“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Thursday Thirteen #10

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen Things That Are Rubbing My Nerves A Bit Raw Lately

My faith is being challenged this week. Not my faith in God - you know, in general. That, I assure you is rock solid. I'm just fighting fear and, um, bummed-ness these last few days. This week's Thursday Thirteen reflects that. Maybe next week will be the opposite – things I'm grateful for, because I do have a lot of them, despite what this week's T13 might imply.

1. The barking of the puppy 10 feet from my ear and the resulting throbbing in my head.

2. Waiting for the bank to get back to us with an answer as to whether or not they will give us the loan we need.

3. Waiting to start building our new home. It seems that it just continues to be put off over and over for one reason or another.

4. Loud car stereos with so much bass booming I can feel my heart thump with each beat of the music.

5. Sirens. So many sirens.

6. The exponentially increasing crime rate in our city, and especially in our neighborhood.

7. For instance, the robbery at gunpoint of a neighbor's car on Monday. Thank God she and her baby got away safely, but he drove off in her car with her purse, her cell phone, and of course her keys.

8. Or the pizza delivery guy who was shot for no apparent reason.

9. Or the innocent kid who was killed because he complained about giving his shoes to the guy with the gun after having already given his shirt.

10. Being afraid to leave my house, but also being afraid to live in it.

11. Not having a permanent job.

12. The new temp job I start Monday which will take me through March, but still leaves me in a potential predicament.

13. Missing my best friend and her sweet daughter.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Defining Me (And Him)

Monday, September 25, 2006

This was kind of fun. I picked it up from someone recently and for the life of me I can't remember who. (I'm sorry if it was you. Send me your URL or a link to your post with this quiz in the comments if it was you, and I'll add your link to this post.)

So, I had to try a few times before I found one I liked; but hey, if I'm going to be defined in the dictionary, I'd at least like to have a small amount of control over what they say about me.

Geekwif --


A master of storytelling

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at
Yeah, so I'm only a wannabe, but a girl can dream.

Then I decided to try My Geek too. This one seemed appropriate.

My Geek --


Visually addictive

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

And as long as we're here, one of the blogs I visit almost daily is Paul Sveda's photo blog. (I'm a bit of a nut for photo blogs.) I love his images, and this one especially caught my eye. It captures one of my very favorite things in the world.

There are few things as beautiful as that...especially on a cloudy day. There's gotta be a metaphor in there somewhere, but for now, I'm just going to enjoy the pretty picture.


I Got A New Camera!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Our old one died, thus the lack of pictures on my blog lately. I took it in to see if we could get it fixed, but after sending it in the manufacturer and all, it would have cost around $150. I could almost get a new camera for that, so I did! Well, not for that price, but only slightly more.

Now, I'm having fun with the camera again! Okay, and a little Photoshop too. Having a little trouble with focus, but that's okay. She's still a cutie puppy!

Raz collage


To Talk Or Not To Talk

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Well, I am officially unemployed. Friday was my last day working at the temp job I had held for nearly a year. When I started in October 2005, it was supposed to last until the end of December. At the time we thought we'd be building our home by then. Plans change.

I haven't posted much about the house lately. The short version is that we are currently waiting for the bank to complete the appraisal so we can get our loan, and we hope to begin building very soon.

In the meantime, I need a job. When looking for a job, of course, one likes to looks one's best. In my case that meant getting a haircut. It was sorely needed. Very sorely. My last cut was in January when I had it cut short. At first it was cute, but I soon realized that I really want long hair. Of course short haircuts rarely segue nicely into long hair and thus the desperate need of a cut 8 months later.

While I was sitting in the stylist's chair, blind as a bat without my glasses, and thinking how much the girl in the poster across the room looked like Pibgorn, which I'm sure she didn't at all, I began to wonder about the whole "talking to the stylist" phenomenon. It's been discussed at length many times before, but I experienced a slight twist on the "talk or don't talk" dilemma this time.

The woman cutting my hair was very quiet - one might almost call her mousy if it didn't sound so awful. She was really very nice, and she did a lovely job cutting my hair, but she was a lot like me in that she was a bit, um, conversationally challenged.

What I mean is this: I can pick up on a conversation if someone else starts it. I'll answer questions, give my input, etc., but I simply cannot successfully start a conversation, nor can I be expected to carry my weight in keeping the conversation alive. When one speaks to me in "real life", there tends to be a lot of blank spaces, unless the person with whom I am speaking is a conversational genius. Thus I tend to have friends who are conversational geniuses. Otherwise we'd never talk. Ever. I had a friend like me once. It was awful and weird, but that's another story for another time.

So my point is that the conversation wasn't getting very far very fast. Normally when I get my hair cut, the stylist carries the conversation for the most part. This time was different. I sat there uncomfortably wondering if I should say something. Aren't you supposed to chat with the stranger cutting your hair when you're in that funny chair with the foot bar? I wondered why I felt compelled to talk. Why couldn't I just enjoy the silence, mellow out, take a nap?

In the end, I couldn't stand it. I talked. I don't remember about what. Something inane I'm sure. And I didn't enjoy it because, as I said, I'm terrible at maintaining a good conversation. It would have been better if we had just been silent, but after so many years of chatty hairdressers, it just felt so awkward and wrong to be silent.

So here's my solution. You know those magnets you put on your dishwasher that you use to tell if the dishes are clean or dirty? Every stylist should have one of these with the choice of "talk" or "silence". If you want to talk, you put it on "talk" when you sit down in the chair. If not, you put it on "silence". If you change your mind half way through the haircut you can always change it back, but you don't have to feel guilty or uncomfortable for not talking.

Anyone else experience this or have a better solution?


You Are Who You Are

Friday, September 08, 2006

There's an epidemic taking over our nation – probably even our world. You won't hear about it from the goverment or the news media. There won't be any public service announcements or mass innoculations. This disease travels from the brain and then attacks the heart with deadly force, and yet to my knowledge it hasn't even been named. If I were to name it, I might call it microdeititis – the disease of making God too small.

We're all guilty of it – at least I've never met anyone who wasn't. I'm particularly guilty of it, and I know better. We used to sing a song in church all the time. The chorus said, "I have made You too small in my eyes. Oh Lord, forgive me. And I have believed in a lie that You were unable to help me."* I sang it, and I believed that I believed it, and I believed that I believed that He was bigger than I let Him be.

This week I found out that my temp assignment was over as of September 15th. I've had this job for almost a year now despite the fact that it's a temporary position, and I was hoping it would last long enough for us to complete the construction of our home...but it didn't. One of my first thoughts was how this would affect the bank's decision to give us a loan. Panic ensued shortly thereafter. (I know because my complexion never fails to reveal to me when I'm panicking by reverting to it's 16-year-old state of zittiness.)

Then a song started running through my head. I'd heard it on the radio several times before and the music really caught me. It's the music that usually does. If I don't like the music, I may not even get so far as to listen closely to the words, but this time I did. The song is by a group called "Casting Crowns". It's called "Praise You In This Storm". You can read the entire lyric by clicking that link, but here's the chorus.
I'll praise you in this storm
I will lift my hands
You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never leave my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm*
It doesn't matter what my problems are. It's not about me. It's about Him. This is just a glimpse of how big He really is.

It's not even about Him fixing my problems or giving me what I want. It's about Him. Just that. Just Him. Not what He does. Not why He does it. Not what's in it for me.

Just Him.

And He deserves my praise no matter what. He is who He is no matter where I am. It's a little scary, because this means I don't necessarily get what I want when I want it, but it's also comforting, because He is faithful above all others.

I don't have to be in control of the universe because He is.

I don't have to be in control of my circumstances because He is.

He just is. And that's more than enough.

*All quoted lyrics in this post are copyrighted by their respective owners.


My Geek – The King Of Romance

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

PVP logoI think I've mentioned before that I read several comics online. (It's like the Sunday funnies, but every day online.) One comic my Geek got me started reading is called PVP. It's well-written and very funny.

The comic revolves around a group of people who happen to work together at a computer gaming magazine called PVP. (Player vs. Player) Some of the strips involve gaming, some don't. It's funny either way.

For the past 3 weeks or so the storyline has been about a dating challenge between some of the main characters. There are two couples who work in the office – one couple in their 30s and one in their teens. The guys challenged each other to a double date to see which could provide their girlfriend with the most romantic evening. Of course, comedy ensues.

Well, the Geek trumped them all. Yesterday I was feeling under the weather. Aw heck, I felt like I'd fallen like Wile E. Coyote and made a 10-foot-deep hole in the ground and then been run over by a mack truck while I was climbing out. We had done laundry over the weekend, but there were still clothes that needed to be hung in the closet. I asked him to take them upstairs last night when we went to bed. I went upstairs shortly after him and collapsed into bed.

This morning I went to get my clothes, expecting them to be laying across the dresser since hanging clothes is usually my job. Any guesses where I found them?

In the closet, neatly hung.

It was so lovely. I almost cried. All you girls know exactly what I mean, right? You can have all the carriage rides and roses and jewelry in the world. I don't need them. (Although they are a nice icing on the cake now and then.)

Hanging the clothes because he knows I don't feel well? That is the epitome of romance.

My Geek rocks.


Three Things...Times 18

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Stuff about me in threes. As if you really wanted to know any more about me.
I lifted this from Camy.

3 things that scare me:

1. Bugs, especially spiders...and centipedes...and spiders...and beetles...and did I mention spiders?
2. Big animals with big teeth, like lions and tigers and bears, oh my.
3. This one is kind of grim, but I'm scared of what might happen if I am alive during the great tribulation - like being tortured for being a Christian and stuff. (And no, I'm not asking to start a discussion on Pre-trib vs. Post-trib)

3 (groups of) people who make me laugh:

1. my Geek
2. Jeana and her kids
3. HolyMama and her 6-year-old

3 things I love:

1. Jane Austen Novels
2. Gardening
3. Homemaking - the creative stuff, not the cleaning

3 things I hate:

1. Poor grammar
2. Politics
3. Making conversation

3 things I do not understand:

1. Christians who expect non-Christians to live by Christians' standards
2. People who find it acceptable to mess with/destroy other people's property and/or rights
3. The fourth dimension

3 things on my desk:

1. Kleenexes (which happen to be in a pretty Longaberger basket)
2. My eMac
3. Coupons for Papa Johns

3 things I am doing right now:

1. Trying to think of clever items for these categories
2. Cracking my neck (It's a little stiff. But don't call me a stiff-necked people. Please.)
3. Knocking papers off my desk as they stick to my sweaty arms. I know, that was a lovely picture, wasn't it?

3 things I want to do before I die:

1. Figure out what I'm going to be when I grow up
2. Live a life that deserves the phrase, "Well done, good and faithful servant"
3. Create a spectacular landscape surrounding our new home (to be)

3 things I can do:

1. Keep a beat
2. Pat my head and rub my belly (and I can switch too)
3. Fold a t-shirt the fancy department store way. I don't, but I can.

3 ways to describe my personality:

1. Shy
2. Quiet
3. Opinionated (In other words, I have very strong opinions. I just don't share them freely.)

3 things I can't do:

1. A cartwheel
2. Whistle through my teeth
3. Snap with my middle finger like most people (I use my ring finger.)

3 things I think you should listen to:

1. God's voice (not always easy, I know, but so important nonetheless)
2. Amy Monaghan (She is amazing. Seriously. You really need to listen to her. She totally rocks!!!)
3. Your conscience - God gave it to you for a reason and you'll find it's generally right.

3 things you should never listen to:

1. People giving you advice who have anything other than God's best for you as their prime motivation for the advice
2. Anything louder than 85 decibels - unless you're listening to Amy Monaghan. Then you gotta crank it to 11, baby.
3. Cry in your beer country music - It's bad for your health. Studies have been done showing that the suicide rate goes up in a city every time a new country music station starts up.

