Thursday, June 28, 2012

AM~Erica is So Annoyed With Phone's Bad Boy Affair

So anyway...

About 2 or 3 weeks ago, my phone is wearing itself out as I find it has been dealing with a new relationship. It tries to keep it a secret, but I always catch it! I've tried to stop the relationship, too. Why? Because this affair it's having is with a real player. I know the bad boy my phone seems so enamored with is doing the same thing with many others. Yours may be one of them.

This playboy is great at networking & is a household name. Even if you've never had a run-in with this bad boy or his products, you are still fully aware of who it is. He's great at sucking people in with his charisma. Many have been drawn to his charms, but he's sneaking around with my phone now, too. I'm trying to tell my phone that the relationship isn't worth it! My phone still lets him in & wears itself down. I try to explain that the battery can't handle this type of relationship, but it's still doing its own thing. Just like a pre-adult.

I can hear how "happy" it is when the bad boy drops by. I keep getting rid of the gifts he brings, but he just keeps bringing more. Did I mention that he's of a billionaire breed?

And the bad boy keeps changing his routine. So he shows up thru the day...and sometimes thru the night. I suspect he's visiting many, Many, MANY others in the same fashion. My phone tries to let me know that it's love...but I keep trying to say that my poor phone is just being used as a business partnership.

And my phone rebels. Grrrr...

I've even told the bad boy to stay away from my phone...but my response has basically come back that my phone wants it to happen.

Is your phone one of the mistresses of this guy? He can't seem to quit & just looks at our phones, in addition to all the other connections he's made, as a collection for him.

That's phone is having a torrid love affair with Facebook.

I've tried to cut if off...but they won't let go of each other. I have a feeling Facebook is doing the same to countless others.

Is your phone falling victim?

*sigh* Technology these days...

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Never mind. As it turns out, resistance is futile.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

AM~Erica is a Fabulous Dental Patient

So anyway...

Let's just say it right off that I had dental work done. Boy, did I ever...

I must say it was quite the adventure. And I knew that it was going to be long visit, but had no idea it would be anything like this!

The 4 out of 5 of us needing work had our appointment set at 4:30. We got there about 5 minutes beforehand. We were called back, but to take care of payment set up & all that wonderfully-icky stuff when the dentist came over & said they were running behind due to a "belligerent patient." Apparently this guy was horrible & used most of their manpower to get his mouth worked on, so it put them about half an hour behind. Whatever.

Eventually, Teen Boy was called back. A little bit later, Teen Girl got her turn...which she went back timidly. was to be my turn. Lil guy didn't need any work, but he decided to head back with me. But he really wanted to walk around & check on his siblings. I checked on 'em, too. They were being numbed & letting it get good & set in.

Then, it was my turn. But not before I put on my star & rainbow-colored tiara along with my brightly colored & sparkly boa. I knew my face was going to be droopy & weird, so I had to be fabulous somehow! Sure I was a spectacle in the office, but I was fabulous...even with the drool bib subtly accessorizing my boa. gums were swabbed with that weird numbing gel & then the injections came into play. It all happened pretty quickly.

But I'm pretty...right? RIGHT?? Even though I felt like a neanderthal...

The dentist was kind enough to tell me, at that point, that I looked like a stroke victim. Awesome.

And, as the whole process went...I went through 4 assistants. Yep. A whole 4. But, in the 3 hours I was worked on (yes...a whole 3 hours), I had to be numbed, have teeth drilled, have fillings put in, and have a deep cleaning. But the assistants were all very nice. I had a numb mouth & pretty much didn't care what they did.

One of them said I had nice eyes & pointed out the brown dot I have in one of my eyes. Another assistant, Hans (I know his name since it was airbrushed on the front & back of his shirt in bright green), told me I reminded him of La Roux. That was really nice, but I informed him, in my numbed, forced-open mouth state that, " wi oh eh-oh-uh!" Yes, I attempted to say, "With more emotion." Hans understood me & then got all excited since I knew who La Roux was. LOL! Then he also pointed out the lead singer of the Cranberries, too! (aka - Dolores O'Riordan) you agree? *shrugs*

Hans was also digging my outfit...boa, tiara & all! Woot! And we enjoyed humming along to the 80's background music from the speakers. I could do that!

Hans is the one that did my deep cleaning & was told to go at it "aggressively". Seriously. He even reminded me that the dentist gave the orders.

So...I got major stain-scraping, hardcore polishing & tough flossing. And he got pretty aggressive. I even attempted to remind him, "AH-WEH-IH!" Yes, that's how it came out.

Do you remember Bill Cosby's dentist bit? >> click here to watch <<
Yes...this is a lot of how it went & how I sounded afterward. Seriously.

My hubby's took a bit longer. So we were at the dentist's office for 4 hours. YIKES! We left after 8:30...the kids were starving & their numbing was wearing off. Not mine! So off for milkshakes. McDonald's was in order, apparently. Lil guy got a Mighty Kids Meal, the other "patients" got chocolate milkshakes & fries...then there was me. I could only muster getting a chocolate milkshake. I was so numb, I couldn't even tell if I was chewing on my cheeks or tongue. I could taste tingling at times.

I eventually started getting feeling back. By almost 11:00 PM, the lower left quadrant of my face still had ZERO feeling! YIKES! I got numbed at around 5:15. that's a really long time!

As for this morning...we are all sore & slightly sensitive in our mouths. Well, all except lil guy.'s a few things I learned at the dentist office:

1. When you need dental work, it's just like Bill Cosby says.

2. The dentist & dental assistants (my friend, Julie, calls them "Dentites") will want you to carry on a conversation...even with your mouth totally incapacitated.

3. A totally numb lower jaw will make you feel like you have a neanderthal mouth.

4. Tingling tastes weird.

5. When there is a lot of water involved in a will get a face shower.

6. When told to swish water when the assistant forgets you are very numb, holding your mouth closed & shaking your head really hard works pretty well. (Thanks, Hans)

7. Watching powder from your teeth flying into the air when drilled is weird...and smells bad, too. Like your mouth is on fire. (see #1)

8. You can still look fabulous in a tiara & boa at the dentist's office.

9. A dental deep cleaning is nothing like a deep tissue massage. I stand corrected.

10. Trying to spoon or suck a milkshake thru a straw is hard when your mouth is numb, but is entertaining to others. of the best things I heard said throughout this whole adventure is one from the dentist, who couldn't get the suction thingy to work:

"Oh! This sucks! Wait...I mean it sucks that the suction thing doesn't suck...*sigh* OK, bad choice of words."

