I got up from the sweat-soaked chair and started the clean-up. That's when I saw it. The STAIN. A big blotch of red wine soaked through the oak. It kind of looked like the State of Florida with the bottom of the state at the edge of the desk...the edge of the desk???? I looked down and there on his plush white (I warned him) carpet … a red stain, not looking like the rest of Florida; more like a red starfish with uneven legs (are those things called legs?). I saw my life flash before me. I knew my husband would kill me, or worse yet, make me quit my fantasy league. I quietly unlocked the door, it was dark in the house, thankfully everyone was sleeping. I foraged underneath the kitchen sink to find a magical potion that would miraculously sweep Florida off the map. Brillo pads were out – so were the remnants of bar soap (why do we keep those?). The only workable item was the heavy duty carpet spray. I tip-toed back to the room of destruction and began sopping up the remains on the desk and carpet then surveyed the damage. Again I said a prayer....for a miracle. The carpet cleaner worked (thank you God...and also my husband for going first class with stain guard). Expelling that little piece of evidence gave me a lift until I looked at the desk. Florida was still there, and maybe that's where I should head before morning. I then had a thought... if Staples or Office Depot was open twenty-four hours I could buy a nice, expensive desk cover as a surprise for my husband. Reality check - someone would hear the car starting and I'd be exposed. Maybe I could move the printer....it would be more work-friendly having it closer to the monitor, right? What if I just put his stack of papers on it and when he discovered the blemish I could blame the kids? Red wine – cherry Kool-Aid....hmm. Then it happened...another verse from Proverbs jumped into my head. “Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those who counsel peace have joy.” (Proverbs 12:20). I looked up and told God I got the message loud and clear.
I mustered up courage and climbed that long dark stairway. I summoned all the tears I could (Proverbs didn't say anything about that), and woke the sleeping giant. He saw my tear stained cheeks, along with the drenched sweatband and jersey. That sweet man grabbed my hand and said, “Honey, what happened, is everything alright?” I just stood there, letting the tears flow and snot drip out of my nose...then I opened my mouth and blubbered out the fateful words....”irunedrdesk ”. I wanted to get it out as quickly as possible. He stood up, quietly went down that long dark stairway and into the violated space. I was at his side with my head down like a scolded child. I didn't dare look up to see the blood pulsing through the veins on his forehead....a sure sign of dire consequences. His head shook from side to side and then he turned to me. Here it comes....I braced myself and said another prayer for bravery in the face of uncertain retribution. His forehead wasn't bulging out as expected. His eyes weren't beady either. He surely must have been in shock. The silence seemed to last longer than the draft. Then he took my hand again (yep, he's throwing me out) and I heard him say in a calm, sweet voice, “I know you didn't do it on purpose, accidents happen, I'll buy a nice desk cover tomorrow.” At first I was angry because he stole my idea, but that feeling was tempered by the relief of me still being alive, in my home and able to continue my championship season. We walked out of the office hand-in-hand, turned off the light, went up the staircase to our bedroom. After we said our nightly prayers (mine included a massive amount of gratitude) and crawled into bed, I rolled over, laid my head on his chest, stroked his cheek and said, "Honey, we both know I've been distant lately and neglecting you. I think it's only fair that I make it up to you". I snuggled closer and whispered in his ear...... "I'll share my winnings, because I finally got a top-notch running back and I'm gonna kick butt! I then rolled over and fell into a deep sleep ~ with dreams of the Superbowl.
The first column of the draft board will hold the name of the team that won the coveted first round draft pick (Please God....have it be me), the second for the second pick, etc. The order of the draft will be determined very scientifically. A neutral observer will pull a team name out of one hat (laughing hysterically when mine is pulled) and out of another hat, the draft position. This continues until all twelve of us are assigned. The carnage will then commence.... each one of us in our assigned order pick one player for each of the sixteen rounds. It's time consuming, gut wrenching thus the need for vino-fortification.
