A Little Nepotism Never Hurt

Tim My hubby gets overlooked a good bit on this here blog thingy because he just goes along on his merry way every day trying not to upset the apple cart that is Topsy-Techieland.  He doesn’t create drama.  He doesn’t take sides.  He doesn’t stoke the fires of dissent. 

What he does do is keep us from taking ourselves too seriously.  Yes, believe it or not, that can happen once in a while, and R-T knows exactly where to stick that pin so that our balloon can deflate at just the right speed and still somehow save face.  He is probably the single funniest human being I’ve ever had the fortune to know, and no matter what the subject matter, my hubby WILL find a way to make it pee-your-pants hilariously funny. 

We laugh more around here than is probably legally allowed.  We laugh at our local newscasters.  We laugh at our relatives (well, except for the ones that read this blog, of course).  We laugh at the way we dress, the way we speak to each other, and the way we call each other to the phone.  Everything we do or see can be fodder for our hilarity.

And the reason we laugh so much?  Probably because we see so much to cry about.  You see, my husband is the operations director for our local homeless shelter, and not a day goes by that he doesn’t encounter people in crisis.  It’s not an easy job.  Not by a long shot.  Success stories are few, and relapses are common.  In a job like my husbands, you get to know people well enough to take it personally when they lose a child because they can’t overcome drug addiction, or get stabbed under a bridge, or have their last dollar stolen from them because they weren’t mentally able to distinguish the people you can trust from the people you can’t.

Seeing these things every day either makes you bitter, or increases your desire for justice.  Fortunately, my hubby has chosen the latter.  He knows that he can either be angry with God or be God’s hands in the world.  Fortunately, my hubby has chosen the latter.

And one of the ways R-T tries to make sense of all the injustice he sees on a daily basis is by talking about it.  Laughing about it.  Trying to see it in light of his faith.  And he is doing all this in a very public way on his new blog.  So today, I’m showing my hubby a little linky love and suggesting that you drop by and see what kind of impact one man with a heart and a vision and a huge sense of humor can make on the homeless scene. 

And then you will understand just why we need to laugh so much around here. 

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Who ARE You? And Where Did You COME From?

I’ve gotten really into Facebook lately.  It has been a hoot.  I have actually touched base with people I haven’t talked to since MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! 

But the funniest part of a social network like Facebook is that not only am I catching up with old friends and distant family, but I’m also having to look in the mirror a lot closer lately.  I mean with Facebook, you kind of have to define yourself in some way…tell other people who you are.

What has been surprising, though, is the double-takes I’ve been getting from people I haven’t seen in a long time.  You like what??!!  Your political views are which??!!  You actually say that??!!

Who ARE you??!! And where did you COME from??!!

Well, you see, when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, they get really close and….

Oh.  Sorry.  You mean who am I really.

Ok.  Well, obviously, I’m not who I was twenty years ago.  I hope NO ONE is!  Yes, the changes have been gradual, and then major, and then gradual again. 

Life changes you.  I used to be a very black and white thinker.  My view of the Bible was literal.  My view of politics was “it’s my way or the highway.” My view of people was that they were either inherently good or inherently evil.  My view of blogging was that only politicos, Drudgites, or voyeurs did it.

So maybe I have changed a lot, come to think of it.  Having a husband who works with the marginalized and the forgotten changes you.  Having sons with neurological issues changes you.  Making friends who challenge your belief systems changes you.  Seeing the ridiculous antics of politicians on both the far right and the far left changes you.  And God knows that blogging changes you.blackwhitegrey

So I’m different than I was 20 years ago.  A lot less black and   white, and a LOT more grey. But I’m oh so happy to be grey.  So very, very happy. And that’s what matters, right?

How about you?….would people from 20 years ago still think you are the same person if they saw your Facebook?

Remember, every comment this month gets you another chance to win that HP Printer just in time for Christmas!!

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Oooh, I Can’t Look!

I can’t be the only one who has watched even five minutes of the national news lately and felt like the world must be going to hell in a handbasket.  The stories come at you one after the other as if the news producers have been chain smoking depressants. 

