Worth the read: The Theory of Insanity

I haven’t recommended a book in a long time, but Theory of Insanity by Rick Newberry is worth talking about. This adult fiction starts out with the main character dying, but it is far from the end of the story for Brooks.

The survival of heaven depends on him changing one cataclysmic event or the whole system will fail. He’s already been sent back eight times before, but the window of opportunity is closing. With only one more chance to get it right, he decides to stop playing by the rules.

This fast-paced read will keep you on the edge of your seat from start finish. I’ve attached a link below for either the paper or ebook version. I know you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Click on the book

 

 

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Clueless and not ashamed to admit it

I spoke to a room full of girls over the weekend. My focus was on the importance of recognized that everyone you meet has something they can teach you.

I shared with them an experience I recently had with a teenage boy about sixteen-years-old. We were trying to connect a phone to an outdoor speaker to play music for a large area. The cord I brought to connect the two wasn’t working.

The young man said, “It’s okay, the speaker is Bluetooth ready, we can connect it that way instead.”

“But won’t that use too much of your data?” I had always thought that being connected wirelessly to devices doubled the data usage.

He gave me the-old-woman-can’t-be-serious look I’ve been getting more and more often lately. “Connecting to devices wirelessly doesn’t use your data, only the music or videos you stream use the data.”

“Really?” I said, not even minding that he laughed at me. “Well I just learned something new.”

The young girls in the room seemed shocked that I would share such a story, but I only smiled more. “There’s nothing wrong with not knowing everything. That’s why I said everyone you meet has something they can teach you, even someone younger.”

A lack of knowledge is nothing to be embarrassed about—it’s the whole point of life—to learn new things every day. So if you don’t feel dumb at least once every day, maybe you need to reconsider stepping out of your comfort zone and look for new things to learn.

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Relationship 101: Are they willing to climb back in?

Along this road of blogging I’ve given relationship advice many times, but finding the right kind of boy for you can be a tricky trial and error for any girl to navigate. A few weeks ago my husband reminded me of another trait you’ll want to look for when finding your “right” match.

As I posted recently, we went to Lava Hot Springs on a family vacation. At my brother’s house in Grace, Idaho, we decided to do a local pastime where you float through a tunnel in a nearby mountain called “Last Chance.” My brother had never floated this canal before so none of us knew what we were really in for, but it sounded fun.

We climbed over a fence to get beyond a small building that sits over the diverted river. Inside this building they strain the water to draw out the moss to keep the water as clean as possible for the irrigation used for the valley farms of Grace. The water is pushed out on the other end at a pretty high rate of speed. I’m looking at the tumultuous water wondering if this is such a good idea, but my brother had already climbed down into the water. He could easily stand in the rolling water, the level of the water only being at about to his thighs, so I let all the kids climb in too. My husband and I are the last to go.

The float through the tunnel was amazing. It only grew deep enough that I had to swim a few short times. And the flashlights we held, helped us see the hand-chiseled marks in the ceiling of the lava rock. Coming out the other end is when things started to get scary.

The water crosses high over a canyon in an open, semicircle pipe they call a flume. Over the top of this pipe are metal bars that jut across above your head every ten feet or so, bracing this semi-circled flume all the way over the canyon. On the other side of this flume the water is loud, like it’s churning, but inside the canal it’s hard to see why, all you can hear is the noise.

By the time I reach the end of the mountain tunnel my brother has already pulled our two smallest kids out of the water. They are sitting on those metal bars overhead. With that loud churning at the end of the flume, everyone is trying to get out of the water and onto those metal brackets overhead. My husband catches up to help get the other kids out. With the only two grown men in the water helping the teenage kids, there’s no one left to help me.

I spring out of the water, but the fast moving water makes me miscalculate my jump and I smack my right wrist on the metal bracket I tried to grab. I slip farther down the flume and try again for another bracket, but my hurt wrist won’t carry any weight. I make a third attempt at the next bracket I get to, using only my left hand. I managed to also hook my leg around the metal bracket but realize there is no way I can pull myself up without my other hand, or help from someone else. I look back to see that everyone else had managed to get out, but they were so far from me, no help would be coming. Exhausted, I drop back into the flume, deciding I had no other choice than to ride this out until I found a place easier for me climb out. The churning water on the other side of the flume is now really loud in my ears. Is it a waterfall?

I quickly shift my weight, making sure to keep my feet forward, figuring it would be better to drop on my feet than my head. The drop ends up not being very big at all, maybe a foot, and the water opens up to this wide canal that slows down immensely. The flume at the end was acting like a megaphone, magnifying the sound of the churning water.

About ten feet down this large and now slow moving canal is a ladder anchored in the cement on the left. I barely reach its rungs when out pops my husband from the flume.

“You climbed back in?” The last time I saw him he was safe on a metal bracket helping kids out.

“Well, yeah. I had to go after you.” I swam over to where I stood.

“But the roaring water—it could have been something really bad.”

He gave a push to help me up the ladder. “So what? I’ll always risk it all for you.”

Thankfully, most times in our marriage it’s not about life and death, but his willingness to care more about me than himself is an amazing gift. It gives me confidence to be bold and try scary things, because he always has my back. It is a trait that every girl would be wise to look for in their “right” match for them.

 

 

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A blip of unplanned fun

Did you miss my post last week? Nope, it didn’t magically disappear. I did something I’ve never done before. I took my family on an unplanned vacation—and it was awesome!

