Thursday, October 13, 2011


This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

The last time Mrs. Jenny gave us the letter Z as an assignment, I expounded on Zimmerman's Famous Pig Wilber from Charlotte's Web.

Mrs. Jenny?  Can I get extra credit for using a big word in that last sentence?  Oh, and also extra credit for using a literary reference?  I just want to be sure because I'm going to be talking about a cartoon show for the rest of this post and I don't want it to lower my grade.

Zoinks! - An exclamation. Made popular by the character Shaggy on the television show Scooby Doo. Often used by itself to express fright, panic or fear.

Zoinks!  It was the first word that jumped into my head when I started thinking about this week's post.  Shaggy would usually say it right before he and Scooby would run from a scary situation.

I am dealing with a scary situation and though I am not panicking or frightened, "zoinks" was what I was saying to myself on Friday afternoon when I found myself without a job.  I probably would be like Shaggy, but for the fact I've been through this before and the Lord has always provided.  Hubby and I have even lost our jobs the same week.  Princess was a baby and Son was in elementary school. 

Even though we couldn't see it at the time, the Lord provided a series of opportunities that lead to us a couple of years later to moving to Arizona where Son could find a loving, Christian wife and Hubby could start his own business...all because of that one moment in time.

Now, instead of saying "Zoinks!" about the situation, I'm saying "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) and "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works." (Ephesians 2:10a)

So, I am going to take this opportunity to see the good works I can perform in service to Him.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yellow Scarf

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

To celebrate those first beautiful crisp mornings of fall and the first hint of October color in the trees, I am posting this picture from Princess.  She was excited that it was cool enough to finally wear the yellow scarf I got for her at Harry Potter World.  If you are 'Potter Literate', you will recognize she is a Hufflepuff.

Enjoy the beauty of Fall!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Xavier Valls

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

Instead of my typically "wordy" blog entry, I thought I would share a couple of paintings by Xavier Valls.  The choices were made based upon my being partial to windows, doors, and winding paths.  I like to imagine the possibilities at the end of the lane, around the bend, outside the window, etc.  It probably comes from sitting in a drab office cubicle all day.

I love the way Xavier uses soft and subtle colors.  I find them soothing.  I hope you enjoy these and check out other paintings from this wonderful artist.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Winnebago Day

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

Today I have decided to share something I wrote back in 2005.  It is easy to tell this is ‘vintage’ Life in the Stressed Lane as Princess hasn’t been in afterschool care in ages. 

I pulled it out because my mind is overwhelmed to the point that my thinking process is working about as well as running underwater.  It is a weird feeling and I need some perspective to get my mind and soul back on track.  Here we go...

It’s been one of those days where I’m so busy that I forget to eat or remember to take a bathroom break.  I must be the only one on my team in my office because I’ve gotten tons of stuff dumped on me at the last minute that have to be done “right now”. 

I almost forgot to pick up my daughter from after school care before they closed for the evening.  Usually when I get this busy, I can call my husband on his cell phone and he’d pick her up.  Guess what?  His day has been just as hectic and he was in the middle of handling a “crisis”.  Notice the quotes.  By “crisis” I don’t mean life or death, I mean “extremely urgent to fix or we will lose money”.  My stuff was like that too.  To my company it was a “crisis”.  But in the grand scheme of things, it will not even be remembered next month.

Anyway, back to my day.  I was too wiped out to cook supper (not good for the waistline…fast food means “fat” food). 

My husband was actually too wiped out to even eat supper.  Our daughter was caught in the middle because we were both too tired to really listen to her and give her the attention she needed.  Oh did I mention that I had a few hours of work to do after supper?  I’m sure you can probably relate and even say “been there, done that, Lisa and survived to tell the tale.” 

Later that evening my husband came into my office to say he was going to bed.  He surprised me by saying, “Why don’t we just sell everything, buy a Winnebago and park it in your parent’s back yard.  When they get tired of us, we’ll drive to another relative’s house and just keep going from relative to relative.”

You know, that sounds quite tempting.  Few responsibilities, no debts, no cash flow issues with my husband’s company, no one calling and wanting something from us.  It would be almost like being back in college.  We could just run away.  Kinda like one of my favorite children’s books.  It is called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and it’s by Judith Viorst.

