Monday, June 30, 2008

I have a little July 1st tradition I like to call Happy Half New Year.
Unlike it’s fancy-pants sister, New Year’s Day, Happy Half New Year is very practical.
She doesn’t need elaborate late-night parties in Times Square to have a good time.
In fact, to celebrate, she insists on spending a few moments by herself.
She digs out that long-forgotten resolution list from January and, after careful consideration, she chooses the best, most creative, fun and fulfilling way to spend the next six months.
Any ambition not meeting her high standards she disregards.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

My mom called as soon as she got home from Mass this morning.
“The Pope dedicated this year to St. Paul,” she said. “And your father is in his glory.”
As a child, the only thing I knew about St. Paul was that he said, “Wives, be subordinate to your husbands.”
It’s my dad’s favorite part of the whole Bible.
He likes to recite the verse to my mom, which really bugs her.
I tell my dad if he’s going to go around quoting scripture, he should really keep it in context.

“Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged.”
~ Colossians 3:18-21

“Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.
‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’
This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.”
~ Ephesians 5:21-33

The year-long dedication to St. Paul began Saturday and will end June 29, 2009.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

The day before my birthday I told my mom, “If you’re thinking of sending me flowers, I would rather you send me Koleti.”
Koleti is the miracle worker who has cleaned my parents’ home for 13 years.
She came to my house today and vacuumed, dusted and scrubbed --- all the things I should do on a regular basis but don’t.
What a luxury!
Cleanliness really is next to godliness, which is probably why I so rarely get a glimpse of it.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

I got an email yesterday with the subject line, “We’ve missed you.” It was from my gym.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

My mom called crying. A coyote killed our cat.
She was the last of her litter and the most beautiful.
The only calico.
My sister named her Oscar 13 years ago.
My dad thought that was cute, a girl with a boy’s name.
My mom called her baby cat and said she was the queen of her kingdom.
She had the most peculiar meow. My husband described it as a speech impediment, but I say she just wasn’t altogether pleased about being touched.
She didn’t need anyone’s approval or affection to be happy.
I admired that about her.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spots of toothpaste and spaghetti sauce decorate every shirt I’ve worn this week.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My husband had a bad day. A really bad day.
He found out from a high school classmate via Facebook that his 20-year reunion is next summer.
I wasn’t there, but I’m pretty sure a few f-bombs were dropped.
The news came as an unpleasant reality check, about as welcomed as a sock to the stomach.
It’s not that he doesn’t know how old he is. He just didn’t realize 19 years had passed since he was a high school senior.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

I think I’m rather clever because I’ve figured out how to clean my blender with minimal fuss.
Kind of a lame thing to rejoice about, but I really hate struggling with those stubborn berry seeds trapped under the blade.
So now when I’m done with my smoothie, I fill the pitcher with water, add a drop of dish soap and turn the blender on.
It whips itself clean. I just need a similar method for the rest of my house.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Minding one’s own business is so overrated.
Which is why I told the youth leader at a nearby church that my husband and I spotted a teenage boy and girl hiding behind a building during the youth Mass.
I’m pretty sure the sound of our car put an end to their make out session.
I know. I know. I’m such a tattletale.
It’s not that I don’t trust teenagers. It’s that I’ve read the research and I know their brains are not fully developed.
I also know their parents didn’t bring them to Mass so they could suck face behind a bush.
I did, however, refrain from speaking directly to the young couple, mostly because I didn’t want to be the reason they never returned to church again.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

A four-year-old flower girl dressed in a cloud of white tulle adamantly proclaimed, “No more play for me,” as she waived her arms no to the tiny ring bearer. “I’m already tired.”
“You know why?” she said to me. “I drank wine.”
“You drank wine?” I questioned, surprised by the unprovoked confession.
“Yeah. I thought it was water but it was wine.”
“How did it taste?” I asked.
“First it tasted like Sprite then it tasted yucky.”

