Monday, March 31, 2008

Children's Hospital Newbie

The snail-mailed instructional/patient packet told me I had to have Kyle at the hospital by 7:45 AM for his neurology appointment. People who are late will loose appointments.

We waited 3 months to get to see a pediatric neurologist.

Did I mention The Children's Hospital of Denver is no longer in Denver, but in Kansas? Beam me up, Dorothy!

Kyle and I shoved through the magic doors at 7:59.


Security. I don't know what's worse: TSA or a children's hospital! I had to hand over my ID, get a barcoded name-tag with my mug on it! I had to check in at every section through which we passed.

I was a teeny bit overwhelmed.

My heart goes out to families who have to practically live there. Especially folks who have to travel from the South West metro area.

On the other hand, I'm thankful. Thankful that Kyle has access to cutting edge technology and specialists.

I don't know what we're dealing with yet. The doctor said we may never know b/c his sensory issues are very rare. But, we know his motor/sensory problems are neurological and an arsenal of medical professionals stand by to help.

Boog did well getting his blood drawn. The nurse was worried b/c the test didn't allow the tourniquet to help locate veins. She had to stick blind. Boog let out a little wimper, then the tears stopped (while blood was still being sucked from his arm) and he said, "That's cool!"

And let me tell you, taking a urine sample from a non-potty trained toddler...

It was way worse than the blood draw!

My head was spinning by the time we left. Booger was crabby. My head throbbed and lunch hour traffic jammed up the roads.

Next step is an MRI. I hope there's one that's closer... and that I can at least have time for my morning coffee.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Can I just say -


This book is killing me (A New Earth). I'm only starting chapter two and the writer in me is about to have a freakin' flip-out fit.

The guy can't write.

And he's published.

NYT bestseller, loved by Oprah.

So far, just the pure grammatical mechanics cloud clarity and meaning.

To be fair, I'm not gonna say much more until I read the whole thing.

I think my final thoughts will be a "Rabble-rousing, rebellious writer's takes on Tolle."

Again, unless your foundation in the Real Truth (Word of God) is xuper reinforced, don't try to read this. The smacks on the Bible are subltle. Pray for me. Pray for the people getting sucked into this stuff.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thanks Bold & Free!

My friend Jan @ Bold & Free gave Joy in the Litter Box this award:

I'd like to pass it to Paula at Grace Reign, Margie at The Writer's tool, Lori at Quest to Write The Zebarths now missionaries in Belgum The Belgum 5, Joe at Free by Grace, Mair at Ragamuffindiva, and David at Red Letter Beleivers

Any ACFW CO folks I missed, let me know about your blogs I'll pass it on b/c you are so dear to me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Controversy swirls around me -

- like stink on a dog.

If I haven't caused enough stir over my post "The Dark Side of Christianity", I'm thinking of whipping up some more...maybe.

Millions of people around the world watch Oprah (me included). Overall, she contributes a lot to humankind. I love the woman. I'd love to meet her, be on her show...

She's been doing the book club thing for years now, which benefits writers and booksellers to a large degree. Recently, she's chosen a book, A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle, a "comtemporary spiritual teacher."

The Big O and Mr. Tolle are teaching a weekly class said book over a course of ten weeks - free - on It's the largest internet, interactive class ever. When Oprah does something, she makes it epic.

Testimonials on how this book influenced and changed lives are aired at the end of each show; rerun or not. Even some Christians are touting the book as being in sync with the teachings of Jesus.

My writerly/Jesus lovin' antennas popped up. Something about this feels wrong. Very wrong.

I don't believe in criticizing a book, or drawing conclusion about an author's message until I read the book. (Remember all the stink over Harry Potter? Many critics never read the books!)

So, Mr. Tolle's book occupied a vast amount of space on the book table at Costco (an HONOR for a writer). I hope my book gets that kind of real-estate someday...

I digress.

A NEW EARTH was 1/2 price. I bought it. I plan on reading it and posting "A Rabble Rousing Christian's Take on Tolle." I've been looking for response on the web, but haven't found it yet. I think many followers of The Way, are still stuck on THE SECRET. Which, someone needs to be.

Stay tuned to the Litterbox and feel free to help me shine a light on TRUTH.

But, please pray. This kind of stuff sounds so good. It really does encourage people to put others first and live a life of kindness. Don't read it unless you feel totally secure in your knowledge of the Word of God or without prayer.

God is God. We are not.

Monday, March 17, 2008

You know you're IQ challanged when...

...."simple" layouts for wooden Thomas the Tank Engine tracks baffle you to the point of tears.

Do ya think I can create a simple figure 8 so the Booger can send his trains in endless circles?

Do ya think I can figure out how to incorporate the windmill, stop house and two bridges for "interesting" terrain without multiple dead ends?


