Monday, March 31, 2008

Amazing gRace

Tomorrow I begin my official training for the Chicago Marathon in October. I find training challenging, spiritual, educational, discouraging, encouraging, physically exhausting and exhilarating, but ultimately rewarding. I keep close contact with my family on our web-board rovyrunners, but there's so much more to say! Like my LitHappy blog, I wouldn't DARE pollute this Fisherstine with an excess of irrelevant and psycho philosophical ramblings re: my running. It would be flat boring to most of you. If you want to subject yourself to my egocentricity further, you can follow my progress at: www.philosophyofrunning.blogspot.com. I'm warning you, though--I rarely find running funny... usually I get very philosophical during and after a run (thus the title of the blog). Hey--you can't expect me to act like a lunatic ALL OF THE TIME.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fishielore

For those who have heard this story before, I DEEPLY APOLOGIZE, but I really need to get this out there...this story is part of Fishielore.

There are certain inclinations in decision making that can only be determined and understood when immaturity is in play. These immature rants are seen in children, but would be wisely covered by adults. Therefore, I contend that it is during childhood that parents should determine who will have power of attorney over their own lives when they, the parents, are no longer capable of competent decision making.

It was during one of my investigations into the matter, that I discussed my future dependent living arrangements with my children while we were outside casually tossing the softball back and forth to one another. This was prior to Little Mr' Man's ability to communicate, therefore he is left out of the story (although I could guess his answer to this question without much difficulty).

Me--"So when I'm old and worn out, can I come live with one of you, or could you at least take care of me just like the man does in the book I'll Love You Forever?"

Big Bub, matter-of-factly... "Ya, sure, assuming there are finances available to do that."
Pretty Girl, with big and concerned eyes... "Of course, mommy, don't even worry about it!"
Big Sis, with a slight head twist and hip movement.... "HELLOOO...NURSING HOME!!!!"

Well...At least I know where I stand.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friends=Valium

Oh my... PLEASE...GET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE MORE OFTEN!!!! And for your own benefit, make sure that SOMEONE ELSE takes me for my "walks" into the "real world." Here's what happens when your life consists of children, academics, and mild athletics: there is no time for a SOCIAL LIFE. Therefore, when the monkey gets let out of its cage, the monkey becomes a bit of an exhibitionist, and sometimes that monkey does things she should not do.

It has been more than once in my life, that when the adrenaline of "people" gets shot into my veins, I act a little bit crazy. HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD THIS EXPERIENCE? Unfortunately, it happens to me ALL TOO OFTEN. I suspect that it feels a little bit like tourettes syndrome.

Sometimes, I go into a group of friends, and I'm SO HAPPY, it's like being on Valium, and I'm like the CRAZY OLD LADY who just blurts out anything on her mind. Crazy? Um...yes... It's like my son said to me yesterday: "Should I go ahead and make a call to the institution to get you on the waiting list? Because it seems like you might be headed there in the next couple of years." OH, child--- you aint SEEN the depth and breadth of my capacity for GOOD TIMES yet...you're just a babe, and I've had to "protect" you from the TRUE me. Someday, when you are about 65, I'll REALLY let my hair down.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm SO SORRY WILBUR!!!!!

****If you're feeling queezy at all, you might not want to read this. Or, as an alternative, you might want to grab a barf bag. Consider yourself warned****

So I went home today to grab my son's homework that he forgot (2nd day in a row...I guess we're going to be grounded for a few days), and I decided to grab a quick ham sandwich while I was at it. Wonder bread, spicy mustard, and three slices of shaved ham. It hit the spot. I was driving along, and I was about to eat the last bite of the sandwich, when I looked down at the pink ham in a soft white blanket, and I realized that I was eating (and this is the specific terminology that popped into my head) a FLESH sandwich. Without warning, there was an instantaneous gurgling in my stomach, and I had to throw the last bite away. To confirm my suspicion that I was eating flesh, I went to dictionary.com to make sure that "flesh" applies to animals as well as humans. Sadly, it does. I'm afraid my stomach and my active imagination may be hypnotizing me into becoming a temporary vegetarian until I forget all about "flesh sandwiches."

