Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Denny's Delectable Dining or 'Family Bonding at Denny's'

For those of you with kids that do not know, what I'm about to tell you might prove life-changing.  Not necessarily in the spiritual sense, but in the profoundly practical sense.

Denny's has Kids Eat Free every Tuesday and Saturday afternoon/evening from 4 PM on.  And, even better news, you can have 2 free kids meals for every adult entree purchased.

For a family of 5, 3 of which are children, this is a big deal.  We can take our entire family to Denny's for about the same as we often spend at fast food.  With tip, tax, and everything, we usually are out the door for somewhere between $23-$30.  Not bad.

Combine the deal with a lazy Saturday afternoon, and no surprise here, the result is often another fat-laden breakfast-dinner at Denny's.  It is now to the point that the manager recognizes us and greets us when we come in on Saturday night. 

While Denny's is not necessarily the most elegant restaurant, it is a great FAMILY restaurant.  It is kid friendly and typically has good food at good prices.

All of that pales in comparison to the family bonding time Ben and I have when we use the restroom.

I know that probably sounds a little weird at first glance, but we have actually developed 3 separate games that make restroom breaks less of a hassle and a lot more fun.

Game #1 - We race the girls.  Now, this is probably an unfair race right from the outset, as we are the only 2 boys, and there are 3 girls.  Combine that fact with how much slower girls are in the restroom, and the girls really never had a chance.  Except, of course, when they win.  But that doesn't happen very often, and when it does happen, it is only because of Game #2 and Game #3.

Game #2- The Sprinkle All Over Each Other Game-  I know this is a game played in a bathroom, but the sprinkle here is referring to what we do with the water left on our fingers after we wash our hands.  We both continue washing and quit at the same time, to ensure fairness.  We then face each other and flick our fingers/hands at each other as to ensure the absolute maximum amount of water is sprinkled on the other person.  I guess it's no wonder I sometimes get the strangest looks coming out of the bathroom.

Game #3- The Trash Can Toss- Once we have finished sprinkling each other, we both take a roll of paper towel, dry our hands off with it, and wad it up into a ball.  We then take turns trying to make it in the trash can.  Now the Denny's we go to makes this kind of difficult, as the hole for the trash can is just a small hole in the top of the vanity.  We often tie, but the last time we ate at Denny's, Ben made his first shot, and I didn't make mine until the 4th shot.  This makes him extremely happy.  He loves to beat his dad. 

I have heard it often said that the time you spend with your kids is very important.  I think that is very true.  Some say that the quantity of time is not that important- it's the quality of time that really matters.  I sometimes hope that is true, as it seems I never have the time I wish I had to spend with my 3 wonderful kids.  In my heart, though, I think that both are important.  I try to set aside some time each night to be with my kids, but it often seems it's not enough.  Homework, chores, dinner all can get in the way.

Or, they can just be part of the process of bonding with them.

That is why I developed the bathroom games.  Sometimes the silliest things mean the world to your kids.

I hope it's enough.

-The Poor Husband

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Updated Wordle

If you have not yet seen my last Wordle, you can find it here.

And now for my updated Wordle, fresh with all the new and improved words I've been using on my blog lately:

**To see a larger image, just click anywhere on the Wordle and you will see a much larger version.** 

I really like how this one came out with the words 'one' and 'hope' featured so prominently.  We do have one hope, so I thought this was quite appropriate!

The Wordle website says:  'If you use a screen-capture, PDF, or other image representation of a Wordle on this site, you must attribute the image to http://www.wordle.net/. '  So, now you can make your own!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Birthday Business- Life With Rachael

Tomorrow is Tonight was Hannah's Birthday Party. She turns 8 on the 22nd. She is having a few friends over for a sleepover.
As you might imagine, she is quite excited.

There is nothing quite like the brightness of Hannah's face when she is excited.
One of the things I appreciate most about Life With Rachael is how much Rachael does to ensure the kids celebrate their special days properly. Tonight, Hannah was showing me all the things she has for her party tomorrow. Rachael took the time out of her busy schedule to make sure Hannah's party had all the little things that makes a girls sleep over special.
Party Favors? Check.
Puppy dogs for everyone? Check. By the way, Hannah held up her puppy and babies and it reminded me of a re-enactment of the nursing momma mouse. Here's the picture.

Cake and ice cream? Check.

Glow tubes? Check.
Sunglasses and fake wigs for all the girls? Check.

All here because Rachael made it happen.
And for that I am thankful. Rachael is a truly wonderful mother and our kids have been very blessed by her.
I started this post last night, but finished tonight after the birthday party. Here are some pictures of the good times that were had by all!

On this same night, Ben was at another B-Day party for a friend of his. They had a pirate theme and Ben said 'It was the best day ever!'.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Mice Murders, part 2

If you have not yet read part one, please click here and start with part one.  Thanks!

As I was moving a log to position it correctly for cutting, a 4 headed, 16 footed, multi-whiskered fiend jumped straight out at me.  I know I said it had 12 feet yesterday.  It didn't actually grow 4 feet overnight.  I had just miscalculated my mice math.

As I jumped back out of the way, I sat the the chainsaw down as quickly as possible.  While the temptation to create a mouse version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (maybe The Mouseketeer Massacre?) was enticing, I weighed my options and settled on the side of safety.

As I stood back up the mouse thing started scurrying along one of the logs.  Except it was not able to scurry very well. 

And the reason made me feel almost sorry for the mouse.  Yes, me, the self-proclaimed hater of all rascally rodents.

The 4 headed creature was actually a momma mouse nursing 3 babies.  But not little 'pinkie' mice.  These babies were about 1/3 - 1/2 the size of their momma.

And they were hanging on to their momma with nothing but their mouths on her nipples.  Yes, she was literally dragging three babies across the log with nothing to transport them but their mouths chomping down on her nipples.

While I have never personally nursed a baby, I understand that it can be quite painful if the baby gets a little over-ambitious while nursing. 

Even I felt bad for this momma mouse.

That being said, I quickly assessed the situation, picked up a metal grounding rod lying nearby and tried to impale my new-found enemies.  While this seemed like a good idea in theory, actual usage proved otherwise.  The point of the rod was too narrow and the rod was too heavy to really be effective.  I chased the momma mouse under a few small pieces of wood.  One of her babies finally lost it's hold on her.  I chased her under an empty planter bucket.  I missed her again, but another of her babies dropped off.  Finally, as I picked up a 2 foot section of 2x4 for my next weapon of choice, she ran straight at me. 

Without even having much time to think about it, I lifted my foot, and stomped down.  Hard.  She was met with a quick and painless death.

