Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ugh, my hair

So, after the last somewhat depressing post, I realized that I am entering a bit of a funk. I'm still feeling really in between as far as my pregnant body goes. And after reading a post on Alana's blog (, no I still can't get the HTML right, sorry) about ceramic flat irons, a light bulb went off. I too love the ceramic flat iron and how it changed my life. I've never known what on earth to do with my hair. It never made up it's mind on whether or not to be curly or straight, or even a kind of wavy that I could work with. And it is thick, very thick, no shortage of hair on this head. One hairstylist I had said I had more hair than God. So like many gals in the 90's, I learned the painstaking task of round brushing. You would sit in front of the mirror for about an hour with a blowdrier and a round, poky toothed, brush. I remember sweating, arms shaking from fatigue, all to achieve the Rachel look. And sometimes it looked OK, but most of the time looked like a girl with wavy hair trying to get the Rachel look. And then one day a glorious gift was bestowed upon me. The ceramic flat iron. It was the first time in my life I could go to bed with wet hair, without the nightmare of an unmanageable rat's nest in the morning. I could simply roll out of bed, turn on the flat iron, and in minutes, have the straight hair I had always dreamed of.

And last week, my flat iron broke. It stopped heating, and there was nothing I could do. I was halfway done, in the middle of straightening my hair before church, and I couldn't bring it back to life. I haven't been the same ever since. I'm grumpy, and why bother with makeup and nice clothes if my hair just looks like a dried up mop? I'm waiting for Jason to say, "You've really let yourself go." So here I am, no make up, and frizzy-haired. Trust me, it's worst in person. Just ask my husband.

I'm not really one to go run out and get a makeover because I'm feeling blue, but this look is doing nothing for me. My new name is Frumpy McFrumpster. And yes, I've worn this black sweater all week. Somebody help me. Send a ceramic flat iron, and my dignity back! ;)

There is hope though. I got one of those 20% off coupons from Bed Bath and Beyond and they have the one I want there. And although money is tight and Christmas is approaching, I think maybe, just maybe, Jason will support me in replacing the flat iron before Christmas, so I can enjoy the season, and not be the grumpy troll everywhere we go, sapping every ounce of joy from every occasion.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lagging behind.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving with Jason's dad and uncle, and brother. The turkey was phenominal. Jason's dad is quite the cook, and makes maple-brined, barbecued turkey. It's the best turkey I have ever had. Ever.

We have loosely been trying to fast. We decided on just doing Lenten dinners for now, so that I can learn some new recipes, and we can get a feel for what fasting is like. We aren't eating any meat though. And we cut back our dairy too. But being pregnant, my appetite is insatiable. Just about every night, I just had to have a bowl of cereal before bed or I wake up to my angry stomach at three in the morning. And Thanksgiving day was the first day I felt full all week. I've been a fasting slacker since then. Last night I made chickpeas with cous cous, and cheated because I used olive oil. I should have made it tonight, as I believe there is an allowance for oil on Tuesdays. Anyhow, it was pretty good. Jason wasn't thrilled with it, but it was the first new recipe I've made that I actually liked. Jason and Hannah loved the black bean and rice soup, which actually ended up more the consistancy of gumbo. (I put the rice in too soon.) They ate it the next few days for snacks and burritos. I wasn't thrilled with it though. I think it would have been better if I had cooked the onions first. And I didn't slow cook it very long. I hate it when onions remain slightly crispy in soup. Blech. Jason, however, requested that I make it the exact same way next time. Thanks to Michelle M. for all the fun recipes.

This last week was a very Orthodox week for us. We went to Liturgy on Thanksgiving day morning, saw the exhibit at the Getty of the Icons of St. Catherine's Monastery on Saturday (very beautiful), then went to our class, this time explaining the Nicene Creed, followed up the evening with Vespers, and then back to Liturgy Sunday morning. Jason, being an all or nothing kind of guy, likes to dive right in when he decides to do something. I usually take a more modified approach. Sunday evening he was reading and going over some notes from class and started quizing me on aspects and history of the Creed. I was not in the mood. I was frustrated and tired and felt like being my normal self for the moment. We ended up being really irritated with each other. I think I'm used to compartmentalizing pieces of my life. Even though my faith has been a huge chunk of my life for years, guiding me in most of the other areas, I've had a sense, and perhaps a comfort, that if need be, I could sort of, kind of, set it aside. Suddenly, my ego feels threatened, which is usually the time I become a defensive jerk. Hannah and Jason seem to be right at home in the new church, Hannah being the most comfortable. She loves church, asks to go, loves kissing the cross and icons, lighting candles, and making new friends. Jason, for the first time feels in his element while being at church. And while, I love the Orthodox church, and feel committed to eventually becoming Orthodox, it's not a race, and I'd like to pace myself a bit more. And I'm missing people at my old church. I feel liberated in so many ways but in mourning as well. And like I continue to disappoint everyone. I'm the grump dragging everyone down. So here I am, feeling my feelings with no one to tell them to but my dumb blog. :P

