Category Archives: whatev, whatev

The present I almost got but didn’t (but might still)

Sometimes, you have no idea what you’d like for Christmas except things that aren’t really in the “Christmas gift” category:

  • a new car (ours is bursting at the seems)
  • a new microwave (we’re on the edge of our seat waiting for our current one to blow up)
  • new chair covers (we have toddlers)
  • a new phone (that doesn’t randomly turn off multiple times every day)
  • or, uh, LASIK eye surgery (so I never have to worry about putting my contacts in the wrong eyes ever again)

But you know those things won’t fit in your stocking (or the budget) and so you say something along the lines of, I don’t want or need anything. Just surprise me.

And then you’re out running an errand for something completely unrelated and you see it – the perfect gift at the perfect sale price andyouhavetohaveit.

So you snap a phone pic and you tell your husband about it, and make sure he knows to hurry because they only have three left….

Only to hear a few days later that he did hurry, but it was too good a gift at too great a price and so now there’s three other happy ladies this Christmas. (And just maybe he didn’t hurry quite enough.)

And he sends you a photo of another one that’s currently in stock, but even though it’s more expensive it’s not as pretty and you say, no thank you… I just liked that other one.

Of course by this time you’re wishing you would have just bought the too-good-to-be-true present yourself when you found it and had given it to your husband for him to give back to you. (But you know that takes some of the fun out of it for him and it’s not really the point of gift-giving and the whole spirit-of-Christmas thing, so… There’s that.)

And yet by now you’re borderline obsessed with the present you’re not going to get and so you google it and come up empty.

Until you find something similar on ebay, which leads you to something even more similar, which leads you to it.

And it’s nearly the same price so you do a happy dance and forward your husband the link and say things like, you’ll never believe what I just found and yeah, I still really want this thing if it’s okay and want me to just go ahead buy it for you for me?

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you put in requests for Christmas (or birthdays)? Why or why not?

 

Love,
A

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La-la-la-la-la (it’s another profound one, folks)

Oh, hi! It’s you.

I remembered about you. For a few days.

Then I forgot about you again.

Promptly.

I suppose new (renewed?) habits can be hard to find (again).

But now that I’m remembering again, let’s just say la-la-la-la-la, Happy Thanksgiving!

La-la-la-la-la Christmas is coming!

Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

And you know what?

I agree. Wholeheartedly.

So, la-la-la-la-la I’m sorry I forgot about you! La-la-la-la-la, I might try a little harder.

La-la-la-la-la, but I’m making no promises this time!

La-la-la-la-la, I’m kinda excited about December!

La-la-la-la-la, it’s past my bedtime!

And in case  you’re grumpy today, I’ll leave you with another gem from everybody’s favorite elf that they love to hate or hate to love: “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite.” (-Buddy)

The end.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you like singing? Wait, better question, do you like singing Christmas carols? #pleasesayyes 

Love,
A


The shortest post I’ve ever written. Literally.

I won’t be posting here for the next several weeks. This is why.

Love,
A


Two lines long

Do you ever feel like your heart is smiling?

I got an email tonight – two lines long.

It was about something… and nothing.

It came from an unexpected direction from an unexpected person…

And it made my heart smile bigger than I’d felt all day. (And I’d already had some big ones. Seriously big ones.)

How amazing is it that we can effect a person’s entire being – heart included – within the space of a couple of short lines.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you felt your heart smile? And–better yet–when’s the last time you dropped someone a line that would make theirs smile??

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Stupid smart phone

I love technology.

Except when I don’t.

I have my husband’s old iPhone. (Lucky me.) And unless I’m comparing the camera quality on mine compared to his (4S), I absolutely love it.

But things keep going wrong with it.

A month ago we had to get the home button replaced. $70.

And now the touch screen is going wonky.

For the last several days parts of the screen have stopped working meaning I can’t type certain letters in texts, emails, or anything else.

Just this morning the phone made three phone calls on it’s own while I was already on the phone to the doctors office. (Not good.)

I tried to send a text message. My converter was opened.

I tried to open Notes. The Pinterest ap opened.

