Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Movin' on Up!

For those who are new to this blog circus, and those who may not remember, up until two weeks ago, I was number eight on my dad's speed dial.  Yes, number eight.  Not that stellar, but a good round number.  You can read the preposterous reasoning behind my low number of importance by clicking here:
http://wranglersandribbons.blogspot.com/2010/08/appalling-speed-dial-discovery.html

My mom has been gone a month now, and while my dad and brother were out of the country, the silence was deafening on my end of the phone.  It was during this time of quiet solitude that I had an epiphany...an awakening, if you will, regarding my eighth place standing on my dad's speed dial.  Suddenly, it occurred to me that there was now going to be an opening for the speed-dial #2 position.

(Speed dial #1 is for voicemail, so technically, speed dial #2 is really 1st place in importance....are you following me?)

My mom has always been #2 on Dad's phone...and rightfully so.  But Mom's gone now, and therefore won't be needing the #2 slot anymore.  My plan, if executed flawlessly, was to strike while the iron was hot.  I had to lobby my dad for a giant leap from #8 to #2.  It was a huge risky strategy, but time was of the essence.  I didn't want my brother, my grandfather, my husband, or my uncles, who hold all of the other numbers on the speed dial, to try to move up in the ranks.  I had to prove my worth.  It was a bit like making a sales pitch in the board room that would send me from the first floor cubicle to the 10th floor corner office with views of the city.  It was like trying out for the major leagues as a high school senior. I was swinging for the fence.  I was putting all of my chips in, and I would either bask in the glorious victory, or go down in flames trying.

As of right now...my dad has told me that I'm top dog...#2. ( I have not verified this, mind you, but that was his verbal assurance.) 

With the glory of being on top comes enormous responsibility.  A burden that is much more difficult than I had anticipated.  I don't really know how Mom did it.  It's incredibly hard.  When you are #2, and the only woman on speed dial, you must be prepared to answer questions...lots of  questions.  You must be a proverbial encyclopedia of all things domestic.  Already I've been summonsed to give my wisdom about the following things:

-How to wash muddy socks
-The importance of browning roasts to seal in moisture
-When to use Oxi-Clean, and when to use bleach
-Reminders about saving receipts to enter in the checkbook
-What brand of soap and deodorant to buy

I just hope Dad doesn't ask me something I don't have the answer to, like how to make Mom's Deer Chili.  I called my mom at least twice a month for the recipe, but never wrote it down.  I'm really kicking myself for that now. I don't have all of the answers.  I don't even have half of the answers...Mom can never be replaced.

The other responsibility that comes with being #2 is always answering  the phone.  Availability is crucial.  This is a nightmare for me.  I'm not good at remembering to bring my phone with me.  It's my tragic flaw.  I hate the bulge of carrying the phone in my pocket, but my purse is a black-hole where phones get lost for days.

Being #2 is like having a new born: I'm always holding the phone, always listening for it's ring, and I take it with me everywhere. I now have an unsightly lump in my pocket from keeping it near me at all times, which is a real fashion faux-pas.  I have to put the phone on vibrate several times a day while at church functions, meetings, and libraries, and then I have to remember to actually take it OFF of vibrate when I'm through.  I take it with me on walks and in the bathroom, and put it near my bed.  It's exhausting! I do not want to miss a call.  I can't miss a call.  If I miss a call, I will go back to #8.

 Failure is not an option.

Going back to #8 is not an option.

But truthfully, I don't know how much longer I can keep up with this whole facade of responsible phone handling.  OH, the pressure of being at the top! The only place to go is down, down, down! I'm not sure I'm cut out for it.  I'm not sure I'm qualified...in fact, I KNOW I'm not really qualified.  But I will carry on with the tremendous responsibility of  being #2... until I make a fatal phone error...like leaving it on vibrate...inside my coat pocket... deep within my closet...for 3 days.  Then I will be demoted back to #8.

But for now, I will celebrate. Whether it lasts for 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month, I am QUEEN OF THE WORLD!!!!  Oh sweet victory! How I long to shout it from the roof tops!

"I am number TWOOOOO!!!!!!"

Happily taking in the view from the top,

Nell

P.S.- If Mom were reading my blog right now, she'd be laughing her butt off!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crafty Kids

My nine year old son has hi-jacked the duct tape from my husband's tool box, and has used this unusual medium to design things.  I'm not sure how I feel about this, but one things for certain...he's creative.

