life

Cake and Ice Cream

Back in June my daughter shared a bit of local news:

A woman drop-kicked a birthday cake at Kroger because it didn’t turn out as she imagined.

When they couldn’t fix it to her liking she pushed her way behind the bakery counter and attempted to fix it herself. She was then told she could not be in the food prep area so she took her cake, headed toward the front door and then… you know.

“They ruined my son’s birthday,” she yelled, as she stomped on the cake.

“Whoa!,” I commented, “There’s a lot more there to ruin that child’s birthday than the cake.”

Wound tight and wound cheap.

If your Batman vs. Superman cake HAS to be perfect in order for your 7-year-old’s birthday party to be anything but ruined, you order from Charm City Cakes, not Kroger.

Kroger prices and reasonable Kroger expectations do not warrant drop-kicking anything.

Charm City expectations and prices – airfare and all – do not warrant drop-kicking anything either for that matter. But disappointment would be understandable.

If your Batman vs. Superman cake HAS to be perfect in order for you to give the illusion that you are the perfect mom and/or the perfect birthday party thrower, then you need some perspective. And a very large chill pill.

We shrugged and laughed – another high maintenance customer. Sightings are frequent around here.

I chalked it up to a frayed rope; the straw that broke the camel’s back.

But today she is back in the news.

Last summer she smacked a worker in an ice cream parlor because they didn’t have the flavor she wanted. Just smacked and ran. No birthday party pressure that day. Stopping for an ice cream cone – alone – has got to be about as pressure free as it gets.

Eleven months later the manager of the ice cream shop read a newspaper article about the Kroger incident and recognized the assailant as the same woman from the attack in her shop.

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The look on her attorney’s face says it all.

You can see the ice cream surveillance tape here: Cake and ice cream.

What the heck?

I was in the customer service line at Walmart one day a few years ago. A man was trying to return a television set.  He had no box, just the TV- the old, heavy, hard-to-get-your-arms-around kind.

The young woman behind the counter explained that the TV could not take be returned because Walmart no longer sells that particular television – hasn’t for years.

The man did a lot of yelling, grabbed the TV off the counter and took a few steps toward the door.

Suddenly he turned, walked briskly back, flung the TV over the customer service counter while yelling, “It doesn’t do me any good if it doesn’t work!” and then stormed out.

I don’t know whether he was stopped on his way out or whether the very young customer service worker was too stunned to react, but he should have been. He should have been charged with disorderly conduct, with disturbing the peace – my peace – and for destruction of property.  He should have been made to sweep up the broken glass.

My friend, Helen, used to run impulse-control groups at a prison on Saturdays.  (Just imagine that for a minute – a woman alone in a room with a group of men who lack impulse control.)

According to her, lack of impulse control is a huge issue among inmates. Well, yeah.

At the bond hearing for the ice cream assault, the judge said the woman is not allowed to own a firearm or any sort of weapon.

So now I’m wondering a few things:

  1. At what developmental stage is impulse control acquired?
  2. What factors prevent acquiring it?
  3. Is there a test for impulse control – or lack thereof – that could be administered before the issuing of a gun license.  Not that those who lack impulse control would have the patience to apply for a gun license. Or the self-control to refrain from striking the person who denied it.

All this over cake and ice cream.

The world has gone mad.

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Michigan

Spring in the D

I wasn’t doing anything today and the SUN WAS SHINING so we – my daughter and I – headed to Midtown for lunch and some shopping. Actually lunch and some browsing because who can afford to buy anything?

There’s just something about Spring in Detroit.

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Look at that sky!

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First stop, shopping at Shinola.

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Browsing at Shinola, but shopping at Shinola sounds better.

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A few more stores and then lunch.

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There are lots of hip new restaurants in Detroit which are getting good press, but we opted for a golden oldie, a tried and true favorite. Plus, it’s right next to Shinola and the cluster of other hip little shops and we were HUNGRY.