Oh...and now, not only am I sore & sensitive, but I'm slightly puffy, too. Looks like I might need to sport my tiara for another day. You a fabulous deterrent.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, June 25, 2012

AM~Erica Will be Getting a Milkshake

So anyway...

If you remember about a week and a half ago, the family & I went to the dentist. And, obviously, I lived.

Well, today we go back. It will be today that 4 out of 5 of us (see what I did there?) will be needing more work done. Unfortunately, one of the 4 is yours truly. *sigh*

Here's what's going to be even more interesting...the 4 of getting work done will have our faces numbed. Well, our mouths...but you know how that ends up. And since this is all being done right before dinner, real food is not in the plan.

It had been so long since I'd gone to the dentist before (again, see previous post) that it was decided that they wouldn't even do my cleaning at that point. Instead, I needed to reschedule to get a "deep cleaning". I'm not sure what that entails, but I need to be numbed for it. It will the same time that I get fillings, too. Oh, what kind of cocktail shall I put together for this fun deal? I am tempted to do the Tim Allen mix just to make the deep cleaning worth it. Right?

A quick side note: Would a dental "deep cleaning" be anything like getting a deep tissue massage, except it's for your gums? Something to ponder...

Oh, and last time we were there, the office admin had to put our info into the computer. This also included getting a pic taken for our own dental profile via webcam. Woot! We joked about this photoshoot needing to be more like Glamour Shots. I struck a pose for mine! Jessica, the one taking our info & pics, said she would really love to get props for these occasions. I am so tempted to go get a boa & tiara. I will walk in & look fabulous for my cleaning & to show how gorgeous my pic could have been. Especially since she missed out taking the pic of my over-the-shoulder pose. Oh well.

Anyhoo...since everyone except lil guy is getting their faces looks like milkshakes for dinner! Yummmmm.....

Who's jealous??
Oh! Maybe I can get a sticker, too! Lil Guy got "Thor" last time...

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

AM~Erica Questions a New Generation

So anyway...

I came across a Yahoo! article yesterday that talked about a major generation gap being exposed. How do you expose that kind of thing in this day & age? Through social media, of course!

After reading that article, I got really worked up. So, I'm going to jump on my soapbox about it. I'm hoping I don't sound like the cranky old lady in her porch rocker shaking her fist at the kids & yelling, "GET OFF MY LAWN! AND GET A HAIRCUT!" But, that might be how this goes. I'm going to try not to show too much of my age, but I apologize if I show too much.

Dylan Stableford, of The Cutline on Yahoo! News, has this amazing & frightening article about "kids these days". * read article here * Twitter totally exposed how out-of-touch with important history & pop culture young adults & teens are right now. They are so much into the here-and-now that they have no idea where much of the stuff they know came from. The when, why & how are all missing. They just figure it appeared & they got to witness this birth of greatness without any understanding at all.

When there are people openly putting out there how ignorant they are in today's society (which is not difficult with Facebook & Twitter), it's a sad wake up call that there is a major disconnect in a lot of areas & aspects of society.

~ When there's a slew of tweets & posts questioning who Paul McCartney is, but you are listening to the comeback of music from the Beatles - disconnect.
~ When you idolize & listen to about anything Ryan Seacrest tells you because he's everywhere, and you don't realize one of his idols is Dick Clark, THEN question who Dick Clark is - disconnect.
~ When you recite a quote in the midst of hate & prejudice wars by saying, "Can't we all just get along?", yet you question who Rodney King was & how history surrounds that name - disconnect.
~ When you can sing songs from GLEE & then question why your parents & grandparents are singing along because you didn't know there was such a thing as Journey or Bee-Gees - disconnect.
~ When there is a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of a major event in history & you question the reality of the Titanic because you only saw it thru Hollywood's eyes - disconnect.

People...this is a real issue. I wish it was joke, or some kind of spoof. It's not. Ashton Kutcher is not going to jump out of a wall to tell you this is a prank. It's not.

Sometime later I will have another soapbox to get on about education, but I want to focus on one specific required course of study. It's the history/social studies portion. There's a reason we are forced to take these classes. I see it now, as an adult. The "blah-blah" of stuff repeating itself or something didn't really sink in at that point when I was in school. But...we are doomed to have history repeat itself if we don't learn what's going on around us. Guess what? What is now "history" was actually "pop culture" at some point in time. Even music.

So this begs me to question the curriculum being taught today. Social Studies classes need to get on the ball. There is so much being added to the timeline (the actual timeline, not Facebook's) all of the time. It's not getting shorter. But maybe there needs to be this in music classes, too. I got to experience a little bit of it while I was in high school choir. I know that classes like this do exist, but on an elective level. When "kids these days" are singing their songs that were inspired by someone they refuse to know, how do they really understand where that song came from? There is such a lack of originality to music right now, and the great stuff is now called "oldies". That pains me to say since some of the music I grew up with & listened to is now called "classic". Ugh! But it's being covered by today's artists...and this new generation has no idea it was covered. They think this music is original.

Right now, society & pop culture is moving so quickly that it's really hard to keep up. For anyone. Especially for the flash-in-the-pan memory of the Millennials. They believe they keep up, and all of the media-based multitasking is what keeps them going. There is no roots into why they are into what they are. They think they understand...and they don't. But they truly believe they know it all.

OK...I know that comes with the age of being in your teens & 20's, but it is at an alarming rate right now. When there are living legends doing something big, or are dying off, or when there is a movie made about something in history...the young'uns remain clueless. And not in the "aren't they cute for not getting it" sense, but a frightening cluelessness.

So, how do we get past this? Does it stop? Or is everything, good or bad, doomed to repeat itself out of sheer ignorance of important happenings & people?

