Monthly Archives: April 2024

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Hurray for Band Teachers!

Jesus, You know my elementary band teacher encouraged me in so many ways. After watching grandsons perform with excellent school bands, OMG, I’m filled with joy in the musical talents You gave them — and gratitude for those who teach which drum to bang and which end of the horn to blow.         

Garden Party

Every year, my husband and I repeat: “We’re too busy. We’re too old.”

Still, we give our annual garden party.

Image by Monica Max West from Pixabay.

Unlike the scenario in Ricky Nelson’s song, “Garden Party,” neither Mary Lou, Yoko Ono, nor her walrus show up. Just lots of uninvited guests.

Image by Alana Jordan from Pixabay.

Given our sophisticated attire, you’d think nobody would dare approach our garden without an engraved invitation. I wear an orange T-shirt accidentally bleached with the underwear wash load. Hubby sports his free T-shirt from our 1971 prom, plus trendy ripped jeans. Roomy 20-year-old shorts show off my black-knee look, enhanced by matching black nails. Emitting an elegant fragrance called “Compost,” Hubby and I have dressed in our casual best.

Unfortunately, thistles, with their prickly personalities, crash the party. I’ve nicknamed them “Klingon sticker weeds.” Like the legendary “Star Trek” foes, they aspire to conquer the universe, beginning with our garden.

Image by Solfaroli Renzo from Pixabay.

Grass, which avoids our yard’s bald spots, flourishes alongside its evil ally. Morning glories that rebel against trellises swarm the cucumber patch.

For other boorish invaders, we’re not only their hosts. We’re their refreshments.

Millions of mosquitoes and chiggers view us as a free Golden Corral.

Image by Beverly Buckley from Pixabay.

Still, Hubby and I stick to the program, playing garden games cherished for generations:

  • Lose the Trowel – Did I leave it among the tomato plants? On the freezer? Or (on bad-memory days) in the freezer?
  • Find the Rake – Gratifying for the spouse who lost it. Not for the unconscious spouse who stepped on it.
Image by CCXpistiavos from Pixabay.
  • Twister – Hubby and I possess twin gallon bottles of Ibuprofen to document our prowess.

Only God, the perfect Host, has given the flawless garden party that might have lasted forever.

Hmm … wasn’t it another pair of humans who spoiled it?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What makes a great garden party?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Pink Messages from God

Jesus, thank You for these small pots of begonias. My respiratory bug has delayed planting two big outdoor pots and flowerbeds. Still, OMG, Your luxuriant, little reminders shout that good growing days are ahead!    

A Carpet Dream Come True … Right?

Image by José Augusto Camargo from Pixabay.

Have you ever lain awake at night for two solid weeks before the scary moment of truth arrives?

The moment when installers are hauling in new carpet for which you paid thousands of dollars?

I feel your pain.

After agonizing debate, I had selected “Dirt Zenith” over “Flaky Rust.” Would the little square’s color, multiplied by dozens of square feet, make my carpet fantasies the past 12 years come true?

Image by Joseph Shohmelian from Pixabay.

Before they laid an inch, I had to leave for a dental appointment. Perhaps you don’t ponder optimistic thoughts while someone digs and drills in your mouth, either. I sank lower and lower in the dental chair.

Returning, I wanted to stay in the garage forever. Would Dirt Zenith clash with the costly Exalted Smudge paint applied earlier to the walls?

Would Flaky Rust have suited it better?

Or should I have chosen Swamp Slime instead?

I crept through the back door. Toward the family room.

Would the stain-hiding texture espoused by the enthusiastic salesman stand out as if in neon? Had I spent a fortune to carpet our house to resemble a 1980s Marriott breakfast room?

Finally, I looked.


Dirt Zenith looked darker than expected. Not enough brown? I opened blinds. Sunbeams gleefully pounced on my choice. Ack! Too much gray!

Hubby looked at me. “Don’t. Even. Go. There.”

We moved the furniture back. Brown returned to the carpet, even when pesky sunbeams tried to scare it off. I breathed again.

Image by Nadin Dunnigan from Pixabay.

However, something didn’t fit my fantasy.

The furniture.

How could these tired, outdated sofas and chairs fit anyone’s dream come true?

But will little cloth swatches prove sufficient to fulfill my furniture fantasy?

