heavily active and it has kicked my butt. I fell asleep on the couch for a few hours while the kids watched a plethora of cartoons, and that only gave me enough energy to make a little lunch for the kids. I ate a Cliff Bar. It is sad when you can't even taste. What is the point in eating, I say, if I can't even taste the food.

I never watch TV. It is funny to see my kids' reactions to commercials and whatnot. There was an E-Harmony commercial. My oldest asked, "What is this? A place where a guy can meet chicks?"

"Chicks?" I asked.

"Yeah, I have heard some people call girls 'chicks.'"

"Wonderful. Don't say that," I cough out.

"I thought you meant chickens," Eraser-Eater breathed (he is asthmatic) and then took a swig of his gatorade.

"By the way," my oldest said to me,"why are you watching TV with your mouth open?"

"I can't breathe out of my nose," I said.

"Oh good. That's a relief," my son says, placing the back of his hand on his forehead," I was starting to think that you were truly becoming a couch potato zombie!"

Did I tell you that I never watch TV and am usually very active? Consider my butt kicked.


Poor Eraser-Eater Puking up Cold-Eeze

So I just got back from running a few necessary errands. Eraser-Eater was feeling a little under the weather, and I, to be honest, had a little scratch in my throat as well. We all did. We all do.

Eraser-Eater was entirely reluctant. He needed his breather earlier, as I stated, and so he was really in bad shape. I had to return a book to the library though. I had to go to the post office and pick up a package that was waiting for me (who knows what that was) and I had to go to the store and get tissues, medicine, milk, crayons, and eggs. Completely necessary things, right? Yes. I think so.

We got in the car and Eraser-Eater moaned in his usual Eraser-Eater-Sick style. His lips went white. We finally got the library and as my oldest went to the building to return the books, Eraser-Eater said, "I'm going to throw up!"

I quickly (with the car still running) guided the boy to the grass and he puked on his way there and continued to christen the grass with red gross stuff. I wiped his mouth with a tissue I found in my purse. By this time my oldest was sitting in the passenger's side seat, fingers plugged in his ears, singing a song. "Is he done?!!!"

"Yep," I say. Must have been the zinc lozenge I gave him. That was red.

We got in the car. I drove to the post office. I drove to the grocery store.

"I will stay in the car," Eraser-Eater said.
"No, you can't," I said, worried that he would throw up on my leather seats.

I had to pry him from the seat. We got to the automatic door and Eraser-Eater says, "Uh, I have to..."

So I guided him to the front of the store (where no one walks) and he tossed his cookies.
My oldest bailed. My daughter said, "Poor Eraser-Eater."

We went in the store and everything seemed quite fine. I got all I needed but felt stressed because I knew that I only had about ten minutes and the dike was going to burst again. For cleanliness' sake he would probably grab my purse and puke in it.

We finally got outside and Eraser-Eater sat in a little grass-filled median in the parking lot, about half way between the store and our car. "We are only a couple of paces up," I weakly said.

"I'll stay with him, Mom," my five year old daughter said, " you put the groceries away."

I obeyed her.

I went back and he was lying on the grass. She was maybe rubbing his back, I am not sure. He was white as a sheet. I picked him up and helped him to his seat. I grabbed two plastic grocery bags and handed them to him and he said, "Thanks."

We drove home to the sound of my son losing his lunch, my oldest saying over and over again with his fingers plugging his ears that if he hears Eraser-Eater throw up HE will throw up, and my daughter saying, "Eraser-Eater is so poor. It's okay. You'll be okay."

I kept saying, "We are almost home."

Poor kid.

No Brain on the Breather

Eraser Eater woke me up asking me for his "breather." His breather is his inhaler. I heard the urgency in his voice so I got up immediately but stood there saying, "breather? Uh..." with my hand on my head. I was a bit out of it. I think he tried to describe it to me but I could not swim to the surface of awakedom enough to think of where the heck a breather could be. I think I walked in a circle and said breather a few times. He was apparently annoyed with me. "A breather, Mom! I can't breathe! I need it! Where is my breather?"

Finally I remembered what a breather was and knew exactly where I could find one. Duh.

Since I have been in my own bed the past two nights it is hard for me to get out of it. I was up late a lot on the trip and I consumed too many alcoholic beverages (over the course of days, I did not get drunk). Alcohol does that to me. When I drink it too late in the evening I sleep well at first and then about four hours later I am up---popping from the bed like a kernel of popcorn from a hot pan. I hate that. I think the first night I was there I slept about four hours at the most. Not good for the voice either. My friends also made me sing above and beyond what I am used to---hours and hours of worship songs---so I am sure I sounded a bit "sultry" when I actually had to "perform."

So, we are all sick over here---I am not sure if I am or not---I usually don't get sick. The oldest and the youngest have a sore throat. I think Dear Sir does too. Eraser Eater is so bad off, as you know, he needs his breather. That is bad. They are all laying around in underwear under blankets watching TV.

