Saturday, April 30


Thank you so much for those of you who were praying for me - I do truly appreciate it. And, from the experience (3 days of everything you've EVER needed know about Arbitration process and procedure, plus roleplays) I know that I needed each one of the prayers lifted up. Thankfully, the hardest day was the first day, so I've been a little more coherent each day.

I'll write up my thoughts tomorrow. It was a GREAT experience, though very tiring.

Thursday, April 28

Please Pray

Just wanted to request prayer from my faithful readers - I'll be in a 3-day training event to learn how to Mediate and Arbitrate Christian Conflict. I was going to link to the following description, but it's halfway down the webpage. Maybe Christian can teach me how to link to the middle of the page, someday.

Certification Practicum
The Certification Practicum is an intense, three-day application of advanced conciliation skills in the context of real-life mediation-arbitration and arbitration scenarios. This training is designed to give you a clearer vision of God's grace in conciliation and a deeper understanding of biblical law. Advanced, complex role-plays help you to gain experience and a better understanding of the med-arb and arbitration processes, as well as the ICC Rules of Procedure. The Certification Practicum is held at least once each calendar year.

So, I'm going downstairs now to finish the homework assignment I need done before 7:30 tomorrow AM. Divine Miss M, I am so not used to writing late at night. I've gotten soft with old age and regular employment.

I appreciate your prayers for stamina and wisdom - even though the role-plays are fictional, I'm still graded on my arbitration decision. AND that I'll learn a lot through it. I have yet to go to a Peacemaker event where I don't... :)

Tuesday, April 26

Tuesday Quote

I love this movie.

Bob Parr: Weren't you in the news? Some show in, Prayge... Prague?
Edna 'E' Mode: Milan, darling. Milan. Supermodels. Heh! Nothing super about them... spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves. Feh! I used to design for *gods*!


Edna 'E' Mode: What are you Tawking About? You are Elastigirl! My God, pull yourself together!You will show him you remember that he is Mr. Incredible, and you will remind him who *you* are!

... And call me when you get back, dahling. I enjoy our visits.

Monday, April 25

How to be at Peace

{emailed from a co-worker}

I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we all could use more calm in our lives.

By following the simple advice I heard on a Dr. Phil show, I have finally found inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started. So I looked around my house to see things I started and hadn't finished, and, before leaving the house this morning I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Baileys, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the rest of the cheesecake, some Saltines and a box of chocolates.

You have no idea how freaking good I feel!!

Sometimes you just need a little Country

I bought this cd over the weekend. I went against my personal rule of waiting until two songs are released to buy a cd by a new artist. I've both been "blahed" (not burned, necessarily) by not abiding by it (Sara Evans, Mindy McCready) but also I've been happily surprised (Norah Jones).

I went with the "Norah Jones rule of thumb", because Norah was the last artist that I discovered when her cd was $8, right before it shot up to $16 and she became overplayed. Katrina Elam's was $9.

I'd likely give this a passing grade - mabe a 4- on stars. I'm happy I've got the one song I love (Track 2 - "No End in Sight") and I really like a few others, but two of them are utterly skip-able: #4, "I want a cowboy" - good music, but typical, too-easy-rhyming lyrics, and #6 - Flowers by the Side of the Road- again, decent melody, but way too saccrine for anyone's good.

The music is a bit too polished, which was said on a review I read. They tried to make it more country by using a lot of 'fiddling' and steel guitars, but the polish is still there in boatloads. I'd like to see what she'd be like live.

She's a mix of Martina, Faith and Trisha. I wonder if she'll find her own niche. If she doesn't, She'll be done by her sophomore album. If she does, she'll be huge.

Friday, April 22

I can die happy. How did we survive before?

Mystery of unpopped popcorn is discovered - Science - "It's long been known that popcorn kernels must have a precise moisture level in their starchy center — about 15 percent — to explode. But Purdue University researchers found the key to a kernel's explosive success lies in the composition of its hull."

