08 December 2009
All my previous birthdays have been exciting and kind of...glowy...in the same way the Christmas Season glows. "May all your days be merry and bright." But this year I'm fighting reality. I don't want to go over this hill. Yes, many have told me their thirties were better than their twenties. Yes, I know people who are well past thirty snicker at me for resisting this birthday. But that doesn't change the fact that I don't want to turn thirty.
Why? I know why. But I don't want to publish them so all the internets everywhere can read them. (And all the over-30 internets can snicker at me.) I just want to relate them to myself. You know what else? I know why I resist this birthday, but I also don't know why. I do and I don't.
Sheesh. Well, the closer I get the less it seems to loom. Maybe at that exact tick when I change from being 29 to being 30, I won't feel any different. Do people change from one second to another? (Yes. They do. But this won't be a tragedy that changes my life...it'll just be time marching on.)
I've been documenting a lot of personal, internal changes that have snuck up on me in the last 18 months or so. I have changed in the last couple years. I foresee those changes shaping my life more in this next decade than just the ticking of a clock.
11 November 2009
::Crocheting. I started working on Christmas presents last February and, while I love the people who are getting these presents, I'm tiredtiredtired of crocheting. My hands are tired of it (my right thumb especially is getting sore), my mind is tired of it, and I'm done for now. But the projects they are almost done and when they are done I will be through with crocheting (at least for the next few years).
::Cooking/meal planning/getting dinner on the table. Enough of this, I want to go back to being a kid when someone else was responsible and stuff.
::Waking up at 3am with an annoying cough.
::Being far away from my family. I miss them.
::Bickering/debating/arguing with people about my religion. It's not the debating...it's when they interrupt me midsentence just to bicker back. When they don't listen to these life-giving words, but formulate their answer while I'm sharing the gospel of grace! Grrr! It makes me really mad (ironic, I know).
23 October 2009
So, last week I was frenetically preparing for a northward weekend journey, the museum's annual not-so-scary members-only Halloween event, and fighting bad allergies that have since mutated into a cold and sinusitis.
1. I am thankful for doctors who take action. At the doctor's office, I received several prescriptions--antibiotics, cortisone for the swelling, cough suppressant that's not codeine-based so I don't have to deal with the OTC cough-syrup side effect of stupidity--AND a cortisone shot right then and there. Woo. I haven't taken any pills and I feel better already. It's the cortisone. I can finally breathe through my nose well.
2. Today, during Story Time, I read to two 6-year-olds. We did some Early Childhood Games (can you guess if the pumpkin inside the smaller box will be bigger or smaller than the first pumpkin? it's called prediction of volume) and they enjoyed the games...a little...and I could see they were relieved to learn that the Early Childhood Games were designed for kids who are TWO YEARS OLD and that it's OK that they were BORED by them.
3. Those 6-year-olds from Story Time enjoyed a book that was a little scary, The Little Old Lady Who Was not Afraid of Anything. They liked knowing that the scariness is in the anticipation of the reader saying "BOO!" They were cute!
4. My husband is at a high school football game tonight. That means I am at home alone to rest and rest and to rest. I usually hate being alone but tonight I'm ok.
5. My bum hurts from the cortisone shot.
6. Our northward journey took us on a 12-hour drive (one way!) to visit my grandparents. I am thankful to have seen them...and thankful that Grandma knew who I was...and thankful for the hope of heaven where God will wipe all the tears away from our eyes. Oh, how I grieve. Aging stinks! Sure, they have the wisdom of experience and all that....but when their brains start imploding and they stop being themselves....it hurts. Oh, for heaven! Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
7. I can't think of anything else.
22 October 2009
Now I wonder if I've fallen off the blogging bandwagon because I've 'lost the vision' for my blog. I read a lot of blogs...design blogs...homemaking blogs...book blogs...and get inspired by them. I like to think through ideas and problems, but this is not the proper forum for that. I have a journal at my desk for that. I read the Word and think and pray, but I have another journal for that.
This is the place for updates for my family. Maybe I'll start writing letters to them, or write to them as if I were sitting next to them. We'll see how that works.
