This Is NOT An “End Of Year” Letter. It’s A Brain Dump. About The Year. Since We Are At The End Of It.

Sometimes I think about writing a Holiday/End Of Year letter. You know, like lots of families do…kind-of recapping the year, and talking about how everyone is awesome and things are great! Then I think about this…This year has been one of the hardest years I’ve ever had. Full of pain, sacrifice, and loss. Full of joys, good memories, and a few realized dreams. You should go back and swap those…do the happy one first. The next year is starting out hard, but with some faith, a little perseverance, and some more sacrificing, it should be better at the end than at the beginning. I’m looking forward to that. I am really mad at the Mayans. How dare they be wrong! To get me everyone all riled up and worried for no reason. Thank God I didn’t get that bomb shelter I wanted to put in the back yard…or all those treadmills to ward off the zombies in the zombie apocalypse. I was We were so close to over-reacting! This year saw Jessup getting his permit and license, and his first two jobs (at the same time-literally within a day of each other). Ainsley has a job that she loves, and she has proved so responsible that she’s getting other side jobs as well. Over the weekend I went to a retreat of sorts with some of the kids from our church youth group. It was a weekend on purity. Not only before marriage, but also after. Giving your whole self to your spouse…all the best parts, not the left-overs. It made me realize that I don’t always give all the good stuff to Barry. Sometimes he gets the left-overs. He needs to get my best. The United States doesn’t have a national fruit. Well, not according to Wikipedia, and we all know that that’s the gospel of all things. We need a national fruit. Ainsley and I vote for strawberry. I don’t make New Years’ Resolutions because when I wake up on January 2nd, and realize that I’ve already broken one all of them, I feel bad. I don’t like to feel bad. So, I have a list of things I’m going to try to do. I say “try”, so that, if one day out of 20 I fail, then I don’t feel so bad. Kind of like why I will never be on a diet. If I fail for a day or two, or four, I don’t want to feel like I’ve failed everything. So, I try to eat less, and I try to eat healthy, but if I don’t, it’s ok. I’ll try again the next day. This has worked beautifully for weight loss. I’m very proud of myself this year…while I’ve been stuck at the same weight throughout the Holiday season, I’ve also been Stuck. At. The. Same. Weight. Throughout. The. Holiday. Season. Do you realize that that’s not a bad thing? I’ve plateaued, but that’s amazing! I’ve not gained. I’m going to put the number of pounds lost at the bottom of this blog post, and for now, that’s the only time I will mention it. Someone I adore suggested I blog about my journey through that fickle countryside of “losing weight”. I hadn’t even really considered it before, and while I think it’s an amazing idea, I just don’t know if I’m ready to go there. If I did it, I’d have to share my actual weight. I’d have to let the cat out of the bag so to speak, and while I will be uninhibited about it when I eventually reach my goal weight (which you may be surprised to learn is not that thin…just much healthier), I am still so ashamed that it got as bad as it did…that my weight got as high as it did…that I was as unhealthy as I was. In fact, I didn’t even tell Barry where I started out until around September or October…that was four months into this process. Right now, you have no reason to believe that I didn’t start out at 150 lbs., and just get better from there. In fact, if you do think that, and you tell me, I may never admit my beginning weight. Ever! It’s quite obvious from any photo taken of me in the last 15 years, that I might weigh a pound or two over that…but you don’t know for sure, so shut up about it already. I am keeping track on an app on my phone. Each day I weigh myself (which is going to be a big, fat fail-pardon the pun-if I don’t remember sooner rather than later to buy a new 9V battery for the scale), and I record the weight. It’s a nice app. Simple. Easy to use. It has a passcode so that no one can look at it. It has a graph so I can see the progress. The only thing that would make it better is if there were a little tiny skier on that slope, and I could watch him/her ski down the hill of weight lost. Not a big deal. Of course, this last month or so would be more cross-country skiing than downhill, but it’s all good. There would only be bumps…no hills to climb. Since my conversation with my friend, it’s been on my heart to blog about the highs and lows of this. To blog about the times I’ve wanted to eat a pan of brownies, or the package of bacon in the fridge. Or mix the two. There are still days where I slip up. And I’m not even regularly exercising yet. Just being careful with what I eat, and watching my caloric intake. Keeping it under my magic number of calories allotted for the day. Maybe I’ll write more about it…my mind seems to be slowly heading in that direction…you can tell from just this post. I don’t know if it would be helpful to anyone else, but it would be cool (even if no one ever read it) to look back at what I went through, and what I failed at, and succeeded at, and to remember. One of the things I like best is that, when I was at a conference this weekend, and the elevator was full, I stepped back to wait for another one, and a teenaged person said, “There’s plenty of room, hop on!” I said, “No, I won’t fit on there”, and they said, “Are you kidding? Two of you would fit on here, get on!” No one even moved to let me on…and I fit. It’s those little things. Those little moments when you’re so used to something being one way, and it slaps you in the face that it’s not necessarily that way anymore. It’s different. It’s better. It’s like when you look at a picture of yourself that you just took, and you wonder how your got just the right angle to make your face look so thin, and then you realize that it’s not the angle. Your face is not as fat as it once was. Speaking of that, I need a new profile pic on Facebook…that girl with the really fat face is bothering me, even though it might be the best picture I’ve ever taken of myself. BTW, while I don’t eat as much bacon as I want, and I haven’t had a brownie in months, I still eat lots of cheese, so there’s hope for you, too. ;)

