Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Hello Blogland,

I realize it's been a while since I've written. For me, at least. 5 days between postings would be probably a 1000% increase in frequency for some of my friends, but for me it's pretty bad. :) I've just felt thoroughly uninspired to write, which is too bad because I really have a lot I could write about.

The weekend before last I went to Texas once more to visit my favorite Canadianette, Pamela. I met Pamela in Brazil last year. She lived in Itu for 2 years, so we understand each other and our experiences there in a way few can. She was down from the northernlands to take a short course at ACU, and I figured this may be as geographically close as we are for a while, so I took the chance to visit. And it was wonderful! She wrote on her own blog about the excitement of my flat tire, so you can read the story and see the pictures there. Pamela's going to Brazil this week and I am inexpressibly jealous. I have been incredibly blessed by her since we met!

What else is going on... the cat and I are doing fine. She has taken control of our relationship, with me answering to her beck and meows. But I still like her. :)

I passed the teacher certification test. Believe it on not, on the general academic test I actually got a perfect score on the math area and didn't pass the writing. Go fig. Now I'm looking for a teaching job.

This is a strange time of the year, because I feel like I should be getting ready to go to Brazil. It's even harder to see my friends getting ready to go to Brazil, to the very churches I worked with. I never wrote too much on the blog about deciding not to go back. The primary reason I didn't move to Brazil is because I was so weary of uprooting and moving. I just wanted a nice, "normal" life. I've never been a rolling stone in my heart or personality, so all the moving I've done in the past 3 years has really worn me down. But I miss Brazil. So much I can hardly stand it sometimes. I miss my friends, the church, the lifestyle, the food, the language... and I don't know if I made the right decision. I don't really doubt my decision; I just wish there were some way to make it all work. But right now there's not, and I am okay with that and happy where I am and what I'm doing. When I decided not to go, I was afraid I would become bored quickly and regret my decision, but honestly I haven't. I almost feel guilty for that. Almost, not quite. Bloom where you're planted, right? And I happen to really like where I'm planted right now.

Well, that's a lot of what's going on with me. Just living my "normal" life. :) What's going on with you?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

We Stay Fly...

1. What's the last mistake you made?
That's a hard one... hmm... it'd probably be circa 2002... :) Ha, no really, today I leaned too far back in my chair at work. :-/

2. Is the sun shining?
Nope. Cloudy day.

3. Can you successfully blow up and tie a balloon?
Oh yeah. I've got mad balloon skillz. :)

4. Do you like text messaging?
No. I'm not a fast text message typer. What's the point?

5. Are you having a good/bad hair day?
It was rainy this morning, so not so good. The good thing is that since I have started wearing my hair curly, it doesn't matter so much.

6. What was your last purchase?
Gas? Ouch.

7. Are you wearing any make-up right now?
Yes, if I go out of the house I am very very likely at least wearing concealer and powder.

8. What are your plans for later?
Later? Well brace yourself. I'm going to wash some dishes.

9. Is your cell phone fully charged?
I think so. More or less.

10. Is there any drama within your life?
Yep. But it's more the exciting kind than the bad kind.

11. What is a song they need to stop playing on the radio?
"Breakfast at Tiffany's"

12. Are you content with life right now?
I think so.

13. Does anyone like you?
I hope so!

16. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?
Probably so, but I really don't remember. That's not as shady as it sounds. :)

17. Would you ever smile at a stranger?
Of course! But in a modest way. ;)

18. Ever done a random act of kindness?

19. Do your toe nails have nail polish on them?
Yes, a seashell pink color.

20. When's the last time you shaved your legs?
Two days ago?

21. Last curse word you said was?
Hahaha... I don't know that I want to share what it was, but it was in reference to question 1. :)

22. Ever been in the middle of a love triangle?
Hahahahaha..... unintentionally and innocently, yes. Crazy people.

23. Are your lips chapped?
No. I don't have problems with that, generally.

24. Do you own an ipod?
No! :(

25. Did you have a dream last night?
I think it had something to do with a cat owner.

26. Are you mad at anyone?
I'm not super pleased with the whole world, but there's no one I am wishing ill upon.

27. Who is the randomest person you know?
I could say so many people! Let me think... Chie Igarashi? XD

28. Have you made an igloo before?
No, I'm from Texas.

29. Done any spring cleaning lately?
Yes! Cleaning is my way to relax in my time off at home.

30 . Anything bothering you?
Not really.

31. What are you looking forward to?

32. Did you wish for anything last night on 11:11?
No... I'm not in 5th grade anymore, thanks. :)

33. Do you drink coffee on a regular basis?
No no no.

34. Do you wish you were someone else?
Not really.

35. What jewelry are you wearing?
I'm wearing my little silver hoop earrings, the cross necklace I always wear, and a ring. Not a RING, just a normal ring. :)

36. Ate any exotic food lately?
One of my Vietnamese co-workers brought things to make spring rolls with and we made them and ate them.

38. Are you easily amused?
Oh yes.

39. Can you lick your elbow?
No. And yes, I just tried. :)

40. Do you know this song "we stay fly no lie you know this"?
I do. Please don't judge me. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

In my ears and in my eyes

I'd like to announce the newest addition to my household, Penny Lane.

Never to be outdone by my sister, I decided to jump on the pet bandwagon myself. :) Penny's a two year old who I adopted from the animal shelter. Her name was "Gracie", but I might like to name a human child Grace one day, so I had to switch names. She's coppery colored and you know I love the Beatles, so Penny Lane it is. :) Apparently I am a hero for not just wanting a kitten, the way the people at the animal shelter talked. I went last week just to look, and when I walked in all the cats were sleeping, except Penny who jumped up and started meowing at me. I think we'll be happy together. :)

In an effort to not become a crazy cat person, I have laid forth some rules. Penny is not my child, I am not her mommy. Nor is she my baby. I will not use this language with her. She may be called kitty, sweetie, or any other pet name, if you will. I'm not sure what other limits I will put on myself. I guess we'll see as we go along.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Importance of Being Modest

Dressing modestly has become an issue to me in the past months. I'm not tempted to dress suggestively in order to garner some sort of male attention, but other reasons have caused this to be an issue. For one, I lived in Brazil for six months last year. My day-to-day outfit was a spaghetti-strapped tank top and capris, and I was dressed quite modestly in comparison to most. However, I don't feel comfortable at all wearing that here without some sort of cover up (and probably rightfully so). Another reason for this is that I know that V-necks look better on me because of my face and shoulder shape. Crew necks just look bad, and when I think I look bad, I feel bad. Conversely, when I think I look good, I feel good. So I dress in ways that make me feel confident.

Appropriately and thankfully, I've heard many a sermon on the importance of dressing modestly in my life, so I have a conscience for such issues. I know it puts out a message I don't want to communicate, and also I do feel a sense of responsibility for not being a stumbling block to others. Modesty is important.

Follow me on this; I believe they're related.

Recently I was talking to a good girl friend of mine about a relationship she is in with this guy. It's been going on for years and has been a destructive force in her life, but still she seems to find herself back in the same situation over and over again. And the key to her falling back into the pattern again and again is the small but significant emotional connections he evokes (provokes is perhaps more appropriate?) with her. I think this is the same thing as "leading someone on" or I've also seen it called "emotional defrauding".

It got me to thinking though, because I've seen this same thing happen with so many of my girl friends and also in my own life, and in talking to my friend I put the term "emotional immodesty" on it. It's not done intentionally all of the time and certainly not limited to men, but it does happen, and is quite comparable to the struggle women have with dressing modestly.

I don't think it's an over-generalization to say that men are visually stimulated more than women and women are emotionally stimulated more than men, and it's hard for each gender to fully comprehend the effect one has on the other in these areas*.

This might be the difference; I honestly don't know because I am not a man and have thus not had a male's upbringing in a Christian community. Girls and women are fairly often reminded of their responsibility to dress modestly. Are men warned of the temptation they can present to women emotionally? I honestly don't know, so I'm asking.

This just struck me recently. If anyone has any cheers, jeers, or other thoughts on this I didn't mention, please add your comments. I'm really interested in seeing what others think.

*Of course there are men and women who use these temptations purposefully as weapons against others or for their own gain, which is a sin and really quite hateful.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hometown Reunions

Like I said, last weekend was wild. I've thought a lot about how I could effectively communicate the fullness of it via blog, but it'd be impossible and boring to 98% of my readership. I grew up in the wonderful city of Stephenville, Texas from ages 5-16. It was a good, small-town Texas upbringing which I adored. Stephenville is the epitome of small town Texas in many ways-- lots of farmers, cows, cowboys, trucks, and high school football reigned. I've waxed poetic on the blog many times before about the idea of home, so I'll spare you this one. :) I'll just say that being with my childhood best friends again, most of whom I hadn't seen in about 10 years, was so amazing. For one, I feel like they know me because they know where I'm from. They know parts of my life that I really haven't talked about in those 10 years since I've been gone. We laughed over funny old memories and caught up on all the juicy gossip of everyone we've ever known (and boy was some of it juicy!).

The reason for the reunion was that my childhood best friend was getting married, much like happened about this time last year. It was mainly a reunion for the three of us pictured below, and for three kids who grew up as best friends, our lives couldn't have turned out much more different. You know that I ended up being the "adventurous" world traveler and rolling stone, Leighann ended up more or less staying in Stephenville, and Marky (he's gone by Marc for more than 10 years, but he'll always be Marky to me) has been living in LA as an actor for 7 years. So this was truly an interesting reunion. :) All in all, it was wild, funny, and one of the most interesting weekends I've ever had. It's good to remember where you came from and those who helped form who you are today. It's like the old Girl Scout song says, "Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other's gold."

Reason #3249827 why Texas is fantastic-- the wildflowers that bloom along the sides of the highways each spring. AMAZING!

The backdrop of the wedding. Yes, I am so vain. :) It was beautiful, though!

Me and Marky. He's always been a cutie, and I'm pretty sure he's the reason I've always had a thing for the latino men. ;) hahaha....

Leighann and I... we've come a long way together!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rowdy, my dog-nephew

This weekend was crazy (in a wonderful way). I'm not even sure where to begin to describe everything, so I'm going to start from the end.

I went to T-town for about 24 hours to see my wonderful mommy for Mother's Day. I also got to meet my new dog-nephew, Rowdy. Rowdy is a little puppy dachshund. I think he's 8 weeks old now. My family has never owned a dog, so this is quite a new and fascinating thing for me. Now I'm going to just show a bunch of cute pictures. I love my dog-nephew. :)


Poor boy wears a bow. My sister claims it's a "bow tie". :)

My sister and mom

Awwwwh, too cute! For the record, I definitely don't approve of kissing dogs on the lips. He surprised me! We were trying to pose for a picture!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Prettier than Dirt

I have officially begun my attempts at gardening! It's a meager beginning, but in case I turn out to be the kiss of death for flowers I didn't want to massacre too many. I chose some nice impaciens and coleus. And I got really dirty planting them, so I feel very close to nature. :) I'll keep you updated on their survival!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's Raining Men, Hallelujah!

I'm probably going to be mocked a little for this, but that's okay; I'm not ashamed. :) I have a little crush on Grant Johnston, a local TV meteorologist. I first took note of him when he signed up to take graduate classes at my dear alma mater. So he's apparently a thinking Christian. I like it! Then I found out he is single. So that's nice. :) But he won my loyal fanship once I started watching and saw him make corny jokes on air. I'm starting to notice that corny jokes are the way to my heart. He makes the erratic Oklahoma weather a more pleasant thing. :)

So yes, I'm a fan. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Grant and the KFOR crew were featured in The Onion!

For the record, that's not Grant Johnston in the picture. :) But all the names are accurate, apparently! How weird would it be to one day find yourself in The Onion?! Oh my.

I would like to apologize for the outlandishness of the title, but I couldn't think of anything better. I know I have several word-smith readers... can anyone think of anything better? A prize to the best alternative title.

I would also like to apologize to Grant Johnston if he one day reads this, since I have a history of attracting the random people/organizations I write about. :)


Oh, I love my clever friends. :) If only you would use your powers for good and not evil... with great power comes great responsibility, you know. ;) Hahaha...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Inch by inch, row by row

If you can't tell, one of my favorite hobbies is taking pictures of flowers and trees. Going camping gave me a good chance to do some of that, although not a whole lot was in bloom.

Two peas in a pod... or two buds on a stem... whatever. :)

This one's my favorite.

Also, two nights ago OKC had a humongous storm. I've never slept in a war-zone, but I imagine it was as close as I could get to that experience without being there. I woke up about 3am to the loudest thunder I've heard and lightning so bright it lit up my room like daylight. And it went on until 5am!

I woke up and as I was leaving for work the next morning, I realized that a tree had fallen in my back yard! I don't know if it was hit by lightning or fell from the wind, but either way it came a little too close for comfort to my neighbor's car.


Is this a rotten tree or is this the site of a lightning strike? Horticulturists, please help me!

This split makes me think it was lightning. Poor little redbud!

This may just look like dirt, but it represents my afternoon of hard work! Since the sun actually made an appearance today, I left work an hour early and got busy making a flower bed. This strip was full of weeds as tall as shrubs and a couple of years worth of dead leaves. But now it's ready to be made something nice and beautiful. :) What should I plant? What's the hardest thing to kill? It's on the east side of the house and gets more shade than sun. ~Gonna make this garden grow... all is takes is a rake and hoe...~ :)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

He Wouldn't Give Me Up

This weekend was such a wonderful time of rejuvenation for me as I went camping with a group from church for a little retreat. I'm not going to tell all about it, but I just want to give thanks to God for this much needed time of fellowship and community.

We sang this song this weekend, which I've known and loved for several years. The message is so powerful.

Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
The anger of the enemy would have swallowed us alive
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side.

Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
The waters would have engulfed us, we would have surely died
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side.

Blessed be the Lord who would not give us up
Blessed be the Lord for His unfailing love
The snare is broken and we have escaped
Our help is in the name of the Lord. Blessed be the Lord!

Once in a while God grants me with a clear view of just how far I've come through the past year or two, and it truly brings me to my knees. I love the line-- "Blessed be the Lord who would not give us up." I remember those moments of complete hopelessness when I was sick. I usually describe the type of faith I had at that time as being too weak to let go, and the gift of faith from God pulling (or dragging) me along. This song gives me the image of God holding on to me and fighting for me in those darkest moments, though many other forces were trying to pull me away.

I feel as though I should live each day with an extra sense of gratefulness after what I went through. And I probably do, although it's usually not done consciously most of the time. But I thank God for moments like this weekend where I can look back on those Ebenezer stones in my life and give thanks for what God has done.

Then Samuel took a stone... He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us." I Samuel 7:12

Camptreat group, courtesy of Amy Nickerson

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Missing the Point

There are specific verses and words used by both sides of the gender justice debate. I think you can pretty well prove anything you want if you pull verses out of their context, liberal or conservative. More than this verse or that verse, what has truly guided my belief in the importance of gender justice is the overall message of Christ.

I think one of the main messages of Christ is one of reconciliation-- the idea of Christ's sacrifice and salvation means that everyone is brought to the same level on the spiritual plane, if that makes sense. I am thinking about I Peter 2 talking about the priesthood of all believers, that we are all part of the royal priesthood, giving us all those gifts that once were restricted. I believe that we as the church all stand before Christ as his bride and he is the bridegroom, making us spiritual equals.

Christ's sacrifice, our baptism, and the incarnation of the Holy Spirit within each believer strips away what we are by birth. By birth we're of a nationality, we're of a family, a culture, a race, a socio-economic status, and a gender. When we are clothed with Christ, our worldly definitions fall away as we become co-heirs with Him. We receive gifts and talents with which we are to glorify God's name and bless the world.

Christ came to destroy barriers to God. I think of the temple curtain ripping as He gave up His spirit. If Christ died to destroy those barriers, then why do we insist on maintaining them? In our pure spiritual intities as we stand before God, does there exist a difference in male and female? I'm not talking about personality, familial roles, etc... just spiritual beings. Is there a difference?

I'm going out of town for the weekend, so I won't be able to respond to (or monitor) comments until Sunday night. In the words of St. Gabriel of Minnesota, "Be holy and be nice."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Talks to Strangers

My friend Misty is an amazing writer. She's witty and hilarious and has had an adoring public through the years, from her writings in the Skinny Voice (anybody actually know what that is?) to the blog she used to have. However, much to her adoring public's dismay, she quit the blog scene a while back. However, it is now resurrected and even better than ever!

It's not often I write an entire entry dedicated to directing traffic to another blog, but I have a couple of good reasons. Firstly, it's great and you should read it. Secondly, I have been remiss in adding her link to my page. Thirdly, her post today was a re-telling of a story I told her about the marathon. I suggest you go over and check it out. She tells the story much better than I could, and I end up being a Chuck Norris-like super hero in the end. :)

There ya go. Talks to Strangers. Go check it out. :)

Misty at her finest

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Almost Famous!

Today will be a hodge podge of sorts.

First of all, today was exciting because I made my radio broadcasting debut! On my way home from work I always listen to KISS fm, and today the deejays were asking where the best place to people watch is. And no one had said airports yet! So I called in, fully expecting it to be busy, but I got through! I made it on air. Sadly, they didn't offer me any full time position as a result of my brilliant performance. :) I didn't even get to hear myself, because they make you turn your radio down. So that was fun!

Also, today was an interesting news day. One of CNN's top stories throughout the morning was "Queen's Gynecologist Dead at 82". Hmm. Wow, top news, huh?

If you need a good belly laugh today, this gave me one. It's definitely worth the time to watch. :) Thanks to Summer for sending it to me!

Here's the link if you can't see the video in the box: http://www.ifilm.com/video/2816549