I was relating this story at dinner, and Big Bub said: "Is this the beginning of your mid-life crisis, because you seem a little bit too young to be starting that." You're so... funny? I told him plainly, "No, it's just another one of my idiosyncrasies, like my fear of sharks in swimming pools or snakes in toilets. My mind tells me they aren't there but my body holds onto the illogical fear." My mom and my son exchanged confused, worried, and doubtful glances at one another at these revelations, but I assured them of my sanity in spite of the illogical nature of my concerns.

Suffice it to say, I won't be eating a flesh sandwich any time soon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'm NOT WORTHY to be your mother...

It's not everyday that one would meet a boy like Big Bub. While To Kill a Mockingbird is an attainable book for a sixth grader, the ability to understand the deeper meanings behind the work is truly a gift. In our brief discussions surrounding the lessons he is learning while reading this piece, I'm floored by his ability to abstract moral instruction from seemingly insignificant factoids that would go unnoticed by less discriminate readers. I enjoy imitating him to my husband. Me, "So, what do you think is interesting about the fact that the school teacher is so adamant that Hitler is a bad guy?" Monotone, sly grin Big Bub, "Well, she clearly recognizes that Hitler is a racist, but can't seem to recognize that she is." This obvious point may seem just that--OBVIOUS, but it isn't clearly stated in the book, and I assure you that not every student readily and independently grasps the point that Harper Lee was making in the simultaneously heartfelt and yet blind statements of the schoolteacher. I could go on about his brilliant interpretation of the meaning behind Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, but then I'd have to go out and buy one of those stickers for the back of my car that says: "MY SON IS A LITERARY GENIUS," just to be true to my obnoxious bragging nature.

If there was such a thing as an "insight" award, he would get it. BTW, if you have a big life problem, you could give him the facts of the situation, and he could probably unlock it for you in a matter of minutes with a two to three sentence instructional response.

I'm rather looking forward to the next few years with this guy.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Feverish (possibly hallucinating) Rants:

I once saw a church sign that said:

The grass may be greener on the other side, but you still have to mow it.

I asked myself, "If I have to mow my grass anyway, why wouldn't I choose the greener grass?" The only way that I can reconcile this in my mind is to think about the fact that greener grass probably grows faster, so it might be more work to take care of. But wouldn't it be more beautiful? Is that a proverb? I don't remember reading that one in the Bible, but I sure could have missed it.

In other news:

I was thinking about words...these words really show my blonde roots, because when I realized what they meant, it was like a personal epiphany...

elevator.....think about it.... (it ELEVATES you)
garbage disposal.................... (it disposes of the garbage)
thermometer................... (thermo- meter.... 'nuf said)
medicine.......................... (medicates)

I also like to say this word really fast, enunciating it CLEARLY.... Try it....it's fun.

"asked"
(you'll realize why some are just sayin: "I axed you a question.")

In the spirit of Mary Katherine, I'll just say: "Put that in your back pocket."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I Challenge You! Name Your Champion!

FOR SHAME, Mr. Underweather!

You have violated the sacred trust of the proverbial "sick day." Do you not understand that I am guaranteed five sick days, of which I have not taken ONE for myself? When my mind is "abuzz" with predicate nominatives, gerunds, infinitives and noun clauses, I would welcome your knock upon my door. On days when the pernicious giggles abound, essays rise steadily upon my "in" box, and I forget to pack my lunch, I ask myself: "Why does he neglect to visit me? I could use a day snuggled under the covers, numb to my pain with a cocktail of over -the - counter drugs." But no--he has failed to visit me in my time of "need." Where was Mr. Underweather the day I was emotionally spent? NOWHERE. No...I was feeling physically perky and spry--no need to go home. No need to drown myself in my tears and pain.

Mr. Underweather--pack your bags. Spring Break is no time to visit this house! I know that we must endure your "hideothneth," but NOT NOW...not now. Spring Break is for dancing in the flowers, smelling the sunshine, and throwing cares to the wind. Your dark presence is evidence of your ego-maniacal ways. RELENT I SAY!!! STAND DOWN!

(don't mind her...it's just the fever fueled with Ivanhoe talking)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mooaahh haaa haa haaaaaa!!!!!!

