Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Dreams to Remember

(This post's thought process may be hard to follow as it is just kind of random thought written as it comes to me)

This past weekend through today have been about reflection and the past. For some reason I can't find a large batch of pictures that I used to have in a wall collage. There were probably something like 70 pics or so. Last night I was frantically looking for them everywhere and can not find them. I will have to check what few boxes are leftover in storage to see if I can find them. Why am I looking for these pictures with the fervor of a treasure hunter?

Memories have been assaulting me left and right over the past couple of days and some of those memories are tied up in those pictures. I was thinking of a few years ago when I first met Matt and life seemed so right but also many years ago when I was dating someone else things weren't going so well and I barely ate. In fact, my mom’s boss at the time who was (and still is) a doctor asked my mom if I was anorexic or bulimic. I was seriously skin and bones – except for my hips and my top. They’ve always been a little extra curvy. It wasn't like I wasn't purposely eating, it was just that, after a few months, when we saw each other I tried so hard to please him and make him happy that I got, well, too nervous to eat. I lost my appetite.

I remember one time when the cracks started showing up in the relationship and we took a trip to see some friends and for like 2 or 3 days I hardly ate anything. I tried eating a burrito on the 2nd night there and choked down one bite b/c it just stuck in my throat and made me want to vomit. I literally couldn’t eat anymore. I was probably a size 5 at the time and he would tell me things along the lines of “I hope you don’t eat like that all the time” when he would see me eating a Snicker’s candy bar. (It was a long distance relationship and we saw each other on average every few weeks) It wasn’t a conscious way of loosing weight but subconsciously I think I wanted so badly to make him happy with me that I was constantly nervous and when I get emotionally nervous I can’t eat. I physically can’t eat. I have no appetite and if I try to eat anything substantial, as in solid, I can’t get it past my throat. It’s like my throat closes up and says “Nope, not in here”.

Now to most people you think a size 5 isn’t skin and bones but because of my structure and the way I carry my weight it was skin and bones to me. I am 5’7” and weighed probably close to 120 at the time.

I realized over this past weekend that the trying to please the person I was dating (or married to) stems from my relationship with my father. Sadly, my father wasn’t there for me like a good father should have been. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my father dearly and was devastated when he died (though I never really showed it b/c I was too busy shouldering my grandmother’s grief and being strong for her), and I knew that my daddy loved me as much as he was capable of doing. As I mentioned in previous posts last year, my dad was clinically depressed, suffered from acute anxiety disorder and had severe OCD. (I am adopted so I don’t carry those traits in me) It was very difficult growing up to not have a “normal” childhood of sleepovers and slumber parties or even friends over to the house to play. With my dad’s conditions we just really couldn’t have anyone over to the house who wasn’t an adult.

I was accepted by my dad just as I was but a part of me felt like a huge piece of the father/daughter relationship was missing. And, well, it was. Even though I was unconditionally accepted by my dad, he never was really able to show it except for rare moment and through his letters to me. I understand now that I've been looking for that one relationship where the other person accepts me and loves me just as I am with all my flaws. Unconditionally. It hasn't happened yet. So, psychoanalyzing myself, I think that I tend to try to do so much what I thought was right to please the guys I dated that it ended up stifling my personality and ended up being the wrong thing to do anyway. I would start out this bright, fun, vivacious personality and end up this highly insecure, overly complacent shadow of myself.

Like at the end of this relationship with that guy from many, many years ago, there were the riots in LA and I wasn’t even 21 yet – a couple of weeks away, and I didn’t really care what was going on or what caused it other than to think that it was awful and that I hated hearing about people being hurt. Could I tell him that I didn’t really care about the politics of it? No, instead I parroted responses back to him b/c the one time I said that I didn’t know why the riots were as bad as they were, he made some snide, derogatory remark that made me not want to say I didn’t know to him again. So I listened to his answer as to why he thought the riots were so bad and then when he asked me again, I repeated his answer back to him, thus earning me a positive response from him. At that moment I realized that, regardless of how I had hoped differently even though I knew better and as much as I loved him, that the relationship really was over. I was miserable, I was trying too hard to do the right things and it was all wrong, and I hated the person I had become. I was on the cusp of 21 for heaven’s sake! I was just trying to come into my own with someone I loved more than anything and I didn’t want to be all newsy and introspective and serious. I wanted to be fun and revel in this person I loved and experience life. I wanted it to be the way it had been and my world instead was crashing down on me so fast.

While I was visiting him for six weeks, (this was the same guy who went out on the date while I was visiting that I posted about last year) my mom told me that after several years of separation she and my dad had decided to finally get divorced. I hardly got an “I’m sorry” or any show of sympathy or support. I guess by that time there wasn’t really anything left to say anyway and maybe he thought that because my parents had already been separated for years and I knew they would never get back together, that it shouldn't affect me. But he was wrong and the relationship had become what it had become. The end...of the relationship, of the friendship, of anything remotely positive anymore other than memories. I wanted to be able to show my own opinions, or non-opinions, and not be afraid of non-validation and derision of my thoughts and beliefs and wants and desires. He could be so cutting to my 20 year old heart with his words and facial expressions and he probably never even realized it. More than anything, I was afraid of the rejection I had been experiencing, but even as much as I still loved him, at least I had the sense to know that it was better to cut loose and try to move on than to continue to suffer the hurt.

I have realized that I have the problem of giving what I think will make others happy instead of what really will make them happy. I’m more of a giver than a doer and, unfortunately as in the case of my marriage, what Matt wanted was more doing than giving. I would rather buy someone something that I know that they have been wanting and give it as a gift than, say, dust or vacuum. (Housework really isn’t my bag, baby.) But that wasn’t what Matt wanted. He would rather have had the dusting and vacuuming than the PS2 or the DVD player. For me, giving is how I show that I love someone. For Matt, doing was how he wanted me to show I loved him. And in the end, he chose someone who I’m sure is more of a doer, and in making his choice, chose the end of this marriage. Lessons learned.

Anyway, back to my original thought. I wanted to find these pictures to remind me that #1 – I shouldn’t being trying to please others to the point that I lose myself in the pursuit of that positive validation and #2 – I should be trying to please God first before anyone else. I’ll have to try storage tonight and see if I can find them in there b/c they sure aren’t at the house.

The song that comes to mind right now for me is “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember” by Otis Redding. Thinking about those pictures takes me back to an easier time where, at least for a little while, dreams did come true, and even when they didn’t, end up to be happily ever after, they are lessons learned. And both of those dreams are ones that are worth remembering even if they didn't stay.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I've had my 10,000th visitor!

YAY! The 10,000th visitor to Nic's Place was someone from Fairfield, Connecticut. In the past two days I've had visits from all over the USA, and also from Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Africa, Hong Kong and Germany. That's just a small portion of where I've had people visiting from. There have been visits from Israel, Ireland, Mexico, São Paulo (Brazil), Russia, Chechnya, the Ukraine, Taiwan, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, India, Iraq, Pakistan...and those are just the ones that I can remember.

Thank you all for visiting my little corner of the world from your little corner of the world! Here's to the next 10,000 visitors!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

WOW! Only 33 7 away from my 10,000th Visitor!

I had a whole lot of hits this past week (averaging about 40 hits a day for the past 7 days) and am almost at the 10,000 mark. YIPPEE! Since starting this little blog back in March of last year I had no idea there would be so many of you who would stop by just to read about, well, me. My thoughts, opinions, beliefs and other trivial tidbits like recipes and Friday Field Trips and HDQ's, etc. I'm honored and am glad to say that I've made some really wonderful blogfriends over the past (almost) year. Thank you all for stopping by!

P.S. If you're the 10,000th visitor, please let me know! (It's near the bottom of my sidebar on the right, so you'll have to scroll down. It's yellow and black.)Not that there's anything that's going to happen like confetti or something, well maybe cyber confetti, but if you have a blog, I'll do a post and link you on it as my 10,000 visitor!

RIP Anthony Burger

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Anthony Burger was an amazing piano player who lived and loved to glorify God with his talents. He will be missed but heaven has a new member to their heavenly orchestra. Plus, just think of the reunion up there right now with the other members of the Gaither Homecoming family that have already gone on before! I can just see it now...The Gaither Heavenly Homecoming!
From Gaithernet:

Remembering Anthony

As an artist, Anthony Burger was brilliant. Bill(Gaither) often said he had never worked with an artist who performed so consistently and at such a high level. Night after night, week after week, year after year... when Anthony sat down at the piano you knew whatever happened next would be great. He commanded the stage when he was there and yet knew how to become "invisible" when it was time for someone else to step up.

He was quiet but not silent. He was a loyal friend and never became too busy or too successful to make time for reaching out to others. He had a way of knowing what someone needed before they asked, and for that reason he helped people in ways that will never be known by anyone but those people.

He was trusting. Some might say he was too trusting in the world we live in, but he always, always believed the best in people. Perhaps that trusting spirit stemmed from his unwavering confidence in Almighty hands to guide, protect and provide as he had seen evidenced in his own life countless times.

If you look back at the 25 years Anthony Burger devoted to reaching the world through gospel music you will see a discography filled with some of the finest piano artistry the world of gospel music has ever known. You will most likely be impressed by his many accomplishments, too. But what Anthony would want you to remember, first and foremost, is how God used this Tennessee boy - a boy who was once told he would never have full use of his hands - to soothe a hurting world through music. He would want you to know that if God used him, he can use you, too.

He can't tell us that now in his own words, but the music of his life is still being heard loud and clear.

From Mark Lowry's Website

I'm numb and in shock. Anthony was only 44 years old. That's young. 44 years seems like a lifetime when you're a kid. But now that I'm 47, it looks like only half.

I wasn't on the cruise when Anthony died but I've been thinking...

In my mind's eye, I can just see it: Anthony isn't feeling good but he is still at the piano. Bill is leading everyone in the evening concert... putting different singers together to form trios, spur-of-the-moment-quartets and, now, it's time for Anthony to play a song. I'm not sure but I don't think Bill ever told Anthony what to play. I could be wrong but I never saw it. In all my years of traveling with the Vocal Band, I never heard Bill tell Anthony what to play. He told everybody else what to sing. Sometimes he wouldn't even tell us... we would find out when we heard the intro to the song.

Anthony always knew what to play. When he played, you not only heard it... you felt it. Anthony played with passion. And he rarely failed to get the audience on their feet with a thunderous ovation at the end. Yet, he could fall into the background and cause a singer to rise high... never knowing they were standing on Anthony's shoulders.

I've been thinking... They tell me Anthony was playing Hear My Song Lord when he suffered a heart attack or whatever it was that made him pass. But, can you imagine for Anthony what that must've been like? To be playing for Gaither one minute and God the next? To be listening to the Homecoming singers - blink - and hear angels singing? Was Jesus standing in the crook of the piano where Anthony finished the song?

Who knows? I've just been thinking.
Excerpt from email from Tori Taff (Russ Taff's wife) from Mark's site

Last night during the evening concert, about two songs after Anthony's solo, a woman on the front row began gesturing to the artists onstage and pointing at Anthony. He appeared to have frozen in position, his hands curled into fists and poised above the keyboard, sitting stock still. Immediately, the guys closest to him on stage - Ernie Haase, Roy from SSQ, Reggie Smith and John Bowman - sprang into action and literally picked him up in the seated position and whisked him off stage before he fell from the piano bench. Those who were with him at this point feel that he was already gone by the time they laid him down backstage. Russ told me last night that he looked Anthony full in the face as he passed by and that he "now knew what a body looked like after the soul had left. Anthony wasn't in there anymore." The ship's emergency medical crew and the Inspiration Cruise people were right there and they worked feverishly for the next 45 minutes with CPR and shock paddles but there was never any response. LuAnn got to him very quickly but he never spoke. Many artists had stayed on the stage, praying with the crowd and leading choruses while all of this was going on. It was horrific; no one knew what they should be doing but the artists were so unbelievably calm and comforting that they kept everyone from just freaking out. At some point, it became apparent what they were dealing with and someone (it may have been Russ) addressed the audience and told them that Anthony had passed away. One of the emergency people said later that the sense of hearing is the last to go, so we all have taken great comfort in the fact that the last sound in Anthony's ears as he rushed into the arms of Jesus were the voices of his friends, singing him Home.

(Nic's Note: Now doesn't that last sentence just make you want to grin from ear to ear in the midst of this incredibly sad loss?)
"When I was eight months old I was learning to walk in a walker. Like many homes of our era, we had an old floor furnace in our house. As I was going through the hallway, one of the wheels got caught on the furnace grate and the walker turned over, throwing me down on the heater and burning my legs my face, and both my hands. " The burns Anthony describes were not light - they were third degree. "I was carried on a pillow for a year, during which time I received three medicated baths a day for my burns. The doctors said I'd never be able to move my hands after that. But gradually, the Lord healed my hands because He had a job for me to do. I thank God every day that the doctors were wrong, and that I stayed with it and play for Him."

In honor of the passing of such a great, remarkable man I hope you enjoy listening to his talent provided below. (For those of you unaware, this song is entitled "He Is Risen". Appropriate, no? Sandi Patti sings the heck out of this song but this particular version was just Anthony)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Field Trip

In honor of going to go see the Black Watch and the Bands of the Welsh Guard tonight (YIPPEE!!!) I am sending you on a Friday Field Trip to play some Scottish games online. You can play virtual caber toss and cyber curling.

Scot Games Online

For those of you who don't know, I had two tickets and was going to give one to my best friend but the surgery she was going to have at the beginning of February was postponed until last week so she's still in recovery. I asked my other close friend but she is currently in England/Ireland (lucky dog) and the other friend I asked already had tickets. I was at a loss b/c I didn't want to waste the ticket (seats close to the stage) and didn't have anyone to go with. Well, I found someone to go with. A girl at work wanted to go so we're going to go see the military band and then go to the after party at Scholtz's Beer Garden. YAY!

I'll post pictures later.

Have a bonny weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

We have a new addition to the family...

We have been adopted by a kitten. Believe me, I wasn’t looking to have a pet right now, but it seems that God had other plans. LOL. Yesterday morning as I was leaving to take Emily to class a little gray kitten came up to my minivan and hopped right in. She was meowing very softly and was super friendly. I cringed, knowing that Emily would get emotional, as 4 year old girls are wont to do. I gently told the little kitten “No, no, sweetie. You can’t be in here.” So I scooped her up in one hand and gently deposited her right back on the ground. I felt so bad b/c it was in the 30’s and drizzling, but I can’t have a cat in my car all day. She tried to get back in the vehicle and I gently put her back down and closed the door and turned on the engine. The kitten ran to a bush next to the house.

Sure enough, Emily starts fretting about the kitten. “But, mommy! She doesn’t have a home. She’s cold because it’s so cold outside and it’s raining. She doesn’t have any friends or family. What’s going to happen to her?”

“Sweetheart, you don’t know if that kitten already belongs to someone. And we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl kitten.”

“Of course it’s a girl kitten. She meowed softly. She’s a girl because she meowed softly.”

On the way to drop Emily off to her preschool she is crying a little and talking about how lonely the kitten is, how she needs a family and a home. I told Emily to say a prayer for the kitten that God would keep it safe. So she did. She asked God to give the kitten a home and to give the kitten a family to love and that would love it back and to please, please keep her safe and warm. Then she said that when she got up to heaven she would ask Jesus to bring the kitten up to heaven too so that she and the kitten would be together.

Oh, the prayers and faith of children. There’s a reason that Jesus said that in order to enter the kingdom of heaven that one needed to have the faith of a child. Why? Because children believe without hesitation that God will hear them and will answer.

When I left the office yesterday I just quietly said, “Ok, God, if this kitten is meant to be ours, let it be back at the house when I get home. If not, please let it find a good home.”

So, I got home and no kitten. Ok, that’s fine with me. So I start unloading a couple of things from the van and all of the sudden, here comes this dainty, graceful little ball of fur running across the street and into the garage and starts poking around in there. So...we have been adopted by a sweet, cuddly little gray kitten (who, much to Emily’s delight, is indeed a girl – “See, I told you she was a girl, mommy!”).

Emily named her Cutie Cat. We call her CC for short.

She has very much made herself at home and is playful and cuddly and all purry. She also was starving. Scarfed down the whole bowl of kitty food I put out for her after a trip to the pet store – the whole thing! She’s staying in my bathroom for the time being until she can get declawed and spayed. I have a lot of nice work clothes that I’m not about to let get snagged and shredded by kitty claws.

CC is probably close to 4-5 months old but is only about 4 or so pounds. Very small.

Emily is ecstatic. I’m accepting. CC is adorable.

So, welcome Cutie Cat to our little family.

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ALSO, I have posted the next in the continuing discussion on the Rapture series on my other blog. You can get there by clicking the link under my profile that says “My Other Blog”.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Ask Nic Q&A Session

It's time for the QA session for Ask Nic. I have some great questions and I promise to not be as "long winded" as the last Ask Nic session(s) here, here and here. Again the questions are answered in the order received.

First up this time is a long-time blogfriend from many galaxies far, far awayJean-Luc Picard:

How do you look for new blogs? Do you look at commenters in blogs you already like, or randomly search?

Good question my friend. I started looking at the blogrolls of a couple of people who found me randomly and commented and started looking at their blogrolls, etc. Then I found a great site of a really cool lady Michele Agnew. She has this awesome weekend Meet and Greet every Friday through Sunday and I found you (Jean-Luc) and another blogfriend who lives in Houston, Present Storms, and her hubby Guppyman through her. And so forth and so on. So the short answer is I find the majority of my blog reads through other commentors, Michele's site or my blog read's blogrolls. Every now and then I'll do a blog search on something that I'm curious about and I'll find a good site from the search.

How do you find your blog reads my friend?
The next question comes from John aka Duke of Earle about my Irish Stew recipe:

If I used Corona instead of Guinness, would it be Mexican Stew? Just curious.


Um, LOL, no. The name of the stew doesn't come from the Guinness, it comes form the ingredients as a whole. The richer flavor of the stew comes from the richness of the Guinness and the red wine. Somehow I don't think that Corona would have the same taste. LOL! BTW, glad to know that your yearly trip to Winter Park was wonderful, minus the breakdown of the van. But at least it was in a beautiful area of the country. John, his family and I have a real affinity for Winter Park – personally, I believe the best ski resort around. It has fabulous runs, great snow, a beautiful, quaint little town and is just gorgeous! It's one of the last unspoiled ski towns that haven't been overrun by celebrities where the rates are nothing but sky high. The rates are very reasonable. Color me green, my friend, but I'm glad the family made it back just fine and had fun doing it!

P.S. Loved the picture of the shirt and happy belated birthday! :)
She was mentioned above and now here's a question from Present Storms that she may not have intended to be in the Ask Nic Q&A but I put it in there anyway. It's also about my Irish Stew recipe:

mmm that sounds very good. Is this one that you have made before?

Well, actually yes. I made it yesterday - hint - simmer it for several hours - it tastes better. It tastes even more amazing the 2nd day! Here are some pictures.

Me after making this stew for about two hours. I'm tired, shoved my hair in two stubby ponytails (not that you can even tell b/c my hair is that short right now), and have no makeup on. And I don't care! It's brrrrrr cold outside, a wee bit icy outside and it's the perfect weekend to make this!

The stew as it is cooking. Yummy stuff!

The finished product in a sourdough soup bowl. Now doesn't that make your tummy rumble and your mouth water?!

The Guinness really does make the stew absolutely delish – however, I modified the recipe when I made it this weekend. I added about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt (it needed some salt after it had simmered through), celery and a lot of quartered fresh white mushrooms and more worcestershire than what it called for. Also instead of just straight thyme, I used herbes de provence oh and buffalo meat instead of beef, but that's not really important either, though buffalo is a much leaner and more tender red meat than regular beef. Oh and, um, I used more Guinness and red wine than what it called for. Is that bad? ;) Anyway, it came out just divine as you can see by the pictures. It looks good and it makes the taste buds sing. There'll be stew for a few days but with the temps in the low 30's for the highs, that's fine with me. Plus Emily just loves it and any home cooked meal that she scarfs down is good for me. LOL!
We have next, No Average Girl, one of my sweetest blog friends. She had a food related question as well, though not about the stew:

what is your favorite dessert? if it's something you make, what is the recipe?

Well, that one is actually tough b/c I'm not really a sweets person. But, I guess I will have to say baklava. To me it is a perfect desert. I use almonds in mine though instead of walnuts. I'm not a walnut fan. I also sometimes will liven it up by adding chocolate chips to the mix so that it creates a chocolate baklava. It goes perfect with home made vanilla ice cream (not store bought).

This recipe comes from some great writer friends of mine, Lori and Tony Karayianni – married for many, many years and completely in love. Lori is so very young looking (she looks like she's in her mid-late 30's to me) I still have trouble believing they have kids who are adults and have been married for 23 years. If you can't tell by the last name, Tony is as Greek as they come. They're both just total sweethearts. Oh, you might know them in the romance world better as Tori Carrington, the pen name they write under.

1 box Greek phyllo sheets (in your grocer's freezer section)
2 sticks real, unsalted butter (melted)
4 cups chopped walnuts (almonds)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsps cinnamon

In a regular 13" x 9" Pyrex baking pan, layer 8-10 sheets of phyllo (cut to fit the pan, about half the phyllo sheet), brushing melted butter on each sheet before adding the next sheet. Sprinkle 1/2 the almonds, 1/2 the sugar and 1/2 the cinnamon on the prepared phyllo (use more or less of each depending on taste). Layer five more sheets of phyllo, again buttering each as you go. Sprinkle the remaining almonds, sugar and cinnamon on top of this. Then layer about 15-18 more sheets of phyllo on top of this, buttering each sheet as you go. Then you want to cut the pieces before baking in the pan, going diagonally to get that diamond shape. This takes some finesse. You'll want to make sure your knife is sharp and you get all the way down to the bottom of the pan. Then bake in a 350 degree oven for approx. half an hour or until top and bottom of phyllo is golden brown. Let it cool, then make the syrup.


4 cups sugar
2 cups water
honey (from 1/4 cup to 1/2 depending on taste)
a pinch of vanilla (1/2 tsp if liquid extract)
a one inch piece of lemon rind

Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for five minutes.

Pour hot syrup over the baklava, then let cool until the syrup is absorbed.

Opa! You're done!

If you make it I hope you let me know how you like it!
Finally we get to one of my favorite blog friends. We're the odd couple in so many ways. Like the song goes "I say to-may-to, you say to-mah-to..." but he has been such an encourager and I adore him. Even though I am right wing conservative and he is a self-described liberal XXXL hippie. He's having some problems with his original blogsite so he has a temporary new one which I have linked on this post. My last question comes from Great White Bear:

So how does a nice southern girl, one with such southern attitudes, come to love Celtic music and beverages? Enquiring minds!

Southern attitudes? LOL. I'm not sure what that means.

Can I just say three words: "men in kilts"? No, not really. Actually, since I was a kid I've truly loved any music that was Celtic. I've always been drawn to all things Celtic. Celtic music is so haunting and beautiful and I can get lost in it. I also really love the bagpipes too! Especially the reels with the drums and the bodhran. It makes me want to tap my feet and get up and dance. Bagpipes can be reverent or they can be rowdy and I love them both ways, along with the penny whistle. There's a really great band that plays here in Austin called Pubcrawler. They're the group that plays Celtic rock and does a really good job of it too!

I'm so excited b/c as my Christmas present to myself I got a pair of tickets to go see The Black Watch and The Band of the Welsh Guards at the Frank Erwin Center on February 24, this coming Friday! Unfortch, I don't have anyone to go with and I don't want to waste a ticket. They're great seats, really close. My tickets are where the red dot is.

Since MC had her surgery two weeks after she was supposed to and because Amy is in England/Ireland right now, I don't have anyone to go with right now. Hopefully I can maybe ask one of the girls at work if they can go. All I know is that I can't wait to go! (Even if I have to go alone)

On the beverages. I like dark beer. Ale's, bock's, red's. Pretty much any kind of dark beer. It's richer, fuller flavored and it just plain tastes better than the light junk. The darker the beer the better it tastes it seems to me. I'm not so much a scotch or whiskey fan. Though I know that there are some really great scotch's from Scotland I've just never really been into scotch.

I've always dreamed of going to Ireland and Scotland and time and money and parenting won't allow it so I have to content myself with the music and the occasional beer from there. I also go to some of the Highland games around Texas to get my fix of seeing brawny men in kilts. LOL! I keed, I keed! Actually I go for the piper's competitions. Excellent fun!
Thanks all for participating in the Ask Nic Q&A! I really enjoy answering your questions. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Take your pick for today

It’s a Wednesday smorgasbord. There is a completely delish Irish stew recipe that I just had to share with everyone. Also I will be doing the HDQ and another session of Ask Nic. You can do one or all.

First the HDQ:

If today were your last day on earth and you KNEW that it was, what would you do?

Me, I’d stay with Emily all day, wake her as early as possible. Spend time making good memories for her. I would be taping footage of us doing stuff like me reading to her and singing to her and playing and painting. I wouldn’t waste one minute with her. I would make sure that she knew just how much I love her and how precious she is to me. I would eat a perfectly cooked (medium) 10-12oz buffalo filet and my really great mashed potatoes and have rhubarb pie for dessert. I would have an Italian margarita to drink and lay out in the back yard with Emily watching for shapes in the clouds. The only other people really I would even want to share in that day would be my mom, for a small part of it my friends MC and Amy and even Matt for a little while. But mostly just Emily and my mom. They are the two most important people to me on this earth and I can’t imagine spending my last day on earth with anyone else. A simple but memorable day.

Next up – round two of Ask Nic:

This is the place where you can ask me anything. Think of something you have wanted to know about me or were just curious about in general about myself, my experiences in life and love and parenting, my beliefs, etc... Again, be creative, be fun, be introspective, but please be clean! You can post the questions in the comments section or email me your question directly to asknic@gmail.com.

I will be posting the questions and their responses soon so check back within the next week for them. They probably will be up over the weekend if I get enough questions.

And lastly, the really fabulous Irish Stew

I ran across this recipe and it sounded too good to pass up! (Especially with the cold weather across the Midwest/Northeast right now) This is an authentic Irish Stew complete with Guinness and red wine (Great White Bear this is right up your alley!). I hope you enjoy it and if you try it out, please let me know what you think!

¼ cup olive oil
1 ¼ pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1 cup of Guinness beer
1 cup of fine red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (¼ stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½ -inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups ½-inch pieces peeled carrots
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2 While the meet and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.

3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.) Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day sucks

Yes, I said it and I feel that I am entitled to think that today. No one to hold, no special dinner, not one thing to make this day stand out from any other ordinary day today. I had a shake for dinner here at the house. Oh boy. Yum. It's not that it was bad, b/c it wasn't but I would have preferred something with more "spunk" but of course all places were booked solid. You would think that I could get just one good thing that I wanted on Valentine's Day. Just one, but NO. I was going to get a little present for myself b/c by God if I'm not getting something from someone else, I should at least be able to get what I want for this day. Season 1 of Grey's Anatomy. It came out today. Went to 5 stores this evening. FIVE. Not a single one had it. None. Not even in the back. They were sold out, had been sold out since the early afternoon. There's a little something they need to learn which is called "anticipation of the consumer". Did they NOT think that it would sell out? PUH-LEEZE. Grow some brains, learn the demographics for the DVD's coming out and order accordingly. I'm grouchy tonight. Ticked. Upset and overall this is the worst Valentine's Day I ever had, didn't get cr@p, except two lovely cards from Emily and my mom - the only bright spots of the day. Cr@ppy day to be single and going through a divorce and wishing you weren't. Yes, I'll say it again...Valentine's Day sucks.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Feelings, nothing more than feelings…

I was watching Grey’s Anatomy last night, anyone else hooked on it (?), and the last 5 minutes just tore me up and made me wonder a few things. For those of you who didn’t watch it, and who don’t know what it is about, it’s like a newer, hipper ER, like ER was back in its heyday. There’s one surgeon (nicknamed McDreamy) and a doctor who are married to each other but there’s an intern who was seriously involved with the surgeon at one time. They are what this post is about, or more specifically the surgeon and the intern who had been involved at one time.

So here’s the recap of the last 5 minutes so that you can understand why I have these questions. The intern ended up in a bomb situation and when the surgeon found out that it was her, at that moment it was like an epiphany for the surgeon that he still had feelings for the intern that he may have thought were gone or had been suppressing them, whatever it was, it was like when he heard that she was the one keeping her hand on a bomb that was inside a man in order to keep it from going off, something buried deep inside shifted for him. It was a tangible thing that you could feel - this realization that hit him like a ton of bricks that she could be gone forever at any moment. Patrick Dempsey says more with his expressive eyes above a surgical mask than most actors ever convey through their whole bodies while talking (he’s performing brain surgery down the hall from the bomb and can’t evac).

Anyway, the chief bomb tech played by the handsome Kyle Chandler, said that he knew that he had been this a$$ who had been yelling at her but he needed her to listen to him in order to get the bomb out and he knew that she could do it, so if she needed to imagine he was someone she liked in order to get through this, then to imagine whomever and talk to him. She imagined her McDreamy (the surgeon). He talks her through her fear and they successfully remove the bomb and as the chief bomb tech takes it and gingerly walks away out of the OR where they were she follows him outside the room to watch him walk away and...the unstable bomb blows up, killing the bomb tech and knocking the intern back, sending her flying and rendering her unconscious with various cuts and scrapes on her face.

As the surgeon ends up completing the surgery and comes up on the floor where everyone is waiting who had been evac’d from the OR area. He’s asking around "where is she?" and his wife comes running up to him and hugs him and tells him that she is glad that he’s alright. The chief of medicine’s wife looks at him and correctly deduces that "that is not the she that he was asking about". You can see the frustration in his eyes as he’s hugging his wife and it’s very heart rending b/c you know then, at that moment that he still loves the intern and he’s not quite sure what to do with that realization. Did I mention that Patrick Dempsey is a great actor?

The intern is lying in bed that night at the home she shares with some of the other interns with this nasty cut on her forehead (why is it always on the forehead?) and she is told that someone is at the door for her. She goes to see who it is and it’s her McDreamy and he’s just standing there looking at her and says "So...you almost died today." And she says "yeah" and there’s a little talk, but not much b/c you know that there’s so much there between the two that they want to say but can’t. So he turns to leave and she says "I can’t remember..." then he turns around and says "Can’t remember what?" She responds "I can’t remember our last kiss. I can’t remember the last time we were truly happy. I want to remember when we were happy but I just can’t." and you can see a touch of sadness in her eyes because of it.

He nods his head and moves once more to go out the door then stops. "It was a Thursday morning..." He turns back around to face her and then proceeds to go into the littlest detail down to the small hole in the neck on the back of the shirt she wore, what she was doing, that her hair smelled like a certain flower but he couldn’t remember what kind. You knew at that point that he had never forgotten anything between them, or even anything about her, and in fact had kept those moments tucked away in his memory. He said that he had been running late for surgery and that he would see her later and that she smiled and leaned over and kissed him – soft...a kiss that was one of those "habit" kisses, "like they’d (we’d) do that every day for the rest of their (our) lives" and then he walked out the door for surgery. "That was the last time we kissed". He looks at her and they share a silent "moment", if you will and you knew then that he never had stopped loving her, that he wondered still "what might have been". And it was then that she knew it too and something imperceptible changed between them at that moment. Not a gesture, not a word, but it was something that you could almost feel charging the air.

He turns to go again and she calls out "lavender". He faces her again and looks at her and she continues "my hair...smelled like lavender from my conditioner." He looks away, smiles kind of wistfully and says, almost to himself "lavender" and nods his head then looks up again at her and says "I’m glad you didn’t die today" and then leaves and the camera pans back and focuses on her standing there behind the glass of the front door watching him walk away. And the episode ended there.

So I wondered, does a love like that ever truly die or does it live on somewhere inside of the two people involved? Just like time can’t ever completely erase a deep hurt, can it ever completely erase a deep love? Is a deep love between two people like a spectral entity that haunts and remembers long after the two have parted ways, yearning to find it again? When or if it doesn’t, then is it doomed to haunt a person forever? From time to time I am haunted twice over and it makes me a bit maudlin and melancholy, a little depressed. I guess around this time of year it’s more than normal to feel that way.

I’m not a person who is cut out for the single life. I never have been. I enjoy relationships; I enjoy the cuddling, the kissing, the laughter and sharing. Believe me, it’s a lonely life being single and laying in a big bed by yourself when you’d rather have someone next to you, sharing your life. It’s been a lonely life for the past 2+ years of separation for me, even lonelier now that I’m truly getting divorced and have no way of knowing if I'll even find anyone worth bring around my daughter and it's a long, lonely road I see in front of me. I never thought it would come to this and it makes me sad because I still love my husband, regardless of the choices he made, but I can’t live with those choices and so I live alone with the precious daughter we created.

I guess that what I’m saying to those of you out there that if you have a deep love that stirs your very soul, don’t let it slip through your fingers. Don’t let doubts fanned from personal fears push it away. Don’t let wounded pride stop you from saying the words that you’re holding back. Fight for it, cherish it, nurture it, but above all, don’t ever give up on it because a true, abiding love is so hard to find, especially in these days of the marriages of half-commitments and quick divorces. If you are holding back those words that would let the other person know just how much they mean to you because of any hang-ups you have, any fears or any doubts, any stubborn pride – don’t. You just might be losing the love of your life and you won’t be able to get them back if you hold it back too long and let it go too far.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Memer Madness!

I got tagged from a quiet but frequent blog reader of mine who is going through a similar experience like me with divorce and circumstances with the exception that they had no children. She has some really fun links on her blog like making an evil clown and stomping on ants. She also is chronicaling her divorce process and her thoughts on life in general. Go visit one4JC and tell her hi! Thanks for tagging me, I actually like meme's. LOL!

Another Meme...I like this one because it doesn't require too much thought...

1) Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4.
There's no question that he had the highest moral standard, the least duplicity, the greatest compassion, of any human being in history. The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel

2) Stretch your left arm out as far as you can and see what you touch.
Picture frame montage of me and Emily.

3) What is the last thing you watched on TV?
Parts of the Olympics though the last full show I watched was Gray's Anatomy (Talk about a cliffhanger!).

4) Without looking, guess what time it is.

5) Now look at the clock. What is the actual time?

6) With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Other than Emily playing in front of me not much because my ears are buzzing so bad from the pressure in my sinuses. (The new cold front that came through yesterday really knocked me for a loop with the sinus/chest congestion again. Even though I'm on antibiotics and expectorants it feels like I've started all over again.)

7) When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
This afternoon, leaving a training class for my volunteer Community Emergency Response Team and how to work with our local LifeFlight/STARFlight crews at the scene of a severe accident that they have been called out to.

8) Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
The forums at Omega Letter

9) What are you wearing?
Gray lounging pants, a cream colored, long sleeved, ribbed shirt with a warm, oversized men's flannel shirt that I bought for myself 10 years ago. It's worn very well and looks almost brand new.

10) Did you dream last night?
Not that I remember. When I remember dreaming I dream both in color and black and white and I can remember dreams from when I was a kid even b/c I would have recurring dreams back then. I still have recurring dreams from time to time even now.

11) When did you last laugh?
That time I went out with my dear friend MC and she was telling me a story about when a barely legal kid tried to pick her up in a hotel bar where she had gone to grab a bite to eat after a meeting.

12) What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Paint, an original oil painting and a few framed prints.

13) Seen anything weird lately?
Have you seen some of the contestants that tried out on American Idol?

14) What do you think of this quiz?
It's not bad. Easy thinking which is what I need tonight.

15) What is the last movie you saw?
Tristan & Isolde with my friend MC.

16) If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
My dream house, a large log/rock cabin in the mountains on at least 100 acres with an emergency room and a meat locker for the game I've killed, cleaned and prepared myself with another nice house for my mom on the same property, a fully loaded, customized, 4 wheel drive, off-road shocks with suspension mini-van with the electric foldaway seats, DVD with surround sound, electric starter, electric doors/liftgate, seat warmers/coolers and voice activated navigation system, I would start a camp for kids and families that was Christian based where they could get away and have fun together in an exciting, yet relaxed atmosphere and fellowship with other families as well.

17) Tell me something about you that I don't know.
Hmmmm, I have one pure white eyelash over my right eye (I may try and get a pic of it and post it later). I was told many years ago by someone I worked with who also had a pure white eyelash that he was told by his grandmother, a very spiritual woman, that if someone has a pure white eyelash (and it's not from age!) that it means that they've been gifted by God. Always thought that was kind of neat regardless of the truth of it.

18) If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
I would get rid of all kinds of abuse. Physical, verbal, emotional, mental, sexual, substance (think drugs and alcohol) and any other kind you can think of. There're too many heartaches, hurt and broken homes, broken lives and broken spirits because of it. Nobody, especially innocent children, should have to endure any kind of abuse - ever. It's something I'm really passionate about and it's something that makes my blood absolutely boil. It's my big hot button.

19) Do you like to dance?
Love to dance! I'm good at it, I enjoy it, I used to teach it and compete in dance.

20) George Bush?
He's a good man personally, good family man, but he's made poor choices this term and frankly I'm rather disappointed in his inability to call a spade a spade when it comes to some things. With crap like Iran's mental, wicked scary, loonytoons president, the border problem and the terroristic threats from radical Islam, it's time to kick ass and take names, not appease everyone. Be tough, grow a pair and stand up for yourself! I'd rather have a Bush presidency than a Kerry presidency any day though.

21) Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
I don't have to imagine! Her name is Emily. :)

22) Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
I've always wanted Matthew Garrett - Matthew for my mom Matilda and Garrett for my dad Gary. Ever since I was in jr. high I wanted to name the first son I had Matthew Garrett.

23) Would you ever consider living abroad?
No. Nothing beats the USA! Though I wouldn't mind visiting Ireland, Scotland and Israel many times over and staying for extended periods of time (4 weeks at a time in each place)

24) What do you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
Well done good and faithful servant....I've been waiting for you! And guess what? Matt's here too. (Seriously)

Now, who do I tag...

I tag Crouching Mommy Hidden Laundry, Michael Manning, and No_Average_Girl.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Church Sign Wisdom - Part Four and Update

Ok, so I went to the doctor yesterday and found out that though I don't have an "upper respiratory infection" per say, I have severe chest and sinus congestion which has in turn given me a secondary infection in my trachea. I wondered "Just how does one get an infection in their TRACHEA?!?!" (WARNING: THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTION IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH!) My Doctor said that because of my violent coughing and all the mucus from the chest and sinus congestion that the mucus got into the irritated areas in my trachea caused by the coughing and created little pockets which got infected. Yeah, YUCK! Gross! So I'm on antibiotics for the next 10 days. The doctor said that I wouldn't start feeling better until Sunday. So that's another weekend gone. Now, here's the interesting thing. I'm highly alergic to any hydrocodone, which means I can't take codeine or vicodin so the prescription cough suppresants are out of the question. He said that even though I'm on antibiotics that I should go ahead and "self medicate" with my favorite alcoholic beverage before I go to bed. I didn't bother to tell him that I have a freakishly high tolerance for alcohol so I wouldn't be doing that. So by Sunday I should start feeling better. I really hope to start feeling better before then b/c today at work just wore me out. I was there for 10 hours today...all of them working, no lunch, b/c we were so stinking busy. By the time I dragged myself out of there I could barely walk to my car. The doctor advised me to stay home today but I couldn't let Rebecca be there with 37 regular employees, 20 out of town visiting workers with the the president of our division coming in to town tomorrow and finalizing the upstairs expansion not to mention that she's the executive assistant. Yeah, needless to say I couldn't let her do all of that by herself so I convinced the doctor to reluctantly give me clearance to go back today - relatively against his wishes. Rebecca actually called me yesterday to ask if I was going to be there today and then told me I sounded awful. Gee, thanks, I already knew that. Tomorrow back to the grind for another full day. I'm wishing I had taken the doctor's advice to stay home one more day. LOL!

Ok, so I'm putting up another set of church signs. And seriously, person who disparages the signs by saying drivel like Do you think putting a witty phrase on a sign does anyone any good...does this encourage us to live our lives differently...or do they just make Christian laught and turn non-believers away from experiencing authentic relationships and truth from people? you know who you are...does it really matter in the scope of things? You don't like them, don't read them. Others enjoy them as I do. They are wise, catchy little sayings that anyone who cared to could take to heart and learn from them. It's not a topic for discussion b/c this is my blog and I will continue to post them b/c I enjoy them and I like the sayings. If you think they're lame like you stated previously, you don't have to come back and keep reading them, but if you do read them, I don't want to hear anything from you how you don't like them b/c it was your choice to read them in the first place. SIGH.

More Church Sign Wisdom

376. The light of the world knows no power failure
377. Christians have a better journey with a destination that's out of this world
378. The herein determines the hereafter
379. If you want to cast a big shadow stand in God's light!
380. Enjoy this day! Compliments of God.
381. If you make money your God, it will hound you like the Devil
382. Free food: Bread of life, Living water, Milk & honey
383. When life knocks you on your knees – pray there
384. A. S. A. P.-Always say a prayer!
385. Christians, keep the faith – but not from others!"
386. Man creates the distance, Jesus builds the bridge
387. Having part time religion is like having part time work, it won't support you
388. I'm a master mechanic. Let me fix your life – Jesus
389. When you see God's Hand in everything, it is easy to leave everything in God's Hands!
390. Moments spent with God reap benefits that lasts a lifetime
391. The easiest way to bring up a child in the way he should go is for you to be traveling that same route
392. Jesus built us a bridge with 2 boards and 3 nails
393. Jesus can turn your E-F-I-L around
394. If you think meek is weak, try being meek for a week
395. Sin offers much and pays little
396. Come on in, we're Heir Conditioned!
397. God doesn't make mistakes, but he can correct ours
398. Serving God tomorrow won't help you today
399. This Church is on fire! But you don't need to call 911
400. Just because we came from dirt doesn't mean we have to wallow in it
401. What kind of legacy are you living?
402. Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity
403. God intervenes in the affairs of men by invitation only
404. Start "Standing On The Promises" instead of just setting on the premises
405. There are no "self-made" Christians
406. God is more interested in the shape of your character than the size of your bank account
407. You can know the Word of God and yet not know the God of the Word
408. Some hearts need a pace-maker, all hearts need the Peace-maker
409. Got Jesus? It'll be hell without Him!
410. ATM inside. Atonement, Truth and Mercy
411. Eternity is a long time to think about what you should have done
412. Eye for an eye? Soon everyone's blind
413. Trust God's authority, not man's majority
414. There will be no recount when the Roll is called up Yonder
415. Spare the rod and spoil the world
416. The saints win here every Sunday
417. Would you rather suffer in this life or the next?
418. Inside: Everything you always wanted to know about heaven and hell but were afraid to ask
419. Stop, Drop, and Roll will not work in Hell
420. Sinners believe in good luck, Christians believe in Good Lord
421. The only tact needed for evangelism is contact
422. Salvation is what we receive, not what we achieve
423. Salvation by Grace is like a parachute; there just is not any substitute
424. Our spirituality is like a airplane ride, the higher we rise the smaller things on earth become
425. Not to accept Jesus on His terms is to reject him
426. Don't ask to know God's will until you are ready to do it
427. No time for Christ? He has an eternity for you
428. Take the word of God and take God at His word
429. When things go wrong, don't go wrong with them
430. If you run with dogs, don't be surprised when you get up with fleas
431. A temperamental person is easy glum, easy glow
432. Friends multiply joy and divide sadness
433. A shut mouth gathers no foot
434. The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention
435. If you growl all day, you'll be dog tired all night
436. The Truth Fears No Investigation
437. Nothing I do to punish another for hurting me, brings me healing
438. When we stop loving, we stop living
439. Character is doing what's right when no one is looking
440. Being a believer takes more than just believing
441. Tomorrow is uncertain but forever is for sure
442. You can't slide uphill
443. You don't have to attend every argument you're invited to
444. Continue to put off until tomorrow what you shouldn't do at all
445. ADVICE: Those who need it don't heed it and those who heed it don't need it
446. Reality challenges popular beliefs
447. When it comes to prayer don't hang up, hang on!
448. Jesus – coming soon for a soul near you.
449. The empty tomb proves Christianity. The empty church denies it.
450. Soul food served here
451. Don't give up. Moses was once a basket case!
452. Opportunity knocks once. Temptation leans on the doorbell!
453. God doesn't have a plan B
454. Why don't you stop trying to figure God out and start trying to figure Him in?
455. Nike says "Just do it", but Christianity says, "It's a done deal!”
456. The Devil Is Not Afraid Of A Dust Covered Bible
457. Remember the scars and stripes of the Savior this 4th of July
458. Life offers many choices. Eternity has 2. What's yours?
459. Faith sees things not as they are but as they will be
460. The "product" is a better indication of my relationship to God than the "profession"
461. In our Father's house are many mansions, Wont you be our neighbor?
462. GOOD – GOD = O
463. A Child Of The King Should Bear A Family Resemblance
464. To Avoid Sin's Tragedy – Learn Satan's Strategy
465. If you don't find your God-given purpose, Satan will supply one for you!
466. Jesus –The One who would rather die than live without you
467. The first step to hearing God is to listen
468. Having trouble finding the perfect gift? HE IS HERE!
469. When you are in deep water -- Trust the ONE who walked on it.
470. Body piercing saved our lives
471. Are you too busy acting like a Christian to be one?
472. Remember your first amendment. It's freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
473. Is God your spare wheel or your steering wheel?
474. If you get grief because of your faith, you must be doing something right!
475. P.U.S.H.- Pray Until Something Happens

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sickness abounds

UGH! I've been sick since Saturday evening with sinus and chest congestion, which turned into a nasty cough and a sinus and ear infection which threw my equilibrium to squat (no driving for me) and makes my left ear feel very sensitive and like it's stuffed with cotton and my right ear feel either like an icepic is stabbing at it or it's going to pop from the pressure. I'm running a fever too that is ranging between 101.0-102.1, but instead of being all burning up I'm cold and clammy and sweaty. Why is my skin cold while I'm running a fever and sweating? That one eludes me. Oh, what a lovely picture. NOT! I feel like caca with a nose that is running like a faucet, even though it's so stuffed that I can't clear it adequately. I don't mean to complain, really I don't, but I haven't felt this bad in a long time. I feel like I've been hit by a truck - and my back isn't really any much better from last week.

Even more than feeling bad you want to know what the worst part is? I can't be at work. Is that sick or what? But here's the thing. We are so busy at work and I hate to leave Rebecca hanging. I feel guilty as hell even though I am legitimately sick. There's so much to do there and I would rather be there working than here in bed feeling like crap, sneezing and coughing and snotting all over the place. If I could drive any distance, I would be there at work, but I can barely even walk straight. SIGH. Good thing my doctor's office is less than a mile from me. I should be able to make it there and back. The earliest appointment he had was a 5:15 today so I'll be going there and hopefully getting antibiotics for this junk and be back to work tomorrow.

Ok, enough venting for today. Sorry to do that to you but I needed to get it out. I'm going to lay back down now b/c even being up for a few minutes is wearing me out.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


I have put a new post on my other blog. This post is the 2nd in the series about what the Rapture is and when do we believe it will occur. The current post discusses the view of the Mid-Tribulation Rapture.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies...

Ladies, if you've ever been in labor with the really awful back contractions, you know what I'm talking about. Criminy is my back spasming! It started to go out around 12:40 this afternoon and hasn't completely gone out yet, but is just painful enough to have me on some pain meds. I can't really sit, stand or lay down in any comfortable position and it really bites b/c the pain has just really wiped me out and I'm exhausted! So, I'll just go into being a semi-expository woman about my day.

Oy, today has been a doozie of a day. Why do we dream impossible, heartbreaking dreams? I'm tired of waking up with an ache in my heart, wanting to cry about situations that won't ever happen, that had the chance to happen once but now are nothing more than pipe dreams. It's just one of those dreams where you wake up feeling like crap internally from the events of it which are so vivedly real that you still feel the ache in your heart long after you wake up. One of those dreams that you don't really know how to describe other than weird and disappointing and just leaves you full of questions. It's like the evets of the dream follow you over into waking life. I woke up feeling so sad and so lonely inside and I HATE feeling like that. I'm not going to describe the dream b/c it would be giving away way too much about things that are better left alone for many, many reasons But needless to say it kind of set the whole tone for my day. YUCK!

Em's been sick this past week and has been out of her pre-school class since last week Friday. Tomorrow is the first day she'll be back. I ended up taking her to the doctor today b/c of her ankle. Well she hasn't been that active b/c she's been battling a nasty cold for the past week. Tuesday she went to the park after Matt's and ran around but even before then she had been limping off and on for about a week. That evening it was hurting her so bad that she was crying about it and it was extremely sensitive to the touch and limping all over the place. From what I could discern from her 4-year old description is that she was doing jumping jacks in gymnastics last week and rolled her ankle and fell. But this was her first really active day since then so it seemed to have initiated something.

I called her pedi yesterday and just to be safe they wanted to see her today to assess if she needed possible x-rays. So I took a couple hours off of work to take Em even though it's been crazy hectic since Tuesday and will continue through next week and I took Em in to her pedi and she was trying to show off for him on all the things that she could do on that foor, like nothing was wrong with it but it was still sensitive to the touch so he went ahead and ordered x-rays. He said that at this age it's difficult to really trust their words when it comes to level of pain and he would much rather be safe than sorry, for which I am glad. He's a great pedi. Been practicing almost as long as I've been alive. One of the old fashioned doctors. Anyway, she got her x-rays and went to Matt for the rest of the day while I went to work.

Once I got to work I was literally on the run from the moment I stepped in the door. When it was time for the lunch delivery for the 3 meetings that were going on. I delivered the food which was pretty heavy, especially b/c of the amount of food. As soon as I got back and sat in my chair, my back started just spasming all over the place. I tried to stretch it out slowly but just ended up getting teary from the pain. One of the people I work with ended up telling me I was doing the "granny walk". Oh haha, it is to laugh, you're soooo funny. X^P Basically the granny walk is where you walk hunched over and kind of, but not really, shuffle your feet. Kind of like you need a walker.

Then I talked to my very best friend, MC, and I find out that she is probably being transferred for her job from Texas to either Seattle or Atlanta. She's the friend that brings out the best in me, who's always been there. She's going through a lot on her own now with her upcoming surgery, tummy tuck and arms (she lost over 150 pounds), the possible either loss of her job or a huge promotion - she's not sure which, breaking up with her long term boyfriends this past weekend b/c he doesn't want kids and it's a MUST for her, especially at this age (she's a very young looking 36). We were a real pair tonight on the phone. It's kind of become a habit that every couple of days, if not every day, I call her while I'm stuck in the crappy Austin rush hour. A drive that normally is 20 minutes takes about an hour to get home from the office. She also was stuck at the office until probably 8 tonight so she was bumming about that.

I know that this possible job promotion for her is HUGE. She would become an executive vice president for the company she works for. I mean HUGE! She would literally be able to speak for the CEO/President of this ginormous, Fortune 500 corporation. But they will not allow her to stay in Texas. Said she has to move if they offer her one of the two positions available and move probably by summer. MC's been my best friend for going on 10 years. She just moved back to Austin less than a year ago and I'm really, really bummed at this new development. It's really said but she and my other friend Amy are my only two really, really close friends here in town. Well, practically at all. I don't really spill my heart completely to any other people b/c I just don't have that level of trust for many people. Those two have earned it in a big way. Amy lives outside of town by about 90 minutes and she has two children, one of them austistic and ADD so she can't get into town much.

MC is the one who has been able to drag me out of the shell I've been living in for so long and I HATE going out by myself. She and I went country dancing last weekend and it was the first time in probably 6 years that I'd been country dancing. I used to teach it and dance all the time for many years. I found that I actually got back into the swing of the tricks and spins pretty quickly, but I didn't really dance that much and actually, this is pretty sad to admit, but the guys I danced with ALL asked MC first and then came over and asked me saying "I'm sorry to hear about your divorce" or "So, how does it feel to be single again?" Well first off, a$$, I'm not single yet, I'm still technically married, so I wouldn't know how it feels to be single, especially b/c my heart's not really into trying to be single yet. Secondly, greeeaaaat, it's the pity dance. Just what everyone wants to have to go through.

MC could tell my heart really wasn't into dancing that night. She said it kind of showed. I tried to have fun, I really did, but I just wasn't ready to go out like that. Going and listening to music is one thing, that's cool, relaxed, easygoing and enjoyable. It doesn't take any effort to care what others think or not. Going to a dance place and watching everyone else dance but you and feeling really left out is another. Kind of the sad, sad story of a 32 year old soon to be divorced mother of one. SIGH. How long will it take me until I'm ready to enjoy going out? And if MC leaves, then what? I'm not about to go out dancing by myself b/c I'm not comfortable doing that anymore, and I don't know anyone else well enough that I'd care to hang with all night at a dance place. Or I do know them well enough and I wouldn't hang out with them outside of work. I am so screwed. (Pardon the French but I really can't think of any other word to describe what the situation is)

I wish I could say that I didn't care about being alone and being a single mother, but I do. I don't want to end up by myself for the rest of my life and with a child in the picture who is the life of me, I have to be more than choosy, I have to be extremely careful about who I'm even considering looking for. I have to be picky, I have to be extremely discriminating, discerning, particular and critical about the characteristics, character, integrity, morals, ethics and personality of ANYONE I would even think for one second about letting into my life, even on a casual basis. It's not just about me anymore. It's pretty much all about Emily now. Who would I, who COULD I trust around her? She is the most precious person in the world to me and I wouldn't dare risk exposing her to just anyone so I'm really extremely limited in my choices. Unfortunatly these days the wolves are so prevalent in their sheeps clothing and you can't really trust too many people out there these days. There was a report they were talking about on Fox News about how pediphiles are drawn to positions of authority over children, such as teachers, camp instructors, law enforcemet, church leaders, etc. Even the nicest seeming people could be the devil in disguise. I think I'll be single for a long, long time b/c I really trust very few poeple to be around Emily on a long term basis apart from my current friends (of which there are so few), my family, Matt and Matt's family. I know I can't be paranoid of everyone but Emily is just that special kind of kid so I kind of have to be.

Yes, these lovely thoughts are what run through my mind on a daily basis. I can't afford not to be super careful about who's around Emily and that cuts out a whole lot of people in the world and leaves precious few. But it's those precious few that make the cut who are worth being around me and my family. Just thinking about all of this is enough to give me a headache...and ohhhh, my aching back. YAWN! I'm going to bed. 'Night.

Church Sign Wisdom - Part Three

Yet more wisdom from the signs:

251. Daily prayer will diminish your cares
252. Do you want to go to heaven? Flight instructions given here!
253. Sit In Demonstration This Sunday at 11:00AM
254. May your teenage head banger meet The Ageless Heart Knocker
255. Men will die, this is sure, sin the cause, Christ the cure
256. If you don't have anything to pray about, thank God you don't
257. When you don't witness, you just did
258. We always find time for the things we value most
259. If you can't stand the heat – better make plans to avoid it
260. The perfect church – for those who aren't
261. Salvation is free but not until you ask for it
262. God answers prayer not advice
263. Our strength is seen in the things we stand for
264. The wages of sin is death – quit before payday!
265. Decisions can take you out of God's will but not out of His reach
266. Expect great things from God! Attempt great things for God!
267. No force is greater than the power of God!
268. Christians are like coals of a fire. Together they glow, apart they grow cold.
269. For every sin the devil has an excuse
270. I asked Jesus, “how much do you love me?” He stretched His arms wide, said “This much”...and died.
271. God's last name is not "Damn"
272. As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in school
273. We're called to stand out! Not blend in!
274. Is your life running on empty? Free fillups here every Sunday!
275. Children brought up in church are seldom brought up in court
276. On the race track of life make pit stops: Pray, Inspire, Touch
277. Get out of WordPerfect and get into God's perfect Word
278. A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition!
279. Jesus is changing the world one life at a time
280. Too many people clamor for the freedom to do what should not be done
281. WWJD = Walking With Jesus Daily
282. In order to understand GOD, we must stand under GOD
283. GOD gives and forgives; men get and forget
284. Who wants to be a Christianaire?
285. The cross is God's compass pointing to heaven
286. You are not too bad to come in, you are not too good to stay out!
287. Love sees through a telescope, not a microscope
288. In trying times don't quit trying!
289. Profanity is the linguistic crutch of the inarticulate
290. There is no right way to do a wrong thing
291. You love Jesus only as much as you the person you love the least
292. If you take care of your character, your reputation will take care of itself
293. He who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else
294. Be careful of your life lest a child stumble over it
295. Every home is a school. What do you teach?
296. Having a sharp tongue may cut your own throat
297. Truth is! Lies have to be invented
298. The tongue weighs practically nothing, but few people can hold it
299. Anger is only one letter away from danger
300. The cross is God's way of making a plus sign out of a minus
301. The vitamin good for friendship is "B1"
302. I’m a fool for God. Whose “fool” are you?
303. A radical is someone with both feet planted firmly in the air
304. Be thankful for stumbles for they prevent falls
305. What part of 'THOU SHALT NOT' don't you understand?
306. Choices have consequences
307. Now, even Darwin believes!!
308. Pick your friends, but not to pieces
309. When the trumpet sounds we’re outta here!
310. You say there is no absolute truth? Are you absolutely sure?
311. As long as you can "take Him or leave Him"; leave Him because He will not be taken half heartedly
312. Want to make God laugh? Just tell him your plans
313. When you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere
314. If someone says something untrue about you, you must live life so that no one will believe it
315. God made His people for worship not for wickedness!
316. We're called to be now what we will be when Jesus returns
317. April 1: National Atheists Day
318. The Devil has a "plot" but God has a "plan"
319. It does not matter what happens to us but what happens in us
320. For the road to heaven, turn right and go straight
321. Apply yourself to the Bible and the Bible to yourself
322. Many books can inform, but only the Bible can transform
323. T G I F - Today God Is First
324. On judgment day you'll meet Father God not Mother Earth!
325. Founded on the Word-- Focused on the world!
326. Prayer should be our first resource not our last resort!
327. If you teach school children that they came from animals don't be surprised when they act like it
328. Forgive your enemies nothing annoys them more
329. When life needs rebooting – remember – Jesus saves!
330. Souls/programs: Both must be saved and debugged by their Maker!
331. Live life so that the preacher won't have to lie at the funeral
332. Will you be one of the grateful dead, or one of the regretful dead?
333. Jesus paid a bill He didn't owe
334. Are you lost? Come on in for directions!
335. Aren't you glad your mother didn't believe in abortion?
336. I have a Friend in high places
337. Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die
338. God's work, done in God's way, will never lack for God's supplies
339. Same owner for 2000 years
340. When you are the zero, He is the One
341. All Christians have the same boss
342. The church is a hospital for sinners, not a rest home for saints
343. If you find yourself with time on your hands put 'em together and pray
344. Get down on your knees and fight like a man!
345. Ask about our pray-as-you-go plan
346. To put your fears to rest, put your faith in Jesus
347. We don't have a prayer without God
348. Join us on your way to eternity
349. Only God is in a position to look down on anyone
350. Is your home on the rocks, or on the Rock?
351. Willpower: you give God your will, He gives you the power
352. At the heart of sin is the letter "I"
353. There is no reward from God, to those who seek it from men
354. Jesus is the rock that doesn't roll
355. Redemption Center – No coupon needed
356. Home improvement: take your family to church
357. Get on-line with God: Unlimited access, no busy signals, 24/7 tech support
358. Never run faster than your guardian angel can fly!
359. Make your church grow: Some Assembly Required
360. Turn or burn
361. Church: Come to worship, leave to serve
362. Father knows best
363. If your hope is not in Jesus, you are hopeless!
364. Sign broken. Message inside.
365. Only a living Savior can rescue a dying world
366. God says "Don't wait ", Satan says "Procrastinate"
367. God loves us not because of who we are but because of who He is
368. What man creates feeds our desires. What God creates feeds our needs.
369. Need a Lifeline? Talk to God!
370. Give your burden to the Weightlifter from Calvary!
371. Get rich QUICK! Count your blessings.
372. Heavenly Forecast: Reign forever!
373. Jesus died for you so live for him
374. Ever been between a rock and a hard place? Then thank the Lord, because it's good to be next to the Rock when you are in a hard place
375. It's very difficult to be religious, but so simple to be a Christian