Friday, December 30, 2005


Brought the book home and Robin read it, don't know if Rubes even wants to but left it there. What'd ya think Wobby-Wob-Wob? Not an award winner, but OK, is my rating. Not a complete waste of life in reading, but not worth reading twicer really.

Hmmm, still really tired.


What happened to the friendly skies? Is that Delta? United? Perhaps I should start paying extra to fly them. I'm now disillusioned with not only NWA but also AA. The flight home went so smoothly, the flight back however was anything but smooth.

There was a 3 hour delay leaving Wichita due to "flow" problems at Chicago O'Hare (my connection). ***sidenote that prior to NWA bankruptcy this fall I flew them in a non-stop flight, still not smooth but at least if stranded it would be at my place or my folks*** I was assured that I would still make the flight that had been rebooked for me since I'd already missed my first connection. I did not. The plane was still hooked up to the jetway, but they would not let the three of us from my plane onto the plane. I was not compensated by anything but a lousey 1/2 price offer at a hotel for the night. I made a call and could get nothing better, in fact worse -- a $25 voucher. That doesn't even pay for the airport taxes! For crying out loud!

I 'slept' in the airport, finished reading a book Rubes loaned me (which was really good by the way, would read again when not as exhausted, for instance, have no idea at this point what the title even is), toured a bit and got a sore butt sitting on the hard chairs made specifically so that folks can't lie down. Dirty Rotten Scoundrals!

I then paid too much for airport food for the second time (first in Wichita which was awful!) Slept all the way back north, had my dear friend Dawn pick me up at 8:30 am on her day off and headed to my place. I did a quick freshen up and headed back out the door to get to work, wearing jeans because, while I did finally make it back to the Frozen Tundra, my luggage apparently enjoyed Chi-town and decided to stay. It should be delivered to my place sometime tonight betwee 6:30 and 10. What the hell is that?! It's a 20 minute drive. I'm really too tired to care or fight anymore. I just about cried when I realiezed I had no luggage. In fact, when the gal told me it wouldn't get in until sometime after 11 this morning at the earliest I gave her a double thumbs up and said with my voice dripping with sarcasm, "SUPER, JUST SUPER!"

I don't know that I can make it until 5:30 ongiht but that is my goal. Need the $.

Decided not to spell-check this oen, just don't care, think it's getting worse as I go though. Need to go to the RR and then find more caffeine. Haven't had a terrible lot today actually. Had a med. Chai at Starbucks near my departure gate this morning around 5, yup, 5 freakin' A.M. then had part of a Caribou chai, didn't like it though and had part of a bottle of water and one of those tiny cans of Coca-Cola! Those little cans are so cute, ya kno.

Might be getting delierious. Shoudl probably start my body movign to help the circutlation to my brain.

You are all my heros. NEVER FLY AMERICAN! NWA isn't my choice either, by the way. If only SWA flew up here. I love them madn. Have applied several times to no avail. Don't know that I wan to be a flight attnedant, but ant the free travel!

Love to you all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Single in Christ

I had an entry a bit ago about Christian singles. I have been to the site recently and have seen some interesting conversation. Please feel free to stop by again or for a first time if you haven't yet.

Travel Humor

As you may remember, I have applied to teach English in Japan. I won't even know if I get an interview with this program until Feb. Anyway . . . I found this website from a friend. Having been to Japan twice as well as a few other non-native-English speaking countries, I have seen several things like what is on this site. It is funny and yet a strong reminder that translations are not always clear and you cannot take anything for granted while dealing with other languages and cultures.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Latest read

Last night I read a book by Mo'Nique.

It wasn't quite what I was expecting but not bad. Here's a god-fearin', cussin', lovin' woman who does everything in a BIG way. The book is about how BIG is beautiful and there shouldn't be any shame in the way we look and feel.

She goes through the whole book putting any sort of FLUFFY, BIG or PLUMP word in all caps to emphasize that BIG is OK and good.

It's a story of Mo'Nique's life and how she has lived with skinny friends, some of whom are evil twits and some of whom are cool chicks. She talks about keepin' it real and not being afraid to call people on the carpet. Mo'Nique is indeed real throughout the book and sheds light about not shedding pounds. Eat what you want, when you want, but don't be a glutton is something she also adds.

She's sharp, witty and indeed real.

It was intriguing and while not a book I will probably read numerous times, it stuck with me more than I thought that it might. The link is from the Library of Congress and is part of the book. Read it and if you wanna borrow the book, let me know.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


There is enough here to make you oooo & ahhh all night and day or gag because it's all too cute.

Being Single in Christ?

I found this piece on a blog I drop by occassionally. Love to hear thoughts.

Posted By: Wendell
The average age for brides and grooms continues creep higher throughout the developed world. We are seeing this in our own extended family as two nephews recently married in their early thirties and three more are single approaching thirty with no marriage plans that we know of.
Listen to the responses you get when you ask older singles the reason they aren’t married:
1. "I have to wait until I get school debt paid off and have reached a level of financial independence."
2. "I have seen too many lousy marriages (starting with their parents) and I am not sure I want to live with that amount of pain."
3. "My girlfriend is fine with cohabitation. I get the sex without the commitment, so why marry."
4. "I am still waiting for God to show me the right guy/girl."
Let’s look at some of the problems that Christian singles create for themselves by procrastination:
Creation of a selfish, me-first attitude after extended years of having it your way. By avoiding marriage, we are missing out on one of God’s best tools for sanctification. Marital adjustment can be much harder for older singles after many years of not needing to share and compromise.
Pushing the envelop with our biological clocks. I have a nephew currently in the throes of IVF (in vitro fertilization) at a fertility clinic. They are in their mid-30s . Experts will tell you that early 20s are prime time fertility and it is rapidly downhill by the late 20s.
There is less need to trust God in all aspects of your life if you both have it financially wired before marriage.
Delays by each subsequent generation are causing 4 common familial problems: More problems with parenting roles as both partners are well entrenched in jobs and are not willing to take extended leave for parenting; 50 year olds enduring the physical and emotional stress of parenting teens; pensioners with kids still in college; feeble, unengaged grandparents in their 70s when grandkids come along.
Finally we need to remember the command we have to be fruitful and multiply. We need to be entering marriage early enough to allow that to happen. And finally, to take seriously our roles as parents and disciplers of God’s gifts to us!
He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and receives favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

It's true

Well, this is an odd site with 'interesting' quizes. They appear to be a bit long, but now I can be a part of the quizzies.

You scored as extreamly weird. your about as weird as gir. that says alot...

extreamly weird




really weird


super weird




created with

OK, my turn to add a quiz

You scored as Sleeping Beauty. Your alter ego is Princess Aurora, a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty! You are beautiful and enchanting, and as sweet as ever.

Sleeping Beauty


Donald Duck








Peter Pan


The Beast


Cruella De Ville




Snow White


Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with

It's a long quiz and not the best, but here ya go. Don't know that I'm really a sleeping beauty, well, Of course the beauty part is true and I do enjoy a good sleep, but...

Remember when?

Let's try this, borrowed from The Radio Jedi (link on side bar).

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want—good or bad—BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

Another one

I received yet another email today with a new version of the same game. Enjoy!? The numbers don't line up because I deleted some questions that don't really fit a blog format.

1. What is your occupation? Trauma Unit Coordinator/graduate student

2. What color is your underwear? red satin

3. What are you listening to right now? docs talking over cases, ice machine, RNs talking, carts and pumps rolling

4. What was the last thing you ate? just had a few pretzels and then burned my tounge on my fresh cup of candy apple tea

5. Do you wish on stars? not anymore

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? emerald green

7. How is the weather right now? still snowing, third day in a row

8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Kevin, one of our Hanger reps, his British and had a great accent!

10. How old are you today? 32, When the heck did that happen?

11. Favorite drink? hmmmm, enjoyed a few ballini's the other night, yummy

12. Favorite sport to watch? baseball

13. Have you ever dyed your hair? never

14. Do you wear contacts or glasses? blind as a bat without my glasses

15. Pets? dust bunnies and beanie babies

17. Favorite food? Something someone else has made and paid for and cleaned up.

18. What was the last movie you watched? Saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe last night. Great flick, you should all go.

19. Favorite day of the year? any day I get to sleep late

20. Fall or Spring? spring

21. Hugs or kisses? Both

22. Cherry or Blueberry? strawberry

26. Who do you live with? my previously mentioned 'pets'

27. When was the last time you cried? last night at the movie, I admit it, OK

28. What is on the floor of your closet? shoes, clothes (short closet), boxes

29. Who is the friend you have had the longest? KJ Pittman Irwin

30. What did you do last night? went to the Mall of America, ate at Famous Dave's with Marty & Jeff and then off to the aforementioned movie. Afterwards we dined at the IHOP, then home for bed and a little light reading of TIME.

