Monday, July 26, 2010

Pool Drains and the Great Race of Life

Warning: This one is a little random- see it through:-)

Wade sleeps soundly next to me, well pseudo-next to me, Boudreaux sprawled herself out across the bed leaving me with about a foot of viable sleeping space, and my mind is racing about things that need to be done to prepare for our trip.
While laying here, it occurred to me that it is the six month anniversary of my blog. In the beginning, I set out to be a little more positive, a little more consistent, and a little more faithful to the loving God we serve. How have I done? I may not be spot on where I'd like to be, but I'm definitely learning more about myself on this little journey of the at times four-letter-word known as life.

Of late, I have had to take a few weeks hiatus from running due to allergies and recurrent sinus infections. You know the little Mucinex germs on the commercials with the pointy-toed little boots? In my mind, every time I see those commercials, I take out my piece and eliminate them one by one as if they were tin cans on a fence post. It doesn't help. The little men with their tiny boots seem to have taken up permanent residence within my sinus cavities. I've taken two different rounds of antibiotics, nose sprays, daily allergy medication, OTC medications, and inhalers. No dice. This is going into the seventh week of this mayhem. I am resigned to keep on keeping on, just with lots of Kleenex and the cough of one who has chain smoked their entire life. I say that to say, my running has taken an unfortunate back seat. The wheezing makes it sound like two people are breathing when I run. I have to slowly build my lungs back up to par. Seems like a let down to think of how far I pushed myself to go, only to find myself slipping backwards. This parallels with the sermon our pastor spoke about on Sunday. He preached about relationships with God and how, as with any relationship, we get out of it what we put into it. There are 168 hours in a week, yet admittedly I find it difficult to squeeze in daily quiet time. However, is it really difficult to find the time? It's making the time to do it and prioritizing God as the center of life. At times, by all outward appearances, we depict the image of taking the straight path. But what's really in our hearts? What are we really doing with our inner being? Is it being cultivated just as our physical bodies need cultivating through exercise and healthy diet? It's a tricky question if you ask it to yourself. I can say in all honesty that my spiritual life could use a little pruning in the areas of my soul that have tarnished to make way for the renewal of goodness to produce.

As for my attitude adjustment, hence the title De-Funk New Year, it's an everyday work in progress. I have learned to take things in stride and have grown a lot from previous qualms. When I was a little girl, I wore nothing but dresses. In my true hard-headed fashion, I remember sliding down a snow slope in Colorado on a family vacation... in a dress. I had to have frozen my buns off, but I was too stubborn to listen to any parental reason that (duh) sliding down snow in a dress might not be so pleasant. I'm thinking my parents probably looked at each other with the look of- she's going to have to learn the hard way. I grew out of the dress phase, but never truly grew out of the 'I don't like things that are not human or pets to be in my home' phase. Example- while living in Austin, I had an infestation of fleas in my apartment. I had no pets or any reason for said invasion, and found myself behaving irrationally. My friend went with me at 11 o'clock in the evening to buy foggers which I proceeded to set off in my apartment shortly thereafter. Prior to the fog fiasco, I packed an overnight bag and barreled down 35 to my parents house two hours away. Slightly drastic and borderline neurotic? Probably so. Nonetheless, you understand my feud with unwanted creatures. I've become accustomed to such creatures. Proof: The other day, I found a tick. I smashed it as hard as I could, then ran it down the disposal. Maybe that was a little overzealous, but it's better than fogging the joint and having to camp out in the backyard overnight. Further proof- I found a mouse floating in Boudreaux's water bowl the other morning and I didn't even scream...that's not to say that you couldn't have passed a hurdle underneath my legs on account of I almost came out of my skin. Baby steps. The moral is this: God unfolds us in stages. He stays right with us, slowly molding us into the persons he would have us to be. Somedays, I feel are a total waste of make-up. Others allow me to see beauty within life. Sometimes beauty is disguised, and it's up to us to make the best with the hand we're dealt.

