Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Hometown Shuffle

Yep, as soon as I decided to change my location on my blog to Franklin from St. Louis, George and I decided to move from Franklin to St. Louis. So see ya later, Nashville. There are so many reasons why. But mostly, we have a church home in St. Louis. And George wants to work for the Church. Preferably for money, but at least in St. Louis he can work for the Church. Here in Nashville, he hasn't even been able to find work at a Starbucks or the bank he worked for in St. Louey for two and a half years. And we have found a load of lovely churches. We really weren't even finished visiting. But visiting is such an anxiety inducing thing for me. I have to explain right away how we live with my parents, how my husband can't find a job, and I have to decide if I give the "but we're cheery" version or the honest "this totally stinks" version. I have mostly gone with the "but we're cheery" version until earlier this week when  I sent an email full of frustration and fury to ten of my closest friends. I won't give you the details from the email, but the result was that many people encouraged me and prayed for me, and it didn't really feel any different :) Not that we expect that. But, the thing that did change was the urgency of the situation, the idea that something must be done as soon as possible.

So tomorrow, when we leave Nashville for Arkansas, we will also be leaving Nashville for St. Louis. We will stay in Arkansas with my sister and her family, including brand new baby Gavin, and then drive to St. Louis from there. We will move in with George's mom instead of my mom and be homeless and unemployed in St. Louis instead of Nashville. But, we hope to find more opportunities to serve, more people to love, and more hope for our future there. If nothing else, at least we will be back in our old church community and (maybe?) school community where there will be people to think about besides ourselves. I think the worst of this all has been how selfish I have been almost without being able to help it. There is no one else in my day to day life, no one else with whom to regularly interact and of whom to bear the burdens. So, quite frankly, I am disgusted with myself, with my attitudes, with the way I have handled this situation, not outwardly so much as inwardly. But I have done my fair share of outwardly thrashing about too. Just ask the people who got that email!

Well, we still surely would appreciate your prayers. I guess everyone has their yuck in life, and our current yuck just happens to be four months without a job, and two without a home. Well, I am sort of rounding up to the nearest month on those, but it's not like it won't be that in just a couple of weeks. I mean, we know that for sure, the situation will not resolve itself completely for some time.  But, we'll let you know when it does. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Officially, My Worst Post To Date

Isn't there someone's blog named something like "I really have nothing useful to say?" I feel that way lately. I have begun so many posts that pretty much need that Cymbalta music in the background. I wanted to post something, just to have something for y'all to read. But everything comes up poop. 

Nice attitude. I know. Always. 

Sometimes I can't be sure if I am a sarcastic person or not. This pretty much clinches it for me. I never need wonder now. Is it bad to be sarcastic? Not that I'm probably going to stop. I remember my first boyfriend telling me I was too sarcastic. I didn't get it then. Well, good for me, 17 years later, I get it. Sort of. I don't really see the problem. 

Well, aren't y'all glad you showed up for this post? I am so sick of saving drafts that I'm actually going to publish it this time. I feel like I should say something else though.

Hmmmmm....

I started thinking about my "fall y'all" sign again today. Just think of the days I can waste wondering around downtown Franklin, looking at antique shops for a fall y'all sign! Good times. Incidentally, I just did a blog search for "fall y'all" and pulled up twenty posts. Evidently, I talk about that sign a lot? Or maybe about falling? Well, if you want to find the original one about the sign, the post is called "The Jerk is Me." In case you really think I am that big of a jerk, I am not really going to wander all around looking for a sign. Well, maybe just one or two places...

Incidentally, I decided I should at least officially change my location. We're not in St. Louis anymore, folks. But changing it to Tennessee makes Tennessee feel so much less temporary. There's that Cymbalta music coming on again... Alright, hey, um Laura, if you're out there, I can no longer access your blog. What's up with that? And Becca B, in light of the 1000 miles you recently mentioned, am I to deduce that we will not be seeing you anytime soon? Sorry for the personal questions in the old blog text. But whatcha gon' do? 

I feel much better after writing this strange post. Thanks, y'all. Oh, and I don't know if y'all saw the comment, but when I get the scoop on the cat, I'll let you know. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More About Elspeth

I realize I am not so very exciting lately. It's not my fault! Anyway, I have darling children. And they keep me busy enough, especially because they have been passing around a virus this week. We thought Elspeth was just teething. I feel kinda bad because we put her in the nursery on Sunday. Then August turned up with a big fever yesterday morning and ended up having stomach yuck too. It still didn't register with us that that must have been the same thing as Elspeth's fever until Amabel woke up with a fever this morning. Amabel has not been sick short of just feeling a little yicky. But by noon, she was all about some peanut butter crackers. So Aug seems to have had the worst of it, as far as duration and intensity. They both took a good long nap today, and no one has actually had to be sick today. The fevers are persisting though. 

