Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Popcorn's Petals and Prayers: The Wait Is On

My sweet, green-thumbed friend Ann delivered some iris plants to my front door last week. I planted some in the front yard, some in the back yard, and then some more in the front yard. Today I put the last two in the ground. She told me I will now have to wait until next spring to enjoy the beautiful purple blooms. Next spring?! A whole year from now? Mercy sakes. Good things come to gardeners who wait I suppose. Good things are worth waiting for....like cherry pie to come out of the oven, for a baby to come out of the oven, so to speak..., for Christmas to get here... for a prayer to be answered... I think that may be the hardest wait of all. We lift a prayer request to God and we so want it to be answered right now. Today. Or at least this week. This month Lord? Oh please let it be within the year....We have to wait and sometimes wait and wait and wait. It's not easy. But like those gorgeous purple blooms I am promised next spring, God's perfectly timed solutions to our prayers are more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Popcorn's Pastime: What's A Blog Anyhoo?

An "A" for the day if you can tell me where the word blog is derived from?? Anyone? It is from the term "weblog". The definition of which is simply an ongoing journal available online. A log on the web. A blog. Who passed the quiz?

Popcorn's Pace: From Now On, Speedy Gonzales

It seems that any task that I choose to engage in, I can (and many times do) make it an all day project. Cleaning up a room turns into rearranging it, straightening a book shelf turns into painting the whole bookcase a new color, clearing off my dresser for umteenth time turns into organizing my jewelry... walking dogs, washing cars, watering plants.... blah blah blah...none of these things should take longer than an hour at the very very most. What's my problem??? Once I get into something, the longer I work at it, the more I want to perfect it. My goal is to just do something and be done with it. I think this is why I procrastinate so badly because I know I will make something more than it has to be. I get so bogged down in the thing. Mr. Popcorn can jump up and say he's going to go out and wash the car and be back in a jiffy and there's a gleaming car in the driveway. So now that I have unloaded myself of this secret flaw, I'm letting it go from this moment forward. From now on I resolve to be Speedy Gonzales around here!

Monday Moanin' at Popcorn's: PMS Really Means Purchase More Shoes...at least that's my take on it

Texas Junk Company. Have you heard of it? If not, you need to. I finally pinned my ears back and set my mind (to quote my granny) to finding it and whoa nelly! It was as much fun for me as going to Warrenton but minus the drive. This place specializes in used boots.Cowboy boots. Men's, women's and children's. It is a shack of a "warehouse" looking joint. The boots are displayed on plywood shelves around the walls of the building. Scraps of paper with shoe sizes written in black sharpie are taped to the shelves. Didn't wear socks? No biggy. Just grab a mismatched "pair" off the worn out ladder in the back room, pull up a garage sale chair, wipe off the dust and try on away! You might want to make sure your socks are the same thickness for both feet...I hit the jackpot Saturday. I found some killer red ones. Listen, don't try to get a better price out of the guy (like I did) because he won't budge. He knows he can sell those boots to the next person that walks through the door. He's recently been written up in Lucky magazine. He says since then he has not gone one hour, literally, between customers. His prices are good! They start at about 25 and go up from there. Most of the boots I tried on were 65.00 or so. So git on over there padna!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cowgirl Popcorn: Hill Country Wedding Brimming with Flair

Next Saturday I am going to what I believe will be a lovely and beautiful wedding at a scenic Texas hill country location. And unique. The bride is wearing cowboy boots. No, she's not wearing jeans or a leather mini skirt. She's wearing a elegant designer gown. Her portraits were shot in a field of bluebonnets. Her maltipoo, Pearl, will also don a wedding gown. The mother of the bride? Yep. Boots. Popcorn? YEEHAW you betcha. So today I'm headed out to find a pair for self and I will post pics of the wedding when Mr. P and I get home.... Other unique features of this stylish wedding:

1. The groom proposed to her while she was atop a horse.
2.There are no attendants, because she would have had to ask 10,000 girls (this is how much she is loved)
3.There will be no cake, just creamy Blue Bell Ice Cream
4.Again, I point out that there will be a little white dog dressed up as a bride : ) !
5.The bride will have her real mom, and about 15 other mamas (including yes, popcorn) fawning over her
6.There will be a huge breakfast the next morning and the bride and groom will be in attendance
7.The groom is wearing a Joseph Banks summer Khaki suit, no tux
8. Rest assured this will not be a hillbilly affair, but will be utterly stylish and lovely, no Jethros or Ellie Mays
9.Details of which you and I cannot imagine, will be attended to

Ya'll now see there? There is more than one way to skin a cat, especially in Texas. Watch the paper carefully and the bride on the fencepost wearing boots, honey that's our girl. xxoo

