Katy McKenna Raymond  
Personal blog of christian writer Katy McKenna Raymond in Kansas City, Missouri

Personal blog of christian
writer & fallible mom
Katy McKenna Raymond
in Kansas City, Missouri

Katy is represented by
Greg Johnson at
WordServe Literary

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(No Title) (#802)

"This is a really good cut for the shape of your face," enthused the stylist, as she finished my hair and we walked toward the front desk. For some sick, egocentric reason, I felt compelled to tell her I'd just finished losing 62 pounds, so she'd understand why I wanted a shorter, younger style. "Really!" she exclaimed, which is precisely the sort of response I revel in. She added something else, but since I'm completely deaf in one ear, it escaped me. Then she tallied up the receipt for 16-year-old Kevin and me and said, "That'll be $10 and $12." "No," I corrected her, "he's an adult..." "Oh, I know," (by now she seemed just slightly confused) "but I thought you were a senior..." A SENIOR?!? I whipped out two twelves so fast her head spun. Poor Kevin bore the brunt of my indignation all the way home, until we finally put 10 and 12 together and realized she had heard only the "62"--as in "years old," rather than "pounds lost." The only thing worse than the blind leading the blind is the deaf heeding the deaf.
Posted by Katy on 04/19/01

(No Title) (#803)

Shaylyn recently had her first birthday. She doesn't say much, but she communicates exquisitely. On Easter, she interrupted her mom and me to deliver a succinct message. "Aaannngh," she said. Cyndi looked her in the eye and answered, "I know, Shaylyn, but you're just going to have to wait. Brendan and Logan aren't being too nice right now, but give them a couple minutes. They'll come around. You'll see." Shaylyn turned and walked away, satisfied. "You knew what she was saying?" I asked. (It's been a while since I've had a baby. I've lost my touch.) "Of course. She was tattling on her brother and sister." Throughout the afternoon, Shaylyn continued to make adequate use of "aaanngh," "aawaangh," "aa-hangha," etc. Though the meanings were varied and expansive, the nuances of sound were so delicate that only her mother could act as interpretor. Lord, is it OK that I sound a lot like Shaylyn when I try to tell you how I feel? I groan and growl and spit out single, sometimes nonsensical syllables like an infant. "Eeeeeek, God!" "Help, Jesus!" "Ouch, Lord!" "Aaanngh, Father..." Still, somehow, You always leave me satisfied. You always understand.
Posted by Katy on 04/17/01

(No Title) (#804)

My neighborhood McDonald's offered US$.29 hamburgers and US$.39 cheeseburgers all day yesterday, for one day only, in commemoration of "Tax Day." Since I found myself short of both time and money, I decided to take them up on it. We've worked hard all year, we deserve a break today. Right? My 16-year-old son, Kevin, and I got in line in the drive thru at 5:45. After ten minutes, and by which time we were trapped into single file by a tunnel of cement wall from which no exit was possible, I began to doubt my plan. After eleven minutes, I thoroughly questioned my sanity. We spent twenty-three minutes stuck in a fast-food bureaucratic morass, and ultimately were entitled to acquire a maximum of five hamburgers. I only paid US$2.09, inlcuding tax, but my time is worth something, isn't it? "Mom, it's OK," Kevin said, in a kind attempt to assuage my indignation. "Next time we'll remember." And to think, after all that, not even the calories are deductible.
Posted by Katy on 04/17/01

(No Title) (#805)

One of these days I'm going to stop feeding the mouth that bites me.
Posted by Katy on 04/17/01

(No Title) (#806)

