Sunday Glory

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Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”  Matthew 22: 37-39 NKJV

Gail 

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Coca Cola and Feeling Old

I had a good laugh recently with a complete stranger, an older gentleman in Zaxby’s. I had gone up to get some iced tea but as usual, their water/ice dispenser was not working so I was forced to get ice from the dreaded Coca Cola Freestyle beverage dispenser. You know the one I speak about. This contraption:

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I first came across The Coca Cola Freestyle beverage dispenser many years ago when I was in a Firehouse Subs. I believe Coca Cola started rolling them out somewhere around 2009 or 2010. While standing there feeling like I was looking at some sort of alien, it was explained to me that it was Coca Cola’s brand new beverage machine and it provided 100+ beverage options (way too many).

The flavoring agents are contained in cartridges (similar to your desktop printer cartridges but without the ink). Anything with a touch-screen intimidates my 58-year-old brain and this was no exception. But, I thought, how hard can this be? So I attempted to get a cherry coke by myself while I’m sure the teenagers behind me had a good laugh. I couldn’t get it to work. I don’t know if I wasn’t fast enough or was just doing something wrong, but the darn screen kept changing. My takeaway was that getting a coke shouldn’t be this hard. Feeling ever so flustered, I finally gave up and stomped away with an empty cup while spouting off to my husband that I didn’t realize I needed a Ph.D. to work a coke machine. Thank goodness our rocket scientist son was with us and he got his poor technophobe mom with a dislike for touch screens of any kind, her coveted cherry coke.  Oh, and by the way, I read that aerospace engineers (i.e., rocket scientists) helped invent the Freestyle dispenser. Yeah, really. Now that made me laugh.

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Every place I go that has these machines always has just one machine. And there is always a line because there’s too many decisions. You stand there and wait while people “figure out their flavor.” And then you actually have to get the darn thing to work. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t think the coke in these freestyle machines tastes the same. I’ve always wondered if it’s all coming out the same dispenser, then isn’t some of the drink that the person ahead of me just chose coming out in my cup too? Is that why it never tastes right to me?

So that night at Zaxby’s when I realized I was going to be getting my ice from the Freestyle machine (I can handle getting ice), I had to get behind the elderly gentleman who bless his heart, stood at the machine trying to simply get a coke. When I realized he was having trouble, I immediately broke out in a sweat thinking that I might have to offer him some assistance (talk about the blind leading the blind). He fidgeted with the machine for a minute, pressing more buttons than a pilot in the cockpit of a 747. Turns out the machine was just OUT of coke as hubby informed me it had “told” him that minutes earlier when a screen had popped up telling him to make another selection. The elderly gentlemen then decided on Dr. Pepper and after a couple of minutes, he finally succeeded. He turned around and shaking his head with eyes wide, I heard him sigh in relief. I smiled and told him I always have trouble getting drinks from “these type” machines too and if truth be known, I usually had to get my son to get my drink for me.  He smiled and then confessed that he usually had his daughter operate it for him! We had a good laugh and went on our way.

I’ve given up soft drinks since first coming across the Coca Cola Freestyle machines in that Firehouse Subs. I hear the Freestyle dispensers are a big hit with the teenagers who love the design concept. I realized the other night that I must be getting old because I let a coke machine give me anxiety. Lord, help me.

Gail 

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Think About Such Things

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Gail ♥

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Stifle Yourself/Stifle Joint

Remember how Archie Bunker was always telling Edith to stifle herself?

Poor Edith.

Also did you know the knee-joint in a horse or other quadruped is called a stifle joint?  It’s the joint between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) of the rear leg.  

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Gail ♥

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Tardiness Lessons

This post is in response to the WordPress daily one-word prompt:  Tardy

My husband attended a private Christian College where he was required to take Bible courses and attend chapel. I remember him telling me about one of his Bible professors, who on the first day of class told his students that he would under no circumstances put up with tardiness. He said each class period, when the bell rang, the students had better be in their seats ready to learn because when that bell rang, he would close the door and not allow any tardy student to enter his classroom.

He wasn’t kidding. My husband recalls one particular day when the bell rang and there was a student dashing to get inside the classroom door. The professor already had his hand on the door knob and was pulling the door closed. What ensued was a small tug of war of the door between the professor on the inside of the classroom and the student on the outside. I guess you can probably guess who won that battle. The professor did not allow the student to enter the classroom and proved that he had meant what he had said about tardiness.

