A step behind

Who me? Get distracted?

The church we attend has two big screens at the front where the congregation can easily use these to view hymn lyrics, scripture, videos, sermon bullet points, etc. This past Sunday the screen on the right must have been experiencing a bit of technical difficulty as it did some flickering. Since we were sitting in the balcony, we had a first-hand view of one of the tech guy’s attempts to press buttons, jiggle a wire or two, and then just stare at the projector thingee. I guess the staring worked. The flickering stopped.

Watching the tech guy reminded me of the time I volunteered in the 5th/6th grade “children’s church” (not for the light-hearted, probably why I only made it one year), and the leader had a high school student work the overhead, where he was supposed to click through a PowerPoint slideshow or play selected videos. I would find myself getting annoyed when it seemed the kid wouldn’t be paying attention or maybe didn’t know what to click or whatever. I suppose the technical challenges in this scenario made the hour drag on even longer. I seriously thought about suggesting to the leader that I work the technical part of the hour. I mean, I do have a technical background. I do know how to program the VCR, oh I mean DVR after my boys taught me. And I do sit at a computer Monday through Friday, pounding away at the keys producing some sort of something.

But then I started realizing why this slideshow assignment may not be the best for a personality like mine.

I can trace it back to my kindergarten graduation. The class was on stage and we each had a part to speak. I don’t remember what exactly. It was kindergarten remember, please cut me some slack. Anyway, I felt obliged to gently nudge every single one of my classmates when it was their turn to speak. I’m not sure how loud/obvious I was, but I suppose I would whisper each of their names, saying something like, “It’s your turn, Mary!” What can I say? I’ve always been such a helper! Well, my time came, and guess what happened. There were chuckles from the parents and then the announcement from the teacher, “Karen, it’s your turn.” I was so focused on what everybody else should be doing and the next steps in the process that I totally missed my part.

But you were only 5 years old you say! Oh, but friends, the trend has continued. The church’s women’s Sunday school class, which I still attend occasionally, used to volunteer for this annual tea room function. One year I felt obligated the desire to sign up. I was tasked with taking drink orders. Tea or water, those were the choices. How could I screw this up, right? I was so distracted looking around me, watching the other ladies in the kitchen, looking at the prepared food, thinking long and hard about how if I was in charge of the menu, it would be much healthier fare, and lower sodium, and I would… Karen? Hmm? Oh what? Did you get the drink order for the group in the corner? Oh no. Scramble scramble. Who wanted what? Oh, you wanted the tea? How many waters?

I was then relinquished to dessert cart. How could Karen possibly screw up taking the little cart around, right? It wasn’t my fault. This cart didn’t have enough room to move freely, and at one point there were cords on the ground I had to sort of “speed bump” over. I couldn’t even get to at least a quarter of the tables. I thought about how if I was in charge, I would’ve ensured a smaller cart. And I would ensure there was at least one gluten free dessert choice. Yeah, so I wasn’t doing too well with the desserts either

I was then switched to “bread” duty. All I had to do was give each diner two breadsticks each. I believe I found my tea room calling at that point. Although I admit I had a little trouble remembering who already got bread, and who still needed some.

I’ve tried several more volunteer attempts, always with the same results. I’m pretty sure I’m just not cut out for “interactive” or “time-sensitive” volunteering. Now if someone ever needs a volunteer for editing, or some other non-face-to-face, I’m betting I can handle that. Maybe I’m more of a “take your time” kind of gal, who works best behind the scenes.

Kristine from Mum Revised has talked about her awesome experience working with Habitat for Humanity. Sure, I could volunteer, but I’m pretty sure it would have to be something like stuffing envelopes. I’m positive no one would assign me to hammer duty. I’d end up being too distracted with… whatever.

So long story short, I let the whole teen / overhead thing go.


Tiny bubbles

First thing every morning at work, I grab my reusable water bottle and take it to the breakroom to wash out. Just a squirt of liquid dish soap will do, but I always like to give the dish soap bottle a little extra squeeze to make little bubbles come flying out. Every time I do this, I think of the part in Finding Nemo, which I was only blessed to watch at least 50 times when the boys were younger, where one of the aquarium fish becomes overjoyed every single time the bubbles are released. I figure when I release the bubbles from the dish washing liquid, it gives me at least a little smile for the start of the day.

But this morning was different, I found no joy in the bubbles. As many people around the world, I find I have a heavy heart after the weekend’s horrific attacks in Paris. I have a hard time understanding how such evil is even possible.

When such tragic events occur, I find myself longing for the days when my parents were responsible for carrying the burden of worrying about world events. I was happily ignorant throughout my youth, made possible by my parents’ efforts I’m sure of it.

I don’t particularly like this part of being an adult, or a parent. I think I’d rather remain oblivious to current events. I’m certain I’m not saying the right thing to my boys when they have questions. But I suppose as Gerald and I go about our daily business, I hope this shows them that life goes on. If we give in to the terrorists and live in fear and never go anywhere or do anything, then they win. Don’t get me wrong, I have to fight the urge to lock my children up in the house and never let them go anywhere. I do sometimes harbor a fear of something bad happening to my kids, especially after some horrific tragedy, but I know I can’t let that fear take over our lives.

