Saturday, December 13, 2014


This is going to sound crazy.  It really is.  I'm sorry about that. 

Yesterday two very weird things happened to me and they both kind of freaked me out.

I finally forced myself to go and get a haircut yesterday, which necessitated a trip to the local mall.  I didn't realize that the place had opened an hour earlier than normal due to holiday shopping, so instead of going in the door I usually do (which goes directly into a department store) I walked through the parking garage to go to the main entrance.  To get to that entrance, I had to walk past a service parking area, which has some landscaping around it.  There is a small tree planted near the building, and when I walked by it, it sneezed. 

The tree sneezed.

It was loud enough to stop me in my tracks and look around, because at that moment, I was nowhere near anyone else in the parking garage. I know what you're thinking: that there was someone standing beside the tree who sneezed.  There wasn't, though! I looked!  I even looked up to see if anyone was in the tree or on an upper level of the parking garage looking down at the tree.  There wasn't anyone else there!  I'm ashamed to say that it scared me and I just noped my way as quickly as possible to the entrance to get away from it. 

There may be a rational explanation, but I'll never accept it.  The tree sneezed.

The second thing I saw wasn't as funny as that, but it still startled me.  I was at church helping to set up for the choir's Christmas dinner.  I'd been left alone while the other hostess went to pick up some of the food we'd ordered and after I'd checked everything, I sat down to check my phone.  While I was doing that, I saw a bright flash out of the corner of my eye, like someone had walked in and taken a picture with a proper camera.  I hadn't hear anyone walk into the kitchen, and I hadn't heard a camera sound, but the ice maker was kind of loud so I thought I just hadn't heard them come in.  I turned around to see who was taking pictures and there was no one there!  I'd seen the flash, there was no mistaking that, but I have no idea where it came from.  I was very uncomfortable until she came back!

That is all.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


1) We had to get rid of our couch to put up the Christmas tree!  Well, that's kind of misleading, because the couch was WAY past its expiration date and needed to be thrown away anyway.  We'd gotten it a few months before we were married, and it had been thoroughly sat upon in it's time in our house.  It wasn't even in any shape to donate or give away, unless someone wanted to risk tetanus by way of springs.  When we were trying to figure out where we were going to move things so that we could put up the tree, we just decided that it was a good opportunity to finally move it out.  We had a problem, though.  We couldn't remember how it even got into the house in the first place.  It had to be through the front door, as the garage door was broken when we originally bought the house, but try as we might we couldn't wedge it out the door.

(As an aside, I was still dressed for church when we started moving the thing out of the house. I helped move the couch in a dress and church shoes. If I'd been wearing a hat, it would have been perfect.)

We finally realized that since the couch was being thrown away, we didn't have to be careful with it, and so the only way to get it out of the house was to shove it over the stoop railing and into the front yard. Steve guided it over the edge and I pushed it until the point where gravity took over and then shoved it.  About that time, the neighbor lady turned the corner to see a couch being forcefully ejected from our house.  It never fails.  Oy.  We managed to get it to the street and out of our lives forever!  Thank you, couch, for providing seating for so many friends!

Of course, until we manage to get another chair or something, we have nowhere for people to sit comfortably when they come to visit.  Slowly but surely, we are making our house as inhospitable to others as possible!  Maybe next we can get a piranha filled moat!

2) I know I said I wasn't going to talk about Butler anymore, but I lied. I miss him so much.  In some ways, I think his dying has been harder on me than when we had to put Bear down. I honestly think I'd stopped thinking of Butler as a dog (I didn't forget he was a dog, so don't call the men with the nets) but he'd become more like a short, hairy roommate who watched TV with me and who I shared chips with.  We were bros.  I talked to him all the time and we took naps together.  He knew all my secrets.  After Bear died, we spent a lot more time with Butler inside so that he wouldn't get lonely, and I think it kept me from being lonely, too.  Now that he's gone I keep thinking that if I'd just known what was wrong sooner, we could have gotten him to the vet in time. I hate to think his last couple of hours were scary and painful. He tried to let us know he needed help, but we didn't understand in time, so I feel like it was my fault he died.  I feel less like I've lost a pet, and more like I lost a friend or family member and it's really weird because he wasn't human.  Some people understand, but others don't.  His absence is very conspicuous and I feel it every time I'm at home. I even feel bad about vacuuming because I know that his fur will eventually be all gone and as much of a plague as it always was, I don't want it to be gone.  That probably really is weird.

Another strange thing is that people keep trying to give us dogs!  I love that they are trying to help and want us not to be sad, but it's like losing an uncle or something and someone saying "Oh, I'm sorry, but here's this other old guy you can hang out with!"  We can't get another dog until I'm sure that I won't expect him/her to be like Butler, because that would be unfair.

Anyway, I miss him a lot.  Not even otters are helping me.

