Friday, June 25, 2010

Some Days

Some days, all the things that I focus on around me every day - the laundry, the way my son hits the ball at practice, what I will pack to take on a trip, who's mad at me for what this week, friendships, money, the latest gossip - just become so meaningless. So minute. So irrelevant.

Here lately, I've been floating on a big fluffy white cloud when I thought about my mom's health. As I've said before, she looks great. I had commented to her just a couple of weeks ago that her skin on her face looks the best it's looked in years. So smooth and radiant. She seems in good spirits. She takes four horse pills of mildly toxic venom each day. And the every-three-weeks infusion. Doctor's appointments and scans and blood work. She just appears to be doing so well that I haven't fully prepared myself for another bomb to drop.

This morning, I made my a.m. phone call - yes, I talk to my mom nearly every day, sometimes more than once - to ask about her day yesterday. She had a full day of scans and blood work and an appointment with her oncologist. The news wasn't as I expected it to be. In her CT scan, a small spot showed on her liver.

I really have few words. I don't understand. How can you be on medicine and still have new things surfacing. I get that the scans aren't 100% effective at identifying each and every tiny minute spot. The intellectual side of my brain can comprehend. But I am still, on the emotional and spiritual part, trying to figure out why my mom is going through this. I know there's not an answer, but I still seek a valid one. Seek it in vain, I guess. There's no reason or explanation or rhyme or reason to it. That's just life.

There's no doom and gloom for her, though. This doesn't really change anything at all. She had cancer yesterday, and today, she still has cancer. I just don't think any of us - my mom, my dad, me or anyone - was prepared for another blow. Another.

I know that my mom had a more elaborate sense of faith in God than I do. Because of her age. Because of what she's been through. Because she's just amazing like that. But mine is weak. Mine is suffering right now. Mine can't handle blow after blow. I need some time to get back on my feet each time I get knocked down by something. Funny how my mom is the strongest one of us all.

Please pray for her. Please pray that this course of treatment she's on will begin to give us signs that it's working. And if it's not what she needs to be doing, that the best course of treatment be shown to her doctor. Just pray.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My little piece on BP...

I, like everyone else in the whole wide world, have my opinions about the big BP fiasco. I call it a fiasco, but is there really a word that perfectly packages the true depth and magnitude of the problem within a combination of letters and phonic sounds? I think not.

I remember the Valdez oil spill from my youth. I couldn't tell you how old I was, but I remember seeing the footage on the evening news. And my thoughts about the oil were honestly the same as they are today at my ripe old age of 33: Why can't they just burn it off??? I mean, when I stop and think about it, I can easily figure out the environmental effects of burning off the oil. But when you look at pictures of the seas with all the oil floating on the top of the surf, your first instinct is to light a match, drop it, and call it a day. If only it were that easy.

So the Valdez thing effected Alaska, which is pretty darn far away. But this oil fiasco (I'll stick with that word 'cause I really like using it) is hitting pretty close to home. In fact, it's washing up on the shores of my fine state of the union. And I happen to think that those shores in particular - the ones along the Gulf of Mexico - are perhaps the prettiest beaches in the country. I stop and think, "Will my children ever remember the beach the way it looked when I was their age?" Well, probably not. This oil thing really changes things forever.

A ton of people are blaming BP. It must be their fault, right? I mean, they are responsible for all that oil leaking or gushing into the gulf and washing onto our beautiful vacation destination's shores. But I think the responsibility trickles down a little further than the mild-spoken British dude on the commercial or the Louisiana native guy that gets the unfortunate duty of having his face linked to the fiasco on the latest commercials. I think we all have a little bit of blame to carry on our backs for what's going on.

Don't get me wrong; legally speaking, and clean-up speaking, the accident or leak or whatever you want to call it is on BP's shoulders. But who demanded the oil? The lifestyle of the modern American. I'm one of them. I'll be honest and admit it. I drove my big ole' Tahoe and Yukon all over town. I love plastic bottles and bags and wrap and whatnot. And we, as modern Americans, would love to fool ourselves into believing that we can enjoy the go-go-go-gas-guzzling lifestyle and the disposable plastic tray/bag/bottle it all comes in and that it won't leave its impact on the world. But the truth is that every action has a consequence. Every choice an impact. Every drop of oil leaves a mark on this world. The oil fiasco of today is just this hyper example of what we do every day. Greed and demand have taken over the minds of modern America, and now we are paying for it dearly. And will be paying for it for generations to come.

