My FIRST DIY

There are a lot of DIYers out there nowadays. Apparently, the new IN thing is to do it yourself and then brag about it and write a “tute” and “pin” it on Pinterest.

I am not quite that immersed in the whole post and brag stuff on Pinterest, but I DO wholeheartedly live my life in the DIY realm. And I love, love, love Pinterest. (My husband is not quite as much of a fan…it just means more work…)

Let’s face it…I have more time and junk than money, and I am married to someone who views our roles in this way: I am the composer and he is the performer; I am the architect and he is the contractor; I am the designer and he follows my plans. And believe me, we make some pretty remarkable music together…when he follows the music and is in the right key. Or as long as this designer fully communicates the plan and has thought through all the ins and outs…

It wasn’t always this way. My need to save junk from the dumpster created a lot of opportunities for Superman to show exactly what he was/is made of…and I think he now actually loves all the positive reinforcement that gets showered on him for all of his hard work.

At least, I think he likes it…except for when I say, “I have a great idea…” and he is already in the middle of another of my great ideas. Sigh…my brain runs way too fast for my own good…

But once upon a time, he didn’t know about DIYs and didn’t really know how to build or fix much of anything. I probably didn’t either, but I thought I did…

I met my husband in September of 1978…I was a freshman in college and he was a big man on campus senior…there were a lot of things that we shared in terms of common interests, but not everything.

Let’s just say we grew up in two very different worlds…suburban St. Louis vs. middle of nowhere Nome, Alaska. Malls vs. Catalogs. Style vs. Necessity. Trees vs. Tundra. Hot Humidity vs. Frozen Precipitation. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables vs. Canned Everything.

How we hit it off is kind of still a mystery, since he thought clothing should only be blue and brown, and well…I love colors…all of them.

When we met, he looked just a little bit like Napolean Dynamite…

The ORIGINAL Napoleon Dynamite...

The ORIGINAL Napoleon Dynamite…

Tundra Man...note the cool dude shades and the super wide diy leather watch band...stylin' Nome style

Tundra Man…note the cool dude shades and the super wide diy leather watch band…stylin’ Nome style

But after we had been dating for awhile, things changed a little bit…and after almost two years, we successfully added TAN into his color scheme…And when we got married, well…the afro was significantly reduced in size, but not totally gone…

Wedding Day...new shades, new hair, new watch...mustache...yep

Wedding Day…new shades, new hair, new watch…mustache…yep

By the time we got married, he figured out that he really looked a lot better (not that he CARED) in the clothes I picked out, and he really didn’t enjoy buying his own clothes…(chuckling)…the floodgates of color opened…eventually adding in GRAY!

Little by little, colors became no big deal and we started working on patterns … colors were, and are, still a bit of a problem because he doesn’t understand that all blues cannot go together, nor should he EVER concoct his own outfit unless it was previously combined by ME…we still experience the major fail from time to time…

But now, he usually has hair that is sort of tame…although the afro returns fast if the hair gets too long…his glasses are not huge anymore…nor are they shaded…and when he wears a watch, it is a normal watch that is bought at a store…the whole sock issue is still problematic as he really likes his white-over-the calf athletic socks…

But I threw them away…hehehehe…

Before and After…what a handsome job on my first real DIY…

Nathan 3

Nathan 6And he even smiles while he works…
I sure love this guy!
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Adjusting your focus

nathan and meI am married to a wonderful man. He has stuck by my side for almost 33 years, and that is a long time by any standards. Especially since he knows all about me and STILL sticks by my side.

BUT…he is a good source of blog material…and since he has such a great sense of humor, this is going to be ALL ABOUT HIM…

Superman is about 6′ 4″ tall…he seems to have an aversion to that height and tries to knock off a half inch but, I happen to know how tall he really is…;)

He is also only about 185 pounds…pretty thin. See what I mean?

He got a bit concerned about his weight a few months ago because he had inched up on the scale. I think, if we are being honest, his WEIGHT really wasn’t the issue. (He is going to LOVE all the word plays in this blog!!!)

