This will be most enjoyable if you know my 70+ year old step-dad!
My family of elves. One big happy family. I think I could watch this for hours.
I have an embarrassing story I sent out in a mass email, it's not that embarrassing... it was suggested I post it. I've been slacking on my reading, blog reading, hmph... pretty much a lot of things I would have rather done! Well, you can't make the honor roll without some sacrifice!
So, while I have no time to blog now... I know the tide will turn and winter break will be here soon!
Oh how I wish I could just wiggle my nose and have the research portion completed!
Here's the first from Blog Meridian. This is unforgettable!
And the second... maybe. I can't get it to work. Oh well, just don't shoot me for this screw-up (I'd prefer lethal injection, if that's what it comes to).
It's a pretty easy step, to say thank you, but we rarely say it enough. As soon as my daughter started talking I realized that I needed to say please and thank you a whole lot more if she was ever really going to get it. But now I must ask if I say thank you enough to the people that matter? Do I show my gratitude to God, not out of obligation, but purely from a thankful heart?
I'm thankful for the people God has placed in my life, those here, others that used to be. Most of these people have made my life much richer, and a few, God has used to help me grow (or both). I'm grateful for my family and friends that continue to hope in and encourage me. For the struggles and triumphs in life; for the endless possibility of growth God gives me in each day. His endurance (love and patience) exhausts me.
I'm grateful for you. Those of you that visit here frequently---just for showing up. Your presence and comments encourage me on many levels. At least I'm not literally talking to myself!
What are you most thankful for today?
This day I'm thankful for:
Freddy's Frozen Custard,
the semester's near-end,
and little potty chairs!
I'd like to dream more--- while I sleep. I once had a teacher that claimed to have never had a dream in color. I don't have as many crazy-fun vivid dreams as I did when I was a kid. I once had a dream that I was late for the bus, my room was done in cherry wall-paper. In real life--I rode the "short bus" since I was always bused to school. In my dream I was late, so I was trying to run out to the bus. There was only one problem I couldn't run. Of course it's usually hard to run while your in bed sleeping, but as I looked down at my fully-clothed body, I found a pair of pantyhose pulled up only to my knees!
Maybe it's not too funny to read, but it was the best dream I've ever had.
Secondly, blog world is pretty overwhelming. I'm also really glad I didn't try to read too many of them before now. There are so many incredible thoughts floating around in this realm of the world. The linking and quoting and uhmm, other things I don't even know how to refer to are all pretty amazing.
A day at a time Ashley, a day at a time...
Do you have any dreams that are especially remarkable? Do you dream in color or black-and-white?
I googled my daughter's first name. WOW! "Elseigh" is even more original than I imagined! (Yes, I admit I created this spelling by chopping off the "Ch" of the English spelling of Chelsea (Chelseigh))
Only two of the results are not specifically her. She is one of a kind! Praise God!
BTW- I realize I'm only blogging SO much because I'm trying to avoid studying... it will all be over soon and things should balance out.
I realize that MANY cartoons do not wear pants, shirts, or any other garments.
What's going to be on the rest of the week? Booze-day Tuesday?
I'm learning to accept that there are going to be others who may be more eloquent than me or have large amounts of daily readers. But I also know that I am only responsible for me. I grow through writing, and at least here, I can only offer... me.
This excerpt from Thoreau's "Life Without Principle" is, in part, why I even mention any of this.
AT a lyceum, not long since, I felt that the lecturer had chosen a theme too foreign to himself, and so failed to interest me as much as he might have done. He described things not in or near to his heart, but toward his extremities and superficies. There was, in this sense, no truly central or centralizing thought in the lecture. I would have had him deal with his privatest experience, as the poet does. The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. I am surprised, as well as delighted, when this happens, it is such a rare use he would make of me, as if he were acquainted with the tool. Commonly, if men want anything of me, it is only to know how many acres I make of their land,—since I am a surveyor,—or, at most, what trivial news I have burdened myself with. They never will go to law for my meat; they prefer the shell. A man once came a considerable distance to ask me to lecture on Slavery; but on conversing with him, I found that he and his clique expected seven-eighths of the lecture to be theirs, and only one-eighth mine; so I declined. I take it for granted, when I am invited to lecture anywhere,—for I have had a little experience in that business,—that there is a desire to hear what I think on some subject, though I may be the greatest fool in the country,—and not that I should say pleasant things merely, or such as the audience will assent to; and I resolve, accordingly, that I will give them a strong dose of myself.
(You can read the rest here.)
(And perhaps someday I'll even be able to confidently discern between the correct uses of commas, colons and semi-colons!)