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Peddaling away on a little, red trike

She's has found one of the
great joys of childhood!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Giving Thanks

Jason was off work last week, not really by choice. It's just how construction is some times. Jobs slow down, especially around holidays. He spent a couple days lazy, making calls about other jobs, couching it, catching up on daytime tv. But then he did some work around the house. He got rid of the hideous white picket fence in the front yard. It was done as cheaply as possible by the previous owners. We never really liked it. It made me curse on the days I would come home from Costco, trying to manuever life-time supplies of whatever around it. And the gate entrance closest to our door was situated adjacent to the house, where a longer-than-normal eve awaited my forehead. Another thing he took care of was getting new doors to cover up our water heater and small storage area underneath it. It's right next to the bathroom and Hannah could easily get into it and a number of times fiddled with the water heater's setting. I would be midshower freezing, unable to grasp why we had no hot water, when I realized she was letting our water heater go on Vacation. Jason also took us to Disneyland one day. It was really nice to have him around more often. Every day was a treat for Hannah to wake up with daddy there in the morning. They snuggled and took naps together. I'm so fond of my husband.

We went to church this weekend and they are giving classes during the time of the Eucharist for Catechumins and those intrested in the Church. We were kind of disappointed to leave, as we are used to that part of church and like it, even though we don't partake, but it was good to meet one of the Readers. After Liturgy, we went to venerate the Cross, a highlight for Hannah. She says "I wanna kiss cross," as soon as we get to the church. As we were standing in line, she said, "I want bread." Someone usually brings us some of the blessed bread, and that's another part of Liturgy she looks forward to. I told her to wait until after we kissed the cross, and we would get some at the door. She still said it about 10 more times. It was funny how thrown off we all get when our routine is changed. We all got over it though.

We get so settled, and as soon as we think we get the hang of something, and feel we are on autopilot, winds shift. I reallly felt we were getting ahead financially, and then Jason gets no pay for a week, right before Thanksgiving and Christmas. At first I feel bitter. But I need these times. The bitterness only lasts a short while, and eventually, I remember, this life is like a mist that disappears quickly. So appropriate to hear the Gospel this Sunday, St. Luke 12:16-21 about the rich fool who stores up his barns of earthly goods. It is hard to be more concerned with my soul than my checking account, the groceries, and Christmas presents, but it is possible.

So now I am being thankful. Thankful for our cozy home, a handy, good husband (who Glory to God is back to work today), a beautiful daughter who figured out how to ride her tricycle, an easy pregancy (so far), a dear family, enough food to eat, clothes to wear, a new church full of kind parishioners and friends. And much more.

Friday, November 10, 2006

When all else fails, give her some lipgloss.

Any one who has ever spent some time with my daughter knows that she loves lip gloss and chapstick. She can sit and smear it all over her face 10 minutes at a time. About 5 times a day she says, "Mama, my chaptick! Where my chaptick?"

A panic fills the house as we look through the couch cushions, dump out contents of the diaper bag, and peer underneath tables.

But my daughter has found a new use for the tube of lipgloss I let her have since it makes my face look like I just saw a ghost. I snuck up on her painting her toes with it. She was very precise, hunched over and concentrating. She would say, "Oh no," or "Oh Gosh," when she painted outside of her nails. At times I'm amazed at her attention span, and how she insists on doing something over and over again until she masters it. I hope she carries this focus into adulthood.

Another thing I've noticed about her, is how she, like her dad must have everything in place to do the task they wish to do. Jason, for instance, is a wreck if he doesn't know where both the tv remotes are. He refuses to just go up the telivison and press the power button. Again, we must ransack the house to gain peace. Only once we find the remotes, can we enjoy an evening in front of the idiot box. Hannah had a similar experience last night. We were doing puzzles. We finished two and went on to the third when we realized the parrot was missing from the puzzle of petshop animals. Disaster. She couldn't possible do this puzzle without the parrot. The parrot was an integral piece, and must be found. So we found him, after 20 minutes I had to go looking through each storage cube in her room. As much as this trait is an annoyance to me, I admire it. I can be so lazy and scattered. If I lose something, I get on with my plans. I shrug my shoulders, only to feel upset about it later. Incomplete. I'm glad God put me with people who don't tolerate my tendencies and force me to care.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things I've Done or Haven't Done

A little fun and time wasting on Wednesday morning.