All combatants were finally present and accounted for. I sat quietly, perused my list of champions, and said a quick prayer, asking Him for the first round draft pick. I know I should have just said, “Thy Will Be Done”, but this is football. Vino fortified, I grabbed a handful of M&Ms, and shoved them in my mouth. The observer took the hats, reached in and called out the first team and position. There was no laugh so I knew it wasn't me..fifth round. Whew! Still in the running. He continued this six agonizing times...first round was still somewhere in the dark recesses of the hat. I was still in contention....my hands were shaking, I took in more vino-fortification. He reached in again....chuckled and announced, “Scoobydooers”. My heart skipped a dozen beats, I mumbled another quick prayer...."draft number.......1". I almost fell off my chair. I jumped up and accepted my award. I thanked God, my husband, my children, my parents and my first grade teacher (huh?). There's only a brief celebration...the time of discernment had come.
While the remaining losers got their measly draft numbers, I readied myself for the all important first pick. I went to grab the meticulously prepared list that was going to send me to victory and hit my bottle of wine. My vino-fortification turned into the grapes of ruination, obliterating every neatly written name and position. (note for next year...white wine). I let out such a primal scream my husband almost broke down the door. I assured him everything was fine (sob), explained I was just a little emotional. Yeah, emotional … more like doomed. Then I remembered Proverbs 16:9...which says, “The human heart plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps”. All I needed to do was take a deep breath, relax and trust He will help me mentally reconstruct the list before the draft begins. For good measure, I asked Him to forgive me for calling all the non-number one draft pickers losers.
The white board loomed on my computer screen, the dry-erase marker in my square...the first square, as I am number one.... (mwahaha). I scribbled down names that I could remember (thank you God) and prayed again. Then I heard, “Scooby, you're up!” yep you guessed it, now I had an abbreviated stupid name. Oh well, no time for vanity. I sat straight up in my chair, and with a commanding voice, declared my first choice....a highly respected running back that broke all the rushing records the year before. I heard groans coming out of the speakers, yep, got the good one (nanner, nanner, nanner)! Now I had to wait for the other eleven to choose. I was wringing my hands and sweat beaded up on my forehead (you were wondering why I put on a sweatband huh?) The next guy picked a quarterback. A QUARTERBACK? No one EVER picks a quarterback in the first round. How stupid can one person be? Okay, I know, name calling is immature and I planned in advance to address my draft attitude at reconciliation the following Saturday, but a quarterback???? Not just any quarterback either....he took MINE. Now what? I knew I had another on my list but couldn't for the life of me remember his name. I resigned myself to the fact I would remember it when I heard someone else selfishly scoop him up. (sigh).
The selection continued and fortunately the others I remembered from the list were still up for grabs. Being the fantasy guru I was, I selected another running back. No moans this time, did I miss something? Was I supposed to get a receiver? More sweat, my jersey was sticking to the chair. I was going to indulge in more fortification but didn't want to chance it...I hadn't even cleaned up the mess I had already made - there was no time for that nonsense...one does have priorities. This excruciating selection process went on for hours. I won some and lost some. Along with my magnificent running back I was able to get some decent receivers and a forminable defense. My tight-ends were questionable … I drew a blank on the names… they drowned in that river of wine so I had to wing it. One of my quarterbacks I had wanted for back-up ended up being my primary ...but that's the way the pigskin bounces. I finally had a team, the mighty Scoobydooers. One week to showtime. Again I prayed, "Please God, protect my players from injuries during the last pre-season game".
Psalms 32:8: "I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk,
give you counsel with my eye upon you."
Battle stations! It was time for me to put all my painstaking preparation into play. I was successful in convincing my husband that after draft prep and draft day, my dereliction of domestic duties would cease. He reluctantly let me use his office which housed his beloved antique oak desk but most importantly, his state-of-the art high-speed computer with quality video conferencing capability...how could I possibly be victorious with a five-year old, slower-than-molasses laptop in the all-important player selection process. He even said I could lock the office door. The time is drawing near...the combat environment needed to be perfect. Remove husband's paperwork from the desk and shove in a drawer - check (they weren't in any specific order, right?). Curtains closed – check. Phone ringer off – check. Computer on – check. Sweatband on – check. Jersey and jeans on – check. Draft analysis list – check. Note-pads – check. Handful of pencils with erasers – check. Bottle of wine, no, two bottles of wine – check. 2 pound bag of M & M's – check. Box of tissues – check. Portable toilet (just kidding)..., last but definitely not least … a prayer for guidance – check. Now don't go off on me about that last step, it is absolutely appropriate asking for divine intervention. (The Psalms quote...you read it...right?)
