Friday, November 25, 2011

Mt Angel Abbey

If any pilgrim monk come from distant parts, if with wish as guest to dwell in the monastery, and will be content with the customs which he finds in the place,  [....]  But, if he have been found gossipy and contumacious in the time of his sojourn as guest, not only ought he not to be joined to the body of the monastery, but also it shall be said to him, honestly, that he must depart. If he does not go, let two stout monks in the name of God, explain the matter to him.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Single. And why I'm not.

I have no clue why I'm ruminating on being "single" tonight. I'm the sort of person that thinks the more you think about being single, the more likely you are to be discontent about being single. So most of the time I ignore it. Which probably disqualifies me from giving any advice. So this isn't advice.

Here are some things that I tell myself...

1. Be thankful. Of course, that's so easy to say but not easy to do. Thus the second step.

2. Pray proactively. Don't wait for the moments of despair to wash over you to reach out for God. Pray before you are tempted. Pray when life seems like it's humming along and you don't feel like you need to pray. When you don't feel like you need to pray, that should be huge flashing lights going off in your head. PRAY.  Pray for faith, joy, peace, patience, etc. Take responsibility to ask God to help you keep your cup running over.

3. Don't identify yourself by singleness. It's so easy to start feeling sorry for yourself when the world becomes single vs. married. Find your identity in Christ surrounded by believers. If someone told me to list out words to describe myself, I'm not sure that it would ever occur to me to say "single". Because, I'm not. I have a family, and you should too. I'm not saying that you have to live with your family, but you should have someone there as backup and counsel. If you don't have family, then find some. Do like my friend Rebekah did and adopt a wise couple at church to be your family.

4. Don't feel badly about not feeling fulfilled in life. Women were meant to be completed by husbands and bearing babies. It's okay that your job does not completely fulfill you. And it's a lie that it should.

5. Continue to work on being selfless. Because no one wants to marry selfishness. Find areas to serve others and try not to live by yourself. It's easy to fall into the trap that you're perfect if you have no one else to disagree. This may mean living with your family and you know what, you won't die. At least I haven't yet. Or it could mean living with friends. Just make sure you choose wise friends. :)

6. Appreciate things that are easy to do when single. Shopping and traveling are two that spring into my mind. It's much easier to go shopping without having to unstrap and strap three carseats at every stop. And traveling is much easier and cheaper! So think of things that you enjoy and go out and do them. Because one day you probably won't be able too. Or it will involve a potty stop every 20 minutes.

7. Enjoy not having to change dirty diapers. Especially at 2 am.

8. Interact with kids. If you didn't grow up around kids, then find ways to interact with them now. Take advantage of this time when you can interact with kiddos without having to be responsible for them! Especially babies. ;) Plus, if your husband has nieces and nephews, you'll be a better Auntie for it.

9. Be prepared that every time a friend or sibling starts dating, and you're not, you might feel sad. This hasn't happened every time for me but it has happened sometimes. It is okay to cry for a moment, but only for a moment. No pity parties. God has you exactly where he wants you. Just remember you don't want to marry that guy anyways. Or if you do, I guess there might be bigger issues to work through....

10. Remember that God is never early and He's never late. This was driven home to me during a family camp on marriage. God will not move you into marriage until you can do more good serving his kingdom married. And His kingdom is all that really matters.

Psmith & Miss Halliday

This made me laugh out loud the other day....

Psmith, going into Miss Clarkson's Employment Bureau, has just become acquainted with a Miss Halliday leaving the office. After already meeting with her on the streets a few hours earlier, he is eager to learn more about her.

"Is that young lady a nurse?" he asked.
"Do you want a nurse?" inquired Miss Clarkson, at once the woman of business.
"I want that nurse," said Psmith with conviction.
"She is a delightful girl", said Miss Clarkson with enthusiasm. "There is no one in whom I would feel more confidence in recommending to a position. She is Miss Halliday [....] She is a charming, warm-hearted, impulsive girl....But you will hardly want to hear all this."
"On the contrary," said Psmith, "I could listen for hours. You have stumbled upon my favourite subject."
Miss Clarkson eyed him a little doubtfully, and decided that it would be best to reintroduce the business theme.
"Perhaps, when you say you are looking for a nurse, you mean you need a hospital nurse?"
"My friends have sometimes suggested it."
"Miss Halliday's greatest experience has, of course, been as a governess."
"A governess is just as good," said Psmith agreeably.
Miss Clarkson began to be conscious of a sensation of being out of her depth.
"How old are your children, sir?" she asked.
"I fear," said Psmith "you are peeping into Volume Two. This romance has only just started."

From P.G. Wodehouse's Leave it to Psmith.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Victoria, Sophie and Thanksgiving

Thoughts from today ( and no it's not all related to my stupid gallbladder)

Went and saw the naturapath today to make sure she didn't have any tricks up her sleeves. She gave me some stuff and said if it's going to work, I should be able to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Which would be beyond awesome. But I'm not counting on it; I think maybe if I had started on the stuff right away might have worked, but it's been a month now...So I'm still seeing the surgeon tomorrow.

At the last visit though, the naturapath gave me some stuff to make it a little easier to eat,. It also helps that the gastroenterologist gave me pain pills that melt in my mouth. Between those, I can eat some white bread and white rice with my broth.So I think I am feeling a little better because I'm finally getting something besides soda.

I'm currently reading a book about the lives of Queen Victoria's daughters. This is what I've learned so far.
1. If you go live in your husbands country, don't offend them by inisiting your country is better in everything. It makes it hard to get along with your in-laws.
2. Don't compare your children to each other.
3. Don't call them ugly.
4. Don't be born a princess.
5. If you can't avoid step 4, then try to fall in love with a royal someone who has a good position.
6. If not, screw the family. You'll be happier.
7. Don't give your children the same environment to grow up in that you hated growing up in.

Also, fun fact. Apparently Alberta, Canada was named after Princess Louise. When her husband was the Queens ambassador in Canada, he chose it as it sounded better than Louiseland, or something like that. Apparently, Alberta was her second name.

We have a new kitty. Rather a stray that showed up on our doorstep about a month ago. My mother swore that there was no way we were going to keep a ninth cat. But Mom didn't realize just how cunning this new cat (Sophie) was. Sophie, being smart, decided to befriend and be nice to the one person in our family who didn't consider himself to have his own cat, my dad. Yup, she won Dad over. The man that earns her bread and butter or really, her kitty nibbles and litter. Smart move, Sophie.

We are enjoying tremendously the new HULU show, SPY. I know, I never imagined it could be so good, but if you like some British humour, than try it out.

Thanksgiving is in two days! Yay. Or that would be in all capitals if I thought I would be eating it. I have resigned myself to drinking a whole bottle of Martinellis as consolation.

Our traditional menu looks something like this:

Relish Tray/Spinach dip/Some other appetizer

Stuffing (we totally cheat here and go with Stove Top)
Homemade Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Garlic Green beans
Creamed Onions (My favorite!)
Homemade Jellied Cranberry (Discovered last year how crazy easy this is to make!)
Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
Sweet Potatoes (no marshmallows!)
Rolls (sometimes)

Persimmon Pudding (German tradition)
Hard Sauce
Wine Sauce
Pies (apple, pumpkin...)
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake (the only cheesecake that I love)

Usually my favorite part of dinner is creating the exact right proportions of a little bit of stuffing, onion cream sauce, mashed potatoes and cranberry on my fork. The flavors meld together beautifully.

And then I love persimmon pudding with some hard sauce on it. mmm.

I think I'm going to either stick a plate of food in the freezer and eat it in a week or two. Or I'll just insist on Thanksgiving dinner for my birthday. That sounds good.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Short takes of a long couple of weeks

I can't sleep and I don't know why, so I guess I'll try blogging. 
So it turns out I wasn't sick. Not the normal flu kind of sick anyways. Apparently, my gallbladder is trying to commit suicide and if that's not enough, to kill me in the process. 
Anyway here are some random notes from the past couple of weeks.
If for some reason you're reading this and you are not actually my friend on facebook (I have no illusions that anyone else would read this blog), this status should explain some of the fun I've been having:
Highlights today: visiting the "nuclear medicine" office (high cool factor when you combine the words nuclear and medicine); realizing you've been so out of it you didn't realize that you had a 2" bruise on your elbow from previous and numerous IV attempts; having more IV attempts; falling asleep in a "waffle maker"; and later that day, having radioactive tears that sting. Fun times.

In the last two weeks I've had a Ultrasound (gallstones), CT scan (appendicitus), HIDA scan (gallbladder) and an Endoscopy (ulcers).

Which means I've been asked about five billion times "Are you pregnant?" "Are you sure you're not pregnant?" "Any chance you are pregnant?" "Are you REALLY sure you're not pregnant?"

If someone asks me that again, I might punch them. So far, my standard response has been simply a passive, "No." But I've decided I'm sick of that, so I've been thinking of alternative responses.

"Damn it, No"   (Okay, I probably wouldn't swear)
"No, are you?"    (Snarky)
"I wish"    (Not that I do wish, but I could leave them hanging)

Ideally, I think I would like to respond with something that communicated along the lines of, "No, I'm a Christian and I'm saving sex for after marriage.."  But I have no clue if I could pull that off, especially at 7 in the morning.

So far the only side effects I've had from all this stuff, is that the HIDA scan (they put radioactive tracer into your blood) made me randomly sneeze and tear up throughout the day. What was really weird is that the tears stung. And then after my endoscopy, I sneezed hard and violently probably every 5 minutes for the rest of the day. Weird.

It was right before my endoscopy of my stomach and duodenum that the doctor came in and told me that the HIDA scan had come back abnormal. I was so relieved that they had found out that it really was my gallbladder that I couldn't believe it. Anyways, after I regained consciousness from my endoscopy apparently the first thing I said when I saw Tyler (who had driven me) sounded like this: "Tyyyyleeerrrr, I"mmmm sooo haaapyyyy myyyy gallllbbbllladddders baaaadd. I couldn't talk right, but the emotion was there.

So right now, my body is pretty much only tolerating sugar and water products and some broth. I've never been a big soda drinker, so I think after this I might never be able to drink soda again. I've also gained a new appreciation for V-8 as it's one of the few things I can drink that isn't really sugary.

Right now, I'm focusing on what I read this evening in a little devotion book.

Take it on trust a little while;
Soon shall thou read the mystery right
In the full sunshine of His smile
John Keble

And one last thought... My family, especially my brothers have been so fantastic. It's been really tough on Daniel and Jacob since they are pretty much the only ones that are either a) well or b) don't have college classes. Daniel told me the other day that he is enjoying proving himself responsible as he figures that means he'll get his permit sooner! Also, my dad and Tyler have been really sweet about driving me to all of my appts. I feel loved.

I'm so spoiled! Tyler bought me flowers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

You knwo you're sick when:

You look in the mirror and realize you're carrying a FULL 2 liter 7UP soda and a bowl of jello to your bedroom to eat while you watch a movie.

You look forward to licking the salt off of a saltine.

You are tired of canned chicken noodle soup, and not eating the noodles.

The heat pad is your best friend.

You have time to read too many blogs about traveling. Thus leading to tempting thoughts like, "what am I still doing here?"

You're getting used to making breakfast without eating it.

But as long as you don't eat it, it smells SO good.

If you eat it then you might die though. So you don't.

You make consistent progress on your knitting project leading you to conversations in your head such as, "Next time I'll do this differently," and then the response,"What? Have you forgotten the HOURS it has taken you to get this far?"

 Well, I've had the flu for awhile now, but I did go see the doctor today and it sounds like it's almost over. Yay! And it actually hasn't been horrible. I've mostly had a low grade fever with light nausea. Basically I feel great as long as I'm not walking around a lot or eating anything.

Part of me wants to consider this to have been a purposeful spiritual fast. But I'd be lying.