Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:

Welcome to

Friday, October 31, 2008

The bestest times

Happy Halloween, Squeakers!! Trick O’Treater

I'm greatly looking forward to trick-or-treating later this evening with my friends and family. For those of you that celebrate Halloween, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable night.

For me, this time of year (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas) is the bestest time. I get so excited for my kids, and the new experiences they'll have. Heck, I get excited for myself!
I don't know about Mr. P., but I can't help but remember the year they were gone from our care. We missed out on so much of the holidays that year. I think that's why I find myself praising Him for even the smallest things during this season. A kid who's cranked up on sugar may not be the best thing to deal with, but Lord, thank You for letting me have them back that I might load 'em on Snickers bars one night a year. Sweet potatoes that didn't turn out perfect? A turkey that didn't quite have as much leftovers as we would have liked? Well, thank You Lord for that meal filled with my children's laughter. I sorely missed 'em that year they were in Vermont instead. Can't get the tree lights blinking right? Wrapping gifts at 2am Christmas Eve in a haze of exhaustion? Thank You Lord for letting us all be under 1 roof this year.
It's amazing how much your life can change after you've been pulled from the pit. Even the simplest things (Mr. P. remember the year the kids brought the snowball fight indoors on Thanksgiving? Too Funny ) make you realize all at once just how much you've lost and how far you've come.
I just praise the Lord that He brought us through those worst of times so that we can truly enjoy these very bestest ones.

Til next squeak,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Say wha?? Or Dieting Fail 101

Being ghetto, I've had to shop at Aldi's lately. I'll probably continue to shop there even after our finances improve though. That said, there's a problem to having cheaper food items available.
That would be the dieting FAIL. Oy, have I failed. Between skipping the gym due to my carpal tunnel issues (ok ok so admittedly, part of that is a cop out...I'm afraid of falling on the treadmill if I can't grab the rails Blushy 4 ) and snacking much more than I should, I've gained 10 pounds. Bleh.
I primarily blame these things:


Clancy's Crispy Crunchy Corn Chips. Great googly-moogly. These things are so crazy addictive! I could eat a whole bag myself. And as you can guess by my pic, I have eaten a whole bag by myself before!
But you know what? Let's just call a spade a spade. Here's what these things really are:


I swear, Mr. Clancy is running a crack ring for us fatsos! Even my kids call these things by their true name now. If you don't believe me, go try them yourself. You'll see. But don't say I didn't warn ya.

Til next squeak,

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I just don't get it anymore.

Mr. P. and I have been having on-going conversations about people-in-general, Christians-specifically, and hypocrisy. Frankly, I'm all confuseded now.
If you change your mind on something, you're a hypocrite. If you tell someone else to do/think something you don't or haven't previously, you're a hypocrite. And of course, Christians are hypocrites more than the general population. (hope your hearing my sarcasm) Oh, and being a hypocrite is the worst thing one could end up being.
Have I got all the bases covered there?
How's a person supposed to feel about hypocrisy? And is a Christian supposed to ignore feeling like a hypocrite and chalk it up to spiritual growth? Or does that depend on what's making the Christian in question (say that 10x fast) feel like a hypocrite?
This just makes my head hurt.

Til next squeak,

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Meme

It's another Monday, and that means it's time to meme!

