Thursday, March 30, 2006

The small ones are for fryin'

I don't know if I will truly be waxing poetic today, waning poetically will probably be more like it, but I have peace in my house for the moment. My 26 pound turkey is a lovely mahogany color, and is filling the house with the smell of my favorite holiday. I'm too lazy to do all the trimmings (well, maybe stuffing and potatoes), but The Rev. and I will be eating much turkey in the next few days. I even dug deep and bought a few avocadoes for sandwiches. We usually get them free from church members, but beggars can't be choosers. The dog is snoring on the couch and the demon kitten has removed her claws from kneading my lap and is curled up on a chair behind me. I would contemplate a Bloody Mary, but it is a tad early, and I think our bottle of mix in the fridge is probably harboring a collective of botulism. I'll take that as a sign.

I am sure you are probably wondering why two people need a 26 pound turkey. Ladies, this is what you get when you send your husband to the grocery store by himself. A lesson learned from my laziness. When I went to the freezer to pull it out, I had two choices. Sixteen pounds and 26 pounds. The small one has already been designated to meet its fate in a vat of bubbling peanut oil. So, 26 pounds of fowl love will be presented to The Rev. when he comes home for lunch.

Maybe if I really get my act together and cook some beans and potatoes, he won't notice that the laundry still isn't done. If only I had a can of pumpkin...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Guilt is a terrible motivator, but it works

Not that I am expecting any sympathy from anyone, but my life has been non-stop these past few weeks. Between traveling, working, and three consecutive weeks of company, I'm pooped. Tonight I was looking forward to coming home, having a drink, cooking a 26 pound turkey that has been defrosting in my refrigerator for the past two days, doing a new pilates DVD, and going to bed.

And then I remembered that it is Wednesday. And Lent. And church. And then I told The Rev. that I wasn't going to church because I wanted two hours by myself where I could have a drink, cook my 26 pound turkey, do my pilates video, and go to bed. I think I also included think and do laundry in the conversation, because I am beginning to think and speak in jagged, incoherent mumblings, and we are both running out of clothes to wear. He just sighed and said, "I'm not going to tell you what to do." He didn't help my frame of mind by having this conversation with me on his office speakerphone, with his secretary in the room. She usually has my back, but those two can be pretty tight, and she was going to be in church, especially since her kid was singing in the choir.

It was just his tone, and I knew that I didn't have crap for an excuse as to why I should skip church. Especially during Lent. Especially since I am working out of town Holy Week. Especially since I might miss Easter services. Especially when my brain is slowly turning to cottage cheese and might soon be evacuating from my ears. He knows me too well, that man. I think he knew that deep down I would do the right thing and show up, because a drink, a 26 pound bird, an exercise video, and my bed would be there when I got home. Even if it does mean that the drink will be poured ASAP, and then nothing else will get done until tomorrow.

At least he acted surprised when I showed up, and I am glad I did go. Now I need a martini. Three olives. Straight up. Where's that turkey?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fan Mail

I know a handful of people who read this blog. Okay, make that three. I know The Parents and The Brother read it everyday and I am sure part of their motivation is to see what The Rev. and I are doing and the other part is to make sure I haven't done something that would cause The Rev. to have to take a call to South America. Don't worry, his Spanish is not that good yet. As you can see from the comments left by my faithful readers, I have no idea who is reading it and who is not. I guess if you are reading it you fall into one of three categories:

a. You hate it and don't want to dignify anything with a response.
b. You love it, but think leaving a comment is like clapping in church or saying "Amen" aloud when the preacher says something you like. The Lutherans I know just don't do that.
c. You are indifferent, and are like people I call pew warmers. You show up on Sunday but that's about it. Hey, I'm not pointing fingers, because I haven't been warming any pews lately, but The Rev. keeps pretty close tabs on me and is ready with a sermon if I need one. Don't worry, I'm not in Tijuana doing tequila shots with my amigos.

Today I got my first piece fan mail. I was actually pretty excited, even if I know the person (Hi, Turbo!), and I have no idea how he found out about it. He asked me a few questions, but his email was unclear as to whether he wanted a personal response or if I should answer his questions in a public forum. I'll answer one of them, because I can't remember the other ones. Again, welcome to my glass house, people. I have nothing to hide.