In retrospect, I think she may have actually known what was coming and was willing to do anything just to make the pain from her overly gnawed nipples to go away.

I was more than happy to oblige her.

Next, I had to consider what to do with the three baby mice.  I think they would have probably died, but they were big enough, I was not sure.  Plus, I didn't want to see them starve to death, or if they were big enough, I did not want to see them grow up and later invade my house.

So, I took care of them quickly and painlessly.

While I get no joy from dispatching death to my furry friends, I am not willing to sacrifice my home or well-being for theirs.  I already received one comment on my first post about the sometimes deadly consequences of dealing with mice.

I'm just not willing to take that chance with my family.

What about you?  Do you think I did the right thing?  Why or why not?  Do you have any stories about how rodents have impacted your life?

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Mouse Murders

As some of you know from some of my recent FaceBook posts, I have been waging a war against the evil mice attempting to invade my kingdom.

Prior to this evening, I had caught 4 mice in my garage and one under my kitchen sink.  I promptly disposed of the carcasses and never really gave it a second thought.

Mice are evil, heinous little scurvy-carrying, Hanta-virus infected, scurrying little venomous beasts that only exist to allow us to enhance our trapping skills.

I work for Clark Pest Control and this February will have been there 20 years.  While I sit behind a desk now, in my day I caught hundreds, if not thousands of mice and rats.  (By the way, if you ever need pest control, Clark is by far the best company out there.  Not the cheapest.  But the best.  And I am not biased in any way.  :-) )  Most people don't realize how much science goes into methods used to make rodent trapping successful.  Let's just suffice it to say that the merry little mice that invaded my house chose the wrong spot to live if they wanted to see next week. 

I have personally seen the havoc that rodents create for us humans.  Rodents are suspected to be one of the main causes of unexplained house fires.  They have this annoying little habit of chewing and they'll chew right through electrical wires, or just about anything else.  In fact, one of my neighbors right across the street from me was just telling me last week that she had to have the wires in her Corvette replaced after mice chewed them up.  So, I am not a fan of rodents and strongly encourage you to maintain a rodent-free home.  I feel completely justified in saying this.  After all, we're human and they are, well, they are not.  They are mice.

As of this morning, the war score was The Poor Husband- 5; Vile, wretched mice- 0

As of this evening, the score is now 9-0.

Those extra four mice are the topic of this post.

As most of you probably know, there is a huge storm coming in this evening and hitting most of the west coast of the United States.  While we don't always lose our power, it does happen occasionally, so I came straight home from work and began to use my chain saw to cut up some lengths of wood I have.  I wanted to have firewood in case that becomes our only source of heat in the next couple of days.

As I began to work on the wood-pile, I discovered the strangest creature.  This creature jumped right out at me, had 4 heads, 12 feet, and lots of little whiskers.  It was all attached together in some sort of almost morbid-looking Stephen King-esque way.  It took me a minute to fully realize what I was seeing.  When realization dawned, it was almost unbelievable and tempted me with pity.  In fact, what I saw made me feel bad enough to write this post.

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of this mice tale.  Which is a lot better than a mouse tail. 

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What's In A Smile?

This weekend, I had the unfortunate experience of attending a funeral for an old friend of mine that recently killed himself.

He was a fun-loving person that literally brightened up the room when he was there.  He had a smile that lit up his face, and before long, the contagiousness of it would have those around him smiling, as well.

He typically tried to find the best in people and was usually successful.

He was an all-around good guy.

I worked with him for 10 years and have now known him for almost 20.  I saw him last about 2 or 3 months ago.  I have talked with a lot of people that have been around him frequently during the past few weeks and no one saw this one coming.

At his funeral, we all watched as picture after picture swept by on the overhead screen at the church.  The one thing I noticed in every picture was his killer smile.  A smile that lit up the room.  A smile that looked totally genuine. 

A smile that evidentally hid a lot of pain.

The minister spoke and he brought up some of the questions that everyone there had been asking themselves.  The first question was 'Why?'  'Why did this have to happen?'  It seems so senseless.  He had so many friends.  So many people that loved him.  So much to live for.

The minister went on to say that we should not focus on the 'Why?' of this one tragic decision, but instead focus on the positive ways our lives were touched by this individual. 

I think it's probably important to do both.  I think asking 'Why?' is probably part of the normal grieving process, especially when it concerns a friend or relative that has committed suicide.  While no answer will ever totally satisfy this question for my recently departed friend, maybe the search for the answer can lead to areas of self-discovery and reflection on one's own life.

Why indeed does one take their own life?

What has to be going on in one's head to make this choice seem like a viable option?  Especially someone that is not mentally ill and has a huge number of people that love and care for him? 

Why couldn't he reach out for help?




The second question the minister talked about was 'What could I have done to help prevent this?'.  This is the question that I think many were asking themselves.  Could I have seen this coming?  Could I have said just the right words or done just the right things to have prevented this suicide from occurring?

He admonished us to not blame ourselves.  He reiterated what was already fairly obvious to all of us, but needed to be said as a reminder.  We were his family and his friends.  Lots of friends and family that did what they could to be there for him.  What happened was not something that we could have prevented, or we would have.

I appreciated this minister's words.  I have not been as close a friend as late as I used to be.  I know one of the first things that went through my head when I found out about the suicide was that I wish I had been closer to him more recently so that I might have seen this coming. 

In retrospect, I don't really think anyone saw this coming.  And I don't think I probably would have either, even if I had been closer to him.

I can not believe that his life is over.  That I will never see him again.  That his smile will never again be seen aside from in our pictures and in our memories.


Why did that smile hide so much?


It is sometimes hard to see behind the immense problems of here and now.  When that is the case, sometimes we need to cry out to Jesus.  Please follow this link to listen to a great song about hope for the helpless:

Here are the lyrics:

Cry Out To Jesus
Third Day

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right


There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart

There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are

Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith and love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering


When your lonely (when you're lonely)
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus

Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight


Please listen to the linked video above first.  I like it the best, but this next one is pretty good, also:

The song Hope For The Hopeless by A Fine Frenzy.


stitch in your knitted brow
and you don't know how
you're gonna get it out

crushed under heavy chest
trying to catch your breath
but it always beats you by a step,
all right now

making the best of it
playing the cards you get
you're not alone in this

there's hope for the hopeless
hope for the hopeless
there's hope

cold in a summer breeze
yeah, you're shivering
on your bended knee

still, though your heart is sore
and the heavens pour
like a willow bending with the storm,
you'll make it

running against the wind
playing the cards you get
something is bound to give

there's hope for the hopeless
hope for the hopeless
there's hope

there's hope for the hopeless
hope for the hopeless
there's hope

Romans 5:1-5
"Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Talkative Friend

And so we continue our series of Friends With Hangups.  We will be examining The Talkative Friend for tonight's blogisode.  (Kind of like episode, but for blogs.)