But Elspeth is 100% at this point. I took her with me to the grocery to let her have an outing today. They have tiny buggies for toddlers at my mom's little neighborhood market. This is perfect for Elspeth who has commandered (I know this word exists, but I cannot find it in any dictionary. I found two spellings via google search, but none in a  legit reference. Any ideas?) the Little Tykes buggy we have at home and cries when anyone else so much as touches it. Incidentally, she is dragging it up the stairs right now. She was so much fun at the store, giggling the whole time, following me through the grocery and loading up the items I asked her to get off the shelves. Man, I wish I had enough time to grocery shop with her like that every week! It was a precious little mommy and daughter time. We will definitely be doing it more. 

Tonight there was a deer in my parents' yard. Well, the other day a flock of about 20 turkeys came through, so this was nothing extraordinary, a single doe. But Elspeth was so excited about the mommy dear sitting out in the yard. It was kinda weird that the deer just sat down for a while, I guess. Elspeth kept calling it a bunny, which was so sweet in its own way. She ran to get any member of the family she could find to tell about the bunny outside. She would take us to the window and show us, pointing and saying, "Look!" in a loud whisper. She finally caught on to calling it a deer and got distracted for a few minutes. When we came back, it was gone. She then had to run find all the members of the family again to let them know "deer, bye bye."

If I had a video camera and knew how to do it, I could also put up a whole lot of footage of her dancing and prancing about, the cutest thing ever. I just love her personality! Some people have a personality different than yours and you kind of don't know what to do with the differences; you know, it's just work sometimes with people real different from you. But Elspeth has this personality that is so fun and so easy, it's just fun for everyone. Okay, so she is a tiny bit of work when someone tries to play with "her" grocery buggy, but I think we can break her of that. I guess I said this just the other day, but the girl is just pure joy. Alright, so I wasn't saying that last night when she was a total pill because she was tired and hungry... But for the most part, she is contagious happiness in human form.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Promise of Things to Come

Okay, so the thing that tells you how many posts you have made doesn't discriminate between unpublished and published posts. So, I actually owe y'all forty posts. Yep, forty. I know y'all thought I had no filter, but it turns out, I do. I have written 40 posts over the past three years that I decided were a little too much. I struggle with that whole division between what is honest and helpful and real versus what is out and out negative and complaining and a bad attitude. I tend to fight for my right to feel. There is some sort of idea in the world (and in the church) that makes all non-happy feelings wrong or unmentionable. And clearly, I think that is absurd. Someone warned me against feeling depressed and discouraged today. Really? It's not okay to feel a little down about my present circumstances?! On the other hand, I can wholeheartedly agree with the idea that we don't let our feelings dictate our actions to the point of unhealthy behavior. I do not think I am exhibiting unhealthy behavior at this point though. No, I'll be brave, I know I am not exhibiting unhealthy behavior at this point. I can also jive with the idea that it may not be a good idea to talk about all of our feelings to anyone and everyone. Thus, the forty unpublished posts. However, I think we have to be really careful about not shaming others for what they feel. And I guess that's why I push the envelope on the whole honesty thing. Because maybe if I'm not ashamed to say what I feel when I feel it, then someone else won't when they do. At least, that is my hope. Because I always find myself learning that lots of people think this or have felt thus and such a way, and I think "why doesn't anyone say something?!" So I'm that guy, the guy that says something. Surely I have explained this before. But I needed to remind myself.

Anyway, how are y'all feeling? School is starting up. August is halfway over! That is good news for me because fall is on its way. But if you are the type who relishes summer, take heart, you still have two weekends until Labor Day. And truthfully, it will still be hot and sunny well beyond then, but the pools just won't be open. I am sort of thinking that if we move soon, I will freshen up the page for fall and maybe add some links back since so many of you have missed them. Our computer is packed away for now, and since the links to all the blogs I visit were in the toolbar, I am lost until we get the computer out of storage unless y'all leave a comment that will have the link for me to post. I guess, just anticipate that I will be adding links up again soon, and let me know if you want me to link to you. And I will. 

