Monday, September 23, 2013

Picture Dump

I did an opinion dump recently, so when I did a backup of my phone for the new iOS I thought it might be fun to try a picture dump as well. (click on the pictures to see them larger)

When I first saw this car I noticed all the animals pictured. Then I noticed the child on the far right all alone looking rebellious and had to make a picture.

We had ants this summer and lots of them. The sugar water with borax seems to have done the trick.

As if vanity sizing were not already insane, I found this confusing tag at Target. Size 26 is the new 4? You know what? Being confident enough to not need marketing people to patronize you is the new 4. This is just silly.

This is the handheld smoke machine Rocky and JD begged me to buy at a consignment sale. It is not a bong. The smoke does smell a little funny though.

This is a manhole cover at JD's bus stop and a glob of asphalt he is convinced is a buffalo breaking wind.

This is my stomach goo. It is aloe Vera juice with a few other twigs and spices. It helps with all sorts of digestive issues.

This is a recipe from an old church cookbook just in case you need to know how to cook road kill. My having this recipe is in no way related to my need for digestive aids. 

This is a screen shot of the new iPhone iOS 7. It is girly whether you want it to be or not, and comes with extras that droid users have had so long that the novelty has worn off and they don't use them anymore.

I hope you have in enjoyed the weird highlights of my last 6 months. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Christian Introvert

I am neither an expert on Christianity nor on Psychology. Please keep that in mind.
This morning I woke up with a real struggle. I'm tired from a hard week. I thought a Saturday spent in isolation (as isolated as one gets in a house of 4) would refresh me and have me ready to face the world again, but it didn't. The idea of going to something where I socialize with friends, listen to music, and be with others almost makes me want to cry. I know for a great many people that sounds completely backwards. Being in a setting designed to uplift and encourage you should be, well, uplifting and encouraging. For an introvert who is already tired, it can be torture.Here is where the struggle comes in. That place I don't want to go is church.
I love our church. I mean really love it. The people constantly touch my heart. The preaching is spot on and always interesting. So, why would I not want to go? Being socially engaged, even with fellow believers, is a switch I have to turn on. It isn't that I'm pretending to be someone I'm not, it is just that I am having to give a lot of energy to being me. Normally, I expend this energy happily, but when I feel like I am out of energy, church becomes a chore. (that is extremely hard for me to admit)
Most of the modern church is really designed for extroverts. There is one event after another in an attempt to give us a holy social life. We are charged to go out and invite others to join us. Music is played to stir our souls. Those are all really great things. The problem is, as an introvert, I don't have any kind of social life and I'm pretty happy about that. Inviting my closest friend to lunch takes planning and several drafts of an email before I finally do it. Imagine what inviting a casual acquaintance to church would be like.  The last time music really stirred my soul was probably many years ago singing "A Might Fortress is our God". A lot of Christians today scoff at the very existence of that song in modern hymnals. Actually, a lot scoff at the idea of hymnals at all. Praise songs are great for people who praise through music. For those of us who don't, it is a neon sign pointing to the fact that we can't clap and sing at the same time. There is nothing introverts hate more than being pointed out in a crowd.
This morning I got up to find my children reading the Bible with a daily devotional, and that soothed my tired spirit. For our house, God is not a once a week visit. Being a Christian is a daily walk. My faith is not going to fail because because half the house has a cold and I don't feel like being around people. Sunday is a day of resting in God and it is okay to do that in solitude every once in awhile.
The other thing I found helpful this morning was googling "Introverted Christians". It reminded me that we are all called in different ways. Even though my faith and service are not always on display, they are there and they are as valid as the front row's.
I hope you all have a restful Sunday whether that means sitting in service singing loudly or sitting in your closet being still.

(this post was not written to excuse an overall avoidance of all church, merely an occasional rest from corporal worship)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Actually Aware

I kind of tend to get a little irritated at how the word "aware" gets thrown around as was made evident last October with status updates such as "You can get cancer where?!" and "What are these gray furry things climbing on my tress?". To further explain my viewpoint I wrote a snarky blog post about how "aware" I was of awareness.
Yesterday I was actually made aware of something and wanted to share. This is Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week (please join me in irritation that this little known nasty only gets a week). Here is a link to the official description with pictures and sciencey stuff. To oversimplify it, Mito keeps your body from using oxygen to make healthy cells. This means your body makes unhealthy cells everywhere. It takes your energy first, then you ability to eat, and eventually one system after another in your body fails.

