The Lawn Mower

The Lawn Mower

If you passed by my house yesterday between 8:30 and 9:30 pm, you might have seen some very strange things.

You might have seen a woman negotiating with her dog and pleading with him not to get out of the fence.

You might have seen her successfully distract the dog with a stick, not knowing that she still had 3 more cycles of this to go. Stupid fence.

You might have seen the woman drag the lawn mower out of the fence, carefully follow the instruction her father gave her, and pull on the cord with all her might.

You then would have seen her stomp her foot because IT ISN’T WORKING AND SHE WAS FOLLOWING ALL OF THE DIRECTIONS AND

Then you would have seen her remember the last step. Victory!

You might have noticed that she has no idea how to cut a pattern in the grass with the lawn mower and that she takes the approach of “God’s will be done with the yard” as she begins to push the mower up and down.

Then you could have seen her get to the driveway, and decide if the mower could cross it without damaging the… mowery parts. She decided she needed to turn it off.

She was wrong.

You might have then seen her attempt to restart the mower over and over and over and over and over and over and over until she looked like Billy Blanks from Tae Bo, except with less muscles and way more sweat.

You then would have noticed her drag the lawn mower up to the house, negotiate with the dog to get back inside the fence, and change clothes because if she was going to make a fool of herself in front of a busy street, she was going to be comfortable.

You might have seen that her tank top was completely and utterly see-through. She, however, did not see this until she got back inside. You’re welcome, people of Lawrenceville.

You would have wondered about her sanity when she kicked the lawn mower and sat in the grass.

It would have made a little more sense when you saw her husband come home and help her figure out the problem, and saw her glee at having her power over the lawn restored.

You then could have sat back for the next 3 million hours as the woman slowly but surely made her way around the yard, going in a pattern that only she could see. Kind of. It was dark.

You might have stopped to wonder why a grown woman was running with a lawn mower, alternately laughing and trying not to throw up. If you had just ASKED you would have known that she decided walking was too boring and running would be more fun. She was right, by the way.

And if you drove by this morning, you would see a shorter, albeit uneven, yard, mowed with the determination of one who has learned her lesson about asking her husband if he will let her mow the lawn just this once. 

She should have used this instead



I recently got promoted at work. I was a semi-grown up and now I am a REAL grown up. Neat, huh? I agree. Part of being a real grown up is that I will need to travel some for work. To ease me into this slowly, they sent me on the first trip with another real grown up, whom I shall call C-Dizzle.

C-Dizzle is a master at the travel game, so I just did what she did and followed her around. Literally, I followed her around the airport like a puppy. She kept trying to say things to me and I would try to catch up really fast to be next to her instead of behind her. ANYway, we got to the security check point and got separated. I tried to stick with her, I really did. But when the burly security man says “YOU GO THERE” and points to the opposite line of your travel buddy, you do not argue.

So I go to the other line and put my bag, shoes, kidneys, etc. on the belt. Then I am directed to the Temple of Doom. Yes – I got sent, for the very first time, to the body scanner.

This is the part of the blog where you should click here and press the blue button (make sure your sound is up) to understand the full horror I was experiencing.

I do not like the body scanners. Even after they fixed them so they can’t see you in your underwear, I have had an unnatural fear of these for years. If Daniel and I fly somewhere, he volunteers for the body scanner so he won’t have to talk me down from the proverbial ledge for the entire flight.

But I was very good and went through it. And I got stopped. Dang it all.

“What do you have in your back left pocket?” the very tall TSA lady asked me. I do have to say I was impressed with the accuracy. I wanted to tell her so but I felt like that wasn’t the time. I might write a letter, though.

HOWEVER, I would have to include in my letter the rest of the incident…

“Oh, it’s my license. I just had to show it for the first checkpoint and there was no time to put it in my bag,” I said, cheerfully but not too cheerfully just in case this lady didn’t care for pep. Then I took it out of my pocket and the lady jumped a little. Maybe I was supposed to let her do it?

She then told me she was going to have to pat me down. Erghhhhh, no. But she was already doing it, lightly brushing my left cheek with the back of her hand. My butt proved satisfactory (it always does) and I thought I was done. Oh, how naive I was. She made me raise my left hand above my head and she brushed her fingers down my arm and side. It tickled. I giggled. Apparently giggling is unacceptable to the TSA because she glared at me.

