Home Depot and Divinity

As I was walking out of the local Home Depot with a cart full of paint-the-front-porch supplies, I passed a man going in who looked for all the world like Russell M. Nelson.  My first impulse was to run over and introduce myself to him, to thank him for his service and for being such an inspiration to me and so many others, but logically I knew it wasn’t him.  I don’t know if President Nelson shops at Home Depot, but, if he does, it’s not on this side of the Mississippi River, so Spuds and I kept walking towards our car.

While we were walking, pushing the cart, I began thinking about how the man I’d just seen, though he wasn’t a renowned heart surgeon or apostle of the Lord, was still a child of God.  We weren’t really parked that far back in the parking lot, but all of these thoughts just kind of washed over me and into me in a matter of seconds, so I pondered the divinity within that anonymous elderly stranger and thought how wonderful it would be if we all could recognize that in everyone we meet.  I have no idea who that man was, what he has or hasn’t done in or with his life, or anything else about him, but why should that mean I shouldn’t feel privileged to meet him, to shake his hand?  Can you imagine what kind of world it would be if we all greeted one another with a sense of awe and gratitude just because we are getting the chance to meet another child of God?  President Nelson probably gets special, effusive greetings from strangers on a regular basis, and I’m sure that bolsters him.  What if we all got sincerely effusive greetings, whether from strangers in a parking lot or at times of formal introduction?  What if we all met each other as if we were meeting an apostle (or a celebrity, if you’re not into religion)?  I can only imagine how we could bolster each other through such sincere appreciation for . . . each other.  I mean, I’m not saying I should have chased the old dude down and fawned all over him or anything — there are limits of social acceptability and all that — but if, within the limits of what is sane and acceptable, we all greeted each other warmly, in a way that made the other person feel special, important, noticed . . . how amazing would that be?

Very Deep Thoughts to be having in a Home Depot parking lot, but the conviction swept over me to approach each new person I meet with a least a little bit of that awe and gratitude, a little more recognition that I was meeting a child of God, a little more effort towards helping each person feel their importance.  “Why don’t I already do this???”  I wondered to myself.

Then I heard, “Hey,” from a bit of a distance.

I came out of my Very Deep Thoughts to see an unkempt man standing behind the car parked next to mine, but almost standing behind my car.  He and his clothes, beard, and hair looked unwashed, his eyes were glassy and his expression hard to read, and he was standing in place but shifting his weight back and forth, swaying from side to side a bit while smoking a . . . what was it?  Do vape pens come with attached boxes?  I really have no idea, but the smoke seemed to have no smell.  We had been walking down the wrong row and had just barely turned toward the proper one when his,”hey” came from that row over, so I initially assumed it had been directed at someone else.

Again he said, “Hey,” and I realized he might be talking to us.  I smiled but said nothing, because I didn’t feel like shouting across the parking lot, and I still wasn’t sure if he was greeting me and Spuds.  As we entered the correct row of cars and were halfway across it, again, “Hey,” but he didn’t move away from my car, even though we were clearly approaching it.

I said hi, but was getting a thoroughly creepy vibe from this man who was swaying and smoking from some mystery apparatus and standing so close to the back end of my car that I knew he’d be able to reach out and grab one or the other of us as we loaded our supplies in the trunk.

At the moment I thought we were getting too close to what could be a dangerous situation, my phone rang.  I gestured to Spuds to get into the car on the passenger side, the side furthest from Mr. Hey, while taking to Midge about whatever it was she needed to talk about and trying to make it sound like I was talking to an adult.  I loaded the car quickly and then smiled at Mr. Hey as I looked directly at him and squeezed by to get to my door, praying that he wasn’t going to let go of his smoking device and sway in to grab me.

After getting in safely, locking the door, and getting off the phone, I realized two things in slow succession:

  1.  I’d just failed at my brand new resolution to meet/greet new people as if they were amazing and it was my privilege — what kind of awful person am I that I can’t hold on to a goal for, like, five seconds???  That man was/is a child of God, too!
  2. There are very real reasons why I haven’t been doing this it’s-my-privilege-to-meet-you stuff already, and, child of God though he may be, his glassy-eyed swaying with no sense of boundaries and appropriate space was creepy.  Maybe I failed at my resolution, but maybe I succeeded at keeping my kid and myself safe.

My resolution isn’t dead, but I’m also not going to stop listening to my Spidey Sense.  I wish I didn’t have to.

There Was a Weird Guy in a Snuggie

There are so many things wrong with this new (or new to me) Snuggie ad.

I mean, there are so many things wrong with all the Snuggie ads: low budget, bad acting, cheesy product, horrific sets; but this one? 