(ages 2+)

Kyle likes to "trash!" his trains (toddler-speak for crash). If the layout is not condusuve to collision, he gets bored. I say let him create his own layouts. Which he's doing right now (finally).

John can whip up a layout in 5 minutes or less. Me? Not at all. Not if I had 5 years. Am I the only one intellectually challenged by this popular introductory train set?

It's humbling to be unable to achieve something my two year old son can conquer with ease. And THEY say adults are smarter than toddlers...

(listen to the crickets... ciccadas.... dung beetles...)

More proof that I'm entirely lacking a left side to my brain.

Don't get me started on spreadsheets and Xcell (HATE that software).

I do words, not track layouts. ;)

Notice what Booger's Jacket says... sigh!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Boogered Out Birthday

I'm glad birthdays come once a year.

You wouldn't think preparation for a kid's party would be such a big deal - especially when we're having a pot of chili and a birthday cake.

Originally I planned to make the cake Wednesday night. But, who knew the goppy goo Wilton blops in their cake pans to hold on a paper sheet w/ a picture of a finished cake would take over TWO hours to get out of the pan?

I soaked, I scrubbed, I scraped, I tried oil, then I searched the internet and found out that I needed industrial strength adhesive removal to get the stuff off and it still was a chore! Wilton's gonna get a complaint from me.

So, by the time I had the pan de-gooped, it was late.

Yesterday morning found me pouring cake mix into the Kitchenaid, oven pre-heating, and a Booger eating bars (those fruit cereal bar thingies). I read, re-read and read again the directions at every step. I've messed up so many food items a small country could die from my efforts!

I opened the oven when the buzzer went off. The sides of the cake crawled out of the pan, all over the oven and the center was about 1/2'' thick! First I panicked, then I called my Mom.

Mom used to decorate cakes professionally. I sure didn't inherit the cake genes. She assured me she NEVER had the fiasco unfolding in my oven. She'd only caught her oven on fire and nearly burned the house down.

It was the dumb high-altitude thing. In teeny-tiny words that are unreadable with a microscope, the box of cake mix described high altitude as anything over 3500'. Ummmm, I live in the Mile High City.

I guess that qualifies for high altitude.

A second box of cake mix as backup is a good thing.

The second cake baked nicely, I even double slimed the inside to assure it'd slide out of the pan with ease. At first the cake refused to budge. I figured if this one was a bust, the zoo theme would change to a clean-up-after-the-animals-zoo-poo theme for that 's what chocolate cake looks like when it's all sorts of crumbly.

I spent NINE hours making a birthday cake yesterday. How many kids out there can claim their mom spent NINE hours in the kitchen for a custom cake? I only know of one. Okay, Mom, you did. But wait a minute, it didn't take you NINE hours... You did it in like, three...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hey, it wasn't me!

On my way out the door for a loooong drive to Parker for Words for the Journey, I received a phone call from John.

"Hey. Uh, I wanted to let you know I was in a little accident this morning..."

"Oh. My. Word!"

"I'm okay, the car's messed up pretty bad."

"What hit you?"

"One of those tiny Mazda convertibles. It went up under my rear end. Pretty much the backside of the SL2 is in the trunk."

I'm glad I'm not the little red car. I don't think I'd be feeling all too well.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Dark Side of Christianity

I think I just experienced a first - I was chased out of MOPS. The letter below is about my life. Incidents that happened years ago. Nobody whose hands would fall on my letter from the editor were involved in past incidents. The newsletters were scooped up, and torn out of readers' hands as I tried to pass them out. I think 1st Amendment rights exist even in a church gym.

MOPS International has NOTHING to do w/ this. Let that be clear. As editor and creator of Den(ver) Mother, I wrote a letter to readers. Read on and see what sparked an explosive reaction. Pray for me b/c I don't know now, who my friends are. I'm hurting.

The senior pastor knew about this and approved of it a week ago.

The Dark Side of Christianity
A letter from the editor, Darcie Gudger

A few days ago I stood in my back yard, camera in hand, experimenting with the effects of sunlight on my face. An odd exercise for someone who despises having her picture taken. I twisted, turned and tilted with my arm extended away from my body at an awkward angle, praying I didn’t drop my Nikon.
The best shot was one with my face washed in brilliant, warm sunshine. My skin glowed. The premature wrinkles carving deep canyons across my forehead vanished. Dark circles lurking under my eyes fled the sun’s rays. It was like I had a new face. Maybe I do.
When we shine the light of truth on the dark places, that icky, stinky, mess disappears. Darkness and light can’t co-exist.
My calling as a writer is to shine light on things all of us would prefer to ignore. Failure to do so would be an act of disobedience. I’d rather pay the price here on earth for igniting fury, than come face to face with Jesus to explain why I shrunk away from His call. The Bible never promises that our lives will be all nice and pretty if we answer His calling. I’m resigning my position as publicity coordinator because God is leading me further into the world of professional writing. The commitment is enormous and the opportunities are ripe.
Before I go, I must expose what’s been on my heart for years. Please take a moment and read my story along with a few others, then prayerfully consider joining the army to annihilate the dark side of Christianity.

