But my friend Genevieve is and she made this video about Lupus for the month of May, which is Lupus awareness month (I’m guessing you didn’t know that…I didn’t until a month ago when said friend Genevieve posted her 2012 awesome video). So take 4 minutes of your life, watch this video (informational and funny, double whammy) and then think about what you can do to help end Lupus forever.
Others have probably said this in more intelligent and eloquent ways, but here’s my stab at it. I just finished watching the movie Blue Like Jazz. I highly recommend it. I loved the book by Donald Miller and I’m not sure why it took me so long to see the movie. But I did, and near the end, the main character Don says something about misrepresenting God. And I realized then that this was the phrase I’ve been looking for to express my feeling for quite some time now.
You see, I’ve gone to seminary and I’ve spent all of my life in churches and leading Bible studies and preaching and teaching and reading. And yet I still see how skewed my view of God is and how badly I show Him to the world. And while I won’t confess the shortcomings of others, I suspect I’m not alone. Because here’s the thing: God loves people. All people. Whether they want to be loved or not. The Bible is a love story. A love story about a God trying to love His people.
The book of Hosea is a weird book. There is this prophet, a man who speaks for God, and God tells him to go marry a prostitute. That’s weird. Like kick you out of the church weird. And I wonder about stories like this in the Bible. How did Hosea know it was God telling him to do that? What did he say to his friends and family? But Hosea did it and loved Gomer the prostitute. But she didn’t want to be loved. She wanted to go prostitute herself. And get herself sold into slavery. And so Hosea had to go rescue her; buy her back; bring her back. He loved her. I don’t know how. I don’t think I could have done it. But he did it, and you know, I think he did it because he loved God and he knew that God loved him. And God loves me. And you.
I don’t love people like I should. Not like God would, not like Jesus did. And so I misrepresent God.
Well, I’m not exactly nowhere, as this tiny little town out in the plains of Colorado is technically somewhere, but the lack of dining and entertainment options has really started to take its toll after 4 days and I am ready to get out of here. Tomorrow’s the day and I’ll be headed to a big city for a bit, and then home to my lovely wife and 3 dogs, all 4 of whom I miss dearly. But since that comes in a few days and I’m bored now, here are some things that I think I think.
1. I think that even though you aren’t supposed to get sentimental about things made out of metal that run on gasoline, it was a sad day when last week my dad texted me to tell me the my mower had finally given up the ghost. I bought it about 20+ years ago with some of the proceeds from my growing lawn mowing business and it served me and my dad faithfully, mowing literally thousands of lawns for a really long time. Not a bad return on less than $100 and some gas and oil money. It was a trusty steed for longer than it should have been and for that, I am grateful.
2. I think that it is weird that the rental car companies keep giving me mini-vans to drive. I do not like mini-vans. They are not fun to drive, they take up too much space, and they are entirely too wasteful for one person to be driving around. And yet this week I got my 3rd one. It isn’t the end of the world by any means, but it just seems weird to me.
3. I think that there are few things that are as hit or miss as hole-in-the-wall diners. I had meals that have gone both ways this week. Some good, some bad, some ok. But there is a sense of adventure about pulling up to a place, looking it over and saying, “Well, this could go either way but we’re here so we might as well try it out.” At least the people are usually nice, so that is something.
4. I think that I had no idea that real life cowboys still wore spurs on their boots until two of them walked into the restaurant last night. Spurs! Like the metal kind that clink when you walk…who knew? I also like the fact that in many rural areas overalls are still considered a vital piece of clothing that it worn all over the place. I guess it is convenient for working in.
5. I think that wide open spaces and blue sky and never ending prairies are nice, but not really for me for living. I guess it takes a special kind of person to live in kind of an area, or maybe they just grew up there and enjoy it because it is what they are used to. But as for this city boy, not so much. I do suppose it takes all kinds though, so I am happy to let them have their space and crops and livestock and barns.
6. I think that I now understand why my wife is constantly trying to get me to lower my voice in public. Last night in the restaurant there was a guy that was talking SO LOUD and it was phenomenally annoying. And really, there isn’t any way to go tell someone that they are being unbelievably loud and that no one else cares about your life without being rude. So there you sit, just listening to something you don’t want to.