Of my many natural talents, the one I've been most successful in developing into a bonafide skillset is "valuing trappings over substance." One Easter, I treasured my basket filled with foil-wrapped fancies more than the devouring of the contents themselves. Months later, the icon was still lovingly enthroned on my bedside table, untouched by human hands. The crunchy rustle of tinfoil one dark midnight jerked me awake, sure that a miniature sibling was stealing my stash. I snapped on the light to find myself alone. Just me and the roaches. A number of my "trappings over substance" escapades have involved the acquisition of a-whole-lot-of-assembly-required excercise equipment. If I thought writing the checks was almost substance enough, wouldn't having the actual machines in my home certify my svelteness? No, I grew ever fluffier, while Doug maintained his youthful figure by wrangling apparatus parts for 24 years. Where's the justice? Musical instruments have played into my passions, as well. When I got a beginner's guitar, I insisted I needed an accessorized "gig" bag. I was positive gigs were in my future. I did have the wherewithall to learn upwards of three chords, but the substance of those pesky callouses on my fingers made me revert back to trappings, after all. No gigs. But from those who know me, giggles. Or are those snickers? Today is Good Friday, the day we remember One who did not share my weaknesses, but who died because He forgave them. In Isaiah, the Scripture quotes God as saying, "I will not give My glory to another." But then the New Testament tells us that Jesus freely laid His glory aside, to take on the form of a man, to be born, to die and to rise from the dead on our behalf. Jesus had all the heavenly "trappings" imaginable: thrones, crowns, jewels, palaces. He enjoyed oneness with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and the undying worship of legions of angels. Could He have needed anything else? I'm surprised again each time I think how He gave up the trappings of glory to obtain the substance of a relationship with me. Surprised again by the substance of His love.
Posted by Katy on 04/13/01

(No Title) (#807)

"I get enough excercise pushing my luck."
Posted by Katy on 04/12/01

(No Title) (#808)

Weather forecasts are more precise than ever, but just as inaccurate. Today, in Denver, they've had a huge snow storm, which closed down the airport for the first time in six years. When I was a kid, the weatherman would have called this storm a "blizzard." Now it's "blizzard-like conditions." Is that more exact, or just more annoying? Last night, the weather guy was trying to keep Kansas City and the surrounding towns apprised of a severe thunderstorm situation, and possible accompanying tornado. Typical stuff for us in April. Until this year, we were always advised to "take cover" or "seek shelter" in the southeast corners of our basements, or in a closet or other room without windows in the center of the house. Starting this spring, the instructions have been revised to "take your tornado precautions now." Uh, were we supposed to have a plan? My sister lives in Warrensburg, MO, where the tornado finally hit ground and took out 250 buildings over an eight-mile long section of town. The weather guy was reporting that they had 30 full minutes to prepare before they could expect the storm to hit. ("Alma, it'll arrive in your town at 5:15; Holden, 5:20; Lamar, 5:25, Warrensburg, 5:30, etc.") He showed his map of Warrensburg, and then told his producer to "take it down to street level," so he could point his cursor at main roads on the map and make their street names pop up. Cool. It would have been really cool if they'd had that 30 minutes to "take your tornado precautions now." The tornado touched ground in five minutes flat. I've decided I don't need to waste time watching the nutty weatherperson "take it down to street level" when I should be taking precautions on the lower level.
Posted by Katy on 04/11/01

(No Title) (#809)

My husband thinks a blogger ought to blog daily, for the sake of those readers who are checking in regularly. I maintain that a blogger should blog when she has something to say. Thanks for checking, though.
Posted by Katy on 04/10/01

(No Title) (#810)

Whenever I'm tempted to go out and get a "real job," I know something's not right. For me, a real job is what I do when I want to avoid my real life. My own personal life (and here I'm speaking of those parts of me which are distinct from my responsibilities to my husband and kids and mother and siblings and friends and neighbors, if that's possible) just does not thrive when subjected to the constraints of the traditional workplace. The last time I tried an office job, I found out I have cubiclephobia. At first, four of us had cubes facing each other, since the nature of our jobs required communication over the low walls of the cubes. But then the boss starting touring the floor, listening for snickers and giggles, or any other indication that we might be happy with our situation. When he found it, the walls went up, and the desks were rearranged to take full advantage of staring at gray space. Katy has left the building. When you've been conditioned your whole life to "get a real job," it's a full-time job convincing yourself you're an OK person without one. But the pay's great.
Posted by Katy on 04/06/01

(No Title) (#811)

