Friday, July 31, 2009

Everybody needs a getaway

I don't care how broke you may be, everybody deserves a break from their reality from time to time. My poor husband has been working his tush off for the past eight months - most weeks being a six day work week. I have been here at home with the kids, hitting the repeat button every morning when I rise from the bed - morning coffee and laundry, scrubbing toilets, applying sunscreen and swimming, baths and bedtime. The kids have grown tired of being home all the time. So tomorrow, as soon as Scott's whistle blows, we are heading south on 65 to the beautiful white shores of Alabama. Only until Tuesday, mind you - but a break from this part of Alabama is long overdue.

We have never really taken a family vacation. We used to have the boat, and that was a regular adventure for me and Scott and David in the summer. We would put the boat in a find a sandbar and stay all day. Then we sold the boat and built the pool. Once you spend that kind of money on something in your backyard, it doesn't make much sense to spend money and go elsewhere. And we really didn't have it to spend anyway. Last summer, our only venture away was to Pace, Florida for - of all things- a baseball tournament. And this year's travels have had that one purpose as well. After our little getaway to the beach minus the children, we knew we had to take them before this summer's end, and I honestly can't wait to see them playing in the white sand.

Granted, it will be a little testy on my nerves. But I hope the smiles I see will make it all worthwhile. I hope.

So today will be spent cleaning and getting stuff together for the trip. I have to venture out to Walmart to pick up some things, and we all know that everyone needs a vacation after taking two kids to Walmart. I am really looking forward to having nothing to do, eating fast food (which has become rare around this house lately), and maybe actually enjoying my kids. Sometimes you lose perspective on the joys of your own children when they are wrapped in the stresses of your own home. And there are always so many stresses. I do love my little family so much, so I am looking forward to some quality time with all of us together with nothing to worry about but the chance of rain.

And just a quick update on my grandfather - he continues to amaze us all. At nearly 91 years of age, he made it through the surgery and his blood pressure has stabilized. Yesterday, he was moved out of ICU and into a regular room. He is very confused, but this is something that happens to him every time he is hospitalized. He still has a long road ahead of him. I appreciate the prayers and thoughts from everyone!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What good is modern society?

I have just finished scrubbing the stand-up shower in our master bathroom. Not fun, I promise. Mainly because I ignore it until it is so disgusting that you might actually question the effectiveness of cleaning yourself in it. Problem is that I don't shower; I bathe. It's such a luxurious life I live... relaxing in the bathtub full of bubbles every morning. Well, maybe it doesn't quite look like that. Maybe it's more because I am incredibly uncoordinated and can't quite get the knack for shaving my legs while standing up.

Anyway - point being, I ignore the shower for as long as I can. And today was the day it called my name. I scrub the floor of the shower with Comet, a product that I hold such firm faith in for so many purposes. So useful, so versatile, so cheap. And then I spray the walls and doors and cracks and crevices with a solution of bleach and water. And then I scrub. And scrub. And scrub.

How is it that we have come so far in society that you can take a picture on a cell phone and send it via text messaging clear across the country in less than one second, but we haven't found a way to prevent the growth of mildew in a shower. Or invented a composite product to build a shower stall out of that inhibits the growth of mold. Or a cleaning solution that one can simply spray on, let sit for a minute or two, and rinse away all gross crud that has grown in the shower. I don't get it.

I do have a fascination for cleaning bathrooms. I love to do it. Love to clean the toilets - there is nothing better to me than look a the base of a toilet and see that it is perfectly clean. No nasty run-downs the front of the basin. No dusty stuff behind the toilet. Just the toilet and the fresh smell of bleach. To me, it's a beautiful thing. I take pride in my toilets. If only I had the same pride in the shower stall.

If there were an easier way, I think I might. I do enjoy cleaning much more now that we have installed the pull down shower head. It has made rinsing of the shower a much easier task - you know, minus the whole scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing thing.

If I were scientifically inclined, I would find a way to combat mold and mildew. But I am not. I am a stay-at-home mom who will continue the daily battles - laundry, kids, and mildew in the shower.

But my toilets are spotless.

