Sunday, December 28, 2014

Guess I Should Come Out With It.

I've been delaying posting because something happened: Chris and I went back to the Episcopal Church. Chris is as happy as Agnes getting her fluffy new unicorn at the fair (Despicable Me, anyone? "IT'S SO FLUFFY I COULD DIE!"), but I'm still waffling. Waffling, but showing up at the Episcopal Church every Sunday. Or just about every Sunday--yay, agoraphobia.

I hear the news is spreading, so I confirm the rumors. I don't know why, so don't ask. I just feel a lot better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's True


Not a soul. But I still have one anyway.

Giving credit where credit is due. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Retweet THIS

Dear Twitter,

I am the person tweeting anonymously as @OrthodoxRequest. Over a week ago, I tweeted this:

Harmless, right? Oh no. 
Suddenly, I'm caught up in the middle of a debate on where icons belong in the house. Should they not be in the bedroom because we have sex there? Should they not be in the bathroom because apparently we do worse things than sex there? You've been debating this all day! Good gravy!

I'm an Orthodox idiot and I know it, but I learned one thing early: Icons are windows into heaven, but this does not work in reverse. Saints aren't staring at everything you do through your icons. The saints don't care if you have sex (God made that) or if you're pooping (God made that, too). Either stop this stupid, idolatrous nonsense; or delete my handle from your debate. You're pissing me off, and I have better things to do.

I just want to post prayer requests and pictures or music that makes me smile, so leave me out of this garbage. Your salvation does not depend on where your icons are in your house. I hate how nitpicky Orthodox Christians can be--sometimes it feels like enough to drive me away from the Church. Read Matthew 25 and focus on what you should really be doing with your time.

Jiminy Christmas.

Love,
Chandler/Elizabeth

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What's New?

I don't have celiac disease. (Yay, bread!)

I am actively fighting an infection. (That might explain being down-and-out.)

And I did a terrible thing:

That's a Stephen Hawking phone case, btw. 
I'm looking forward to when my hair lays down and remotely resembles a hairstyle instead of an abomination, but in the meantime I enjoy looking ... weird. And rather eighties. And kinda punk rock at the same time. 

I think I'll dye it green. 

(Just kidding, Mom.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Knitting Marathon = Over

... for now. I'm taking the rest of the month off (maybe I'll wind some hanks into balls), then it's back to the grindstone for me. Did I use that metaphor right? I don't know. I've been out of college too long.

About twenty hats (I didn't take an official count before taping up the box), two scarves (one of which had something go disastrously wrong, resulting in my using my mad hand sewing skills), and four 6-packs of Wigwam tube socks (like I can knit socks or something) are going to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to the St. Vincent de Paul ... home? Anyway, although I'm not Catholic, I have a soft spot for Vincent de Paul, so I chose it after my original choice bottomed out due to embezzlement (sad). There were several things, however, I didn't realize:

  • St. Vincent de Paul in Coeur d'Alene is a massive network of social services, not just a pair of homeless shelters. 
  • Coeur d'Alene is the second largest metropolitan area in Idaho. 
So much for rural. It's a resort town in the panhandle of Idaho, but, as one might expect, it gets miserably cold in winter. Today the high will be 70 though. I wish it were 70 here. I was under the mistaken impression that I was going to be a massive blessing to some rural community. The truth took the wind out of my sails, but I think that's a good thing. I need the wind taken out of my sails basically all the time. Praise God. 

Anyway, enough of what a galoot I am. Everything's packed up--all I need to do is write down the address and get Chris to ferry it to the post office. Lord, bless--and may all these items be of service to someone. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Let's Fix Homelessness ...

... by simply moving the homeless to a different location. Check this out from Twitter:

WTF?!
The homeless have a soft spot in my heart. That said, I wouldn't go so far as the Austinite (Austonian?) who I overheard at an art show by homeless artists who said, "I love the homeless! They're so authentic!" (I drain of life just thinking about that.) But that's why I get pissed when more anti-homeless architecture like this pops up. Look at this article about anti-homeless bench design. My "favorite" is the Montreal one: Too low for anyone to sleep under, too weird and far apart for anyone to sleep on. [Tears hair out.] It's hard not to want to engage in a little civil disobedience and take the largest hammer I can find to these stupid things. 