Oh, and if you don't know what the event or person is about...try either looking it up or asking someone face-to-face first instead of sharing your ignorance on history. That's scary to openly see what direction the world is heading...

Something to think on.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

AM~Erica is in a Corner

So anyway...

You may have figured out by my previous post about how goofy my brain is, but also by my Mom's Day post as to how hard my brain & heart can be on me. I hit a wide spectrum of functions, emotions & moods. Sometimes I do feel bad for my hubby & kiddos for having to put up with it.

The last couple of days have been no exception. It's almost a high school moment as to one minute I feel like homecoming or prom queen, then the next minute I feel like I'm at the table with the outcasts...or even at the table by myself.

In school, I was pretty middle of the road. I was pretty involved with things, but I just knew everybody. Didn't mean I was hanging out with them, but I could socialize with a large range of groups & cliques. But I didn't really belong to one...and my close friends really didn't either. I liked not being overwhelmed by tons of good or tons of bad. I could kind of coast...socially. Deep down I had a roller coaster going on, but what teen doesn't, right?

It's so weird how we try to get past those high school days, but the weird parts still hang on. I still go thru those days when either everyone wants to talk to me at once & I am overwhelmed in trying to keep up with it all & keep it all straight. Then there's the days where I'm sitting alone at a table. It's weird to know that either you are raised up on shoulders or a pedestal one moment, and then dropped to the ground the next. And no one really realizes it happens. Except for yourself.

The roller coaster still happens in me. I know I've covered it before, but it doesn't make it easier.

Even when I have people all around me, and I know I'm not a wall flower, there's the days I am...or at least feel that way.

Sometimes these come out of nowhere, it could be a little spark that sets it off, a big fire, or just the thought of the burning. But it happens.

There's the days when I'm the one in the cafeteria, at the big table, by the corner.
There's the days I wave at everyone going by & shouting my hellos.
There's the days when EVERYONE comes to sit with me.
There's the days when no one sees me back there.
There's the days when it seems like my crowded table empties at once & I get blocked in from no one pushing in their chairs because they were in such a hurry to leave.

Is that exaggerated? Maybe. But I do feel like that some days. I just do. Like the "Lo" in "Lonely."

But then I realize that Baby got put in the corner. No one puts Baby in the corner! Not even me.

I can socialize with all kinds of groups & ages. I love the large spectrum. But sometimes I just paint myself into a corner...I just need to figure out how to get out.

I'm working on it.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Sunday, June 17, 2012

AM~Erica Points Finger at the Father Figure

So anyway...

Well, today is one of those holiday-thingys. It's Father's Day. And I have the same feelings about today as I do about Mother's Day. But that's beside the point.

Because of the day being forced to celebrate, we went to hang out for the afternoon at my grandmother's place to eat & kick back for & with my dad & my hubby.

Before I get to what I want to get into, much like my point about mother's on Mother's Day...the dad's tend to want something grilled/barbequed to enjoy. That generally means the dads are the ones to have to do it. Even though not all dads want or eat that food, nor do all dads is a general consensus. Trust's very true in these parts for sure. So the dads end up cooking on "their day." Go figure. (refer to my Mom's Day post)

What I really want to talk about on this Father's Day I wish I were kidding, but I'm not. Not out of ego, I promise...more about why I am the way I am. You'll see where some of the blame lies.

My brain sometimes works differently than others. It just does. I can't always explain it, but it happens. I get in a weird zone & can't stop it. It's like one of those wind up toys that just keeps going until things wind down. No stopping it until then. Yep...that's what happens to me & my brain.

One of my dad's phases he's gone thru is word-working. We kind of joked that he needed to make Teen Boy a loft bed since we have been on the look out for a decent one for him. Eventually that joke became reality & my dad is on the last few stages of making Teen Boy's loft bed! WOOT! But my dad tries to go into detail with me that I don't care to hear. Probably because I'm not into the wood-working thing. And we have been in no hurry, so we haven't been pushing's just whenever it gets done. Somewhere in there, my dad thinks we need to know every step. Just tell us what is needed from our part & when it's done. But my dad can't always help himself either.

Well, now that the bed is close to done, my dad was trying to bring up that I needed to bring hubby's truck out for hauling & blah-blah-blah. I told him to talk to hubby about the truck since I won't drive it. My dad thinks I am being ridiculous...but I'm not kidding. So, as he's trying to give me more details about this brain kicked into high gear...

I pretended I was driving a really loud truck. I was even making the sounds. I informed my dad that I couldn't hear him over my loud pretend truck. He rolled his eyes. Eventually, I stopped my truck to hear my dad, but as he was talking, I realized I couldn't hear him because my window was up. So I had to roll down my pretend manual window so I could hear him. I think he about gave up on me.

He had the gall to basically ask who's fault it was I was like this. I pointed directly to him, started up my loud pretend truck, and broke into a verse of a song that he made me listen to many years ago...

"Take me for ride in your Mack truck.
Take me for a ride in your truck, Mack.
Take me for a ride; take me for a ride;
Take me for a ride in your Mack truck,

All he could do was laugh. He, then knew that this particular deal was his doing. He made us listen to a lot of Peter, Paul & Mary. So "Car, Car" was the appropriate song to break into to prove it.

So I can also blame him, and I do, for Star Trek imbedded into my DNA. Along with Star Wars & much more Sci-Fi. And an array of Tom Lehrer songs.

As you can tell, I can totally blame my father-figure dude for my warped-drive sense of humor. Well, my mom's side, too...but it's so much more fitting to blame my dad for today. It's the gift that keeps on giving...

And this is what my loving hubby has to put up with. Bless his heart, right? I know...

Stay long and prosper. (thanks, Dad)

God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, June 14, 2012

AM~Erica is Long Overdue

So anyway...

Another double-posting day. Even though I posted earlier today, I have to come clean about something: I have an appointment that I am long overdue for.

No one should ever go this long between times. I know. But circumstances stopped me for a while, and I never got back into the routine of doing it.

Tomorrow, I am going to the dentist. *GASP*

It's not that I have a fear of going, but I'm freaked out because I'm out of practice of being poked in the mouth with a metal hook. But the good news is that I have flossed more in 2012 than I have in probably my entire life. So there's a springboard for the positive...right?