31. Favorite smell? too many from which to choose. Love mountains after the rain.

32. What inspires you? courage

33. What are you afraid of? spiders, I know, I know, but I am

34. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? spicy cheese

35. Favorite car? Chevy Silverado

36. Favorite dog breed? hmmm, no fav here

37. Number of keys on your key ring? 6? (notice they don't ask how many key rings?)

38. How many years at your current job? argh, too many = 2

39. Favorite day of the week? Sunday

40. How many states have you lived in? KS, OK, TN, MO, MN = 5

Friday, December 16, 2005


How fun is this one...

Yesterday afternoon I had a phone interview to drive the Hershey's Kissmobile! How fun! I can hardly wait. Should here after the first of the year and I'm so excited! The interview was twice as long as the one in Liberal and would be so cool!

BTW: plan to call Casey in Liberal tomorrow or Monday to let him know that I'll be in town over the holiday incase they are doing second interviews or anything. Who knows.

Oh, also decided not to sell CM at this point. Someday, someday...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


If I move back to L-town, I want to...

a. take espanol lessons to brush up my 3 years of high school and 1 year of college, never used Spanish verbage

b. take kick-boxing with Rubes. that way I have someone to help get me off the floor when I about die from pain

c. get a massage at least everyother week if not every week. hey, I'll need it after kick-boxing

d. bond with the fam by scrapping more (mom, Rubes, AJanet - she could make cards, and AKathy and Kara), sewing more (Rubes and AJanet) and cooking more Mexican food (Connie). One can never have too much Mexican food.

e. get to the point where I can be the Queen of Pancake Day forever.

f. go to the cabin more often, at least 3 times a year, with family and friends

g. buy a full-sized beautiful truck

Some of those things I really want to happen anyway, but they just make more sense if you start in L-town.


I emailed everything to two of the committee members on Sat around noon. I heard nothing. I called and emailed yesterday. My advisor sent an email this today saying that due to undergrad finals and grading neither of them owuld look at my thesis until Fri. I responded thank you and I'll be in KS for Christmas, but shoudl have email. Good grief! Will it ever end? So much for a merry Christmas to me with a finished thesis.

Insert biggest sigh ever heard here.


I'm not a fan of excercise, but I know that I have a lot of energy to burn and it's too cold and icy to get out and about outside so I decided to do a little something for me. I don't have the available funds to join a gym and that's not really my preference anyway. I live in a apt. with no TV so a video is out. SOOOOO... I decided to buy a little kit to teach me how to bellydance. It's supposed to be great excercise and lots of fun. Who knows? Maybe some day I want to (and have someone that I want to) show my belly to someone. heeheehee

It even came with finger cymbals!

I'm back

I'm back from my mini-vacation. I dropped Shari off at the airport this afternoon and headed back to work. Still no word on my thesis. ARGH! I'm pooped. We had massages before the airport and they rocked! I'm ready to go home, put away some dishes and go to bed, I think. Lots of fun! I hvae not enough brain power to write anything more.

Friday, December 09, 2005

That's LADY Amy to you

That's right. I am a Lady of the Realm. Not just any realm either. I am an official (or will be shortly) Lady of Sealand. As I was driving home late last night after being kicked out of my study room on campus, I heard an interesting report of a young country off the coast of Britian.

Laura has been trying to get me to go to Enland with her for years. Now I just might have to so that I can visit my land.

I'm a freak, I know, but I love it! I also bought a ladiship for TX Laura. I can write this becasue she's never here anyway. This is going to be the best birthday present ever for her!


OK, so have not a clue what's going on here but I'll try again.

Check out this site. I can't believe that it's really true, but it frightens me. Any one know anything. I'm just sick this is so wrong.

There is something that will not allow me to post it as a link here, really wierd. Just cut and paste. sick

quick update

Just emailed everything revised through ch. 3 and the bib. Took way too long and now I'm blogging about it instead of bustin' my butt with ch. 4. But in honesty, it sorta scares me and that's why I hesitate. Please pray for me. I'm off again! BTW -- Ch. 4 is the analysis of the novel, Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, which you all should read. So moving, you'll cry.


I was carrying my giant bag that I call a purse loaded down with things as well as my laptop. Now the laptop bag itself weighs as much or more than the laptop and I have at least 4 books in it as well as the computer. As I was semi-struggling on the elevator, a women mentioned that her son had permanant nerve damage from carrying so much weight during school. Wow.

If you are going back to school...get a bag on wheels!

Or some sexy burleyman to carry all your stuff for you.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Daily thesis update

Wrote last night at home and the school. Didn't get everything done that I hoped. Almost finished with the revisions of Ch. 1-3, the easiest part of the ordeal for sure. After I finish that tonight and email it off, I'll hit Ch. 4 and ideally will finish it tonight. I won't realistically be able to finish it I don't think, but will give it my damnedest. Hope to get all revisions and rewrites and new writes done before Shari gets her early Sat. afternoon. Then have weekend off while advisor reads and hopefully defend next week?

Thank you for your prayers for focus, alertness, clarity of thought, creativity and little crabbiness with my little sleep.


When in a hospital setting, always remember to run the RACE.

R - Rescue
A - Alert
C - Confine
E - Evacuate

I don't know what this really has to do with life or if I have enough energy or care enough to come up with some brilliant parallel, but there it is nonetheless.

We have JCAHO (something like that) here this week at the hospital. They are the governing board of hospitals, like the NCA for colleges & universities. Tell me when we're having fun.

By the way, the number 1 way to fight infection is TO WASH YOUR HANDS! Remember those stickers from grade school that were on the bathroom mirrors? "Wash your hands, drown a germ."

Really, I'm just a bit bored and more than a bit tired and I wanted to post about something, so here ya go. Think I'll run spell check now. Only had 1 misspelled word, now it's fixed. Technology is pretty good sometimes, but do we rely on it too much? yup.

The L-town interview

OK, so it was only 15 mintues long and a bit awkward. Like they didn't really want to interview me or didn't know what they were doing. They also aren't offering close to the salary that I would like to have or need. Not really sure. I'm OK either way, I think the fam will be more bummed if I don't go than I will.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More thesis crap

Well, met with my advisor on Monday (my birthay -- fun, fun) and it could've gone better and worse. Ch. 5 is crap and has to be rewritten completely and ch. 4 I think is salvagable. So I interviewed last night (not sure what to think about that one) and then worked through the reading of the two copies I have from my readers, changing things based on most of their comments. Tonight I hti the library to hopefully finish redoing in depth everything through Ch. 3 and start Ch. 4 and then turn that one in Thurs night and then 5 on Fri. Shari is coming Sat - Tues and i really don't want to do anything while she's here. Good grief! I still have to do laundry, dishes and clean for her visit! Yikes! Not much sleep for me, but at the same time I have to not be too tired so that I'm not cranky and bitchy to my dear friend while she's here!

So much to do... By the way, learned that there should be spaces between the dots in an elipse . . . Now you too could write a master's thesis.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

When is yours?

When is your birthday and what is one of your favorite gifts that you've ever received? My birthday was yesterday (in case you did not read yesterday's post) and one of my fav gifts was this year from Ruby.

Postal stamps with MY PICTURE ON THEM! How fun is that! Love 'em!

Monday, December 05, 2005


It's my birthday! Yes, I am 32, no turning back, I'm an adult. Oh, well, that means I can have an adult beverage to celebrate, right! Tequila anyone?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Places I've applied.

These are some of the locals I've applied for jobs throughout the world:

Japan, that's right, across the sea -- to teach English, won't know anything until at least Feb.

L-town, can't believe it, but it's true. Have a phone interview Tues at 6:30pm.

Plano (Dallas) TX, warmer weather, praise the Lord! Haven't heard a word.

Can't remember anything else. Know there are others, but things begin to blur together, ya know.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Some mornings...

your just havin' a fat day.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

what about you?

Alright, I've decided to put this sort of stuff on my bloggitty blog and just refer all those who email it to me to this loverly site. Feel free to cut and paste and add your own answers to your blog.

1. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR KITCHEN PLATES? mix & match Green from my mom; haven't pulled out the Christmas china -- Johnson Brother's Friendly Village
2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? What am I not? The World is Flat, Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, something by Gwen Shamblin, Sweat the Small Stuff by Bruce & Stan and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? DELL, boring, I'm at work
4. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BOARD GAME? I love games! Has to be Catch Phrase
5. FAVORITE SMELL? the cinamon-y holiday smell...or a great smelling guy, remember one of my favorite boys used to wear Drakkar.
6. LEAST FAVORITE SMELL? Any number of the nasty things from working here at the hospital.
7. FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN T HE MORNING & GET OUT OF BED? Thank you God for another morning and my goodness it's chilly once I'm not under my giant pile of blankets.
10. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? depends on who is calling, caller-ID has changed my world there.
11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? many options, love Braden for a boy or girl, use the nickname Brady
12. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN MY LIFE? Somedays I just don't know. I should say Jesus and that is true often, but other days I let life get ahold of me and run.
13. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Chocolate, hands down.
14. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? ummm, ya.
16. STORMS-COOL OR SCARY? no thank you, prefer the bright and shiney or somewhat dreary or lightly snowy day
17. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? 1976 Ford LTD, giant of all vehicles
19. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? Might have to go with a well-made emorita, smooth glass of red wine or the MOJITO
22. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB WHAT WOULD IT BE? a world traveler and philanthropist
23. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY COLOR HAIR WHAT WOULD IT BE? my hair color when I was a bit younger.
24. IS THE GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF-EMPTY? typically half full, unless I'm having a bad day
25. FAVORITE MOVIES? When Harry Met Sally, Cinema Paradiso and far too many more
27. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? all sorts of treasures: luggage, purses, old t-shirts that I want made into a quilt, gift wrap stuff, wardrobe boxes, dust bunnies...
29. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE / SCARY THING? well, last night is was the live mouse I saw scamper across the floor of the store where I was visiting with a friend while enjoying a cup of cocoa.
30. FAVORITE CD? Right now? Katina's Christmas CD -- love it!
31. FAVORITE TV SHOW? TV? I don't have a clue -- no TV.
32. KETCHUP OR MUSTARD? I like them both
33. HAMBURGERS OR HOT DOG? I like them both but hot dogs really are better with chili, cheese and onions.
34. FAVORITE SOFT DRINK? There's nothing like having the good Dr. around, particularly at 10, 2 & 4.
35. THE BEST PLACE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN? too many options, the Grand Canyon?
36. WHAT WALLPAPER IS ON YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW? A picture of my sisters and I at Camp Snoopy this past May. Too fun!


I have successfully succeeded in passing along two of my addictions to my friends. Fortunately they aren't rehab-worthy, but full of joy -- I promise!

Those addictions are scrapbooking and tea. I clinched the tea deal with Chris last night when I took her to the Tea Source for sample night. It was so fun! We tried oolongs, which I have decided are not for me. We then tried a pot of the Almond Brittle, not as good as The SpecialTea's Almond Cookie (which is amazing with some milk and sugar!) and a pot of a new herbal, Lazy Susan, which was great!

Time to go home, maybe make some soup and then have a nice cup of herbal tea (so as not to keep me up) and do some reading. Still deciding if that will be for fun or serious. hmmm. Decisions, decisions...

Soup's On!

I'm really into soup lately, which is good since winter has definately arrived here in the Frozen Tundra. Having friends over for a nice bowl of soup, conversation, games, maybe some wine or tea, nothing beats it on a cold night. (OK, so there are things that beat it, but let me have this.)

So far we've had Tastefully Simples' cheesy broccoli with sausage, potato & bacon and this week we're going to try a corn chowder (which if I remember correctly, has potato and cheese, how bad can it be?) and some baked acorn squash that looks tastey. We'll see.

Wild rice soup and some new, as well as tried and true, chili are in order soon.

I'm tired of having all of these recipies and not using them. Printed off a bunch of hot choc. recipies lately and can't wait to try those as well as enjoy all of my tea with friends. Yea!

Are you normal?

So, my friend, Chris, was telling me about this odd little quiz and so I had her email it to me. Unfortunately, my work will not allow me access to the site, so you all get to see how normal you are and just let me know. Can't wait to see if you are all as abnormal as I think you just might be.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ever wonder?

Have you ever just watched the blogger front page after you've updated your blog to see if yours comes up as recently updated? I was really bored on Sat. I updated, I watched, I gave up. I was however a bit sickened by some of the names of blogs that passed by on my screen. I also visited several, none worth revisiting though. Maybe I'll try again.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I am applying to teach English in Japan with the JET Program. The following is my essay to be included with the app. It shoudl talk about my motivation for going, my qualifications and my goals in going. What do you think?

I have a love for Japan. My first trip to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe in 1994-1995 sparked the beginning of my desire to know more about the country and her people. I returned in 1998 for a brief trip and the desire to return wells up at least every two years. I realize now that that desire will never leave and that it is time to begin quenching that desire. Along with my desire to return to Japan is my passion for other cultures. That flame was fanned through my travels, the fact that my sister is Korean and my recent studies in cross cultural communication. I believe that to better understand and utilize my master’s degree, I need to spend some intense time immersed in another culture and I know that the JET program would provide just such an experience. My desire is to know people and reach out to them and teach them as much as I learn from them. The very nature of the JET program, teaching English and forming relationships with Japanese is why I have chosen to apply to this program and the ALT position.
I am excited about returning to Japan. My previous trips were short and packed with activity. I look forward to just being able to live and work there while I take in my surroundings. I have spent the last two years in a graduate program studying communication and finally focusing on cross cultural communication and the role of a cultural broker. I have been able to supplement my education with my role at work where I was selected to be a Regions Fellow, working on training others in my area about cultural issues facing us in our work environment. This and the very multi-ethnic environment in which I work has benefited me in broadening my scope of knowledge and understanding.
I am an extrovert who thrives on being with people. I enjoy sharing what I know with those eager to learn. While I have not had a great deal of direct teaching experience, I look forward to the challenges that will bring. I believe that my energy and enthusiasm will be an asset to the ALT position. Living far from family and friends is difficult, but having done that for several years already, combined with my extroverted personality, will allow me to help make the transition to Japan smoother.
Moving to Japan to teach English will, I hope, provide me with a greater sense of what it means to serve as cultural broker. I am sure that I will need one as well as be able to be one to my students who are interested in America. This really serves as both a personal and professional goal for me. A greater understanding of myself and a different culture will not only help me develop personally, but give me the practical experience that I need to return to the States and take a position in my field of study. My goal is to grow and learn as I help teach others.

Friday, November 25, 2005


this is the substance that keeps us alive.
i don't drink enough.
i try. at least a bottle before lunch, sometimes, 2.
why does it taste better out of a bottle than my cup?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!

I'm off for some wine and cheese at home tonight and cleaning and reading. yea!

Tomorrow is church and then to the pastor's for the big meal along with some others I know. Leftovers that night will probably be at Chris's mom's place, then back to work on Fri, where I think I'll bring potato soup for the crew. I know, not terribly Thanksgivingish, but I have a ton of spuds from the farmer's market.

Thanksgiving. A pretty darned boring holiday. One of my least favs actually. Nothing on but that damned sport and I don't really like turkey. I try to focus on the whole "thanks" part of the holiday and remember that I at least have turkey to eat and am typically surrounded by family and/or friends at a place that has electricity and a TV.

Time to leave my junky job (that I am actually thankful that I have even though I don't like) and go home.

Thank you, God, for reminding me of the joy that you alone can give, regardless of turkey, football and being far away from those I love most.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

These are a few...

First Best Friend: Shay something or other, then Kendra Jo Pittman and then Laura Hitt
First Screen Name: gosh, no recollection, probably arthompson
First Pet: Ebony, big dog that I don't recollect, really mostly remember Coco Rice Krispies
First Piercing: Ears (ONLY piercing I might add)
First Crush: any number of cuties from kindergarten, Robbie McCormick and Todd somebody
First CD: no idea, my first ALBUM was Alabama's Roll On
First Car: '76 Ford LTD, a semi could've run me down in that I'd have never known
First Real Love: chocolate, heeheehee
First Stuffed Animal: Sandy, a big pink (I know, I know, I now hate pink) teddy bear that my Mom finally threw away because it was a wee bit dingy.

Last Car ride: to work this morning, is it me or this an odd question? who made this list?
Last Movie Seen: I'm sure it was a chick-flick, something about a prince going to school in America incognito, maybe with Julia Stiles?
Last Phone Call: I made -- tech support, received -- personally, a gal from Origins at the mall
Last CD Played: Toby Keith's Christmas CD from like '95.
Last Bubble bath: allergic to bubbles, bummer, but do enjoy a nice hot tub full of bath salts, light some candles and enjoy a good book
Last time you Cried: sure it was recently, perhaps when I watched the Ronald Reagan 18-minute political film (really it's a tear jerker)

Have you ever dated one of your best friends?: Sorta
Have you ever been arrested? No, pulled over, yea
Have you ever skinny dipped? No
Have you ever been on TV? Yes
Have you ever kissed someone then regretted it? um, ya, and will deny it to the grave!

