Friday, March 30, 2007

on borrowing fantasy novels

So – a coworker gave me a fantasy book to read. I do like it when others give me books, but I don’t like it when they ask me what I think about it. Because, I’m let down. I explained to this guy how it wasn’t a great piece of fantasy, but that it was neat because it was a frame story and it followed the American tradition that Oz began: a beautiful girl, three men with very different traits, and a furry animal. In this case the furry animal is a wolf. Think of Star Wars… that’s the other best known work that follows this tradition. So that made the book cool to me, otherwise, it wasn’t all that gripping or fascinating. I could see where the story was going too easily, which is a problem I have with most fantasy writers. I like to be kept on my toes. Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman do an excellent job of this. The only other fantasy series that isn’t written by an author who is as fantastic as Pullman that is worth reading (sorry for the convoluted phrasing) is the one about Harpo. If I can remember that series name, I’ll tell you. And, it’s a crying shame that the most gripping fantasy author writes NC-17 novels (his children’s novels are G-rated but unfortunately they aren’t as imaginative).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

freedom from food

Last night I had a breakthrough, or I guess, God had a breakthrough with me. I realized (obviously) that I was gaining 10 lbs a year since I got married four years ago. “Why since you were married?” you ask. Well, I could give the pat answer that everyone gains weight when they get married, but that isn’t true. Most “everyone” and “always” statements aren’t true. I realized that when I married, we, of course, moved away from all our friends and family. This combined with the inevitable let-down of “oh, I married a fallen human like me” made me feel lonely and depressed. So, with my past of medicating my loneliness and depression with things, I think that I tried to medicate myself food, because food wasn’t sinful and you have to eat right? You’ve heard it all before from others, I’m sure. Okay, so, food isn’t sinful or bad, but my lust and obsession with it is. (Graduate school and the huge amount of stress that followed simply aggravated my problem to the point that I began to notice it.) Eating past the natural mechanism of my body recognizing fullness is bad. God created that mechanism to keep everyone at a healthy weight and I think it is something we should obey instead of being slaves to our stress or emotional problems. God doesn’t want us to be slaves to anything – He came to set us free! So I’m thrilled that finally I’ve realize that I’ve made food (and therefore myself) and idol and that I need to tear that idol down. I’m praying that God shows me the difference between stomach hunger and emotional hunger. I’m praying that God helps me listen to my “fullness mechanism” and obey it. I’m thanking God for setting me free from yet another master. I will not gain another ten pounds feeding my feelings.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Golden Compass Movie!

I know that this isn't very important, but I'm excited b/c it is one of my top five favorite books. Check out the website for a picture of Iorek, my favorite character!
Here are some stills (the little girl is Lyra and Nicole Kidman is the evil Mrs. Coulter (she'll be great!):

Oh I love that look! She's thinking, "I'm going to do what is right, not what you say."

Friday, March 23, 2007

neat new mag

The Hills gave me a copy of this magazine. I loved it! And, sadly, I misplaced it at work today. So I found it online instead. I love the internet sometimes.
Check it out:

check out my awesome dad!

He's also on this website:
This is his best deer ever; he was very excited, as he should be and I'm proud of him!


Thank you so much everyone who has sent me donations! I'm floored whenever I get the report and I feel so loved! Thank you, thank you for supporting me. I promise I'll make my time in Zambia as worthwhile as possible through prayer, effort, and God's grace.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

last night

I had dinner with three women from my new church last night.
The dinner itself was excellent -- I love eating with older women who have much more cooking experience than I do.
I'm going to see if I can recreate the dish.
A bag of pasta (cooked), 1/3 c olive oil, some amount of red wine vinegar.
two chopped red bell peppers, handful of basil, a bag of fresh spinach, a few roma tomatoes chopped, a small bag of fresh sugar snap peas, half of a purple onion diced, zest of one lime, about twenty calamata olives chopped, and about 1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan. I added more cheese on mine of course. Oh yeah, and prosciutto also, sliced thinly.
We boiled the pasta and then put the peas in the water for one minute. Then we drained it and tossed it in a bowl with the oil, vinegar, and spinach leaves (to wilt them a little). Then we added everything else and tossed. It really is delicious.
The conversation was also wonderful to me, not that we talked about anything spectacular, but it was consistent and varied and I need time with women -- especially women like them. So, I had a good time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I'm so ashamed. I said I was having a crap day; I am not having a crap day.

Keira Bowman, my friend's 11mo old daughter, is not doing as well as the parents had thought/hoped. Her cancer has spread to her bones. Please continue to pray. More tests are being scheduled; if you want dates or specific information her blog link is at the right under links.

yesterday cont.

Today has been a crap day. I haven't had one in awhile so it shocked me a little.

I feel tired all the time; I know it's probably because I haven't exercised very much since we've moved here. Hopefully I'll get my toosh out of bed tomorrow and start my routine again.

Playing at the Hill's house was enjoyable. They are a neat couple, they are in their mid to late forties and their oldest son played solo electric guitar with us. I really enjoyed it because I got to sing lead and I usually prefer to do that, unless the song is pitched too high. Andy played the drums and had a blast because he was able to play harder than I allow him to in the house. I start screaming when he plays too loud and then the dogs bark and it just gets louder and louder in the house. It's a silly situation. Oh and the Hills are both English teachers, which of course, is the coolest.

Wilson is finally beginning to be potty trained. But... he's already grown three times the size he was at 8 weeks. I think he'll be a big boy.

I worked in the yard last weekend and I love that first weekend outside doing yardwork. I planted flowers in the beds and in some pots and next Sat I'm hoping to till the garden and plant my herbs and veggies.

I'm taking my certification test on the 21st... I really really hope that I can find a position somewhere.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Little Willie, Psalm 19, other things

"The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart...
More to be desired aare they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is thy servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward" (Psalm 19:8-11).

I was writing -- but I just spilt my coffee all over me, so I'll write more later...

Monday, March 19, 2007

inspirtation and qtd. in Piper

I like nice things. I drool over Pottery Barn catalogs and me eyes feast on expensive homes. But that's not who I want to be; not how I want to live.

One page in the Piper book I'm reading made me feel that I am moving from the person who wants those things but gives them up for a greater purpose to a person who does not desire those things. Those desires don't have room in my head/heart when I focus on loving others and, more specifically, on my trip to Africa. Because I know how much I admire beautiful homes and the things in them I can say that this change in me could only be a divine change. I've never been able to change myself, particularly the bad parts... they always pop back up again when I try.

Let the goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Martin Luther

Friday, March 16, 2007


I'm reading a wonderful book titled "Desiring God." I'll tell ya'll all about it tonight. Unless Andy decides to take me on a hot date, but that's not likely b/c he stayed up late last night (I think he forgot his good study skills over the Christmas break) studying for an exam and we have to get up early to play music with the Hills. Who are they? Well, I'll tell you all about that too -- later.
I'm still fundraising for Africa. So, if you did feel lead to donate money then please do so soon. If you felt lead to donate other items I'll pick them up as soon as I'm able, you have until I leave July 5th to gather those. Thank you to all!
For everyone who is praying for my friends' baby, Keira, I'll let you know when the parents blog more about her.
Have a fantastic weekend. ;)
Oh yeah, and I went to see Man of La Mancha (loosely about Cervantes/Don Quixote)last Sunday -- Sancho was absolutely wonderful!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

what do you do with weekends when you're all grown up?

So I don't have to study on Saturdays any longer. It's weird! Not that I actually studied, but I spent my day specifically finding things to do other than studying... like watch Andy study or bake or garden or something. Now that I don't have to avoid my work I'm not sure what I want to do.
Mostly I suppose weekends are simply a break from the day-to-day grind of the workweek. But if you love your job would you still need the break? I don't know. I don't love my job. It's a pretty good job and I'm thankful for it, though, don't get me wrong. But I do work in a cubicle and I do work for some people who ask me to do silly things or things that I think they should do themselves. I know this is a problem of mine, I complain about it at every position I've held where I'm not left to manage myself. But seriously, it seems to me that people enjoy being at the top so they may boss around others. Notice I said boss rather than manage. When my supervisor makes sure that we're all doing something and it's not the same thing (so that the work isn't done twice) that's management. When a person comes to you asking you to make copies when they are standing next to the copier, that's bossing. Or when a person chides you for making friendly conversation (really - why do people want the worker bees not to like each other, not to speak, not to be humans, but robots) and then walks down the hall to schmooze with the brass -- that's bossing, and it makes me furious. And I'm so hot headed and so prideful (I know it's wrong, I'm working on being humble) that I'm afraid I'm going to say something that will get me fired. Andy reminds me that working, which includes working at positions I don't enjoy, is for the goal of paying student loans, which will enable us to buy a home and save, which will enable us to start our family, which is my biggest hope and dream. That's all very comforting and wonderful for him to tell me, but I'm impatient. So yeah, I'm praying for patience and a humble heart.
Back to the Saturday. Well, I have a few projects and I suppose I'll go do them now, when I would prefer to say in my jammies and read a book. Staying in my jammies isn't bad, but I suppose I can't let my chores wait forever -- then they pile up and it is harder to deal with them.
I hope you have a wonderful Saturday.

Friday, March 09, 2007

A C. S. Lewis quote I love

"Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty. I had to learn that other ways. but nature gave the word glory a meaning for me. I still do not know where else I could have found one. I do not see how the "fear" of God could have ever meant to me anything but the lowest prudential efforts to be safe, if I had never seen certain ominous ravines and unapproachable crags."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

sorry for the absence

I've been too tired to bother with the computer after I've spent all day on it at work and after I have made dinner and supervised Wilson. Wilson is a very serious pup and I love him for that, but I'm not sure that he is as smart as Daphne. She was quickly potty trained and knows more tricks that any other non-show-dog that I've met since we've owned her. Yes, she's crazy when she meets new people, but at least she obeys in every other instance. Wilson, however, is a sweetie and isn't very hyper, but he still pees on the floor and chews random things and therefore must be constantly monitered.

I'm only going to type one more thing and it's for the ladies:
I just finished a book about makeup and skincare that my mother-in-law found for me at a thrift store (I had mentioned that I wanted to read it) so it was, of course outdated, by 10 years. However, the information on skincare was revoluntionary to me. I've been to various dermatologists since I was 13 and I have never made a significant impact on my acne. Taking antibotics worked for a good while to lessen the problem, but it renders oral contraceptives ineffective, and since I can't convince Andy to let me have children, I can't use those pills. Anyway. I spent a lot of money (and you know how I don't like to spend money on anything but food and clearance Pottery Barn items) on skincare products trying to find something that worked. Well, after 12 years of that I've realized nothing will cure my acne (except perhaps Accutane and that's not an option right now) and most things will hardly manage it. So why use products, who promise to "zap" my zits, that irritate my skin, which causes more acne? Well, I'm not doing that anylonger. Here's what the book's author suggested and what I'm doing -- I promise you it is an excellent alternative and it is CHEAP!
Every night (I should do it in the morning too, but I'm too sleepy) I scrub my face and neck (b/c I break out there too) with 2 tsp of baking soda mixed with 2 tsps Cetaphil face wash (the store brand, Equate, is only $3 a bottle, while the Cetaphil is $9). I mix these in my palm. I rinse well b/c baking soda sometimes collects behind my ears or in my hairline. Then I use a gentle astringent (no alcohol) and wait a few mintues. Then with a cotton ball I apply hydorgen peroxide, which is CHEAP and a very effective disinfectant and it also bleaches your blackheads, which makes them less obvious. Benzoyl peroxide is what most acne products use to disinfect, but it makes my skin peel, which causes more acne -- and it isn't nearly as cheap as the hydrogen peroxide. You pay what - at least $3, more like $5, for a small bottle of it when you can buy a huge (and I mean huge) bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide for less than a dollar. It works and it is fantastically frugal. In the summer, when my skin is oilier, I'll also use a mask of Milk of Magnesia, which is a disinfectant and absorbs oil, instead of spending money on a face mask that overly dries and is more expensive.

My skin isn't irritated at all, it is very smooth, it isn't dried out from the products I use, and my acne is slightly lessened b/c I don't have the extra acne caused by the irritation and flaky skin. And I'm not spending money on scrubs, lotions, acne creams, or fancy face washes. The author also suggests using Rentin-A if you have a perscription and if your skin can handle it (mine couldn't--it was too strong of a perscription; I might try a lesser concentration of it) or something with a high percentage of alpha hydroxy acids, say at least 8%. When I find a good product I'll let you know.

I no longer use anything with the following:
alcohol, camphor, salicylic acid, methol, clove oil, witch hazel, eucalyptus oil, lanolin oil, really any unnecessary oils, benzoyl peroxide, sodium tallowate (causes blackheads), salt (yes there is salt in some of the skin products available), any preservatives, any peeling agents, any waxes or thickeners, formaldehyde, beeswax, and now my list is getting too long. I also try to stay away from detergents and fragrances b/c they can be irritating and they are unnecessary.

Well, now that I've preached to you, I hope you'll at least try it. Really, why not try something that is easier on your skin and costs less? The object for good skin care is to take care of it, not irritate it. And you can't remove more layers of skin (why would you want to?) by scrubbing harder or using more intensive scrubs or peels. The top dead layer of skin is all you should remove and the baking soda and Cetaphil mix does just that.