Sick part #1) This made it onto MSN's website as news.
Sick part #2) I clicked on it.

Thursday, April 21

Montana Spring

A few days ago, Divine Miss M posted her dedication to spring in Philadelphia.

Here's mine to Montana.

(I guess we've received 1/3 of our our year-to-date precipitation in the last 3 days)

Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 20

I thought so too....

{From the Madre}

This seemed a worthy thought to consider today and everyday....and share with others....

The goal of the Christian life is “to look at Him Who is looking at you.” (Augustine)

Spend some time quietly returning His gaze today.

{Thanks, Mom. Definitely the day brightener/worthy thought for today!}

A good quote from the new pope

In Christ, truth and love coincide. To the extent that we draw near to Christ, in our own life, truth and love merge. Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like “a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal” (1 Cor 13,1).

As usual, I'd know nothing without Anne who got it from the Paragraph Farmer. This is the end of what Pope Ben said, but the entire post is worth your read.

Tuesday, April 19

"We" have a pope!

Benedict XVI: German cardinal elected pope - Election of a pope - "VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a hard-line guardian of conservative doctrine, was elected the new pope Tuesday evening in the first conclave of the new millennium. He chose the name Pope Benedict XVI and called himself “a simple, humble worker.” "

I personally don't believe that any pope has more ability to go before God than any other Christian, but as my maternal grandparents are very Catholic (and both 100% german, no less), and moreover, as the Roman Catholic chuch still retains an incredible say in many cultural-spiritual matters (abortion, homosexuality, etc.), I'm relieved that they are so solid as to elect a pope so quickly.

Can we call him Pope Benny?

Creative Hearing

{As we're watching "Landscaper's Challenge" on HGTV}

The Madre: I'm really gettting to like the flavor of lime (in reference to our having Thai tonight)
-- she continues. I start watching LC come back on, with "Maryanne Curan"

Maryanne Curan: "Welcome back"

The Madre (as I'm not really paying attention)"hi."

Ains: {dumbfounded look}...Did you just ....say hi to the TV?

The Madre: {dumbfounded look right back}..NO!I said, I like keylime pie.

Ains: {hysterical laughing}

The Madre: {Sarcastically, through tears of laughter} "yes, Ains, I have no friends. I respond to the TV now."

Monday, April 18

Friday, April 15

Random Real Life Quotes

Co-worker, Looking at an "ASAP" note from a different department: "Once again, they seem to think I have psychic powers."

(Don't ask me why - perhaps the giddiness from actually GETTING TO WEAR JEANS today - caused me to laugh out loud at that. Likely her incredibly dry tone contributed to it.)

Ains (talking to The Artist, who isn't feeling well): The Madre and LSG get colds WAY worse than others. They'll have the same bug as everyone else and it'll just feel so. much. worse for them.
The Artist: Yeah, but LSG gets hurt drinking Coca-Cola. Let's keep this in perspective.
Ains: Oh, I'm so going to blog that, and she's going to kick your butt! (Laughing hysterically)

(Explaination: The reason why that is SO funny is that LSG gets hurt ALL THE TIME. Doing Nothing. Nothing at all, and she'll get hurt. Her phone banner is "I'm fragile.")

Ghetto No Mo' (Friday Photo)

I like the collage, but it cuts off the duct tape on the corner of the old phone, which really made the "ghetto" in "GPB" . You CAN see, however, that it was broken, and the top flops in all directions. Compare with the sleek new phone. Anyone feel like renaming GPB? I thought "Pimpin' Phone Boy", but that just sounds BAD on more than one level! ;) Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14

Ever unable to think up a title for a post? Yeah. that's me.

If I were really into blogging, I’d get my own site so I could mimic dooce by putting various thoughts into categories. I, however, am not THAT into blogging. Actually, it’s just that I’m too cheap.

If I weren’t too cheap, I would start this category:

Worst feelings (or “Ughhhh.” For short).