What am I watching on t.v.? This is actually a pretty good question, because t.v. watching for me is like going on a diet. I start out with pretty good intentions of watching a whole show, but I fall asleep before I can finish it. I am also horribly addicted to what The Rev. calls "train wreck television." He is so esoteric with his "24" and "CSIs." I love Kathy Griffin's reality t.v. show. "Blowout" with the L.A. hairdresser Jonathan, and I even watched with perverse fascination the VH1 reality show with Flava Flav and his harem of women. I know, I know. I have to make myself write everyday to keep my brain from rotting out of my head.

One other little tidbit before I go. I had the distinct pleasure of riding in the $5 dollar car the other day. It's amazing the habits we get develop when we ride in more expensive means of transportation. My hand automatically went to turn on the radio, but I forgot one wasn't there. Nor was there an air conditioner to turn on. BUT, it does have a sunroof.

Monday, March 27, 2006

And a good time was had by all

Last night I attended a church sponsored Ladies' Night Out. The ladies in charge chose a Mexican restaurant to meet, have a few margaritas, and catch up with what everyone is doing, especially the pastor's wife (the heathen who has been missing a lot of church lately). I'm sure a few of them attended to make sure that I was still alive, and that pastor had not just failed to mention that he was now a widower.

The talk, as talks like these always do, eventually turned to husbands and children. Since I have no children, I could not offer much to the conversation, especially since my dog also does half of the naughty things that some of the ladies mentioned. Stay up all night and not let you rest? Check. Eat a whole box of cookies? Check. Projectile vomit the aforementioned box of cookies? Check. Poop on the floor? Check, check, and check. The talk, fueled by a second and third pitcher of margaritas, somehow took a turn towards the flatulence habits of husbands. I just want to let ya'll know, I WAS NOT LEADING THE CONVERSATION. Rev., love of my life and father to my pets, I DID NOT LEAD THE CONVERSATION. I didn't even steer it in that direction. I laughed just as hard as everyone else, but I stopped short in sharing stories about the bathroom habits of myself or my husband, as the conversation spiralled ever downward. A girl has got to draw the line somewhere. Besides, my husband is a shepherd to these people, and the last thing I would want to pop into their heads as they listen at his feet is some story I told them about stinking the dog out of the bed. Wait, that was me.

So you can rest easy, people, for once I did not crash the post-dinner talk directly into the gutter. It's a habit and a title that I have long held in my family. You can ask my parents if they can remember a dinner conversation on booby cards or the mating rituals of hamsters. I'll let you pick.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Pet Sins

I have a pet sin. You know you have one, too. Admit it. It's the little sin you keep on a leash and take with you everywhere. The one that keeps nipping at your heels when you try to live a clean, sanctified life. The one you are supposed to drown everyday with daily contrition and repentance, but instead you choose to bathe it, brush it, put a bow on it, and carry it with you everywhere, like a little chihuaha. Actually, I have a whole herd of pet sins. If you can only admit one, I'll sit next to you anyway.

In fact, I have many pet sins. I'll be the first to admit it, and yet I feel so righteous about them. The Rev. did me wrong and I'll show him. I can hold a grudge like a little kid holding his breath until he gets his way. My tongue is often more sailor than sanitary and I often feel the spirit of Sammy Hagar when it comes to driving the speed limit. I often catch myself in the midst of these pet sin love fests, when my fingers are all sticky with anger and jealousy and impatience, and then I have to slap myself back to humility. Humility and I have a contentious relationship, and we are often on opposite ends of the street. The Rev. is so good at patience and humility, and I get so mad that he is so good sometimes. Do you see my vicious circle?

This week was a test of my patience. I would say I got a B+ on my flat tire test. Yesterday I got an F-. Not only did I have to get fitted for a crown (not the kind that you wear on your head), The Rev. did not read my mind and do what I would have done when it comes to dealing with our pets. I raised my voice, and he remained calm, which made me more angry. I'M ANGRY--YOU GET ANGRY TOO. WHY WON'T YOU STOOP TO MY LEVEL (the gutter) AND GET ANGRY? Let's say I had a lapse where I forgot that I am blessed to be vertical and above ground.

Today is a new day and I have reminded myself of my baptism and my pulse. The sun is shining and we are going to wine country. I promise I won't go drowning Adam, myself, or anyone else in a vat of merlot.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Do I have a pulse? Praise the Lord!

I would have posted yesterday, but after my day, all I wanted to do was crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head, and burrow deep, like a tick. Even that didn't happen, because we have company coming and The Rev. was after me to pick up after myself again. The nerve.