Things I’ve done are in bold.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins (more like they swam by me while I was swimming in the ocean, does that count? It's one of my life's dreams to actually swim along side them.)
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you’ and meant it!
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Drunk champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (I'm practically famous for these.)
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Scored a winning goal
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Visited all 5 continents
40. Taken care of someone who was drunk
41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
42. Watched wild whales
43. Stolen a sign (I was actually an accomplice, but I have stolen trailor park lawn ornaments - and got caught. Very embarassing.)
44. Backpacked
45. Taken a road-trip
46. Gone rock climbing
48. Midnight walk on the beach
49. Gone sky diving
50. Taken a train through Europe
51. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
52. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table, and had a meal with them
53. Milked a cow
54. Alphabetized your CDs (it never lasts.)
55. Sung karaoke
56. Lounged around in bed all day
57. Gone scuba diving
58. Kissed in the rain
59. Gone to a drive-in theatre
60. Started a business
61. Taken a martial arts class
62. Been in a movie
63. Crashed a party
64. Gone without food for 5 days
65. Gotten a tattoo
66. Got flowers for no reason
67. Performed on stage
68. Been to Las Vegas
69. Recorded music
70. Eaten shark
71. Buried one/both of your parents
72. Been on a cruise ship
73. Spoken more than one language fluently
74. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
75. Walked a famous bridge
76. Had plastic surgery
77. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
78. Wrote articles for a large publication
77. Tried to lose weight seriously
79. Piloted an airplane
80. Petted a stingray
81. Broken someone’s heart
82. Broken a bone
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Parasailed
86. Skipped all your school reunions (my 10 year is coming up, which I fully intend to skip.)
87. Shaved your head
88. Caused a car accident
89. Pretended to be “sick”
90. Swam in the Pacific Ocean
91. Saved someone’s life
92. Fainted
93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth (I was the one giving birth, although it felt more like a babyectomy.)
94. Hitchhiked (sorry mom, it was Christy B.'s fault, she made us do it. At least their were 4 of us girls, right?)
95. Adopted a child
96. Been caught daydreaming (with a cheesy grin on my face.)
97. Been to the Painted Desert
98. Called off a wedding engagement
99. Donated your blood
100. Become a follower of Jesus Christ

Friday, November 03, 2006

A red gown, and other signs of the season...

Sometime this weekend I will be picking up this frou frou little number. (The dress, not the girl.) It's for the upcoming wedding I'll be a bridesmaid in, for a dear friend in January. Let's hope I can still fit my by then 6 month pregnant self into it. There was definitely extra "room" in there, but after holiday meals it's kind a gamble.

It just hit me how fast this wedding is coming and how soon Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here too. They always sneak up on me. I started knitting some scarves and while at Joanne's fabric store, I picked up a little crochet kit. I love the look of crochet but considering I had to have my knitting buddy give me private lessons for me, the slow and very visual learner, the fact that the hook was missing from the kit was most likely a sign from above that I should not take on any knew skills for now. Stick to what I know, sort of. But, my knitting goal this Christmas is to do something besides a scarf, and learn how to read a pattern.

My dear mom and I are going to collaberate for a project we saw at a scrapbooking convention last weekend. We saw a project using carbard booklets, vintage fabrics, and a grandmother's handwritten recipes. We are going to reproduce some of my dad's mother's (mamma's) recipes and make a book for each of her children and grandchildren's families. Mamma died of Alzheimers several years ago but we can all remember what a labor of love cooking was for her. She made wonderful Southern dishes, the best baked beans, pork chops, and pies. I think it will be a fun project, and I'd love to have a recipe book of her specialties. I'll be sure to post a finished project.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Orthodox View of Second Coming

I just got done reading one of those Conciliar Press booklets on The Nation of Israel in Prophechy by Fr. Peter Gillquist while getting the little one down to sleep. I've always had some stinking suspicions regarding this issue and all the different views I've been taught about it through mainline modern Christianity. I have heard so many different things, that I wasn't really sure what I thought about Christ's return and what Israel had to do with it. It just kind of irked me when Isreal was sending bombs to Lebanon killing innocent people over a plot of land and my Evangelical friends were practically blind to the fact that some of those innocents were Christians, as if killing innocent non-Christians wasn't bad enought.

Surrounded by these zionist views, one would almost sense that every time something catastrophic happened some where on earth, Evangelicals are rubbing their hands together in anticipation waiting for Jesus to beem them up. They just know this is bringing them one step closer to the rapture, and tribulation where the unsaved would experience hell on earth. And for God's sake, protect the nation of Israel! I honestly never got this. Even in the thick of it, I wasn't sure what I thought would happen if the Jew's were to lose this land? Fr. Gillquist writes, "Ulitmately Darby's (first teacher of modern alteration of understaning of the return of Christ) followers came to believe that before the secret coming of the Lord occurs, before the "rapture," the remnant people of Israel must return to the Holy Land. A huge number of today's evangelical and charismatic Protestant Christians have bought into this innovative speculation."

Learning about the Orthodox teaching of this issue, has once again, made me love Orthodoxy even more. But doesn't it just make sense that the Christian church is the people of God? We have a new Covenant. So much of what I accepted as truth in my faith, I am realizing, are basically new beliefs. Like maybe just a couple hundred years old. But Christianity is 2000 years old. Did all the Christians of the past have so much so wrong. With all our new, modern ideas, are we really getting to a purer form of the faith? All I see is confusion. Well meaning confusion.