I can’t recall ever being late to a class in college or veterinary school. I was usually early if anything. When I was a senior in veterinary school and doing my clinical rotations, we had to do a two-week farm animal ambulatory rotation and a two-week Equine ambulatory rotation. We rode to farms in full-service trucks which were stocked with medicines and other medical equipment.

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photo credit: UTCVM

There was this one professor in farm animal ambulatory who the students always dreaded riding with. Rumor had it he was very strict and stern, didn’t seem to care much for students, and you didn’t dare be late or he would flat leave you. Rumor also had it that in this doctor’s ambulatory truck, on the front seat, was a file box filled with index cards.  41pCLocd86L._SL500_AC_SS350_On each index card were questions. The questions could pertain to any disease or condition pertaining to cows, sheep, goats, pigs, etc. Any livestock or anything pertaining to large animal medicine was game.  Usually on route to the farm call, he would pick a student (usually 2-4 students went on each farm call) and tell that student to open the box and pick a card. The student then had to pick the card, read it aloud and attempt an answer or discussion of the scenario. And then the students were drilled. And rumor had it that this professor never seemed to give out good grades no matter how well you felt you had performed on the questions or the farm calls. I’ll admit, I was terrified to ride with this doctor. I won’t even tell you what my classmates used to dream of doing to that file box that rode on the front seat of that ambulatory truck.

 

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goat-2664466_960_720One day while on farm animal ambulatory, our group was told that a call had come in.  We were to meet at a certain time and ride with this professor to perform some reproductive palpations. This farm was far away. When it came time, my two classmates who were on the rotation with me, were nowhere to be found. Like I said, this professor did not tolerate tardiness. If you weren’t there with bells on ready to go at the designated time, he wouldn’t wait around and would leave you. It dawned on me when the professor looked at me and said, “I guess you’re it, Let’s Go!” that I would be riding solo with him. I would be getting all the questions and getting all the drilling. I didn’t know whether to throw up or wet my pants. I kept hoping and praying my classmates would show. I may have even tried to stall him because according to my clock my classmates still had 2 minutes to show up.

clock-2102135_960_720They didn’t show and so I rode solo that day. I literally shook in my boots. But I never saw the dreaded file box of questions that day (and believe me, it was the first thing I looked for when I got in the truck), nor was I ever drilled. It seemed like we drove for hours upon hours to get to the farm. Our conversation was sparse and casual and mostly pertained to veterinary school in general. The call went smoothly (I found him to be a good teacher and I learned a lot from him that day) and soon we were on our way back to the school. I found this professor was amiable, maybe a little shy, but didn’t seem too terribly hard to get along with as I had heard. Perhaps, maybe all the things I had heard about him were simply rumors? By the time we made it back to the school, I was breathing a whole lot easier. My opinion of this professor had changed. And then I received my grade from him for the rotation and my grade was lower than what I felt it should have been. I was more than disappointed but certainly grateful that I had not been tardy that day. In the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of grades my tardy classmates received in that rotation.

Gail ♥ 

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When Having Candid Conversations With Your Kids About Sex Isn’t Always Easy

This post is in response to the WordPress daily one-word prompt: Candid

Warning: This is a candid post that contains some sexual content!

I always say my kids lost their sweet innocence of childhood when they went to Middle School. By that, I mean that their naivety about certain subjects flew right out the window. When they started elementary school, one of my greatest joys was driving them to school. I have such sweet memories of dropping them off in the car rider’s lane and them turning around and blowing me kisses right before they turned and ran into the school.  I remember the day another mother witnessed my oldest son who was a six-year-old first grader, blowing me a kiss.  I had my car windows down and she happened to walk by my car as he blew that kiss. She smiled and said, “Enjoy that while you can mom, because in a few years, he’s going to act like he doesn’t know you!” Her comment made me laugh but also made me feel a tiny bit sad because I knew it was true.

I enjoyed driving my sons to school and picking them up. It was a time to hear about homework, their thoughts on school, their friends, and how their day had gone. Towards the end of elementary school, my boys decided they wanted to be school bus riders. Since I didn’t have too many fond memories of riding the school bus myself, I balked a little at first. But then I gave in. Why not? And from that point on, they were school bus riders until they got their driver’s licences and started driving themselves to school.

 

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One afternoon I was preparing dinner and chopping onions. I heard the squeaky brakes of the school bus coming down the street and I knew my oldest son would be walking in soon from middle school. He had just started the 7th grade and Ms. Kathy, the school bus driver (who I liked a lot and who knew my kids well and watched out for them), ran the middle school and high school routes and then went back to pick up the elementary school kids. So my youngest, still in elementary school, wouldn’t be home for another hour.