It all started when I left the house. I left feeling good. I had a cute outfit; I was having a good hair day; I remembered to bring my lunch. I took a different route than normal because traffic was that bad, and right before I got onto the interstate, I heard the familiar "whump, whump" of a flat tire. Be proud of me, mom and dad, I didn't say any bad words...yet. I calmly (see, still calm!)pulled into a parking lot and calmly pulled out my cellphone. I called work first to let them know I was going to be a little late. I called The Rev. next to let him know my situation and that I was taking care of it. Then I called an organization that many of us pay annual dues to help us out in incidents such as these. I was put on hold for 15 minutes. Still calm, though, people, still calm. They said a tow truck would be on the way in 35 minutes. I AM STILL CALM AT THIS POINT, OKAY?

By the time the tow truck driver got there, I was more than late to work. And when he got out of the truck I KNEW that I was going to be more than a little late to work. His response to my "How are you?" was, "I just woke up." This did not instill in me a vote of confidence, by any means, but I WAS STILL CALM! I was calm when he couldn't find the jack to change the tire, and I remained calm when he got frustrated that he couldn't get the spare tire to release. Now that I can think about the situation, I recall a "How the hell am I supposed to know?" coming out of my mouth when I called The Rev. and he asked me a question. But I was still relatively calm, and I hadn't walked down the street to the nearest liquor store...yet. I just kept reminding myself that the sun was shining and I had gotten out of bed that morning, praise the Lord. The rest was small potatoes.

The truck wound up getting towed to the auto dealership because Igor, my tow truck driver couldn't figure out he was using the wrong end of the wrench to try to release the spare. We found that out later, but given my impression of him, I got the feeling he tried to put the square peg in the round hole one too many times already in his life.

I finally made it to work, almost three hours late, but it again afforded The Rev. and I an opportunity to talk about what was happening in our lives. He even complimented me later on the fact that I kept it together all morning. I told him that it was because he had responded correctly to all of my questions and psuedo-complaints.

Maybe he is learning.

Monday, March 20, 2006

We made a believer out of him

The Dad is leaving today, and much too soon, might I add. However, I can assure you that this visit was much more profitable and productive than the last one, due in part to one, singular experience:

We exposed him to the wonder that is Pirate's Booty. He is a big label reader, and after reading the back of the package he asked, "Do you know what fan's of Pirate's Booty are called? Booty Heads!" The rest of the weekend seemed to revolve around this miraculous, puffed rice and corn snack. There is Veggie Booty and Caramelized Pirate's Booty, to name two other variations on a theme.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

It's all in the delivery

This morning I greeted the day after St. Patrick's Day with a glass of water and a Tylenol. The Rev., The Dad, and I met some friends for dinner at a great Mexican place and we ended up talking until midnight. Granted, it was conversation fueled by liters of margaritas (seriously, that's how the restaurant served them) and later, liqueurs. By that time I had switched to green tea, because when we left the restaurant I was two steps away from being in love with everyone. Those of you who have been to that brink (and have either sensibly drawn back or leaped off, you choose) know exactly what I am saying. I think we got most of problems of the world solved, but since we don't have the ear of a celebrity or celebrity status, I seriously doubt anyone would listen to what we have to say anyway. Besides, who wants to listen to a (gasp!), Christian?

Before the love-fest occurred, however, The Rev. Drove me to work so he wouldn't have to take the $5 dollar car down to San Diego to pick up The Dad. I don't think my father would have fit into the Nissan, but I digress. I always enjoy carpooling with The Rev. because it is time that we can spend together communicating all of our needs and desires, hopes and dreams. Yeah, right.

The Rev. was actually rushing me (it's usually the other way around), and I flew out the door clutching my plate of cupcakes, a pair of extra shoes, a green sweater, my work bag with all my papers, and my purse. The Rev. was so kind as to lock the front door for me (with all that I had any extra hand, you know), and I piled everything in the backseat. By the time we got on the road, I was turning around trying to get everything organized:

"Give me a second to get all my crap straight. I feel like I have been so disorganized for the past 82 days."

"Um, I actually think it's been longer than that."

"Do you practice saying these things to me?"

"No, but you have streaks of organization marred by long periods of chaos."

"You know, it's all in how you say it."

"What? I'm speaking the truth in love."

"No, you are tramping through the tulips to get the front door. You want to come in my front door? I ain't letting you in."

"Why are you being this way?"

"Because you could have said it so much more nicely."

"What should I have said?"

"Honey, I know that your clutter is the sign of a busy and fulfilled life. Here, let me help you."

"But that's not helping you get more organized."

"Again, we go back to my original question, 'Do you practice saying these things?'"

