Friday, May 29, 2009

Strange Things in Our Neighborhood Recently

It's Friday. Yeah!! Only it's Tom's weekend to work, so that really means nothing...

We brought this little fellow home from church a couple weeks ago. Not like this...

...he actually managed to cram himself into the vehicle, but the ride seemed longer than usual, for some reason. He currently resides on our front porch, until I can decide how to fillet him. Thanks so much, Friend-at-church-who-thought-you-were-funny-letting-my-kids-have-this....Your time is comin'...

My sister sent me an email with a automobile industry suggestion...we live reasonably close to the DIY, cheap-furniture company, Sauder's Woodworking ( WHY it's called Woodworking is beyond me, since it's sawdust and glue in a cardboard box that you hopefully don't screw up too bad when you put it together yourself) - apparently, Sauder's is taking over the manufacturing of cars now...

Yes, some assembly is required.

Now, I'm all for entrepreneurship. I'm all for the American Dream. I'm all for profiting while helping others...I couldn't face my father if I wasn't!

I've seen Pampered Chef and Tupperware advertised on some vehicles, in a basically non-intrusive, not in-your-face sort of way...



rarely does this happen, but...

...I just don't know what to say...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's Not Quite Official, But...

Yesterday, we had a court date. Our babies' birth parents decisions have all been made legal. Our social workers told us to get an attorney. Because in a few weeks, pictures like this...

will be able to be shown in their entirety...

We'll be finalizing our adoption of Mister D and Baby T.

Can you see my Happy Dance??? ;-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

You Talkin' to ME??!??

Ever just sit and watch people? Wonder what makes them tick? Why they act like they do? What happened to them to make them so bitter, nasty, and mean-spirited?

I do.

I have a pretty tough skin. Things that bother many women just plain don't bother me. I'm not calloused. I just happen to believe that most things that stress people out WOULDN'T, if they'd put it into perspective. Sure, things get to me, and sometimes they're stupid things...everybody has bad days. I'm just not one to sit around moping about things I can't change and aren't really that important in the grand scheme of life.

However, I DO like to be liked. I've never read How to Win Friends and Influence People, and don't plan to add it to my Must-Read list, but I truly enjoy being around just about every kind of person imaginable. I am a people watcher. I can, and very often do, strike up conversations about anything with nearly anybody. All the better, if I can get a chuckle out of them, make them smile, give them a reason to think. I have a personal bubble space, but I'm not afraid to shrink or expand it, even invite others in, if the mood strikes.

I don't, as a general rule, set out to make people dislike me, but that sometimes comes with the territory known as Deanna. Rarely do I find myself flabbergasted enough to honestly not care if I offend someone by speaking my mind. When I speak truthfully, my methods of communicating do offend some people. I occasionally have to apologize, because while my viewpoint about a topic may be unchanged, my delivery could be fine-tuned. OK, major overhauled!

But...(ya knew that was comin', didn'tcha?)...

Call my kid a pig on the public transit system, and I will not care who knows that I'm not happy. I'm not going to grow cancer in my brain over it, but it isn't something I'll forget.

We just spent 3 days in Chicago with Bucky, celebrating his 16th birthday. It was 3 days of just Tom, Bucky and me, doing fun stuff, eating food that I didn't prepare, exploring one of the most beautiful cities in the country, full of, for the most part, friendly people. Nearing the end of the 3rd day, we were exhausted. We were returning from Sears Tower, and having reached the end of our walking capabilities, we hopped on a near-capacity bus. We may be from the sticks, but we know bus etiquette says "Sit in the handicapped section if no handicapped people need it. Offer your seat to elderly people, pregnant women, or passengers with small children." Knowing this, we sat in the front of the bus. Tired. Zoned out.

Bucky had a significant headache, so he certainly wasn't paying attention to what his fellow passengers were doing. I wasn't being overly watchful, but I had noticed an older lady across from me, reading a book. She was not at all happy when someone sat beside her and bumped into her belongings, and the thought crossed my mind that she just looked grumpy and not very nice.

A couple of blocks down the road, an older, perhaps in their 60's, very able-bodied couple and another older lady got on the bus together. The only seat available was right next to the grumpy book lady, so the single lady took it, leaving the couple standing in the aisle. Several more people climbed aboard during the next few stops, so it was getting crowded. I noticed the book lady glancing at me over her reading glasses. I overheard a conversation that the couple was involved in, regarding an upcoming lecture the lady was to be giving "And I don't even know the topic yet!" My thought was "What's so special about this lady that they ask her to lecture and haven't chosen a topic?"

Shortly, in the back of my tired mind, I began hearing the word "pig" repeated several times. Glancing at the book lady, I realized she was speaking to the couple and their friend, but the words she was speaking were directed at us. "Kids these days are just PIGS!! It's so disheartening! It really is! I mean it! They're just PIGS! PIGS!!!" Her eyes darting from my face to Bucky's kinda gave it away.

