Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole...FIESTA!

I know. I am late with my Life is Funny post. This week's Life is Funny post is going to stretch the meaning of the word funny. I am talking fun--y. I had a lot of fun on Friday, but I am not sure that it was Hilariously funny, but I sure did have fun, and would like to tell you about it!

Well, Friday evening we had a Silent Auction Dinner Dance benefiting our Parish's School to go to ... (That is why I was not on the computer all day...hours of making myself look barely passable...) Now, when I was teaching, I had lots of these things to go to, and the teachers always felt the need to keep me off of the dance floor. It was for the sake of our professional dignity they said. Well, there was that time at the beer garden during the carnival where the ESL teacher and I polkaed, but that was because the others weren't there to save her...

There was some question in my mind on Friday as to whether I should dance and have a good time, or attempt to retain some professional dignity due to my being entrusted with teaching CCD.

"Ole ole - ole ole / Ole ole - ole ole/ FIESTA!" and I was out joining the crazy train, laughing, waving, dancing, and singing the lyrics. But you what was really funny? Instead of being disturbed by my loss of composure, my pastor came up to me later to say that he was really happy to see me out there having a good time. Isn't that sweet?

I also tried to lead the other CCD teachers in a "Chicken Dance" chant to get the DJ to play it, but they left me to chant it by myself. The DJ paid me no heed.

It is a good thing though that the DJ did not play "Single Ladies". The Parish does not need to witness one of their CCD teachers, Ms. Helenatrandom, spanking her own bottom on the dance floor...Or do they? Well, there is always next year...

How about joining my friend Wendy's blog carnival? Really, she isn't picky! She will accept any definition of funny!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Steph!

Steph is a very special member of our blogger girl team! It is thanks to her that I know why dogs wear chicken necklaces, the reason why chocolate now gives me the poops. Thanks to her introduction of Gladys to us that it is now said of Helen at Random "Helen loves Jesus, but she drinks a little...". The people in my world also owe her a debt of gratitude for my newfound appreciation of this song, because until the Goth video she posted, I liked the song, but was not all CDO over it.

(I was going to post the Chicken Dance, because of her Dog's necklace, which was the first post on her blog that I ever read, but then I thought it would be cooler to find chickens dancing to "Single Ladies". Sadly, there are no such videos on Youtube. Yet.)

Happy Birthday Steph! We love you! (Click on the title of this post to wish her a Happy Birthday on her blog!)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twitter Ho Down Video

Trying something different for the twitter ho down today.
I hope you enjoy playing Twik or Tweet.
If you don't, cheer up, I'll probably randomly choose another way to participate in the Twitter Ho Down next week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Calling Out Bruno, Carrie Anne, and Len!

Okay judges, I am calling you out NOW! Why are you being rude to the contestants on the first show? Who do you think you people are, American Idol? I don't watch AI because I don't like the way Simon talks to the contestants. You people used to be better than that. You used to critique with gentleness and finess! True, you would tell a contestant that their footwork or hip movement was atrocious, and that they needed to work on it. But that is your job. Judging these things, and explaining your decisions is what you are for..

But the name calling and mean metaphors have got to go! How dare you, Bruno Tonioli, call that young man a hobbit!

I give up watching one hour of wrestling (RAW) to see your show! If I wanted rude, I'd stick with them! I watch Dancing With the Stars to enjoy elegant dancing, elegant music, elegant costumes, AND elegant manners! Get back on it, judges. I've got my eye on you...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Why Do They Call It a Wake When the Guest of Honor Looks Like He or She is Asleep?

I was at a wake for a friend of the family on Thursday who was known for tall stories. Maybe I'll post on that the other day. The point is that I was disappointed how reserved and polite people were at the wake. No one spoke about his propensity for telling an exaggerated tale. It was an endearing quality, actually. Children hung around him to listen. Grown men would egg him on a bit, but they egged each other on in their foibles, so he wasn't actually singled out. If we would have shared his stories, his wake would have been rockin'. As it was, we are all obeying the unwritten rule of decorum.

We all are kind of known for a personality trait, aren't we? My daddy was known for having a joke for every occasion. People used to corner him a parties (and wakes) and make him tell that joke to so and so that he told last time....