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Traffic Jam & Snug’s garden – with a fountain made of an old tub and sink.IMG_2356

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As soon as we settled into our booth I heard the voice of a child coming from the booth behind me: “The best Republican by far,” he declared, “was Abraham Lincoln.”

“You don’t hear much good about Republicans,” he continued, “but I like them.”

Apparently he and his mom are visiting from Manhattan. It was impossible to not hear their conversation.

On the way out of the restaurant he reminded his grandma that she owes him $10, “because I won the poker game.”

He looked eight.

Eight-year-olds make the best lunch companions.

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When the hub walked in the back door after work, he asked the beagle if she had been a good girl. Then he asked me if I had been a good girl.

“No.”

“No?”

“We split a piece of four layer chocolate Kahlua cake with coffee ice cream.”

Speaking of cake. The waiter. Cordial and really handsome. I only mention it because he seemed like the icing on a perfectly lovely day.

We didn’t have the customary cup of decaf to go with our cake because we wanted to try one of the many groovy new Detroit coffeehouses.

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We decided on this one.  Lavender lattes. Yum.

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Then we walked a couple of blocks in the bright sunny air to Will Leather Goods.

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Will donates really nice backpacks to area school children. There’s a couple of walls worth of thank you notes. This one is classic.

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“We liked the inside part and the outside part… Your best friend. Karla”

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Will Leather Goods from the back.

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There’s something reassuring about men working.

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Especially in the Spring when everyone seems happy to be out there.

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Spring in the D. It was a good, shiny day.

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Michigan, the friends

Monsoon

Little One awoke from her slumber and headed toward the back door.

“Are you sure, Little One?”

The rain was coming down in sheets and the wind was blowing it sideways. If it were snowing instead of raining, we’d have a bonafide blizzard.

But Little One always has to go when she wakes up from a nap.

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So I opened the door.

And immediately heard a very loud and frantic twitterfest going on out there.

Little One stepped into the pouring rain and then paused to rethink her decision. She sprinted off the deck, did her business and then sprinted right back.

55 degrees and raining in the motor city today. 62 degrees and fair yesterday. In mid-December!

After two brutally cold winters in a row, global warming has finally visited Detroit.

And I like it.

 

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life

It’s the Little Things

The wind has died down, the sun has finally come out and the hub has gone fishing.  But before he left he read to me.  From the Bible.

“Read some of Jesus’ words,” I said.  “I’ve heard enough from Paul.  Not that he didn’t have some good things to say, but he’s not God.”

You all know how I feel about that.

Anyway, with me still on crutches, that was our church today.

And then the hub hightailed it to the lake, leaving me here on the sofa, with a beagle snoring gently beside me, continuing worship by recalling some of the things for which I was grateful this week.

On Tuesday my cleaning lady came.  (Don’t judge me, she only comes EVERY OTHER week.)  She is a huge Slurpee fan and she often tells me about her latest favorite flavor.  This time it was Vernors.  I am not a Slurpee fan – brain freeze – but, what proper Detroit girl doesn’t love Vernors?

As she was leaving, she mentioned that she might stop for a Vernors Slurpee on her way home.

“Hey,” I said, “why don’t you stop at the 7-11 here, near me?  That way, if they have Vernors today, you can text me and  I’ll have the hub stop and get me one on his way home.”

Her eyes brightened and her mouth formed a smile.  She was clearly pleased and heartily agreed to do so.

About ten minutes later the garage door opened.

What’s the hub doing home so soon?

It wasn’t the hub, it was Becky.  Bearing a gift.

Yes, that's a Christmas coaster in June.

Yes, that’s a Christmas coaster in June.

Thanks God, for the little kindnesses that make life wonderful.

P.S.  My brain only froze once.  So that was good.   Momentarily very painful, but good.

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faith, Jesus, Light, Michigan

63 Degrees in the Motor City and God Was Listening

It is sunny and 63 degrees in the Motor City.   I took my car in for its 10,000 mile check up today and everyone at the dealership was giddy.  Several warm days in a row has put us all in a good mood, given us hope.