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Does anyone speak FeedBurner? I need a translator.
I’ve been blogging for a year completely oblivious to the whole FeedBurner craze and how as a blogger you really can’t live without it.
I don’t know what “it” is but I’d love to find out.
I signed up for an account this week.
I added the RSS feed link you see to the left.
I’ve checked my account daily, which, from what I gather, is telling me I have no visitors, no subscribers and no reach.
Liar, I say, because my best friend is very faithful and my mother even started reading.
Anyway, if you know anything about FeedBurner at all and you think you could bring that information down to a sixth-grade reading level, I would really appreciate it.
Thanks!
PS: I could also use a plain-English explanation of Widgets.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

My youngest brother, Joseph, has been visiting from Florida this week.
We have lived on different sides of the country for at least five years now, maybe six.
Sometimes I don’t even realize how much I miss him until I see him. And then I get so sad because I don’t want the visit to end.
I cry before his trip is officially over, which is what I started doing tonight.
My dad always says heaven is having all his kids together.
At its best, I think that’s what family is for, to give us a taste of heaven.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I spoke to a woman yesterday who told me that a few months ago she noticed her choices had little to do with what was best for her.
She blamed advertisers. She felt she made many decisions based on someone else’s idea to make themselves rich.
Which made me think: Did someone sell me my life?

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I was wandering through Powell’s Sweet Shoppe as I killed the last minutes of my lunch hour today.
“What’s larvae?” I heard a little girl ask. Her eyes were fixed on a box labeled Larvets.
“Bug’s babies,” her older brother answered.
“Are they real worms?” she questioned.
“Yep,” he said, nonchalantly.
Brothers can be so cruel, I thought.
As the children moved down the aisle, I picked up a box, expecting to read sugar as the main ingredient.
But the older brother was right.
The candy is made from mealworms. It comes in barbecue, cheddar and Mexican spice.
Displayed next to it were boxes of crickets.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

I didn’t know what to expect today, so of course, I over packed.
I brought three books, three magazines, my journal, bottled water, energy bars and strawberries.
But when you’re spending time with a friend, all you really need is good conversation.
This holds true even if your friend is hooked up to an IV for four hours during chemotherapy and you, your husband and her sister are sitting with her in a room barely big enough for the four of you and the nurse.
It was easy to forget what was actually happening until two nurses came in to verify Faith’s information before starting the Taxol.
Faith was groggy, but she rattled off her name, date of birth and medical number.
“What is she at Guantanamo?” my husband joked.
“That’s what kills the cancer?” I asked.
Yes, the nurses confirmed.
Then they left and our conversation continued as though we were sitting around a kitchen table.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

“You just said something is not your fault?” my dad asked my husband after overhearing a conversation between he and me. “You haven’t been married long enough to know the fallacy of that statement. It’s always your fault. You’ll learn.”
My husband tried to explain how he is hoping to win every argument by deflecting fault to me. “I’d appreciate your help with this,” he said to my dad, proposing they become allies.
“I have my own problems. I’m not about to get involved in yours,” my dad replied.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

The pause between bingo games lasted too long, so some of the players, including my grandmother, began banging their daubers on the table.
“What’s going on?” my mom asked, confused by the commotion.
“They are natives and they are getting restless,” I whispered to her from across the table.
“This is why I don’t like coming. It gets too intense,” my mom said.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

I spoke to the old man today.
His name is Rollin.
He was on his way to have lunch at the California Café.
I’m not sure if he eats there every day, but he gave the impression of being a regular.
I kept my inquiry brief, as my questions seemed to startle him, and I don’t want him to be afraid to say hello to me the next time I see him on the sidewalk.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

I am so completely jealous of the swarms of young people I see with apparently nothing to do.
Even though I’ve been out of school for quite awhile, I’ve never gotten used to the idea of life without an annual three-month hiatus.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

