The day, it was profound. There were so many moments that could be put into a post and so many parallels and metaphors that they could all very well outnumber the boxes of cookies we counted.
That would be over 1,100. I know I'm long-winded and Southern and all, but only Margaret Mitchell could write that much about cookies.
To be honest, we didn't have to count them one at a time, just by the dozens. And dozens. And dozens. And dozens. But first we had to pick them all up from the warehouse.
Fortunately for us, a friend of a family member allowed us to borrow a moving van. This is how the pros do it, people. We don't pick up our girl scout cookies in an SUV or some fancy Town And Country.
Oh, no. We use Mayflower. It was good enough for the Pilgrims.
In some circles, people say that there were two women on the Mayflower who sold boxes of Thin Mints to the Pilgrims while mumbling something about a Troop Fund. Over the years, the story got all twisted and now the history books say that some of the early settlers fell ill from smallpox or something, but we all know they got sick from eating too many Girl Scout Cookies.
You should have seen us loading the van. The kind Mover People Guys kept bringing cases of cookies on huge pallets with one of those trucks you see in Home Depot. You know, the ones they use to put the lumber on the shelves. Yep, those.
They kept loading until our Mayflower van was full from floor to ceiling with over-priced boxes of goodness dipped in chocolate and lemon icing and laced with some unknown substance that makes tired housewives and, evidently Pilgrims crave them in the middle of the night. (Or in the middle of the Atlantic, depending on who you are.)
We signed off with the kind Mover People Guys and headed to the other troop leader's home. She was just ahead of me obeying every traffic law and speed limit because she's a troop leader and a shining example to budding girls. And she was hauling thousands of dollars worth of cookies!
I kept picturing her getting in an accident and the cookies going everywhere in slow motion. Only I kept seeing thousands of dollars blowing in the wind and all over the road and the two of us in front of Council explaining why we did not quite meet the deadline to turn in our cookie money because the cookies were all scattered on the side of the road.
Once we got back to her house, the fun really began. We counted and sorted individual orders and then it started to rain. Thankfully, the clouds parted and the sun began to shine brightly on our Mayflower madness.
After three hours or so, we were finished and ready for our parents to pick up their orders after school. Let me just say, the image of two women in a van peddling sugar in the school parking lot- it is surreal.
You would think that after all of the sorting and counting that I wouldn't want to see another Girl Scout Cookie, but you would be wrong. So wrong. I am sitting here eating Peanut Butter Patties and they are quite divine. In fact, they were the first thing I thought of when I poured my cup of coffee this morning. I blame it all on the addictive substance they dip them in, oh, and the chocolate.
Tomorrow I, along with the other troop leader, will be counting over 1000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. That's oh, at least 300 boxes of Thin Mints, a couple hundred boxes of Peanut Butter patties, and who knows how many boxes of LEMONADES!
And we won't be eating a one of them. OK. Maybe just a few... from my daughter's order.
I would rather talk to Abe Lincoln, but I got the Venti.
Sitting in Starbucks' drive thru, I just ordered my non-fat Venti mocha, add the whip. I reached in my wallet and you were there, right next to an old Target receipt and a half-used book of stamps. You would appreciate this- the new stamp has the Liberty Bell on it.
So, anyway. I'm sitting in my Japanese-made automobile looking at your picture. What is up with the scarf? I know that was very GQ back then, but now Clinton and Stacey would tell you to "open up the neck a little." However, you did have some good hair. For a man.
You would be shocked at what is going on in our country. The woman making my coffee has piercings and tatoos in places that would make you blush. She wears pants from this place called "The Gap." It's a store where they sell men's clothes on one side and women's clothes on the other side, but all the clothes look the same. There's a lot of white and khaki and posters about world peace. But they also have scarves, so you might like it.
The lady in front of me is driving a hybrid. It runs on gas and electricity. She paid nearly 40K for it so that she can save $3.00 per gallon on gas. She'll have to drive from here to Alaska several hundred times to make up the difference, but it will save us all from heating to death.
