Archive for the ‘general stuff’ Category

two totally unrelated topics

1. I have Lyme Disease. I’m really tired, achy and have fevers and headaches a lot. The doctor expects it to continue on and off for a year or two. If we had caught it just a little sooner, the timeframe for the symptoms would probably be different – less. Considering some of the other things they tested my 12 vials of blood for, Lyme is pretty darn minor. I’m pleased about that part. Did you know there’s something they test your blood for that uses viper venom? Medical bills are fascinating if you just ignore how much you owe…

2. Honey roasted peanuts are evil. Whoever came up with the idea should have been subjected to an addiction and 12 step recovery program just to experience what those of us addicted to his/her invention would have to endure. I bet he/she would hae thought twice before selling that particular idea!


I have become an iSheep

I’d been eyeing up a Kindle for about a year. I was ready, committed. I was getting a new tech friend, that would let me read endlessly; shop for new books without a pause in reading; allow me to store my books on memory cards to organize them for work and for fun. Then, when I was about to click Checkout in my cart, the Kindle 2 came out.

The sleek new simple design was alluring-so thin and light! None of the 80’s angles that made Kindle 1 so, umm, ugly? But, also, no memory card slot…or replaceable battery…or cover! After a year of reading reviews, checking on the price, researching options, the Kindle 1 passed out of existence into the limbo of eBay. And the Kindle 2 just didn’t light my fire the same way.

So, in my grief and mourning over the loss of something I never had, I looked at other electronic reading possibilities. Netbooks were terrific but too big and with a laptop I already loved, there was just no room for another, albeit small and unassuming, computer. Then, I read a review of the Kindle in which an iPod Touch owner wondered why people would pay $359 for a Kindle that would read books well, surf the internet and play music badly, and not do much of anything else, when for $100 less you could get an iPod touch that did all those things perfectly, with a touch screen AND had the ability to be used as an eReader? Sure the screen is smaller, but you get used to it, said the review. I had my doubts- it’s really small for reading, I thought. It’s just a glorified mp3 player. And, after all, it’s an iPod.

Caving into Apple and their Matrix-like iTunes control center is a big step! I rejected the idea and read reviews about Sony’s new eReader. It has a touch screen! But the cost is even more than a Kindle 2, and the eBook store is the same one you can go to with the iPod. The eReader has no wireless connection at all. Snyc or die. But, the iPod keeps track of my calendar, music, photos, books, games, you name it. It was starting to seem like a no-brainer. But still, me with an iPod? Me, inside the box?

I had to push my pride out f the way and admit it. I was wrong. I was wrong to refuse to partake of the Apple table for so long; perfectly good iPods had been at my disposal for years and I had disdained to touch them, even looked down on what they had to offer.

So, with a hanging head, I went to Costco and bought my new technological best friend, an 8GB iPod Touch, joined the herd and became an iSheep.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly.” (KJV 1 Cor.13:12)

I’m turning 40 this year-in just a few weeks. I made peace with that last year when I turned 39 and decided to start saying I was “almost 40” to get used to the idea. Because I grew up in a situation that was based entirely around youthful activities-scholastic sports, specifically-then chose to work around kids in another setting outside of the school systems I’m used to all adults being “old”. So, since I’m already old, turning forty doesn’t have quite the same impact.

 BUT, a couple weeks ago I found out I need glasses. That is having an impact. Not only do I need glasses for the first time in my life, but I either need two pairs, one for close and one for distances, or I need bifocals. Yes, I realize anyone can need glasses; my 12 year old son has been wearing them since he was five (and there’s a whole other post on my felt-inadequacies). My weekly blog-alarm has been going off all week telling me that I’m really behind and in the meantime, I’m avoiding the computer because the headaches I thought were regular stress headaches were caused by my deteriorating eyesight.

I remember when my Mom got glasses for the first time. She was in her early forties, but at the time I was about 11 and she was Mom-old. It’s hard to imagine reaching the Mom-old stage but the evidence has been piling up. I have a son in high school and my other three kids will all graduate from either elementary or intermediate school within the next two years. I think about the economy, politics and taxes occasionally. A few of my students are married or getting close. Maintaining the car seems kind of important lately. As does replacing the windows with more energy efficient ones. And so we decend into the dark side…

On the other hand, I am a MUCH better videogame player now….


