Archive for the ‘Blog Carnival’ Category

What I Know about Swings

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Blog Carnival

Part of the One Word at a Time blog carnival hosted by Peter Pollock…

Swing low, sweet chariot. 
We actually sang this in show choir. I think we *may* have had one non-white member (can’t remember which year we sang this), and honestly he was really preppy and, well, dainty. The rest of us were upper-middle-class white kids, tryin’ our best to grow some soul. I’d give anything to hear a recording of just 14-year-old little me being as soulful as 14-year-old little me could be. Hahahahaha.

Swingin’ on the front porch.
This is my dream! Too bad we don’t have much of a porch at the house we just purchased! Don’t get me wrong; I loooooooove my new house. It’s bee-yoo-tee-full, and it’s all ours. (Actually, it’s JP Morgan Chase’s. For the next fifteen years, anyway.) As much as I looooooooooove my bee-yoo-tee-full new house, I have a very short list of things I don’t totally love. Not having a porch that’s big enough for a swing is one of them. Never mind that we can’t afford a swing in the first place.

Sa-wing, batta, batta, sa-wing!
I married into a baseball family. My husband probably held his first bat around one week of age, and he kept playing right through college and grad school. (He was lucky to play in grad school, since he was out of eligibility, but it was just a club team, so it didn’t matter.) His daddy played ball. His granddaddy played ball. I don’t know for sure, but I bet the line goes back as far as the existence of baseball does. One of the first things I purchased after our marriage five years ago was a little sign that reads, We interrupt this marriage for baseball season. I hung it in my kitchen, which is where my mother-in-law had a similar sign with the same sentiment. The first time my dear MIL saw it, she gently said, “You do know that’s true, right?” Oh yes. I also know that we interrupt this marriage for reading and writing, so… it evens out. 🙂

Mood swings.
I really couldn’t speak with any real knowledge on this subject. Sorry.


You know, unexpected because I don’t write anymore. But, I have lots to say. Do we still do those random, Cheeto Thursdays? It’s not Thursday, I know, and I don’t have a picture of Cheetos… (though I do have a bag of them right next to me — really!) But, I’m still going to write a bunch of unrelated, though actually pretty related, things. For all 0.7 of you who still have me on your Reader. 😀

  1. I miss blogging, but I don’t. I miss having something external — ie: readers — that keeps me accountable. I knew you expected me to write, so I wrote. No one expects it now, so I don’t. At all. (Except in my journal.) I don’t miss blogging, though, because NOT being a slave to my blog reader really has opened up life for me exactly the way I hoped it would when I made the sacrifice. I’ve been able to live more fully and with less stress, because I had time to live and the ability to let my brain fully engage in whatever I was doing. Before, I’d hurry through life while trying to pick up on quick ideas to write about and then get to writing. That’s no way to live, even for a writer.
  2. At the same time, a writer needs to write. Not being able to, or — since it’s now fully summer and I should be honest — not having the discipline or strength of mind to make myself, presents stressors of its own. I feel all bottled up, like I’m missing out on something I should be doing.
  3. I don’t know how to have balance.
  4. I am on the edge of depression, and I really think it’s a spiritual warfare thing. God is good, and He has me reading the Psalms. His Spirit comforts me and reminds me to Whom I need to be listening. While David was probably describing his trials with physical enemies with guns (well, bows and spears or whatever), I read his writings and recognize my spiritual enemies. These spiritual forces are whispering lies to me all the time, and it’s really, really, really hard not to believe them. I have a few reasons:
  5. It is true that money is very tight. It is true that if I could get a job (we just moved to a new city for my husband’s job), then money wouldn’t be so tight. It is true that if I don’t get a job for this upcoming school year, things might be even more tough. But is it true that this is my fault? I teeter between yes and no, but I believe that the enemy is telling me yes, calling me worthless, but the Father is telling me no, calling me His.
  6. It is true that my family needs Jesus. It is true that I, for the most part, have done a horrible job of being Jesus to them. Is it true that there is no hope and I’m a miserable failure who should just give up? I teeter between yes and no, but… you get the picture.
  7. It is true that I am a little lonely. It is true that I miss my friends, and that I want to regularly see people I know and know that they love me and are praying for me. That I want to see their faces and hug their necks, but they are too far away. I feel so alone, and I can’t stand being alone right now… it’s just too lonely and sad, but I can’t do a whole lot about it right now. Is it true that because of this, I am unfriendable and that no one likes me? It seems silly to teeter between yes and no on that one, but I do.
  8. It is true, although it seems odd coming just after #7, that I really need some alone time. My husband’s first day of work is not until August 1. We’re here all day together, and I have a very hard time creating alone time for myself (though DH totally supports me in this — don’t misread) because I can’t seem to focus on anything if anyone’s in the house. I am distracted by things that need to be done and the reality that he’s waiting for me to finish up so that I can go live life. If no one is home, I can ignore those things and focus on the fact that I need the alone time to refuel, which will in turn help me to live life. If people are home, I struggle to have meaningful alone time; it’s like I’m rushing through.  While all of this is true, is it true that wanting alone time is selfish? Shouldn’t I enjoy this time with my husband–this time that we haven’t had because of med school and then residency? Well, I do. I am actually really eating it all up — I adore him, and spending time with him is still my favorite thing, even after nearly a decade together. So, maybe this is selfish (and perhaps a bit psychotic)? Yes…no…maybe…
  9. It is true that my mind is wonky and that I can’t get my life straight and that I’m really not any better at the balancing act than I was when I quit the blog. Does that make me a worthless failure whom God is aggravated at for being so stupid? NO. (But sometimes I’m afraid yes.)
  10. How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O LORD, my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have overcome him,” lest my adversaries rejoice when I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13)