Monday, July 27, 2009

When you don't know what to pray for...

There is much on my mind this morning. I had a hard time sleeping last night. I woke up several times hearing the sounds of roaring thunder in the distance and seeing the flashed through the blinds. I could tell it was off in the distance, but I didn't know if it was headed toward us or not. My head was hurting a little from a long day in the sun. I was worrying about Buddy (yes, Buddy is the dog, and I fret about him being frightened of the thunder). And my thoughts were with my 90 year old grandfather who fell yesterday and broke his femur.

The femur is an ugly break for a person of any age. So to know that my feeble grandfather who has seemingly already used up all of his nine lives has broken the largest bone in his body is a true upset. The break requires surgery which involves pins and screws and hardware, and then after surgery, he would need physical rehabilitation. It's just not a good situation for anyone involved.

This is a time in life when you don't know what to pray for... you just can't choose the words. What do you request of God? Healing is beyond the stretch of your imagination - he is almost 91 years old and living with a host of medical issues. He is so frail. I know that God is capable of anything, but what is really the best for him? No matter what the outcome, it will be a long and arduous road of recovering. I am just not sure his body has the strength for this fight.

My favorite book of the Bible is Romans. I won't pretend to be a Bible scholar, but I have read the New Testament through twice, and Romans is just a book that I cling to. It's a little ironic for me, someone who doesn't really go to church and doesn't have the most Christian looking life, to cling to one of the most admonishing books of the Bible. But when I read it for the first time in my adult life, I discovered so much power I had never really seen or heard of during my many years in the church during my youth. One of my favorite verses in Romans talks about the Holy Spirit - that when you pray the Holy Spirit intercedes for you in words and moanings we cannot understand. Of course, that was my recollection and paraphrasing. That is perhaps the most refreshing verse I have ever read - to know that when I don't know what to say that God's own Spirit will intercede for me. It is boggling to the rational mind, but if you let that go, it makes perfect sense. God is all knowing - He knows my thoughts, my fears, my true desires and His Spirit can take that crazy jumbled up mess in my head and interpret it.

So, this morning, there are so many burdens on my heart. I have a dear friend who is suffering with some personal issues, and my heart just aches for her. I have another friend going through some difficult physical problems, and I hope that she will find some healing. My grandfather awaits possible surgery this morning, and I don't know if he is even able to make it through the surgery he needs to continue his life. There are other things on my mind as well - so many things. And so I guess I just have to lift all those issues up to the one being who can make any sense of all these thoughts.

I pray that my grandfather can keep his dignity in life... will not suffer more than necessary... that he has a peace of spirit and has made his heart right with his God... strength for my grandmother and a peace of mind for her... that's all I can really hope for right now. That's all.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Montage

So Blogger ate my exquisitely witty post about the doc-in-a-box. And I have lots of other things to say right now. So here's a little bloggy montage...

Doc-in-a-box: So the short of the story is that the doctor ordered a throat swab and CBC. The strep test came back negative, but the white blood cell count was a little high. So he informed me that I should administer Tylenol every six hours, and that he would not be issuing a prescription for Tylenol as I could buy that cheaply over the counter. Excuse me, what? There I stood with a four and eight year old - did he really think OTC Tylenol was news to me?? Guess so. He also wanted to give my forty pound, four year old a shot of Rocephin and send her home with oral antibiotics. Imagine my head tilting to the right and my left eyebrow lifting as I quickly reply, "I don't think I feel comfortable with that today... she's not had a shot of any antibiotic, and I have reacted to Rocephin before, and I really don't want to give her that strong of a medicine." Did this dude really think that after he told me I could buy Tylenol at Walgreen's that he was going to put Rocephin, the same medicine that made me pass out eight years ago when I received it for the first time, into my baby girl's rump?? I think not... so now you know the rest of the story. Not nearly as witty as the first draft, but just roll with it. And Madalyn is doing much better after two full days of her oral antibiotic.