Now for the pool drain issue. In junior high, we had to swim laps during PE or cross country practice (I can't remember which). Having to change clothes for athletics is nerve-racking enough in itself, much less having to don a swimsuit in junior high. Unless you are the model type, there's a lot of self -consciousness to be had. I never was a strong swimmer. That coupled with my insane fear of pool drains if sure grounds for slight panic. I always did okay until I had to swim over the deep end. The deep end housed the evil pool drain. I have no idea where it came from or when the fear settled in, but I swam my arms off to get back to the wall. It's like the drain is a force field or something, waiting to suck me in at any moment. My sister-in-law, Becca, a keeper at Sea World, dives to check on everything at the various habitats. You know what they have in those areas? GIANT drains...sure to cause the need for me to breathe with a paper bag. Nonetheless, how can something so harmless take over my thoughts and make stressful one of America's greatest summer activities? As I lay in bed thinking about the drains, I thought of how that fear compares to starting a new year at a new school. It's quite similar. The fear of the unknown. Once I start to swim, I usually forget the drain, but never where it's located. I am sure once I start the year, I will forget about the fear and allow things to fall into place as His plan provides.

In this grand tour of the lives we lead, we must remember that we are who we choose to allow ourselves to be. Just like our garden, if we'd watered it more often and kept the weeds out, it would've produced more. Though we may be dealt setbacks and not feel as fulfilled as we desire, don't allow fear to overtake the happiness that lies within.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Big D and Mae Day

My absence from writing has nothing to do with my desire not to write, but more to do with finding myself going through the big D- difficulty. Several things culminated over the weeks of summer and congealed in my mind around this very time. Today, I found myself overwrought with several emotions: homesickness, unsureness, and sickness (literally with the recurring sinus infection that shows up at my door with its bags packed to stay a while every month). It's one of those days that feels like a virtual hurricane churning inside the heart. As with any hurricane, the waters begin churning slowly, almost unbeknown to the effected. However, as time passes and more territory is crossed, the storm grows larger and stronger until eventually landfall is inevitable. Today marked landfall of this hurricane of the heart. I am slowly seeing things about myself in a different light. When we lived in San Angelo, I thought to myself at times, I wonder if this is where we will live for the rest of our lives? At the time, I was not certain if that were a good or bad thing. How I would have relished in the little nuances just a little more whole-heartedly, knowing now what I didn't know (or rather realize) then. In this life, nothing can replace family and friends. I longed for the comfort of family today. We were blessed with a wonderful weekend spent with friends, and as with every time someone puts the final bag in the car, bids a final farewell, and rides off into the caliche filmed sunset, I long for them to stay. I took for granted seeing my nieces and nephews being a short hop away, and having the opportunity to be involved in their every activity. I took for granted my in-laws being a few minutes across town and enjoying dinners and visiting at their house. I took for granted the beautiful runs at the KOA, and the friends we hold dear there. Reflecting back, can we afford to take the things we hold so precious for granted? I can't. I have a greater respect for the Lord through this revelation of the heart, and a greater respect for geography. Sometimes, I believe two people could be in the same room and be hundreds of miles apart. That said, I also believe that two people could be hundreds of miles apart, but in the same room in your heart.

Another contributing factor, tomorrow is Mae Day. On July 12, 1912, an amazing woman graced this world: Addie Mae Grossman, my grandmother. We celebrate this day each year by doing a few of her favorite things. I will start the day with a steaming cup of coffee. Then, get the Zebco ready with her tackle bag in hand, and head out in search of a big catch. It wouldn't be right not to end the day with a Sonic hamburger and shake. I vividly remember fishing at their place near San Saba, and spending vacations at Big Bend in the travel trailer. Nothing can replace those sweet, fond memories. I wonder if she knew as a girl what amazing things she would be known for in her lifetime? Did she know that she would leave such a legacy that will live on through her children and grandchildren? God could only have known what a difference she would make in my life. Many of my strengths may be attributed to her. She had unwavering strength and faith in God. As I sit writing this, I wish to be able to pick up the phone to hear her voice, the calm reassurance, the gentle touch of her kind hands. She would rub our chigger bites when we were little until we fell asleep. She would rub our hands while we prayed as we grew older. The impact she had on my life is undeniable. I am thankful to her for the amazing woman, grandmother, and follower of God that she was. Along the lines of taking things for granted, can we afford to say 'I'll call that person tomorrow?'. Procrastination simply must not be a word in our vocabulary when it comes to expressions, friendships, family, loved ones, and the important factors in life that really count. Tomorrow, I will celebrate the beautiful life of my grandmother, and hopefully reel in a big one in her honor.

In the end, this hurricane of the heart made landfall, and the residual effects are still being felt. There are occasional showers, some worse than others. But tonight, during the worst of the storm, I sat with Wade, explaining the best I could the cause of this conundrum. We had just watched an old Marilyn Monroe movie, 'How to Marry a Millionaire'. In this movie, she is blind as a bat, but refuses to wear her glasses on account of she thinks the men won't like her with them, and refers to her glasses as cheaters. In the middle of my mess, Wade said to me, "You sure look cute with your cheaters on," and sang a line from 'You Are so Beautiful to me' in an attempt to cheer me up. That's all I needed. Sometimes, I feel like life is like a test of the emergency broadcast system. God will reveal himself after testing, with the answers and a perfectly mapped out list of what to do. He will lead and I will follow. I should stamp that on my hand for times like these. It's a comfort to know I have the gentle support from the man I love to see me through my hurricanes. I know there will be others, in fact, isn't it hurricane season? However, I know I will never have to evacuate. I've got all the love I need, the hand of the Lord to slowly reveal His plan to me, and the angels of the ones I love so dear watching over me from above.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Long Time no Write!

I pulled these from my writings of last summer and simply had to share. I love finding oldies but goodies. Enjoy! New updates to come- summer has officially begun! :-)

The atmosphere and moral values of some people are certainly different here. A lot of the "old west" morals and values that were instilled in us as kids didn't quite make it this far south. You don't appreciate some things until they are gone they say, much like when you are in a comfort zone, it takes going to completely new ground to really find out what you're made of. Being away from what we consider the norm helps me realize and embrace the true meaning of my roots manifested in myself. For me, the phrase from a song- "Cheap bourbon whiskey and pearl snap shirts, two things that stay the same, so when your world starts spinning and your head hurts, you got cheap bourbon whiskey and pearl snap shirts", says a lot. Follow along here. When I was little, I used to ride along on the tractor with my Papa on the farm right outside of Winters, Texas. I remember Michelle and my cousin Micheal would be playing on all the hay bales and I would just be standing down there with my hands on my hips, because I was not yet tall enough to play up there with the big kids. My Papa always wore pearl snap shirts with Red Man stuck in his front pocket. We would ride in the big tractor, and I loved it because it had an air conditioner and was always cool (isn't that a pun seeing as how we are in the middle of the worst heat wave on record). He taught me to drive in an old Mazda 5-speed on the back country roads. There's a comfort in knowing where you came from and can see where you're going. The point is, be true to your roots. Basically, I believe that the values and morals we were raised with need to be spread out across the country like seed from a pine cone in hopes of improving the state of our country of late!

Last Summer's Top 5 List

Unfortunately, summer is readily approaching its end. No more Golden Girl and Gilmore Girl marathons. No more staying up til midnight watching infomercials. No more lazy mornings and lunches with Wade in the afternoon. No more filling feeders and doing ranch work. Now its off to school. I feel like Wade said it best yesterday, "I hate summer. There's no college football, no hunting season, and it's too hot to breathe". That pretty much sums up our summer down here. It occurred to me that before this gorgeous weather comes to a close, I needed to share with you this summer's Top 5. A very Letterman-esque list this is. It's juts a few gems that we've come across. Granted there are quite a few incidents that didn't make the cut, we had to pick only the best for your reading pleasure. Here you go.

1. We were driving down the road and noticed a road sign. It was one of those flashing kind that tell you about road work. It said, 8/17/09 ROAD WORK BEGENS. I am fairly certain that begin is one of those words you learn pretty early on in the grade school. Pretty fascinating. So fascinating that Wade took a picture of it on his phone so as to document the moment. It's been flashing for days now...

2. I was going to the store the other day and noticed a sign posted on the front door. I had to do a double take because I was sure my eyes deceived me...they didn't. It said "$500 Reward for Lost Accordion". There was a color picture of it on the sign. It was tricked out with mother of pearl and everything! I had to wonder, who goes about loosing an accordion?! I wrote the number down just in case I hear it playing when I drive to the post office every morning...or in case I happen across it.

3. I needed to get a graduation card for my cousin. I went on over to the Wal-Mart in Falfurrias to pick one up. There were no graduation cards in English. I bought one in Spanish, translated it, and wrote the meaning on the card in English... livin' the dream down south.

4. This one hails from the local Wal-Mart as well. Nothing like standing in the aisle and having Border Patrol Agents rush down and arrest the guy standing right down the aisle from you. He was saying in Spanish, "I didn't do anything!" as they carted him out in cuffs...

5. Here in Premont there's really no need to make several stops for certain items, because Sylvia's got you covered. There's a long building separated into 3 sections, but she runs them all. The sign taped next to the door says, "ring the bell and wait, it might take me a few minutes". She has a hardware/fake flowers/jewelry store in one section. Next to that is liquor store, and last but not least she's the Justice of the Peace just in case you find yourself in a pinch. Let us not forget that Sylvia is also a travel agent. She books gambling trips down to Louisiana should you be interested in a fine holiday getaway! Gotta love one stop shopping!

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Optimist v. The Pessimist

I found myself slipping into 'woe is me' mode this weekend. We had the wonderful gift of sharing dinner with dear friends on Saturday night. Cam & Trish's neighbors, from San Angelo, came down to see their granddaughter in a recital on Saturday in Kingsville. They are as close to family as it comes, and came to eat dinner with us and visit. It was such a refreshing time, as it always is. It's hard to explain the joy it brings to see any of 'our people' making the turn down our caliche driveway. The flip side being that it feels like a yo-yo extending in your heart when they pull back out of the driveway, abruptly springing back up and reverberating there, leaving a feeling of abandon in its wake. Such is the case when anyone leaves our humble abode. I literally fight off the urge of what I know I felt as a child when my grandparents left. I wanted to test the confidence in my Saucony's and grab hold of the bumper. That was only in my mind, of course. Sunday, at church, as often times happens, the sermon seemed to be addressing me. He talked about hope through the book of Jeremiah and reminded us that He has a plan. Even though it's currently written in invisible ink that noone but He can see, it's the power of believing that gets us there. To reinforce, our pastor provided this example of an analogy comparing the pessimist and the optimist: Two children anxiously awaited Christmas morning, their minds in endless imagination of what the shiny, perfectly wrapped packages underneath the tree contained. One child, an eternal optimist, the other a persistent pessimist. The pessimistic child opened his gifts first. He unveiled a brand new top-of-the-line CD player. He replied, 'I don't have any CD's to play in it.' With every gift that followed, his rebuttal showed equal pessimism. The optimistic child tore into his gift with delight only to find a steaming pile of horse manure wrapped up in a box. He excitedly leaped up in joy leaving his parents in a state of confusion. When asked how he could possibly be so excited over a pile of poop, he simply stated- 'With all this manure, there's bound to be a pony somewhere!'. This certainly helped me find balance and remember to look for the silver lining, rather than the cloud covering it up...of course, the Sunday pot-luck lunch never fails to boost the spirits as well...

That said, today did not produce the best of days either. Meeting to set up the new school I am moving to left me feeling unsettled and less confident about the upcoming year. Also, I have an improper habit of pushing my gas tank to the limit at times. Despite Wade on my other shoulder saying I should stop for gas before I leave town, I lay the hammer down and head for home. Maybe it's a ludicrous personal game to see just how far I can go on fumes- not sure. I managed to make it back to Premont and coast into the Valero parking lot, only to find that of all days, they are out of gas. Yes, I know, the paradox of that statement spreads miles, but luckily there's another gas establishment in Premont, USA. Because of the shortage, the line for gas spanned about eight cars back. The gauge on my car read zero miles until empty about ten miles before. I waited it out until I sat next in line, then went inside to pay as pay-at-the-pump isn't an option. As I was paying, a little car zipped in front of me. I have never had high blood pressure in my life, but if I had a machine to check it, I reckon it measured at a concerning level. She waved her cash in the air, handed it to the cashier, and went on outside just a pumpin' in the wind. I do not like conflict. In fact, I am a fan of resolving all situations amicably and with a smile. The least amount of feathers ruffled the better, but this just got my goat. I strolled out there and said kindly, 'Excuse me, but do you see this line?' (No reply- just blank staring). I continued, 'We have all been waiting here twenty minutes for gas, and this is the line.' I added a Vanna White wave toward the line for effect. Still nothing. Just a blank stare in my direction as if I were some invisible orb. At that point, what could I do short of putting my Ranch Hand to good use and pushing her little car to the curb? I sat in my car, waiting, until I finally got gas and headed home. I will admit to throwing a small adult fit upon entering my safe place. As Wade stood in the doorway, I jumped up and down doing a grand rendition of what break-dancing might look like in the air. Then I put my purse down and proceeded to cook vittles for our dining pleasure this evening.