1) Why do we give people hugs? I think it depends on the person hugging, and their background. Personally, I've hugged just to be closer to someone and enjoy their warmth (Mr. P. ), but I've also hugged just to get a cheap thrill. Ahh high school days. Then again, I hug my kids to comfort them, and I've hugged grieving friends in a similar fashion. There's also the happy, overjoyed to see you hug. Hmmm. That was way longer than I meant it to be.
2) When have you most shocked yourself? There's plenty of times I was shocked at myself, but it's more accurate to say that God was doing the shocking. As far as shocking myself, well, there's the time I stuck a fork in the toaster...Scared 1oh wait, you didn't mean it that way? Then I'd have to say I'm pretty shocked at how much I love doing all the funky colors in my hair now. I really had a stick up my rear about being "mature" and obviously, plenty o' purple stripes ain't exactly oozing confidence and maturity.
3) Where would you consider constructing a small altar in your house or yard? Right next to my printer. It's where I have the most room for that sort of thing. Oh, and it's where the kids are least likely to take it into their heads that Jesus makes a rawkin' action figure.
4) If you could change one thing about your typical day, what would you change? Only 1 thing? Come now Cat, that's not fair! Tantrum Ok, 1 thing. I'd give myself more motivation. Since this whole carpal tunnel thing, I haven't felt like doing anything. I know I've got to get off my butt, yet it's so much easier to sit and wallow in self pity. Waa-a-a-a-a-ah! Now, who's calling my waahmbulance?
5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
Hmmmm looks like a good way to answer number 2!

Til next squeak,

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

2 hour Frankenstein party

Frankensmiley At least that's what I'm calling my EMG/nerve conduction study that was done yesterday. The urge to shout "It's ALI-I-I-I-I-I-I-IVE!!" was great, especially when those godforsaken electrified needles were shoved in my neck.
Seriously, although the experience was not as bad as I thought it would be, it's still pretty darn high on my personal not-cool-o-meter. Like a 9.5. Easily.
I had gone in to test for a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder area. Good times, good times. For about 3 weeks, my right arm has been bugging me. Ok, so I've wanted to gnaw it off in the night. It's been worse than I care to admit. Pain, numbness, and all that jazz. More than that though, I've hated how it's interfered with my life. In the last 2 months, I've gotten to be fairly active. Just a glance at my weight loss ticker will tell you that. I've been able to do more around the house, be more of a mother to my kids, and feel more like the wife I want to be to Mr. P. Until this nerve thing , that is.
When I went in, I was thinking that we'd figure out just where this stinkin' nerve got pinched so I could let my physical therapist know. (I start today!) Then, in a matter of a few days or weeks at most, I'd be back to normal, getting more active every day. That got shit all over, in plain words.
The tests showed I have severe carpal tunnel syndrome, and the doctor has recommended surgery. Somehow I feel like a fool. How does someone who doesn't do anything get this?! I kept asking him if it was because of my weight. (yes I'm actually clinging to the hope that if I just lose enough weight, I'll get my arm back...dumb huh?) Unfortunately, that's likely not the case. He said it looks like this all started about 10 years ago or more.
Sobbing Can you tell I'm not handling this well? I handled my cancer diagnosis years ago better than this! I know in my head that I'm being an ass, but I can't help it. I feel like a part of me has been stolen away. For about 3 years, I've been telling my doc that my arm and neck have been hurting...badly. He always said it was in my head, or better yet, in my fat. The one time I pressed the issue about my body pain, I was sent to the rheumatology department at UCONN. Guess what they said? Yup, in my head. So, I accepted it. It took about a year, but I did. The days when I couldn't even lift my blankie over my head because of the pain and weakness, I told myself to power through it. After all, it was just in my head. The days I couldn't do any housework because of the pain, I told myself it was because I'm a horrible wife and mother, even a rotten Christian. And now? Now I know it's because my arm was deteriorating, and I never knew it.
I can't help but think of my maternal grandmother. She died when my mom was 6. She had had gall stones that went undiagnosed til it was too late. They kept telling her it was in her head. I really just feel for her in a new way now. At least for me, it's just my quality of life and not my actual life that was put in danger. So much can be lost when doctors won't take patients seriously.
Anyway, I'm off my soapbox now. I'm still in shock about all this, and trying to process it. I don't think I'll ever really understand how I got to this point, but I'll leave that for God to know. Right now, all I can do is try to make an informed decision about what to do from here. I know I'm being a baby. And a drama queen. 3D Prom Queen If you guys would just pray for me? Help me get a grip? Heck, send me a cyber smack upside the head!
Oh, and if you ever have 2 hours of free time, I recommend a Frankenstein party. Maybe your doc will have his fly unzipped the whole time like mine did. At least that made it fairly amusing.

Til next squeak,

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