"But, Chandler," the gentle reader protests, "shouldn't we be working on finding homes for the homeless?" Yes, of course. It needs to be a two-pronged approach at this point though: 1) affordable housing and 2) helping those who don't have access to said affordable housing yet. Time to get practical (yay!). I spend my year knitting hats and scarves for the homeless. Since my locale is not unbearably cold in the winter, I send them elsewhere: This year, they go to Idaho. It's about all I can do with the various illnesses plaguing me that I mentioned in the last post. Well, those and the anxiety disorder. Thanks to Pinterest, I come prepared with all kinds of ideas and information about homelessness. And if you want actual housing, cozy up with the 100,000 Homes campaign. 

Why do I care about the homeless? His name was Father Jim Fallis, the priest where I grew up as an Episcopalian. Downtown Columbia, MO, has a large homeless population (and, of course, the requisite number of business owners who want them moved elsewhere because they're bad for business), and Jim knew every one of them. Once upon a time, though he was retired, he and another priest were filling in while there was some upheaval in our clergy (nothing bad--just the usual mess that comes with new clergy moving in). My dad and I had breakfast with him and then walked to church. There was a homeless man on the sidewalk. While I averted my eyes, Jim went out of his way to say hello to him. The resulting awful feeling in my gut was the beginning of change for me. Now there are hats and scarves and winter blankets and conversations (although, to be honest, anxiety means Chris does most of the talking). There should be at least smiles and waves. Jim died four days before I got married--may his memory be eternal. And may he be an example for us all. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Me vs Me

I'm being tested for celiac disease as well as hypothyroidism and stuff that could be related to my polycystic ovary syndrome. I am a walking genetic disorder.

Funny how we get sick. Funnier still is how our bodies can betray us with autoimmune disorders like celiac--I can't eat wheat because my body will attack the gluten and shoot everything to hell. And I mean everything: There have been days when even lying down didn't feel like enough. Then again, there are days like today where I feel pretty perky, but a long time without exercise has made me weak. Can't do anything. Now I just sit around and drink peppermint tea with a little dollop of honey and dream about getting out of the house.

Whine, whine, whine. I've got a lot of crap on my plate. I have friends, though, who have it worse and are either learning to deal with or have dealt with the mess. If I test positive, I'll be the fourth person at our little church to be a celiac sufferer. That's crazy ... it's also way more than the 1% the experts say have the disease.

I ate my first gluten-free meal after the test (you have to be eating gluten before the blood test or it'll mess up the results), and I'm eager to recover my health and return to church. But now, some kind of lunch.

Monday, September 1, 2014

What I Learned From Going to Church

I went to Vigil on Saturday. For most of it, at least. It was my first time in church in over a year, and frankly I still don't think I'm ready to go back full-time. Even though I sat through most of the service, I woke up Sunday morning aching and with a massive headache. Sunday morning Liturgy was not going to happen.

I've apparently gone mad in my time away. I listened to Abbot Tryphon on how to dress for church, wore an abaya and a scarf tied around my neck, and realized I was way overdressed when everyone else was in jeans. I don't blame Abbot Tryphon--I blame me for being overzealous. The abayas will be nice for lounging at home and for monastery visits, but for a regular service in August ... well, it just calls attention to me.

I did make one useful discovery in my time away: I love pants. I love dresses. I want to set maxi skirts on fire when I wear them. I think skirts will be leaving my wardrobe very soon.

I had forgotten how judgmental I can be. Everyone there got judged for something while I sat on my chair and looked around. It's really easy to forget your personal demons while you're at home alone. Back to church to fight the good fight.