An exact copy or reproduction, as of a document.
Part of me wants to tie this back into my thoughts on comfort.
But not today. Today has been uncomfortble enough.
Priorities will have to wait until later.
Today I picked up my custom-made shoe inserts, because it turns out I have these really crummy feet. "Crummy" meaning that I have high arches and it often feels like my weight is supported by about 3 square inches of foot. As a result, I have incredibly thick calluses. Big deal, right? Having a callus on your foot probably isn't going to hurt you too much, given its function. But, let's flip to emotional callousness. We become hardened as a means of protection, which is probably good at the time. Once the thing (person or situation) that caused the callus is gone, then what are we to do? That callousness is not going to vanish on its own and it may take some time before you're convinced that your hardened extra layers are unnecessary. Removing the physical callus is probably less difficult than removing the emotional kind. And, unlike band-aids, calluses aren't formed overnight and they cannot simply be ripped off, nor will the original surface conditions ever be fully recovered.
Comfort. It's strange to think that we become comfortable with our calluses. It might be more accurately called "protected," but what is the healthy amount of risk, or protection? On one level I think there are things everyone should do that are not necessarily going to be comfortable. There are some pretty incredible "Carpe diem" quotes involving the importance of taking risks in life. But I hesitate here, because sometimes being uncomfortable means that you're not cut out for something. There are times when we are reluctant to do something, not because we fear the uncomfortableness of it, but because it's just not right.
I'm sure more thoughts on comfort are forthcoming, but for now I must face another callus-rendering activity by finishing my paper(S).
Up until this point, my title shouldn't quite fit in. That's because. . . as I started writing the title, I was certain that I had used it for a previous post. Two or three times I began to etch in a title, and "uh-oh, no, I think I've used that one." Which, is apparently a fear of mine?
I did see a great movie tonight: The Brave One. I was really impressed! It is well made, and I found it's producing, acting and plot to be quite thought provoking. Perhaps tomorrow I will have assembled a few of those thoughts and place them here for you.
Here's hoping your day is filled with a few naturally flowing thoughts!
A sentence must have a subject and a predicate. Check. (So, "check" isn't a sentence). I often know when something isn't right, but the agony of trying to explain it! Sentence fragments are often a pretty big problem, but then I'm informed that "advertisers and writers occasionally use fragments deliberately for a crisp, immediate effect." Hmmm. I read on, "you will also find fragments used intentionally in question form." Well, what do we have here? "By all means, use fragments to achieve a specific effect." Unfortunately, what this author forgot to say is: if you're writing for a grade, make sure the person grading your paper will know that you wrote a sentence fragment. On purpose.
Now on to today's title. I've overused ellipses for over ten years. If you've ever read a letter or an email I've written... you know how true (and understated) this confession is. Well, now... I know why. "Note: Use three dots to indicate a pause in speech or an interruption." Hooray! All these years, instead of using a comma... I've only been trying to show that I'm pausing... those are my "hold on a minute my brain is searching, sorting or interrupting" dots. That's the only argument I have for overusing those tiny little dots. . . yup. . . that's all I've got for today.
The end. (For effect).
After eating with some friends I was asking which of the two bags of chips they would like to keep. One was turned away from me so his response was "eh?" Thinking that I'm being pretty clever I say "fat lip or black eye?" Clever perhaps, but soon my two-year-old says in the saddest whimper "I want black eye"... and then she keeps whining to her daddy "fat-wip fat-wip." So I give her some chips and pray she doesn't say these words to anyone that might report me!
Be ever so careful, small ears may pick up the most!
I should have chosen the Veggie Tales Cheeseburger song. I would have smiled instead of jumping when it rang while taking Elseigh to the Doctor on Tuesday. Some days I wouldn't mind having the Wizard of Oz tones--- "If I only had a brain"--- but then my fear would be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy with every phone call!
Honestly, this is not what I found interesting. The historical aspect of this article was much more interesting than the fact that Mr. "Prez W." had polyps in his colon before becoming our leader. Ha! A lot has changed since 1983, when president Grover Cleveland had surgery on his yacht! The article reports that the vice president was not even aware of it!
Well folks, I promise to let you know the next time I undergo anesthesia. And I must confess, it surprised me to realize that the thought of Cheney stepping in as President for more than just a few hours was terrifying.
Here's the link if you're interested. I'd like to note that my spellcheck indicates that colonoscopy is misspelled. Apparently either the NY Times is at fault, or it's not in this database, imagine that!
