Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let's Look at it as Half-Empty, Shall We?

Usually, I try to be a half-full kind of blogger. But today, I got my storage room to half-empty status and I am in the zone.

My grandma had this china cabinet in her dining room and I loved that thing. To my great surprise, when she was breaking up her house to move into an assisted-living place, I received that china cabinet from her. Most of my cousins lived closer to her than I, and I figured someone would have spoken for it by that time. So, we moved it up here and I have enjoyed it so much.

A few years ago, it seemed like the china cabinet was taking up too much space in the living room, so I moved it downstairs to the storage room. For the past week or so, I have been cleaning out the storage room with the intent of getting that china cabinet back upstairs. Tonight my strong men moved it upstairs for me.

It's not in the greatest shape. Needs a couple of repairs, but I think it is beautiful. The pipes sticking up out of the top are from the doorbell of my paternal grandmother's home, my dad's childhood home. We gleaned those when the house was being torn down. And now I have tangible reminders right here of the two strong, beautiful women who were my grandmothers.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Don't Worry, Residents of Tuscarora, It Wasn't an Earthquake!

It was just me, jogging!

I haven't exercised by jogging in, ahem, quite some time. Since I, uh, took a break from my weightlifting sesssions a couple months ago, I haven't really been exercising all that much, except, as you know, for the muscles involved in chewing up chips.

But today, I jogged. Pretty dern slow, I'll admit, but I was out there. And I stuck with it. My previous exercise du jour was what I call jwalking, which involved "interval" training of some steps jogging and some steps walking. But today I went all out. Jogged the whole way, even extending the finish line partway through.

Feels good.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Ate One Potato Chip Today

Now, if we're talking about yesterday, I would have to admit to more like 57 chips. But, see, here's the thing.

I lost a BUNCH of weight five years ago. I was so hot. Only a size 4, which is smaller than I ever was even in high school. I never bought a size 4 in my life until my super-duper weightlifting weight loss. As SOME people tend to do, I did gain it all back plus a few ounces. Give me a break -- I did have a baby between now and then.

The way I lost that weight was that I was absolutely RELIGIOUS about eating ONLY what was on my list. No steenking cheat meals for me, sister. I did my cardio RELIGIOUSLY. I did my weightlifting at 7:00 on a Saturday morning every single week (and 12:00 on each Wednesday). RELIGIOUSLY.

Readers of my blog know that I started back with a trainer last summer. Haven't been quite as religious. More like a super-duper backslider. One step forward, 23 steps back. I blame most of it on my trainers. (JK Jason). But just as I am eschewing RELIGION in the spiritual part of my life, I am also unwilling to be religious in the physical area. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying I'm never going to have an exercise routine, or lift weights. But I am ready for my eating habits to be REVOLUTIONIZED. And I think today was a start. I had to go all the way down to the basement to eat the chip. But I stopped after one. Isn't that amazing?

I've had to throw out most of my "rules" for eating. I told my kids the other day to name a food, any food, and I could give them a reason why they shouldn't eat it. Ugh. Today I ate food. I enjoyed it. I felt hungry. And whether or not I lost any weight today, I know my attitude and heart were different.

And I only ate ONE Lay's potato chip. Ha.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

OK This is Amazing

Yesterday I got to be part of an AMAZING event called Go Cincinnati. 6500 people from Crossroads and 20 other churches spread out all over Cincinnati and did over 350 service projects for community organizations. My family worked at the City Gospel Mission.

True confessions.

The City Gospel Mission has been in Cincinnati for like 90 years or something. I have been around for roughly half that long and I have never even SEEN the Mission before yesterday. This is significant because 1. my parents, who had a fine drapery business for many years, provided window coverings for the CGM several times over the years. My dad used to take me on installations all the time, yet I never helped install at the Mission; 2. I have visited the beautiful Music Hall approximately 40 times in my life. The City Gospel Mission is THREE buildings away from Music Hall. How did I not realize this?, and 3. CGM is located in a part of town called Over-the-Rhine. This is not a part of town I have ever felt comfortable in. There is crime there. Crime, I tell you.

Lest any of my sensitive and caring readers think I am about to embark upon a self-flagellating tangent, that is not the point of this post.

There's been a lot of change happening in my heart over the past four months, and my experience yesterday was another part of that change. I haven't wanted to be anywhere near the city, gospel mission or not. It scares me. I have known all my life there are needs in the city -- homeless people, hungry people -- we all know about the needs in the city. But my fear has ruled. I haven't taken the time or effort to press through that fear, to understand better about poverty and what it does to people. I have been guiltily content to stress about the admittedly small bumps in my daily life.

I got a taste yesterday of what the city is like when a lot of people come together in love to make a difference in their city. And since I received the grace to act in spite of the fear, I was so so so blessed.

I saw this guy sitting in his apartment, smoking a cigarette, with the window open, talking to a couple of guys on the sidewalk outside. No screen on the window. That tableau sort of epitomized for me what it might be like for someone to live in a city. You're kind of always part of whatever's going on.

I wouldn't say I want to live in the city. But I would say that I'm feeling quite grateful that I got the glimpse yesterday that I got. Following Christ is going to be more religion than revolution if I just stay cloistered in my safe, warm, comfortable, luxurious life. I've had enough of religion and I'm going for the revolution.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hacking the Fridge

This is not our refrigerator. Ours, a mere three years young, sports some spiffy rust around the water dispenser, thanks to a sucko design by the Maytaggers.

So, I've once before taken part of the water dispenser apart, and sanded the rust off and painted it. But things are a little beyond that now. However, I noticed the other day while I was on the floor at Kepler's level looking up that the whole water thing was in dire need of cleaning. So, being the pioneer woman that I am, I took it all apart and vinegared it up and got it looking real shiny.

Putting it back together proved to be more difficult than taking it apart. Isn't that always the way. First of all, I was too lazy to pull the refrigerator out again and unplug it so my thumb got a shocking shock when I completed the circuit. Thanking God that I didn't get electrocuted and stupidly die, I got over my laziness and unplugged the appliance. I got it all back together, but the ice maker has a little problem now. The ice is made, and can even be crushed, but it will not come out of the chute no way, no how.

So, now I have a very clean water and ice "dispenser." One of these days I will have to take it apart and try again, but I don't know what I did wrong, so I'm not that motivated to take it all apart again. We recently got a notice that our refrigerator is possibly among those that catches on fire for no good reason, so I'm trusting that the guys that come to "fix" this problem will be willing to put the ice "dispenser" back to an "ice dispenser."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dear Bono,

As you probably know, Greg and I are meeting Stephanie and Mike at the 1st Chicago concert, although we are sitting in completely different parts of the stadium, mostly because Stephanie was pretty sure Mike would have a fit from which he would not recover if she spent as much as I did on the tickets.

Just want to let you know that it is true that I didn't really like U2 when your first song came out. Greg did -- he was and is on the cutting edge of art, but it took me a couple of years to get with the program.

One thing I like is that you were born the same year as I was, so I like to think we have some things in common. Maybe I'm NOT actually Irish, nor am I a poupillionaire, but I have been married to my honey for many years, and I have kids with biblical names.

Oh yeah, also I am not known world-wide at this point, but I do own a copy of the War album (vinyl, yeaaaa), which I am sure you do as well.

So when the random drawing is held for two ticketholders to come backstage and meet you, if you could have ANY influence on the selection, I think you would probably be awfully glad to meet me and Greg. Larry and Edge would too, but I'm not too sure about Adam. He seems kind of aloof, but he is a way cool bass player.

This will be the first time we have spent the night away from our five kids. We had times away from one kid, two kids, three kids, and four kids, but our little guy has some special needs so it's a little trickier to leave him with someone. However, it will work out just fine -- of this I am sure.

So, just wanted to let you know that we'll be off to your right, shaking our head in amazement that you guys have managed to stay together for all these years, and that you still make incredible music.

Looking forward to seeing you soon --


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Funny Vocabulary Sentences

My son has vocabulary words to define each week for his composition class. Somehow he came up with the idea of linking together the sentences to create a (very, very funny) story. Today I am posting his latest assignment. Enjoy:

UNCOUTH adj: lacking good manners, refinement, or grace. The uncouth slime mold never seemed to care about his personal appearance in public.
SUBPOENA n: a writ ordering a person to attend a court. The pigeon lawyer repeatedly refused to hand a subpoena to the slime mold, afraid of his effect on the rest of the jury.
ELUCIDATE v: make (something) clear; explain. The lawyer, upon reporting to the High Mammal Justices, refused to elucidate about his situation.
ACRIMONIOUS adj: (typically of speech or a debate) angry and bitter. The pigeon received a highly acrimonious, nineteen-page memo the next day, firing him from Fowl Play law firm.
STEALTHY adj: behaving, done, or made in a cautious and surreptitious manner, so as not to be seen or heard. The stealthy lawyer stealthily entered the head office of the law firm.
BRASH adj: self-assertive in a rude, noisy, or overbearing way. The brash, rude, overbearing slime-mold-alarm deployed, asserting itself wetly on the pigeon’s feathers.
IMPUDENT adj: not showing due respect for another person; impertinent. The impudent alarm sucked the pigeon in with alarming speed, pulling him toward the furnace.
TEMERITY n: excessive confidence or boldness; audacity. The pigeon found the temerity to activate his Pocket Handi-Vac™ and began to suck up the egregious slime.
MOLLIFIED v past tense: appeased the anger or anxiety of (someone). The vacuum’s overambitious action mollified the slimy alarm, which began to retract into itself.
UNMITIGATED adj: absolute; unqualified. The unmitigated slime disaster soon resolved itself: the pigeon sucked up the uncouth slime mold and soon fulfilled his subpoena limit for the week.