Just call me Jerry

I came home today to find a pair of gym shorts duct taped to the ceiling to hide the skylight, a sick kid throwing up from obvious dehydration, scrambled eggs drying in a pan, and two pepperoni pizza hot pockets in the microwave that no one remembers cooking.  There was also an extra kid on the couch watching horror movies with Kid 2.  I didn't think we allowed horror movies.  And I had only been gone to work for 4 hours.

Oh, I totally forgot - our very old, classic 1956 pocket doors were off their hinges.  Because it wouldn't be a mid summer's day party if there was no structural damage to the house.  Know how much I love these boys?  These angels, pirates and thieves?  Enough for all that nonsense to make me smile. That's where the phrase, crazy in love comes from....

Did I tell you that we had just about made it to an all time world record since the boys got into an actual fight?  But it all came to an end a few days ago when Kid 1 and Kid 2 got all sorts of into it.  Something about wearing each other's clothes or touching the other one's phone - or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I don't know.  But ladies, and gentlemen..... should you ever need to break up a bar room brawl, and can get close enough to do so, there is a certain place of sensitivity above the shoulder where the neck meets the body.  We fitness pros would call it your traps - the Trapezius region of terror, basically.  Give this little area a strong pinch and you've got some healthy self defense at your fingertips. You can also get a 17 year old off of a 15 year old when they're about to break the couch and Fireman Dave is at the station. 

And just between friends - especially if you're one of the locals who has to see me in person and was feeling sorry for me the past couple of days.... Yes, I look like I met the Boston Strangler for dinner and drinks, but truly I am fine.  The bruises are nothing nearly so dramatic, and simply a crime of my own vanity.  In other words, a cosmetic treatment attempt to undo some prior bad decisions.  Decisions involving a life of sun worship and cookie eating.  I wish I had a better to tale to tell about it all because my body totally looks like it should come with a story, but alas, no.  I'm just a girl, standing in front of you telling you that I could never be Amish.  Or maybe I could be but a new and different kind of Amish woman that gets cosmetic procedures and thanks God for her great dermatologist.  

And the low carb diet?  Were you about to ask about that?  I'm still on it and my sugar cravings have drastically lessened and I'm feeling much nicer about the whole thing now that I'm past the detox stage.  But I did just learn that even fresh fruit causes a dramatic spike in blood sugar and that is just horrible news for us all.  If we're living in a world where a girl can't even eat canteloupe, Y'all, this world is not my home.  I think in Heaven there will be endless buffet meal options and we'll all spend our days taking selfies of ourselves as fat and happy members of the Kingdom of God. 
So basically this summer I'm writing fluff pieces.  The kind of journalism you might find in the National Enquirer.  The kids are always home and the video games are non stop loudness.  And my computer that I use to write the blog is our one and only family computer because we like to kick it old school around here and keep our technology to a bare minimum.  Actually we'd probably have 8 million computers if I found some good ones out in someone's trash pile on big trash day.  

Anyway, Kid 2 decided he would like to use our family computer as a gaming station to play Mine Craft with this friends - until he realized -  and notified me - that said lap top is ancient and can't keep up with the Joneses.   Then he asked when we, as parents, might consider the purchase of a newer, faster model.  To which I gave him the side eye and asked if he thinks we're rich and/or knows something I don't know.  Anyway, short version.... it's always loud and messy around here and I can't think about deep and thoughtful subjects for the blog.

But I do want to announce that I am once again feeling like a blogging celebrity out there as I have been recognized and approached for autographs about 200 hundred times in the last days.  Actually it was more like 2 times, and minus the autographs, but still.  Cool it Paparazzi, I'm just trying to make it home to the privacy and anonymity of my home, please.  But I'll walk real slow and seductive like so you can snap a few pics on the way. 

No, really.  I learned that I have a few new local readers and I couldn't be happier.  Welcome to the blog, Y'all!  I love that you're here and hope I can manage to keep you past this crazy post.  I was talking today with a friend about the story I wrote about my sister.  If you missed it, you can read it here.  And here for part two.  And I meant it when I said that I had never planned to write these stories at this time.  But God does as God wishes and so I found myself with a story to tell and it turns out, it was a story that a lot of y'all needed to hear.  And that's what this blog is about. 

Someone actually asked me today what my blog is about..... and Lord help me, I couldn't quite give it a name.  I wanted to ask if she had ever watched the awesome show, Seinfeld?  The show about nothing and everything.  Well, that's what my blog is about.  Just call me Jerry.  I wanted to tell her that its kinda like a restaurant menu with a lot of choices and each time you eat there you can order something completely different.  I also thought about telling her that its a blog about words.  About a conversation between me and you.  No, not the kind of conversation where I hold you hostage, tied to a chair, bound and gagged and I talk and make you listen.  Or maybe sometimes it is. 