Heath Care Reform: I very seldom discuss politics, but I think anyone can gather I am fairly conservative in most of my beliefs. I have talked before about how our health care system is a little jacked up - I know personally as we have been paying outrageous amounts of money for our health insurance for five years now and still have to pay large copays for doctor visits, prescription medicines and that dreaded $600 ambulance ride back in September of 2007. But what I would like to scream from the rooftops is that no matter what we do - reform or not reform - there is no such thing as free health care. It's the same as a loaf of bread in the grocery store... whether you just put it in your cart and pay for it without much thought, whether you bring a coupon and find it on sale and save yourself $1 off retail value, or whether you stuff it in your purse and run like the wind out the door, someone has to pay for it. Nothing is free. Instead of making people believe that they can get this awesome quality health care free of charge courtesy Mr. Obama, why don't we just try to work with what we've got and make it generally more effective and affordable. I completely understand that there is a huge population out there who never dreamed they wouldn't be able to afford health insurance. Trust me; the only way we have been able to maintain our insurance is that it has been removed out of our paycheck before we even have it in our hands. The past six months have been horrible for us, too - more than anyone reading this could ever know. But I have never felt like it was any one's responsibility other than mine and my husband's to provide anything for our family. Yes, we have been receiving a pay check, but I assure you it wasn't enough to keep this ship operating. And that paycheck left us unable to collect any benefits from the government at all. But we have dredged through... draining what little bit we had tucked away for the future, finding surprising gifts of love in our mailbox, and with a benefactor that enabled us to continue enjoying our son playing baseball. That's the way it should be... taking care of yourself and having people around you that love you enough to help even when you would never dream of asking for it. If our country lived by these principles, we wouldn't feel the need to promise our citizens free anything. Okay - let me jump off my soapbox.

Katy Perry: I can't stand her. I'm sorry. Her music is catchy and memorable, but since her first song about kissing a girl, I just can't get into her. I never dreamed that I would have to turn the radio station because there was a song on about a girl kissing a girl. Never dreamed it. And David and I actually had a little disagreement last year when I turned off the catchy tune. It was one of those that ended with, "You will understand one day why you are not listening to that song!" Sad thing is that she is beautiful and talented, but I just can't get over the image she wants to portray - this over-the-top, sexual, pin-up girl image that does nothing but underscore her talents as a songstress. And as I type, she preforms on the Today show, and I can see young girls in the crowd holding up signs. And I can't help but wonder, what in the world are the mothers of these young girls thinking by allowing their baby girls to be influenced by Katy Perry???

Night Off: Tonight, I am dropping my kids off with my parents for the night. We have no plans, but that's okay. I am just in such a desperate need for a break. I haven't had even an hour away from my kids since Scott and I had our little two day excursion to the beach almost two months ago (that trip was in early June). Literally, my kids have been with me the whole time - they interrupt my baths, they have been trailing behind me when I cut the grass, they are always there. And even though I love them so dearly (I really do!!), I am running on empty right now. I need a break. Everyone needs a break from time to time. Even super-mom, Crazy Mama. So tonight I will get a few hours, and tomorrow I'll have some time. And I don't really plan on doing anything except maybe going to Walmart or Target without having a single argument or conversation with anyone, nor having to threaten to pull out my spanker, nor having to explain, "No, we can't buy that today." The smallest things mean so much these days...

Good weekend to all! Now I only hope when I press the publish button that half of this doesn't disappear!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blogger ate half my post...

and I don't have the time nor energy to re-type it right now...

Will post later about doc-in-a-box. How's that for a teaser????

Ooooooohhhhhhh.... on the edge of your seats, I am sure!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Doc-in-a-box

The Blair household has been beseiged by weird little illnesses as of late. Three weeks ago, David started the persistent, hacking cough, complained of his ear, and just seemed generally worn out. Madalyn has had many of the same issues, and I can't forget about the eye gunk that was soming out of both their eyes - always at differnet times (David's would clear up for a few days, and then Madalyn's would start back). Madalyn had a slight case of swimmer's ear two weeks ago. It just kinda seems like neither one of them have felt well, but there wasn't relaly anything horribly wrong with them either. Just aggrivating childhood illnesses.