  • Manufacturing is at a 26 year low
  • Consumer confidence is lower than it has ever been
  • Unemployment rate highest in seven years
  • Retail sales continuing to fall
  • Huge corporate lay-offs

It’s just plain scary to walk by the television, especially between 6-8pm.  So I don’t.  I can filter what comes in through my internet news, but the television news is an unstoppable train of suicide-inducing blather. 

Uber was watching the first five minutes of our local news at lunch with me yesterday and asked why they always focus on the bad news.  I didn’t have an answer for him.  Why do they always focus on the bad news???

There has to be SOME positive economic news somewhere.  I was able to drive to a city that is about 30 miles away this week.  It was the first time I’ve been able to make that drive in months.  But lower gasoline prices allowed me to make the excursion, and even spend a few dollars in that city.  The fact that I could drive there was good for their local economy.  That’s good news!!

I swear, I WILL stop watching the news altogether if the producers of these shows can’t find something hopeful to talk about soon.  Yes consumer confidence is at an all-time low.  You wanna know why???Bomb Shelter Door

BECAUSE THE MEDIA IS INTENT ON TELLING US WE SHOULD BUILD OUR BOMB SHELTERS BIGGER AND DEEPER!!!

I am fully aware of how bad things are.  I know people personally who are in dire straits.  The homeless shelter where my hubby is the director is busier and fuller than ever.  I know all this. 

Now tell me the GOOD news…..PLEASE…

Here is some good news…every comment on a Topsy-Techie blog post this month earns you one entry into my November giveaway.  So comment away!

The Least, The Last, and the Lost?

Tonight was the yearly banquet to honor those who contribute their time or energies at the rescue mission where my hubby is the operations director.  It went overly long, as those things often do.  But the food was good (the chocolate cheesecake is actually the only part I really paid attention to, but I feel sure the rest of it was probably swell also), and being the director’s spouse, I got front row table seats, so hey diddle, diddle.  What’s to really complain about?

Anyway, the keynote speaker was the director of a rescue mission about thirty miles south of our town.  Long-winded as he was, he was a humble man with a true passion for the homeless and disenfranchised of our region. But one interesting thing I made note of was that he kept using a phrase throughout his homily to refer to those that come in and out of the doors of our respective shelters.  He called them “the least, the last, and the lost.”  This was a powerful alliterative construction that he obviously didn’t coin himself, but it somehow irked me each time he used it.

The “least?”  I feel sure that this is a throwback to the King James version of Matthew’s gospel where Jesus declares that “Inasmuch as ye have done it(feed, clothed, etc.) unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  Personally, I always got irked by that translation as well.  Obviously Jesus doesn’t “rank” us the way we tend to do to each other.  Calling the homeless, the marginalized, the mentally disabled the “least”, is kind of like me saying that strawberry cheesecake is somehow the least of the cheesecake family.  I mean let’s face it – – strawberry may not be chocolate, but if you add some drizzled hot fudge, and a dollop of real whipped cream, it’s every bit as good, if not better. 

The “last?”  Again, probably another throwback to that ever quoted scripture about the first being last, and the last being first in the new kingdom.  But even though I definitely understand the jist of everything being evened out in the afterlife, why should the homeless have to wait till then??  Why should I get to sit there in comfort, (well, except for this unspeakable thing my panties and slip were doing – – trust me, I won’t go there) and eat my scrumptious cheesecake.  Why should they have to wait till heaven to get their cheesecake?  A HUGE thanks to all the terrific people who support our local shelter  – – thanks to them they have some seriously good cheesecake to serve there from time to time!

The “lost?”  Ok.  I’ll grant him this one.  Being homeless and marginalized and destitute would make anyone feel lost.  I know the speaker was probably using this as more of a spiritual metaphor, but earthly creature that I am, my mind kept turning to these feelings of incredible empathy as I could so easily put myself in the place of someone who has either thrown everything away or had it stripped from them.  Feelings of vicarious panic and desperation are easy to muster up if given fuel for thought.  I mean gee, I feel lost when there are too many feet away between me and my cheesecake, so imagine how scary it must be to be estranged from your family, your friends – -everyone you know – –  because of drug and alcohol addiction.  That is truly lost.

I know I don’t write thoughtful posts too often, so grab any meat here while you can.  I’ll be back to my fluffy cheesecake posts all too soon, I’m sure…