Anyone who has been to a Bible Study with me knows that I too have a joke for every occasion. Lots of them are Daddy's actually. Once, at a Bible Study when we were studying Isaiah, we had people deep in thought, not sure how to answer the study questions in front of us.

HRM: This passage reminds me of a joke.
Leader: (Throws book in the air over her head) OF COURSE it does!

I guess not everyone is comfortable with humor everywhere. I was later recommended by the leader to lead ANOTHER Bible Study myself. I think she was trying to get rid of me. I didn't accept the opportunity to lead, figuring that my sense of humor might be an obstacle to real learning if I was the leader.

Still, at my wake, I expect any of you who come to bring with you an email joke or cartoon I sent, a favorite funny tweet, or a description of a humorous post you like. Be an example at my wake, and encourage people to laugh with me, and be joyful.

Psalm 4: 6-8
6 Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?"
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.

7 You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.

8 I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

Life is funny. Come check out Wendy's blog carnival.

What do you think people will be saying at your wake? Just curious....

Friday, September 18, 2009

There Are Twitter Ho's, and Then There Are Plain Ol'....


Instead of a list of favorite tweets this week, I would just like to share some thoughts about Twitter. No, this isn't going to be a Helen rant. I'm not sure what this is, but it isn't a rant.

Tweeting is fun. I have gotten to know quite a few people via twitter. Being a caretaker can be lonely. Yes, I have mom. But talking to the same person all the time means talking about the same things. Sometimes it even means repeating irritating patterns. My twittering / blogging friends mean a lot to me. I do believe the feeling is mutual. These friends have extending much kindness to me. My birthday is one great big huge example, but their are several kindnesses they offer daily.

That is why I am really bothered by the following tactics of some businesses. Or are they people? It is hard to tell. Lately I get maybe ten new followers every day, but when you go to check their profile, I see odd tweets, and when I click on their web page in the sidebar, I get the same website for each one of them: How to make money via yada yada (I am NOT putting their name out their in cyberspace for them.) What really galls me is that I believe they actually get money for people clicking on the site. I feel duped. I feel like to that particular tweeter, I am nothing more than a few potential cents I can be tricked into getting for them.

I don't mind the dentists, chiropracters, gynocologists, butchers or bakers who follow me because they did a twitter search for a word within their line of work, and found me telling dentist jokes, asking about a friend's chiropracter, or requesting information on how to become the Ambassador de Headcheese. I don't exactly follow them back, but I don't begrudge them their use of twitter. Their profile makes it clear who they are and why they are tweeting, and I am cool with that.

I begrudge people who pose as a potential friend, and then pull a bait and switch. They make me wary, and I don't like it. There are actual people behind some profiles, and I don't want to treat an actual person as if their follow / potential friendship is disregarded. I do love my twitter / blog friends, and I welcome the opportunity to expand the circle. But I have already found that I accidentally ignored a lovely person or two because I mistook them for one of those twitterers. I only found out they were different because I regularly check my @ replies. If someone @ replies me, I'll check their page and most likely return follow. And of course, Friday Follow is very helpful, because if a friend tweets a name that I'm not following but sounds familiar, I know I goofed during the week.

If I have done this to you, or one of your twitter friends, I heartily apologize. The last thing I wish is to dehumanize anyone.


Maybe later today I'll pick out a twitter conversation or two to share..

Until then..If you miss my Friday tweets, here is the page they are on twitter.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stream of Consciousness

I guess you could say I am struggling with ideas for a post. I have been having serious thoughts lately, and sometimes it's hard to do serious. No, not depressing. I am not feeling sad, mad, anxious, or anything like that. Just serious. Serious is not the opposite of joyful, by the way. I have been feeling so incredibly happy and peaceful, but in a serious way.
Bob and I have been making some plans. Joyful plans. Serious plans. I don't think I have ever felt so happy and serious at the same time since marrying Bob. Plans that I am almost scared to share. I'm scared that these plans will fail, and my failure will be documented in cyber space for the world to see. Which kind of reeks of hubris, since the "world" isn't reading my blog, a tight knit group of friends are. So maybe I lied. Maybe I am anxious...

"Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me." John 14:1

If any verse has been a "life verse" for me, this has been it. Not because I do it well, but because it is what I need to be reminded of...

