Thursday, October 15, 2009

Renee Bondi

Today I reconnected with an old friend, an author that I adore and admire. Her name is Renee Bondi and she is a quadriplegic. The first twenty-nine years of her life were experienced with legs and arms that worked. The last twenty have been spent in a wheelchair, relying on a caregiver to attend to her needs.

Twenty years ago, Renee woke up in the middle of the night after diving off the end of her bed onto the floor. She could not move. At. All. With barely a whisper of a voice, she called for her housemate, but she didn't couldn't imagine that she would hear her. But God nudged her friend out of a deep sleep and made her hear that whisper so that Renee could get the medical help that she desperately needed. Renee's story is nothing short of miraculous. She made it through those first months, and then the next year. Through another miracle she regained her breath control and begin singing again. She now travels around the country speaking and singing. She is a published author, an accomplished musician. And she gave birth to a boy 14 years ago.

What I have always loved about Renee is her sweet spirit. She didn't sign up for the life that she has now. She never would have imagined how her life would turn out. But in spite of the obstacles that she faces every day, there is no bitterness in her. Sure she has some really, really tough days. But she believes that God has her here for a purpose, wheelchair or not, and she will persevere. She believe in her ministry of speaking and recording, and that she is exactly where God wants her to be.

Seeing her today, I was reminded again that her worse days are far worse than my worse days. I have much to be grateful for, even when my world is a mess.

I have always loved this old song sung by Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas. The lyrics seem fitting today.

Count Your Blessings
by Irving Berlin

When I'm worried and I can't sleep,
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings.
When my bankroll is getting small
I remember when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All About Me

I met Angie (angie128) a long time ago. Okay, so it was through Twitter this year. I do not know why I started following her (Although it sounds like stalking, it is not classified as stalking. It is following and it is okay). Anyway, I like her sense of humor, she cared when my dad had surgery, and she is a great writer. She also has a sister and it is fun to watch them interact. They remind me of the way my sis and I are when we talk and it makes me laugh.

At any rate, since I am on my new mission to blog every day and since I am on the third day and have run out of material...I am stealing from her blog. Why? Because it's the right thing to do.

So here is the All About Me quiz that she posted today, minus her answers. She posted her answers in two words, but I don't know if I can do that. My words tend to multiply.

Where is your cell phone? On me
Your hair? Long wavy
Your mother? Long story
Your father? Love him
Your favorite food? Too many
Your dream last night? Hard sleep
Your favorite drink? Riesling/Coke
Your dream/goal? Retire early
Your hobby? Scrapbooking/photography
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Almost 45
Where were you last night? Same place
Something that you aren't? Quiet/short
Muffins? Nope
Wish list item? New camera
Last thing you did? Goodnight Zach
What are you wearing? Underarmour sweats
Your TV? Glee/Lost
Your pets? Bubba Tyson
Your life? Crazy fun
Your mood? Lonely girl
Missing someone? My husband
Vehicle? Ford Explorer
Something you are not wearing? Socks/hat
Your favorite store? Anthropologie/Target
Your favorite color? Green/pink
When was the last time you laughed? Every minute
Last time you cried? Last week
Your best friend? Laughs/Talks
One place you go to over and over again? Target Target
One person who emails you regularly? Erin Bartels
Favorite place to eat? Mexican restaurants

Hey, I did it! Two words! I love my mad editing skills.

Geez, remember the sounds from last night? It now sounds like an animal is being murdered outside of my back windows. I do not like that sound. Ick. Ick. Ick. Squealing is bad. Screeching okay. Is there anything good on TV?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The last couple of nights, there has been a loud SCREECHING bird outside within a very close proximity to the house. Can I say how loud this bad boy is? Believe me, we hear screeching birds every night. We know what they sound like as they call to each other. One here and one there in the trees outside of our top floor windows. This one is different.

We've always assumed that the screeches we hear are a pair of great-horned owls since a great-horned owl injured himself in our back yard once. Dan had a heroic rescue of the shocked bird with an Indian blanket, a Pampered Chef oven mitt and his work gloves. He corralled him and put him in a box, where we invited the neighbors to view our prize in all his glory for three hours. We were waiting for the nature center to open! Don't freak out, people! We finally got him to a nature center where they proceeded immediately to put him to sleep. We were depressed for two days.