I’m curious how others are dealing with the current world in which we live. Coping mechanisms? What are you telling your kids? I’d love your input.


It’s rerun time OR What happens when you give yourself 15 minutes to write a new post

So here’s the skinny, and I blame Gluten Dude (but I’m not saying he isn’t awesome, because he is!)! I came across Gluten Dude’s website a couple weeks ago and saw his post about Whole30 and then I found the site nom nom paleo.  So of course I had to buy the related books. And of course I had to grocery shop for everything “Paleo.” And of course I had to start cooking every recipe I could get my hands on. I’ve been a tad preoccupied, self induced, as always.

So here it is, late Monday night and no post ready to go. Surprise. Surprise. Surprise. I’ll try to get a fresh post up at least by next week. In the mean time, may I interest you in a “fall” post from last year? Pretty sure it will be new to all most of you.  🙂

apple tree

So LOFT just sent me this invaluable “What to wear apple picking” email.  Damn, there goes my idea of jeans and a simple t-shirt or old sweatshirt on Gerald’s and my special apple picking date.  Who knew there was special attire for apple picking?!?  I am always so out of the fashion loop!  Apparently, a (stylish) cozy sweater is required. I’ll have to tell Gerald we can’t go on our yearly apple orchard excursion–because you know apple picking is foremost on his mind this time of year–until I get some proper new clothes for the occasion.

I’m thinking if there is a special wardrobe for apple picking, then other “occasions” should get their fair shake, right?  For instance, what’s the fashion du jour for pumpkin patches?  Now can I go with simple jeans / t-shirt??  Hayrides?  Camp taught me it’s good to avoid shorts.  Attire for blueberry picking?  Probably want to avoid wearing white.  Vineyards?  No clue.  Renaissance Festival?  I found out last year it’s NOT fashionable to wear a turkey hat after too much wine.  Oh, I got one — Hospital volunteer work – I hear total head-to-toe and covered face wear is all the rage!

I’m pretty sure I could be the poster child of what NOT to wear on specific outings/days, especially after my recent work dress up fiasco.  It looks like I have LOTS of shopping to do.  Hey, Gerald, where’s that new credit card??




So many questions!

Gerald said something to me this morning, and I may have overreacted, maybe a tad. It’s just that nothing gets my hormonal crazies stirred up better than the following questions from my family —

–Did you do a load of whites? <–This was this morning’s question and it was not met with a pleasant response. Let’s see, Gerald, sure, I squeezed in washing and drying your precious tighty-whities* between church, grocery store, and cooking up some meals for the week, finally calling it a night (and totally exhausted) by around 10pm. No, I did not do a load of whites. I did a bunch of laundry loads on Saturday, but since no one seems to appreciate the sweat and tears I put into running this household, I guess it wasn’t noticed!

–Are you going to get ready for bed? <–Do I look like I’m getting ready for bed? I just sat down after being in the kitchen for hours, and I just want to vegetate for a while. That, and it takes me forever and a day to get ready for bed so I tend to put it off as long as possible. I’ve done this bedtime procrastination long before Gerald, but now my dawdling is justified. I really am beat after so much run-around and I just want to relax for a bit.

–Are you going to the grocery store? <–I can’t stand grocery shopping. It’s one of those things where it’s not so bad once I’m there and I’m doing it, but just like how I put off my bedtime routine, I stall my grocery trip for as long as possible. But boy how it pisses me off when I’m asked. I’ve only been trying to compile my list for hours now wanting fellow house dweller input but they’re too busy, you know, watching TV or something. So yes, I’ll eventually get to the store, but nobody better say a thing about anything I may have forgotten or didn’t get just right. If you have such a problem then go to the damn store yourself!

–Are you going to do your workout? <–Really? I’m pretty sure this question is up there with a man’s hesitant response to the “Does this dress make me look fat?” question. Translation in a woman’s head: I’m fat. Why the need to ask if I’m going to do my workout? Are you saying I look like I need to workout, Gerald? Have I put on a little extra poundage? Well, maybe I have, but I’m already feeling pretty lousy about it, and I don’t need all the interrogation! And I’m not sure when I’m going to find the time to do my workout, what, with all the laundry and grocery shopping.

I realize Gerald’s questions are most likely innocent inquiries; he wants an idea of happenings around the house and of my schedule so he is able to plan accordingly. But you would think after all these years of marriage, he would have caught on to the woman’s psyche by now. I suppose woman will forever be a mystery to the male species.

Runner-up questions (Pretty sure there’s no need for description):
–Where is my insert whatever object you can think of here?
–Do you have money?

*Okay, Gerald doesn’t really wear tighty-whities. The use of the term “tighty-whities” in this post is for demonstration purposes only.