OK, my heart is beginning to beat faster just thinking about it! And as much as I want to eat Cheetos & Oreos before I go (a la Tim Allen), I need to set a good example for my kiddos. It will be a family event. And because it will be a family event, maybe that thought will stifle the possibility of me screaming like a little girl. We will see...

I won't go into how long it's been. That part is even more embarrassing. But when you don't have insurance for a little while in your life, you forget you have it when it becomes available thru work as part of a package deal. By then, I was already out of practice.

Now, it's time to put on my big girl britches & go back. And I'm hoping it doesn't get to a point where my hubby must escort my children out of the area because I'm behaving ridiculously like a toddler. That wouldn't be pretty.

So, for the sake of all involved...

I must set a good example...
I must set a good example...
I must set a good example...
I must set a good example...


Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

AM~Erica Thanks Betsy Ross

So anyway...

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Have you ever stopped to realize that our American national anthem is not about our great country, but about the very symbol that represents it? That's right! "The Star Spangled Banner" is about the stars & stripes on the red, white & blue combination of fabric that forms our very flag. The song is about how it withstood major damage all around it, but it kept flying despite the war around it.

Today is Flag Day. It was put in place to celebrate the birthday of this flag that was created by Betsy Ross. I'm betting she never really imagined that her creation would be adopted, revered & have a song written about it's power to be adopted to represent the land it was created for. That's pretty amazing.

So, today, we celebrate the flag. And we should fully embrace our national anthem, too.

We celebrate the blue field with a star for every state of the United States to "form a new constellation". The stripes that represent the original colonies & the red stripes that represent the bloodshed to fight for this great country. It's a wonderfully & beautifully symbolic of tradition. And it still stands. many other things in this day & age, it is not as revered as it should be. It is disrespected in so many ways. The age-old practice of removing hats out of respect has lessened. And the freedom to burn the flag was going wild for quite a while. Thankfully, I don't hear about those instances anymore...but the flag also represents our freedom to do those things, even the sad disrespect. We drag it on the ground & stomp on it, too. Sad? Oh, I think so.

And, as Betsy's creation has it's 235th birthday today (as we all have a birthday), each flag that is worn, tattered, or even hits the ground is supposed to go thru it's own ceremony, a burial, much like a funeral. It lives to represent us with bold color & it dies in the same representation.

So, remember what we celebrate today. Much like knowing what Memorial Day is about, as well as Independence Day. Focus on what we are proud to have as a symbol.

Thank you, Betsy Ross, for bringing the flag into this world to represent a wonderful country.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

AM~Erica is a Coffee Snob

So anyway...

This past weekend, my hubby had meetings with the Missouri United Methodist Conference taking place in Springfield, MO. That meant being out of town for a few days & mixing up our routine...
Not only did we have to set up a flowchart-needing schedule for our poor kiddos, but we were needing to change up when we got up, where to eat, and most of all...our coffee situation.

Now, most of you may have already figured out how important coffee is for my hubby & me. If you're not as familiar, then you need to know that it is VERY important. Otherwise it's ugly.

So, here we are in Springfield needing to get coffee. You could "brew" coffee in your room, there was complimentary coffee in the hotel lobby, you could spend a fortune for the mini buffet & get coffee in the hotel restaurant, you could pick some up at a fast food or other dining establishment...none of it was working. We heard that Mudhouse Coffee House is supposed to be really good, but by the time we found out about it & found the hours, we didn't have time to try it. Hopefully we will get to try it sometime now that we know about it.

We were missing our grinder & beans. Badly. We dealt with the gift of the coffee we were "given", but once you have freshly ground coffee in the mornings, nothing else is the same again. It's because of this realization we had already come to a few months ago, we also came to this realization:

We Are Coffee Snobs.

Once you've gotten to dabble in the good stuff, it's hard to back down from that. Except at Wendy's. They have a new Redhead premium blend that is actually quite fantastic. And those are big words from an admitted coffee snob. So imagine my level of sad when we discovered that Wendy's is doing their breakfast as a "test market only". So no morning Wendy's coffee to offset any other coffee we could get a hold of. So it seems to be going on about everywhere BUT Springfield. Go figure.

All I have to say is that we were so happy to get back to our grinder & beans! Yesterday morning was delightful making our own coffee, at home, with our own beans. That first appreciative cup was the best. But we didn't have enough for a full pot, so we were slightly short-changed on that first coffee back home. So I had to make a stop to get beans.

I headed over to Gloria Jean's, of course. Our usual baristas weren't going to be there. I knew that. Like they know us & which beans we get, we know their schedule. It's all part of the bonding process. However, we were off schedule. So I didn't know who we would get. It was a barista who has served us before, but it's been quite a while. I ordered only half a pound of beans in the interim to get us back on our coffee schedule. I let her know that I was in the coffee club, and she replied with, "It's 'Erica,' right?" wha-WHA?? Holy Cannoli! She even knew my name! Teen boy was with me & he just started shaking his head. I would like to point out that she knew my name before I handed her the card with my name on it.

That's right...I'm so known at the local Gloria Jean's coffee shop that even baristas we are not as familiar with know my name. *bows & curtsey*

So...what has 2 thumbs & is a total coffee snob? THIS GIRL!!!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Sunday, June 10, 2012

AM~Erica is One of Those Pastor Wifey People

So anyway...

I have a confession to make. Some may be shocked, but I think most of you reading this already know that I'm...a...pastor's wife. That's right. You heard me!

My hubby is a pastor in the United Methodist Church of the Missouri Conference. His call-to-ministry story is part of my own faith story. You will have to ask me about it sometime. But this is not the time. I am not here right now to talk about that. I am here to talk about the bi-product of it: becoming & being the wife of a pastor.

The Missouri Conference has brought many of us together. I want you to know that I did not connect with many of them without some kicking and screaming. Because my vision of the typical pastor's wife was not favorable. I did not want to hang out with a bunch of old bitties in tailored Easter-like suits, bobbed silver hair & in their husband's shadow of showing to everything right on his heels. Being in a group with them was NOT for me. I do NOT fit that kind of mold. I think most of you know that.