Please don't get me wrong; I am not some tree-hugging, green liberal. Further from the truth. I don't worship the Earth. I worship the God that created it. I think it's sad for people to get so caught up in conservation and recycling and controlling and monitoring something that already has its days numbered anyway. We should just use common sense. But unfortunately, modern America is a little lacking of that these days.

There are times when I stop and think about how crazy life is these days. How we rush here and there and all around. How when we run out of bottled water or Gatorade in my house, no one seems to know what to do. How when something breaks these days, my kids automatically say, "Oh, just throw it away. We'll buy another one." Sometimes I wonder how nice it would be to go back in time when things were simpler. I guess things didn't come as easy, but it was simple. There was less to choose from, you drank your water from glasses, and you made your own ice in trays. But there was less to worry about like whether or not you can really get cancer from microwaving your food on a plastic plate. When it wasn't unusual for people to grow their own tomatoes in the back yard. When you didn't feel like you had to sanitize your hands when you walk through the door of each store. I don't know... call me crazy. But it just seems like the oil fiasco is just a ginormous symptom of an even more ginormous problem of society.

So, that's my little piece on BP.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Round Two with the Weed Eater

I have officially resigned myself to the fact that me and the weed eater will never get along.

This morning, I headed outside to cut the front yard. It's been beyond hot, so I had put off the front for a couple of days now since it's the location where I have to be the most clothed. You know, so as not to frighten small children and passers by. I was delighted to hear David ask, "Mama, can I cut some?" Oh, absolutely, my darling. And today, I won't even demand the rows be straight.

So, I cut around the perimeter and of the yard and the big oak tree and got him started. I decided, "Why loaf?" I pulled out that pesky weed eater that had been taunting me for two weeks now.

I read the instructions, got it cranked, and started on my merry little way. I just don't have a feel for what I'm supposed to so with the darn thing. I've never observed someone in action closely enough I guess. And within a minute - literally, I hadn't had it cranked any longer than 60 seconds - something popped me in the leg. And, when I say something, I mean something big enough to leave a small gash and nearly knock the breath out of me. I let off the trigger and tried to walk it off. I finally decided I should quit while ahead - you know, before I pop myself in the eye or maim one of the children.

Anyway - David cut as much as he could, and I finished up and blew the grass clippings and watered my little baby azaleas. And now I am thoroughly whipped.

The grass looks fantastic, though, if I do say so myself. Seems crazy that just a few short weeks ago it was still trying to push its way through and green up. Now it's like a lush green carpet. And it's growing and growing and growing.

Even though yard work isn't at the top of my list of things to do, it is definitely satisfying to step back and look at what you've accomplished. Kinda like vacuuming. Or cleaning a toilet. There's always a noticeable improvement.

So, I am done with the weed eating attempts. I think. I would have liked to have better results, but no such luck. I would have liked to be able to take that chore away from my husband, especially right now where time off is so limited and usually spent at the ball park, but no success for me today. Maybe I'll be up for round three in the future. Or, maybe not.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How far would you go????

This morning on the Today show, I saw the story of a man who cut off his arm to save his life. I see these stories on the morning news every couple of years... I remember the one of the hiker who had to cut of his leg, I believe, with a pocket knife because it had become stuck in a bear trap. The guy this morning had somehow (I missed the beginning of the story) gotten his arm stuck in a furnace. I hope he was trying to make a repair or something; I really can't think of any other reason you'd have your arm near enough a furnace for it to become stuck.

Anyway - I missed bits and pieces of the story. I hadn't had my coffee yet, so I'm not really sure if the details would have stuck to my brain or not. But the bottom line is that he cut off his arm to save his life. Amazing when you stop to ponder it in full detail. The circumstances really don't matter. The tool used for the cutting is irrelevant. But the fact that a grown man cut off his entire arm just below the shoulder is mind blowing.

After Scott left for work, I was having some quiet time with the Lord. It's not a daily occurrence, as it should be, but rather what I do when I have the opportunity. My mind was still racing with the thoughts, "Would I be willing to cut off my arm to save my life? Would I have the courage?" My thoughts wandered to the spiritual realm... what are the things that are holding me back from being God's woman? Am I willing to separate myself from them to make my spiritual life more vibrant?