I am still running, slowly but surely, and I mean to one day soon have a post about that. Honestly, I am sort of waiting to have a less embarrassing success story. Even just a non-stop three mile run would be okay. But I'm not there yet. (*sigh*) I think the initial struggle was a combination of heat and diminished ankle, shin, and lower calf strength from the cruddy elliptical running I had been doing. I am doing a little better at not going out at noon in the 90+ degree heat, which helps, and I am developing more strength in my lower calves, etc. The other bad thing is that, of course, I have a lot less endurance due to the aforementioned factors and the resistance of the road, so my runs are much shorter. Well, I guess it's not all bad- three miles taking an hour would be horrendous! Anyway, the mix I worked on right before we moved has been almost useless to me now because I was working on a hour long flow for fast running. Now I run for just three or four songs a lot of times. But the one I dig most these days is Paul Simon's "The Obvious Child." So, I guess that's another thing to expect, a running success story post complete with a new tailored playlist. Although I don't think I ever remembered to post the one I did last. Well, maybe I'll get to that too. 

And as soon as all of my homeschool materials arrive (yeah, you shouldn't be surprised on that one; am I not always late? I didn't actually even order the stuff until I noticed school buses in the neighborhood and realized school had started!) and we get a few weeks under our belts, I will let you know how that is going too.

So, lots of things to look forward to: links, posts, fall, tunage, mileage, knowledge. And maybe somewhere in there we'll be able to announce some good news about a job for George. We really do appreciate all of your prayers so much, and will certainly let everyone know when we know anything. In the meantime, this is now a pie free zone, so do feel free to ask questions. And of course, I am all ears when it comes to how you all are feeling or what you need prayer for. I don't think I say that enough. And if you're shy, just shoot me an email. Alright, one down, thirty nine to go. Until what? Until my 400th post! And then what? Just more posting. Well, maybe a cake. But mostly, just more posting. See you on the 362nd!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Break From Boredom

Wow, this is my 400th post! I really appreciated the comments on the last post. I have been down in Birmingham so that is why I didn't reply to any of them. But I was so glad to hear that other people have had these types of situations where untrue and hurtful things have been said about them. I mean, I'm not glad at all really. But it is such a bizarre thing to have happen to you, that it is nice to know that it does happen to other people so you are not crazy. Does that make sense? I don't know, someone says you said and did things you didn't do and you think maybe somehow you did those things because why would someone just fabricate a story like that? Anyway, that's enough about that. And thanks also for coming into my world and giving me a little sympathy. Don't we all need a little more sympathy? But it is so hard. No one's life is easy. And it is so hard to think about other people's drama when you are dealing with your own. Well, lucky for you all, I pull you right into my drama! I'm like your own little blog-soap. 

Anyway, I went down yonder to Alabama. And we visited good friends and ate good food and saw Frank Stitt. I have to say it was pretty cool to be sitting in the backyard of one of Frank Stitt's restaurants (Chez Fonfon) just chatting with my buddy Rebekah, and to all of the sudden see him appear, the very way I have seen him in pictures, in all his chef-y clothing (I really should better be able to describe that with a brother-in-law who is a chef. But "chef-y clothing" it is). Our husbands were enjoying playing bocce on his bocce court and he smiled in approval as he walked through the yard. Pretty cool eh? 

Another pretty cool thing to see, though more common I'm sure, was peanuts still attached to their plant. I so wish I had had a camera with me, because it was really interesting. I was with my friend Ali and we were pretty excited. Neither of us had ever seen the entire plant. They were piled up in a crate with a sign that said "green peanuts." It was such the magazine-esque moment. I think you buy them green to boil them. We were at the farmer's market (Pepper Place) and we were just after some ice coffee, peaches, tomatoes, okra, and fresh cut flowers ourselves. We found all the items on our list in delicious abundance! Maybe next time I'll pick up some peanuts to boil. I ended up blowing most of my money on iced coffee. It was so good, I had to have seconds!