I got off on a tangent…here’s my list of things to try for 2013:

1. Give Barry the best of me.

2. Give my kids the best of me.

3. Give God all of me. He deserves the best, and He can handle the rest. (I just made that up. You can totally steal it, but if you make it into a shirt or something, I want some credit…or money. Money would be my preference. I’m not Forrest Gump. I can’t afford to just give out my golden thoughts for free while I run across the country three times and my stock in Apple climbs higher and higher.)

4. I’d like to take a picture of all four of us (my little family) every day for a year. I have always wanted to do this, and I’m determined to try it. I’m not sure how the logistics of it will work yet, but I have about 9 hours to figure it out.

5. Be more faithful about my blogging and writing. Maybe even submit something somewhere.

6. Money stuffs. Keep a journal of money spent, keep a list of goals. It worked for losing weight, maybe it can work for losing debt. When I looked at the calories I was taking in, I changed the way I ate. If I look at the way I’m spending money, maybe I can change the way I spend. It can’t be worse than doing nothing. FYI, doing nothing doesn’t appear to be working. Save yourself the grief, and make a plan.

7. Not be so freaked out over things like the number 6. That way I don’t waste your time (and mine) typing up a 7th thing, just so I don’t have 6.

(You may notice that weight-loss is not here…it’s a change in lifestyle. That change is already made. It doesn’t need to be on the list anymore.)