11 October 2009
02 October 2009
1. It's getting to be field trip season again at the museum. I love the little-kid-playtime I get to have with these kids. They're so excited about exploring and learning and investigating. What a refreshing place to work. I love it.
2. Fall has hit here in Chattanooga. We had all that rain, then an hot, humid interlude, then some more rain--and now *bam* it's chilly and a little dry. Not humid. The trees haven't realllllly started changing yet but they will be soon (some of the smaller trees are changing already) and it's going to be be-u-ti-ful!
3. There's this amazing huge chestnut tree right outside my office window and it's really pretty. It was lovely in the rain, with the glossy wet leaves plunking under the raindrops and now it's pretty in the bright crisp fall sunlight. It'll be pretty when the leaves change, too.
4. My husband's cross country season ends today. HOO-RAY! He enjoys it and he's such a very good coach but enough is enough. He's tired. And I'm tired. And so we are going out on a date tonight...nothing special...just dinner. And I'm buying new shoes. And we'll probably loiter in the local big-box-bookstore. (They can afford it.)
5. I'm so glad I married a book person. One of my coworkers has a son who is a book person. She wants to know if I have a single sister who's like me for this guy to marry. I don't. Too bad for her.
6. A friend of mine told me the other day her daughter named her new stuffed wolf "Howell." Hah! I have a cactus named Pierce. I like ironic, wry names. If I ever have another pet I want to name it something odd like George or Steve or Angela. Not anything pet-like (Fluffy, Bowser, or Rex). That's too standard. I like non-standard.
7. I am crocheting a big project as a Christmas present and I've been plugging away these last few weeks. (Christmas is comin RIGHT UP and I need to get goin!!) Yesterday I did my reading from Proverbs while I crocheted and it was very soothing. I'm going to do it again today.
24 August 2009
There's an episode of Scrubs that features this song.
I like it. I might have to buy it. Then I could put it on a mix CD. (Why something that archaic, you ask? It's because I don't have an iPod. AND I'm doing ok without one.)
16 August 2009
Spent time together.
Stayed up late.
Car trip to Kansas.
Short jaunt to Colorado.
Precious time spent with both sides of our family.
Spent time with all immediate family members...but one.
Recuperated at home.
Days spent in our home with dear family.
Days spent in Atlanta with more dear family.
Time spent at the beach: sleep, swim, play, eat, read. Repeat.
More days spent in Atlanta with dear family.
All in all, a fast summer, but a good one.
Returning home...re-entry...is strange. (Do astronauts feel weighed down when they come home from the international space station? Did they miss the sunlight, soft breezes, fresh air when they were weightless?)
It's good to be home. It's good to be back. But summer freedom was good too.
18 May 2009
09 May 2009
06 May 2009
But right now, my tummy is full, my washing machine is running, there are two peeper frogs conversing right outside my window, and there's a bird chirping out there, too. Oh, and there's a breeze blowing in through the open window.
We don't have the TV on, or the radio. It's just quiet.
22 April 2009
15 April 2009
On Friday, we colored eggs. I grew up doing American Eggs, with the rainbow colors...aaaaand the Latvian Eggs, with the onion skin dye and the natural nature stuff for the variety.
My dear husband did his 2 or 3 Latvian Eggs, and colored about 18 of the American Eggs. He wrote witty things on the eggs in crayon beforehand and then dipped them in the dye. This was the part he enjoyed the most.
When I asked him if he didn't want to do more Latvian Eggs before I threw the dye away, he looked up from some invisible wit he was inscribing on an egg and said (lovingly, but factually): "No. I did those three for you. Cause I love you."
I love, in our marriage, that we can be that honest about traditions and habits. It's ok that he doesn't loooooove doing Latvian Eggs, and it's ok that he was honest about it. To be honest like that makes me happy, and it makes me trust people more.
Have a nice day.