Trust is tough though when you aren't sure if everything you are hoping and planning for is going to fall through, and leave you without any more hopes and dreams. Which makes me wonder if I have been making my own hopes and dreams my idol...

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent,[c] nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." John 1:12-13

Am I allowed two life verses? Because it means everything to me to know that I am a child of God no matter how screwed up my thoughts or feelings are, because Jesus is my Savior. That isn't going to change no matter how these plans pan out...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Open Letter to Phone Order Companies...

Excuse me. I need to vent. I just hate it when a company thinks that their time is more important than mine, and proceeds to waste it.

Dear Phone Order Company That My Mom Likes to Buy Lots of Crap From:

We buy crap. We don't take it! When your salesrepresentative proceeded to suggestive sell items I had no interest in, I was kind. When we got disconnected at the end of the order before confirmation, I understood. Fat people are supposed to be jolly, and I'm enormous. I try to represent my people well.

But then when I call and hit the dial for customer representative to check if the order went through, why did it take more than ten minutes? Why did I eventually have to give up, call again, hit the dial for sales representative, and be connected immediately? Why was the sales representative available immediately, while the customer representative was unavailable for so long? Why did this sales representative also try to suggestive sell me into oblivion, even though I told her that I was disconnected at the end of the order and heard it all before?

You do know that you are not the only company that will take phone orders for crap, don't you? All I have to do is choose to show mom other catalogues, and you would never see another order from this household again. What do you say to that?

Helen Moschnossgepup

What do you think, friends? Should I send it, or am I overreacting?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Breakfast with a Celebrity...

Time to participate in Life is Funny blog carnival.

My husband and I LOVE this commercial, and we are disappointed that it no longer airs. It hadn't been played for long really, yet it is the reason we refer to "Having a celebrity for breakfast" every weekend.


Are there any commercials that make your household funnier?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Prayers for Our Nation as We Commemorate This Sad Day

Today I am tweaking the post I wrote for 9/11 last year.

Where were you eight years ago today? I was in a classroom with 38 second graders. An announcement came on the intercom to pray for survivors of a plane crash into the World Trade Center, and to pray for the dead. We were told we could turn on the television machine to see the news coverage. I declined. I felt eight year olds did not need to see carnage and the reaction to it. About 20 minutes later, someone from the office came to my door to tell me there was a second hit. Until then, I had naively believed it was an accident. I chose not to tell my students. Eventually the news that the Pentagon was hit reached me. And then the news of the courageous passengers who brought there own plane down when they realized what the hijackers were planning. I still did not tell my students, though I did pray with them for the dead, for the survivors of "today's tragedy", and for the rescue workers who were trying to save them. I couldn't protect them from fear for long, but I feeling what I was for a little while. Many parents came to get their children early. Many did not. The ones who stayed thought it was strange that so many students were being dismissed early, but did not correlate that fact with the crash at 9:00 that morning.
The next day they asked me why I did not tell them. I told them that I felt it would be less scary to hear this from the parents who loved them than from me. I did not tell them I was wondering if Chicago was a target, and that I didn't want them to think of that too. They accepted that I thought their parents should tell them. They were good kids. I hope that they remember me as a good teacher.

When they are asked one day "Where were you when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon?", they will say learning to read. I am not sure what they'll think of having to give that answer. But all I wanted to do was protect them, and I felt the only thing I could truly protect them from was fear.

Do you remember driving home from work that day? How polite everyone was on the road, because they suddenly discovered life is fragile? Do you remember hugging your loved ones that day when you came home, how sweet that hug was because you were afraid you'd never hug them again?

For many people that day, there were no more hugs.
Pope John Paul II offered this prayer for our nation.

I don't know anyone personally who died that day. September 11 is designated as "Patriot Day" in this country now. I would like it to be a day when everyone prays for fire fighters and rescue workers. I know their families pray for them daily, but those of us who don't have friends or family doing this forget to, except of course when hearing of tragedies or emergencies. I wish that this day would be a day to pray a simple prayer for them and their families. I am no David, so please forgive my meager attempt.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the gift of selfless people who work as firefighters and rescue workers. Many of them sacrifice their lives for the good of the public. Many of their family members worry for their safety daily. I pray that you keep them safe and well, and that you comfort their families in times of anxiety. Hold them close to you as they save and rescue. Hold the people they serve close to you. Please don't let their lives end before knowing you. Please don't let them die while they serve us. Please reward them in this life and the next for their courage and selflessness.
I ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Helen tells THE TRUTH

Yesterday I joined the game Two Truths and a Lie. Here's how we played. I told two truths about myself and one lie, then let the readers of the post try to guess which is the lie. Since the picture at the top of my post today is of Bob in costume, my truths and lie were about costumes I have worn.