While most people spent their Spring Break on vacation lying in the sand on some fabulous beach, or skiing in the Rockies (Who am I kidding? I don’t think anyone got that much snow last year), or hanging out/drinking/studying, I spent mine in the ICU at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. I lived there the entire week. I only left two times, because it was also the week of Parent-Teacher Conferences for my kids, and I don’t miss those for anything. Also, popular opinion says that it’s important to bathe now and then, and since I couldn’t use the bathroom that my comatose mom was never going to use, because it wasn’t my bathroom, I needed to take care of things at home. Side-note: Every time I had to go, I had to leave the ICU, go far down the hall and use the public one. This silly rule teaches you two things: 1-they are not worried about the comfort or accessibility of anything for anyone other than patients. 2-your bladder can hold a lot more than you give it credit for. When I came back to Boone for these two nights, I also showered and got clean clothes. It’s probably a good thing that not one person came to visit me the whole week. Then again, they might have just smelled me from the hallway outside the ICU, and turned and ran the other way. I didn’t do any schoolwork. I didn’t really do anything. I just sat there. I did get a lot of games of DrawSomething in. It’s grasping at straws, I know, and I don’t think that really counts as an accomplishment. I appreciate all those DrawSomething opponents who helped me keep my mind off of where I was and what decisions I knew I’d have to make. I spent quite a bit of that time talking to my mom, who after a day and a half (out of the five) never again responded to me. It was kind of like a lot of our times together…all a one-way conversation. There were no deep sighs, though, so there was no way to tell if she disapproved of what I said. She probably did, but I’ll never know. I figured if it was really bad, she’d let me know. About three days in, I started saying stuff that I’d always wanted to say…sometime just to see if I could get a response out of her. She was only able to wriggle her toes, or squeeze my hand, and that all stopped more than three days before she passed away. I begged her to wake up. I needed to know some things. Things I thought I’d always have time to ask her. Things I will never know. Some of these things are things I’ve always wanted to know. Some are new things. I’ve spent a good chunk of this year writing them out, and then trying to let those things go. It’s not working as well as I’d hoped, but it’s something I’ve got to learn do. I’ve got to move on, and not dwell on it. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog. I’m not as faithful at it as I’d like to be. As far as writing goes, I finished a couple things in 2012. Not big things, but things I’m proud of finishing. Things I’ve had to really work through, and force myself to write out. I can’t wait to get all this Christmas crap out of my house and back to the storage room in the basement where it belongs. It’s driving me crazy. I think it’s all getting taken down Wednesday. That should also bring the guest room back to order, since that’s where most of the mess of Christmas has been dumped. I hope that next year we can get some new decorations, and get rid of some of the old. Not the old cool stuff, but the old “this will do until we can afford to get something that doesn’t make me want to puke” kind of stuff. *fingers crossed* The largest watermelon ever grown was 262 pounds. I need to finish writing out all the things that went on surrounding my mom’s death. I need to remember all the stuff, and while I have quite a bit written down, I don’t have it all. I’m wondering if I can say things I want to write down into my voice memo app on my phone and then write it from there. Sometimes I get ideas while I’m driving or can’t have a notebook, and I need to get it out before it’s forgotten. It’s funny how when I was a teen, I’d go to a conference, or retreat, and I’d make some kind of glorious commitment and swear that I’d change my ways, and then I’d go home and get busy with the stuff of life, and I’d eventually forget all about it. It’s not funny “ha ha”, it’s funny “peculiar”. I thought it would change when I became an adult, but it seems that there’s more to get wrapped up in, and there’s more of the stuff than there was. I am praying and hoping with all my might that I don’t forget how moved I was Saturday night. How convicted I felt. I hope I don’t forget what I said, and thought, and felt, and promised. I keep coming back to these two things: my mom, and this past weekend. I miss my mom far more than I ever thought I would. I’ve spent so many Christmases without her, that it wasn’t totally different. There wasn’t an empty space at the table this year, because there has been an empty space at the table for lots of years. There was however no phone call. And no one really even mentioned her. The kids did say that it would be weird to not get anything from her this year. They didn’t mean it selfishly…just more as an observation. They’ve gotten (since birth) an ornament from her every year at Christmas, and one of them commented on how it would be weird to have last years’ ornament be the last one. Then we dug around, looking for that last one. I was so grateful that (a few years ago) I marked on each one “Grandma Jo” and the year. I started the tradition of getting each of them an ornament each year as well, so they did get something. And they will continue to get something…until I’m dead and gone, and Barry’s new trophy wife doesn’t know all the traditions, and ruins everything, all the time, forever. She’s going to be so out of the loop. I should leave her a note or something.

I apologize to you, my faithful reader, that I have missed two Friday’s in a row. This is not intended to make up for it, just let you know that you and this past year are on my mind today. There are lots of words, so it’s like there are two of them, and if that’s not enough…then just get over it. There will be another one on Friday. Probably (but no promises) less depressing than this one.

That is all.

No it’s not…

48 (since June 1, 2012)

Now that is all.


Three Days With My Mom…

This isn’t meant to be mean. It’s a “vent” of sorts. It was a way to get out all the frustrations from spending three full days with her. Our relationship was already (and had always been) strained…at best. It was difficult. This was my release. Maybe you’ll find it funny. Maybe not. It’s not cruel. It’s honest. I took out the cursing…you’re welcome.

These are posts I wrote for my former blog. Each one is taken from something she said, or did…some little part of a conversation she and I had, or something I noticed while I was with her. As she got more and more sick, she would blurt out things that she’d wanted to tell me. As the days/weeks/hours wore on, her filter was less and less obvious/available. It seemed, as the time wore on, that she just didn’t care anymore. It didn’t seem to matter if my feelings were hurt, or if she seemed mean. If she wanted to say it, or thought of it, then she said it.