Seventeen years ago-
I traded my guard uniform for a bathing suit in the sweltering heat of Myrtle Beach, SC. Landlocked all my life, I’d only seen the Atlantic twice before. I had to revel in jumping over big waves, allowing the buoyancy of salt-water carry my body in its currants as if I were a piece of seaweed. Houghton College, where I was headed in August, was even more landlocked than North Eastern Pennsylvania. Sand sprayed from under the balls of my feet and I sprinted into the water without pause.
But -
My period was late. I prayed it would stay away until I got home. Already a social outcast, I didn’t want everyone to add another item to the long list describing my “weirdness”. I’d be horrified if they watched a thick red gooey trail of blood snaking down my leg or laugh if I collapsed into the foamy surf, screaming in pain.
Greenish brown water lifted me gently up and down in a steady rhythm. I can’t remember how long I floated, but it was long enough for the sun to kiss my skin.
What of my period? It never came. Not a week later, not a year later – or even a decade later.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, my body hurled itself into menopause. Being an active young 18 year old, spending my weekends rock climbing in Canada, or backpacking on the Finger Lakes Trail in western Upstate New York, the benefits of not having a period outweighed the annoyance of the monthly visitor. I told no one. Not even my mom. I feared she’d haul me off to another doctor who’d rape me with a speculum. Again.
During my junior year of college, she grew suspicious. My sister was a freshman at Houghton, living in a different dorm. Mom sent incredible care-packages; our friends drool with envy. Mom saved on shipping costs by sending one box. Before the package went out, she asked Tammie and I if we needed anything. One request, er… lack thereof, was apparent. Tammie needed tampons and pads, I didn’t.
On a frosty afternoon when Houghton sponsored a parents’ weekend, Mom and Dad ventured up for the festivities. Mom was only out of the car for a few seconds before she accosted me on the front lawn of Byerly House. The house stood silent, holding onto its stony wisdom garnered over the past century. Now’d be a good time to share a bit of its knowledge!
Fiery red oak leaves rained down on us while Mom interrogated me about my health. Was I having a regular period? No matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t lie to my mom. Not to her face. Her ‘mommy gut’ told her there was something seriously wrong with me. She was right.
However, not menstruating was a relief. My life cruised along uninterrupted. I was content about it…
…until years and years later when I met John Gudger, the man who’d become my husband. A man whose dreams included a houseful of children.
We stood on a rocky ledge at Mount Falcon Open Space, overlooking the 3-foot vertical tube lights of the cross on the hillside. His fingers danced like spiders on speed as he chattered on about the fun adventures we’d have as parents.
By then I’d seen many doctors. Endured horrible tests. Denial of my problem was futile. I was infertile. Medical science couldn’t allow me to carry a baby in my womb.
I interrupted John in his soliloquy touting the wonders of parenthood.. I had to stop him. Shatter his vision of the future. Allow him to release me so he could find a “real” woman who could do what “real” women were created to do.
Violent sobs knocked me off balance. I tumbled to the sandy, rock sprinkled ground. John reached down, raised me to my feet then looked me in the eye. “I’ve already fallen in love with you. God is a God of miracles. Maybe He’ll surprise us.” The optimism in his voice made me cringe. He didn’t get it.
After we married, the years passed. No miracle. John held out, yearning for the doctors to be wrong about me. I was already taking the same hormone replacement drugs my 80-year-old grandmother took. Heck, my own mother still waited for The Big Change to happen.
John and I applied to adopt but our file was frozen for five years because we didn’t make enough money to provide for a child in the eyes of Colorado.
Friends had growing families. More and more I felt stripped of my woman-hood. People drifted away from us as if infertility were contagious.
Week after week we sat in Sunday school classes where pregnant women complained about being pregnant. Others complained about how annoying their kids were and how they wished they stopped at just one or two.
Plunge a long sword deep in my uterus and thrash it around! How could people take for granted what God deems a gift
. Everyone else could control whether or not children entered their lives. No one invaded their private lives, looking for reasons why not place a child in our home. John and I were at the mercy of the State of Colorado and the adoption agency.
Even after God brought Kyle to us, I was battered with messages of how I was a terrible mother. I was confronted about the vileness of using a bottle instead of a boob. Last year, a missionary stood in this gym proclaiming how the miracle of breast milk was what defines a woman as a woman. I wasn’t the only one who fled those hurtful words. Again, I had no choice.
Christians can be the meanest people on the planet. Not just to the sinners of the world, but more so to their own kind..
Not once did any of my unsaved friends say anything hurtful in regards to my infertility or other extreme hardships in my life. They offered open arms and words of empathy. Some provided aid.
