Choosing Sides

A situation with Floyd during the 2017 Basketball Finals made me think of repentance.  Repentance means to turn from sin and turn to righteousness.  Floyd was sitting in his favorite stuffed chair, with snacks on the table, waiting for Game 5 of the NBA Read more

What is the Reason for the Season?

As a child, only once, did I question the honesty and integrity of my maternal Grandma. Even then, when I reflected on all the facts, Grandma was absolved. I remember the incident as clear as if it were this morning. I was playing in the front room (living room) and our German neighbor, Mrs. Raymond, came up on the enclosed Read more

Faith Means Action

The six weeks between June 22nd and July 30th 2013 were loaded with change, chaos, miracles, and a lot of stepping out in faith. For two years, Floyd and I had been hoping and praying that Yehovah would make a way for us to move from Alabama to be near Charlotte, NC. We wanted to be a part of the Read more

Pet Enticed into the Arms of a Neighbor?

In the fall of 1995, Floyd and I (before children) purchased a home on 5 acres in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The house needed cosmetic work: vinyl siding and repairs to the upper porch. Early one morning, a construction worker found two abandoned kittens on the road and brought them to me. I immediately took them in and gave them food Read more

Secrets in the Buffet Drawer

My father's mother, Grandma Berry, as we called her, was born in 1909. Grandma was divorced when my dad was about five and later married Gerald Berry. He was a kind, easy going man that worked at one of the Ford plants in Detroit. I remember his metal lunch pail. It was black on the outside and shiny metal gray on Read more

Who had the greater FEAR? Me or my children?

In every parent's life you come to the point of deciding when to take your children to funerals. Sometimes this decision is made for you if the deceased person is a close relative and the child needs to go in order to have closure. Sometimes the choice to take the child to the funeral is optional; the deceased is not Read more

Time to Write

Before I started writing,  I often wondered would I have enough to say to write stories and would the ideas come to me.  I remember a pastor talking about having grace when you need it.    He said, “We don’t need dying grace today, but it will be there when we need it”.   Well, inspiration is like that too.  During the last 20 years, a few stories came, but the shower of words and thoughts didn’t start until I started to write. Now, thoughts for stories are constantly running though my mind.

The other night, I woke-up at 3 AM and started to chuckle about “the mouse”.    I was remembering back in 2002 when Floyd had told me  50 million times not to feed the children in the playroom because field mice would come for the crumbs.   We lived outside of  Morenci in Southern Michigan at the time and were surrounded by corn, wheat and soybean crops.  Among the country locals, the mice coming into your house after the fields were harvested was a “given”.   I considered what they said was mighty close to “folk lore”.

020

I’m feeding a few of our cats. Behide me is Joel and the bare fields after the fall harvest.

Now…. I had two toddlers and to take them from the playroom to the dining room for a snack was more than I wanted to do.   Even though it was  just after the fall harvest, I doubted if mice could even smell a few cookie crumbs.  Besides, the 10-12 outdoor cats would get the mice before they made it into the house.

028

Joel, a few years after this story, in a corner of the Playroom.

One night that fall, I was the last one downstairs and I went to straighten up the playroom.  The kids put away most of their toys, but no way can a 3 and a 4 year old clean up as well as I could.  So, I bent down to pick up a toy bowl and there I was eyeball to eyeball with a mouse!!

mice-1024x822

I didn’t dare yell for Floyd to come and help.  The last thing I wanted to hear was a million variations of “I told you so!!”

I kept eye contact so that the mouse would remain frozen in his tracks.  I slowly and quietly lowered myself to a kneeling position and reached out with my right hand and slowly grabbed the bowl and WHAM!!!  I slammed the bowl over the mouse.  Now what???

I looked around and spotted a thin preschool book.  It was just out of reach from my right hand which was  on the bowl.  So I quickly swapped hands on the bowl and inched the book towards me with my finger tips.  I got it!!  Then I deftly shoved the book under the bowl and stood up with my left hand under the book and my right hand on top of the bowl.  Now what??

I couldn’t let it go outside, it might get back in the house.  It had to die, but how?

My mind was racing, my eyes were darting back and forth around the house.  I felt the blood rush to my face and then my “personal summer” flooded my body (I was 54 at the time.) .  What to do?? 

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks!  FLUSH!  FLUSH!! 

I’d flush him down the toilet.  I went into the bathroom and stood by the toilet.  I knew the procedure had to be quick and flawless or I’d end up with a loose mouse in the house or the mouse jumping out of the toilet bowl on me.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5......6

1, 2, 3, 4, 5……6

I raised my knee up to flush the toilet.   No way was I going to lift my right hand off the bowl holding the mouse.  Then I lowered the book and bowl into the toilet as the water was swirling and making its plunge to the septic tank.  Then I released the mouse and it rapidly went down, down, down.

Then I had a anxious thought, “Can mice swim against the current??”  I didn’t know and I couldn’t think straight so I just stood there and flushed at least six times before I went  up to bed and snuggled next to Floyd like nothing had happened.

Sometimes country folk and husbands are the bearers of  Truth.

Shar

Proverbs 1: 30-31  They did not accept my counsel, they despised all my reproof, therefore let them eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own counsels.

 

 

Posted on by Shar in Children, Family Life, Marriage 3 Comments

Coffee Enema Journal

Thursday, January 27, 2011

 

Dear Dr. Jeff,

Day One of my Liver/Gallbladder Flush (LGF) went very well. I drank the whole quart of salt water flush without getting nauseated. The kidney castor oil pack was relaxing and the coffee enema was a bit awkward but painless.

This was a miraculous outcome because I have been terrified of the “coffee enema” since the day of my scan* last week.

Dr. Jeff Hazim

Dr. Jeff Hazim

During the scan, when you marveled that I asked whether I needed a detox and then the scan said I needed a LGF, I began to feel wise, in-touch with my body, and having special intuitive powers for about 7 seconds. It was at that point that I asked if the LGF involved an “enema”. Sure enough, you gave me the wrong answer and the gray and blue clouds of despair and dread began to move in.

I was anxious beyond belief waiting on the detox instructional protocol to arrive by email. When I saw that it was “23 pages” and what seemed to be complicated procedures, I sat it on my desk. It took me two days to process my anxiety and dread to actually read it. While it sat unread on my desk, I knew in order to survive the week of detox, I needed a plan of attack and I must relinquish most, if not all, of my household responsibilities.

First, I went to the calendar and cleared a total of seven days starting on Wednesday, January 26, 2011. However, right before the start date, I did have a meeting on January 25th with Ms Social Worker from the foster/adoption agency. Floyd and I are planning to adopt again. Our two children, Joel and Ruth, were adopted as infants when we lived in Michigan.

015

Joel and Ruth, 1999.

Second, I approached Joel (12) and Ruth (11) with the unread “23 page” protocol in my hand, flipping the pages.

I need a no stress, well a low stress seven days next week. (I remembered that all the “no stress” people live in the cemetery.) These procedures are going to take a lot of my time and I need to be calm in order to get through this.”

They eyed the “23 page” of instructions and the I mean business look in my eyes and my don’t try me demeanor. Simultaneously, they said, “Yes, Ma’am.” and quickly backed away.

Earlier in the day, while carrying the instructions that detailed the “coffee enema”. I asked Floyd, “If your scan with Dr Jeff said you should take a Liver/Gallbladder Flush, what would you do?”

Floyd hesitated and said, “Well if I needed it, I would.”

Now, I have known Floyd and all his family since I was five years old (His uncle married my aunt.) and we have been married for 21 years. So, what he was really saying was, “If Dr. Jeff told me I would die that week unless I took a LGF, then I would take one.”

Now normally, I would have been all over him like “white on rice” psycho-analyzing him and making connections between his denial and the reluctance to do the LGF and his high blood sugar and the possibility that it could result in him becoming disabled, bed-ridden and leaving me to care for him with the extra burden of working through my anger at him because he didn’t take a LGF that would have prevented all this hardship on top of my having to raise two children without the benefit of an able-bodied husband. HOWEVER, I was so depressed about the “coffee enema” thing, that I just said, “I understand”.

So next, I asked for Floyd’s help. I said, ”Floyd, I’m going to need some help. I don’t think I can handle cooking and all these procedures at the same time. I need to have a clear space to relax my mind and just rest.” He looked at me and saw my pitifulness and cheerily said, “No problem honey, I’d be happy to help.”

I wondered, if behind his willingness, he was thinking, “I’m glad it’s you and not me!”.

The last preparation was to write an hour by hour schedule of each day.day schedule By Monday, January 24th, each ounce of the drinks, each supply needed and each procedure was allocated a time slot. (It was perfect until you informed me on the morning of Day One that the water of the salt flush could not be included in my daily water requirement! So back to the drawing board to recalculate the ounces of water needed for each time slot.)