A while back, he made this duct tape wallet that he carries around everywhere.  It even has a place for cards. His inspiration? A duct tape wallet for sale at our local hardware store.  He thought, " I can make that!"
It's slightly embarrassing when he pulls it out to pay for things. After all, he DOES own a "real" wallet at home that is much less "shabby chic", but he prefers this hobo looking thing.  He's proud of it, and that's all that matters, right?!?

His creativity didn't stop with the wallet, though.  Nope, he took things to a whole new level! He pulled out the roll of silver tape, and decided to make something for his sisters.

A duct tape purse???
This handbag is heavy duty, and is made from only the finest materials.

 For work, or play, this purse will transition from office hours to cocktail hour, seamlessly.  At least, that's what my daughters think.  They think their brother is pretty awesome. They also think the purse is a work of art. 

It's hard for me to see past the $5.00 worth of tape that was used in the making of this bag.  Tape is elusive in this house.  I can never find it when I need it.  Now I know why.  It's being used by my son to create art that's both modern and functional.

That's young male creativity for you...the complete opposite of his sister's creativity.


My daughter has been learning to sew, and I'm so proud of her growth in this area.  Today, she made the most beautiful throw pillow for her bed:
She sewed it all by herself for her 4-H sewing class.

It's a pillow cover that can be removed to be washed.

She picked out the coordinating fabric, and carefully cut, ironed, and stitched each piece of material.  Her project did not involve duct tape in any way, but is still every bit as creative as her brother's little master piece.

With both male and female influences in the house, things never get boring!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday Afternoon Drive


Yesterday, we did our usual Saturday chores which includes checking the yearlings.  All was well so we had a little sling- shot competition with my son's favorite weapon/toy.
All I'm going to say about this is that I've got mad rock chucking skillz (with a z). 
Afterward, we made a pit stop to Dairy Queen, and then decided it was a nice day for an afternoon drive. For the first time this year, the lower forest roads are drivable, and we decided to take the long way home on dirt roads.

We love to drive through the woods because of the abundance of furry woodland creatures. In the spirit of competition, we all keep our eyes peeled for animals.  Whenever someone spots one we say, "You've got your game eye on!"  Whoever finds the most wild game wins the competition and has bragging rights, and declares themselves to be the "Great White Hunter" etc. etc....

Here are a few of our finds:

 Do you suddenly crave mashed potatoes, rolls, and stuffing? No? Maybe it's just me.


Do you see 3?


The roads were fairly good. With the exception of a few muddy areas and the occasional snow packed path on the north facing slopes, we made our way just fine.
Here's the only spot that required four wheel drive.  It was worth it though, because the views were gorgeous!

After a long snowy winter, nothing beats the first spring drive through the woods.



Friday, March 25, 2011

Embarassing Moment #2,236,598


The year was 2001.  My husband and I had just moved back to the mountain, and we were renting a little house in town.  A very nice Hispanic family lived next door, and I was looking forward to meeting them. 

Our neighbor on the other side was an elderly gentleman who would chat with us over the fence.  While conversing with him one day, he asked us if we'd met the brown family next door.  I thought it was a bit odd that he called them that,but I just remained quiet and gave my husband "the look".  You know... the one that says, "I can't believe he just said that!"

A few days later, my husband disappeared for a while, and when he returned, we had the following conversation:

ME: "Hey, where have you been?"

HIM: "Oh, I was just talking to the brown family next door."

ME: *GASP* "What did you say?"

HIM: "I said I was just talking to the brown family next door."

I immediately slugged him in the arm as hard as I could!!! Then I said the following thing:

ME: "That is the most racist thing I've ever heard you say! How are we going to make friends when you go around calling Hispanic people "the browns"???"

HIM: *BUSTING A GUT FROM LAUGHING* "Noooo. You've got it all wrong! Their last name is Brown! I wasn't referring to their skin color! I was just repeating their last name!"

ME: "Ohhhhhh, right.  The B-R-O-W-N family. HaHaHaHaHa!!!"

I felt so horrible for jumping to conclusions! How could I have thought something like that about my husband? How could I have thought the sweet old man next door was a racist, too?