12 April 2009
05 April 2009
Now comes the confession. In my school days (mostly high school), I was very good at putting people in their place. If they had their doctrine out of joint, I was there to point it out to them, whether they wanted it or not. Having me around made people feel like their proverbial zippers were always down. (This did not make me very many friends. Believe me.)
Then I went into reverse mode. I stopped correcting people at all and just became a sympathetic listener. I became a doormat. I was a jellyfish, with no spine of my own. (My convictions were good enough for me, but I didn't have to shove them down others' throats, right?)
Whew. I'm still in progress, still growing, but I'm coming closer to a happy medium. To be specific, I had a great talk last week with a co-worker about all kinds of things: we talked about the new Creation Museum (I said I didn't think a museum would change evolutionists' minds about origin theory); he asked what I believed about the Origin of Everything, and I explained the following:
What I Think About the Origin of Everything
1) I don't like that evolutionists take God out of the equation.
2) The Bible clearly states that God made everything out of nothing.
3) The Bible also says that God made people in a special way...he made Adam and Eve on purpose, with a special purpose in mind.
He digested this for a moment, then asked me to explain why, as he put it, "so many people just...you know...take the Bible and put it on a pedestal." He said it was a good book about morals but he doesn't run to it for the answer about everything. I gave that a moment to rumble around in my head. I wanted to think and answer clearly. Here is what I said:
Why I Quote the Bible so Often and Study it and Read it and Know it
1) The Bible says about itself that it's inspired, that it's truthful, that it's right. I believe that because I believe that the entire Bible is true.
2) The Bible is the story, from beginning to end, of Jesus Christ's relationship with his people. He's our Creator, He's our Savior, and He's our Redeemer.
3) The Bible is authoritative in what it talks about. It doesn't talk about a lot of things (say, for example, which brand of laundry detergent I should use during each season of my life), but the things it does talk about, it's right about.
4) The entire Bible isn't meant to be literal. The history sections and the doctrine-textbook sections are literal, but the poetry parts aren't! They are poetry and meant to be poetical.
The fella I was talking to listened. I hope that what I said was what he needed to hear. Then he went on to ask about other holy writings, like the Koran and the Bhaghavad Gita. I thought again and answered this:
How I Compare the Bible to Other Religious Texts:
1) Each of these texts explains the world in a certain way. All these worldviews are so different and cannot logically all be correct at the same time.
2) Each of these texts claims to be true. They're so different, teach differing views of the world, but again--they cannot all be correct and contradictory at the same time. (Logic dictates that red is red, and green is not red. It's green. Green and red cannot simultaneously be red!)
3) I already explained my relationship to the Bible and why I trust it. Those are the reasons I choose the Bible over the other texts. They cannot all be truth, and so I reject the other texts and choose the Bible.
I'm humbled that God gave me such a clear chance to answer questions without being pushy. I mean, he asked me to share what I know and believe. I pray that God will water the seeds of truth I told him about.
30 March 2009
23 March 2009
03 March 2009
So, after our time in Colorado Springs, we traveled back to Quinter. Here are the Quinter 'skyscrapers,' 8 miles away from us at this point! (They're actually grain elevators. Note the flat, flat, flatness of Western Kansas. It's flat out there, folks.)
My youngest brother-in-law's girlfriend had flown in a couple days before to 'meet the family,' and my husband and I got back to Quinter earlier than we expected. Consequently, I got to go along on the Girls' Antiquing Trip! After the antiquing, we all went to grocery shop in the W-M*rt. (When living in the country, you have to be sure to grab groceries when you can!)
The next day, New Year's Eve, I got to talking to the youngest brother-in-law. He and his girlfriend and the sister-in-law and I climbed up on the roof and watched the sun set. It was the last sunset of the year and it was a good one.
Here's the cute couple, in the beautiful sunset light. (Do you notice her scarf? That's one of our Christmas gifts to her. I'll have you all know that I made it!)
Aaaaand then, after counting down with the folks in Times Square, middle brother-in-law's wife played reveille on a trumpet for the whole town's enjoyment. (People, there are 800 people in this town. This was the loudest celebratory sound to be heard...a trumpet.)