First of all, I would really, really love to see a man at a public sporting event wearing a Snuggie.  Because then?  I could mock him mercilessly.  It would be the most fun I’ve had at a game since watching Andre Agassi (back in his long hair days), who was sitting a few rows away from me in Cougar Stadium, get mobbed by autograph-seeking BYU co-eds to the point that when there was finally a lull in the starry-eyed line he took his shirt off and draped it over his head to hide.  Ahhhh . . . one of the finest football games of my life.

Second, and I’m about to go all PG-13 on you here so apologies and all that, there is something really squicky when jingle lyrics talk about how one is so happy that “my hands are free” then shows a man in a Snuggie looking at a centerfold.  All kinds of ewww . . . especially when he turns it around to show that it is a centerfold of a woman in. a. Snuggie.    Squicky and deviant, if you ask me.

And lastly?  The real kicker?  Oh my word!  A bunch of hands-free adults partying in their Snuggies?  What do you even call that?  A Snorgy?

And Tewt the Newt is wondering how many Truffula Trees had to die to create all that kink.

For the Record

Dear Global Warming Enthusiasts,

I just returned with my brood of five children from an outing to Wal Mart.  This would be of neither import nor interest were it not for the fact that in order to comfortably go on said outing we all had to don jackets.

For the record, it is July 22nd, a time of year wherein (normally)  heat and humidity drive the Amish to contemplate central air while the Evangelical Christians* prayerfully consider becoming nudists.  And yet, not to be repetitive, we required jackets for warmth today.

We also wore jackets to a picnic in a neighboring state this past weekend and, for the first time in my 38 years of existence, we wore jackets while watching Fourth of July fireworks.

Additionally, my tomato crop is going to be small, I fear, because the plants seem to be shivering all their blossoms off.  Have you ever tried to knit a sweater for a tomato plant?  It isn’t easy, even when your arms aren’t tightly wound around a tree.

I love the earth, I really do.  But?  Right now?  I’d like it a little warmer.  Thank you for so diligently publicizing all the ways you think I can accomplish this goal.  I’m off to let my Suburban idle next to my garden, turn on every light in my house, set all the faucets in the “on” position, build a bonfire in my backyard, crank up the heat, kill wildlife, and pass a lot of gas.  Have I forgotten anything?




*I actually know very, very little about Evangelical Christians.  It is quite possible that they embrace public nudity and I am just totally unaware (though somehow I doubt it).  At any rate, I am not making fun of them or of prayer.  Just in case there is any question in your mind whatsoever:  I am making fun of the concept of global warming and the people who embrace it.  That is all.

Come Again?

I’m sorry, did our country just elect Barack Obama as the next president, or Bob the Builder?

No, no wait, maybe we just elected the Rev. Bob the Obama?

I’m not sure, but whichever it is, I think my grave concerns have become even more grave.


And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt is horrified and sad.

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The Best Laid Plans (Alternately: Another One Bites the Dust)

Nothing can bring on the plague like a planned visit with my best friend R~.


Almost every time we make plans to get together (because, you see, we live about 10 hours apart — really inconvenient), my kids get sick.  Or her kids get sick.  Someone gets sick.  Then, of course, the plans have to be canceled. 

Oh, we won’t be stopped by the common cold, and we’ve even decided a bout of pink eye is no longer worth calling things off.  What is up with the pink eye anyway?  I never got it as a kid.  My siblings never got it as kids.  My kids?  Have had it at least three or four times.

Puking, however, is pretty much a deal breaker.  As, of course, is the southern-ended version of puking.  Who wants to make a trek with all that going on, only to share the fun once we get together?  Not us, that’s who.

So today was no different.  She was driving through my state on her way home from a visit with family in a nearby state.  I was going to drive down a couple of hours to meet her for lunch and an afternoon at the park with kids as she went through.

Naturally, that meant someone had to start upping their chuck with great vengeance.  Not that it was meant to be vengeful, of course, but wow.  Poor McH.

He insisted this morning that I make the trip anyway, but I didn’t want to leave him alone.  I wanted to take care of him.  I wanted to go get him Sprite and saltine crackers.  I wanted to be there for him as a good wife should.  I wanted to make sure I wasn’t on the road with a truck full of kids who may or may not be incubating a vomiting virus that was ready to spew forth at any second.  Nothing like being a couple of hours from home with a truck full o’ chuck, and five sick kids, you know?

Plus?  I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.  Not that I’m complaining.  I mean, I got more sleep than I would have had it been one of the kids.  That would have required steam cleaning carpets.  But still: not much sleep, coming down with The Cold myself, and not knowing who might be tossing their cookies next?  Just.  Couldn’t.  Do it.

Luckily McH is feeling much better this evening, and no one else seems ready to ralph, so we’re chalking it up to food poisoning (from his lunch, since we all ate the same dinner last night).  That’s good.  I guess.

