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, November 28, 2008

Paw...your days are numbered!

Mwuhahahahaha! Mean Dear Right Paw, soon you will be sliced open and violently rearranged!

In case you can't tell, I'm formally announcing my surgery date! Clapping Hands
I'm so excited to finally be getting this stinkin' carpal tunnel syndrome taken care of!
I had my orthopedic appointment on this past Wednesday, and the doc greatly surprised me by getting me in for the surgery ASAP. Like Monday kinda ASAP.
So, my Dear Squeakers, after noon on Monday, I'll be out of commission for a bit until Doc Rodner gives me clearance to type again. By the time I'm back, I'm sure we'll have much to talk about.

Til next squeak,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Stuffed with gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Squeakers!
Today, I have much to be grateful for. God has blessed us here tremendously in this last year.
Speaking of which, doesn't it seem like 2008 just flew by? Crazy, huh? It really floors me to think that 9 years ago, Mr. P. was hoping I'd show up at the Turkey Bowl. Or 8 years ago, we were expecting Monkeyman and preparing for Mr. P.'s knee surgery. Or 7 years ago, it was MonkeyMan's very first holiday season. Then again, 6 years ago, it was our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife, and Tank was on the way. Hmmm. So 5 years ago, it was Tank's first Thanksgiving and man, that was a hard year.
Then 4 years ago, we didn't even bother. The kids were in foster care, and we were all alone. That year sucked.
3 years ago, things started getting better. The boys were back home for the holidays.
But then, things got worse. 2 years ago, we were going through the divorce and hated each other so much.
Finally, last year, God started working real miracles for us.
Last year, we started to really fall in love again. What a year!
And now this year? Well, we have so much to be grateful for. Smiles

I hope all of you can look back and see many things that bring a smile to your face today. I pray that you are all enjoying the holiday, and making many new memories.
After 9 years with Mr. P., there's one thing that's sticking with me today. I'm quite stuffed with gratitude for all the things we've survived, and all that we'll face in the future.

Til next squeak,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Well that just burst my bubble

Have I mentioned how much I hate politics, and all things associated with politics? Like, say, political agendas?
I'm pro-choice. I don't hide and I don't apologize for it. Yes, I'm a Christian. I don't hide and I don't apologize for it. Guess what? It's possible to be both, despite what you may think.
However, getting into a debate over all this BS will kill any joy you may have. Let me tell you, sistah. I Can't
Just yesterday, I was thinking about how in a few days time, I'll be going in for my orthopedic appointment for this carpal tunnel garbage. Then we'll know what's going to happen, if I'm having surgery, and when. Yay! But even better than the prospect of no more paw pain was the joy of looking forward to my future with Mr. P.
You see, he finally gave me the go-ahead for us to try to conceive our 3rd child as soon as I've recovered from the surgery. Morph That's something I've been wanting and dreaming about for awhile now. I was thisclose to letting myself browse around for baby items, to dream of baby names, and to plan how to parent our newest sweet little one.
But, after I just had to stick my nose into a conversation about ending abortion (please hear my sarcasm there), now I'm stuck feeling like the world's biggest pile of troll poo.
I don't know if we'll have any more kids. That's not really in my hands to decide. Frankly, we're not the kind of people who should be having kids, and I know that. Most days, I don't let it bug me. I let my heart speak for me, not my logical mind. But then there's days like today when I know that if we did conceive, we'd probably be best off aborting. And if we do conceive, I'm sure we'll hear all about what a mistake we've made. Some days, I'm not sure if I want to go through that again. Other days, I think about how I have yet to have a truly joyful pregnancy, and maybe this time it could be different. After all, we are older now, and married. But then again, not much else has changed.
If you don't struggle with these sorts of thoughts and emotional battles, be grateful. It's not a great place to be. It'll really burst your bubble.

Til next squeak,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mind of God, will of man

Typically I have some smarty-pants kinda title for my posts, but not today Dear Squeaker.
Today I "overheard" an interesting conversation. (as much as one can overhear anything online)
Someone asked if a person can influence what God will do, or change the course of what He's decided. In other words, can a person move God's hand? The example cited was Matthew 15:21-28, specifically NKJV.

21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” 23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

The emphasis here was on verse 25. The idea that although denied, the woman worshipped anyway, believing that Jesus would indeed heal her daughter despite His previous decision not to.

I'm gonna put a few other translations up (the one I use all the time is NIV) and then kinda tell you all what I think the key part is.

21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."
23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."
24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."
27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

The Message:
21-22From there Jesus took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. They had hardly arrived when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, "Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit."
23Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, "Now she's bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She's driving us crazy."
24Jesus refused, telling them, "I've got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel."
25Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees, and begged. "Master, help me."
26He said, "It's not right to take bread out of children's mouths and throw it to dogs."
27She was quick: "You're right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master's table."
28Jesus gave in. "Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!" Right then her daughter became well.

21Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon.
22And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed."
23But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us."
24But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
25But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"
26And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
27But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
28Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once.

21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”
24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”
25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”
26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

Amplified Bible:

21And going away from there, Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.
22And behold, a woman who was a Canaanite from that district came out and, with a [loud, troublesomely urgent] cry, begged, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is miserably and distressingly and cruelly possessed by a demon!
23But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, Send her away, for she is crying out after us.
24He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
25But she came and, kneeling, worshiped Him and kept praying, Lord, help me!
26And He answered, It is not right (proper, becoming, or fair) to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs.
27She said, Yes, Lord, yet even the little pups (little whelps) eat the crumbs that fall from their [young] masters' table.
28Then Jesus answered her, O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you wish. And her daughter was cured from that moment.

Ok, so that's probably enough translations huh? Thumbs Up Whew!
While each of the 6 different translations say verse 25 a little differently, they all keep verse 23 essentially the same and I think that's where we need to look.
Jesus never actually said "No.". Technically, He didn't say anything to her at first.
I think there's really 2 questions here, and they are 2 that people tend to lump together. Can you make God change His mind and can you make Him act in a different fashion than He originally did towards you?
I don't personally think we can make God change His mind. I think He has planned things much the way we do. Plan A and Plan B. Which plan He chooses depends upon our actions and choices. Sometimes, that choice might be prayer or worship. How often do we know a loved one (such as our spouse) wants something specific from us, but we wait for them to ask? I don't know about you, but I do it a lot. I don't think it's any different with God. He knew I really didn't want to get AF while I was sick this week. He waited to act until I asked Him to help me deal with it.
(incidentally, the answer I got to that prayer was not what I thought it'd be and that there is another great post too...well, not about AF but about being careful whatcha pray for...DOH)
Maybe sometimes God chooses not to answer, to have us wait, and we mistake the silence for a "No". Maybe sometimes He really does say "No" and after much prayer, the change we feel is the God-given ability to accept His answer. Maybe He's just waiting to hear from us, and maybe sometimes He's got a lesson for us in the waiting.
There's a lot we'll never clearly know about the mind of God and the will of man this side of Heaven. Those 2 concepts have been at odds since the Garden. And that's ok. It has to be. Because if you spend your time railing against it all you'll never fully enjoy the real beauty of God. That He really is waiting to hear from us every day. Our prayers, our praises, our tears, our joys. He wants it all. He can't complete His plans without it.

Til next squeak,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

G'morning Papa

~It's me. Do You have time to talk over breakfast? Are You too busy this morning? I hope not.
I've missed You.
How are You? Is that silly? Do Your other kids even ask You that anymore? I know so many of us say we know Your heart Papa, but really, how are You today?
We've been sick here, and always seem to end up running late getting out the door in the morning. What about You? Do You ever get frustrated getting Your angels up and running some mornings? Well, I bet that's got to be awesome to be able to welcome those of Your kids who were sick though. Get to tell them they don't have to worry anymore, right?
Thanks for sharing my coffee time with me Papa. Did I mention I missed You so much?
I know I haven't been the best daughter. Things have been busy lately. It's almost Thanksgiving. Don't You just love this time of year? Maybe it'd be better if more of us here would be thankful for the right things huh?
Speaking of thankful, Papa I know I haven't exactly been as grateful as I should be for all that You've given me. I'm so sorry. And I'm sorry I haven't been the kind of daughter You've needed me to be. Please forgive me? I love You.
Papa, can we do this more often? Make time for each other? I miss You.
We can? Anytime? Thank You!
You know, it's getting to be time to run my errands. I've gotta head out. I'm sorry Papa. Tomorrow we'll talk again. I promise to keep You in my mind and my heart today, especially when I'm dealing with the kids. Could You help me get through the day?
I love You.
I'll talk to You later Papa.
I promise.~

Til next squeak,

Monday, November 17, 2008

If you thought society was doing just fine...

You may just change your mind after reading this.

Granted, I use "meh" quite a bit myself, and I'm one of those world class geeks who really does lolspeak BUT "meh" isn't worthy of dictionary status. C'mon people.
Kinda makes you wonder what we'll see in about 15 years time.