I think that’s about all I have to say now, but hopefully spring has finally sprung wherever you are and the sunshine and warm weather has made you happy.
Love and sweatpants.
Here are some things that I think I think…
1. I think that seeing The Lone Bellow play a show here in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago was incredibly awesome. It had been way too long since I’d see Zach Williams play live in person and I have been lacking because of it. You know it is a good show when you go home and listen to the band’s music for the next week. If The Lone Bellow are playing anywhere near you you owe it to yourself to go see them. The live experience of wonderful people making amazing music and leaving it all on the stage is not to be missed.
2. I think that speaking of music, I can’t stop listening to the following bands: the aforementioned Lone Bellow, Lord Huron, and the Alabama Shakes. If you aren’t familiar with any or all of these guys you need to check them out.
3. I think that I’ve ventured into some new and unknown territory. Yes, I broke down and joined Twitter. You can follow me at @samfielder22 but I can’t really promise anything remotely interesting or entertaining. I’m trying to think of things that I can live tweet that might be funny, like standing in line at airport security, riding the rental car shuttle, or conference calls. But I suspect those things might A) get me on the TSA no-fly list, B) be too short and uneventful, or C) get me fired, so I’ll keep on working on my ideas. If you can think of things you want me to live tweet, hit me and let me know.
4. I think that this was the WORST pollen season EVER. My long-suffering wife disagrees and tells me that I say this every year (I don’t) and has seen/read an article about exaggeration where pollen/allergy season was used as the example, but I still stand by my assertion and I promise that next year I will NOT say the same thing. (Unless it actually IS the worst season ever, even worse than this season, then I will gladly bestow the title to 2014).
5. I think I was right when I was worried that winter was going to slide right into summer with little to no spring. It was nice for about a week here in Alabama and now it is muggy and hot. I want my spring back.
6. I think that having 3 dogs is great. When we only had 2 the thought of 3 was ridiculous and insane, but now that we have 3 I can’t imagine not having all of them.
7. I think that putting seeds into soil, watering them, and then watching them grow is one of the coolest things ever. If our garden manages to produce about half of what we planted we’ll be having you over for plenty of veggies…
I think that is about all for now, but thanks for reading.
Love and sweatpants.
Planting things, any kind of thing really, is one of my favorite rites of spring, right up there with baseball coming back, warmer weather, and clouds of pollen…well maybe not that last one. But anyway, I love putting plants in soil, watering them, and watching them grow. So you know I was excited when this Sunday became plants in the ground day for our new garden. Thanks to the Birmingham Plant Sale and a well timed Home Depot 2-for-1 seed sale we managed to get a pretty good haul of stuff for the garden for not very much. With enough left over for later in the year and possibly next year too.
Because this was a busy weekend for us we didn’t make it out to the plant sale until the very end which meant we ended up with the cast-offs and sale plants. I have no idea if this makes them weak and feeble or if they’ll grow strong and hardy because they have a chip on their shoulder since they weren’t chosen earlier. Either way though, they were cheap and looked decent enough, so we picked up some tomatoes and herbs and headed to Home Depot. Once there we grabbed seeds for two kinds of cucumbers, peppers, squash, corn, sunflowers, watermelon, carrots, and also got some more tomato plants and some other herbs and a pepper plant. It’s a pretty audacious list of stuff for our first attempt at a backyard garden, be we figured we’d see what took and did well and then keep going from there.
So we came home, grabbed our little trowels and gloves and got to work putting some seeds in the ground. I’m actually pretty excited about the whole thing and I really hope it isn’t an abject failure, or worse, that something awful like a terrible freak hailstorm or mid-summer freeze doesn’t happen to ruin our crop. We’re pretty sure we’ve got great soil, our watering system is working and rolling, and there is plenty of sun, so I think, (fingers crossed), we should be pretty good here.
We also planted some flowers in our window boxes and put some herbs in some containers. If everything turns out and we get just 1/4th of what we sowed, then we should be sitting pretty with plenty of veggies from late summer and into the fall, and plenty of color surrounding our back deck area for many months to come. Spring has sprung behind our house and it is a fantastic sight!