OK. Here we go…


“Ball-hockey”. Apparently she’s trying to stop yelling “BALLS!” in public. She used to say “horse-puckey” when I was a kid. Maybe this is a mixture of the two. I’m not sure, but it’s annoying and she says it with fervor. Really, she should just say “****”, and get it over with.

I’ve been told that I haven’t looked good in clothes since I was in eighth grade. Back then I wore high bangs, my jeans rolled at the bottom with socks over the top of the roll, and every color of neon or hypercolor shirt available. Remember? The shirts that changed colors with body heat. Yeah! REALLY SEXY in the Arizona desert. Was that really my best year?

High bangs are better than flat hair. Why does a “big girl” like me have short hair? I should have long hair again. If I took more vitamins and drank water rather than Pepsi, my hair would be long again. What? In like, a week? ‘Cause I’d give it up for a week.

I am a smart-ass (always have been) and I need to stop it before she takes further action. I would LOVE to see what that entails. Maybe more nagging…

I don’t know nearly enough about fireflies. I know that they fly and that they light up, and no, its not really fire. What else does a person who doesn’t care about fireflies need to know about them? I guess because I live here, I’m the expert. Although, it’s been pointed out that I’m not much of an expert.

I don’t remember anything from my childhood correctly.

When she gives me my choice of one of two things, I better pick the one she likes less. That way she can have her favorite.

It’s not using the Lord’s name in vain if you’re in pain when you scream out JESUS! BALLS! in the middle of the hospital. I laughed because there was no pause. She just yelled out “Jesus balls!” in public! So random. And, regardless of what she thinks, it was really funny!

I heard “that’s not funny” about seven times. And yes, it was. Every time.

I should stay in my job because I haven’t finished college yet and that’s what I get. A loser’s job. “If you’re going to be a loser who doesn’t finish school, then you deserve that job.” Thanks, Mom.

If I say “****” all the time, no one will ever want me. So I looked her in the eyes and said, “Would it be better if I went around saying ‘Jesus balls’?” My smart-ass comment wasn’t funny either.

I love this precious time I get to spend with her. I’m going to miss it never.


Kyle Chandler is apparently delicious. (I don’t even know who that is) She told everyone in the waiting room how good looking he is, and how he’s made her “list”. Gross.

There is more wrong with this woman than I have ever wanted to know. Medically. Enough that I will need to keep a list for when I go to the doctor.

I think she may be flirting with the nurse. “You have such a nice voice. I went to sleep thinking about it”. Gross.

When the nurse left, she said, “Nice to meet you, beautiful”.

It is inappropriate to drink rum and coke at noon. Even if you’re with your mom and you’re about to drive off a cliff/bridge/into a tree. But…if she could drink alcohol, she would have a margarita. At noon. And then you would have to watch her drink it. But that’s OK for her. Not for you.

In a restaurant: Don’t take the side of the booth facing the door. She doesn’t want someone to sneak up behind her and murder her. I guess it’s fine if they sneak up behind me, but she wants to know they’re coming.

If you say something is hot, use lots of adjectives and describing words. “Hot like flowing lava.” “Permanently blistering.” “Hot” is not good enough, and you will get yelled at for not warning her. Especially after she burns her mouth on something that you tried to warn her about, but because you can’t do it right, and you failed, she’s burned, and you’re to blame.

You need to have mad math skills. You should magically be able to figure the tip on a bill she won’t let you read, and for an amount she won’t give you. Basically, know what’s ordered, and approximately how much it costs, so you can figure the bill in your head. Add two dollars and work from there. “You should be smart enough to figure it without a calculator.” Well, I am, but fifteen percent of an unknown number can be kind-of tricky. I made her pay twenty percent of what I thought it would be. I rounded up. It wasn’t my money.

Pay more attention when you go to the bathroom (for the fifth time I might add) at Applebee’s because you don’t want to walk into the mens room accidentally and then freak some guy out and make him “miss”. (this is just a PSA…nothing to do with my mom. It’s good advice either way.)

Take care of your feet. A little lotion and loofah once in a while. Nice pedicure. Maybe some polish. Then they won’t be nasty. Oh, and if they are nasty…DO NOT PUT THEM UP ON THE DASH, AND MAKE *ME* STARE AT THEM THE WHOLE WAY HOME!!!

