Saturday, February 28, 2009

14 days and counting

In just two weeks, well actually less as today is nearly over, so lets say 13 and a half, one of my kids will be saying "I do" as she marries her sweetie. It is just a very simple civil ceremony but MAN do we have so much to do, like get all her stuff packed up as well as the toy strewing toddler's.

Tomorrow is her bridal shower. We have 15 confirmed people planning on showing up, to enjoy punch, treats and watching Ashley open up presents. My living room is small, so it will be a tight fit. However I think a good time will be had by all.

Tonight we are going to do some food prep, and work to get the house company ready. The bride to be has a horrible cold, and we have dosed her up with healthy doses of medicine, and she is commanded to rest and only do minor picking up.

If I am distracted, grumpy or irritable in the next few weeks, forgive me. Life is rather busy at the moment.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I gots a purpose

My church is doing a study on the book The Purpose Driven Life. I had read through most of it a few years ago, but had gotten bogged down about halfway through it. This time however it is easier. Maybe it is because I have other people reading through it with me.

The study facilitator also sends us all an email every day with commentary and thoughts on each day's reading. Several of us have also submitted our own comments as well, and every week we break into smaller groups to discuss what we have read the past week. I had to miss last week, and will this one as well due to family events.

The first time through I also followed each day with a journal entry, that I had gotten as a companion to the PDL book. Rereading those entries has also been a help as I can see that what I wrote 4 years ago is still relevant today.

One of the things this book has taught me is personal focus in how I conduct my life. It made me think of how I treat others, How I view faith, and how I handle adversity. I know I must treat others exceedingly well, even if I don't feel like it or want to. I need to remember that they have hopes, dreams, feelings, and are as deserving of love and respect as I am. It's a tough challenge to do that to each person every single day, and I fail often at the treat people well thing, but, I know God is patient with me. He's got to be, as I mess up all the time.

My faith? Well it is quite personal and very unique to me. I have learned that faith comes in all shapes and sizes. Some folks need strong structure, traditional settings and more restrictive rules to live faith by, others need the opposite, and even more others fall somewhere in between. I need to respect that, and not expect others to view faith and religion as I do. All I can do is gently share it and use my actions to demonstrate what I believe.

Lastly, facing adversity. Yeah I worry, and fret, and play "what if?" when things don't go as I'd like, but I've noticed that I tend to do that more with the little things, then the big things. Like my surgery last year and my daughter Ashley's a few months later? Somehow I just knew that no matter what we'd be ok, that God had things planned out way ahead of time for our recovery. That assurance was just what I needed, and I am certain I didn't come to that conclusion all by myself. Thanks God!

I look forward to reading the rest of this book as tomorrow's reading will make the point where I gave up last time around. It has been a refreshing experience to my soul, and has helped me refocus where I have unwittingly slacked off.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I need to turn the blowtorch onto low

Yes, I've been burning both ends of my candle with a blowtorch again. But let me explain. I have work, I have a column to write, I have lines to learn for a drama thing, I have a toy strewing toddler underfoot, I have a house in desperate need of cleaning, and I have a child getting married in two weeks. That means that next Sunday my house needs to be company ready for a bridal shower, and that we need to help Ashley get her and Helene's things all packed and moved, as well as finish getting Helene's room painted before hand.

My bod gave me a warning last week, by throwing out my back. It enforced a temporary slowdown physically. I gave myself three days, to recoup. Yeah I know its not enough, but it will have to do for a couple of weeks. At least my chiropractor is definately added to my go visit list more frequently then usual right now.

Oh wait, gotta go. I just discovered that the toddler has happily emptied the contents of my purse.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ah "Fast" food

So last night I picked up my granddaughter from the sitter and decided to make a stop at a local burger joint drive through for a burger and some apple sticks for the little one. I had a limited amount of time as I need to be at my church in about 30 minutes for a drama rehearsal, a quick "order food from the car" seemed like the PERFECT solution. How wrong could I have been.

I ordered my meal, then immediately realized when the amount came up that I had picked the wrong number. I can't eat those gargantuan sized sandwiches they serve these days, I usually either order the kid's meal or the junior sized sandwiches. I'll give Helene partial credit for my snafu as she was expressing her displeasure of being strapped in the car seat and dinner was wasn't in her belly yet, but most of the blame lands on my own dyslexic shoulders.

I should have realized I was in trouble when I saw two cars asked to pull up for thier food, and the one right ahead of me sitting by the window for about five minutes. Sometimes I am really slow. I thought, rightfully so that they must be a little short staffed tonight, so be patient.

I pull up to the window, finally, and tell the girl that I had messed up and needed to alter my order slightly, only the burger was different, the rest was all the same. She then closed the window. I sat there for about 3 or 4 minutes, then she opened the window again. I told her that if it was going to be too much trouble to change at this point, I'd leave the order as it was, as it was very obvious that her frustration level was on extreme. (See how patient I'm being?) The next thing I know I am also being asked to pull forward. "But I haven't even paid for my food yet!" I reply. "THat's ok, we'll take care of that later." Incredulous I complied and pulled forward.

Seven minutes later, my patience has reached it to near of it's breaking point when my husband called. I guess he could tell, by my sharp "hello" that all was not right in his wife's world. I explained that I was waiting for my food. He was surprised that I hadn't just pulled away, I just knew that if I did, I'd make it worse for the people behind me, and besides I'd have to go sit in another line at another place, while a toddler got increasingly irritated.