Where has the summer gone? I'm thrilled to announce that I have only 5 more days of summer school! Essentially that means I must wait one week before I will enjoy nearly 3 weeks of summer. I'm struggling to determine if I should be happy or sad. Fortunately I enjoy school enough that if I can afford to buy some new school supplies, I'll be all set when August 16th rolls around. Ugh. I think.
I've enjoyed my statistics class, at least to the extent that I find math enjoyable. However, my intro to teaching course has been far less purposeful. I only hope that my fall courses are somewhat more relevant to my prospective career. Thankfully, we had to read one book, which is probably the most valuable thing I will take away from the class. I read The Courage to Teach by Parker J. Palmer--- there are certainly some "hokey" parts, as I call them, but overall, Palmer brings up some worthwhile points. I'm unsure as to whether it was truly appropriate for a power point presentation, but never mind that.
Today I really wanted to lay in the sun, sip a pina colada, and read some books. Ha! The harder I try to get skin cancer/a tan, the more it rains, Elseigh sleeps for less than 30 minutes, or I have a truck load of homework!!! I suppose later on I will be grateful for a few less sun spots or wrinkles or skin that needs to be removed.
When my husband leaves for Mexico with the youth group, I have BIG plans! No, really! I'm going to visit a friend in big KC! My to-do list includes shopping, going to parks/museums, the zoo, reading, watching movies, and trying to be social!
I finally saw V for Vendetta. It was interesting. In general I liked it and I understood why my Brit-Lit prof continually referred to it. However, there were some very cheesy and dramatically silly/gory and just plain strange parts. The basis of the film was really good. It reminded me that there is a fine line between the freedom to find the truth for yourself and saying that truth is relative. Whenever we as humans try to impose our own truths and beliefs on others in a forceful manner, we are overstepping our bounds. Rarely does anyone benefit from this. Look at the problems that have sprung from attempts at religious conversion throughout history. Trying to make anyone conform to you precisely will not help them, or you. God has always given man freedom. He gave it to us wholly, otherwise He would have stopped Adam and Eve in the garden. God does not require us to love Him, and it is not my job to require others to share my convictions. However, this does not mean that truth is relative, what's right for you is right for you.
God is not offended by our questions. He is bigger than our fears, our doubts, He can stick up for Himself. He is not insecure, which is at least part of the reason He does not withhold from us the freedom of choice, freedom of will. I think everyone in this world is looking for something and I believe with my whole being that Jesus is that something. However, I can only hope, or even pray, that someday others would reach the same conclusion. If God is real, then He will let you know it. And maybe, just maybe, the life I live (not my instructions, not even the words I speak) might help to show how real He is.
Thanks for listening-
I read an article in the newspaper today about a young woman who died from anti-inflammatory cream. This isn't exactly new news, but I was saddened by this tragedy. I'm not exactly a distance runner, but I'm working up my mileage little by little, so I was quite surprised by it. Runner's World doesn't talk about it much in their magazine, if at all, so I'm uncertain of the popularity of these drugs. My husband often complains about his legs aching, so my soon to be doctor of physical therapy friend said he needs to drink OJ after he works out! No Bengay for him, phew! OJ smells much better!
Moving right along. Today at church I was feeling pretty emotional, and not the good kind. But, I was desperately trying to let go and give it all to God, which consisted of me praying pretty much throughout the entire service. At the end of the sermon, our pastor said something that really hit home. I know it was said for me, you know those times when God just says something and it hits a chord in your inmost being--- he said that "God doesn't expect us to be perfect, no one's perfect, you're not and I'm not. God only wants us to live a life worthy of Him. " He also said that, as our pastor, his only focus is not how many of us show up on Sundays or if we follow certain regimens, but only if we are living our lives in a manner worthy of God.
It's funny how hearing the truth from other people is so much more remarkable than telling yourself! I'm also constantly overcome by the fact that God is totally about giving us everything we need, not just physically, but even when it comes to women's (characteristically 'petty') emotions. He alone will continue to speak to us the words we need to hear, and I'm so grateful He never tires in the repetition. And I'm thankful that there was a definite purpose in my hearing this "Father's Day" sermon!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding to you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of our house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-9
I also must assert that many people feel God expects humans to strive to be perfect. God wants us to love Him, and to know Him. Greater love for Him and greater knowledge of Him results in an amazing relationship with Him. The outcome of that is we will become more like Him. And yes, God is perfect, but He requirement from us is never perfection, that is our own assertion. Somehow, I can always straighten it out on paper, but in my heart I have jumbled it up once more. I choose not to do something for fear that I will fail. Or I choose not to do another thing because I will not do it as perfectly as I would like.