3 absolute favorite foods:

1. Cheese (anything that's not blue...or bleu)
2. Olives
3. Creme brulee (Mmmmm. Yummy.)

3 things I'd like to learn:

1. How to speak Spanish...and maybe German...and French...and Italian....
2. How to lay tile - It'll come in handy considering we already told the builder we'd do that part ourselves.
3. To communicate with God better

3 beverages I drink regularly:

1. Welches 100% grape juice mixed with fizzy water
2. Coke
3. Rock Star (I'm trying to stop...really.)

3 shows I watched as a kid:

1. Little House On The Prairie
2. The Smurfs
3. Lawrence Welk (It's not my fault. My parents made me watch it.)

3 things I really want to do:

1. Write (and complete) a novel
2. Get a tattoo
3. Build a house...soon!


My Favorite Stylist

Friday, September 01, 2006

About ten years ago or so, I met a girl named Neon. We became friends almost immediately. She was really so smiley and cute. Every time I saw her, she had this friendly smile on her face that said, "Hi!" in the most adorable way. We hung out a lot. She went with me to work every day, and then she'd wait patiently in the parking lot to accompany me home again at the end of the day.

On one of these daily trips to work, I inadvertently discovered that she had an extraordinary talent for hair-dressing. Later I found out that she can't cut hair to save her life, but give her a decent hair-cut to work with and a blow-dryer and wow! She can work miracles even on a potentially bad hair day.

She started styling my hair every day while I drove to work. It was amazing! All I had to do was make sure my hair was freshly washed and she would do the rest. By the time I got to work I had total babe hair. If anyone asked about my great hair, I'd just tell them, "It's Hair by Neon!"

Ten years later, Neon and I are still good friends, and she's still styling my hair on the way to work. Though with a shorter drive it's not always possible for her to complete the babe look, and though I haven't been faithful to give her a good cut to work with, she is still always there, ready to style my hair and all I have to do is ask.

Somewhere along the line I found out from Blond Girl that she has a similar stylist His name is Mazda. Like Neon, he did her hair every morning on the way to work. Unfortunately, for the past several years, Blond Girl has been taking the bus to work and Mazda is uncomfortable on buses. However, the BG family decided to take Mazda with them in their move to Another State, and he agreed to go. Now that she's moved to a city where, I assume, she won't be riding a bus anymore, perhaps Mazda will get his job back.

This week Neon got sick. She's been sick quite a bit lately. Truth be told, she's getting a little old. Since she's been so kind to do my hair every morning for so long, it seemed the least I could do was to pay her hospital bill. This time, the problem was pretty big and so was the bill, but I'm not giving up on her yet. We dropped her off on Saturday. On Monday, when we found out it would still be a few days before she was ready to leave, the hospital was kind enough to offer me a loaner hair-dresser.

The Geek and I waited to see who my temporary stylist might be. We made guesses. Maybe one of Neon's sisters? Or perhaps a cousin? Boy were we shocked when we saw who waltzed around the corner. Some have called her PT, some Cruiser, some just mix both names together, but whatever you call her, she is a beauty.

Well, actually, at first I just laughed. To be brutally honest, I had just been laughing at her behind her back a few days before when we dropped off Neon. I mean, she's just so trendy. I like a stylist with a little originality, a little creativity, but this young lady is just trying a little too hard.

So I felt just a little twinge of guilt as she came around the corner, but I have to say. I will never make fun of her again. She is simply lovely. She's friendly and easy to get along with. (She occasionally takes her top down in public, but hey, we all have our faults, right?) She never complains and she's so very quiet. And on top of all that? She's a fabulous hair-dresser dahling. Just fabulous.

We just got a call from the hospital today. Neon isn't going to be ready to come home for about another week. I suspect they really like her there and are hoping to keep her and leave me with PT, but I know better. PT is great, but I simply can't afford her prices on my own.

As long as they're paying for her? You can bet I'll be happy to have hair by PT (or hair by Cruiser – she'll answer to either) for the next week or so. But all the same, I'm looking forward to having my old friend Neon back again.