1) I used parts of my old Renaissance costume as a St. Elizabeth of Hungary costume for All Saint's Day last year.
2) I dressed for a Halloween party as a Hula Bunny. That would be a bunny costume with a coconut bra and a hula skirt.
3) I wore an angel costume for my Church's Christmas pageant.

And the lie is.....

I did not wear an angel costume for my Church's Christmas pageant, but in the school play in sixth grade. I went to a public grammar school, so the play was not even remotely Church connected.

Sorry. No downloadable pictures of me in any of the costumes forementioned.

Have a great evening. God Bless You!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sometimes the More You Give, the More You Get

Bob went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire on Sunday with his friend Adam (name changed, since I don't have his permission to talk about him on my blog. Actually, I never asked Bob for permission either, but he hasn't complained yet.) Now, at one time, Bob and I went to the Ren Faire five times in one year. I won't say he wore out the experience for me entirely, but I did not mind not going. Besides, Bob's time with friend is usually spent at Civil War reactments (observer, not participant), Ren Faire's, things of a historical nature. My husband and his friends don't drink, so hanging out in a bar is not an option. Bob likes sports, but he won't pay to see professional players. He finds fishing dull. Historical reenactments are a good way for him to get some guy time.

I do find it funny though, that several years ago, we went to this town called Strongholde for a Ren Faire on a much smaller scale. I was just about Ren Faired out that year, but it was a nice little weekend away. We stayed in a town called Oregon (yes, in Illinois). They were having their Autumn Festival that week. I had the time of my life! I drank HOT cider for the first time. We ate dinner on a paddlewheel boat. We went to the bizarre. It was marvelous. I only agreed to go on this little excursion to make him happy, and I had a better time than he did! The dinner at the Ren Faire the first night was okay, but the actual outdoor festival was just okay. Yet we had so much fun in the neighboring town the bed and breakfast we were staying at was in, we went to Oregon, IL on vacation the next summer. True, there was no festival or hot cider, but there were new things to discover, and we went on the paddle wheel boat dinner again. It was wonderful.

I find it funny that that isn't the first time I went somewhere just because Bob wanted to, and acccidently discovered something wonderful around the bend. And if this was Bob's blog, he could say the same thing in the vice versa. But if he wants you to know his stories of places he went for my sake but found something he liked in the meantime, he'll have to comment in the comment section. That's right. He has commented on some of your blogs, but never mine...

What? This doesn't work for a Life is Funny post because this is more funny strange than funny haha. Fine! I'll play Wendy's game, Two Truths and a Lie. Here's how to play. I tell two truths about myself and one lie, then you all try to guess which is the lie. Since the picture at the top of my post today is of Bob in costume, my truths and lie shall be about costumes I have worn.

1) I used parts of my old Renaissance costume as a St. Elizabeth of Hungary costume for All Saint's Day last year.
2) I dressed for a Halloween party as a Hula Bunny. That would be a bunny costume with a coconut bra and a hula skirt.
3) I wore an angel costume for my Church's Christmas pageant.

Go ahead and guess which one you think is the lie.

Monday Manna

Monday Manna

A new friend named Joanne invites us to take part in Monday Manna.

We were given this verse to contemplate.

"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19

That verse made me think of this:

God promised us a Savior when our first parents were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for insubordination. He spoke His promise, He acted on His promise, and His promise has been fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

What a costly and painful promise that was for HIm to make and keep, yet He did. Wow!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Be Blessed, Not Afraid...

I thought today I would share one of my favorite hymns with you. I believe that it is mostly sung in Catholic parishes. I do believe that two uncles, my godmother, my grandmother, and my dad all had this hymn at their funeralss. Those had to be the saddest times in my life, and this hymn was like a branch I could grab onto as I felt myself going under the waters of sorrow. Unfortunately, for a long time, this hymn reminded me of their funerals, and has done less to encourage me on an ordinary Sunday, except of course during the months after their deaths.