Christian women like to make my barren womb something shameful. They assume I committed some unforgivable sin.
I’m often questioned about the severity of the love I have for my son. “Well, uh, how can you like, love him if he didn’t spend nine months in your stomach? You can’t tell me he’s fully bonded to you. I mean, he’s not, like, your real child.”
What do you think he’s made of… toothpaste? Real child. Give me a pickin’ break!
What’s the deal?
Folks claiming the name of Christ inflict the most painful experiences in life. A boss who mistreats his employees and cheats tax and labor laws. ‘Friends’ who left me for dead on the side of Mt. Quandary. Christians who upon finding out I couldn’t have kids said things like – “are you right with God? Are you sure you confessed all the sin in your life? You’re being punished for something you did in the past.”
The gut-wrenching truth is - Christians acting badly is universal. It’s not just in my realm of experience.
An unsaved neighbor of mine was invited to a gathering of Christian women. Sad to say, the experience pushed her farther away from the Lord who pursued her. “I thought Christians were supposed to be content with their lives. Why do they sit around and complain about their prayer life and how they want to be closer to God? Why do they sit around and talk mean about other women? Darcie, I’m not sure about this. It doesn’t seem real to me. I need something real.”
My dad has been in business for himself for over 30 years. He’s a heating and electrical contractor. Several years ago, I puzzled over why Christians were the most difficult people to get along with – especially when life was hard, and trials never-ending. His lips curled up into a tight-lipped smile. “Let me show you something,” he said.
In his office, he pulled out oh, maybe two filing cabinets worth of invoices. “These are all the people who owe me money for jobs I’ve done for them. These files go back to when I started.”
His next words stole my breath; “Darcie, 85 percent of these names belong to ‘Christians’. My secular clients either pay me early or on time, or even encourage me to charge them more because they are so pleased with the work. On the other hand, brothers and sisters in Christ seem to think I owe them a favor or should do the work for free. They try to talk down my bids. They sign contracts then fail to pay. I’ve heard every excuse in the book. I’ve never had this problem with a non-believer. Just because someone uses the word ‘Christian’ doesn’t mean you can blindly expect him or her to act like one. I’m sorry you’re learning this the hard way.”
Christianity has a dark side. A mother here in Denver worked hard for the music boosters at her daughter’s school so t he kids could put on great musicals and plays. Concession stands at big venues hire high school kids and parents to help with fundraising.
Two concerts were held at Fiddler’s Green. The first, a Christian music group. Concert attendees fought over open seating, were rude to the kids working behind counters. Demanded to be waited on hand and foot, then left a monstrous mess.
The next even was Lilith Fair. A secular music festival for women, by women, many of who are gay. The kids were treated with utmost respect. Generous tips were given to the boosters. And those audience members cleaned up after themselves.
Who was more Christ-like?
Why do we put up with this garbage? No wonder people On the Outside think believers are nuts.
As a writer, I’ve been called to use the light of the Son.
Lest you think I’m full of self-righteous muck, I’m not. I’ve been fighting for my life against the beast of depression. My marriage is falling apart due to unending trials of life. I’m plagued with physical problems in addition to the menopause. My precious son has special needs – some far greater than I’ve realized. I’ve hated God. I’ve called Him all sorts of names. I even tried to end it all with a bottle of Ambien a few weeks ago. John came down and tackled me to the ground.
I’m a mess. A bigger mess than what’s left in my backyard after the snow melts and the dog piles are exposed.
But you know what? Jesus loves messes. He’s not afraid. Look at whom he chose to hang with. Who he called to follow him.
Everybody is a mess, smelly and repulsive. Jesus is here to clean it all up if we ask him.
My prayer is that whomever takes over this newsletter will not be afraid to use the Son light. Exposing darkness and revealing the glaring hope of Jesus. Without him, we will disintegrate into the ground. Into nothingness and eternal hell.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Eating Shark

How do you get a persnickety toddler to eat a pbj?

First, allow the rubber shark with crusty layers of dried baby stew inside and out, to eat mooshed sandwich.

Second, suck moosed sandwich seasoned with nasty dried baby stew, out of the shark.


Do you have any idea how difficult it is to wash a peanut butter covered rubber shark?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I look at the blogs of others (read: just about every other pickin' person with a blog), and cringe. Mine is so lame.

I'm trying to do the AdSense thing. Can I figure it out? No. Google gives all sorts of directions, but your's truly is so technilogically inept, I'm making my blog look worse.

Well, I'm on here to write, not look pretty, but in this day and age prettiness helps.

Yes, I know there are people out there who do blog design. They are NOT free. I have NO money.

So, excuse my lameness. Don't judge me 'cuz of the look of my blog.