I Have Quarantine Envy

3 Apr

How is it that I seem to be the only person in my group of friends and acquaintances that is now swamped with work? I’m seeing all these articles about taking advantage of all of this newly-found “down time” to do projects around the home! and craft! and bake!

I have no down time. It’s less than I had before this mess started.

  • In addition to having my college freshman home now, the other three girls are home, as is hubby, which means that…
  • …dear hubby, now working from home, has been moved into the office (normally my domain) so that he can get work done in the midst of my children playing Animal Crossing for what feels like 37 hours a day.
  • My work space is now the dining room table. It includes:
    • 2 laptops from work (I’m office admin for my church)
    • my personal printer
    • several boxes of files and supplies (on the floor)
    • my personal laptop
    • a large surge protector for the 3 laptops, 1 printer, 1 phone
    • a standing desk converter thing where my devices perch high above the rabble of paperwork on the tabletop

I check voicemail and snail mail at the church every day (also Amazon and FedEx), so I have to plan my day around going early enough to get to the voicemails in a reasonable amount of time but late enough that the mail has been delivered. I also took over the bookkeeping duties a few weeks ago (thankfully I don’t do payroll), so there’s that. Also, I’m still new enough to the office admin thing that there are issues and questions popping up that I don’t know how to answer. We have a weekly staff meeting, and occasional other zoom check-ins.

Regarding Community Bible Study, I’m one of the leaders for my class. We normally meet in person – once a week for leaders and once a week for the class, and once a month with the other 4 main leaders of the class. At the first leaders’ meeting each week, we discuss our lesson, pray together, and do any prep work for the main class meeting. At the class meeting, the class members discuss their lesson and then they listen to a 30-minute teaching – usually delivered by me. At the monthly meeting, we discuss future plans for the class.

But now – it’s all moved online.

From Sunday through yesterday, I had 7 zoom meetings. I’m not bothered by technology – I love it, in fact – but having 7 zoom meetings was exhausting. Then I had to record my teaching for my class. That was all sorts of weird.

Life is just weird. I know you know this.

But seriously – when am I supposed to be getting all of this “free time” that I keep hearing about? Maybe this is it. All the time I get is only enough to type out my first-world-problem rant.

How is your quarantine going? Lots of disruption or minimal?

Stay healthy. And away from me.


Hiya – Remember Me?

15 May

So it’s been over a year since I’ve written a post. TBH, I lost interest. I decided over a year ago that I really didn’t want to be a writer when I grew up, and because I didn’t need to build my online marketing platform, I didn’t really see the need to keep tending my blog.

But something weird has happened in the last few months: my writer-ly Facebook page has gained more followers without me promoting it. Interesting.

Maybe I’ll post more now. I’ll start today with a story that continues to warm my heart.

It’s about kazoos and flamingos.

Several weeks ago, our church staff and worship team facilitated a different kind of Sunday morning service. It was focused on fellowship and celebrating our church family. It was great – coffee, photo booth, pastries from a new local bakery, great worship songs, friends, and…kazoos.

Kazoos in the hands (or mouths) of adults is pretty fun. I’ve heard lots of fun song arrangements utilizing the little guys. But in the possession of the under-10 set? No.

That morning, I decided before the service even began that there would be payback for the kazoos. I discovered that our youth pastor was the culprit, and I had 20 pink yard flamingos ordered before I left the building that morning. Why? For his yard. Because kazoos. And because he responded to my “thanks for the kazoos” text with “i regret nothing.”

I began gathering my co-conspirators. I will not name names here to protect the still-presumed-innocent, but I will say that it was other like-minded parents. Because kazoos.

The flock arrived.13064110_10208992593309732_1147386930_o

This is only half of the flock. They came in two boxes. In case you need to acquire your own flock, Home Depot had the best prices.

Schedules were coordinated, plans were laid, and Operation Oh No He Di’int was a go.


Note the kazoo on this bad boy.

We were so stealthy and quick that we were done in 8 minutes. It was mildly anti-climactic…

But it was fun to sit back and watch the puzzlement unfold. The pastor and his wife thought that various teenagers from our church were responsible. He was mostly sure that I was the ringleader (maybe because of the #revenge texts I had sent him earlier), but he was fuzzy on my comrades.

He was a great sport about it though, posting pictures of his mini-mingo wrangler.


This was the caption: Flamingos escaped containment and were getting aggressive. She had to step in before it got out of control. ‪#‎celebratechurch‬ #‎youremyboypink‬‪ #‎flamingoesandkazoos‬

His little mingo wrangler really enjoyed her new pets – she got them into this formation:


I was a little worried about those two lying down. I wondered if maybe they were injured and the others were turning on them.