The issue was that he has had angioplasty and a stint, so maintaining a HEALTHY HEART is really far more important than his added pounds, which I think only made him look a little healthier. I just don’t think I should be able to count his ribs through his shirts, do you?

So, my sweet man started working out on the treadmill. Faithfully. And he arranged to listen to the Bible online while he worked out…exercising his faith, his heart and his multi-tasking skills all at the same time. (Multi-tasking is not one of his strengths, unfortunately.)

He was so proud of his progress when he reached that 185 pound mark. And he clearly was feeling a lot more energetic, so that was a good reason to continue his commitment to the contraption in the basement.

But as is so often the case, things happen. And one night, Superman got on the treadmill…wearing the same shirt in the photo above…He started walking, and realized he was getting too warm…So he decided to take off the shirt.

Fine. No problem. As long as you STOP THE TREADMILL AND GET OFF THE THING FIRST! He didn’t want to break his stride…right. Mr. I Can’t Multitask

The next minute we here a loud noise and a bang. I should mention that when a TALL person is on a treadmill, it makes them CLOSER TO THE CEILING. And my husband has unbelievably LONG ARMS. I thought he had reached up through the ceiling and created a shortcut to the basement.

Nope. His shirt had gotten stuck on his head, and he got a little mixed up and kicked a hole in the wall as he stumbled around on the still running treadmill. Aren’t there safety rules about this sort of thing???

Lest I leave you wondering, he was fine. No injuries. That, in itself, is a miracle. You see, he also has a foot full of hardware from a serious fall involving a ladder, a tree and a chainsaw…just imagine the worst and you will be pretty close.

But he was fine. And it got him thinking (maybe he should have done that before attempting his failed attempt). And he realized that there was a really great application that could be applied to the spiritual race we are running.

Runners who get ready for a race have to prepare for it. They train their bodies, increasing their stamina. They wear appropriate clothing that will not interfere with their run. Can you imagine running a race wearing a ball gown and high heels? Or showing up to a marathon wearing a tux? That would be crazy.

How fast do you think you would run if you were carrying all your garbage along with you? At my house, that would be a full can of recycling and a full can of regular trash. I can’t pull both of them up the driveway together, so the idea of RUNNING with that strapped onto my back is just impossible.

But that is exactly what we do in our spiritual walk if we do not prepare for the race. We must shed those things that tangle us and distract us. We must deal with the traps that defeat us. Any sin that is taking hold in our lives must be confessed for what it is.

And our focus needs to be on the right thing.

If a runner looks down while racing instead of ahead, he will fall and he will fail. If a runner looks ahead to the goal, that is where he should finish!

Although none of my football teams won over the weekend, I must say that each team had the same goal–getting that football in the end zone as often as possible. They wanted to WIN. They fought to WIN.

The prize for our race is being with the Lord Jesus in glory, hearing the words, “Well done” and receiving the reward for faithfulness in the race. And because of how gracious our God is, it is never too late to refocus and make the necessary corrections so that we can finish our race well!

Do you need to adjust your focus? Are you tangled up in the tentacles of sin? It isn’t too late. Refocus…run!

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

I have not disappeared from the face of the earth…yet

For those who follow my blog, you will notice that I have been MIA for the last few weeks.

It is not writer’s block.

Nor is it due to a lack of live writing material taking place before my very eyes.

It really isn’t even because of the chaos of the holidays (although there was a LOT of chaos).

No. The reason is actually quite mundane.

My laptop screen fried.

Again.

For the second time in one year. (And no, it is not under warranty.)

I managed to cobble together a system that worked…sort of. By hooking up the laptop to a traditional (old)  monitor, I was able to use the laptop.

Yea, yea, yea.

But…there is always a “but”, isn’t there?

The contraption was set up in my so-called sewing/craft room (that in itself is a topic for another day). The room also serves as sleeping quarters for a napping toddler.

Hmmmm…access was an issue.

(And at this point, I will digress momentarily.)

Yesterday, we took down the Christmas tree and packed away the decorations inside the house. This freed up a wee bit of space in our not-so-spacious living room.