The Brown's were such a nice family!

 We moved from that house shortly after the incident, but we still see the "Brown's" from time to time around town.  We can't help but chuckle every time we run into them because of my little "misunderstanding".

We have trouble remembering their first names after all of these years, but we will NEVER forget their last name.

Ever.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Expensive Pet?

This is the kindest, most gentle, and friendly bovine creature around.  He's curious, and personable, and comes to greet us whenever we're in the pasture.  He licks, he sniffs, and he follows us like a dog. 

 My baby is in love with him.



My baby + red steer = True love 4 ever


We have a slight problem.  My five year old has claimed him for her own.  Out of all of our cows, she has chosen this one to be her favorite.  She didn't choose a heifer or cow that will be around for a decade...she choose a steer. It's because of his red fur.  My baby is partial to red hair on people and animals, and although her hair is lightening up to a nice strawberry blond, she still considers herself to be a red head.  She feels a bond with other creatures of the "red" variety.


The problem...and it's a BIG problem: my five year old doesn't understand the fate of steers.  I thought she did, but I was WAAAY wrong. One afternoon, I flippantly said that the steer was going to be in our freezer one day, and my baby suddenly got a glimmer of understanding.  Then the wailing started.

She cried, "You mean....we're going to eat him???"

"Well, that's what we do with our steers, baby.  We either sell them for other people to eat, or we butcher them for our family."

"But why???"

It's tough to be a kid that has close contact with her food sources.  Most kids think meat comes from a store.  Most kids don't associate a pretty face with their food.  Especially not a face with shiny, red fur.

We've raised steers throughout our marriage, and the other two children know the routine.  We pick out the bull calf that we want to keep, make him into a steer, name him "T-Bone", "Chuck" or some other meat related title, and then we let him graze on grass.  Near the end, we put him in a pen to feed him out until he's good and fat.  And then we butcher him. My baby has obviously been oblivious to the entire process.

She wants to keep him forever and ever.  She has spoken her piece, and as far as she's concerned, the discussion is over.

If she has her way, you're looking at the most expensive pet we've ever owned.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tarzan's Death Defying Feat

video

My brother, also known as "Megamind", just got back from a missions trip to Fiji.  While he was there, he decided to trade in brains for brawn and try his hand at jungle vine swinging. In his attempt to imitate Tarzan, there was a massive equipment failure, and things went down hill from there.

In Tarzan's defense, the local guide assured him that the vine would hold the weight of two grown men.  Seeing as how my brother was green in the ways of vine swinging, he decided to take the guy at his word. The local man swung on the vine successfully, and then my brother took a small test swing.  When that went alright, he moved further up the hill for maximum swinging distance, and subsequently, more height to plunge to the ground with.

I'm so thankful my brother didn't get hurt worse.  A couple of broken ribs, a giant bruise on the lower back, and the wind knocked out of the lungs is not too bad when you consider how much worse things might have been.  There were so many injuries on the trip that I'm pretty sure the Fijian hospital staff knew the entire crew on a first name basis. 

With the exception of the occasional sneeze which puts him in agony, I think Megamind is healing nicely.  His wife has grounded him, and I'm afraid his Tarzan days are over for a while.


Examining the broken vine.


Monday, March 21, 2011

7 Things

I'm still alive!!

Now that we've established that, I'll tell you why I've been absent from the blog. It's been busy X 1,000! I wasn't near a computer for 4 days. I've got 7 small tid-bits to share with you from our weekend:

1. We took a trip to the big city for an extended weekend, and I got to spend time with both sides of our family.  Good times, Good times.


Here are the girls with their beloved aunt from Chicago!

2. After a nice dinner in the city, my kids sat with their cousin out on the curb.  They were waiting to see the  light-rail go by.  They were so excited about it, that they jumped up and down and waved to the folks inside.  City kids don't do this.  Country kids, however, are easily amused.

The anticipation was almost too much to bear!

3. My son played in a baseball tournament this weekend, and I'm learning to keep the score book.  What I've learned so far is that you will not make a good scorekeeper if you fall into the following categories:

a. You like to chat with the people around you
b. You are easily distracted
c. You have two little girls who need to go potty every five minutes
d. Your daughters wander around in "stranger danger" territory because they are from a small town and don't have legitimate city "street smart" credibility so you try to keep one eye on them and one eye on the game at the same time like a chameleon. (FYI: A Chameleon's eyes move independently of one another.  I've often thought this would be a  super-power that would come in handy while watching multiple children.)