The past few days have been no exception. Madalyn began complaining of her throat, which was really no surprise to me. Mine has hurt a little, but I have chalked it up to good ole' summer time sinus drainage. But last night, when her fever spiked up to 102.8, I got the feeling it could be something more than sinusitis. I started dialing the pediatrcian's office this morning around 8:00, the time they normally open the phone lines up for appointments. I called, and called, and kept trying to call but never could get anything aother than a busy tone or the after hours answering service message. Bye about 10:15, I decided to take her up to the local doc-in-a-box for a throat swab.



Here's the deal with doc-in-a-box... You just never really know what you are goign to get when you go. Will you get the older physician who has simply grown tired of the everyday of your own private practice and enjoys the flexibility of the walk-in clinic? Will you get the 26 year old whose ink is not yet dry on his or her certificate (or diploma or degree or whatever the heck it is those doctors get)? Or will you get the guy I got today???

Monday, July 20, 2009

The building where I...

Yesterday, I went to church with my mom and grandmother. It was her 90th birthday, and since she rarely makes it to church here lately, my mom thought it would be a treat to pick her up and take her. She was so surprised and delighted to see that myself and Madalyn were along for the ride. And it was the first time in a few years that I had been in the building where I went to church during my high school years and the many years following.

I sat there before the service started looking around at the building itself and the many familiar faces that surrounded me. When I moved away five years ago, it seemed like I had moved away from my past. At first, I was homesick. But as the months went by and we began to make memories here, it was almost a relief - I wasn't surrounded by old memories and people that knew me as a child. I became a little more anonymous when I moved away, revealing only what I wanted to reveal about myself to others as I felt comfortable. But when I am back in Montgomery, sometimes I feel so exposed. Not during every trip, but usually ones like yesterday where I go places or see people that I hadn't seen in years.

I sat on the newly recovered pews in the auditorium of the church and thought about that building. It's the building where I met the boy that would take me out on my first car date. I remember being so excited at the thought of him liking me - not so much because of who he was, but because a boy finally seemed to really like me and the excitement of going out on a real date was immeasurable. It's the building where our school chorus came on a school day and recorded some of our songs for a tape to distribute. I had so much fun that day as it was the same day I got to go to a local elementary school with some of the cast of the play and do a couple of scenes from that year's spring play.

I remember so many youth events in that building... movie nights, pizza, preparing for our summer mission trip to do VBS for a small church. I remember a high school friend and I skipping church one night and going over to the playground at the municipal park adjacent to the church property and sitting on the swings and talking. It's the building where I passed notes scribbled on the attendance cards (which look exactly the same today as they did fifteen years ago).

It's the building where I witnessed my dearest friend receive her engagement ring that still wears above her wedding band some eleven years later. And it's the same building I walked down the middle aisle - confused, conflicted, and uncertain, dressed in candlelight silk, veil flowing.

It's the building where I walked down the side aisle one Sunday, begging for prayers and encouragement after my painful divorce.

Yesterday, it was the building I sat alongside both my grandmothers, my mother, my father and my innocent baby girl. All these emotions rushed through me the whole time... no one in that building could tell what I was thinking. I am certain no one knew - all the pain I was reliving inside. All the faces I kept remembering. All the moments in my life I have been able to push out of my mind for these past five years... it was really hard to be there yesterday. Really hard to be back in that building.

I don't know why it bothered me so much yesterday. Maybe because I hadn't been there in so long. Maybe because I was just in such a sentimental mood with it being my grandmother's 90th birthday. Maybe simply because the evil spirit that moves freely about in this world wanted me to be distracted from all the good that was going on around me. Maybe all of the above... but by the end of the service, I had focused in more on what that day held - a broad smile across two aged women's faces, two women I love and admire more than I can say. The miracle of my mother, the embodiment of God's healing power. My father, a pillar of strength through it all. And my precious baby girl... the innocent big brown eyes just like her mother's, her life a fresh white page before her. And I am just so grateful to have had them all beside me yesterday. So very grateful.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

If anything happens to me...

Just to let you all know out there that if anything happens to me, my husband did it. Why, you may ask??


