Wednesday, November 24, 2010

For The Vegetarian Conscious

Yay for Thanksgiving! Possibly my very favorite holiday! With the exception of having to juggle the families around and make time for everyone, I just love a day that's completely dedicated to eating food and being grateful for it! And this year is especially exciting, because for the first time in my married life, I am not working a second job in retail that demands I be working on Black Friday. Ahhhhh. I am so excited to simply get to sleep in, decorate the house for Christmas and cook. (Alex is going to brave the crowds for a quick trip to Guitar Center.)

Due to Alex's bizarre poultry allergy (I promise you I did not make that up! He really has a dangerous allergy to poultry!), we don't eat turkey on Thanksgiving day. We usually make do with a beef roast or a ham. I'm not really a big fan of the food that we consume from the in-laws (shh! Don't tell!) because Grandma usually shops at restaurant supply grocery stores which are laden with heavy preservatives and who knows what else, but I am looking forward to spending time with the family. My mom, who swore up and down that she was NOT cooking this year, had her plans changed and will be providing food for friends from church, as well as her three daughters and their significant others.

I came across this recipe in the October issue of Vegetarian Times, which I read for good ideas about ways to prepare veggie dishes that don't fall into the category of steamed, frozen vegetables overly seasoned with salt. (We come from a farmin' community. There has never been a lot of creativity when it comes to how to prepare vegetables and our family traditions.) I love winter squash and I love soup. What a perfect dish! The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and then baked in acorn squash shells before serving.

South American Squash and Vegetable Ragout

6 dried pitted apricots
4 dried pitted prunes
6 small acorn or other winter squash that is round and can double as a bowl to hold the stew
1 tbsp. olive oil plus more to coat the squash
1 small Spanish onion (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 small red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
1 14.5-oz. can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juices reserved
1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced (1 cup)
1 small sweet potato, peel and diced (1 cup)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1. Place apricots and prunes in bowl, and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Soak 2 hours, drain and coarsely chop fruit, reserving liquid.

2. Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut circular opening in squash tops, and reserve tops. Cut small slices off bottoms of squash so they stand up straight. Scoop out and discard seeds and fiber from squash. (Or save them to throw out in the garden for MORE acorn squash next season!) Rub outside of squash shells and lids with oil, and place on prepared baking sheet.

3 Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and oregano; saute' 2 to 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and tomatoes and juice; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add potato, sweet potato, and reserve apricot-prune soaking liquid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are almost soft. Add corn and apricot-prune mixture, and simmer 2 to 3 more minutes. Add beans and season with salt and pepper if desired. Simmer 5 more minutes.

4. Ladle soup into each hollowed squash; place lid on top. Bake 60 to 90 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce through the squash. Serve immediately and enjoy! It will warm you through on the coldest of days!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Candy Making

Decided to try my hand at homemade caramels today.

I might be a little too impatient for candy making, but I think I could eventually learn patience.

They didn't turn out badly, but I am distressed by the huge amounts of butter that are seeping out of the top while it is firming up in the pan right now. The taste is pretty good. I did not scorch the caramel mixture.

I want to try again tomorrow with condensed milk instead of half and half.

But seriously, who doesn't have a day where they just feel like ingesting a cup of butter, three cups of brown sugar and a cup of corn syrup?


1 c. butter
1  16 oz. bag (2 1/4 cups) packed brown sugar
2 cups half and half
1 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Line an 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil. If desired, sprinkle walnuts over the bottom of the pan. (Yuck.)

2. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Be sure you use the BIG saucepan, not the little one. Add brown sugar, half and half and corn syrup and mix well. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, stead rate, stirring frequently until the thermometer registers 248 degrees Farenheit, firm-ball stage. (45-60 minutes - don't rush it.) Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.

3. Remove sauce pan from heat; remove thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Try not to crap yourself if is sizzles and makes odd noises while stirring in the vanilla. Quickly pour the mixture into the prepared pan. When firm, use foild to lift it out of the pan. Use a buttered knife to cut into 1 inch squares. Wrap each in plastic wrap, if you don't eat them all while removing them from the pan. Store up to 2 weeks. But let's be honest, are you really going to make them and then let them sit around for 2 weeks??