1. black pants
2. grey & red sweater
3. black socks
4. black shoes
5. my treasured Tiffany earrings
6. glasses
7. SC lanyard with work 'flair'

1. Went to work
2. had lunch with a friend
3. made tea (more than once)
4. filed papers
5. checked my email a bazillion times
6. posted this facinating revelation of me

1. Family and friends
2. scrapbooking
3. Jesus
4. jewels
5. meat

1. Rubes
2. TX Laura
3. Shari
4. Andrea

1.Black or White: Black
2. Hot or Cold: Hot, used to think cold but then moved to the Frozen Tundra and changed my mind
3.Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate

1. Start a family
2. give away a million dollars

1. some of my word choices to loved ones

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lion, Witch & Wardrobe

I'm helping to facilitate a book study on this C.S. Lewis classic on Sunday afternoon. Anyone have any good suggestions or sources online that I might check out? We're only doing the first five chapters. Thanks in advance. And if you haven't read this GO GET IT NOW!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

One of Life's Lessons

I hesitate to type this, but I have been thinking quite a bit lately about the personal nature of many blogs I have read. Personal, introspective, either way, mine is really a daily log of activities rather than much more. In an attempt to go futher and in response to a request, here it goes. Hopefully other introspections will be much better.

In my undergraduate days I made a few minor errors. ALRIGHT! I made some whopping errors in judgment. I began a long-term intimate relationship with a fellow student that lasted far too long for everyone involved. While I cared about him, I did not ever love him the way a woman should love her husband. I was however, in love with the idea of being in love. Praise the Lord, I listened to his prompting and finally ended the relationship. However, while involved with this man, I made a mistake in not calling my folks to let them know that I had made it safely back to school following interterm one year. I had stopped at the dorm and dropped off all of my belongings and then proceeded to his dorm where we watched movies and fell asleep. (For those not aware, my alma mater does NOT have co-ed dorms nor did it have generous visitation hours at the time of my attendance. Overnight stays were certainly against all rules.) Anyway, we were rudely awakened early in the morning by a pounding on the dorm room door. To which he hesitantly asked who was there. A strong, loud voice alerted us to the presence of the Highway Patrol. The officer asked if he knew where I was and if I was in the room. He answered yes and the officer told him to have me call my mother. This was prior to many dorm room phones and cell phones. I had to go upstairs to the pay phone and humbly call my parents and make up some story (other than being rudely awakened in my boyfriend's room) about my whereabouts all night long. My parents threatened to remove me from school, etc.

Not one of my shining moments, that is certain.

Never fear, my more recent police meetings have been on better terms.

How awful. ick, or as they say in the Frozen Tundra--ish.

I learned a lot. Perhaps mostly in retrospect. Listen to your parents and ALWAYS call home upon safe arrival. Don't get ahead of yourself. Don't be stupid. Follow the rules (which, let's face it, I usually do). God forgives even our stupidity when we bow humbly before him.

from God

And now from Scripture, the Lord call us to welcome and love and share His grace and mercy with ALL.

from Romans 3:21-31

"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
"Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law."

Romans has a great deal to say about cultural brokering and racial reconciliation. Godspeed.

from T.C. Boyle

the tortilla curtain

This book shows how your beliefs can be tested. Who are you really? It doesn't pose the question of faith, but makes a believer question what does God desire of you in such situations?

I have pages of notes, but will offer only one here from page 19 --
Candido's wife, America, has gone into the city to try and find some sewing work. It was a wild goose chase and she got lost in the process. It was her first real trip to the city, especially alone and she was shocked and amazed. (Candido and America are illegal Mexicans in California.)
"A gabacho sat on the sidewalk with his long hair and begged for change and the sight of him struck her with holy terror: if he had to beg in his own country, what chance was there for her?"

Quotes from Crespo

These are a few quotes and occasionally my thoughts on quotes from Orlando Crespo's Being Latino in Christ: Finding Wholeness in Your Ethnic Identity, Downers Grove, IL: InterVaristy Press, 2003.

from p 73 --
"Jesus was not acultural or nonethnic. The Son of God was incarnated into a specific culture. He recognized and ahered to many cultural guidelines and boundaries, even though he was always stretching them."

Jesus often kept within the cultural boundaries because He knew that it was the best way to serve and reach out to those within that culture. People respond better to love and understanding than a forcible "I like you and want to help you, you'd be better off like me" attitude.

from p 88 --
"In the end we cannot stop ourselves from functioning as cultural beings. As we interact with one another and with God, all of these external in internal cultural patterns are present whether we want to admit it or not."

from p 90--
"as followers of Christ we must invite God to reveal all of our cultural values, beliefs and customs so that they can be conformed into his image."

My culture isn't the only one, nor is it the right one.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

New lyrics

I forgot to mention last night that my dear sweet study buddy, Lisa, got more lyrics wrong. There were two songs but I can't remember the other one. This is the same woman who messed up Margaritaville, 'member?

Anyway, long boring story of how we got to the topic but I was singing, "My bonnie lies over the ocean, my bonnie lies over the sea...." Lisa, in all her educated wisdom thought that it was "BODY" instead on "BONNIE!" Now I'll give her that probably a lot of people might think that but it is still funny.

oooh, it doesn't take much to entertain me.


You have got to see this and turn the sound up. Not offensive and fun for all. Someone from work told me about it and it's a riot! Apparently these two kids were wasting time and not studying (hmmm, sounds familiar) and now they have some sort of commercial gig with Nikkon, maybe? I can't remember. Maybe I could waste some more time trying to find out. It's an Asian company that starts with an "N" I believe.


You can also find this by going to Google and searching for 2 Chinese students. It's the 2nd listing that comes up.

Friday, October 28, 2005

My life

I was talking with a friend last night about community. I love living in community. I'm brainstorming ways to get to know my own apartment community, and I'm kinda excited about that opportunity when my thesis is finished. Anyway, in case you haven't taken a moment to check out my links. Here's a fun one to see one of my most favorite communities here in the Frozen Tundra. Click here and go to ministries and singles and enjoy the fun. Would also love to know what you think of our goals, schedule, etc and any ideas that you have for our group.

Well, Lynnae and I are heading to the Farmer's Market tomorrow morning in downtown St. Paul. Then Craig is going to fix my car for free (minus supplies). Then Jeff and I will go buy some wine and make supper for Richard and Lynnae and then we all head to the church to watch Craig's horrible movie. I love these people and God really blessed me with this church community.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Try this one

An old college friend is posting to this site and I have not read it all, but have now happened upon what appears to be a blog worth visiting. By the way, the one I know is Gentry.

Every Square Inch

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

my job

Does this help explain why I hate my job. Oh, and notice that I am posting a very unflattering photo of me (referencing previous comment by the Friar).

Time for a cup of tea!

Found some more tasty tee, my friends. This one came to me from Shawna (links to her blogs on side). I've only had the Mint Energy but it's delightful! So smooth! Better than this green tea I"m drinking right now that I forgot about and steeped a bit too long. Anyway, I don't think I get anything free for linking these folks on my blog (I did for Adagio though, yea!). Now to find out if the tea is available here and if it's cheaper here or online. Oftentimes, when shopping online the shipping makes it all the same. Anyway, I ramble. May you all have a glorious day, filled with the joy of the simple treasures of life -- like a nice glass of hot tea!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The theses sorta roll on...

"He's long dead. You can quote me on that." Words of delirious wisdom from my study partner, Lisa.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Can you believe this one?

OK, I am not a sports fan of any kind really, although I am a bit mournful about my dear Cards not making it to the Series. Anyway, even though I'm not a sports buff, I don't really think that anyone would count this as a real sport. You have got to check this out! Let's all revert back to childhood for just a moment, shall we...with...that's right... rock ..paper..scissors!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Texas Laura

She's on a roll and has posted 3 times this week! Be sure to check her out on the link to the side.

The Lottery...

As I lay in bed last night, I prayed for whomever might win the lottery. That the Lord would guide them and help them as they dealt with everything that might come with the sudden wealth of over $3million. I was sorta hoping for that to convince God to let me win, but I don't live in OR. bummer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Time for another

Hadn't added a photo in awhile so here you go.

This is from my trip in early Oct for Mike's wedding. I love these guys!


OK, I admit it. I bought 3 powerballs this morning. I paid $2.35/gallon for gas and then bought 3 tickets, one for each of us girls. I mean, really, as a friend mentioned, if God wanted to show me His grace and mercy this way, I want to humble myself before Him and allow for His will to be done in my life.

Sick & Dizzy

Now I've got a cold. Nothing really, might turn into a sinus infection, but life goes on, ya know.

I met with my advisor yesterday. The time line is longer than I had hoped but we'll make it work. Next major deadline is Nov. 4, then Nov. 21 for the entire thing and then defend the week of my birthday. Happy Birthday to me. yea.