I had a little run in with the garage door opening this morning. The side view mirror didn't make out too well... The irony of it all was the setting of the scene.

This morning, I awoke rejuvenated and refreshed, ready to pay bills online and hunt for coupons for my trip to Publix this morning. I made out my list according to the sales flyer, paid the bills that needed to be paid, and went on a couple of coupon sites to see what I could find. I was excited - I found several really good coupons that applied to stuff I needed. The kids had slept in until almost ten, and I went upstairs to check on them and get them dressed to head to the store before the rain hit.

Madalyn had wet the bed. No biggie... a quick bath and I'd have her ready to go for my big savings.

I loaded the car with both kids, cranked it and began to back out of the garage - a task I do at least once a day. As I pulled out, something caught the corner of my eye - it was our neck-cooling-thingies I had just pulled out of the cooler the day before and sat them outside on the bench to dry out. I knew I needed to get them in before the rain started, so I was trying to make a mental note of that and back out at the same time. And of course Madalyn was in the background squawking about her seat belt being twisted. Next thing I knew, my mirror was in two pieces and the actual mirror part broken.

Dear me. Why does this kind of stupid crap have to happen at the worst time? I mean, it's not like it's a big deal, but it is the side-view mirror to my automobile. Now I can no longer adjust it (though I am glad it is in an okay position right now that I am able to see what I need to see out of it). Every time I look to the side I will see this dilapidated shattered old mirror on my super-nice Yukon. Just aggravating, you know.

The worst part of all is that I haven't told my husband about it yet. It's not like he'll be angry about it (no need to worry about my early demise) - granted, I think he'll be a little irritated. But I will never live it down. Never. And we'll have to have it replaced before we turn the in the lease in December. Can anyone say, "Merry Christmas, Crazy Mama!! You get a new mirror for the car you're about to turn back in to GMAC!!!"

You've gotta laugh it off. If you don't laugh at all this little irritating stuff, you might drown in your own tears. And besides, you never know what's next... life is a never ending stream of entertainment.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The thrill of victory, and none of that agony stuff...




If you tire easily of me talking about baseball, this is not a post for you to read.

Wow. What a weekend. If you had told me last week this time that we would have the most exciting baseball weekend ever, I would have wanted to believe you but would have had major doubt. You see, all season long, our little Bandits have practiced hard and continued to get better and better. But it seemed when it came down to the final hour, we would run out of steam or get down on ourselves. But that simply wasn't the case this weekend. Those eleven little men played baseball for three days for a total of seven games, and they never gave in to their competition.

This weekend was nothing short of magical. And I must say that it was incredibly satisfying to watch this group of boys who barely practiced collectively as a team more than twice a week reach such a level of success. You see, six of our boys live in Gardendale (just north of Birmingham) and the other five live just south of Birmingham, equalling a forty minute drive (minus traffic) to get them all together. So much of their practice time was spent split in half. I doubt there are many teams at any age level who are able to maintain such a successful season with this kind of practice schedule.

Our team has had some great disappointments. Our first tournament in the spring was just outside of Atlanta. We loaded up our cars and booked a room for our first two day tournament ever as a team. That Saturday, they played fantastic. But Sunday morning was quite a different story - they seemed dazed and confused. We chalked it up as a huge lesson learned. The boys had to learn how to play two days in a row - that once they went to bed at night, they would have to get up and do it all over again the next morning. Winning your first two games means nothing if you lose your third and have to head home. Another huge disappointment was our trip to Mississippi in May. Two of the top teams would be there, and we felt like it was a great opportunity for us to make a name for ourselves. Again, we struggled with coming out of the gate too fast and not saving any steam for day two. And we loaded up our cars and headed home losers.

But the boys kept on working. No one would believe the way they practiced. You can't imagine the expectations their coaches placed on them. Of course, it was always made into a game - who can do the most push-ups, a running game where the boys try to catch up to and pass the boy in front of them, a little game the boys loved call "Hit or Out." I know in my heart these are the hardest working seven year old boys in the nation. I saw it all... the tears, the bloodied lips and noses, the grass stains from our practice "field of dreams." And all that effort came together during the World Series.