I am fully aware of where my arm in stuck in the furnace. Alcohol is a huge temptation for me. And some would say, "Well, that's not that big of a deal..." But for me, it's become a stronger conviction on my heart that it separates me from the life I want. Alcohol will continue to keep me at my own arm's distance from the Lord. Not only does it keep me from getting up and going to church on Sunday morning sometimes, but it restricts me from involving myself with certain people I have met along the way, knowing that my lifestyle is vastly different than theirs. Probably, though, the biggest obstacle alcohol puts in between me and the Lord is my own guilt.

The guilt is in the awareness that my actions - what I willingly choose to do - keep me from having the relationship I want to have with the Lord. My choices keep me from investing myself with the positive women I have met through my daughter's pre-school out of embarrassment of my drinking. It's kept me from immersing myself into a church and even from being rebaptized. Basically, alcohol is holding me back from many joys through the Lord I would love to experience.

When I think about me - just me, in the core of my soul - and what I'd like to do with what I have, I can honestly see myself working with teenage girls in the church, sharing my story and helping them to see God's love for them even in their mistakes. But I know that I can never achieve that goal with my arm stuck in the furnace. Like that man on the Today show this morning, I have to make a choice.

Wow. This has really turned out to be a self-exposing post. But I am simply trying to be honest.

I read this scripture last week in preparation for my final day at VBS, and it spoke directly to me. Amazingly, Peter was addressing the Jews who had witnessed the healing of the beggar man, crippled since birth. He was explaining to them that he had been healed by the name of and through faith in Jesus Christ whom they had put up to be killed.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins might be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts3:19

As I read these words, I am amazed that they were offered up to the very people who could accept part of the blame of Jesus' death. I mean, when I think of guilt, I can't imagine any greater guilt or any worse sin than being a part of the death of Jesus Christ. But, in a way, when I sin, that's what I am doing over and over and over and over again. So I can parallel myself to these onlookers any given day of the week. But the facts ring true - my sins will be wiped out and the Lord will refresh me.

I just love that word ~ refresh. It makes me think of the cold pool in the heat of a summer day. An ice cold Pepsi Max around 3:00 each day (for me, anyway!!). A cold rag around my neck while at a baseball tournament in 100 degree heat (just experienced that this weekend, so it's still fresh on my mind!). The shade of an umbrella while the sun is high. Ice water. A piece of spearmint gum. The taste of celery. Refreshing. Of course, these are all earthly things, but what I learned from the scripture above is that my Lord wants to be my refreshment. He wants to take all those sins and wipe them clean. He wants to cleanse me of all the pain and guilt. He wants to shade me from the harshness of the sun underneath His arms. He wants to be that ice cold, wet towel I drape around my neck to refresh me in the heat. My only task is to let go of the things that hold me back, and He will take care of the rest.

So, that's what is on my heart today. How far am I willing to go? What of this earth am I willing to give up in order to be the woman God intends me to be? Do I have the courage and strength? Will I release my arm from the trap of the furnace?

Monday, June 14, 2010

The hottest I"ve ever been...

Yesterday, upon leaving the ball park, I commented to one of my fellow Bandit parents, "This is the hottest I've ever been in my life." And I really think it was. And, heck... all I did was sit and watch baseball. I can't imagine how the boys felt in the heat on that field for three games on Saturday and two on Sunday.

I am happy to report that we won all our games. It's been a while since I've been able to say that, so I am basking in the glory right now. There's nothing worse than sitting in the heat for two days only to get down to the final game and LOSING. I can handle the heat if we take home the victory.

Yesterday, we played a team we play quite a bit in the championship game. We've had a good relationship with the coaches and parents along the way. Last year, we played several practice games with them. But, since they beat us in a tournament in Millbrook back in early Spring, things haven't been the same. Not on our part but rather on their end. The parents on their side have been more obnoxious, and the coaches have been down right rude. At one tournament, when our head coach greeted the other head coach, he said in a rather ugly tone, "Why do you guys always have to show up?" Wow... excuse us. I guess we didn't realize we weren't actually supposed to play baseball. Then yesterday, the ugliness was even more obvious. In the first or second inning, our boys were stinking it up on the field. Our head coach called a time out and huddled them all in the middle for a talk. Usually, the players will start the "Huddle, huddle, must be in trouble" cheer. Yesterday, one of the coaches took it upon himself to start it. Then after the game was over, their head coach refused to line up in the middle of the field with all the players and coaches to shake hands. Classless.