And under it I would put:

“Waking up two days in a row, erroneously thinking that it’s Friday. TWO days in a ROW! To the point that on Wednesday, you had to look at your cell phone to accept it wasn’t Friday, and on Thursday, you convinced yourself to get out of bed only with the promise of getting to wear jeans - just to remember that, no, in fact, you’re now up and you get to wear a skirt with nylons.”


Wednesday, April 13

Tuesday Quote on Wednesday

Someday I'll actually remember that I do quotes on Tuesdays. Here it is, from the Manly Man article:

Men being more concerned about how they look than how dependable they are, says Carolyn Graglia, is a sign of the times.
"So many men are like that -- so narcissistic, so self-centered. They are really afraid of growing up," she says. "To me, a man who would look down on [being manly] isn't a real man and isn't in touch with the real things in life.


It's interesting - how dating one guy who's really very masculine can switch your views on this. See, I was the girl that liked the "I've obviously specifically picked this out from JCrew to look good" or the "I pay $40 to highlight 3 strands in the front of my hair" guy. If they looked like a model, I was good for it. My girlfriends thought I was nuts.

Then the Artist showed up, and he being from rural Montana is quite obviously manly. (An Artist that's manly? Yup. That's what I said.) Just what American girls ordered, it seems :

Hold the quiche: Manly men are back (Credit to: MOB for emailing this to me)

Women want the "man" back in "manly," a Harris Interactive survey shows. The rough-and-ready attitude is in, women say, while the manicured "metrosexual" look is on the way out.

Ninety-two percent of women said dependability is a desirable characteristic in an ideal mate. Only 16 percent chose "fashionable," and 62 percent chose "strong" as a desirable characteristic.

•75 percent of women said their ideal man buys his grooming products at a grocery store or drugstore, not a salon.
•72 percent of women said their ideal man spends his free time doing home-improvement projects.
•41 percent of women said their ideal man spends his time watching sports.
•47 percent of women said their ideal man spends his money on electronics, compared with 9 percent who answered "designer clothes."
•90 percent of women said they prefer low-maintenance, easygoing

And this guy? This guy is all wrong!

"Women are looking for confident men, not manly men," says David Wygant, relationship consultant and co-author of "Always Talk to Strangers." "These manly men are arrogant. Women don't want arrogant men."

Sorry Dude. Not all Manly men are arrogant. I'm sure we all could name a bunch of incredibly masculine men, and arrogance would not be one of their traits.

Monday, April 11

Wednesday, April 6

Hey, what about that house?

Yeah, I've been thinking for the last few days it would be good to give an update: Here it is.

The house was nice, but it's main asset was also (in some ways) it's biggest hinderance. It's about 700 sq feet on the upper level, which is the level the owner occupies. The bottom/basement is 600 sq feet and is rented out - so there's income to help out with the mortgage, but you're paying a house cost for a very small amount of living area. It's very nice (originally my present "landlord" bought it, re-did it and sold it), and well maintained, but they're asking about $15,000 more than the very highest I would have been able to offer. Like, I would have started out with a bid about $20,000 below their asking price. I don't seem much of a point in doing that.

Also, the picture of the house I posted below is $10,000 less (asking price) than the one I went and looked at. And the picture's outside looks a lot nicer than the one I looked at, though I realize that doesn't mean much if the inside is nasty and the foundation is rotton.

I might go look at that the "picture" one, if it's still on the market. Anyway, "Landlord" said I should just save my money for the next two years and forgo mortgage insurance, so I think I'm gonna. In the meantime, I'm going to look at houses in the market and get a feel for what is worth what. It's still going to be fun.

Maybe I'll drag along Little Shoe Girl and The Bro and make them sit out in the hot, hot, miserable car for hours on end while I go inside to look at open houses, a la The Madre and Dad circa 1988. Just for Ol' Time's sake. :D

Tuesday Quote (also:Congrats, Madre, for finishing!)

The Madre and I finished watching the movie Middlemarch, which I believe is a very accurate portrayal of the book. I haven't read the book, but Madre did! And it is a THICK book. Congrats to all those at church who read it last (?) summer. The movie is good - I may read the book, now that I know who is who (always the hardest part of classic books.)