I don’t have any eloquent words — just a reminder to myself to check the tree in my own face before throwing a fit about someone else’s bit of sawdust.


A meager submission to a carnival… check it out to read some people who are actually writing!

I was on my way to Zumba, sitting in traffic, when a classic George Strait song came on. Go ahead and listen, and then tell me what his accent makes “memory” sound like.  Hahaha I was cracking up. I’m really not witty enough to come up with too many jokes about it, but I was laughing all the same. 🙂

Anyway, I was sitting in traffic for so freaking long that I was going to be at least 20 minutes late to a 60 minute class. I decided at that point I might as well just go home. I ended up taking this random back road I didn’t know existed, and that was a MISTAKE! There was a huge pothole that I did well to avoid, but it was so distracting that I didn’t quite notice a huge, unpainted, unmarked speed hump until my enormous, old Caddy tumbled over it at about 40 mph. I can’t believe I didn’t blow my tires out, and I also can’t believe what it did do. Right as my car exploded over the giant wall-like obstruction, my rear view mirror came crashing down! It was, however, still attached by a cable, so it stayed hanging and swinging around, making me look that much more ghetto in my old lady boat. An unexpected trip to Auto Zone and a handy new skill later, I have fresh glue on that puppy. So ridiculous.  (By the way, it’s a more complicated process than one would think. It really is a new skill.)

Not okay: all these inappropriate inside jokes on Facebook. Please don’t be offended if you’ve participated, but I just have to stand on my little soapbox for a few minutes.  A while back, women all over Facebook were putting colors and patterns on their statuses without any explanation. Of course, this got people talking and wondering, and it even made national news. The big secret was that women were supposed to post their bra color on their wall in support of breast cancer research or something. I’m sorry, but I have male friends and underage friends and Sunday school student friends and niece and nephew friends and pastor friends who really shouldn’t be privy to my choice in lingerie. It’s just not cool.  Lately, women are posting seemingly suggestive statuses, such as, “I like it up against the wall,” or, “I like it on the dining room table.” It’s intentionally meant to sound suggestive, of course, but they’re really talking about where they put their purses when they come home from work. What’s the point of this one? Support for anti-purse-snatching laws?  No, it’s just meant to be silly and to play a game, but it’s completely not okay. Men (and women too) struggle enough to keep their thoughts pure. Should you really be crowding their news feeds with information about your favorite (purse) locations and details about your underthings? Think before you type… or at least before you click “Share.”

Sorry, that was a little rant-y for PDT. It WAS random, though and I WAS disturbed.  😀





Posted: September 30, 2010 in Blog Carnival
Tags: , , ,

So. I went to the Pecan St. Festival in Austin last weekend. It was fun! They had booths with all kinds of things I didn’t need, five stages with acts of varying talents, (Phoenix Hart was the most talented), and fair food. YUM. Well, almost yum. You see, I had always been very jealous of people eating those big ol’ turkey legs at fairs; they just looked darn tasty (the turkey legs, not the people).  Dreaming of this wonderful turkey leg all my life, I finally got to try one last weekend. Unfortunately, I hated it. It was gross. And that was eight whole dollars worth of gross. Thankful for a tasty funnel cake to tide me over and for a husband who’ll eat anything. 🙂

Also at the festival, I discovered that a PSA was in order. Dear young women (okay, old ones, too): if you wear a backless shirt, you should have some sort of bra that is also backless. That is all.