I don't know why, but today was different. Today, it almost brought the joy and comfort I felt when I heard it in High School, but with an deeper understanding. I hope you will be blessed by listening to it.

Be Not Afraid

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow'r of hell and death is at your side, know that
I am with you through it all.

Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mischievous Tweets


I like the concept of revolving my twitter ho down post around a conversation or topic. This week’s topic is feeling mischievous. I was feeling mischievous on August 31. The tweets I am including are from conversations reflecting that.

It began at 7:32 am

Helenatrandom@katdish Good morning, Kathy! How are you this morning. I am feeling mischievous....

katdish@Helenatrandom Good morning! Mischievous, huh? I like the sound of that...

Helenatrandom@katdish Yeah. I have already tormented Sherri and Peter in their comment sections... but I was nice to Billy....

Helenatrandom@billycoffey Good morning, Billy! Ready to do something mischievous to brighten up your Monday? Hmmm? Need ideas? I'm here 4 u...

billycoffey@Helenatrandom Yes. I need to start off my week with a bang. Literally.

Helenatrandom@billycoffey Okay. Sherri is letting us ask her husband questions on her blog today. Think up some especially goofy ones for him...

katdish@Helenatrandom Oooo! Freaking yay!

Helenatrandom@billycoffey Oh, and Peter P is asking for guest posters. You could promise him to write about a CRAZY linty choir robes...

Helenatrandom@redclaydiaries Good morning! Everything is more manageable when you are teasing someone. Check out Sherri's blog today...

HelenatrandomTime to torment my friend Sherri,who is not twittering,

Helenatrandom@katdish I know, right I got two up there already.But I am leaving it up to @weightwhat and you to ask about the swollen parts...U R welcome

katdish@Helenatrandom Okay, thanks. And don't be asking @billycoffey to guest post for @peterpollock, he hasn't even written anything for #FOTTSP

Helenatrandom@katdish I'm not. I'm asking him to come up with crazy guest post suggestions for @peterpollock...

HelenatrandomOh well...time for me to go put sugar in the salt shakers and salt in the sugar bowl...tweet you all later...

At 12:42, I begin new conversations about mischief…

Helenatrandom@weightwhat Yaayy! You are here!

Helenatrandom@weightwhat Now we can be mischievous together!

weightwhat@Helenatrandom What should we do today? Trouble, thy name is Helen and Wendy!

Helenatrandom@weightwhat Read Sherri's post. OMGoogle, I promise U likey...

Helenatrandom@weightwhat Then check out Peter's blog. He is asking for guest posters! Think of the mischief we can do there!

billycoffey@weightwhat I'm dying here, Wendy. You gotta get me another job.

HelenatrandomRT @weightwhat: The new Life is Funny post is up! Join the carnival, huh? /// Something to aspire to..
weightwhat@billycoffey Maybe you need to make some mischief around there to make your day go faster. Not that I would know about such things...

billycoffey@weightwhat I'm going to resort to setting fires soon...

Helenatrandom@weightwhat Actually, I do. I submitted my post already. Something I thought was TOO WEIRD for my blog....

weightwhat@Helenatrandom Was Peter lulled into a false sense of security by your pink hat?

Helenatrandom@weightwhat Well...he does reserve the right to not actually print the post, but he will...#theirresistiblepowerofpinkhats

Helenatrandom@weightwhat I saved the swollen parts question for you to ask

weightwhat@Helenatrandom You're so kind! Or is it that you know I'd totally go there?

Helenatrandom@billycoffey If you need any help with safe pranks that won't get back to you, talk to me and Wendy. Safety not an issue? Check with NtG...

Helenatrandom@weightwhat YES!

billycoffey@Helenatrandom You two are sneaky, aren't you?

Helenatrandom@billycoffey We are fun...Check out her friend V's mischievous streak in her post. Her pranks would be sooo doable for you...And fun!

Helenatrandom@weightwhat Well, we gotta do what we can to help our brother, Billy, out...No impaling on fences...

HelenatrandomTime to switch the toilet paper rolls so that they are facing the wrong way...Tweet you later...

Then, at 3:17, there was more fun to behold..

weightwhatOkay @Helenatrandom, I put in some questions on Sherri's blog!