It's called Global Warming. Let me tell you about it.
It is the Super Bowl of Survival of the Fittest (you have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?) Humans v. Polar Bears. Teddy Roosevelt would love this. Maybe I'll write to him later...
But I digress. Global Warming is this thing we humans are doing where we have polluted the air (while sitting in Starbucks' drive thru) and all of these other dangerous things to the point that we are single-handedly making the Earth warmer one degree at a time!
We have done all of this but we still haven't improved the postal system. (We could use Ben Franklin these days. Put in a good word for us, would ya?)
There are a few other changes you'd love to know.
We are good friends with England. In fact, they are one of our last, loyal allies.
Women have the right to vote. (Yep, that would be me and the lady in the hybrid.)
I am typing on a computer on the Internet. Nevermind.
People don't have duels anymore. They just get lawyers.
We've been to the Moon. Several times. No one really cares, except for when they are trying to do something like stop Global Warming. They'll say, "We can put a man on the Moon, but we can't stop Global Warming."
One more thing. We never really went back to tea.
Which is why I'm in Starbucks' drive thru exchanging you for a non-fat Venti mocha, add the whip.
Maggie is back from her Paris trip and she's wearing Prada.
Today I was on the phone in deep conversation with a friend. I was sitting at the kitchen counter which is only about three feet from the kitchen table. I turned around and there was Maggie-lounging on the kitchen table on my nice Williams-Sonoma tablecloth, grooming herself.
I yelled,"Maggie!!" right in the ear of my friend. (She totally knows Maggie and was not surprised.)
Maggie barely paused between licks to look up at me in wonder. She didn't even flinch until I yelled again for her to "GET DOWN! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!"
I yelled in all caps.
I'm telling you, if she keeps this up, we're putting her in a home.
I love my Sunday School kids. I love them with all that I am. From the deepest part of my heart, I love them. They are precious in His Sight. Yes, M'am.
They are also very useful in predicting the weather.
It appears that whenever there is a barometric change, the effect is somewhat similar to that of a full moon. Pressure change in the atmosphere is correlated to hyperactivity in the classroom.
This morning, the kids were sweet as can be but they were done. Done like a pot of rice.
They tried, bless their hearts. They did. But many of them were either getting over a cold or battling the Dreadful Pollen Blanket of '08. My allergies were bothering me; I knew their little noses were suffering.
So we had our lesson as planned. We prayed. We talked about Jesus and how he wants us to treat people. We talked about our feelings and the feelings of our friends.
Then we broke out the play dough and had church right there with the cookie cutters and the plastic rolling pin. They played and shared together as they made little play dough waffles and lots of play dough snakes.
And, you know what? They left there with a good Bible lesson under their size 4 belts and a lot of love in the Name of Jesus.
Right after we scraped the play dough off the floor.
For example, I find some of the googles that have brought folks to this blog very, very fascinating. Comical even.
Most popular ones-
Here's a bit of info for you Meatloaf Fixin' folks. Hunt's has changed the name to "Meatloaf Sauce" or something like that. That's why it is so hard to find. It still comes in the can and it tastes the same. Hunt's is just getting all uppity on us and dropped the "fixins." Although I don't really think you can get uppity while eating meatloaf.
One of my favorite googles was "Do women in New York wear pantyhose?"
Another part of sitemeter that is very addictive is the feature which shows where y'all live. (Well, where your internet connection lives.)
For some reason, whenever my Shreveport, Lousianna reader logs on, site meter lists Shreveport in all caps like this:
So, I always read it like it is yelling Shreveport to me.
HELLO, SHREVEPORT! WHOEVER YOU ARE! THANKS FOR READING!!
That's what I feel like I am doing a lot lately. I keep looking at my calendar, waiting for something to be over, some event to happen, a commitment to end, one to begin. I'm doing a lot of waiting, and none of it patiently.
I keep hearing myself saying things like,"Oh. I will be so glad when (fill in the blank) is over. Life will be back to normal."