Then came the strangest part of all: She started poking her fingers through my ponytail. I know my hair is thick but is it really bad enough that I could hide a weapon in there? Because if so, she just gave me a great idea. She tugged on my ponytail and was finally satisfied that my CVS-brand ponytail holder was, in fact, docile.

She yelled “I NEED HANDS” in no particular direction and told me to go stand in front of another lady. This one at least smiled as she wiped my hands down with something. I realized she was checking for gun-powder residue and other explosive stuff. And this is where I truly started to panic.

See, my husband Daniel is a gunsmith. A gunsmith who likes to (safely) experiment with how to make things blow up. This means that any given day of the week I am putting away guns, chemicals of unknown origin, pointy objects covered in black stuff, and tubes of something science-y. And so my thought process went like this: Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no, no. Should I tell her before she even runs the test? No, no, that would look too suspicious. But what if it turns up something? What if I can’t remember what Daniel was playing with the other day? Was it magnesium? Marbles? Mangos? Something. Something with explosives. And he had me practice shooting the pistol… would there still be GPR on my hands? Is that even a possibility? Do people still use gun powder? It seems kind of old-fashioned. Maybe it’s just a phrase. Maybe they just call it that beca – 

“Uh, ma’am?”

I tuned back in to the TSA lady to see her staring at me.

“You can go.”

Oh. Well, good.

Stupid body scanners.

Come and Worship

Come and Worship

I, Kristen “The Great One” Eleveld, have a confession to make: I don’t like singing praise and worship songs. That’s right. I said it. I said and I meant it and I’m here to represent it unless it made you mad.

It’s not the praising or the worshiping that I dislike. I just don’t really get into singing. I feel bad about that because every good Baptist is supposed to sing (but not dance). But I missed the gene somehow. I’m not what you would call a “good” singer or “talented” or “someone who does anything but mouths the words most of the time.” I mean, I’m not Scuttle. I’m just not Ariel.

Don’t look at me; I’ve got nothing to do with this.

But any time I try to explain this to anyone, I get the Look of Abject Horror. You know the one: Eyes wide, mouth slightly open, sharp intake of breath. Occasionally their hands go to their hips, or, worse, their chest (which in Southern means, “Ohhhh… I’ll pray for you.”). They sometimes take a step back. A head shake is almost always present. The top three responses are as follows:

1) “Oh, but you’re such a good singer!” I’m not saying I’m good or bad. I just don’t happen to like it regardless. I am also good at algebra. But I don’t do it for fun.

2) “But it’s praise and worship. The songs are about God. How can you not like them?” If not liking a song about God is enough to get me in trouble, well, then, don’t get me started on 104.7 The Fish (The Fish Atlanta dot coooommmmmmm). It’s not the content of the song. It’s the singing.

3) “Maybe if you thought about it this way, you would get something out of it.” Ahh, so I just need to rethink my strategy. … … … …nope, still don’t like it. Look, it isn’t what I am singing or why I am singing or how I am singing. It isn’t the praise and worship team or the song choice or the key. I just don’t enjoy singing as a form of worship.

Some people will never get that. It’s hard for “music people” to get that while I can listen to the words of the song and believe them and worship in my own way, I just don’t like to sing that much.

I’m not a total heathen. I get a ton out of other forms of worship – writing, reading my Bible, dramas. For some reason, the writing and the dramas tend to get left by the wayside. Not on purpose and not out of malice. But it’s never the praise and worship time that gets left out of church weekends. It’s not usually the band that has to worry if all their hard work is for nothing. I hope I’m not sounding judgmental because that is not my intention at all. I just think there needs to be a balance. I think the kids who want to be in the youth program who can’t sing should still feel like they can still be a part of something. I want to be able to read the words on the screen or in the hymnal and worship through the lyrics in my own way, even if I am mouthing the words. I want to be able to tell someone I get more out of watching skits than I do from listening to music without getting one of these:

Bless your heart. 

I am definitely all for people who love to worship through singing. My BFF Jen loves to worship that way. My sister-in-law is all about singing and I know she gets so much from it. Sometimes I wish I did, too. But I am content with worshiping in many of the other ways that are just as wonderful to God.

So how about you? Singing or no singing? No judgment either way. Unless you’re wrong.