We let him enjoy his flock and stew in the mystery for a while. Until the next Sunday when the conspirators wore these stickers:

kazoos flamingos

I think we need to make some t-shirts with this design. But I digress.

Then this happened during the sermon:


That was his face when Pink made his appearance. And others began appearing. Check out the jungle mingo in the plant in his office.

Whole threads on FB were devoted to the birds when found in the wild.

And everything was ok until this happened…


We had put our dear pastor and his family in danger!! Oh no! But never fear, the mingo wrangler still has her flock under control.

I don’t know how long this flamingo thing will last. I think others are helping perpetuate the longevity, and that’s awesome. I live in mild fear of retribution because I know that the pastor has at least one of his own co-conspirators who keeps posting things like this on Facebook.


Yeah – this exists, apparently.

Demoted to Dumbphone

9 Mar

This is my current phone.

Ready to be impressed? It has a mirror right by the camera lens so you can take a “centered self portrait,” as the manual put it.

Wanna know why I’m living on the cutting edge of 2009? Because God told me to.

Yes. God told me to put down the lovely Samsung Note with all the bells and whistles and pick up her (almost) long-forgotten older spinster sister.

I don’t know about you, but God often talks to me when I’m in the shower. It’s quiet in there. No kids, no electronics, no music. Just me and my thoughts. And God. So last Sunday morning, I was praying about an issue with one of my kiddos as I was lathering up my locks, and God asked me, “You say you’d do anything for your kids – would you really?” I knew almost instantly what He was asking of me – “lay down your beloved Android appendage for the good of your child.”

Now, before you get all skeptical on me, let me give you a bit of background. Said child has commented more than once on my Android appendage. The other 3 children haven’t so much as made a peep about it. They don’t notice and/or care that Mommy’s phone is actually her favorite child. But this kiddo noticed and was noisy about it. I feel a kinship for this child, though, because we share the same addiction – electronics. I have the maturity and self-control to be able to walk away (most of the time), but that muscle in me is weak. And if it’s weak in me, I can’t imagine how powerless my child feels facing the pull of the phone, tablet, XBox, DS, or computer.

So there I was, soapy and arguing with God. I won’t go into the details of the conversation, mostly because they would reveal the immature person I was at that moment, but you can imagine, I’m sure. I knew I couldn’t say no, but I wanted so badly to pretend like the conversation didn’t happen. I tried to bargain with God about it: “How about if I turn off my data and just use my miniature computer for phone calls and texts? I’ll delete all my other apps.” I knew the answer as soon as I asked the question – “Really? You’d ONLY use your miniature computer for phone calls and texts? Try again, Android Girl.”

This went on for a while. I won’t bore you with the details of my mental gymnastics as I tried getting around what God has asked me to do. It was like Jonah going to Joppa instead of Ninevah. Fortunately for me, though, I realized my error before God sent a big fish to swallow my phone. Or before it took a swim in a toilet. I started thinking about things, and how this development could positively affect my kiddo. The one for whom I said I’d do anything.

I started thinking about how to do this. If you’ve never had to downgrade from a smartphone to a basic phone, it takes a lot of work. It took me a while to actually get my hands on a suitable phone. God didn’t say that I couldn’t have a qwerty keyboard, so that was my first requirement. I sweet talked my mom out of her red Samsung Intensity. Flashy! I have a red phone. I’ve never had one of those, before. She’s long-since moved on into the smartphone world, and wasn’t even sure if she had Ruby (what I’ve named red phone). Sure enough, Ruby arrived in the mail this weekend…but without a charger.

Who would have thought that I would have needed a charger for an old phone? Not me! That’s why I got rid of those old chargers years ago. I had to scrounge around on Facebook to find one (thanks to KT and L!!). I got it and charged good old Ruby up.

Then I had to figure out how I was going to activate her. She doesn’t have a SIM card. I spent about 24 hours on the Verizon website trying to work this out, but I finally got her up and running.

Another issue? Forwarding my calls and texts from the Note to Ruby. The calls are the easy part – the texts are something different altogether. Yes, there are apps for that, but when Ruby gets a text from Note, it comes from my other number, so if I want to reply, I have to type in the number manually. Geez! Such problems, right? And don’t even get me started on exporting my contacts from Note to Ruby. One. At. A. Time. And each contact takes a minimum of 8 button clicks on Ruby to get it imported.

I’m secretly looking forward to my time with Ruby, though. I’m looking forward to spending time with my kids and really engaging with them. I know this isn’t forever (honestly, I think I might be back to the Note by summer), but in the meantime, I’m looking forward to what God is going to teach me, and how my relationship with all 4 of my kids and my hubby will change for the better.

So if you hear an old-school cell phone ring-a-ding-dinging while you’re out in the world, remember That Nolen Chick and ask God to give me a little wisdom about my dumbphone adventure.