Monthly Archives: May 2012

I Will Put My Mask On First

When I flew to Denmark in April I read the safety information in the pocket of the chair in front of me. It is always wise to be prepared. I wanted to know where the safety exits were.  I wanted to know where the bathroom was and I wanted to know what to do if the cabin pressure dropped.

The safety exits were in front of me. The bathroom was eight seats behind me.  If the cabin pressure dropped I was supposed to put my oxygen mask on first and then put my childs mask on.   I did not have any of my children with me.  But I did see  that I was supposed to put my mask on before I put my childs mask on.   I actually get to do something before my child. Or, to take care of my child I need to take care of myself first.

Do you know the saying, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. [Matthew 7:12]?  Would  I really want someone else to treat me like I treat myself?  I forget to make appointments to get my teeth cleaned, but my children’s teeth  are brushed and flossed and polished every six months.

I use an old towel with holes, a bit threadbare, when we go to the pool. I will spend the 14.99$ for each of my children to have a nice beach towel to take to the pool. I wonder if I just don’t think of it,  or do I think  I am really not worth $14.99.  I tried to buy myself a towel at a local National Discount Store last week.  I looked at several I liked for about 16 minutes.  I walked out without a towel. I couldn’t  spend the 14.99$ for the Lacost towel with the alligators.

Yes, Pamela there is a new towel for you. You are worthy of clean teeth and a new towel.  Embrace your value. Buy a towel, make an appointment to get your teeth cleaned.

Yesterday I went to Costco to buy chicken, strawberries ( to remind me of California), paper for the printer, red pepper and oranges. I walked past a display of towels.  I stood there for several minutes and then placed one in my cart.  It is made in Egypt of 100% Egyptian cotton. I am supposed to wash it before use, machine wash cold, tumble dry low. Item # 129453. It has stripes. It is mine.

My mask is on, I can breath on my own. Now to  put on my child’s mask.


A Full Garbage Can

I am not writing today.  I cleaned out the garage instead.  Several months ago, on March 17th, I told you I cleaned out the basement.  What I didn’t tell you was I  just moved the stuff from the basement to the garage. The boxes have been in my garage for 64 days laughing at me when I  toss the empty milk jugs into the recycle bin.  The boxes taunt me  when I take out the lawn mower.  “You will never park your car in the garage again.  You can not clean up this mess.  You will always be messy. Who are you trying to fool.  You are burdened by me, but I won’t leave. ”

I was too embarrassed to photograph both sides of the garage. I didn’t want you to see how totally messy I was. The after picture shows both sides.

Memorial Day our neighbors had a yard sale.  I climbed the mountain of dread and moved all the boxes from the garage onto the driveway early Monday, and had a yard sale as well. Everything that didn’t sell, was bagged and taken to a thrift store that afternoon.  Okay, not everything, the dog kennel I will put  on Craigslist next weekend. I don’t want to pretend to be perfect.  This morning, I didn’t write. I taped up the flattened boxes and placed them by the curb.  Swept the garage, and hung  the bikes.

I tried to sell the crib ends and the wheel from the wheel chair I told you I didn’t want anymore . I never did get rid of them on March 17th,  I just put them in the garage with the boxes.  I was hoping someone would fall in love with them and buy them at the yard sale yesterday.   No one bought them.  I tried to place them in the garbage pile today for tomorrows pick up.  They looked so forlorn and lost in the garbage pile.  They are back in the basement. Who knows when I might  need the wood from the crib ends, or need a wheel from a wheelchair.  I have decided it is okay to have a few odd things in my life.

I can not hear the boxes anymore.  The boxes are empty, flattened and waiting by the curb to be recycled in tomorrow’s garbage. It is raining and  I can not hear them in the rain.

The car is parked in the garage. I will write tomorrow, but not today.


My husband just said to me, as I was about to post this story about not writing today. “If you had told me Saturday night I would be parking my car in the garage Tuesday night I would have openly mocked you. I would have said, “You are full of baloney.”

I was about to flatten him and put him out in the rain with the cardboard, when he said, ‘That is so cool Pamela. I really appreciate what you did.”

He can stay.

Tuesdays With Kris and Kaydi

Tuesday night  in Saint Paul, Minnesota from 2001 until 2007  meant coffee with half and half, and prayer with Kris and Kaydi. We talked about our week and then we  prayed for each other. They prayed me through two miscarriages and the birth of my youngest daughter.  Kris and Kaydi had been meeting for several years when I moved into the neighborhood. I am grateful they asked me to join them.

Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi. Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi. Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi. Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night  at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi. Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi. Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.  Tuesday night at seven meet Kris and Kaydi.

The Allied Moving van took us to California from Minnesota  in 2007. We lived there for three years until the Allied Moving Van took us to Pennsylvania.

Sometimes on a Tuesday night in Pennsylvania I will get a funny feeling in my internal clock and feel like I am supposed to be somewhere. I start to feel like I am late for an important appointment around 7:10 , and then I remember Kris and Kaydi.

Kris is visiting us in Pennsylvania this weekend with her family.   I had the coffee pot ready for her on the kitchen counter. The ground coffee was a House Blend with a rick aroma & well-rounded body with walnut and chocolate tones. A half-gallon of half and half was waiting in the fridge.  I checked the date on the half and half at the grocery store, and took one from the back of the fridge.  I don’t drink coffee anymore, but I was ready for Kris.