01 March 2009
Honestly, it has been a busy month for me. I've worked extra hours because of the exhibit-change-over. I worked extra hours because of Atlanta schools' Spring Break increased our attendance. I worked extra hours because one of our staff couldn't fulfill their shifts. I worked a lock-in Friday night (wheee! clock in at 5:30 pm and clock out at 9:30 am and sleep about 3 hours in between! yay for caffeine!).
When I'm feeling taxed, then writing here goes out the window. I have other things to do, like dishes, laundry, meal planning, and cooking. Folding clothes. Straightening up the house. Hanging out with my husband.
But here's a post for y'all. Would you like some short-quick-to-the-point Deep Thoughts? Good; here you go:
- I had coffee with a good friend I haven't seen in 5 years. It's so good to see her again and catch up. I sensed in her the same changed I've been sensing in myself: I've gone through some really hard seasons in the last 5 years, and have grown up a lot, become more refined, more sanctified. So has she. Her fun and goofy and silly personality is still there, but there's also a delightful calmness and peace that was there before but is more apparent now.
- A dear friend has, in the last month, had a baby (her 3rd girl! hooray) and spent about a week in the hospital with her. The baby had (has?) RSV.
- Spring is springing here in Southeast Tennessee. The redbuds are blooming in spite of the chilly overcast drizzliness we've had the last week and a half; the pears are trying their darndest to bloom. All we need is two, maybe three, hot and sunny days and spring will dazzle and delight us.
17 February 2009
It's been a wild several weeks. It seems like it's been about a month since I've had a weekend to myself. I know some of the more outgoing of you wouldn't understand (Krista! ), but I seriously needed a weekend to just BE and not have anything going on or anybody wanting to do anything with me.
Aaaah. Being singled out is awesome! Even more awesome is knowing that all the siblings will read that interjection and laugh.
06 February 2009
Here's a photo of the recipe.* Actually, it's a photo of an email of the recipe. If you care, you can read some of my commentary when I emailed the recipe to my mom.
Start with 1-3/4 cups of milk. Notice the measuring cup. My sister gave it to me for Christmas a while ago. See how the cup looks like it's got stairsteps? Those are the 1/2 and 1/4 measurements...I love those measuring cups!
Next, add two eggs and 2 tablespoons brown sugar:
After the eggs and brown sugar, it's time for the dry mustard. 1 tablespoon. Isn't that a cute mustard tin?
Be sure to add the salt.
Next, I mixed what was in my bowl. That giant fork? We called it a granny fork at Mia Cucina, one of my previous employers. I use it a lot for whipping and mixing things like this.
Then, add 6 slices soft bread, cubed.
Add 1-1/2 pound ground pre-cooked ham. This is my food processor, grinding my ham. Janis and Christine gave us that food processor for a wedding gift. Thanks, Janis and Christine! I like it a lot!
You should also add 1 pound ground beef. I didn't take a picture because my hands were all beefy and gross, so feast your eyes on this instead:
Put it in a casserole to bake. Doesn't that look like Alice's meatloaf in The Brady Bunch Movie? Hah! It looks a little gross, I admit. But believe me, it tastes great when it comes out.
Just for kicks, here is a photo of the unbaked ham loaf looking mighty pink, like it's out of a 1960s cookbook with full-color photos!
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine in large mixing bowl:
1 3/4 c milk
2 large eggs
2 T brown sugar
1 T dry mustard
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 slices soft bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1-1/2 lbs ground ham (pre-cooked)
1 lb. ground beef
Shape into a loaf in an oven-proof dish.
Bake until firm and lightly browned, about 90 minutes. Meat should reach an internal temperature of 175-180 degrees on a meat thermometer.
My parents' tree. Isn't it nice? I love to see the ornaments I recognize from years and years past.
I remember this votive-holder from years and years past, too. It looks much nicer with a candle burning inside it, but we decided to blow it out once we got to the opening-presents part of the evening. Good thing, too...in the flurry of tearing paper, there was at least one instance where I set the paper on top.
