Saturday, December 27, 2008

TGHCF2008

I'd have to say that "The Getting Home for Christmas Fiasco of 2008" was well worth it... I have been having such a great time with my family and friends!

So here's the rundown of what happened:

I was scheduled to fly out of Seattle at 6:15 on Monday morning. Kohl's had scheduled me to work from 3pm til midnight, and that sounded awful since I would have to leave home to head to the airport around 3:30am. A co-worker offered to switch shifts with me, so I ended up working noon to 6pm. When I got off work I was filled with excitement and ready to go home and finish packing. Then I listened to my voicemail... a message from Southwest saying that my flight was canceled. I pretty much immediately started crying because I had sort of been anticipating that and just hoping and praying that everything would go as planned. The weather in western Washington was really bad and totally unusual, so roads and airports were just closing down.

I went home and called Southwest and they said the soonest flight they could put me on would get me to Buffalo around 4pm on Christmas. Since that would be totally pointless because I'd miss all of my family's Christmas festivities, I decided the best option would be to fly standby.
There were 3 flights headed to Buffalo that were going out on Tuesday. One at 6:10am had a layover in Vegas, the 6:15 was going through Chicago midway (my original itinerary) and another at 12:40 was going through Chicago as well. My friend Brandon and his wife Stacey invited me over to dinner on Monday, then I took a nap from 9-11pm, and then Brandon took me to the airport so I would be more likely to get on one of those flights.

The ticket counter ended up being closed when I got to SeaTac, so I joined a few other people and sprawled out on the floor in line. I happened to sit next to two guys who were having some travel problems of their own, and were trying to get home to Pittsburgh. I let them know that if they had more luck getting on a flight to Buffalo, I could at least give them a ride to Erie. By the time the ticket counter opened at 4am there was a huge line of people and I was near the front.
When I talked to the lady at the ticket counter, I asked her which flight she thought I should take, because I was afraid that if I went through Chicago I would get stuck there with the weather. She looked to see if there were delays and said everything looked alright and encouraged me to take the Seattle-Chicago-Buffalo flight because at least if I got stuck in Chicago I'd be closer to home and not still on the west coast. I took her advice, put myself on the standby list, and hoped for the best. My Pittsburgh-bound friends (Ross and Joel) were trying to get on the same flight to Chicago, so we waited anxiously and cheered for each other as we heard all of our names called!

The flight to Chicago was pretty much uneventful. The flight attendants gave us lots of free snacks and drinks, and I sat next to a man who ranked about a 7 out of 10 on the creepy old man scale. I listened to Canopy Glow a couple times and brushed my teeth in the lavatory. As I was coming out of the bathroom, the pilot announced the news: the weather in Chicago was too bad, and we were being rerouted to St. Louis. I have to admit, I cried again. I couldn't help it, the tears just snuck right out.

We landed in St. Louis and the passengers for whom St. Louis was their final destination were allowed off the plane. The rest of us just sat and waited. We refueled. And then the pilot announced that the weather was clearing and we were going to head to Chicago after all. Ross and I talked about renting a car and driving the rest of the way home, but after we got into Midway, I went quickly to my gate and lost my Pittsburgh friends. :-(

When I got to my gate, can you imagine what I found?? That my flight was delayed because no one was flying in or out of Chicago midway. And that the plane I was supposed to get on was in St. Louis!!! There was talk of the flight being canceled. Snippets of conversations were overheard and passed down the line that if the plane didn't get to Chicago by 6, it wouldn't depart that night. More talk about renting a car and making the trip with like-minded strangers. When the plane finally arrived around 8pm, everyone was on edge. I was especially so because not only was it up in the air as to whether or not the plane would even depart, but I had no idea if I would even get on! There were 4 different ladies working at the counter, and I waited in line 4 times so that I could verify with each of them that I was on the stand by list.

Finally, finally, the flight began boarding about 7 hours late. I wrung my hands. There was nothing I could do but wait. I stood by the counter, waiting to hear my name and receive a boarding pass. The lady called out 3 names, not mine. I moved closer to the counter, hoping that they wouldn't show. Then a family approached the counter; a mom, dad, little girl and little baby. Ticket lady checked her computer, then looked back at the family. "This says two infants on here, but you just have one right?" The family confirmed... yes, only one. "OK, let me take that off there," ticket lady says. I jumped in, "I'll take that seat!" Ticket lady laughed at me and said, "it's not a seat, it's an infant. Do you want to sit on their laps?" "Yes! We'll switch. I'll sit on their laps, they'll sit on mine, it'll be fine!" She printed out their boarding passes and looked at me. I looked her in the eye and said, "I need to get on this flight. My flight was canceled yesterday. I've been in an airport since yesterday. I can't do it anymore. I need to get home. If you get me on this flight, I'll kiss your face!" She laughed and turned the computer screen to show me what she was doing. "I'll have to take someone off," and she clicks around a little. I kissed her cheek. Then she pointed to a list of names, with mine at the top. "When your name disappears, it means you're on." We waited. Stared. Didn't breathe. And then, kapoof! My name was gone! I grabbed her head and kissed her cheek. Four times. I might have told her that I loved her. Then she printed out my pass and I got in line!

My dad picked me up in Buffalo and I was home by 1am. All day I had been praying, "Jesus, just get me home tonight!" And boy, was my prayer answered!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

HOME!

Oh my gosh, I'm home. I pretty much just walked in the door, but I'll recount the story later since I've been up since yesterday morning.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers, God was definitely at work today!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm going to try to fly standby on a flight out of here tomorrow morning. If I don't get on one of those, then I'm not going home for Christmas.
I'll be leaving tonight to spend the night at the airport so I can be at the front of the standby line or whatever.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Suck ass

I'm on hold with Southwest Airlines right now. And probably will be for the remainder of the night. Because my flight for tomorrow morning is canceled. *insert a picture of me crying*
The weather here is pretty wintery (if you're one of my PA friends or you know what "lake effect snow warning" means, just picture that.) The issue is that it doesn't ever snow like this here, or hasn't in the past 20 years at least, and no one is prepared to deal with the weather. At home this amount of snow wouldn't be a problem... all the streets would be plowed and salted and life would go on, but here, I literally have not seen a plow. "Plow" and "salt" really aren't even in the vocabulary, but "tire chains" is. Basically if you want to drive, you have to put chains on your car. I haven't because I guess I'm stubborn, and I just cannot believe this is how people deal with snow! (... not to mention that I'm borrowing a friend's car!)

So anyway, I'm hoping to get home before Christmas. I was OK with the possibility of staying here for Christmas, but after I found out that I would be able to go home I got excited! Now I'm reaaalllllllllyyyyyyy looking forward to seeing everyone because we already made plans!

Ugh.

I'll let you know what happens.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Do tell...

Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?

Monday, December 15, 2008

a Christmas gift

Chandra, do you read this blog? I don't think so, but if you do, avert your eyes!!! I don't want to spoil the surprise!


la de da


.....



do de day




.....




But for the rest of you,




look at this pretty plaque I made my sister for Christmas!



It's a silhouette portrait of me, since we're so far away from each other! (too narcissistic?)

I haven't decoupaged in a long time, so I sort of forgot the technique. It's bumpy and not perfect, but I think it turned out pretty nice.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Great news!

Miracle of miracles, Kohl's is granting my vacation request, so I get to go home for Christmas!!!

In other news: I still love this song. It's just not getting old.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Me. The single girl.

Tonight I remembered that it can sometimes be fun to live alone.
I'm watching my friends' cat/apartment while they are on vacation and mostly I've just been dropping in to say hi, fill the food and water bowls, give a little scratch, play a little mousey, and I'm out the door. But I didn't have to work tonight or tomorrow so I'm staying the night so that I can give this needy cat a little more attention. My vacationing friends left plenty of food for me to munch on should I so choose, including a few bananas that have progressed from 'delightfully tasty' to 'too mushy to peel,' so I decided to make some banana bread for them to come home to this week. As I was getting ready to make the bread tonight I realized that there weren't any eggs in the house. I set out for eggs, a lighter (I've been wanting one for the candles in my room, and couldn't find one here either), and maybe something for dinner. As I was wandering around the grocery store, I remembered back in the day, when I was a single girl, living alone in my apartment in Erie. I had great dinners a few times a week, pieces of meat or fish from the store that were prepared and ready to bake. Fish with seasoning. Chicken and stuffing. Pretty simple meals really, but nothing that a single girl would normally make for herself. So I found my way to the back of the store and there they were! I was going to get fish, since I never eat fish anymore and I am very concious of the lack of fish in my life, bu then there was this absolutely deliousious looking piece of chicken that I couldn't resist. Chicken breast, stuffed with cheddar cheese and fresh asparagus spears! I left the store with one of those, 6 eggs, a lighter, a log of clean-burning wood, and a bottle of white zinfindel, and tonight has been wonderful. I lit all the candles in the living room, started a fire in the fireplace, cooked my dinner, poured myself a huge glass of wine, and made a yummy looking loaf of banana bread. What a cozy and nice night it has turned out to be.

A dream realized

The day before Madelyne came Stephanie mentioned that she wanted to buy a sling or wrap of some kind, and me being me (the baby/birth lover who has no reason to know this stuff, but does anyway) I gave her some info about a few carriers that I've heard people mention, with special emphasis on the Moby wrap. I even told her where she could get one downtown. I am such a baby fool... So Steph went and bought one that day.
Fast forward to this past Friday.
It was a busy day for both Stephanie and I. I had errands to run in the morning, and work in the afternoon, and she was getting the house ready for the holiday work party that she and Lloyd were hosting that night. I got home from running my errands just as she was getting ready to run to the grocery store. Relieved that I was home, she asked if I would watch the kids while she went to the store. I said no problem, as long as she was home by 2:30, which was when I had to leave for work. As the minutes ticked by, and I realized that she was probably going to get home just in time for me to leave, I decided that I had better start getting ready for work.
The problem? Madelyne had been really fussy all day, and was really only content when she was being held.
The other problem? The hems in the (only clean) pants I was planning on wearing to work fell out and I needed to sew them back up. (They actually fell out when I was in Baltimore because I wore some sequiney shoes that caught on the threads and tore them out. I did a 'quick fix' then too, by taping them up with scotch tape!!! I had forgotten all about it, then washed them last week, and there went my first solution.)
The solution? Become a domestic goddess!
I found the Moby wrap, and having helped Steph with it a few times, was able to wrap Maddy to me very securely. Then I admired myself in the bathroom mirror. Carrying a little baby in a wrap is something that I have wanted for so long. It's hard to explain I guess, but it's like a fulfillment of some part of me. I hope some day it will be my own little one, and I think that's a little part of the pain in this whole break up process that I am (yes) still going through, but for now I'll take what I can get. (ha)
Then I got out my thread, found a brown spool, and hand-stitched my pants up (not enough time to get my sewing machine out from the garage, but I should do that soon.) I also fixed my hair and makeup, and was ready to go before Steph walked in the door! I felt a little like Super Hannah that day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

P.S.

I heard this song last week and thought that maybe if I were the dancing doll in a music box, this is the song that would play when you opened it.

This is just to say

(to borrow from William Carlos Williams)

I feel lonely, lonely, lonely.
Lonely.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The adventures of baby Madelyne

First, I must say that I've realized what's behind my blogging patterns. Basically I only like to blog if I'm in a good mood, a 'blogging mood,' and that just hasn't been very prevalent as of late.
But anyway, I promised a story, so I'm going to tell it.

Last Tuesday, November 25, I heard a strange sound coming from downstairs. When I got to the kitchen, I found Stephanie on the phone, crying. I was worried. She had just returned from visiting her hospitalized father on Sunday, and though he was doing better and was at home when she left, it was the first thing that came to my mind. I must have looked panicked. She turned to me and said, "it's good!" and after quickly ending the phone conversation she again turned to me and asked, "So are you ready to have a newborn in the house?" My response: "Yessss!"


Then I got the rest of the story, piece by piece throughout the day as more information came in from case workers and family members. Stephanie tells the story much better than I do, and will continue to tell the story on her blog, Maddy's World.
We've had Maddy for over a week now, and she's doing really great. She's completely precious and is just a really good baby. I am so grateful that she's with us.
Maddy and I on Thanksgiving

Monday, December 1, 2008

Short version

This is (some of) how I got to where I am now:

In July I was reading Shane Claiborne's Jesus For President. He's a footnote freak. Footnotes on every page. I wrote some of them down, including one about Advent Conspiracy. This led me to the Advent Conspiracy webpage. Which led me to the Advent Conspiracy blog, where churches that had participated in AC told what they did or how they were affected. I was just browsing when the title of one of the entries caught my eye. Something about "Changing hearts in the South Sound." My heart jumped. "The South Sound! I live in the South Sound! A church near me participated in Advent Conspiracy?!" I had been looking for a church since moving to Washington in February, but hadn't had much luck finding the right fit. Could this church be the one? The entry mentioned Soma Communities, which I immediately Googled. As I made my way through the website, I felt certain that this church and I would get along. One of the things I was looking for in a church was an active 'small group' life. Soma's website talked about their missional communities, smaller groups of people in the same general location that meet weekly. Hurrah! When I looked at the map and saw that there was one in Lacey, I emailed Lloyd, the contact person. He got back to me immediately, and I checked out the missional community that week.
Now here I am, 5 months later, living with Lloyd and Stephanie and their son Jake.

That's the short story. It doesn't fill in a lot of the details, but I had to bring you up to now, because now is where I am, and now is where life is happening, and boy do I have a great story to tell.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day one: a start

Tricia's right, it feels like time to bring back the blogging, but I just don't know how to go about it. Sure, I could just start blogging, but that wouldn't be nearly complicated enough. Did Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde keep the same blog? What about Dante after he returned from the underworld? ... yet none of these metaphors are at all helpful because I neither am I trying to imply that I am struggling with an evil inner personality, nor that I have been, or am currently going through hell. Just that my life now is completely and utterly different than it was then. Anyone have a better comparison that I could use?
Besides that, I never felt like this blog really spoke my voice. Maybe it was the sporadic posting. Maybe it was knowing that people I actually know read it, so I intentionally or unintentionally limited myself to being somewhat likable and p.c., afraid to let myself be truly known. Whatever it was, it didn't work for me. So I guess I either need to stop blogging altogether, or start blogging for real. I'm leaning towards the latter, but I haven't quite made the decision. The thing is... people read this thing! Not a lot of people, but a few. Some I know, some are strangers, but the fact still stands. So the question is, how do I move on from here? Do I owe some sort of update? A little narrative bridge to connect the old life to the new? Or can I just pick a day and start telling its story?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hello Toxoplasmosis

I don't know if I'm going to ever write a meaningful blog entry again. I was never any good at it anyway.

So this morning I wandered downstairs to find a cup of water sitting on the coffee table next to the couch. Was it mine? I couldn't remember. I did fill an identical cup and set it there last night soon before going to bed, but I thought that I brought it upstairs with me. I took a sip. (I know this may seem gross, but I often just use the same water glass for a few days. I don't know...) Then the thought hit, no, I did carry my glass upstairs last night. Just then Stephanie and Jake came down, so I asked, "Do you guys know if this is mine?"
Stephanie's response: "Don't know."
Jake's response: "I don't know, but the cat was drinking out of it earlier, so if I were you I'd get a new glass!"

Ptew! Ptew!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Red State, Blue State,

Just in case you weren't aware of how 'blue' Washington is before you read this post, let me give you a little anecdote:

On my way home Tacoma, where I attended the largest Biden rally to date, I noticed an alleged homeless man at my exit holding a particularly humorous sign. This young guy (18-23) in tattered, dirty clothes was touting a cardboard sign that said, "Give me $1 or I'll vote for McCain!" It killed me. The greatest part was that he saw me read it and then laughed with me... until the light turned green.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

vocabulary

I just learned a new word.

aibohphobia (Pronounced: “Eye-bow-phobia”) An extreme, reactionary & debilitating fear of palindromes.

Probably people who have this phobia don't like me.

I wonder if I have created any aibohphobes?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Eff change.

Despite the header on this blog, I have to admit that I am no good at accepting change. No good as using it as a catalyst for growth.

I just cry and cry and cry. and cry. and drip snot all over myself. and develop colds because I run myself down from crying. and become so depressed that I can't imagine doing anything besides laying on the couch all day. and stop seeing any good in the situation. and wish for death, because that would be easier than finding a way to move on from this point.

I don't think anyone reads this blog. or if you do you already know. but just to say it. the beautiful wedding that has been planned. the one where i marry my best friend. it's been called off.

so eff this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Umm

I think I'm done blogging.
Because there's no way I could ever express the pain and confusion I'm experiencing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

there are so many tictoc

there are so many tictoc
clocks everywhere telling people
what toctic time it is for
tictic instance five toc minutes toc
past six tic

Spring is not regulated and does
not get out of order nor do
its hands a little jerking move
over numbers slowly

we do not
wind it up it has no weights
springs wheels inside of
its slender self no indeed dear
nothing of the kind.

(So,when kiss Spring comes
we'll kiss each kiss other on kiss the kiss
lips because tic clocks toc don't make
a toctic difference
to kisskiss you and to
kiss me)

e.e. cummings

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Starbucks

Ah. I'm so tired! I started working last week, and man, it has been quite the adjustment. So far I've been working in the middle of the day, from about 10:00-15:00, so what that means is I get up at 4:45 to take a shower and get ready, leave the house by 6:00, get to post around 6:20, sit in the car while Markus does PT until 7:30, then we drive across post to the headquarters where he's been working , keep sitting in the car until he comes out to bring me to work, then work for a few hours, then wait until he gets out of work (anywhere from 16:30-18:30), and drive the 20 minutes home. Whew! Then dinner and a walk, and it's bed time! Not the most efficient usage of a day. At first I was crazy cranky because I just wasn't used to being away from the comforts of my home for so long. Now I'm getting more used to it, and I think starting next week my schedule is going to be much better. I talked to my boss today and she said I could work from 6:30-12:00, so on most days I should be able to go home, run errands, etc. until it's time to pick up the man from work.

So anyway, that's the update.

I'm glad to be making some money.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The 4th of July

Let me just say that I like the 4th of July as much as the next small-town girl. As a child, Independence Day was one of my favorite holidays. It meant sparklers, watermelon, and family picnics in the back yard that lasted all day long. If we were lucky, each of us children were given a couple boxes of poppers to snap down on the sidewalk, and dad would light little black pellets that turned into snakes and left stains on the concrete for what seems like the rest of the summer. Part of me wonders if some are still there. On really good years day would fade into night and the picnic would become a bonfire, with family sticking around to roast hot dogs and make s'mores. Jars of lightening bugs were collected, some sacrificed for the glowing marks of victory we smudged on our hands, foreheads.

Now, as the 4th day in July comes like any other, with my traditions living on the other side of this nation we are celebrating, I am beginning to question the patriotic holiday. It's not that I am not grateful to be a citizen of this beautiful country. I truly am blessed to be able to call it home. I am so thankful that I live in a country where women are free to get an education, and that I can feel safe in my own home. On the morning of September 11, 2001, as I sat in my Spanish class watching the coverage of the terrorist attacks on our country, I immediately started crying. My heart broke as I saw the devastation, but I do not think that my reaction was typical. In response to the fear that now weighed down the air (a true 'climate change' to be sure) I thought, "How lucky we are. How lucky that this catastrophe is such a surprise, so unexpected. We are so blessed to live in a place where this does not happen every day." And that's when the tears started. Not for us, but for our sisters and brothers living in Israel and Palestine who are faced with this kind of fear every day while buying groceries, riding the bus, attending school.
So, yes, I am lucky to be able to call myself an American.

But now, without my traditions, my family, the things that make this holiday meaningful, celebrating the 4th seems strangely discomforting. I am having a difficult time swallowing the whole thing. What is it, exactly, that we are celebrating? Sure, I know, there's the whole "independence" thing (ha), but isn't the 4th really a celebration of the American way of life? And how do we show the world what we're all about? We spend $900 million on entertainment that literally burns into smithereens before our very eyes! Isn't that a bit telling of the values that our nation upholds?

Sigh.

Something needs to change.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

100 things

Well, it looks like the time has finally come! My 100th post! To celebrate (?), I'm posting the big time list: 100 things about me.

  1. I frequently wake up laughing.
  2. I grew up living next to my grandparents. To get to their house I walked through my Papa’s small garden and over a bridge that he built for us.
  3. My friend Heidi and I have been BFFs since we were 4!
  4. I consider myself pretty lucky in friendship. I’d say I have six best friends.
  5. From age 3, I wanted to be a pediatrician.
  6. I recently changed my mind.
  7. In high school I was elected to be Lieutenant Governor in Key Club. I was a major Key Club dork and loved every minute of it.
  8. I went to a laboratory school from 1st-3rd grade. We didn’t have textbooks – everything was hands-on. This totally shaped me. It’s where I fell in love with science.
  9. I’m getting married September 20th! I never imagined I’d find such an amazing, kind, fun and perfect partner.
  10. I am incredibly gassy. All the time. I’m starting to wonder if I have a gallbladder problem or something.
  11. My Papa always grows gladiolus in his garden. Every year of college I would bring a bouquet of glads with me when I moved in. They’re going to be part of the wedding flowers.
  12. Perry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream is my favorite!
  13. I’m terrible at sports. Or at least I’ve convinced myself of that.
  14. I grew up on a dirt road. When you pass someone, you wave. No question.
  15. My Papa built the house that I grew up in “with his own two hands.”
  16. During college I worked at Starbucks for awhile. One time a guy brought in several dozen roses for me!
  17. In middle school I went on a trip to England.
  18. The next summer I went on a missions trip to Durango, Mexico. I worked with the kids in Bible School and loved it, loved it, loved it!
  19. I think a lot about grace. I try to remember that God is always revealing God’s self to us, we just have to open our eyes and hearts to see it!
  20. I think the perfect number of kids to have is 4. Two is too boring (from my experience), with 3 there’s a middle child, and more than 4 is too many for me.
  21. I really, really love trees. They are magical.
  22. I have had white spots on my finger nails for my entire life. It makes me mad when people suggest they’re bruises. I don’t go around smacking my fingers into things every day!
  23. I love to sing, but my voice is really out of practice. I’m currently looking for a voice teacher who can help me get back in the groove.
  24. I love being in musicals. A few summers ago I played Cinderella in Into the Woods.
  25. My friend Mal makes me laugh more than anyone else. I’ve peed my pants because of (and in front of) her twice! Hahahaha.
  26. I apparently have a urinary control problem. Don’t tickle me.
  27. I’m too uptight. I need to relax and go with the flow more.
  28. I don’t feel like I had the typical “college experience.” Mostly I just worked my ass off.
  29. In 4th grade I learned sign language so I could befriend a deaf Amish girl who went to my school. We had lots of fun together. My favorite memory of her is when we went swimming in my Gramma’s pool. It was the first time I’d seen her without her bonnet. Her hair was so long!
  30. I still know some sign and took a semester of it in college.
  31. My first (and favorite) job was working at Ritz Chocolates. It’s truly a ‘small town’ store. We hand-dipped every piece of candy and gift-wrapped every box for free. It’s the best chocolate in the world! Seriously, try some!
  32. My least favorite job… well, it’s a tie. Working at Dollar General the summer after my freshman year and working for 3 months at Romolo Chocolates my junior year. I thought Romolos would be like the Ritz, but they were so mean.
  33. After college I volunteered in Baltimore with the Bon Secours Health System/Catholic Network of Volunteer Services/AmeriCorps. I worked primarily with a clinic that provided free health care for uninsured patients who had HIV/AIDS.
  34. The last month of my volunteer work was spent in the hospital, working for the cardiology department. I spent my days doing EKGs and visiting with patients.
  35. During my junior year of college I lived in an intentional Christian community called the Kirk House.
  36. Part of my Baltimore experience was living in an intentional community with four other girls. I don’t think we did a very good job. After that experience I’m questioning programs that ask young people to make volunteering, intentional community, and simple living all of the highest priority. It’s especially difficult when living in a very dangerous part of the city, so concern for one’s life is also a priority.
  37. My favorite flowers are calla lilies, but I think they’re over used. I also like gladiolus and daffodils.
  38. I still care deeply about living simply, intentional community, living justly, and doing service.
  39. I feel constantly disappointed that there isn’t a sense of community in the places I live (ex. My apartment building senior year, my neighborhood in Baltimore City, the apartment complex I live in now.)
  40. My favorite science classes in college were Human Gross Anatomy (I dissected a cadaver!) and Structural Biochemistry.
  41. I also really enjoyed my senior seminar, Literature and the Healing Arts.
  42. A class that really influenced me was Theology of Marriage.
  43. I saw Anathallo perform live in Cleveland about 3 years ago and they’ve been my favorite band ever since. Watching them perform is a spiritual experience.
  44. My mom was married to Les and had Chandra. My dad was married to Sue and had Rachel and Chad. They all got divorced. Then mom and dad got married and had me. Chandra grew up with me, Chad and Rachel grew up with their mom. We all lived in the same town.
  45. When I was 9 my family decided to start having GIANT family reunions. My grandma’s siblings and their kids, and their kids, and their kids call come to Corry and camp out in my Gramma and Papa’s back yard for a week. One time the theme was ‘carnival’. Another time it was ‘holidays’. Each family (core sibling and progeny) takes a day and plans food, activities, etc. The next reunion is this August!
  46. My friend Tricia is called my wife because we act like we’re married. We get each other.
  47. Tricia and I have had adventures in Detroit, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Fort Collins, Colorado.
  48. I always had this idea that it would be great to wear Depends on a road trip so you would only have to stop half as much. (hahaha) On the way to St. Louis, Tricia tried with me!
  49. My favorite food is my Gramma’s lasagna.
  50. We don’t have a TV. On purpose.
  51. I like to think my favorite season is summer, but really it’s autumn. (At least that’s true in northwestern Pennsylvania, I don’t know about WA yet.)
  52. I overheat really easily. Recently I learned that lines up perfectly with my Pitta dosha.
  53. I think I’d consider myself pretty if the skin on my face and chest weren’t so yucky.
  54. When we were little, my sister and I would catch little baby tadpoles and bring them home until they had completed their metamorphosis. Then we released them into the field across from our house that we took them from.
  55. In 2nd grade I was in a (pretty minor) car accident. My back and neck have been messed up ever since. L
  56. I think I’ve been shaped a lot by my sister’s struggle with her mental illness. It felt like our roles switched, and suddenly I became the older sibling.
  57. In grade school I won the prize for reading the most books over the summer. 76!
  58. My grandma used to think something was wrong with me because I cartwheeled everywhere I went! I would cartwheel all the way to her house and all the way back home!
  59. A photograph that I took of my little cousin Kessli was published in Gannon’s award-winning literary art magazine last year.
  60. The words “after” and “slacks” are really weird, especially if you say them out loud a few times.
  61. My name is a palindrome.
  62. A few of my college friendship made me feel like I’m a terrible person. I’m just starting to be able to see the falsehood in that.
  63. I have three sets of Tibetan prayer flags.
  64. Every day I have to talk myself out of wanting to have a baby.
  65. I have a dream of owning a Laundromat. Ask me, and I’ll tell you all the glorious details! Really!
  66. I look just like my dad.
  67. Last summer I worked at a kids’ sleepover camp and loved it.
  68. I believe every human has value and worth because we all have a bit of God in us. This is what drives me to care about social justice issues.
  69. I’ve wanted to have a baby since I was a baby! I’m convinced God made me to have children, and thus have a dream (delusion?) that pregnancy and childbirth will be fun and relatively easy for me.
  70. When in Baltimore I attended Cedar Ridge Community Church, which was founded by Brian McLaren. It was the church that I’ve been looking for all my life. I miss it lots.
  71. Markus and I met the first semester of freshman year and became friends the second semester. We were friends, then best friends, and finally started “officially” dating January of our senior year.
  72. One of the first things that I do when I move to a new place: Go to the public library and apply for a card. I love libraries!
  73. I love drinking water! It’s my beverage of choice. But I don’t like it if it’s too cold; no ice for me!
  74. Speaking of water… I’ve always lived near a large body of water. I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever move “inland.” (In PA I lived near Lake Erie. We have beaches!)
  75. I wish more people read my blog. There, I admitted it!
  76. I’m starting to forget what I’ve already put on this list!
  77. Growing up, I lived on the same road as my grandparents, my great aunt Agnes, my aunt Joni and cousin Emily, my best friend Heidi, and my sister Chandra’s father!
  78. My name means “grace.”
  79. My middle name, Hall, is my mom’s maiden name.
  80. I’m a text-o-holic. Mostly with Markus.
  81. My favorite artist is Gustav Klimt.
  82. I like to scrapbook and make my own cards. Basically I just love pretty paper. I’m currently doing a scrapbook of Markus and I since we’ve started living together.
  83. My body and soul prefer “early to bed, early to rise,” but unless I put a lot of effort into making that happen, I fall into the opposite routine.
  84. I’ve always been somewhat of an “activist.” In 2nd grade I was a picky kid who would only eat peanut butter and jelly for lunch. That is, until I found out that migrant workers were being harmed because of the pesticides being sprayed on the grapes! I boycotted grape jelly, and my poor mother, for the rest of the year had to make me cheese sandwiches! (I still eat the same kind of strawberry jelly that I eventually switched to back then.)
  85. In 4th grade I got an F in library class because I wrote “white people are mean” in an essay about Rosa Parks.
  86. I’ve been accepted to medical school. Can you imagine how thrilled my parents are right now? Ha.
  87. I have always wanted to do some type of medical missions work. I used to think that I’d be doing that as a doctor, now I think I’ll be doing it as a midwife.
  88. I am a Leo, so I love lions, but my Leo personality is tempered because I’m at the Cancer/Leo cusp.
  89. Since starting this list, I’ve stopped waking up laughing. That’s sad.
  90. I have had several really bad sunburns, and am afraid of getting skin cancer.
  91. A big floppy hat is on my wish list.
  92. I am somewhat obsessed with the United States postal service.
  93. I could eat grapefruit every day.
  94. My family wears slippers a lot. We even take a pair with us when we’re going to visit another family member!
  95. My little cousin Emily is like a sister to me.
  96. Despite all I’ve ever said, I have to admit that I’m considering moving back home when the time is right.
  97. I hate muggy weather, but I’d take it over constant cold drizzle.
  98. I’m trying to become more honest with myself and others.
  99. I am a big time crier. I’m just very sensitive!
  100. Last, but certainly not least, my mother instilled in me a terrible (and perhaps a little irrational) fear of rodents.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nom nom

Mmmm. Books are yummy.

Out of excitement I just had to report that I just got back from biking/busing to the library to pick up two books that I had requested.
Markus cautioned me to only request on book at a time, because the last time I had a huge list I ended up getting them all at once, and that was a little stressful.
I couldn't do it though... I just had to get two. Even though I'm in the middle of three of my own. (They can wait if necessary.)

Ok, so, here they are:

Jesus for President
by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw

and

Food & Faith: justice, joy and daily bread
edited and compiled by Michael Schut

Compassion

It was brought to my attention by Christy over at After a Cup of Coffee... that tomorrow is an important day for Compassion International, so I thought I'd spread the word. Compassion is very close to my heart, as I sponsored a child all through my high school and college years. (Not that I was bringin' in the dough during college, but I guess I figured that someday I would be in a position that a few extra hundred dollars on my student loan wouldn't be a big deal, where as for a child in need of food and clothing now, that few hundred dollars meant a lot.)
Anyway, after I started my work with AmeriCorps, I tried to keep up with the payments, but just couldn't do it, so I had to stop my sponsorship. It was such a sad day for me, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Better to tell them right away so that my child could get a new sponsor as quickly as possible than to wait it out and miss payments, and potentially cause her any more hardship.
I'm still not in the place financially where I can sponsor again, but someday I know that Markus and I will be writing letters, and sending photos, pages from coloring books, Christmas and Birthday presents to a Compassion child once again. So even though I cannot sponsor a child now, I can still support Compassion through my prayers, and that's something I try to do frequently. It's something I'll definitely be doing tomorrow.


A video that gives a little explanation of how Compassion works.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A visitor!

Markus and I had our first friend visitor this weekend, and it was aaaaaaaaaamazing!!! Our college friend Jimmy (he's a groomsman!) went through ROTC with Markus and went National Guard. For the past several weeks he's been working at Air Assault school for National Guardsmen in Oregon, and was able to drive up to see us this weekend.
It's really indescribable how nice it was for us to just hang out with a real friend. No pressure, no getting to know each other, just hanging out, catching up, laughing, comfortable silence. To add to the joyous excitement, Markus got Sunday off! It was his first day off in a couple months, and actually felt sort of weird. I think it definitely took some adjustment for both of us, like, OK, here we are... now what?! But we definitely filled our time well and really just enjoyed each other and our friend.

Now back to reality.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Email from Mal

Regarding what the groomsmen should wear.


Subject: men should just go naked....scratch that. young, hot military men should just go naked.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good news!

Exciting news:
I got a new phone! Markus' phone died while he was at work on Saturday, so when he came home, we went to the Verizon store to get him a new one. We were both eligible for a 'new every two' upgrade, so I figured, "Hey, why not?!" With the discount thing it ended up being only about $20 and the phone I was using was a free one that I got this fall because my other phone broke, so it was a little crappy thing. This isn't as irresponsible as it may seem because Markus and I are planning on combining our plans here sometime soon, and once that happens, I will no longer be eligible for an upgrade.




Excitinger news:
We're going on a great honeymoon!!! My cousin Keri offered us her time share awhile ago, but we couldn't find anything open for the week after our wedding. There were some availabilities in October and November, but Markus is going to have to do a couple weeks of field training then, and the dates aren't set yet, so that wouldn't have worked. Well, anyway, for the past few days I've been searching, searching, searching, and actually found a few resorts in various locations that were open! Last night I called Keri and she went through the whole 'exchange' process online, and bam! We're going to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!!
Markus and I are both a little apprehensive... we've never vacationed in Mexico before! Eak! How much will things cost? Will getting around be easy? What sorts of things can we do that won't break the bank?
But we're also sooo excited!! This is going to be such a picture-perfect honeymoon! Our resort is on the very tip of the peninsula, rather than the Pacific Ocean side, which means we'll be able to swim at the beaches. This is going to be grrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ack

I'm trying to be positive. I'm trying to count my blessings.
But life just keeps going from bad to worse.
I know that I need to keep seeing the gifts in my life, or God might say, "Oh, you think this sucks? Well, watch out!"
Markus is working so much. It's unrelenting, wave after wave crashing down, and just when he thinks that he might be able to come up for some air, another one crashes. He's tired. He's frustrated. He's burning out at speeds only previously seen by meteors. And I feel helpless to it all.
Our car broke down last night. $300 to repair something in the fuel line.
Thankfully our friends Ben and Julia came to the rescue with their second car.
I took John to the airport this morning. And then he missed his connecting flight and won't be getting back to Erie until tomorrow afternoon. :-(
We have to buy our plane tickets to go home for the wedding in order for Markus to have his leave officially approved, but we don't have money to buy them!
(Dad might be helping us out with that one.)

Basically, we're very seriously going broke. I hope the universe is ready to give me a job.
Yesterday my landlady told me that her chiropractor's office is looking for a receptionist, so I'm definitely going to submit my resume and application ASAP. I'm crossing my fingers. Will you cross your fingers too?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Momma update

My mom's surgery went very well. They gave her an epidural and very light anesthesia (she didn't have to be intubated), so she woke up very easily, and when my sister called after getting to my mom's room, mom was up and talking. I didn't realize how much worry I had been holding in until that moment that I first heard her voice. She said, "Oh honey, you just breathed a huge sigh of relief," and I said, "I did?" And then I just started crying. Whew.
Turns out that the "unidentifiable masses" on her ovaries were all part of the one big fibroid. It had stemmed and twisted and grown like crazy. Yuck. I'm feel so relieved that this is all over, that the surgery went well, that there weren't any surprises, and that my mom isn't going to be in pain anymore. I can't imagine what she's going to feel like after she's all healed from surgery, but I bet she'll wish she did this sooner!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Homeward Bound

Um. I'm going home on Friday.
Yep.
Can you believe it?
I can't.

I've been homesick, missing my family, my friends, my little corner of the world, but I knew I could get through it. So what changed? After several tests and doctor's appointments, my mom has been scheduled for surgery. She's actually having surgery tomorrow, but I procrastinated so long on making the decision (because we can't really afford this plane ticket across the country), that the only "reasonably" priced tickets were for later in the week.
Really, I must say that I am the luckiest girl ever. Seriously. I was talking to my mom a couple weeks ago about how we were homesick for each other and we realized that that's actually something to be grateful for. I have a home and a loving family! How great is that?! Also, to add to my incredible luckiness, I have the best man a lady could ask for. He is so loving, so kind, so... just freakin' wonderful! When he realized how much I wanted to go home he wouldn't take no for an answer, even though we really don't have the money right now. I was all mushy for a little bit yesterday, crying because I get to go home, then crying because I'm going to miss him!

My momma and I

Any prayers for my mom would be appreciated. Her surgery is tomorrow (Wednesday) morning EST. She's had a fibroid mass in her uterus for quite some time and has been on the Depo shot to keep the fibroids from growing. All of the sudden the Depo stopped working, and within 6 months the mass grew from half the size of her uterus, to one and a half times the size of her uterus. It's causing a lot of pain, as you probably can imagine. A CAT scan showed new 'unidentifiable' masses on her ovaries, meaning they cannot tell if they are fibroids or something else. And basically, they've never done a biopsy of the big mass, so they don't truly know if that's benign either. Tomorrow they'll be removing everything - a total abdominal hysterectomy. :( I wish I could be there tomorrow, but I know she's in good hands. She works in the OR, so she's getting VIP treatment from all the staff! She even hand-picked her entire surgical team. Hah, my mom is such a ham. Today some nurses pulled her aside to show her the "VIP suite" they fixed up for her. The biggest room they have, extra pillows, and they're trying to get an extra bed so visitors can stay!! Also, my whole family is taking off work to be with her, including her sisters. I love our close family.


Just gotta say, in other news, Memorial Day weekend was really great. We went camping with a few friends for a couple nights. The first day was beautiful and the second night rained like crazy, but over all it was just so nice to hang out with nice people around a fire!

Isn't my man such a hottie?


Steve cookin' up some sausage

And last, but not least, this morning I took Markus to work and headed straight for the SeaTac airport to pick up 'Lil Fish' aka Markus' brother John. He'll be visiting for about a week and a half.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Idol-mania

OK. I haven't really been following American Idol this year. The only time I watched whole episodes was when I was home for 3 weeks in January. (And my pick was Jason Castro because he's so dreamy!) I have been YouTubing it quite a bit though, but as of last night, I wasn't sure who I wanted to win.
Now, upon hearing the news, I feel really happy that cutie patootie David Cook is the next American Idol. He's definitely going to be a rock star.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend update

Long, but somewhat entertaining. Or at least informative.

Oh, it was such a good weekend!
Markus didn't have to work Friday, so we decided to go on a little road trip around the Olympic Peninsula. .. But first(!!!) we went to The Sherwood Press (2 links there) and met with Jami to talk about doing our invitations. I had some ideas, but needed help with the design, and she came up with a really brilliant and beautiful idea. I am so excited. Seriously. I cannot even describe how much I love paper and letterpress and great designs. When we were done with the consultation (I wouldn't really call it that... it was just so casual and fun), I didn't want to leave! The press is in this tiny little cottage, and there was just so much to look at. Jami saw my interest and offered to show us how the press works (and sounds). Again, just amazing. I felt like a little kid watching that machine, filled with awe and wonder. I wish you could hear the noise it makes... it's like a train almost. Clunk, clunk, cshhhh, clunk, clunk, cshhhh. Sometimes I think that I'll be a midwife with a paper/card business on the side. When I am some sort of professional, I'm definitely having Jami make my business cards. Oh man.

The Olympic Peninsula

OK, so, anyway, we were at the Sherwood Press for about an hour and a half, and then set off on our trip. We got started a little later than optimal, but it was still a great time. The drive was beautiful. There were unbelievable views of the mountains and ocean/bay/straits almost the whole time. We have a limited number of good photos since, well, taking pictures from a moving car never really is the best way to go.






We stopped in super-cute Port Townsend and explored a little bit, then drove on through Port Angeles and stopped for dinner in Forks.

Crescent Lake

Yes, I'm wearing denim overalls. I got them at Goodwill a couple weeks ago!

Because we got a late start, we stopped less than we had planned so that we could make it to the beach before sunset. When we got to Kalaloch, though, we were a little disappointed. Or maybe it was just me. But it was really foggy, and the beach wasn't very nice, and to be honest, I was scared. I don't know why... I've never been scared of the ocean before, but I also am more familiar with the Atlantic. The late sun, the dense fog, and the deafening roar of the ocean, not to mention the "Tsunami Hazard Zone" signs... it just wasn't the cozy beach atmosphere that I was
hoping for.

Creepy bird on the creepy beach


Um. OK.



Saturday was way more relaxed, and we mostly just worked on getting the apartment organized. Markus worked really hard and put away everything from the boxes that came while he was training in Yakima, so now our spare room is clean and open! I worked on de-cluttering the living room and kitchen, and we finally hung up all of our pictures and tapestries! Woo hoo! Oh, and you know what I haven't mentioned?? That from Thursday-Sunday the weather was pretty much amazing. There was actually a weather advisory for "above normal temperatures"! On the weekend we were well into the 80's! We sat down on our dock and put our feet in the water, then I decided it would be a good idea to try to dip myself in a little bit! Hahaha. I guess I forgot that I'm a little weakling. I slid in to the water with my back facing the dock, and then, oops, couldn't push myself back up! So Markus had to pull me up by my arms!! I think it must have been the summery weather, but this weekend really made me feel more like a kid: fun and curious. This, I think, is a good thing. I have been far too serious lately.

Sunday was pretty typical, which means "pretty great." We went to the early service at church and Amy preached a really unique and touching message on racism. And the trinity. She used a technique from InterPlay called DT3, or dance, talk, dance, talk, dance, talk, explaining that what she wanted to communicate wasn't expressible only through words. It was a beautiful experience.
After church we went to the Olympia Mahayana Buddhist Center. We have dropped in a couple times on their coffee hour and Markus wanted to go to a service. Yesterday was the last in a series of teachings on meditation, and both of us really enjoyed it. Jindak proved to be an entertaining and helpful teacher, and guided us to a meditation on the kindness we experience every day. We were to think about some kindness that was done to us, something that made our life better, no matter what the intention of the person who did it, and hold that feeling. I actually meditated on the feeling I received when I picked up my books from the library that I had requested on interlibrary loan. I have been wanting to blog about this, but just keep forgetting. This entry is getting too long, so I'll do it soon, now that I have a written reminder. The purpose of meditating on kindness is so that you will 'change the flavor of your mind', and be able to see kindness in every day. Basically the same as keeping a gratitude journal. The more you look for the gifts in your life, the more they will be revealed to you. Mmmm.

My favorite thing about yesterday was finally buying a tomato plant from the farmer's market! I had already planted some herbs, leaf lettuce, and flowers, but I've just been so anxious for this dang tomato plant! I love, love, love planting my little pots. Someday when we have a house we'll have a little garden. I cannot imagine life without a garden. Yesterday Markus asked me how tall the tomato plant will get and I estimated, showing him with my hands, "this high." He doubted me. And I said, "Dude, I grew up in a garden. Don't doubt." :)

My modest little "garden"


OK, I have a ton of errands to do today, so I better get my butt off this chair and into the shower.
Have a great day, everyone.

Friday, May 9, 2008

yawn

I'm having trouble sleeping.
It doesn't make any sense. I'm on my period, I biked a few miles yesterday for the first time in a loooong time, and I cried for hours last night. By every account, I'm exhausted.
And yet. Sleep doesn't come.
My mind is zinging through the atmosphere, though I tell it not to worry about things that cannot be changed at 3 o'clock in the morning. For whatever reason, my mind just won't listen to me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Just breathe....

OK.
I admit it.

I'm freaking out.

About wedding planning, that is.


I've been trying to figure out what we're going to do about invitations. At first I planned on making them, and then I thought about just saving money in this area and buying those print-em-yourself doozies from Walmart or something. But then I realized *big dramatic light bulb* that I can't send out boring invitations because I LOVE PRETTY PAPER!!! And that would just be wrong. Markus rolled his eyes at me and claimed that I'm making invitations into a moral issue. So, yeah, maybe I am. :)
But then comes the money issue again. And the time issue. And the 'I really, really love pretty paper' issue.
My heart beats faster when I see beautiful letterpress. And do you even know how many companies there are out there that make beautiful invitations?!?
(Look here, and here, and here, and here. For example.) No matter how much time I put into our invitations, they're never going to be as beautiful as some of those. *sigh*
And I also just don't know how to figure everything out... like how many pieces of paper I'm going to need, and if I'll be able to sew them, and how much it will cost to have everything printed. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I found a design that I like, and that seems simple enough, but it turns out that I'll need 11x17 inch card stock, which is available, um, no where. Not exactly true.. but I do have to special order it. Now I'm changing my mind and might want to do something a little more simple. Or at least different. But it's hard for me to know because I just want to play around and make a few samples, but I don't have the materials that I'd need.

I guess I'm just feeling overwhelmed.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

eak.

I miss blogging, but I just don't know what to blog about!

I took M to work today, so I have the car. I'd better move away from the computer and go run those errands!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Note to self:

No matter how delicious those mojitos are, limit yourself when attending an Army function.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In Celebration

In celebration of National Poetry Month (well, the last day of it), I've decided to join up with Megan at SortaCrunchy and a few others by posting my favorite poem.
It's a long one, but for me, totally worth the read.
I just think Eliot's words are so beautiful. Also, I can't help but appreciating his references to Dante and Shakespeare, as well as his lean towards Symbolism. Mmm symbolism. :)

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T. S. Eliot

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . .
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all;
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; <--- My favorite line!
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet–and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."
. . . . .

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.




Another poem (is it a poem?) that I love is Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Really I always just read the last stanza.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cookies!

Markus gets back from field training tomorrow! Yay! Unfortunately, though, he and the rest of the unit have to go into work on Saturday and for half of Sunday. Boo!

I made him some cookies to take in with him on Saturday, and I thought I'd share the recipe. These are so easy and so yummy that they should be illegal. :-)


Delicious, Easy Surprise Cookie
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 bag of Reese cup miniatures

Mix cake mix, eggs, and oil together. Roll dough into a small ball and flatten with your thumb. Put a Reese cup in and fold the dough over top, rolling it back into a ball shape.
Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes.
Mine made 34 cookies.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I know most of you don't have all the time in the world like I do, but if you want to be shocked and maybe even laugh a little, check out this website.

I had no idea so many celebrities had 'fake' names.

Mixed Messages

*sigh*

Today I went to the library to pick up a couple books that I had requested through interlibrary loan. In an attempt to get out of the house for a little while, I toted my books along with me to Forza and settled in with a super yummy soy caramel macchiato. I started to read Paths to Becoming a Midwife and just felt that every article, every word of advice, or piece of wisdom, was stoking this tiny fire that has been burning in my heart. And then! You will not believe... I found a 4-leaf clover that someone left in the book for me! What a wonderful sign! I wanted to keep reading, but I couldn't stand it any longer.... I had to call Amanda!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ backstory~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
(Have you seen Wayne's World? You know when they're in front of the green screen and 'visiting' different places? And between scenes, they wave their fingers up and down? No? Well, that's what ~*~*~*~* is supposed to indicate)

Ok, anyway. Maybe a month ago I mustered up the guts to call a local midwife to ask if she would allow me to shadow her. I'm not really looking for an apprenticeship at this time because -ta da!- I don't have a car! Or money to buy a car! So I thought that maybe I could just spend a little time with an experienced midwife each month or week so that I could gain some experience and wisdom... Anyway. The midwife I called is no longer practicing, so she referred me to someone "who will definitely be able to help" me, who is "super involved in teaching", yadda yadda yadda. So I call her. And she says that there is no room for me, that since I would not be bringing any skills, I would just be in the way. Boo.
(I opt not to argue, despite the fact that I do not think I am without skill. I am compassionate, nurturing, and always calm in the face of medical emergencies. I am the person that calmly calls 911 and relays the details of the situation. I have god-only-knows how many credits of upper-level biology. I've taken embryology. Microbiology. Physiology. Human Gross Anatomy. to name a few. I've dissected a human cadaver. I've attended a C-section. Blood doesn't gross me out. (needles do.) I chose to take Literature and the Healing Arts as my senior seminar, where we discussed everything from birth to death and all of the choices that come in between. I've counseled people who have HIV/AIDS. I've worked with and befriended people of different colors, religions, sexual preferences... So, I just don't think I'm completely unqualified. Sorry for the ramble.)


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~present day~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So I decided to call another midwife, Amanda. I figured she would have a little more understanding, since it seems we have something in common. On her website she explains that she was called to be a midwife, and despite not having a family of her own, knew that midwifery was the right path for her. I thought, "this girl will definitely understand."
I called with such excitement that when she actually answered, I giggled. I went on the give my schpiel. (is that a real word that has a correct spelling?) And you know what she said?
That I would be in the way. That people who choose to have a home birth are very private, and wouldn't want me intruding.

The end.

Gah.


This. is. very. discouraging.

But don't worry, I'm not giving up.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My keyboard keeps not working.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Springing

Markus sent me this picture at the beginning of February to let me know what our apartment looked like.



Now look at it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Boo hoo

I miss Markus. I'm sad. I want to cry.



Here's a picture of a rainbow over the Sound.



And a picture of moss on trees. (It does that here)



Both photos were taken at Tolmie State Park. It's just down the road from us.

So sweet

Markus sent me a card.
Notice how he changed who's saying what.
Hahaha.



I'm gassy. It's true.

"Count me in"


My dear friend Nicole (whose fiance is in the Air Force) just sent me this email. I'll probably forward it to a few people, but I thought maybe some of you who I don't know might see it too if I posted it on here.



One Minute

Someone has said if Christians really understood the full extent of the
power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Did you
know that during W.W.II there was an adviser to Churchill who organized
a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a
prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of
England, its people and peace?

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in
America.

If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 pm Eastern Time
(8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever
you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United
States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If
you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this
along.

Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.

Please forward this to your praying friends.
**************
Let go. Let God.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Strawberries and God



I just feel like I have so much to say! I've been thinking a lot about some broader issues that I'd like to talk about on here, but I need to think a little bit more about what I want to say. It's mostly just stuff about myself and my growth and where I am right now in life. I plan on getting to that soon.
But until then, I'll keep up with the updates!

Yesterday I tried out a new church that we were eyeing, but hadn't checked out yet. I am so glad I went! It was really a great experience. The service was good and I appreciated the sermon, but mostly I was just so happy with how friendly and welcoming everybody was! I hate sliding into a pew next to people only to have them ignore you until the pastor tells them to say hello to those seated around them. Are you kidding me?! This definitely did not happen yesterday. Immediately upon seating myself several people around me introduced themselves saying, "I don't think I've seen you here before." Now that's what I'm talking about! A church that's enough of a community to know when someone new is present. After the service my pew-mate Hank showed me around the church and led me to the coffee fellowship, introducing me to a few people on the way. One older woman introduced me to her daughter, Debbie, who was running the coffee time that day. Debbie and I chatted for awhile and when I left she gave me her number in case I wanted to go biking! Yay! The whole thing was just a really nice experience. I'm so glad, because I really liked a lot of what the church's website had to say, but you never know what it's actually going to be like.

After church I spent the whole rest of the day hanging out with our new friend Julia. Julia's husband Ben is in Markus' battalion. I had a nice time, and really enjoyed spending time with a girlfriend, but to be honest, when I left I was just exhausted. Julia is great, and I really like her, but we aren't really friends yet, so it wasn't an environment that I could just totally relax and be myself in. Know what I mean? I think that we are going to hang out again later this week, and go visit her family in Portland. Woo hoo! It'll be my first time ever in Oregon.


I'm sort of spoiling myself tonight. I just got a craving/was bored, so I went to the store and bought some strawberries and Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Now tell me those don't look delicious!

And the weirdest thing... Two of the strawberries in my pack were siamese twins!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Blessings

A truly wonderful day. I'll expound later.

OK. I'm expounding:

For those who don't know, my wife gave me a "Highlight of the Day" journal for my birthday last year. Usually I write just a sentence or two before going to bed, but last night I couldn't stop! I've decided to just post what I wrote in the HoD journal...

It was truly a wonderful day.
I feel so blessed and happy to be alive! Highlights include, but aren't limited to: A beautiful, warm, sunshiney, summery day; My first attempt at using public transportation here - thumbs up! People even tell the driver 'thank you' when they get off the bus!; Going to the Farmer's Market; Seeing a bluegrass band playing there that was so beautiful I cried (well maybe I cried for other reasons too) [blog addition/clarification: the other reasons included being lonely because the day was so beautiful and I have no friends here to share it with, missing Markus, and missing my family because my Papa used to play in a bluegrass band]; Trying a deliciously ripe pear; Seeing lots of babies; Going to Artisan's and nearly completing my letter to the Pennsylvania legislature re: midwifery!; Meeting a band from Portland called The Retrofits and seeing/hearing them play - they were great!; Asking Artisan's if they are hiring and being told "Maybe. I was actually just thinking about that. Bring in your resume."; Being told the same thing at a great paper/scrapbooking store; Birds singing; Making it home just before dark [blog addition/clarification: I walked about 3 miles home from the bus stop]; Taking a salt bath; Keeping the windows open because it still feels like a summer night!; Receiving a really warm and loving card in the mail from my friend Mal; AND and anniversary card in the mail from Markus!!!

Whew!


I. am. so. blessed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Anyone want to play?

Ahh. It was so sunny and nice today. Really perfect.

Too bad I decided that today was going to be my day of protest.

That's right. I stayed in bed all morning (after returning from taking Markus to work at 5:30 am). Read some. Talked on the phone some. Didn't shower until 3 pm.

Why? Because today Markus left for two weeks 'in the field.' Two weeks!! When we looked at this date on the calendar a month ago we thought I'd have a job. And friends.

But I don't. As you know.

Markus encouraged me to make the most of this time. To explore. To keep looking for a job. To play. To enjoy. To meet people. This all seems like a good idea, but I have the feeling that it's going to be a struggle for me to get up in the mornings, take a shower, and actually do something with my day.
So I thought that maybe if I took one day to get all of the doing-nothingness and sadness and loneliness out of my system....

I'll let you know how that works.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mini Meatloaves

Mmmm. I made my mom's mini-meatloaves (so much alliteration) last night and they were so yummy that I thought I'd do another recipe post.
Enjoy! :)

Mom's Mini-Meatloaves
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. ground beef

Topping
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp yellow mustard


Beat egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion, and salt. Add beef. Mix well.
Make into 8 small loaves and place in greased 9 X 13 baking dish.
Combine toppings. Spoon over top of meatloaves.
Bake uncovered at 350* for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I love babies...

Especially when they're family!

My sister Rachel had her baby last week! EEeeee!!!
A little boy.
Named Lucas Timothy.

I love being an aunt, so you just keep bringing 'em on, Rach.



I just want to kiss his little face! It's so weird to not be there to meet him. I met Cameron and Isabelle on the days of their births. This little sweetie will be 4 months old before I get to hold him. :( I'm going to learn how to be an awesome aunt from far away.



My little loves!
Cameron 13, Isabelle (being crazy) 4, and Lucas 6 days.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Banana Bread

On Thursday I was craving banana bread. Dying for banana bread. But our bananas weren't ripe enough. I put them in a paper bag and waited (not very) patiently.
They probably could have ripened longer, but I couldn't take it anymore, and on Friday made a yummy, moist, absolutely delicious loaf.
Today my banana bread is almost gone! There are maybe three slices left. Why can't I have a never-ending banana bread loaf?

Anyway...! I thought I'd pass on the recipe. It's my gramma's and it's mighty delicious. Even if you have your own standard, try this one, and tell me what you think!


Gramma's Banana Bread Recipe
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1/2 cup crisco (i used margarine)
1 cup sugar
3 mashed bananas (mash them with your hands like Gramma does)
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 level tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup warm water

Mix all the ingredients together, pour in a well-greased pan, and bake 1 hour (I had to add about 15 minutes) at 325 degrees. Voila!