Life never gets back to normal. Life isn't normal. I keep taking on tasks and responsibilities (some good, some not-so-good) that just keep me busy.
I've been wondering why so many of the tasks that keep me "busy" are not really making me "effective." I keep running here and there from one responsibility to the next, marking off each day on the calendar and not even knowing what day it is.
Let's face it. A chicken running around with her head cut off really has no sense of direction.
So, I'm praying. I'm waiting, with a little more patience every day. I still am not certain of the direction God wants me to take, but now I at least feel like I have a compass.
Today is the day. The be all, end all, day of days to every teenage girl in America. The day that will either make her feel like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles (at the end) or Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink (somewhere in the middle before she discovers Duckie.)
I was reading this post over at Big Mama's this morning and she took me down memory lane. Back to high school when I thought Lisa Lisa had the best hair on MTV, nevermind that I also thought she was in a cult.
I wish the 37 year old me could talk to the 14 year old me. I would try to give the 14 year old me some advice, try to convince myself that guys aren't worth it. But, knowing me, I would just roll my eyes at myself and say, "Oh, you don't understand. You are like, old!"
Then I'd just call my best friend on my princess phone and listen to my cassette tape of Chicago while staring at my Kevin Bacon poster.
Kevin. Bacon. He was the only one who could ever replace Rick Springfield. And seriously. Rick and I were close to walking down the aisle.
Oh, Kevin. I did heart you. No one ever looked that good while driving a VW Bug. I'm just sayin.'
And the scene in the warehouse where he is dancing? Oh, it made this teen girl melt. Did anyone else think he was "punching his car" instead of "punching his card?"
I remember going to see Footloose after begging and pleading with Mama. It was an event that would change me forever. My best friend had Hot Tamales and I got Snow Caps (still my fav.) We swooned right there in the theatre as Ren took a stand for something that really matters.
The right to dance. I mean, let's be real, people. Forget about world peace. There are more important issues in the world. Like Prom.
This morning I stopped in at Publix dressed in my regular just rolled out of bed, ran a brush through my hair and across my teeth (not the same brush) attire which happened to include this shirt:
It has become one of my favorite sweatshirts. It's comfortable, reminds me of the sweet friend who gave it to me, and it just plain makes me smile.
I started putting all of my heart-healthy, low-carb items (ahem) on the conveyor belt at check-out when I heard the bagger say, "Uh-Oh. A writer."
When I looked up, he was reading my sweatshirt.
"Do you write? Is that what you do?" asked the cashier.
"Ummmm....well.....I have a blog....and I write..... other things, too," I answered awkwardly.
I could tell he was so impressed.
Then I tapped my foot as the cashier scanned and I squirmed in my shoes waiting to swipe my debit card and escape the moment.
So, I'm thinking that maybe I should get a new sweatshirt that reads,"I have this other life that I live and I write on my blog, you know on the computer, and sometimes my in-laws read it and maybe a few cousins or two and friends. OKAY, maybe just one friend. And sometimes people I never met stop by to read about my daughter's funny comments on life and how my husband hates buffets and that we have a pond out back with odd wildlife."
Hubs and I are always talking nonsense. It makes perfect sense to us, but to other people our conversations sound a lot like Regis and Kelly before they've had their coffee.
And we all know that I look exactly like Kelly- blonde, perky, and a size -1. Ahem.
Fortunately, my husband looks nothing like Regis. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with Regis. He's a sharp dresser and up-to-date on current events and he did a fantastic job on Millionaire...
I won't mince words. He's old.
The other day, hubs and I were in the kitchen with our daughter and we started talking nonsense. I don't know how it all began, but the conversation turned into a discussion of Hansel and Gretel.
The funny thing is that whenever we go off on our rabbit trails, many times our daughter is able to follow along, or at the very least she is mildly amused. She has learned in her tender age that Mommy and Daddy have their own love language.
They speak "Weird."
So back to H and G.
