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Well, that was a fun night!

Something didn’t seem right.

A few weeks back our normally quiet evening took a little detour. Greg was working in the office and I was on the sofa resting in between loads of laundry. I know the sounds my washer makes and something just didn’t seem right to me. In fact, it sounded very “un-right.”

I yelled for the hubster.

Quickly jumping to my feet, I raced to the laundry room where I was met with a floor filled with water, LOTS of water. And I could see the water was coming from near the wall outlet.

Thinking the faucets had gone bad, I tried to turn them off. But no matter how hard I tried, they wouldn’t budget. Now, on top of everything else, I’m mad at myself for never having tested them before. Meanwhile, the flood continued so I did the next best thing. I yelled for hubby to come.

Greg to the rescue.

Greg saw right away the real problem. It had nothing to do with the faucets; it was the drain hose. It had come out of the wall outlet and was laying behind the washer dumping all the dirty rinse water onto the floor.

While he shut off the machine (I hadn’t thought of that!!!), I began gathering towels from everywhere, trying desperately to sop up the water that was now in my hallway.

But there was a lot of water so Greg remembered the shop vac up in the attic. It does a great job with water so he retrieved it would work much better than the towels. But the thing wouldn’t work. (Murphy’s law my friends, Murphy’s law.)

All is well.

So, we made do with the towels, eventually got the water cleaned up, and started doing a few loads of the dirty towels.

And really, other than a little inconvenience and a lot more laundry, the whole thing wasn’t that big a deal. I was chill throughout and could even laugh about it. And I actually felt blessed that it had happened while Greg was home as he did the lion’s share of the work.

I learned a valuable lesson.

In this particular situation, I reacted quickly to the problem but in my haste made an assumption that turned out to be wrong. Had I spent an extra moment to really look at what was happening, I might have seen the water problem was actually with the drain hose.

In this case, and with Greg’s help, we were able to quickly make the fix and get things back to normal. But I have (hopefully) learned a good lesson: that sometimes it is actually better to take an extra moment to give yourself time to make a correct assessment.

“Many times, what we perceive as an error or failure is actually a gift. And eventually we find that lessons learned from that discouraging experience prove to be of great worth.”
Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway

How about you? Any stories in your lives where a lesson learned came as a result of something going wrong?

Mimi

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Silly Sayings, Idiotic Idioms, Random Thoughts

Happy Monday. Nothing too deep today. Read, enjoy, and feel free to share your own “absurdities.”

While lying awake the other night, my mind, in overdrive, started a slide show of random thoughts. Random, silly, and even absurd.  No. 1 and 2 are just observations but they led to the next three idioms. We have so many in our language and use them all the time. But some seem silly and many have questionable origins. In no particular order, here they are:

I live in an active adult community. The ages here begin at 55 and run into the 90s. Greg and I are retired and certainly aren’t as active as we were when raising a family and in the prime of our work careers. It seems absurd that an active adult community is for the older population. Shouldn’t an active adult community mean a community for adults who really are active: rearing children, working, schlepping kids to activities, enjoying vacations, working out in a gym, etc.? Just saying…

 

Ice cream socials. In reality they are where people gather together and eat ice cream. But the picture in my head a few nights ago (quite absurd I tell you) is of ice cream being social. Popsicles hanging with Ice Cream Cones. Sundaes being social with Banana Splits. I know, silly thought, but it was the middle of the night after all.

 

The elephant in the room. It refers to an extremely obvious problem no one wants to discuss…like if an elephant was in the room and you didn’t talk about it. But why an elephant? Why not another large animal or the Empire State Building, or the Atlantic Ocean. Who figured out it was best to mention an elephant?

 

Break a leg. Really? We use it to wish people well in a performance. But I looked it up and found the origin is actually listed as “obscure.” However, if you’re reading these and decide to come up with some of your own silly or absurd idioms then have fun and “Break a leg.”

 

Hold your horses. So, this one does indeed have an origin that refers to 19th century carriage drivers who were not controlling the speed of the horses. A horse was stopped by pulling its reins; this was called as “holding the horses.” And today we use it to mean “be patient.” But look at this picture. This is exactly what I picture in my mind whenever I hear the phrase.

Would love to hear the idioms you think silly. Just comment below and let me know.

Mimi

As we gratefully remember…another thought on Memorial Day.