In other words... I will be a good scorekeeper when my kids are grown, I'm sitting alone, and don't know anyone around me.  But it sure is fun to look official with the score book in hand.

4.  My cousin just became a new daddy, and he let me hold the most precious little slice of  heaven in my arms for over an hour.  I sniffed her little baby head, and held her little baby fingers, and touched her tiny little baby toes.  It was like a  wonderful therapy session full of warm fuzzies, and I loved every second of it!


5. My dad, brother, and sister-in-law just got back from a missions trip to Fiji.  They were gone for 10 whole days! While they were there, my brother broke some ribs flying through the jungle like Tarzan on a vine. (More on this another time.) As always, they did not dissapoint when it came to the souvenirs. They brought me back some swanky Fijian beauty products.  I love the smell of these lotions:


I'm so glad they're back.  My phone was eerily quiet without them around.

6. This weekend, my baby looked us in the eye with a straight face and said, "I really want you to get me a flying horse."  Yeah, who doesn't want a flying horse, kid?? OR at least a ride on the Luck Dragon from "Never Ending Story". ( Am I the only one that wanted to fly through the sky on the Luck Dragon?) I promised her that if I come across a flying horse, I'll be sure to buy it.  So keep your eyes peeled in the classified ads, and let me know if anything comes up for sale.



Falcor!!
 


7. Well....this one's a secret. :)


Have a blessed week!

Nell

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Diggin' Holes.


Monday afternoon my hubby rescued me from my usual life of laundry and scrubbing toilets, so I could go dig post holes with him in the pasture.  Isn't that romantic?? No. 

But I'll take digging holes over doing laundry ANY DAY!

He knows this. 
He understands me.
That's why we've been in marital bliss for over a decade.

Subsequently, we've also had a mountain of laundry for over a decade.


Here's part of the work crew.  My oldest girl is a little work horse.  She can outwork most of the boys I know.  And she's always eager to lend a hand.

Here's proof that I can dig a hole.

I is college ejukated.

(Totally kidding.)

Setting posts.


Here's my baby.  She didn't do any work on Monday.  She just sipped on her Sonic slushy all afternoon.  She wore a dress with pink hearts because she said she didn't feel like workin'.  She got off easy.

After my assistance wasn't needed anymore, I decided to walk the fence line and take pictures of weird stuff.


Old barbed wire.


An old nest.




A feather on a dead weed.


Cow hair on barbed wire.

That's a masterpiece right there.  Maybe I should put that one up on the wall.  Ha Ha!

From afar, the pasture looks dead, but upon closer inspection is this good stuff!  Spring is a comin'.

These gals will be a year old next month.


You've got a little food on your face...just thought you'd want to know.



She is slightly grouchy.  Maybe she woke up on the wrong side of the fence this morning.

This concludes another exciting episode of "Pasture Pics with Nell".

Thank you for tuning in, and have a nice day.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend Review

Boy, did this weekend ever fly by! The weather was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S for a change, and it actually felt like spring on the mountain. Here are 7 random things about the last two days:

1.  On Saturday, the guys went spelunking (cave exploring) all morning, and then had baseball practice all afternoon. While the guys were doing boy stuff, we females had a "Girl's Day".  My mother-in-law picked us up, and our first stop was to the Salon for spa pedicures while my girls got their fingernails painted.  Then after we were glamorized, we went for Chinese food, and an afternoon of shopping.

We CONQUERED the JC Penney and Walmart! ( That sounds funny, but when you live in a small town, there's not much else to conquer.) That's all I have to say about that.

2.  We each bought a new Easter outfit for church.  In our town, you have to shop ahead of time.  If you wait for the week before the actual holiday, the clothing racks  will be void of all needed sizes, and anything cute.  I bought a white 1930's style pencil skirt with a big black belt and a black and white polka- dotted blouse.  I think I'm in love with polka dots.  They're classy.

3. Yesterday, after church, we loaded up the flat bed for a day of corral building and maintenance at the yearling pasture.

If that doesn't look like a trailer full of work, then I don't know what does!