This is only a snippet of our conversation, but the whole drive to work we were giving each other a hard time about organizational skills, fighting fairly (because I told him I may be disorganized, but he doesn't listen), and whether or not he was going to make me listen to bagpipe music the whole drive.

I think he was hoping I would drink the fifth margarita.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Kitchen God, I mean Overseer

Last night was the first night I was finally able to unpack my suitcase, survey the damage in my house, and drink two glasses of red wine (rather quickly) since I returned home from "the jewel of the San Joaquin Valley" and "the richest agricultural region in the world." I'm just a busy girl, and although I would like nothing more than to have a clean house, time to paint my toes, and the ability to eat a meal other than potato chips, the Dear Lord uses these things to teach me patience. I prayed for patience. He gave me The Rev. and he gave me the life of a PW. That's PW, not POW, although there are days I am confused.

The Rev. was so kind as the clean the bathroom that The Dad is using and vacuum our carpets. I wanted to eat something other than potato chips for dinner, so I set out to make some homemade chicken noodle soup. I also made some chocolate cupcakes with green mint frosting because today is the day we celebrate a British guy bringing Christianity to Ireland. We don't hold a special church service or anything, we just go out and drink green beer. Well, The. Rev. is a beer snob, and he doesn't drink American beer dyed green, he drinks Irish beer. I won't divulge my experiences at our favorite Irish pub in Nashville. Let's just say 4 pints of Harp causes me and my friend Theresa to take on the accent of a Brooklynite speaking Yiddish. Tonight we are drinking margaritas, because in California, it is all about equal opportunity. Besides, margaritas are light green.

Anyway, while I was putting away some dishes, I found a Christmas gift from one of my employees. It's a plastic sheep with a scowl on its face. When you push down on it, he poops out rootbeer flavored jellybeans. I decided to make him the kitchen overseer. I would call him the kitchen god, but that would be toeing the line of idolatry, and I don't want to cause The Rev. anymore grief than my habit of loafing and having the occasional potty mouth. It made me think, though, because for as long as I can remember, I have had some sort of kitchen god, I mean overseer, in my favorite room of the house. I would just pick some quirky, kitschy item, and dub it the kitchen god. When my brother and I were roommates, it was the Pillsbury Doughboy. I think he is still perched on the back of my brother's stove, actually. In Nashville, it was a bunch of mistletoe that we kept hung above the door all year. Finding Poopsie made me remember those fond memories, so he too is perched behind the stove, overseeing all the coming and goings in the kitchen. If we weren't taking The Dad out to eat enchiladas tonight, he would be overseeing the corned beef and cabbage.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, ya'll.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

He didn't believe me

One half of my genetic material (Hi, Dad!) is coming out to SoCal to see The Rev. and me this weekend. We have offered to do all sorts of things with him, like go to the Wild Animal Park, the train museum, or a WWII aircraft exhibit (the sacrifices I make for my family, let me tell you). His response, "I'd be happy to sit around and do nothing." See! He can't say that I am just like my mother, because I love to sit around and do nothing. Fortunately, I haven't been home much, so I haven't chagrined The Rev. by loafing. I am sure this Saturday will be a loaf-a-thon, and showers and clothing changes will be optional. I CAN'T WAIT.

I spoke to my dad last night, and he commented that he didn't believe that there was a recipe called "chili con weenie." Unfortunately, I couldn't find the cookbook, but I can assure you, it is not a figment of my imagination. How could I make up a recipe like that? So, because I am just like my mother, I have to prove him wrong. I pulled a church cookbook out this morning and found the following recipes:

Lasagna Toss (toss it where?)

Ham in a Can (4 ingredients!)

Porcupine Balls (Ladies and Gentlemen, Beavis and Butthead are in the building)

Enchilada Pie (I know they are crossing the border for that one)

Oriental Vegetable Salad (multi-cultural, it calls for Frenched green beans)

Weenie-Beanie Bake

Frankfurter Casserole

Hey Dad, would you rather have the weanie-beanie bake or the frankfurter casserole for dinner on Saturday night?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Potluck Obsession

When I got married, my aunt (Hi, Susan!), gave me a trivet that says, "The Potluck stops here, I'm a Lutheran." It has a place of honor in our teeny kitchen, and we often joke about eating hotdish and bars. If you don't believe that Lutherans love their potlucks, take a look at any Lutheran church cookbook. One cookbook I have is from a Lutheran church in Minnesota, and it has twenty-seven pages devoted to hotdish. For those who are unfamiliar with the rites of potluck, hotdish=casserole. Bars are cookies that are just spread in a pan and baked. I stopped counting after page 47 when I was counting bar cookie recipes.