A Documentary on Dana Scully, or, How to be Knocked Out in Three Easy Steps

A Documentary on Dana Scully, or, How to be Knocked Out in Three Easy Steps

Lately, Daniel has been on an X Files kick. So we’ve been watching all of the episodes. If you don’t know what The X Files is, let me sum it up for you: Two FBI agents look for aliens after lots of strange things happen to or around them. It’s weird.

However, the weirdness is nothing compared to the stupidity perpetuated by one specific character: Dana Scully, one of the FBI agents on the show. 
“I was supposed to look sexy but I got distracted.”

It is incredibly hard to watch her on the show and remain silent. She is dumber than a sock and dresses like Hilary Clinton – that is, when she’s conscious, which seems to be rare. What’s that, you say? You want a list proving this? Okey dokey. 
1) The pantsuits. Oh, sweet cheese and crackers, the pantsuits. This woman wears pantsuits like it’s… 1993. Okay. Fine. But still – who looks good in shoulder pads? WHO, I ask you? No one. Especially not in the ones that make you look like a football player. Maybe she’s trying to go for a more masculine look so the other FBI agents will take her seriously. What she doesn’t know is that the suits are only just masculine enough to make her look like a transvestite. 
Look at those things. They take up half the shot.

2) The complete and utter lack of belief in all things paranormal, in spite of the fact that THOSE ARE THE CASES SHE WORKS. ON PURPOSE. She is a medical doctor who became an FBI agent – the assumption we’re supposed to make is that she’s smart. Unfortunately, she is not smart. Quite the opposite, in fact. Because no matter how many times she sees an alien abduct a kid or an invisible elephant trample a dude or find a bunch of dead people with Alien-esque plants sticking out of them, she insists that it’s all a big scientific misunderstanding. “No, no, I know his head was turned into a jelly bean in front of my very eyes. I have seen this before – it’s JellyBellyItis. Very tragic.” Moron. Conveniently she is never around to see any of the alien activity for many episodes, thus attempting to solidify her status as a scientific genius. All it really does is make you wonder why she is never there for the important things. Which brings me to my next item…
3) Scully is without a doubt the worst FBI agent I have ever seen. She is always at a loss for a weapon when trouble comes her way – too bad that standard FBI-issue gun isn’t nearby since you dropped it in the shower earlier like a champion. And when she does miraculously hang on to her gun, she holds it like a limp noodle and kind of just waves it toward the attackers, as if she is hoping it will start firing on its own. 
She also gets knocked unconscious about three times per episode. Once by a little girl. I get it; she’s the girl on the team and it’s the 90s and life is always more exciting when someone’s unconscious.But they are the F. B.  I. I would hate to have to explain to a child’s parents that I didn’t rescue their son from a kidnapper because I tripped and fell over my own gun after I dropped it because loud noises scare me. 
“What’s that? You want me to hold on to your gum? OH, gun. Uh-huh. Then what? Okay, which part is the trigger? And then I impress him?? OH, arrest him. Okay. Do I tell him I work for the FBI or is that a secret?”

So if you decide to watch, prepare yourself. It isn’t pretty. Her suits certainly aren’t.
Family Reunion

Family Reunion

I’ve got three eyes; my mom has nine.
People tease her all the time.
Although I guess that’s not as bad
As the awkward five arms on my dad.

Uncle Jim has one eye straight,
The other’s looking at the lake.
Aunt Marie was his nice wife,
Before she became Uncle Mike.

Then we have my cousin Paul,
Who somehow is his own grandpa.
That’s not as bad as cousin Joe—
He’s still counting all his toes.

Grandma Cat is worse off, too.
She has a hard time finding shoes.
It might be hard for me as well
If I had to wear a men’s size twelve.

Mick and Rick get no respect
Since they’re joined up at the neck.
One leg each, it seems unfair
When each one wants to go somewhere.

And of course let’s not forget
My favorite cousin Margaret.
Her hair glows bright, it is so nice
Since the treatment for the lice.

It is so convenient, too
To be related six ways to Great-Aunt Ruth.
It doesn’t bother me too much;
I think it adds a special touch.

So now you know; it’s not a trick.
For a joke, it’d be quite sick.
But, see, it doesn’t bother me;
This is just my family.

People think that it’s too bad
That our family looks so sad.
But if you haven’t heard by word of mouth
That’s how we do it in the South.