“We don’t accept tips,” the girl at the counter told the woman as she handed back several dollar bills.
“You don’t? But you do such a good job,” the customer replied.
“We should do that without expecting anything,” the counter girl offered.
~ Conversation overheard at Icing on the Cake, where the art of customer service has not died.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I see the same old man in downtown Los Gatos almost every day.
I’m terribly curious about him, and I’m sure I’ll eventually give in to my temptation and ask him what brings him to town.
But this is what I know so far:
He drives himself to town.
He always wears a hat, which reminds me of my grandfather.
He is always alone.
He wears a wedding band.
And he walks with a cane. Walking might be overstating it.
He moves painstakingly slow, barely gaining six inches with every step.
Ironically, I’ve seen him leave a shoe store called the "Runner’s Factory” on more than one occasion.
What I admire about him is that as slow as he moves, he keeps on moving.
I can be so easily discouraged by lack of progress that I forget inching toward my destination will still get me to my destination.
Then I see this old man. He walks all over town, one snail step at a time.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

I am the opposite of a tech geek.
I don’t own an iPod. I’ve never downloaded a song or uploaded a photo. (The picture on this page is here thanks to my husband.)
But I do love cell phones, and I’m giddy over today’s announcement that next month Apple will sell its latest and greatest edition of the iPhone for $200.
Looks like I’ll be celebrating Christmas in July.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Is there a way to have what I want now? Right now.
Before I win the lottery, quit my job, start a company.
Before I’m famous or published.
Before I’m a mother or married for 50 years.
Now. Among the circumstances of my life as it currently exists.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturdays slip through my fingers.
I’m always sad to see them go.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

So I’m reading a book about marriage, and the author summarized some helpful questions to consider. I liked them so much, I thought I would share.

1. What does God want from my life?
2. What does God want from my mate’s life?
3. What must we do to help each other come closer to fulfilling this mission every day?

~ Questions courtesy Gregory K. Popcak’s book, “For Better … Forever!”

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

The economy is shaky.
We’re hearing we should cut back on frivolous expenses.
Yet I’m putting wrinkle cream on the top of my shopping list.
I bought some last year soon after turning 30.
Despite the serum’s initial reaction of making the skin around my eyes red, I used the whole damn bottle.
But that bottle’s been empty for months, and my precious skin has had to fight its own battles against fine lines and wrinkles.
I don’t want to panic, but it’s time to call in reinforcements.
I am hereby asking for recommendations.
If you have a beauty secret, for crying out loud, share it with me.
There’s no reason my face needs to look as depressed as the economy.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

“Is it your birthday today?” I asked the young girl wearing a tiara.
“Yes,” she replied with enthusiasm.
“Today is my birthday, too,” I confessed.
We couldn’t believe the coincidence.
My young friend, Emma, was turning 12.
She was born the year of the rat, is about to finish the sixth grade, and had her very long hair cut to her shoulders earlier today.
I had to think for a moment before I could recall that I was born the year of the snake. I told her I was 31 and took the day off work, which she could do for her birthday when she’s older, too.
It was a great little chat she and I had at the restaurant where both her family and my husband had taken us to celebrate.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I’ve never liked the phrase, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
It’s so pessimistic and I’m not.
But those were the words I exclaimed to my parents when I opened a letter sent to me at their address.
Apparently, the 1992 Saturn I donated to a local Redding charity before moving back to the Bay Area two years ago has been sitting in a towing yard since May 10.
I recall filling out paperwork regarding the donation and transfer of ownership. I even received a receipt for tax purposes when the charity later sold the vehicle.
But the DMV seems to have been left out of the loop.
So the towing yard kindly wrote to tell me that I owe them more than $700 and my debt continues to rise at a rate of $43 a day pending the lien sale of the vehicle for which I am still the registered owner.
This isn’t the first car I gave away, which seriously makes me wonder if there isn’t a very beat up ‘84 Mercedes somewhere in Arizona with my name on it.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

I have to go to bed now. I woke up too early this morning, so all my thoughts have already gone to sleep, except for the really boring ones that simply list off the tasks on my to do list.
And really, you have your own list of to dos and don’t need mine.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

A boy who looked about 12 nearly collided head-on with our stopped car as he skated around a corner this afternoon.
Cell phone in hand, thumb on the keypad, eyes on the display.
He didn’t realize he was feet from crashing into our windshield until my husband honked the horn.
So add this to the list of warnings for your kids:
Skateboarding and text-messaging do not mix.

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