I kept getting invited to all these spouse retreats & to spouse luncheons. Ick. Not for me. At all.

Then, a couple of years ago at the MoUMC Annual Conference, my pastor wife friend, Catherine (who is nothing like I described above) asked if I was going to the scheduled spouse luncheon. I "gracefully" declined. But I also gave my honest reason for the decline. (see the description paragraph, above) I think there was also a "no agenda" meeting for the spouses, hosted by our bishop's wife. I didn't do it either.

Last year, Catherine was on me again. I tried to decline, but she made sure I showed up to that "no agenda" meeting & made sure I was signed up for the luncheon. I learned that my other fellow spouses were older, younger, big, small, plain, fancy, ethnic, hairy...and we were all in the same boat. Even the guys. That's right...the "hairy" really had to do with the pastor husbands. And it was fantastic knowing that there was this diverse group who know what the other ones in the circle are going thru. Between the "no agenda" meeting & the luncheon, I'd made some wonderful connections! And I have to give credit to Catherine for twisting my arm.

This time around, I went to the "no agenda" meeting & the luncheon again. And since I've stayed in contact with several of these wonderful people, mostly via Facebook, the connections were even stronger this time! And being here to encourage new pastor spouses was & is wonderful! The connections were so great that only one of us would have to camp out just outside of the meetings our clergy connections were a part of, and more of us would gather. Many of us talked more. And I made even more connections. So much so that my hubby thought I seemed to have more events with the spouses than last year. But it was the same as before, just got to be even more social with several of the other pastor wives.

I have grown confident in my role. I am myself. My fellow pastor spouses will be themselves. And it's wonderful to have a group of people you can turn to who understand. Those times when you can't turn to your pastor...or because it's about your pastor. We understand each other. Even in our craziness. I'm not kidding. And I'm looking forward to more spouses joining us in the future.

So, those of you who have a pastor with a spouse, hug them & support them & know that we really are one of you all. No pedestal needed. Please! And we are individuals...we will never be the pastor spouse who was there before us. You can't force us! We might even let you know...

This group of people is a true blessing.

I am a pastor's wife...hear me ROAR!

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Blame AM~Erica's Future Self

So anyway...

In a recent post I had about coffee shops, I mentioned my fabulous friend, Shanna. I also mentioned she's an author. She also has a fabulous blog that she keeps up, too. I love her!

Recently, she had a great blog post about what you, as your future self, might tell your high school self. It's an entertaining post that really makes you think! She wondered what I would tell myself.

This post will NOT answer that. I am actually here to address my future self. I know I can be ornery & sneaky...but my future self is even worse!

Generally, we love it when someone steps up to do a chore for us or something nice. But there are those times when there's something you need to say yourself, or you have it in the back of your own head to do. But somehow, your future self beats you to it. Just yesterday, I was just talking to my daughter about a story with my future self. I guess my future self got really excited to be in the conversation & struck again this morning!

Several years ago, when I had my wisdom teeth out, I forced them to put me under. I did NOT want to know what they were going to do to me! I remember having my wrists tied down to the arms of the dental chair. I remember thinking that I had to remember that moment as being funny so I could tell my dad. He's the one that took me & was taking me home. I remember them waking me up; I remember the recovery room; I vaguely remember the ride home; I remember being sick since I don't do anesthesia too well; and I remember my dad waking me up once in a while to switch which side I was laying on & to switch my ice packs. Then, I heard it: when my mom got home, I heard my dad tell her that I'd told him about being tied to the chair! Wait...WHAT?? I didn't even get to tell him because I beat myself to it??? How dare me! I was so disappointed that my future self would do that to me.

Now, just know that my future self has struck a few more times, but it was the timing of telling Teen Girl about the above story that made me wonder about this morning...

I was going to get another cup of coffee & I put my coffee cup by the coffee maker. I went to get lil guy going for summer school & then came back to put milk in my cup...and the milk was already poured perfectly into my mug! Wait...WHAT? Gee...thanks, future self!

Don't get me wrong. It was nice. My future self, I'm sure, was trying to help. But at the same time, I have the feeling my future self is enjoying me being made to look like a bigger dork than I already am. Trust me...I do NOT need the help.

So this doesn't help my high school self. Actually I think my high school self would either be terrified by this, or laughing hysterically.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Year Later, AM~Erica Contemplates

So anyway...

I am taking a moment as I plan the upcoming weekend to reflect on a year ago. That's because a year ago yesterday, I lost my grandmother. Alzheimer's took a beautiful woman, a beautiful soul, a beautiful mind. And, with the circumstances surrounding her not knowing anyone by the time she left the earth, I am still saddened. I am really choked up thinking about it.

Last year, my hubby was at Missouri United Methodist Annual Conference, and I was with him. And it was Sunday morning when my mother called me with the news. Though I was sad, I was still at peace with her going. Her quality of life was not serving her well. However, I was sad for my mother & her siblings. They worked so hard to keep visiting her & try to keep my grandmother as sharp as possible as her mind continued to slip away. That's what broke my heart.

Today, I remember back to last year being in the presence of United Methodist clergy & laity. The annual memorial service for those who have gone on before us took place on Sunday morning. We had planned to go, but I was having difficulty focusing. But my hubby & I went anyway. It was hard at first, but it was such an odd service, it actually helped take my mind off of things at hand.

But I also remember my friend, who is a pastor, Jenn. She could tell from a mile away that something wasn't right with me. She could tell it at the memorial service. When we returned to the convention center, where the meetings are held, she tracked me down to find out what was up. I broke down, and she prayed for me & with me. I will be forever grateful for that.

Later, my pastor friend, Angela, ministered to me without even realizing it. She ministered to me through her butterfly necklace. I have had quite a draw to butterflies for years. I have my own Theology of the Butterfly. (feel free to ask me about it...I never mind sharing it) Angela shared a God-filled inspired message to me. Almost a mini-sermon & she had no idea. She didn't know what I was going through, but God knew I needed that message.

I found out at my grandmother's visitation that she had a draw to butterflies, too. And a butterfly had a long visit with one of my aunts on Sunday...the same day I got my word about her & the "butterfly visit".

