Friday, April 23, 2010

My Blog is an Introvert

I know I haven't blogged much lately. Normally you might expect me to crash a Vespa into a wall in Rome, or something like that, to up the drama queen appearance of my blog... which, let's be frank, has been lagging since I got over my cancer. (In a dramatic aside note, though, the aforementioned Vespa incident anniversary is coming up. I'm wondering if anybody's thought about buying me a Vespa to celebrate? Anyone, Bueller?)

The thing is, I know my blog is "out there" and everything, but it's still, like me, an introvert. It processes the input from my crazy life internally, which as you can imagine, needs a constant fix on God, a healthy dose of solitude to keep that compass in check, a sense of humor, an occasional nap, and sometimes, an extra glass of wine. My blog does love company. Lots of it, and lots of other fun words that begin with com: community, compassion, communion, commas, compound sentences, complex carbohydrates (pairs well with that wine), and let's not forget comments. My blog may be shy, but it's not called blogintheshire.COM for nothing.

So in spite of the boredom we've all been experiencing from said, now embarrassed, blog, life has been anything but boring. So you'll be happy to know that my blog has not been sitting here being bored all this time. It's just been processing.

First, in post-cancer news, after my last non-cancer-patient-but-simply-maintenance visit to my oncologist, I got my tumor marker number. My tumor marker, or CA 2729 if you want to get all technical about it, is 19. They tell me that anything 39 and below is good. I'd heard about tumor markers. I didn't know anything about them. I wasn't exactly jealous for one of my own, but I did wonder, "Twinkle, twinkle little marker. What in the world you are?" a little bit. I still don't know much more than what I just typed, but I'm good with good. So yay for my teenage tumor marker! As for my Vitamin D report card, well, that wasn't very enriching. I think I flunked that one. I only got a 13.4 out of the desired 30-80 and have to take a mega-dose D (50,000IU) once a week until I bring that D up. My next scheduled maintenance appt. with my oncologist is May 17. Fingers crossed!

In other breaking news, spring did. Twice!

Amanda and I spent her spring break at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference near Santa Cruz, CA. One of the best weeks ever. I spent it soaking up the sun, rubbing shoulders with an amazing community of writers, taking notes while sitting in Lynn Vincent's (Same Kind of Different as Me, Sarah Palin's Memoir, Going Rogue, Never Surrender... she is a ridiculous amazing writer) class on narrative non-fiction, being challenged and inspired by Charlie Peacock, the conference key-note speaker, delighting in the effervescence of my Amanda, and praying about and pursuing the possibility of writing a book about my cancer chapter. I came with a working title and a preface. I went away with lovely lot of new friends, and traction to write the book. The working title is, Shaken, Not Stirred... a chemo cocktail mix. I am currently working on chapter 3, and chapter 4 is on deck. I'm so excited I can barely catch my breath. I hope you'll keep praying me through this book like you prayed me through my cancer chapter.

As soon as I got back from the West Coast with Amanda, the boys and I packed the van with flip flops, the X-Box 360 and a couple of their friends, and road tripped to the other Coast to visit my sister at Folly Beach, SC. Yes, I drove 12 hours (in a row) (each way) with 4 teenage boys, in a gray rental van I'll call The Walrus. We left the driveway with "I'm on a boat" setting the beat, and well, they don't call it Folly Beach for nothing. We had a whale of a time.

Once we caught sight of the Cincinnati skyline on our way home, we all came down with a mysterious case of senior-itis that none of us have really recovered from. It is especially bad at the Evanshire. It's almost as if we are all three graduating. Although, I don't actually have my own cap and gown, which was an regretful oversight in my lesson plans this year. I really wanted a tassel that says Twenty-10 to hang from my rear view mirror. I have been homeschooling for 16 years. It has been the most delightful, challenging, fulfilling job I ever could have dreamed of. But I am excited to taste the sweetness of the air at the finish line. I think I've done a good job. But mostly my kids have been ridiculous awesome sweet scholars who have risen up and made me feel so, very blessed. It has been one hellava of a joyride.

We are having a Matt and Mikey Spectacular, Spectacular Grad Party Bash at the Evanshire on May 15, from 5pm to the end of the party. Feel free to crash the bash, but R.S.V.P. if you want a cupcake.

The boys say they aren't exactly firing me, but once they have their diplomas securely in their hands, they are going to have to "let me go". Pink slip, retirement plaque, diploma, best teacher in the world award... whatever. All I know is we are cranking up "School's Out Forever" and "Freebird" as loud we can. I'm looking forward to my retirement! Rest in peace, my trusty red pen. Only 22 more days! And counting!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hope is a Lottery Ticket I Bought on Good Friday

I have no illusions of who I am.
Where I stand is the only thing I stand
upon-at the foot of a tree, a Lamb
dangling from it, with eyes that see me-and-

See right through me. Right down to my stain-
my guilt-the reason He is exalted there
hanging, naked, like He is wearing my shame-
right there for all the world to gasp-and stare.

Some "joy set before Him" is all I can think
as I set myself before Him...and wish
upon the One who made the stars...and blink
teardrops-mine, mingling with blood-His: swoosh

as in Nike, and the robe that I have won
casting my sin, my cares, my lot upon the Son.