As a person who strives for perfection, this defect also applies to the positioning of furniture. Somehow I keep thinking I will find the perfect configuration for all the necessary pieces…if I just keep trying.

So, Superman helped me. With a smile, I might add. (Those of you who know him have never seen him without one, so it won’t carry the same effect as those who don’t. So don’t tell them, ok?)

Given all the things that go on in my house (gymnastics, battles for the highest spot in the room, trapeze flying, fort building, building block olympics, camping, dance competitions, along with an assortment of other activities that should probably not be enumerated), a good flow and jumping capabilities from sofa to love seat to whatever is essential.

I should probably add that I have long since given up on the “no more monkeys jumping” rule…enforcement became a full-time job. I know, I failed.

Sooooooo, we shifted our furniture around. And lo, and behold, there was just the perfect spot to move a desk that could house my laptop contraption in the living room!

Joy, joy, joy!!!

So, I am back. I bet you were all just holding your breath!

Today would be a great day if…

Remember this? Just give it a listen…

Do you have an ear worm now?

Well…that is how this day has been. It just has gone on and on and on…

Even now, it’s still dragging on. This will be one of those nights when I will ask if it’s late enough for me to go to bed. (And there will be a unanimous “Yes” from my family…)

Some days are like that…

Kids that just won’t cooperate…

A calendar that is just too full of “stuff”…

And a whole lot of “holiday cheer”… that really isn’t so cheery…

It is one of those days that a career change comes to mind…RETIREMENT in a seniors only community! Or living off the grid in an RV…

But then I think about it…do I really want to understand shuffleboard? Am I ready for my husband to wear white leather walking shoes? Do I want blue hair? (Actually, my son-in-law has a blue mohawk, so maybe blue hair isn’t so bad???)

But in all honesty, some days are just a huge reminder of the glorious future awaiting me in the presence of my King and Redeemer…far away from the trivial and irritating things that sneak into my day and try to steal my hope for the future and joy for THIS day.

I am hoping that I can correct my course now and try to end the day well…kind of the way I would like to see my life’s course at its end…ending well. Achieving that “well done, good and faithful servant”…

How do YOU handle those not-so-great days?

 

When cooking up a storm is not a good thing…

The house smells awesome…

Chicken baking in the oven…

Corn cooking in the crockpot…

Beef stewing meat being browned…

Onions and garlic sauteing…

Is your mouth watering? Are you wondering what the big occasion might be? Do you want directions to my house?

Actually, it is a very sad event that is responsible for all the wonderful smells…my refrigerator bit the dust.

We initially blamed the kiddos…all that scaling up the doors and leaving the doors open.

But…nope…it just stopped working. On a Monday morning. With a houseful of children and guests on the way and the annual Christmas caroling event at our house on Friday and the Christmas program on Sunday and getting ready for traveling North for Christmas and…

Timing, after all, IS everything. Right?

So I have cooked everything I could salvage. And it is safely stored in the freezer in the basement. But not everything made the cut and I had to throw out a LOT of food, and that just irritated the socks off my feet.

We went shopping for a new refrigerator last night…and now I must give you a lesson in compromise history that comes back to bite me big time. Again.

We moved into our house less than five years ago. It came with a fairly new WHITE refrigerator. With an ice maker and water IN THE DOOR…high tech for me.

We knew we had to buy all the other appliances at the time, and I really wanted to get BLACK. Including a NEW refrigerator. In BLACK.

Mr. Practical thought it was not reasonable to get rid of a perfectly good refrigerator just because the color was wrong. And I could not reconcile buying all new BLACK appliances.

An impasse.

I had to agree with Mr. Practical, being so practical and all, so we bought a WHITE dishwasher, stove and microwave. (If you are ever in that predicament–GET BLACK!!!)

My appliances have not been white since they entered the kitchen.

So last night we went to purchase my unexpected Christmas present. And the color dilemma reared its ugly head. Back and forth. Black or White?

In all fairness to Mr. Practical, he let me choose the model I wanted and any color I wanted.

Yeah…right. I currently have a kitchen full of WHITE appliances. I really wanted BLACK. Still. And I got a scratch and dent discount. And the identical model was available in both colors. And it was up to me. Again.