FINALLY someone comes to my car, she asked what my order was, I told her and also that I had yet to pay. A couple of minutes later a guy comes and takes my money. I asked if they are short handed inside. He said yeah they had a total of four people working two at registers two manning all the food prep. I know it needs at least two more people then that especially when working a dinner rush. My sympathy meter rose a bit, but my patience still teetered on collapse. A few minutes later my food arrived, but minus my drink. At this point I didn't care, as I was now hungry, had a very irritated and hungry child in the back and I had to get to the church.

What should have taken 5 minutes took nearly 15! See how patient I was? Just ignore all the mental cursing that was going on in my head, you weren't supposed to hear that.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sylvie delves into the world of politics

Ok. hold off on the tar and feather until you've actually read the documentation yourself.

The so called "stimulus" package bothers me for a several reasons. First is the fact that the first two economy boosting programs had absolutely zero impact on making the economy better.

Second is the fact that Congress is really bad at providing good oversight when it comes to spending dollars in their own budget, much less budgets they deem for others.

Third is the fact that this package is chock full of loans and funding that have nothing to do with the economy, but are normal appropriations best deemed for the annual budget. I do wonder if they will try to stick these same funding proposals a second time when Congress does a annual budget. Wouldn't surprise me. WIC, Farm loans and grants, Forest management, Watershed management are great programs, but are NOT part of what this bill is supposed to be about. It's supposed to be about reversing years of bad decision making on the part of businesses and individuals when it came to handling credit and easing the consequences thereof, with the hopes of trying to infuse some credibility back into the marketplace.

Fourth is I have yet to hear where the money is coming from. Not one single word. Who is providing the upfront money? I know who's going to be paying it back for the next 30 years. But who is giving us all this "magical" money? If the bills proposed by either house mentions it, I don't know where it is. Of course, reading between 778 to over 1500 pages of legalese, depending on which version you are reading, can make it hard to determine who is going to be giving us the money, if it's even there.

Fifth. What guarantee do we have that this is going to work? Everything I have read says. We got to do this, but NO ONE Is saying this is a sure fire fix. In fact we hear the opposite. In short we are being told to "trust the government" when thus far their record on reversing the economy using similar methods has had opposite of intended results.

Do I think Congress and our president can enact a program to create jobs and jump start the economy? Yes I do. But will they? NOt if they use this monstrosity of a bill.

The concept of creating jobs by refitting our infrastructure such as roads, bridges, public buildings etc is a sound one.

ITs a win win proposition with minimal investment. The government provides funding to help with contracting staff and setting contracts for supplies. Business gets infusions of funds and projects to keep them viable, technology is allowed to freely develop, and support business also gets a boost. The public gets improved transportation, utilities etc.

When our then president yet elected was proposing the idea, I liked it and the possibility it entailed. Sadly that is not what I think we will be getting.

So read for yourself peoples..I am posting links to both the House and the Senate's proposed bills. Word of warning, they are both rather long.

the second link has a spreadsheet at the end of the bill that makes for a quick, If you can call it that, breakdown on how the house had suggested we use this proposed funding

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Breaking A Leg, the fun way

For those of you that don't know, I have a very healthy ham bone. For the in-initiated, that means I have no fears of getting up in front of people and acting silly on purpose. The drama bug bit me early and hard. Sadly I didn't get to do near as much drama related things when I was younger as I would have liked. Oh wait, being a mom may count as sometimes you got to act like you don't want to kill your kid when they used permanent marker to decorate a library book.

I did get to participate in a couple of plays in high school. One of which I had a lead, the other a bit part. When I got older, I for many years was behind the scenes doing hair and make-up, directing, or assisting with music. I did spend a fair amount of time on stage doing music for various church functions, but the acting bug still twitched in my mental background.

A few years ago I moved to Spartanburg, and shortly thereafter I joined Spartanburg Community Church. Imagine my delight when I discovered that they had a vibrant music team, and..a drama team, mostly for the kids. My first involvement was helping the vacation bible school production as backstage assistant director and props master. The following season, I took over a reoccurring role in the church's weekly kid's service. I play a mom..big surprise. But sometimes I get to step out of the familiar and do something really different drama wise.

I am so fortunate to have with me a group of highly talented and extremely funny people to work with, any of whom can reduce me to tears of helpless laughter in no time flat. Our weekly program is silly, very energetic and is designed to keep parents and their children entertained all while keeping in a central theme. This month the theme is fairness, as in treating others with respect, and fairness. The scripts are designed to demonstrate that in a humorous way, yet simply so even our youngest audience members can get the point. There is catchy music, a simple bible based lesson tied in, and lots of silly mayhem.

Every once in a while the drama team, of which I am thankful to be a part, does something for the adult services. They are always tied in to what the sermon is about, and usually very funny. They've done a couple of serious pieces, and they get the point across just as well.

Maybe one day I'll have the opportunity to audition for a community theater production. But if not, my acting bug is quite satisfied right now.

Olivia, Shane, Craig, Alan, Candace, Corey, Christina, Ashley, Josh, Chris, John M and John B, Mini, Janice the tech team, the singers, and a welcome gang of occasional actors, thanks for all you do with Kidstuf (what our children's service is called) and for making my part of this so much fun.

If you are now even mildly curious, come check us out this Sunday