Regardless of reading or not reading it, the end quote of the book is wonderful, for two reasons: First is that I believe the statement is very true, and second is that The "Park" closest to the Artist's house is a cemetary, where we've wandered for hours looking at forgotten and unvisited gravestones, thinking on our own mortality and our hidden, (hopefully) faithfully-lived lives.

So, here is a great Tuesday Quote On Wednesday:

But the effect of [Dorothea's] being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

We forget so quickly

This slideshow is one of the best I've seen. Please keep praying for all of our troops in Iraq. Praise God with me that iTones' brother is home, and continue to pray for Captain Dan. His wife and two little girls are here in Montana with us.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin via Anne.

Tuesday, April 5

Daylight is now saved.

From Calender Updates

"Under the US Uniform Time Act of 1966, the Department of Transportation is in charge of time zones in the United States and ensuring that jurisdictions observing daylight saving time begin and end on the same date. The federal law that established 'daylight time' in this country does not require any area to observe daylight saving time. But if a state chooses to observe DST, it must follow the starting and ending dates set by the law which since 1986 have been the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.

The concept of DST was first proposed in by Benjamin Franklin in his 1784 pamphlet entitled 'An Economical Project.' He meticulously calculated how much money people would save in candle wax, wicks, lamp oil, etc, if they could effectively have an hour of daylight shifted from the morning to the evening hours. This move would postpone the need for lamps and candles being lit for another hour, hence saving money. Since fewer people are actually active at or before sunrise, he determined that the energy savings alone would justify changing clocks twice a year.

Daylight Saving Time was implemented during World War I and World War II to conserve energy. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which requested all states to observe Daylight Saving Time, unless a state exempted itself. Currently, 47 states in the US and over 70 countries observe DST.
By observing Daylight Saving Time we, in effect, create an extra hour of daylight in"

The real question is, "But did Ol' Ben Franklin figure how much MORE coffee we would need to consume in order to make it through the day, bouncing back and forth between these hours?"

Monday, April 4

This is NOT what it looks like!

But today I'm going to look at a house that is for sale by some church friends. I pulled this picture off of a real estate website because it's cute. It's actually for sale, so if you want, you can look for it. ;) I can't really see myself buying a house this soon after digging myself out of stupid-credit-card-debt-with-the-help-of-good-friends, but someone I trust completely thinks I ought to at least go look at the house. So I am.

Crazy. It makes buying a house seem like a reality! This is a tiny bit scary!

Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 2

One of my favorite things

Today I have a few minutes to do nothing except enjoy not having to be anywhere or do anything. I decided to enjoy the outdoors - a beautifully sunny day with a slight breeze. So, around the back yard I enjoyed a short but oh-so-peaceful walk with the steady companionship of a gentle black lab.

Makes me glad for dogs.

Friday, April 1

Spring Fling

Last night, the Artist and I were talking.

“Do you have any favorite sports teams?” I asked.
“Mm. No. I watched the Steelers growing up, (because of a friend) and I watch the Red Sox (because of his brother in law).”

It got me thinking. For the past 8 years, I’ve been a Vikings Fan. I’ve cheered their wins and cried at their losses (ok, not really, but I’ve been really bummed!). I’ve long worn the Moss jersey with pride and have argued with those who would defame his name (The Madre stands right behind me on that one.)

But I’ve grown weary. Weary of the bickering, weary of the losses. I do love The Culpepper, and will always love him, but I just can’t do it another season. So, it is with a bit of sadness and yet relief that I finally confess –

Brett Favre, hold on for one more season. You’ve got yourself a fan!

Friday Photo - 'Bama is Beautiful, N'est Pas?

Little Shoe Girl took this. I stole it. Just like what I'm going to do to her new camera when she comes home. And no comments about Commandments 8 and 10! :) Posted by Hello
With octaves of a mystic depth and height