Our other shopping stop was Smith's Variety store. Nothing is more fun than looking through all the thises and thats at Smith's. I went to look at their baby doll selection for Elspeth's upcoming birthday. It's actually a month from today, but I gotta take full advantage of the Ham while I'm there. So, the baby doll that was out for kids to play with was, of course, the $80 model. This also happened to be the one that is out for play at Philip's Toy Mart here in Nashville. Elspeth is totally in love with this doll because she sees it every time we go to a toy store. It is a really sweet baby. But yeah, it's $80. I think the main appeal to her is the size of the doll and that it cries and says "Momma." So I started looking at the boxes of the other dolls to see if any of them had those two features but maybe lacked a few of the other whistles and bells to bring down the price. Because oh, I forgot to mention that the doll cries, says "Momma" and a whole bunch of other things in three languages!  The doll brand I like is Corolle, as I have mentioned before. Corolle is a French company and all of their dolls smell of vanilla. But the boxes are all in French so I was getting confused. A lady who worked there asked the toy manager to come help me, which I was very close to declining for fear of being too much trouble and then disappointing by not buying anything. But the guy seemed nice enough and fairly knowledgeable about baby dolls, especially for a man.  I asked him about some of the less expensive dolls and then finally told him what I was getting at- showed him Elspeth rocking and kissing the floor model and explaining that $80 was just too much to spend on a doll. His response was that he actually had too many of that doll anyway, so he'd give it to me for $40. I picked up the box and pointed to the price tag. "This doll? I can buy this right now for $40?" And he pulled out his pen, changed the price, and signed his name beside the correction. Well, that pretty much settled it! While Rebekah paid for the doll and put it in the back of the van for me, Elspeth and I tucked the floor model baby in and kissed it goodnight; this is an excellent technique for keeping her from becoming hysterical when we leave the doll (why didn't I think of something like this all those times I had to pull August away from train tables in stores, kicking and screaming?!).  Birthday shopping is now complete, one month early! The only problem is making myself wait to give it to her. 

So, all in all, it was a great trip. We saw tons of our friends and enjoyed the bonus Frank Stitt celebrity siting. We also visited our old church which I haven't been to in four years! Now I'm back to boring old Nashville and am scrambling to get my homeschool situation in order. Oh man, homeschool? Have I mentioned that? Well, we figure it's better than pulling them out in a month (knock on wood). And I have been gearing myself up for it for a while. But that's another post for another day. Maybe I will just tell y'all how it's going after it starts going- whenever that is! Yeah, just go ahead and add that to your prayer list for the Edemas- job, church (okay, so those are one in the same) home, school. But we're cheery!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Remember Two Things

Ugh! Y'all! I have been away from Mary Ann for too long! Mary Ann is my therapist for those who don't know. I adore her. She is a sweet, motherly, warm little lady. And I guess there are those who are opposed to therapy or who think only crazy people go to therapy, and this post will not be for them. But I keep meaning to call her. And I never do. Except that I just did. But she is not there. So you get this post. I almost think this is a bad idea. But on the other hand, I think these kinds of posts were what drew some people to my blog, and those guys haven't gotten the real blood and guts post from me in so long that I think they deserve one. That is me trying to make myself feel relevant. But, this may be nothing more than stream of consciousness drivel. I don't know; I haven't written it yet. 

Well, I think the thing that is really going through my head lately is "what the heck?!" Poor George has applied to practically every Presbyterian church in the country. Well, sixty of them at least. Sixty! In the meantime, he has applied and interviewed for his old job at Bank of America as a teller, which he did not get, and consequently has applied to practically every coffeehouse and bookstore in Williamson County. And the dude cannot get a job! No amount of therapy will tell me anything I don't already know about these types of circumstances. I have lived them myself several times and I know that God has a plan. But really?! I feel like our situation would make a great topic for that Seth Meyers and Amy Pohler skit! Only, the rest of America wouldn't get it. Anyway, the most helpful thing was tonight when we read our little story out of Elspeth's Jesus Storybook Bible. I found myself unusually emotional while making dinner, just tired and frustrated and not knowing what to do with my thoughts and feelings. After dinner, George read the story of the Israelites after they crossed the Red Sea, how they were convinced that God had brought them out to the desert to die. And I have a sort of history with that story. I remember that story ministering to me in the past when I have felt like I was sort of wasting away. I mean, how many stories are like that? How many people go out into the desert and feel forsaken? Hagar, Elijah, David, and some other guys probably. George and I have been debating who for several minutes and I am tired of trying to think of people. Anyway, the point is, God is not going to leave you in the desert to die. Not Moses, not Hagar, not Elijah, not David, not you, or me. But man, does it feel like it! Seriously, what the heck?