I'm having a harder time today thinking about all of this than I thought I would. I'm really choked up as I am putting these thoughts out here.

The thought runs through my mind as to my "condition" I was experiencing the week leading up to it. I know I should've seen a doctor...but I hate going to the doctor. Ask my hubby, he gives me a hard time about he should. But I had been waking up in the middle of the night, every night, and not sleeping well after that due to chest pains that would set in. It would last through some of the morning, but would dwindle away & I'd be fine the rest of the day. Weird, I know. Not good, I know. However, that Sunday morning, I dreaded waking up in the middle of the night expecting the pain. I woke up at 2-something, but no pain. I went back to sleep. When I got up, still no pain. Then I got word about my grandmother.

Though I didn't have much interaction with her through her last few years of life, I think she might have been going through something in those last few days beforehand. I can't explain it, but all I know is that she died in her sleep sometime between Saturday night & Sunday morning. I can't help but think that she may have left around 2-something on Sunday morning. The pain was gone. I felt it & didn't know what it was.

As weird as it all sounds, it so incredible, and still hard. But God has given strength through all of it.

I am so grateful for the memories of my grandmother. I learned even more about this remarkable woman after her passing & was even more amazed by what she'd done in life, and also more saddened by what this nasty disease did to her.

I am also so grateful for the gathering of such wonderful clergy & laity every year. God does great things. I pray for everyone durning Annual Conference that the Spirit moves in & through all of you. Each of you are a blessing.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica


PS ~ I saw that Ray Bradbury died today at age 91. Lil guy heard me telling hubby about Ray's passing & lil guy asked how old Gigi is (my living grandmother). I paused & told him she is 91. He responded with, "I hope Gigi doesn't die." I'm in total tears. Just heartbreaking. Hard, hard, hard...and I'm with lil guy. Me, too, lil, too. *cries*

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gloria Jean Knows AM~Erica's Name

So anyway...

Raise your hands if you know where the practice of yelling, "NORM!" came from. *raises hand*

And why did they yell Norm's name when he walked in? He was a regular at the Cheers bar, and they knew his name. And even though he could never pay off the tab he'd been working on for years, they always served him & enjoyed his company. They liked him being there.

If you haven't figured out, I love my coffee. I do...I really, Really, REALLY do! And I have been to several establishments to purchase a cup of coffee, foo-foo or not, to consume. Some are good, some are not-so-good. But I ponder the fact that I have been drawn to one particular establishment. And my draw to it extends back to my newly-post high school days.

Remember back in the 80's & early 90's when some of us were considered mall rats? *raises hand* I had the hair-goddess, lion-mane hair & would go with my friends to invade Claire's, Spencer Gifts & the food court. And going to check out new trends in the stores was a MUST! Maybe even work in a silly photo booth session, and possibly a movie. Those were the days! But I must blame, I mean "give credit", to my friend Renae for introducing me to iced mocha on the Country Club Plaza during my senior year. And that was it!

In the time since then, I was usually at Ward Parkway mall (back when it was a whole mall) since the draw to Bannister Mall was sadly dwindling. (RIP, Bannister Mall) So, I would shop frequently with my good pal, Nikki. And we would often go into the Gloria Jean's establishment to get some kind of coffee concoction. We started getting to know the manager there because she would start to remember us. But it's hard to forget a couple of crazy chics when one of them is albino. But we started getting to know Pam. Then life began to happen; Nikki & I started hanging out less & stopping by Gloria Jean's to get our coffee from Pam. We quit going. For years.

I eventually got a job about a block from Ward Parkway mall & started going there again nearly everyday. Pam was still there & actually remembered me! We started chatting & I would get my coffee. Then a guy named Dave started coming in, too. We were quite a trio talking there almost everyday & entertaining the customers coming in for their coffee, too. I even started spending some days with my (now author) friend, Shanna. She blames me, I mean "gives me credit", for her addiction to frozen coffee just from out frequent visits there.

I got laid off from my job & slowed going. Ward Parkway was dwindling & became less of a mall. Gloria Jean's closed. I had to go back over to Bannister if I was to see my friend Pam & sometimes Dave would show up, too. But that shop closed along with the whole mall. No more Gloria Jean's for a long time...that was over 10 years ago.

In the meantime, we have had local coffee shop coffee & Starbuck's. But it was never the same for me. Not just the taste of the coffee, but the ambiance. I didn't have the "NORM" moments. My hubby & I were in the realm of "general patrons". Until recently...

In December, hubby & I decided to delve into the world of grinding our own coffee beans! And that's what we did. So, off to bean testing: from store brands, to local coffee shop blends, we tried Gloria Jean's. We were most pleased with what they had & how it tasted. So we go weekly into the Gloria Jean's establishment at the mall near us. One of the baristas learned my name since I'm on the coffee club list. *Coffee Snob* Now, when I walk in the door, she yells, "ERICA WILLIAMS!" It doesn't matter how crowded the shop is. Another barista has started learning our habits, too. We have a coffee bean blend rotation...and they are learning it. They will even have a 2-5 minute conversation with each other about us coming in & arguing about what bean is up in the rotation before we can even say hi to them. It's awesome!

They have even gotten to the point they are trying to remember hubby's name. When he walks in, they yell, "MR. WILLIAMS!" Yeah...they don't have his first name down...yet...

So, if you are ever at Independence Center on Friday, Saturday or Sunday afternoon or evening, you may see Morgan & Mercedes (M&M, aka "Two Blondes & a Coffee Shop"). Go say hi, get a drink & tell them Erica Williams sent you.

Cuz...(sing with me)...
"...sometimes you wanna go
where everybody knows your na-a-a-ame
(bum, bum, bum-bum)
and their always glad you ca-a-a-ame!
(bum, bum, bum-bum)"

(Are you singing, too?)

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, June 4, 2012

AM~Erica, Sock it to Me!

So anyway...

Yep, another one of those days when I needed to post twice. And this one doesn't even go with my earlier post today. But, trust me...