It all started with the crumbs and how the crumbs disappeared and then they couldn't find their way home. Then we trailed off into our own fairy tale.
Little did we know as children, but Hansel and Gretel were not brother and sister. Nope. They were husband and wife.
See, Hansel was eating the bread and making a big ole' mess along the way so, of course, Gretel picked up after him. Hansel wasn't even supposed to be eating the bread. Gretel made it for a special occasion- Thanksgiving dinner at her mother-in-law's house.
In fact, that is where they were headed. So when they got there empty-handed because Hansel ate all of the bread due to the fact that he didn't eat lunch earlier even though Gretel told him he would be hungry later and she made the best soup for lunch but he didn't want any because it was Thanksgiving and he wanted to save his appetite for the big meal and then he got hungry anyway and decided to eat the bread just to tide him over...
Well, you get the picture.
So they arrived at Hansel's mother's house and Hansel's mother had made the best Thanksgiving meal complete with turkey and dressing and cranberries and all the rest. All except for the bread which Gretel was supposed to bring only her husband ate it all along the way and now Gretel arrived at her mother-in-law's house completely empty-handed.
And Gretel was Southern.
So, the mother-in-law had to quickly pre-heat the oven and cook some Brown 'n Serve rolls that she had on hand because she never can depend on that good-for-nothing daughter-in-law who shows up at her house to eat and always promises to bring something but somehow always shows up empty-handed.
Suddenly, the mother-in-law catches Hansel literally eating them all out of house and home, snacking on the sugar-coated shudders and nibbling on the candy corn doorknobs when she calls them both into the kitchen for a little family discussion.
Then the oven's pre-heat buzzer goes off. There is a scuffle and then something happens that will become a family controversy that lives on for generations to come.
And that, boys and girls, is how Gretel almost became toast.
Edited to add for some clarification: This is completely hypothetical, folks. I love my mother- in-law. Plus, I don't bake. ;>)
Axl Rose keeps singing in my mind every time I try to imagine what my in-laws are doing in Africa. Last I heard, they were without Internet access.
Well, that's enough for me.
Camping? Yes. Snakes in the cabin? Yes. Observing Possums and Beavers in the yard? Yes.
No Internet? I have to draw the line somewhere.
Sometimes I sit here on the sofa watching HGTV or TLC wondering, "Hmmm....it is such and such time in Africa... wonder if they are hiking in the bush, swatting Tsetse flies or perhaps running for their lives because someone wore the wrong color and aggravated an elephant who in turn began a stampede...."
Or something like that.
Then I think of sweet Sophie and Shannon who are leaving for Africa in just a few days and they will have Internet access. Oh, the faith these two ladies must have.
So, could you please say a pray for them as they step out on faith and their love for Jesus? While you're at it, take a moment to read about the reason they are going.
Would someone call up the pollen people and inform them that it is only February? My sinus cavities would be eternally grateful.
This morning I got in the car and saw that the dust on the windshield was a pale gold. After a few swishes of wiper fluid, the dust became a paste. Lovely and Allergenic.
I just took my Advil Cold and Sinus and I am awaiting the moment when my sinuses will open up and the voices from heaven will sing songs of joy.
On another note, something is awry with my laptop. It types the letter "l" without my input. I think the CIA has tapped into my computer and the letter "l" is some kind of secret code for a secret signal to you Internets out there. The word "Lame" comes to mind.
It looks like the Advil Cold and Sinus is starting to kick in.
And, on yet another note, may I just say that the election '08 just gets more and more interesting. Interesting to those of us who have aspired to own a set of Encyclopedia Britannica. I really should come up with a clever slogan for this year's presidential election.
Whatever it is, it will most likely begin with the letter "l."
Shannon is hosting a fun Works For Me today asking us to post our favorite online shopping sites. Here are a few of mine.
JCPenney.com- I love this site. I click on the online outlet and search for bargains. Somedays you can find really great deals on linens and clothing. Check out the end of season deals. Unbelievable prices!