As we last left our intrepid gardening hero (that’d be me), there were all kinds of problems and nothing was working right. But such is life more often than not, and I think one of the main lessons that we’ll learn through our gardening experiment is that failures are to be expected and one must press on.
So press on we did. We dumped the wrong-sized gutter adapter for the rain barrel and found another one, being careful this time to make sure that it would actually fit our gutter. It was a special order of course, and it took forever to arrive, but once it did, it went in pretty smoothly. I ended up just measuring out how much space it would take up, cutting out that space from the downspout, attached the diverter, put in a few screws, got the hose positioned correctly, jammed it into the barrel, and stood back to admire my work. For all the hassle that the last job was, this one went incredibly smoothly and event free. Which was good since I’m not sure I could take another day like the last one any time soon…The rains came about a day later and even though it only rained about an inch or so, our barrel filled right up. It didn’t even overflow, which meant that the diverter was actually working the intended way! How great is that? So now that we had some water, all we needed was some warmer weather to be able to plant stuff. As things go, it was about a month before that would happen, so instead I found another project to occupy my time.
The impetus for us actually doing this garden this year was that the big rotten tree that shaded our whole back area was cut down. The removal of the tree was great and made us happy, but it also exposed some ugly wooden poles that come up off our back deck to hold up our deck lights. So I came up with the brilliant (If I do say so myself) plan to place a cross piece on top of the poles so that plants can hang down and there is some visual interest going on too. Initially I thought just the cross pieces but once I got them up there I realized they need something else so I got my talented wife to draw me some ornamental facing on a piece of wood that I then cut out and put on the front of the cross piece. I was quite pleased with the result and now we have more hanging greenery with color to decorate our deck.
So now all the prep is complete and it is time to put some plants in the ground…come back tomorrow for plants and more plants.
If you’ve read my blog at all you probably know that we have 2 great dogs, Parker and Luther. Parker is a 10 year old Weimaraner and Luther is a 7 year old Miniature Schnauzer and they certainly provide plenty of chaos in our house, not to mention messes. But we love them and they’re good dogs so it is totally worth it.
So last weekend we went to a benefit event for Weimaraner Rescue of the South which of course included an opportunity to either adopt or foster a Weim. It was tempting, much more for Kristen than myself, but throughout the whole event I kept saying that we had 2 dogs already and did not need another one, especially since we did not have a yard. We came to the consensus that we’d
find other ways of helping out the charity and the dogs without bringing one home. It was a good plan that lasted all of 36 hours…
I came to work Monday morning and pretty soon after arriving had a friend tell me that she needed my help and probably the help of my wife, who loves dogs (Yes, that is a true statement). It seems that the exact same weekend that we were at a benefit event not getting a dog, there was another benefit event for a different charity that was auctioning off a dog. A puppy even. A really cute puppy. And my friend and her husband had enjoyed the event and had a little too much to drink and started bidding when the puppy came up for auction. And kept bidding. And won. And took the puppy home that night.
At this point I’m laughing because this is 1) a hilarious story, and 2) what could have happened to us, but really was the opposite of what we did at our event. So my friend brings the dog home to 2 pugs and a 4 year-old and very quickly realizes that they’ve made a mistake. The pugs and the puppy don’t really get along and trying to train a puppy with a 4 year-old seems too daunting a task. So now, 3 days in, she’s got to find a place for this puppy. Did she mention that this puppy is a 10-12 week old Weimaraner? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Yes, you read that right. After being able to attend an event filled with reminders about Weims and NOT walking out with a dog, I can’t go a hour at work without getting offered one. One that needs a good home. A rescue. So at this point I start laughing again, this time at the absurdity of
the situation. After a few texts, emails, phone conversations, and sleeping on it, Kristen and I decided that logic and rationality could go out the window, as this puppy was too cute and we needed to be the ones to give her a good home.
So there she is. She’s sweet, curious, and asleep under my chair as I type this. The older dogs have seemed to tolerate her really well and she’s done really well with them too, so we’re hoping that continues. We never really thought we’d be a 3 dog family, but here we are, figuring things out as we go along. So welcome Lucy to the family and I have no doubt she’ll make many more appearances here as she grows!