I don't really understand what the stinking problem is. I know the old saying, "Everyone hates a winner." But we've had our rear ends handed to us a couple of times this season, too. Yes, we're a good baseball team, but that's no reason to hate us. I get wanting to beat us, but for the adults to be more excited about it than the actual players... well, it's a little odd to say the least. You should always want to win, but you should never lose your composure and should always try to exemplify class to your players.

Another odd thing from yesterday was a little boy on the opposing team over-heating in the middle of the game. It happened to be their head coach's son. At first, I couldn't quite figure out what was going on. The kid was playing second base, and I noticed the coach talking to him in the middle of the field. Every time the coach would walk away for the game to start back, the kid would sorta follow him. It was obvious he wanted off the field. Finally after a few minutes of back and forth, they pulled the little boy off the field to cool off. His mom stripped his socks off and put a fan on him. I thought it funny that they didn't get all his clothes off of him and get him somewhere cool - you could easily go get your car cooled off and he'd have a safe place to sit. Your child's life is nothing to play with in 100 degree heat. But they didn't - they sat under a tent, and before I knew it, mom was putting the boy's socks and cleats back on and putting him back on the field. I made it clear to all the parents around me at that point that under no circumstances would my son be back on the baseball field if he had overheated in that way. It takes a lot for a child to even realize they've gotten too hot, so for him to want to come out of the game speaks a ton as to how he was feeling.

You know, I love our team. I do. And I am so thankful to have coaches that care about our boys. David sat out an entire game on Saturday morning because he complained of his shoulder hurting. Our head coach said, "You know - it's just not worth risking injury." Before the second game, one of our coaches worked with David, starting out throwing from very short distance and moving out further to see how his arm felt. I know that I can trust my child with these men - that they will use their best judgement and keep him safe, as well as show him how to maintain composure on the field. And that to me is just as important as winning.

Of course, winning is pretty awesome, too.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

God's Word is Life-Changing

As I mentioned the other day, I have been working at VBS this week at the church where we attend when we attend. Every day focuses on a Bible truth. Monday was "God's word is true," Tuesday was "God's word is comforting," Wednesday was, "God's word is surprising," and today was "God's word is life-changing." Let me say that these kids refreshed my soul in a way I never dreamed possible. Their interest in the stories, questions, laughter, and excitement took me back to a place in my heart when I didn't know the difference between right and wrong. Back to a place I just hadn't visited in so very long... back to the real me.

I had no idea when I first volunteered to help that I'd actually be asked to do much of anything except supervise. Instead, I found myself brushing off my dramatic skills from high school theater, clearing the cobwebs in my mind that had formed around my Bible story knowledge, and taking parts in each days' skits. I have to admit that I had more fun in the past four days than I dreamed possible volunteering for VBS. I got to be silly and free and light hearted. I got to teach simple concepts from the Bible. I was a part in a week that meant something... that helped form a minute part of several kids' little souls. And I am so very thankful to have had the honor.

Today was a lesson I wished I had heard back in my VBS years. And, who knows- maybe I heard something similar. But at 33, I don't believe I have ever seen it told like this before. We started with the story of the crippled man outside the temple gates in Jerusalem - the man who had been crippled since birth. Peter and John passed by him on their way into the temple and stopped to heal him. We went on to say that our sin can cripple us and leave us much like that man begging by the temple - completely unable to move and dependant on others for help. We did an active demonstration to show that we are all sinners and are crippled by sin by playing a game similar to Simon Says. Then we tied a piece of gauze around each child's arm and one of our crew members told the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. It was moving, even to the kids. They were silent, still and attentive. You could tell that the message was sinking in - that Jesus hung on a cross and died for our sins. Then we went one by one to the cross and hung our sin (the white gauze tied to their arm) on the cross signifying that each sin had been forgiven.

I sat there looking at our little cross. Two twigs from a tree that we had tied together with some twine. Draped with all the white gauze hanging in every direction. The visualization was powerful. There it was - everything I'd ever done - hanging on a tree. In that moment, I heard something within ask, "When are you gonna let it all go?"