Scott Douglas Raymond, age 21, simple college student by afternoon, frenetic coder 'til 3 in the morning. Expresses disinterest in superfluous possessions, preferring a minimalist existence ensconced only in books, music and computer essentials. Chooses the present company of like-minded friends over the accumulation of syrrupy trinkets reminiscent of past d'alliances. aka "Scotty," a boy who, when encouraged to begin gathering the "stuff" he would need to occupy his first dorm room in 1997, said, "Mom, don't worry. When it's time to go, I'll just do this... [pointing his index finger to simulate the motion needed to pick up the hangers bearing all his clothing] and I'm done..." And so it was. aka "sco," a man who, when he packed his bags for a semester in Europe last fall, refused to take along two aspirin because, "I may not need them, and I wouldn't want to have to carry them." Who is he kidding?
Posted by Katy on 04/05/01

(No Title) (#812)

"Angst" is a substance I wish I was more ridden with, but at this late date, my prospects are looking slim. "Adolescent Angst" won't be happening anytime soon, and I'm too long and happily married to anticipate any large measure of "Unrequited Love Angst." I guess I could frequent my bottle of prescription muscle relaxors for a little "Drug-Induced Angst," but the label says not to use while operating heavy machinery, and my life is still car-pool intensive. I'll just have to be patient. In the meantime, there's only one apparent recourse for me, unless I want to fall into the insipid pool of "Bittersweet," which is at best a watered-down, sentimental version of Angst--without the despair, but with a lot more experience. Do I really want to go there? The only worthy angst left to me now is one much avoided and much maligned. Menopausal Angst. Let the reader beware.
Posted by Katy on 04/03/01

(No Title) (#813)

I've been thinking about the difference between a puddle and a crater-sized pothole which has recently been filled to street level with three days worth of torrential rains. There is a difference, you know. A puddle is a benign, friendly sort of scooped out place of earth or road, which has collected to its bosom enough frollicking sprinkles to delight a neighborhood of galoshes-shod schoolchildren. A pothole deceives its victims with both the depth and severity of its formation. Its contents had been angry, pent-up storms, which now conceal with smooth-topped waters the rage they just spewed forth. My husband drove through one a couple of days ago, with the passenger side bearing the brunt. "Aaaaah! A pothole!" I exclaimed, to which he replied, "No, it was a puddle." "Don't look now," I added, "but we just left a wheel back there in that puddle..." Oh, the puddles and potholes of life. If only we could enjoy the one without occasionally mistaking it for the other.
Posted by Katy on 03/30/01

(No Title) (#814)

When expounding upon the story of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes to feed the multitude, preachers ask us to imagine ourselves like a young child in the crowd. A child whose mother has packed his lunch for the occasion, but who is willing to give it over to Jesus and risk having nothing to eat at all, on the off-chance that Jesus might use his tiny offering to reach many. This is an appealing scenario, but I'm not that generous. If my mom packs me a lunch, it's mine, and I'm under strict orders not to share it, give it, trade it or throw it away. I'm supposed to eat it. Most days, I feel more like one of the five thousand in the crowd-- hungry, thirsty, tired, weak and unprepared. Too shaky on my feet to make it to town to get some food, and too poor to buy any if I made it. Nothing to offer God, nothing to share with my neighbor. And yet... "They all ate until they were full. 'Now gather the leftovers,' Jesus told his disciples, 'so that nothing is wasted.' There were only five loaves to start with, but twelve baskets were filled with the pieces of bread the people did not eat." John 6:12,13 God only knows where those leftovers had been! Before they were gathered up, they'd been broken, passed from hand to dirty hand, dropped, stepped on, chewed up and spat out. But each person in the crowd got the chance to give back some of what had been given to him. So that nothing would be wasted. Sometimes, I give when I myself am hungry. Most days, I only give back what's left after I'm full. Thank God He can work wonders with leftovers.
Posted by Katy on 03/23/01

(No Title) (#815)

Being humbled by the stock market is something every investor should go through at least once in a lifetime. It lends the kind of perspective to a life which is difficult to acquire by less costly methods, and which is bound to prove valuable in all manner of future circumstances. Then again, perspective may be overrated.
Posted by Katy on 03/22/01

(No Title) (#816)

My doctor has a great sign that catches your eye just as you're stepping on the scale--"Just think of it as your I.Q." A year ago, that made me a genius! Now, with a little luck and a lot of hard work, I'm not so bright. A year ago, I looked like a genius in the stock market, too. Now I'm looking for a great sign to tape over my next brokerage statement.
Posted by Katy on 03/22/01

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