I choose not to write, or blog because of the immediate exposure. The vulnerability is a heavy weight on my heart. Yet ultimately, I have to come back to the reality that words mean very little in this world, and I admit that I tend to take myself too seriously from time to time.
I am reading a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. Wow. This is certainly applicable to me in so many areas of my life and heart right now. Many times throughout the day I need to recognize what really matters, and focus on the one the really matters and trust in Him. I am not at all trying to say that this is the point of the book, but it's the best paraphrase I can get right now, and I haven't picked it up in a few days.
In our technology saturated world, it is dreadfully sad that we need to write out our thoughts just so we'll have them before they're interrupted. I think too many of us never bother to feel half of life because we've rushed through it or turned the channel or hit fast-forward or mute, or turned up our i-pod even louder. Using technology to "get away" is such a cop-out, and one I'm definitely guilty of. What's happened to our brains when we can't even process our feelings without writing them down. Are we emotionally retarded by the media at hand? With the world at our fingertips, who would choose to sort through the agony this life often brings us?
I suppose there's one tiny spot in everyone's world where reality will always surface--- those last few moments of wakefulness. And, YET AGAIN- perhaps this is why we need Ambien or Lunesta. The feelings we supress throughout our wakeful state rise to the surface and we cannot drift off to sleep; we may not accept these emotions, and we may not even have the slightest capability of being able to deal with them. So, who do we call? A friend or pastor, a relative or loved one, a trusted counselor? No, a doctor. Here's your prescription, hope it helps.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against doctors. I'm not even sure I truly have a problem with sleep medicine. However, I do think that we all too often blame our problems on things that are not the culprit. Why? Because it would be easier. It's a lot easier for me to turn on the TV than to really figure out how I'm feeling. It's more convenient for me to ramble on about nothing than to truly listen.
Okay--- enough friends, that may be all the feelings I can muster up right now. Good night.
As this summer begins, I have been faithfully running, which is great for my weight-loss efforts. However, I have also been just as faithful in my consumption of the glorious energy-containing substance we call FOOD. In just a couple of days I will be heading back to school. Ugh. On the one hand I'm releieved, my schedule will once again be jammed full. But at the same time, I know there will be too many things on my to-do lists that will get knocked off the page. This summer, I've made goals for physical fitness, spiritual goals, academic goals and relational goals. So far, they aren't going too bad. Like I said, I have been running regularly. I would love to register for a 5k race in July, but there are so few races in this area! I have not started memorizing any new verses, I need to get with it there. I have been reading this remarkable book/study called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. This is really relative to my life right now, and there is quite a bit to swallow. Academically, I started reading Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. I haven't made it too far. I read a page or two of The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison but before I knew it, it was due back to the library. Relationally, well, that's going decently with my peer friends and with Jon as well. Super.
I still have such a difficult time blogging here, I think in part because some blogs are so tightly focused. Well folks, that's not me. There are times when my world seems as small as a pea, but most often it comes close to overwhelming me entirely. If it weren't for Jesus, well, I wouldn't be sitting here with the peace I have. There are times when I feel so inadequate, but then I remember that the only confidence I am to have or even need is confidence in God. He is my only security. I beleive there was a verse in my email box the other day about this. Perhaps this is a verse I will memorize this summer.
Ha! I knew when I created this blog that it's title would be so important. Arbitrary- random. Life is full, life is random. Some times its randomness is exhausting, other times exhilirating. The same is true of my thoughts! Sometimes I want to stop thinking, other times I wish I could think all day.
teehee- when I was young I wrote a poem that started with "sometimes..." not funny for me to tell you about, but a funny memory I share with a friend.
Well, this is my world today. I went for a 3-mile jog. Took my daughter to the zoo. Cleaned the kitchen (hard-core cleaning/mopping). Talked on the phone for about 10 minuts. Searched for 5k's in July 4th. Posted this blog. I'm outta here.
So, today we were discussing T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" and it occurred to me that the sight of spring in April is referred to as the cruelest month, not just because April symbolizes life--- but because at the sight of Spring, there is hope, hope that life will be new and not the way it was before, and this is cruel because this hope is barren and life, according to Eliot, was not new, nothing could be trusted in and life is depressing and there is no order, no hope, no Spring in life, not ever.
Unfortunately, I don't think this little thought is enough for me to write another paper over... nor am I sure I want to make the time to develop it. I will confess that I'm sad we didn't cover "Hollow Men," and I may find myself submitting an optional paper because of it.