I was talking to a friend last night who was wondering why his warm vacation spot was colder than my wintery everyday life hometown. So, the cool snow thing available for wordpress blogs is for him.

PLUS, at no additional cost, we have real snow outside today. Sixty degrees yesterday, snow and ice today. Gotta love PA-it has weather.

Would Santa deliver presents to Baby Jesus?

My weekly blog alarm is going off with increasing frequency, so I better write something to stop it for another week or two…

I love Christmas. And, even though I work for a church and spend a lot of time with church people, the Christmas I really love is the Santa Claus, Grinch, gift-giving, silly movies, worse songs,  American, materialistic Christmas. I’m sorry, baby Jesus, it’s nothing against you really. It’s just that I love Santa!

Right about now, videos and emails start getting popular that are made to remind us that the season is about Christ’s birth and not about the other things. There’s a great one at I like them; I get the point. But I don’t see why celebrating the birth of Christ and celebrating generosity and loving on those we hold dear have to be exclusive of each other.

 I love that people get happy by buying stuff for other people, instead of buying stuff for themselves. And that some guy puts on a red suit and is SO generous that he’s spending his retirement years making toys for people’s kids who he doesn’t even know! Even though we spend so much on ourselves and our loved ones, we also give away more than any other time also. We embody generosity because of the silliness and traditions. Without those, I don’t think people would be willing to give so much.

Here’s a for instance: There are eight homeless teens living at a shelter I know. They need pants for school-khaki uniform pants. Nothing special, but they don’t have the money to get them. A friend contacted me about these kids, knowing that I work with teens at a church. She knows we’re already getting gifts for other needy families. She knows we already packed a bunch of gifts for kids globally to recieve on Christmas day. But she told me about these kids and the things they had on their christmas lists- school pants included. If it wasn’t for the extreme generosity of this season, I’d have had trouble finding the resources to help them out beyond just the basics. Instead, the response I’ve gotten is “what else do they want? I can get some of (insert gift items here) for them.”

Yes, Jesus is the only savior of the world. Santa’s got nothing on Him there. But if Santa gets us to act like Jesus from time to time, then maybe it’s ok to celebrate both with of them.

Was the One Ring really so awful?

I think Frodo should have destroyed this creepy doll instead of that relatively harmless ring…

sometimes you just have to laugh at someone else’s expense

WARNING: frozen things really do stick to wet stuff

I make chicken for dinner a lot. The people who have eaten at my house pretty frequently over the years, can attest to that. And there are usually at least four or five people eating there on a given night. There are six of us who live here, five who eat dinner regularly plus a ragtag group who have been in and out for the last few years who either inflate the normal number of family members or who just fill in a seat when the family isn’t there.

One meal I make is chicken with Mr. Insert-Japanese-Name-Here ‘s sauce. I don’t know what it really called because I make up a new name for it each time I use it. My kids’ favorite made up name was Mr. Pokemon’s Sauce. Logically one of their favorite meals is now Pokemon Chicken. We buy huge 10 lb bags of chicken from Costco or BJ’s. They’re already frozen and you can cook the stuff right out of the bag. No defrosting. It’s great! I rarely think to defrost anything but, in the event that I do, we probably won’t eat it for the next three or four nights anyway. So, you can see my dilema. These frozen monster bags solve all my problems (were it only so easy!!)

Tonight, at 6pm, I decided I  ought to consider what we’re having for dinner and how fast I can get it made. Pokemon Chicken solved all my problems in the world, once again and I got the chicken out and the dishes I needed. Then I washed my hands. This was the kiss of death. There were no paper towels around to dry my hands and, well, I knew I’d have to wash them again after I was done so I grabbed a couple frozen pieces of chicken….in both hands.

I so wish I had had the camera nearby. The chicken stuck to my hands, so I was walking around looking like the Penguin in Batman, thanks to my flipper hands. Let me just say it hurt like anything, too. Chicken was hanging off the skin on my hands. In case you’re thinking of trying it yourself sometime, I wouldn’t recommend it.

At that point the solution is pretty simple. Turn on the warm water and let it run over the chickena dn my hands. Think about that just for a minute-how am I going to turn on the water with chicken flippers attached to my hands? Thankfully, my son was in the other room in hysterics at me and he came to my rescue by turning on the water for me, thus saving me from certain death by some kind of rare bacterial infection arising only from prolonged exposure to frozen chicken.