Lust: A Christmas Tutorial

The youth group has a question box.  You can put a question in and the leaders will take a little time on Wednesday evening to answer it.  Several weeks ago, someone asked if the word lust had only to do with sex.  Pretty good question.

Did I forget to mention that only men are allowed to teach mixed groups of people at our church?

Yeah.

So the person, who answered this, answered in the negative; that there is also a lust for power.  His example, people who run for public office.  Regardless of political party.

That was all.

It has troubled me for the entire time, that he didn’t talk about all the other drives of the flesh that we indulge.

I tried to bring the example of the desire to drive the “then-new-to-me” car on the road between Target and an adjoining suburb.  It features tight curves and ever-so-slight banking in a spot or two.  This vehicle is made to handle well and this little spot of perhaps a half mile is a delightful opportunity to sample that.  Really delightful.

Apparently, that was interpreted as me wanting to brag about the car.

I was interrupted and ignored.

There are a number of kinds of lust.  I avoided blogging it because, they’ll all find out soon enough and it was just me taking it personally.

So, in the spirit of taking it personally, I’m blogging it now.  Because I have a bad case.

You see, I have a cookbook collection.  Not like I am trying to build a library that will be donated for public use when I die.  But to use. Each one has a story and a reason.  I have hard and fast rules for selection, that even I don’t know.  I know when I see them.  I experience a kind of feeling of awe sometimes when I find a certain one.

I digress.

For Christmas, I started a little project.  I bought cookbooks for some kids (5) I love.  They are like nieces and nephews. Sort of.  Thing.

There’s the great used book store here, and I got in the cookbook section and found six (6) treasures.  I can’t decide which book to give which kid.  Because I want two (2) of them for myself.

Two.

Two.

 

Want them.

Both.

Want.

A lot.

So I’m sitting here trying to wrap gifts and looking through the books, especially the ones I want, but then I glanced through the one that was most expensive.  Now, I want it, too.

That’s what made me remember.

Lust.

Desire.

Well-engineered cars,

Cookbooks that take my breath away,

Fine leather goods, like handbags, wallets, belts and…

Yesterday, I was doing a little shopping.

I wanted to buy something for someone who reads this blog.  Who I’m responsible for dressing.  The cost was a little ambitious.  I got a little angry.

Because I wanted what I wanted.  And felt it was out of reach.

Non-essential.

There may have been some pouting.  I’m not scared, though.  Santa and I are on shaky terms right now (it’s another post).

Desire.

I’m not as tired as I was and I think I’m going back.

To be excessive in the essentials.

Lavish.

Soliciting for real connection through some other means.

Please.

Any self-respecting first-world woman, knows I’m talking about boots.

Two pair of size ten black leather riding boots.

Mm.

Mm.

Mm.

And I might buy a hot drink (with some kind of froth or something) while I’m out.

What do you say?  Is lust just a sexual term?  What do you hope Santa will slather all over you this Christmas?

 

 

 

What’s That Noise? What’s That Smell?

November 1.

Y’all know how I get with new beginnings.

Starting now, there is really nothing else going, but holiday planning until Christmas is over.

At my most recent check of the countdown clock, it was 53 days 17 hours 42 minutes and 42 seconds until Christmas.

Which falls on a Tuesday.

Meaning Jan 2 is a Wednesday.

I couldn’t possibly think of a more anti-climactic set up for the beginning of a year.  I will say though, it seems to beg the office to be officially closed on Monday because no one will do anything anyway except eat the Fiddle Faddle and the weird cookies that came in that basket the little hipster sales rep brought.  They’ll “elf themselves” and fwd their wives crap that Dr Sanjay Gupta publishes (WTH, Man?) and sit around on the clock until the boss comes through at 2:15 and says, “Why are you guys still here?”.

Just be closed.

I digress.

I have historically failed to capture the holiday magic.

This All Saint’s Day, I intend to bring the holiday noise, and, while I am at it, the holiday funk as well.

If Pinterest fails to load over the next day or so, that’s me.  If you don’t mind, call the house and remind me to share.

Pinned from The Ivy Cottage Blog

There will be free holiday printables and crafts and so forth.

Mickey has authorized me to purchase holiday decorations for the porch as our neighborhood has a contest.

 

Yes.  You read that right.  Just like in Charlie Brown Christmas. (We are nothing if not literary around here.  I’m the Stephen Crane of moms.)

Which is not to dis’ a Pilgrim, at ALL.

We’ve invited my sister-in-law for Thanksgiving, and I’ve unofficially planned to host a party on Black Friday for those of us who don’t go shopping, to craft and watch The Family Stone.*

This holiday, the noise will be loud; the funk will be the stank of us.

How do you get it started in your house?  How do you kick off the holidays?  What traditions are uniquely yours?

Oh, and…

53:16:27:45

Better get cracking.

 

 

 

*The Family Stone is a movie made for grown up women.  Your kids will just bother you and ask why you are laughing and why you are crying.  Your husband will piss and moan about chick flicks and why couldn’t we be watching the game or the Three Stooges.  Watch it alone or with girlfriends.  Like The Notebook, only with Luke Wilson and therapeutic marijuana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween

She knew she had to work hard.  Not just any freshman was going to be able to hang with that crowd or keep Mike Mathis as a boyfriend unless she showed she belonged there.

Mom was gone to a work function and dad was…  Well, who cared where he was?  His new wife must care.  In his new life.  On the other side of the continent.  By the time Mom got home, she would have changed buses and might just be stepping off at the stop before Cannington Enclave, where the domestics would be stepping on.

She smeared her 14 year-old lips Cherry red. Deep black liner and accidentally perfect purple shadow formed the backdrop for false eyelashes. The hair she couldn’t appreciate shined perfectly, tragically, black, and down to her shoulder blades.  A tight black blouse with princess seams making curves where God had not, topped jeans that wouldn’t have been too tight when school started, but were tonight.  Because she was still growing, just a little.  There was a peaked cap and a long black cape of crushed velvet on the outside lined with satin of the darkest red.  In her black nails, she held a flat, corn broom stolen from the custodian’s closet. Her thrill, though, was the shoes.  Boots.  Laced up, pointed toe black leather in the foot, fabric in the barrel, a kitten heel gave the illusion of height without making her feel she’d fall down.  She had some walking to do tonight.

A check of the mirror pleased her.  A perfectly wicked witch.

The mirror lied.  It didn’t even mention the sadness behind the smile.  Or the beautiful, impatient, woman-in-waiting.

Mike had been anxious to take their relationship to the next level. He told her he’d have to be single rather than continue to be attracted to her like he was.  They had an agreement.  If she dressed as an angel she wanted to wait.  If she dressed as a witch…  She didn’t.

In the purple dusk, cape swirling, hair flying, boots clacking on the pavement; she could have been a character in a movie.  The bus was no joke tonight.  The usual cast of down and outers was seedy. The exhausted working poor were collected in a transport bin and dozing or reading or looking at her.  For the first time, her eyes were opened.  This, was no place for a little girl.

No one knew where she was.  She was dressed to magnetize and her mother thought he drove to pick her up and he thought her mom was dropping her at the gate house.

She felt very, very “vincible”.  Visible.  It was a two-edged sword.  Wanting so desperately to be seen, then realizing you are.  Not just by whom you would like to be seen, but by whom you did not choose.  She felt sick.

There was no escape.  She could only ride it out.  Enclave was the first stop on the other side of  the long, harrow corridor of urban decay dividing the city between the exclusive suburb and the middle class midtown.

When she rose from her seat for the first Enclave stop, she noted that a man and a woman also rose.  The woman she knew from taking this route since she’d been seeing Mike.  The man, she’d never seen, but then, she wasn’t in the habit of noticing men she wasn’t aiming her powers at.

Both of them made the stop with her, yet she forgot them immediately, as she focused on the evening before her.  A Halloween party.  The biggest moment in her relationship with Mike Mathis, National Merit Scholar, President of the Chess Club.  Valedictorian.

Tonight would change everything.