I'm still so tired and so sick. I hate being low-functioning. This is going to take some work: I need to build back up my stamina just so I can be in church, and I need to exercise (NOOOO!!!) so I don't wake up with everything hurting the next day.

Fashion-wise, it's back to pants and nice shirts and cardigans and tichels--especially tichels, because the rectangular scarves that go over my head and then around my neck make me looks like a muslimah. I used to think those square and triangular scarves that I tied into a bun at the back of my neck drew too much attention, but I've realized they're the most comfortable thing for me. And I'm beginning to think that if I didn't want to draw attention to myself at all, I might as well have never been. Follow rules of modesty and simply be at the services--you'll probably get noticed by someone no matter what.

Anyway, happy Ecclesiastical New Year. I'll try again on Wednesday. In the meantime, it's time to drag Chris out of bed and eat some Whataburger and watch this past week's Doctor Who. God bless you, gentle readers.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Reads 5 & 6

I happen to be coming along with Zita at the time when the story's all wrapped up. Makes me sad there's only one left and that it's on the way to the house. Any day now. 

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
But while I wait for the last Zita to arrive, I've got other books by Catholics (Hatke is a Chestertonian) to be reading:

Letters to a Diminished Church by Dorothy Sayers

Interesting stuff. Poorly edited stuff, too--get a better edition than I did, if at all possible. Sometimes I like Catholic thinking to round out my Orthodox thinking, so this should be good. 

Keep reading, loves. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer Reads 4

So I finished a book, but not the one I set out to read.

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Yeah, I read a children's graphic novel instead of This is Your Brain on Music. I'm still slogging through it, but it's tough reading. You just have to have something lighthearted to mix in with the physics of music. Plus, technically This is Your Brain on Music is for work and not pleasure.

Now it's going to be a day of Despicable Me, "Sailor Moon Crystal", "Knights of Sidonia", and "Attack on Titan". And pizza. Reading is taking a backseat.

Finally, Someone Besides Me Talks About Childlessness

Totally agree with the fear of passing on genetic diseases.







Anyway, I'm up watching "Attack on Titan" and generally dorking about. Now I'm watching videos by someone who I wasn't aware of before today who has a bunch of psychological disorders. I'm naturally drawn to those people.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Oh, I Actually DO Have Something to Blog About

Idaho 2014! Duh!


Partnered with my crafty loom knitters, I'm making scarves and hats to fill up this monstrous Amazon Prime box. I apologize for not knowing how to really knit. Or crochet. But if it's getting hats done for the homeless at a moderate pace, I'm not going to complain.

The problem I've run into is where to send them. I had a lovely shelter picked out, but one day it's website went down. Hmm. A little research revealed that they were reaping the rewards (dubious ones) of an embezzlement scandal that took place a few years ago. Even though they were open about it, the state is essentially taking their license away. Nice, huh? So I'm in the market for a new shelter. I think I've found a place in the Idaho panhandle--It's named for St. Vincent DePaul, my favorite Catholic saint--so I'm hopeful that when we contact them about the hats and stuff they'll want them.

Are you knitting for the homeless? You should be, especially after last winter (which was still going on this month, by the way). This looks easy:




Happy knitting!

Blah Blah Blah

Okay, that book for Summer Reads 3? YAWN. I may have to mix in some other stuff while slogging through that.

It's less than a month till Auntie's Day!

I sometimes make peppermint tea that blasts your mouth so full of minty freshness that you won't need to brush your teeth for five years, but I figured it out this morning. One tea bag in the teapot, go pray for a while, come back, and it's perfect. Add a little honey to make it happier.

There was a thing called Social Media Day at the new family homeless shelter in town ... and we slept right through it. Good job, us.

Liquid iron supplements taste like metal shavings. Blecch.

