23 May 2016

Funny how things work out

TMFKATB and Elder S
For all two of you who pay really close attention to the photos that make their way into the Den, you may be saying, "Today's picture is a repeat, doofus. Get it together."
I know it's a repeat and there's a reason why.

Today's letter from TMFKATB was full of reassurances of that everything is going "super well!" It had been a good week but today was transfers and that can be challenging. Transfers can mean leaving an area you love and a companion you've worked really well with. It could also mean you're staying in an area that's been really difficult or you're going to be with that absurdly challenging missionary for one more transfer.

TMFKATB loves the area he's been working in for the last several months and has really enjoyed working with and learning from his companion. Today, he learned that his companion was being assigned to a new area and that his new companion wasn't new at all. TMFKATB's new companion is one of his favorites, a missionary he trained when he was brand-new to the mission. TMFKATB now gets to train him in the leadership role that they currently have. Suffice to say, he was, in his own word, "pumped!" He'd wanted very much to serve with Elder S again, so it's funny it has worked out the way that it has. So to honor the fact that they are working together again, I had to repeat a picture from their first go-round. We are happy for him.

It made for a good Monday. Given the week ahead, I'm glad it started that way.


22 May 2016

Another Lesson from 'Learn From My Mistakes'

"May I suggest Lava the next time?"
This blog is many things. It is a history of me and my family, whether they like it or not. It is a showcase of my rants and raves. It is a view, albeit an unsettling one at times, into what makes me tick. It is in many ways a train wreck and not doing any one any favors. There are times, though, when it does some good. Dotted throughout the blog are posts where I have learned life's lessons the mostly hard mortifying way. On more than one occasion, I have cautioned you, the good denizens of the Den, to learn from my mistakes. Today is another of those posts wherein I will beg / caution you to do exactly that.

It all began innocently enough today because it went down at Church. We had just taken our seats in another pew, different from our regular one, which may have thrown me off just a little (thanks for snatching our pew, Logan). Services hadn't started yet when my Ted Cruz fangirl and Mistress of All Things Fox News frenemy (friend, really I promise!!) came up to talk to the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML. After resolving a critical issue about flowers, she turned to me to ask if I'd seen her post to me about an International Food Truck Festival.

If you've spent anytime here in the Den, you know I love me food something fierce. You also know that it's all the better when it comes off a food truck. So the mere mention of food trucks is going to provoke a reaction (think 'Trump fans reacting to a Muslim attending one of their rallies' reaction) in me. It did not matter that we were sitting in church, I reacted. The last time we attended a food truck rally here in the 'Stan, it was cataclysmically disappointing. So with my desire to protect the integrity of real food trucks engaged, I launched into a screed about the food truck scene here in the 'Stan.

Me: "OK the International Food Truck Festival? We've done it. Taco Bell is more international and less risky. The International Food Truck Festival! The International Food _uck Festival..."

Yes, right there in church, it happened. I dropped the bomb. The "F" bomb. As soon as I said it, I felt a heat flash through, akin to the power of a thousand suns, and I looked at my friend. There was a look of abject horror, followed by laughter as I bolted from the pew. I had to get out of there, if for nothing else to get a drink of water to cool the burning of mortification cranked up to 11.

Now, for once I was using my quiet voice, so only the two of us heard it. So there's that. But you try repeating "International Food Truck Festival" a few times fast and see what comes up. I don't think it's going end well for you either.

So what have we learned today, people?
It's not a good idea to put the words food, truck, and festival together.
It's a really bad idea to get me amped up about the sanctity of food trucks in church.
As we saw today, it's just not going to end well.

I'm off to enjoy the taste treat that is a bar of Lava now to atone.

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times...learn from my mistakes.

16 May 2016

Distractions, don't let them get in your way

"It is so important that we don't let distractions get in our way."

Simple counsel that's familiar to many of us. In this week's quick update from TMFKATB, those words of wisdom were the keynote of his letter. It seems like he'd had another busy week and he saw the rewards of staying focused on objectives. He shared a quick story of how they were determined to get a family to church for the first time so, determined to meet that goal, they spend an hour and half at the family's house on Sunday morning waking them up and getting them to church. I'm sure that was quite an alarm clock. I'm hoping he didn't employ any of the more severe tactics we had to use to rouse him from his teen-age slumber. That was never pretty for any involved.

I'm loving the growth he's experienced in these nearly two years. I'm excited to see where it will take him and how he'll handle it all. Heaven knows he will be drowning in distractions once he returns. Aren't we all anymore? Not letting them get in our way, man, that's a little easier said than done, isn't it?

There were a couple of pictures this week but Blogger's ability to load photos is not working. I'll upload once it's restored.

13 May 2016

You had one job

A couple of days ago, at the end of my work day, I mowed the lawn. That's normally a Saturday chore, but last week we had what seemed like seven straight days of rain and last Saturday was one of those water-logged days. So I didn't get a chance to tackle the lawn until earlier this week. (Side note - if the literal swarm of gnats and biting noseeums that used me a veritable buffet are any indication of what's to come here in the 'Stan this spring and summer, it is going to be hellacious. Hellacious.) Maybe it was the loss of blood from the bug attacks, but once I was done with the lawn, I was craving two - not one, not three, just two - slices of pizza. We had no pizza in the house and I really didn't have it in me to thaw out some of the pizza dough the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML has on hand and make one. So I thought I'd go pick up a couple of slices in town. This would prove to be a mistake.

It's important to note that it was 530PM. It was not 1130PM or even 1000PM, when the street lights in our 'hood go from fully functioning to a simple flashing yellow light. So we've established that it was normal business hours. I went to our local deli / open mic night talent train wreck emporium. They are always good for a couple of slices of pizza. A few patrons were seated outside but it looked a little dark inside but I saw the pizza oven was still aglow. As I walked in, I was told they were closed. I pointed out the door was open. I was told again, 'We're closed.' So I thought maybe it was just a brief thing (like transition from lunch service to dinner service). I asked if they would be opening soon and I was told, 'Yeah, tomorrow.' Shaking my head, I walked out, recognizing that the place can be a little quirky, but still...

With my quench for two slices of pizza unfulfilled, I remembered that there was a pizza place right around the corner. We'd never tried there pizza but I figured I'd give it a go. I walked over and went in. I could see one man working diligently on a couple of pizzas in the open kitchen. The menu proudly proclaimed that it sells pizza by the slice. I should also point out that I was the lone customer.   So I went straight to the counter and the following went down:

Truculent Pizza Lady (TPL): Yes?
Me: I'd like two slices of pepperoni pizza to go, please.
TPL: No.
Me: I'm sorry?
TPL: No, no slices.
Me: What? There's several pizzas right there. (I could see them under the ever inviting warming lights.)
TPL: Slices only at lunch. No slices.
Me: You're serious?
TPL: No slices.

I spun on my heel and walked out. TPL, you had one job. One job - simply selling a couple slices of pizza. The request was not to make a gluten-free, vegan, no animals were harmed in the making, kosher pizza. It was two slices of pizza. You had one job and it went horribly wrong.

P.S. - The good news was that the next day I was in the City and my pizza desire was successfully sated.