Marcus’ & Megan’s Voices – We recently found a cool website called IFTTT.com. This cool site notifies you when new stuff has been posted on websites like Craigslist, Facebook, YouTube and more. For us it means we can stop perusing page after page on Craigslist day after day. For example, we are looking for another baby gate now that Infant 0.10 has graduated to Toddler 0.10, so I checked Craigslist once. Then I set IFTTT.com to notify me when any new listings for baby gates come up. Kewl huh?!
No, we’re not affiliated with IFTTT or getting paid for this post, etc. We’re just sharing another little way to make life easier. Enjoy!
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Just like you see in cartoons, I had a light bulb turn on over my head the other day while Marcus and I were praying the rosary together. It must have been God’s providence. For a very long time I have wondered why certain members of my extended family have considered me to be gullible. They treated me as if I was a numbskull who would follow any foolish notion that came down the pike. Like they had to save me from myself because I could easily be led astray. Their condescension always puzzled me. I graduated at the top of my class in college, I never got suckered into paying too much for a car, I never gave any money to scam artists on the internet, I can smell a lie from fifty paces…and the list goes on. So WHY do they hold such opinions about me?? In comes said light bulb.
I trusted them.
But they were not worthy of my trust.
It is my nature to either trust somebody 100% or not at all. I don’t make friends easily. If I let you into my inner circle it is because I trust you. Completely. Until you get there, I trust you very little – if at all. Because they were family, I trusted them to always tell me the truth. But the trademark behavior of a narcissist is lies. A narcissist will lie to anyone in order to get what he or she wants, or to avoid the consequences of their own behavior. Constantly.
When I was in my late teens I had a pet snake. A Burmese python which is the sort that gets really huge. When I had to move to another state, I left the snake in their temporary care. Well, life got in the way and temporary turned into a looooong time. They told me they had to give the snake to the zoo because it had become too big for them to care for. I sadly agreed and gave them permission. Years later when I moved back to my home state, I went and visited it at the zoo. It made me feel better to see it well cared for there. Several years later they finally owned up and told me the truth. The zoo had refused to take on another giant snake. So what did they do? Did they say, “Hey Megan, find another home for your snake because the zoo won’t take it.”? Nope. My family members took it out to the back yard and put a bullet in its head. Then they lied to me all those years about it.
Well, because I trusted them to tell me the truth, and therefore bought the lies they told me all throughout my life), I was branded as gullible. Guilty of the crime of trusting my own family members. But wait, didn’t I just say above that I could smell a lie from fifty paces? Yes, I can. If you’re not one of those I trust 100%. If you are someone I trust, I don’t bother to look for lies. Yes, I’ve had that come back to bite me in the past, but who hasn’t? If that trust is broken, I then have to decide if you will stay in my inner circle. If the answer is yes, then I have also decided to trust you again. For so long I thought there must have been something wrong with me if they thought not all of my dogs were barking. Now I know the truth. There is nothing wrong with trusting, but there is a LOT wrong with lying to others and disregarding the feelings of others.
So at the end of the day I ask myself, “Okay, so how do I reconcile my past with the newly born Christian I am today?” Am I holding a grudge against those who’ve hurt me, or have I forgiven them? Christian forgiveness doesn’t mean I have to feel warm and fuzzy towards that person, it only requires that I wish the best for that person despite what he/she did to me. The best meaning here to be, wanting him/her to find salvation in Christ and be with Him in heaven someday. Forgiveness doesn’t require me to be a door mat, or to keep going back to that person for more abuse. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive – seemingly impossible. But when it seems far off I try to remember the sage advice of Johnnette Benkovic. She says that forgiveness comes gradually, and sometimes all you have to do to get on the road to forgiving someone is to pray a simple prayer. Talk to Jesus and say, “Lord, please help me to forgive them. Help me WANT to forgive them.”
Liam Marcus’ Voice – They seem to have lied to Meg all their lives for various reasons. You know, to keep her from knowing facts about life, facts about them, facts about almost anything except the facts needed to have a life of emotional and psychological independence. Is this possible? To some it may be, but to others, not so much. In the long run it always seem to involve a timetable of sorts. Grinding certain phrases and behaviors into the victim’s psyche. The monotonous episodes of a narcissist can lead to the victim’s inability to look at their behaviors objectively. In the process one could become sufficiently self analytical because of the narc’s diluted care for others. One starts asking, “is there something wrong with me? Why is she treating me this way?” One’s ability to recognize a lie then becomes, for all intents and purposes, impossible. Thus the narc’s license to lie to her victim would then become the subject matter by which the narc would start labeling her victim a repudiated individual unfit to take care of herself for life. Little does the narc know that it is her own sick behavior which creates the presumption that her victim is gullible and unable to make up her own darn mind.