…it continues tomorrow…


In a restaurant: The booth facing the door is the best seat in the house, unless there’s a TV. Then she gets the side facing TV. I guess it doesn’t matter if your murdered by a crazy person, as long as you can see the TV.

McDonald’s chicken nuggets are better than chicken strips. Unless you ordered the chicken strips, and she changes her mind. Then she will eat seven of the ten nuggets while complaining and saying they are “no good”. She will then trade you lunches (since she paid, this is apparently legal), and take two of your three strips. So, out of three strips you got one, and then three nuggets that are “awful”. Also, because she paid, she will take all the sauces. You will make a mental note to eat faster.

If there’s a coupon attached to your cup, peel it off right away. You cannot take a sip of the drink until the sticker is off of the outside of the cup. Also: there are bonus points for giving her the coupon, and not keeping it for yourself. Although, you are reminded, she did pay, so the coupon really belongs to her, even though she didn’t get a drink.

Don’t pause to take a breath while you’re talking. Not even for two seconds. Otherwise she will jump in to guess what you were going to say. She’s always wrong. Usually she proves that she only thinks the worst of you.

Being in a bathroom stall is not meant to be a deterrent from holding hands in the bathroom. Nothing is creepier than seeing a hand come from underneath the stall wall and a voice asking, “Will you please hold my hand? I need to feel your love right now.”

Really. Just picture it. Picture it now. Are you picturing it? Ok. Now, when you get done shivering, and possibly puking, go take a shower.

No matter where you park, it’s never close enough. Even when she gets to wait in the air-conditioned waiting room and you have walk a half mile in the apocalyptic heat (this is an excellent phrase to use to describe how hot something is…FYI) to get the car, which feels like it’s been parked in hell, and still isn’t cool when you get all the way to the pick-up/drop-off area to get her. She will complain about that, too. “Why didn’t you cool off the car first?”

Don’t admit to forgetting your drivers license. Ever. She will watch every move you make. Question everything you do. Point out everything you could possibly get a ticket for. Then while you’re boiling mad with a white hot heat like you’ve never felt before, still you will need to keep your cool so you don’t do something stupid and get a ticket. There’s an “I told you so” just waiting for you. It’s always there, and it wants out. Badly.

Don’t wear flip flops that almost match the color of your shirt. She will question why you didn’t get the ones that did match. If you say, “These were the closest they had to this color of shirt. Old Navy doesn’t take requests, nor do they customize colors for you.”, you will be ‘looked’ at. Then she will say, “You should have gotten black. Black goes with everything.” You will then remind her of a time when she HATED that you wore lots of black, claiming it went with everything, and she will wonder why you hold on to EVERY. LITTLE. THING. You will then be driving (with no license) and she will remind you of your first time behind the wheel, driving alone, and how you mowed down the neighbors fence and had to pay for, and help install, a new one over the summer. EIGHTEEN. FREAKING. YEARS. AGO.

You can smile later knowing that you can, in fact, dig holes with a post hole digger, and put up a fence if the need should ever arise. Well done, me. :-)

Also: be glad these daily trips are over for a little while (until late next week) an you can return to your normal-ish, boring life.

Thanks for playing along…

Things I learned today

You should pee before you get stressed out. This is not to infer that I peed my pants or anything, just that I was nervous and stressed out, and once I peed, I felt so much better.

It’s possible to throw a fork, and have it disappear into thin air. Apparently.

Christmas is all about gods in other worlds and centaurs. No it’s not.

Froggy hats are acceptable for all occasions.

There are stories out there in the void about my son’s closeted rage issues. I’ll just say this…do not hog the elevator!

Swallowing 7 pieces of gum (four of them on accident) does not count as a meal.

I can’t hear “Carol Of The Bells” too many times.

There are a lot of people I’d like to send a Christmas card to.

I have always wondered what instrument makes the doorbell sound. I still don’t know what it’s called, but I do know what it looks like.

Furnaces are important, and it’s a special kind of fear when yours stops working. Also, it’s cold.

My daughter will, very likely, never eat Thanksgiving dinner again. Or dessert.

Origami is Spanish for “goose”. No it’s not.