We played seven games, and we won them all. Undefeated in the biggest tournament of their little baseball careers. It was hot. They were exhausted. It was incredibly intense. But nothing could stand in their way... nothing, no one. And they stood alone as the USSSA World Series Champs.

When it came down to the final inning and we knew we had it won (the score was 8 - 1, and we would have the last at bat), our team took the field to defend one last time, I could barely speak. I knew it was about to happen. I had not yet allowed myself to think we could win it all. The emotions began to flow through me, knowing this was a moment I would remember forever - that David and all his friends would remember forever. The pride in all they had accomplished. The satisfaction of knowing everyone who was there now knew how good our little team really is. The joy of the moment - the pure and simple thrill of victory for once without any of that crappy agony stuff I hate so much. And while my mind processed all that info, our team breezed through the first two outs and I watched our second baseman make a diving catch to end the game.

The fans jumped up and down and hugged and stormed the field. We cried. We laughed. We stood speechless as the boys jumped up and down in excitement. I have never felt such excitement in my life as in that moment. I have had great moments of joy and happiness, but never have I had a moment of such intense excitement. It was amazing, and it made every moment spent at a hot practice field swarmed with gnats and mosquitoes, every time I had to soak those white baseball pants for three days and scrub them fifty times, every time I had to eat a nasty ball park hot dog - it made all that worth it just to see the smile of a champ.




Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One Huge Sigh of Relief

Okay... so this is it... the grand finale... the big trip... the World Series. My little Bandits are traveling tomorrow (along with the parents, of course!) to Dalton, Georgia to play in our regional World Series with sixteen other teams. All the top teams in the nation will be there. We are one of those top teams, but this will be the toughest competition we have ever faced. I am excited for the kids; it isn't every day that a group of seven and eight year old boys gets to go to a World Series and compete with such great teams. This whole experience has been amazing, and I know that David has had some of the best times of his little life in the past six months. Now it comes down to playing a handful of games and seeing who rises to the top.

Our boys are great little ball players, but they are young. They are unpolished. They are still so uncertain of what they're doing half the time. But they practice hard, play harder, and laugh in between. So we'll see what happens when the Bandits take the field for their final tournament this weekend. No matter what the result, I'll be proud of them.

I am also thrilled at the thought of it being over. Finally over. We have practiced, played, traveled, sat in the heat, swatted at bugs, etc, etc, and so on since February. And Crazy Mama is about ready to look at the kids and ask the question, "What do we have to do today? Oh, that's right... NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!"

I am tired of baseball. I am tired of soaking and scrubbing uniforms. I am tired of searching for the right color hat. I am tired of Gatorade. I am so over it all, and I am ready to have my life back. We will have a month of complete nothingness until school starts back, and I am going to waller in it... just waller in complete nothingness, if that's at all possible. (And in case anyone wonders or doesn't remember my past discussion of the word waller - yes, it is a word in my book.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Height of Our Social Season



When we first began digging the big hole in the backyard, I didn't fully understand the difference it would make in my life. I could envision relaxing Summer Sundays with the family, floating on a puffy mattress in the refreshing water, the kids splashing about, and laughter filling the air.


Do you know I have never laid on a float in my own pool and relaxed?


I knew we would entertain a lot - we are a family that entertains a lot anyway. During football season, we have people in and out to watch the games. If there's a big fight on, we order it and invite folks over. If there is absolutely nothing going on, we still have a few friends nearby to enjoy the nothingness with us. We enjoy having friends and family around, and my husband will invite most anyone to come hang out with us. But since the pool was built, we have had much larger gatherings. Mainly baseball parties.


We have hosted two all star parties (that's twelve players, parents, and siblings), an end-of-the-season party last year (that was ten players and families), three birthday parties for David, and just various get-togethers. In other words, so many of those relaxing weekends I imagined are spent in utter chaos. Complete and utter chaos - cannon ball splashing, little girl squealing, water bomb throwing madness.


