Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Poltergeist has nothing on me.

So, once again, "I'm BAAAA-ACK." I went home again this weekend. Sis's neighbors are moving in a couple of weeks, and they were having a sort of, "Moving out of the neighborhood" party. So, that was the purpose behind me going home this weekend. The neighbors have pretty much adopted my sisters and me into their family, and they are wonderful. At this point, I'm going to take any family I can get. They're older folks, retired, and full of vinegar. Awesome. They really are.

But, the party was on Saturday. So, on Friday, Sis, Howard, Sunscreen, and I went to visit Ma. I'm not 100% sure she knew who we were. She hardly said two words we didn't pry out of her. She's in pain, she is totally confused, she looks sad, and it SUCKS. She looks and sounds just like my Grandma A. who had Alzheimer's (even though Mom doesn't have the big A; she has hardening of the arteries). We were at the home for about an hour. Frankly, I don't know which has been worse: Watching Ma's "slow" deterioration into dementia and ill-health, or watching my dad's quick and unexpected death when I was 12. It's very frustrating, and I'm sad about it.

It's weird, though, because as miserable I am about the whole situation, I think I'm probably doing better than the sibs. But, I feel kinda bad because even though I try to be supportive and listen, I think I may have a tendency to shut them down or dismiss their feelings about the situation. I can listen to other people til they are blue in the face, but when it comes to my own family, I find myself NOT asking the questions that pop up in my mind that could potentially spur some conversation that might offer them a little bit of insight into themselves and the situation in which we find ourselves. I don't dismiss them when they do want to talk, but I do less for them than I do for others, and I shouldn't.

Anyway, at my home church, people are always asking me about Ma. Today, I went to Pastor's "other" church. I think this was for two reasons: 1. I was tired and couldn't get up to go to my church, and 2. I think I have been trying to reject my issue with Ma. It's awfully hard to reject the issue when people ask about it all the time. I appreciate their thoughtfulness, but I am just so bummed about my mom. Just so bummed that I don't want to talk face to face with people who know her, and I don't want to see their expressions. But, the people at Pastor's other church know her, too, and so there was no escaping it today.

I have a friend here at the Mothership who has taken multiple units of CPE. Her supervisor is actually Supa's supervisor. So, I know him. I was talking to this friend of mine and mentioned "the 'Larry' face" that her supervisor has (for the purposes of this post, I have named her ex-supervisor Larry). It's a very blank expression that is virtually impossible to read. She told me that Larry used to be a family/marriage counselor, and the face is his way of not letting his facial expressions emerge so that people don't get uncomfortable telling him all sorts of things. Anyway, we have had many deep conversations about our lives, and recently she said, "You know, Trish, you have a pretty good 'Larry' face yourself." It's not a bad thing, she said. It's very non-judgmental. So, my "Trish" face is what I use a lot of the time. I put on my face when I'm anything besides happy (much of the time, anyway). And so, when people are asking me about Ma, I put on the "Trish" face, and it probably makes the people think I am a cold hearted, ungrateful brat who doesn't care. But I have not always been the best at letting others know when I am hurting, and I don't like to burden people.

In conversation with this friend, she said to me something like this, "So, you like to shoulder everyone's pain by yourself, and not let them do it? That's gotta be a tough job." and, "You like to spare other people from knowing you're in pain because you don't want to hurt them." And she didn't say it to be mean or sarcastic. I think it was more of a, "I'm going to hold this up to you in friendship" type thing. I think a lot of people try to keep from burdening their friends. Perhaps it's just a matter of not taking it to the extreme. Who knows.

Anyway, this was just me processing some thoughts and feelings. I'm fairly certain I'll feel better by tomorrow. Have a nice day.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Tonight, I went with some pals to a contemporary worship service over at one of the universities in town. It was interesting. I'd never been to a contemporary worship service before. There were many good aspects to the worship. I'm grateful that I went, and I'm grateful that it is available for the many students. I do love me some liturgy though. But, it was a fun and good experience.

So, after the worship, we all came back to the castle. One of my pals who went with me to the service said she would cut my hair tonight. So, when we got back to the castle, she went to her room and I went to mine to have something to eat. While I was waiting, I busted up some ice, and when she came knockin' on my door I said, "So, the question is... Do you want your margarita before or after you cut my hair?" Hehe. So, I mixed us up a margarita and it was DELICIOUS! VIVA CUERVO!

So, I let one of my seminarian pals cut my hair. It's a little shorter than usual, but I don't care. It's just hair and if other people don't like it; well... it's not their hair. Ha.

We talked for a long time tonight. Good conversation. Some deep, some not so deep. But good conversation in which I was able to come to know someone more deeply with whom I am going to hopefully share the next several years.

Tonight was just a lot of fun. This community thing is great. Thanks be to God.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This is me gushing.

I can't believe how much fun I am having at seminary. What's great is that I'm actually doing much of the reading, and STILL having fun (although I have not been able to do ALL the reading). I have found myself laughing so much that I should have abs of steel. I have said it before and I'll say it again, "I am going to market an exercise video called Trish's abs of steel! The workout will be laughing!" Hah. It'd be great.

Anyway, I took a REALLY long nap today, and that's why I'm still up. Yikes. I think maybe I'm going to try doing some homework to put myself to sleep! See ya.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Salvation belongs to our God!

And to Christ the Lamb forever and ever!

I wanted to preface this post with that.

I posted a brief thought about worship this morning. I was not happy with the church I attended today. However, my FEELINGS have very little (if anything) to do with the fact that I am saved by grace through faith (which in itself is a gift). However, as a human being subject to emotions, I was disappointed by today's church service. I think the preacher only said "Jesus" once or twice.

But, the whole weekend was not a bust.

Some pals and I went to a state park about 30 miles from here. I've posted before on how nature makes me feel. As I reflect back on our time outdoors yesterday, I gain comfort in the fact that I got to feel close to God yesterday because I got to be in God's great creation (We are ALWAYS in creation, but for these purposes, I'm equating "Creation" with "nature").

The park was awesome and great. It helps me realize that, "The earth and all that is on it belong to the Lord." Ps: 24:1.

Thanks be to God for all of God's goodness, and for the salvation that is mine and ours through Christ!


Some of us went to a Baptist church this morning for worship. After the experience, I'd just like to say that Grace is very important to me.

Oh, and I will NEVER go there again.

That is all.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Here at the Castle, we have what is known as "J-Term." Each MDiv student has to do three J-Terms, fulfilling different requirements. Today we talked about J-Term things because we were given some information about it a few weeks ago. I originally thought I was going to do a class here at the Mothership and do it that way. However, I was at home this weekend, and I just decided to do something different.

I'm going to Israel! I've put my name in and put that as my number one choice. Hopefully we go! I'm SO EXCITED! It has been one of my life goals for a while to visit the Holy Land, and I can't think of a better way to go there than with people who know what they're talking about, and with friends from Seminary. Yeehaw!

The only thing is, a lot of my pals aren't going to Israel. They said they'd love to, but their parents would kill them. Since my parents aren't in a position to kill me for going, I thought, "What the hay!" I did email Pastor today. I said, "Pastor, we were talking about J-term today, and I was wondering if you had any thoughts. There are a few classes that look interesting, but the daredevil side of me is kinda interested in Israel. Some of my pals want to go, but they say their parents will kill them, so I wanted to get a voice of reason from you." He emailed back and told me to go ahead and go if Israel is calling! Yeehaw! I'm super excited, and I went to the Post Office today to pick up a passport application. I've only been out of the country once, and that was to Canada. The farthest west I've ever been is Cedar Rapids, the farthest east was Gas City, Indiana, and the farthest south was Makanda, Illinois (about an hour from the Paducah, Kentucky). I've also never flown in an airplane to go anyplace before. Wee! E-X-C-I-T-E-D!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007


So today, I went to see my doctor. This is the first time I've initiated a doctor's appointment in six years. I HATE going to the doctor. Not because I'm afraid or anything, but because I was a sickly child, and then when I was a teenager, my (then) doctor made me come in once a month so he could check my blood pressure, make sure my feet weren't swelling, and ask me how I felt. Yeah, it was ridiculous.

Anyway, so I went today and the doctor asked me all the regular questions. Then he had a look at me and at almost the very end of the appointment he kinda glanced around nervously, looked away a second, and then back at me to ask, "Uh... There's no chance you could be pregnant, right?"

HaHAHAHAHAHA! I got a look on my face and then smiled some and said, "No. There is no chance of that." Haha. I gotta hand it to the guy for being thorough and for not assuming anything. He knows I'm a seminarian, but he asked anyway. My doctor is a pretty cool guy. I really have nothing against him. I've only seen him about three times in the two or three years or so he's been my doc. But, I laughed, though not so he could see. I wouldn't want to hurt his feelings.

He sent me out of there with a CT scan order in hand, and with a whole laundry list of things my pain could stem from. I need to check where I can go for my scam health insurance to cover this. It's been years since I've had a CT or MRI or anything. Good thing I'm not claustrophobic.

Anyway, that was one part of my day. It was fairly long, but all in all, a good day. I'll talk about other stuff later. This post is long enough.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Theology on Tap

I just got back from Theology on Tap. This is where any interested parties can go to a local bar and sit in the back room while drinking beer (or whatever floats your boat). Two professors are also there, and pretty much, we all talk theology. It's pretty interesting. I think tonight has been the first one since the semester started. I wasn't planning on going, but I succumbed to peer pressure! ha. It was good though. The group that met was fairly large, and so most people didn't talk too much. However, at the beginning of our time together, we went around the room and introduced ourselves and spoke of one theological issue that is on our mind.

The other day, during the "getting to know you" stuff in one of our classes, one of the faculty members who is team-teaching one of the courses told us that we can "love God with our minds." I really like this thought. So, when my turn came to speak, I said, "Hi. My name is Trish." Then I said what the prof had said about loving God with our minds, and how my question is, "What do we do about people who are no longer able to love God with their minds? How do we convey the love of God and the grace of Christ to people who are no longer cognitively able to understand?" Yup. So, that was my question.

There was such a variety of theological issues raised that it would have been impossible to do multiple ones justice, so we talked about the authority of Scripture. All in all, it was a good night. I didn't drink though, because I had a long island with dinner tonight. I made mac 'n' cheese for me and four of my pals. It was so much fun. :) Yay for community!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Enough already!

Well, the frickin' side pain is back. But, the thought of dealing with it again for another month is too discouraging, so I have a doctor's appointment on Friday with my General Practitioner. I was planning to go home to visit Mom and to go to my good friend Jacki's reception anyway, so I'm not too terribly put out. Except for the fact that doctors are expensive. Ugh. Oh well.

Other than that, things are still going pretty well. One of my cousins is getting married next month, so I'm going to that. Her parents asked me to say grace at the meal, so I'm honored. Her wedding is on a Saturday, and then I am preaching on Sunday at my home congregation and Pastor's "other" church. I hope "other" isn't taken pejoratively. I just mean that it isn't "my" church, but it is point 2 of the two point parish Pastor serves. Anyway, I'm babbling...

I've made about a million friends on facebook and MySpace lately. It's exciting! And with that, I need to go back to the bookstore and get my LAST book for the semester. It's been SO expensive. Yikes. I can't complain though, my church helps me out A LOT! I love those people, and not just because they are helping to fund my seminary education. See yall later.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Another fabulous day in the life of Trish!

I am so blessed. It's almost hard to believe. Today was another great day. Two of my good pals and I went to church this morning. We went to a Methodist church, though. For Prolog week, we had been broken up into groups and assigned to different churches, where we would have conversation with a leader from that church. My group went to a Church of God storefront type church downtown. They are a part of the body of Christ, but they didn't appeal to me much at all. I'm glad that they are there to show Christ to those who are appreciative of that style, though.

Anyway, one group was assigned to this Methodist church. One of my good friends was in that group. The church is full of Tiffany stained glass windows. The group learned that this Sunday was going to be the last Sunday for a few months for worship to occur in the sanctuary, though, due to upcoming renovations. So, my two pals and I decided to go see the church on their last Sanctuary Sunday so we could see the windows. Let me tell you something: That Methodist church was one of THE most welcoming churches I have ever been to. I am totally serious. I think we Lutherans have something to learn from our Methodist brothers and sisters. I was also tickled because one of the profs from the castle goes to church there. S & S and I were seated early and then he came in and sat to our right and a couple rows ahead of us. Well, before worship, he looked around and saw us and he looked SO excited to have us there. It was cute. I felt honored to have that kind of impact on him. But anyway, worship was really good. The whole time was just really neat. It also was the first time I'd ever worshiped on a Sunday morning with the Methodists. It was cool. I wouldn't mind going back. I have heard many times that the hard part about seminary is finding a Sunday morning worshiping community that you like.

Anyway, after worship, we came back to the Mothership. We went to our rooms and had our respective lunches, and then we met up to go to a Rugby game! A fellow Junior and a "classless" student are on the team for this town. So, we went and watched. Our classless friend got hurt early on though. He had to go to the hospital. Major bummer. "Our" team won, though, so I'm sure he's happy about that.

After Rugby, we went and celebrated with ice cream at DQ! Y'all are gonna think I'm lying about not being into ice cream with as much ice cream as I've been eating lately. I mean, last weekend it was Cold Stone Creamery, and now today I had a blizzard at the DQ.

Then, we came back to the castle again, went to our rooms and had dinner. Then, we met down at the parking lot to go play some "beach volleyball!" Ha. I didn't really want to play though, because volleyball is one of the few sports that I am not good at. But, they convinced me to play and we played against this other team. My teammates were amazed that I'd really never had my feet in sand before (besides a sandbox, and even then, most of the ones I've been in have been filled with pebbles/gravel and not sand). I actually did well! It cracked me up because I guess I made an awesome play and scored us a point, and all my teammates started running at me, and yelling, "MOLITA!!! GOOD JOB!" And one of my teammates picked me up and carried me around a little. The people on the other team were also "impressed" with my mad skillz, considering I'd never been in sand before. It was funny. I turned red though, and another teammate said, "You just turned really red!" Ha. It was all good though. We lost all three games, but we had SO much fun. One of the other teammates said, "I always laugh because no matter WHO we play, WE always have more fun." Then we came back here and I've been chillin' in my room doing my pre-homework.

Today has been awesome. I've even referred to this place as "home" twice today. It's a good feeling.

P.S. Michael Buble is really cool.

Have a GREAT day!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

High Ropes and Interview!

Ok, so I just got back from the high ropes course a couple of minutes ago. It was SO cool! I was scared like you wouldn't believe for the first one, but then I realized that the belayers had control of it, so all was good. I think I did pretty decently on this stuff. It was awesome! And the zip line was super cool, too! Huge shout out to all the belayers and to the lead facilitator! Ha.

Anyway, T over at Praying on the Prairie interviewed me. the rules:
1. If you are interested in being interviewed, leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”2. I will respond by posting five questions for you. I get to pick the questions.3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

So, if you want me to interview you, comment away!

T's questions to me and my answers:

1. If you could spend a day with any celebrity, who would you spend it with and why? I would have to say Zach Braff (J.D. Dorian from Scrubs) just because he seems like a LOT of fun. Plus, I love the show. But really, I am not that big into celebrities. What matters to me is if you're fun and open to new experiences.

2. What is your favorite children's book of all time? This is EASY! Morris Goes to School. It's about a Moose who can't read, so he goes to school so he can go to the candy store and read and count the money he has so he can buy the proper amount of candy. It was the FIRST book I ever read all by myself.

3. What is your favorite bedtime snack? Sunflower Seeds, hands down. I love them. They're salty and delicious!

4. If you won some money and could only give it to a small town of 500 or less, what would you tell them to use the money for? I'd say probably get some activities for the kids so they could stay out of trouble and not think they could be all city/urban and make their own trouble. Kids need constructive things to do.

5. Since you are attending seminary, what has been your fave event of prologue week? I'd have to say that this is a toss-up. I really liked doing the "walkabout" activity where we went in groups/pairs/threes and went to our areas and tried to talk to people about ordinary things to see the "religious" in their lives. I also enjoyed doing the interview with another classmate. We had to pick a partner we didn't know very well and ask some questions about their theology. It was a really great getting to know you exercise, and it also let me practice my listening/questioning skills. I had a good time.

Ok, so if you want me to interview you, bring it on!


I can't believe how awesome seminary is! I am having such a blast. Today I was driving to a Taize service (which was in CPETown) to meet a friend from Greek class who isn't joining us this semester, and I was thinking about the upcoming semester. I'm SO excited about it. I'm excited to learn, to hang out with my friends, and to just grow a bunch in my walk of faith and knowledge. I am so excited about it all!

A friend and I are going down to do the high ropes course tomorrow. I've never done this and I really have no idea what it's about, but it sounds like fun. Plus, if I can skydive, I figure I can do high ropes, too. They're also doing the grape crushing thing tomorrow morning, but I'm not going to be a part of that because you have to be there at 7:30 A.M!!!! Fuggedaboutit. Yeah, Seminary makes it's own communion wine. The grape vines are in the grassy area by some of the parking lots. I got out of my car the other day and my childhood came and rammed into me.

Why? Because, when I was a kid, we had a grape vine out in the backyard. We'd pick grapes and eat them, or just throw them at boys or something. It was fun, but we didn't weed it, so the grapevine was choked out by weeds. So, one day a couple of years ago, I weeded the fence and posts that had been the support for the grapes, and it was bare, so I just pulled the whole thing out of the ground. Yup, I'm buff! It's a lot easier to take care of, but alas, no more grapes. I was kinda nostalgic when I smelled the grapes here at Seminary, and that's what knocked me back into my childhood. I think I've heard that smell is the most powerful sense that is able to trigger emotions. I think I'd have to agree.

Anyway, things are going pretty well, otherwise. Mom seems to be doing well with the new home. Good thing. I'm happy about that. And with that, I'm tired, so I'm going to go to bed. Have a fabulous day.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A plethora of activities...

Wow, things around here have been busy! I passed my Greek final, and I think it pulled my grade up. Had I taken the class for a grade instead of as credit/no credit, I would have gotten a B! I'm excited.

After Greek was over, our class had a really huge party out on the field. It was a lot of fun. After the "main" party was over, some of us continued the celebrations "on the veranda." It was a blast!

I went "home" for the weekend to see Sis, BiL, Howard, and Sunscreen. BiL made my favorite meal and I ate leftovers multiple times this weekend. The boys are as cute as ever, too. I love my family.

Some of my best pals from high school and I got together this weekend to have a "post-bachelorette" type party. It was totally awesome. We went to lunch, the zoo, did paddle-boats, ate ice cream, went back to one of their houses, and hung out more. For the paddle boats, one of my friends and I hopped into the four seater and paddled the bride around. It was SO much fun. The other two friends went in a two seater. I was freakin' out a little because I was totally afraid we were going to bash into each other a few times, and that is against the rules. I'm often a stickler for the rules. :) But, the day we hung out totally rocked my socks. I love my pals, and I hope we continue the tradition of getting together for a very, very long time.

Hmm, today was Labor Day, so Sis, BiL, YS, Howard, Sunscreen, and I went to a nearby town for the famous Labor Day Parade. I got a lot of sun, but I don't think I'm burned. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the parade was all the way over because tonight was opening worship back here at the Mothership. But, as I walked to my car, I walked past the rest of the parade, so I didn't miss any of it, really. Mr. Moocow wasn't in the parade this year. I was slightly bummed. I also wish I'd had more time because I saw a lot of people I know while I was there and I would have loved to stay and chat, but I was running late. Worship started at 6:30, and I pulled into the parking lot at 6:20. I made it in time!

So, Prolog week class starts tomorrow, and thus begins a new semester here at the castle. I am very hopeful and enthusiastic about what is coming our way while here.

Oh, and Ma is moving to a locked dementia unit in another nursing home tomorrow. She was walking around her current home the other day asking where her mom and dad were. She also said she needed to be going so she could make the girls some supper. It sucks that she's so bad, but Sis says the new place is REALLY nice. So, I'm hopeful they'll be able to make her quality of life better. We'll see.

So, that's been my life in a nutshell. I hope y'all are doing well, and staying cool in these last few weeks of summer. See ya later.