That's all I got. Why am I even blogging?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Best Idea EVER


Summer Reads 3

Best part of Where Things Come Back?
Vilonia Kline stood before us, her hands outstretched, her eyes closed again, her lips quivering, mumbling something either very important or completely full of shit. Lucas was looking at me the way someone does when a psychic is standing in a field in front of him and talking to the earth. 
That's a very specific look. :)

I was going to read Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, which my husband got me for our anniversary, but the novel (the one I'm writing) has necessitated a different choice of books. I imagine this won't be as quick a read as the previous two ...

This is Your Brain on Music, Daniel J. Levitin
The little things I do for the novel.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Reads 1 & 2

Happy last day of spring! Guess what my summer plans are?
Read
Knit
Watch Doctor Who
 And the first item will be documented here on the Loquat.

I already took this book's picture, so I might as well share it even though I just wrapped it up. Fairly quick read ...

A Prayer Journal, Flannery O'Connor

... provided you're not like me and you haven't been told by three different people to get out of your head all the time. I have the feeling, after reading this, that Flannery O'Connor was in her own head too much too. But anyway, now that it's over, I'm on to a YA book ...

Where Things Come Back, John Corey Whaley

If you can win the Printz prize (the top honor for young adult fiction) with your debut novel, you must be doing something right. Anyway, I'm trying to alternate between grown-up books and YA books while I write the second draft of my YA novel. That's what this is all about: following the instruction to be both a reader and a writer. It really does help.

Last of all, I'll plug Better World Books and the crazy sales they have ever now and then (I got 21 books for $52), and now I'm off to wake up Sleeping Beauty so he can buy me lunch and we can watch the World Cup. And Doctor Who. Gotta catch up before Peter Capaldi's on the scene!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Guess What I've Been Doing?

If you guessed "causing conflict on Facebook", you win!

Actually, I'm probably not the one who caused the conflict--I just sit back and watch things go up in flames. Then I delete the callous comments and unfriend people. I daren't go into details because I've been ripped "anonymously" on social media, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I'll do something unexpected instead. Enjoy.









When I pray for enemies, my initial response is to plead with God to "make them better." But I always amend my words--I'm the one who needs to be made better. Maybe you get that, maybe not. I'm the one offended; I'm the one who needs to forgive. Make me better. Make me more compassionate. Make me less angry. Does that even make sense?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

So I'm Brainwashed.

I got through the fat acceptance book Two Whole Cakes and decided that the only legitimate reason to go on a diet was for ethical reasons. And I admit to totally being brainwashed by the fat acceptance community. Do I think you can be healthy at any size? Yep. Do I think fat people should be paid less because of their weight? Nope. It's really that simple to me.

I was on a diet for a while not too long ago. Not shockingly, I didn't lose weight, although it's hard to tell when you're on a Yay! Scale instead of a standard scale. (I always registered as Beautiful, so I was never in a bad mood.) My calories were restricted to 1800 a day (which is actually hard to meet during Lent), and I was "rewarded" more food if I exercised. Seriously, I hate that. I finally came to my senses and turned back to Health at Every Size, and no, I didn't eat with abandon, I just ate like a normal person and felt fine.

Then came the ethical problems.

I'd always figured it was okay to eat meat after my brief stint as a vegan if the meat wasn't tortured, but we weren't eating that way. No trips to farms where they slaughter their own animals, no humane milk (although dairy triggers my IBS, so it was out anyway). So I took a leap, downloaded the Oh She Glows cookbook to the shared Kindle, and set out to become a vegan again.

My main problems with being vegan involved the acerbic opinions of other vegans, but I find that I'm actually pretty good at avoiding other people! Anyway, I'm 31 now and don't have time to be a raging activist--that's for 20-somethings in my mind. I shan't annoy you. My diet won't be more important than my religion (a rule I broke last time). This may be the only time I mention it. Thing is, I haven't blogged in months, so I needed something to write about!

Onward and upward. Toodle-loo, comrades.

