Friday, October 3, 2014

150 words or less

Who are we kidding?  I generally cannot keep anything under 150 words.

But I did!  I was challenged to write a story to accompany a picture on a friend of a friend's blog.  I'm quite proud of the results and wanted to post the link here.  If you feel so inclined, go ahead and click over to see the picture and my accompanying story.  It's in the comments section.

I admit to giggling a few times over my little piece of prose.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Big Bang - A limerick

Based on real life events.


Hairs ran down my leg just last hour
And swirled around with great power.
As if by design
(But of course, not divine)
The hair was a ball in my shower.



Inspired by the story of a girl who took a shower, felt the shed hairs being washed down her legs, and looked down to see a hairball.  For a split second she thought it was very strange that a hairball could form, just from hair being washed away, and then she giggled upon remembering that she had wadded up some other stray hairs moments earlier.

But if couldn't have formed into a hairball by chance, right?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sibling love

This morning I heard:

thump, thump, thump, thump, thump

Silence

Crying!

I ignored it for a split second... until I realized it was the child who doesn't usually slide down the stairs and doesn't usually cry about getting hurt while indoors. (Outdoor injuries typically involve a lot more force and often cause crying. But I digress...)

Unfortunately, I was indisposed at the time, so I called upon the two boys to comfort their sister. When I arrived on the scene it was all I could do to not laugh. The eight-year-old was saying, in a sing-song, baby voice, "It's okay. Are you okay? Does it hurt anywhere?"

He spotted me. With a mischievous twinkle in his eye he said, "Mom, she hurt her bum-bum but didn't want me to kiss it better. I patted it instead."

insert sarcastic font

Such a fine helper.

end sarcastic font

But at least the sobbing gave way to giggling.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Coffee

In anticipation of September 29, International Coffee Day...  Please drink responsibly: With friends, with good tasting coffee, and with fair-trade, whenever possible.

I haven't always been a coffee drinker. I've always enjoyed the smell and the social part of me wished that I could say, “Yes” when asked if I wanted a coffee. But I just couldn't get past the bitter taste.

I have always enjoyed hot chocolate, so the jump to Tim Horton's English Toffee Cappuccinos was pretty easy to make. They had the slightest hint of coffee in the cappuccinos, so I almost felt like I was drinking a grown up drink.

One cold morning, I was out shopping with a friend when we decided to stop at McDonald’s for a hot beverage. I went for a caramel mocha cappuccino, took one sip and screwed up my face. This stuff was real coffee with stuff put in; not what I was expecting.

Another of my friends convinced me to let her make me a coffee. She loaded it with three cream and three sugars. It was sweet and drinkable. I decided I might be able to turn myself into a coffee drinker after all.

I started saying, “Yes” when asked if I wanted a coffee. “Triple cream and triple sugar” was a bit too much for me, so I started drinking Double-Double. I remember ordering a Double-Double from Tim Horton's, sitting down to watch my son's soccer practice, and thinking to myself, “Mmm, this tastes great.” It was at that moment that I realized I had become a coffee drinker.


Fast forward a couple years and here I am, staring at the cup that holds what could possibly be the worst cup of coffee known to man. I have had coffee from many restaurants, coffee shops, friends' houses, and miscellaneous shops. I know when coffee is too weak and I don't enjoy coffee that is far too strong (although I err on the side of strong these days.) I don't enjoy a really acidic coffee nor do I like a burnt bean. I also find that it tastes best when I know it's been farmed by workers who are fairly treated and paid an appropriate wage.

I got a coupon in the mailbox a couple days ago - one coffee and one bakery item for $0.99... from Wendy's. I didn't even know they had coffee and bakery items, so I went in to give it a try. I ordered my coffee (two creams and two sugars, please) and chocolate chunk cookie. The lady at the cash register winked and said I'd be happy to know that she had just brewed a fresh pot. What luck!