Friday, April 25, 2008

Popcorn's Pride: Half Marathon Mel 2008

This past January I ran a half marathon. 13.1 miles in 2 hours 39 minutes. When the mob of us walked out to the starting line it was 45 degrees. Cold. Especially without any jacket whatsoever because I didn't want to have to shed a jacket once I warmed up. It was one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done in all my ...er....35 some odd years. The experience of running on the Elysian Street bridge and watching the sun rise across the city was yummy. Once we rounded the bend onto Richmond I was into the 7th mile and feeling warm and wonderful. Yes, that's me in the pink waving to my family. Seeing Mr. Popcorn and little Popcorn holding up signs and screaming and taking pictures was just so much fun!I cannot tell you the high it gave me. My man jumped in at 7 and paced me to the 10th and then let me solo to the finish line. That was a big help and encouragement. The sun was out and it was the most beautiful day in the world. Cool, sunny, supporters lining the streets. Those are the things I think of when I think back on that day. I trained hard from August to January and loved every minute of it. Well, I didn't really love the minute I had to crawl out of bed at 4:30 a.m. on Saturdays to head off for the group run with my running club, but I loved every minute after that. Every run increased in mileage as the months counted down, each of them challenging but exhilarating. It was a real accomplishment for me to set a goal, stick with the training, get my stuff together and show up at 5:30 downtown on a cold race day morning. Follow through is not my strong suit, but this time I completely followed through and I have to tell you, it felt good. Running is my therapy and has kept me sane through many tough places in the last few years. I highly recommend it.

Popcorn's Prescription for Beauty (or how to fake it)

For many many many years, since I gave birth to the first little popcorn who is now legal...I have leaned on a very strict early morning school taking, grocery stopping, starbizzle running, beauty routine. Or really, how to fake that you don't look like, well, umm how can I say this and maintain my carefully crafted good girl image....ok.. bad...let's just say bad. My routine only requires three key aids: Here they are in order of importance:
These three little items can be hidden behind at least til noon, and have been known to last all the way to bedtime over here at Popcorn's house. Oh, and if you go ahead and put on your workout clothes it further adds to the illusion that you are beautiful and fit despite the fact that you have bedhead and haven't had a shower in 48 hours. This routine also comes in very handy for work- in -the -yard- , haul kids around, walk-the-dogs Saturday. I don't go anywhere without them. Happy Weekend! xxoo

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Popcorn's Persuit: Entrepreneurial Launch

I come from a long line of business owners. My grandmother, Mother Evans, owned a grocery store/gas station on hwy 59 in Linden, Texas. Her husband, my Papa, owned a Water Well business in those same East Texas parts: Rex Water Wells, named after my uncle who is my mom's baby brother only six months older than me. His brother, my great uncle V.C. Evans owned V.C. Evans Plumbing in Bellaire, Texas for years. My aunt Dena owned a Christian book store: Sonshine Gifts in Lake Jackson when I was growing up. My own sweet dad started his own plumbing company after working for uncle Venice for a while and other various "union" plumbing companies that wore him out with the heinous schedules. He started his company in 1971 in Houston. His "business plan" was to put food on the table. My mom had quit her job at Shell Oil the when the Cuban Missile Crisis made her realize she did not want her little girl (me) across town from her all day and "too hard to get to". Career be darned, she was now a homemaker. Period. A job she relished for the rest of their marriage.(and planted the strong seed of desire in me to stay home with my babies. period.) His "marketing" plan was walking door to door in neighborhoods putting his business card printed by my mom's best friend's husband, Mr. Keir, on front doors. I can remember going with him and tucking the little card in the frame of the screen doors. Well, today the company thrives and you've probably seen one of the trucks driving through all of the neighborhoods in our city. What started out as a one desk, one phone, one secretary (mom) and some pink "phone message" pads is now a many-trucked, ginormous outfit run to an efficient fare-the-well. You've probably seen one of the spotlessly clean, white, Ford F-150's sitting in front of the mega mansions being built around town, Strutton Plumbing tastefully painted on the door. See? I have entrepreneur blood coursing through my veins. I have a little business: Front Door Designs that I am determined to give a little CPR in the next few months to see if I can grow a little business niche for mah self. I'm excited and it scratches that "own my own business itch" I can't help but have. Check out my new website at http://www.frontdoordesigns.vpweb.com/ and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Appeal of Vulnerability

I think most people fear revealing certain parts of themselves to others because it's scary. It's scary because we don't know if people will still view us in the same favorable light in which we've carefully tried to present our personalities or lives. We open the door to ourselves only so wide, letting others but partially glimpse what's behind the door. Most of the time what we are hiding is not worth the secrecy, but we're afraid the thing might just sully our hard earned image of near perfection. Or at least we think it will. What I have discovered, much much much to my pleasant and relieved surprise is this: that the more vulnerable you allow yourself to be, the better chance you have at feeling the honest, raw, love and support of your friends. I have found that when I let people in on my hurts, my fears, my trials and tribulations, rarely am I disappointed like I was afraid I would be! When a thing gets too heavy to bear that you finally say ok ok ok here's the deal people would you all just gather round and pray??? They will!! They have!!! It is hard to trust that you won't face judgement, even though we know as Christians we are told not to judge, we still think people will. We are certain they will judge or criticize us to the point we'll be sorry we ever reached out for help. We are so reluctant to admit there's a struggle because we don't want to be blamed for it. The compulsion is to hide to protect pride. But I am so happy to report that has not ever been the case with me. Whenever I finally open my door wide enough for my friends to see everything that is behind it, they warmly rally 'round. They pray, they encourage, and they offer all manner of love that is like manna from heaven when one's soul is hanging out there. It's hard for me to be totally transparent because I want the world to see me as together, rock strong, and a faith warrior. Truth is, I can be worn down as low as the next poor slob. The happy news is that I have learned through precious friendships and open hearted fellowship at church that I don't always have to be the Rock of Gibraltar. I can lay my vulnerable self right out there and there will be someone with just the right word and prayer that will be just the morsel I need for that moment. There is an appeal to vulnerability that brings out the ability in Christians to love supernaturally. It wells up in us and through Him we are able to pour it out to others who need it. When people love from the source of all love, the desire to judge or criticize dissipates. Through God's love they feel no need to lift themselves up by further tearing you down. So my advice is when your cross weighs you way down, go ahead and reach out, be vulnerable. You'll see your friends minister to you in amazing ways as they model His love in your moment of need.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Popcorn's Tadbit Tuesday

Popped in to type some quick thought kernals for you to munch on this fine Tuesday. Today I'm just feeling a tadbit tired. Older Kona waitress Popcorn child is wearin' me out I mean OUT. She, like her dad Mr. Popcorn, gives everything her allllll. When she takes on anything she becomes an "aholic" about it. Workaholic, exerciseaholic, freindshipaholic, starbizzleaholic, girlfriendaholic, red bullaholic, hair productsaholic, see? She's in her workaholic mode and keeps taking on more than just one shift, calls it "a double". The late hours she keeps is hard on Popcorn trying to get her shuteye. I like to go to sleep and then not wake up before I have to get up, but lately...oy...I dread the summer with college Popcorn's late hours thrown into the mix... I plead with her to take it easy on the working but of course that just fans the aholic embers in her soul the minute I offer a word of advice....I'm also feeling a tadbit hyper because I got up super way early and got ready for the day so now it's 10:30 a.m. and I've, as my dad used to say, "done a hafaday's work". It feels good. Funny how the early morning hours if taken advantage of really elongate the day and multiplies productivity over here at Popcorn's house. The more I realize how much I am getting done and it isn't even lunch, it spurs me on to get with it and get some more accomplished. Maybe jumping out of bed is the answer to the heinous feelings of largess experienced last week. That the same phenom that spurs me on the more I get done works in reverse...the more I waste of the morning, getting zero done, zero times 1000 does not get accomplished. I'm a tadbit restless seeing as how the house is spic and span...so off to run some errands. How about you? Hope you're feeling a tadbit good this April Tuesday. xxoo

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Moanin' with Popcorn: Loving the Easy and the Not So Easy

We all have people in our lives that are easy to love. They bring us nothing but joy and loving them is no harder than breathing. They never get on our nerves, they lift us up, they are grateful and appreciative. Just easy to be around. Then there those in our lives who are not as easy to love, but we love them anyway because they are family, an old friend, a parent, a child, a sibling...there's no escaping them. It is hard because they do not approach life like us, and sometimes we can't even figure out what they are thinking or why they would think like they do much less do the things they do. It's like they live on a different planet, in a different zone somehow. However, we are to continue to show this person love and compassion. The humaness in us wants to throw our hands up and say forget it, it's too hard, and cut them off emotionally. But God's love in us makes possible what seems too hard, or impossible. Somehow through Him we are able to continue loving them and loving them above and beyond our normal human capacities. Others may even ask you how you keep "doing it" or "putting up" with the situation. Well, the answer is the Holy Spirit in us. We are given a supernatural ability to care for that person even though it is trying. The most interesting thing about this whole thing is that person is no doubt put in your life to teach you something about yourself. If you pay close attention to that difficult relationship, it somehow reflects something back to you that you need to look at in your own life. Not too pretty is it? God allows these difficult souls in our lives to help us become better "us's". He knows without some clever way to tip us off that we aren't perfect, we'd go around thinking we are. So, who is your difficult person to love? Take a hard look at what makes it them so difficult and you might get a glimpse of someone else you know very well. In loving them, we are better able to see what loving us might feel like to those that love us. Get it? God is ingenious.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Popcorn's Peripheral Vision

We've had few little windy rain showers here lately that have shaken limbs out of trees. There's lots of little sticks in my yard and on the driveway. Yesterday on my run up my beautiful tree lined route, I kept seeing sticks out of the corner of my eye that looked exactly like...well... snakes. I couldn't tell as I approached them if they were just a fallen stick, or a snake trying to look like a stick. I was very wary. Snakes can do that you know. They are able to just blend right in with their environment and look like a part of the grass, or the dirt, or a pretty flower bed, or ... a just a stick that has fallen from a tree. They are very good pretenders. These peripheral vision snake fears made me jumpy the whole time I was running. Each time I would realize that no, that's just a really snaky looking stick, I'd boogy along relieved. Then I'd come upon another one and think, oh my....and the panic would set in again. Each time, thankfully, the snakes were just sticks. I tried to discern snakeness from stickness before I got too close, but sometimes I'd have to almost be on top of the stick before I could see what it really was. If it had been a snake it would have bitten me... This whole experience reminded me that so many times what looks like a snake, isn't...and what doesn't look like a snake, is. Go fig. So be careful out there! On your daily run, approach all sticks carefully, and with a keen eye. xxoo

Friday, April 18, 2008

Popcorn's Paralysis

This morning is beautiful, it's raining. The wetness emphasizes the "greeness" and lushness of the trees and shrubs outside. The rain hitting the window only exacerbates my current situation, that of paralysis. I have so many odd random things that I have to get done today, I find myself frozen. Nothing on my to do list is fun. So my way of pouting I guess is just to feel inert. Static. I can't move. This happens to me when I have things pending that absolutely must must must get done. Like make store returns. Ick. Or get something notarized. Yuck. Or write a letter of recommendation for someone. Argh. Or deep clean house including drawer purging when company is coming. !@#$. Or call about getting crack in windshield fixed. whew. I used to be a jackrabbit. I could get it all done in two hours, whatever I had to accomplish. Not any more. Something happened to my get-up-and-go ness. As Lucy Ricardo would say, "it got up and went". So here's how I'm going to deal with it this a.m....I'm crawling back under the covers for while....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Popcorn's Plea...Escape Your Head and Don't Overthink Things: It's Perilous