--I REALLY was tempted to leave that tree up. Mostly, because I thought it would be fun to decorate it for different holidays like Charissa suggested...Easter (eggs), May (flowers), June (conch shells, coral, and sea-weed), July 4th (Flags), August (flip-flops and swimming suits), September (apples and books), October (gourds with funny faces), November (turkey bones), December (red and green "put something under me" trinkets). Alas, I realized that my inability to strip a tree once pointed to the future improbability for me to put lipstick on that pig and then take it off again--Nine TIMES. Therefore, I assigned the job to BIG BUB to get it packed away and put in the attic. Ahh...the power THE POWER!!!!!!...Mooaahh haaa haa haaaaaaaa!!!!!! It was easy: "Hey, you wanna go to that movie tonight? Pack away the tree" (don't worry... the decorations have been off of it for a couple of weeks). It took a LOT of effort on my part, but I feel like I REALLY GOT SOMETHING DONE today (ahem).

The fact of the matter is that as a team, we have moved two bedrooms entirely, cleaned out five closets, taken apart three beds and put two together. We have rearranged our coffee nook, and swept cobwebs out of corners. Big Bub is Hee-larious...I really enjoyed cleaning out his room with him. It was fun explaining to him that a Wal-Mart bag full of PAPER wasn't a "toy." ..."But I'm going to make a ball out of it..." Cardboard squares don't need to be saved for "target practice," and wrappers off of "max cola" aren't collectors' items. In addition, we don't need to save GT cola boxes so that we can make something out of them. We CAN save the clay from the creek in a coffee cup in an attempt to "re-hydrate it." It's clear...we don't believe in giving our kids "toys." Cola wrappers, paper, and forms of dirt work just fine.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pish-Posh, Social Mores!

I'd like to say that I'm a "Passionate Christmas Lover."

I'd like to say that I'm especially fond of the color green.

I'd like to say that I'm terribly depressed, therefore I've lacked the "emotional energy" to undertake the task.

I'd like to say that my wall fell down blocking access to a critical corner of the "Big Room."

I'd like to say that I haven't had a moment to spare.

Perhaps twinkling white lights remind me of summertime stars?

Perhaps my dog is fond of sleeping underneath of it?

Perhaps my children have been using it as a prop for their elaborate playtime games?

Perhaps we will use it to build a tree house for the stuffed animals?

Perhaps it is placed strategically to block the sweltering afternoon sunshine?

Or....

Maybe I just haven't cared enough to succumb to the social "more" that INSISTS that "together" women take down their CHRISTMAS TREES by January 1...January 15 if there is company for New Year's.

"Unnecessary and irrelevant cultural standards, I turn my nose to you! I laugh in your face and spit upon the feet of your DOGS! My dirty Kleenex is not worthy of your wastebasket of pressure! "

However, I make it my #1 goal to TAKE DOWN THE CHRISTMAS TREE OVER BREAK (in between reading Ivanhoe, writing lesson plans for The Vision of Piers Plowman, moving the kids to different rooms, writing a couple of articles for the Civic Ballet, preparing my gardens for planting, and hanging out with my little Fishie's every spare minute).

That's right...I'm the crazy lady on the corner....don't knock on my door, or you might get the "crazy eye." Don't worry; like Boo Radley, I'm harmless.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

You Preach to de Peoples, Mr. Man!

****The following post was dictated verbatim from the mouth of a babe*****

Commandment #1- Don't Murder!
Commandment #2-Do NOT steal.
Commandment #3- DO NOT STEAL!!

Jesus was on the cross. I have a little statue of a white one of him on the cross. God is love--everybody on the earth, even bad guys. God's in your heart. Thank you for Jesus made us. Jesus and God are the same people (but they're not two-headed). You've got to admit this. Jesus and God is a Holy God. He's our king. He loves us. He knows how much hair you have. He knows how to do anything! Sometimes, he will destroy the earth. But there's no need to worry...you're with him, at heaven. When he wasn't born, he knowed hisself. Jesus and God. Just make sure you love Him, more of ANYBODY else. He also know how sharp shark's teeths are. And, Jesus is SO powerful, he's stronger than the death. He's so powerful, he can walk on water. The death can't hold him down.