I'm going to proof Ch. 2-3 tonight so that I can email to my prof tomorrow. Then go to praise band worship, yup, praise band worship. I think I said yes in the fog of my cold. yikes! I can hardly hear myself because I'm so stopped up right now, we'll see how that goes. Then cokes with a few friends and home to bed.

The school is calling me the next 3 days. ick. OK, I'm all about education, but you have to really want it. It's a royal pain in the butt.

Friday, October 14, 2005


I am currently wearing a diamond ring belonging to a patient. It's beautiful, but not mine. I am just the caretaker for a short time. I'm so nervous that I'm going to lose it and get sued or something. I'm not enjoying the gift of the moment. I am wearing a lovely DIAMOND!

I do this a far bit in my life. Not wear diamonds that aren't mine, but not using what I've been given. I'm a saver. I'll save something for a 'special occasion' and then it goes bad. This could be as simple as a box of corn muffin mix having wevils. It could be waiting to say something important about Jesus to someone special until just the right time and missing the 'time' altogether.

Why do we wait? Why not dive in and enjoy the diamonds? Those little (and sometimes big) treasures that God puts in our lives for a season should be well, treasured.

My prayer for those reading is that you will have open eyes to see the treasures that are in your life and jump on them, use them to their fullest joy. Who knows what the Lord might show us and bless us with through that gift?

Wait, the patient has returned. It's time to give back the diamond.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mark your calendar NOW!

Ladies and gentlemen, now is the time to start planning.

FEB. 28 IS SHROVE TUESDAY AKA PANCAKE DAY! You will find their site under my links. Now that Sarah-Ruby has moved back home, she will be qualified to run in the International Pancake Race again. She's already started training! I'm so proud (and a bit jealous) that I can burst!

I don't know where I'll be in Feb as a whole, but I will guaran-damn-tee ya that I try my hardest to get to L-town for all of the festivities. Yee-haw!


Last night I scored tickets through a friend, to go to a MN Wild hockey game. They were good seats and we won 6-0. We had such a great time. I'm not s sports enthusiast, nor do I understand hockey fully (although I do know that they have new rules this year that are supposed to help increase scoring) it's great when your team is winning. There was also one good fight, which is really what hockey is all about, doncha know.

Yea! Went to hockey in the Frozen Tundra and walked a mile back to my car in the rain, but at least I parked for free! Oh, but I did eat a sausage with onions, cheese curds, mini-donuts and a coke. Hey, I shared the curds and donuts! Since the ticket was free it was ok. Kinda like drinking diet pop with a candy bar. It all evens out.

A great big thanks to Lynnae for hookin' me up with the ticket! Hooray!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

randomness from my world

As I start typing, I have no idea what will come forth here, which is an interesting turn of a phrase seeing as how one patient near me just puked. yea.

I'm looking for a job all over, not madly, but I'm ready to move on. Trying to focus on the ol' thesis, but somedays you have to take a break, you know. Looked at jobs with the State of Kasas today. Don't think so. Random things that I think to look up, really.

Boss is on the phone, guess I should actually do work today...

Monday, October 10, 2005

a bit bummed

My dear friend, Shari, from CO was supposed to visit this coming weekend, but plans change. Now it will be Dec until I get to see her. woa is me. Life goes on and I'll get more library time this way and when she's here, I'll be finished with the thesis, and we can celebrate our birthdays together, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, I ramble and it's time for a pop. Started reading a book the Friar loaned me last night which is good, and thought provoking in an odd way. It's about a woman who loves living in her small town and OPENS A CAFE. Lot to think about. Enjoying it though. Bad to read something for fun in the midst of study crunch time, I'm too easily distracted. Off for some hot tea to warm the bones and pop to get them moving!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Pet Peeves

Inspired by a response on another blog...

EVERYONE should wear a seatbelt. ALL THE TIME while riding in a vehicle. More people die from NOT wearing their seatbelts than those who do not. Unfortunately it's not always a quick and painless way to meet the Lord, either. But a horrible and terrifying experience for everyone. Where's the good in that I ask?

Also a pet peeve of mine -- people who park in the handicapped space without proper markings (license or sticker or tag or something).

Oh, yea, the TP should come over the top and you should always squeeze from the bottom of the tube of toothpaste, just like the directions say.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Thesis update

I met with my advisor this week and she thinks that I can still meet the deadline of Thanksgiving. YEA! YIKES! and OHMYGOSH! Guess where I'm going tonight -- the school to work on the paper, surprise.

Wedding Reception Fun

It became the rule that everyone who sat at our table had to pose with the flowers. I have more that are still on the roll in my camera and will add them when they're finished. Enjoy the fun! Clint, Miss Kara (can you believe that she's a freshman in high school?) and Mom (can you see where I get it from?)

The latest wedding

I went to Colorado last weekend for my cousin Mike's wedding. It was so awesome and I'm so happy for him. Here are a few shots for you to enjoy.

The first shot is of my mom wearing the new pair of sexy shoes that I got and wore to the wedding. They are super fun and have about a 2.5 inch heal. Crazy!

The next one is Aunt Loly and me and I love my Aunt Loly! She is in her 80's and a hoot! It's her grandson, Mike, who got married. Isn't she pretty in pink.

Speak of the devil, the next photo is Mr. Groom himself, Mike. I didn't get a good shot of Kristy, bummer.

The final shot is my dear friend, the Friar, who was willing to hang with my family and carry my purse. (It's a good thing it matched his shoes!)

New job

I have just applied to be a hotdogger for Oscar Meyer. How freakin' cool is it to think that I might be able to drive the Wienermobile across the country! I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I hate running games

However, I am willing to play this version of tag. In no particular order...

5 things I plan to do before I die

  • Marry the man of my dreams, if you meet him, let him know I'm here.
  • Enjoy the job of my dreams, not sure what that is yet...
  • Drive the Weinermobile or Hershey's Kissmobile, that might be the job of my dreams.
  • Live in Sterling again.
  • Take my whole family on a FABO VACA of our own.
  • go ice fishing
  • Finish this dadgum thesis (I know, I know, this is really 7, who cares, it's my list and I can make it as long as I want)

5 things I can do
  • scrapbook like a madwoman
  • buy a bargain for no good reason besides it's a good deal
  • sing for the joy of singing
  • find the joy in the treasures all around me (without being nauseating to others)
  • YMCA

5 things I cannot do
  • pass up a bargain (I'm getting better!)
  • be a nurse
  • marry someone I do not love or is not a Christian
  • drive Nascar (or watch it very long for that matter)
  • ever give up on those that I love

5 things that attract me to the opposite sex

  • humor and laughter
  • joy in the silly and small things
  • sincerity and genuineness (is that a word?)
  • love of his family (but not in a weird way)
  • brain
  • musical ability is always a bonus

5 things I say most often

  • those listening to me should probably answer this one
  • ya'll
  • fabulous
  • random thought...

5 celebrity crushes

  • ummm, I don't have TV or go to the movies and my thesis research doesn't have a lot of pictures.
  • Keith Urban
  • Joe Nichols -- he's a cutie with a freakin' awesome voice, love it low!
  • Jimmy Wayne -- LOVE "Baby, Baby Stay"
  • and always and forever, the man with one of the sexiest tractors around -- Kenny Chesney
  • I notice a theme of country music, let me just say "YEEHAW!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I know...too many

I have used more ellipses today than I probably have in my whole life. Odd observance.

I realize this is overload for one day, but as mentioned previously, I don't like my job and I'm bored at work. I've saved these photos and want to load them up before I forget so that then I can delete them, blah, blah, blah.

More from the Cabin, yea!

First -- I built that fire.

Second -- Lynnae & I almost broke that teeter-totter. I don't think it was made for big people.

Third -- How awesome and fun and cute is this picture of Lisa! I just love it, I might even stick it in a frame. Fun!

Now, don't you wish you could have been there?

fun at work

I don't like my job but the people I work with make it (mostly) worthwhile. I think that is often the case for folks. I am a big photo person so I thought I'd add a few fun shots from work, along with a work wedding (1 of 8 this year). It was amazing by the way.

fun fotos

I tried to edit a previous post to add photos and couldn't figure it out, so for kicks and giggles here are the photos anyhow...
This is the Friar and Sarah-Ruby, both whom I get to go and see THIS WEEKEND!~ I can hardly wait! OK, Rubes made me take her photo off even though I thought it was terribly cute. But you know, a girl's wish is a sister's command.

Welcome, Wyatt!

One of my classmate, Julie, just had an incredibly handsome baby boy, Wyatt. He was 9-10 weeks early, but is doing amazingly well. He's love and adored by all who see him. This is a mini-class reunion as Lisa & I went to visit the new family at the hospital a couple of weeks ago. We're trying to encourage one another to finish our theses, but it's getting tougher now with a baby in the photo. Wait, that's Julie's excuse, what's ours, Lisa?