Just let it go. It's all been taken care of. There's nothing I've done that He can't handle. It's me that's got the problem.

I've been considering recommitting my life to Christ. Sounds silly, doesn't it? Re-commit. I mean, in reality, we are recommitting our lives several times a day. But I guess, for me, I just wanted a moment - you know, other than my baptism at the ripe old age of 7 at Dalraida Church of Christ - where I could say, "That was the moment that it started to really make sense for me." So this morning, with all the precious little people in the room with me, I had my moment with my Lord.

Those little kids had no clue that the lady who had been acting a fool with them all week was learning as much as they were. They had no idea the effect their smiling faces had on my heart. I'm just so glad to be reminded that there's nothing complicated about serving Jesus. It's so simple that even a child can understand. And I am thankful to have gotten back to the basics in my soul. Back to the child within me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What a Blessing!!

Wow. What a blessing it has been to volunteer so far at VBS this week. And it's only been two days! There are three more to go, and I'm excited to see what I can learn just by sitting back and watching the kids learn.

Yesterday, on the very first day, in our second group of kids that came through our room, a young inquisitive girl asked a question about the Bible story for the day that none of the adults in the room could answer. We were talking about the story of Peter who was imprisoned by King Herod for spreading the Gospel. The angel appeared to him and released his chains setting him free and saving him from execution. This little girl wanted to know how long Peter was in prison. Why did she want to know that??? I couldn't tell you... but she was very interested, and when no one could provide her the answer, I promised her I would have it for her in the morning.

So, I came home and Googled it, like any red-blooded American does for the quick answer to nearly any question these days. What did we do before Google? How fantastic are the minds that put together a search engine that you simply put in a question or topic and get a multitude of results!! I digress... the Google results didn't provide an answer at all. So I did what I consider my second best information source on most things, but especially the Bible - I called my dad. He didn't seem to know either, and he even read through the passage in the Bible about it which really didn't spell out the clear answer either.

I woke up this morning with the little girl on my mind. I needed an answer for her, and I wasn't satisfied with just a simple, "It doesn't really say." So I sat down this morning with my Bible that has a built in concordance at the bottom (thank for that one a couple of years ago, Dad!) and went over the passage myself as well as the explanation at the bottom of the page. And I finally figured out that he was imprisoned during the Festival of the Unleavened Bread and was due to be executed on the final day. The Feast typically lasted seven days. There it was - that was my answer! He was in prison around a week's time. I could go back knowing I had a full answer for the inquiring mind.

Good thing I got the full scoop. Sure enough, she came through the door of the class room this morning and asked me if I had the answer. And she was so glad to hear I had the facts for her. I couldn't help but tell her that of all the kids that came through the door on that first day of VBS, she was the only one who asked that question. I added that I was glad she did because it made me sit down and read the story for myself, and it was indeed a wonderful story. It also gave me the opportunity to have a fantastic conversation with David this morning about what people gave up so long ago to be Christians. Some gave their freedom while others gave their life. And while we may not ever be imprisoned for believing in Jesus, we'll be faced with situations in life where we may be forced to make a choice between our beliefs or another person or a job or whatever. That it's tough to be a Christian - to make the right choices and live a life pleasing to God. That I still struggle in making the right choices as an adult.

I've just been reminded of my own weaknesses in the past two days - mainly that I have a hard time depending on God. And there's nothing better than a bunch of kids who are just so excited about stories from the Bible to remind you what it's all about!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Aaaaaaahhhhh... Summer....

Summer. It is indeed upon us. Right on the very top of my head, beaming down in full humidity and sunlight all it has to offer. Sleeping fifteen minutes later than usual. Maybe a few minutes of peace after Scott leaves for work and before the kids wake up. Mowing the grass. Swimming. Sunning. Later nights, fewer real baths, and more of those "Sure swimming after dinner counts as getting clean" nights.

I hope my kids are enjoying their limited days of freedom. I've really tried to let the little things go that tend to aggravate the crap out of me. I even allowed my kids to completely destroy the entire living room the other day making a village of tents. They used every blanket in the house and even made their way downstairs to retrieve the beach towels. They took the dining room chairs (seldom used for dining anyway) and used them to support roofs and walls of fabric. I had to tell myself it was okay... that the sound of them pretending together and actually getting along made up for the upheaval of a space usually dedicated to adults. I had to remind myself that in just a short amount of time, my kids won't claim to have ever built a tent or fort with blankets, especially not with each other.