Ok, ok. You out think us all. Your knowledge of everything is better. Your sentences are better, your thoughts are better, you know best.You're smarter, you're deeper, the world gets it. You win. Whew. I'm wondering something though. I'm wondering this morning about the torment of over thinking an issue. Spiritual issues in particular. I think it is perilous to our peace of mind to compulsively and obsessively chew and gnaw on something until we're blue in the face, malcontent, and miserable. It destroys inner peace, chases it away, and leaves a person feeling sad, blue, and depressed because again, they've gone round and round and round only to arrive at the same vacant place: 666 I'mbewildered Lane, Whinevillepoormecity, zip code 00000. Where does this compulsion come from? You are not alone if, along life's path, you have encountered some well meaning people who may have answered your spiritual questions with less theological prowess than you now assign yourself in your own adulthood and left you feeling confused. Just because they were the adult Sunday school teacher and you were the little curious child doesn't mean they always could answer your innocent probings perfectly. So what? What's new pussycat? Maturity(and mental health) demands we get past that. There's good and positive and uplifting news that can obliterate our accumulated bitternesses from years of what some consider heinous blitherings from church workers: forgive them, oh now wise owl, for not wording things perfectly all of the time. Cut some slack, people do it for you. God uses us, imperfect vessels, as his conduits. Conduits to pass his teachings on. Our willingness to do this is blessed and anointed by His Holy Spirit. If along the way, our feelings have gotten hurt, or our egos not properly tended it, or if it is just too painful a memory that we didn't know it all like we thought we did and someone set us straight, there's no time like the present to let it go. Move forward. Get on past that. Let go of that thing. Don't give it a head! He also gave us his holy word to teach us how to believe and behave. And if we spend our energy peering at the scripture wondering why this and why that and is this literal, blah blah blah..we need to stop. It isn't going to ever get us anywhere. God's word is the truth, the light and the way. Our only job is to accept it, revel in it, and just worship Him. Discussing doctrinal issues is a fine pastime as long as in the end we resolve that we aren't ever going to nail it down to our total satisfaction. Our satisfaction surely lies more in the realization that we don't have to nail it down.O Praise God! We are relieved of that chore. That isn't our job and it isn't necessary.I think sometimes we are so in love with ourselves we just like to hear ourselves think/talk. The Christian walk is a simple one. Accept Him, live for Him and worship Him. Arrogance deceives us into believing that if we bang our brain long enough we can figure out the bottom line truth of every mysterious Biblical text and teaching, but we never can. We aren't that smart. None of us. None. So don't waste good time trying to. It squelches the Holy Spirit within and robs you of the freedom of victorious living. Getting lost in our heads is Satan's way of leading us right back to nowhere. No need for any of us to fashion the best most eloquent explanation for why the Bible is the ultimate truth. Faith is just accepting that it is. Please give your weary brain a breather if you have a propensity towards over thinking things. Down boy! God's perfect plan leads us straight to love, joy, peace, patience, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The mysteries of which can only be enjoyed through abandoning ourselves to the carefreeness that existing in Him can bring. I need constant reminders of this, perhaps we all do. May the Peace of God be with you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Them There's Fifteen Semdy Five

There used to be a store called "Allure" at the corner of Rice and 610 that I would visit at least once a weekend. This store is I mean exactly like a store would be if I owned one. No effort to the "merchandising". Just stuff sitting around everywhere on a cement floor. Some parts of the floor were painted creatively with vines and flowers, fleur d'lis, but most wasn't.. just plain, slick cement. Treasures like old farmhousey whitewashed, blackwashed, yellowwashed furniture. Pine bookcases, pine hutches, old iron beds. It had loads and loads of "drieds".. arrangements created by this chubby gay guy that were eye popping, alluring, if you will. Messy and irreverent, just perfect. No stiff wire ribbon..just floppy, natural, and berry filled arrangements made from stuff you'd just run across in an East Texas pasture. There was a long, long old wooden worn out looking table where he'd work on his florals. Ribbon, great containers, scissors, moss, pussy willow, cattail...just absolutely strewn from one end to the other. I love love loved it. The gal that owned it was so pretty and artsy, but was hardly ever there and rumor had it that she had a coke habit and I don't mean cola. So her sister who was younger but so not like her, if you know what I mean, and the gay chubber ran the place most days. My friend Wuh and I referred to her simply as "Them There's". Hardly anything in the whole 15,000 sq. foot warehouse was priced. If it was, it was sky high (a reflection of the owners disposition I guess, argh argh) so as to force you to approach Them There's and either ask what the price was, or if she was really sure that this foot tall cement angel was really 375 smackers...At which point she would always look at me and say..."Well, them there er supposed to be 800.00 dollers, but my sister said I could knock some off, so I'll take 15.75." Or, better, "Themer 900.00 but I might could take sum off, I'll haf to call er tho". Wuh and I would always collaborate on what "deals" Them There's came up with on our recent sashay through that great "collection"(heap/pile) of goodies. The thing was, I wanted everything in the place because thems were right up my alley.. But as my Granny Strutton would say, "They're proud of their perties", so I mostly just walked through and drooled and tried to bargain with sweet, but well, grammatically challenged Them There's. I miss that place.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

BRAG ALERT!!! Young Popcorn's 1000% Effort and guess what color his eyes are?