Kris and her family are driving  back to Minnesota this morning. After they drive away, I will put the coffee pot back under the kitchen counter. I will put the House Blend ground coffee with a rick aroma & well-rounded body with walnut and chocolate tones in the freezer. I will use  the half and half in a chicken pot pie I will make later this week.

Tomorrow is Tuesday. Tomorrow night while I watch my youngest play softball, I will remember Kris and Kaydi, and I will pray for them.

Put The Lid Back On

A small bit of advice.

When you buy a bottle of liquid laundry soap and you own a cat it may be a good idea to put the lid back on the bottle after you use it.  Well, it might have been the cat.  I am not really sure how the 172 oz bottle of 2x Ultra all with stainlifters, free and clear of dyes, recommended by Dermatologists for Sensitive Skin, but may be harmful if swallowed bottle was knocked off of the top of the washing machine.  There are no video camera’s installed in the laundry room. I can’t play back a video tape to find out what really happened.  I didn’t see any paw prints.  I didn’t find a chewing gum wrapper, or a cigarette butt to help me find out the soap was spilt by someone who chewed gum or smoked cigarettes.

It was my laundry day. I was the last one to put a load in the washing machine. I was the first one to use the new bottle of laundry soap. I was the person who did not put the lid back on the bottle. I am responsible for the mess.

This is sort of like an Aesop’s fable. The moral of the story is : If you don’t put the lid back on the laundry soap, you may have to clean up the mess.

Eating For Comfort

Late at night when the children are in bed, asleep. I want to eat.

I may have a bowl of cereal that reminds me of shared cereal bowls with my brother as a child.  I may make a batch of buttered popcorn that reminds me of eating popcorn with my family on Sunday nights watching The Ed Sullivan Show. I may eat a bowl of strawberries with whipped cream that reminds me of living in the Santa Cruz mountains in California.

Emotional eating.

I am not really hungry. Okay, I am not hungry at all. But, I want to eat something. I want to remind myself of someone I love. I want to remind myself of a happy time before my parents lived in separate houses and my mom had  a new last name. I want to remember a place that I lived  with a creek in the backyard and a best friend an eight minute walk away up a steep hill.

Tonight when the lights are turned out and the house is asleep I will  remember that whoever comes to Him will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Him will never go thirsty.  The empty place I try to fill with food can only be filled with Him.

The ground is hard and full of rocks. Squishing wasps.

This morning  I started to dig a hole for the  cherry tree I bought on May 14, 2012  at Colonial Gardens in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The ground is hard and full of rocks. I thought I would never be able to plant trees in my yard. The task seemed impossible.  When I had tried to put the shovel in the ground last week only the tip went in.  For the past two days I have been soaking the area with the garden hose to moisten the soil. This morning as the sun rose I dug out the top layer of grass.  I placed the clumps of grass to the side and soaked the soil again.

During the heat of the day, I went with friends to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross’s House  and  Benjamin Franklin’s gravesite.  After pizza in my backyard in  the cool of the evening I went back to the hole. The shovel only went in a few inches when I put my foot to the back of the shovels blade. I used a pitchfork to loosen the stones cemented in the clay. I put the hose back in the hole and dug around with the spokes of the pitchfork until the soil was softened.

The cherry tree will go in the ground tomorrow. There are only a few more inches to dig. The sun was already on its way to China, and I couldn’t see to finish digging.  When I put the shovel and pitchfork in the garage, I remembered the wasp nest under the rain gutter.  I extended my telescoping painting roller handle to twelve feet and knocked down the wasp nest from the rain gutter.  As soon as the wasp nest landed on the ground I  stomped on it and several wasps with my boot.

I put on my vibram five-finger walking shoes and put a leash on Martha, my dog.  The tree will wait until tomorrow, only one more day to live in a black pot.  I didn’t want to quit digging.  I wanted to put the cherry tree in the ground today.  But I did promise Martha a walk tonight.

The wasp nest  needed to be knocked down before the wasps  build too many rooms and had too many tenants. The nest I stepped on was the size of an apricot. It was small enough to fit under my boot.  When I catch bad attitudes in my life, I need to get rid of them before they take root and I become permanently crabby.  Bad attitudes the size of an apricot are easier to get rid of.  Watermelon bad attitudes  are harder to step on.

Mud on my knees, dirt under my fingernails, and a plastic bag for the dog.

Living life a little dirty,  digging holes a little bit at a time,  stomping  wasps before they bite.

Living life imperfectly.  Mud is only wet dirt. Never too busy to walk the dog.

I Need A Kick In The Pants

Stop Talking Start Doing, A Kick In The Pants In Six Parts by Sháá Wasmund and Richard Newton is recommended by Sir Ranulph Fiennes Obe, The World’s Greatest Living Explorer. Obe said, “To achieve anything in life you have to start somewhere, be it writing a book, starting a business or climbing a mountain, this book will set you on your way.”

The book was published in 2012 in Great Britain by TJ International Ltd, Padstow, Cornwell, UK.  I bought the book at Heathrow Airport during an eight-hour layover on April   21, 2o12.  I read the introduction in the store.  How to get from Talking ….. to Doing in six steps.

1.  Tick Tock
2. The Itch
3.  Fear and Regret
4.  Start
5.  The Art of Decision Making
6.  Action

I started reading the book today, twenty-five days  after I brought it home to Pennsylvania from London.  The book has 182 pages. I am on page 135.

I am on my way.