I have never ventured to make some of the hotdish recipes, because dishes entitled "Chili Con Weenie" or "Chinese Chop Suey Bake" just don't do it for me. And I'm pretty sure someone of Mexican or Chinese descent did not create those meals. I was taught how to make authentic tamales by a lady from Tijuana, and I know Hebrew Nationals were not part of the recipe. Those kinds of hotdishes are against my religion.

Thanks to the wonderful invention of the Crock-Pot and the patience of The Rev. who so generously threw all of the ingredients together, I am presenting beet stew tonight to the potluck participants. Beef Stew, people. Not Beef and Beanie Weenies or Beefy Tater Tot Surprise.

I hope no one is disappointed.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Home again, sort of

I arrived home safe and sound last night and was mauled by every breathing creature in the house. I'll spare you the gory details. The Rev., in a valiant effort to make the cats like him more than me, did not buy them the special soft food they like to eat. So when I got up this morning to feed everyone, they were not pleased with what was poured into their bowls. They even sat and stared at the shelf where we keep the cans of food. I will make it up to them later, but it is a little annoying when I go out to the garage and they come running after me, like I am playing some evil trick on them and voila! Here is the food I have been witholding from you, because secretly, I want to make you suffer.

Tomorrow is mid-week Lenten services and I have 15 minutes to figure out what I can fix for the potluck supper. I work tonight and all day tomorrow, so the pickings are a little slim. I'll figure something out, but I am being gnawed by my Lutheran guilt that I should fix something really good, given the fact that I only half-way attended church two Sundays ago, missed it completely this past Sunday, and will be missing it again this Sunday. I am sure there are members wondering if The Rev. and I are having marital difficulties, or if he is actually a widower now, and he just forgot to tell them.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Working Girl

I wanted to let ya'll know that I will not be posting for a few days. I am traveling to Fresno and will be gone until Monday.

Someone has to keep The Rev. in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed.

Blessings from the Lord

Thirteen months ago, nearly to the day, a trucker on the highway nearly left me a widow when he decided to slam into the passenger's side of the truck that The Rev. was driving. As he was spinning across the interstate, The Rev. was sure he would meet Jesus at any moment, but his guardian angels kept him and our dog safe until they landed in a ditch next to a service road. Much to the amazement of the highway patrol and the local fire department, The Rev. and our dog walked away from the accident. The truck, on which we had made two car payments, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Because of our tight finances (don't say one word about how many bottles of wine we have in our closet, Mom and Dad), we couldn't afford to purchase another vehicle. With gas prices and insurance being so expensive, we decided to drive one car for awhile. Raise your hand if you are married and share a car. Yeah, didn't think so. It STINKS. I think only having one car had a big influence on my path to crazy town. If one more misfortune (i.e. termites, leaky roof, stupid HOA giving us 30 days to paint our house) happens, I will be a full time resident there.

Our car situation improved greatly about a month ago. The Rev.'s secretary asked him if he wanted a car. She had one that she wanted to give away. It had belonged to her mother and then it was driven by her aunt. Her aunt had a new car and did not need this one anymore. The Rev. and I were thrilled about this, but we wouldn't just take it, we wanted to pay her something for it. "You don't understand," she said, "you haven't seen this car, I want to give it to you." We appreciated the gesture, but we had to pay her something. We agreed on five dollars. Yes, people, you did not read that wrong. FIVE DOLLARS. Or the amount she paid for the cute Hawaiian blue steering wheel cover.

For five dollars, we received a 1986 Nissan Pulsar. I think that the fact the thing still runs after 20 years is a testament to Japanese automobile engineering. She's not pretty to look at, but she runs, and she actually smells good. And she will get The Rev. to and from church, to shut-in visits, and to destinations around town. The Rev. got the title transferred and then called our insurance agent to get liability insurance:

"Hello, yes, I want to add a car to my policy."

"Sure, let me get some information from you. What kind of car is it?"

"A 1986 Nissan Pulsar."

"How much did you pay for the car?"

"Five dollars."

"Five dollars!"

"Yes, and if you saw it, you would understand why."

"Does it have any audio equipment valuable for post sale?"

"It doesn't even have a radio."

"Does it have any safety features?"

"Um, no."

After a rather hilarious conversation, the insurance company discovered it owed us money. I must also tell you that besides not having a radio, the car also lacks hubcaps, a/c, and windshield wipers. She is also a little cantankerous to start, but once the engine catches, you know her heart is pumping like a champion. She would not fulfill any man's shallow expectations for beauty, but she has great personality.