I'm so proud of all three of my kids. In my extremely biased opinion, they are all three the sweetest, funniest, wittiest, prettiest, handsomest, most caring, thoughtful, polite, selfless, God fearing people, along with my precious man, on the planet. Period. I adore them. The little guy, the one who when Mr. Popcorn said "babe, it's a boy", I responded, "really, you're kidding?!" We had two little blue-eyed (just like daddy), bow-headed angels and we just totally expected another one. We envisioned three little stairstep girls. Sometimes I would say "wouldn't it be a miracle to someday have a little baby boy with brown eyes like me?" But truly, that would be too amazing for it to really happen...wouldn't it? But lo and behold, surprise! The boy name waiting in the wings now had an owner. Our good friend Randy announced it on the radio that morning and we had friends calling us saying, "hey, I just heard ya'll had the baby on the radio! Congrats!" The baby is now, well, much older and of course taller, than me... A fact he relishes. He approaches me from behind and lifts me up over his shoulder and carries me through the kitchen like a sack of potatoes. He loves that. I don't. This kid is just like his dad. Whatever he does, he gives it his all. 1000% plus. Piano? Loves to play so knows he must practice, and does. Saxophone? Walks around the house with it strapped on playing as he goes...first chair two years of middle school. Broke band director's heart when he quit band to play football in high school...which he gives his all in hot south Texas August heat. Never complaining. Works in VBS each summer. Helps in children's church. Makes good grades. Runs track with his guts hanging out. Shoots hoops with abandon. Listens earnestly at friends' Bar and Bat Mitzvah's, and their kid sisters', too. Takes friends to our church regularly. Prays for friends. When I say something like "oh gosh, you need a new calculator, that one is a dinosaur" he says, naa, this one's fine mom". "Oh babe, man we need to go shopping for some new shorts" "naa, I like the one's I have". SO low maintenance... And ever since he was big enough to sit in the real car seat with a real seatbelt, I've always have a little secret race with myself to see if I can beat him obediently putting on his seatbelt...and I never have. He's quick draw McGraw. The way he lives his life is an inspiration. And he has brown eyes.

Popcorn's Haunts and Hangouts

Today was totally fun. What did you do that was so fun Popcorn? You might ask yourself...Well, I made my rounds. I had no commitments today other than my normal chauffeur duties at the usual times. So in between, the day was all mine. So I put on my running garb to give self comfort that I would get a run in sometime today, just not right now. Here's how a perfect day lines out...left house and headed for Lowe's "electric" aisle. I wanted to check out dimmer switch strengths and how much it would be to up my dining room dimmer switch's ampage. (if not a word, please forgive Popcorn, I can talk plumbing, but not electrical stuff) My "chandelier" keeps blowing ours out. I guess it doesn't have enough juice for all of the little light bulbs..and I miss it when it is out because it casts a pretty light at night. OK, then got hungry so headed to Wendy's for number one with cheese cut the pickles, mayo, ketchup, coke extra ice, small please. Drove back over to Lowe's parking lot and found a shade tree, pulled in, turned on Alistair Begg(wonderful minister/teacher on radio) and had myself a quiet little party. Did I mention the temp was a perfect 63? Breezy, sunny, oh my. From there to Tuesday Morning. Dug around in there for a while, love that place btw, then left for home to get older one to hang with me for a while. We made a beeline for Ulta and sniffed, smeared, painted, and played for a bit, bought our Bare Minerals off we went. Dropped her at work...then picked up little guy,(who, btw took 5th place in the district for the 100 meter dash yesterday, yea!) dropped him home....headed back out to the coup of all d' etats, TJMAXX. Yummy, delicious TJ MAXX. Spent a blissful and fruitful hour there searching for a dress to wear to an upcoming hill country wedding .(bride, who is quite stylish and Junior Leaguey, will don cowboy boots with her wedding dress so rest of us doing same...) Did not purchase dress, but did find all manor of other necessities. Thank goodness I went! Then came home and cooked dinner for my men after eyeballing a good spot for my new precious pink flowers from Lowe's. (yes, went to garden section too, and no, never did run. ; ) I hope your day was perfect too, friend. xxoo

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Moanin' at Popcorn's: Marital Mentoring

Well, the wave of insecurities has passed. No more blogfitthrowin' this a.m. So last Thursday night I went to a wedding shower for my "boss" who owns the little gift shop where I "work" if you can call it that. I should really say where I "have a rip roarin' time", or better "my therapist's office" because both of those descriptions are more accurate than the word work. It is a joy, a pleasure, a hoot, to step toe in that place. My co-workers are my long lost sisters. When I get to work I head straight for the back room to see what one of them has brought for us to munch on for the day. When it is something way yummy, I know my friend Rae Lynn made it and my taste buds start reacting. She is our chef in residence, so to speak. Our very own Rachel Ray. Anyhoo, my work posse is a whole 'nother blog. Today's is the wedding shower... When the bride was finished opening up her gifts, she asked us to go around the room and share marriage advice...and she was going to jot this down...so here's some of the one's that I can remember..all were good but these stood out as really really important to me:

1.Protect your man. Do not hang him out to dry when talking to friends. It is utterly disloyal, not funny, and you'll regret it the minute you get up from that lunch table, or hang up the phone.(Sarah)

2.Stoke the fire with affection...kiss hello, kiss goodbye, kiss in between...always (Lorrie)

3.Give 70% expect 30% If you always give more than you expect, you're good (Sandra)

4.Don't go to bed mad, but if you do, tell that mo fo you love him (HA!! I'm not kidding!!!)... not going to bed mad is too lofty a goal for many a pissed off sleepyhead, so this is the next best thing (yeppers, Popcorn)

5.Remember why you said yes (Patti)

6.Discuss marital boundaries and live within them (Popcorn)

7.Make a conversational U turn if friend starts doggin' her own husband by pointing out his good qualities. Saying " well, yes, he may be an ass, but still, he's a good man" is often enough. She'll appreciate that you didn't let her say too much...(Sarah)

8.Laugh behind closed doors...the privacy of your marriage is the best place to laugh at stuff together that you wouldn't dream of laughing at with anyone else...(Michelle)

9.Treasure your time together and make it happen...do stuff together regularly..work out, golf, run, eat, ...you know.... all kindsa stuff... (Susan)
10. Always kiss goodnight and say "I love you"(Peggy)

Aren't those good? What kernel of advice would you give?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Popcorn's Problem: Dressing at, well, my age..35ish give or take ten years

Getting dressed at my age is tricky. I like trendy clothes. I like classic clothes, I like trendy shoes, I like classic shoes. I don't want to be trendy all the time or classic all the time. My taste pendulum is a swingin' back and forth, to and fro all the time. I am not a large person so trendy little stores like "Forever 21" have clothes that I can wear if we are talking about size. But each time I cross over the threshold under that sign announcing the foreverness of an age I kissed goodbye long ago makes me feel, well, stupid. And yet with that said, I always find stuff I think is cute and that I want to wear. Same thing happens at Wet Seal. Or Body Shop. Cuteeee stuffff!! I have to resist the urge to race through the place draping things over my arm with my tongue hanging out and my eyes bulging and head for the dressing room. Plus the added fact that the clothes are so affordable that you can wear them once and feel like you've gotten your money's worth. But the real question in my brain is SHOULD I be wearing those clothes. I am dogged with thoughts of "ok, popcorn, you are ??? years old, grow up and go to Talbot's" . I wonder if others around me are thinking the same thing.."is that old crone really going to try that on?".. I wrote a blog about about reality...is this a facet of my reality that I cannot face? Does Popcorn need to go find some Naturalizers and a housecoat and embrace her age??? Why am I so eaten up with insecurities this weekend???

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Popcorn's Getting Off Point...where is it i want to know

I am in a constant state of quandary over something. That something is trying to discern at what point loving someone and helping them turns into enabling. What the heckfire does the word enabling actually mean in the context of Christian parenting and modeling God's love??? I want to know. There is a fine line there and I can't find the balance. I cannot find it, did you hear me?? I've searched and searched, read and read, prayed and prayed...loved toughly, loved without ceasing, loved in the face of scariness. Loved with my money, loved with my heart, mind, and soul. Is there such a thing as loving someone too much? I ask that at the risk of sounding like a Doris Day love song. Does there come a time when love has to be curbed, restrained, withheld in the best interest of the one you love? Can a Christian parent "over" give to an adult child who cannot seem to find their own way or does "loving well" mandate that I keep keep keep keep on giving to stay in keeping with God's will for me? I am so not good at it. Being a mother is fraught with mixed feelings and this one has stumped me for so very long and I am growing weary. My soul screams these questions. I just can't find the magic equation.

Come Out and Play with Popcorn

Are you shy about adding your two cents to a blog? Do you have a desire to say something to Popcorn but are not sure how? I thought I would let you know how to comment if you're not sure how but would like to. I would surely love to hear what you have to say! You do not have to have a blog of your own to comment on someone else's blog. Here's all you do: Click on "comments". That will take you to a page where other people may have already commented, at which point you can just read the other comments, then click out. OR, the more attractive option would be to to add you own little tidbit. Something like "I have never read anything so profound" or "You are the most entertaining writer in the universe"...just for a couple of examples. You then have to type a screen identity into the box that says "choose an identity", then a password in the password box. You can put your name (no internet boogey man will get you with just your first name! : ) Or you can choose a cheesy little catchy name for yourself, like cutey pie, or mr. bojangles... to maintain a sense of nobody knows who you are-ness ,whatever you choose... and WA LA. You can now enter your comment into the box that says "enter comment here" or something along those lines. Short, long, it matters not. Come out and play!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Popcorn Pours Out Encouragement

