Friday, April 24, 2009

Don't Choke! (Warning: Hillbilly humor)

Thanks to Mighty Mom for passing this on to me today. (Warning . . . you might want to finish up that bottle of Diet Coke before reading this.)

Two hillbillies walk into a restaurant. While they were having a bite to eat, a woman at a nearby table, who is eating a sandwich, begins to cough. After a minute or so, it becomes apparent that she is in real distress.

One of the hillbillies looks at her and says, "Kin ya swallar?"

The woman shakes her head, "no."

Then he asks, "Kin ya breathe?"

The woman begins to turn blue, and again shakes her head, "no."

The hillbilly walks over to the woman, lifts up her dress,yanks down her drawers and quickly gives her right butt cheek a lick with his tongue. The woman is so shocked that she has a violent spasm and the obstruction flies out of her mouth. As she begins to breathe again, the Hillbilly walks slowly back to his table.

His partner says, "Ya know, I'd heerd of that there 'Hind Lick Maneuver,' but I ain't niver seed nobody do it afore!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

For the Birds ... ZOOM!

This morning I attempted to take Maddy for a walk. We have this routine: I let her stretch her legs off leash to the end of the driveway (about 500 feet), then we put on the leash and do our "circuit." On the way back, I let her off at the bottom of the drive, and she chases the birds up to the house, where she comes inside for a puppy treat (usually a bit of cheese stick).

Today, all bets were off. No sooner than we were out of the house, she turned and attacked my shoelaces with the enthusiasm I usually reserve for creme brulee. Then she caught sight of a bird in the next yard and ... ZOOM! ... she was off in a flash. Bird flew off, and flung herself at me with alarming enthusiasm, given her velocity. ZOOM! ... a gust of wind ruffled my pants leg as she chased a robin who'd landed several yards behind me.

"Come on, Maddy. Let's go for a walk." Apparently I must have said it in Swahili, as she barely broke stride as she dashed for the far end of the property, where we had spotted a small herd of white tailed deer the day before. ZOOM!

After several minutes of this, it finally dawned on me that the command "COME!" was not registering in her doggy brain. This is bird chasing season, darn it. Who wants to WALK?!

"Ever notice that she listens about as well as the kids do?" my mild-mannered husband asked me when at last I came back inside, sputtering at my insubordinate pooch. "Do you think it's US?"

Food for thought.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Things We (Don't) Say for Love...

Today was an impromptu Family Fun Day. It was just too glorious to stay inside and clean house. (As though I ever need an excuse to avoid housekeeping.... )

Loading up the dog and "the bag" (juice boxes, granola bars, water bottles, etc), we headed for Maybury State Park. I was in favor of the little circular trail with the children's play area at the midway point ... but Craig was in "hike mode" and promptly lit out for the next county, the kids and I trailing behind with fluxuating enthusiasm.

"This is BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING. Hey! Look at that snake!" (General shrieking and carrying on ensues.)

"I'm HOOOOOOOOOOOOOONGRY. Gimme the water bottle." (General bickering and mutual poking with sticks commences.)

"I'm TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-ERD. CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-REE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" (At this point Craig backtracked with the dog to check on our progress, and Maddie decided to get up close and personal with a disenchanted boxer, wrapping Craig's lower extremities in leash until he resembled a turkey roast.)

Three hours later, we returned to the car hot, tired, and ravenous. Craig considered it an unqualified victory to have worn out both kids and the dog. As well he might, as for most of the adventure he had led the way several hundred yards ahead while I brought up the rear (in Sarah's case, quite literally) toting both kids and the "fun bag."

As we trundled the kids into the van, Craig turns to me. "Aren't you glad we took the other way? It was such a beautiful day ... and Chris got so much exercise, you can hardly tell he didn't take his meds!"

If you're wondering how I responded to this, read the header over again ... and take a guess.
Happy Mercy Sunday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Laboring in Love

I've often said that the labor pains that most moms experience before a child is born, adoptive mothers get to experience after the fact, while they are bonding and forming attachments with their children.