I needed to remember the eternal optimist and the fact that the lady that whizzed in front of me at the pump was just the proverbial steaming pile of dung- my pony must be waiting somewhere! I vow to heartily keep the faith in finding it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dirty Javelina

I had my woman's bible study group on Monday night. I always look forward to these, as I never fail to leave feeling refreshed and spiritually rejuvenated. It's like going to a spa, only for the soul. The focus on Monday night centered around prayer, and how prayer changes passions. One thought you need to know in order to connect its applicability to this situation is this: sometimes we pray, but we hold some things we don't want to let go of behind our backs- as if God doesn't know what we are up to. As I made my way home, I pondered on that thought, and realized that doing that is not such an uncommon problem for me. At times, I tend to not want to let things out of my control. Even though I know it is not my place to worry, but to lay my worry at His feet, I lay it at His feet but keep a crumb to hold on to for whatever convoluted reason. When I arrived home, I walked into a situation that would test this very topic. Wade sat on the floor holding Boudreaux, dabbing ointment on her shoulder wound. The menacing cause of this site was none other than a dirty, filthy javelina bite to the shoulder. Up to that day, I had no beef with the creatures. They'd never bothered us, just shaded up in the trees in the background, or pilfered the grounds for a morsel of delight. You may rest assured that should one be brave enough to set foot in our yard again, remorse might describe their plight.I felt completely overwhelmed and angry. Of late, Boudini the Great has lost her hearing, learned she has a large foreign tumor growing in her spleen, and now attacked on the shoulder by a rancid oversized member of the rat family. It struck me that there's no reason to fret and worry about the things that are beyond us. I strife to really let my worries go, and allow prayer to change the passions of my heart. Our hearts won't change overnight. But with consistent prayer, God continues to dab away the dirt and grime that attach themselves to our hearts, until we are left only with one that is ready to serve Him.

Tuesday I had a workshop in Corpus. I love workshop days on account of the extended lunch period. No cramming food down in 28 minutes flat, a leisurely lunch is much more suited to my taste. The service center is right behind Ocean Drive, and a nifty little art museum with a lunch cafe sits cozily across the street. For lunch, a group of us walked over to enjoy the fare. As I sat there, taking in the splendor of the nearby marina, slowly relishing in my White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, a phone call snapped me back to present time. Turns out, the sub couldn't finish the day because he became quite frustrated with the kids. Again, I couldn't help but connect this to our spiritual lives. I wonder how many times God has gotten so frustrated with our decision making and ill aligned priorities, but He never gives up on us. We are always welcomed with open arms no matter the infraction.

I am thankful for the ever present strength of faith and the all enduring forgiveness of our Father- even when we push it to the limit.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Drumsticks, Comas, and Boots

I know it's a rather strange title, but the explanation will lend itself shortly. Last Sunday, Wade and I traveled back to the clinic for a second time, only to find out that the antibiotic they first gave me was incorrect. A new antibiotic, a nose spray, and a daily allergy pill later, we jetted out of the clinic in hopes that our immune systems were high enough to wield off whatever it was the clinic full of ill subject's bodies were tainted with. After picking up the prescriptions, we went to grab some lunch. The last time we ate at the Sirloin Stockade was right after we moved here, and we didn't go back. However, we passed by, the place was packed, and the nine foot stucco cow in front had detached itself from the flatbed trailer in front and literally laid 'tits up' in the parking lot. The laughter induced by this sight was enough of a nudge for us to give it a second try. We got our trays and made our way through the buffet line. Wade, being the steak and potato man that he is, waited in line at the grill for his slab-o-beef. An African American lady swaggered right on up there to the counter and said, "How you ain't gonna have no drumsticks?" Sidebar- her asking where the drumsticks are is a lot like me saying the phrase, "Oh my stars" when something surprises me and having the person stare up at the sky as if I am referring to the stars themselves... It just doesn't equate. The person behind the counter stared at her in a state of confusion, and she frustratedly added this, "You know, chicken legs! The ones with the handle for the kids!" I am glad I had a clear route to our table because I could not suppress the laughter. Wade managed to keep it together to receive his meat snack. I guess nothing comes between a man and his meat...

This past weekend we trekked up to San Antonio. I have experienced my share of food comas from overindulging in some of life's finer cuisine, however, I have never experienced a fashion coma quite like I did on Saturday at La Cantera. Whoever designed the layout of this 'plaza' knew what they were doing. The huge Bass Pro sits gallantly in front for the men to peruse, but behind Bass Pro is a little strip of gold. Usually, I go in with him and cruise around the women's clothing section until I can't take it anymore. Then I end up over in the guns where Wade is. While he is talking shop with whomever is at the counter, I act as though I am a knowledgeable citizen of arms. What I am really doing is imagining what it might have been like to go blazing saddles across the wild open west with my chaps and pearl snap, hunting down bank robbers with my double barrel coach gun. In my fascinating western, Boudreaux of course somehow rides with me. Nonetheless, Saturday, I decided to hang up my spurs and go over to the Nordstrom and Saks outlets. I could be in the most heinous of moods, and setting foot in those stores would instantly realign my chi. I spent about an hour in the Nordstrom store ogling over it all, then went down to Saks for the grand finale. As I entered the threshold, the smell of buttery soft leather rushed through my nose- thank goodness I can finally smell again or I would have missed that little added bonus. I immediately found my breathing picked up and I had to start in sections, one at a time, so as to not become overwhelmed. I fell in love when I got to the shoes. I collect these tiny shoes called, Just the Right Shoe. It is a collection of all different kinds of shoes. A designer, Beverly Feldman, took a few of these tiny shoes and made them in to human shoes. You can imagine my splendor when I saw that one particular shoe that I love lay in front of me in a true 7 1/2 just waiting to don my foot. I put them on and walked all around the store. I did not mind the side ways glances or sly stares. For all intensive purposes, that stroll around the store in those fabulous shoes was a much needed therapy session. Next to the shoes sat the bags. Shoes and handbags will always be dear to my heart. Probably parallel to the way that guns and knives will always be near to Wade's. I found myself drunk with the smell in the air and giddy with delight just to look...then I went to try on snake boots. That's right, reality snaps in pretty quick sometimes, wouldn't you say?

We wheeled on over to a boot shop to find me a pair of work boots. The ones I have are hand-me-downs from my nephew, and I have had them for years. I love these boots though, for they are worn in with character and sass. I went to put them on the other day and low and behold, an organism of some kind had taken them over. Hopefully, Wade can remove said problem so I can at least wear them. But they are rather worn and bear no support anymore. We go in and the sales lady says, "Oh I don't think we have anything for you", right off the bat. A little background: on the way to San Antonio, Wade and I talked about how selling cars (anything really), is tricky because if you rub the person the wrong way, they are going to go somewhere else. That's exactly what I wanted to do. Instead, we went through the boot section and actually came across the pair we were looking for. I tried them on, they seemed to fit, so Wade asked how much they cost. She said, "Oh, they are verrry expensive?" What am I caught in a weird version of Pretty Woman when she walks in as a common person and they turn their noses up at her? I yanked those boots off, tipped an imaginary hat, and rolled out. We squealed into another store to try our luck there. Much the same, except this time his first response was, "We can look, but I don't really think I have anything"...Long story short, I wanted to hop up onto the glass case housing all their little gems of glory and yell, "Where's Walter?!" Walter at Mr. Boots in San Angelo, of course. He always helps us with anything we need. If it's not there, he'll get it there, and he'll do it with a smile. What happened to that can do attitude? Maybe that's just one more thing that's being pushed aside and forgotten right along with the values and morals we hold so precious and dear.

When you put it all together, it's a varied vast world we experience. Cultures run the gammot of differences, risen spirits can hide within the confines of a Feldman shoe, and it pays to add a little kindness to someone's day- your job could depend on it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not a creature was stirring except for the mouse

Last night I had to sleep on the couch. Allow me to explain. I slept on the couch because I could not use my earplugs and Wade sometimes snores. I couldn't use my plugs because I have a lot of fluid in my ears. Fluid resides in my ears because I am sick yet again which makes the fifth time in about five months that I have been sick with this awful writhing cough and congestion. I took Nyquil before bed to attempt to sleep. Nyquil for me is a double edged sword. It puts me right to sleep for the first few hours, then I am wide awake in the middle of the night. Last night, a slight bit of help awoke me from my slumber. I woke to what I thought to be someone raffling with the back door. I thought to myself, this is it. I went to get Wade wondering to myself which firearm from the bedside arsenal he would choose. He got his flashlight and weaved into the dining room in a sleep filled haze. I expected to see a clan of misfits at the back door...what I saw was a mouse scrambling across the floor with its leg stuck in a trap. He took one look at it and said, 'there's your culprit', and went directly back to bed. He thought it rested in peace in its trap. Great. No bad guys came knockin, but this mouse put up a valiant fight. For the next two hours it scurried across the floor. I lay torn between wanting to flick it outside, wake up Wade to alert him to the fact that the creature previously played possum and was very much coherent,or drifting into restful sleep. I dozed in and out, intermittently awoken by the scurrying. I aspire to have a real dose of Grandpa's Cough Syrup tonight and enjoy a fair amount of uninterrupted sleep.

Here's to a solid eight hour date with your bed tonight. May you sleep tight in a pest free environment.