Helenatrandom@weightwhat Excellent! And thanks for throwing me under the bus! It adds to the excitement!

weightwhat@Helenatrandom You know I'm all up in the excitement!

Helenatrandom Okay. Time for me to replace candy in the candy dishes with coffee beans. Tweet you all later!

Later on, @BillyCoffey, @weightwhat, and I were discussing more pranks for him to liven up his workday. I believe I made some costume suggestions…..But I am sure you can learn all about that on Wendy’s (@weightwhat) blog.

For those of you who dont' twitter, enjoy...This is my fave video of THAT song....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lucky Me! I Scored Another Inteview With Myself!

I do believe that yesterday I promised you that I would interview myself about my birthday. I said that before checking with myself, but luckily I was in a good mood from all the attention I got yesterday, and was quite agreeable.

HRM: So tell us, how did you spend your Birthday?
Helen: Well, the first thing I did was oversleep....No wait, I went to bed at 1:00 a.m. So I guess the first thing I did on my birthday was exchange tweets with Wendy. Then I went to my mom's room to give her an opportunity to wish me a Happy Birthday. Don't worry, she wasn't asleep. Then I went to bed and overslept.
HRM: Is that how this interview is going to go? Minute by minute details ....
Helen: Hey, it could have been worse. I could have mentioned what Wendy and I were tweeting...
HRM: I have seen your tweets with her. You are correct. That would have been much worse! So, what did you do when you woke up?
Helen: Well, I spent time with my mom and my Uncle John. Uncle John was kind enough to spend my birthday with me. I love Uncle John. He's been my favorite Uncle since even before when I had other uncles...He's the best!
HRM: Do anything special with them during the day?
Helen: Just hung out. That was enough. The day before, my husband's uncle and cousin came over with flowers for me, and my dear friend from college called me in the evening. I guess you could say the excitement has been spread out...
HRM: Did you get lots of Birthday wishes?
Helen: Are you kidding? My friends in the blogosphere went all out. Peter gave bonus entries to a contest to people who'd wish me Happy Birthday, Annie found a polka of 80's songs for me, Candy found a video of supermarket salsa dancers for me, Wendy wrote a Happy Birthday post for me, Sherri started a fan club for me, Katdish posted about my birthday yesterday AND today, thus extending the excitement even longer, Becca at Homefront posted a Happy Birthday post and answered my meme, Beth wrote a poem for me, people came from their blogs to wish me a Happy Birthday on my blog, tweeted Happy Birthday, and I got cards from my family. People were so kind and made me feel so good and happy!
HRM: You are blessed to have found such a great group of people on line.
Helen: In the words of the woman who should be our Vice President but isn't, You betcha!
HRM: No politics today. We'll make arrangements to discuss that at another time if you like.
Helen: Sorry. I got carried away. The media twisted everything she said, you know. It's no wonder she wouldn't do interviews...
HRM: Another time. Relax. You know I don't twist your words. Snort. Sorry.
Helen: It's all right. We do have fun together. Don't we?
HRM: You may be odd, but at least I have eachother!
Helen: I can say that again!
HRM: Too funny! Anyway, back to your birthday. What did Bob get you?
Helen: Oh, he was very busy. He bought and ice cream cake...
HRM: Did he light it on fire?
Helen: Are you kidding? Forty candles on an ice cream cake!
HRM: Good point....
Helen: He bought me a balloon, a card, and brought home Brown's chicken with all of my favorite sides.
HRM: Well, it sounds like he was busy.
Helen: I'm still waiting for my grandma's ring to come back, and then
HRM: What?
Helen: My grandmother's ring. My mom tried to give me my grandma's ring after she died, but I thought mom should have it. I put in a cherished place, and tried for years to get mom to have it sized to her finger. A couple of years ago, I decided to accept it graciously, but wait for my fortieth birthday to have it resized and wear it.
HRM: Why fortieth?
Helen: Because it comes before fiftieth and sixtieth.
HRM: Wise girl!
Helen: No, really. At thirty nine, I was depressed that the next year would be fortieth. I had been dreading fortieth for a long time because that number seemed like the nail in the coffin of my infertility.
HRM: Go on...
Helen: My grandma was in her late sixties when I was born, yet I remember her as more fully alive when I was a child than anyone else I knew. She was so cheerful, she seemed younger than my parents in some ways. She didn't look younger, but she could listen to music or watch t.v. with me without critiquing my taste. She was a positive person and could just be there for me. She was vibrant. She had ups and downs in her life (you should right about that some time HRM), but she was vibrant. What is there to stop me from following her good example? I'm going to look at her ring, and allow myself to be inspired by her vibrancy!
HRM: Can we see the ring?
Helen: It's still at the jewelry shop, but when it is ready, I will snap a picture and post it.
HRM: Anything else to add?
Helen: Well, I had a meeting to go to for CCD teachers. They sang Happy Birthday to me.
HRM: That was nice.
Helen: Yes, it was.
HRM: So, when shall we plan our next interview.
Helen: Planning is over rated! Let's just play it by ear!
HRM: Okay dokey! What's next on your agenda today?
Helen: Tweeting this post!
HRM: It figures....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Am Not as Tough as I Like to Pretend That I am...(Sorry)