3) So, enough with that!  Feelings....gross.

4)  Have I ever mentioned how uncomfortable I am to go out with people who are cheap?  I'm not talking about people who are conserving their money for some reason, or who don't have much to begin with, but honestly, outwardly, cheap people. They are so rude and the worst of it usually comes out in those people when you go to restaurants* with them.

The other night, I had dinner with an otherwise delightful friend who asked how much a certain menu item was.  After finding out, they LOUDLY exclaimed that it was a rip off, and that they (the restaurant) could just keep it! Then he went on to talk about how much  it was and how he could make 5 of them at home for that price. He just kept on. I wanted to sink into the floor. I've also had lunch with someone who once got the cheapest thing on the menu, and then literally spent the next 10 minutes after the meal bragging about how cheap the thing they ate was! I wasn't sure if I should congratulate them for being thrifty or if I should smother them with a pillow for bragging.  I don't care how much or how little money a person has, we can all trim our sails in one way or another to hang out together, but seriously, don't talk about your money.  It's crude and embarrassing, and there is never a good way to respond to it.  Also, be nice to your waitress/waiter. Unless they are purposefully treating you badly, you have no reason to take out your frustrations on them!

Sorry.  Bad restaurant etiquette bothers me as much as bad museum etiquette does. Apparently, since I'm practically perfect in every way, I can judge.  Sorry!

*I realize I'm saying this as someone who once left a restaurant because of how much the set menu price was, and I will defend myself by reminding you that if I'd known in advance and was cool about it, we would have stayed and eaten there, it was just too much to spend without planning AND I didn't make a scene about it.

5) We had a guy come by today and ask the pastor about the moral implications of selling weed, as a way to raise money to start a business. I would normally no talk about things I hear at work, but that...  I don't even have anything witty to say.  That's just stupid.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Last night, we lost our 13 year old yellow lab, Butler.

We got him a year after we got married, and we've loved him so much.

I knew the time was coming sooner than later, and I tried to prepare myself, but I honestly didn't expect it to happen the way it did.

We'd just picked him up from his stay at the pet resort where he'd been over Thanksgiving. He'd been home for about three hours when he started acting very strange. Steve and I debated whether we should take him to the emergency vet, just in case, and finally decided we should. It turned out he had a twisted stomach, something the vet said was common in breeds like his. He'd have to have surgery immediately. They took him back and we waited for two hours. When we saw the vet again, she told us that he hadn't even made it into surgery. His poor heart hadn't been strong enough to handle the surgery prep.

There are a lot of people who will not understand why we are so upset. They will think: he's just a dog.

He was never just a dog to me. He never will be. I loved him more than I can explain. It hurts.

That is all I will say about that.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I have often said the phrase "I've never felt so stupid in my life."  It's one of those hyperbolic things that you'd say when you forget your debit card at Wal-Mart or forget where you park your car.  However, I've never meant it quite as much as I mean it now.  I'm fairly certain you'll agree with me.

I'd taken the day off last Thursday.  I was sitting in the living room eating lunch and watching TV when someone knocked on the door.  The knock was cheerful, so I thought it was the lady across the street (who incidentally is the only one of our neighbors who comes to our house, usually.)  I answered the door and two girls were standing there.  They said that they were collecting votes that would help them win a scholarship.  I honestly can't tell you why my brain didn't engage right then, I'd like to think it was because I'm just a nice person, but I think it's because I'm stupid.   I said I'd vote for them and they asked to come inside because it was so cold, so I let them in {STUPID #1.}  I didn't really understand what it was that they were asking me to do, but it turned out that they were collecting votes: i.e. selling subscriptions to magazines that were donated to a children's hospital and the ones with the most subscriptions would win this contest.  I'd had a similar thing happen a year or so ago when a girl from our neighborhood came by and asked for donations for a school thing, so I thought this was the same thing.  I realized pretty quickly that this was different all together when one of the girls pulled out a receipt book and started writing out a receipt but, I still wasn't catching on.  They were starting to make me nervous, because they kept getting really close to me and I kept having to step back.  The thought actually went through my head that I'd have to fight them off because they were close enough to stab me.  That didn't happen, of course.   One of them asked to use my bathroom, and I said OK {STUPID #2} but that's when it hit me that something weird was going on.  I stood where I could see the bathroom door as the other girl showed me the receipt, which was for way more money than I could pay her at that point, so she wrote another one for half (only one outrageously overpriced magazine subscription instead of two) and so I moved over the write a check, hoping they'd leave if I did that.  The only time the bathroom door was out of sight was while I was writing that check, but the girl had been in there a long time.  I know the girl never used the bathroom, because the toilet never flushed, and she had opened the bathroom door very quietly, because when I walked back to the door of the living room, I looked up and she was standing there in the bathroom doorway.  When she walked back to me, her demeanor was very different, so I'm fairly certain she took a hit of something while in the bathroom, which pissed me off.  I started looking at her to see if she had anything of ours on her, but I couldn't tell.  They started asking me all kinds of questions about Butler, about this and that, but I finally got them out of my house. 

