Monday, May 31, 2010

Dove Beauty

Braveheart Freedom Speech


Do you ever have days where you suddenly realize you are thankful? Not because everything is perfect, not because every need/want is met...just because there is so much that is good all around us. So much beauty. So much hope. It all far outweighs the questions, the unknowns, the "bads", the mistakes...

Yep, today is one of those days. :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Geocaching Frustrations

I love to go geocaching. Jen and Rusty introduced me to the concept a couple of years ago. I saved up for my own gps unit, and BANG!, I was off!

Geocaching website

Well, one of the down-sides to caching...besides some of the crazy not finding it. :( All that not find it??? It literally makes me livid!! HAHAHAHA! My sis talked me off the cliff and then we went on our merry way. I got myself to the point of "peace", and then checked the website to find that someone recently found it. Yep, now I'm back to being totally ticked off!

I'm rewarding myself with chocolate right now. So there! ;)


i've blogged before about my involvement in the political realm this winter/spring. i was nominated to be a delegate, which i never imagined in a million years. a few things i must admit....#1 is that i've realized what a privilege it is to live in a country where people really get a say in matters. even though the process can be long and tedious, regular people are given a voice. that's phenomenal. #2 is that the people who really devote themselves to the process are quite inspirational. they literally give everything. how easy it is to take them and their devotion for granted. so much is accomplished for the sake of much fought for...with really no recognition. #3 is that it's time to stop being a "side lines" citizen. one of the major arenas that our culture's dance with entitlement gets to bloom is in the government. people must stand up and say "no more!".

with that said i have to highlight one frustration. hehe! i'm sure this exists in all political parties too, but i found it shocking how much i would internally react to it. i...can' oh my gosh, there are some people who come out to these events carrying all of their conspiracy theories, emotional and relational immaturities, dysfunctional behaviors, etc. they prance around like self-proclaimed messiahs spouting their "insights" into the "enemy strategies" (fyi...against their own "kind") when really most people think they are puffed up psychos with oodles of "weird". they exact these plans and alliances based on their own passion for power and bully around. fortunately, sometimes they actually lose!! let me just say again...i...can'

pheww...feels good to vent it all. ;) it was definitely an educational experience, and i'm thankful!

Hot Stone Massage

* Note to self...I need to get one of these. They are offering them at this resort, but at $90 a massage...umm, heck no!

Has anyone tried one? Opinions??

A Lazy Day With The Ladies

I've needed a break for so long!!! I've been so exhausted in every sense of the word. When my sis said that she had an opportunity to get a cabin for a couple of nights, I was so desperately excited to get away. And let me just's been SOOOO wonderful! Priority #1 was relaxation last night, and it's just continued into today. Woo-hoo! I think I might go hunt for a geocache later. Hopefully, I can convince the others!!! ;)

Back tomorrow to enjoy the rest of the weekend around home!!

Thank God for down-time!! I sure have needed it...

Friday, May 28, 2010

History of "Taps"

Memorial Day

I need to find a Memorial Day service for Monday. I remember going with my Mom and Dad to the cemetery in North Branch when I was young. The reading of all of the names of soldiers (I think nurses too) who died in the wars was so sad. Dad used to also have us stop at the graves of his best friends from junior high and high school who died in Vietnam. It was very powerful.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


it's been an odd morning. haha! my life, that's the norm!'s a childhood fav just to add to the mayhem. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Time for a Get-Away!

It's been such a busy year at work!! A good one, but crazy! I think I'm a little burnt out. So, my sis was able to land a cabin on the North Shore for a couple of nights. Crazy Girl Weekend, here I come!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yes, Another Volleyball Update!! Haha!

so...this sand volleyball league is very interesting for me. in so many ways, it's so good for me to be on a team again. whenever we can achieve a great set-up...even if it isn't always successful...i'm in pure heaven. the teamwork, the strategy...mwah! bellisimo!! what comes with that however is a great deal of frustration with myself if i'm off (and honestly sometimes at others...although i seem to be more generous with others as compared to my inner flogging for mistakes...hmm).

one thing that is quite interesting about our team is the mix. i think there are really only 3 of us that have actually played before. i can tell that the previous players have more wiring for position expectations, controlled hits, etc. that can get a little frustrating. however, some of the less experienced are more "scrappy"...they'll go for anything with aggression, assuming it's theirs. so, it's an interesting mix with it's pro's and con's from all sides. it should be great to see how we evolve.

you want to know what i realized tonight though??? it pertains to the first paragraph, i guess. there is definitely a meshing (sometimes clashing) of what "fun" means. for me?...while i love the fellowship, i love, love, love to try to play well (at least try...haha!). for others, just the "togetherness" equates to fun...regardless of the play. ahhh! who's right?...who's wrong? probably we all are right to a degree...hahaha! it's pretty funny though. we'll get in this major losing streak of points, and the "togetherness" crew is laughing and enjoying themselves. me?..umm, not so much. focus!-focus!-focus!! :) the flip-side of that is this...we'll be organized, more controlled, etc., and i'm in pure "fun" heaven...umm, maybe not so much for the "let's sing kum-ba-ya" people. hahaha!

funny thing was...tonight's first game had terrible heat and humidity. it literally sucked the life out of me. what that meant???...i was completely useless in play. i was exhausted after one play!!! so my fun meter was tanking...grrrr!! some of the others???..."eh, who cares! we had fun!" WHAT???

oh dear...another adventure and/or lesson. :)

"Lost" Music

i clearly get all sentimental when it comes to remembering...and of course, being a "story" person, i get all mushy-gushy over great characters. so, i've posted some songs from the show "lost" because i want to remember the characters i loved so much. :) ya, it's interesting up in this head. haha!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Crazy Weekend AGAIN!!!

oh man...i'm telling's been another busy one. while i did enjoy all of the events, it made for a "no rest" weekend. trying to rev up for a new week...yikes. this weekend, there was the 5k marathon, which turned into an 8k. exhausting but great. that, followed by planting the family and humid by then. ick! that, followed by some work in the secret garden. the next day was church, which i love, but there was worship team which means everything is earlier on the day of rest. growth group and pot blessing lunch with the church community...excellent. power walk with debbie in the crazy heat and humidity...let's just say that the sweat has no where to go in those conditions...eww! then i had to be prayer presenter for the 'global day of prayer' event in our town. good time but heavy! all of that followed by the finale of 'lost' with friends and an extremely long session of 'processing' the show while i try to make myself least, i'm pretty sure that's what will happen since i'm typing this waaaayyyy after bedtime because i can't get my mind to shut down.

ya, tomorrow's going to be a treat!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Another life changing movie. This one hit me right in the heart when I was about 15 years old. It's a story of a mom (Eleni) during the time when Communists took over Greece. She didn't want her kids to grow up under that system, so she created the diversion for them to escape their village to flee to America where her husband had previously emigrated to find work before their arrival. Her attempt allowed for their escape, but she unfortunately was caught, imprisoned and later killed. True story. Her youngest son became a journalist in his adulthood and went back to research her life. So this clip includes the scene of her death and some of her son's (played by John Malcovich) research. Her words are powerful!!


a friend's daughters discovered this song today!! new to oldie but goodie to the rest! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010


my hottie god and i need a get-away. i need to have all of my access to internet and work and other distractions eliminated for a good chunk of time. then he and i can relax, and i can listen.

Pacem in Terris

"Snake" People

i'm telling you...i'm super frustrated with someone. this bring myself to a place of feeling bad for her...must have some intense hurt and insecurity inside that feeds her behavior. she almost reminds me of a snake sometimes....slithering around and poisoning circumstances. it's amazing how she gets people on her band-wagon too. it's yucky. of course, all of her "material" is inaccurate in its diagnosis, but man does she get mileage with it. is it bad to be glad for departure?? yikes...sorry, but i am.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Live Like Your Dying

great song! it makes me wonder, though, why death has to be the motivator to live a life bigger than the mundane that so many settle into. hmm...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dumb Volleyball Rule

you know what torked me off last night??? our v-ball league apparently has a STUPID rule...and it totally threw off our game. in a multi-hit play (up to 3 hits to get it over the net...ideally bump, set, spike), at least one female has to hit the ball. in other words, two-three guys can't finish a play.'s what's odd. two-three girls can complete a play. isn't that weird??? since when did guys have an advantage in playing volleyball??...they don't! it's an even playing field for this sport. all of us thought it was weird. although, i may be the only one wanting to fight for a rule change due to sexism...hahaha!

Life List Item

I've blogged before about my Life List. I guess it could be compared to a Bucket List...full of things I want to see, do, experience before I die. It is always evolving as I accomplish items but also find more things I want to add. Well, yesterday, I was able to cross off one more item!!!! I ate a cannoli!!! :) I never knew these existed until they were referenced in the movie "You've Got Mail". The character that Tom Hanks played quoted a popular saying from "The Godfather". He said, "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." At that time I was puzzled as to what a cannoli was, so I 'googled' it. It was love at first sight...I HAD to try one someday. So, many thanks to the parents who provided a lunch for the faculty yesterday!!! The caterers served a dessert of cannolis...and I was in heaven!!! Yum!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Competitive Side

Woooooo-hoooooo! I am playing on a beach volleyball team and am having a TON of fun. However, I have to say that my competitive side is coming out. Whoa! I can't stand when we miss a point because of stupid mistakes...and when I'm the offender???...let's just say it isn't fun in this girl's head. ;) BUT...we've had some pretty awesome set-ups and will improve on working together. In the meantime, I'm in pain from my last dive, but I know I have a week to recover. :)

Make a Wave

i'm in touch with my inner disney today...hehe! i love the message of this song though. so true! :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


i am still so surprised by people that think the life of the single gal is full of huge spaces of...nothing. boy, if that's actually a possibility, i need to read that "how-to" book right now. i feel like "down time" is evasive lately...i literally haven't had a break in a zillion ages. my days feel like i'm going from obligation to obligation with very little time for play....and i need "play".

boundaries, though, right?? that's the advice i keep hearing. i do have some boundaries in place. more than i've ever had, in fact...and i've had to fight for those (much to the dismay of those i've had to "disappoint"). but it's hard to know where others can go.

i'm working a 1.5ish this year, so clearly that's something i can't cut back but also explains the greater load. taking care of a house as a single home owner isn't exactly something i can cut back either. (gosh, do i envy couples regarding home, laundry, yard work, etc. shared with others.) there are the other commitments too...sermon prep, worship team, bible studies, community events, projects of my own, etc.

i've improved in not taking on other people's projects as much. saying "no" to other people's invitations to groups, committees, events, etc. is difficult but more and more doable. it just makes me feel i should be able to juggle it all. AHHH! i can't even juggle what's on my own plate!!!

gosh, i can't wait for a change.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Stand by your Man

i follow the show 'kitchen nightmares' sometimes on this episode was really moving to me for more than just the resturant make-over. it was a story of a broken man who fell into passivity, and a wife who couldn't support him to save herself. granted, she was operating from frustration...but still...she wasn't helping breath life into his dying soul. i see this sometimes as a single lady observing marriages. broken men with wives that just keep nailing the coffin tighter and tighter. so, i thought this episode was a great picture of what happens sometimes...but also the potential to bring a sad soul back to passion.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tattoo #2??

Every now and then I consider...drum roll...another tattoo. AHHH! Yes, you'd think that after the crazy pain of the first one I'd never think about it again...but...alas, I do. I'm still a bit unsure, so it can't happen in the near future (per my required consecutive days of desire). If I do get another one, here's what I'm considering. A cross like the Egyptian Christians wear on their wrists. It's quite interesting actually and has been since I first heard about it as a junior higher. Because of the dress requirements, a wrist could possibly be the only thing seen in public. Hence, the location of a tattoo right there to identify one's faith publicly. I believe it's called a Coptic Cross. Today's meaning also includes Egyptian solidarity or something like that, and because I only like tattoos that are purely spiritual in meaning, I may do something else. That or nothing...tough decisions.

"Lost" Composer

Kudos to Michael Giacchino, the theme composer for the ABC show "Lost". He ruins me every time. Recently, 3 of my favorite characters were killed in the story...and his accompanying symphony almost had me on the floor in total "ugly cry". The one that gets me every time is "Parting Words". It's terribly moving...

The Ones That Weasel Their Way...

I have a real soft spot for my students that have had tough things happen in their young lives, especially the ones that grow up without a parent because of divorce or death. The loneliness they feel overwhelms me sometimes...and they weasel their way right into my heart.

We had a school concert last night for our elementary students, so I went to listen to my nieces' grades. I was walking through the lobby before I went to my seat and spotted an older kiddo of that has experienced a significant loss in his life. He's a funny kid, but unfortunately we also have an element of tension in our relationship because he often likes to choose the path of "direction". Hehe! Well, a bit out of character for him, he came up and asked if he could be my "kid" for the evening and sit with me.

*gulp* Ya, my heart just cracked.

So, of course, I made sure he had a seat with me and the family. I also bugged him like crazy because he's a joking type...hehe!

Boy, did I feel badly for him, but then was a good reminder that God designed all of us to need humanity...and He designed all of us to be able to give to that need in a genuine and healthy way. We should all get on board with loving each other! No passivity! No hiding! Love right now...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When You Don't Feel You Should...

boy...sometimes the old spaces where we used to walk creep up...sneak up...on me. they catch my heart by surprise. one of the tough aspects of their resurfacing is having to remind myself that i really don't have permission to walk there anymore. thus, choosing not to be there...because i have to....ugh, it's tough. sometimes that means watching someone(s) suffer, wanting to offer support, but not being able to... why does life have to be so  complicated sometimes??

Great Quote

One of my pastors sent this today. Loved it!

"In the tempestuous ocean of time and toil there are islands of stillness where man may enter a harbor and reclaim his dignity. The island is the seventh day, the Sabbath, a day of detachment from things, instruments and practical affairs as well as of attachment to the spirit." (Abraham Joshua Heschel)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Facebook Friends

i love the internet! more specifically, i love facebook!! i've been able to reunite with so many friends from the past...really does the heart good. just last night i found my friend amy from when i was in elementary school. amazing!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Let 'em Fail!!!

parents frustrate the absolute h### out of me sometimes!!! some are so concerned that their kids never experience any fear and/or pain that they actually remove challenge and occasional failure with subsequent learning-inducing consequences.

it's so sad...

those kids are so immature compared to their peers...that and totally dependent.

LET...THEM...FAIL!!! don't always bail them out! give them the glorious opportunity to fall and learn and get up!!! growth happens!! shove them out of the nest too! make them learn how to "fly"...

ok...'nuf said. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Take the "Wild" Out of the Animal???...Hmm

ya...i just don't identify with people like this AT ALL. in fact, i have a feeling that these people have a huge chance of ending up...dinner. oh...and when you watch it, yes, they do say "regurgitate their dinner". i have no comment other than...barf!!


Greeting Cards

i'm beginning to form a frustration with the greeting card industry. i've been looking for that special card for my mom because tomorrow is mother's day, and i have been soooo disappointed with the quality of cards these days. have you noticed how egocentric the messages are?? here, we are trying to find something that tells our special ones how we feel about them, and all that exists are cards that quickly turn into "here's how you meet all MY needs...". even the "religious" versions can be a let-down..."god put you in my life to bless me..." seriously?? barf! perhaps it's an insightful glimpse into our selfish culture...or the lack of relational intimacy known anymore because we have other idols (self being #1).

time for making them from scratch...

Friday, May 7, 2010


my poor nieces and nephews have been afflicted with a habit that i have...i call them all by names other than their given names. i have a slew of nicknames that i use, and the list evolves over time. all of the calls, as odd as they can be, are endearing references, and the family just puts up with situation. hehe! when "h" and "s" first came on the scene, it was "kibbles" or "kibbles and bits" (yes, that's a popular dog food...but it just seemed cute at the time). when "c" was little, it was "boogie" (referencing either the dance move or the nasal product...but again it just seemed cute). lately, it's been "peanut" or "peanut butter".

well, yesterday, a younger student came up and asked me why i called one of my nieces "peanut". being that she is new to the english language and was so young, i wrestled with an explanation that made sense. finally, i came up with something like, "it's just my way of saying 'i love you' with a silly word". the funny thing was that a little 4-yr-old girl that was waiting with her mom was hearing the whole conversation, and as i walked away she ran up and said, "you've been forgetting to call me 'peanut, i love you'". HAHAHA! well, goodness!!! i quickly said, "oh no! well, i love you, peanut!!" and then she toddled off.

kids are awesome! niece informed me that i also use "love" and "poodle" and "shooting star" lately.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Elementary "Voices"

oh my gosh...i seriously almost have a mental break when dealing with some of my elementary faculty. the world that is of most importance is the one that exists in their own no other grades/teachers/programs have any real legitimate weight or priority in decision-making. add the possibility of "change" to the table???...holy shmoly! the concept of "high maintenance" is clearly represented.


"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dying Star

steph introduced this song to me tonight. oh the idols we serve in life!!!...and expect god to be ok with it. we excuse our devotion to other things/people...and justify not loving each other. so, here's jason upton's 'dying star'. the chorus talks about trashing our idols of "you and me" and getting on the threshing floor. god removes our sin so we can be free to have intimacy with him and each other...gotta love repentance! it's the way to the fullest life after all. :)

Ellen and Paris

a friend sent me this today. it had me laughing so hard. i love the "moving lips" and "buzz like a bee". HAHA!


oh man...i've been realizing something lately. have you ever noticed how some people can get away with really bad behavior without so much as a peep from the people they are affecting? it's really weird!!! then i stumbled across this comment.."dysfunctional people are often permitted to be rude because others don't want to deal with their drama."


Ninja Star Fun

sometimes i let my junior highers lead an activity as an opening activity for our wednesday block class. today, one of the students had us fold ninja stars.!!! here's a link. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Comet saves the day!!

perhaps this isn't "blog-worthy" material, but i've been battling tub stains for sooooo long that i had to share! ;) i have VERY rusty the degree that rust-removing salt pellets only put a dent in the orange. i have been able to use pretty caustic rust removers, but i've always been on the hunt for something less damaging. well, i finally found something that will remove the stains without the sulfuric acid fizz...comet!! good...old...comet. i have no idea what's in it, but it seems to like me...and my tub. ;)

Bumper Sticker Nightmare!!!

my friend told me about a bumper sticker she saw the other day. it said, "gay marriage: last stop on the road to hell".

it has seriously bothered me ever since. AHHHHHH!

this is why i have a difficult time telling people that i'm a "christian" on occasion. why??...because much of the secular realm equates "christian" with "hell-fire hatred"...which i also call hypocrisy...

i just don't understand why people can't have their disagreements with a semblance of ascribed dignity and respect for humanity. how does 'hell' help their case in any way?? if anything, it makes the bumper sticker holder look like he or she is afraid of homosexuality. i just think that's weird...and utterly un-loving. you know who jesus was mostly furious with when he walked this earth???...the pharisees of his own tradition who lost all capacity to love because of selling their souls to pride, power and legalism all in the name of god. that's who he called "white-washed tombs" and a "brood of vipers"...perhaps those on the "last stop on the road to hell"??  i don't believe jesus lived a hateful life then nor calls us to live any differently today.

i just wish such people were...better. and actually i'm reminded of something...there are "christian" people out there that have no experience of the living and real love of jesus. they know a lot in their heads but with no real relationship with the divine. so how can they show it to others???...perhaps that means they can't. so maybe...just maybe...that should also be my prayer.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sand Volleyball League

Oh my goodness!! Tonight was great! It was our first night of volleyball!! I'm sooooo sore (apparently it's been...decades...since I last played!!). It was so much fun though. Thankfully, our first match-up was against a team that actually didn't know how to play. Yes, that was odd, but it made it a little less competitive. The opponents for our next game didn't come...I'm guessing due to intense fear. ;) I'm still claiming it as a "win". So...week 1 of v-ball...we are 2-0!!!

And I'm in need of an E.R. I'm "geriatic girl"!!!  Ta-da!!!


HAHAHAHAHA! Tonight at volleyball, Ben was telling us all about this clip on youtube. It's called "Jedi Boy". The "wonder" recorded himself doing these moves and thought that he was rewinding and recording over each time. Really though, it was continuous. I can't get over how he walks in...oh! and the building sound affects. Seriously...don't you feel like we are all like this sometimes with our particular "thing"??? All that passion...not necessarily a great deal of skill. Man, I'm laughing so hard that I'm bawling!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Summer Road Trips

i'm a huge fan of road trips. sometimes having no destination in mind...sometimes a laid-out's always an exciting adventure. this summer, i plan to tour some minnesota caves. i've wanted to see these for ages, but it just never worked out. niagara cave in harmony, minnesota and mystery cave in preston, minnesota will be my destinations. turns out that there is an amish community in harmony and a historic tourist town near preston (forestville). it should be a blast!