I hugged my kids, kissed my husband and with the fearless demeanor of a quarterback facing a six-foot nine, four-hundred pound defensive end, marched into the office. The door closed - lock clicked. I had arrived - fully entrenched in my private draft strategy fortress. As Harry Connick Jr. said in Independence Day, “Let's kick the tires and light the fires”!
I stared at the screen, watching the commissioner pace nervously waiting for everyone to announce themselves … worthy adversaries all. The white board on the wall was pristine, except for black lines that created the draft chart. There were twelve columns and sixteen rows. Each column will show a team name.
Let me digress for a minute...before the season even starts, everyone involved tries to come up with a clever team name. I'm not one for cute nor am I one for something that has “mature” content. I wanted my name to spawn fear in my opponents, something that described my fantasy prowess. Yep, that's what I wanted but in a "mom" moment I thought it would be a bonding experience if I allowed my children to select the name. For crying out loud....what was I thinking? The Scoobydooers - really? Be afraid, be very afraid.
2 Timothy 2:4 : “To satisfy the one who recruited
him, a soldier does not become entangled in the business affairs of
It had arrived...what I had yearned for throughout the monotonous winter, spring and summer…NFL Fantasy Football season!!!!!
year I was going to be fully prepared. I was going to have the team
of teams. I was confident my husband would understand my need to
watch the NFL live draft in April without interruption and more than
willing to stay home for those two critical days, watch the kids AND
pay for my hotel and room-service . He would also appreciate the
importance of hiring a live-in housekeeper/nanny/cook for the month of
August while I pull up two years worth of player performance records, create spreadsheets, graph results and watch all pre-season games,
monitor trades, cuts and acquisitions.
was obvious to me this strategy was totally workable; however, my
husband evidently didn't understand the intricacies involved in this endeavor. I was relegated to mundane
domesticity that forced me to squeeze in prep whenever I could.
I sincerely apologize to the man carrying the hot cup of coffee that
I ran into while watching the NFL draft on my cell phone at the dry cleaners. I didn't mean to walk out of the
grocery store without paying … I got a tweet about some shocking
news regarding a contract dispute and it could have involved one of
my team hopefuls. And to my bridge group … I really don't recall
saying I couldn't play because I had a rare form of
migraines that only attack in August and necessitate the need to
stay indoors, alone, in the dark to keep them at bay.
As for my husband, I do not apologize to him for having to repaint the interior of our house on evenings and weekends. While intensively studying stats, I must
not have heard the kids mention “walls” when asked if they could
draw something with magic markers. Had he been more
accommodating, that would have been completely avoidable along with
the all the meal delivery costs. It wasn't safe for me to be around
open flames and sharp utensils at such a crucial phase of my fantasy
I was sitting in the living room yesterday morning, sipping on a cup of coffee and my mom called out for me from the family room. I thought maybe she needed help with her computer or wanted me to see something that happened on t.v. I went in and she said, "I just want you to know how proud I am of you, not just for your writing (she's my biggest fan), but because of who you have become, and I love you very much". I leaned down and gave her a hug and told her I loved her too. I wanted to say more but for once I was speechless.
Hearing her say she was proud means so much because I was the rogue child, a raging alcoholic who put her through pure hell. Through it all she never once gave up on me and I know her constant love and encouragement was an integral part in my recovery and my renewed faith.
Us in 2013
I hope she knows that I'm just as proud of her. She is the poster-mom for unconditional love. She has the biggest heart and has always been there for those who need help. Her strength through adversity is unfathomable. She never uses the word "can't" and when she falls, she picks herself up and moves on. She is my inspiration and the love I have for her knows no bounds.
I am humbled that she is happy living her golden years with us. I learn from her each and every day and enjoy the times we sit, chat and laugh until tears run down our faces. Most importantly we are creating many wonderful memories that I will carry in my heart forever. Thank you God for blessing me with such a beautiful and extraordinary mom.
