Friday, April 1, 2011

Fourth Friday of Lent

Or, Good heavens! Easter is almost here!

1. I have been trying to write extended blog posts for 2 weeks now, without success. Every time I have a minute, something shiny walks by (this is the joke between my husband and I to describe the distractions, usually named Alex and Miranda, that prevent us from completing the task we had just set out to do) or I drop from exhaustion. Which means I'm just like every other mom I know. Still, I am going to endeavor to write up what's been percolating in my brain for a while. Which means there may be a few bonus numbers at the end.

2. I haven't managed to touch my cross stitch since Thursday of last week, so there's no point in taking a new picture. Maybe tonight. Tomorrow night we have a date night out at a fund-raising dinner for Delanco Camp at Brigalia's in Sicklerville. Even if the food is mediocre, the company should be excellent as it includes many of my friends from Youth Ministry at Hope.

3. My mother arrives in NJ in 8 days! So, if you are a local fan and are interested in talking to her about her new book, Bathsheba's Lament, you will soon have the opportunity to do so. It continues to earn praises and recognition from among a growing number of readers. There is a great review of it on the International Christian Fiction Writers' blog that you must read! There is another awesome review of Bathsheba's Lament on LeAnne Hardy's blog. Read it here. Remember, if you haven't already ordered a copy, you will find it available here, or, if you are a local fan, inform me that you are claiming one of my few remaining copies.

The great thing about my mother's arrival is that we always heave a sigh of relief when she's here because we have back-up with the children and anything else that might arise. And my days aren't half as lonely because I have her to talk to all day. And dinners are a lot more fun to plan when you have someone to talk it over with. And I have someone to pray with. Life is just better when she's here!

My father will arrive the following Saturday and then they will leave together on Easter Sunday. I can't wait!

4. So I have difficulty finishing things. Television series, I mean. But last week, I took a deep breath and finally watched the last 3 episodes of Dollhouse. After watching "Getting Closer," ep. 2.11, I went out to where my husband was reading and said, "I hate Joss Whedon! Same as I hate RTD." Why, you wonder? Because they make me cry. Because I actually care when they kill off important characters or revisit old flames to say good-bye. 

Now Dollhouse wasn't as regularly brilliant as Buffy or Firefly, (I still maintain the second season of Buffy is some of the best television, ever.) But I still cared about the characters in the Dollhouse and while it had a flawed ending (they really needed another 5-6 episodes to make all the twists and turns really work) it was still more interesting (because it took actual risks) than most television produced these days. Of course, this means it was painful to watch, which is why I waited more than a year to watch the final 3 episodes. 

So much of the television I watch is insulating, a mere distraction from the difficulties of my life, something fluffy to pass the time, because most American television shows are "safe." You know all of the regular characters aren't going to be killed off or permanently maimed or encounter a situation that can't be reasonably resolved in a few episodes. Sometimes I take risks, like with Justified, but that's because its created by Graham Yost, who won my eternal respect with Boomtown. But watching these shows requires an emotional investment, a reserve that I really don't have much to spare these days. Which is why:
  • I didn't watch the final two episodes of Veronica Mars until almost two years after they aired;
  • I'm still struggling halfway through the first season of The Wire, the second season of Spooks, and only made it through the first two episodes of Luther;
  • Still sitting on my DVR is the final episode of Life, broadcast April 9, 2009; and
  • From this season I have the last episode of Human Target and the final two episodes of Lie to Me, because I'm afraid neither series will be renewed. There's also the last episodes of Fairly Legal and White Collar, that, even though I know these series were renewed, they are going to have story lines left hanging over their hiatuses that might upset me so I might as well wait to watch them until the new seasons start.
The good news is, Doctor Who starts back up on Easter Sunday, but since it's a show we watch together, Marshall and I have to schedule time to watch it. It's not like watching Mission: Impossible (we're almost finished with the second season) that you can watch with one eye and do something else while it runs.

I'm also the girl who took a whole year to read the last Harry Potter book, because I knew once I finished the last book, there would be no more Harry, ever. I mean, there's the movies and everything, but still, it's not the same. I enjoy all of Rick Riordan's young fiction and think his Percy Jackson books are a lot of fun, but it's light fare when compared to J.K. Rowling. Something is seriously wrong with me.

5. The HS retreat to Ocean City, MD, was a lot of fun and not much sleep was had, but I've come to expect that from hanging out with HS students. The worship band was Reilly and I loved their music. I bought 2 cd's for myself which was the first non-movie soundtrack or children's music purchase I can remember. Several hilarious games of Pass the Pig were played. The speakers were middling to good, the Illusionist Danny Ray was very good, but the time with my companions from Hope was the best part, as always.

6. The MOPS meeting this week was excellent, mostly because of the topic, "Bridging the Gap" between Parents of Special Needs and healthy children, is one close to my heart. My dear friend, Rachelan, shared some funny stories about her darling sons, and then we had an additional speaker whose experience with autism is so much more complicated than mine. Lord Jesus, have mercy on all of us and give us your grace for our struggling children. 

7. I treated myself to a massage this morning and I feel more relaxed than I can remember since my last vacation. I highly recommend With Heart & Healing Hands Therapeutic Massage for Women, for any local fan. Dawn is awesome!

Bonus 8. I have discovered how much I love my kitchen cabinets now that I have emptied half of them of them, stacked their contents in bins on the kitchen floor, and scrubbed out all the cabinets with bleach in order to set traps for mice! I discovered evidence of a mice infestation an hour before I left for the retreat last Friday, which meant Marshall did his best to deal with all the droppings while I was gone, but then Alex came down with strep throat early on Sunday morning and we were distracted in caring for him and catching up on sleep. Yesterday, we dug in: I finished up the cleaning and bleaching and moved the contents of the rest of the cabinets Marshall hadn't been able to get to and we set 4 traps with peanut butter. Marshall checked them all before he left the house this morning, and they were empty. But, then, when I started making breakfast for the kids at 7:15, I found a mouse struggling in the trap under the sink, because, you see, the trap doesn't kill the mouse, it simply "traps" the varmint. So, I put on gloves and put the wriggling mess, trap and all, into a ziploc bag so it would asphyxiate. Ewwww. Of course, it's still sitting under the sink like that. Marshall wants to keep the trap to reuse and I just don't have the desire to wrestle the corpse out myself. Like plunging toilets, that's what husbands are for!

And here's Jen.

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