Hubby doesn’t want to find out.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What home ownership venture cost you major cash — and sleep?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Please Hit the Pause Button

O Lord, don’t you think youngest children should stay kids? Or, at least, not be permitted to turn 40.

Today, on our son’s birthday, won’t you freeze time? OMG, an extra decade might help me accept that my 6-foot-6-inch baby is no longer a baby …

Springtime Thoughts

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay.

I can’t wait to do yard work. A glaring symptom of spring fever, right?

Given the number of neighbors venturing into soggy yards, too, others share my insanity. Even toddlers in our church nursery favor toy lawnmowers — though they mostly mow each other down.

Some springtime thoughts focus on the bravado of pear trees and magnolias, like huge bouquets. However, smart oaks, before sticking out a leaf, wait to see if bolder colleagues survive.

Image by Andera Olofsson from Pixabay.

Peepers in nearby wetlands postponed their concerts this year. Why interrupt a nice, long nap to sing during arctic temperatures? Bad for the throat.

Chilly springs don’t discourage my town’s grill masters. Don’t smoky fragrances make you feel as if you’d give your life for a juicy burger?

Believe it or not, salad is beginning to taste good.

Image by fotografi-erende from Pixabay.

I wish ice cream didn’t. Dens of temptation sing siren songs, exactly when shorts and bathing suits emerge from hibernation. Sandals, too, though emergency pedicure appointments cure feet that resemble a Gila monster’s. If only one weight appointment could cure “love handles” too.

Changing the subject (thankfully), I offer prayers for heroic teachers. Nearby recess noise has not yet reached May’s riot levels, but it’s getting there.

Watching kids walk home on rainy afternoons makes me forget recess racket. Little girls dancing through puddles with umbrellas — is there anything cuter? Or more dangerous?

Image by Petra from Pixabay.

Well, maybe boys conducting “sword” fights.

We adults also catch spring madness, running on trails with thigh-high mud and playing baseball when we haven’t moved from the sofa since Labor Day.

Ah, spring. It dazzles us so that the siren’s call to do yard work is almost as strong as ice cream’s.

But not quite.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What spring thoughts fill your mind during April?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Enough Energy to Power New York City

O Lord, You know Hubby and I try to keep up with our youngest grandsons. But OMG, after a rainy morning of hallway soccer, they didn’t need naps, but Grandma and Grandpa did!

Classic Post: An Office Shoveler Ponders the Meaning of Cleaning

Image by Richard Duijnstee from Pixabay.

This post first appeared on February 10, 2021.

I shoveled out my office last November.

A delayed optometric appointment had prevented me from seeing its squalor. After all, having bumped a fellow “pedestrian,” I realized I’d apologized to a mailbox.

I also stumbled through my chaotic office to reach the printer.

What finally inspired a cleaning turnabout? I share the printer with my husband.

Rummaging through rubble, I saw carpet. It’s blue — who would have known? I even (drumroll) cleared my desk.

Hubby thought he’d entered the wrong house. Then he swore I was the wrong woman. After checking birthmarks and dental records, though, he acknowledged I was his wife, not a lookalike alien. Even if I’d cleaned my office.

“Clean,” though, is a relative term. Some neatniks scrub their garage floors. Their streets.

Image by svklimkin from Pixabay.

I speak a different language. “Clean” means piles have been boxed and lined up along walls. It also implies bookshelves no longer threaten to collapse, as (sniff!) I gave books to Goodwill. Three of them.

I follow a never-fail formula for dealing with UFOs — Unidentified Funky Objects. If it doesn’t erupt, tick or grow tentacles, I toss it into a closet or drawer.

It doesn’t always look this bad. Sometimes, it looks worse.

Mission accomplished last November.

Then came Christmas.

Bushels of Christmas junk migrated to my office. With the advent of energetic grandsons, our antique clock fled there for protection. So did the crystal clock my husband gave me. Custom-thrown pottery also took refuge.

Piles of trash, attracted as if magnetized, have made themselves at home.

Now, trying to force the office door open, I confront the unthinkable: I should clean again.

Twice within four months?

Let’s just buy another printer. And put it in Hubby’s office.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your definition of “clean”?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Even Better Than a Bargain

Jesus, You know that I love getting 50 percent off chocolate bunnnies.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay.

Even better, though, on this Monday after Easter: OMG, knowing You are alive!

Image by Arnie Bragg from Pixabay.