The point is: we know that we have owls.

On Monday as I left the house, it was still quite dark (thanks, Zach, for starting school at 7:30 am). As I drove down our little street, I saw a huge bird swoop down from my left and fly in front of my lights. He had a white underbelly and a huge wingspan. Then he flew right up on the other side of the street and Zach caught a glimpse of him on top of a tree. WOW. I think that big guy might be the noise maker!

I looked him up online today and found a site that had owl sounds as well. My scientific deduction is that we have a *barn owl* and not a great-horned owl this time!! They are amazing creatures with beautiful front feathers and sweet round faces. I hope I get a glimpse of him again soon. And he can make that racket all he wants. We have zero bunny population this summer. I think he's been busy!

On another noise related note, we have a trombone player in the house. Dan is the original trombone star in these parts, but now Zach is learning to play in band class. He has made a great start on playing since his first week. It's only been a month but he can play a few bars of When the Saints Go Marching In...over and over and over and over again. And you know how that darn song sticks in your head--don't you?!!! Well, now you can understand my pain.

I did walk outside for a minute tonight with Tyson and I could hear the trombone outside of the house. Maybe my barn owl and Zach should learn to play a duet. We could be famous (which is Zach's goal in life, you know) and go on the road. In fact, I think their trademark song could be the Michigan Fight Song and when they get to the part where you say, Let's Go Blue, the owl could screech three times. Hmmm....I'll be back...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Reasons for blogging (and they are not what you might think)

And so I begin again. Why is writing so hard to make a habit? I wander off from here, then return. Weeks and days go by. Life continues. No one reads this, I tell myself, so why bother?

Here are some reasons for 'bothering' to blog:

1) For my son. Zach thinks there are many, many people who read this. And of course, I do not want to let him down. He actually thinks I blog, but that is another story. I cannot lie to him too much. It will damage his psyche or something.

So this happens yesterday: he bought blue racquetballs because they bounce super high. In the bouncing frenzy that followed, he mentioned that it would be cool if the president of the company who made the bouncy racquetballs, read my blog. And then if I posted pictures of him, and the president saw the photos, that would be so cool.

My son has a serious thing for celebrity...his own. And it is all available to him through my blog, facebook and twitter accounts.

2) To keep records. Reading Ali Edwards blog, changes me. Also, her spirit and her funny words and her art and her stories and photos and cooking. I know stories about these women, more sometimes than I recall about my own family.

Blogging helps me record *precious moments* such as (hunting story to follow--skip below if you do not like them!) when my husband shot his first doe with a bow in our very own backyard. And how my favorite words out of his mouth were this: "Since I shot it in the shoulder instead of further back, it didn't bleed as much and that is why she kept running. I couldn't see which direction she ran. Then I saw one hoof print and one drop of blood, then I knew. I tracked her down with just that." What a man. He was so excited. And I was happy for him. Truly.

Until tonight when I forgot about the uh, blood on the LAWN, and let Tyson out without a leash. I was not happy for him when Tyson came IN MY HOUSE with bloody feet from the rainy yard--the BLOOD from the night before. I was not happy for him when Tyson also left a small trail of an UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE from the bloody yard on my rug in the hall.

And now I have written it down and will remember it for all time. Isn't that precious?

3) To waste time. Yes, indeed. With Dan gone four days out of the week to the other side of the state, I can do this at night. Excellent. I get to stay up later than I need to, hone in on my writing skills, entertain myself, and well, use this to avoid whatever else that I was going to do every evening. I did that this summer and it worked so well! Gotta get back to doing it.

Wasting time. It's not just for college students anymore.

Welcome back. Oh, that was for me, but I welcome you back as well. Dan, if you are the only one reading this, I welcome you back--see I wrote about you! You are now as famous as Zach. And by Thursday night I will have forgiven you for the bloody mess on my carpet that was indirectly your fault. Although I could have used your help wrangling that dog all by myself as I tried to wash his paws off with a washcloth and soap. Remember how much he hates his feet touched?! Let's just pray for heavy rain tonight. And that Zach, your famous son, does not forget to take Tyson out on a leash. Love you!