I ran around looking to see if anything was missing and I didn't notice anything.  I'm very grateful that I had been wearing my grandmother's wedding band, which would have been in plain sight of the girl in the bathroom had I left it where I usually do while I'm taking a shower.  I looked up the name of the business that they said they were working for and saw that it is fairly well considered to be a scam.  The main complaints were about not getting magazines that were ordered, but since the business lives in a kind of loophole where they are technically within the law, they are allowed to operate.  I know that girl was looking for stuff in my bathroom, and I know they were trying to get a look at what we had in the house while they were in there.  They were very good at trying to distract me, but I still have no idea why it took so long for me to realize what they were doing!  Of course, now they have one of my checks and they've been inside my house.  I'm pretty much terrified that they are either going to try and get into my bank account, or come back and rob my house.  Not that we have anything valuable that we leave lying around, but still.  Ugh.  I'm so stupid.  If I can get off relatively cheaply by the business just cashing my check and no magazines getting sent, I'll consider myself lucky. 

Seriously, though...this is the dumbest I've ever felt, and if you know me, you know that's saying something!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


This happened on Monday and I'm still cringing. 

I'm really no stranger to speaking before my brain fully engages. You all know this.

Monday afternoon, while I was at work, one of our church members came in to visit with the pastor.  The church member, the youth pastor, and I were all around my desk talking while I was sorting through the mail.  I was completely on auto-pilot while doing this and I came across a letter from a medical company that has been trying to sell us an Automated External Defibrillator.  I'm all for us getting one, because quite frankly, our church is fill of old people who could short circuit at any minute and I'd like to think we could at least try and keep them kicking until a medical professional could get there and take over. However, I haven't been able to convince anyone else this is a good idea.

I hold up the letter and said "Do you think that a defibrillator would be a good investment for the church?" 

As it was coming out of my face, I knew I shouldn't be saying it, because the man I was talking to had just lost his wife due to sudden heart failure where using a defibrillator had not worked.  That was so incredibly tactless of me, and had I been thinking, I would have never asked him that.  Granted, I don't think I upset him by asking, and he also agrees we should have one, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it.

I'm just awful sometimes. 

Monday, October 27, 2014


1) My hair is pretty much back to normal, from what I can tell.  At least the blue dye is all gone. It took more than a week to get that mess washed out, and although I can't be sure, there may still be some in very small spots in the back because combing my hair is still kind of hard if I'm not careful. I went online to look at reviews of the stuff, and 90% of the reviews were people who had the same problem I did.  Perhaps I should have read those first?  I just wanted blue hair, is that so wrong?  Geez.

2) Speaking of blue, I just need to stay away from blue stuff, I think.  I ate a blue popsicle the other dayand, of course, my lips and tongue turned blue.  I didn't think anything of it until the next morning when I got up and my lips were still blue.  I bathed and everything!  My lips weren't normal again until after lunch, which made me scared to think of how much dye must have been in my body.  Also, Sunday afternoon, I had a piece of blueberry pic, and my teeth and tongue turned blue for hours.  People are going to think I have smurf DNA.  :(

3) Last Saturday, I was a lump.  Steve was going to be going out of town to help a friend move, so I was left to my own devices.  Normally I hate just not doing anything and watching TV all day, but that's exactly what I did.  There was a Harry Potter movie marathon on, so I blame that because I wanted to see them. I literally sat in my pajamas until I made myself take a shower, and I just put on clean pajamas after that and finished watching the movies. I did cook a little in between, but mostly, I did nothing.  I'm not proud of myself.

4) The funeral I sang for after the Color Run was for a woman at our church that I liked very much.  She was a member of our church, had been close friends with Steve's mom, and she was the one who made my wedding dress out of curtains. : )  Her husband, whom I once worked for briefly, asked me if I would sing a song called "Ain't No Grave" at her service.  It's a very fast, very cheerful song, which seemed a little odd to me, but I feel about funerals the same way I feel about weddings: I'll sing whatever you want and wear whatever you want, so I put the CD into my purse that morning.  Just as we were about to walk out the door, I walked into my office and grabbed a performance track to "It Is Well With My Soul" and stuck it in my purse, too.  I don't really know why I did that, except that I got a weird feeling that her husband might be sorry he didn't pick a more appropriate song and I wanted a backup, just in case.  Not that the song he picked was inappropriate, exactly, but it was and loud.  I don't know.  Anyways, when I got to the funeral home, the director took my CD to do a sound check in the chapel.  The CD wouldn't work, at all.  Not on any of their sound equipment or on the computer in their business office.  I'd used that CD many times without incident, but it wouldn't play at the funeral home.  Luckily, I had that other disk in my purse, so I didn't leave them hanging.  The next day, I took the CD that wouldn't play at the funeral home and tried it in our church's sound equipment, and it played just fine!  I can only deduce that the lady who passed away didn't want that song sung at her funeral after all!  Weirdness!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014


OK, I did a really dumb thing last night.  It wasn't supposed to be dumb, it was supposed to be funny, but it turned out to be dumb and now I just have to wait it out!