Hi. Did I ever mention that my dad was Hungarian? I am sure that I did. I brag about it a lot. My dad was a great dad, and because of that, I proudly mention my Hungarianess (or, at least my Half Hungarianess) over and over again. Hungarians are a tough lot. We are cousins to Attila the Hun. Yep. Hungarians are not only related to Attila the Hun, but are dang proud of it. My dad had a friend whose son named his daughter Attila. Hardcore. I like to describe the ferociousness of the Hungarian temperament in terms that would make a pack of rabid wolves sound like newborn lambs. Any Hungarian out there reading this I'm sure is responding in their head with "Darn straight!".

That's why you may be shocked to find out that I have never actually been in a real fight. I was picked on as a child, and sorely tempted to wail on bullies, but I couldn't correlate that to Jesus' instruction to turn the other cheek. I worked hard at turning the other cheek. My daddy worked hard on teaching me to at least cover the other cheek as I was turning it. I don't think of myself as wimping out on those other fights. I think of myself as working on a different kind of strength. I was.

But every so often I would see a bully picking on a child much younger or smaller than themself. I didn't know how to turn the other cheek when it was someone else's cheek. I was consistently interfering on behalf of younger kids, but somehow, I never had to throw a punch. Stupid stuff usually happened. Once, someone punched me and cut their hand on the jagged zipper on my jacket. I know. That was very weird. I had refused to take my jacket off because while I wasn't refusing to fight, I was unclear as to when exactly it was okay to not turn the other cheek. I'd step in to help the smaller child without a plan.

Another time a bully tripped over my shoes and fell in the street and got hurt. Honestly, I was never agile enough to work something like that out on purpose. I can only picture my guardian angel and that of the kid being picked on stepping in.

Helen's Guardian Angel: Okay, she is in over her head again...
Little Kid's Guardian Angel: She does this a lot?
HGA: You have no idea....
LKGA: Okay, what's the plan...
HGA: You give the bully a good push, and when Helen gets startled by the sudden movement, I'll nudge her foot in front of him as he stumbles.
LKGA: Works for me....

My dad was always telling me not to get involved. He even showed me a scar he got from a bully that pulled a knife on him when he was defending another kid. His form of discouragement didn't work as it should have. I coveted a scar like that. I wanted my own merit badge of loyalty. Instead, what I got was bullies inept at actually following anything through. Which is actually a good thing, because in hindsight, I had the Hungarian temper, but not the agility, strength, and toughness. I'm actually a wuss. Shhh...don't tell anyone.

I do have a regret, though. It is a recent one. I have a friend who was being bullied. I offered verbal peacemaking skills, which were rejected, but nothing more. I did not offer to stand between my friend and the bully for a physical altercation. I offered to call, or go there in the hope of making peace. What I didn't offer was what I offered those youngsters all those years ago: I did not offer to stand as a wall between her and the bully, and accept the punishment myself. I am so ashamed. I do not deserve to even call myself a Hungarian.

On another note, planet Earth has survived yet another year with me on it. Yes. Today is my fortieth birthday. I'll blog tomorrow and let you know what I did, and how I feel about being seven years older than Jesus was when He died. I know. At thirty-three, Jesus Christ saved the whole world from sin and the fires of Hell. Here I am forty, and I've accomplished absolutely nothing!

God bless you!