Friday, November 20, 2015

Feeling Irma Bombeckish

Yes Bombeckish is a word because I made it up and because I am one of Irma's biggest fans!  I do feel a certain presence of hers lately what with my ever growing lost sock bin and my use of multiple crock pots I am basically the modern day Irma this week.  Anyhow... 

Before 8am yesterday I had already:
  • successfully sewn two knees on some of my son's pants
  • glued a barbie head back on to Hazel's favorite doll (thus saving her world)
  • fed my kids waffles for breakfast (and not eggos, but real ones that start with flour and eggs)
  • packed three semi-nutritional lunches for my trio
  • signed all school forms required for the day
  • safely delivered three kids to the bus stop
  • hung a load of laundry on the line
Yes I feel like I may reach domestic domination someday yet...

However, I still have:
  • a son who went to school in pants that have a ripped knee and paint stains on them 
  • a house that is messy 
  • a level of disorder within that messy house that is quite appalling
  • a mudroom that "smells funny" according to my hubby
  • leftover, leftover, soup with outdated dinner rolls to feed the fam

On a more humorous note (although I actually never go on Pinterest) ain't nobody got time for that:

and to be honest most days I don't even shower...I call it a water conservation initiative and/or training for Haiti, but I might possibly have personal hygiene issues.

PS my older sister would call the dinner rolls "aged" to make them sound fancy and better, but the reality is they are outdated by two days.

Praise be to God.  We are alive and healthy.

That is all
Vern out

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Udder Chaos

So one of my dearest friend from high school, her family has a dairy company called Udder Chaos. I love the name it is so very clever so I totally stole it for this post! The Company Udder Chaos produces and hauls milk in slick 18 wheelers across the greater West Michigan area.  This one is dedicated to the Beechams.  Love you all like family.  

Chaos is essentially my lifestyle.  I tend to hop from one ridiculous thing to the next without missing a beat.  I lack planning and organization skills and do better with a loose schedule that can change at the drop of a hat.  My house is almost always a wreck and my car is a nightmare all its own.  I lose things often.  And the worst part about  this lifestyle is that I mostly don't care.  I just don't.  I do try to improve, but I certainly mostly don't lose sleep over it.  But then every once in awhile it catches up with me, or someone's offhand comment about my personality get stuck in my head and I beat myself up about it. And I wish I could be more Type A personality. More orderly. Less spontaneous. Less Type (C)haos personality.  Why can't I just make a damn schedule and stick to it?  Or why can't I just become more like my organized friends with planners and strict schedules and processes and procedures?  And why, oh why, is remembering stuff so difficult for me?  When I beat myself up long enough, I almost always end up borderline depressed and feeling badly about myself.  It can get ugly, but I will spare you the details. Other times, I am able to just embrace it.  I own it.  I declare I am mostly disorganized, Type C personality and it is part of who I am and therefore I accept it.  For the most part, life goes better when I take the second approach and focus on the positives to my lifestyle.

Positives of being Type C(haos) Personality Individual

I am spontaneous and willing to take risks.  This means I don't miss out on opportunities that come up unexpectedly merely because I had something else planned, or I am too afraid to try something new.

By owning my mistakes and imperfections publicly, I help others to feel better and free them to do the same. This is liberating people,  if you find yourself exhausted from constantly trying to be perfect please try this one, if even just for a day.  Just say I am imperfect and that is okay and own it.

As a result of my personality disorder, I am adaptive and evolve with situations while maintaining a positive attitude in most all situations. A lot of people struggle with change. I am married to one of them and you know what? Life is change;  how you deal with change, makes a HUGE difference on your outlook on life and I for one am glad that I deal with change well.  It's a big part of who I am.

Epiphany of the week alert:  Caution this gets deeper than the deepest Michigan pothole....And pothole season is just around the corner too!

 I have recently come to realize that I am a master of nothing and the idiot of most everything else.   But what I have also discovered is this: I am really good at people.  I can people all the live long day.

Peopling, as defined by Vern's Dictionary, is a verb used to describe interacting with other humans in a positive way while taking the time to get to know individuals; their talents, their motivating factors, personal needs and passions and then using this knowledge to help them to reach their greatest potential.