Today is the first day The Rev. drove her to work. He got her started (it took a few moments) and asked me if the brake lights and the directionals were working. They were and off he went. I said a little prayer thanking the Dear Lord and pastorsecretary for that blessing, because any kind of car is a blessing fit for a bathtub, not a Dixie cup.

Now I just have to get MTV to pimp his ride.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bad Hair Day

Minnie Pearl ended the week on a bad note. Not only did she get fixed, but she got her haircut by her mother, who is not recognized by the state of California as a certified cosmetologist. To make matters worse, The Rev. accidentally dumped all natural peanut butter on her hind end. How that happened has not been sufficiently explained to me, but I will just chalk it up to a mystery I will never understand, but will accept, like the Trinity.

For those of you not familiar with all natural peanut butter, it is simply ground up peanuts. The peanut oil separates from the nut meat, and you have to stir the oil back in before you can spread it on your bread. Somehow, peanut goo that was more oil than peanut butter got on her hind end. This interested the dog, but gave the poor cat an even more mangy, woebegone appearance. From the shoulders up she looked really cute, but her back and her tail were all greasy and matted from the peanut oil. Granted, she is a long haired cat, and she might benefit from some sort of hot oil treatment a la V-05, but this was room temperature oil, and she just looked even more pitiful. I think she even knew she looked like a molting squirrel because she hung her head and moped around the house. I finally got sick of looking at her and hacked some of her oily fur off of her backside. She did not like that intrusion into her personal space, and she ran off before I could finish the job.

Today I grabbed her and dunked her backside into a sink full of warm, soapy water. She really did not like that, nor did she like the brisk towel rub, the time in front of the space heater, and finally, the hair dryer. She morphed from drowned rat back to a demon kitty in no time, and she is currently strutting her stuff around the house, even though her tail is rather anemic looking and she has no hair to speak of on the lower half of her body.

Work it, girlfriend.

Homeless Girl and Transient Boy

Last night The Rev. and I went to dinner and we kissed and made up. All who were worried about the condition of our marriage can breathe a sigh of relief. I admitted to acting liking a girl, and he confessed he wasn't being sensitive enough to my over-sensitiveness (I think I just made up a word). Absolved, we enjoyed our dessert of pecan tart and drove home.

Both of us are in the midst of having a weird cold that migrates to our head and then to our chests, so we were anxious to get home, medicate ourselves, and crawl into bed. I got home and changed into my pajamas, a combination of gray and pink pants with a gray t-shirt. I then wrapped myself in a burgundy blanket and parked myself on the sofa to finish watching our television programs. The Rev. came out in his pajamas and had an old quilt wrapped around his shoulders like an Indian squaw. He parked himself next to me on the sofa. I glanced over to him and commented, "You look homeless." He looked at me and said, "I prefer the word transient."

We make such a cute couple.

Monday, March 06, 2006

What happens when he doesn't practice speaking to his wife

As I stated in an earlier post, The Rev. practices his sermon before he delivers it. He is very good at delivering a sermon, and he uses all sorts of illustrations, gestures, and dramatic pauses to keep the attention of the congregation. Last night I wanted to ask him if he practiced saying things to his wife before they came out of his mouth, because I could have sworn that he did a text study, let the thoughts percolate, put them down on paper, and then delivered them to me...right before he put his foot in his mouth and I nearly put my foot in the other end.

I worked all day yesterday and then I had to go to a small birthday gathering on the other side of town for a co-worker. I was exhausted before I got to the party, and I was even more tired when I got in the car for the 40 minute drive home. It was dark. It was late. I thought I would be a good, thoughtful wife and call The Rev. to let him know I was on my way home. And that I was safe. And that I was sound. And that I wasn't sprawled in a ditch somewhere or stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. I tried calling home first but the line was busy. No big deal. I tried calling his cell phone. It rang and then went to his voice mail. So I gave him 10 minutes before I tried calling again. The same thing happened. The house line was busy, but his cell phone went directly to voice mail. The turkey didn't want to talk to me! TO ME! HIS BELOVED FOR WHOM HE PROMISED (in front of 223 witnesses) THAT HE WOULD LAY DOWN HIS LIFE.

It gets better.

When I walked in the door (the dog hyperventilated upon my entrance--she loves me), The Rev. was just hanging up the phone.

"Did you see that I tried calling you?" I said.