It's not that I don't enjoy sharing our little bit of paradise with others... I do. I really do. The kids have so much fun. Everyone leaves saying, "Another great time at the Blair's!" And that really makes me happier than anyone can know. But it is exhausting and taxing on the nerves. And then when everyone exits stage left, there's usually a huge mess to clean up. So, as much as having the pool has been such a blessing for our family, there's this other side of it, too. The "more work to do" side.


So, tomorrow is the 4th. And we've invited the baseball team to celebrate with us - we are playing ball here in our hometown tomorrow, so it just seemed common sense. Our good friend is bringing his big fish fryer, and we are planning on some fireworks after dark. I know it will be fun, and I know all the work will be worth it, but I still have that dream...


Me. Pool float. Refreshingly cool water all around me. (Notice the absence of eleven seven and eight year old baseball players.)


A girl can dream, right?


Happy 4th to all!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Tangled Web

Facebook. What a fascinating modern connective tissue... a web of people and relationships. I never dreamed I would be so addicted to reading status updates such as, "So-and-So is off to work and then to the gym!" or "This-and-So is going to the grocery store." I mean, why is this stuff so fascinating? I don't know...

I have been so interested to see how people are truly intertwined. I have looked through lists of my friends' friends and thought, "Wow. I never knew she knew him... and her, too." Nearly all my Facebook friends share a couple of friends with me. Even the most random people I seldom see or talk to. I have also enjoyed having the ability to keep up with friends and family in a quick efficient manner that might have been difficult to connect with otherwise. Now I can clearly see that my aunt is enjoying time with her grand kids and my best friend in South Florida enjoyed her last arrival from Netflix.

But there is a downside to Facebook. Like all the friends you feel compelled to accept even though they aren't really friends. And all the people who use Facebook to carry out the facade they live out in the real world. You know what I mean... those folks who are continuously trying to make their life look so freaking wonderful and jolly and perfect but that are living, breathing train wrecks. It's like high school, only without the lockers and homework and ugly PE get-ups. I'm just pointing out how easy it is for people to be fake on Facebook.

Of course, I think we are all a little guilty of being fake from time to time. You know, like right after you accept a friend request of someone you once went to high school with but haven't laid eyes on since the day you switched the tassel to the other side of your cap - we all leave sweet comments and tell them how it is good to see them and that their kids are cute. But is that really fake, or is it just the only thing you can really say to someone that you know but don't really know at all?

Now, anyone reading who is a Facebook friend of mine will now from some recent status updates that I have found myself in the middle of a Facebook Drama. And the whole story is a little too confusing and lengthy to try to relay here, but it involves a comment one of my real friends left on my wall and then one of my Facebook-only friends (which means not a real friend but rather someone I am somewhat acquainted with in real life) took that comment and called some of her real life friends that are also on Facebook and convinced them that comment was directed at them. Are you with me? Probably not, but this only proves how completely insane the whole situation has been. And so childish. Now, some week and a half later, I have been removed as a friend and ultimately blocked on Facebook by this person. And, just a little side note, if there's anyone in your past or present that you don't wish to reconnect with on Facebook, you can block them from seeing any of your comments to mutual friends or from finding your name in a search. I never knew that until the other day. Just file that one in your rolodex for future use. You never know when you might want to over-react to someone else and eternally block them from your Facebook existence. Cause that's definitely the best way to resolve conflict.

Anywho - the Facebook fiasco has really opened my eyes to just how slimy and deceitful people can really be. And technology only furthers the motives of this select group of people. Why some people think it is appropriate to post comments and slander other people and groups they are affiliated with is just beyond me. But I guess some feel empowered by technology - the anonymity provides a false sense of courage. It also provides a new way to give off false appearances about life. I had one friend on Facebook for a while (a wife and mother) that would post daily these spiritual notes quoting verses from the Bible and all the while was carrying on an affair with another man. I've seen statuses that I knew weren't true, pictures that I knew were staged for appearances, and just general untruths. Like I said, all are guilty of the occasional "Oh, everything is GREAT" when it's really not, but I am learning that there are those that carry out a whole fantasy world on their hard drive. And it's really quite sad.

So be careful what you believe. Be careful who you befriend. And always tell the truth or you'll get tangled in the web.