Living in Narnia

The other night USA Network had "Prince Caspian" on. I just adore the Chronicles of Narnia, I have been reading them since I was a little girl and they never get old. I know each story by heart, but it never ceases to amaze me how, as an adult, I can pick them up and find a new nugget of truth in them that speaks to my heart. That is what makes Clive Staples Lewis my favorite author of all time.

"Prince Caspian" is actually my least favorite book in the whole of the seven books in the Chronicles, but there is a chapter that always amazes me every time I read it. Lucy has found Aslan in the woods and she is frightened and has been brushed aside (again) by the others, so she feels weak and vulnerable. She tells Aslan she wishes she could be brave, to which he replies that if she were any braver she would be a lioness. But Lewis inserts 2 sentances in this scene that I always carry around in my heart. Lucy asks Aslan why he didn't sweep in and rescue them like he did last time and he replies

"Nothing ever happens the same way twice." And then she asks him if things would have turned out all right if she had left the others and followed Aslan when he appeared to her and not to them. And he replies, "Dear One, we are never told what WOULD have happened. Only what WILL happen."

I find this both comforting and frustrating because I NEED to know! I walk around, second guessing myself, doubting my decisions, worrying that I have made the wrong choice constantly. I ask God every day "Was that the right thing to do? Did I do the right thing? Why did I do that? What are the consequences of that choice?" And then these words from a fairy tale written 60 years ago come back to my memory as if Christ himself had spoken them to me. "You are never told what WOULD have happened IF...."

In some ways this is very comforting! I shouldn't be second-guessing myself. The future is going to come, and my decisions are going to affect them. All I can do is pray each day that I am tuned in enough to the Holy Spirit to hear Him guiding me - just like Lucy saw Aslan in the woods, beckoning for her to follow Him because He knew the path.

But it's frustrating because it takes away my justification of a wrong choice. "If I had known THIS would happen as a result of THAT choice, I never would have done it!"

Nothing ever happens the same way twice. This is a passage that has Grace written all over it. Our church is teaching the message of Grace right now, and for some reason, its a controversial topic in the Christian world. I'll never figure out why, but perhaps I've just been given a little more revelation than some. Christian churches tend to either teach "God loves you NO MATTER WHAT!" and leave it at that. Or they teach "HOLINESS - you'll have to work really hard at being holy because Jesus said to!" Both of those teachings are incomplete.

Sure, God loves you no matter what. Your sin did not keep God from sending the Messiah to die on a cross to save humanity. He does love you no matter how awful you are. But he loves you too much to let you stay the way you are. Which is why every day He continues to purify your heart and make you one step closer to being holy as Jesus is.

And nothing happens the same way twice. You could be trapped in sin, and God will guide you out. But the second time you are caught in that sin, He probably will not sweep in and rescue you like he did the last time. There are always consequences. We can't continue to live any way we like just because we found out that God loves us no matter what. But be assured that His Grace will cover that sin a hundred times over until you no longer struggle with it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Had Words With A Squirrel Before Breakfast

This delightful little piece of literature was composed by my cousin, Kelli Davis. Kelli and I are very nearly kindred spirits, as we both have a love for gourmet cooking, C.S. Lewis and the Beatles. I told her I simply had to share it with the 10 people that read my blog. :)  It's by far some of the best poetry I've picked up this year. Not kidding. I'm growing weary of the 'poor me and my inability to adjust to society' pieces and the sexual odes. A bit of comedy was just what I needed to restore my faith in the poetic arts. Enjoy!!


I had words with a squirrel before breakfast.

I fear they weren't so kind.

But what to do

When a squirrel looks at you

And seems to be out of his mind????

He clumsily climbed up the glass door.

I banged on the glass with a shout.

He flew through the air

Shedding furry, black hair

His little heart pounding, no doubt.

The air-conditioner next he did summit.

Skittering from side to side.

Stealing a glance,

I near wet my pants

When our eyes met and stopped him mid-stride!

Beady, glazed eyes all a twittering;

Tail swishing madly about.