R~ and her family are planning another trip this direction in November, so if you don’t like posts about puke, you might want to avoid my blog that month.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

Five Things I Learned Today

1.  My husband wants to buy a horse.  Really.  He found one.  The price is good (I guess?).  The kids are on his side.  Surprise!  I would rather buy a new mattress (or two) (see previous post).  With a new mattress (or two) we will sleep better and not have to deal with manure.  Why do I always have to be the bad guy?

2.  Apparently, since there isn’t a lot to do around here? people swing.  And I’m not talking playground stuff.  I don’t know how many people do it, and I don’t know who the people are.  Heck, I don’t even know how accurate the information is.  It is just what we’ve been told.  Who woulda thunk it?  I mean, sheep, sure, but swinging?

3.  My husband just pointed out to me that there are no sheep around here, hence the alleged swinging.  (vomiting in my mouth a little over this whole topic)

4.  If a five-year-old is hurrying to get her swimsuit off to go potty, but isn’t “concentrating” then, “Kaboom! the pee [comes] out!” onto the floor.

5.  If your ten-year-old daughter comes up for lunch, sees two strawberries on her plate, and starts crying about how she should have stayed downstairs because her day was finally getting better down there, don’t tell her that when she is finished with lunch she can just spend the rest of the day in the basement which makes her so happy.  If you do, she’ll bawl about how this is why she never shares her feelings and fears with you, because she knows you’ll just get mad.  Hello?!?!  You. are. ten.  Not. thirteen.  I’m seeing training bras and maxi pads in my near future.  And those who actually know her are surely shocked to hear there is something she allegedly doesn’t talk about.  (But her feelings are totally legitimate — she is lonely and this move has been hard on her — amen, kiddo, amen).

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

Waking Up On the Wrong Side

Have you ever had one of those dreams?

No, not one of those dreams.  Geesh, you people!

You know, one of those dreams that just ruins your whole day from the moment you wake up?  One of those dreams that manages to evoke emotions which then carry over into your waking hours, and, even though you know it was just a dream, you can’t shake the feeling with which it left you.

I hate those dreams.  Luckily they don’t happen often.

But I had one last night.

Remember, this is all just a dream:

Our adoption coordinator called us to say there were more hurdles to be overcome.  There was new paperwork we had to do, and lots of it.  I don’t remember what any of it was now, but I remember that it was all rather ridiculous.  However, we had no choice.  If we wanted to get our son home, we had to do the paperwork.

The paperwork, though, wasn’t the major hurdle.  The major hurdle was my blog.  The Vietnamese authorities had found my blog and felt we wouldn’t be fit parents because on my blog I talked about . . . aren’t dreams crazy things? . . . on my blog I talked about elves.  This somehow made us unfit parents in the eyes of the Vietnamese government.

I was totally confused.  I’ve never written anything about elves that I can remember, I told our coordinator, just the Swedish Tomte.  But the Tomte is more of a gnome, not an elf, and it’s not even a tradition we uphold, so I just didn’t see what the problem was.  I told her I’d go back and delete any posts that mentioned elves or gnomes, but she didn’t think that would help.  They had already seen the posts causing the problems, the damage had been done.

The coordinator was personally going to fly to Uganda to try to get everything worked out.  That’s right, Uganda.  I didn’t understand why, when we are adopting from Vietnam, she would have to go to Uganda, but that was the least of my worries.  The worst part was that she estimated it would take at least 50 days for everything to be done, for the new paperwork to be processed, and for the elf blogging situation to be smoothed over, if indeed it could be smoothed over at all.

And if that wasn’t enough?  Then I found I had to help Rory Gilmore who was being kept in a crate and slapped around by Logan what’s-his-face.  Nobody around her saw that he was being abusive except for me, and I had to get her out of that situation and somehow get the other people to see that they needed to help her, because I just couldn’t do it all.

So today?  Today I woke up feeling angry and frustrated and, dare I say it?  Depressed.  Gulp.  Guess I’ll never be able to adopt from China now.

I don’t want to go to church.  I don’t want to have to talk to people.  And it’s not that I don’t want to talk to them about the adoption, I just don’t want to talk to them at all.  I don’t want to go teach my 12 and 13-year-old girls.  I don’t want to have to paste a smile on my face and pretend like life is just business as usual.  I spent my night trying to get on top of new paperwork and trying to figure out how to make the Vietnamese not hate me for writing about a Swedish gnome, and saving Rory Gilmore.  Does that sound like business as usual to you?

Well, haven’t I just turned into Debbie Downer lately?

But don’t drop me from your BlogLines or GoogleReader accounts just yet.  There should be an update from our agency this week that will hopefully include pictures, so, you know, the Adoption Bi-Polar Disorder will be on the upswing and I’ll be deliriously happy then. 

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt really is going to make more of an effort to find you soon.