New life is poking up through the straw in my garlic bed.

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And in my city:

Tough, Cheap, and Real, Detroit Is Cool Again | National Geographic.

There was a big prayer walk through the city 4 years ago.

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It was thrilling to see people of all ages come from the suburbs to join those who live in the city to pray for Detroit.  I loved overhearing the fellowship of people who had nothing in common but Jesus.  I was blessed by the beautiful voices of the Evangel Temple singers who were  directly behind me, singing as they walked.  I loved coming upon random groups performing on various street corners.

 It made me think of what Isaiah said:

“Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you..  Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn… Lift up your eyes and look about you:  All assemble and come to you… Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.”  Isaiah 60:1-5

The size of the crowd was impressive.  Not as impressive as it is when the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup.  Not as impressive as it would have been if EVERY Christian from EVERY church in the city and suburbs had come.  Not as impressive as it would have been if our Jewish neighbors had been invited to join us.  But still my heart throbbed and swelled with joy.

And God was listening to our prayers that day.

It is going to be glorious times a million on the day when people stream to Jerusalem from every nation.  Isaiah said we will be bringing gifts and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.  We won’t be walking in silent prayer – like I mostly was unless someone came along and said, “If you love Jesus say glory” – we will be proclaiming praises.  We’ll probably all be singing as we walk – most likely we’ll be singing Psalm 118.

Zephaniah 3:9 says, “Then I will purify the lips of my peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.”  Jews and Gentiles, males and females alike serving Him shoulder to shoulder.

God bless Detroit.

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life

A No Diego, Slows & Astro Day

The Diego Rivera exhibit is cheaper if you go on a Friday, but it is impossible to get a parking spot anywhere near the art museum – or anywhere in the city at all – on a weekday.  Every lot, every garage is full.

So after squeezing my Escape through the torn up, road-construction-narrowed streets and failing repeatedly to find a spot, we abandoned our plan and headed to lunch.

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I had been wanting to try this place.  It did not disappoint.

A few doors down was a groovy coffee shop and you know how the daughter and I love the groovy coffee.

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It was while I was eating my half of our sea-salted, hazelnut, chocolate chip cookie and sipping my mocha that Daughter pulled out her phone and had me read this quote:

When we speak of the wife obeying the husband, we normally think of obedience in military or political terms: the husband giving orders, and the wife obeying them. But while this type of obedience may he appropriate in the army, it is ridiculous in the intimate relationship of marriage. The obedient wife does not wait for orders. Rather, she tries to discern her husband’s needs and feelings, and responds in love. When she sees her husband is weary, she encourages him to rest; when she sees him agitated, she soothes him; when he is ill, she nurses and comforts him; when he is happy and elated, she shares his joy. Yet such obedience should not be confined to the wife; the husband should be obedient in the same way. When she is weary, he should relieve her of her work; when she is sad, he should cherish her, holding her gently in his arms; when she is filled with good cheer, he should also share her good cheer. Thus a good marriage is not a matter of one partner obeying the other, but of both partners obeying each other.  – St John Chrysostom 

“Yeah, that’s pretty good,” I said, “but I think he could have just said, ‘Obedience has no place in the intimate relationship of marriage’ and left it at that.  Because good marriages don’t talk about or define mutual respect and consideration, they just naturally do it.”

But being young and not yet married, she liked that someone spelled out the fact that marriage is a two way street.  Because so often godly Christians insist that the only godly street is a one way street.

In the car on the way home she said, “Maybe I shouldn’t urge you to play it so safe in your writing.”

And then she read a quote from Anne Lamott:

“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.”  – Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

“Right,” I said, “because the whole beauty of me is that I don’t need to be liked. I’ll still run some of my posts by you for your yawn-o-meter, but I won’t let your people-pleasing nature stifle me anymore.  Someone has to be a voice for the people who think like me, even if we are only 1% of the population.”

Solidarity INFJ sisters.  And brothers.

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