Gag me, please!!!

“I really want Black. But it will bug me if the others are white. And I just want to be able to be content to have a refrigerator that WORKS. But I really want BLACK.”

“Get what you want.”

Ummm, I don’t think all new appliances is budget friendly or wise…do you? Neither did he. And he actually made me try to determine a time-frame wherein I would not be perturbed by said mismatched appliances. He is all heart, that man of mine.

So…I got white. And I am a little bummed today, but trying very hard to just be thankful that I was able to get a new one. And I AM really thankful for it (it isn’t here yet, but I am still thankful), even if it isn’t what I really wanted.

And, of course, there are so many verses about contentment and having a thankful heart…and don’t forget about the “lust of the eyes” either…I know…I had to preach myself a sermon. And it was a really good sermon. I used lots of verses and anecdotal stories taken from real life situations to drill the point home.

I need to be a better listener of my sermons.

Yes…He Thinks He Can Fly

(Please note: I decided to tweak the original post and re-blog it. 🙂

After over 32 years of marriage, I think I know my husband better than anybody else. But, like most married people, we find that the longer we are together, the more intimately we know each other. That can lead to some VERY interesting learning experiences.

My husband is 6’4″–I am 5’4″. He is thin, I am not. He played basketball, and you must totally believe me when I tell you I did not.

There are those similarities–we both wear glasses, we both have hardware holding the bones together in our left feet. (I know, what are the odds? So did his father…freaky!) We love music.

Even our professions are the same–we “teach”–he teaches high school Spanish and I teach potty training, drinking from a cup, how to share, blah blah blah. We both love what we do.

Where we truly differ is in the gravitational pull and how it affects our sleep.

A few years ago, I was awakened by heavy breathing. Most married people may not find that particularly curious…but I had just been clunked on the head. Nathan was thrashing around–totally asleep.

I started to worry, thinking he was ill or having a seizure or something, so like any good wife, I woke him up. It took some doing, but he finally came around only to tell me that I had interrupted his lay up shot.

Excuse me? Yes, he was making the game winning lay up in a basketball game. It must have been a championship game, because he had never played so well.

After assuring me that he was all right, I tried to get back to sleep, but his dream had made me a bit introspective. I couldn’t remember the last time I even remembered a dream.

As a child, I recall having vivid dreams. I could never sleep with my arm hanging over the side of the bed (still can’t) because I would dream ‘awful snake’ dreams.

I had a recurring funny dream about germs running all over the bathroom and attacking my toothbrush. Those germs looked like really crazy, transparent stick figures with several appendages. Apparently germs made a significant impact on my psyche.

But recently, I had not had any dreams that I could even recall. Hmmmm…what could that mean?

My husband has developed some health issues in the last few years, so I pay closer attention to his sleep patterns now.

He had another one of those “active” episodes the other night. As I tried to analyze his sleeping behavior, many thoughts were tripping all over themselves, trying to get to the front of the line.

I thought…it must be his heart…or maybe that neurological problem is acting up…

So I watched him in the darkness. I listened to his breathing and even took his pulse…of course, his pulse was racing. And he was muttering something I could not make out. I had to waken him.

I shook his shoulder…then I tried nudging him with my elbow…finally I rubbed his chest a little and he woke up.

“I can fly. Let me get back to sleep. I am flying and teaching and it is really cool,” he said, breathlessly. And I sincerely mean, he was out of breath.

“Are you sure you are all right?” I asked him.

“Yes. I just need to get back to this dream.” So he went to sleep, continued his “flight” and I just stayed wide awake.

He thinks he’s superman. My husband actually thinks he can fly.

Now, I do agree that he is a very talented and special man, but this flying was taking us to a whole new level, even for him. And I am not trying to play with my words, either!

I didn’t know if he would remember the dream in the morning. But he remembered his dream very vividly.

FYI–In real life, he teaches pre-school Sunday School. He explained that in this dream he was teaching his Sunday School class, but for some reason was unable to get their full attention, so he began to fly upward, heavenward. The higher he flew, the more the children listened.

