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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Vague post: a morality tale

Someone did something not very nice to me & my family. I know the reasons behind it, but I still don't like it.

I was hurt. I still am if you want to know the truth, especially because this someone should know better. But no one will die over this. Probably no one will lose sleep. In the grand scheme of life, it's probably just a speck. Not even everyone affected by it will know about it. 

But I know and I'm kind of stung. Sometimes things happen that are out of your control. That's when you want to know someone has got your back. And sometimes you learn that they don't and you find yourself adrift.

But you know what? That floating out there on the stinging raft led me to look at another situation in my life. A situation where I've been the not-so-nice one. Oh, I had reasons. But those reasons probably don't matter to the person that I've stung. Maybe that person doesn't even realize what I've done. Or maybe they do. But I know. And I know better, so now I have to do better. 

The moral of the story is: 1. Treat people the way you want to be treated and 2. when you realize you've failed to do that, go back to number 1 and start over.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

10 ways to get out of being a line judge at a volleyball game

Tonight was the first volleyball game Charlie got to play in. I was so happy that I volunteered to help the coach in whatever way she needed help. That turned out to be line judge. Oh, anything but that. I think I'd rather pick up the entire team's dirty sweat socks than have to be the line judge.

The job of the line judge is to stand at one corner of the volleyball court and to wave your flag in various directions to indicate that the ball is in or out or that the server stepped on the line or that the wisp of someone's fingernail touched the ball before it sailed out of bounds. Being the line judge is completely stressful. Winners and losers can be decided all based on what one line judge did or did not see. Plus, being a line judge totally interferes with the chatty mom role I prefer to play during volleyball games.

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So while I was doing my line judging duty, I used lulls in the action to think up ways that I could get out of the job. Here's what I came up with:
  1. Wet my pants enough to cause a puddle to form beneath me. (That wouldn't have been much of a stretch...note to all future line judges: pee first.)
  2. Throw up on the court. Definitely not sanitary, but a sure-fire way to make sure no one argued with me about stepping down.
  3. Re-enact the high school drill team's half-time flag routine with the small red flag I was supposed to use to indicate in, out and whatever else the flag is for.
  4. Cheer loudly for the home team. As a line judge, you are supposed to remain impartial. 
  5. Yell "miss it" in the middle of an opposing player's serve (see above re: impartiality).
  6. Stand with my knees locked and will myself to faint right on the spot. 
  7. Call for a do-over several plays in a row, saying "I really should have worn my glasses for the game."
  8. Yell "Way to go, Paul" every time a player messes up. 
  9. Order a pizza to be delivered mid-game and assure the official that I am an excellent multi-tasker.
  10. Duck and scream every time the ball comes within 3 feet of me.
Alas, I did none of these. Instead I stuck out the shift, did not have to make any controversial calls, and made a mental note to be first in line to sign up for ticket sales at the next game.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Bad jokes for my PaPa

 photo MomPapaSchulers_zpse9ehuxvo.jpgMy PaPa passed away peacefully yesterday morning. He would have been 90 years old today. I guess he decided for his birthday he wanted to be reunited with NaNa.

There are a lot of things that I will remember about PaPa.

  • How he left college in his freshman year because he missed NaNa too much. 
  • How he drank "neer beer." 
  • How he would rub my knuckles together when he shook my hand. 
  • How he loved Schuler's Donuts (which are the only ones that could hope to compete with a Long's Donut from Indianapolis). 
But mostly, I will remember PaPa for his corny sense of humor and his never-ending quest to find and share bad jokes.

So PaPa, these jokes are for you:

What do you call rabbits running backwards? A receding hairline

Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants?  In case he got a hole in one.

What is a bear without teeth called?  A gummy bear

What did the beach say when the tide came in?  Long time, no sea.

What do you call a cow with no legs?  Ground beef

What did one toilet say to the other toilet?  You look flushed.

This one comes from my Uncle Bill:

My favorite by far is his Hammond organ joke. I would be sitting in the living room while he was practicing the organ. PaPa would stop playing and said "You know, Hammond wasn't always in instrument business. He used to be a farmer. Back then the company was called Hammond Eggs..."

So PaPa, though we are sad to say "Wieder auderheisen," we will laugh on in your honor.

Readers, if you have a "PaPa joke" to share, please leave it in the comments and then spread the laughter today by telling the joke to someone who will groan appropriately.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Listen to your mother (in-law) #LTYM

 photo LTYM-logo_zps21ae9409.jpgDrumroll please...I am incredibly excited to announce that I will be part of the first cast of Listen to Your Mother Evansville and I have my mother-in-law to thank for it.

 photo EPS_0078.jpgKaren was the inspiration for my submission. This piece is very different from the piece I read at Listen to Your Mother Indianapolis two years ago. There will be laughs (I hope). There might be a tear or two. What there will not be is me teetering on wedge sandals that I will wear for that event only and never put on my feet again. Lesson learned.

I am excited and nervous for this show. I'm coming in as one of two outsiders -- everyone else in the cast is from the Evansville area. Other than Hilary Melchiors, one of the directors and a castmate of mine from Indianapolis, I don't know any of the other women. 