With a family member who uses her own flesh and blood in such a manner, manipulates her, coerces, lies to, and then unfairly condemns her victim for the narc’s own behavior, who the heck needs an enemy? This is a sorry fact pertaining to the reality that the family member is both an unfortunate addition to the victim’s family tree, and the worst enemy anyone can ever have.. for life!
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Okay, we’re getting to be too crunchy. Some is good, but I have to draw the line somewhere, right? Our dryer broke down two weeks ago (after we finally got around to fixing it by unclogging the vent!! ) and I got so frustrated I forbade Marcus to buy more parts to fix it again. Instead I had him install a retractable clothesline. Where? In our living room! Am I freakin’ redneck or what?! We can’t put one outside because we would get into major trouble with our homeowners association. So I figured hanging our clothes inside would serve a dual purpose, 1) save me the hassle of dealing with the little ones while sweating my tookus off outside, and 2) the evaporation would help to cool the house a bit and save us a buck or two on the electric bill, not to mention saving money by ditching the dryer in the first place. Now instead of having a laundry marathon one day a week (starting at dawn and folding the last of it before going to bed that night), I now do one load four days a week. Starting on Tuesdays I wash and hang before bed, then take it down and fold it the next morning after breakfast. The last day is Friday night which leaves me Saturday morning to fold. Then I can take a break on the Lord’s Day (Sunday) and Monday before starting all over again. And YES I did some research on how to line dry your laundry! Ya’ll know me Click Here for the best site I found on the subject.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Yeah, Meg gave me an ultimatum, no new parts for the dryer. Hey, I’m just thankful it isn’t something serious, like the air conditioner compressor, although, that may be next. We’ll see. We have been miracle-like fortunate. Just the other night I looked at the eatables we have on the counter top and then at the refrigerator inners and thought to myself, are we poor or do we still have too much? Then the automobile tire started giving us trouble, again. I had already stuffed the hole with three plugs so I knew I had to seek recourse. Right after work this past Saturday I visited a little auto repair shop next door to ask how much a patch work would cost. I was geared to visit a Tire Kingdom and contract for their $35 patch services, but the little deviation paid dividends. The little repair shop refused to contract with me for possible liability. The hole was too big and according to some unknown statute, if the tire failed because of the patch work and I or someone else got injured, they would become liable – so no no. I asked, “Well, do you have a spare of this size?” And won’t you believe it. They didn’t just have a spare, they had a super spare of the same size. They had a BF Goodrich. Wow! LOL! Now I have three leisure-like tires and an all-terrain tire on our little sedan. I can feel the difference. I installed it on the back-drivers side, ‘cause you know, that side has to hold lots more pounds per square inch – no, I’m not that fat/heavy Well, one problem a week is all I can take, and it’s been phenomenal because of the little miracles we get to enjoy from time to time. God bless!
Megan Ryan’s Voice – What to do with aloe?? I’ve had some good fortune with aloe this year. I bought an organic plant from a local farmer, managed NOT to kill it (this time anyway), and it has done so well I now have it coming out of my ears. Wait, does that mean I need to clean my ears more often? I guess I should give myself some credit, but it’s a pretty hardy, leave it alone and it will grow kinda plant, so I won’t take too much credit. After all, I DID kill the first one I bought last year! So now I’m wondering what to do with it all. A friend of mine is newly into juicing veggies and stuff and her daughter is having some health issues so I’ll be giving her as much as she can carry home. Aloe is supposed to be very healing when eaten in addition to all its topical uses so Click Here to read all about it. As for whatever my friend doesn’t take, I think maybe I’ll look into harvesting the gel/juice and selling it on eBay, or maybe just sell the plants themselves… If you have any ideas we would love to hear about them in the comments section of this post!
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Just keep putting the new shoots in those little starter pots I have littering the garage and we could start our own nursery. I liked what you made for us to give my mom on Mothers Day this year. You filled a used glass honey jar with organic dirt, planted an aloe shoot in it, and then covered the top of the soil with colored bits of decorative glass.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – I recently filled a few pots with good organic dirt with the intention of planting a few un-killable herbs. They’d have to be foolproof otherwise I’d kill them. But my recent success growing culantro in an indoor pot has bolstered my self esteem so I’ll give some others a shot. I chose sage because it is easily one of my favorite culinary herbs, second only to garlic. My culantro would take third place. Someday when I’ve built up my confidence enough I’ll give growing garlic a shot. My favorite recipe on the planet for sage is what we call “cheesy potatoes” but is really called Potato Cabbage Gratin. It is like an out-of-this-world version of Betty Crocker (aka Betty Crapper) Scalloped Potatoes in a box. Click Here and Here for the sites I used in my research on growing my own sage. I started three plants in a pot from seeds. Once they germinate and look strong I’ll transplant them outside since they will (hopefully) grow to be bushes.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Aw, don’t be so hard on yourself Megan. You’re doing just fine keeping plants alive. Even the most seasoned gardeners still lose plants occasionally. Besides, growing our own organic herbs is a great way to save money and be healthy too.
