28 November 2008

Obligatory Post-Thanksgiving Post

I've been cooking all week, including cooking the turkey and carving it the evening before Thanksgiving. So, all I had left to do on Thursday was the last minute stuff. It got done.

Things that happened Thanksgiving morning before the meal:
  • Monkey bread was baked and served for breakfast-snacking.
  • Cheese ball was put out for breakfast-snacking.
  • Chocolate-Pecan Pie was compiled and baked off.
  • Apple juice was simmered with 3 cloves and 1/2 cinnamon stick (simple, easy cider; if orange peels simmer for too long they turn bitter).
  • Table was set.
  • Butter was put onto butter dish early enough for it to get soft for the meal.
  • Potatoes were boiled and mashed.
  • Green bean casserole was baked and topped with French fried onions.
  • Peas were steamed.
  • Crescent rolls were baked.
  • Turkey was plattered and reheated (and still didn't get dry!)
  • Martinelli's was poured (yes, we had a bottle of wine, but we didn't serve it. Long story).
The only food-related hitch was that the peas overcooked. I couldn't find regular crescent rolls this year, only the "big and buttery" ones...I didn't read the baking instructions beforehand, and they needed 10 extra minutes to bake...those were the 10 minutes that overcooked the peas. Oooooh well. I'll write that down to remember for next year's turkey dinner.

It was a great meal. It was a really nice day. I loved it. Some of the people I love were there, some new friends were there, and a lot of the people I love were elsewhere. Still, it was a great day.

25 November 2008

Like/Don't Like Illustrated Edition!

Things I Like:
The Library
Hugs, and pictures of ridiculously cute cats
Shopping in a nearly empty store
Colby Cheese
Cheese and Crackers
The occasional boys' choir song...especially at Christmastime
Things I Don't Like:
Black Friday Shopping
Precious Moments
Swiss Cheese
Hearing too much of the boys' choirs (oh, the shrillness)


24 November 2008

Pet Peeves #756 and 757

  • High-talkers who end all their sentences with an upward intonation, as if everything is a question. "Any more questions? I think you look good in black? I grew up in rural/urban/suburban America? I'm glad the price of gas is falling?" Argh!
  • Meetings that should have taken 15 minutes but took 90 minutes. Argh!

Internet Advertising

I don't like it. I don't like advertising in general.

But you have to admit, when it does something cool when your mouse rolls over it on your way to the scroll bar (or whatever), it's eye-catching. Some of the animated advertising is cute.

But I still hate it.

20 November 2008

Knowing and being known

Knowing another person is a fearsome proposition. When I meet someone new, he's already been living for years on a screwed-up planet. What bruises has he picked up along the way? I've formed the beginning of relationships only to discover people were clingy addicts or incorrigible gossips ... and I had no idea at first. It's enough to make me afraid to shake hands after church.

Being known means revealing your own scars from 20-odd years of wading through life. You're opening yourself up to rejection on a deeper level than those junior high insults when people said your Mama dressed you funny. The eighth-grade clowns could only pick on your looks. If a person knows you, he has power to stomp your dreams.

Read the rest of this article here at Boundess.org, which has come through once again with good writing. Write on, Boundless staff!

What I Did Yesterday

Yesterday, I learned to attach a piano hinge to two pieces of wood. AND I attached 6 piano hinges while entertaining/engaging a bored 10-year-old boy.
I love variety.
(I also vacuumed up ground-in chalk by using the hose attachment on a vacuum, scrubbed the grime from about 20 4-legged stools, talked about lower back pain, and cleaned.)

18 November 2008

Thoughts of Former Seasons

Chatting with a colleague today, I realized that I've forgotten how stressful and uncertain the single/dating days were. Now that I'm here, I'm married...and we've navigated those strange newlywed days (and I've switched my thinking pretty much over to "us" not "me")...I look back and see all the ways God led and provided for me, for us.

But this colleague is in the thick of it. Is he the one? Will we be good together? Do I love him enough to do __ career-wise? Does he love me enough to do __ with his career?

So many, many questions. I must not forget the tenuousness and strain of those days. I post myself a little reminder here.