First thing you need to know is that there has been a general consensus from many-a-folk that I was probably born too late. Like WAY too late! I should've been spending late teens/early-to-mid 20's in the 60's. Totally Mod 60's! Mid-60's to early 70's! I would've totally been groovin'! But since I wasn't, I can still celebrate it for sure. I love all things 60's. Fashion, music, icons, patterns, shows...I think it's all groovy! Have you paid attention to my new digs? Now that you know this, I will go on to my story. But remember this point; it's important!

Another important point is that I hate feet. Baby feet are adorable & fine...but once you hit the age of 2, all bets are off! I want to vomit! That's part of why I like shoes & toenail polish...anything to pretty up those nasty body stands. Once again, also important to my story.

So what do the 60's & nasty feet have to do with my evening? Read on...

Tonight was a typical-type night at our house: lil guy wanting to play cards. Not poker or anything...he wants to play Uno! Since hubby had a meeting, I played a few rounds with Teen Boy & Lil guy. And since the boys still have clumsy fingers & I can shuffle the deck like a dealer at a table (that's a joke, people...but I keep shufflin'), I started to shuffle the deck for one of the boys. Then...lil guy thinks he's being super cute by "accidentally" bumping his toes on me. ICK!!!! So I ask him nicely (I swear) to please stop putting his toes on me. He laughs...evily. Teen Boy always gets a kick out of being annoying & enjoys trying to join in on any annoying situation. It's annoying. He laughs...evily. He tries to put his feet on me, but I stop him with my mommy words! So he tries to find a loophole in that he is wearing socks...

This brings 2 things:

1. The socks are still involved in the whole foot thing.

2. This brings a song to my head...and I must...start...singing...

OK, another thing you need to know about me is the fact that I will start singing a song if you say something that makes me think of a song to sing. It happens so often that hubby & Teen Girl have picked up the habit. My legacy must carry on somehow...

So, I begin to sing,"...SOCK-IT-TO-ME, SOCK-IT-TO-ME, SOCK-IT-TO-ME, SOCK-IT-TO-ME..."

And I can't stop. I have to sing more of the song! "You're kisses, sweeter than honey!" Teen Boy is not amused & is begging me to stop singing. But I can't stop...and he asks me to stop singing that (brace yourselves, people) "horrible song"! *GASP* wha-WHA?????

I have Laugh-In scenes going thru my head! I hear Aretha belting out needing respect! And I've got Teen Boy dogging the song.

Teen Boy: Stop singing that horrible & stupid song! It sounds really old! Is it like from the 80's or something?

Me: Excuse me?? That song is called "Respect" from the one & only Aretha Franklin. And it's from the 60's. It's a classic.

Teen Boy: Yeah...I thought it was really old. And it's still one of the stupidest songs I've heard.

Me: *GASP* WHAT???? Did you just say the 80's are "really old"???

Teen Boy: Uh...yeah.

Me: *sings* "R-E-S-P-E-C-T! I'll tell ya what it MEANS to me! R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Take care: TCB! Oh! SOCK-IT-TO-ME, SOCK-IT-TO-ME, SOCK-IT-TO-ME..."

*sigh* Where have I gone wrong? Now I am worried about the music tastes of some of this up & coming generation.

I might go cry now.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

AM~Erica Loves Lucy & Her Lessons

So anyway...

I'm not sure if you know, but I Love Lucy. I really, REALLY do. It's not just cliche'.

She proved you can be dorky, funny, spunky while being beautiful & stylish all at the same time! What a gal! What an icon! I mean...what did you really expect from a redhead? HA!

Well, this weekend while chilling out, my hubby came across some episodes being shown on TV Land. So the family took pause to take in what the show was about. Even though lil guy didn't really get it, the rest of us were laughing! It's priceless footage for sure.

There was an episode shown that really got my attention. As funny as it was, it totally covered an important issue that we promote today. Though we were laughing, it was really sad at the same time. It was about self image.

OK...a lot of what she covered was done out of over compensating for her insecurities, but this one really hit a note. It's the episode of "The Diet".

Lucy is already feeling bloated & down on herself. Then she hears that Ricky's lead dancer isn't going to be able to continue & he is in need of a female to step up who can sing & dance. She is trying for all her worth to get his attention that she could step up to do it, but he blows off her spontaneous effort. He says he'll hold auditions, so she says she'll pretend that they don't know each other & come to audition. He agrees!
*side note: not sure if this was Ricky really being a pig of a husband or if it might be interesting role play to spice up their relationship*

So Lucy shows up to this scene:

I don't know how I would feel walking into that situation. Well, I would know how to show up at an audition, but that's beside the point. This would be intimidating & frustrating! Then to hear that the dancers have known Ricky for years & tell Lucy they know she isn't is type? It's funny for the joke, but sad to think about. How much more deflating is that? Especially since you are supposed to be coming in as an "unknown" to the audition!

Of course, our dear Lucy fakes her way miserably thru the audition...but then it comes to be that he's really needing someone who can fit into the size 12 costume. Back then...that might've been the norm, people! Not a size 0 or size 2...size 12!!! Even though sizing was different then...

She swears she can wear the costume & shreds it to pieces when she tries it on. So she gives herself 6 days to prove she can wear the size 12. And Ethel tries to help.

Jump ropes, laps around the apartment...and all while wearing sweats. Just like I've seen wrestlers do to get their weight down. It's horrific! Lucy can't even stand up, let alone weigh in. Finally, she's lost 5 ounces after all of that to bring her a grand total of 2 pounds. She's trying to lose about 10 pounds in the 6 days.

When dinner comes around, Ethel has fixed steak & potatoes for Fred, Ricky & herself. Lucy got a celery stalk. Even the dog was being fed better!

There is a point where she even sits in a rented home sauna box to "melt off" the rest of the weight on day 6 before the show that night.

Eventually, we end up at the club. Ricky has already hired one of the other girls. Then, when the music starts, much to Ricky's surprise, we see:

...and she is adorable doing the dance to "Cuban Pete", as sung by Ricky.

Afterward, she obviously collapses. We see her on a stretcher & asking Ricky if she gets to be his dancer every night. He says no since she needs 3 WEEKS of rest due to...MALNUTRITION!

This episode was so entertaining in Lucy's way...but it was also a hard-hitting point. She was, of course, beautiful as she was. What high demands & obstacles her hubby put her thru to make her think she had to do all of that. Especially just to get his attention.