Cabin in the woods

I went up North a few weeks ago and have had the film developed, much faster than some of my friends, I might add. Anyway, I thought I'd share. We were at Sleeping Fawn, for which you will find a link under lodging, near Park Rapids MN. Had a glorious time and I can hardly wait to return next summer.
These photos here are all at Itasca State Park. The first is at the marker commemorating the home of the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The second is some big dead tree on the path that we thought was cool (the tree that is, not the path). The third is me standing by the Mississippi River. For someone who grew up knowing the Mississippi River in St. Louis as it floods and rages by in a dark, muddy swirl, this was unbelievably small and clear. So fun! The fourth is me climbing under a fallen tree on my way back to the car after viewing MN's largest Red Pine.

Life is hard and unfair

I know a man who is dying a slow and awful death. It was supposed to be quick and now it is not. It is a miracle that he is alive, but it is not really life. This is an incredibly painful ordeal for the family and those caring for him. Unimaginable, really.

It puts things into perspective on how my whole thesis ordeal, while a pain in the butt, isn't all that. I did have two really progressive nights with my research, if I can keep this up, it will be a huge blessing. But even if I don't, I am not living the horror that I have witnessed the last 2 days.

Please pray for that family and those caregivers who are all questioning and hurting.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Weekend fun

I'm so excited! Some friends and I are heading to downtown Minneapolis to see Cirque! It's actually my third time in as many years. First in Chicago with FABO VACA where we saw VAREKAI and then in Vegas at the Bellagio to see O, again with FABO VACA and now here to see Corteo, yippee! If you've never seen Cirque, I highly recommend it. Have you seen anything they've done? What?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

2 more...

OK, so that no one gets unhappy at being excluded...

Sha-nae-nae: This is my sister's roomie and BFF and I appreciate her being there when I cannot. She's pretty darned funny as well, although, I the prude, think she has way to much wicked fun. :) She's bright and entertaining and has a beautiful bedroom (is it weird to say that?) and a huge tolerance for the beasts, Josie & Gabster. Have you also noticed a trend in surrounding myself with bright individuals? Not sure what that means...

Robin: This is my sister's BFF from way back when. She's spent way too much time at our house growing up and knows far too much for my comfort level. She has one of my dream jobs, working with alumni at her alma mater (although I would want to work at mine, not hers) and knows the joys and sorrows of L-town. Did I mention that she's both bright and funny?


Taking a cue from one of my friends, here's a little rundown of who's who listed in my blog buddies.

Sarah-Ruby: One of my dear sisters (haven't convinced the other one to join the club yet) who is living in D-town, Denver. Our parents never intended for her to be named Ruby, but after one too many folks leaving off the 'h' she called me in frustration wanting to change her name to Ruby (where this came from I have no idea). The name stuck. She is a riot! She's bright, freakin' hilarious, musical (just auditioned for American Idol) and one hot chica! You've got to read about AI and the entry about dead people and all of the comments attached. Too good!

The Friar: Dear friend from college, we were 'reunited' after not seeing each other for 8-9 years this past summer. What a hoot! Have you noticed that I like to surround myself with funny people? It makes life so much richer. Anyway, Clint is a pastor out in Colorado Springs and has something to say about most things. He's an intellect, a sage and brave soul, living out his life in Jerry Springer-land. Did I mention that it is all his fault that I even have a blog in the first place?

Bubba: Same as the Friar, only this is a devotional blog for him.

Laura: Well, let's see. BFF since 1st grade. We've seen the good, the bad and the ugly of each other and love each other still. I miss her dearly since she's down south in TX and I'm stuck in the Frozen Tundra of MN. She has a heart of gold, is smart (even without her degree, heeheehee) and also, a freakin' riot! She is never at a loss of what to say, she just keeps busy enough that she doesn't blog very often at all which is a huge bummer.

Jedi & School-mate Shawna: These are one and the same with the latter being a more theological site. She is a joy and I loved having her perspective throughout grad school. She and I share a joy for Jesus and tea. She's had a wild year and with the completion of her thesis at hand it will only be wilder, stop in and see what she has to say.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Free Tea

Have I mentioned that you can get some free tea samples simply by sending an email to these folks requesting the samples? I don't have mine yet, but I'll let you know if they are any good, and really, do we care as long as they are free?!


New blogger mates

Please note that I have added a few new blog buddies. Take some time to take a peek.

By the way, received some free tea for adding Adagio Tea to my blog (great deal, by the way) and made a pot of citron green for my co-workers at lunch. It's a nice light flavor a bit different than normal green tea due to the citrus. Probably tasty iced, if you like that sort of thing. I'm a hot tea drinker all the way.

Anyway, blog away my friends!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Tea time

Have I mentioned that I am a tea drinker? Not a tea snob, but I do enjoy a good cup a tea. I have added a link to a really fun tea place as well. If you are interested, let me know and I can email you a $5 off coupon. Just add your email to your post, if I don't already have it. I can hardly wait to get my order in. yea!

Fun places to Stay

When I travel, I typically stay with family in friends. However, I have decided to add some special links to places where I, or someone in my family, has stayed. This is sort of spurred on by my immense dislike for the aforementioned Sterling Inn. Hedricks Exotic Animal Farm & B&B is fun but they don't have a website, so alas, they lose out here.

The place in Park Rapids, Sleeping Fawn Resort, has been mentioned before and is a great getaway!

The place near Abilene KS, is owned by some friends of mine. I have never had the pleasure of staying there myself, but hope to sooner rather than later.

Liberal is my hometown and ya have to give props to the homies, right? Anyway, I have also not really ever stayed here, but have been inside when we booked the delux suite for my folk's anniversary several years ago.

Any suggestions that should be added? What fun places have you stayed?

Thursday, September 15, 2005


When did our lives become so crazy that I actually have to schedule time to call my dear friends? Thurs is TX, CO folks are up in the air. TX is on our 3rd try in the last week. Good grief!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Isn't it funny what we think the words really are to songs, only to find out years later how wrong we really were? What words have you 'missung?'


OK, randomly Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville just came up in conversation. My dear friend and study buddy thought that the words were, "lookin' for my jigger and saw." What does that mean? Why would you be looking for a saw on an island?

So, anyway, for those of you who need to know what all of the real words are because you only sing it when you yourself are in Margaritaville, here ya go. Courtesy of Jimmy's website.

Nibblin' on sponge cake,watchin' the sun bake;
All of those tourists covered with oil.
Strummin' my six string
on my front porch swing.
Smell those shrimp--They're beginnin' to boil.
Wasted away again in Margaritaville,
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
But I know it's nobody's fault.
Don't know the reason,
Stayed here all season
With nothing to show but this brand new tattoo.
But it's a real beauty,
A Mexican cutie,
how it got hereI haven't a clue.
Wasted away again in Margaritaville,
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
Now I think,-- hell it could be my fault.
I blew out my flip flop, Stepped on a pop top;
Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home.
But there's booze in the blender,
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on.
Wasted away again in Margaritaville
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
But I know, it's my own damn fault.
Yes, and some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
And I know it's my own damn fault


Listen here, ya freaks! Now I have to go and have everyone go through that crazy "type what you see" thing so that you freaks stay away. Don't make stupid remarks so that it looks like you have actually read my blog. You haven't. Knock it off!

Let's see how many of you remark to this one before I get that thing set up so that you cannot. Then I'll really know that you aren't reading my blog. Again...YA FREAKS!


FOR: Sleeping Fawn Resort -- Park Rapids MN

AGAINST: Sterling Inn -- Sterling KS

FOR: Hedricks Exotic Animal Farm -- Nickerson KS

AGAINST: Sterling Inn -- Sterling KS

FOR: Your car in a ditch in a blizzard of sand -- Anywhere

AGAINST: Sterling Inn -- Sterling KS

But I'm not bitter or anything.

"you could dance to it"

Right now I'm preparing to work on my thesis. My friend is trying to get help with her Gateway and the hold music is not the best. She said, "I can't tell if it's French or Spanish, but it's a Bob Dylan wannabe." It's now on speaker phone and I have no idea who it is but it is in English that even I can understand. Thesis work will drive anyone mad.

I really don't have much to say here, just felt like it was time to add something. While not as entertaining as ...

ooooh, now they've told us who is singing this next song, Norah Jones and Charlie Hunter? I have no idea who Charlie is seeing as how I mostly listen to country and Christian music. I would like to offer up that I do know who Norah is though and she's quite good. I ramble... I know, shocking...

Anyway, while not as entertaining as Sarah-Ruby's most recent adventures with American Idol, I'll come up with something.

