Monday, April 30, 2007

We're sleeping with ducks today

Okay, so no bread sleeping today.  Actually not much today at all except needing a tiny bit of advice.   I know that many of my readers are animal people, so what better place to ask if there is anything I can do in an animal situation.

We live very close to the park and the park has a huge lake that is frequented by ducks, geese and swans.  It is currently nesting season and because we are so close to the park, we have had ducks nest in our backyard under the trampoline or in the bushes.  The kids are just instructed to leave them alone and all goes well. 

I have noticed the last two days that at the bottom of our street, a female duck appears to be nesting in someone's front yard.  The problem is that the yard she has chosen is at the corner of my street and a very busy street.  I've been a nervous wreck, for fear she or her mate will wander out onto said street and know what could happen.  Though one would think people would slow down for ducks, there was proof a few weeks ago on that busy street that they don't and I have every reason to believe they intentionally either did not slow down or were not paying attention.  Not like ducks dart out in front of you or anything.

So, I'm not sure if I should leave the female duck to do her thing and hope for the best or if I should call someone.  I'm not sure our SPCA would do anything.  (I really wish we had a Humane Society like Texas, Miami or know, the ones they show on Animal Planet). 

So, any suggestions, fellow animal lovers?

Oh and only five more days until Maryland Sheep and Wool!

Friday, April 27, 2007


I'm rather amused by a few things going on around here, but I'm going to keep it to myself.  There have been some interesting hits on this blog since Monday and I have to wonder if they are in any way related to a phone call I received today.  But for now, nevermind.

Somehow, I have become extremely busy lately...well, not exactly lately but my future schedule is filling up quickly!  Let's have a gander, shall we?

1. Next weekend is Maryland Sheep and Wool.  There are six of us going on Saturday and we are meeting up at the park and ride at 8:00 am.  Yarn, sheep, alpacas and girlfriends...all good.
2. Following Saturday is the monthly meeting of Fiber Fanatics.

The schedule then clears a tad until the second half of June....

3. The third week of June is Vacation Bible School which I am co-running with Paula again this year.  We had a great VBS last year and are hoping for another success this year.

4. Due to the pastor's departure, there became a spot that needed to be filled on our youth mission trip and I have agreed to take it.  So, VBS will finish on that Friday, and early Sunday morning, we are packed up and ready to depart on a 6 hour drive to spend a week in Virginia.  We won't be returning until the following Saturday.

5. July 12th, Robyn and I depart for Washington DC for the annual Women of Faith conference.  We'll leave Thursday night and return on Saturday evening.

So!  Way busy! 

Now, with busy being said, I have also been full speed ahead on getting a few goals under my belt.  I'm still working out and eating well, so while I'm working towards that it is time to work towards a few more things. 

About four years ago, I bought a guitar.  I have always wanted to learn to play, so I purchased one and found an instructor.  A few weeks into it, the Brit and I decided we wanted to pursue adopting children, so we took foster care classes, which just happened to interfere with the guitar lessons.  So, dropped out of the lessons, took the foster class and upon graduating, almost immediately got the two boys placed with us.  The rest is pretty much history, but let's just say, the few years that have followed that have been a little intense and a lot insane.  When the split in the church happened, we lost our guitar players, but Paula's youngest son stepped up and has been doing a fabulous job!  He still has two more years of high school, so I came to the conclusion that by the time he graduates and heads off to college, I would like to be able to play profficiently and I think he has agreed to teach me.  Upon taking my guitar into the church last night, I realized just how wide the neck of it was compared to the other two guitars belonging to other people.  I have way small hands and had a heck of time in lessons being able to play certain chords.  So, today, I tool the instrument back to where I purchased it and traded it in on a nice little guitar with a much more narrow neck.  I'm going to learn to play.

So, learning to play guitar and then once I lose my weight, learning to horseback ride, will mark two things off my list.  Another is taking a cruise, which the Brit and I are planning for next year for our 10th wedding anniversary, so that marks off another one.  Then there is that other thing...

Crazy Aunt Purl has written a book.  Crazy Aunt Purl has written a book.  I keep saying this over and over to myself because I find it quite inspiring and it has given me much food for thought.  This, to me, is the most difficult of my goals; even harder than weight loss.  It is a special kind of intimidating that I am once again revisiting.  I have to make the effort.  I have to give it a try.  I don't want to get rich off it;  I just want to be able to say I did it.

More on that later.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 didn't start out as a complaint post....

I want to give Laura over at StratCat on-line a big thanks for saying what I was trying to say yesterday, much more eloquently than I did.  Sometimes my thoughts get all jumbled up as I try not to offend people.  Now, being more liberal here does not mean I am suddenly going to spew out a bunch of #@%* language.  Mostly, it just means that I'm going to sit back and perhaps be more comfortable here in my little corner of the internet.

I had the day off work today and I realized that I have no idea how to really and truly relax.  Last night, I was telling myself that on my day off for Administrative Assistant Day, I was going to just lay around, knit and read and maybe eventually get to Curves.  The day started out sort of on plan.  I didn't get up until 7:30, made sure JJ got ready for school, took him up to the bus stop, came back home, had some oatmeal and chai tea and then promptly went back to sleep again until about 10:40.  I took a shower and got dressed and then my obsessive nature began to kick in.  I decided that even though I was way going to relax today, I'd may as well throw some laundry in as the hampers were nearing full.  So, I did that and then for some reason, I grabbed three heavy trash bags from downstairs and went up to the kid's room.  That is when my inner insane cleaning lady kicked into overdrive.   Honestly, I only intended to do a little tidy up of their bedroom; one hour tops.   Then I saw all the stuff under the bottom bunk bed and three hours and four trash bags later, it was 3:00 and I was finished and it was time to head to Curves.  So much for all that knitting and reading I had planned on doing.

That led me to try to figure out why I do that. Why it is I feel like I am just killing time if I just sit around and do things I enjoy doing.  Do I secretly enjoy cleaning?  I'm thinking no, but I do like a tidy home and I have three males in here working against me to make sure that tidy never,ever happens unless I am working overtime.  At times, I get a little frustrated when the weekend rolls around and the males of the species spend it watching television, napping, playing video games or playing outside.  I try my best to follow suit, but there are pants that need to be clean for Monday morning, or a meal that has to be cooked, served and cleaned up after and I always find myself wondering why I am the only one who doesn't get to really and truly take the whole weekend off.  No, I don't work full-time, but with my part-time job, the house, the kids, the grocery shopping, the cooking etc, I'm thinking if I were getting paid what that is worth an hour, I may be vying for being the major bread winner.  My day starts around 7:00 (sometimes 6:00) and ends around the time the kids go to bed.

I suppose it does balance out some weeks, when I go to my knitting group, spend some time at Shell's or like next weekend, head to Maryland Sheep and Wool.  I also have a yearly getaway weekend to Women of Faith that recharges me for several months.  Sometimes though it would be nice to hear "Wow, the house looks great, mom!" or "Honey, I don't know how you get it all done each day." (Try to keep from laughing hysterically.  Yes, I know I need to rub a lamp).  It's just that despite what people may think, I don't live to clean up after people.

And yet on the other hand, no one says anything to me when I decide I need a new pair of knitting needles, or I want to bid on childhood books off eBay.  (I'm starting to think I have multiple personalities tonight..anger, guilt, anger, guilt).  So, I guess it works.  But before I can change my mind about that, say "Goodnight, Kim".  Goodnight, Kim.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Not much to say

Today has been a bit of a shocker, but I can't really share it yet for a couple of reasons.  First off, I am still digesting it.  Secondly, I need to mull it around a bit longer and work on the right way to document it here without it sounding judgemental or angry.  Some of you that I know in "real life" I have already emailed to let you know the situation, but to put it out there for the cyber world, I still need a bit more time.  Plus it will make a good Sleeping with Bread post.  Don't worry; I'm fine, my family is fine, my friends are fine.  No one is dying, except maybe someone emotionally who has had to face up to something and stands to lose nearly everything.  As I said, let me think about the post and then I will share it with all of you.

Sheri has asked what a meme is and I did a google search to come up with an answer better than I could give and didn't have much luck, so I'm going to give it a shot.  Basically, I think memes have started off as blog lists, such as "Five things you don't know about me" or "Ten places I would like to visit".  Generally, I believe the bloggers would make their own lists and then "tag" some of their bloggers buddies to participate on their own blogs. 

In my opinion, memes have a evolved a little bit, where they can cover things more than just little tidbits of information, Sleeping with Bread and Women are Fantasic being prime examples.  The goal is still to get more bloggers involved and often times these memes are slated for a specific day of the week.  Hope that clears it up a bit.

Last piece of news: my friend Andrea gets married tomorrow, so please think happy thoughts for her!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech

I thought about not writing anything about the terrible tragedy that occurred on Monday at Virginia Tech, but then realized, I simply could not do that.  It has been extremely difficult to organize my thoughts about the whole thing, but first and foremost, I want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as with every student on every campus, in every high school, middle school, elementary school, and daycare.  I can't believe for even a second that every educational institution in the world does not live with some fear because of what happened on Monday. 

As a parent, my heart aches for the parents who have lost children.  I think my friend, Paula, is grieving even more so, because her boys are so close to college age, with her oldest heading off to college this fall.  It rattles us and scares us half to death to even think about sending our babies out into the world...into a world that is filled with so much evil and insanity.

I could say a million different things about the murderer who assassinated 32 people on Monday and then took the easy way out and ended his own life.  I could comment on the craziness of his tape sent to NBC, or remark on how about 95% of children get picked on in school, but very few think that because of that they are entitled to pick up a gun and seek revenge.  I could complain about gun laws, or parenting skills or educational institutions not picking up on early warning signs.  I can also comment on how twisted writings do not always make for a killer...look at the number of published horror authors on the market who are not picking up weapons to live their sickest fantasy.

But the fact is that whatever caused this kid to snap will always be somewhat of a mystery.  We can talk about it, drudge it out, speculate, argue points, retrace steps and insist that we know what caused it.  Fact is, none of that matters.  None of that matters to the parents, wives, husbands, grandparents, aunts, uncles,brothers, sisters,  cousins, friends or children who have lost a loved one this week.  The story is the same for them and no amount of speculation can change it.  They already know the bottom line.

People often turn to God during difficult times and ask the question "Why?".  It's human nature to ask and to wonder why God didn't stop such a heinous crime from occurring.  He could have stopped it.  God can do anything.  The problem is that He gave us free will and He can't let us use that free will in some cases and in other instances take it away.  He also never told us that this life would be easy or free of pain, but He did tell us that He would be with us through it all.  I know that He is with everyone who lost a loved one this week and I also know that He can use terrible things to draw us ever closer to Him.  I've seen it happen.  He can make something good come out of the most horrible tragedy.  He's done it again, and again and again.  So often, that is when we find Him and we find Him because we are reaching out, seeking Him.

I pray that all the broken hearted people affected by what happened Monday are reaching out...and when they do, I have no doubt that they will be wrapped up in the love of God and comforted.  He understands.  He lost children this week too and though they are with Him now, he still had to feel their fear and their pain as He was with them in that dark and terrifying time.  He understands.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trying to make green from black

So I have this little idea about getting into a little bit of gardening.  Those of you who know me well, know that this is a scary thought (Brit, you hush) as I tend to kill things.  I always have the very best of intentions, every single spring, when I head to the outdoor nurseries to purchase new flowers to put in pots on my front porch.  For a few weeks, all is well.  I am excited and happily watering and flowers are growing and all is good in the plant world.  Then something happens, like life, or vacation, or just general laziness and people forget to water the flowers....people being me.  From that point on it is all downhill.

However, with losing weight and working out, I have this new found energy that makes me feel optimistic enough to try again.  We have already purchased some herbs which have been happily growing in my knitting room (which I never knit in btw.  It used to be my dining room, but we don't dine in it.  We actually added a sofa and chair to the room and all my yarn is stashed in storage drawers and baskets in there.  I'm simply not sure of what else to call the room, so I'm open to suggestions) until the weather decides to kick its crack habit and reinvent itself into spring.  I had also planned to grow some tomatoes from seeds, but after a little chat with Andie last night, who is the only real gardener I know, I have scratched that idea in favor of a tomato plant, because if I were going to grow them from seeds, I should have started that weeks ago.  So now I just have to wait for the nursery to get in the plants.  Andie also talked me into growing lettuce as well, as I can also grow that in a long pot and she even suggested planting some marigolds in between the lettuce plants (uh huh, I'm gonna get all fancy on ya'll). 

As the basement did get cleaned up last weekend, I'm hoping to get down there this weekend to paint some old wooden television stands to place my gardening attempts on, to keep out stray cats and our resident skunk.  Then with hopefully some help from the menfolk, we can get the back porch cleaned up and presentable, so that there is actually room out there to grow some stuff and that just leaves me with six flower pots to chose for the front porch.  Wish me luck.  The running joke around here from the Brit each spring is "So what, my darling, are you going to buy to kill this year?"  I'm determined to change his opinion.

Some of you were stating that you didn't understand what Sleeping with Bread is all about.  If you click on the SWB link on the left of my page, it will take you to a full explanation, but I borrowed a little excerpt from Mary-Lue, who came up with this Monday meme:

During the bombing raids of WWII, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them, "Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow." (Linn, Dennis et al, Sleeping With Bread, p.l)

It is quite simple. You simply ask yourself, in the last day/week/month what gave me consolation and what caused me desolation.

I think of it as having to do with hope, with things I am most grateful for, and for things I am struggling with.  Everyone's interpretation of it may be a little different, but that's mine.  I hope this helps to clear it up!

And thank you for the comments!  I was getting quite lonely!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sleeping with Bread

I hadn't planned on a SWB post today, but the post actually found me.  I think at times we tend to forget that there are people out there who sleep with bread all the time to one extreme or another. 

There is a young woman at my Curves who I have gotten rather friendly with who I actually knew before to a certain extent.  She was a client at the dictatorship veterinarian hospital where I used to work, so I recognized her immediately a year ago when I first joined Curves and we talked and chatted.  After my 9 month hiatus from Curves, she and I picked up where we left off.  Aletta is always very encouraging with me; telling me how hard I'm working and that she'd proud of me.  She's a Christian and we've discussed that as well.  She's generally a bright spark in my workout because she is always so upbeat and happy.

I knew she and her family had some financial problems because several weeks ago, she started working at Curves, by doing the house cleaning kind of things; cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming etc and she made mention to me one day that it allowed her to be able to keep her membership.  My guess is that they are letting her work instead of her having to pay the monthly fee, which is nice.  I know Aletta has two young children because her son is JJ's age and we have talked about setting up play dates this summer.

Today, as is her way, Aletta was very upbeat and happy but in the midst of our conversation, she made mention of not having had a great weekend because she was away all day Friday and her refrigerator died, spoiling a few hundred dollars worth of food.  She told me that someone at her church had gotten them a new refrigerator, but they were unable to do any grocery shopping until this Thursday when her husband got paid.  She said someone had given them some deer meat and her kids were eating peanut butter and jelly and she laughed when she said her son had told her on Sunday that if he had to eat PB&J one more time, he was going to throw up.

I left Curves when Aletta went to clean and walked to Food Lion which is located in the same shopping center.   God was speaking to my heart and re-reminding me that there was once a time when I lived paycheck to paycheck and didn't always know how I was going to afford necessities.  I didn't spend a great amount (Under $30) but I did get her some things to get them through until Thursday, including lunchmeat for the kids and some dinner items.  I hurried back down to Curves, hoping she hadn't left yet.  She was back in the bathroom cleaning, so I walked back, handed her the bags and said "Hey, feed those kids something other than peanut butter and jelly between now and Thursday, will ya?"  Aletta promptly burst into tears and I had to hold my own back.  I told her that one day, she would be in a position to help someone and that then she would be able to pay it forward.  I'm praying that maybe I helped alleviate her need to sleep with bread this week.

What makes it even more touching to me is that on Mondays at work, I complete the bulletin for the coming Sunday and the Gospel lesson for Sunday is basically "Feed my lambs."  I know that Jesus didn't necessarily mean to feed people literally, but then again, I think there are times He expects us to do just that.

In other news

I was feeling when I left Curves that it was really time to stop sweating some of the small stuff, so I made it a point to get in touch with the person who was one of my very dearest internet friends.  We had drifted apart and then as it turns out, we both felt stupid and horrible about contacting the other  one after such a long period of time.  It was so good to talk to her (She's getting married this Saturday) and I don't think either of us will be letting our friendship go by the wayside again.

Happy Monday!  I think my commentors have all gone on vacation, or else they were sucked up by aliens (aka Phil Stacey).

Sunday, April 15, 2007

And so it begins again

Why does searching for a vacation rental have to be so scary?  I have my budget and we are looking at Cape Cod, but there are so many little towns to chose from!  I've been at it for about two hours now and though I have sent out two inquiry emails, I still have oodles of them to look through.

I haven't been to the cape since I lived with my last roomie and I miss it.  We always stayed in Provincetown at the P-Town Inn (which is out of our price range nowadays).  I just loved all the little shops, the wonderful seafood, finding all the little creatures when the tide went out and most especially, the whale watching boats.  I'm really hoping that not much of it has changed and I look forward to exploring other parts of the cape.

Today, we cleaned the basement, so I will soon be getting aquainted with my new friend the bowflex.  I did bring up the book to look at the workouts and how it all works, but as it was Sunday, I couldn't be bothered to deal with healthy today other than the eating part of it.  I can't believe tomorrow is Monday already, but I guess I shouldn't complain too much as the weekend was very pleasant!

Friday night we were supposed to go and see Shell, but something came up with her at the last minute, when we were about two blocks from her house.  The kids were away for the night, so we were left in Smithsburg, wondering what to do, so we decided to go to the chinese restuarant.  Upon walking in, we spotted Paula, John, Dane and his girlfriend, so we shared dinner with them and then were invited back to their place for the evening.  It was all very pleasant and comfortable as we all get along so well, her boys included.  It's one of those places like Lisa's just feel like you're home when you walk in the door.  You laugh and talk and drink coffee and try to solve the problems in our worlds.  Great fun.

Saturday morning was our monthly Fiber Fanatics meeting and it was Kelly's birthday and I am a loser and didn't take my camera.  But, it was fun, I knitted a-plenty on a prayer shawl, Kelly's mom made her a birthday cake as well as a cake for Robyn in celebration of her good test results last month, that said "Happy Everyday, Robyn".  That evening, because the kids weren't coming home till later, the Brit and I went to dinner at Barefoot Bernie's (yummy crab) and ran into Lisa, Phil and Deanna (Lisa and Deanna I had just spent part of the day with knitting!). So, we shared a table and a meal and had more fun.

After dinner, we went to Wonder Book and Video, which is a huge used bookstore where you can find almost anything you could possibly want other than new releases (and they even have some of those).  I had just watched "Flicka" last week (and Andie, if you ever read this, dang that girl in the movie reminded me of you!), which led me on a quest at Wonderbook to find some of my childhood favorites such as several books from "The Black Stallion" series, as well as "Anne of Green Gables".  I am still missing several of the Stallion books, but plan to look again and yes, I do intend to reread them.  I also have a bid on eBay for a vintage copy of "My Friend, Flicka" which will end in a couple of days. 

When wandering about the bookstore, I remember just how much I love books.  It's sad really, because now, in the age of computers, I don't read books nearly as often as I used to (of course, I am also balancing a home, a workout schedule, two children, a job and a knitting hobby as well) but when I do find the time to sit down and submerge myself in a book, it always feels like coming home.  I've never been much of a reader of adult classics, though I have read and dearly love many of the children's classics.  With kids, I don't like to read anything too indepth because it can easily be a week or longer before I am able to pick the book back up again, and I don't want to have to spend precious reading time trying to remember everything that had happened in my last sitting.  I am currently reading The Friday Night Knitting Club and enjoying it immensely.  Apparently it is soon going to become a movie as well.  As I'm almost finished that, I have the new Nicholas Sparks on loan from the library and once I finish that, I plan to start rereading The Black Stallion series.  That's the plan...and I still have a prayer shawl to finish by June.

And speaking of knitting, Maryland Sheep and Wool is right around the corner!  We're going on Sunday this year (sorry singing for me on May 6th!) as Lisa wants to see from Sheep to Shawl.  My understanding is that basically, participants have to shave their sheep, go through the whole process of turning that into yarn and then knitting a shawl with it.  It sounds interesting, though I am most excited about the shopping!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The amazing world of cyberspace

So, in a tiny debate with a friend over an email this morning, I now have a topic to blog about today: My e-mail rules.  I am not your average "forward everything that comes into my mailbox" kind of gal.  There are certain things I look for in emails to forward, such as content, humor, reality etc.  Let's explore these a little bit.

Humor:  If it makes me laugh, I forward it to a group I have within my email called "Anything Goes".  Unless of course, I have seen that particular email a kabillion times, because if I had, then chances are, I have already forwarded that email onto my cyber buddies as well.  There are very rare occasions where I do forward something particularly funny that I have probably forwarded once a long time ago.  If it makes me laugh a second time, it's worth sending on again.  You never know who may need that laugh today.

Reality: I love a good true story, however, I don't believe that everything that comes into my mailbox marked "True!" is really true, because often it is not.  For example. how many of you have gotten the email about the missing Penny Brown which includes an adorable picture of a little girl with auburn hair?  Penny is not missing...and has never been missing, but I cannot begin to tell you how many times this email has shown up in my box.   I am a big fan of and I use it to check any email that I get that might be in question before I send it on to another couple of dozen people.  There are several other websites out there similar to Snopes or just pop the title of the email in question into Google and see what happens.  Though I am not cynical about most things, I hate to have my heartstrings tugged on, pulled on, yanked on, beaten on etc for things that are just not real.  I also have what is probably an annoying habit of responding to all people who were cc'd on that email to let them know it is a hoax so that hopefully they will not spread the insanity any further. 

If I find out a "true" story is indeed true, I try to make a point of typing that in the email before I forward it as well.

Content: I try really, really hard not to offend anyone with an email.  I have a few friends who are not Christian, so I try very hard to not send them emails with that kind of content, and for the most part, they, in turn, treat me with the same respect.  In other words, I won't send you emails about Jesus if you don't send me stuff about Buddah or a goddess, etc.  We all have our beliefs and where I don't generally find anyone else's beliefs offensive, (unless they are really and truly offensive, such as the KKK etc) I am very happy where I am and I'm sure these people are too.

On the subject of content, I never, ever forward an email because it tells me to.  You know the ones; forward this to 4,458,698 people in the next ten seconds or your hair will grow into 7 ponytails on the top of your head (oops, sorry, that's Sanjaya, isn't it?) by midnight.  I'm not a believer in luck, such as "If you don't forward this, bad luck will fall upon you...", nor a believer in "if you do forward this, your phone will ring with the best news of your life".  I know that when I forward an email to ten people, something "totally neat" is not going to happen on my screen, nor is Bill Gates, Disney or anyone else going to send me a check.  Now, ya'll know it too.  NOT GONNA HAPPEN. 

I will, at times, forward emails that tell me to forward it, but only because I like the content of the email.  'nuff said.

I also do not forward things because I agree with every single statement made in the email.  If I do by  chance, agree with every single statement in the email, I will probably write a little message in my forward that says something like "I agree with every single statement in this email."  Sometimes, I just like what something says, what someone did, or I am reveling in the fact that for the first time in six months an actual true story landed in my inbox.  Again, when I forward something, my intention is never to offend, but let's be realistic, some people are offended by things that no one else would think they would be and that is no one's fault; not theirs and not the sender.  I think we all do our best with this complex thing called the internet and let's face it, between friends, no one is intentionally trying to offend.

Incidentally, let me say that the person who gave me the idea for this blog today has not upset me at all.  The discussion just led me to think about emails in general and like reporters, we should often check out our sources before hitting "forward."

While we're discussing the internet, how about those internet friendships?  Aren't they complex?  I have made some fantabulous friends over the computer and have chatted with folks not just in the USA but in Brazil, Mexico and England (I even married that one ).  But who are these people really and what are the rules?  If you start to drift apart from a friend in real life, if you like that person, you would take the time to chat with him or her to find out what is going on.  Is the same true for the internet?  Do we have the same kind of "Rights" when it comes to internet friendships?  If you start to grow apart from an internet friend, can you still write and say "What happened?" or is that crossing a line into insanity? 

Would love to hear some thoughts on this, so please comment!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Where do the days go?

Can't believe it is already Wednesday and I haven't posted since Sunday!  Yikes!  Where does it go??

I had my monthly weigh and measure from Curves today and good news!  In the last four weeks I have dropped 8 pounds and 11 inches!  Though I have known I was losing, it is always really good to see the numbers, especially the inches as I don't do that at home.  The pounds, I had an idea of, but not the inches, other than the comfort of my clothing.

It still blows my mind a little because it has really not been that difficult to stay on plan this time.  I don't know if it is just my mind set, my maturity, or just plain finally being sick of being overweight.  I still hate the exersize and I'm not sure that will ever change until I get to the point where I would be comfortable bike riding again as I always loved that.  Though I currently work out 3-4 times a week, every day I do it, I hate it.  I grumble the whole way there and after my first time around the circuit, I briefly think about not bothering with a second time, but it is always a brief thought.   Exercise is just something I HAVE to do, much like work or parenting; I'm not always (or ever in this case) in the mood to do it, but it has to be done.  Give a choice and I'm gonna vote no, so I don't give myself the choice.

But the food part has been easy, though I know there are still changes I need to make.  Currently, a food day for me looks like this:

Breakfast: 2 packs instant oatmeal (Right now, I don't even use the low sugar oatmeal and I'm losing.  I'm thinking this is one of the things I can change when those plateau days happen in the future)
Sugar Free Chai Tea with 1% milk

Mid morning snack (s): Sometimes I have more than one snack because if I am going to Curves right after work, I won't eat lunch until I get home.  So today, my snacks were I cup of non-fat cottage cheese and a little later, 1 single serving size yoplait light thick and creamy yogurt mixed with a handful of Kashi Go Crunch cereal.  Yummy and very satisfying.

Lunch usually varies a little.  Some days it is two Wasa crackers with 2% cheese on them and a little bit of strawberrry jam.  There are days it might be some leftovers from dinner.

Dinner really varies.  I don't do a lot of beef; more chicken, lean pork, fish or turkey.  Always a veggie, sometimes a salad, and another side, such as sweet potato, mac and cheese made with Barilla plus omega 3 pasta, 1% milk and 2% cheese, baked potato on occasion or brown rice.

When i want a snack at night, I  keep either Turkey Hill fat free frozen yogurt in the freezer or the 1/2 fat ice cream.  I never use a bowl; always a coffee cup and I always have this at least two hours before bedtime.

I don't feel like I am depriving myself of anything as I like everything I'm eating.  I just checked out of the library a book recommended by RockinRobin on 3fc called "Super Foods RX".  I'm not very far into it, but again, the foods that are so highly recommended-I like most of them.  So once I finish this book, I will probably tweak a few more things.

All in all, I feel like I am in this for the long haul...thank GOD!  After forty years, it's about time.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter

Hope you all had or are having a wonderful Easter!  No real post today; just wanted to wish each one of you a special Resurrection Day and to share with you the lyrics to the song the Praise band rehearsed for this morning, titled "I'm Amazed".

What do I think of when I think
about the cross where You died
What do I think of when I think
about the sword in Your side
What do I think of when I think
about the last words You cried

What do I think of when I think
about the nails in Your hands
What do I think of when I think
about Your blood in the sand
What do I think of when I think
about it, I don't understand

I think about love
I think about grace
I think about You standing in my place
And I'm amazed

What do I think of when I think
about the scorns from the crowd
What do I think of when I think
about them cursing out loud
I think of how their knees will one day bow

What do I think of when I think
about You coming back down
What do I think of when I think
about me wearing that crown
What do I think of when I think
about that trumpet sound

I think about love
I think about grace
I think about You standing in my place
And I'm amazed.

And for those of you who don't celebrate the Christian Easter, here is my favorite Easter just cracks me up...


Saturday, April 7, 2007

To make the Brit happy....

Honestly, I come in here and really have no idea of what to prattle on about!  The weather is still on crack and I'm cranky from being cold all the time.  I've always said I'm going to be just like my mother; cold and deaf.  We've done absolutely nothing today, which in a way has been nice.  I've spent some time on the computer catching up on the blogs and message boards I frequent, and I've spent some time knitting. 

I informed the Brit a little while ago that I am placing him in charge of a couple of family work days in the very near future.  Our basement is a nightmare.  In January of 2006, my in-laws and myself cleaned the basement from top to bottom.  It was clean, it was organized, it was tidy.  No one really spends much time down there other than myself, the cats and the laundry but the kids go down there just often enough to take something out and then not put it back.  Now multiply that by like a kabillion and you'll get a fair idea of what the basement looks like.  I have cleaned it not once but twice since the initial heavy duty cleaning and again it is a tip and I refuse to single handedly clean it again.  The bow-flex is down there as well and one day I would like to start working with it, once the basement is fit to be in again.

The front of my house is generally very tidy, but the backyard is another story.  Now, I don't mind a toy here or there as proof that we do have messy children, but when you get into dozens of sticks pulled off trees and wood from our woodpile moved to various and asundry places it gets a little insane.  The back porch is also a nightmare with a box of newspapers (for fires in the winter) pool supplies for the above ground pool for the kids, and then some stuff that needs to be hauled off to the dump.  When I look at the porch I shudder, feeling a bit like trailer park trash (no offense to any of you who may live in trailer parks...I used to live in one, but living in one does not make you trash.  Living in one where your yard or porch looks like mine, however, does.).  It would be nice to be able to walk out there and beings we bought some herbs yesterday to grow and that I would like to start some tomato plants, it would be nice to have a place to put them that was tidy.

I'm a little bit of a neat freak.  I don't mind a little clutter, but real honest to heaven messy is not acceptable to me and these two places need major work.  There would have been a day when I would have just shut up about it and gotten the job done myself, but I don't want to do that anymore.  It's good for families to take on projects together and it doesn't leave one person with all of it.  I handle the rest of the house on my own and that's fine, but dang it, I don't mess up the basement nor the back yard, so I'm not cleaning them alone.

Oh, and incidently, I'm having a good scale week.  Two more pounds to go and I'll be at a 20 pound loss

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Our weather is on crack

So on Monday, it was somewhere around 75 degrees outside.  I did some yard work in the afternoon, took down the Christmas lights from around the two trees out front (Hey, better late than never) swept the porch etc.  Tuesday, I wore shorts because it was so warm; about 81 degrees.  I love the warm weather as I hate winter so much, so this was right up my alley.  Yesterday, it was cooler and rainy and today we had snow flurries off and on all day.  Swell.  Paula was not happy tonight because she got her first spring pedicure and wanted to go get some toeless Easter shoes for Sunday, but Easter morning is supposed to begin with a hazy 25 degrees.  If I were her, I'd keep my tootsies in some socks and a pair of clogs.

I've been rather hard on the pastor lately, but I have to give him some props by saying (I'm letting loose my inner Randy Jackson) the dawg can preach a hot sermon.  Tonight was Maundy Thursday and the preacher was in the house! (Now restraining my inner Randy Jackson).  He really does have a gift with sermon writing and even other folks who are struggling with him on a more personal level have said as much to me; that they like the way he preaches.  So, he has something going for him and if we could just get the one on one personal stuff under control, I think we'd be all right.  And I don't think I'm just saying this because we had for real wine at communion tonight instead of our usual token grape juice (which repeats on me the whole time the praise band is trying to sing communion songs.  I had no such trouble tonight with the wine.).

I now have stretched out before me a lovely four day weekend in which I plan to knit, read and generally vegg out...other than my Curves workouts.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


The weight loss update

So, I am now down 16 pounds as of today.  I was stuck for over a week with no loss when suddenly this week, three pounds vanished.  I'm not complaining.

It's been really hard to keep up with the blog lately, because though I don't find losing weight exhausting, it is time consuming.  There are workouts to consider, and what takes up even more time is the energy I need to burn off!  I'm getting much more accomplished in a day now because I feel like I CAN do more.  It's a good thing really.

The pastor update

Just for the record, talking less does not automatically make you listen more apparently.  He had requested that this week I make it my "mission" to find a full length mirror for in one of the bathrooms as well as three inexpensive pictures.  I told him on Monday that as I do my grocery shopping on Tuesdays after work, that I would look for a mirror at the Walmart but that I wouldn't be able to look for pictures until Wednesday. 

So this morning, I brought in the mirror as well as the mirror hanging tape and as I can't hang things straight to save my life, I just left them in the narthex for him to do, because if it's crooked, I don't want to hear about it.  When he came in and went into my office, he said, "I see you found a mirror." to which I replied, "Yup."  Then he said, "But you didn't get much further than that."  Hello?  Should I just stop speaking as he doesn't listen to a word I say anyhow, which results in sarcastic comments directed at me?  Don't just listen; be an ACTIVE listener.

The cats

The cat introductions are coming soon.  I have taken a handful of pictures but I still need to download them and then resize them, so I can see what I have and who I still need to get.

The kids

The kids are off school for the next five days in a painful reminder that summer is coming and they will soon have to come to work with me everyday.  I expect the new kid on the block to complain but to quote a parishioner when I voiced my concerns, "Nobody else minds, so why should he?"  They are actually pretty good at the church and a big help to the yard sale crew with pricing and set up.  Fact is, I can't work at the church just to pay for daycare for the kids three months a year and they aren't old enough nor trustworthy enough to stay at home alone.  They were with me all summer last year and no one died or even minded.  Pastor Phil as well as an older couple in the church often took them for lunch, which they all enjoyed.  They were asked to do some small tasks by the folks who are in and out of the church during the week.  Everyone will survive.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Sleeping with Bread

So, the problem is that I can really be a bit of a humanitarian at times even when things are going on that I don't agree with or that I don't necessarily believe are "Wrong".  Let me preface this with saying that I know that there are some individuals who read here who know that on occasion I write about them.   I briefly, a few months ago, allowed that to make me feel censored, before I reminded myself that this is *my* journal.  I am an individual who can be very quick to praise but also quick to speculate on why things are not working the way they should be working.  I am not trying to be judgmental, but only writing about how I see things.  The way I see things may not always be right, but what is life but our own personal observations and thoughts on how things are?

So, you all remember last Monday that I blogged about a certain flier situation.  Well, apparently, no one showed up to help the pastor distribute these things.  I had a fleeting moment of empathy for him, but then on the other hand, there were so many better ways he could have planned that whole event. 

The other thing he had planned for this weekend was to have the youth do some painting around the church which in itself is not a bad idea, however, presentation and timing is everything.   The pastor had met with the youth several weeks ago to discuss this possibility, but a date was never set.  He elected to set the date himself and informed the youth of the date by announcing it in front of the congregation and the youth during Sunday service, ONE WEEK AGO.  Oh, and of course, that makes it Palm Sunday to do the painting and he also urged any adults who wanted to help to attend as well.  This brings up a few things that should have been considered.  One of those things would be that doing it on a Sunday means that people have to have the presence of mind to either pack a change of clothing before leaving for church or having to travel back to the church depending on what service is attended.  The other problem is that Sunday is often a family day for many people and no one wants to bring grandma to paint in order to spend quality time together.  A Saturday would have been a much better suggestion (How about "Hey, we'll meet at the church and then those that would like to distribute fliers to the neighborhood can and the rest of you can start painting." Thus eliminating the tying up of both weekend days) and an ever better suggestion would have been ASKING our teenagers what date suited them.

I am pretty protective of the small group of teens we have in our church.  Granted, two of them are my dear friend's boys who I have known forever, as well as one of the younger girls that I have known a long time.  Paula's boys bring two friends to church as well and the Brit and I had the privilege of sharing breakfast with those two boys and one other teen a week ago.  I didn't know the two boys very well, but found them both to be very candid and open during the meal we shared together.  As it turns out,  the kids were already feeling a little begrudged before they were told when they would be painting.

Apparently several weeks ago, the pastor visited their Sunday school class.  Now, let me say that the couple who run the teen class are wonderful.  They have created a safe, comfortable environment for the kids and with all the pressures on teens in this day and age, that is nothing short of a wonderful thing.  The teens have knit close bonds with each other and with their teachers and again, that is all good. 

Well, the day the pastor visited, one of the teachers shared a little bit of information about herself in response to something the kids were discussing.  It was a serious and rather sad bit of information that happened a long time ago and one of the teens gave a teasing remark to the teacher's daughter as sort of a small element of the shared story.  The teen meant nothing malicious by the remark...let's be honest, the kid was being a kid.  But the pastor elected to jump all over the youth in question, though the teacher stated that she knew the teen didn't mean anything hurtful by it.  Then as the conversation continued, the teens continued to act like teens and were questioning things about death...such as what happens to children whose parents don't baptize them and then the child dies.   The pastor again got a little upset and asked the kids "Why are we always looking for loopholes?"

Now, I'm not sure how the kids answered that, but my answer to that would be, because they are teenagers.  They are definitely at the age when they are going to question things.  They are going to school with other kids who have different faiths or no faith at all and they are pressured by those things.  They find themselves questioning the things they believe in and I know this because I was once a teenager who questioned everything!  It isn't until we reach adulthood in so many cases and are hit square in the face with God's love that we come to know it to be a sure thing.  As adults and as pastors, we have that responsibility to respond to those questions.  Kids aren't looking for "loop holes"; they want to hear concrete answers to their questions and if the Bible doesn't supply those specific answers, then we need to talk about grace and faith, not fuss the kids for asking questions.

In the defense of the teens, 95% of them already had plans for yesterday.  One started work, one had just finished a grueling two weeks and just needed a break to rest, one had a birthday to go to, another had an obligation with parents and two of them I don't know.  They should have been asked and that's the bottom line.

So needless to say, only the pastor's family of four and my oldest son showed up to paint.  We can't just command people to do things and expect them to jump, especially a church who has done so much jumping to keep their head above water over the last year.  It's not that people don't want to help...but they need to know that the one leading them takes their lives into consideration.

I want to see him succeed.  I just have to think that if he would just start playing as part of a team, instead of trying to do it all his way, he'd have a fair chance at that success.