I mostly wanted to say that I write about my days, our days, and how and when God intersects.  How he meets me in the laundry room and the gym and in my daily running around,... he meets me through the plain and ordinary activities that we all have to so, and he meets me every time I feel his tug on my creativity and sit down to tell a story.  He meets me here so that He can meet you here also.  That's what I think this blog is about.  

If you're new here, welcome.  If  you're a regular, welcome.  If you're a stranger, welcome... you won't be for long.   

Happy summering and I'll pop in and out of here as often as I can.  

Sad but good reading

So this week I decided to share two posts with you that have already been published elsewhere.  

And honest to goodness, I never intended to write on this subject, but best intentions lead to completely different plans when God gets a hold of something.  Seriously, it was like a totally weird reminder of days gone by when the subject of AIDS came up again and again.  Really.  Again and again within days... so I took that as a message that it was time for me to remember something I shouldn't have forgotten.  

And I'm talking about my sister here.  For those of you new to me and my crazy long list of talk show worthy stories.... my sister contracted the AIDS virus forever ago and died in 1995.  There's a whole lot more to the story than that and I hope you'll take time to click on the two links below to hear it.  

The first link was written about  a week ago and was published on the Wilshire  blog.  The second link was the follow up that was just published a few days ago.  It gets a little deeper into the details and.... well..... just read it.  Please and thank you.  

Other than these, the best story I have to tell you is about that bird that tried to use my hair to make a nest while I was at the pool on Friday.  I'm talking about hair still on my head, not some old hair in a hairbrush or something.  The bird obviously thinks I have bird nest hair and now I must go deep condition.  

Here you go....  sad but good reading. 

The Church and AIDS 

The Rest of the Story

no smiling selfie in the world can cover that up

And here is the obligatory sharing of the vacation photos.  And I know that totally conjures up memories of times when your grandma made you sit and watch slides of her trip to see her cousin that she hadn't seen in half of forever.  And right now you're thinking that this could be the post to definitely skip.  But hold on there, pardner..... you know there's gonna be some stories to go with the photos.  

Know how you see all those photos where everyone's smiling and there's a really good chance that there are baked goods or someplace exotic in the background? 

Sometimes those make me bananas.  Not all, of course.  But some... And I hate bananas and hope I'm never stranded on an island, just me and a banana tree.  But aren't all the pictures wonderful anyway?  They sure as heck are.  Really really really.  So keep sharing and posting.  Please.  

But it makes me sad/mad .... mad/sad to think of all that I have to go through every dang time I want to get a good family photo and why can't the Walters just cooperate and act like we're having the time of our lives on every trip?  Or every day of eternity?  But the truth always shows somewhere in the photo  - the real story lies in how you got there and how long it took and all the events that preceded and followed.  

So here's a 4 day trip to the Texas Hill Country with Kristi and David.  In summary, just in case you still want to exit now... I drove into the vacation with one hellacious headache, and left being mad at my husband.  But we did some things in between so, ....

Sunday morning I dropped the boys off at church for their week long youth camp in Arkansas.

I didn't take this photo, but I was there at 5:30 in the morning along with the friend that did.  Man that was early and Kid 1 was mad at Kid 3 for eating his breakfast sandwich.  So not off to the best Christian minded attitude that day, but I'm sure it improved after our quick stop in the 7-11.  Thank heaven for 7-11, right?  

And y'all, a hundred kids and about 10 leaders and I couldn't be happier about all that was waiting for my boys in the coming days.  My prayer for them was that they leave their other worlds behind and see that there are promises out there that they can't even imagine yet.  And there are no adults that I trust more with the hearts of my children than the ones who committed their week to play and teach and guard the hopes of the young people in their care.  Thanks be to God for all that this week brought and all that it will bring even into the future.  

Then I went home and got back in bed until Fireman Dave made me get up and get going on our own adventure.  Our first stop, not including bathroom visits, was Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas.  Which we cannot in any way afford, so we simply ate some expensive lunch there and took selfies of ourselves looking like we were real resort guests.  I think I took at least two over doses of decongestant headache medicine about then trying to head off the migraine at the pass.  My head can predict a rain storm hours, sometimes even days in advance. 