The Talkative Friend never saw a conversation he did not enjoy.  While he probably likes to hear about your life, that typically doesn't happen unless you are in the mood for a talk-fest race.  For some reason, this friend is completely uncomfortable with the slightest pause in your conversation. 

There are, however, a few advantages to having lots of The Talkative Friends:

1.  You really don't ever have to think of a topic for conversation.
2.  If you are quiet long enough, it's amazing what you can learn about their life.  And, depending on The Talkative Friend, possibly everyone else's life.
3.  If you are quiet long enough, you may also get to see the stangest of all phenomenas for The Talkative Friend.  I call it the Suffering Succotash Suffocation.  It's basically when The Talkative Friend is allowed to continue talking unchecked by anyone else's input.  Eventually, they begin to get light-headed, and may soon pass out.  What happens is they basically don't breathe enough and soon pass out from a self-induced artificial suffocation.  As soon as they pass out, they resume breathing, so there's no real health worries.  Unless, of course, they talk in their sleep.  Then....you could have a problem.  Here's a video of a potential candidate of Sufferin' Succotash Suffocation.

4.  If you're in a room full of people you don't know, you can scan the room and easily find The Talkative Friend.  He's the one that everyone is listening to while trying to escape to the other side of the room.  However, he can provide just the cover you need until you feel comfortable talking to others.  Plus, some kind-hearted soul may rescue you from his verbal embrace and you may gain a new, true friend.
5.  You can actually perform scientific experiments on The Talkative Friend and they will not even notice.  For instance, you could track the exact amount of time that The Talkative Friend will allow to pass before resuming their conversation with you.  You can even pull your stop-watch out and be obvious about it.  They probably won't even notice.  Once you know the exact time involved, you can then time your responses a micro-second before and watch what happens with the verbal head-on collisions.

Benefits notwithstanding, I have often wondered about The Talkative Friend.  I tend to be quieter by nature.  One of the reasons I am this way is that I don't think you really care about what I ate for lunch, or the loaf of bread I bought, or the store I went to.  Unless something cool, funny, or interesting happened, of course.  But, for me, going to Safeway to pick up a loaf of bread or gallon of milk is just not that exciting the first time around.  Let alone telling it to you the second time.  And I am convinced you would feel the same way.  And yet, the talkative friend will gladly share all of these details and more.  I think it's because when you never quit talking, it's hard to come up with new material WITHOUT resorting to daily mundane activities.

And, it's actually interesting- I don't usually mind hearing about them, unless I'm in a hurry or something.  But what is the point?  Is silence really that bad?  What are we scared is going to fill the silence if we don't fill it with chatter?

I say we, because I think all of us are infected to a lesser degree than The Talkative Friend by the need to not have long, awkward pauses in our conversation. 

I have heard that one of the marks of a true friend is someone you can just sit with in silence and both of you be comfortable in that moment.

So, what do you think?  Do you mind The Talkative Friend?  Do you maybe like not having the pressure of maintaining your end of the conversation?  Any suggestions out there?  Do you think the 'silence test' is a good test of true friendship?

Let me know.

-The Poor Husband  (Being quiet now to hear your thoughts)

*Here's a bonus video of another fast talker.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just A Wii Little Problem

Not long ago, I bought a used Wii game system for the family.  For awhile, we all really got into Wii Fit, but like most things healthy, that did not continue. 

Ben has a friend with a Wii and his friend has Mario Kart.  Ben put his mind to buying Mario Kart, saved a bunch of money, sold a ton of toys at our last yard sale, and soon had the money needed to buy the game. 

I was happy because Ben sold enough stuff to fill the back end of a small pickup truck and the new Wii game takes up about as much space as a paperback novel.  Anyone with kids knows what a blessing this is.

Ever since Ben bought the game, it has sort of captured the attention, enthusiasm, and every spare moment of free time the kids have.

Rachael had bought a charger and rechargeable battery packs for our two Wii controllers.  The idea being we would save money in the long run since we would no longer have to buy batteries.  This is a great theory, but the other day, the cold hard facts absolutely refused to subscribe to the theory.

One controller was fine, but the other one was in the charger, where Rachael had placed it.  To make sure it was ready for our next video-game session.  The only problem was that she had placed the one with batteries in the charger.  Not the rechargeable battery pack....

With normal batteries inserted, there is nothing but blank white plastic to rest against the metal charging rods of the charger. 

The source of recharging was there, but until it was properly plugged in, it did no good.

So, of course, the remote was dead as could be.

This got me thinking. 

How often do we try to 'plug in' to something to re-energize without even knowing what we're doing?  Or what we're really looking for?  How many people have left on a self-discovery adventure of 'finding themselves' only to realize at the end of it that they're more lost than when they started?

Sometimes the best intentions result in nothing more than burned out batteries and an inability to accomplish what we are striving for.

It has been said that the average family spends more time planning their annual vacation than they do planning their financial futures.

I think we often plug in our time and energy to things that actually drain us instead of revive us.  Has this ever happened to you? 

What is your source of strength?  Where do you go when your batteries are burned out and dead?  Physically?  Spiritually?  Emotionally?

What steps will we take today to be sure we 'plug-in' to those things that actually help us accomplish our goals and desires?  Too often, we trade what we REALLY, TRULY want because we get distracted by what we want RIGHT NOW.  Only to have RIGHT NOW fade forever, with nothing to show for it.  And all our time was spent on RIGHT NOW so we never had the time to accomplish what we REALLY, TRULY wanted.

I have learned that the car I drive, the house I live in, the money in my wallet, and pretty much all other physical rewards or accomplishments pale in comparison to the family hikes, the kids' smiles and giggles, the homework time with kids, the fellowship of friends, and time spent communing with God in prayer and study.

And yet, the other things seem to take up so much of my time, that I often neglect the things that matter most.  What about you?  Any secrets out there?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rachael and the Mennonite Vacation

So, I'll get back to the Friends With Hangups series, but there have been a few interesting stories that have happened that I feel I need to share also.  Then we'll get back to all the hangups.  They'll still be waiting for us when we return.

Tonight I sat down to write my latest post about Life With Rachael.  I was in the process of downloading pictures for two future posts, one about charging the Wii remote, and one about a recent experiment that involved frying syrup on the naked stove top, no pans needed. 