At last, she could no longer miss the looks.  Appreciation from boys who were there with other girls.  Jealousy from girls who were there with other boys.  And something strange from Mike’s Mom.  It didn’t look like the friendship she’d thought they had.

Mike didn’t look at her at all.  He really didn’t speak much.  To her.  He passed out refreshments.  Made sure everyone was comfortable.  Answered the door.  Passed out candy.  He was a great host.  A great guy.

She gazed silently out the breakfast room window, through her reflection to the waterfront. The last line of deep purple light was about to disappear behind a shimmering lake.

“It won’t be long now ’til we can be alone,” came the whisper.

She hadn’t seen or felt his approach.  She lifted her eyes to the reflection of his.  Drank it in with her heart.  Trying to buoy this heaviness.

“Why don’t you walk with me to carry this bag to the can?”

“How could I possibly resist helping you serve your guests?”

An intelligent man knows when he’s been chastened.

“I wanted to show you the dock.  It’s the same way.  Bad planning by the architect.”

She raised her face to see every change in his smile.  His eyes.

“I’ve seen it in the daytime.  What more could I possibly learn in the dark?”

“It’s an entirely new experience in the dark. I promise.”

Throwing a laugh over her shoulder, she ducked for the kitchen door, her boots leaving black scuffs and her hair a flying ebony stain in the thick party air.

In a minute, the cabana on the dock was swaying unsteadily.  She could sense it in the mirror dimly reflecting the half light.

She did love him.  He was smart.  And, God, was he good-looking.

She waited.

“The reflection of the moon on the water is a result of refraction.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Our ability to see things we aren’t facing always is.”

“What?  I don’t think that’s right.”

“You know, I love you.”

“Of course, I dressed as a witch.”

“What do you mean? Glenda, the good witch?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re an angel.”

“No, I’m not.  I’m a witch.”

“Well, the wings and the halo make that a tough sell.  Not to mention the Clarence from A Wonderful Life that’s followed us everywhere all night.  Why didn’t you tell me you were bringing your uncle? Mom’s way bent.”

“Mike, You’re scaring me.  I am a witch with a broom.  Red lips, black nails.  I don’t have an uncle.”

He reached for the light and turned her shoulders to face the mirror.

 

In the mirror’s reflection, she saw herself.  A witch with terror streaming down her cheeks.

Behind Mike, through the screen she could see the man from the bus.

Who had wings.

“Mike, I am a witch.  I have no uncle. That is a man who got off the bus at the stop with me.”

“You are an angel. And I talked to him myself before he left.”

And he kissed her.

 

~Happy Halloween.  Since we don’t have a big celebration to share for #Blogtober, I hope I gave you a scare.  One way or another.~

 

 

 

 

 

Pick Me! Pick Me! I Can Aim Low!

Blogging, little as I understand it, has become my thing.  I am a big starter and a so-so finisher.  I’ve been blogging for nearly three years, which is HUGE for me.

Blogging walked me through the adoption of our son from China.  I started following a few adoption blogs from the agency’s yahoo group.  As I followed, I gained the courage to hold the course through the uncertain nature of adoption.  I started my own, in hopes of sharing my story for those who’d walk that path.

One day, I saw a “blogs I follow” list.  Too new, to know a niche or that I had wandered away from camp, I found this blog. I laughed until I snorted and tears ran down my cheeks.

I stay home with my kids.  It can get lonely.  In December 2009, Jennifer posted to a meme at that blog.  Since then, we have built a friendship that I care about as much as some of my dearest IRL friendships.  She has encouraged me, mentored me, laughed when I laughed and cursed when I could only cry.  Like the finest friends do.

Blogging saw me through the adoption, my husband’s miserable job situation, walked with me through some health issues and realizing what a mid-life crisis is.  I think there were a lot of laughs, along the way.

I found Aiming Low several months ago.  They sound like how I speak in real life, except I can’t use the the eff word. I  do think it.  Remember, I am homeschooling two (2) 15 year-old girls.

Aiming Low has a Non-Conference.

The first time I saw the ad…

I peeked.

Yep, it’s what I think it is.

The next time,…

I took a longer look.

It’s not that far away.”