OK, by Tuesday morning I was ready, but still very depressed with the thoughts of the “coffee enema”.

In the afternoon, Ms Social Worker came for the 3-4 hour session. A good part of the session was discussing some of the horrific things that happen to children that bring them into the foster care system and some of the things the child does not share until well into the foster/adoption placement. 

I was already moody and depressed; the vivid descriptions given by Ms Social Worker brought on a tsunami of additional depressing thoughts. I’d catch myself holding my head in my hands nearly touching the table we were all gathered around in our library. I wanted to escape the room and the evil world where these horrible things were happening.

Once, when I caught myself again holding my head with my hands over my eyes, I sat up straight and noticed how Floyd was quite involved in the conversation. All I could do was nod and grunt some responses. But here was my husband, the man of few (or no words) giving informational responses: “The taser the grandfather used on the kids is called a cow prod.”

Asking probing questions: “Why do you think the District Attorney didn’t seek prosecution against the son of the City council member?” 

And follow-up questions:  “Did the insurance company pay the foster mom each of the three times the foster child burned down her trailer?”house on fire

That was just another depressing blow to me. I wanted this conversation to be over and he was prolonging it!

On top of that, this was the man that you had to pull phrases, much less sentences, out of. This was the man that often I would bare my soul and he would just look at me wondering what I wanted him to say. This was the man that on several occasions, when we were arguing about the lack of communication between us, I would end the one-sided conversation by quoting from Dion Warwick’s hit record, “If anyone had a heart they would take me in their arms and love me. Why won’t you?”.

If Floyd and Ms Social Worker were on television and the sound was turned off, folks who know Floyd would just know she was a sports announcer and they were discussing the Super Bowl!

train coming at you

Help! Help!!

Now, I’m about to die in the dark pit of depression. I have thoughts of the Perils of Pauline where the villain, dressed in an all black ¾ length suit jacket, black pants and a tall slim black top hat, has tied her to the railroad tracks and the fast train is approaching. All Pauline can do is struggle against the ropes and yell.

But, I’m struggling to keep my body still and trying to suppress my screams. I can think of no way to politely ask them to “Shut-up!”. If I blurt out my emotions, Ms. Social Worker may falsely believe I’m unstable and unfit to adopt children. Floyd would be highly embarrassed and would demand I go immediately to bed after calling you and saying that the “coffee enema” was too much for me to take (really too much for him). So, I suffered through the session.

That night I prayed for:

  1. Courage to start the seven days;

  2. Wisdom to do each task to perfection. The “23 page” protocol had a ridiculous statement that if you can’t hold the enema, just release it and boil more coffee and start over! There was not going to be any repeats on this ship!

  3. AND the ability to like “coffee enemas”.

Now, that last one was a stretch. However, in my life I have learned that Yehovah is a gracious and generous giver. When we moved to Alabama in 2008, we prayed for a house with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and some land that we could afford. Yehovah blessed us with 5.02 acres with two houses (we rent the second house), 3 bathrooms in the main house and a sandy creek beach on the other side of our wooded area – all for $45,000. It would never have entered my mind to have prayed for that much. So I’ve learned to enlarge my faith, my obedience and my prayers.

Dr. Jeff. at the beginning of the story, you see that Numbers 1 and 2 were answered.

Well this morning, Floyd got up before me and got Joel and Ruth up to feed the animals and get ready for Homeschool. I could hear him saying my usual mantra, 

012

My family!

Wash, put on lotion, deodorant, do your hair…”.

Then he walked back into our dark bedroom and gave me a back-rub (going in the correct clockwise manner) and asked if he could bring me anything.

At that moment, I knew I liked “coffee enemas!”

Respectfully,

Shar

*Scan:  “Using the body’s natural energetic field, a communication link is established between the patient and the computer via the ZYTO hand cradle. Through this connection, ZYTO sends stimuli and then records the body’s response. This conversation is called biocommunication, and it provides insights into health and wellness.” https://www.zyto.com/

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.  ~Corrie Ten Boom

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.  ~Joyce Brothers

 

 

Posted on by Shar in Courage, Family Life, Health and Wellness 6 Comments

The Tooth Fairy

According to the Original Tooth Fairy Pollthe average gift from the Tooth Fairy climbed from $2.10 in 2011 to $2.42 in 2012, a 15.2 percent gain.