4. While the guys were designing the squeeze chute set-up, the girls fixed fence.  No one gets a break on this outfit!  Some of the heifers were escaping through some broken wires to go on a little "walk-about" to the neighboring pasture.  All afternoon, the yearlings followed us around the pasture while we were making repairs to the wire.  They were so curious that they came right up and sniffed us a few times!  This is a great sign because 3 months ago they were wilder than March hairs, unruly as all get-out, and completely irrational. They used to sprint to the far end of the pasture with their tails sticking straight up in the air whenever we walked in the gate. It seems as though they've calmed down quite a bit now.  We can easily walk right up to them without  any stampede- like tendencies from them.

5. I flushed out some of these pheasants in our corral...at least, I think they're pheasants. I'm no bird expert ya know. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

I think they're females.

They're big, and kind of interesting looking, and didn't fly off right away.

6. I saw a bunch of Antelope on the highway yesterday.  Do you think my husband would stop so I could get a good picture? Not a chance! We were burning daylight, and when the man has a plan, he doesn't like to make picture stops for scenery.  This photo was taken while driving 65 miles per hour.  It's the best I could do under the circumstances.

7. There are only 6 more days until spring! Yippeeeeee!! We saw our first Ladybug of the season, and therefore, spring MUST be near. 

Everything still looks dead from afar, but if you look really close, things are starting to sprout.  March is a mild month for us...despite the wind.  But April is misery.  Some of our biggest snows happen in April.  I'm no fool.  I know that the weather is only tricking us right now.  We've got more snow to come., but I'll take the beautiful 65 degree days while we've got them.


Hope you have a wonderful week!

Nell


Friday, March 11, 2011

Addressing the "Elephant in the Room"

It's been 13 days since Grief came barging in the front door, unannounced, carrying a suitcase, and informing me that he was here to stay a while.

The first seven days, I was powerless to stop his invasion of my life.  He rushed in and took free- reign of my emotions.  I was completely consumed with his presence, and he was absolutely exhausting me.  I could barely sleep, eat, or think with him in my face all the time!

On day eight, I'd had about all I could stand of him!  Like a house guest who has overstayed his welcome, he was gnawing at me.  I decided to lock him in the closet so I could get some stinkin' relief. I actually thought this might work, and for about a half a day...it did.  But then he started hollering from the closet, and banging on the door until I let him out.  Then Grief made me cry...but only for a little while this time.

After my plan to shove him in the closet failed, I decided to try ignoring Grief.  He might be hanging around, but I wouldn't allow myself to look at his sorry little face.  I would stay busy and clean things.  I would reorganize the shelves, and try a new recipe.  I would vacuum and dust, and do 5 loads of laundry...all the while pretending he wasn't in the room.  Then Grief would open his big fat mouth and shout out all sorts of random memories. He would remind me that it was my my mom who taught me the proper way to fold socks, and Mom made the best desserts, and Mom used Palmolive dish soap to wash the dishes...and then Grief would make me cry all over again.

I absolutely hate crying, so I decided to deny Grief's existence in order to make the tears stop. I told myself that this wasn't happening to me, he wasn't here to stay, and his visit was all a bad nightmare that I was going to wake up from any second.  This approach lasted all of about twenty minutes.  Grief filled the house with memorial flowers and stacks of "I'm sorry for your loss" cards, and phone messages, and sympathy meals and I knew that Grief was real.

Next, I decided that if Grief was here to stay, I would interrogate him with a million questions.  I would pester him day and night until he gave me the answers.  I'd pull out his toenails one by one, and pluck his nose hairs with tweezers ,and use Chinese torture if I had to.  But Grief is a master of silence.  He is really tight lipped! He wasn't about to give me any answers, so I gave up trying.

Sometimes, I get in a big  fat fight with Grief, and I deny him, ignore him, suppress him, shove him in the closet, question him, and come to accept him...all in a span of 10 minutes.  That, my friend, is an exhausting battle.  And one that Grief always wins.