This year, I noticed several people on social media shared a very good thought. One I needed to be reminded of.

At the end of last week’s post, I wished everyone a Happy Memorial Day. It was a sign-off, something written without giving it much thought. And then I began reading several posts that reminded us what the day was really about. It’s not a happy kind of day at all…rather it’s a day to remember and be thankful…very thankful for the sacrifice of so many.

At the same time, I received an email from a friend that was so deeply moving. I asked permission to share it. Turns out it was a compilation of two articles from Fox News. I’m including the links below but am going to reprint what he put together after reading the articles himself.

May it touch your hearts as well…as we gratefully remember.

From Robert O’Neill, the Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden:

Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about the loss of the brave men and women of our armed forces who died in combat defending America. Memorial Day is not a celebration.

Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid.

From former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink (speaking as if he were a fallen soldier):

I am the fallen soldier, sailor, airman, and marine. Remember me.

I am the one that held the line. Sometimes I volunteered. Sometimes I went because I was told to go.  But when the nation called – I answered.

In order to serve, I left behind the family, friends, and freedom that so many take for granted.

The machines of war evolved and changed with the times. But remember that it was always me – the warrior – that had to fight our nation’s enemies.

As technology advanced, I used night vision goggles and global positioning systems and drones and lasers and thermal optics. But it was still me, a human being, that did the work.

It was me that patrolled up the mountains or across the desert or through the streets. It was me that suffered in the merciless heat and the bitter cold. It was me that went out, night after night, to confront our nation’s enemies and confront evil face to face.

It was me.

Remember me. I was a warrior.

That I was not only a warrior. I was not just a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine.

Remember also: that I was a son, a brother, a father. I was a daughter, a sister, a mother.

I was a person – like you – a real person with hopes and dreams for the future.

I wanted to have children. I wanted to watch my children grow up. I wanted to see my son score a touchdown or shoot the winning basket. I wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle.

I wanted to kiss my wife again. I wanted to grow old with her – and be there to hold her hand when life grew hard.

When I told her I would be with her until the end – I meant it. When I told my children I would always be there for them – I meant it. But I gave all that away.

All of it.

Or on the unforgiving sea where we fought against the enemy and against the depths of the abyss. There, in those awful places: I held the line. I did not waiver and I did not hesitate. I The Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine.

I stood my ground and sacrificed my life – my future, my hopes, my dreams. I sacrificed everything – for you.

This Memorial Day, remember me: the fallen warrior. And remember me not for my sake – but for yours. Remember what I sacrificed so you can truly appreciate the incredible treasures you have: Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.

You have the joys of life, the joys that I gave up, so that you can relish in them:

A cool wind in the air.

The gentle spring grass on your bare feet.

The warm summer sun on your face.

Family. Friends. And freedom.

Never forget where it all came from. It came from sacrifice: The supreme sacrifice.

Don’t waste it. Don’t waste any of your time on this earth.

Live a life that honors the sacrifice of our fallen heroes.

Remember them always. And make every day… Memorial Day.

Reference: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/05/26/seal-who-shot-bin-laden-dont-wish-me-happy-memorial-day.html

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/05/25/ex-seal-jocko-willink-remember-warriors-who-made-supreme-sacrifice-dont-waste-your-time-on-earth.html

Until next time…Mimi

 

Oh, the absurdity of it all.

April 16, 2018

So, today’s post isn’t going to contain deep thoughts or exciting revelations. No, today’s post is going to be a bit of a rant. On the absurdity of…required warning labels. Meant only for our good, I’m sure.

ab·surd·i·ty

əbˈsərdədē, əbˈzərdədē/

the quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable

The Rant

We seem to live in a world where we are never held accountable for our decisions. There’s always someone else to blame. And often, a monetary settlement can be yours if you can hire someone to successfully argue your point in a court of law…the point that you’re not to be held responsible because after all “it’s not your fault.”

I assume that’s why the government has stepped in and required warning labels on many products we purchase and use. And just this past week, I came across one that to me fits the very definition of absurdity because it’s absolutely ridiculous and wildly unreasonable. Oh, and possibly totally unnecessary.

Get Ready to Laugh…Or Shake Your Head

Cigarettes for example. Everyone knows they are bad for you. But manufacturers MUST put the warning on the label in case you are the only one in America who hasn’t heard just how bad they are indeed. In fact, there are four different labels that must be rotated quarterly. I suppose that’s in case a particular label can’t be understood by you, and you choose to smoke anyway. To me, it’s pretty clear.