I just stared at her. She looked away. I kept staring. Again, she said the word "Pigs" very loudly several times. By this time, the bus was completely full, and I stood to offer my seat to an arriving older lady who looked like she needed it. She very kindly told me that as long as she could hold on to something, she was fine, and remained where she was. We had arrived at our stop by now, and had to step around several people to reach the back door.

I could not resist leaning right into the grumpy book lady, getting down eye-level with her mean face. Patting her on the lap, I smiled sweetly, wrinkled my nose, and softly said, "We raise pigs for a living. We could lecture on it." I walked off the bus, feeling not the least bit guilty about stretching the truth a wee bit...after all, when I was 8, we did have pigs we slaughtered and sold.

Apparently as I was departing, she said, loud enough for Tom and Bucky to hear, "You're pigs!!" They were both oblivious to what had transpired over the past several city blocks, as well as to what I was doing in this woman's face. I had to relay the entire bus ride, lest they be convinced I'd finally lost my mind for good.

But as for the lady - what was she trying to accomplish? Whatever it was, she probably failed. What has she experienced, who has wronged her, how long has she held on to anger?

How much happier could she have been that day, if I'd sat beside her and cracked a joke? Would she have hit me with her book, or would she have warmed up enough to tell me who the author was? Because I would have liked to know...the front of the book looked pretty. Eyes of a child, entitled Honolulu, or something like that, if I recall correctly.

I would have loved to tell her how gorgeous I think her city is. How friendly Chicagoans seem. How absolutely stunning the flowers on the Magnificent Mile are. That we chose Chicago, so Bucky could see Blue Man Group. What a great kid he is.
Ask about her family. Her work, life in the city, good places she liked to eat...

But she called my kid a pig. So now, she'll never know Bucky. She's missing out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Hope It's Not TOO Windy...

Tomorrow morning we get on one of these to go here and do lots of fun stuff like see these guys for

this kid's 16th birthday.

See ya around on Friday!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

GRACE 2009

My niece's father is biking cross country soon, to raise money to support Wings of Hope Women's Prison Ministry. Go check it out!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You'll Find It In the Health and Beauty Department

This sign cracks me up...

..."even when"...??

Because if you're not, wouldn't you need the number to a place.....

... like this?

And along slightly related lines, if you are indeed active and on oxygen, (real or canned) there are certain times that refraining from proving that to everyone around you is a tremendous blessing. Check this out. (Embedding is disabled.)

(google, thanks for the image)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

She Wore An Itsy-Bitsy, Teeny-Weeny, Yellow, Polka-Dot.....Burlap Bag!

I was reminded last night of why it's been well over 6 years since my last bathing suit purchase. Just looking at the price caused a mild heart attack. I am not about to spend $86 dollars to learn Humility Through Donning Spandex!

Upcoming events require that I be dressed appropriately for water activities. I don't know how to swim, so how many of these activities I actually participate in will be somewhat limited. If being in the general vicinity of the action requires appropriate dress as well, the management may need to change the rules about not letting people wearing garbage bags into the roped off areas!

Typically if I'm around water, it's a lake, so I can wear what I want. Shorts and a tank top, or shorts over an old bathing suit, or something along those lines. I haven't been in a public pool since...well, I don't recall ever being in a public pool. However, feeling the pressure to conform, I took a stroll through Kohls last night to see just how The know, the Ones With Bodies...dress when in or near bodies of water.

I searched till I found what I thought would be a tolerable piece of equipment. (That's the only way to refer to something this distasteful. "Cute" and "Sexy" are really quite obnoxiously unkind, not to mention untruthful, words to choose when viewing swimming apparel on the body of a mother-who-birthed-4.) Figuring that a "shorts and long top" style would be better, not to mention cheaper, I grabbed a couple sizes of the same style and headed for the dressing rooms with the Mirrors From Hell. I was certain I wouldn't look any worse than the 60-ish grandmotherly-type lady, quite a few pounds heavier and a couple inches shorter than I, shopping in the same Misses department.

I have no idea what that lady looked like, but THIS lady ain't goin' out in public wearing what she tried to wear in that claustrophobia-inducing hole! The sticker-shock heart attack wasn't enough to do me in, but the broken neck from falling down laughing almost made death a reality. My first thought, after picking myself up was "Oh my gosh! There's no way I'd let my boys see me like this!"

Despite what many people think, Image Isn't Everything. However, image is SOMEthing! And no one should have that image in their mind. That whole "picture is worth a thousand words" thing... I only need two words..."NO WAY!"

(image from google)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Need Some Time Away?

Happy Anniversary to my oldest sister and her husband. They've been married for 33 years today.

If you're around Kimmell, Indiana, (Ft. Wayne, Goshen, Shipshewana, Nappanee area) stop in and see them.

Stay for a meal, or a night. They're pretty accommodating!