(Honestly, wouldn’t you listen if your teacher started to fly?) He must have taught the lesson of his life while flying above those children. I couldn’t begin to tell you the lesson content…I was just trying to reconcile the concept of flying…

I have thought about his dream at length and it has caused me to think a little bit more deeply than just the humorous side of this story.

My husband has had a motto for his life since before we even met–a personal code of sorts. It was as if he carried a balance around in his pocket and whatever the “thing” was, it was put on one side of the balance. The other side of the balance always was the same: Will this count for eternity?

That personal code was what drew me to him when we first met–he had an eternal purpose for his life and he lived (and still lives) every single day with the same question: Will this count for eternity?

I find it comforting and reassuring somehow that even in his subconscious state, he continues living by his code.

I’ll Fly Away

Some glad morning when this life is over,
I’ll fly away.
To a home on God’s celestial shore,
I’ll fly away.

I’ll fly away, O Glory,
I’ll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye,
I’ll fly away.

When the shadows of this life have flown,
I’ll fly away.
Like a bird thrown, driven by the storm,
I’ll fly away.

I’ll fly away, O Glory,
I’ll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye,
I’ll fly away.

Just a few more weary days and then,
I’ll fly away.
To a land where joy shall never end,
I’ll fly away.

I’ll fly away, O Glory,
I’ll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye,
I’ll fly away.

Never Ask Your Husband This…

I have been watching my weight for a few years…going in the wrong direction.

It started with the beginnings of the “change”… you know, that non-pregnant “pause”…

Following the “pause” came the torn ligament or tendon in my foot that occurred when I started a swimming for exercise regimen. Bummer.

So I took up bike riding. My first day out on the bike led to a fall that led to a torn labrum that resulted in shoulder surgery. Surgery followed by months of rehab.

I realized that maybe I should just take it easy, so I took up walking. About two days later I thought it would be a good idea to clean the cabinets thoroughly. Unfortunately, I hyper-extended both feet somehow and tore the plantar fascia in both feet. Uh huh…months of rehab for the feet.

I got amazing relief for my feet through an awesome physical therapist named “Matt”. Who also worked out the shoulder rehab, the low back issues and the torn whatever in my foot.

I got a new job. It was so cool. Commercial real estate and helping cool new companies launch. It required an overhaul of the filing system and all 150 four-drawer file cabinets. I was surprised at how quickly I developed a frozen shoulder in my GOOD arm. Of course, I got to go back and spend some quality time with “Matt.”

and THEN…

I fell. I fell off my front step (singular) while cleaning the window. I did not need the x-ray to tell me my left foot was broken. In four pieces. It was a very bad break. I was in casts and a boot for about 3 months.

I graduated to walking. The first day, I walked up the street three houses and back. Woo hoo! No problem. No pain.

I then walked around the house more on day two. I tripped over my grandson. Broke the same foot. I got to get hardware this time. A nice screw with imported stainless steel, hand-turned into my foot. Three more months non-weight bearing. Three more months of subsequent physical therapy. This time with “Bryan” because I still couldn’t get all the way out to see “Matt”…sigh…

I have not been the same since I broke the foot and got the screw, although this year has been the least painful since 2008.

And THAT is big news. Because now I can DANCE…every morning we (my little charges) dance to the Madagascar sound track and the Latino Party CD…I must say that I am so surprised that my daughter has not videotaped my efforts in an attempt to blackmail me for money…

I thought that all this dancing and gardening was beginning to help with the weight…my jeans were a little looser and my old, tight stuff was close to being wearable. So I got on the scale…

I had lost twelve pounds! I was so excited!!! (I have since lost more, but anyway…) I didn’t say anything for awhile. Just kept double checking on the scale…

So, I decided to go out on a limb and ask my husband if he could tell I had lost some weight…

He looked at me, head to toe, and said, “Maybe in your face…?”

TWELVE POUNDS FROM MY FACE??? REALLY??? I am still choking over that.

Never, ever, under any circumstances, ask your husband if you look like you lost weight…

(I am still trying to figure out how anyone COULD lose twelve pounds from the face…somebody, a little help?)