This weekend a couple of friends and I are going up north to a cabin on a lake. Two of us were there in the bug-infested month of June, but I'm looking forward to the cooler weather and fall foilage. I can hardly wait! The scenery, of all kinds, will be well worth the trip.

Oh, by the way, having a good hair day, too bad you aren't all here to enjoy it!

Thus end the ramblin's of my mind...

...for the moment...

Friday, September 09, 2005


OK, so the previous post didn't make me feel better, so I procrastinate further to say that I would not really rather eat my own leg rather than anything probably. I am prone to exaggeration and hyperbole, as my dear friends will tell you. ARGH! Really, going to read now. ARGH!

school sucks

I would rather eat my own leg than have to finish this thesis.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

My Hairdressing Queen!

This is the infamous Tammy. Hooray for a good haircut. I've already posted my ode to my hairdresser, so let the photo suffice. Great hair, huh.


My friends and I took our first FABO VACA to Colorado in 2002 with 6 of us in one Durango (including far too many scrapbooking supplies). The next year 4 of us, 3 originals and 1 addition, headed out on the train to Chicago to be followed by a different group of 4, 3 originals and same addition, the next year for FABO VEGA VACA. This year we opted out of the traditional FABO VACA for a few reasons, namely two VACA weddings. While no one from within the VACA circle married one another (well, Nate & Idella are already married so that doesn't count), the rest of the clan made it a priority to be in attendance at each wedding. First there was Joe 1 & Chrissy in KC the end of April. Debbie & Joe 3, I mean, Andy, were married last weekend at her folks house outside of Sterling. Only Nate couldn't be there as he was finishing up some military training. We all toasted him though with a nice champagne (he would prefer gin & tonics, but you go with what ya got).

This photo includes all the Joes (well, Joe 1, Joe 2 and Joe 3, I mean Andy) and maybe baby Joey? What do you think Nate & Idella. I like it, it has a nice ring to it.


While I thought a tornado might take me back to MN, my trip to KS was wonderful and without any twisters.

I'm a hugger as you can see. This is my Dad and I outside the creepiest, most horrible hell-hole around -- the Sterling Inn. NEVER STAY THERE! You are better off in the trunk of your car. Really.

I sped back home to Kansas for a friend's wedding. That's Debbie and I at the Salon Out Back. She was having her nails done the day before the wedding while I was getting my hairs cut and sexified. It was so good to see her, it's been since Christmas.

The final shot is of my Gran. The folks, Gran and I stayed at the NIGHTMARISH Hole and they all snore to beat the band. yikes! This was taken prior to the snoring (when I was still happy). They all drove up Friday night to see me. We hung out until the next afternoon when they all headed back out to the SW corner of KS and home, while I transitioned to my friends and the pending nuptiuals.

Dorothy was right, "There is no place like home."


I hate SPAM. I really enjoyed the SPAM museum in Austin, MN (what a hoot! why do you need to wear a hard hat to make SPAM?), but I do not care for how the ol' garlic SPAM tastes (an international flavor sold in the States only at the museum. Love garlic, hate SPAM.

I also don't care for internet spammers. I do not want your unsolicited email or blog comments. I do not know you, you are rude in your invasion of my life. I do not want to buy anything that you have to sell, sell anything you want to buy or look at any of your horrific porn. Back off and find something better to do with your time.

I love...

my family -- mom, dad, sarah-ruby, ang, gran, grandad,
my friends
the fair
food on a stick
laughing until it hurts
crying until there are no more tears
riding with the top down (not my top, the car top)

Among other things and not particularly in order are the above things that I love (or at least feel very strongly about). When I get to combine more than one, imagine the joy. May you all be able to find a deep sense of joy this weekend among things you feel positivley strong about.

NOTE: 'thesis writing' is not listed above. I feel strongly about it, it's just not a strong positive feeling.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I am now pausing for a moment. Well, actually, probably a week or so. On my way to KS tomorrow and then next week I have the MN Get-Together -- MN State Fair (cheese curds anyone?) and writing on the thesis (see previous blog). I must focus! I also spend too much time on the ol' blogs at work. ick!

You know I love ya, but the time has come to take a pause.

(I know I'm a freak, just didn't want you to wonder 'bout my whereabouts.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The beginning...

"To understand another culture takes hard work, contextual knowledge and practical interaction." Adeney

I'm wasting away (I wish) whilst I finish my thesis. My M.A. is in cross-cultural communication and for the sake of something to post that is definately going to be longer than anything my freak of a sister might come up with (don't make me post it all), here is Ch. 1.

Essentially, I'm writing a book, which is still a work in progress, so for the sake on saying I 'worked' on my thesis this afternoon. The real work happens tonight at the school.

This is also for the few who are asking what the heck I've been doing lately. Here it is...

By the way, it's in Terrabian format (footnotes) and doesn't paste well.