Yesterday, I wore a football jersey for the first time in my entire life. At my middle school where I teach, we had a “huge” game against our biggest “rival,” so all the boys on the football team went around giving their jerseys to teachers to wear. (I used “quotes” because really… this is middle school.  Football is awkward, just like everything else.)  Anyway, it was cute and surprising when a student I didn’t even know came up to me and asked if I wanted to wear his jersey. He was rather small, even for an 8th grader, and so his jersey fit me perfectly.  I wonder how the coaches tactfully organized this distribution so that every teacher received a jersey that he/she could wear.

Taylor Swift. All I can imagine is her sneaking around on the phone after hours, talking “real slow” so her mom can’t hear. Funny; I didn’t realize that the speed of one’s speech would affect another’s ability to hear it.

Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays

Posted: September 23, 2010 in Blog Carnival

(My first two points are kind of bossy. Deal with it.)

Here is a slash:  /
Here is a backslash:  \
Please memorize this and stop calling it the wrong thing.  Most slashes (like in web addresses) are REGULAR SLASHES.  If you insist on continuing to say “backslash,” I will type exactly what you say and look at you, puzzled, wondering why the website isn’t working…

STOP telling young married couples they “need” babies!  It’s completely awkward. You do not know what their plans might be, or what their current situation may be. Even if you do, how do you think such a comment could possibly be helpful or appropriate? At the very least, you’re being annoying and overstepping your bounds on a private matter. At the most, you are being hurtful and insensitive and putting the hearers in a very uncomfortable position. They will have a baby when Jesus decides they will have a baby. With all due respect, shut it!

I recently heard an argument on a radio station about reading actual books with pages vs. reading books on some sort of electronic device, such as a Kindle or iPad. One argument given by the “book” side was that when she wanted to curl up with a hot chocolate and a book, she wanted to actually have a book, not some piece of technology. To which my reply would have been, “Isn’t the codex a piece of technology as well? Even if it were a scroll, or a stone tablet, there was always something that came before…”  I know: not helpful to the argument, but that was a dumb reason.

Incidentally, I’m pro-bookwithpagesmadeofpaper.

Freckles? I’m for ’em.

Oooo! I have a completely unrelated idea. Let’s brainstorm what types of cars are actually meant for the “compact car” spaces! I’ll start: Mazda Miata…

Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Blog Carnival

PSA: V-necks on guys are NOT okay.  They just look girly, and the chest hairs sticking out the top look grody.  Stop wearing them. No matter how hot you or anyone else thinks you are normally; v-necks do NOT look okay on you.

Leaving the cursor in the middle of a video, which inevitably will end up pointing to weird things throughout the show, is ANNOYING!  Move your mouse out the way!

The word “savvy” in certain fonts ends up looking like sawy and confusing me.  It’s like you’re a little kid (or the priest in Princess Bride) apologizing.

If you post something on Facebook, such as a status update, link, or video, don’t then “Like” your own post.  That’s weird.

“Dermatologist Tested” is quite the ambiguous statement.  Well, you didn’t actually tell us what they thought once they got the test results… Did they conclude that your product causes peely hands and feet? But you sell it anyway with your shifty label?  UGH I can’t figure out what I’m allergic to!

I said shiFty. Relax.

I would like some cowboy boots. Recommendations?

An Open Letter for PDT

Posted: September 9, 2010 in Blog Carnival
Tags: , ,

Dear Aurora,

I do not profess to be a connoisseur of burrito-building.  In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many times I’ve actually attempted to make a burrito in my kitchen. I do, however, frequent your establishment to partake in tasty burritos.  Your establishment, which shall remain nameless (but it starts with a “Chip” and ends with an “otle”), is not my favorite.  Qdoba is my favorite.  Qdoba is about five hours away, so I come your way instead.  It’s good enough to get my fix, but you, Aurora, made my burrito wrong.

You’re checking the ingredients… oh, you put all the right ingredients in.  No problem with that at all!  And yes, the burrito was warm and sufficiently stuffed.  What I’m talking about here is arrangement. Have you ever thought about the eating experience when designing a burrito?

Thank you, Aurora the burrito-maker, for my interesting experience, starting with the guacamole/rice burrito I began eating, and then the sour cream/rice interlude, followed by the cheesy chicken finale.  Really.  It’s like three totally separate, incomplete burritos.

I think I might just wait until Qdoba opens a store in Austin in a few weeks.  It’ll be worth the drive.

A Qdoba Lover

Duane Scott's Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays!