Connecting with people comes very naturally to me.  It always has.  I can almost always find the right person for any job. When I worked in animals shelters, I often found just the right person or family for a dog or a cat in need of a new home and I could consistently select the right staff member for the current task at hand. Even if an undesirable task that is tough to sell comes along, I find the right willing person to do it and do it well!  I have found many successful hires for many different jobs over the years.  And it doesn't stop there. I do thoughtful things for my employees, friends and family members consistently to let them know their efforts, talents and uniqueness don't go  unnoticed.  These are all examples of successful peopling.  I can people.  And that my friends is a gift. A very special gift.

Now I leave you with this powerful message....

Friends, every once in awhile it is good to follow your heart, even if it means you find yourself running to the neighbors house down the middle of a country road wearing nothing but a smile and your swimsuit (that is a true story thanks Miranda and Christy for that memory)!  It is good for your soul to do so.  In fact, Dr. Vern prescribes you to be slightly foolish and follow your heart by doing something that makes no sense logically, but that will make your heart happy.  Do it today too, tomorrow is not promised.

Things that make my heart and brain go crazy are when my kids do things like this:

Despite my Type C personality, constantly messy kid's rooms still drive me nuts! Nuts! NUTS! Out of this world NUTS.
The end...
Vern Out

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wonderful Wanda

So here's the thing about life.  It can totally sneak up on you if you're not careful.  You can get really busy with all kinds of good things, really good things and before you know it you are married with a slew of kids and a bunch of animals and they all rely on you every single day. To care for them. To provide for them. To clean them up when they get dirty.  And to fix them, when they get broken.  It is exhausting just thinking about it.  Life. Sneaky, Sneaky Life.

Anyhow, these hubbies, animals and children also need you to provide clean clothing and so enters Wanda the Washing Machine. Now Wanda has been an okay performer for the past three years. She is average. Just average. Since we moved into our new house on New Years Day 2012, I would say conservatively she has on average washed 2 loads of laundry daily. And our laundry isn't subdivision laundry either where it is worn, but not really dirty.  Our loads are country folk laundry and it is down right disgusting most days. So life has not been easy for Wanda. I can admit that.   It has been a constant struggle barely keeping her head above the constantly rising sudsy, dirty, laundry water.  Yes Life totally snuck up on her and now here she is all washed up and DEAD three years later.  Yes Wanda died.  She's dead. Gone.  Forever. And only three years old.  She is off to the appliance cemetery that is a landfill or metal recycling plant I am uncertain which one.  It matters not, she is gone and we await a new washer.

On the positive side, at least I get to name a new appliance!  But still I am mostly pissed because since when do washing machines last only three frickin' years!?  And Samsung kindly explained that they are only manufactured to last between 3-5 years nowdays which is why their warranty only last a year! What!?  Where are us humans going to live when all these old appliances take over all the space and available land?  It will be a real appliance revolution and I predict in about twenty years we may all have to take up residence in a dump, or home made of recycled appliances...

Wanda's Portrait January 1, 2012.

I can't share a post mortem photo because I will not allow the years of abuse to be broadcast to the entire free world.  That would be disrespectful and preposterous for Wanda.  Plus our laundry room is a filthy mess which for different reasons would be equally embarrassing to share.

I will leave you with this short eulogy.

Wonderful Wanda 

Not a day shall pass
That we shan't miss your ass

Already we've had to drag laundry across fields
(to grandmas) in order to have clean clothes yields

Everyday you washed our clothes real well
Even though they looked as though they'd been through hell

Until we meet again
Up in appliance heaven

We hope that you'll find peace
And finally be free of poop from the geese

We would've fixed you
but it was too expensive to do

RIP Wanda 2012-1015 Three years of faithful service.

PS Samsung is the worst Appliance Company I have ever dealt with so please FOR THE LOVE of GOD and ALL THAT IS GOOD AND PURE IN THIS WORLD do not buy a washing machine (or any other appliance) from that company.

That is all.

Vern Out

Monday, November 9, 2015

Haiti or Bust!

So What do Alex Trebek, hydrocephalus and Haiti have to do with each other!?

Absolutely Nothing. There is no punch line either. This is not a joke cleverly written by me.  However, the news I am about to share does somewhat loosely connect the three seemingly unrelated things.

 As for the Haiti bit... well I am actually going to Haiti in January 2016!!!  Now if you have a terrible memory, like me,  you may not recall my post from some months back when this little dream began.  The original post is from February so if you have no idea what Haiti Dream means read this link.

This is where Alex Trebek joins the story because you need to insert the
Jeopardy theme song here for special effects...and Alex Trebek onlooking...
Mug shot of Alex Trebek

A little assistance with that one in case you have no idea who Alex is!  But shame on you if you do not know of him. He is kind of a big deal.