Now for the bad new. This is by in large a childhood disease. Right now there is no cure or even treatment beyond pain management and an attempt to slow progression, neither of which works consistently. Finding a cure would be unspeakable joy.
Why isn't this something we hear about? Well, the stats run 1 in 4,000 which isn't rare, but also not super common. It takes forever to get diagnosed. It is one of those things where they rule out everything else first and the test for it is not easy. Even if a baby is presenting with problems it can take a year and a half to figure it out.
There is another reason that is a little harder for us to look at. Parents with sick children rarely have time to advocate for awareness of what is killing their child. They are focused on caring for their child and making their life as happy and as full as they possibly can. Often when you hear of a child with cancer, the people raising awareness are the friends and family, not the parents. Here is where it gets ugly. Cancer is a monster that can be fought. The battle is not always won, but it is won often enough to give us hope. Mito is a devouring beast that always ends in loss. Not many are going to sign up voluntarily for that watch. I talked with a mom this week whose daughter is in this fight. She said that the best advocates are sadly the parents in their first year or two of finding out their child has been diagnosed. After that, the parents are tired, the children are tired, and all of their focus has to be on their own family. That was the statement that made me want to post. This disease doesn't get flashy attention. Chances are good that if you didn't look for it, you'd never see a fundraiser or 5k or telethon for Mito. That doesn't mean that money and support are not needed. It means that people don't have the time and energy to ask.
So, now you know. If someone you know has a child with mito you can be ready. Ready to listen. Ready to support. Ready to help raise awareness for them.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Weird Worries

I'm a worrier by nature. I try (often failing) to suppress the urge to tie myself in knots over one thing or another. Today I suddenly was filled with worry over something too silly not to fess up to.
I got in the loaner car today and turned on the radio. Instead of the radio, it began playing my phone's playlist. It took me a second, but then I realized when Rocky had said, "Oh cool! Let me see your phone" what he really meant was "I'm going to enable Bluetooth so the car knows more about you than I do"

 So, there I was driving down the road singing along badly when the phone rang and the call came through the radio. (New fangled technology) My next thought was immediately what if I could accidentally call someone and they heard me singing Adele loud and off key. This ranks right up there with me not liking to take my phone into the bathroom just in case I accidentally hit the FaceTime button. Has that in the history of smartphones ever happened? I mean, to someone without the aid of a toddler. 
I think our Xbox is what has made me tech paranoid. Sometimes it will pick up random words in conversation and think you are talk to it. We were sitting at dinner last night and heard strange voices from upstairs. The Xbox decided that we wanted to watch Myth Busters. I still don't know why. 
And that is why I will never walk naked passed modern technology. 

*On a really random side note, if you haven't found it yet, and are looking for a new blog reader, try Bloglovin  I really like their app. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

One of THOSE Days

My check engine light came on. I am a tiny bit Sheldon Copper when it comes to the check engine light. It must be on for a reason, I mean beyond causing frustration. Just for fun, the light decided to turn off and on depending on the car's mood, and it seemed to be more confused than a chameleon in a bag of Skittles. When the funny noise showed up, even Rocky agreed that it needing checking out. Thankfully our car is still under warranty, but to have it serviced I have to drive to the Mall of Georgia area, which is a good 45 minute drive (common life in ATL burbs problem), We made an appointment to have it checked first thing this morning hoping it would be simple and I could get home before my whole day was shot, plus I'd be next to a giant mall and had a great excuse for a little shopping.
The Toyota Mall of Georgia is not a normal dealership. They take the service department seriously, and have it down. There is a nice waiting area, clean bathrooms, fancy coffee, wifi.... and a cafe if you get hungry. I got the car checked in, settled in with my "leave me alone" earphones and a good book. That is when it happened. My stomach perked up and said, "You know what we haven't done in awhile? Had a public display of our incompetence."
It wasn't even that bad. If I had been at home, or even close to home I would have shrugged it off, but no. I'm a about an hour from home with no car. The smell of the food and people was making it ten times worse. I made a few trips to the bathroom before giving up and trying to sit outside. Do you know why they have a sitting area outside? It is for smokers. I got about 10 minutes of peace before a woman who looked 70 (but was probably 45) lit up. That was my last straw.
I went to the desk and told them I was feeling sick and struggling. I needed my car done or not. Sometimes being naturally very pale comes in handy. When you tell people you are sick they kind of assume that you shouldn't be that color and tend to take pity on you. They grabbed my sales mechanic and he hunted down my car. It had been taken to the serious problem section because it turns out that sometimes the check engine light means your transmission is throwing a hissy fit. He looked at me and said, "You feel bad and just want to get in the car and go home, don't you?" Yep. So, he fast tracked me in the loaner car line.
I'm not sure how long it will be before I can have my car back, but at the moment I don't care. I have on stretchy pants.
So to sum up, stomach- annoying, Toyota Mall of GA- nice, Mondays- bad, stretchy pants- good.