Monday, March 24, 2014

No-Waste Lent

Before Great Lent began, I snuggled down by the glow of the computer and watched A Place at the Table. It had a profound effect on me, resulting in the Lenten challenge I'm currently failing at: No-Waste Lent. Now that my niece has been born, my parents are in and out of my house (to give my brother and SIL some peace). End result? Non-fasting foods being left in my refrigerator. Some thoughts:

  • The leftover sammich from Arby's was delicious. 
  • Cheese seems to be most likely to make it into a meal. 
  • I will now only buy kale on the day I plan to use it. 
  • I did not feel bad about wasting the Velveeta. That ain't food. 
  • Veggies should be subsidized, not Pringles (or whatever). 
  • Go ahead: Ask me about all the produce I've tossed out. 
  • Tortillas as dry as Death Valley can be toasted. Instant tostadas. 
  • Next time, get a 1/4 bushel of citrus instead of a 1/2 bushel. 
  • So far, I dig this book
Currently cooking is some brown rice and wrinkly tomatoes in the rice cooker. When that's done cooking, I'll stir in the cream cheese from yesterday's bagel run. 

Let's see how badly I do in the back-half of Lent! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Rise of Star Beast

After the birth of my niece (yay!), I found myself questioning how we deal with our pets at one o' clock in the morning. Chris had just come to bed, and I guess I was a little insane, because I suddenly felt weird about being called "Mommy" and "Daddy". Examples:
"Come to Mommy, doggies!"
"Go to Daddy!"
"Who loves he mama?"
My brother and sister-in-law were Mommy and Daddy, not me. So, a weird insanity still plaguing my mind, I scrolled through the 1 AM Facebook offerings and settled on the perfect name for myself.

Star Beast.

Star Beast was almost the name of the movie Alien, apparently. It immediately jumped out at me as being hopelessly silly, so I took it.

Chris doesn't have the same hangups I do, so he hasn't settled on a name (if he ever will). Hipster Hadrian was soundly rejected. I'll update if he ever chooses something.

"Who loves he Star Beast?"

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Feeling Fat and Sassy

Once upon a time (a few years ago), I decided that PCOS would not permit me to lose weight, so I just exercised for the sake of my health rather than for weight loss. Then veganism led me to a blog that mentioned the book Health at Every Size. From HAES came the famed booked by Marilyn Wann, FAT!SO? Then came zillions of other fat acceptance books. Now I've jumped on board with books about exercise for fat chicks. And I love it. I'm starting to love me.

I'm getting back into exercise, especially in this nice weather (sorry, America, but some of us are having nice weather). One of the books I have mentioned something about giving yourself permission to be unattractive while exercising, so I took that to heart as I hit my knees and smacked my face into concrete while running after a birdie (speeder) playing speedminton. And I took it to heart again several hours later when we were playing again and I bent my knee backwards and fell on it again. Then general soreness prevented us from going to the opera today. What joy. 

I love that my doctor doesn't look at me and say in a serious voice, "You know you're BMI is too high, right?" as though this were breaking news. In fact, my doctor hasn't even mentioned my weight (260 lbs) once. We're working with real crap like my cholesterol, which, at last check, was 7 points too high. And she tells me to get some exercise a few days a week. 

Some people on Amazon commented on certain books that it must be lucrative to tell fat people that they can be healthy at their current weight. Consider that weight loss is a billion dollar business. Hmm. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Let's All Complain About Family Size

I've been having a hard day: I want to adopt, but I know in my heart of hearts that my mental and physical health problems are too great. Things just don't seem to be improving. So I'm whiny today. Chris said that he loved our little family, and I said it wasn't a family. This upset him.

I'm reluctant to embrace the "family of two" title because of everyone and their blog. Someone's going to complain that two people are a couple, not a family, and rush to the internet to get all vitriolic about it. It all started when someone posted a blog about how she hates young married couples with children. Then the young married couples with children fired back about how they hate people without children (ouch). Next there'll be a jab about large families just wanting their own reality shows. Then let's poke at single parents who can't make ends meet. And of course, most loathsome of all, there are the couples who don't have and don't want children--are they childless-by-choice or not-by-choice? And why don't the latter just adopt? Why would anyone who was childless-not-by-choice not just do adoption?