Okay all caught up!?  So I am going!  I am going on my crazy, Haiti, God, Deny and a bunch of orphans and me trip.  I can’t wait to see what I learn and how I grow while I am gone.  Most importantly, I can't wait to see what good God will be able to do with my time spent there.  It is so exciting, scary, mind-blowing and kind of crazy. But this is really happening. The plane ticket was purchased.  I even have a packing list people!  And a "what to do when you land in Haiti" letter too. I have one of those too! WOW just WOW!

Prayers Please
Oh but I need your help.  I need lots and lots of help with this dream of ours.  Mostly I  need lots of prayer power so please pray for me, this unorganized, slightly crazy, lady chasing her dream, to handle the pressure of traveling to and from Haiti unaccompanied. Pray for safety of everyone involved with the trip and at God's Littlest Angels the orphanage that will be home to me for eleven glorious days.  Pray for God's Littlest Angels everyday because finances are tight and children in need are many.  Pray for Jeff, Kara, Aven, Hazel and the rest of my family left stateside while I am off doing what I can only explain as God’s will.  Please Pray.  It is the most important way you can help me.

Others ways to help
Now of course, chasing my God inspired plan that requires a trip to Haiti isn’t cheap either so if you wish to offer financial assistance that is cool too, but no pressure.  It is going to cost me about $1600.  If you would like to help with the costs of me staying in Haiti, you can support me by sending a check written to God’s Littlest Angels to me and I will send them in to the orphanage to be credited toward my expenses prior to my January 7,  2016 departure.  If you would like to help support the cost of my airline ticket, then a donation directly to me would be most appreciated.  I had to buy that large item myself.  If I pay for the entire cost of chasing this dream down, I am okay with that.  But I know some people want to help and I have learned that help is never a bad thing.  Never.  I am not asking anyone to cutback from their Christmas Funds or live without what they need, but if everyone I know sends me just $5 it will fund most of the trip... and I will remain happily married while I am at it and get to prove to Jeff that God does do amazing things when you follow His lead:)

Oh and then I plan to take my luggage full of stuff for the kids so if you prefer to help with goodies that is another option.  I am a minimalist and I have less than stellar personal hygiene practices so I will not be packing much for myself.  My luggage will be all about the KIDS.  I want to bring stuff that they can use at the orphanage.  Watch future posts for a complete list of needed items, but I know gently used sandals are in need.  It is always HOT there the expression "hotter than Haiti" didn't come from nowhere. They come by that reputation honestly.  

Deny is the inspiration for this trip! 

Here is where the hydrocephalus comes into the story.  As most of you know, I developed hydrocephalus in 2007.  To say it left a mark on my heart would be a vast understatement. The diagnosis changed my life forever.  Deny, he was Born in Haiti with hydrocephalus to a poor farming family.  His parents abandoned him at a hospital as a baby because they knew they could not care for his medical needs. He was transferred to God's Littlest Angels at the age of five and is now slated for adoption. Our family has been sponsoring Deny for the past year and will continue to do so until he reaches his forever home!   I can't wait to celebrate his 10th birthday with him... unless he is already with his adopted family by then in which case I will still celebrate it still, but it will be less festive and I will possibly cry tears of both joy (that he is home) and sadness (that I didn't get to meet him in person).

I don’t know what else to say other than this has been a long time in the making (like years).  Many of you know me and you know I don't mostly do the traditional, churchy, standard Christian practices things all that well,  I just don't.  I tend to find God in the most unlikely places-- like port-a-johns, hospital beds, out in nature and I suspect in Haitian orphanages.  In these moments, I feel His presence greatly (not that I never feel it at church. it is just less often for me).  I honestly feel God has been preparing me for this very journey for YEARS and YEARS and YEARS.  Praise Him for His great insight and planning skills because I certainly have very little.  Those of you who have traveled with me know that this is not my strong suit... planning ahead, packing, being prepared, traveling unsupervised, but I am trusting that this is where I need to go and what I need to be doing for His greater plan.

I found this and it really resonates with me given my track record with church, religion and God.
Please pray for this trip to be a wonderful learning experience and for great impact to be had and good to be done while I am there at God's Littles Angels.  Most importantly, pray for me to not get lost and end up homeless (or worse) in Haiti. And for all of us to move a little closer to Jesus.

Vern Out