Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Noises in the Night

It seems like Brad is forever relating some little tale of hilarity and I am saying to him, " You should BLOG about that!" But he never does. So I am forced to tackle the telling for him.

One recent morning, Brad told me that the night before, as he was trying to fall asleep, he heard a shrill and distant scream outside. He thought perhaps it was either one of the neighbors being murdered or else hysterically calling a pet. Huh. Okay. And it kept happening...until he realized that it was merely a small whistle of air going in and out of my nostrils as I slept. I thought that was hilarious because I have often thought the Same Thing about my breathing; in the delirium of sleepiness, I think it's the result of some big noise far away, and then I realize that it's just a small noise close at hand, and that I'm making it.

Speaking of nocturnal noises, I just have to mention my own little tale here. Brad talks in his sleep. I don't know which is more exasperating- the fact that I always forget that he sleep-talks
( and inevitably think he's trying to say something to me and so I say, " What?" and am met with maddening silence in return) or the fact that when awake, he flat out refuses to believe that he talks in his sleep. On the rare occasion that I actually wake him up after he has said something, he will say, " I wasn't asleep! I didn't say anything!" He steadfastly claims that it is I who was sleeping, and in fact, that I dreamed the whole thing. Which is, of course, total nonsense. He always falls asleep first. It's a rare and enviable gift. But the frustrating thing is that I can never quite understand what he's saying...and because I can never repeat to him later what he actually said, he just scoffs at my assertions. I try to show him what he sounds like- muffling my mouth and muttering some random syllables. But to no avail.

The other night as he lay sleeping, he said, as clear as a bell, out of total silence, " Yeah." And then shortly thereafter, " Welcome to the Seventh Heaven." WHAT?! I had to wake him up just so I could tell him about it. As always, he had no recollection of ever saying anything like that...or dreaming anything that would relate to it.

It makes me think, what do our brains DO when we are asleep? I mean- what goes on in them? We think we know ourselves, are in control of our brains, are aware of our thoughts and moods...But what happens when we surrender to sleep? What unremembered, unknowable thoughts take over? I'm not saying this in a scary sense, but just in curious wonder. Where do our minds go?

Okay- I just read this to Brad and he said I couldn't post it because it's not true. He claims that he has been saying the same thing over and over on random nights for months to make me THINK he talks in his sleep. Whatever. It's all part of the mind games he likes to play. I know the truth. His reply to this addition? " As long as you say what's true, you can put whatever you want on there." Mmmmm-HMMM.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

There's no Way to Segue between Kermit and Jesus

Did you know that Kermit is the only one of the Muppets to cross over to Sesame Street? Last night I learned this bit of trivia...The Muppet Show and Sesame Street are two entirely different entities and do not share any of the same characters EXCEPT for Kermit. Huh. Learn something new every day...

I mentioned the following on Sunday morning in church, so if you go to ODC, you don't need to feel compelled to read on...Recently, I have been wrestling with some serious discouragement. It's a strange thing because it's hard to really pin down how I feel; it's sort of this nebulous cloud of negativity about many different issues. Anyway, I was glad of some escape and distraction from this when I went to Michigan, but as I contemplated coming home, I felt overwhelmed with the dread of having to face this slough of despond again. It was a mixture of so many feelings: sadness, frustration, disappointment, hopelessness...Now, let me clarify, this has nothing to do with Brad. I missed him terribly and couldn't wait to see him again. Let's just say it's everything BUT Brad.

Anyway- in the midst of this plunging back into blechhness, I felt like the Holy Spirit put something in my mind. I remembered our Watch Night Service here, which was held by Joe Anderson. He had mentioned the fact that Jesus said, " My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." My burden certainly did not feel light. I thought, how can Jesus say this? And yet, He DID say it. It must be true. Even though it made little or NO sense to me, I was able to take a measure of comfort in it.

If the load Jesus gives us is truly light, this means there are certain things we don't have to carry, things we shouldn't carry, things God never intended us to carry; Jesus said, ' Learn of me...' Perhaps He was saying, Learn about My burden...Learn what is necessary to carry, and drop the rest. Weed out the baggage.

It blessed me indescribably to know that God cared about what I was going through. He cared enough to remind me that His load is easy...His timing is perfect...His plan is The Best. He's not just choosing between the lesser of a few evils, not simply scrambling around at the last minute, salvaging together a silver lining out of a dark cloud...He is doing A Perfect Work.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I'm hoooome!

Did you know that they have rocking chairs in the Charlotte airport? Well, they do. Wait- I'm in the airport...No! I'm on my front porch! No...I'm...where am I?

Hey- it snowed while I was in Michigan! I was actually kind of glad to see snow...mostly because I knew I didn't have to live with it and I could just enjoy its beauty.

When Ethan got up to say goodbye to me this morning around six fifteen, he observed that, " It's still night out!" and then asked if I was going to go home and finish sleeping in my own bed. Ummm...kinda. It was fun, guys! I miss you!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Baby Gladiators

Here I am, in the frozen north...which is not so frozen after all. I was surprised and a little disappointed to find that there was no snow on the ground when I landed in Detroit. I was all geared up for blizzards and nor'easters and it was fifty degrees the other day!

I'm up here visiting Keith, Liane, Ethan and Drew until next Thursday. Hurray! It's been about six months since I've seen them...

Well, I have been making up for lost time, playing with Ethan, and holding Drew. Ethan continues to amaze me with his intelligence and charm. He is really good at playing the Teletubby Memory Game, and putting puzzles together. Superheroes abound in this house, although most of them are invisible. They are in his food and in his drink and in everyday objects around the house that bear no resemblance to anything super or heroic. For instance- the chicken he was eating for dinner was "The Hulk" and the couscous was "Batman."

Last evening as we were relaxing in the living room, he remarked that he would like to have another baby boy in the house. Oh, how cute, I thought. When Liane asked why, he said that he would like to see Drew and the other baby fight each other. I couldn't help but laugh- envisioning this little pit with the babies in it, circling each other as gladiators or roosters with Ethan watching above, egging them on. Children's minds work in mysterious ways. You think you know what they're thinking and lo, they surprise your socks off.

Monday, January 09, 2006


You've heard of "The Randomizer" over on the Joneses blog? Well, my very own husband has taken on that mantle. The other day I asked Brad if he liked mangoes. His reply? " I've only worn makeup twice- and that was for a play."


To be fair, he was in the other room, and couldn't hear me perfectly, I guess...And I was washing my face, so somehow, his brain made a connection to cosmetic products...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Video: Christmas Morning

Hey folks, Brad here. With apologies to all of you on dial-up internet, here is a video. If you don't have broadband, don't bother - it isn't that exciting. I just wanted to see if I could figure out how to do it. I assembled some footage from our festive Christmas morning, including some tater tot chucking.

Home Improvement

Last night, Brad got home at the stroke of midnight, having worked late and then picked up someone from the airport. He had drunk one of those caffeine drinks that is supposed to give you WINGS...and keep you awake. So, needless to say, he didn't fall asleep as fast as he usually does. We started talking about putting a kitchenette into our finished basement so we could possibly use it as a rental space. It's something we've talked about before, sort of relegating it to the dim future. But there is a chance that the dim future has become now. So, we were talking about weird home-owner things like plumbing and putting some outside steps around the back of the house, and other logistics... Suddenly, I said, " I want to go down and look at the basement." Duh. It's a basement. I've seen it before. But for some reason, we were both wicked excited about it. We both leaped out of bed and rushed downstairs to the basement. It was probably quarter of one in the morning at that point. We walked around, scheming and brainstorming. I felt like a little kid.

And then we found a lizard in the bathroom. Niiiiice. Brad shooed me out (I didn't need much convincing) while he blew on it to see if it was alive. Nope. It was dead. Gross. He dealt with it. All dead animals fall under his jurisdiction, whether it be mice in New Hampshire, or lizards in Georgia.

Anyway, this random experience of running down to the basement in the middle of the night and planning home improvement projects left me thinking, " I love being married to Brad."

Well, the weather outside is...delightful!

It's rare that you can remember and pinpoint the exact moment when you learned something new as a child. Most of the early experiences of life seem to blend together like a big blurry dream. But I do remember when the realization dawned on me that January, the start of a new year, does not equal spring. We had a little cartoony calendar up on the board in kindergarten that had a little picture next to the name of the month. In September it showed leaves, probably, and in October, a pumpkin; November was most likely a turkey or a pilgrim, and December was most likely something to do with Christmas. ( Shocking, I know. Christmas references in SCHOOL?)

When I got back to school after Christmas and saw the month of January up on the calendar, I was surprised to see little snowflakes and someone skating on a frozen pond. In fact, I was shocked. My world rocked upon its foundations. I guess in the previous five years of my life, not having been exposed to the routines of education, and probably never noticing a calendar or knowing what it meant, I thought that the New Year meant the end of winter. BING! January first means instant SPRING! Right? New Year- new season! It didn't make sense to me that you had to go through three more months of the same ol', same ol' before you really got to something different and new. Weird how kids think, huh? Strange and yet understandable, I guess. WELL...my misconception seems to be not too far off the mark down here in Dixie. Yesterday it was in the 60's and the long sleeved shirt I was wearing was actually TOO WARM as I went out for a walk with Penny. The New Year has arrived, and it feels like spring is on its way! I know we will probably go back to cooler temperatures, but it's nice to have these balmy days every once in a while. I would call it a January thaw, except for the fact that nothing has frozen down here yet. Oh yeah- one morning last month there was an "ice storm"- a few miles north of us- for a few hours...Huh.

We actually had some thunderstorms in the last couple of days. Loud, flashy, and torrential. Last night someone called to make sure our house was still standing and that I was okay, because they heard that a tornado had touched down in my neighborhood in the last hour. Wow. We're not in New Hampshire anymore, Toto.

Guess what- in one week I will be in Michigan! Hurray! I will be gone for about ten days, visiting my newest nephew. I CAN'T WAIT.

Today is Alice's hearing. She will most likely be moved to another facility, so last week's visit was probably the last time I'll see her. I hope to continue to write to her.