Other interesting findings from The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® (http://www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com/news-release/), which surveyed more than 1,200 parents nationwide, include:

  • The Tooth Fairy visited nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth.
  • The Tooth Fairy left cash for kids in 98 percent of the homes she visited. Two percent of children received toys, candy, gum or other gifts.
  • The most common amount left under the pillow by the Tooth Fairy was $1 (51 percent).
  • Twenty-two percent of kids hit it rich and received $5 for each lost tooth.”

 

In my maternal family, the Tooth Fairy didn’t appear until my generation. I was the first to receive the quarters for lost teeth. I found this out when I asked my Mom if the Tooth Fairy had visited her when she was a child. She chuckled and said, “Nobody had money to throw around for the Tooth Fairy! We didn’t play those games.”

Generally, children lose their baby teeth between the ages of five and eleven.  I never really believed in the Tooth Fairy. What I mean is, I believed my mother was putting the money beneath my pillow. 008When I placed the tooth under my pillow at night, in the morning the tooth was gone and I found a quarter. When I recently asked my Mom about my baby teeth, she said she had thrown them away right after retrieving them from under my pillow.

My children still have their jar of baby teeth. I guess I’m more sentimental about saving baby mementos.

Getting the money was always a treat to look forward to receiving. Losing the teeth wasn’t. They were either pulled out by the dentist or Slow Poke Suckers; yanked out by pulling on a string tied around the tooth; or they just fell out while I was eating a meal (I was so glad I didn’t swallow them!).

My sister, Laurie, shared a Tooth Fairy story about her daughter, Annette. Alissa Hayden 2 002The two of them had gone to the Disney Store in the mall. Annette was trying to persuade Laurie to buy a toy that Annette wanted. The conversation went something like this:

Mommie, I really want this toy. It is just what I’ve been wishing I could get. Will you please buy it for me? Pretty Please?”

Annette, this toy costs more than what I want to spend on a toy. Why don’t you buy it with the money you have saved?”

Uh! Uh! “No, I can’t spend my money! The only way I can get more money is to lose teeth!!”

Now to my experience of being the Tooth Fairy.

Because Floyd, my husband, and I wanted to be “good parents” we had 50 million discussions about what to do and what not do to with the children. We had eliminated telling the children that Santa and the Easter Bunny were “real” from the “get-go”, but we still had the tree and gave gifts.  In December 2009, we pulled away from the “traditional holidays” that weren’t commanded in the Bible.

The Tooth Fairy was in a non-religious class all by herself. We figured it was cute (Here we go!), and that the kids, by the time they started losing teeth at 5 or 6 years old, they would know it was just a game.

024So, when Joel lost his first tooth, circa 2003, we made a big deal out of the Tooth Fairy coming that night and Joel would get some money. Well, that night, we slipped a quarter under his pillow while he was sleeping.

The next morning, Joel wasn’t overly surprised, but pleased to get the money. However, at the breakfast table, he made a comment about how little the Tooth Fairy left for him. We said something like,

Well, you know that’s the going rate for teeth these days. Besides, the Tooth Fairy didn’t take the tooth, we can save it.”

This only produced a shrug on Joel’s face and he went back to eating.

Now Floyd and I were disappointed that the quarter and our midnight ruse hadn’t produced the jubilance from Joel that we had anticipated. So the next time we upped the ante and left $1.00. This brought the jubilance, but somehow I had the feeling I had been hustled by “the kid”.

When Joel was 7 years old, by this time a seasoned Fairy money receiver, he began to overtly talk about knowing that we were the Tooth Fairy. Floyd and I never admitted it, because we wanted to keep the game going.

However, we knew we had to be careful and not get caught at our own game.  When Joel lost the next tooth, we debated who would be the best “secret agent” to deliver the 

021money and escape undetected. We both wanted the challenge.   When I figured out that the agent would have to wait until near midnight to make sure Joel was in a deep sleep state, I quickly acquiesced.

Floyd waited until after 11:30 PM and tiptoed down the hall into Joel’s room. Floyd carefully slipped his hand under the pillow and as quick as a flash, Joel grabbed his hand and said,

Gotcha!!”

As I reflect on my Tooth Fairy experiences, I think if I had it to do over, I would not continue to perpetuate this fantasy. Truth and honesty are such a rare commodity that I wouldn’t sacrifice them for a temporary pleasure. This story is not an indictment against having fun with your children, but exposes one type of “little white lie” in the hopes of eradicating all falsehoods from our lives.

Shar

A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb

When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback. ~Bill Copeland

 

Posted on by Shar in Children, Family Life, Mistakes, Parenting, Tooth Fairy 6 Comments
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