14 November 2008

In Defense of Cashiers

Last week a co-worker complained about the cashier she'd had at the grocery store the night before. Today I read an 'open letter to cashiers' on someone's blog. And so, I've had enough of rudeness and disrespect towards cashiers. (And just so you know, I cashiered for three years. Before that I was as disrespectful, both subtly and overtly, as anyone else in middle-class America. I've learned to think charitably towards cashiers the hard way.)
  • They might have a headache, a backache, a neckache. Standing in one place all day hurts. Their feet probably hurt. They might be getting carpal tunnel syndrome because of the repetetiveness of scanning merchandise, loading bags, swiping credit cards, etc. They may be tired of being inside and only seeing artificial in-store fluorescent lighting. Be kind even if they are grumpy.
  • They might have had it up to here and just can't smile at the 10,000th complainer come through their line being rude about something self-centered like "I couldn't find your toasted almonds." Be gracious even if they are distant.
  • In big box stores, each department operates pretty independently from all the others; most likely the cashiers know nothing about any of the other departments and how they operate. It's not their fault you couldn't find the toasted almonds. Don't talk to them like they went and hid all the toasted almonds on purpose. Be patient even when you are annoyed. (Even though advertising makes you feel entitled to toasted almonds, and entitlement makes you feel anger when thwarted, remember that in context of eternity, you actually aren't entitled to toasted almonds. Treating someone like they are scum because your desire for toasted almonds was thwarted is rude. It's more than rude. It's sinful.)
  • Don't talk on a cellphone when you are being checked out. It's (so very, very) rude. You hate it when cashiers have their own conversations; cashiers hate it when you totally, completely, and in all others ways ignore them and treat them like they don't matter.
  • If you can't hang up your cellphone when it's your turn at the cashier, at least take a moment during your call and say something like this: "Excuse me, Loretta, just a moment...Hi, Cashier, I'm sorry I'm on the phone. This is an important call...yes, Loretta, I'm back..." At least you are acknowledging that a person is waiting on you, even though it's not as good as hanging up the phone in order to interact with your cashier.
  • Keep in mind that most stores require employees, especially cashiers, to do their darndest to solicit new business. It's their job to offer you more stuff, another credit card, or whatever. Whatever you decide to do--accept or decline--be polite.
  • Be patient if your cashier doesn't have change for your big bill. They will get change. In the meantime, you can be patient.
  • If you've been waiting in a long line, it is not the cashier's fault. Do not take your frustration out on them. (Your frustration may not even be valid; it might be fruit of self-centeredness and sinful entitlement.) (Take advantage of the long wait to read all those magazines they have right there, or to interact with your kids, or to memorize Scripture, or to pray for the people you see around you while in the long line.)
  • Cashiers know that kids tend to melt down in the checkout line. They have seen it all. (I have seen it all. Consequently, I will raise my children perfectly when I have them. *wink, wink*) Just deal with your child--you do know your own child, after all--deal with your child as best as you can. (I think I shall also blog about parenting in a checkout lane.)
  • If there's something a cashier can do for you (like help you load your groceries into your cart while you wrangle your kids), and they seem to be ignoring you, they might not be ignoring you on purpose. To get their help, just ask them. Be polite, and say something like, "Excuse me, could you help me load these bags into my cart while I keep my kids in hand? That would be very helpful. Thank you." Don't expect them to read your mind, because they can't.
  • If you shop with little kids, they are learning all their social norms from you. Do you want them to grow up treating cashiers (and other employees) like second-class citizens? No, of course not. Be careful the behaviors and attitudes you model for your kids.
  • Do you think your cashier is too slow? They might be new. They might be tired, sick, fighting a migraine, worried about something really intense. They might be slow thinkers, or just not as quick to process as you are. They might have a lower intelligence and are working as fast as they can.
  • If you know Jesus, think about how He would treat cashiers. Would He treat them like they were expendable? invisible? stupid? irrelevant? Cashiers are used to being treated--by customers and bosses alike, which is sad--as if they aren't very important. You have a chance to change their day by being 'Christ with skin on' for them. Remember that they too are eternal souls, valuable and precious in God's sight.
  • Do they act like they have stopped caring? It seems minor, but it's actually the saddest symptom of all. We were designed to care about our work and to derive pleasure from it. If they've stopped caring, they need your care, concern, and consideration all the more. Be 'Christ with skin on' for them by caring about them even when they don't deserve it.

13 November 2008

Some thoughts and links, Part 3

The most important reading I've been consuming has been the Bible. Just yesterday, I was reminded that the belief that a text is infallible, inspired and trustworthy is a matter of faith.

Anyway, here's a short verse that I've been meditating on for a week:

Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. --Matthew 3:6
Also, here's Matthew 3--the whole chapter.

Some thoughts and links, Part 2

I'm going to make this breakfast casserole the next time I make a breakfast casserole.

Why not buy inexpensive crates and personalize them instead of buying expensive stuff-to-hold-stuff?

I need to organize my crochet hooks.

Here are some cute placemats.

Organizing crayons? Not necessary for me, but you never know if some young friends or relatives might want to!

Even better than organized crayons is a kit for colored pencils and notebook.

Some thoughts and links, Part 1

Hi! How are you? It's been a while (as my title says), and life continues to march forward, but none of it seems important enough to blog about. It's just time, sliding by.

So I'm sharing a few posts today (hopefully) that will give you some reading and thinking.