We got our errands finished early so we decided to take an abbreviated daycation yesterday afternoon. My parents were up for an outing as well so we piled into the car and hit the road. We went to the mountain area east of San Diego and the drive was absolutely beautiful. What was more beautiful though was the sound of laughter inside the car and the faces of my parents when we took them to the world famous Julian Pie Company and Dudley's Bakery. We left both places with filled bags and our conversation on the way home consisted of what pie we'll eat first and what bread will go with what meal. What can be better than that?
These little adventures fill my heart with so much gratitude, not just with seeing God's beauty everywhere, but to spend precious moments with family. I am blessed beyond measure.
HAVE A BLESSED DAY!
P.S. Let's see if I'm further blessed with my fantasy team today!
Our "daycation" has been postponed until tomorrow. So if you will indulge me a little, I would like to get on my soapbox.
I read an article in "Life News" regarding Philip Rivers, quarterback for the San Diego Chargers. ESPN was interviewing Mr. Rivers and the fan question they picked for him was this:
"Six kids? Regardless of your profession, it’s impossible to be a good parent to six kids. Not enough hours in the day."
He answered the question with class praising his wife and sharing that his family keeps him balanced. ESPN should be ashamed of themselves for selecting that question and in regards to the fan, well, let's not get into that..I could go on for hours....I just want to expound on the fact Mr. Rivers is one more sports star that openly shares his faith and walks the walk.
My husband (who is a Chargers fan - oh well, married him anyway) attended a Catholic men's breakfast where Mr. Rivers was speaking. I watched the DVD afterwards and was very impressed that he frankly spoke about his love of God, being pro-life and the importance of practicing his faith in all aspects of his life ...including attending mass regularly (even when out of town), chastity before marriage and natural family planning.
I saw Mr. Rivers "walking the walk" a few years ago when my husband and I flew up to Seattle for the Seahawks/Chargers game (a rare match-up except for pre-season). The Saturday night before the game we went to mass ... and in walked Mr. Rivers. He had no entourage...he was alone....he quietly walked in, knelt down and prayed, which we do prior to mass starting. After mass he left as he arrived, quietly. He didn't want to be noticed, he wanted his time with God.
The message Mr. Rivers sends, as well as other NFL notables (i.e., Tim Tebow, Curt Warner, Tony Dungy, Joe Gibbs) is what our young and impressionable NFL fans need, and hopefully, in the future, this type of message will be the rule rather than the exception.
I was chatting with a friend and we were laughing about my nocturnal writing habits....I told her there's normal time and author's time.....and living in a full household, as said in a prior post, the best time for my creative juices to flow is around 2 am. The house is quiet, I put on classical music and my fingers fly across the keyboard. Along with "author time", I find myself setting aside time in my day to read, get in touch with family and friends, run errands, etc... but what about God time? I pray at Mass, before meals and mumble quick prayers sporadically throughout the day, but is that enough? I don't think so. That conversation with my friend made me realize I have become complacent in my prayer and meditation life...I need to be still and be one with God before anything else.
Have a Blessed Day! Leave your comment before you go, Road Rally secret word is "no". Next Stop: http://rogerrheinheimer.com/
Many years ago, I was in a life and death struggle with a personal demon - alcohol. Although I was attending AA meetings, my spiritual life was not in order and I was slowly being pulled back in to the abyss of hopelessness and despair of addiction. My sponsor was an "old-timer" and she could read me like a book. She knew I was trying, but she was fully aware I was resisting the spiritual side of AA. I had no problems reaching out to her or to others in the program, but I didn't know how to reach out to God and was too embarrassed to ask. She kept dragging me, kicking and screaming, to meetings secretly knowing I would hear the answer in His time... and she was right. One night someone was sharing about his problems with prayer and meditation and another "old timer" told him there was no script, no secret code, no right or wrong way to reach out to God ... you can talk to Him like you would to your best friend or just put yourself in a quiet place and just let Him envelope you in His love ... He will hear your heart. I finally had the answer....which prompted me to write this:
I can't count the times I've had a problem that I would carry around like a stone around my neck. When that stone finally got too heavy I would then place it at the foot of the cross. What a feeling of relief and serenity. Then, for some odd reason, I would go to the cross and take it back ... foolishly believing I was in control and could take care of it myself. I learned by doing that, the stone was heavier the second time around. Even being aware of what happens, I still find myself "taking it back". It is so difficult to "Let Go and Let God", because I want to be in control. It's something I'm working on and it's going to take a great deal of practice, practice, practice!