My oldest son came home and told us he didn’t have to work on Labor Day. That unexpected surprise sparked something in me. I didn’t want to stay home for what might be the last three-day weekend we would have as a family before my oldest son left home.

We ended up bumming at my brother’s house. He lives in Idaho, close to Lava Hot Springs. We played in rivers, floated across flumes, swung from bridges and dropped into water. It was spontaneous and super fun the entire time.

There is something to be said about living in the moment. You don’t have to worry about a plan going awry—you have no plan to begin with. Boy, does it lower the stress level of vacationing. If you’ve never tried it, you might find out, just like I did, that flying by the seat-of-your-pants isn’t a bad way to vacation.

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Remembering my job requirements

As a mother sitting on the sidelines of a football game, I’m often surprised by how my perception of how the game went can be so different than my son’s—who actually played in the game.

This week’s game left me with lots of negative feelings. I didn’t like how the coaches were playing my son. He didn’t play a consistent position, but was sent all over the place. I thought the team, as a whole, looked sluggish and confused most of the time. Yes, we only lost by one touchdown, but I’m tired of celebrating kids who look like they gave up.

My son comes over after the coach’s chat they get after every game with a big smile on his face. He wasn’t upset by being moved around at all. He stood there, taking his gear off, talking about the things that he felt his team had accomplished. His enthusiasm made me pause, and I’m glad it did.

I didn’t share any of the problems I saw, because I remembered this isn’t about me. If he’s happy with the results, that’s all that matters. This is his team, not mine. It was a good reminder about not overstepping in my role as a mother of an athlete. I’m supposed to be there to support him, and that’s it!

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Sometimes fences don’t make good neighbors

In my younger years my temper never bothered me—I was a hothead about pretty much everything. I really can’t say when I decided it was time to change this behavior, because it happened so slowly, over a huge amount of time, but now I hate it when I lose control.

This week my daughter made a foolish choice and climbed over the fence we share with a neighbor to grab a football that had fallen into their yard. She rang the doorbell but nobody came, so she thought it best to take care of the problem by retrieving the football herself.

To say this older couple is anxious about their fence would be an understatement. I put up with the husband coming into our yard to check his precious fence several times after we first moved in years ago. Every little thing we did while putting in our yard was watched, like the “eyes of a hawk,” from their back porch. The constant reminders that if we broke their fence we would have to pay for it wasn’t fun either, but I figured with a little patience and time they would come to realize we weren’t the terrible neighbors they feared. I even had my kids help me shovel their driveway the entire winter last year so the older woman wouldn’t have to do it. We didn’t ask for pay, we didn’t even ask for thanks, we were just trying to show them we were good neighbors.

Well…that came crashing down the moment my daughter jumped that stupid fence to get the football. Unbeknownst to us, the older couple had been in their backyard, sitting in the dark, observing the end of summer bonfire my teenage kids were having with their friends. The moment my daughter jumped the fence, they freaked.

I get a not so gentle knock on my front door and find my daughter in the clutches of the older woman. The older woman shoves the now recovered football into my face and proceeds to tell me what my daughter had done. I do my best to squash my sigh and take the ball from her hand. The woman pulls it back only to shove it back into my face and reminds me that if we break the fence we would have to pay for it.

That was it—the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’ve never physically shoved someone older than me in my entire life, but I pushed that woman until she no longer stood on my property. All the while, my now full blown temper yelled so loud I’m sure everyone in our neighborhood heard me. “You would think by now you would have figured out that we’re not the kind of people who wouldn’t fix something if we broke it! Yes, my daughter made a mistake, but she’s a good kid, and she’s been good to you! They are children! And they have a right to be children and have fun! Maybe if you’d take a second and remember what that felt like you’d stop being such a lunatic!”

My performance didn’t leave me happy once the red haze faded—even if the old-biddy deserved it. I showed my children, and all their friends that came, my very worst trait. Parenting 101 fail!

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Our funky bush out front

My oldest son, since he was about ten, has a habit of planting seeds in plastic cups and placing them on his bedroom’s window seal. He sometimes doesn’t even know what he’s growing—he just likes to observe the growing process of seeds.

There have been mishaps throughout the years. I’ve cleaned muddy soil out of carpet more than any mother should, yet I understand the fascination. I like to grow things too. I just do mine outside.

Around April, he put a new cup up on the ledge of his window. At first, it produced the saddest looking twigs I’d ever seen.

“What did you plant?” I asked my son.

He shrugged his shoulders, indicating, once again, his didn’t know. “Maybe it’ll look better if I plant it outside.”

I had serious doubts it would survive, but now I shrugged my shoulders. One ugly plant wouldn’t ruin the look of the many random plants I have growing in the front yard. Our yard is still only a couple of years old and I’m still trying out ideas.

Not only did those twigs survive, they thrived, turning into a large bush—but I still think it’s ugly.

We figured out this week the plant is called a Garden Cosmos. The best part—it’s an annual so it won’t grow back once the cold comes.

My son said, “Maybe we could bring it back inside in the fall.”

“Oh no,” I said patting him on the back. “We’ve set it free now. It won’t be happy coming back inside.” I’m feeling pretty good with this lie, averting my pain of having to keep the ugly thing alive.

He took the news like a champ, brightening right up. “It’s okay. I’ll gather some of its seeds and plant them again when I get back in two years.”

Dang it! Hopefully, a two year mission will help him forget.

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