As the pictures were downloading, Rachael started a conversation out of nowhere.

"You know where I want to go and spend a week for our next vacation?"

I thought about it for a minute.  Several destinations entered my mind.

Maybe Hawaii or Kauai.  We have a condo there, but have never visited.  Or maybe a cruise.  Or another state.  Or a national park.  We love National Parks.  We love hiking.  All of these were potential candidates, but I really have learned that it's sometimes best to just ask, as Rachael's thoughts can tend to run on the random and sometimes indiscernible side.

"I don't know, Hon.  Where would  you like to go for a week's vacation?"

"A Mennonite Community."

Wow.  That was so random.  I mean, really.  If she had handed me a piece of paper and a pencil and asked me to guess what her future week's vacation plans were with a guarantee of 30 days straight back massages if I could guess it in 10 guesses, I'm pretty sure I'd have no recourse if I happened to get a sore back in the next month.

"A Mennonite Community.  Wow- I never saw that coming.  Sometimes you're so random.  Why a Mennonite Community?"

"Simple Living.  And going to church every day." 

I know what some of you are thinking.  'Simple living might be OK, but I thought church was something you HAVE to do.  Kind of put in your time to get on God's good side, but sitting in the pew counting off the minutes until you get to eat lunch.'

I'd be lying to say I've never had those feelings, but I try hard to remember the big picture.  Don't go to church because you HAVE to- Go because you want to.  Because you can grow there.  Because you can be a part of something much bigger than you.  Because God has welcomed you to be a part of His big plan.  And, there is not a BIGGER or more important plan anywhere.

One of the things I'm thankful for when living Life With Rachael is that Rachael has a true desire to do what's right and to serve God.  Now she's human, just like you and me, and she's not perfect, so there are times that she doesn't feel like going to church either, but as a whole, she's one of the most pure-hearted, honestly motivated individuals I've ever known.  I am sure you're thinking I'm somewhat biased, and I'm sure you are correct, but I really do believe there is some truth to what I'm saying.  It's one of the things I absolutely love about Rachael.

So, who knows?

Maybe we'll find ourselves spending a week with a Community of Mennonites sometime in the future.  It would definitely be a different vacation, but it might prove very interesting, relaxing, and enriching.  It would probably be a good experience for the kids, as well.

I'm listening to an audiobook novel right now about a doctor that was sued for malpractice, had a hard time dealing with the aftermath and went to Peru on a backpacking vacation.  While there, he started helping out with an orphanage and when it turned out they needed a doctor, he decided to stay on.  Found that the simpler life was a lot more rewarding than the hustle and bustle of where he had previously called home.  His vacation turned into a life-long mission.

What about you?  Have ever made a go at a simpler life?  Or ever had an untraditional vacation?  How did it go?  What conclusions did you come to?

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Insecure Friend


"I, a stranger and afraid

In a world I never made."

-A. E. Housman

If you've not yet checked out the original post for this series, please do so now.  Rachael recently brought up an interesting topic regarding how our ability to co-mingle with others is affected by our own hang-ups, or the lack thereof.  This got me thinking about the various hang-ups we all have.

Today, we're looking at The Insecure Friend.  You know the one.  This person needs constant re-assurance whenever they are talking to their friends.  While you want to be a help to them, you eventually get tired of being the eternal placater.

A typical conversation will go something like this:

Insecure Friend:  "I'm just not sure what to do about my work situation.  What do you think?"

You:  "Well, it sounds like you've been given a great opportunity- I'd go for it, if it was me."

Insecure Friend:  "Yeah, but I just don't know if I'm good enough to do that."

---Long dramatic pause---

(This is where you are supposed to read the invisible cue-cards they are holding up and say..."

You:  "Of course you're good enough.  You've done it a long time and you'll do fine."

Insecure Friend: "I don't know if I'm smart enough..."

---Another long dramatic pause---

You  (reading invisible cue cards once again):  "Of course  you are- Remember when you tackled your last project- You did great with it."

The temporary look of happiness on their face as a result of your compliment is instantly replaced with deep-browed wrinkled worried eyes.

Insecure Friend:  "Do you really think I could...?"

So, how would the perfectly well-adjusted individual with no hang-ups handle this situation?  Would they continue to appease them with their compliments, or would they discern the fact that doing so is actually reinforcing inappropriate behavior?  Would they find a kind way to talk to their friend about the problem?  Would they ignore it?

What do you suggest?

While the following is sometimes maybe fun to consider, it is probably not the best choice:

Insecure Friend: "I'm just not sure what to do about my work situation. What do you think?"

You: "Well, it sounds like you've been given a great opportunity- I'd go for it, if it was me."
Insecure Friend: "Yeah, but I just don't know if I'm good enough to do that."
---Long dramatic pause---

(This is where you are supposed to read the invisible cue-cards they are holding up.  But in this case, the cards seem to have been smudged because you can't quite make out the words.  oh well, you say what you've wanted to for so long...
You: "Yeah- You may not be good enough.  Better to play it safe than to find out."

Insecure Friend: "Well, I just don't know if I'm smart enough..."
---Another long dramatic pause---
You (mis-reading invisible cue cards once again): "That's a good point.  That position would require a lot of cognitive ability."

Insecure friend walks off stage-left.

Obviously, none of us wants to do this.  No one wants to hurt their friend.  So the big question is, 'How do you help them?'  Not necessarily help them to feel better right now, because the answer to that seems to lead to the inevitable never-ending circle game of constantly buttressing their weaknesses while they practically require your praise as much as the food or water or air they need.  But how do you help them long-term?

Wikihow says you should basically keep complimenting them until they begin to see themselves more positively.  Again, I'm not sure that's the best route to take for their permanent happiness.

At this point, you might want to click this link.  It is a very silly video and song.  You can either watch it, or just listen to it while you keep reading, but it's meant to help those that are feeling small and insignificant.  I think it might just do the opposite, but you be the judge.

My best guess at a solution to the problem is that a recommendation for them to read some good books that deal with why we have the problems we do would be in order.  I would strongly recommend just about anything by Cloud/Townsend.  They are the authors of the 'Boundaries' series.  They have great insight and provide biblically-based sound advice for those that are hurting and struggling.  And even for those that aren't.  I don't think anyone could read their books without gaining some insight about themselves.  Check it out at http://www.cloudtownsend.com/.

For those of us that are dealing with our own baggage, here is an excellent video clip from Cloud/Townsend.

So, what are your thoughts?  Any success stories?  Any attempts that either worked, or did not?  Looking forward to your comments...