BarnesandNoble.com- The nearest Barnes and Noble is a fairly good drive away for us, so anytime I want to buy books, music, or hard-to-find movies I click on BarnesAndNoble.com. Orders over a certain amount offer free shipping. It saves me time and gas money.
While I was driving home from church, I saw him. He looked like a teenager- no longer a boy, yet not mature enough to be a man. A little gangly and awkward, he was riding his bike. He crossed my path just ahead of me, then I saw him again when I turned to go home.
That's when he fell. Somehow, he steered his bike just off the road and into a groove where his wheels were caught and the jolt of it all sent him soaring. He landed on a bed of pine straw among some newly planted landscaping.
I slowed down and rolled down my window, "Are you Okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," he said in a teenager's voice, his cheeks red with embarrassment. Then he brushed himself off, got back on his bike, and continued to ride.
He did look fine. He suffered more from the embarrassment than from the fall itself.
I thought to myself, as I neared home, "That's how we are as believers."
Sometimes we are going along our walk and for some reason, we fall. We don't fall from grace. Grace is a gift eternal. No, we fall in our walk as Christians, not still babes in Christ, but not yet mature.
Maybe we've offended another, or maybe we find it hard to forgive the one who has offended us. Or we have fallen short in other ways- in our prayer life, our thought life, our devotional time with God. Or maybe all of these have happened along the way and we feel that we have failed.
The wonderful part is that we can brush ourselves off and get back on. Sometimes the pain of embarrassment as we have failed as a believer can be worse than the "fall" itself. Knowing that fellow Christians have seen us stumble, we often drop our heads in shame and pull away from our brothers and sisters in Christ.
But, do you know what? Our sister or brother in Christ is there to help us up, to brush us off and to hold our hand along the way. If she offers her help in love, there really is no need for us to be embarrassed.
God is there to help us back up, too. In fact, He is first to arrive on the scene. Once we have accepted Jesus, God has promised to guide us into maturity in Christ and we must persevere-
"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:4-5
God's Word also tells us that just as He promises to save us through the blood of Jesus Christ, He promises not to give up on us, leading and guiding us along the way, no matter how many times we lose our balance. We must keep on keeping on, keeping our focus on Jesus, the One who suffered so that we may live with Him in Heaven.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3
You can do it, fellow believer. You can make it to the finish line. Keep your eyes on The One who has already won the race.
One would think that in the dead of winter here in the South, that one would not see a whole lot of wildlife.
Well, one would be wrong.
Last night, after some gnashing of half-brushed teeth and a LOT of reminders of how early we have to get up the next morning, my daughter (I thought) finally drifted off to sleep. Just as the house got quiet, I heard footsteps scurry down the stairs and then a little voice made an announcement.
"Mommy! There is a weird looking animal in the yard and it is FREAKING ME OUT! I think it may be a raccoon!!"
I assured her that it was going to be fine and that the animal was most likely a possum. Nevermind that she was supposed to be asleep, snug under the covers with her stuffed animals instead of staring out her window watching wild animals.
Sure enough, when we peered through the glass of the kitchen door, I made a positive ID- a grey and white, long-nosed, skinny-tailed, looks-like-a-big-rat possum.
Once she realized that the weird looking animal was totally harmless, she decided to sit at the window and watch him as he ate whoknowswhat in our yard.
And, here's the thing. I sat there with her. This is love- for my child, not possums.
We watched the big rat for several minutes as he foraged and crept in our yard, into our neighbor's yard and off into the night.
As his tip-toed into the shadows, I said to my daughter, "He looks like a cat."
"Like a weird looking cat."
"Yep, weird for a cat. But normal for a possum."
"I think he is beautiful," she said.
Then the violins began to play and the scene faded to grey. And white.
Born and raised in Georgia, I love the South. Now I live in the Florida panhandle, fondly known as the Redneck Riveria, with my husband, daughter, and crazy mutt of a dog. I love Jesus,my family, the smell of rain on the hot pavement, rocky road ice cream, and the softness of kitten paws.