I tried to use the timer. The phone started barking and ringing and chiming at me (as it scrolled through and chose different notification sounds for itself).

This is not good.

Really, really not good.

I could go back to using a regular old phone, but do you have any idea how prehistoric that would feel after being accustomed to my camera/phone/diary/note-keeper/emailer/googler/meal-planner/entertainer/calculator/converter/timer/weather-checker/Bible/GPS/calendar all-in-one hand-held device that has changed my life? *gaspforair*

It would kinda be torture.

The other options are forking out for yet another fix. (Blah.)

Or forking out for a new phone. (BLAH.)

Or maybe just remembering the days where I didn’t have immediate answers and solutions at a tap and a swipe.

What to do?

Technology is driving me mad. A love-hate relationship for sure.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you have a smart phone? Have you become highly reliant on it like I am?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Life, unedited.

The clock ticks rudely and I never realized how loud the fridge really is.

Muffled laughter seeps in from the neighbors and I can hear a train several blocks away.

It’s noisy here in the quiet.

My house is a little messy, but it’s clean under those toys, thanks to Rose.

On the shelves sits a plant starting to droop, asking for a drink. I forgot again today. Even looking at it now, I think – she’ll be ok until tomorrow.

There’s a printed out calendar sheet on the fridge at waist level with big green numbers counting down the sleeps until we “take suitcase on pane to ‘merica”.

Several boxes of ziplock bags are stacked in the corner containing blades and gloves and soap and things that one might see as “stuff” and another might see as a chance at life.

A small pile of baby clothes outgrown, folded neatly on the chair. Ready to fly to an island to be traded for fish so they can clothe Jesus there.

My eyes blur, my jaws clenched (again), and my shoulders raised too close to my ears.

I think about the bathtub I hope to one day have.

Relax. Breathe. Sleep. Those things have been hard lately.

But there’s a strange sweetness in the struggle. Prayers in the form of one and two and three-word pleas.

He answers, you know.

I wait for it.

But sometimes the wait is hard.

And sometimes cookies really do make things better. (I never understood comfort food before. But now I want some cookies.)

He answers, you know.

 

STOP.

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five| Five minutes a day, unedited

 


City and country

I’ll probably never fully be able to understand it or explain it.

I was born and raised in small towns but I feel most at home in the city. Always have.

I remember as a kid going to Portland – a small city that I thought of as a “big city” back then. It always gave me a thrill. I loved the traffic and freeways and tall buildings and bustle.

I loved the fashion. I loved the movement.

I’ve never been to a city I didn’t love, although I’ve travelled in cities all over the world in both developed and developing countries.

But no matter where they are, cities captivate me.

The countryside is gorgeous and I adore the mountains… but I’m happy to seek rest there and then return to “normalcy” in the city where life bursts from the seams and sidewalks are filled with diversity and rhythm.

I’ve always known I would be a city girl.

As an adult I understand the pull a bit more:

I love the nations and they way they melt into urban centers and yet still bring with them so much culture and interest. (There’s a togetherness in the separateness–and a separateness in the togetherness–which I love.)

I love the beauty they offer – the art, the music, the theater, the style.

I love that they are a microcosm and a snapshot of the nation at large.

I love that they are the seat of power and government and commerce and education.

I love them so much that I find it hard to understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else.

And yet after seven years of living in the city I’m once again living in a small town (and have for the last four years).

We’ve never really been a great fit – the small town and I.

And yet I know I’m where I should be – my small town by the sea.

If I’m lucky, someday I’ll live in my city by the sea.

Sydney would do just fine.

STOP.

 

 

Q for you: Are you a city person or a small town person?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink FIve | Five minutes a day, unedited


A note to US voters

My friend Jim tweeted this today:

@jimastephens: Note to US voters: The Messiah is not among the candidates for election. Nor is the Anti-Christ. These are politicians.

Genius.

Every time an election rolls around it amazes me how so many of us get swept up in the tsunami of religious rhetoric surrounding the candidates.

As a believer, of course I think that the beliefs of the candidates are important. (But so does everyone else. That’s not a “Christian” thing.)

