Friday, October 16, 2009

SOOO Overdue

It seems like decades since I’ve visited my blog. It isn’t that I don’t have things happening in my life. I do have stuff from time to time but I still don’t have internet access at home. I KNOW! I’m officially the last person on planet Earth without internet service.

So let’s play a little catch-up.
  • I recently had a job interview in which I was asked to sketch the building I had just entered to determine my attention to detail. I thought it was awful, but it was enough to satisfy the requestors.
  • I love any time I get to spend with my kids! Recently Caitie and I had another Continuation Day. A CD is an extension of her birthday last Spring. We decided that we couldn’t possibly do everything we wanted to do in one weekend, so we would pick up with a CD from time to time. The best thing is that CDs are limitless.
  • I’m substitute teaching again and really enjoy Pre-K and 5th grade. The Pre-Ks absorb what they are taught, and I have so much fun playing with them. The 5th graders are fun and tend to behave when I promise to bring squiggle doodles for them. (My squiggle doodles have evolved into some pretty cool designs if I do say so myself.)
  • I recently lost out on a temp job when I blew the interview. Would anyone like to guess what the losing factor was? It was when the interviewer asked me how well I would respond to being cussed out on a regular basis by salesmen I would be supporting. I replied that I didn’t take too kindly to being cussed out. After the interview, the placement agency that had arranged the appointment asked me if it would bother me if there was a lot of cussing going on around me. I explained that I didn’t think it was professional to drop F-bombs in the office. Additionally, it is personally offensive to me for certain words to be use as curses (JC and GD). I told the agency that I had explained this to the HR representative when he asked me this on two separate occasions. (It must be a prolific problem if he brought it up to me twice and to the agency once.) The agency told me that the HR rep said he wasn’t sure if I would be a great fit, but I was still in the running. The agency told me they would get back to me by the end of the workday with the final word. I didn’t hold my breath, and it was a good thing because the agency never called.
  • I am recovering from my 586,942,378,295th case of bronchitis and sinusitis. Honestly, I can’t even remember the last time I had the flu, old school or the new, panic-stricken swine variety. I just don’t get the flu. I ALWAYS get infections. Thank you asthma! I’m now in the disgusting phase of coughing up the infection. Seriously, there are some things I don’t want to see coming out of my body, and thick, yellow clots of rancid infection (yeah, I went there) is on the top 10 list. And as much as I want the infection out of my body, expelling it through my mouth is beyond disgusting. (So how many readers do I have left?)

    That said, I have a cough that is beyond my size. I’ve often said that I have the cough of a Green Bay Packer. It’s true. Once in science class at OBU, I was coughing so hard that the professor turned from the chalkboard and asked the football player next to me if he needed a drink of water. Jeff was a friend of mine and started laughing. He told the teacher it was me, not him, making the noise. The prof said, “Do you really expect me to believe that sound is coming out of Miss Woodruff?” When I began coughing again the teacher’s eyes got big, and he asked me if I needed to go see the nurse. Jeff asked why I got special treatment. The teacher said, “Because that isn’t natural. That sound shouldn’t be coming out of a 98lb girl.”

    Well my weight may have changed, but my cough hasn’t. In fact, I’ve tried over 20 different OTC cough remedies with no success. A prescription for a narcotic cough suppressant is the only thing that can touch my cough, and I’m not a big fan of being knocked out by narcotic juice. However, I will take that over bleeding lungs any day.

    Last week I was barking like a sea lion, and my mom told me that she had bought a great OTC cough medicine. She said it really worked. Of course I was skeptical and reminded her of my OTC history. She urged me to try it, and I finally gave in.

    Now I’m not going to give the name of the cough suppressant, but I’ve come to refer to it as Satan’s Kool-Aid. This has to be the nastiest stuff I’ve ever ingested. And the best part - the manufacturers know how bad it is. The packaging includes the phrases, “It tastes awful. And it works.” In fact, they've put that on the box more than once!

    So I poured a carefully measured dose and knocked it back. The moment it hit my throat I doubled over with instant nausea. There was a deep burn running the entire length of my esophagus and into my stomach. All I could do was moan, “Ugh, ugh, ugh” over and over.

    Those of you who know me know that I have an extremely high threshold for pain, but I have ZERO tolerance for nausea.

    There was an odd moment of revelation that occurred during this ordeal. For the first time in 11 months, I was thrilled to have the nerve damage that resulted from my wisdom teeth surgery. The right half of my tongue has a constant tingling sensation and is approximately 85% numb. Added to that is the fact I am unable to taste anything on the right side of my mouth. This was a blessing I never expected. I simply cannot imagine how much worse this could have been.

    I finally straightened up and made my way down the hall to confront my mother. With tears in my eyes, I stood in front of her trying to speak. When I was able to get words out I told her that she was a bad mommy, and I didn’t like her much at the moment. She stared at me as I was holding my stomach and asked what was wrong. When I explained she started laughing. LAUGHING! When I told her that my lip was burning she almost fell off the bed.

    I told her that what I had swallowed tasted like Vick’s Salve schnapps. She started laughing harder. I asked if she had ever use this “medicine,” and she admitted she had not. She asked me if it was working, and I told her that the very second it passed my mouth I lost all desire to cough. Mom seemed to think this was worth the cost. I think it was because my body was in shock.

    And while the “cough mixture” (as it is called) did stop my cough, it only lasted for 15 minutes. I’m sure it is a great remedy for the general public, but it just doesn’t cut it for a Green Bay Packer.

    And the two things I learned from this trial?
    1. This stuff will be served like sweet tea in H**L.
    2. I have a bad mommy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I See Me

Every morning I encourage, push, and sometimes drag Mama for a walk. We started out walking under 3 miles and have gotten up to 4 miles each day. We wake at 5:00 and hit the road by 5:20.

I never complain as we walk because I want to stay upbeat as we exercise. If I didn't stay positive then Mama wouldn't walk with me. However, Mama isn't always positive. She vacillates between being upbeat and complaining. In fact, there have been a couple of days in which she moaned and complained for over half the walk. She is inconsistent with her pace and constantly walks with her head down.

I figured out that if I slow my pace she will also, even if she is behind. I don't think she even realizes she is doing it. So when Mama slows down I've learned not to break my stride to match hers. Instead, I reach my hand back behind me and call for her to catch-up. I remind her that I am where she needs to be. (Now before anyone thinks I am pushing a 67 year old woman too hard please know that we have worked for 3 weeks to slowly build her pace and distance. She has also exceeded my expectations of what she was capable of doing... Yea Mommy!!)

We are also working on her habit of walking with her head down. I've told her that she needs to look forward so she can see what is coming.

Yesterday's walk was typical of a less than positive day and I had reached my limit. Mama had been wishing, out loud and frequently, that she wanted to be back at the house on the couch. Honestly, with sweat dripping in my eyes and my glasses fogging I wanted to be on the couch too. However, I want to be fit (and able to fit into my clothes) more than I wanted to be on the couch. The couch was going to have to wait because I had added a few extra steps to our route that morning.

We were just over the halfway point in our walk when Mama said she didn't want to walk the extra bit and asked if we could take a short-cut home. I told her she could take the short-cut but that I was determined to take the longer route. Amazingly I was gentle of heart and tongue when I said this to her. That, my friends, was ALL God. (Thank you Lord for infusing my words with respect in a frustrating moment.)

I noticed that Mama slowed her pace considerably. In fact, I thought she had taken the short-cut after all until I looked back to see her about 40 yards behind me. I began thinking about how much I wanted both of us to be in shape. I considered how nice it would be if she didn't complain so much, even though it is only about half the time. I thought it would be great if she were more motivated and tried to keep pace better. She does well with her pace, especially for being in her late 60s, but I want her to be at her best. I also wished she would walk with her head up instead of down to her chest and off to the side a bit. It makes her look bedraggled, pitiful, and as if she is being led against her will at times. We've joked about this tendency and what it must look like to passers-by and she is trying to break the habit.

Then God showed me that I was looking at a picture of myself. I whine to God and don't live up to my potential half the time. The other half I'm in step with God, positive, and loving life. But half isn't good enough.

I realized that sometimes - okay, often times - I slow my pace and whine to be finished with this season in my life. I can see God a few paces ahead of me and I know that is where I should be. I feel Him reaching to me to help me get to Him.

God showed me that sometimes I walk with my head down - emotionally and spiritually. I need to walk with my head up so I am able to see Him and what is ahead. Otherwise I could pass right by what He has in store for me.

He made me realize that I have to want this healthy relationship with Him for myself. He already wants it but He can't want it for me. Finally, I have to push myself when I want to give up - just like Mama did yesterday morning.

Mama and I aren't always on the negative side but we could both benefit with gaining yardage in the positive sector. I pray that God continues to speak so plainly to me.

Lord, encourage Mama and me. Draw us closer. Give us a drive to work toward our goals. I want to surprise myself by meeting YOUR expectations of me. I want to shock myself with what You can do through me. Thank you for speaking to me. I promise to keep listening.

(My mother has astounded me with what she has been able to accomplish. I had to apologize to her for underestimating her. Now if I can just stop underestimating myself because each time I do I underestimate God.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How Ya Like Me Now?

YAY! I'm finally getting to post on my blog. (I realize I may be the only one excited about this but that doesn't bother me.)

Yesterday I had an interview with the Luis Palau Little Rock CityFest directors. They need someone to coordinate the 2,500 - 3,000 volunteers during the festival and I thought I'd check it out. It turned out to be a bumpy ride.

My interview was scheduled for 1:30, which was perfect because I had a substitution assignment that ended at 11:30. While at the school I made sure to print out the directions to the CityFest offices. I always use because I find their directions to be the most accurate. (I figure if you are the guys who make the maps you should have great directions.) According to Rand McNally the directions were super simple. That said I left the house in order to have about 30 additional minutes in case I ran into a problem. I should have anticipated multiple problems.

Per my directions I only had to make three turns off the highway. The first two turns were a cinch but that last one stumped me. I drove up and down a stretch of road multiple times looking for Kirby Road. Kirby Road was not to be found. Finally I pulled over at a large convenience store to ask about the elusive location. No one, including a delivery driver, had heard of Kirby Road.

My time was quickly running out so I decided to call my contact and let her know I was lost and needed assistance. Unfortunately I couldn't find her phone number anywhere! How could I have left her number at home? ARGH! Okay, plan B. Call my BFF from high school and get the number from her. After all, the job lead came from Devin so I knew she would be able to help me out. Mission accomplished.

I then called my contact and told her my predicament. She was beyond understanding and told me that Kirby Rd is indeed difficult to find. She said the road was very easy to miss. Want to know why? It's because there isn't a street sign to mark Kirby Rd. In fact, the street changes names once it crosses the main road. So there was a street sign but it didn't say Kirby Rd. How convenient. (I learned this information on my own after the interview. It could have been a tad helpful beforehand.)

My contact decided to give me alternate directions. Unfortunately she didn't give me the correct street name on which to turn. She told me that once I was on Park Way Place I would turn right on Kirby. There is a church at the corner I was given as a marker. Well I got the the church but it was at the intersection of Park Way Place and Markham. Are you kidding me? Oh well, I decided to turn into the church and ask for directions again. A couple were talking on the sidewalk and offered assistance. The lady told me to pull out of the parking lot back onto Kirby. Excuse me? Kirby? She told me that the road I was on was Kirby. I just smiled and thanked her. Once I pulled out of the parking lot I looked up at the street sign and it said MARKHAM but I obediently turned left as instructed. A block or so later the street officially turned into Kirby Rd and I found my destination. I was only 15 minutes late... ugh... and I had been in the car for over any hour so I was crumpled looking.

Once I had met the two directors we sat, prayed, and began to talk. Oh, did I mention that the office was quite warm? It was. And I've been ill - again. About 5 minutes into the interview I began to cough. The warmer I get the harder I cough. The harder I cough the warmer I get. So I asked to excuse myself from the room and walked into the hallway where I continued to cough up a lung. I was hoping there was a water fountain in the hallway but that would just be crazy.

Finally I composed myself enough to go back to continue the interview. That lasted about 5 more minutes. The next coughing fit was worse. I barely choked out the word, "water" before I turned blue. One of the directors ran to get a bottle of water but I couldn't wait. I practically sprinted after her.

I then told her I needed to go to the restroom for a moment. By this time I had tears streaming down my face and snot was on the verge of flying. She began walking me down the hall to the restroom but stopped in her office to see if she could find anything to stave off a call to the paramedics. She told me she had some mints and I was truly grateful. In her desperation she grabbed a peppermint and a whole tube of mentos and shoved them at me. This perplexed me further. All I could think was that they probably thought I had swine flu and bad breath too.

I barely made it to the restroom in time to divert a disaster. I started coughing so hard that I was furiously grabbing at tissue to hold to my nose. My next fear was that I would cough and laugh (yes I was completely amused by all this) so hard that I would have an accident. Honestly, I think it was possible because it was obvious that I was not in control of my body at that time.

All the while I wondered what the directors were thinking because I knew they could still hear me. I just hoped I could clean up my face enough to continue. Finally with a peppermint in my cheek and water in hand I returned to the interview. I walked in, smiled and asked, "So is this the best first impression you've ever seen? How ya like me now?" We all laughed and started again.

At the end of the interview I was told that they had other candidates to see and would let me know something by the end of the week. Two hours later they called and asked if I would be available to take the next step and participate in a teleconference with their corporate offices in Portland, OR.

I guess they liked me fine.

I'm still praying about this position. I haven't heard the final word from God so I would appreciate your prayers as well. There are pros and cons to this job so I could go either way. I just want to make sure the way I choose is God's.

(As a side note, I sure love and miss everyone who reads my blog.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Short Update

I really don't like being without a computer at home. I feel disconnected from so many and so much. Hopefully I will be able to get a monitor soon and re-attach myself to the world.

I began substitute teaching yesterday. Since there haven't been any job opportunities I thought this would be a way to make a little money while I continue my search.

There has been a lot of time to read as well. I have read 11 books in the last couple of months. Currently I am reading The AD Chronicles, a series by Bodie and Brock Thoene, The Alienist by Caleb Carr, and a biography of John Adams by David McCullough.

The plan for today is to get back to sewing. I want to complete the apron I started weeks ago.

Other than those few items there isn't much going on in my world.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

No More Billboards

A few months ago I listed several things I enjoy. "Five more minutes with my mother" made the list. While this is a sweet sentiment it's also the name of a favorite ritual between the two of us. Upon waking my mom would pop her head into my room and tell me it was time to get up. On cue I would pull back the covers in invitation and say, "Five more minutes." Mom would hop in bed with me and we would spend the next 10 - 30 minutes talking and laughing. "Five more minutes" isn't an everyday event, so it's special.

This morning I was already up when mom came to my door. I just turned, walked back to my bed and began straightening up the covers. Mom joined me on the other side to help. Then together we fluffed the pillows and hopped back into bed. As we laid in bed, I began sharing about today's lesson in Experiencing God.

I told Mama that I used to joke about past prayers in which I would ask God to speak to me. Not just speak to me but to speak with enough clarity so as to be impossible to miss. How many times have my friends heard me ask God for a billboard because I didn't trust myself enough to hear His message unless it was HUGE.

I was living with scared faith. It was so important to me to make the correct choices and stay in God's will, but if my faith is filtered through fear then it's worthless. Fear of making the wrong decision paralyzed me and left me in a rut.

When I began praying about whether or not God wanted me to move home I told God I would do it if He sent me a billboard. I remember the night I was talking with God about this decision and as clear as could be I heard, "Girl, how big does this billboard need to be?"


So this morning my mom came into my room but not to help me make up my bed. It is quite common for us to help each other make up the beds so that would have been expected. This morning I realized I'd never extended the "five more minutes" invitation but she still knew. And I knew she had come in for FMM and not merely to help make my bed.

I smiled at her and told her that I loved that we knew each other so well and were so good at reading one another. Then it hit me. I want that kind of relationship with God. I want to be so close with God that I can tell when it's time for FMM and when it's time to make the bed.

Lord I want my footsteps to disappear into Yours and my heartbeat to melt into Your rhythm. I want FMM with You Lord.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Radioactive Monkeys

There comes a time in your adult life when you think you know the history of your immediate family. After this week I will no longer presume to know all there is to know about my parents. Not that I thought they were without depth. I just had no idea of what lay lurking below the surface.

I expected for there to be many challenges when I moved home, into my parents house. However it has gone surprisingly well, and I'm going to walk away with a few gems - like radioactive monkeys.

A few days ago my mom, dad, and I were sitting with the newspaper talking about a fatal car crash reported in Friday's edition. My sister had told us of the accident the day before after she passed it by on her way to town.

(We interrupt this post for the following Public Service Announcement. The only person killed in the three car accident was not wearing her seatbelt. The two survivors were strapped in with belts intact. Please wear your seatbelt - EVERYTIME.)

This discussion evolved into accidents my parents had been in or had witnessed. It brought back a familiar story of my mom's accident with a drunk driver at the age of 14. My mom's neck was broken, and she had to wear a partial body cast and neck brace for a year. Mama said she had to go through many X-rays and mused about having so many, wondering how much radiation she had been subjected too.

At this point in the story Daddy looked over and said, "You couldn't have had as much as I did when I was driving a truck hauling those monkeys."

I just stared at him with an expression of "Huh?" on my face. I didn't even know what questions to ask for explanation. Thankfully I didn't have to.

Daddy told the story of how he had been driving a truck and had been on the road for about three weeks and wanted to head home. He asked his dispatcher for a load that would take him home. The dispatcher replied, "There is a medical testing facility where you can go get a load of dead monkeys. You can pick up a load of monkeys and take it by the house before you deliver it."

I sat listening with the same expression on my face.

Daddy continued saying that he did not believe his dispatcher. He knew there was a load at the testing facility that would take him home, but he didn't know what it would be. When he pulled up to the gate the security guard asked what he was picking up. Daddy said he laughed and said, "I'm here to pick up a load of dead monkeys, ha ha." The guard replied, "Don't laugh son, we got 'em here."

The monkeys were involved in radiation testing. When they died there were put into drums that were filled with water and frozen.

My expression had changed to disgusted horror. I didn't think the story could get any worse. Such a naive little one I am.

So Daddy hauled a truck full of dead, radioactive monkeys... home! Yes sir, he pulled his semi right up in front of the house and parked it for the night.

I couldn't believe my ears! "You parked it in front of our house? Are you serious?"

Daddy just laughed and said, "Nobody knew what was inside and they were frozen."

That wasn't the point!

Daddy went on to explain that he continued to haul radioactive material after that. This led to another story of a mishap on one trip. Daddy and his co-driver were at their delivery point going through a scan when a leak was discovered. Their clothes were taken and they were put through a chemical shower. The tractor-trailer was also cleaned. Daddy said that he was told his truck would be confiscated if it didn't pass re-inspection. When he asked what would happen to the truck, he was told it would be buried in the ground with the rest of the radioactive material, and the government would buy his company a new truck. Burial wasn't necessary.

By now, I am sitting with my head cocked to one side completely dumbfounded. I asked when all this took place. I wanted to know if I had been born during this time. Mama laughed and said, "No, you were born a few years before this happened." Then she smirked and added, "Do you think that could explain what happened with Mary?"

I was laughing so hard I was struggling for breath. My mama is funny! I couldn't wait to tell my little sister what was said! She would never believe I wasn't the one to say it.

Oh my. I have laughed so much since I've been home. I still don't have a job and I'm flat broke but I am so, so rich.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


For those requesting an update, let's just say that I'm not a 5th wife kind of girl.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Everywhere I've turned this week I've run into love. Love in the form of old letters, a particular song that has played numerous times in my heart then at church and on the radio, and in God's word. I've also been reading about love in a book by Francis Chan titled "Crazy Love."

Francis mentioned his wife's Grandma Clara. He writes that Grandma Clara would say, "I love love."

Me too.

I'd like to share some beautiful words written to me a while back. I cried as I read these words from a box of letters I found during my move. Sweet memories washed over me as I sat with letters spilling over my lap. I love love. It was good to be reminded of those feelings.

Every time I turn around I miss you more. Every time I breathe I think of you. Any time I do anything you captivate my mind and my heart. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for blessing me with you. This day is no exception.
I miss you more than my heart can stand.
Everyday I care for you more and more and more. Everyday I fall deeper and deeper and deeper... It's a scary thought but I can think of no other place I'd rather be.
I'm thinking of you. Thinking that someday your smile will be mine to cherish everyday, that someday your heart will dazzle in my eyes.
I walk out at night staring at the stars wondering if you are looking at them. I keep thoughts to myself that need to be shared with you. I have an empty space where my heart once was.
I miss you.
I promise to give you myself for as long as you wish. I am yours Tauna Marie.
Do with me as you wish.
My heart jumps when I think of seeing you. When you are on my arm your encouragement washes over me. I need your encouragement.
I miss you.
Tauna you mean the world to me. Someday I will take you there.
I just spoke with you and my heart is so light and my smile is so big. You are my best friend, and I mean to take care of you always..
I've seen you a thousand times before but only in my dreams.

I never knew your name.
I never knew who you were,but I always knew I would find you,
and you would always be mine.

Now I'm walking with you,
and you said you would never let me go.
I just smile thinking to myself
I've finally met my dream
I never knew your name.
I never knew who you were, but I always knew I would find you,
and you would always be mine.

I'm not sure how long it was,
an hour maybe more.
Time and distance had no place.
The world was only ours.

I finally know your name.
I finally know who you are.
I know that you are beside me,
and you will always be mine.

I'm so happy to meet you,
my dream in real life.
All I have I give to you,
for now I hand you my heart.

Those words were written by an amazing young man that I loved greatly. His name was Andy, and he died  in a car accident when he was 22 years old. While I miss his love, it is his friendship I miss most, so I was a little surprised when I read his words and was flooded with the sweet love we had for one another. As I said, it felt good to be reminded of that love.

I was reminded of another love this week. It's the love relationship I have with God. Sadly to say I don't think I've put the effort into spending time with God that I did with past relationships.

Francis Chan makes the statement that "when we are loving, we can't sin." I don't know about you, but that gave me pause. I stopped to think about that simple declaration, and I believe it is true. So what does it say about me? How many times must I stop loving in order to sin.

And how much effort am I really putting into my love relationship with Christ? I remember staying up to the wee hours of the morning to talk to my high school sweetheart on the phone. Of course my mom couldn't understand why. She would tell me to get off the phone if it was after 9:00 saying, "You saw him all day at school." That wasn't exactly true. We saw each other several times for a few minutes throughout the day, but that wasn't the same as she thought!

I would talk to J after everyone had gone to bed in both households. I knew that if I were caught it would mean being grounded from the phone, but I was willing to take the risk.

I remember talking my college roommate into driving me to see J one afternoon. The drive was 45 minutes each way. I was only going to get to spend 15 minutes with J before returning back to campus. An hour and a half driving to spend a quarter of an hour with my sweetie was a bargain to me because I was in love.

So as much as I say I love love, I sure don't act as if I do. I have someone utterly in love with me. I don't have to risk punishment to spend time with Him. I may have to sacrifice some of my time, but if it's love then it isn't a sacrifice.

True to my nature as a girl I want to be wooed. That is why the words above were so effective. They were meant to woo me, and they did because I knew the emotions behind the words were genuine.

God wants to woo me too, but I must let Him. He has written many beautiful verses to win my heart. I must allow my heart to be won, and I must respond in like. Mark 12:30 tells us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

People say that when someone is in love they glow. It does lend beauty to your life. God wants me to love Him with EVERYTHING in me. I'm going to open myself to His love. I want His beauty to wash over me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Love is in the air...

I bet that got everyone's attention.

Alas, no time for details now... hopefully tomorrow.

(But I bet you guess incorrectly.)
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