It's all about our self image & how we see ourselves. It is also how we make others feel about themselves, too. I can't preach it enough!

And if you want to feel better about yourself, just start eating better & drinking more water. Try going for a walk, even. Laugh, love & live on top of that. Don't go by magazines! Don't go by Hollywood standards, either! You can be fabulous just being you. (Well, most of us.)

Oh, in case you were wondering, Lucy tied up the new lead dancer, gagged her & stuffed her into the sink of the janitor's closet. Lucy went THAT far to get her hubby's attention. And it took that much to do so. It shouldn't have. That's a whole other post by itself.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Across the Pond Impresses AM~Erica

So anyway...

There has been a really big deal made about Britain, London, England and celebrations around the Royal Family. And a lot of the world seems mesmerized by it. I will admit to being one of them.

Right now, they are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth. A whole 60 years of being the monarch. Only the beloved Queen Victoria accomplished that feat. No matter how you look at it, that's amazing.

Now then, there's a lot of eye-rolling going on around things across the pond, too. The skeptics who fail to see the draw of a non-world power and all the money being put out there for the Royals. Understandably so. But I have a point or two as to why we should watch with joy.

1. I'm taking the girly stance & saying it puts a focus on fabulous fashion! The last couple of years has had some elegant trends & styles come out of the Royal celebrations. Like a larger focus on hats for sure! It's fun to see them dress up. That's the fashionista girly in me, I guess. But I'm not the only one!

2. Here's a biggie reason we should pay attention to what's happening over there...they are CELEBRATING! From the Royal Wedding of Will & Kate (William & Catherine...tomato-tomAHto) to the Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth, and the prep for the 2012 Summer Olympics. What an amazing time going on over there. Even if people are frustrated with the money being spent. There is a lot of truth to that, but it is being spent for happy times. It's beautiful to see happy citizens lining the streets for major celebrating...even if it is just an illusion. It should give some uplifting hope to the rest of the world drowning in their own woes. It's bright, beautiful & festive! The color & the glitz is wonderfully fantastic.

There's been home-grown (in the U.S.) events surrounding these celebrations, too. There were Royal Wedding viewing parties & teas set up last year. Then I came across this remarkable commercial prepping for the London Olympics: the one from either CitiBank or CitiCard where a large group of people combined their points for a huge London Olympics celebration. Have you seen it? Please let me know so I can add it to this blog post later!

It's OK to picture ourselves in better times. It's what keeps us going. If we are down on everyone else & each other, what good does that do?

I'm not going to pretend to know how England is doing financially, politically, or otherwise. I do know that they have been in a mostly positive light lately. It's something we should all just take a moment to breathe in. They are giving us several opportunities. It's OK to admire the hype. It's a fabulous moment of escape.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Welcome to a New AM~Erica

So anyway...

Once again, welcome to my new place. I packed up all my posts & brought them here. I needed a change to reflect me a little better. Reflect where my posts have been going. And it just needed updating. My blog has been pretty much the same since 2007 when I first started it. So, for those who are new to my blog, and to those who have been visiting for a while...I want to invite you to look around.

I'm so happy you came to my Blog Warming Party. (like a house warming, but for the blog)

There's several posts on coffee, of course.

There's those about a kid or my kids. And even the family ones & those about my hubby.

My older ones about jobs & potty training.

Don't forget my celebration posts...

You can always check out my popular posts & other label links, too! >>>

And, of course, my soapbox posts. If you're strong enough to handle them. I found that about 30 people dropped out of reading my 3-part soapbox after the first post before reaching the third part.

Feel free to check out my archives, too.

As you can tell, I've been at this for almost 5 years...but I made a commitment to myself to start blogging again, like I did back in 2007. I didn't keep up the place so well from 2008-2011. So I hope you have enjoyed my stuff.

Even though they don't necessarily cover early parenting, job hunting or bargain shopping much anymore, you can see how far I've come in my blogging.

Also...feel free to comment (like signing a guest book) and I've added the reactions back in, too.

Thanks for stopping by, as usual. Stay as long as you'd like. And plan on more coming...

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Friday, June 1, 2012

AM~Erica is NOT Julie

So anyway...

I want to welcome you to my new space! You like it? I'm loving it & it is way more me! Also, please make note that I have "moved". I packed up & moved all of my blog stuff to AM~Erica Says So ( So if you have me marked as a favorite or in your bookmarks, you might want to make the change. And I hope you are loving my humble abode. I might have an open house really soon to celebrate!

I wanted to inform you all of my change so you know where to find me. Wasn't that nice? I thought so. At least I'm not like Julie! "Who is Julie," you ask? I'd like to know, too. Trust me.

When we moved back to KC, almost 2 years ago, I got my cell phone number changed shortly after. It's pretty typical to change a number when you move: whether it's your landline (if you still have one), your cell number, or even a work number. It's generally the rule to tell people how to get a hold of you to find you...well, the ones you want to know.

After I got my new number, I kept getting calls looking for "Julie". Of course, I had to inform the caller that she no longer had that number. No big deal. It happens. You get passed a leftover number that someone else is clearly done with.

Here it is, almost 2 years later...and I still get calls for "Julie". The callers are becoming more & more confused as time goes along as to why they don't have an updated number for her. I would love to know that, too. Especially since I've gotten a couple of texts for her in the last 6 weeks. One of the texts was from her work. Seriously.

People, this "Julie Mc[Chick]" (I figured out her last name is Mc[something]) does NOT want to be found! A lot of people had her number. Now they all want to get a hold of her & have no clue how to track her down.

I mean...after 2 years, you would think her job would have her number. Right? *face palm*

So, I have involuntarily taken over the role of "Call Center" for Julie Mac.

I think she's the new Carmen San Diego. I have no idea where in the world she is! I just know that she is NOT with me!

Now that I have been kind enough to tell you all where to find me, I hope you like my new digs. Still me & still the same kind of posts.

But the next time I get a new number...I might reconsider telling anyone about it. This number will be doomed to be the Call Center Black Hole! Bwah-hahahahahahahahahaha...*ahem*

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica