Tuesday, January 30, 2007


over the last few weeks, i've been pondering some stuff. stuff like

  • is it possible to be inept at leading the life you seem to have?
  • what contributes to staying in ministry as a long-time volunteer?
  • how do i discern between selfishness and drawing healthy boundaries for myself? (i'm realizing i may have grown up with skewed ideas of the two.)
  • is there at all an easy or graceful way to transition from being the child of a parent to needing to be the caretaker of a parent?
  • i think i've forgetten how to breathe. seriously, i catch myself actually holding my breath more and more often. i have no idea what's up with that.

and there's some lighter stuff that i've thought about too like...

  • if the top 5 guys on my dream list all have accents (3 british, 2 southern), i might be living in the wrong part of the world to meet a cute guy with an accent.
  • why is it that if i smell theatre popcorn, only theatre popcorn will cure the craving it creates? why won't popcorn i make at home cure the craving? it's still popcorn.
  • how many weeks will it be before the novelty of my high school yearbooks wears off for my small group girls?

so there you go. a little peek at the stuff i'm pondering. at some point in the next few weeks, i'll post some of my thinking since i'm not sure there are any easy conclusions...oh, and we're at three weeks so far of my hs yearbooks entertaining my small group.

Monday, January 15, 2007

food network confessions

on most any lazy saturday or sunday afternoon, you'll find me curled up on the couch knitting and watching food network. i get lots of great ideas from the food network. i'm actually starting to think i'm really developing an addiction to food network. more and more often, it's not enough to just watch the shows. i actually feel compelled to try the recipes.

my three favorite shows--which are also the ones i've tried the most recipes from--are barefoot contessa, rachel ray's 30 minute meals and everyday italian with giada de laurentis. i also really like ace of cakes, but it's more american chopper in the kitchen than a show you can actually try in your own kitchen. i actually own cookbooks from barefoot contessa (confession: i've had hers for years--before she had a food network show. the photos are beautiful, it's more like a coffee table book) and rachel ray 30 minute meals 2.

the thing i love about these shows and cookbooks is they put together flavors i'd never think to. one of my favorite appetizers is from giada's show, honey & gorgonzola bruschetta. sounds weird, but it's so yummy and always gets rave reviews. yesterday afternoon giada had a recipe for cinnamon butter gnocchi on her sweet and savory episode. again sounds weird, but i typically like gnocchi and i love cinnamon butter so i thought, 'why not?'. so tonite, i bought some gnocchi and cooked it, made the cinnamon butter and tossed the gnocchi in it. and the weird thing is, i can't decide if i like it. i didn't hate, i didn't love it. i really just can't decide. so, if you work with me, i'm bringing some to the office tomorrow. you can try it and tell me what you think since i really think i need a second opinion.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

baby, it's cold outside

brrr....it's almost 11 pm here in chilly san diego. yep, you read that right. tonite is supposed to be one of the coldest nights in recent years here. i just checked weather.com and the current temp for my neighborhood is 32. it's supposed to drop down to 25 degrees...that's cold anywhere, but it's really cold when the typical low is in the lower 40's. i guess i shouldn't complain though, we could be under a layer of ice like my friends and family in tulsa.

it is a little nice to have a taste of winter. it's just too bad kids here won't get to experience the fun of a snow day. one of my favorite memories of growing up is waking up to some white stuff on the ground and turning on the morning news to watch for school closings. it was always a good sign to see a few schools up there. i can remember holding my breath until the list scrolled to the "l's" and our school, leonard, popped up. there would be much rejoicing. the breakfast would become french toast instead of cinnamon. the jammies would stay on and one of the local tv stations would put on a half hour of cartoons when the schools were closed. after the cartoons were over, we'd get dressed and bundled up to go out and play in the snow. we'd come back in to warm up with hot chocolate. we'd make popcorn in the middle of the afternoon. i could take a nap (i've always been a fan of naps). i loved those days.

for tonite, i'll just have to stay snuggled up in my flannel jammies under my fleece throw in front of the space heater and enjoy my memories.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

remembering allan

in the summer of 87, a guy--allan--that i'd grown up with in youth group and had dated for about a year when we were in hs, called and asked me to come over to his house for lunch. i'd only been home from college for a couple weeks and he'd graduated from hs about a month earlier (at the time, i was 19, allan was 18, but he was two years behind me in school.) we made sandwiches, went and picked up his little sister from cheer practice and just hung out. we watched st. elmo's fire and chatted, catching up on life. it was cool that we were still friends even after one of those drama-filled high school break-ups. we had fun that afternoon and laughed a lot. late the next afternoon, i stopped by the church and the youth pastor asked if he could talk to me. allan had committed suicide earlier that day. it didn't seem real--it'd been less than 24 hours since i'd seen him. to this day, it's still one of the saddest moments and memories of my life.

allan didn't leave a note and in the days and weeks after, there was so much confusion. i think i watched about st. elmo's fire about a hundred times looking for a clue. allan's parents were so great considering their loss. his mom especially tried to make sure i knew it wasn't my fault and that there was nothing i could have done. i did understand it wasn't my fault, but i think on some level i'll always wonder if there was something i could've done, something i could've noticed so that maybe allan would still be here.

the past few days i've been working on references to resources that we'll put in the notebook for this year's CORE training that youth specialties, the company i work for, hosts for youth workers. this year the topic is "helping hurting kids". among the topics that'll be covered during the day are suicide and depression. but it wasn't until this morning, it finally dawned on me why i felt so emotionally involved in this material. allan. in 1987, depression among teenagers wasn't exactly a big topic. fortunately, now there's resources and training on all kinds of crises that kids encounter.

in being part of a company that offers training and resources to help youth workers help kids who might be having the same struggles allan had, i'm finding a little more healing for the sadness i still carry over his death.

Monday, January 08, 2007

giddy at the grocery store

some days, it doesn't take much to make me happy. today was one of those days. on my way home from work, i stopped off at the grocery store to pick up some caffeine free diet coke. i'd left work late and the thought of cooking was unappealing so i checked out the lean cuisine case.

and this is where giddiness set in. lean cuisines were on sale for $2 each and there's a new flavor--butternut squash ravioli--and this is where it gets even better...

it was right next to ben & jerry's lowfat frozen yogurt in phish food that was also on sale!!!!

my tummy is sooo happy right now. and my waistline is too. :)

Friday, January 05, 2007

family ties

this past weekend, my parents--dad & stepmom to be specific--came for a short visit. they drove out from oklahoma and brought me the dining table that's been in my family for four generations. i'll post more about the table & its history later.

my dad likes to be on the go. sitting still at home has never been his thing. and my stepmom is a good match for him--she enjoys being on the go and doesn't mind going with
the flow, very important when traveling with my dad or just being related to him. i have to say, i'm very lucky in my dad's choice of a second wife. they've been married for 15 years now and had dated for about 3 years before that. she's a great lady & lots of fun. and she's a very wise & grace filled person.

not long after she and my dad became serious, my dad tried to push her as part of the family. my parents had been divorced about 2 years and i was just starting to really deal with the divorce. a stepmom was more than i was ready for at the time. judy and i had lunch at her request. she told me she'd met my mom and that i had a wonderful mom. she told me she'd like for the two of us to become friends, but that she was fine with whatever pace i wanted to do that at. i really didn't want to like her, but i had to respect her graciousness and directness. eighteen years later, i just love her. she and i stayed up late talking after my dad had dozed off and it was one of the best parts of their visit. and there's a gre
at deal of the time i think i perplex my dad. she takes it in stride and helps smooth things over and tries to explain it to him--and when she can't and he still doesn't get me, she makes sure he just accepts me as i am. she also does the same for him when he's driving me nuts.

there is one little quirk about my stepmom, that has become a bit of family comedy. she likes for her and my dad to dress alike. exactly alike. as much as possible. and since hanging out in san diego is casual, well, here's day 1 of their matching outfits during the visit...

and yes, there were matching outfits for the rest of the visit. it used to mortify me, but now, i'm used to it and rather amused by it. and since they obviously make each other happy...well, it's okay with me. as long as they don't want me to dress like them too!