Alexander was having a really bad day.  Everything was going wrong.  I mean his mother even forgot to pack dessert in his lunch!  Every couple of pages Alexander would say, “I’m having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  I think I’ll go to Australia.”  At the end of the book, his mother comes in his bedroom to tuck him in and kiss him good night.  She tells him, “Some days are like that, even in Australia.”

We can’t run away from stresses of every day.  We can’t just sell it all and pack up a Winnebago and go.  Well, maybe technically we can, but it won’t make all the problems go away.  All we can do is change our response to them and our attitudes toward them.  All we can do is prioritize what’s happening and saying “no” or maybe “tomorrow” to the things of lower importance.  All we can do is pray to God for strength, patience and wisdom to get through the day without going insane or killing someone.

Winnebago days happen.  They will always happen, even if you park the Winnebago in Australia. 

All we can do is learn from them and use those lessons to make the next day a little easier.

“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.  You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”  James 5:10-11 [NIV]

Lisa Hilton
Copyright 2005
Squirtdobber Enterprises

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Very Quiet

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

Thank you to all of the kind readers who left comments of encouragement as Hubby and I face the ‘empty nest’.  Though I am enjoying not having to dodge many pairs of shoes by the door to the garage and huge piles of stuff in every room Princess visited, I cannot get used to how very quiet it is in our house.

Some of you may be thinking, “I’d love a little peace and quiet around my house.”  So would I.  After all, Hubby is still around and wherever Hubby is, the TV is on…loud…very loud…very, very loud…so loud I can’t think. 

Something about the testosterone in a man’s body requires him to have loud background noise and adding accompanying flickering pictures on the screen has almost risen to the “require” stage.  But I digress…

Now you are probably thinking, “Why on earth is Lisa saying it is very quiet in her house?”  Well, Princess is chatty. 

Princess is witty. 

Princess is dramatic.

Princess is silly

and can often be downright funny (especially when interacting with Hubby). 

Princess likes to talk about fashion and decorating and art. 

Princess loves to share her unique view of the world. 

And, Princess loves to share her day.

I remember Hubby spending several days at home during this past school year because the weather was too bad to work outside (he’s a decorative concrete contractor/manufacturer).  Therefore, he was home when Princess came home from school in the afternoon.  These particular days happened to be prior to mid-terms and with 5 advanced placement classes, Princess was quite stressed.  Actually, Princess was extremely stressed. 

What Hubby did not realize was that as soon as Princess would come in the door, she would start talking in an extremely loud and animated way about her day. 

Imagine a very large balloon with the air being released and how the balloon deflates as the pressure goes down.  That would be Princess after her day of being cooped up at school. 

Hubby was not prepared for the onslaught.  Even worse, Hubby has to “fix it” and Princess didn’t need anything “fixed” she just needed someone to listen and when she was done saying what was pent up inside, she would be fine.  Trying to “fix it” only made the onslaught continue and sometimes would lead to disagreement and tears. 

“Fixing it” must be another testosterone thing. 

He couldn’t wait until I would be the recipient of Princess’ after school greeting.

I, however, did not mind the daily onslaught.  I understood Princess needed someone to just listen and that Princess needed to release all of the pent up energy and unsaid words because she was cooped up at school all day.  Besides, I never, ever had to ask “How was your day?”  And Princess never, ever answered with just the word “fine.”  I was truly blessed.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unavoidable Change

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

My life has been a massive whirlwind of change over the last several weeks.  I’ve felt like Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz and many projects have blown out of the house…including this blog.  The dust is settling and though I don’t see life in Technicolor quite yet, the sepia tones are brightening with the promise of full color.  Let me catch you up on the last 8 weeks.

Princess turned 18 on August 11th.  My baby is a grown-up!

Son turned 27 on August 15th.  I don’t feel old enough to have a son pushing 30.  Looking in the mirror tells a different story, but I don’t feel it.

Hubby has been able to visit Son, Daughter-in-Law, and baby Rya in Arizona,

but I had to stay home. 

All spare time between my last post and August 18th has been spent organizing, buying, packing, and hauling Princess off to college.  We had her ‘land yacht’ (a 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis called Beast) and our crew cab truck filled to the brim with stuff. 