For the past couple of years, I've wanted to dye my hair a wholly unnatural color.  I don't know why, but I do.  I realize I've crossed the midpoint of my thirties, and it's really not that appropriate for me to have blue or purple hair, but I thought it would be fun to do, at least once, before I turned 40.  I was actually going to do it after Sara's wedding two years ago, but because I'd just started working at the church, I didn't.

I finally talked to the pastor and asked if I DID do something like that, would it be a problem. See, at church, I don't see a whole lot of people who don't know me, and the people who do know me wouldn't think it was weird.  Well, they might, but they like me and they'd be OK with it.  However, since this IS a church, I didn't want to do anything inappropriate.  The pastor said he wasn't going to tell me I couldn't do it, but that I was representing the church when people saw me.  Basically, he wouldn't just tell me no, but he didn't want me to.  I can understand and respect that, and since having blue hair isn't really something that is vitally important, I don't mind not doing it.  We are a kind of old-school, conservative Baptist church and the only blue hair around here belongs to the old ladies, and they have earned it!

Just because I decided I wasn't going to dye my hair, doesn't mean I'm not going to threaten that I'll do it.  Honestly, I like to keep our pastor (and youth pastor) on their toes, and the fact that people with strange dye jobs and tattoos are immediately labeled as "strange" by them both, kind of makes me want to get both done just to spite them.  I usually just threaten to dye my hair (a tattoo seems a bit extreme for spiteful reasons) and whenever they start annoying me, I throw that out there.  They never know if I'd really do it or not, so it's fun for me.  I thought I'd just get a wig one day and wear it in, but I refuse to spend $50 on a joke (unless it's a really, really good one.)  So, the other day I saw this while at Wal-Mart:

It's supposed to be a very intense, but temporary, colorant for your hair.  Of course I bought it, because this was a perfect chance to play a joke on the pastor AND have blue hair, albeit only for a short time.  Steve made me promise not to put it in close to a Sunday (buzz kill), so I decided to do it on a Tuesday (last night) which would give me plenty of time to wash it out.  The box says it's supposed to coat your hair instead of penetrating it, and I've used (I thought) stuff like this before when I used to color my hair in high school.  So blue hair, freaked out pastor, all around win!  Only, it didn't work out the way I thought it would. 

I actually watched some videos of people using it, just to make sure it worked, and everyone seemed pretty happy with it, so I went into the bathroom and started putting it on my hair.  It had really strange directions.  It said your hair should be dry and untangled (check) and you should section off what you want to color.  Then when the stuff was dry, you comb your hair, don't shampoo it and voila!  Unfortunately, the stuff is very liquidy and it doesn't have an applicator of any kind, and trying to keep it in one place was impossible, so it got all over my hair.  As I waited for it to dry, I noticed a problem.  My hair was blue, a dark blue owing to my own dark brown hair, so no problem with the color, but my hair felt like I'd rubbed glue all through it.  I mean that literally.  My hair was stiff and sticky, and when I went to comb through it, the comb got stuck.  Not only that, but my hair was sticking out all over my head.  I looked like the bride of Frankenstein, but blue.  I tried combing it again, but I couldn't get the comb through it. I managed to get some of it brushed, but the underneath part wouldn't budge.  It was like trying to spread a sheet over a bed full of pine cones!  I knew that I couldn't go to church like that, and no joke is worth looking like Lady Gaga on a bender, so I washed it out.  Actually, I tried to wash it out.  A lot of the color came out, but my hair got really sticky.  Whatever this stuff is made of must have come from the bowels of hell, because I can't get it to come out!  Also, once my hair dried, I saw that it wasn't dark blue anymore, it was gray-blue on top of brown!  I still can't properly brush it, because it's still stiff and sticky, and so it's all wild and tangled looking.  Steve said I look like someone who was stranded on a deserted island and didn't have a brush. Nice.  I honestly don't care what color my hair is, so even though it turned greenish brown this morning when I washed it again, the thing that bothers me the most is that I can't brush my hair.  I can't even get my fingers through it!  Ugh.

Karma got me before I even got to play the joke.  Not cool.

On the bright side, my hair would really look awesome if it was blue.  Maybe I'll get it dyed after all.  :)