Then, when all my blogging crushes role models went to BlogHer, I got serious.  I looked at the cost to stay at Callaway Gardens,

“…and done.”

From then on, I diligently looked from references to Non-Con.  It wasn’t expensive.  On the contrary, it’s quite reasonable.  It’s just that in recovering from our season of going without food so the company owner could vacation in Hawaii economic recession, we need to plan for  things that come next–Christmas and extra-curricular activities.

Then, I saw it…

Simply Sassy Media Wanted to Send Me to Aiming Low’s Non-Con.

I wanted to write a sassy post.  I wanted to write a clever post. But the truth is…

I’ve nearly imploded in the last three years.  The blog probably saved my life.  Now, it’s time to build a soapbox to stand on to tell my story.  If there is one thing I am, it’s smart enough to know from whom I like to learn and for whom I’d like to fetch coffee.  Non-Con is “slam-packed” with the kind of stars I’d like to hitch my wagon to.

That’s, All Y’all.

Tell, Ree, if she’s of a mind to take the weekend off, I’ll bring rolls.

 

Thanks to Simply Sassy Media for the challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s for Dinner?

Tomorrow is Thankfulness Day.  Because, by the time I can sit down to the computer, I will be Thankful that the concert is over and that the Christmas season is underway.  Oh, I will rock the Gratitude.  Like the Pilgrims rocked Plymouth.

I digress, sort of.

This time last year, I was clattering away on an “anonymous” blog.  I thought at the time that I didn’t care for what anonymity did for my attitude. Recently, I looked back at some of the Thanksgiving posts and they made me laugh.  I am re-posting.  Or whatever.

Overall, my idea was to share what I did for Thanksgiving for the person who didn’t have a current tradition.  The recipes are probably practically useless because I don’t really have them written down any place.  I just freestyle and we eat.  One year, I left the broccoli out of the broccoli casserole.

So without further ado:

ACCIDENTALLY BY DESIGN HONORS A DEAD BLOG WHOSE NAME WAS LESS SEO THAN IF I HAD NAMED IT LADY GAGA

OR

THANKSGIVING WITH A SIDE OF JET LAGGED, PTSD, GRIEF

OR

NOT BAD FOR ALL YOU GOT GOING THIS YEAR

THANKSGIVING
…that special holiday when the pilgrims ate brie en croute.
Really?
One of my mini(many)-addictions is magazines.  Yet, November is just a ‘no-go’ on magazines, because every magazine publishes ‘new‘ recipes for Thanksgiving.
Really?
Oh, and don’t let’s forget… The-Last-Turkey-Recipe-You-Will-Ever-Need.
Really?
Can I just say?…
You don’t need a recipe for turkey(the directions are printed on the wrapper)!
Why, oh why, do we need new recipes for sides?  I know some people don’t have a Thanksgiving tradition or at least not one they want to repeat.  But why would we blame the food?  There is a menu for this holiday.  We don’t need new.  Thanksgiving isn’t about new.  It is specifically about what has gone before.  We know that the pilgrims didn’t have feta OR turkey gravy from a jar.
My connection to my far away family’s tradition is that I duplicate the menu every year.  The aunts didn’t do it on their own.  They haven’t yet.  We also have new traditions.  We get together with friends who are like family.  I am no longer doing it alone.  My daughters have taken over the preparation of their favorite dishes.
I love Thanksgiving: the Holiday.  I invite you to share my family’s traditions. Remember back when the Pilgrim’s hung out with their unlikely new friends, the Indians and everyone had a clean plate?
As for Thanksgiving: the Practice– I am not as accomplished at that.  But I know this…
You don’t need a recipe for Thanksgiving.
You just get on down on them knees.
Fold them hands, like so.
Drop your chin to your chest.
Close your eyes.
Open your mouth and whisper,
“Thanks.”
Tomorrow: What exactly is the menu, and if you are so ordinary, why are you a food snob?  And…Homemade Noodles for regular folk.

Valentine’s Day Emergency

I have the thing that is going around; however, because I hope to impact the world for good before I die I am keeping the life support plugged in long enough to save your Valentine’s Day and possibly your relationship.