“Thank God It’s Friday” Brain Dump

I can’t believe it’s been a week since the last one. I’m terrible at writing every day. I’ve been so busy this past week, that I didn’t believe my phone when it said it was Friday. Today I made “Elf Yourself” videos instead of cleaning and baking. (I tried to post them in this BDF, but it wouldn’t work. You can view them on Facebook if we’re friends) Now that’s over, and I can’t think of anything fun to do, so I’m going to have to go clean and bake. We haven’t decorated the tree yet. All of our tree lights are at the church for the prayer walk I helped decorate, and the lights go one the tree first. I want to do a theme tree this year…just colors…and the kids will want their ornaments on the tree. I will very likely give in and give them the tree again. Next year maybe we’ll have two trees. This weekend is going to be the busiest weekend of them all. Four Christmas parties to go to, a Christmas program, another couple hours of hosting the prayer walk… I hadn’t planned on working much this month, and so, over the last couple of months, I committed to several other things. Personal things. Things that keep me in the loop with friends. Things that remind me that there’s a whole world out there…outside of work. Then I find myself getting pressure from on high to sell more, and now I’m so busy, I can’t find the time. I need to get at least one more show in this month. The sad part is, I’ve been enjoying this time away from it. I will be ready to get back to it when the time is right, but, for once, I’m really enjoying the holidays, and I don’t want to work. I’ll work later. This is the first Christmas I’ve really enjoyed in a long time. I have the time to do stuff I want to do, and I’m not too tired to do it. I really do love working for myself. I have to remember that no matter how much pressure there is from those above me, that I do work for myself. I work when I want to. I do what I want to. It’s my business. I am sad today about what happened in Connecticut. It throws me right back to the awful Tuesday when Jessup was in his first week of Kindergarten and the Twin Towers went down. I wanted more than anything to run to his school and grab him, hold him tight in my arms, and never let go. He was five years old, and so little. I cannot imagine what those parents are going through. Someone posted on Facebook today that this is why they homeschool. This? Really? A one in a bazillion chance that something like this could happen, and this is why you homeschool? There are far better reasons to homeschool, and if you’re keeping your kids out of school because you’re too afraid to let them go, then you need to re-evaluate. You’re going to raise fearful children. Mine are aware, not afraid. We don’t homeschool because, for many reasons, it wasn’t right for us. There are things I would definitely change about the education system, even in small-town Iowa, but over-all it’s a decent education. We fill in the gaps as needed. We did homeschool for a while. It was very necessary for a time, and then it became very clear that it was time to stop. Both kids are better for it. So am I, for that matter. I started writing this around 10am, and found myself glued to the TV for far too long watching the news. I just kept getting sadder, so I finally stopped. I printed return address labels for Christmas cards instead. I also printed some gift tags. It’s now 3pm (I have done other stuff, too, not just print labels for 5 hours), and I still have to go clean and bake. I think I’m going to make my Daddy’s Christmas bread this year. Not today, but soon. I finally have my beautiful mixer…and I think it’s time to put it to the test. That is all.


Brain Dump Friday – Favorite Songs List Edition

Tonight, I was asked a couple of awkward questions. Questions that none of you would want to answer. You don’t even want to know what they were. I was blunt. I stuttered, but I got through it. Because I’m the Momma. Also because I don’t want her to Google it. Unrelated: I love end of the world movies. I prefaced that because for reasons. (I said it that way on purpose-because I think it’s cute. I shouldn’t have to explain that to you, but I felt compelled. Probably so you don’t think I’m an idiot.) I’ve been making CD’s. Sort-of like mix-tapes, but updated to 2003. I’m really current like that. Anyway, I made a CD of my favorite songs for a friend of mine. It’s not all my favorite songs…just some of them. Only about 20. I finally got all my music transferred over to my MacBook. It only took 14 months for me to get around to it. It didn’t take too long. What I mean is…it took forever for me to get around to it…not too long to actually do it. I was actually surprised. It took hours to get the songs off the ancient laptop (a PC) that we have, and only about 45 minutes to get them all loaded onto my MacBook. I might list the songs I chose for her at the end of this. If I remember. I might not. I’m forgetful. I’m also watching an end of the world movie. I always wanted to witness a NASA shuttle take-off. It’s on my bucket list. It will probably never happen now. What a bummer. I should make a mix-CD of the Christmas songs I love. I have to apologize for how weird and dull this is. My husband makes the best pasta bake that I’ve ever tasted. We had it for supper. I love Morgan Freeman. He’s so fantastic. Have you ever laughed when you received bad news? I found a new color of nail polish. It’s from Essie. It’s called “She’s Pampered”. I thought that was cute. And appropriate. That is all. Except it’s not. A car got pulled over in front of our house earlier. It looked like some sort of wonky Christmas display for about 10 minutes. Now it’s over. That is all. Except for the list of songs. So, I guess that’s still not all. But, after the list of songs (and maybe a little explanation)…that. is. all. Really.