It is also true that many children process the losses of adoption throughout their lives, as they reach various developmental milestones. Right now we are going through it with Chris ... His moodiness, outbursts, and tantrums are all indicative of a child who is struggling to make sense of his world. Last night he came down with a letter to his first parents, telling them how much he misses and loves them still.

It's hard not to look at such a letter, and wonder if I could do something to eliminate these feelings. Or whether I've done something to bring them on. But then I take a step back, and try to look at the situation as dispassionately as I can. Sure, it hurts to see that after all this time he still wrestles with the "real mom" question.

But it's not about me. It's about him.

If you've ever gone through something like this, or even if you haven't, I hope you'll join me in this prayer today...

Heavenly Father, sometimes adoption hurts. That's the truth.
Sometimes I feel as though I'm stumbling in the dark,
leading the kids with me as I bump into walls.

Surround us with your Spirit, and create new bonds of love,
Bonds of light and healing that only YOU can create.
Take us by the hands, and labor with us in love.

For YOU are our Father.

Mother Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, patron of families, pray for us.
St. Thomas More, patron of adopted children, pray for us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fun Book Meme

Jean Heimann at Catholic Fire tagged me for this one.

Include up to 3 answers each if you like. Consider The Bible or other religious texts a gimme, particularly for question #15.

1. Most treasured childhood book(s)? "Great Hymns of the Faith" -- I learned to play piano out of it, making this book 40 years old.

2. Classic(s) you are embarrassed to admit you’ve never read. Anna Karinana

3. Classics you read, but hated? 1984.

4. Favorite genre(s)? Travel Memoir (Bill Bryson)

5. Favorite light reading? Jodi Picoult novels

6. Favorite heavy reading? Works of Edith Stein and Teresa of Avila

7. Last book(s) you finished? Bill Bryson "Neither Here Nor There" (travels in Europe)

8. Last book(s) you bailed on? Alphonsus Liguori: "Celebrating Eternity Now"

9. Three (only three!) books on your nightstand? Book of Novenas, Haley's Bible Handbook, the Catholic Study Bible (NAB).

10. Book(s) you’ve read more than once, twice or three times? "A Chance to Die: Biography of Amy Carmichael," by Elisabeth Elliot; "Voices of the Saints," by Bert Ghezzi; "A Walk in the Woods," by Bill Bryson.

11. The book(s) that meant the most to you when you were younger (ie, college/young adult)? "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck; "The Red Pony," John Steinbeck; "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" by Karl Keating; "Out of the Saltshaker" by Rebecca Manley Pippert.

12. Book(s) that changed the way you looked at life? "Seven Storey Mountain" by Thomas Merton; "Catholic and Christian" by Alan Schreck; "A Severe Mercy" and "Under the Mercy" by Sheldon Vanauken.

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged. Please leave a link in my combox if you do it.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My Aching Fingers... :-)

Craig and the kids will be here in an hour to pick me up. And so I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank those of you who were praying for me during my "writer's retreat," and let you know that ...

We met our goal!!! The entire book laid out (with Scripture passages, cross references, and Catechism references) and 20 polished entries ready for inspection!

Still a long way to go, but now I can set aside the book for a few days and enter into the spirit of Holy Week without a book deadline hanging over my head.

Now all I have to do is pack up my library and lug it home ...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Writer's Retreat!

Craig and I just realized that the first installment of my Catholic Children's Bible Story book is due the day after our children's Spring Vacation is over.

We looked at each other. We looked at the calendar, then the contract. Yup, sure enough, April 13.

You wouldn't believe what my dear husband said to me! "Heidi, I think you should go somewhere for a couple of days and write, while I watch the kids."

Yes, he did. Almost exactly in those words. So Sunday evening I'm heading to the local Sleep Inn for 48 hours of intense writing. No e-mail. Unplug the TV. No phone calls. No dog or kids. No husband. (Well, he's going to bring the kids to swim on Monday so we can have dinner together. A girl's got to eat.)

Say a prayer for me, that I can get the bulk of the work DONE so the kids and I can enjoy the rest of their vacation together, and enter Holy Week in a suitably reflective state of mind!