I created a page on Facebook memorializing those students at my small high school that have passed on. I check my hometown newspaper weekly and former classmates will also keep me updated as to new passings. Everyone that visits the page can leave general comments or share memories under a classmate's picture. Not one picture posted is without a memory ... which tells us that no matter how insignificant we may feel, we touch lives in ways we may never know.
Good Morning! We had quite a storm yesterday in the San Diego area. After the rain, the skies cleared, the air freshened and everything cleansed...just as it is with God's mercy. We are all sinners, and those sins cause a storm in our lives. Humbly admitting our faults to God and asking for His mercy gives way to absolution. Like the air after yesterday's storm ... the stain of sin is cleansed and we are renewed. Have a Blessed Day!
I woke up this morning to the sound of my wind chimes - singing a song in the breeze....looks like rain is coming and it's 65 degrees. Looks like winter in San Diego County but tomorrow it may be 90. Weather here is like life in general. Each day brings something new.
Update: I just got my first review and wanted to share: Amazon Review
Good EARLY Morning!
It's 2:29 a.m. and instead of writing during this peaceful time, I am reading. I'm almost through with "Killing Jesus" by Bill O'Reilly. I read "Killing Kennedy" and it was a very well written book and one that I couldn't put down, so when this one came out I rushed to have it downloaded. I started to read it, then got involved in finishing up some writing projects, and then at around 10:30 p.m. last night, my Kindle beckoned. I'm at the point now where Jesus is starting to frighten and anger those in power. I'll probably finish the book sometime today and will post my review on Goodreads.
Was browsing around the net yesterday and found this quote:
Fellow authors: What do you think??????
Don't forget to post your suggestions for my garden and Have a Blessed Day!!!!
After seeing a great movie (Gravity), attending a Gala, and being disappointed in football results, it's time to focus ahead. My husband worries about me because he says my mind never shuts off ... which is probably true. When we drove into our neighborhood last night, after venturing out to Sonic for a chocolate malt (comfort food to cure BFW - bad football weekend), I noticed some of our neighbors were already putting up their Christmas lights. Now don't panic, I'm not decorating this week, but my mind is in overdrive - again.
Before my parents moved in with us we were never home at Christmas, we were in Las Vegas at their home, so we didn't see the need to decorate. Last year, they were already living here, and I was trying to remember why we didn't deck the halls and then I remembered...we were in the midst of construction. In my previous postings I failed to mention that when my folks moved in, my dad's 80 year-old brother moved in with us as well. We only had a two bedroom house so we added another bedroom and family room. Construction wasn't complete until February.
Melding three households has resulted in a multitude of boxes full of decorations, so this is the year! I have plans for the lights and the yard; however, I need ideas on how to make a new garden area extraordinarily beautiful as it faces the street. The succulents have grown a little since these pictures, but the arrangement is still the same...
Below is the area I'm talking about...
Let your decorative juices flow and post your suggestions!!!!
It doesn't appear to be my weekend for football ----and only half the teams have played.......
1) There were upsets - my Pick-Em (pick the winner) list looks like I was supposed to choose the loser.
2) My Seahawks lost their first game....(tears streaming down my face)
3) My fantasy team was playing against someone who didn't even play some of his players and he's ahead of me....I decided to change quarterbacks this week and my quarterback got injured, my benched quarterback is doing wonderfully, my projected high scoring receivers and backs decided to play an early Halloween trick on the statisticians and not produce (I can just see them going "nanner, nanner, nanner").
Why I put myself through this torture every weekend is beyond me....
I think I'll retreat to my office and continue my compilation project - I know that's going to be a winner!!!!