Yeah, familiar blog themes here. Sorry.

I really, really hate that I feel like I don't have the capacity to parent a child who has huge issues. Chris doesn't want to foster. My interest in adopting a baby is next to nothing. You have to agree on these things. International adoption is no longer available to us because of my medications. The one adoption we did try was extremely stressful and ended horribly. That's how people end up childless-not-by-choice. And we have terrible crises like, "OMG, I can't even keep a plant alive, how could I have kept children alive?" and, "What does the family with ten children think of us?" and (my personal favorite), "Do other infertile couples judge me because I didn't do everything in my power to have a child?"

There was a blog post some time ago about "mommy wars". You know, "You didn't breastfeed, so your child will be retarded," and, "You homeschool? Don't you care about socialization?!" and, "You didn't adopt an American child? Don't you like America?!"You get the idea. But the gist of this post was that there's no point in complaining about how you parent when there are children who don't have parents. So I'll issue my version of that. I am part of a family of two. I don't care if you have 20 children, if you're starting your family late, if you just never wanted kids, if you only have one kid, if you're too sick to parent, if you're a single parent, whatever. We're all families. So shut up about it.

Or not, if you want to talk about how my family of two isn't really a family.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Greater Good

I recently put up a quote from St. Theophan the Recluse on a board:
Do whatever falls to your hands, in your circle and in your situation--and believe that this is and will be your true work; nothing more from you is expected. It is a great error to think that you must undertake important and great labors, whether for heaven, or as the progressives think, in order to make one's contribution to humanity. That is not necessary at all. It is necessary only to do everything in accordance with the Lord's commandments. Just exactly what is to be done? Nothing in particular, just that which presents itself to each one according to the circumstances of his life, and which is demanded by the individual events with which each of us meets.
I've been thinking about it a lot lately. It comes from The Spiritual Life: And How to Be Attuned to It, which also includes a little rant about "progressives". The saint knew of some women who worked in publishing, thinking they were contributing to the greater good ... meanwhile, their mothers went hungry. It's just about what's closest to you--that's where the need for help lies.

I've always had illusions of grandeur: I've always wanted to do something great in this huge world, whether it was mission work, volunteering abroad, working with the homeless in Dallas when we lived closer to the city, adopting internationally and special needs children, whatever. It's probably just my mental illness, and yet I hope we've all had the desire to do some good in this world. I used to pray for God to send me someone to help take care of when I already had someone in my life who needed me. The problem was that she was (and still is) a rather intense and difficult person to deal with--I guess I wanted an angel in disguise. Now I call her every Sunday and help her deal with the reality of having her food stamps taken away. And it's hard, and sometimes it doesn't feel especially rewarding. But this is a human who needs help, not a hobby.

Anyway, yesterday I accompanied the church homeschool group to a nursing home a few blocks from one mother's house. I was playing photographer, and the children sang songs and then milled about with the people who'd come to listen. Much to my surprise, I worked up the bravery to talk to people the children were missing. I readily admit that I'm not as much fun to talk to as the adorable kinderfolk, but hey, I'm here. And I got some good pictures for posterity's sake. I'd post some here, but I don't have the parents' permission, and I prefer to err on the side of caution. But just think: It was local, lonely people got some visitors, the children learned a little empathy, so on and so forth. It's a good thing. And it got me out of the house for a change. Also good.

I hate to use the cliche, "Think globally, act locally," but do.

Now I have to decide if I'm going to go back to sleep or knit. Choices, choices.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Post-Colonoscopy Blogging

Apparently everything looks good on that front, by the way. Healthy colon. We'll see what's next in the follow-up appointment.

I read a good article today: When Christians Love Theology More Than People. It got me thinking about another article from forever ago that caused me a touch of consternation over the weekend. Long story: We bought a piece of art from our favorite gallery, and there had been a story in the Dallas Observer about the artist. They had extra copies, so they gave us one. But up at the tippy-top in tiny letters was something about Creationists losing their foothold in the education debate. I don't like having opinions on education because I don't have kids, but as Chris pointed out, "Do you care about the future of humanity?" (It's a good point, but that didn't stop me from responding, "Eh, I'll be dead by then.")

So here's my opinion: Teach evolution in schools. It's the prevailing theory of the day, and it only precludes God if you're small-minded. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding" (Job 38:4). But there's always been something more important on my mind when it comes to the evolution/creation debate. I swear I did a blog post on it a few years ago in bold, italics, all caps, and super-sized font, but the Loquat's search engine isn't finding it. So I'll do again, only nicer. Well, a little nicer. 

Fellow humans--Christians, secular humanists, whatever--while you're slapping "Evolution is Just a Theory" stickers on textbooks or having heated debates about evolution and both of you think the other is just a stupid idiot for his/her beliefs, there are people starving in the world. Hell, there are people who are starving in your community, no matter where you are. There are people living in cardboard boxes on the streets. There are people who have no access to potable water. There are children dying of any number of preventable diseases. There are people wasting away in nursing homes with next-to-no stimulation (and if you play an instrument, there's simply no excuse for that!). There are people who lived through war, sexual assault, any number of terrible things. There are suicidal people. There are people with mental illnesses that don't have a support network like I do. So you're going to waste everyone's time by debating something that happened billions of years ago/4000 years ago/10,000 years ago/however old you believe the earth is?! SERIOUSLY? (Oops, there I go with the all-caps.) All of you read chapter 25 of Matthew and get out there and do some good! I, a spry young 30-year-old, was wheeled out of the hospital by a volunteer who had to have been in her 80's. If she can do good, if I can do something as minuscule as knit hats for the homeless (which I don't think is that big a deal, no matter what my husband says), you can do something too. 

And that's my opinion on the evolution-creation debate, and that's my input towards the "love people more than theology" topic. I'll shut up now and go poke my dogs in the ribs with chopsticks. 

Update: I found the ranting post. It was about Chik-fil-A, not evolution. You can read it here

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sick

I feel as though I left the world recently. I've been quite sick, part with worry (I get my first colonoscopy on Wednesday) and part with general yuck. Chris has been cooking a lot lately, which is great, but he reintroduced butter to my system, and it seems that my body rebels against dairy fats. End result was some pretty miserable weeks. We're working it out though--supplementing Mark Bittman with The Intolerant Gourmet, using plant-based oils, almond milk in my espresso, etc.--and I'm feeling pretty well back to normal.

Chris has the weekend off, so we're headed to Austin for a little time off. We'll be attending this: Mobile Loaves & Fishes - ROADS Art Show. We missed Art From the Streets in December (Chris was probably working, but how should I know? that was a whole month ago), so it'll be nice to go to this show. And it'll be nice to do something fun before my colonoscopy. Lighten my mood a little. Of course, all this depends on whether or not we can kennel the dogs at the last minute, but it is the middle of January and not the holiday season, so I don't think that'll be a problem. 

Anyway, it's back to bed with me, gentle readers. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Oh Right--That's Why I'm Orthodox

I'm reading two books by Catholics: One is fine (except that I don't agree with the sentiment that birth control has no use in the world, but that's minor), but the other is making me batty. And yet, for some reason, I'm going to finish the latter one ... but not before I rant a little. I read the second chapter last night (just two chapters in and I'm already crazy), and I promised myself I wouldn't go on until I wrote something about it.

This is going to be an unusually raw post for me, and I apologize to the squeamish. Both Catholic authors have expressed that women and men are not the same kind of person with different plumbing but that there are real differences between the two sexes. I get that. It's just that in the book about modesty, there seems to be the conclusion that the different sexes are incapable of certain types of sin. Obviously, women react to everything emotionally while men get a hard on from everything they see. No woman has ever had sex just for pleasure; no man has ever wanted an emotional connection with his partner. And ladies, it's our job to dress modestly so we don't invite men to sin, because goodness knows they can't control themselves. Lousy beasts.

I think of a particular section of the second book of Kristen Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. Simon, Kristen's former betrothed, is always in love with her; in this particular instance he feels that ache when he spies Kristen wearing her wimple differently in the south of Norway than she did up north ... even though he's married to her little sister. It was still modest fashion--just different. Who's at fault here?

I said in a previous post that I don't wear headcoverings all the time because they mess with my head. So I guess it's my fault that I've surely turned a few heads (heads of men who love fat, short women) because I didn't follow the Bible entirely. And on the flip side, why do I feel a clunk in my brain like a brick falling from a height when I see chest hair (I like 'em hairy--other ladies can have the namby-pambies who wax), or when I see a certain character from Girl Genius, or when I see the new Doctor? Is it because I'm a freak?

The Orthodox are all going, "Ha! It's the passions!" Of course it's the passions! Everyone's got 'em no matter how much you try to assert in your book that only men have passions! I still prefer modest fashions (why do you think I bought the book in the first place?), but not because I see it as my personal responsibility to keep all men from sinning. If that's your presumption then 1) you're pompous, and 2) I wish you luck on that front. I'm blessed to belong to a group of Orthodox Christian women on Facebook who discuss modest dress and headcovering. I can say with 99% certainty that they'd all agree that they're modest for the sake of the Lord and not for the sake of lustful men. And then they'd add that men need to take care of their own business.

So what's a passion? Try this on for size: You're a man. You see a pretty lady in a provocative outfit. You feel that clunk like I feel, and you now have two choices: You can fight the clunk (that'll be my new rallying cry: "FIGHT THE CLUNK!"), or you can have lustful thoughts. The clunk is not sin--it's just the invitation to sin. It's what you do with it that matters. Next, try me on for size: You're me. You see the latest released pictures from the set of "Doctor Who" with Peter Capaldi. You can either think, "Yay! New cover photo for Facebook!" or you can think, "Rowr." And I'm not always good with thinking the former (I like 'em mature too--no one's more thrilled than I am that Chris is going gray early). I don't like being open about my sins, especially where my seemingly-perfect marriage is involved, but I have a point to make. And that point is: We're all vulnerable. So that's why I'm glad I chose Orthodoxy--it's a real understanding of human nature, which is great and varied and doesn't fall neatly into little groups along gender lines.

Maybe I won't finish that book.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Everything but the Baby

I saw the slogan for Diapers.com--Everything but the Baby--and I knew it was time to sit down and write.

I'm rather bipolar right now (not in the psychological sense). The radio is playing PSA's for adopting from foster care and I'm wondering about having a baby again. Then the guys on the radio talk about spending $100 on batteries alone at Christmas and I'm thinking about birth control. As I often say to Chris, "This is the suck."

I'm dealing with a plague of pregnancies and new babies in my life, which is probably why I'm emotional. Parenthood seems fulfilling until I watch something break down between parent and child. (Read: our oldest niece is in middle school now.) I'm sure anyone would tell me that the ups and downs are worth it in parenting, but I just don't know.

You know what really bugs me? That I can't damn decide. Actually, I think I've decided not to put forth the effort required to get around my infertility, but I feel guilty about it. Which is stupid. I was on a website for DINK's (even though we're a SINK--single income, no kids), and apparently only 7% of people in the US think that not having kids is selfish. Which brings me to an embarrassing confession: We were at the Dallas farmers market years ago, and I heard one woman selling gourmet dog biscuits say that her dogs were her kids. And I thought that was just plain selfish. But now I think, "What if she was like you? What if kids just didn't happen? What if she had a miscarriage and a failed adoption and just didn't want to go through it all again?"

I almost told my in-laws at Christmas that the dogs (who were in tow) were as close to grandchildren as they would get from us. So now I'm the lady whose dogs are her children. One is pigheaded and has ADHD, and the other is shy and clingy. And the cats are just cats.

I'm going to go back to that DINKs website and feel better about myself.