I was really dreading the unloading to the second floor of the dorm.  But, much to the delight of Princess (and Hubby’s back), the football team was assigned to carry stuff from cars to rooms.  I think they were also checking out the new crop of pretty girls. 

Three loads to the room and three Wally World trips later, Princess and a whole lot of stuff were in a small dorm room with a roommate and a whole lot of her stuff.  My baby is in college!

I am very thankful that Harding University takes great pity on parents of freshmen.  We were able to stay through Friday to help Princess with class registration and getting her books as well as attending “parent informational sessions”.  By Friday night’s devotional, Princess had collected a whole auditorium row of new friends.  She was extremely happy and excited.  I think that is what made it easier to leave on Saturday afternoon.  Neither Hubby nor I were blubbering while driving home…which was a surprise to both of us.

It was very, very quiet when we returned to the house.  I’ll write more about that next time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mmm Mmm Refreshment!

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

Like most of the United States, here in Tennessee we are experiencing much higher than average heat and humidity.  Yesterday's heat index was 105 degrees Farenheit.  When I lived in Arizona, it would regularly get to over 105 degrees, but it feels so very different than this hot, muggy, summer air.

I'm so very spoiled today.  I enjoy air conditioning at work, air conditioning in my car, and air conditioning at home.  When I was growing up, we had open windows, fans, and sometimes a room with a very noisy window air conditioner. 
My little brother and I spent a lot of time outside in the shade where we were more likely to find a cool breeze and (if it was on or we could talk Mom into turning it on) we would run through the water sprinkler in the yard.

But my favorite way to cool off was when Dad would bring home a nice, cold watermelon.  He would cut it outside and give us each a big wedge with lots of black seeds (which would often lead to a seed spitting fight between my brother and I).

Juicy.  Yummy.  Mmm.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

51 years ago this past Sunday (June 5th), these two crazy kids promised to:

Love...they still look at each other the same way.

Honor...they always show respect for each other.

Obey...actually, they work together more like a team, but when Dad makes the final decision, Mom goes along for the ride.

For Richer...they are still waiting for it to happen as far a money goes, but when it comes to the important things of this life, they are two of the richest people on earth.

For Poorer...the most frequent state as far as money is concerned.

In Sickness and Health....they are blessed to have enjoyed more health than sickness.

'Til death do us part...I'm praying this doesn't happen for a very, very long time.

And I am so glad they did!  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

It is official.  Princess is now a high school graduate.  Here are a few words and photos that describe last Saturday morning.

Grandparents in attendance.

Is that a grimace or a grin on Princess' face?

A solemn gait on the way to the podium.

Giddy anticipation.

Pure glee!

And now we are waiting for Princess to gaily start looking for gainful summer employment.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Everything Changes

This post is brought to you as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  Click the button on the right to join the fun.

Me: "Princess.  Wednesday is your last day of High School!  Are you excited?"

Princess: "Ummm.  Not really."

The next day...
Hubby:  "You're getting ready to graduate from High School!  Are you excited?"

Princess:  "Ummm. Not really."

Several church friends:  "Hey! You're graduating from High School!  Are you excited?"

Princess:  "Ummm. Not really."

Me (via text message): "happy last day of high school!  i'm proud of you!  love ya bunches & bunches!!!"

Princess (via text reply): "Aww love you too.  I am skipping 8th to spend my last few moments with my best friends." --- I guess that doesn't count against you on the last day.

Last Night...
Me: "Princess.  Today was your last day of High School!  Are you excited?"

Princess:  "Ummm.  Not really."

What is wrong with my daughter?  Everything is changing for her and she's so nonchalant about it all.  I think I was jumping up and down when I graduated (Mom - tell me if I'm wrong).

I'm not nonchalant about it at all.  I still keep seeing the pre-school, kindergarden graduation, and all of those 'first day of school' moments through the years. 

They don't say little forever. 

They continually grow...

and exasperate...

and make you proud...

and make you cry...

and make you laugh. 

I can't believe time has flown by so fast.  In a couple of months we will be driving Princess to college and helping her move into her dorm room.  Everything will change for her and everything will change for us.

I'm not sure I'm ready.  I just know I can't stop it.

Congratulations Princess!!!