The COLFS ( http://www.colfs.org/index.php) Gala was wonderful last night. As expected, the keynote speaker was dynamic. What a story of conversion! From abortion clinic owner to pro-life activist and speaker. She pulled no punches in her testimony - honest and right to the point. It was nice to see our new Bishop as well as the Arch-Bishop of San Francisco/Oakland. The photo below is of the Rachel's Hope Team.
We provide healing retreats for those men and women who are hurting from the results of abortion.
On to the NFL ... I have many "questional' players today so trying to reorganize my roster is a nightmare! Some are gametime decisions which drives me CRAZY!!!!! I'm confident my Seahawks will win but my fantasy team??? Time will tell.
Worked a little yesterday on my book that compiles all devotionals as well as my story of conversion. Adding a few tidbits here and there. Look for it on my sidebar. Title: Reflections on Faith.
I had a wonderful "date night" with my husband last evening, we went to dinner then to the movie - Gravity. The last time we went to a movie was when The Blindside was released, coincidentally both star Sandra Bullock. It was the first time I went 3-D and what an experience! It was worth the ticket price when I found myself grabbing my husband's hand during pivotal moments in the movie.
Tonight we attend the Pro-Life is Good Gala, sponsored by Culture of Life Family Services. Being retired, I live in jeans and shorts so donning a cocktail dress will be a nice change. I'm looking forward to delicious meal and great dinner conversation with good friends from Rachel's Hope. The keynote speaker is Carol Everett, a former abortion clinic owner that, through the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, changed her heart. She now is committed to the pro-life movement and spreads a message of healing and hope to those who have experienced a pregnancy loss. I've not heard her testimony so I'm packing my purse with Kleenex as I'm sure it will be haunting and emotional.
Speaking of testimonies ... I've finished updating mine for the 2014 Walk for Life. Last year was my "inaugural" year giving testimony for Silent No More, in front of around 50,000 people. I thought I would be nervous but the Holy Spirit was with me and I had wonderful support from my husband, friend Leslie and all the wonderful women of Silent No More. You can read or see my testimony at: http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/testimonies/testimony.aspx?ID=275
The cover of my devotional "Journey to Sunset" is a reproduction of an oil painting I had done of my parents from a photo I had taken at Oceanside Beach. Early this morning (3:00 a.m.) I sat in my living room thinking how blessed I am to still have them, my mom is 86 and my dad 85. They moved in with us almost two years ago due to their advancing age and thank God they did. I decided to retire so I could stay home with them, but deep down in my heart I was worried I might be taking too much on ... but reflecting on the past five months, I realize how fortunate I am to be able to be with them full-time, through good days and bad. Knowing they have entrusted their care to me and wanting me to walk with them on their journey to sunset warms my heart. What a wonderful opportunity to return the love and care they gave me as a child ~ life has come full circle. Have a Blessed Day!
Good Morning! In the wee hours of the morning I continued working on the outline of my next devotional and book cover ideas. I do most of my writing around 2 a.m. as it's quiet (except for the extremely loud snoring of a dog). I'm making a list of topics for future devotionals -issues or events in our lives that need prayerful meditation. Don't forget to check out the two I have already written - and rate them on Amazon and/or Goodreads ...I would appreciate your feedback! Tonight is Thirsty Thursday for Helping Hands Press, and although it's also Thursday Night Football, it's a great way to connect to other authors and make new friends!
I'll sneak a peek at scores from time to time though....I have a fantasy running back playing tonight! On the bottom left of this page I have a link for Fantasy Football that shows how Gridirongranny is doing on a weekly basis (the good AND the bad!). So far I'm 3-1, of which one of the wins was against my husband. That made for interesting dinner conversation! Have a Wonderful Day & God Bless!!!!
Well, here I am - a blogger! I thought I was doing great with e-mail....then all of a sudden here comes Facebook, Pinterest, GoodReads and now this...who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks!
I will be entertaining you with my tantalizing insights and opinions on a variety of topics but be forewarned.....I may rant a bit during Thursday, Sunday and Monday NFL games...I'm a fantasy football junkie and diehard Seahawks fan!
My page shows my first two devotionals that were recently released - you'll find them inspirational and comforting....and more are coming so stay tuned!