Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Here are some more

Week 2 pics:

Jami (sis-in-law) on right with her Partylite partner in front of the St. Louis arch.

Jessica (on right) with a youth group friend.

Jered and I play a monster game of "dots"

Jami, Jim, Jered, Jessica, Denis on the way to the airport for the flight home.

As Promised

Pictures from week one of our vacation

Brian and Kathy in front of the B and B.

David, Jean and Denis on a day trip.

Denis and I with the Missouri River in view.

Missouri River at sunset.

Pride and Prejudice

I coerced Denis to watch the BBC miniseries with me. It's the version that I was introduced to by my British roommate when I was living in Bolivia, so it's my favorite. There have been so many different TV and movie adaptations of this famous Jane Austen novel. I think this version is the least known by Americans, but I have read opinions that it does the best job of developing the secondary characters.

Denis' assessment was that it started out slow, but by the end it was more interesting. He quite liked the sarcastic lines delivered throughout by the Bennett father. I really like the way the story develops and how it explores different character's points of view. Charlotte is my favorite story line. When she first tells Lizzie of her theories of marital happiness, Lizzie doesn't believe that she means it. But as time goes on, we see that Charlotte did indeed mean every word she said.

And then Mr. Darcy. I like the scene when Lizzie is walking the grounds of the Darcy estate and finally starting to get an idea of what the man is really like. And it turns out he is not at all what she thought.

If you have never been acquainted with Pride and Prejudice, you get another chance with the recently made movie version. It has gotten good reviews.

What are your favorite lines or moments from Pride and Prejudice?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Myers Briggs

Have you ever taken a Myers Briggs personality test? That is the one which categorizes you with four letters which stand for a personality trait. They are:

Extrovert vs. Introvert
Sensing vs. iNtuitive
Thinking vs. Feeling
Judging vs. Perceiving

I am an ESTP. I never thought that the description that the MB gives really fit me all that well. I wasn't sure what use all this might be until the dean of women at my seminary gave us an little overview. She explained what each of these contrasting personality traits means.

E vs. T has to do with how you get energized. When you are mentally fatigued, do you prefer to be alone or with people? Does going to a party wear you out or make you feel refreshed?
S vs. N has to do with how you gather information. Do you like to gather a lot of facts and value the sources or do you get an over all sense of something?
T vs. F has to do with decision making. Do you think things through carefully or tend to make decsions with your gut feeling?
J vs. P has to do with planning. Js plan things out and like a schedule, Ps prefer to be spontaneous.

So what do you think you are? Do you think knowing this is valuable? How could it be used in your daily life?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Doritos and Cream Cheese

I just had this little snack that I discovered one evening while I was babysitting in Jr. High. I was feeling a bit peckish and couldn't find any crackers. I know it sounds weird, but trust me. It's a great combination!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Laundry Woes

When I got my new job about one year ago, I had to hang up my scrubs and buy some real work clothes. The dress code is business casual - wrinkle free, hosiery, etc. I'm still working on building up my wardrobe, but I have about 7 days' worth of outfits appropriate to wear to work.

It is such a hassle to maintain this kind of wardrobe. Most of the items require the gentle cycle on the washing machine. About half of them are supposed to "line dry". Since I don't have a clothes line, this means hanging them over the shower curtain rod or on a hanger and finding enough door knobs to hang them from. The other half are supposed to "dry flat" which is an even greater challenge. I don't have many flat surfaces which are not super inviting to small furry animals. So they all wind up sharing the crowded lids of the washer and dryer. Once they are there, doing the rest of the laundry is thwarted.

And then there is the ironing. I have been considering lately that I should do all the ironing on one day of the week and be done with it. This would speed up my morning routine significantly and allow me to iron Denis' shirts as well. I tried this out at the conference that I recently attended. On our arrival, before I hung up my clothes for the week, I ironed them all. All it served to do was get me into a very foul mood. Really, can they make clothes any more difficult to iron? The pants aren't too bad, but the shirts really won't stay put on the ironing board! Very exasperating... So, I'm afraid I will sacrifice speed in the morning for sanity. :o)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Stephen Wright is a funny man

I saw a stand up routine by Stephen Wright on TV when I was in high school. He was so funny. Have you seen him? He walked around on stage with a bewildered expression on his face and said his one-liners with a dead-pan tone of voice. Here are some of my favorites:

*I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere near the place.
*Last week, I went to a furniture store to look for a decaffeinated coffee table. They couldn't help me.
*What's another word for "thesaurus"?
*When I was a kid, we had a quicksand box in the backyard. I was an only child . . . eventually.
*For my birthday I got a humidifier and a dehumidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.
*I have a switch in my apartment that doesn't do anything. Every once in a while I turn it on and off. One day I got a call from a guy in France who said, "Cut it out!"
*I spilled Spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.
*My neighbor has a circular driveway. He can't get out.
*Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories .
*There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
*How much deeper would the ocean be if sponges didn't live there?
*I bought some powdered water, but I didn't know what to add.
*I put instant coffee in a microwave and almost went back in time.
*I stayed in a really old hotel last night. They sent me a wakeup letter.
*I'm taking La maze classes. I'm not having a baby, I'm just having trouble breathing.