He seemed to be thinking

Without one eye blinking

"Should I run or just sit here and pout?"

"If I sit here and look cute then maybe,"

I could see the thought in his mind,

"She'll then let me in

even though I'm not kin

And I'll warm my cute, furry behind!"

"Not so fast," I thought right back at him

"Your behind belongs NOT in MY house",

The glass I banged more

With a shout and a roar;

"You're cute but still kin to a mouse!!!!!"

But all of that mattered not to him.

He ignored me like a teenage brat.

He clawed and he dug

Prying through with his mug

The window below where he sat.

My thoughts went racing at this point!

What to do if he gets inside?

"Not here!" I did yell

And swiftly he fell

and ran off somewhere else to abide.

So now it's spiders AND tree rats

And a stray centipede or two

who try to get in

much to my chagrine

to warm themselves, skitter, and chew...

Well, a warning to all you dread creatures.

I'm not a nice woman, oh no!

You won't live long;

Your death knell will gong

and your carcass will help the grass grow!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lunch with Mom

I went shopping and had a nice brunch with my mother today. My mom can be a lot of things - she can scare the poop out of you with one little frown. She can be very dominant and sometimes you are positive that she is simply mean. But in the last few years, I have come to realize that my mom has had experiences, like everyone else, that have shaped her into who she is. She loves all of her children and her husband and her family and she loves God very much. But she doesn't lavish her love on anything else.

My mother is not sentimental in any way. Don't ever give her a gift that you hope she will enjoy for years to come because it will probably be in the next yardsale. She doesn't like stuff that sits around the house, and things that most people enjoy are NOT her cup of tea. For example, a friend gave her a certificate for a $100 massage treatment at the Spa at Colfax. She never used it. She doesn't like to be touched. She doesn't like Christmas or birthday presents, and she doesn't read fiction, or books that are not theological teaching.
She is passive-agressive and judgemental, although she says she is simply 'making observations since she doesn't judge others'. She doesn't have any hobbies. She views everything as 'work that must be done'. Her house is almost impeccably clean all of the time, and she never takes down time. Her days off do not consist of resting on the sofa and watching television. She mows grass, rakes leaves, cleans the garage, paints or vacuums, but she does not rest.

She is who she is. And I have grown to love her more for it. We never had a good relationship, but now that she no longer 'mothers' me, we are slowly growing a great friendship.

We went to Kohl's to get Christmas presents today for my sisters and their boyfriends. She bought me a pretty new sweater. We did great. Thanks to a 30% off coupon she got in the mail, everything we purchased was between 60 and 80% off. Mom's a great shopper. I can never find anything that I like. She finds great stuff all the time, and for good prices.

During lunch, we talked about God, which is hard to do with my mother because she is exceptionally spiritual. Almost to where you don't like to talk to her because she comes off as preachy. Very preachy. She also firmly believes that she knows better than almost every spiritual leader in the world - from the pastor of a little hometown church to the pastor of a million-member mega-church. She studies her Bible very hard. She has friends of every denomination and religion - Jewish, Catholic, Methodist, Charismatic, Baptist, etc. I don't know how she keeps them as friends sometimes if she talks to them about God in the same way she talks to me about Him.

My mom is seriously struggling with my sister having moved back home and into their house. I am struggling with finding my place in the world. We are both dealing with issues of friends and family members that are a pain. But in the end, we decided that no matter what, we simply must ask God how He feels about everything. We just can't walk through our respective storms alone. We must strive for holiness while allowing His grace to carry us. There were tears shed today from both of us, but we came out of the breakfast diner happy that we had talked about it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Tobey has been a cuddly fuzzbutt all day long. I love it. I've been lonely and worried today, so having her warm, fuzzy, kitten butt purring away in my lap has been comforting. Alex is playing a show tonight. I can't wait for that run to be over. It's been kinda stressful for him.

Today my mom was working on my hair and announced that I am going bald.

Okay, she didn't actually say that. But that's what it feels like. She said my hair is getting much thinner that it has ever been, and the color underneath is grayer than it was.

Friends, I'm not quite 30 years old. I shouldn't have gray hair AT ALL, much less be grayer than I used to be. And as for the thinning, its just another sign of stress.

But thinking positively, Alex and I will be the cutest little set of shiny domes you've ever seen.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Smoke on the Water

I had to drive Alex to work this morning because his back break lines were acting up and he was uncomfortable with the idea of driving his car in an unsafe way. All the way to the company, we listened to Bob and Tom, but in the last few minutes of my drive back home, I changed the radio to the local news channel. They were discussing a new law that has been sweeping through Northern Indiana for a few years now - the smoking ban. Apparently this struck a nerve this morning, because I got irritable about it!

The guest was a local bar/restaurant owner from Elkhart County and he was explaining how the City of Elkhart has instituted a smoking ban, but the county has not. Consequently, all of the city bar and restaurant owners are suffering because they are losing all of the tobacco-using clientele to the county businesses that do not have to abide by that law. Seems to me that some self-important gasbag started that law thinking they were 'helping the general public'. Like most laws that ban some sort of commodity, all it's doing is killing business for small business owners.

Just so you know where I am coming from, I was a diner waitress from age 16 to age 22. Yes, I smoked cigarettes, mostly because everyone around me was doing it, and it afforded me break time when I otherwise was not allowed to take any. I am generally not offended by the smell of cigarette smoke, unless it is combined with body odor, cheap perfume or just plain STINK, like some people have. I don't have an allergy to smoke, although I will say that I have known a few people who ARE allergic to smoke and I understand why it bothers them. I also think that there are a lot of busybodies who SAY they are allergic to smoke who really aren't.

My husband grew up in a smoking household and had some health complications due to second hand smoke, including high blood pressure as a teen. His dad quit smoking, as did other family members, and when we were dating, he told me that it bothered him enough to break it off with me if I was smoking. I quit. I have not smoked in 4 years.

Now, this is simply my opinion, but there is a helluva lot of judgement that goes around on cigarette smokers. They smell, they're dirty, they're giving themselves cancer, etc. All of these things are valid points. But may I also point out that the folks passing this judgement also have some vices that make them candidates for the same kind of judgement. Personally, I think people who overeat themselves in morbid obesity so that they can't even get out of their beds are disgusting. Much more disgusting to me than a cigarette smoker. I think women who dress in provacative clothing and have sex with whoever comes along are pretty disgusting too. I'm bothered by young men who drink beer and play video games until 5 am and then sleep all day without working a job or contributing to society. But all of these things are personal priorities and choices. Cigarette smoking is also a personal decision and a priority.

Do you really think that smokers don't know that what they're doing can make them sick and eventually kill them? And is it really your business to worry about it?

And does the government really have to pass a law saying that business owners cannot make a decision on who to allow in their restaurants/bars? This seems like a pretty big intrusion of freedoms.

There really is a simple solution. First of all, leave business owners alone. They're smart - they'll catch on to what is making them money and what isn't. If they allow smoking in their restaurant and you don't like smoke, DON'T PATRONIZE THAT RESTAURANT. See how easy that is? Go patronize a non-smoking restaurant or bar and support that business owner's good decision with your money and time.

The more laws we make against people's personal decisions and priorities, the fewer freedoms we have. People have a RIGHT to choose to fill their bodies with chemicals and garbage and JUNK FOOD (equally bad for your health!) and anything else. Smart folks figure out that it's bad for them and don't do it.

I agree with education. Please inform me that something may be hazardous to my health.  But don't tax me, ban me or treat me badly because I make that choice.

Just leave people alone. I really think most of the problem's in the world would be solved if we could simply mind our own business and leave people alone.

I'm treading on eggshells and probably offending someone, I'm sure of it. There are always going to be variables. There are always going to be situations that are subject to something greater and larger, especially if there is a chance that someone innocent is being hurt. By and large however, my argument is not toward that, but simply I am arguing that businesses, especially bars and restaurants, should be permitted to choose who they offer services to, without the government and some nosy busybodies making laws that diminish their clientele.

Humanity would be smarter if we always had to reap the consequences of our mistakes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's The End of the World As We Know It.....and I Feel Fine

I decided while laying in bed this morning that I am not going to drive to New Carlisle to sit in a room for 4 hours and silently wish that someone would stop by and ask for insurance. Also, I am getting run down from my long days. I am grateful that the work week is almost over for me. I'll make a few phone calls today and try to set some appointments, but overall, I need rest.

I have been seeking new employment and hopefully as quickly as possible. I am thinking about taking something in office or clerical work, just for the time being, as once again, I have a new dream! I did not come up with this dream on my own - Dana and Alex came up with it for me.

Some months ago, Dana decided she wanted me to design her tattoo. Before we were even married, Alex and I used to hang out at a tattoo parlor out on Mayflower Rd. that is owned by a friend of my father in law's. He told me then that he thought I should be a tattoo artist, since I have steady hands and a good eye for art and color. Yesterday Alex got really excited and started researching tattooing kits and laws for being a tattoo artist, and then sent me a message that said he was going to buy me a handgun and we were going to go to firearms classes together. (Well, that would just be fun anyway!) So I am going to start sketching again like I used to all the time, and try to put together a small portfolio and then start practicing. I even had a few victims...I mean volunteers offer to let me practice on them.

I've been a little concerned that I haven't kept the pantry as stocked as it should be. By this time last year, I had enough stuff in the cupboards and freezer that I didn't need to go shopping more than three or four times through the whole winter. This year, things have been a bit sparse - especially income-wise. Alex and I managed to trim our food budget to around $40 per week or less and we have been preparing food in small portions so that nothing gets wasted. We've also been purchasing meat from a local small butcher's market instead of at the supermarkets. The quality has been like night and day! It also freezes better than the grocery store stuff. I love the Midwest. Food is easily accessible and still completely affordable. All the doom and gloom economic forecasting for the big cities is tragic, and I'm sure the cost of food is going to go through the roof, but thank God we live in the Midwest, where there are farms and farmer's markets just a short drive away.

No matter what kind of doomsday messages float around in the airwaves, I seldom feel any kind of worry at all. In 10,000 years of civilized human history there have been good times, bad times, times of war and times of peace, and somehow we just keep plugging away! Let the troubles come. We will never walk alone.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Time for Some Reflections

I am sadder today than I have been for a few weeks and as there is no hormonal connection to it right now, I can only assume that it is for no good reason at all.

This morning I sat in my chair with the fireplace on, cradling my Bible in my hands, aching with anxiety for the day. I prayed that God would show me words of comfort and wisdom to help me get through this week of discomfort and stress. I settled in to read through Proverbs 9, which brought to my attention these few points.

1) Wisdom is always portrayed as a woman. And not only a woman, but a woman who is prepared for anything. She builds up her house, stores food and offers a place of rest for the simple-minded and the foolish. She calls to these people from the rooftop and begs them to come in and partake of all that she has prepared so that they in turn will learn to be wise too.

2) This passage is amazingly descript in regards to how to deal with people who think they know everything! Specifically, the words are "Do not correct the scoffers, or give rebuke to the foolish, they will only hate you, give rebuke to a wise man [in his error] and he will become wiser." And I got to contemplating the political scene in our country right now. There are a heckuva lot of folks out there who hate each other with blind hatred, who scoff at one another for holding to the opposite side, etc. And I thought, how true this is! Don't bother correcting those scoffers, they'll just hate you more! Instead, simply be quiet and let them rage. It's to their own detriment.

3) I have been thinking about the end of this passage for a bit now, and specifically, where it says a foolish women lures the simple-minded into her home and tells them that stolen water is sweet and bread they have not made themselves is good. I am starting to think of it in the same terms as above. "Stolen" water, perhaps is knowledge that you have not learned yourself, but stolen from another? And more literally, this 'foolish woman' certainly  is the opposite of Wisdom. She is not preparing for what is to come! She is not teaching others to become prepared for the Day of the Lord, she is leading them into the way of death and Hell.

It was an interesting read. I am still kind of chewing on it.

Right now I am sitting in the "Rose Dining Room" in a retirement home in New Carlisle, hoping and praying that somehow I will get some new business written today. Thank goodness they have a wireless network! Usually the places I go do not. This one is weak though and keeps disconnecting. But it's enough for me to get this posting up!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cat Haiku

My Avery shared this one on my Facebook profile today. She knows what I like. :)

cat haiku

You never feed me.

Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.

That will sure show you.

You must scratch me there!

Yes, above my tail!

Behold, elevator butt.

The rule for today:

Touch my tail, I shred your hand.

New rule tomorrow.

In deep sleep hear sound

cat vomit hairball somewhere

will find in morning.

Grace personified.

I leap into the window.

I meant to do that.

Blur of motion, then --

silence, me, a paper bag.

What is so funny?

The mighty hunter

Returns with gifts of plump birds --

your foot just squashed one.

You're always typing.

Well, let's see you ignore my

sitting on your hands.

My small cardboard box.

You cannot see me if I

can just hide my head.

Terrible battle.

I fought for hours. Come and see!

What's a 'term paper?'

Small brave carnivores

Kill pine cones and mosquitoes,

Fear vacuum cleaner

I want to be close

to you. Can I fit my head

inside your armpit?

Wanna go outside.

Oh, poop! Help! I got outside!

Let me back inside!

Oh no! Big One

has been trapped by newspaper!

Cat to the rescue!

Humans are so strange.

Mine lies still in bed, then screams;

My claws are not that sharp.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take Life By The Horns!

After much deliberation with my husband last night, we decided that I was NOT going to give up on the position in the community development department at city hall that I am not being considered for.

I have a guy on the inside - my friend who formerly held the position I applied for. He actually told his boss, the director of the CD office, that human resources was not considering me, and she told him to have me email her and state my case and ask for an interview. It's good to have someone on the inside.

I just was not ready to let this one go.

There are several reasons for this: stability, benefits and retirement, accomplishment....

But the biggest reason is perhaps silly and sentimental.

My Grandma Betty wrote 6 books and numerous essays on the history of this city. She curated the Hannah Lindahl Children's Museum from 1973 until 1989. She was a friend of our former Mayor Bob B., and there is an official 'Betty Hans Day' and she holds a key to the city.

Every single member of my dad's family is a graduate of MHS.

Alex's grandmother also holds a key to the city and there is an official day in her name as well.

I have a hundred years of family history in this city. Alex has lived here since he was 2 and his dad grew up in this city.

I would love to call our families and announce that I am going to be working for our community. I can't wait to hear the pride in their voices when I tell them.

But first, I have to FIGHT for that job!


My whole week has been filled with rejection. Not just of me personally, but it has been all around me.

For starters, as of this moment I was rejected for an amazing job opportunity that I wanted more than anything. It was an opportunity to work at City Hall, and I had everything going for me, including the recommendation of the person who currently holds the position. But when I called them to see what the status was, the reply was "We already have our candidates chosen, but we'll call you if anything changes." That broke my heart into a million pieces. I haven't felt so unwanted in a long time. I actually cried, and my husband didn't tell me to buck up and keep looking for a change because he knew that it would have been perfect for me. Even now, my disappointment is so heavy that my heart feels like it is aching.

But that wasn't the only thing. I had to turn down several applicants for insurance this week and I felt like the worst person in existence for it. A young woman tried applying for short term disability and cancer coverage, and she was 4 months pregnant and has cervical cancer. My boss thought she was an idiot, but I think she's desperate. 3 children, single mom, pregnant and cervical cancer? If anyone needs insurance, it's THIS woman, and I had to reject her. And my work, in general, comes with huge amounts of rejection. People are very cautious with how they are spending their money these days, and the word 'insurance' seems to immediately turn their ears inside out.

Obviously, it was Election Day on Tuesday, and that's a huge rejection stamp, regardless of who you voted for. Someone was elected and someone was rejected. My dear friend Jackie did not win her Congressional run, and I was disappointed. Everyone is so conditioned to vote for a particular party that no one takes time to look at the candidate and their actual beliefs. I met Jackie 10 years ago when she was a guest missionary, speaking in my parents' Sunday school class. I have watched her ambitions in politics with a good amount of skepticism as I do with all politicians, but because I knew her personal beliefs and her family background, I knew she was someone I would willingly vote for. But she came with that 'Republican' party tag, and I think that's almost a dirty word in our little part of the state. I was still disappointed for her. I had hoped she would be given a chance. At least it was a very close race.

