What are we talking about today?

I'm on hiatus (in case you hadn't guessed). Sorry! I miss you guys.

30 June 2007

Goodnight, June.

My favourite month and it's already over. Now I have to wait 335 days for it to come round again.

No, wait, next year is a leap year. 336 days, then.

I am pleased to report that I spent quite a bit of my month outdoors, mainly on a bicycle or running. So it wasn't totally wasted.

July, here we come!

29 June 2007

I give up

I have tried, since I was about 10 or 11, to be an informed citizen. I listened in on adult conversations. I watched the news. I read the paper. I check the internet. I try to evaluate what I hear and take it with a grain of salt.

Well, no more!! The local news is always depressing, and I am sick of turning on CNN (or whatever) to watch well-educated, well-dressed people shout at each other. I DON'T CARE. There are very, very few instances of any argument in which one side is completely right and the other is completely wrong. I'm not a Republican, I'm not a Democrat, I'm a moderate. And I'm about to become a hermit.

I think in future elections, I will vote using the close-my-eyes-and-point method. Or draw numbers out of a hat. Or vote for the one from whose name I can make the most words. (I don't see Barak Obama doing well in that one.). I can't not vote, though, because my junior high social studies teachers taught me that if I don't vote, I have not right to complain. And I'm not about to give that up.

Besides, I do have this picking-the-loser streak going. And I'm talking, all elections on all levels, not just the president. So I'd be willing to negotiate if anyone has a candidate they'd like me to vote for.

What do they keep in areas 1 through 50?

Seriously. Has anyone ever heard about "Area 24?" I think it's time we start asking questions like that.

In the meantime, here's something else to think about. Hollywood makes senility look so funny. The old people in TV or movies who don't know what's going on prove excellent comic relief. Except, they don't. Being confused isn't funny. Losing your self-identity isn't funny. Not knowing at any given moment either what is happening now, nor what will happen next, is not funny.

Yet another thing Hollywood gets wrong.

24 June 2007

And do you know what time we had to get up?

I read at runnersworld.com a couple of weeks ago that chocolate milk has the same electrolyte-restoring properties as Gatorade. And all I have to say to that is-- Halelujah!

So we ran 5 miles today in 1:05. Not a great time, but for me, it is fantastic. :)

23 June 2007

Everything I Need to Know I Learned on The West Wing


The good people at Euston Station knew what they were doing when they put up this sign.
So I've been gleaning insight into my life by watching Season One of The West Wing. The first insight is: I watch too much TV. But I kept pausing "Let Bartlet be Bartlet" earlier to write down what I was thinking. Perhaps if I can read my notes later, I will share.
I did get this much out of it: Let Jesus be Jesus. In me.

This is why I like Leviticus

Leviticus 3:16-- "All fat is the Lord's."

Now I'm sure someone will come up with an explanation that this verse is really about burnt offerings, but clearly what it means is the fatter I am, the more I belong to God.

Do they make SPF 300?

I slathered myself with a ridiculous amount of sunscreen today, twice, in preparation for a lot of bike riding. Any guesses as to what colour my shoulders are?

Also, I went to Wal-Mart to get a bike seat I've had my eye on... and forgot my debit card. Heehee... they didn't get any of my money today.

Maybe tomorrow, alas!

13 June 2007

I scream, You scream

I was chased by the ice cream man the other day. Sort of.

He came up behind me while I was riding home, and I heard his goofy tune for the next half-mile. I presume he was going up and down streets that I was just passing by. Anyway, he finally went by me. I was glad, because that meant I could hear my iPod again instead of "The Entertainer".

11 June 2007

I loathe Wal-Mart.

My title has nothing to do with the rest of my post, it's just something I feel compelled to express from time to time.

So I went to said object of my loathing this evening in search of some decaf tea bags, and I rode my bike. (Chad had the car; gas prices ridiculous; need more exercise anyway.) Chad phoned me just as I had pulled into the parking lot, so I stopped near a convenient cart corral to answer. After I hung up, I realised what a funny picture that must have been; iPod in one ear, phone in another, riding a bike. In west Texas.

Well, so I'm only partly into the 21st century. :)

09 June 2007

Finally

I have been wanting to post for aaaaages, but life keeps getting in my way. (In fact, I have plenty to do right now, but here we are, me and my iPod. Blogging.) So here is the important stuff, to be expanded upon in subsequent posts. I'll try to keep this one on top. :)

Grandpa: My grandpa gave us all a serious fright last week when the docs said he had acute sepsis and wouldn't last the night. He's still with us, although he has a Staph infection now.

Mobile phones: Yeah, we finally got them. So much for being different.

Denver City: Some kids I've know for a while have graduated.

California: We took a trip to CA to see Chad's family and watch his stepbrother graduate. Congratulations, Alex!

Cline Paden: Cline went to be with the Lord while we were gone, but I was able to go to his funeral when we got back.

Chick-fil-A: The owner of CFA in Lubbock (my former employer), also passed away while we were gone. I missed her funeral and so far haven't managed to talk to anyone at CFA to find out what happened.

Running: Eeek.

Cycling: Not getting any better.

Adoption: Still in the works.

South Plains: Still loving it. Bible bowl banquet, sleepover, new friends, and two summer series that we will probably really get into.

Exodus: Heard something really interesting when listening to it on my iPod one day this week.

There you go! If you want to hear more about any of the above, scroll down and read about it. I've now posted more in one day in June than I did for the entire month of May!

Grandpa

So after I left Indiana, Grandpa improved to the point that he could leave the ICU and in fact leave the hospital altogether and move to a nursing home. That step forward was short-lived.

We came back from CA just in time to get a depressing call from my brother (Billy) that a nursing home nurse found Grandpa having trouble breathing and some other life-threatening stuff. They raced him to the emergency room, where they got him onto life support and a ventilator and other important things. This was Tuesday (29th May). All day Wednesday (including at the funeral, after being asked to turn the cell phones off-- I refused to acquiese to that particular request) I was expecting a phone call to say things had gone one way or another.

Wednesday evening Billy called to say the docs said Grandpa had acute sepsis and wouldn't last the night. So, another day of jumping whenever the phone rang ensued. Billy finally called me Thursday afternoon to tell me Grandpa was doing better. Now, I'm no doctor, but you do pick up some things working as a billing person in the medical field. One does not usually "get better" from acute sepsis. However, I did spend a lot of time praying for a miracle-- so a miracle is what we got. :)

Friday Grandpa had to have his feeding tube fixed again-- they put a new one in, I think. The time frame they gave us on Thursday was "between 7 and 5". At 3:30 I finally couldn't stand it any longer and called my sister (Denise) who said they had just started the procedure. This was 4:30 Eastern time, so they certainly waited until the very limit of their time frame.

On Saturday the official word was "we think it's pneumonia he has now, we're waiting on blood work." By Monday, we had gotten round to a Staph infection. Since I work in wound care, those are words that strike fear into my heart. Not that I was surprised; I don't think you can spend two months in a hospital and not contract some nice infection. It's kind of like a parting gift.

So Grandpa was transferred to a long-term care hospital in Indianapolis one day this week (I think it was Wednesday), and he has done so well there that is is out of ICU and into regular care. This is the best news I've heard since mid-April, when he was doing so well in rehab they thought they would be able to send him home.

The down side is, he won't be home for a while. The upsides (and there are several) are: he is getting very good care, they have wound care staff on site (which is quite necessary due to his quantity of pressure sores), and getting Grandma out there and back on a daily basis hasn't been too hard, so far. Please pray that he can get well enough to come home!

Joining the rest of you

Yes, we gave in and got cell phones. I've already felt the incessant urge to have it with me every waking moment. Oh, and the sleeping moments, too. Now, this is partly due to the fact that I've had to wait for updates on Grandpa.

Seriously, I have never been one for talking on the phone. I make and receive so few calls we might be as well discontinue our home phone service. And yet, we decided we needed a way to keep in touch with everyone we know wherever we are.

So, we've stepped into the 21st century for real. Yikes.

Denver City Graduation

Since we went to California to see one graduation, we missed several others happening around here. One of those was in Denver City, where some kids I've known for almost eleven years (that sounds soooo long!) graduated. So we went to the graduation party at the church in DC, since we had to miss the ceremony.

I have to say that these are an ambitious bunch of newly-minted adults! Among them are a future doctor, a future pharmacist, a future member of the armed forces (I forget which branch, but I think the air force), and my pal Shannen is going to AIM.

This last one delights me to no end, if for no other reason than she will be in Lubbock for a few months! Shannen is a delightful young woman, and the Lord will surely use her in mighty ways. Her dad said she struggled with the decision, which I totally understand. It's hard to go a different direction than your friends-- especially a direction which may take you halfway around the world.

California

We took another trip to the... I don't know California's nickname, and I'm too lazy to look it up. The Golden State, maybe? Anyway, that's where we went.

Alex, Chad's stepbrother, has graduated from high school. He looked quite grown-up in his cap and gown-- which I suppose is appropriate, since he is quite grown-up now. I was worried that a graduation ceremony with 400 students would last forever, but it wasn't so bad. We arrived at 5 to get seats for a ceremony that started at 7 (seriously!) and I think it was 10 before we left. It may have been even later than that. Honestly, though, the time went by quickly, and we didn't feel like it was dragging on.

Anyway, the trip was very nice, even if it was short. We saw Chad's family, but didn't have time this time around to go see my California relatives. Our plan is to go out again after we have children, so it won't be long before we see them again.

Funerals

Cline Paden passed away a few weeks ago. This was in no way a surprise to anyone; he has been failing for a few months now. His gain is our loss-- he will be missed.

His funeral was long but very nice. Really, as much as he accomplished in life (or rather, as much as the Lord used him to accomplish His work), there was just no way the funeral could be any shorter. In fact, it could have been much longer! He was eulogised by family members, friends, and co-workers. And I came away wishing I could have known him better.

Another funeral took place recently that I missed: my employer at Chick-fil-A died quite suddenly (and very unexpectedly) two weeks ago. We were in California on the day of her funeral, so I missed it, and only heard of her passing when we got back.

Life is short! As trite as it sounds, it is appropriate to live each day as if it were one's last, because we are not guaranteed another moment.

Cycling and Running

Yep, I decided to combine the exercise posts.

So, despite much time spent cycling over the past two years, I really don't feel like I'm getting any better at it. I tell myself at least once a day that it only gets easier if you do it, which is true, but so far I have no proof of that! :) It's still a good way of getting around, that uses no petrol at all. Quite a consideration while the prices continue to escalate.

Running.. ugh. I still hate it. :) I love the feeling I have about 30 minutes afterward, but unfortunately I have to actually go out and do it to get the good feeling. :( This frustration comes partly from doing no running at all for two weeks, then having to pick it up again this week. Also, we had to postpone two runs (Wednesday and today) from morning to evening, which made them all the more miserable. I've certainly learned the merits of getting up at 5:30 to run-- it beats running in 80+-degree weather.

I was working with a woman in her garden today, and we discussed exercise in the course of our conversations. After hearing that I regularly cycle, walk, and run, she said, "You exercise more than anyone I've heard of!" Unfortunately, this time and effort is not paying off in terms of weight loss. I've joined SparkPeople, and online weight-loss site, which I am liking so far. I weigh in on Monday morning; we'll see if we are getting anywhere. (And if you choose to go to SparkPeople, please tell them that cheekysu sent you!)

Adoption

It feels like we aren't getting anywhere, and we didn't really make any strides forward in May. But, one of our goals is to pay off credit card debt (and some medical debt as well!) before we have children placed with us, so in that way we are moving forward. Also, it seems we are going to be moving into a larger house before we get children, so we'd have to have our home study, if nothing else, redone if it were done before we moved. So we'll check into our options and keep you posted.

South Plains

We started two new series last week at church.

In Bible class, we are beginning a study of some of the minor prophets. I haven't yet memorised the list of prophets we are studying, but we are starting with Amos. I haven't studied Amos since I was in Scotland, so this should be a good study. To start off with, the teacher (Matt; Ken has moved on to calmer pastures. Presumably.) read the first two chapters of Amos from the message, which was pretty cool. Oddly enough, it does not read a lot differently than the NAS. I don't know if this is because it is the Old Testament, or because it is prophecy, or if it is just coincidence.

Sunday evenings for the summer are titled, "Holy Conversations." I don't know where exactly we will go with it, but the first week was good-- Matt (same one from Sunday morning) started by talking about everyone being on a spiritual journey. There is a blog that he is keeping about the class-- look for "Holy Conversations" in the sidebar to join the conversation.

The son of a friend of ours is spending his summer in New York/New Jersey doing some musical outreach-- see his blog in the sidebar as well ("Worldwide Witness").

We had our final Bible bowl sleepover last Friday, and the season officially ended with the banquet on Sunday. I really thought that the smaller group we've had the last few years would be a bad thing, but I have totally changed my mind. Smaller group= Better relationships. And now Chad is talking about getting involved next year. He changes his mind about things so frequently, I need a journal just to keep up with him. :) So we'll see what happens. Next year: 1 Samuel!

When I said "New friends", well, they aren't that new. But we are getting to be much better friends with Joe and Kathy, and we thank God for them regularly!

I read in Beau's blog earlier that he and Krissi have placed membership in a church that they are really enjoying. There is just no substitute to a great church family.

Exodus

So the Egyptian army is chasing the Israelites and they are all panicking. As you do, when the most powerful army in the world is after you, and the chances of you defending yourself on your own are worse than your chances of winning the record-setting jackpot in the lottery. So Moses says, "Hey, Lord? Kinda need your help, here." And the Lord answers, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on."

I can only suppose that Moses already had these orders, since God asks him what he thinks he's doing, instead of assuring him that everything was under control. So they move on, and you know the rest of the story.

Now I'm not one to violently drag modern-day application out of a story that happened long before I arrived in the world. But when I heard this, I really started thinking about all the times in my life when I just sit around and wait for divine inspiration to strike (as it were) instead of just doing the things I already know to do. That's a bit like watching my neighbour's house burn down while I stand in my yard, hose in hand, thinking, "I wonder if I should use this?" I want to be someone who acts, not someone who spends my time wringing my hands and asking, "Where are you, God? What should I do?"

Thanks, Moses.

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