My oldest son walked in the door, and as usual, went straight for the refrigerator while saying hello. I asked him how his day had gone. He managed to grunt out a “fine,” but looked like he was in deep contemplation about something. I continued chopping onions. Then my son out of the blue said, “Mom, what’s oral sex?” Well, let me tell you, my jaw dropped and I about chopped my finger clean off with the knife I was using to chop those onions. I tried not to show how stunned I was and replied, “Where did that come from?” My son then told me that he overheard some kids talking about it on the back of the school bus. Of course.

I had always been candid with my kids especially where the facts of life were concerned.  I knew too many kids from my childhood whose mothers didn’t adequately prepare them for menstruation or ever have the talk with them about where babies come from. I didn’t want my kids hearing those things from anyone else but their parents. Because I remembered the things that kids talk about on playgrounds. We had had the talk about where babies come from. But in all honesty, this question totally caught me off guard and threw me for a loop and I found myself at a total loss for words. I knew I needed to think about my answer and choose my words carefully and so I said to my son, “I tell you what, why don’t we have a talk about that after dinner, because right now, your mom’s got to get this meatloaf finished and in the oven and get the rest of the food for dinner prepared. Okay?” He agreed and went on his merry way. I proceeded to break out in a cold sweat anticipating how I was going to answer this question. But I got through it.

Then a short time later, the question of masturbation came up. Again, he had heard about masturbation from someone at middle school. For some reason, telling him about sexual intercourse and how babies were born seemed like a piece of cake compared to this question. In all honesty, I really struggled with this one.

I decided I would do better reading to him out of a book. I didn’t want to stammer or stutter and I wanted my son to have the proper facts. I didn’t want to mess this up. I had this book on my book shelf.

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I generally agree with most everything Dr. Ruth says and I usually like that she is so candid where sex is concerned. But the problem is, I had not read the book yet. I made a big mistake sitting my son down that night, and turning to the section on masturbation without having looked it over for myself first. In this book, Dr. Ruth writes as if she’s really talking to a kid. She started the masturbation section out by explaining what sexual arousal is, and what happens to our bodies during arousal– i.e., erections and vaginal lubrication. So far so good. Then she goes on to say that some boys and girls masturbate by touching their genitals to feel good. And that after puberty begins, the urge to masturbate will probably become stronger and more frequent. She goes into detail how masturbation is performed in each of the sexes. I’ll skip those details.

Here is where I started to have a problem with this book. Dr. Ruth explained that boys often like to look at sexy pictures in magazines when they masturbate (and that for some reason that sort of thing usually doesn’t interest girls that much). Then she goes on to say that if kids have such magazines, they need to make sure their parents understand that the magazines are their private, personal property. Okay, did Dr. Ruth just tell my son that it was okay to look at porn? Yes, I do believe she did! Then she goes on to explain that masturbation is normal and explains away some of the myths associated with masturbation. Like how masturbation won’t make you blind or retarded, it won’t make boys run out of semen, it won’t affect your sex life when you get older and it won’t make girls get pregnant and it won’t make you a bad person. She goes on to say that there’s nothing wrong with NOT masturbating. I was okay with her explaining all that, just not the looking at porn part.

I continued reading aloud and was sorry I did. Dr. Ruth went on to say that masturbation should always be done in private. It was this next part that I had a real problem with.  Here’s exactly what she said:

Close your door if you do it in your room, and make it clear to your family that they’re not to walk into your room without knocking. If you’re afraid they’ll barge in, you can put a piece of heavy furniture in front of the door.

At that point, I quietly closed the book shut and quit reading. I took a deep breath. Not only had Dr. Ruth said porn was okay, she had just told my child that it was okay to push his dresser or other piece of  heavy furniture in front of his bedroom door, to barricade himself into his bedroom as a way of keeping his family out while he masturbated. I had to clear a few things up with my son, who if I remember correctly, was laughing at this point. I grew up in a household where my sisters and I were not allowed to even lock our bedroom doors. My father was always strict about that. I think my parents were always concerned about fire and that was their reason for them not wanting us to lock our doors, but I also never really felt a need to lock my bedroom door.

So I had learned a valuable lesson. Always, always read these types of books before you decide to read them aloud to your kids! Because the advice they give may not coincide with the advice you would give them and the author’s values may differ from your values. Lesson learned.

Gail ♥  

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Sunday Glory

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Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

    – James 1:2-3

Gail 

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