Commandment #10- Do NOT Kill!

Jesus and God are always the same people. They are always alive, and they are always here with you. And He loves C_____ S_____ and Mrs. W____, and H______, and D______, and E_____, and M_____, and S_______. He also loves EVERYBODY on the earth. He knows where you're going. He LOVES you. He will make jokes, but not bad ones and mean ones and naughty ones. Thank you for looking what we wrote. Goodbye.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What...Ever...Mr. 15-Yr-Old. Brownie Points = 0.

Apparently, I am the authority on this subject-- But not for the reasons I would want.

We were discussing our current book in Lit today, actually-a dialogue written by Plato to record the last days of Socrates, the Phaedo. Anyway, Socrates asserts that the reason we have knowledge of certain things is due to the fact that everything has an opposite. For example, you must have cold to appreciate hot, short to appreciate tall, beautiful to appreciate ugly. This logic seems reasonable on the surface, but upon further inspection there seems to be a flaw. If you have read Gulliver'sTravels, you will remember that Gulliver was a giant in one country, but a tiny "thing" in the other. So what is it...was he small or large? Obviously, the answer is relative to the situation. Dear me oh my... now what will Socrates do? Just because everything has an opposite, do "opposites" define reality? Certainly, the art of comparison is useful. But how do we define things like beauty? Are they relative? No, of course not. The only clear way to define beauty is to see with the eyes of Christ. As I've grown older, what I see as beautiful is that which brings Glory and Honor to Him. Everything else is just an imitation. Sometimes it meets a need for a time, but ultimately falls short.

Anyway, the humor here is that to drive home my point, I said, "You know as you grow older and lose the beauty of your youth, these points become painfully clear." To which one of my students responded..." How do you know? Is that based on personal experience?" Oh... My... barnacle blappy MMMRR....krrr...WHAT???? If only he had been kidding. I am not lying when I tell you it took every ounce of my self control to refrain me from throwing him out of my class.

After a rant and rave about my experience to the ladies in the front office and a couple of pieces of chocolate, I felt much better. I'm going to go run now. I suddenly feel a surge of inspiration.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Inspiration

Video Posted from Brad's Gallery on Takkle.com



Thanks, Jon Urban for putting this link on your blog. It's been making me cry for days. My youngest kids don't understand why it makes me cry. Check out Brad, #24 & #10, a High-School Downs Syndrome kid. You can google him for lots of great info and stories. While we're at it, let me plug Charissa's blog--Ava is home and thriving. Check it out urbansworld.blogspot.com.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Good Kids...

I'm proud of the students at my school. Today, I met with the student government to watch them define the direction that Stuco would take for the last quarter of the school year, as well as develop an overriding mission statement for student government.

Do you know something? They decided that they would rather have a "service week," instead of "spirit week." WOW. They will be investigating how they can team with Vision Onward and/or Deeds for Needs to impact their community. Marci, expect the M.O.B. founder to be calling and/ or checking out the site soon. Would it be possible for the entire school to do something? Seems crazy, but maybe there is a way. I hope they actually follow through.

I'm sorry, but isn't that just neat that they would opt for service? They feel it simultaneously fulfills their three basic missional goals: relationship building, service, and spiritual growth. Jeepers, they're good kids.

Greek Gooberfest

How does Greek Philosophy affect our thought processes today? In the (paraphrased) words of Nacho Libre.... "They don't think I know a trainload of dung about philosophy, but AH DOOO." Actually, I have learned from Socrates, that only the truly wise realize their foolishness (doesn't scripture speak to this, too?). However, I'm enjoying delving into the ancient texts of great Greek thinkers. If you prefer the goober-fest that I have going on here, stay tuned to "Fisherstine." I will attempt to keep you entertained. However, I defer to LitHappy for a bit of info on what I am currently learning. I dare not bore you thrill seekers with my current brain strain. My alter ego would like to meet you on LitHappy.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Beautiful Beacon

To an uncommon beauty. God is reflected in these dark times, and you are the beacon. As such, I am reminded of this timeless piece:


She Walks in Beauty
by Lord Byron, 1814

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!