Fortunately there are some upsides. I did finally manage to write 3 new insurance policies yesterday and today and tomorrow I have open enrollments at two other retirement homes. My days this week have taken their toll on my body. I haven't slept well again, and I've had to get up before 5 every day to get to Goshen before 8 - a 45-50 minute drive on a good day. I have missed meals and haven't been getting the good nutrition that I need. I am grateful that it's Thursday. The weekend is approaching and even more - the holidays are approaching.

So if you are feeling rejected today my friends, hold your heads up high. Jesus himself was rejected and beaten, but ultimately conquered that rejection for our sakes. There is a window open somewhere for me, I just haven't found it yet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Every New Day

When I was young, the smallest trick of light could catch my eye, and life
Was new and every new day I thought that I could fly.
I believed in what I hoped for,
And I hoped in things unseen.
My wings and dreams could soar,
I just don't feel like flying anymore.

Through destinies and skies,
beyond infinity
below the face of Heaven
You stooped to create me.

Dear Father,
I need you,
Your strength my heart to mend
I want to fly higher
Every new day again.

It is just after 4 in the morning, I might have slept a little bit between midnight and 3, but I have a lot of anxiety toward the day, not to mention I forgot to go back to my office and do some really important work. Now I have to sit in the parking lot at 6:30 to get my group number downloaded, and be in Goshen - a 45 minute drive - by 8 am. Also have to vote. And I will be a little concerned if I don't write any new business today as the mortgage was due yesterday. And I have a new student this evening. And I have to eat somewhere in there too. I'm totally depending on God's arm to carry me through today.

This song is by a group called Five Iron Frenzy that I used to listen to in high school. They had a good run - about ten years before calling it quits a few years ago. While by all accounts they were in the genre of ska/punk music, these words seem to show a side that resonates a little deeper and have echoed in my heart on especially hard days. I need to hold my head high - I AM a daughter of God. I AM blessed, cherished and loved by Him. I AM held in His hands every new day.

Monday, November 1, 2010


61 days left of 2010!

About 30 of those days will be work days. The others will be days to cook, sew, wrap presents, decorate and snuggle with my Love by the fireplace. I just love the end of the year!

I am not nostalgic about the year's end. In fact, I welcome it. Much has gone on this year that has left me unhappy and unfulfilled. I am ready to begin anew.

Alex and I are thinking about taking a four-day trip over Thanksgiving. I hope that we do! We are explorers. We never have a plan when it comes to vacationing. We jump in the car and drive and hope that wherever we end up at least has a few antique stores and an art museum of some kind. And gardens. (Although I doubt we will be visiting any gardens around Thanksgiving.) A short trip will do us very good. We cancelled almost all of our vacations this year due to starting a new job, or shortage of funds. But nothing has been decided yet.

I am still waiting on an important phone call. I believe it will come this week. It will be to set up an interview and I need that more than anything right now. I need stability. I need a change that will bring about stability.

Tomorrow is election day. You may know that I am against all politics and feel that government is corrupt and generally unnecessary, at least on the large federal scale. But there is one woman I am very happy to be casting my vote for. She was a missionary to Romania for many years and I supported she and her husband's ministry back then. I taught music and worked in music teams at church with her husband and knew them to be people that I could believe in long before she decided to become involved in politics. I can't wait to support her yet again with my vote, and I have been excited to see her rising up and trying to make a difference in our community. I also laugh at most of the ads that are being run against her. So untrue.

I started reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". It's not bad.

Alex starts playing in our praise and worship team at Southgate this Sunday.

It's going to be a very busy week with product fairs and employees to see. Good and bad - good because I'll make some income. Bad because I will hate every minute of it and be thinking about this other opportunity and hoping that I can begin the new one soon.

I think today will be a good day to make something comforting and homey for dinner? Suggestions, anyone? I'm leaning toward some kind of stew.