 

I came up with another one recently. As part of a gift from a neighbor, Greg received a big bag of peanuts. As I ate them, I began looking at the verbiage on the back of the bag and was floored that on a bag of peanuts, a warning label was still included to let the user know that this bag of peanuts was actually manufactured in a facility containing equipment that processes peanuts. What? You mean to tell me my peanuts were processed in a peanut processing plant? That’s awful.

I totally understand the danger of peanut allergies and why warning labels are so important to be sure the end-user is made aware of this important info. But I’m thinking a person with a peanut allergy shouldn’t be eating peanuts in general, and, therefore, doesn’t need a warning label that these peanuts were processed in a plant where peanuts are found.

Forbes published AN ARTICLE in February 2011 that drew attention to 24 of the dumbest of the dumb. Feel free to use the link to see them all, but meanwhile, here are a few of my favorites:

  • Nytol Sleep Pills: May cause drowsiness.
  • Vidal Sassoon hair dryer: Do not use while sleeping. (Thanks for letting me know.)
  • A package of eggs: This product may contain eggs. (Really?)
  • Staples’ letter opener: Safety goggles recommended.
  • Huebsch Washing Machine: Do not put any person in this washer.
  • Midol Menstrual Complete Capsules: Ask a doctor before use if you have difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate. (Oh, I’ll let my husband know right away.)

We raise our kids to think for themselves and make informed decisions. And the public-school system also strives to do the same thing. But the government must think they’re doing a poor job of educating us if we need to resort to using absurd warning labels such as peanuts being processed in a facility that…processes peanuts. (scratching my head)

As promised, nothing deep today. Just some examples of absurdity. Have you come across your own examples? Please share them below…we could all use a laugh or two.

Mimi

 

Time to stop and smell the roses.

April 2, 2018

Birthdays galore.

In our family, we experience many birthdays close to each other: Christmas time…Greg and me. Late Jan-early Feb: son and son-in-law, March: daughter, sister-in-law, Mom, daughter-in-law, brother followed by early April: grandson Callan and sister-in-law.

Whew! If you’re not careful, you’ll completely miss one in the busyness of life.

Life can get crazy busy.

In order to NOT miss a birthday or appointment or something on my to-do list, I rely heavily on all my calendars being in sync. This means my Outlook calendar must match my phone’s calendar because I’ll be printing it and placing it on the refrigerator. And if that paper calendar doesn’t match with my phone, something is sure to get missed.

First thing every morning, Greg gets up and looks at the paper calendar. I, on the other hand, rely mostly on the iPhone calendar and its reminder system, counting on a ding to alert me each time I need to do something. To be sure it all gets done, I also keep a handwritten list on my kitchen counter that glares at me until the last item is checked off and the list can be crumpled and thrown away.

Take time to smell the roses.

We all understand the meaning of the expression and encouragement to take time to smell the roses. But many times, we do the exact opposite. I certainly do. I can get completely caught up in the to-do list and can miss the small moments, the wonderful moments that surround us all the time…the smell-the-roses moments presented throughout our days.

In being sure I buy cards, find the perfect gift, arrange a visit to the birthday person, prepare a special cake, etc., I can lose the joy of the occasion which is to honor and celebrate someone I care for deeply.

In fact, we can do that with anything: holidays meant for family and fun can become a chore because of the enormous amount of preparation needed to ensure a perfect event; having friends or family visit in your home can lose it’s joy when you pressure yourself to have it spotlessly clean; vacations filled with wonder and discovery can get bogged down by endless research to be sure you visit all the best places.

What to do?

S-l-o-w  d-o-w-n. That’s it. Or at least, it’s part of it. And it’s so very hard to do. While on our hamster wheels of life, we need to slow down to appreciate people important to us, to enjoy the things and people God has placed in our lives and in our care, to marvel at His amazing creation.

Remember…happiness is often found in the little things, in the everyday things, in the ordinary things of life.

The older I get, the more I’m aware of not wanting to lose the moment. To-do lists are a part of my nature and being organized enables me to function better. But I’m more determined than ever to slow down and finally start smelling those beautiful roses God has grown all around me.

Mimi

Looking good.

It’s not just anyone I’m willing to share this picture with. This is my look when I hop out of bed in the morning. It truly is a face only a mother could love! (And my hubby of 43 years, too.)