Bible study yesterday with my (our, not my, narcissistic slip, my bad) group of precious, stimulating, loving, and adorable women was a worshipful and encouraging experience. We are studying God's love. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? We all know that God is love. God loves us wholly and unconditionally. He protects us and wants only the best for us. We as Christians are instructed to trust in these things with all our hearts and in that state of trust, fear is driven from our hearts, minds, and souls. When fear(panic attacks, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, headaches...all fear driven ailments) creeps in, this indicates a diminishing trust in God. What kind of things might cause this shift from total trust, to kind of trust, to I'm not sure about this one Lord, to O MY GOSH WHAT'S HAPPENING I AM PETRIFIED OF LIFE RIGHT NOW! Well, you can fill in your own blanks but here are some I have observed that really ignite fear in people and Christians certainly notwithstanding: A dire diagnosis such as cancer, loss of job, loss of loved one, marriage on rocks or ending, husband cheating, child very ill, loss of child, teen experimenting with drugs, teen child betrayed by best friend, loss of father, loss of mother, loss of sibling, broken limb that totally interrupts life for many months and causes self to have to sit around and not exercise, loss of friend to a move, waking up to Bell's Palsy, loss of friend to misunderstanding,airline crash affects your family, 911 catastrophe kills friend, friend miscarries, you miscarry, chasing dreams harder than first thought it would be, child chronically makes bad grades, financial pressures, on and on the list can go. The edict of God to continue to rest in His love means in these circumstances, too. Especially those that seem horrific. Hard as is may be! Doubt will permeate the situation if you let it. But don't. Do not. Resist it. Hang on tight to Him. Pray hard, be transparent and cry out to Him. Drag that thing out in the open and let your friends pray with you! Don't retreat and hide out. As my friends and I discussed yesterday, it is the absolute only way to get through rough times, and I don't mean when your manicure appointment has to be canceled or when your decorator gets the flu. xxoo

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Popcorn's Perception: My Reality/Your Reality 102: Truth is the Key

Moving forward with this topic....as parents, we absolutely must be truthful in all we say and do if we want our kids to be able to identify and live in reality free of self-lies and false perceptions. Our children are watching us with finely tuned radar. They are learning machines and every breath we breathe, they take in. They can't help but observe and mimic what they hear and see. Even if what they hear and see isn't what we thought they would. Children hear and see things amplified. Larger, louder, more intensely than we think things are coming across. Sometimes my kids have said "mom stop yelling" and actually I wasn't raising my voice, I was telling them something they didn't want to hear. That sounds amplified in their little ears. (or big teenage eye-rolling ears) Have you ever been back to the house where you grew up and it looked so very much smaller than you remembered it? That's because the eyes of children see things larger than life, magnified x who knows how much. Likewise our words, (of encouragement or correction), our actions, our body language, our vocal intonations, our silences...all of it is both seen and heard stronger and more intensely than we sometimes intend. So, after assimilating Dr. Farrell's book (which is secular in nature), I again realize that my best hope for facing reality is by living by the truth and in the light of the truth. In doing that, we not only foster mental health in ourselves, but also in our children. By modeling the principles of Christ we stand the best chance of raising young people who can sort out true from false, real from not real, and stand firmly in reality. They become skilled at rejecting lies coming at them from any direction; even self-lies created by a poor trail of convoluted messages from us. Our love for our kids can best be expressed by pointing them straight towards the Truth and not diluting it by our duplicitous behavior stemming from obstacles to our own reality perception. That's a mouthful but there's no better way to phrase it. Just live and speak in simple truth. Can't afford something? Tell them it's not that you don't want them to have it, but it just isn't in the budget right now. Crying about something because you're sad? Just explain why. Grumpy today? Apologize to them and have laugh about it. These raw truths about what they are seeing and more importantly what they are sensing will lead them through the tunnel to teenage hood and adulthood gifted with skills to emerge on the other side spiritually healthy and not ever need a list of reasons from a sale table book why they can't face reality. John 14:6 I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life...John 8: 31-32 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Praise be to God!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Little Kernel's Photo of Easter Cross 2008

Every Easter our church flowers the cross. It is so beautiful. Here's a picture of this year's taken by Little Kernel. Very pretty angle, don't you think?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Popcorn's Perception: My Reality/Your Reality 101

I picked up a book called How To Be Your Own Therapist, by Patricia Farrell. I don't give much credence to all of the therapy that goes on out there. I know there are some situations that warrant the help of a professional, but I don't think a hang nail requires the Mayo Clinic if you know what I mean, Vern. Honestly, I needed something to sit in the car and read while waiting on older kernel and this book was on the sale table. $6.98. Lo and behold she's a Ph.d and a therapist who downplays the need of a professional to help with most problems, hence the title of the book. So I began to read with vigor since she seemed to be refreshingly in my camp (validating my reality). Finally rounding the bend to the real point of this post is her discussion on how people "see" things. How we perceive our "reality" or what's right in front of our faces relationship wise, career wise, whatever wise. The way we "frame up" our life situations seem to pattern out in different ways from person to person. Many of us deny reality. We skew it. We bend and twist it. We look away from it and create our own reality more acceptable to our psyches. We learned this was a convenient thing to do when role models sent us mixed messages like: teacher says, "don't smoke" and we see teacher in his car dangling a cig out of the window. Mom says don't lie, but fibs about something to dad. Dad harps on sportsmanship, but punches the umpire at the little league game. See? Mixed messaging is a classic way to mix up kids. Kids grow up and the skill inadvertently taught was that it was ok to ignore what you want to and create your own scenario that you like better if that is more convenient at the time. Now, most of us do not do this to a horrific degree, but all do it to some degree. Would you agree? So since I read this, I have been ruthlessly scrutinizing my take on my world. Do I accept it as is, or do I edit away the hard down truth and then add back in more pleasing but blurred truths about myself, my circumstances, my children, my appearance, my on and on? Do you have obstacles preventing an accurate perception of your reality? She list some common obstacles as:

1.Sometimes reality makes no sense (and we can't accept that)
2.Facing Reality means admitting you were wrong. (too hard for some)
3.Others in your life continually enable you to avoid reality (it has become your dance and what maintains the dynamic of the relationship)
4.Facing reality requires recognizing reality first. ( must sort through lies you've told yourself)

***parenthetical comments popcorn's ***
This post is getting wordy, so that's enough for now.

Popcorn's Perfect Push Up Popscicles

Yesterday I looked at the temp. thing on my rear view mirror. Guess what it said?? 92!! So, time to break out my yummy hot weather treat. They will be yours too once you try them! The cherry/lime box is my personal favorite. I polish off the red, then start in on the green. If they're in the freezer, I can't leave them alone. I'm not kidding this thing is unbelievable. Have you discovered these already or am I the only one?

Monday Moanin' with Popcorn

Good morning. I am giving myself only 30 minutes to check e mail, and blogobsess this fine Monday morn. Have hot joe in hand and covers on toes, so that will be a hard goal to keep...but I have to set a limit or I could sit here wayyyyy too longgggg. Yesterday I picked up some pics from Walgreen's (yes, I do film, not a memory card) and was so surprised at how old they were. Do you ever let a roll (well who really uses rolls of film anymore but me? so you prob. don't) ride around in the bottom of a purse forever and when you finally dig it out and develop it, you don't remember what's on it? I have rolls of film in the bottoms of my purses, jacket pockets, the car console...etc. But anyhoo, I thought I'd just post some for your viewing pleasure and a little peep into Popcornland. Probably much like you and your world...Coming soon to Popcorn's Page....Mr. Popcorn's lesson on spiritual gifts.. but Popcorn needs to ease into week first, stay tuned.Now get your mug 'o coffee and turn on some music and scroll. xxoo

Dad works long jump. Son does long jump.

Son first leg of 4x400 Charlotte steppin' out at Spring Break
Spring Break in a can


Mr. Popcorn's Spring Break Memories

And finally, Popcorn's Spring Break Souvenir Picture

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mr. Popcorn Have You Seen My Car?

I have been married to Mr. Popcorn for a long, long, loooooooongggggggg time. Long time. Almost double the years we weren't married. Every thing I own, we own, we have, our kids have, our pets have, (2 dogs, 1 cat) blah blah blah...we bought. We paid for it. We worked hard for every stinkin' item. It's our inventory so to speak. However, I am the inventory control specialist of this outfit apparently. You know I love love love Mr. Popcorn because he's a great, sweet, precious, Godly, blue-eyed guy. Key word here is GUY. MAN. MALE. And in 27 years of bliss, I can only recall one or two times when I pose the question, "Hey babe, have you seen the ? ", that he answered, "Sure peaches, I just saw it...it's over there..." The answer is always, without even casting a concerned glance my way," Nooo, no ma'am I haven't seen it"...exit room. Honey, have you seen my keys, my brush, my watch, my cat, my ipod connector, the new box of lightbulbs we just bought five minutes ago, the 50 pack of water bottles, the checkbook (no, wait, he always knows that one bad example) the catfood, my tennis shoes, my workout bag, my cell phone, my ....blah-de blah-de blah....NO HE HAS NOT SEEN ANY OF IT. He can't find his stuff either, even when it is RIGHT THERE. He can come out of his closet and say, "That shirt you said I should wear isn't in there." I stomp to his closet, pull it out and say, "HERE IT IS it was right in front of your face!" We joke about it so much that our son will say "Mom, I can't find my so and so, will you go look in my closet, because..you know, I'm a man..." I bet if I asked Mr. Popcorn right now, this minute, "Honey, have you seen my car?" He'd say "No, no ma'am" and continue "checking the scores" on ESPN. I guess it's a man thang, ya gotta love 'em.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Placate Popcorn: Why Get Tatted Up?

Somebody help me. If you understand the desire to tattoo oneself, please stand up. If you can type standing up, now explain it to Popcorn. This one really slays me. I was born without the body- as- a -canvas appreciation gene. I understand make-up, nail polish, jewelry, tanning, "work", lipo, clothing statements...I decorate myself up as much as the next person and I do what I can to look pretty, of course! But with things that don't HURT and can be REMOVED before bed. I like to express myself...but not with a needle jabbing my skin with permanent ink in the shape of a dragon. Sometimes it appears to be an outward manifestation of utter self loathing if the tattooing is extensive. Ok, I hear the exasperated eye brows raising. So perhaps Popcorn is just, well, boring..too yesterday.(or yestercentury) I like edgy. At 35 (huh?) I like a certain edgyesque style within the confines of sort of... I appreciate creativity. I respect a certain brand of non-conformity.The funniest people I know (and the best dancers!) are the ultra out-there crowd who only know how to be the do their own thang kind of people. But really and truly, what are the reasons behind it tattooing? Isn't it telling that individuals involved in the drug culture are some of the most tatted up people? Could it be that what they think is a conscience choice stemming from rebellion might really be their very soul's effort to make invisible misery now starkly clear? Branding themselves how they believe others perceive them already? How does marking the body fit into the body as God's temple doctrine? Does it matter? What is the overarching message of a life tattooed??? Inquiring minds want to know.