Today the opportunity to travel is abundant. Students have options to study abroad, and business associates spend time traveling, and even living, overseas for their companies. Missionaries are literally in every corner of the world; and due to civil unrest, people are finding themselves without homes, running for their lives to other countries that offer protection. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz,[1] people who are in these unfamiliar settings with “strange-to-them” customs know that things are different. These outsiders observe various differences but do not always know how to be effective communicators within this new cultural context; they just know that they are not at “home” anymore. The clich├ęs fit: they are trodding new grounds; they are stretching their boundaries, and they are indeed outside of any box that they have ever known. Now what? How do people learn about these new surroundings, the people, and the customs? Who can give guidance and direction?
Cultural brokers can offer help in adjustment. Cultural brokers, or intermediaries, are people who know at least two differing cultures and are able to “juggle the ways of different societies with apparent ease.”[2] Throughout history, numerous individuals served as intermediaries without being given the title. As one example, both Native Americans and Euroamericans learned each other’s worlds and served to help interpret, direct, and mediate between the two.[3]
In the last 10-15 years there has been revitalization in the idea of cultural brokers. At the beginning of the 21st century, the immigrant and refugee population is not slowing down. Mary Pipher in her book, The Middle of Everywhere, discusses the need for guidance for these “strangers” entering the United States from places such as Laos, Somalia, and Bosnia.[4] While the 2003 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics shows that even though legal immigration did decrease in the 2003 fiscal year, the number of refugee arrivals rose by five percent.[5] Television and news media offer greater insights into foreign worlds due to political unrest around the globe. People are now aware that Kabul is in Afghanistan, and that Serbia is an individual country. These once unfamiliar places, people, and cultures are not always portrayed in a positive light by the media. A cultural broker can offer greater understanding to people who have a deep enough sense of curiosity to be receptive to a broader spectrum of information.
Not only does the media provide a close-up view of the world, the accessibility to air travel has made the world an increasingly smaller place. While years ago, children spent all summer trying to dig to China in their back yard, now they can actually fly to China in less than a day. Traveling brings a host of cultural issues. While on vacation, a local may be kind enough to help out in instances where there is a culture gap. A hotel concierge can be a good person to whom one could turn for advice and clarification. Vacationers might find themselves under the care of a particularly good tour guide who knows the region and understands the culture of origin for those who are traveling, thus providing cultural advice.
Traveling for business provides different challenges than those that occur during a vacation to another culture. Business oftentimes occurs in a different cultural context than everyday cross-cultural interaction. At this point, the study of both language and culture should come into play. Corporations most likely find benefit to cross-culturally train their employees prior to sending them to foreign cultures.[6]
While there is certainly a fair portion of the world economy spent on business travel and numerous cities around the world are dependent on tourism, a significant number of people choose to travel for a service beyond that of a regular job. Whether that service is in the name of religion, medicine, teaching or building, individuals need more knowledge of host cultures to be able to make a larger impact during the duration of their work. Unfortunately, people sometimes are under-prepared for cultural challenges and find the task at hand pushed aside due to overwhelming cultural difference. These people sadly cut their service time short, returning to their home culture with a sour taste of the culture that they are leaving.[7] People can twist one or two bad experiences into the idea that a whole country or culture is negative, never giving that country or culture a positive glance again.
There can be a lot at stake when interacting cross-culturally. The question is not do cultures act and react differently – they do. The question is how do people best prepare for that cross-cultural interaction?
Cultural brokers work to bridge the gap between cultures. A growing genre of literature is what can be termed “cultural fiction.” These are stories that cross cultural lines in a variety of ways. They most often are specifically about one culture being introduced into another culture. These books also focus on a minority culture in comparison to the culture in which the novel is being marketed. The stories deal with how both cultures react to their coming together. Cultural brokers are not always found in the midst of the struggles that lie within the plot of these stories. Looking at a cultural fiction book, this research examines how cross-cultural situations might be influenced or directed by a cultural broker.
Within the genre of cultural broker texts, Randy Alcorn is one of many authors. The focus of this thesis will be his novel Safely Home, a story of the persecuted church in China, published in 2001[8]. The story centers on two college roommates who have taken different roads in life and how the different lifestyles then converge. This story wraps the worlds of the West Coast and Corporate America with the worlds of the underground Church, China and Corporate China. The battles that ensue involve pride, greed, ignorance and Truth. The narrative utilizes the role of the cultural broker in a variety of positions. This study brings such opportunities to the forefront to offer a look at how a cultural broker is best utilized and show the benefits of such a service. The purpose is to illustrate the types of situations that gain benefit from a cultural broker, not to critique the story.
The context for this study is cross-cultural communication. The frame of reference focuses the study more narrowly on cultural brokers in cultural fiction, showing the benefits of the presence of the cultural broker and the gains and losses of each situation. The idea is that by using the genre of cultural fiction, people are more able to visualize and understand the benefits of cultural brokers and apply those benefits to personal lives.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948, states the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world,….” This document also notes, “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group, or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.”[9] The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America states clearly “that all men are created equal.”[10] Equality does not mean same. Diversity abounds in this world but due to the equality of all people, there is a need to make a real effort to understand one another. That is the design of a cultural broker.
Before more clearly defining cultural broker, a definition of “culture” should be established. Bock talks of culture as the core that makes people strangers when they are not at home.[11] People learn culture from those around them; however, for people coming into a new culture, away from their homes, they need help adjusting to the status quo for that new culture.[12]
Culture is a broadly defined term with most authors and researchers, such as Bock, aligning with Lingenfelter and Mayers when they define culture as “sum of the distinctive characteristics of a people’s way of life.”[13] While in the purest sense, everyone can have his or her own culture,[14] most often culture is better thought of as a combined group of people with similar beliefs, who, when together, do not have to think about communicating as much as when with those of differing cultures.[15] While Kohls defines culture as the sum of the parts of what makes up all of who an individual is,[16] Steinfatt and Christophel bring culture to a more intimate level: culture is who an individual is deep within the heart of hearts. They also suggest that culture can only be passed along from generation to generation through communication.[17] Gudykunst and Kim go one step further in stating that people learn “individual implicit theories of communication while learning to be members of our cultures,” overlapping the study of communication and culture.[18] Therefore, due to a consensus of culture being a natural part of an individual, encompassing all aspects of life, and that culture is a natural connection to others within a similar society, culture is defined throughout this study as follows: Culture is a natural and all-encompassing communication system through which individuals of similar backgrounds and societies can relate.
Cultural broker, culture broker, and cultural intermediary are used interchangeably to define an individual who understands and is a part of different cultures and helps to bridge the gap between parties on both sides. Cultural brokers, as they will be referred to from this point forward, are foremost, supreme listeners.[19]
These brokers help provide understandable information from one culture to another through a variety of ways, ultimately giving the power of knowledge. A cultural broker works with the thought process of the old proverb: “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Brokers do not just do things for a stranger, but cultural brokers prepare starngers to do for themselves by sharing ‘rules’ and reasons behind varying cultures. Brokers help individuals new to a culture by “teach[ing] them to make intentional decisions about what to accept and what to reject” from the host culture.[20] Cultural brokers are similar to all other types of brokers – housing, cattle or stock – in that they provide a commodity. For cultural brokers, that commodity is information. Sukey Waller, a psychologist Anne Fadiman met while researching her book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, suggests that Fadiman get a cultural broker, not just an interpreter. Sukey says, “They teach me. When I don’t know what to do, I ask them.”[21] It is the job of the cultural broker not just to know the cultures he or she is working with but to provide information to those within a cross-cultural context.
While some of the issues facing those traveling across cultural borders are changes in obvious things such as food, language and weather, most of the changes are of a different nature. The subtle nuances of culture are not clearly communicated; information taken for granted and ingrained into individual cultures cause difficulties, and even trauma. Cross-cultural communication is the basis for this study. It is within the boundaries of looking at a communication system through a cultural lens that people can then begin to walk across those cultural boundaries.[22] One of the benefits of cross-cultural communication is that the process encompasses a vast array of communication topics:
Despite the infinite variety of intermediaries, most of their lives have followed certain patterns. They have been interpreters, or linguistic brokers; they have been traders, or economic brokers. Some have been spiritual intermediaries; others, educational intermediaries. Some have brokered between governments; others have brokered through music, the humanities, and the arts; still others have moved between western science and medicine, and native healing and understanding of the land. Finally,…have brokered through humor.[23]

As can be seen, cultural brokers communicate across the boundaries of language, education, business and humor, all deeply rooted within each various culture and including historical and non-verbal references. Helping others to understand these intricacies, brokers provide the knowledge for people to communicate more fully and effectively. Therefore, the obvious benefit for all that have access to and take advantage of cultural brokers, deems it is necessary to give a clear understanding of what a cultural intermediary, or broker, is. This study hopes to illustrate these benefits through the literary realm of cultural fiction.
Through competent communication, a cultural broker provides essential information for the non-tourist in a host culture. A narrative analysis of the cross cultural text, Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn, illustrates the theory behind this thesis.
Cultural brokers help to provide knowledge, understanding and clarity for a stranger. Stranger is defined in greater detail in the next chapter but can be seen as someone new to a culture. The knowledge of cultural hows and whys that a cultural broker shares with a stranger that help that stranger understand and clarify the host culture.
Walter While some key terms have already been defined such as culture and cultural broker, Chapter II will provide further definitions needed to work with the problem statement, including “understanding,” “self-sufficiency” and “non-tourist role.” Fisher’s Narrative Paradigm and the principles of narrative rationality provide the vehicle for the understanding of “competent communication.” The method for this study will be further detailed in Chapter III.
With vast opportunities to travel, oftentimes people find themselves in a position similar to Dorothy Gale, saying, “There is no place like home.”[24] While there is great comfort in home, a cultural broker can provide a sense of comfort for those away from their homes by offering understanding and familiarity with the host culture. The researcher’s ultimate purpose through this analysis is to show the benefits of cultural brokers through means understandable and acceptable to both academia and the general public, encouraging readers to be more likely to serve as, or utilize, a cultural broker in the future. It is a strength of any cultural broker to understand that there is no finite definition of “culture” and that there is benefit in incorporating several of those definitions into an overarching understanding on culture.
[1] Frank Baum. The New Wizard of Oz. Garden City, New York: Junior Deluxe Editions, 1900.
[2] Margaret Connell Szasz, ed, Between Indian and White Worlds: The Cultural Broker, Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994, 3.
[3] Ibid., 18.
[4] Mary Pipher, The Middle of Everywhere, New York, New York: Harcourt Books, 2002.
[5] U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, 2003, Washington, District of Columbia: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2004.
[6] Kenneth J. Thompson, interview by author, email exchange, Liberal, Kansas and St. Paul, Minnesota, 14, April 2005.
[7] Robert J, Gregory. “The culture broker role: Ideas from rehabilitation models,” Adult Education and Development 40: 71-75.
[8] Randy Alcorn, Safely Home, Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 2001.
[9] General Assembly of the United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, resolution 217A (III), December 1948.
[10] Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, June 1776.
[11] Philip K. Bock. Culture Shock: A Reader in Modern Cultural Anthropology. New York, New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1970, ix.
[12] Ormond H, Loomis, ed. Cultural Conservation: The Protection of Cultural Heritage in the United States. Washington, District of Columbia: Library of Congress, 1983, 3.
[13] Sherwood G. Lingenfelter & Marvin K Mayers, Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1997, 17.
[14] Bernard T. Adeney. Strange Virtues: Ethics in a Multicultural World, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1995, 16.
[15] Bock. Culture Shock, ix.
[16] Robert L. Kohls. Survival Kit for Overseas Living: For Americans Planning to Live and Work Abroad, 3rd ed., Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press, Inc, 1996, 24.
[17] Thomas Steinfatt and Diane M. Christophel, “Intercultural Communication,” In An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research, ed. Michael B. Salwen and Don W. Stacks, 817-334, Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996, 318.
[18] William Gudykunst and Young Yun Kim, Communicating with Strangers: An Approach to Intercultural Communication, 4th ed. Boston, Massachusetts: McGraw-Hill, 2003, 16.
[19] Gregory, “Broker Role,” 73.
[20] Pipher, Everywhere, 89.
[21] Fadiman, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, The Noonday Press, 1997, 95.
[22] The phrase, “break through,” was intentionally not used here. To break through something gives the sense of force and domination, where there is a winner and a loser. To walk across alludes to a more peaceful meandering; a journey to see what lies on the other side and take in all that there is to behold. There is no winner or loser in this sense but hopefully a partnership.
[23] Szasz, Indian and White Worlds, 19-20.
[24] Baum, Wizard, 34.