Til next squeak,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On thick-headedness

I've been thinking about this. How many people do you know who've had their kids put into foster care? If you're reading this blog, then right now, you know at least 1. How many parents do you know of who've had DCF/CPS called on them? How about an opened case?
Not many? Yeah, I didn't think so. Believe me, those of us who have gone through the wringer don't really talk about it. So...I've been thinking about it.
I don't know if your perceptions are like mine were, but when you think of a family who's gotten themselves enmeshed with the State, what do you think? Probably some ghetto family, maybe a single mom, seriously neglected kids at the least and some major issues with the parents. Now keep that image in your head. What about that same family, only after the case is closed? Now what's your image like? Kids still in foster care, Mom's rights terminated? Or maybe the family is still whole, but they've gone back to their old ways, proving this "lesson" hasn't taught them a thing?
Yeah, I used to be right there with ya.
Actually, after our own experiences, I could give you quite a few other hypothetical outcomes. But here's the thing. Not all families who've been through the system turn out like any of those scenarios.
Let me tell you about us. One thing we learned early on in our DCF experience was to claim your issues, and take responsibility. Yes, ma'am. It's not the state's fault you screwed up; it's not your mama or your daddy's fault; it's not because you didn't have everything in life you always wanted. Honey-child, it's YOUR FAULT. And if you can't admit that, claim it, and change it, well, you're gonna be spending a lot of time hollerin' at the wind. Speaking of which...
Another thing we learned was that no matter how fair or unfair, right or wrong, legal or illegal you may feel the Department's actions or rules are, well, they just ARE. You can take that to the bank. It's kinda like arguing with the wind. You can waste your time and energy screaming at it all you want. You can tell it to you won't be effected by it. But then again, you can't see it. You can't tell with any certainty whether it's coming at you from the north or south. You may think it'll come in a roar, but then it could always surprise you by whispering through your town. You just never know, and you can never truly control it.
Now if you are a thick headed kinda person (much like we are), it could go 1 of 3 ways. The 1st thing that could happen is that you don't learn those things I pointed out above. You spend the whole time trying to tell the state what to do, and ultimately, your kids are taken. After that? Well, Parent #1 is still ramming her thick head against the wall, screaming about how she was wronged and is gonna get her babies back...1 day. The 2nd thing that could happen is you could try to be thick headed with the state, eventually realize it's not getting you anywhere, "play them", and once they close out, go back to your old ways. How long do you think it'll be before Parent #2 gets another DCF/CPS case opened? Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. Then the 3rd thing that could happen is you can take that thick headedness, channel it in productive ways against the state (the key here is the word productive), learn from your experience (ya thick headed doof) and make sure that once the case is closed, it never happens again.
I'm proud to say that we fall into the same category as Parent #3.
The one thing I've been really thinking on is that many people don't realize that there are Category 3 families out there. We do our best to make sure our kids are healthy, happy, and successful in school. We pray that God will give us the serenity to accept the things we can't change (like the DCF rules we will live by for the rest of our lives), the courage to change the things we can (like the situations that may have caused the case to be opened in the 1st place), and the wisdom to know the difference. (can you tell Mr. P. and I come from a long line of 12-steppers?)
All I'm saying is that when it comes us Category 3ers, give us a little grace. We're not calling you out on anything when we make comments about our parenting vs yours. Give us a little support. We still live each day in fear of that knock on the door. And give us your prayers. God knows us thick headed people need 'em.

Til next squeak,

Friday, November 14, 2008

This is a rant. This is only a rant.

! WARNING: If you are conservative in any way, shape, or form, I HIGHLY recommend skipping this post. Or if you're sensitive to foul language, because I make no guarantees that I'll be able to keep it rated G. Actually, unless you're a commie liberal freak like me, just stop right here. No good can come of it, except for you choosing to send me a nice pipe bomb for Christmas, or perhaps some kind of scathing comment.
Speaking of comments, I think I won't be publishing any on this post. After all, it's only a rant. Wink

I'm so done with people. Just call me Mrs. Hermit. Mostly, I'm done with conservatives, but particularly conservative Christians. (sorry to roughly 85% of my readership...can't say I didn't warn ya not to read this post!)
Ever since Election Day, my conservative McCain-anite counterparts have been more or less unbearable. Now, I'll allow that President-Elect Obama did not have my vote either, however there are certain things about politics that Christians need to come to terms with:
(emphasis mine)
Romans 13
Submission to the Authorities
1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

And then here:

1 Timothy 2
Instructions on Worship
1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Ok c'mon people. How about instead of all the complaining, the posturing, the self-righteous indignation...
We do as the Lord asks.
~Whoa. Back that truck up.~
Yeah I know, how dare I. But I do.
If I had a buck for every time I've heard something to the effect that now is our nation's time of judgement, or someone "questioning" Mr. Obama's Christianity, I could take my fam and buy a nice lil island somewhere. Ah peace and quiet.
It's time to get real, folks. Either live out your faith, or shut up. Stop grandstanding like a pouting 3 year old who didn't get his lollipop, and do what the Bible tells you to. And no, praying for Obama's assassination does NOT count, asswipe. No
Aside from all the politalk, it all boils down to this: conservatives know they're better/righter/godlier than the rest of us. But I ask, is that true? If they show they can't do much more than run their mouths after a defeat, really, how much better are they? Isn't that the kinda behavior us liberal bastards are supposed to indulge in?
Ah but I digress. So much to rant about, so little caring.
The truth of the matter is when I face the Lord at my demise (hopefully not by holiday pipe bomb), I'll probably be one of those wanna-be Christians who are turned away. May as well tell the truth and shame the devil as they say. But the flip side of that is that I just cannot bring myself to be more like them. I used to want that. Hell, I used to try to behave like that, think like that, talk like that. It worked for maybe 4 months before I became increasingly disgusted with myself.
I won't say I'll never be one of those conservative types. When it comes to God and what He can do, I've learned to never say never. I will say that I'm praying to never have my head shoved so far up my butt that I'm incapable of having compassion for anyone around me, or getting crazy-frothing-at-the-mouth offended at every single thing that's not within my definition of morality. Lord, please! If He decides one day that I need to be hopping on the conservative Christian bandwagon, hopefully He'll grant me the grace to remember where I've come from so that I can retain the characteristics I hold dear. If not, well, hopefully someone (Mr. P.) will flame me in a blog rant.
After all, it's only a rant.

Til next squeak,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Miss Muffet I ain't

Spiders. Bleck. Scared 2

When you live in the ghetto, you find 'em everywhere. And when it's 1 am, you can't really shriek over it. OK, so I really shriek over the 8-leggers, but anyway, I digress.

1:30 this morning, I'm in the bathroom. Think of it as my tuffet. It sets the scene nicely.
Minding my own business, a SPIDER decides to invade my bleary-eyed privacy by crawling on my bathtub. I can't scream for Mr. P. or 1 of the kids to come save me. No, it's all up to me to save the day. Well, night in this case.
So I grab the nearest potential spider-killer...a can of silver sparkles temporary hair color.
I can't really hit it with my kids' hair color (ewwwwww!) but I can spray it to death! Mwuhahaha!
I spray the nasty bugger but to no avail. Now I have a decidedly shiny creepy crawler running all over my bathtub.
Double crap. Oh Jeez
Ever get stuck sitting on a toilet at 1:30am, trying to kill a spider with hair color? If not, let me tell you that strange things will run through your head. Like, "Is this how emo or goth kids kill bugs? Hmmm. Nah, they probably keep 'em as pets. Or eat 'em. Something strange, no doubt." Or, "This is the way we kill our bugs, kill our bugs, kill our bugs."
Time to clean up and take care of this spidey lil menace.
So in the end, several little bathroom cups of hot water dumped in the tub did the job. I left a nice surprise for Mr. P. to clean up this morning.
Oh yeah, Miss Muffet I ain't.

Til next squeak,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday Meme

So it's back to the meme, even though it's not Monday. Should be fun!

1) What is the longest time you could spend alone with your significant other (and no one else) before needing a break or time with other people? Well, we have kids, so in reality we can't be alone for long stretches. But, hypothetically, a life time. Who's life time is another story.
2) Has there ever been a time in your life that a change has occurred that you strongly resisted but that turned out for the better? Oh yeah. I used to be such a hard person. I prided myself on that. In the last year, God has been "softening" me. It's been so difficult, but so rewarding.
3) What is gossip and why do people do it? I'd say that gossip is talking about others in a way that you wouldn't if they were present. People do it because frankly, it gets you a little high to have that talk, that "knowledge" of someone else without them knowing it.
4) If you could completely remove someone’s vocal cords for a year, whose would they be? Tank's. Oh yes, my youngest son's vocal cords would have to go. Ahhhhh sweet peace and quiet. The boy literally talks non-stop.
5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
It makes me think of the stairs you see on homes near the shore here. I've always wanted a house right on the beach, away from it all, away from people. Just me, Mr. P. and our kids. Ahhhhh sweet peace and quiet. Lordy I need a vacation.

Til next squeak,

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I am Jack's carpal tunnel.

I get inflamed and squish Jack's median nerve. Jack can't feel his fingers.

Ye-e-e-e-ah, so I saw Fight Club for the first time last night. Holy smokes! If you've never seen it before, you don't know what you're missing!
I will say that one should have a high tolerance for violence, foul language, and crude humor before considering watching this movie. However, if you fit that description, go for it! Join the dork side! We have cookies!
Now I'll sit back and wait for the inevitable comment (likely from Mr. P.) about how I just broke the 1st rule of Fight Club. No

Til next squeak,

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