The funny thing about Grief, is that he's stuck to me like glue.  Wherever I go, he divides the room.  Those who have yet to be intimately acquainted with him tend to be shy, and awkward and leery of him.  They are at a loss for words, and feel uncomfortable being around me because of him.  But what surprises me even more, are the other half that know Grief well.  They recognize him the moment we walk in the room, and they sympathize with me for having to drag him around.  Because they know Grief, and understand his nature, they are not afraid to comfort me, and tell me all about my new house guest.  They are the most helpful.  They write me letters of encouragement about what to expect, and they aren't afraid to call me while Grief is in town.  They hug me and love on me, and tell me old stories about when Grief came to visit them, and then they reassure me that he will get less overwhelming, in time.  They gladly let me cry on their shoulder, and give me Kleenex, and tell me it's going to be alright.  I'm so thankful for the ones who already know Grief.

Currently, I'm coming to terms with Grief's presence.  I understand that the more deeply you loved someone, the longer Grief stays with you, and the more "in your face" he gets.  I'm blessed to have loved, and been loved by my mother an enormous amount, so I figure that I've got to get used to the fact that Grief is going to be around a long time with his suitcase full of tears and memories. We have a little understanding now.  He lets me go about with my day, and only interrupts me occasionally.  We have our good days and bad days, and I still occasionally have the sudden urge to stuff him in the closet and shove a sock in his mouth!  But I know that the longer I suppress him, the more it hurts, and the longer he stays.  So for today, I'm learning to live with the guy.  Today we're at peace.

I have no idea what tomorrow will be like, though.  Grief is just so darn moody and unpredictable! He's a lot like a woman!


Taken hostage by Grief,
Nell

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lip Liner, Turtle Pee, and Dead Cats

I have THE most supportive friends....EVER.  They currently have me in some type of protective cocoon, but even when my life isn't in crisis mode...they ROCK.

1. Do you know that my friend Dawn once brought my lip liner to my house at 10:30 pm because I left it sitting on a table, and she knew that I desperately need to have my lip liner???  I didn't even ask her to.  She was just looking out for me and the health and well being of my lips....at 10:30pm.  That's love.

2. Last summer, I was in a deep conversation with my friend Deana in her front yard while she was holding her kids' turtle.  We were discussing something major when all of the sudden the turtle started to pee ALL OVER HER! 

Did you know that small turtles can produce GIANT volumes of turtle pee??? I didn't know this either until I witnessed it with my own eyes. It seemed like quarts  gallons of turtle pee flowed out of that turtle's hoo hoo. It was really unbelievable.

I could not stop laughing!

Her white shirt and jeans were soaked to the skin....and yet she kept wanting to listen to the rest of what I had to say.

A turtle pee'd on her, and she still wanted to be a good friend and listen to me despite her drenching!!

I had to tell her that what I had to say was not nearly as important as getting the turtle pee off of her.

That's a good friend, right there.

3. My friend Gina used to exercise with me several times a week.  We would walk several miles up and down the road while pushing strollers. Along our route, we would pass this dead cat lying off the side of the road near the ditch.  My middle daughter was two years old, and EVERY time we passed the dead cat, she would ask, "What's wrong with that kitty?"

Each time, I would totally lie and tell her the kitty was just sleeping.

Even though Gina is a Pastor's wife, she still remained my friend, and continued to walk with me, despite the fact that I lied to my child about the dead cat on at least 15 occasions.  That's love.


Not everyone has such devoted friends, but I'm so thankful that God has blessed me with many of them.  They are priceless to me!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mega Mind

My brother has been lobbying for us all to refer to him as "Mega Mind" ever since he took my kids to see the movie in the theater. As his one and only sibling, I naturally balk at calling him anything that would puff up his ego, but I halfway considered calling him this for the following reason:

My brother has an exceptionally large head.

He wants me to call him "Mega Mind" because of his exceptionally superior intellect.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

My entire family infiltrated his house last week, and 5 of us crashed on his couch and took over his bathroom, and ate his food, and filled his house from top to bottom with floral arrangements.  During this time, I happened to be checking my email on his computer when I discovered a textbook laying open to the following page:
This means ABSOLUTELY nothing to me! It looks like Chinese, sounds like Mumbo Jumbo, and makes me itch when I try to read it.

Here's a close up:


Does this make any sense to you?

Evidently, this is from a Statics textbook.

Do you know what "Statics" is all about???

Neither do I!