Why is it that the professors that are the most challenging are those you want most to please? I suppose it has a lot to do with the fact that we live up to the expectations set before us or some psychological idea like that. I'm certain this will be very important to me when I am on the other side of the grade book.
I cannot wait for the semester to end so I can at least skim some of the books my professors have cited as I've stared back blankly at them! Heh, of course I've read The Catcher in the Rye, but I don't think I got it... I liked his sarcasm, that's all I remember.
It's late. My brain is scattered... I was supposed to go to sleep early since I didn't join my daughter in her nap. Once again, the joke's on me!
It's been a really rough week, and I know that there are parts of my heart that I really should be blogging about, but I think most everyone would admit that the energy sucked out of you during times of growth and maturation do not exactly leave an abundance for, well, anything. And, since there's only one person that knows about my blog... I know I won't be disappointing too many people by not staying up later to wake up feeling even more exhausted tomorrow.
I have only a couple more thoughts for now... One- Praise God that the semester of 3 English courses is nearly over!!! Two- Just because your two year old knows how to tell you she's poopy and knows that poop goes into diapers and toilets, doesn't mean she won't poop in her friends bathtub! HAHA- Life is... (at times) poopy like that.
I've been running! HOORAY! In the last 7 days, I have gone jogging 4 times! (I could have said I've gone jogging 3 of the last 4 days... both are great!) Today, I jogged for 3 miles straight. Honestly, it was difficult, but I know that in all areas of life getting through the difficult times are what make the better times that much better, and in some cases easier. It's not what anyone wants to hear when they are going through the crummy valleys in life, but it's the honest truth.
TOPIC CHANGE: I'm actually up late with the intention of writing a thesis statement and some form of an outline on Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Thankfully, I finally know what I want text I will be writing about. But, I am not completely sure of my exact thesis and direction. Overall I want to argue that this is an exceptional work and the importance of this book in terms of the lessons and insight that can be gleaned from it are exactly why EVERYONE should read it. With that said, I think I might cut, paste and sign off. Good night.
I suppose the day will come when I will log on and actually write about my experiences and thoughts for the day, rather than merely offering some guilt-ridden explanation for having neglected this creation.
I had my wisdom teeth removed. Ouch!--What's worse is that I only had 2 to take out! As if the pain from surgery weren't enough, I was fortunate enough to experience a DRY SOCKET! When people tell you they HURT, they aren't kidding! I'm certain it didn't hurt worse than a kidney stone, and it might not have been as bad as back-labor (with an 9 lb baby,) but I would have rather gone through birthing another child than to have had a dry socket. What people forget to tell you when they say "oh man, those suck" is that they "suck" for at least a week!!! And if you go to your surgeon for "treatment" (which actually consists of stuffing the hole in your jaw with a string soaked in some rancid, bitter-clove tasting medicine) you have to keep seeing him every other day to switch out the "dressings!" But it doesn't matter how awful it tastes or that you have to drive to the other side of town when he's at the "East" office, because you can think, and you're pain is reduced to such a small amount that you literally FEEL human again! It's phenomenal!
Phew--- the days of dry socket are somewhat fading, although now I have the pleasure of sticking a syringe in the hole in my jaw and flushing it with water after each meal! This sure has cut down on my calorie-consumption far more than the actual teeth extractions ever did!
I'm actually very surprised at how intimidating it is to write a blog, being an English Education major. With this in mind, I must remind myself that this is exactly why I need to write a blog: to improve my writing, vocabulary, and especially to work on my grammar! I laugh at myself when I think of how silly this is to the common reader, but it's just how I am. I have a particular professor who seems to feel I use too many explicit words, and he's probably right. But you see, to me, it just seems like more words must be better, more words will certainly not cloud the meaning of my sentences. He wrote on a paper of mine about when writers "befuddle their readers" and the reader has to re-read something, they have failed in their writing. Ouch--but well said professor!
Spring Break is here and I have merely 3 goals (and a few more minor things to focus on): one, to see all the people that I have planned on seeing before I have my wisdom teeth removed, read Frankentstein, and to use my extractions to lose a few pounds before next week's weigh-in. Ever since Jon and I have joined Weight Watchers, we have done fairly well at losing weight each week. I'm hoping that since most my girlfriend's and I will be going out to eat to "catch up" on things, that the weight I gain from those festive times will melt off when I can't eat! Let's cross our fingers on this!
My daughter and I took a nap this afternoon. I slept for nearly 2 hours and she is still sleeping after nearly 3.5 hours! No wonder she's been less than angelic!
Since I really have nothing left in my brain to discuss intellegently, I think I will head over to some other blogs and enjoy someone else's life.