"Yes, but I was on the phone." He replied.

"But you could have picked up."

"I was talking to my parents. Besides, that's rude."

"But I was trying to call you. Your parents would have understood if you answered your phone."

"But I was talking to them. I knew it was you. You were fine."

"How do you know? I could have been in a wreck, or had a flat tire."

"You would have called Triple A. I couldn't have helped you anyway; I don't have a car. Besides, you call me all the time anyway."

That was the part where feet would have met body cavities. But I didn't do anything. I just told him that after all of our years of wedded bliss, this should not be an issue. And then I went to bed. Yes, parents, internet, and world, I went to bed angry with my husband. And I was still mad when I got up this morning to feed the cats, make the coffee, and get ready for work. It was a silent carpool all the way to work. He didn’t speak, and I just stared out the window. And I was going to show him. I wasn't going to call him all day.

I know, I know. This is bordering on the immature, asinine, and ridiculous. In my rational mind I realized this was not modeling the forgiveness that the Dear Lord grants me everyday. I should forgive him for being a man, because I was acting liking a girl. But I am a stubborn southerner and I would rather dig in my heels and wait you out than give one iota, one molecule of understanding and forgiveness. I get it from my mother. Just ask my dad, who, upon witnessing this behavior once before, apologized to my husband and said, “Two peas in pod.”

The Rev. called my cell phone once today and I put it to voicemail, just to show him I could press that button too. I would have answered it, to model the desired behavior that I was seeking, but I was in the middle of a conference call and I didn’t want to be rude. The second time he caught me when he called my work. He had ‘fessed up to his secretary and a teacher, but I am sure they only got his side of the story.

We’ll kiss and make up before the end of the night.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

On the Train to Crazy Town

Because we only have one car (countdown to car #2 is less that 24 hours), I often have to chauffeur The Rev. to and from church. He likes to get to church extra early on Sundays so he can practice his sermon, so he woke me up early for his practice session. I rolled out of bed, stuffed my feet into a pair of slippers and grabbed my car keys. The Rev's expression when he saw me wearing bright pink slippers, white athletic socks, red fleece pants, and a purple fleece pullover (not to mention that my hair looked like one of the cats had been chewing on it) communicated clearly to me exactly what he was thinking. "I know, I know," I said, "I look like I'm on the train to Crazy Town."

"No, you look like you are homeless."

Yeah, well I thought your sermon was five minutes too long.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Children of the Four Legged Variety

The Rev. and I don't have children. We would like to have children, but it hasn't happened yet. I'll spare you the details of our fertility check-ups. I know, I know, pastor's families should be similiar in population to small countries, or at least a small tribe, and many of The Rev.'s classmates have enough children for a game of full court basketball. I don't bother with names; I just need numbers, as in child #1, child #2, child #3, etc. When The Rev. talks to his parishioners about prayer, he always tells them to go to God with a washtub, rather than a Dixie cup. As of late, I have been praying for six children. I figure if I get at least one, I'll be happy.

Instead of children, we have pets. Three cats and a dog, to be exact. The last pet we acquired was a little gray kitten that The Rev. calls "demon kitty." I call her Minnie Pearl. She was my present for my thirtieth birthday, and yesterday she joined the other three animals in our house who share status as the vestal virgins. If you don't understand, she got fixed. And she is pitiful. She is a domestic long haired cat, and for the longest time I secretly thought she looked like a walking carpet, but with her belly shaved (and there is nothing more pitiful than a shaved cat, think about it), she has this weird, anorexic look about her. She also has chunks of her tail fur missing because, ahem, she had a little trouble getting out of the catbox without taking some of it with her, so I hacked it out of her fur with a pair of kitchen shears. She is walking around the house with this tufted tail and no belly and side fur, looking like a character straight out of Dr. Seuss. You can't make this stuff up.

What gets me is that The Rev. says he hates cat, but I really think he likes them. I listen to him talk to Smokey, Butch, and Minnie, and I know he likes having them around. Tonight we had to go to the pet store and he fretted for nearly an hour about which food to buy them. Then we had to figure out which treats they needed and if we should get some catnip, too. What would have taken me 15 minutes, took us nearly an hour, after all of the discussion over hard food vs. soft food, and what about Smokey and his peeing problem? It should be interesting when we have children without four legs and fur.

I know that at some point tonight I will wake up to tell my husband to stop snoring; I will shove the dog to get her to stop snoring; I will have to push Minnie away because she wants to knead on my stomach, and I will probably accidentally kick Butch off the bed. Smokey sleeps in my back, so at some point I will probably have to push him off the bed, too.