On the agenda of summer fun this week is VBS. Last year, David didn't go as Scott was on a week's vacation. And honestly, he really wasn't excited about going this year. I can't quite figure out where my kids get their utter lack of zeal and enthusiasm to do or try new things. I guess I wasn't a big fan of change in my childhood either, so maybe they get it from me. Who knows. This year, I volunteered to help so that Madalyn could go. And I had kinda decided not to do it - as I said, David didn't want to, and he's going to a baseball camp on Wednesday and Thursday (and believe me - he's totally psyched about that!), so I figured it wouldn't be worth the effort. But at the last minute yesterday afternoon after a somewhat frantic call from the drama director, I formally committed to fill a spot.

First, it's kinda weird working VBS for a church where you aren't a member. Not only am I not a member at Westwood Baptist, heck... I'm not even Baptist. I don't think they really care who you belong to or claim so long as you have a pulse and are willing to help! VBS is a huge undertaking these days! It's nothing like the ones I grew up loving. There's all these different stations with crafts and games and movies, and I am helping with the drama department.

I must admit, I was a little nervous. I don't know many people there. I had no clue what I'd be required to do. But it brought back so many wonderful memories of my childhood in the church... so many memories of the puppet shows I used to do for children's church, for our Summer mission trip in high school where we went in and taught VBS for a small church in Georgia, for doing VBS with my grandmother and cousin when I was twelve or so. Basically, it reminded me of how much fun it used to be to do something for children ~ to do something for the only sector of the world that for the most part is eager to learn, excited about life, and brimming with questions. I got to play a small part in the little skit assigned for today, and that was fun. I got to interact with the kids. I got to have fun. At church - a place where so many of my earliest hurts were experienced. I had the opportunity to remember what it's all about - spreading the message of God.

So I am excited to go back tomorrow, even though I'm not sure either of my kids is. David's counting down the days to Wednesday when he can go do something he just never gets to do... play baseball. And Madalyn is going back tomorrow looking for games (because I told her there would be games, and in her humble opinion, nothing they did today resembled games close enough). And I am going in tomorrow hoping to have another positive day, perhaps opening back up a part of me that's been closed for so long now.

Summer fun.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yard Work

It's a never ending adventure... me and the yard. I can remember a day when I said, "Oh, I'll never cut the grass... that's man's work." I have since then perfected the use of the lawn mower, if I do say so myself. With Scott's increasingly busy schedule at work and most of our free time spent at the ball park, I decided today to get out the weed eater and just give it a try.

I discovered, in my feeble attempt, that the weed eater is indeed man's work. I thought the cutting of the grass was man's work before, but now I can say that it's the duty of edging that most definitely belongs to a man.

First, I'll say that my husband is left handed and I am right. So I can't really learn by observation... he does everything the opposite from me. And he had told me that if I wanted to learn, I'd just have to get out there and play around with it to figure it out and get the feel of it. So that's exactly what I did today. My first impression of the weed eater is that it felt backwards. I don't know if you can position the head a different way according to which hand you prefer, but it definitely felt like it didn't suit me. And there was the sheer heaviness of it and tyring to keep it positioned right to get an edge on the grass.

I'll be real honest (as anyone who reads this on a regular basis will know I love to be) - I said more curse words today in a 40 minute time period than I've said in the past year. And the longest slur of them came when the darn string came completely out of the head of the weed eater.

I sat down on the grass to try to figure out how to get it back in. And about the time I had made up my mind that this was a sign to just stop for the day, the UPS man came driving up. No big deal to some, but I happen to know our UPS man personally ~ his son plays baseball with my son. And today, seeing me sitting in the grass with a weed eater prompted him to stop and get a chuckle at my expense. It's always nice to know that my yard work is as entertaining as my rows in my grass are straight.

I'd like to say that I will never try the weed eater again. That I'll leave it to the man of the house. That I'll just stick to the mowing. But the truth is that I'll be dadgummed if that weed eater will get the better of me. I will figure that thing out. I will try again. That is as soon as Scott gets the string back in it and the soreness in my arms that I know will set in tomorrow goes away. But I will master the weed eater, sooner or later.