First, this article from boundless-dot-org: When Pigs Fly. It gave me a new insight into some cultural influences on the men in my life--specifically my husband--and how to pray for them. When we got married, I made it a goal of mine to study him and learn him, and make him feel like I know him better than anyone else.

(whoa, I feel a post coming on! off I go!) I like to learn about personalities, reading books about personalities and relationships any chance I can get. Once I learn a little bit about patterns, I can learn how my husband tends to react in similar situations, and I can accomodate him and make him feel valued and treasured.

With all the different facets that we people have in our personalities (the topic of the article being only one of many!), it's a challenge to be a continual student of my husband's patterns, but it's a worthwhile and satisfying way to honor and respect him.

"Respect him." Two simple words! The one is the verb--what I should do (and tacked on to it is the subtext of why I should do it); the other is the object--whom I should respect. I'm not commanded to respect his masculinity, or his career, or his spirituality (though those are very vital parts of who he is)...I'm commanded to respect him. The wholeness of his personhood. How can I do that to the very best of my ability if I don't tailor it to the uniqueness and quirkiness of who he is?

08 November 2008


Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. --Matthew 3:8

05 November 2008

Jumbo Tour Group Part I

Lots of people have been asking me, "What do you do at a children's museum all day? What does a Museum Educator do?"

It's different every day. Lately, I've been leading tour groups. We have a temporary exhibit that gives guests (especially the kiddles) a chance to simulate everyday tasks with some disability or another. Mainly, the kids can try out school tasks or climbing a climbing wall with vision-disability goggles on, try out wheelchair basketball, or try communicating while pretending to have a verbal communication disability. It's pretty neat. It's "a day in the life of a child with a disability."

So, with lots of corporate sponsorship and community volunteers, kids from our area can come have the Kids Like You, Kids Like Me Tour for free. That makes it a pretty big draw!

(Sorry this is reading like a brochure/pamphlet. I'm totally confident in your ability to deal with it.)

The tour usually consists of four parts: (1) time in the actual exhibit to simulate a day in the life of a child with a disability, (2) a tactile art lesson, (3) up close and personal time to talk with and ask questions of a local person with a disability, and (4) a puppet show. It's a pretty cool tour! I've enjoyed it the most with 3rd-4th graders, but 1st-2nd grades do pretty well; the kindergartners don't. They just don't quite get the point...almost, but not quite.

Today, we had a tour group of 155 kids. (Yes, 155 kids. That's a lot.) I'll tell about the ins and outs tomorrow!

Politcal Thoughts

I'm not a political thinker. It doesn't interest me. It seems too distant and, honestly, annoying. Instead of sincere efforts to (1)provide for our nation and (2)bring true leadership, it seems more like an extended power play. It's like Survivor, except that these contestants play the game in offices while wearing suits. (Please! Survivior is a game show that's intriguing because of the hunger, the thirst, the gross-food-eating-challenge and the blatant obviousness of the game. A government should not play itself out like a game show!)

Anyhoo, here is an extended quote from Intellectuelle that also expresses what I'm thinking this morning:
Let's face it, there is no way that any of us can become educated enough about all the complex systems that run our country to even know what really would be best in many situations. This is not to say that all issues aren't clear-cut. Some are. It's also not to say that I don't think we should vote. We should.

I just think that what we actually vote for isn't presidential candidates but for our own hopes and dreams. It's good that we can hope and dream. It's even better that we have a lot more choice in this country than those in many other parts of the world can even dream of. We have a responsibility to honor this freedom of choice and...choose. But we must also realize, I think, that we don't have the power we think we do; that politicians and their policies don't always have the power we wish they did; and that, often, they do actually have a lot more power than is good for either them or us.

But God, thank God, is sovereign, and good. God is good. Even when it may seem very hard to believe, we must have faith to see that this is true. And if we are citizens of His kingdom, we need not worry, in the face of eternity, about whatever happens, seemingly good or bad, here on this earth.

In light of the sickening consumerism I observed while working in retail...and the way the population was so humiliatingly manipulated by marketing campaigns...this quote sums up part of my response this morning.

More politi-blogging to come.

04 November 2008

I'm a Georgia Voter

Whoo hoo!

It makes me a little teary-eyed. Seriously.

03 November 2008

Voting: It's a Privilege!!

A woman at work told me this morning that the long lines weren't worth the effort. She wasn't going to vote.

I was shocked. The lines are too long? Excuse me? The lines are too long?

I told her off! I firmly but gently told her one part of my family's story, and reminded her that we are not totalitarians. We have a choice and we should wield it.

So VOTE! We have a choice...a true choice. I may not agree with the choice you make when you vote...but you must vote. You have a ballot to cast. You are not under oppression. Get out there!