Of course, it’s a face my Lord loves, too. And for that I’m very thankful.

Always look your best.

Growing up, the importance of always looking your best was often emphasized. Then there was every mother’s advice to always wear clean underwear. (I don’t think I ever understood that one.)

And years ago, there was also quite an emphasis on looking your best for God which I think meant you should dress in your best clothes to go to church. And that one always made me wonder…why?

Look out, Mimi’s on her high horse with her opinion.

Now I don’t always look as unkempt in the above picture but if my husband or mother can love me looking like that, I certainly think God can, too. Dressing up, wearing gloves or a hat, putting on a suit and wearing shined-up shoes is all about the outer person. It says nothing of who that person really is.

How often have we seen people looking their best in church and drawn assumptions that they had it all together, were good to their families, etc. And on the other hand, how often have we jumped to negative conclusions about the life of a person in shabby or wrinkled clothes?

Years ago, before casual church services became popular, my mother-in-law was so full of joy to learn about a blue jeans church where everyone came dressed in jeans. She remarked that if she went there she would wear them, too. I agreed with her and at that time sure wished we had one of those blue jean churches near us.

Come as you are.

But that’s much more the norm now. Ever since moving to Florida we’ve found most churches are on the casual side. Come as you are seems to be the theme. And we fit right in. Jeans, shorts, comfy clothes, or even dressed up, the emphasis now seems to be on getting people to church and allowing God to do the cleaning up, rather than putting a requirement on people to look their best and be cleaned up before they can be acceptable to God.

Whether or not the church service is contemporary, traditional, or even very liturgical, opening the doors wide without regard to appearance is welcoming. And I think it’s a good change we’ve seen over the last 20 years. How much better to have churches full of people regardless of their appearance or circumstances, rather than to possibly create atmospheres of judgment and exclusions.

Just as I am

One of the verses in Charlotte Elliott’s beautiful hymn “Just as I am, Without One Please” really sums this up beautifully:

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because They promise I believe,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

 

Life can be so puzzling.

Greg and I are working on a particularly challenging puzzle (thanks Auleen and Ward!). Because it’s not rectangular, the edge took much longer than usual to put together. Days and days in fact. Even at that, we were still missing some pieces so began working the puzzle in other areas, knowing that at some point those missing pieces would show up. And they did…about five days later!

You need to work the puzzle.

Puzzles come packed in a box. The pieces are mostly mixed up. When you empty the box onto the table it looks like a mess. Before you can begin, you need to turn over each piece. Then comes the separation into edge pieces, corners, and the remaining 940 pieces.

Work typically begins on the edge, then on particular areas that are easily identified. People have different methods for assembling the 1000 pieces but no matter how that is accomplished, it’s often quite awhile before what you’re working on begins to resemble the picture on the box.

There are often pieces all over the place, some are stuck together in the wrong way, sometimes you look and look but can’t find a particular piece. In fact, it can be quite “puzzling.”

Our lives often resemble puzzles.

Our lives often look like that as well. God has an absolutely beautiful picture in His mind of what we will look like. And He has provided every single thing we will need to be transformed into that image, or should I say His image.

At times we feel like we are missing pieces as confusion about decisions set in. We may feel upside down in distressing situations because we seem to not be able to make sense of what’s happening. Maybe some parts of our lives are indeed in good shape, fitting together, and looking good to us and others, while other parts continue to remain mixed-up.

Not every puzzle goes together quickly or easily. Many require hard work and a real commitment of time and perseverance. When life feels like a crazy, mixed-up, difficult puzzle, that’s the time to press in and lean on God. It’s the time to seek Him for direction. And it’s the time to trust and rest in Him.

In John 13:7, during what we call the last supper, Jesus remarked to his disciples, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” His disciples couldn’t understand why Jesus was washing their feet. And they certainly couldn’t understand the cruel death soon to follow. They would need to completely trust in the One who was about to give His life for them.

Similarly, we don’t always understand life’s circumstances. Instead, like the disciples, we choose to trust in the One who gives us this life and promises it will be more abundant than we can ever imagine (John 10:10).

The amazing end result.

No, we may not have a puzzle box lid showing the gorgeous picture of what God is doing in our lives, but we can be assured that God knows exactly what He’s doing. And the end result is going to be amazing!

Mimi