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Megan Ryan’s Voice – Well I finally got around to planting some catnip seeds. I’ve been meaning to do so for weeks now but just haven’t gotten around to it. Catnip ought to survive my black thumb since it is technically a weed. Although if you remember from our previous post I couldn’t manage to grow a weed then either! I’m not growing it for our kitties, but for medicinal purposes. It will be organic of course, so it will be more potent (and hopefully tastier – ugh!) than the el crappo stuff you get at the store. And just in case you think I’m exaggerating, Click Here for the site I found while researching how to grow catnip. YES research! I had to learn how to grow a weed. It is good for headaches, stomach upsets, diarrhea, fever, mild sedative, colicky babies, and is also yummy in salads and as a natural insect repellant. Click Here for a nice site on the medicinal uses of catnip. Since it is a weed I’ll grow it in a pot first, then if I’m happy with it I’ll turn it loose outside somewhere although I haven’t decided where yet – I don’t want to count my eggs before they hatch!
Liam Marcus’ Voice - I haven’t taken care of our plants since I damaged my back. That’s been a little over two years. I would like to depend on the teenagers to take care of matters so they can get some experience for themselves should they one day wish to plant trees and such. Another reason why I’ve not spent much time with my green friends is because I got a bit dissillusioned at the fact that beneath the surface of the ground – there is nothing but wonderful, nutrition-less, dead construction sand. I’ve done all I can do to fuel the sand, though by dumping manure, etc. on it. It will take a while before the compost and other organic material I’m allowing to sift into the sand to propel some positive results in the manner in which plants get their nourishment. No, I have not completely deserted my green friends. I supply them with some organic juices from time to time – nothing artificial or commercial-like, mind you. Just the occasional dumping of freshly composted/digested earthworm dirt. I am super glad that Meg is doing something to help out. It’s great to be able to talk about my love for trees and green-and-brown-like organisms. It’s fun!
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Liam Marcus’ Voice – “Hop” was enjoyable. Amidst the commercial aspect of Easter, the only thing that made sense to me was a comment by one of the characters as it gave reference to the stupendous nonsense of commercial-Easter, “ungodly!” Say no more, say no more. It was full of bunnies and fluff (pun intended!) and totally absent of the REAL reason for Easter…the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – The little girl and I stayed home that day so I can’t say much except, “Yeah, that’s what I expected.” I researched all the movies ahead of time (Click Here to see how) and I figured the movie would be your average forgettable animated movie. The only reason I told you guys to go ahead and see it was because at the very least it would be a fun and free excuse to get Preschooler 4.9 out of the house.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We went to see this one as part of our theater’s free summer movies event. A cute movie with a good story line. Jim Carrey plays the role well and it was well written despite more than a few potty humor moments regarding penguin poo and a penguin named “Stinky”… -ahem!- I’m sure you can guess why he’s called Stinky. That and they took the Lord’s name in vain twice. I missed the middle of the movie because Infant 0.9 wanted to stretch her legs so Marcus will correct me below if I’ve missed anything. I give it one and a half thumbs up. We’ll add it to our DVD library some day when the price is right, and because we’ll have a Clearplay filter for it.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Jim Carrey is getting old, literally. His comedy was awesome during the first few years of “In Living Colour” back in the early 90’s. I knew this guy was going to be BIG because of his roles in that show. However, too much is too much. Change is recommended, though, with the worldly fortunes he’s accumulated, who needs to change the habits? Who would?
Popper’s Penguins was cute, that’s it. Someone dug the story line from an old movie, like Liar Liar, made some changes, and viola! A new funny-like movie starring Jimmy is showing, again? Hang the gloves man, or rather, the facial expressions. It’s like watching his old hero, Jerry Lewis’ stuff, over and over and over and over and over again… like Lewis’ telemarathons weren’t enough. LOL! This stuff is good for children, but not good for children – a contradiction, heh?
Megan Ryan’s Voice – One of the most delightful things about summer is red, juicy, homegrown tomatoes. My favorite gourmet, haute cuisine, fancy meal to make with them is… a sandwich. Yep, a mater sammitch. We just gathered the last of the tomatoes from our local organic farmer and have been savoring each bite. Marcus and the Teenagers like tomato sandwiches just fine, but Preschooler and I are NUTS about them. I’ll slap one down on the table in front of Preschooler and he’ll squeal like it’s Christmas morning. I used to put mayonnaise on them, but Yummy Inspirations gave me the idea of using plain homemade yogurt instead. It is delicious and Preschooler gives it his “squeal of approval”. So are you ready? Here is the super complicated recipe:
2 slices of bread slathered with plain yogurt
several thick slices of tomato
sea salt (If you’re anything like me, make that, “a ridiculous amount of sea salt”)
Okay, excuse me. I have to go eat another one now.