Men, I am referring to you.

Statistically, we know there is an inverse relationship between length of time you have been in a relationship and the amount of time you spend planning Valentine’s Day.  The longer you’ve been together, the less thought you give to stoking the fire.  Is it because you get smarter, funnier, better dressed, more thoughtful, and sexier every 365 days?

I think not.

With a few glaring exceptions, you got lazy.  She takes care of everything else and you forgot this is on YOUR list.  Along with taking out the garbage and…  Well, that’s about it.

Today, you Fortunate Bassmaster, is your lucky day.

With my assistance, you will go down in history as Valentine’s Day Guy and radically increase your chances of getting lucky.

THE ACCIDENTAL GUIDE TO NOT GIVING YOURSELF THE SHAFT THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

1)Flowers.  Dear God In Heaven Above, know who you are dealing with.  There are exactly two kinds of women.
–The first type is: “Dozen Long Stem Red Roses” type.  She expects her flowers in addition to whatever else you are doing.  Like the Christmas Tree at Christmas, this is the symbolic requirement and by no means all that is expected.  You do it to show her you are paying attention. She doesn’t want daisies, carnations, or tulips.  Get. It. Right.
–Everyone else is the second type.  Our flowers must relate to who we are as a person.  If we can plant the bulb out in the yard later or if our flowers are in a framed print, flowers speak to us in our hearts.  Even if we are allergic and can’t have them in the house.  He is a lucky man, indeed, who is in a relationship with a Daisy or a Tulip girl.

2) Perfume.  We live in truly shocking times.  The classics are falling by the wayside as starlets on their way to rehab allow their name to adorn stuff that smells like a sanitary puck.

This is not your problem.

Your task is to find something that smells great and doesn’t remind you of your mom.  If you don’t know her favorite, go for a scented candle or bubble bath or a gift card to S*phora or something .  Like “Your Song”, do this right and you will make your life easier.

Forever.

No pressure.

3) Candy. Hooray for candy.  Does she love the “heart shaped box” and the crap shoot of finding a good one in the midst of the weird?  Go for it.  If you had started earlier, you might have ordered specially written candy conversation hearts. Since you didn’t, I recommend the candy store at the mall and filling a clear container with bulk candy.

Her favorite.

Not yours.

4) Jewelry.  Unless you are buying an engagement ring or already married, you are setting your self up for trouble.  Earring boxes and ring boxes look too much alike.  If she is expecting a ring and gets a bracelet…that sucks.  Seems like dangerous territory to me, but I am not a jewelry girl.

If you have a jewelry girl and have been in the relationship any length of time, your needs are beyond the scope of this blog post.

5) Practical gifts.  Depends. You want out?  My dad once bought my mom an over/under shotgun for her birthday.  He got a gun and out of the relationship.  Win-win for him.  Other gifts to avoid may include but are not limited to:  small kitchen appliances, exercise equipment, tickets to watch YOUR team, fishing tackle (even if she says it is what she wants; this is Valentine’s),  and over/under shotguns.

6) Cards, handwritten letters.  Mandatory.   READ THE CARD.  If you can cop to what is written there, you’re in business. If you can’t be bothered to read the card, hand write the letter yourself.  It doesn’t have to be long.  It has to be true. Does not include texts, email, e-cards, fb wall posts, or tweets.  If you think you rock because thousands of other people listened in to your innermost feelings, you are too young to have a valentine.

7)  Lingerie.  Only if she will be proud to wear it.  If you will never see it again, why bother?Me?  I like nice warm socks.

8)  Economy Sucks?  Time is money, Hondo.  Start earlier.  Use your imagination.  Make her life easier.  Arrange for a reliable sitter yourself.  Clean the house. Cook the dinner. Wash the dishes.  Let her hold the remote. If Hershey and Hallmark are still in business, so are you.

9) Under no circumstances should you tell her what you wanted to do but didn’t have enough time.  If there was no question of Valentine’s Day being canceled this year, you have had 365 days.  Don’t. Tell.

Hurry up, Valentine’s Day is not a day for anyone to go without.

Go.  Now.  While there is still time.




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