Be Still, My Soul-Shaun Barrowes/I Won’t Give Up-Jason Mraz/If I Should Fall Behind-Bruce Springsteen/In My Life-Johnny Cash/In The End-Linkin Park/Let It Be Me-Ray LaMontagne/Little Wonders-Rob Thomas/Love Land-Martina McBride/The Luckiest-Ben Folds/Meant To Live-Switchfoot/Monster-Skillet/Perfect-Alanis Morissette/Quiet My Heart-Brooke Barrettsmith/Seat Next To You-Bon Jovi/Stealing Kisses-Lori McKenna/Still-Tim McGraw/These Days-Foo Fighters/This Never Happened Before-Paul McCartney/Unknown-Chely Wright/Where I Stood-Missy Higgins/World Spins Madly On-The Weepies

The first song…maybe the greatest version of that song ever. It’s not on iTunes, I have no idea where I got it. A couple of the songs were covered by Faith Hill. I prefer the originals. I wrote a story several years ago based on one of the songs. Maybe I’ll put it here sometime. A couple of these songs hit so close to home for me that I can barely listen to them. A couple are almost biographical. Brooke Barrettsmith should have had a longer career. Shame on whomever did not make that happen. There are a lot (and I mean A LOT) of songs missing from this list. You can only fit so many on a CD. Maybe giving someone a flash drive of your favorite songs will become a thing. Until then…the list has to be short. Someday I might Brain Dump a list of my favorite songs. (…and you thought this was a long Brain Dump)

That. Really. Is. All.

Fake News Stories


“Tonight’s top stories:

Christmas massacre – the deadly rampage through a small Iowa town. At least three known dead and police hot on the trail of the deadly “Blow-Up Bandits”. Who are these monsters? Are any of our yards safe?

Also, even more startling… It’s December 7th, and the grass in Iowa is still green. Some say it’s proof of the coming apocalypse. Some say it’s global warming. We’ll have our experts weigh in and you decide, tonight at 10, on the channel eleventy news.”

NOTE: Sometimes when I see things, I make up imaginary news stories in my head. This was one of those times.

BTW, your yard is totally safe if you don’t have this blow up crap decor in it.

Thanks a lot Mayans…now I have to get rid of my stuff.

History lesson:

A long time ago, the Mayan Empire fell. No one knows exactly what happened, but there are many theories:

They were farmers, so maybe there wasn’t enough water or farmland.

They were invaded by the Spaniards, and because they didn’t want to become Christians, they were forced into slavery.

Some think it could have been a climatic change or an earthquake.

Maybe they had an epidemic and no medicine.

Who knows?

I prefer to combine these theories and say:

They didn’t live in Iowa…with the most amazing farmland, and (usually) lots of water, and they didn’t choose to love God, so they got zapped with some kind of peculiar unicorn flu, and then they got sucked up in a big giant hole (along with the unicorns), never to be heard from again.

Nevertheless, they had some sort of papyrus or big stone wheel or something that told them the world was ending…and I TOTALLY believe them!

Since neither of my parents had their affairs in order when they passed away, I feel it’s important for me to do so.

So, until the 21st of this month, I’ll be posting my Last Will and Testament here (and on Facebook) for all of you to read, so that, if there are any survivors of the impending apocalypse, they will know what to do with my things.

Sometimes the names will be omitted to protect some of the people I cherish, and preserve the memories I hold dear.

I’ll do a couple of them the first few days to catch up…then one a day after that. Enjoy the crazy… :)