My sister and her husband live in Colorado, too, but they spent the night at my parents'. They had just flown in from Atlanta that afternoon and were tired! Plus, if they spent the night, we could have more togetherness time the next day!
My parents and I played gin rummy every Saturday morning for about two years when I lived with them. Now it is a tradition, and so we played. That's my dad's coffee cup over there. Notice that the first card is an ace.
31 January 2009
Anyway, these things are all things I have done at work just in the last three days.
- Figured out how to cook an egg without a stovetop, hot plate, or water boiler. Just a restaurant coffee-maker, water, and plenty of time.
- Learned that, even when you poke a hole in them and immerse them in water, eggs explode in the microwave.
- Observed what roach egg-sacs look like while the roach is extruding it!
- Learned how to tell if a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach is male or female.
- Taught the New Science Demo twice, saying the words 'booger,' 'poop,' 'pee,' and 'snot' aloud. Oh, and 'fart.'
- Explained to an auditorium full of kids what we can learn from the color and odor of our pee.
- Used a whoopee-cushion to model a fart sound...without breaking into laughter.
- Listened to (and silently prayed for) my coworker whose hearing aid has gone out. Talking with her is a hoot...you have to be sure to have her attention and speak up.
- Learned more about how to love and care for said coworker.
- Washed a washing-machine-full of dirty mopheads. Also, transferred them to the drier. AND put them away where they belong.
- Went up (and down) 794 steps (literally...I'm one of 'those people' that counts steps and I know how many steps are in each stairwell and how many times I've gone up and down them in just these three days). With an average of 14 steps per building story, this comes out to 56 stories, one way.
- Given 'moral support' to the Head Bosslady while she transferred two tarantulas from their enclosures to travel carriers.
- Caught a cricket with my bare hands to put into one of the tarantula-travel-carriers for the tarantula's lunch. (The bedding stank of cricket poo, and I said yet another sentence I never thought I'd say: "Boy, this cricket crap sure does smell!")
- Learned more about two exhibits and how to fix them when they go awry.
23 January 2009
14 January 2009
If you don't know how big a deal inventory is, let me tell you. Every item that's saleable has to be accounted for every year. It has to do with taxes, but it also has to do with reconciling what the paperwork says a store owns and what the store actually owns. So people have to physically count every single item in a store.
This is a big deal for big big big stores like Target and the other Big Box Store I worked at...they hire companies to come in and do the inventory for them, and all those workers have scanners and computers and systems of their own. It's harder for smaller stores, where the work has to be done the slow way. One by one, piece by piece, totals written down on paper and then later entered into a computer.
Anyway, I was helping count all the items in the store, and it's pretty tedious work. It's ok, because there are experienced people helping prepare and guide us as we do it, but the tedium is still there. It takes a lot of work to account for every single item in that store! We didn't even count fixtures, or display items. Just the saleable merchandise.
You know Who already knows each of the hairs on my head, all the stars in the sky, each grain of sand on all the beaches...every molecule and atom everywhere in creation? Of course. God--Jesus Christ, the Creator, the King of Kings--He knows. And He doesn't have to work hard to keep track of it all (like we do in retail stores). He just knows. He knows all the time, and with all of Himself, and remains perfectly at peace.
How does one deal with loss? How do I deal with loss? I have a situation in particular that keeps cropping up...every time I think I've figured out how to deal with this, it comes back. Every time I think I've forgiven the people involved, the hurt and anger comes back. It's a sense of vulnerability, of hurt, of shame, of anger, of rage and revenge.
Here's one thing I do know: the solution is not to 'check out.' Whether to lose myself in my work, in my family, in my sense of loss and hurt; or to tell myself that pain is an illusion; or to convince myself that the source of pain is an illusion...none of these is a good solution.
And here's another thing I know, and that I'm learning more and more in my day-to-day life: there is healing and safety in the true Word of the Lord. "Solution" means "it's ok, it's all gone, it's all over, forget it," and wounds like this cannot be "ok'd" away. What I want (and what I need) is healing--to acknowledge that damage has been done and that the hurt can be, in fact, healed.
- Nehemiah, in the midst of his labor for the City of Jerusalem, prayed to the Lord and asked him to remember his persecutors.
- Paul, in the midst of his lesson about how creation groans for the sons of God to be revealed, reminded us Christians that all things do (actually do!) work together for our good, if we belong to the Lord Jesus.
- Hagar, the slave of Sarah who was used for her master's and mistress's gain, and who was rejected along with her son--God came to her and reminded her that He is The God Who Sees.
- And the Psalmist, though his life so often sucked, praised the Lord that all the hairs on his head were counted. All the hairs on my head are counted, too. The Lord knows mundane details like that--how much more he knows this situation, too!
10 January 2009
So I filled out the forms (they are just casual documents, not real forms!) in crayon.
AND I will be taken seriously.
05 January 2009
We had breakfast together...traditional scrambled eggs, bacon, monkey bread, and whatnot...then did dishes and THEN began the gift opening.
They were opened one at a time (none of this crazy all-at-once orgy of greed self-absorbed self-centeredness!), and each one was exclaimed over and appreciated.
(Wow, writing about this is really boring. Believe me, it was a nice day, not boring at all.)
Our niece, who is 16 months old, was very cute in the midst of all this. She understood the concept of tearing paper off, but may not have understood that the paper was the prelude, not the game itself. Her Favorite Uncle (my youngest brother-in-law) spent lots of time with her helping her unwrap and enjoy gifts! He is so kind and gentle with her, it's no wonder he's Her Favorite Uncle.
We had Christmas Dinner (Ham and stuff) later that evening...about 8pm...and inbetween gift-opening and dinner several things happened: Niece had her nap, movies were watched, books were perused, phone calls were made (just two...the daughters-in-law to each respective set of parents).
All in all, a nice, relaxing, family-focused, traditional and new-tradition-building day. I loved it.
04 January 2009
View Larger Map
Here's our westward route. Due to the weather in Mt. Vernon, IL and thereabouts (70% chance of evening wintry mix on the 23rd! yikes), we opted for the southern route. It took us about 5.5 hours on the first evening to drive across one state. Yes, Memphis is very far away.
The second day, as we set out across Arkansas, we ran into some rain. It was very rainy, and windy. In fact, as we crossed the Mississippi River, I wan't able to enjoy it because (1) it was so rainy you couldn't even see the water as you crossed it which was just creepy enough to be unsettling and (2) it was so windy I had this terrible surreal fear of being blown off the bridge and into the cold, churning Mississippi below.
So that was our welcome to Arkansas. Thankfully, the rain cleared out in about 30 minutes. Crossing the rest of Arkansas was...long. 5 hours! I drove across most of Arkansas, through all of Oklahoma, and into southern Kansas to Wichita, while Ian read to me or slept.
We got gas in Wichita, and were going to get some fast food, but we forgot that it was Christmas Eve and all the restaurants closed early, so we ate gas station food.* This time, our On the Road Christmas Eve Dinner was fresh, plump, tasty hot dogs (Husband had corn dogs...I held the tray of ketchup for him so he could hold the corn dog, dip it in ketchup, and drive all at the same time), chips, and cokes.
The rest of the trip was uneventful (thankfully so!) till we arrived in Quinter at about 10 pm. Our homecoming was picturesque: the rest of the family had gathered in the living room and were singing Christmas carols while my father-in-law was accompanying with guitar. What a delightful memory!
*Two years ago on Christmas Eve, we were driving from Colorado to Western Kansas and ate gas station food at 10pm in a tiny town on I-70 in Eastern Colorado. (If you've never driven I-70 in Eastern Colorado, let me tell you: it's barren.) We had the last two glumly revolving hot dogs in the gas station and were grateful! We were hungry, and they were food.
Tomorrow is Husband's first day of the new semester and my day to return, exchange, and buy stuff with gift cards.
And to begin a crochet project (for Rosebud, cj's daughter). And to start thinking about more sewing projects (also for cj and her family).
I have memories to recall and relationships to ponder...and I'll be working on that here, on the ol' blog.