I want to know what people stand for. I want to know how they vote. I want to know where they will channel their efforts. (Or at least where they think they will. We all know wars and natural disasters and economic downfalls tend to derail things a little.)

But for the love, why must we go about deeming so-and-so the “Christian” choice (or not) and then villanizing anyone else that opposes?

The polarizing effect of elections is so disheartening.

Every time it rolls around people say “let’s work together” and then in a heartbeat we get busy defending our own issues and opinions and deciding the “other guy” is the devil.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have opinions. Even strong ones.

But how about we try and act like grown-ups, do our research, and lend our support in a way that brings life and hope and intelligence into the conversation?

And in the meantime, how about we quit with the anti-christ comments. (Cuz they make us all look like weirdos anyway.)

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you love or hate American politics? As frustrating as they are at times, I’m definitely of the “lover” category.

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Do you have rules for yourself that you sometimes wish you didn’t?

Recently I found a stack of thank you cards that I never finished. Some are from Levi’s birthday (January). THe others are from Christmas.

Can I just say how devastating this is?

I have a personal value that gifts should always be acknowledged by a thank you card. It’s something I try to always do.

For both of these occasions I printed out cute cards that I made myself. (Put a little effort into it already, you know?)

I have my lists of who needs to be thanked.

And then they got buried under the mounds of other stuff in that one cubby hole in my office shelves that I avoid that’s full of things to be filed and paperwork to sort out…

and never saw the light of day again until… later.

Much later.

Now we are looking at three and four months late.

What do I do?

Chalk it up as a thank you fail and move on?

Of write the cards with a “better late than never” mentality? (Almost more embarassing, I think?)

Would people be blessed to receive a thank you this far down the track? Or is that just weird.

I’m seriously considering moving on… but then there’s this thing. This thing I have about doing them.

Ugh.

Does this happen to anyone else? Do you have “rules” for yourself that you sometimes wish you didn’t but that you also don’t want to give up because you think they;re important? (And was that a long, non-sensical sentence, or what?)

Help me.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What’s one of your personal “things” that you just have to do… but sometimes with you didn’t?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


What I hate about Australia (besides giant bugs)

There are so many things to love about Australia:

The sun.

Gorgeous beaches.

Ridiculously cute animals like koalas and wallabies.

Cool buildings like the Opera House.

Indigenous art.

Bush dances.

BBQ culture.

Passionate sports fanatics.

Words and phrases like “mate” and “g’day” and “no worries”.

The amazing (Asian) food that you can find everywhere.

Teh fact that most people don’t take themselves too seriously and are quick to have a laugh.

Morning tea.

Afternoon tea.

I love so much about this nation. So much. (I’ve been here 12 years, duh.)

But there is one thing I hate. (And yes, I know “hate” it a very, very strong word. One I don’t use often.)

Yes, I hate the cockroaches, the ants, and the mosquitoes that I come across on a daily basis… but that’s not what I’m talking about.

What I’m talking about is this:

THE AUSTRALIAN SHOPPING TROLLY.

(Otherwise known as a shopping cart.)

I have never, ever, EVER driven one of these things that steers correctly. Tehy are not made to balance and flow like the American ones.

They simply will not go in a straight line when in less than perfect circumstances.

Going around a bend (with a full cart) is like trying to pull a semi-truck around a hair-pin turn on the side of a mountain pass. Ugh.

Trying to push a cart with 50+ pounds of groceries in it and steering it in teh right direction when there is any remote slope to the ground is virtually impossible… Comparable to crocodile wrestling. (Just try to imagine that.)

I’m convinced that the CEOs of Woolworths and Coles have never gone grocery shopping a day in their lives.

If they had we would be seeing some radical reforms in the trolly department.

A nation that’s built the Sydney harbor bridge, hosted the Olympics, and engineered countless other modern marvels…. yet they can’t figure out how to make a decent shopping cart.

(Embarrassing.)

So this, my friends, is the thing I hate about Australia.

Shopping trollies.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you ever tried to wrangle an Australian shopping cart?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited