Friday, June 30, 2006

I wish I was in New York

It's not often that I have a desire to visit New York City. Some day I would like to go see a musical on Broadway, but, having been to NYC once, I don't have a burning desire to return.

I would, however, love to be there Monday to protest the New York Times. Michelle Malkin has the details, as well as some cool poster ideas.

A local talk radio host read an article on his show yesterday written in the New York Times on September 24, 2001, calling for the Bush administration to track down terrorist financing. As often happens, the mainstream media counts on us having short memories. (Can anyone say WMDs?)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I finally got to do my long-anticipated weigh and measure this morning. Even though I haven't changed the way I'm eating and I missed a whole week of workouts because of my hip, I still had really good results.

I have lost 4 pounds. I have lost an inch from my abdomen and an inch from my hips. I hace lost 3/4 inch from each thigh. My arms are the same, but I can see the muscles in them now when I do things. Most exciting of all was that my body fat dropped by over 2% of my total body weight. I lost the equivalent of almost five pounds of fat! The manager at Curves said, "Wow! That is great! What are you doing?"

I am using my fat conversion activity bars. They rock.
(If you want to know about these lovely bars, email me.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mmmmm, chocolate

One of my favorite chocolate companies has a page on their website listing the health benefits of chocolate. I knew some of them, but not all. Take a look at the list and then go get yourself a nice bite of cholesterol-lowering, cancer-fighting, endorphin-producing chocolate.

You know, maybe if everyone just ate some chocolate a few minutes before they got in their ca
rs, rush hour would be a much less stressful experience.

Monday, June 26, 2006

That's my girl

I'm often quite proud of my daughter, usually for good reason.

Here's today's reason.

Still limping along

I limped my way through a busy and exciting weekend.

We have found a house that we are very interested in buying. Unfortunately ours is not ready for the market, so we are working really fast to get it ready. One good thing is that the house needs lots of work, so maybe it will not sell too quickly. (This isn't a great picture. It is much nicer looking in person.)

Unfortunately, I am not very useful in the clean-up department right now. Lots of directing, but not much action. It hurts a bit to walk, but it really hurts to bend over.

Saturday night we went down to Greek Fest. It was quite enjoyable, but there was a big disappointment. We didn't arrive until almost 8:00 p.m. on the last night and they were all out of octopus, which Andrew looks forward to all year. He had to make do with spanakopita, a gyro, and dolmades.

We returned home to a phone message from our favorite former pastor's family saying that they were going to be on their way through on Sunday, would we be home? Fortunately, they managed to hit our only free weekend all summer. It was so great to visit with them! We had burgers on the grill and sat around and talked until well into the evening.

Today it's back to work all the way around. We're working on the house. Colin's at work and I'm trying to balance my desire to get the house ready with my need to generate more income. It's always a challenge when I'm my own boss to keep pushing forward, because I am not highly money-motivated.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Cool nutrition website

A friends on one of my email lists sent the link to this site and I've just spent about an hour playing with it. It has nutrition facts for all kinds of food in a searchable database. It has a tool that you can use to analyze your recipes. Like any other nutritional/diet site I'll take some of te advice with a grain or two of salt, but it is really cool to be able to do the nutritional anaysis.

It also had a plug-in for my Firefox
. (If you aren't using Firefox you're missing out!)

Promise you won't laugh

I didn't make it to Curves today. Or yesterday.

I didn't skip it out of laziness or busyness, although I am very busy and fairly lazy.
I skipped my workout the last two days because I injured myself badly enough that I'm having trouble walking, let alone working out.

You say you want to know how I hurt myself? After I wrote in my blog Wednesday night I went outside with my kids. It was a fabulous night, with really cool clouds that were turning into dragons, griffins, turtles, and other shapes. Then as it got darker we decided to celebrate the most daylight of the year by running around our yard like lunatics. Bethany made a crown of leaves for her head. Colin even joined us. We were having a great time.

Sometimes when the weather is warm and I'm having fun, I get an overwhelming urge to do a cartwheel. The first one that I did wasn't great. I didn't put enough oomph into it. So I needed to try again. The second one was beautiful. My kids said it looked great. I could feel the extension, especially in my hip as there was this tremendous popping and this jolt of pain through my body. I managed to land it perfectly and then proceeded to hop aound for a few minutes before I sat down on the ground in tears.

I wasn't crying because it hurt. (Even though it did. Really bad.) I was crying because I knew that I had just done my last carwheel. I was crying because I'm 41 and I can't go on rollercoasters anymore because of my neck. I was crying because the only good parts of my day Wednesday were dancing with my husband and running around with my kids and I was afraid I'd just really messed it up.

So I didn't go to Curves. My hip/leg/whatever is feeling enough better that I think it's going to be okay, although I'm still sitting on a pillow and walking very carefully.

Getting older sucks. But it's better than the alternative.
(By the way, you can laugh. I did.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Whatever happened to nice?

Heck, what happened to polite or civil?

I have dealt with more incivility in the last week than I can remember in a long time.
Starting last Thursday when I didn't rant, I seem to be running into a string of disgruntled, unhappy, or just plain rude people. Here, here, and here. I have had no-shows for appointments. I have a telemarketer who repeatedly calls and hangs up. For the second time I have had a solicitor for a political party argue with me about why I don't want to donate. (That makes me want to help!)

A couple of days ago I started questioning whether it was something about the way I was engaging the world, so I decided to make a point of being friendly, nice, cheerful, polite.... I dunno, maybe it's the weather, but that almost seemed to make it worse. (
Besides, my oldest son says people tromp on me because I'm TOO nice.)

Today I was holding a door for a woman with a stroller and a preschool-age child. A middle-aged woman went barging through, against traffic, nearly knocking over the little kid. Today I had a woman at Starbucks get mad at me because my drink was done before hers and she ordered first. (Sorry!) And, most pleasant of all, as I was pulled over waiting for a police car and ambulance to pass, some guy laid on his horn and then went whipping around me, almost hitting the car in front of me as it pulled back into traffic.

There were also the positives--thank goodness--to offset these. I got a sweet smile from the little kid. I got the usual friendly smiles and helpfulness from the folks at my bank, the grocery store, and my favorite clothing store. So I'm going to keep on smiling, holding doors, pulling over when there are emergency vehicles, letting people out of a parking lot instead of stopping at a light in front of them, etc., etc., etc. Maybe some of these rude, unhappy people will get a clue.

The big weigh and measure

I'm getting all excited because Friday when I go to Curves to work out I will be weighed and measured for the first time since I joined last month. I don't know that I've lost any weight, but I know that I'm already seeing strength and flexibility improvements and I'm betting that I've lost some inches.

I'll report back on Friday!

Monday, June 19, 2006

No, I'm not a Purdue fan

I had an email from a very observant friend asking if I had suddenly become a Purdue fan because I am wearing a Purdue shirt in my profile picture.

The truth is, I didn't even realize I was wearing a Purdue shirt in the picture until someone else pointed it out. I'm not sure why my mother would have done such a cruel thing to me at such a tender age, but there's the photographic evidence.

For the record, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Purdue fan.
(I am however a big fan of one particular Purdue engineering grad.)

.Another family party

My mom and step-dad throw a big family birthday party for each of the kids when they turn 13.
Even though Jonathan was thirteen in April, we couldn't get everyone together until yesterday. It worked out well, because we were able to celebrate Fathers Day, too.
We had a shelter House at Mounds State Park and had a great picnic. The heavy rain held off until evening and the temperature was pretty pleasant.
Some of the dads & kids went on a fairly long hike, while the rest of us sat around and talked. (I would have hiked, but I wore the wrong shoes.)
I'm still having trouble believing that my former chubby-cheeked little sweetheart is a teenager, looking to pass me up in height any day.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The happy hiker

My hubby has the hiking bug. A couple of months ago he went on a four day hiking/camping trip to the UP with our oldest son and a friend from church. Now he's dying to do it again. So much so that my very frugal honey used all of his birthday money plus some for a new backpack, tent, and other paraphernalia. Here he is with his new toys.

By the way, I can tell you one person who won't be sleeping in the tent. Hampton Inn is about as rough as I go!

The hair is back

If you are one of the people (females) who mourned the loss of Patrick's hair back in January, check out the picture on Bethany's blog.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Two fundamental laws

I love Richard Maybury's Uncle Eric books. Even after earning a degree in history with a political science minor and two semesters of economics, this little set of books really clarified some things for me. They helped me develop a framework for looking at economic and political issues that is consistent with America's founders. I have worked through them with my two oldest kids (15 & 19) and they are often helpful in seeing the weaknesses in laws, court decisions, or economic or political moves.

One of my favorite parts of his writing--and one of the foundational ideas--is the value of common law. He sums up the common law in two statements: "(1) Do all you have agreed to do and (2) do not encroach on other persons or their property." Contract law is encompassed in #1 and criminal law in #2.

My son and I had quite a spirited conversation last night about these statements and the implications for society if the were followed. (This came up because I had encounters with people violating both of these yesterday, leading to my deleted rant.)

If you've never read these books, I highly suggest them. The Thousand Year War in the Mideast is very timely.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Just couldn't do it

I wrote a long, ranting post tonight, but just couldn't send it.

Ranting and whining aren't me. Instead I just need to work on fixing the problem. Writing the post wasn't a complete waste of time, however. It let me get the anger out of my system.

So now I'm off to bed, hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Blogging Chicks

I discovered the Blogging Chicks on a visit to my friend Jen's site. I found some amusing blogs among them and kept reading. I've decided that since I'm a "chick" and I blog, I'm a natural to join them. I've just added the blogroll to my sidebar.

As with almost any blogroll, I'm sure not to agree with everyone on every blog, so don't take my membership as endorsement of everything they all say. (Which wouldn't even be possible since this is a diverse bunch of women!)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Party time!

We had quite a good time Sunday afternoon.

Sunday was my dear hubby's 40th birthday. I wanted to surprise him but wasn't sure how to go about it. My good buddy Jacqui suggested that we use the occasion of our church council picnic to camouflage party preparations, and it worked beautifully.

It was probably kind of unusual having him pick up the catering for his own party, but it allowed most of the guests to arrive before him. We had a mixture of our church council--which fortunately includeds most of our local friends--and our family.

I hope to have some pictures to post in the next day or two. My photographer/ daughter didn't get many. Anyway, here's one of Andrew and a cousin:

Friday, June 09, 2006

Back to the blog

I have been away from the blogosphere for the past few days, both the writing and the reading. There are three things that I've been doing instead during my potential blog-visiting time:
  • The weather has been wonderful and I've done a lot of yard work. (I now have a tan!)
  • My daughter is home after a month's absence.
  • I've been reading lots of books.
Usually I have a fiction book going plus a non-fiction book or two that I read a little at a time, but I have had a sudden influx of books that I had on hold at the library--I hate it when they all come at once--plus several recommended reads.

As I mentioned before I read The Marketing of Evil. I have friends and relatives who I wish would read this book, but I know they won't. Deaconess Emily Carder posted a review at Luther Library that made me go get Women Who Make the World Worse. I'm reading this a little at a time, and really enjoying it. Again, I would love for many of my friends and relatives to read this book and to really take a good look at the underpinnings of feminism and what it has done and is still trying to do to society.

I'm also reading Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher. It's an interesting read. I find myself torn as I read his book because I value many of the same things that he does. I prefer to buy locally when possible and eat organic food & free-range meats. I'm a conservationist and a homeschooler. I despise Wal-Mart. I'm serious about my faith.

But I also find many flaws in his ideas from an economic point of view. He's something of a utopian thinker. Utopians are good on theory but weak on implementation and practicality. He has a much more negative view of business and the free market than I do and is in favor of more government where it supports the things he likes. I'm pretty much always in favor of less government.

It's an interesting book.

I'm also reading Refuse to Choose which is a book for people like me. We'll see if it helps. :)

Between all of these, the fiction books that all came piling in at once, and my must-read magazines (Touchstone, National Review, and Simple Scrapbooks) that all showed up within a day or two of each other, blogs have been slighted.

But I'm sure that before long I'll be back to my old blog habits.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I love columbine. I love my yard in the summer.

And now that Bethany is home--bringing her digital camera with her--I can take and post fresh pictures on my blog.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bethany's on her way home!

I could hardly sleep last night because I'm so excited. Bethany's coming home tonight!
She has had a fabulous trip and I'm really glad she got to go, but we're all ready for her to be home again.

Friday, June 02, 2006

By grace! On this I'll rest...

Until about 15 minutes ago I had completely forgotten that my father died two years ago today. Two years ago several months of my life had been consumed in helping my father through his last painful months. Last year we were still getting mail from hospice and we were tying up the estate. This year life seems the same as it has been since I was 17; my dad is not around. So I forgot.

It makes me feel like a pretty cruddy daughter, even though I know I wasn't.

So for today, the hymn I chose for his funeral:

By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless;
My soul, believe and doubt it not.
Why stagger at this word of promise?
Has Scripture ever falsehood taught?
No; then this word must true remain;
By grace you too will life obtain.

By grace God’s Son, our only Savior,
Came down to earth to bear our sin.
Was it because of your own merit
That Jesus died your soul to win?
No, it was grace, and grace alone,
That brought him from his heavenly throne.

By grace! This ground of faith is certain;
As long as God is true, it stands.
What saints have penned by inspiration,
What in his word our God commands,
Our faith in what our God has done
Depends on grace - grace through his Son.

By grace to timid hearts that tremble,
In tribulation’s furnace tried,
By grace, in spite of fear and trouble,
The Father’s heart is open wide.
Where could I help and strength secure
If grace were not my anchor sure?

By grace! On this I’ll rest when dying;
In Jesus’ promise I rejoice;
For though I know my heart’s condition,
I also know my Savior’s voice.
My heart is glad, all grief has flown
Since I am saved by grace alone.

Hymn # 351 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Korneluis Heinrich Dretzel
Tune: O Dass Ich Tausend Zungen Hatte
1st Published in: 1742

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Reading Books

I have almost finished The Marketing of Evil, which I started this morning. (I used a sore throat and headache as an excuse to be the bookworm I would prefer to always be.) As I read it I realized that most of what I was reading wasn't news to me. I'd read some of it in bits and pieces other places before, and some of it I knew because I have seen the changes that he is talking about in my own lifetime. But reading the whole book and seeing the scope of change in our society documented in one place is somewhat overwhelming.

I think that now I'm going to retreat from the realities of 21st century life and go to bed with ...And Ladies of the Club, a book that I have reread every summer since I was 20. I think that it's just what I need tonight.