Here's the definition:

Statics is the branch of mechanics concerned with the analysis of loads (force, torque/moment) on physical systems in static equilibrium, that is, in a state where the relative positions of subsystems do not vary over time, or where components and structures are at a constant velocity. When in static equilibrium, the system is either at rest, or its center of mass moves at constant velocity.
By Newton's first law, this situation implies that the net force and net torque (also known as moment of force) on every body in the system is zero. From this constraint, such quantities as stress or pressure can be derived. The net forces equaling zero is known as the first condition for equilibrium, and the net torque equaling zero is known as the second condition for equilibrium.

Not only does my brother know how to do this type of math....but he teaches a "Statics" course at a major university.  I cannot utter it's name because:

a. It's my rival school.
b. I loathe it.
c. I don't want to taint my blog with it's disgusting name.

What is important to know is that some of these "Statics" problems take up to six pages of mathematics in order to solve them.  They're hard.  Really hard.

I hate math.

After I realized that my brother teaches this Chinese looking math to other people, I decided that maybe....just maybe, he might deserve to be called "Mega Mind" after all.

In fact, you can just refer to me as "Mega Mind's Sister" from now on.  I'm cool with that.

Nell
(Mega Mind's Cooler Sister)


P.S.
If you understand "Statics", I'll gladly refer to you as "Mega Mind" too.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

One Step at a Time


A year ago, I sat with my mom at a little cafe overlooking the highway, and as I watched the cars go by, I told her I was thinking about starting one of those "blog thingies".    I was getting the writer's itch, and thought a blog might be a blank palette to combine my love of photographs and my desire to express myself through writing.  My mom had no idea what a "blog" was, but she was whole heartedly on board.  In fact, she continued to bug me about it for weeks until I wrote my first blog entry.

I had only a few guidelines for my blog: First, I wanted it to be a place to recall fond memories and thoughts on life.  I love writing about the little details that make me chuckle.  I wanted it to be a place where I was free to share my foibles, and shortcomings, and talk about nothing. I didn't want it to be overly serious... mainly because I really don't take myself seriously.  And most importantly, I wanted it to be a little slice of life for my family to read so that they knew what was going on, even though we were separated by miles.

So I began my blogging journey.

Along the way, I rediscovered my love for writing.  It's therapeutic and fulfilling.  It clears my head and awakens my senses.  I look at life differently, now.  I'm always searching for something positive to share on my blog each day. It's had a way of helping me keep a sunny outlook on life.

Mom was there to cheer me on, and was my most faithful follower.  She loved to read my blog each day, and she HOUNDED me with phone calls whenever I went a few days without a new post.  She was my most faithful commenter, and she treasured seeing her grand babies on the blog.

When my mom passed away last week, it felt like time stood still.  Each day felt like an eternity.  My emotions were out of my control, and the intense pain in my heart felt like it was too much to bear.  I came to the Lord empty, and weary, and desperate.  I cried out for Jehovah Rapha to heal my hurts, and sustain me through this nightmare I was living.

And each day He has been faithful.  Each day the fog begins to lift a little, and I see with greater clarity.  Each day I take one step forward, and breathe a little easier. I know I've only just begun my journey through grief.  I know that the road will be long and difficult.  I also know that the Lord won't give me more than I can bear, and that my family is there right beside me to carry me through.

My dad told me that even when we feel like life has come to a screeching halt, the world around us moves forward.  The sun still rises every morning, the birds still chirp, and life goes on.  We've got to learn to go on living.

He's absolutely right.

I sat with my girls out in the middle of our pasture yesterday.  The sun warmed my back, and the tall grass swayed with the gentle breeze.  The birds sang a carefree melody, and cows quietly grazed in the field without a care in the world.  They don't worry about tomorrow, or dwell on yesterday.  They take life one day at a time.

I'm going to do the same.  It's going to be hard for me to write about anything else but Mom, because her life consumes my thoughts right now.  But I'm going to try my best to find one positive thing to write about each day.  Like an elephant in the room that no one acknowledges, but everyone knows is there, I'll try to avoid writing about the obvious grief.  Instead, I will share everything else.  I'll journal about cows, and kids, and my embarrassing moments.  It will be good for me to focus on the positive, and might just help me in the healing process.  But don't think for one second that my mother isn't on my mind every day.

Some days it will be a challenge, and some days you may see a lot of pictures of cows when I'm at a loss for words, but I will continue on with my writing, and focus on my little blog.

It's what Mom would have wanted.