I'm excited for the energy that I know will surround this show. I'm nervous to read a piece about my mother-in-law with my father-in-law in the audience. I'm excited to "introduce" my mother-in-law to so many people who probably don't even know that she had an impact on their own lives. I'm nervous that she won't approve of something I say and will come back to haunt me from the grave.

Mostly, I hope that though this piece is about my own mother-in-law experience, people will be able to relate in some way and will leave feeling like my 4 minutes was worth their time. 

LTYM Evansville will take place on May 9 at 7pm in the AIS Diamond Auditorium. If you're within driving distance to the 'ville, get your girlfriends together and make a night of it. You can buy tickets ($15) here

Friday, March 6, 2015

Open for prayer

This weekend is my annual silent retreat. I'm posting from my phone in the pedicure chair right now...because everyone knows that spiritual wholeness begins with fabulous toes.

After this our crew will head toward the retreat center, making a stop for lunch at a local winery...because delicious food and good wine opens your senses to God's, grace, of course.

Once at the retreat center, I will have lots of time for prayer and reflection. I want to take your needs and desires with me. If you have a prayer request, you can leave it in the comments here or email it to 4thfrog70 (at) gmail (dot) com.

And even if you don't send me a note, I'll be praying for you anyway. I'd love it if you pray for me in return.

Peace to your day...and your weekend.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

10 things it took me a long time to like

If there's one thing age has taught me, it's that just because you don't like something at first doesn't mean you won't ever like it. That thought struck me as I was sitting at Panera Bread enjoying a You-Pick-2 of black bean soup and a half a Mediterranean Vegetable sandwich (a MedVeg to us regulars).

I was sopping up the last of the soup with the final bits of the sandwich and thought to myself how it was that it took me so long to figure out that I like black bean soup. So I started thinking about things that I like now that I never used to like. You know, that whole "try, try again" thing.

  1. Black bean soup
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Spongebob Squarepants
  4. Beach destinations
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Beer (Ok, so I drank a lot of it in college, but I didn't really like it.)
  7. Going to confession
  8. Cream cheese
  9. Folding laundry
  10. Fruity desserts
Some things, however, never change, including my dislike of

  1. Cottage cheese
  2. Tomato juice
  3. Watching golf on TV (Sorry NaNa)
  4. Hogan's Heroes
  5. Ugly animation
  6. Copious amounts of bass (as in sound, not fish)
  7. Loud belches
  8. Coca-Cola
  9. Roller coasters
  10. Putting laundry away
What is on your "now I like it" list? How about your "never liked it, never will" list?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The worst Lenten sacrifice ever

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This year I made my worst Lenten sacrifice ever. No, I didn't give up chocolate or Diet Coke...that's child's play. This is even worse than when I gave up sitting on my couch. This year I gave up Facebook and I am struggling, people.

I know that lamenting here about the sacrifice makes me a Pharisee who walks around in ashes and cloth asking for attention. I promise this is a one-time only whine because holeeeeey smokes, what have I done?!

I've been nudged to give up Facebook for Lent by a good friend for a few years. A couple of times I tried to dictate one day of the week during Lent would be Facebook-free. I called it "Holy Thursdays." Let's just say I had minimal success with that. 

A few weeks ago, I got this urge from inside that I should give up Facebook for Lent. I ignored it. Then some friends started saying they might do it too. I let the idea rise to the surface of my brain again. But I just didn't know. Finally, on Fat Tuesday, I just decided to go Facebookless or go home. I hastily wrote a "see ya after Easter" note on my 4th Frog Facebook page and my personal timeline. Then I handed Annie my laptop and told her to change my password. 

Wow. This is hard. It hasn't even been a week yet, but I feel so isolated. I can't tell you how many times I want to shoot a quick message to someone, only I can't because I don't have their email address or phone number. I'm just connected via Facebook.

I wonder how certain friends are doing and what new fun my group of blogging friends is up to. And my Catholic moms group is no longer just a keyboard away when I want to share a prayer request or tell them that Robbie decided for this Lent he is going to start listening to the homily.  

Of course, I could give up this giving up of Facebook. I could say it's too hard. To which my mother would reply "Do you think Jesus thought it was too hard to climb up on that cross and die for you?" But I am determined, at least for today, to persist. 

It's the community that I miss on Facebook. Ok, and some of the "which color M&M are you" Buzzfeed quizzes. I've attempted to find community among the tweeps on Twitter. I'm not new there, but it's just not Facebook. In my experience, tweeting is like farting in the never really know if anyone realized you did it (or tweeted it in this case) before the wind takes it away unless someone says something. I can count on one hand the number of times a Facebook post went unanswered or at least unliked. (So, I might be supposed to learn something about humility I suppose.)

My resolve is strong because Annie changed my password so I don't have a choice I truly believe this was a message from my heart. I consider this first week the detox phase. I've spent the time trying to fill the void with Twitter and Words with Friends, you know, just until the shakes pass. Now I feel myself ready to move into the purpose of this Lenten sacrifice, to seek what I'm supposed to find in this digital isolation. I have some books to read, some letters to write, and yes some praying to do. 

Can I make it five more weeks without Facebook? I'm going to try. But I'm pretty sure that on Easter morning the first thing I'm going to do after I snatch the Reese's eggs from my basket before Mike can get to them is to have Annie log me back into Facebook for my own resurrection of sorts.