Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Sometimes, life is exasperating. Ya know?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Something that made me laugh...

My church sends out a monthly newsletter to all of the members of the congregation. Pastor puts it together and sends it so that, ideally, it should come close to the beginning of the month. Sometimes the post office doesn't deliver all of the out of towners until the month is half over, but it always gets to us. But anyway, September's didn't face the same delay the previous two months' issues did, so we got it a little early. I was reading through it (because getting it makes me remarkably happy), and I noticed that Pastor wrote a short article about me. The title says, "Candidate for Ministry" and the article states: "Trish LastName has been approved as a Candidate for Ministry by the synod candidacy committee. Trish will graduate MyCollege in December and plans to attend HerChoice Seminary next year. Congratulations Trish! We are proud of you! (Even though you have confessed to jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.) Funds are regularly received for Student Aid at MyChurch and will be used to help defray costs for seminary education. Thanks to all who contribute regularly to this fund. It is a great way we can help minimize the financial burden of seminary education as well as show support in training effective leaders for the Church of Christ." The support my congregation showers upon me just continues to touch my heart. A part of me just has such a hard time believing that they think so highly of me, but I am just so grateful that they believe in my abilities and gifts so much that they are traveling with me down this path. I love those people like crazy and am so thankful that God brought me into fellowship with them so many years ago. I am indeed truly blessed! Thanks, God!

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm weak.

What? I am weak. In more ways than one. This semester, I am taking Bowling as a class. It is a one credit hour course that I decided to take because I am also taking a history class and the capstone class for my major. I used to bowl in a league (although I have never been very good). Well, for class, we haven't been having "lecture" yet, so we have just been practicing bowling and showing our stuff. I am so out of practice that my legs are killing me! I like biking, hiking, skydiving, walking, and all sorts of sports, and here I am all stiff and sore from BOWLING. Haha. I'm such a dork.

You know though, as I wrote the first paragraph, I realized that I AM weak in more ways than one. I'm weak when it comes to breaking my tendency to procrastinate. This is something I have tried to overcome many times in the past, yet to no avail. I'm so apathetic about getting most things done in a timely fashion. Don't get me wrong, I always get things done ON TIME, but often as a mad dash to the finish. *Sigh* what's a girl to do?

As I think about my inability to overcome my procrastination habit, I also find myself thinking about this coming Sunday's Gospel lesson. The people are grumbling about how what Jesus is talking about is too hard to understand. His commands are "hard words" to follow. What does he mean we have to eat his flesh and drink his blood? What does he mean that he is from the Father? Isn't he Mary and Joseph's son? Isn't he just a down home boy? Is he off his rocker?" Hard words. So many times, when we hear messages that are difficult to understand, we tune out. The words are too long, the ideas are too foreign, or the concepts are just too abstract, and so we just kind of check out. Many of the people Jesus was talking to didn't really understand what the big deal was, or they didn't think they could do it, so they just decided to forget about it. But Jesus stated quite clearly that it is imperative to take his body and blood in order to have eternal life. Those who decided to stick with Jesus through the Father's beckoning them will reap the rewards that Jesus promises. Those who follow the "hard words" will not lose their reward. May we find the strength to follow the tasks we find to be difficult as we live in service to our Lord; even if it involves overcoming procrastination.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A bad sign...

Well, here I sit at 11:30 at night, blogging. I am nearing the end of my first week back in the groove of school. I'm a bad, bad girl. I only have 3 classes this semester, but I am already procrastinating. I really, really, REALLY should be reading some stuff for my Soc. 300 class, but I'm not. I think I'll do it this weekend. I really need to get out of this procrastination habit. It's not good. I want to stay on top of things this semester and not wait to do what I should do now. And I haven't written the prayers of the people for Sunday yet, and I'm really tired, and I need to do some other stuff too. Ugh. When I got the results of my psychological profile from the 5 1/2 hours of testing I endured, they said that I might want to consider sitting down with a professional and talking about my tendency to procrastinate, among a few other things. Maybe I should, but I don't want to do it now. Maybe later... :) I'm going to bed now. I'm bad.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A little bit of encouragement...

Hi. Things are looking up. I went to work tonight and my boss was apparently over whatever she was mad about on Sunday. I'm glad. It's much easier to work when people are not harping on each other. Then, when I got home from work, I checked my email to find a message from my pastor saying that he had some conversations with some congregants. One of these congregants apparently TRACKED him down to tell him that I did a "great job" leading worship on Sunday. Two other people said that they really liked church on Sunday and that I did a really good job. I was pleasantly surprised. If I wasn't such a wuss, I'd post my sermon. But, I AM a wuss with a capital W. :) Hehe. Maybe one of these days I'll put one up.

School started Monday. I have bowling on M/W/F, and American Diversity and Senior Experience on T/R. Senior Experience is the capstone class for Sociology majors, and it involves doing your own research experiment. I was and still am slightly worried about it. I thought I was gonna hurl during the first meeting of the class today. I tried really hard to get into a certain section with a teacher I really like, and it was successful. But then, he got a grant and so they brought in someone absolutely new to teach the class. So, I don't get the prof I tried so desperately to get, and I'm just slightly worried. I know I shouldn't be. I'm perfectly capable of doing the work; it just makes me a li'l bit nervous. Whatever. Anyway, I need to go. I'm really tired.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Today has been quite a day. I got to lead worship at both of my pastor's churches this morning. I got A LOT of positive feedback on my message. I was happy about that. Sometimes I get done preaching or I'm halfway through and I think, "These people are NOT paying attention. My sermon must be very substandard." But today, I was getting laughs, people were engaged, I didn't see anybody with that glassed over look, AND people said it was an attention getter from the get go. I'm glad though. I like to keep the people engaged. And, the wireless mic at my church functioned perfectly! Nothing involved in the sound system worked at the other church, but that's ok because they don't really need it anyway. One of the people at Church 2 said that he could hear me perfectly, even without a mic. So, I was happy. That church is substantially smaller than my church, so maybe that's why they could hear.

After worship, I had to go to work. It sucked. My boss was being slightly neurotic and mean today, and she was harping after me and just being mean. I was sad about that. I know I should not let her get to me like she does, but she just really can be cruel sometimes. Hopefully she's better by Tuesday so I don't have to get it all over again. I don't think I'll be able to stand continuing to work there if she's going to make my (hopefully) last few months miserable.

I was going to mow the lawn today, but this cold is sticking with me and I didn't feel like it. I had to go get my mower from my brother's house because his step-son had borrowed it. Well, on my walk home with it, I was just thinking about how tired I was and how much I did NOT want to mow today. And just my luck, a neighbor's nephew who is in town came over and asked if he could do it for a couple of bucks. Can we say Divine Providence!? Haha.

And finally, today is my last day of summer vacation. School starts tomorrow. I have one class and I just *know* it will be grueling. It is bowling, after all. I think I will throw the first few games so I can improve a lot. I used to be a league bowler (Although I was never very good) but I don't want to risk graduating on account of very little improvement in the game. I think it'd be cool if they offered skydiving in college. I'd be all over that! :) I am really tired, so I think I'm going to hit the hay early now. Have a blessed week, and don't let "the man" (or "the woman") get you down. Hasta.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Something must be going around...

I think I'm getting sick. My throat started hurting yesterday, and today I just feel kind of crummy. :( At first, I thought I was hoarse just because all of my "WOO-ing" and laughing on my skydive, but I think it's more than that. I've been using my Zinc lozenges, but I don't think they're helping. Lutheran Chik is also feeling under the weather, so maybe it's that time of year or something... Oh well.

In other news, I think I'm going to go skydiving again. Not right now, mind you, but someday in the near future. If I buy my next tandem jump by Monday, I will get to go for 1/2 price. If I buy that jump, it will be good for one year. So, I won't have to go right away. I don't know so much that skydiving will become a regular hobby of mine, but I would like to go again. Anyway...

"Dan" didn't seem as elated and giddy as I was about the activity, and I don't think he plans on going again. Then again, he didn't plan on going the first time. If I hadn't suggested it, he probably never would have gone. Oh well.

And with that, I'm going to head to bed. I need to be better by Sunday because I'm leading worship again! I sent my message to Pastor, so I'm waiting for the "yay" or "nay" from him. Later.

Monday, August 14, 2006


So, Trish, what'd you do today?

Thanks for asking. I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane at 10,000 feet.

You did what?! You've got to tell me all about this!

No problem. Allow me to begin at the beginning...

"Dan" picked me up at 11:30 a.m. to go to the skydiving place. On the way, I suggested to Dan that we yell "WOO" when we're flying through the air, like Ricky Bobby and his friend on "Talladega Nights." Dan thought that would be fun since we're always yelling "Woo" in the car and stuff anyway. We drove the approximate 45 minutes to the drop zone, got out of the car, and walked in through the hangar because the front door had a sign on it that said, "Please use side door due to fresh wax." So, we entered the place and found the registration office. The young woman behind the counter gave each of us a packet of materials with instructions on how to fill them out. The packet was a binding legal document where we had to initial after just about every paragraph saying that we understood what was going on. The whole thing basically said that we assume all the responsibility should we fall to our deaths or otherwise be injured. "If you sue, you will NOT win," basically. So, we did those, and went to the counter to have them looked over by the same woman who gave them to us. She asked to see our IDs, and then signed the papers as a witness that we were actually the people who signed our papers.

So, after we got the legal business out of the way, we walked out to the lobby to wait for the tandem master to take us downstairs to begin the mandatory class. After a few minutes, "David" came out and talked to us for a few minutes before leading us downstairs to the classroom. The class consisted of a video of a man with a VERY long "Moses" type beard, and then "David" spoke to us about the chutes and what we needed to do. After the video, David was talking to us as he explained the procedures and asked us if we had any questions or anything. The place I skydived at is a "teaching" place, so they encourage you to be a part of what's going on. When you exit the plane, you have your hands holding on to your harness. Then your tandem master does some things and pats you on the head. Then you do a "HAT" check. You look at the Horizon to make sure you're belly to the ground, you check your Altimeter, which is a wristwatch looking thing with numbers that tells you your altitude, and then the tandem master gives you a Thumbs up. After the thumbs up, you put your arms in a "lazy W" position so as to stabilize yourself as you continue your freefall. As soon as you put your arms in the "lazy W" position, you do a practice throw out where you reach back and grab the golf ball that you pull to get the parachute to deploy. Then you go back to the "Lazy W" and do one more practice throw out. Then, you have fun. You're supposed to check your altimeter every 5 seconds or so, and when you hit 6,500 feet, you lock in on that so when the altitude reads 5,500 feet, you can give a big wave off, reach back, and pull the rip cord. He also explained toggle maneuvers and the different types of landing. You can do "sit down" landings which are the safest way to land a tandem jump. A sit down landing is where you and the tandem master put your legs up and slide in on your butts. The other way is the stand up landing where the student puts her legs up and the tandem master lands you and you put your feet down at the end to stabilize you. After he told us the procedure, some people asked some questions and Dan asked about the weather. They said they hadn't been up yet because the clouds were too low, although they were broken, which means that the sky could potentially clear up enough to allow us to get up there. After the class and questions, we went upstairs to see what the weather was doing.

Well, the sky was still cloudy, so "Dan" and I were talking to "David" about what might happen. He said that the sky could clear up, but he didn't want to be responsible for us wasting our whole day if we ended up not being able to go up. So, he told us about rainchecks, where you can get a raincheck to come back without having to pay again, so long as you come back within a year. So, Dan and I thought we would go to lunch and see if it cleared up. So, we got some rainchecks, gave them Dan's cell number, and then we began to leave. When we stepped outside from the hangar, we noticed that the sun was out, so we decided to stay. Just then, we saw a few corporate types walking across the runway to an awaiting plane. So, Dan and I sat on a bench and watched their plane take off. Then we went to the other side of the hangar where David was hanging out talking to a few of our fellow tandem students. Another guy whom we shall name "Sparky" was there and was talking to us. It was funny because he was talking to us and he seemed really knowledgeable when he said, "They believe every word I'm saying. I guess I should tell them I'm just a part of the groundscrew!" That was a joke. At that point, there was a PA announcement for "David" to report to the lobby. So, off he went.

A few minutes later, David returned and said that the clouds had broken up enough that they thought we'd be able to go up in a few minutes, so we headed toward the hangar again. Some of us used the restroom really quick, and then we all met up in the hangar again. We put all of the stuff in our pockets into a holding area because they recommend that so your stuff doesn't go flying out of your pockets. David recommended that we wear jumpsuits in order to prevent grass stains in case we had to do sit down landings because sit down landings are the safest way for tandem jumpers to land. So, Dan put a red one on and I put a green one on. Then the rest of the tandem masters started showing up. Dan got "Sparky" and I was teamed up with a guy we shall call "Steve." Steve wasn't there yet, so David helped me into my harness. Then Steve showed up. Steve has bleached blond hair, is only about 3 inches taller than I am, (I'm about 5'5") and he's a really cool guy. He looked like a surfer with no place to surf. Steve introduced himself to me and said, "My usual job is videographer, but I've seen this done enough times that I think I can do it." That was a joke. I laughed and played along. I said, "Just make sure you put a chute in your pack so when we pull the cord your video equipment doesn't go flying out." He said that would be a good idea. Then, he got me all tightened down and safe. He got me hooked up with some safety goggles that fit over my glasses. We then went through the procedures we'd learned in the class. After that, Dan and I were standing around talking waiting to board the plane.

After a few minutes, Steve came to get me and he said it was time to get in the plane. I think the plane can hold up to 23 people in the passenger part. But, there are no seats. You go in and sit between your tandem master's legs and then another tandem master sits in between yours (on busy days) and so forth. Steve and I were about the 2nd team on the plane. So, we were talking and he said, "You know Trish, I think I'm forgetting something." Hehe. Trying to freak me out. So, we're sitting toward the cockpit because the door to jump out of is on the other end. I had a tandem master and a fellow tandem jumper named Ben to my right, with Dan and his tandem master right in front of me. There was another "couple" to Dan's right, and then I think 2 solo divers and two videographers in front of them. I said to Steve, "In the classroom instruction, David said 'No' sounds like 'Go.' I just want to make sure I do NOT land in this plane!" Steve replied, "Ha, you must know our pilot!" I looked into the cockpit and the pilot was a young lady who looked to be about my age (23). I thought that was awesome. Steve said, "Don't worry, we'll get you out of the plane." So, I was happy.

Once we all had our seatbelts on, we started going. I've never been in an airplane before, so I was excited about that. I was looking out the window, in part to keep from getting sick from not being able to see, and in part because I wanted to know what that kind of altitude looked like. It seemed like the ascent was crazy steep because I was actually looking down at the people in front of me. At 2000 feet, the door came open and the tandem masters released the seatbelts. They then went over the procedures again to make sure we had it pretty much figured out. At 5,500 feet, we then made sure our altimeters were in sync. Then Steve told me that O'hare had put an altitude halt on us so we could only go to 10,000 feet. O'hare can do that because the area from which I skydived is in the "final approach" stages for both Midway and O'hare. I was slightly bummed that we wouldn't get to 13,000 feet, but safety first. About that point, we got to our knees and the tandem masters strapped us all in and tightened everything up. They double-checked everything and made sure we were good to go. When we got to 10k feet, I saw people start to exit. Dan and his tandem master were the first tandem jumpers to exit, I think. The videographers were hanging on outside the plane, waiting for the people they were to video. Those people went, and then Steve told me, "Ok, it's time to get up. Shift your weight to your left and put your right foot out." So, we then got up and Steve practically carried me to the door. (Not because I was chicken, but because he said it's pretty difficult to move when you're strapped so tightly to someone else). On our way up to the front, I made the sign of the cross somewhat subconsciously, as a remembrance of my baptism and of the fact that I am ALWAYS in God's hands. We got to the door and I thought, "WHAT AM I DOING!?" But I didn't really even think about backing down. Steve told me to put my toes over the edge. He also told me that we were going to wait a few seconds before exiting the plane in order to give the previous jumpers a minute to get distance from us. Here I was, standing on a precipice!

Steve said into my ear, "Grab your harness and arch, and I'll do the rest." So, I grabbed my harness, arched, and next thing I know, I'm rollling in mid air, looking up at the plane, and thinking, "Oh, look, there's the plane. Bye Plane!" So, we got belly to the Earth and Steve patted me on the head in order for me to do the HAT check. I did that, and did the "lazy W," and then the practice throw outs. But then, I totally forgot to keep my eye on the altimeter. I was looking down and yelling "WOO!" I was SO excited! It was exhilarating! I was going between yelling "WOO" and laughing. Then I saw Steve give me the hand signal for "check your altimeter." I looked, and it said 6k feet, so I locked in on it, and I THINK I gave the big wave. Then I reached back and yanked the rip cord.

Let me tell you something! Boy was I glad I went to the bathroom before going up! When I pulled the cord, the harness dug in a bit and if I had been full, I would have probably peed my pants, or jumpsuit, if you will. But, I didn't. As soon as the canopy opened, my legs kicked out and I could hear again. I was laughing like crazy and I yelled "WOO" a couple more times so Dan could hear. Then Steve was talking to me some and I was like, "This is SO awesome!" The view was absolutely spectacular. The clouds off on the horizon were awesome, seeing other skydivers in flight was sweet, and the view of Illinois' vast cornfields was even cool. Steve handed me my part of the toggles (the things that are used to steer) and explained again how they worked. If you want to go right, you pull the right toggle. The harder you pull it, the faster you turn. Same thing for the left. So, I pretty much had my hands on it for show, because I was afraid I'd wreck us or something. Steve took us on a few quick turns, and explained the landing by first pointing out the landing zone. It was a big patch of grass right by the office. There is a runway with the name of the business that helps you locate exactly WHICH patch of grass you should aim for. He then explained the mechanics of landing. Pull both toggles in succession from 1-shoulder, 2-chest, 3-all the way. Pulling them all the way gets you to really slow down in forward motion. He also said he would tell me which landing we would use when we got closer. As we descended a little further, to maybe 400 feet or so, he said, "Do you see that guy in the tie dyed shirt? We're going to try to land next to him." So, I was like, "Ok." Steve brought us in and I think I "helped" him land and he told me that we'd do a stand up landing, so I needed to put my feet out. We came in, I put my feet out, and we landed so softly that it was like coming down off of a ladder. AND, we landed RIGHT next to the tie dyed guy. It was suhweet!

The whole thing was just amazing! I wish I'd opted to spend the extra money and get the video, but I'm too cheap. Although I did find some cool videos of first time jumps on If you have time, you might want to check them out. They're awesome! I will probably be talking about this for the rest of my life! If you've read this far, thank you for sharing in my day. If you have any questions, fire away!


One book that changed your life: The Bible. I wish I read more inspirational type books, but, I'm a slacker.

One book that you’ve read more than once: Left Behind, the first one. Not for the theology, but just because I find it very interesting.

One book you’d want on a desert island: Aside from the Bible.... Hmm. "101 ways to get off a desert island" haha!

One book that made you laugh: I know I have laughed while reading books because people usually look at me like I'm a psycho.. But, I'm drawing a blank right now.

One book that made you cry: When I was a kid, I really liked Lurlene McDaniel books. She wrote fictional accounts about kids who were diagnosed with cancer. Just about any of her books did it for me.

One book that you wish had been written: Hmmm. Well, I used to want to be a published author, but that desire has gone by the wayside. I guess I'd like to see an ELCA seminarian write a book about their experience with the process.

One book that you wish had never been written: Hmm. Well, I don't really wish that because people like to read different things for different reasons. If you really pressed me on it, though, I'd probably say something that promotes satanism.

One book you’re currently reading: "how to think theologically." My pastor said a guy at the seminary suggests it to those considering theological education.

One book you’ve been meaning to read: "Discovering Hope: Building Vitality in Rural Congregations" It's on my list right after "How to Think Theologically" because it deals with what we're doing now with the Natural Church Development process.

Now tag five people: You know, I don't think 5 people read this blog, but if you're going to twist my arm, I'll say RuthRe, Inheritor of Heaven, Jae, and I think that's all I have! Ha. Thanks to Tara over at Praying on the Prairie for inviting me to participate in this!

What am I about to do!?

My friend is coming to pick me up in 10 minutes to leave to go skydiving. The sky is cloudy, but otherwise, it's a nice day outside. I hope the clouds don't get in the way of our fun. I'm kind of scared, but totally looking forward to this activity. The only thing that's got me a little freaked out is that my boss has said all week, "I hope you don't go Splat!" And today, I went over to Waiter's blog and the title of his most recent post is "Splat!" Talk about weird... :) Anyway, have a good day, and I can't WAIT to share the experience with you.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A slight case of the nerves...

Some of you might remember that I recently decided to go skydiving. I was laying on my sister's couch the other night, trying to get to sleep, when I started feeling slightly nervous. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going, but I am starting to feel excitedly nervous. It was funny because I have a pretty slow heartbeat normally, but I felt my pulse and it was going quite a bit faster than usual while I was thinking about jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet. But, it's good nervousness. Just typing the phrase, "jumping out of a plane at 13k feet" made me smile. I've been looking up stuff about skydiving tonight, and I just keep smiling. I'm so excited! My friend text messaged me today trying to make me nervous, but I'm very determined! He laughs at me because this will be my first time in an airplane, and I won't even be there for the landing. He says that this increases my chances of my first landing being with him, considering he is working towards getting his pilot license. That's fine with me. I trust the guy. So, anyway, in 34 hours I will be at the place getting ready to jump. Wow. I can't wait. I just hope it doesn't rain or otherwise mess up our plans. I really am excited to go. Ok, I've said excited way too many times so far. Kind of like on "Peewee's Playhouse" when they would have a word of the day and everytime someone said that word, they'd scream and yell and laugh. Haha. So, the word of the day is "Excited." :) Have a fun time making a big hubbub of people who use the word (especially when you're simply in the midst of intelligent conversation!). Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, August 11, 2006


I'm official! My Synod sent me a letter yesterday telling me that they officially approved me for Candidacy! I'm excited! Very VERY VERY Excited! Wow, that' way too many exclamation points. Sorry. Anyway, I'm off now. I am taking my little nephew to his substitute babysitter's in the morning. Have a good day!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Wow. I have realized that I seem very mean in my previous post. I think I'm letting some stress get to the better of me. I know that I should not be worried, but as I think about what my life is going to be like for the next few months, I get kinda anxious. I am not a fan of anxiety. It may be jumping the gun, considering I've not yet been accepted to seminary, but I'm scared about leaving home. I'm scared that I won't get to see my family on a regular basis and that I'll miss out on my two nephews' growing up years, and that they won't remember me as the silly, let's have fun aunt that I try to be. I'm afraid that my friends; especially my two best friends and I will drift apart. I'm afraid that things here will go to pot, and I'm afraid that I will feel guilty if they do.

But on the other hand, I'm excited about leaving. I'm excited about the new friends I will make and come to love. I'm a pretty outgoing, funny, lively, and energetic person. I was voted as class clown in high school, and I have always found ways to have fun. I know that I will not completely lose my whole family because I love them and I know we can use email, telephones, and occasional trips home to keep in touch. I know that I have 4 siblings who can help my mother in my stead as I work on higher education. I also know that I have felt anxious in the past, and when I really stepped back and looked at my life, I could see God at work. Therefore, I know that God loves me, has a plan for me, and will not let me be crushed. Nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus; not even my hysterical tirades against my hometown... I need to remember that it is not my own calling, but it is God's call in my life that has led me to this place and God will not forsake me as I begin a new leg of my journey. So, I guess that this post has allowed me some time to think about the situation in which I find myself, and I feel better. You guys are great for listening to me. Thanks.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Nothing really...

I don't really have anything to say, but I like updating this thing. I guess I'm a little frustrated with my hometown. I still live in it, and it just seems so idiotic at times. I live in a very small town of about 400 people or so. Well, lately, it seems the administration has gotten a little kooky with their rules and what not. Everyone in town recently received a letter stating that a new Ordinance Enforcement Officer was going to be employed to make sure everyone in town was compliant with the ordinances. This, in itself is problematic to me. First off, it seems the ordinances change fairly often. Sometimes we're allowed to burn in our yards, sometimes not. Right now, we're not supposed to burn. However, I was on a bike ride after our church council meeting tonight and I smelled stuff burning.. Hmm. Another reason having an OE officer seems problematic to me is because we are a very small community. Practically everyone knows everyone else, and so we should ACT like neighbors. We should be respectful and helpful; not complaining and snarky. Third, some people have their violations looked over, while others are targeted. It just seems bizarre and like a waste of taxpayers' dollars to me.

I guess I'm just upset because my brother recently fixed the roof over the front and back porch at my house. Bro said he would dispose of the shingles and stuff when he could borrow a truck from someone. So, Ma piled all of the stuff neatly by the tree out front so that when Bro got the truck, he could just load it up in a relatively quick manner. Unfortunately, Bro's wife has been battling some rare disease lately, and so he took her to Mayo's to try to get it figured out. Therefore, borrowing a truck has been far from his mind, understandably. Well, tonight, I was out here on the front porch (or foyer, or facade, whatever floats your boat) messing around on my computer when I saw a guy walking in my yard. I immediately knew that he was the OE officer, and since I was dressed kind of skankily, I ran to the bathroom to put other clothes on. Well, by the time I came back out, he was basically done talking to my mom. She told him that she had plans on how to get rid of the stuff, but that it was a matter of getting time and resources to do it. He was pretty cool about it, saying that he just wanted to approach us so it didn't look like he wasn't doing anything. I guess someone had complained.

I think that if my neighbors feel that their quality of life is affected so much by a pile of shingles, they need to see a shrink. It's not that big of a deal. When my neighbor to the west moved into a nursing home and subsequently died, leaving no one to tend her yard, you didn't hear me moaning and groaning. I went out there and DID THE WORK to help make it look nice again. Almost all of my neighbors have things that I could technically complain about, but I don't, because I choose not to let their stuff bother me. But, one or several of them going behind my back to a third party really bothers me. I read a book entitled, "The Moral Order of a Suburb" last semester. A great deal of this book deals with how people in communities rarely address each other with problems, but instead, they go to a third party, and usually only when their anonymity is guaranteed. Well, maybe we need to realize that these 3rd party people just make others mad. If any one of my neighbors had called me THEMSELVES and talked to me about the pile of shingles I would not be nearly as angry. But, no, they had to call the rent-a-cop, have him drive over to my house, and talk to us. So, everyone around knows that someone has been complaining. Talk about alienation. It just makes me dislike my neighbors. Unfortunately, I think the OE stopped at a few houses on my block, so I plan to talk with some more of them and see how they feel about having money wasted by the town to pay this guy when we should be helping each other and talking to each other instead of asking some outsider to come in and deal with this stuff. I was so mad I almost called Pastor to tell him I wouldn't be able to make it to our meeting tonight because I needed to go to the town council meeting instead. Unfortunately, as an elected person, and as the secretary, I decided that my responsibilities were more important. Also, I probably wouldn't have made wise decisions and said smart things considering my level of anger at the time. I'm calming down now, but I still am hurt that people could not overlook something that they should know we'd have cleared up soon, or at the very least, addressed to me or Ma themselves. Perhaps I'm overreacting, but I'm just upset. I don't know. Sorry about the ranting. I'll go now.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A good song...

Have you ever heard the song, "When Did You Fall?" by Chris Rice? I was going to post the lyrics on this page, but I looked them up and at the bottom it says they are not to be reproduced w/o express consent from the publisher. However, I can direct you to the site. The song is about him realizing someone loves him. He didn't realize it at the beginning, but now that it has dawned on him, he has embraced the relationship. I really like this song, not only because the tune is bouncy and fun, but because it seems we so often don't see love clearly.

Love, my friends, is a complicated issue. Such as, what is the difference between love between really good friends who enjoy each other's company and romantic love? If that spark is there, and the relationship, although in a friendly manner, has lasted many years, could it evolve into romantic love? How do the friends know? What if one feels it and the other doesn't? How does the one find out if the other feels the same way? I wrote a whole different post regarding this, but it made me feel a little too school-girlish, so I saved it as a draft instead of posting it. I'm not very experienced in relationships, so I'm a little clueless, but whatever. I love the guy, I'm just not sure in what capacity. That frustrates me a little, but it kills me to think I could be risking the ease of our friendship if I confront him about the ambiguity of my feelings. Who knows? I don't. I'm sure you all were just DYING to read about my love life, so now you can rest tight. :) Have a good evening and if you wouldn't mind, before you go, please say a prayer for those being ordained, voted on, or otherwise called to church service today, tomorrow, or in the near future. Bye.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


You know, I just realized that it has been 4 years to the day that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's been in remission for quite some time, but it just strikes me as odd that I would remember the day she was diagnosed. I remember because that had been a really stressful time, with all of the wondering if she did or did not have it. Well, I didn't think she would actually have it, so I went with my step-nieces to see Austin Powers: Goldmember on that day. When we came back, Ma told me that the doctor told her she had cancer. So, she went through chemotherapy, lost all her hair, dropped quite a few pounds, (Mom wasn't chubby, though) went through radiation, and then was declared cancer free some time the next March. So, thankfully, she recovered from cancer. She's been a strong lady for a long time. I wish I treated her more respectfully because she deserves it. I think we're at each other because I still live here and it is frustrating to me that she still treats me like a teenager at times. But, what can ya do? I'm not moving out, because I'm too cheap and I'm saving my money. So, I just need to be more intentional about being respectful and loving toward her, knowing that I am called to honor her. Anyway, I don't really know what the purpose of this post is; I guess I just wanted to think some things out on paper. Thanks for bearing with me.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hey Now...

Well, I just finished writing the Prayers of the People. Those of you who read this blog on a semi-regular basis might remember me mentioning that I have been blessed with this opportunity for some time now. Well, I realized as I finished writing the ones for Sunday that I have now written prayers for the entire lectionary. I've been doing the prayer writing for 3 years now, so that includes Years A, B, and C. It just seems kind of weird. It doesn't seem like that long ago that Pastor asked me to begin this endeavor. Ah well. I hope that the words have helped people in their own lives, but I don't know. Anyway... I just thought I'd share that bit of information.

In other news, I just had lunch and something hit me... I had a grilled cheese sandwich, and some chips and homemade salsa. What hit me was that, as I was pulling the salsa out of the fridge, we have been given so much. I mean, honestly, God has created such a wide array of flavors and spices, that I'm just amazed. God could have just said, "Here, eat this manna that I will give you every day." I mean, this coming Sunday we will look at the Israelites when they were traveling throughout the wilderness. They were provided with manna every morning. God could have made manna and that was it. But instead, God has given us spicy foods like habaneros and jalapenos, bland foods for people who don't like spicy; we have chocolate, vanilla, salt, pepper, garlic, meats, poultry, vegetables, and SO many other flavors to please our palettes.. That might seem like something insignificant, but it just struck me today. And related to this plethora of tastes, this Sunday's Gospel lesson will talk about Jesus as the bread of life. We are each given grace according to the measure of the gift of Jesus, and through our baptism, we are granted gifts for building up the Church. Not all of us are given the SAME gifts, (except for salvation, but you already knew that) but each of us is different. Some people can be preachers and teachers, some can prophesy, and some can really witness. It's kind of like the flavors thing... Without different flavors, life could be kind of bland, wouldn't it? I mean, I only know how to cook 3 or four things, but if I constantly ate just those things, I would get REALLY sick of them. So, I can go to my sister's for Mooching Monday and enjoy the culinary gifts she has been given. I amuse her, she cooks for me; it's a win-win situation. So I think flavors and spiritual gifts are similar in some sense, ey? Working together allows us to really enjoy the things we've been given. Kind of like the old story about soup. If I have some carrots, and someone else has some peas, and someone else has some meat, and someone else has some potatoes, if we all come together and put all our stuff in the same pot, we can have something way better than the one thing each of us has. So, if I do whatever I do, and you can teach, and someone else has a vision for the future, and someone else can do X,Y, or Z, then we all can come together and work for Jesus. That way, people won't get horribly bored by just being encountered by the same thing all the time. Different strokes for different folks, right people?

Wow, that wasn't anything like what I was expecting to write today. I hope it makes sense... :) I need to go get ready for work now.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I can't believe it!

I talked to my friend "Dan" today. He is the one that I do all kinds of stuff with. He told me that my suggestion of Monday, August 14 would be fine for our skydive. He asked me to get it all set up, so I did! I'm SO excited. It was weird though, because I made our reservations online and gave them my credit card number, and it is non-refundable, so we HAVE to go. I'm so cheap that even if I'm puking from nerves, I will still jump, so as to get my 199 dollars worth. :) Hehe. Well, you know... When Pastor mentioned skydiving in the sermon on the 23rd, I remembered that I thought about it when I was younger. I thought it would be a fun thing to do. As a teenager, I put it on my list of things to do before I die. Well, there's no time like the present. So, Monday, August 14, at 12:30 p.m. we will get to the place to take the short tandem dive class, then go up in a light aircraft to 13,000 feet, jump out while harnessed to experienced skydive instructors, freefall for one minute, and glide with the parachute for 5-7 minutes. I'm excited. I can't wait. :) Yeah, Baby! Too bad it costs an additional 70 bucks or so to get photos and a DVD done. If you're willing to do that, a professional photographer jumps by you, and either takes stills or a video (depending on what you pay for, unless you pay for both) and then gives the results to you that very day. But, I'm too cheap. Especially since I think I'm going to have to have car repairs done soon. I'm not 100% that something is going bad, but I think I might need some new ignition things soon.. That's what BiL seemed to think, although he's not a real mechanic. Hopefully I just need new spark plugs. Who knows? I'll ask the mechanic to check it out when he changes my oil the next time. Anyway, I'll post later about my skydive. Blessings on your day!