I paid, went back to my car to continue my shopping for the day, and had my first sip of the coffee. It tasted awful! I tried again, thinking that I might have misjudged it on that first sip. It still tasted awful! I had a bite of the cookie to get the taste of what Wendy's calls “coffee” out of my mouth. I ate the rest of the cookie, little bits at a time, as I drove to the next store. Without thinking, I picked up the cup of hot liquid, more out of habit than anything else, and took another swig. Blech!

At this point in my adventure, I was more interested in pin-pointing the less-than-subtle undertones in this cup of coffee. The beans were dark-roasted, darker than is typically considered appropriate for coffee that is not being written off in an insurance claim. But there was something else, something Robust yet Refined, with a hint Agrarian undertones, something typically unbeknownst to coffee aficionados.

It was Robust in that this coffee would not allow me to forget about it, Refined inasmuch as the taste was reminiscent of the plastic that my grandfather processed at the Polysar plant was refined, and Agrarian in that it tasted like dirt.

A fresh pot, indeed.

I do not recommend this taste-experience for new coffee drinkers as your palette has not fully developed to appreciate the complexity of these flavours.

I also do not recommend this taste experience for seasoned coffee drinkers as you will never forgive me.

Come to my house. I'll make you a cup just the way you like it and we'll have a nice chat while we sip away. That's the way coffee should be enjoyed anyway; it is, after all, my social beverage of choice.

And if you can't make it to my house, we may just catch up over Facetime or Skype or some other fancy technology and share a cup of coffee anyway.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Showers

Me: You need to shower.
Child: Harumph
Me: I told you that you needed a shower yesterday and you didn't get one. You must shower right now.
Child: Okay.

Bathroom door closes.
Noises.

Child pokes head out: Is it okay if I just get my hair wet?
Me: No, you need to clean yourself from head to toe.
Child: Harumph

The shower was just turned on. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.


~

Another day.  A Saturday, to be specific.

Me: You all need to shower tonight.
Boy: But I just showered yesterday!

*beat*

Me: Were you out walking around in the hot sun getting all sweaty?
Boy: Yes.
Me: Then you need to shower tonight.

~

Farther down the proverbial road:

Just getting out of the shower, still soaking wet, with a loud fan running, I hear a small, eight-year-old voice at the door.

"Hey Mo-oom..."

I turn the fan off so I can hear better. "Yes?"


"Do you wanna play cribbage with us?"


"I'm kind of wet, buddy. Go ahead and play without me."


When do they learn the value of proper timing?

Breakfast

Oldest Boy: Is that salmon?  I smell something yummy.

I look at the cinnamon roll in my hand and the coffee dripping through the machine.

Oldest Boy: What's that noise?  Are you making salmon?

Me, giggling: Well, I'm eating a cinnamon roll and making coffee.

Oldest Boy, disappointed: Oh.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Damascus

I heard on the news today that in Iraq and the surrounding areas single bedroom apartments are being crammed with five or six families, just so these people can stay alive and safe. I had déjà vu to a book I read recently about the Holocaust. Jews were forced to leave the towns where they grew up and the possessions they worked hard to purchase. With nothing but the clothes on their back and whatever they could stuff in their pockets, they fled and hid in homes of family and friends. But this modern-day Hitler is an organization called IS(IS) and they aren't targeting Jews... They're targeting anyone who won't convert to their religion of Islam.

I was reminded of another religious zealot/terrorist who was proud of his job of killing Christians. He bragged about it, was supported by the local government, and the Christians certainly knew who he was and what he was capable of.

Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Gaza's Hamas leader Ismail Haniye, ISIS's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi... It's hard to imagine any of these guys having a change of heart and deciding to spread love instead of hate, but it's still what we need to be praying for.

Please read this true account of a religious terrorist who spent his efforts killing every Christian he couldn't sway away from their faith. Any time you see the name "Saul," insert the name of one of the above terrorist leaders.

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Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

(Acts 9:1-31, NIV)

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It is challenging and exciting to read that and imagine it happening today. But it is what we need.

Please pray with me for a Damascus conversion for these religious terrorists. That is what we need to see.