Then we made it through the rain - (just like the Barry Manilow song says because you know I love him SOOO much in a strong and dedicated Fanilow way) - to Fredericksburg, Texas.  Small town charm capital of the state, I would dare to say.  

Here was our house for the week.  Ummmmm... CUTE.  Can I stay here please and someone else go home and check on my dog? 

But here is the flight of stairs I had to climb every time I had to go to the bathroom in the night.  And with each step I tried to hang on and remind myself that I need these legs for my job.  

And here is my fashion shoot for the trip... reminding hot women everywhere that just because it really is egg boiling weather outside, there are plenty of options for looking like we're at least trying to appear like we're not about to die.  Fireman Dave, take the picture fast.  I'm starting to sweat. 

And we shopped.  Of course.   I even spent an entire day of shopping while Dave went to the Pacific War Museum.  I was totally museum'ed out from the day before when we went to the Lyndon B Johnson Ranch and took a tour of the Texas White House.  Once I saw the view from the porch of that place I decided I could definitely be First Lady if I could live there a lot of the time.   

Here we are on the LBJ Ranch park property on a working re-creation of a Texas farm.  Hello cute cow that had a very life like cow-versation with me.  I will always remember our visit.  We also toured the farm house and of course this porch swing, y'all..... on the neighbor's farm of Lyndon B. Johnson when he was a kid.  We also visited the Junction School, LBJ's one room school house where he returned as President of the United States to sign into effect the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; .... providing funding for schools, but even more, emphasizing equal access to education for all - setting standards high for all, no matter where you learn.  As a former public school teacher, let me just say Yes to all of that going on.  (My dad grew up attending a one room school house in Texas, too so I always like to see those still around.)

This is at the Picker's circle in Luckenbach.  Love it.  But this time I sat next to a drunk man named Wilbur who goes there every day.  I didn't have to ask how long he stays every day because his pink rimmed beer eyes told me all I needed to know.  But I liked Wilbur and in so many ways, pink beer eyes included, he made me think of my dad.  

And on day 3, we climbed a mountain.  Allow me to quote Wikipedia:  Enchanted Rock rises approximately 425 feet (130 m) above the surrounding terrain to elevation of 1,825 feet (556 m) above sea level. It is the largest such pink granite monadnock in the United States. I have no idea what a monadnock is but its not easy to climb.

Some people would call it a rock, but when its 900 degrees outside, call it what you will, this girl was sweating.  I also now have a really tan left arm from our time there.  Like a truck driver, but in a bandeau style mini dress.  

Fireman Dave and I have climbed Enchanted Rock before with the boys and the first time I actually did it in a dress to prove to them that girls - even their old mom - can do anything boys can do.  This time, though, I climbed it in some bright purple running tights so in case of emergency, good Samaritans could just tell the park ranger to look for the splash of purple stuck on the side of a cliff.  

And the view from the top.  Does this altitude make my hair look orange?  

Seriously, you can see for miles and miles and even more miles from up there. 

And along the way, each time we've done it, we've passed people who have gotten stuck or stopped before they reached the top.  And I'm not bragging about how easily I can just leap mountains.  Because I took some stops in the shade myself.  And this is the truth... along with some conversations with Fireman Dave on occasion to let him know that I was still in the game,  I had a couple of short convos with God.  Mostly I asked him from that point, where all was quiet and I could see so much more than what I could from the bottom, I asked him what he wants me to know.  And you know what he said?  

Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.  

I didn't hear a voice or see a sign or notice anything giant that was a signal to be interpreted as a message.  Didn't Bible people love to climb mountains to hear God?  I heard nothing but the wind and my own heavy breathing. 

And all I could think about was how I feel like I've been on an endless climb of my own of late.  The climb of getting older and all that brings in its tacky ass ol' suitcase.  The climb of seeing my boys make decisions that I may or may not agree with.  And the climb of this relationship with my husband that has been uphill and downhill for almost 18 years.  Because remember what I said about pictures?  They only tell part of the story.  Look deep in the eyes and expressions of each and see what news there is being told all around.  I guarantee you there's something.  

We sat at the top for a while.  I needed to make it down before the sunset because aint no one gonna see even these purple pants in the dark in the event of emergency.  I could've stayed a lot longer up there.  I wonder if being up there is what God feels and sees from his window on the world?  I'd like to think so since he can see all the pieces fitting together from there.  

Then on Thursday we headed home and I had to take this picture of the old jail in Llano, Texas, where even the deer have to do time for unlawful behavior.  We also paid to become Friends of the Llano Public Library so we could go in and use their clean bathroom instead of the public ones out by the jail.   Best money ever spent. 