I have no idea what to do with myself anymore.



So I am back. Everything went well, the music was great, the vocals were greater than I would have hoped, and the wedding was a success. People cried when Diane and I sang, and we got a sea of compliments. I feel a little overwhelmed by it.

I will write more later; I am tired now. I had the pleasure of meeting Bethany Wilkins and we both laughed when we found that we both know Rick and Rachel Capezza. Small world.

The kids missed me. I came home to Eraser Eater being sick with a cold, my daughter with a rash/scab on her chin, and my oldest otherwise alright. The house is immaculate, I must say. Dear Sir comes from a line of very clean Norwegians.

I better go to bed. It will be nice to sleep!


I am leaving today for Milwaukee. My best friend from third grade will meet me at the airport and then we will go to this bachelorette party for someone my friend does not know---but she has to come because I have to see her and I have not seen her in ages. She is one of the few most amazing people I have ever met. She struck my fancy, I guess.

I am supposed to sing on Saturday with my friend Diane, who is yet another friend. To make matters clear, she is the woman who sings back up for me on any song on my music site. She is so gifted. Since I am not as gifted as she is at the guitar (yet---let's pray I get better soon for my own sake!) she is playing guitar and singing back up with me (or lead, who knows how things work out) for this Wedding.

The bride is a woman I know who is the sister of another dear friend. The bride is this fabulous writer---her poetry (and I don't care for poetry) makes me weep. The bride's sister is another writer, and her stories that she has written of other people's testimonies just breaks my heart. The only person missing is L., who when she is absent, everyone notices and is sad.

God has given me many friends, am I crazy not to admit it! The only thing is that they are all far away and I have moved away from them.

Ann has taught me to be myself and not be ashamed of it. She told me I was beautiful when the school kids said I was ugly.

Jade has taught me to not have self-pity. She taught me to shut my mouth and be respectful. She told me things straight and told me in love.

Diane has taught me as always the beauty of friends and music. Some women blend together the best even when they are not biological "sisters". She also taught me that wine and pizza taste good together. She also taught me that I can get on the freeway and not panic.

L. has taught me that some friends will die for you.

Sure, I am singing for my friend's wedding, but I am really just happy to see all the people I love.


Eraser Eater is a Freak

Breakfast with Eraser Eater is a unique experience. He sits down with all of us (everyone is wearing what they wore to bed the night before) and then jolts up from the table and runs upstairs.

"He's getting a shirt for me again," my oldest says under his breath.

Eraser Eater, sure enough, comes down with a garment dangling from his hands and then throws it at my oldest.

"Here, put this on," he whimpers.

This morning it was a little different. I did not know how to deal with the situation. My oldest revolted and said, "Now [Eraser Eater], you are going to HAVE to just get used to eating breakfast while I don't have a shirt on, and that's it!!!"

Eraser Eater twitched around in agony, moaned and whined, and said, "But I CAN'T! It makes me lose my appetite! I will not eat breakfast until you are done then!"

I had to intervene at this point. I understand the whole not being able to eat while something is before me. Like coins, for example. I remember having to stick a piece of paper on top a pile of change if it were sitting on the table as a kid. ---This was not a rare occurrence; my family was a messy lot. It was often hard for me to see people just woken up with eye snot in their eyes---and then to be expected to eat! I completely understand this. Maybe it is mean, I don't know. I just dealt with it though. I put pieces of paper over the pile of change; I averted my eyes. I remember refusing to use certain spoons (especially because I hated metal, but I would only use the least decorated and worn kind)--so I understand fully Eraser Eaters aversion to using large utensils and crazy stuff like that.

I told my oldest to just make him happy and put the shirt on. He reluctantly did it and Eraser Eater sat down in peace, putting cream in his cereal, shoveling the spoon in his mouth. He is so particular.

"Now stop chewing with your mouth open!" He tells my oldest, "It grosses me out!"



I am so SICK of people not following through on stuff. What is it today that you call a place (like your internet provider) and they reserve the right to hang up on you because of the large call volume, or they just don't fix the problem, or they tell you that you ask "silly" questions and send you off to another department for the umpteenth time.

There was this girl who said that she would give my kids private swimming lessons for free. She was going to come to my pool and do it during regular hours. She took forever to call me back constantly, and she was unclear in anything she said to me. All I knew was that she was going to work with me at my pool with my children. She calls me three weeks or more later telling me that I have to go to a particular pool to get lessons from her for free and they are on such and such dates and I need to call the pool for info. I call the pool. I am not a "qualified" resident for the free lessons, lo and behold. I call the girl up to see what is what. The mother answers the phone and has a sweet sing-songy voice---very condescending. "That is UNFORTUNATE. Why are you calling us?"


Get out of my face. I don't care what I said I would do. We did our best. Leave us alone. I don't have to explain anything to you. You are garbage. I don't care what I told you I would do. I don't care. You are crap. Go away. Don't call me. Why would you call me about it? This is your problem.

Uh, gag me with a spoon.