And I wonder why I don't have any children?

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Revelation, and not the Apocalypse

Perhaps I was a bit too negative in my last post. Instead of giving up something for Lent, I should take on something. You know, something positive to encourage goodwill and humanity towards others. Something that I should be doing everyday, but I can't because I keep forgetting to drown my old Adam with daily contrition and repentance.

Here are some things that I could be doing:

1. Reading my Bible everyday

2. Exercising

3. Putting away my shoes that are scattered across the house

4. Doing laundry, folding it, and putting it away

5. Calling on shut-ins and sending them cards

6. Walking the dog

7. Cleaning out the cat box

8. Put gas in the car when it gets to 1/4 tank

9. Make The Rev's lunch

10. Being nice to The Rev. when he is sick and not browbeating him because he's hacking up a lung and I can't get my beauty rest.

I need to install a pool for the daily dunking.


I remember as a little girl growing up in New Orleans all of my Catholic friends would "give up" something for Lent. It had to be something they really loved. One of my friends tried to give up potato chips, and I remember being confused because she was eating potato chips when she told me she had given them up until Easter. How Jesus humbling himself to this earth, living a perfect life, and willingly giving that life up for me, a poor wretched sinner, can compare to someone not eating potato chips for 40 days (not including Sundays) is beyond my comprehension. "A" for effort, I guess, given that I am sure God is probably more amused at our sactimony, than impressed by it.

The first year of our marriage, The Rev. and I decided to try and give something up for Lent, just to see what it was like. The old adage about a bridge in Brooklyn and jumping was temporarily forgotten in our excitement over work righteousness, besides, it was only temporary. Obviously, The Rev. and I are not Catholic, but we decided to approach Christ's Passion from a pietistic point of view, just to see what it was like. My parents also decided to give it a try, so the four of us agreed on giving up sweets. It's a wonder that we are all still married. The first problem came in the definition of sweet. There were too many gray areas and we could not agree. Snickers? Yes. Twinkies? Yes. Chocolate Milk? Gray area. Pop-Tarts? Maybe. Pancakes with syrup? That's breakfast. Do not deprive me of my breakfast! It became a competition to see who could deprive themselves the most. Mom threw a curve ball into the mix when she made a German Chocolate Cake for Dad's birthday. Homemade cake frosted with the gooey coconut pecan frosting. You know the one. It's not really German, but people bring it to Oktoberfest potluck anyway. Mom and Dad were done.

The Rev. and I made it the 40 days (and we included Sundays), and we had our Easter baskets devoured before sunrise service on Easter morning. The following years we never mentioned giving up something for Lent, or if I tried, it was a half-hearted attempt. I can safely say neither of us were better for the original experience, except maybe a few pounds lighter. This year, since my pants are getting tighter around my waist, I decided to give up sweets again. Of course, I failed to realize this would interfere with me eating all of the Moon Pies and Goo-Goos that had lined my suitcase on the way home from Nashville. I also forgot it was start of Girl Scout cookie season and I would have to decline the offer of Samoas and Thin Mints.

Maybe this year will be half-hearted attempt. Maybe I should get smart and give up something I don't like. Maybe I should listen to my husband when he tells me, "You know, salvation is free. And where in the Bible does it say 'Thou shall not eat candy'?" He gave up giving up things for Lent. Smart man.

I think I will make pancakes for breakfast.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ash Wednesday

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. It snuck up on me like a Mardi Gras reveler who realizes that the last float has passed and it is time to put down the bottle of Captain Morgan's (remember, Joel?) and go home. We had church last night, but we also had the requisite potluck that comes with every evening service. Don't get me wrong, I love potluck, but my pastor's wife guilt was out in full force because I only brought a salad. A salad that consisted of greens that were pre-washed and in a bag, along with a container of blue cheese, a pint of strawberries, a handful of pecans, and a bottle of Newman's Own Balsamic Vinegar. It took me five minutes to put it together.

I felt guilty.

Guilty that the salad dressing wasn't homemade. The strawberries had not been dug from the dirt by my own hands. The cheese was not made from milk from my own cow. I know I wrote a post last week bragging about my pantry and how I could make a vat of tuna fish to feed the 5,000. Well, people, I just got back from vacation and went straight to work. I was supposed to be in Idaho this week, so everyone better be happy I made it to church, okay? Anyway, the salad looked so lovely on the plate, right next to the Church's fried chicken somebody else brought.

I am not alone.