In the meantime, here I am in Nashville. I have a constant fear of running into people I don't want to run into. I know that may sound ridiculous. It is ridiculous. But last time I ran into the person I want most not to run into in the world, I ended up leaving a restaurant crying. I hope I am a little more composed now, but that was really only about three years ago. That person lives in Nashville and that person told a whole lot of people a whole lot of lies about me. And so I also live in fear of running into one of those people. I think it is safe to say that none of those people read my blog. I almost wish they did so they would know I am a delightful and truthful person and not what was said about me. But oh well. George has a sermon about this. He talks about how so many of us are not regarded in our families or have had people willfully misunderstand us or wrongfully accuse us. Do you know that feeling? The sermon is the one he has given about Mary and Martha where Mary has been wrongfully accused. He makes a point to defend Martha - that what she said was what probably everyone else present was thinking. But he has this beautiful point about how Jesus stands by Mary and says she is right and has chosen well. In the same way, Jesus stands beside each of us in the face of our accusers, of those who do not regard us, and defends us. George says it way better than I am relaying, but it is quite helpful. 

So, two things: you will not be left in the desert, and God knows when you are choosing well and when you have been wronged. I hope that is helpful to y'all in whatever you are dealing with these days. I know it is helpful to me. Man, why don't they hire this guy? I am getting all the benefit of his ministry for myself! 

Sunday, August 03, 2008

An Informed Decision

All of your no commenting on the last post leads me to believe that you either don't want to get into it, or that your agree with the single comment that was left. 

I will just tell you the story. It is a very short story, but of course, I will make it long. That's how I roll. So, I will tell you that I cannot handle historical tragedy. I have said for years how God was gracious to put me in a time when I did not have to worry that fatal disease might strike my family at any time, and when wars are fought in the desert and not in my homeland, where the nearest field might become a battlefield, when air conditioning and running water exists and women shave their legs. I just like being in the modern world. But mostly because there is less to fear. Childbirth, colds, and even traveling are things we rarely fear, where before they could often lead to death. I can't bear to think how common it must have been for mothers to lose their children, or even for children to lose their mothers. That is why movies like The Patriot and Titanic leave me feeling ill for days after I watch them. 

One might wonder then, why I would want to see John Adams. But, well, I did. And that was the movie that left me ill after seeing a portrayal of a man being tarred and feathered, something I have never really imagined before though I knew it had been done. I was trying to recover from that when I was confronted with a  smallpox epidemic that threatened the lives of our heroine and her children. At that point, I asked George if he liked the movie. My purpose was to see if I needed to leave the room, or if he too was noticing that the "critical acclaim" the movie received was undue. I was a little biased because I was not entertained; I was either bored or horrified, but never entertained. But sometimes a well done movie doesn't entertain me, but is still well done. However, even the boring political scenes lacked some set up so that I, someone with a minor in history (which sounds more impressive than it is, but nonetheless...) was struggling to figure out what these men were so incensed about. We were thrust into the middle of their story in 1770, and before we knew it there were shots fired at Lexington and Concord, but it was all very unclear what it was that lead to these events. Perhaps that is what it would have been like living in that time. With history behind us, we can draw up a timeline and place events on it, even if they happened all around New England, and see what led to the War. But if we were living during the time, it may have been difficult to know exactly what was going on or who to believe. It would have been confusing to be a colonial American without world wide web access or television news. But if you are going to do a movie based on the confusion of the time, you still need a little more clarity, at least just clarity that that is the point. Otherwise, if you are aiming for historical accuracy, a dramatization of the life of an American hero, then you you set up the story with facts so that we can understand this guys' world, his fears and feelings. This movie did not set the tension up for us that way. Mostly John Adams seemed confused, and the events seemed haphazard. And so all of my anxiety as a viewer was placed on the Adams children, and the poor British officer who was stripped down and had hot tar poured all over him. Anyway, I just didn't think it was well done. And I wondered if George felt the same way. But he realized that I had anxiety over the mother and children, just as I have anxiety over the mothers and children on the Titanic or in Life is Beautiful. So he thought I shouldn't have beat around the bush, as he called it, that I was placing the burden of decision on him, and that I should have just asked to turn it off. And to me, that would have been rude. Because if he likes the movie, I will just go somewhere else. But to go somewhere else and leave him to watch a horrible movie alone seems rude if I don't first ask if he is enjoying the horrible movie. 

This happens to us a lot. George has a really weird idea of what is polite. And I think he generally mistakes politeness for straightforwardness because he valuse straightforwardness more. And we all know that I think if nothing else, you should be polite. It gets us into all kinds of trouble. So to show George I have a good sense of humor about it, I decided to poll you all. But I suppose you sensed you were walking into a little bit of tension. But George thought it was a funny post, at least. And I thoroughly appreciated that Sarah saw it from my point of view! So now that you have the whole story, are you more inclined to say what you appreciate more? Straightforward or polite? I would especially like to hear from the straightforward folks. Give me insight into your strange little world ;) 

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