-The Poor Husband

***If you liked this post, check out some of the others and be sure to click on the 'follow' button.***

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The One-Upper Friend

Continuing the discussion of the 'perfectly adjusted friend', how would they handle the One-Upper Friend?  You know the one- They have done everything just a little bit better than you.  The have ran faster, swam farther, belched louder, worhipped longer, prayed louder, worked harder, thought smarter, and created long lists of hang-ups better, than you could ever hope to.

What do you do with such a friend?

Better question- What would the person with no hang-ups, the perfectly well-adjusted person do with such a friend?

I am not sure, but I think it would be fun to do the following, provided your concern for the health of the friendship is not that significant:

**Warning- only do this if you are ready to permanently part ways with your one-upper friend.**

1.  Buy a small digital recorder.  The kind that fits in your pocket.
2.  Hit the record button right before you walk over to begin a conversation with them.
3.  Start talking about how many situps you were able to do.
4.  Wait for the One-Upper to do what he does best. 
5.  Act duly impressed with his prowess.
6.  End the conversation as soon as possible.
7.  Wait a month or two, so the conversation will not be in the fore-front of his brain.
8.  Bring up the conversation of your working out again.  Again mention how many situps you were able to do.  Only this time, state the exact number that he had previously said he was able to do.
9.  Allow him to one-up you as he always does.
10.  Remove the digital recorder from your pocket and press play.  Without saying a word, simply walk away when the recorder has finished.

Then, go home and realize that you one-upped the One-Upper. 

On second thought, is that what you really want to do? 

This is where we all find ourselves in trouble, at times.  In our responses to obnoxious habits of friends, we can often times manifest an exaggerated example of the very fault we disliked in them.

Of course, it is so much easier, and quite a bit more fun, to look for their faults, than it is to examine our own.

But which will be the most beneficial?

**If you liked this post, please be sure to check out a few others, and click the 'follow' button.  And, of course, tell all of your friends about it.  Thanks!  -The Poor Husband**

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Over-Bearing Friend

Recently, Rachael brought up an interesting topic regarding how well a completely well-adjusted person would fare in the world today.

How would they handle The Over-Bearing Friend? 

You know who I'm talking about.  The friend of yours that is completely over-bearing in your relationship with them.  The one that never found a conversation they could not talk louder than.

Would a completely well-adjusted person allow the person to control every conversation, or would they be able to stop The Over-Bearing Friend in his tracks before every train of thought was de-railed?

I have had a few experiences with The Over-Bearing Friend.  I'm sure we all have.  In fact, we've all probably BEEN the over-bearing friend at times. 

If you have one of these friends, it might be fun to plan the following exercise.

1.  Write down a list of things The Over-Bearing Friend is good at or has accomplished.
2.  Begin talking about one of these topics.
3.  Guess before-hand how many seconds it will be before he is talking about his subject.  Without waiting for you to finish, of course.
4.  When he interrupts, do not quit talking like you normally do.
5.  Talk louder, matching him as he talks, volume increase by volume increase.
6.  Be sure you have planned enough to say so you do not have to quit talking due to a lack of material.
7.  Predict before-hand how loud you think you'll have to be talking to keep up with him.
8.  Plan a semi-public place to do this.  Somewhere that is not right beside other people, but close enough that they will hear you after you've raised the volume level three or four times.
9.  When you are both talking at the loudest you anticipate being able to maintain, quit talking completely.
10.  Sit in absolute silence and see how long it takes for The Over-Bearing Friend to cease screaming and lower his volume.  Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy the looks of the people watching your friend belt out his stories to you.

So, what do you think?  What is the correct way to handle a person that is over-bearing?  Has anyone had success in dealing with this without damaging the friendship?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rachael and The Hang Ups

Saturday was our yard sale day.  We spent all of Friday evening preparing for it and all of Saturday setting it up, selling off a bunch of stuff, and taking it down.  This pretty much consumed our weekend. 

On Sunday mornings, I am typically in charge of making breakfast for the kids and me.  This morning, Rachael woke me up and let me know that we didn't have any oatmeal and that the kitchen was in no condition to try and cook anything. 

We decided on McDonald's. 

On the way there, Rachael decided she wanted to go to Starbucks to get their oatmeal and then meet us at McD's. 

On the way to church, Rachael brought up something she said she was thinking about in line at Starbucks.  She posed the question this way:

"What if two parents could raise a child with absolutely no hang-ups.  They raised this child to be completely, totally, and perfectly well-adjusted with no physical, emotional, or spiritual baggage as a result of poor parenting skills.  Would this child be able to develop stronger, better relationships with others, or would s/he be ostracized due to not being able to empathize or connect with less well-adjusted friends?"

It's an interesting question.

I tend to think that this individual may have fewer friends, but that the friends s/he had would be fairly healthy (relationship wise) people that would allow for strong and lasting friendships.  So, the quantity of friends may be less, but the quality would be greatly increased.

What do you think?

Who are the best adjusted people you know?  (No names, please).  Are they better able to interact with others and develop strong friendships?  Or, no?

This got me thinking about the various types of hang-ups we so carefully guard and protect from childhood as we make our way into the 'real world'.  Here are just a few:

1.  The over-bearing friend.  This friend never saw a conversation he could not talk louder than.
2.  The one-upper friend.  This friend never heard of something you have done that they have not done better.  If you can paint a house in 4 hours, they did it in 3 1/2.  If you lost 10 pounds, they lost 15. 
3.  The insecure friend.  This friend never experienced a conversation with someone without having to get re-assurance about their own self-worth.
4.  The talkative friend.  Can be closely related to the over-bearing friend, but not always.  This person feels awkward if there is more than a .75 second pause in the conversation and is quick to fill every pause with stories of their daily life.
5.  The analytical friend.  Analyzing can be a great thing.  But over-analyzing every single action or word can be quite wearisome to the one that is the subject of the analysis.
6.  The blogging friend.  Oops, I guess that's me.  Better skip that one.
7.  The fair-weather funny friend.  A little alliteration for you there.  This friend is actually quite funny at times.  However, you always laugh at his jokes, even when they are not so great.  He does not return the favor.  You're left wondering if you really have no sense of humor, or if he just isn't gracious enought to return the laughing favor.
8.  The braggart friend.  This is similar to number 2, but this friend does not need to hear about your accomplishments before bragging about their own.  If this person makes lots of money, you know how much.  If this person is strong, you have felt his muscles.  If this friend has a fast car, you have the horsepower memorized from hearing it so often. 
9.  The co-dependent friend.  This friend's 'faults' happen to fit nicely with your 'rescuing'.  And, often, vice-versa.  This can seem like a good thing at first.  But watch out if one friend begins to get healthy- The other will not know what to do!
10.  The prankster friend.  This friend loves to play practical jokes, especially when you are the butt of the joke.  While we all enjoy this at times, some seem to take it to an extreme.

This will serve as a nice list to get the topic started.  How about you?  What hang-ups do you your friends have?  What others should be added to the list?  Check back in the future for a little more detailed description of some of these.

Which of these do you find to be the most annoying?  Have you found any way to effectively deal with them?

-Thankful to be living Life With Rachael so we can have the chance to explore this interesting topic.

-The Poor Husband

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life With Rachael- Caption?

Today I thought I'd let you help write the post.  I took a couple of pictures of Rachael today that just beg for your captions. 

We are painting at our church.  When I walked into the sanctuary, this is what I saw:

Your Caption Here

In case you have not guessed, that is indeed Rachael.  When I saw this, I had a few captions come to mind.

1.  "Maybe if I crawl under here, no one will be able to find me.  I can zone for awhile without being interrupted."

2.  "I know I put my cell phone somewhere.  Maybe it's under here!"

3.  "If I can't see them, they can't see me."

4.  "There's my purse!"

5.  "Just thought I'd practice hiding in case I ever come face to face with the manager of Chevron again."

But, I need your help.  This picture just pleads to have your caption added to it.  Please comment so everyone can see.

Here is a second picture, in case you want to caption it, as well~

Kind of looks like she's praying.

Add your caption now.  Thanks!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rachael and The Stinky Rose

"A Rose By Any Other Name..."

Today, we had a yard sale.  It was an incredible family affair.  The kids sold tons of stuff, we sold tons of stuff and it was a great day.

Twice a year, our entire neighborhood (Oak Hills) has a huge yard sale.  This year, around 50 families participated.  There were deals to be had everywhere.  I went to a few of my neighbor's yard sales and talked with several residents, and we're not sure if anyone from outside the neighborhood ever even comes to these yard sales.  The suspicion is that we basically just trade items from one house in the neighborhood to another. 

This is great until you see your friend's wife at a neighborhood BBQ and she starts to talk to you.

"Hey- Good to see you!  Nice shirt, by the way.  My husband has one just like it."  and then you have to explain that he actually doesn't have a shirt just like it any more because you bought it from him at the last yard barter.  Which is one of the reasons, among many others I assure you, that one should never buy their underwear at a yard sale. 

Our neighborhood has a tradition.  At the end of the day, Goodwill vans and trucks can be seen everywhere.  Around 3 PM, all the residents start taking all of their unsold treasures to the street and Goodwill takes it away.  Goodwill gets some great stuff, we get a tax deduction, and everyone is happy. 

Each year, it's kind of fun to watch the race that develops.  People start placing their junk treasures out at the street shortly before Goodwill gets there.  This leaves a narrow window of opportunity for people to come by and get the deal of the day- Everything they want for free.

While my wife assures me that she was not officially entered in this Scavenger Race, all I know is she raced off down the street minutes in front of a Goodwill truck.  A few minutes later, she came back, somewhat breathless with excitement.

She found a box-springs and mattress for Ben, our youngest.  His current mattress has definitely seen better days, and she found a Sealy box-springs and mattress in great shape.  She swooped in, as any good scavenger is known to do, and bought it from them, just as Goodwill was loading the last of their stuff into their truck.  Two minutes later and she'd have been too late and they'd have been $5 poorer.

She told me about the great deal and asked me if I'd go pick it up.  I was pretty happy about this, as well, and headed down the road to the address she gave me.  She told me it was on 1234 Century Oak, which is right around the corner from our house.  I went down there, and turned left, but the street addresses did not match.  I turned around and crossed our street, keeping my eyes open for the sought after address. 

It did not exist.

When I turned left off of our street, the addresses were all too small.  When I turned around and went on the other side of our street, the addresses were all 5 digits.

I called Rachael.  Now, since Rachael has lost the last several cell phones she has had, and is currently without one, I hoped against hope that she'd hear the home phone, since she was outside watching over our yard sale.

Apparently, my little prayer worked, because Rachael answered.  I was sure to say hi before she had even finished with her 'hello' to avoid her hanging up on me.

I told her I needed to confirm the address.  She repeated the numbers and told me again that it was on Century Oak.  I told her that the address did not exist.

She sounded a little exasperated and told me that she was absolutely positive it did, as she'd just been there.  I asked her if she was sure it was on Century Oak.  She said yes- absolutely sure.

I told her that Century Oak is the street right next to where we live, and I wanted to be sure that's the road she is talking about. 

She said 'no' and said it was right off of the road that enters our neighborhood from Hwy. 156.  She tried to convince me that I just needed to go to the other end of Century Oak and I'd find the right address. 

Now, I know our neighborhood pretty well, and I knew that Century Oak did not go where she was talking about. 

I began driving to the area she described.

I soon found the address.  The only problem was that it was on Canyon Oak, not Century Oak.

Not a huge difference, I guess.  But enough to ensure we were never going to upgrade Ben's mattress.  And the funniest part of it all was how absolutely positive Rachael was that it was Century Oak. Positive.  Completely so. 

Century - Canyon

Canyon- Century

They sound almost the same.  But in this case, the name was more than just a name.  It was an entirely different street.

Below is Shakespeare's lines from a little over 400 years ago about what's in a name, immediately followed by the Life With Rachael-Inspired version.  Enjoy!

From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1594:


'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Rachael's Inspired Version:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art the street, though not the Century.
What's Canyon?  it is neither Century, nor Charter,
Nor Cathedral, nor any other Oak,
Belonging to Oak Hills.  O, please give me the right name!
What's in a name?  that which we call a Canyon
By any other name would ensure being lost;
So Canyon Oak, were it not Canyon Oak call'd
Retain that address at any cost,
Keep that title.  Canyon Oak, retain they name,
And with that name that is a part of thee,
I will find thee myself.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

10 Things I Absolutely Love About Rachael

Life With Rachael is sometimes filled with a little TOO much excitement.  A little TOO many forgotten items.  Too many destroyed gas pumps and too many lost cell phones.

Hey, at least it never gets boring.

Tonight, I was thinking about the things that make Rachael special in my eyes. 

1.  Her absolute honest love.  This provides a firm foundation for deeper relationships.

2.  Her sweet and caring spirit.  She truly cares about others and shows it in many ways.

3.  Her music/singing talents.  I absolutely love to sit and listen to her play and sing.

4.  Her successful connections with the kids.  This does not always come easy or natural, and Rachael has conquered it.

5.  Her thoughtfulness.  Her thoughtfulness and her forgetfulness can sometime vie for attention, seeking the ultimate approval from Rachael, but when she thinks about another person, she tries to make sure they are happy.

6.  Her honesty.  Rachael tries harder than just about anyone I've ever known to do the right thing and be honest on a day-to-day basis.

7.  Her sincere searching.  Her willingness to delve into new topics to develop an informed belief.

8.  Her ability to make me a better person by sharing a life with her.

9.  Her ability to complete me.  I would truly no longer be whole if Rachael was not in my life.

10.  Her beautiful, sparkling blue eyes when she is excited about something.  I love that sparkle.  Sometimes I miss that sparkle.  As we get older, so many things (me being one of them at times) can take away the sparkle.  All of us have to work hard to retain the 'sparkle' in our own lives.

I know, I know - They're really not that funny.  I ask you to indulge me this time to talk about the great things that make Rachael so wonderful, even if they aren't quite as exciting as driving off 3 times, ripping the nozzle out of the gas pump.  Or 4x4'in in the car wash.  Or flooding the house for the 3rd time.

Rachael is truly one of the most honest, loving, compassionate people I have ever known.  I am thankful that God allowed us to be together.

She truly is one Heck of a good woman/wife/mother/friend.

I am blessed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rachael and the Lost Ark

This is going to be a multi-sensory experience.  To accomplish this, I need for you to right click this link and select 'Open in New Tab'.  Let the video play.  Don't worry- you don't need to watch it, you only need the sounds in the background.  If you're internet connection is slow, you may want to let it download for awhile so you won't get those annoying pauses.  Once this is accomplished, AND NOT BEFORE, go ahead and continue reading this.

This weekend, I had made plans to spend some time with a few great friends.  Kind of a guys-weekend-out sort of thing.

We all planned on meeting around lunch time to start the weekend right by catching lunch at a good restaurant.

I got up early in the morning to ensure that I could get everything done in time to leave by 8AM.  I looked outside to see what the day looked like.  Imagine my surprise when I saw 2 wild turkeys standing in my backyard, as if at attention.

Interesting, but not enough to sway me from my schedule.

I started packing. 

Everything was going great until I looked for underwear.  There was only one pair and, while tempting to try to make it work, that was not going to be enough for the whole weekend. 

Rachael told me that it would not be a problem because she knew there were a few pairs in the washer and she said she would put them in the dryer for me.

I figured I might have to live with packing a slightly damp pair of underwear, but I've lived through worse.  I waited to get the underwear out of the dryer until the last possible moment to give them as much time as possible to dry.

In the meantime, I began packing my truck.  I noticed 2 squirrels in the front yard, standing there staring at me.  Even when I walked close to them, they didn't scamper away.


I went back inside and into the laundry room and opened the door to the dryer.  Lot of blankets, lots of clothes.

No underwear. 

I looked again.

Still no underwear.

Now one of my short-comings is the unique ability to look directly at something and not see it.  I say unique, because if you happen to be female, it's fairly unique.  Unfortunately, for us guys, it seems to be fairly common.  If you are unsure of this fact, just ask any woman and she'll set you straight.

Recognizing my possible over-sight, I decided to take every single item out of the dryer, one piece at a time to be sure I did not over-look it.  There was no underwear.

I called Rachael.  She said she was sure there had been a pair of underwear in the dryer.  My friends and I had talked about the possibility of going kayaking so I was going to need at least two more pairs anyway.  I told Rachael I'd just go to Wal-Mart somewhere and pick some up.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time I've had to resort to buying new underwear or socks, due to a lack of clean garments.  In fact, I am certain if all the clothes were to ever be washed at one time, we'd have to buy 3 more dressers just to hold the clean clothes.

It was now a few minutes after 8AM.

I try to be very punctual.  As a matter of fact, some would even go so far as to say I am kind of a stickler about being punctual.  I was trying my best to just roll with it, but I was concerned I'd be putting my friends out if they had to wait on me to eat lunch.

I was just jalking down the hallway, ready to leave, when a sudden peace descended on me.  Jalking is when you're not quite walking, not quite jogging, but kind of stuck in the gear right between the two. 

Where was this feeling of peace coming from, you ask?

I knew you'd ask that.

It was the strangest thing.

While standing within the confines of the walls of my home, I heard the distinctly clear, soothing, and relaxing sounds of a waterfall.  Kind of like the sounds you are listening to right now.

I don't know about you, but I find the gentle sounds of water falling quite peaceful.

On the bank of a gently rolling stream.

Across the lake from a waterfall.

While rafting down a river.

I absolutely love God's creation and often stand in wonder while looking at it and listening to it.  However, I've made a discovery in life.

The sound of falling water is much more appreciated when it is outside.  Of your house.  Not when it's coming from the kitchen area.

I stopped my quick jalking, turned around and headed back towards the kitchen.  It was then I realized the sounds were coming from the laundry room.

I was afraid I knew what was going on.

Not necessarily because I'm particularly psychic, but because this was not the first time we have had a waterfall in the house. 

It was the 3rd time. 

While I am all for Rachael trying to stay calm, relaxed, and peaceful, I really do think I'm going to have to draw the line at any more indoor waterfalls.  Apparently, Rachael is in agreement and is planning on doing something to solve similar future problems.  What, I'm not sure.  But something.

I tried to strategically position the mounds of dirty clothes and blankets so as to help curtail the spread of the flood, but the damage had already been done- The water had stealthily crept into the kitchen, around the corner, and down the hall, wetting the carpet, pad, and underlayment as it went.  I am particularly thankful that I used to be a termite inspector so I really have a good grasp of the damage this can cause.  Especially after 3 large floods.  And probably a few smaller ones Rachael has conveniently forgotten to tell me about.

I finished all of this as quickly as I could.  I didn't do any more jalking.  I was now in full-on jogging mode.  I called Rachael to tell her about the situation, and ran out the door.  I almost stepped on a couple of lizards that seemed to be waiting for me on the front porch.  What's with all the animals?

I was, of course, late to my lunch.  By about 40 minutes.  Fortunately, I have good friends and they seemed to understand.  They'd even ordered my Diet Coke for me and it was waiting on the table when I walked in.

We had a great weekend and I returned home Sunday evening. 

To another relaxing sound.

The sound of a large fan blowing on the up-turned carpet, trying to dry it out.  Kind of fills the role of a modern-day ark I guess.  Only instead of keeping everything dry, it's drying it out after the fact.

When it's too late.

And for the 3rd time.

I finally realized why there were so many pairs of animals waiting outside my house.  They had not read God's promise to never flood the world again, and they were getting ready, just in case.

Gotta Do Something.  I wonder what it will be?

By the way, Rachael swears that she found the missing pair of underwear.  Oh yeah, and the animals?  That was the only part of the story that was not true.

-For Rachael's side of the story, be sure to click here.

***If you liked this post, be sure to check out a few others, and click the 'follow' tab.  And tell all your friend, neighbors, and relatives.  And comment.  And become my unpaid marketing expert.  Or whatever.  I just hope you enjoy it.    Thanks!  - The Poor Husband***

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I was out of town for the weekend and just got back.  Check back tomorrow night, as I'll try to post a new entry then.  You'll be able to hear about Rachael And The Missing Ark.

Until then!

-The Poor Husband

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Babies Out For Blood

In just a second, I'm going to ask you to close your eyes and use your imagination.

I want you to pretend you're back in the 80's.  Or, for those too young to remember, just think of the various 80's horror movies you have seen.

I want you to turn off your light.

I want you to think of a cold, dark night.

Imagine yourself all alone.

You begin to hear something.  You're not sure exactly what it is, but it sounds ominous.  Out of the corner of your eye, you see a shadow move.  When you look, it seems to retreat out of the room, leaving a violent vacuum in its wake.

So, with that as your preamble, sit in the dark and imagine a blood-thirsty baby stalking you as you sit there.

For those with no imagination, I went ahead and added a trailer for Chucky.

I think they made about 47 Chucky films.  Chucky 1-9, Chuckies, Chuck-O-Luck, Bride of Chucky, Son of Chucky, 3rd Cousin-Twice-Removed Of Chucky, Friend-Of-A-Friend Of Chucky, etc, so I know there must be some fans out there somewhere.

Let's just say that Rachael is anything but a fan.

For those of you that regularly read her blog, My Poor Husband, you know that she's doing a series of posts about her pet peeves.  On a similar note, I thought I'd talk about one of her somewhat irrational, sometimes hilarious fears. 

I played a trailer to some movie about a murdering baby with Rachael sitting beside me.  Here is the result:

She is absolutely terrified of baby killers.  Not the abortion doctor kind, but the babies that come and kill you.  While I am sure this must be a frequent part of everyday life for some, I have never yet been subjected to murderous mayhem coming from anyone under the age of 10. 

But that doesn't stop Rachael from being deathly afraid of them.  In fact, when I was trying to watch the 'Chucky' trailer, Rachael went a little crazy in terror.  I took a picture for you to enjoy.  I couldn't even watch the whole trailer, so if it turns out to be anything other than a Chucky trailer, someone be sure to let me know.

Rachael listening to the Chucky Trailer

I thought of this phobia of Rachael's when I was in Target the other day.  I walked by a row of little innocent looking baby dolls. 

But they were not at all innocent.

They were programmed to start talking and cooing and moving their heads and all the other things the manufacturers could think of when you walked by them.  Just so your kids will say they absolutely must have one. 

Anyway, as I walked by them and they all started making their baby noises at once, I couldn't help but think that Rachael would freak out if she walked by this aisle.

Since she could not see it in person, I made sure to take a picture:

And a couple videos:

So, the next time you're settling down for a nice relaxing book to read, or a soothing bath, or just all alone on a cold, dark, stormy night, keep at least one eye on the dolls in your house.  They may mutinize and come after you when you least expect it.  And, if you know Rachael is going to be alone, do me a favor and bring a Chucky doll over to our front door, ring the doorbell, run away, and record the reaction when Rachael opens the door.

I'm pretty sure that would be a great blog post.

So, what about you?  Do you have any irrational fears?  The only one I have is an irrational fear of having my head under water.  While I used to sometimes freak out just from taking a shower, I have now progressed beyond that.  After all, there are too many murdering babies out there to stick your head under the shower-stream.

Someone needs to keep an eye on them.

Feel free to share your own irrational fears in the comments section.

***If you liked this post, be sure to tell everyone, click the 'follow' button, write a review, link, it etc.  If you hated it, please be quiet about it.  :-)  ***

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rachael and the Pooping Woman

This weekend was the Greek Festival in Santa Cruz.  Rachael and I go to Santa Cruz for church, so we are there almost every Sunday.  The Greek Festival is held once a year, but we have never been able to go before.  Rachael is usually too tired.  Today, however, she was up for it, so we decided to check it out.

I am one that absolutely loves to try new things, food being at the top of my enjoyment list!  So, I was truly looking forward to attending.

We were following some friends from church over there.  Nothing out of the ordinary was happening.  Life With Rachael is typically not ordinary, so I knew something had to happen.  Kind of like when your kids have been quiet for tooooo long.  The first few minutes are pure bliss, then casual enjoyment, but after about 20 or 30 minutes of complete quiet, you are almost scared to go into their rooms for fear of what you might find.

As we're navigating our way through the traffic in downtown Santa Cruz, Rachael blurts out loudly, "It looks like that woman is pooping!"

Now, I have developed a somewhat steady response resistance to most comments that are blurted out.  This is an almost indispensable trait to have when you live Life With Rachael AND have 3 kids, all in the same vehicle at the same time.

But even I was taken aback by this one.

"Huh?"  was about all I could manage.

"It looks like that woman is pooping!"

Santa Cruz is known for its weirdness, but women pooping in public are still considered a bit extreme.  Even for Santa Cruz.  Though I'm sure if it ever catches on as a fad, Santa Cruz will probably lead the way. 
Anyway, I looked over.  All I saw was a statue in a small park-like setting with a few vehicles on the street. 
I saw no conspicuous woman.
And certainly not one pooping.
I looked over at Rachael as she was pointing at the statue.
"Doesn't it look like she's pooping?"
Umm, no, not really.  But that's OK.  It looks kind of like she's sitting on her foot.  And I guess maybe a little like she's pooping.  If you look hard enough. 
By this time, Rachael has certainly received the attention of the kids.  Our kids are 6, 8, and 9.  At that age, there are no funnier words in the English language than poop and butt.  So this is an entertaining conversation for them, whether or not the recipient of all the attention is simply a statue, a gilded woman, resting her haunches on her sculpted foot.

I pulled out my trusty side-arm camera, snapped a couple of quick pictures before I had to start driving again, and thought you'd like to see them.

We continued on our merry way, tried out some fantastic Greek food, heard some Greek music and singing, and had a great time. 

And we have baklava that we brought home. 

Plus we now have one more sure-fire way to hear the all-too-precious giggles of our kids.  Just remind them of the Greek Festival and The Pooping Woman.

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