And of course we drove through Waco and visited Magnolia and the silos and all that touristy stuff.....

And y'all, we ended the trip in silence.  That's all any of us know or need to know.  We did lots of talking on our trip about things going on and how things move from one point to another -  and sometimes conversations just get hard.  And no smiling selfie in the world can cover that up.

I think I just need to remember to climb.  When I'm stuck, climb higher so I can see better from up there. I might need a couple of rest stops along the way though. 

I hate that dress and it makes you look like my mother

Seems that I've been wearing a lounge dress around the house that Fireman Dave hates.  And he got up the nerve to tell me about it when we were pulling into the gas station and he knew I had nowhere to run.

I always think its funny how men choose to tell women their bad news. 

I'm leaving you should always be said somewhere like church because the quiet will be soothing.  And it might keep the girl from causing too big of a scene.

I am ill and might die should always be said after a good meal and when the kitchen is cleaned up.  Because the wife may be too distraught to empty the dishwasher after the news.

And the old, I hate that dress and it makes you look like my mother should always be said in the car on the way to the gas station.  No particular reason for this one other than that's just what happened.  Yesterday, actually.  And no, Fireman Dave and I are not one of those couples that have to go to the gas station and everywhere together.  Just happened that way this time, and I do like to remind him to fill up the tank while we're still in the car or else I'll go out to work the next morning and the low fuel alarm will beep just backing down the driveway.  I speak from experience.

This week has been pretty uneventful.  Which in the full theme of summer time is a really good thing.  I did have an almost flat tire.  But not quite and I made it home just fine, just wishing that I didn't almost have a flat tire on a day that was already long and weary.  Which day is that you say?  Most of them.  

I also now have that familiar hole in my shower wall AND only a cold water handle on my bathroom sink.  It's falling apart piece by piece, y'all.  And that aint no lie.   

The leak started as a small drip that lasted long enough to fill an entire bathtub because we got used to the sound and started ignoring it.  But then last week as I got dressed for work, the drip turned into a stream.   Then the stream turned into a flow and I took a video of it and sent it to the fire station.  Not the 911 fire station, but to Fireman Dave at the fire station.  Of course he told me to turn off the water under the sink but all my years of strength training combined were no match for the 60 year old pipes so he declared that he was rushing to the rescue.

Then he texted back and said no he couldn't rush to the rescue because he didn't have a car to drive home in.  Kid 1 had taken the shared Dad and Kid 1 car, dropped off dad at work at the break of dawn and set out to go running with Princess C.  And there is no leak in the land that can come between Kid 1 and his lady so don't even try.  Love wins and we almost had a flooded bathroom.  Fireman Dave ended up getting ride home with someone leaving for the day and got dropped off here not knowing how he might make it back to work to do his real job, not his on call plumber job.  

Anyway, it all worked out somehow and now I only have a cold water handle on the sink until further notice.  When I get my bathroom all fixed up maybe I'll invite you over to take a shower and use the hot water.   

Oh, I did have someone ask me at work the other day how long I see myself doing my job.  Hmmmm... how to respond to that one.....

I see myself doing this job till I fall out right here in front of you because I'm obviously 1000 years old and how can I possibly Zumba this many times a day and not die?

Why do people say such people things?  You know exactly what I mean.  You know you do.

Anyway, all things I can handle.  And I'm kind of happy to have such short and non threatening posts for a while.  That means not a whole lot of shakin going on with the Walters.  Again, a good summer time theme for all concerned. 

I tend to find myself stuck in the spot of not writing a lot when things are just normal and still.  Or if I don't have a lesson to share or even a way to tie all my events together into a big finale.  But gosh, really?  Aren't normal and still the things that I most ask God for when things are something else?  Do we ever just want what we have?  

I need to work on that.  And I need to read more.  And cook more.  And look at how beautiful my house is even with the holes and such.  I'm beginning to feel a little partial to the rustic nature of how we've grown into this space.

Maybe I've become a little bit like that about myself, too.  Give or take a few parts.  And that's not a bad thing, I think.  

Y'all, I hope you are enjoying whatever you are doing this summer.  I don't promise to write weekly for a bit, but I promise to write when I have something to tell you.  Remember you can get all posts via email if you subscribe in that little box that says Follow by email.  Its good stuff and you don't even have to work for it.  You can also subscribe via Bloglovin by clicking the little heart icon, but they tend to send some unwanted emails in the mix.  You can simply unsubscribe from their unsolicited emails and it will still keep you blog loving me.

The end.
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