Hope and Fear

Posted: September 6, 2010 in Blog Carnival
Tags: , , , , ,

Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.  ~Romans 11:20b-22 (full context)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  ~Hebrews 10:23 (full context)

You cannot have hope in God without fear of God.

If you think you do, my fear is that you do not know the God of the Bible, but rather you are worshiping some god manufactured of this modern culture or of your own preferences and sensibilities. For how can you possibly understand the depth and breadth of this hope to which you claim to cling, if you do not understand from what (i.e. from Whose wrath) you are saved? If you cherish only the Shepherd cradling the lamb, but refuse to see the Glorious One treading the wine press as the blood of unfaithful humans flows as high as horses’ noses, you are creating a god of convenience to pat you on the back.  I challenge you to read the scary parts of the Bible, and let the Holy Spirit teach you what real hope is.

If you know me well, or if you’ve read much of what I’ve had to say on my previous blog, you may counter-accuse me of having more fear than hope.  You would not be too far off the mark.  God is scary, and I’m an ugly sinner who can’t get anything right. I will be preaching that literally until Kingdom come. I have been accused by many — some who were concerned about my apparently self-deprecating mental state, and others who were simply offended by the Bible — of being too harsh or too focused on God’s wrath.  To them I reiterate: You cannot have hope in God without fear of God.

In my mind, I see a holy, fearsome Almighty God.  While I know that He is pure love — a sort of eternal, all-consuming and unbiased love that I cannot understand — I also see very clearly that He is just. This last observation brings me to another part of my mind, wherein I see a sinner who can’t figure out how to stop sinning. A Christian who doesn’t act like a Christian. A woman whose heart is dark and selfish. A person in despair.

This God and this girl are simply incompatible.  It could never work out.  He is too perfect, and she is too broken.  All she can see is her sin, but He is teaching her to see the mercy He’s already given. She is scared of Him, because she knows she doesn’t deserve Him, but she loves Him. He is so kind, even when He is severe.

He is her hope.  But she wouldn’t have really known if she hadn’t feared.

Duane Scott’s Infamous Blog Carnival!

So.  I had a dream.  It involved a water buffalo, but not the type you’re thinking of.  Actually, he looked EXACTLY like the type you’re thinking of, but he was aquatic.  As in, he hung out in the pool.  I did, too, and I was his best friend.  Every now and then, he’d catch me unawares in a big ol’ buffalo hug.  His name was Bob.  Also in my dream was a disabled grocery cart.  This grocery cart loved to swim, although she could also roll around on dry land.  Problem was, she could only roll or swim sideways!  This handicap caused her much frustration and embarrassment.  Fortunately, I was able to tinker with her wheels a little bit and set her straight.  Literally.  She was so overjoyed, she pulled me into the pool with her and we swam forward and backward, while singing a little ditty called “Forward and Backward,” which went a little something like this:

Forward, and backward!
Forward, and backward!
Forward, and backward!
(repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat…)

Oh, and Mattie’s son was in the pool as well.  He did NOT like water balloons.  He was about six months old in my dream.  Throwing a water balloon at him was a really bad idea.  (Don’t get mad, Mattie; it wasn’t me.  It was Bob the Aquatic Buffalo.  He just wanted to play.)

. . .

My room smells like deviled eggs.  Minus the mayo.  And mustard.  And eggs.  Okay, so my room smells like vinegar.  Why, you ask?  Well.  I’m trying to get the cat to stop pooping on the floor.*  I hear cats don’t care for vinegar.  Put two and two together here, and you’ll get a smelly bedroom.  Still pretty sure it’s better than the other kind of smell…

. . .

My husband got a really bad sunburn recently whilst floating the river.  (In fact, his failed application of sunblock rendered it quite the hilarious burn.  Splotches all over.)  Anyway, he’s been peeling like crazy, but he can’t reach it on his back.  That leaves me with the job of peeling him.  Gross?  No!  I think it’s awesome!  Every night before bed I’ve been peeling sheets of skin off of my husband.  Sounds gross now that I say it that way, but it was cool.  I like the little swishing sound the big pieces make.  Okay, I’ll stop now.

. . .

*Update! (You see, I collaborate this list throughout the week, adding randomness as I go along.)  I have moved kitty’s box to another room and changed the type of litter.  In fact, he both one-ed and two-ed within three minutes of my setting it up.  (I’m sure you’re delighted to know.)  He LOVES his new throne, and we’ve had no problems since.  Hopefully, life will continue normally without feces on our carpet.

. . .

I actually prayed about that.  Is it weird to ask God to make your cat stop pooping on the floor?  Well, it worked.