Salmon Surgery

My mom was recently passing through the Columbia River gorge and stopped to buy us a salmon from the native tribe in the area. Salmon fishing is highly regulated in the rivers of Oregon, but the restrictions are much looser for the native peoples who traditionally fished this area. My mom knows of some roadside stand where they sell some mighty big fish for a mighty good price. So she picked out an 11 pound specimen for us as a gift. The man gutted it for her in exchange for some cinnamon raisin bread and some blackberries. Not too bad a trade, it seems. But we still had a very big, nearly whole fish to figure out what to do with.

Not to worry, Denis is resourceful. He found an instructional website, complete with pictures (from which I borrowed the one above) telling him just what to do. The fish's head and tail exceeded the borders of the largest cutting board in the house (which is very large), but the fillet knife that we optimistically bought last year was good and sharp. About 15 minutes later, we had 6 portions of salmon which will each feed the two of us quite nicely. In fact we just cooked the largest one tonight and were able to invite Mom over for a thank you dinner. Now, if there is one thing that is my honey's cooking specialty, it is salmon on the grill. Several months ago, he bought a cedar board from the hardware store and cut it into foot-long segments. We take one of the planks and soak it in some liquid (preferably apple juice) for at least 30 minutes. Then the plank goes onto the hot grill with the fish on top. As the salmon is cooking by indirect heat, the plank is partially burning on the bottom half and lending a smoky flavor to the meat. It makes for a nice trick afterwards to show off the plank that now has the outline of the fish burnt into it's surface. To quote Rachael Ray, "yumm-o".

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Coming Soon

Pictures will be coming soon from my recent vacation. I have just two more pictures left on my current roll of film. (Yes, I still do it the old fashioned way.)


I am a Side-Tracked Home Executive (SHE for short). I tend to procrastinate projects that seem too big to me and when I start the project, I feel overwhelmed and stop. I am not naturally organized and clutter always seems to accumulate on unmonitored surfaces. Poor Denis, he is much neater than I am and is always trying to manage my clutter. Shoes magically find their way back into our closet, the coffee table surface gets magically cleared from time to time. He puts up with me and is so kind to do it without complaining (much).

There is a woman named Marla Cilley who wrote a book called Sink Reflections. It is intended to help people like me to bite off just small chunks of our to-do lists each day and not get overwhelmed and give up. She has a website that has lots of home organisation tips, but the scope of her advice really goes beyond just housekeeping. It is about taking little steps to improve yourself and your life and taking responsability for what you can control. Good stuff. I am trying to set just a couple of goals to do each day. Today I am going to clean my bathrooms and package up the meat that I bought yesterday for storage in the freezer.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Home Again

I flew back into Medford at 11:30 yesterday morning. We awoke at 5 AM so that we would have plenty of time to check in before our 9:30 departure time. It turned out that it only took us 30 minutes to make it through all the security steps and arrive at our gate, so we spent 2 hours waiting, reading, visiting.

It is so nice to be home. My cats were underwhelmed by my return but they have been pretty much following me around the house since I got home. Right now they are curled up on the desk while I type. :o) Denis was more visibly enthusiastic about my homecoming, and we just spent the afternoon relaxing. We went out for lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant and both had the buffet and a mango lassi. Yummy! It was fun to get the chance to try a variety of dishes, since we usually stick to our favorite two when we go for dinner.

Later in the day we watched the movie "Enron, The Smartest Guys in the Room". It didn't really make it any easier to understand the particulars about the financial aspects of the scandal. But it did give an idea of the corruption of the people. The interviews hightlighted how unchecked greed leads people to do terrible things and rationalize their actions. An interesting comment by Bethany McLean, a coauthor of the book, was that she believes that Ken Lay (the chairman of the Enron Board) was the one who had most gotten away with denying his guilt in the affair. She said, "I'm not saying that I think he was criminally guilty, but that he was ethically guilty, which is an entirely different thing." It was an interesting movie. (Those who read regulary may be noticing that I tend to really like documentaries. It's true, they are some of my favorites.)


I have been (slowly) reading through the NIV One Year Bible. Today some verses stood out to me that I had not really noticed before.

1 Cor. 4:3-4 - I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

I tend to care too much if I am judged by others rather than simply relying on God's good judgement of my life. I had always wondered about the line from Sara Groves' song "I can't even judge myself. Only the Lord can say, Well done." This seems to be the passage that she had in mind when she penned those lines. This passage reminds me of the Old Testament men of faith who did not know what God's provision of an eternal answer for sin would be, but had faith in God to provide it.

1 Cor. 4:20 - For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

How often do we get caught up in talk about the gospel, but don't implement the power of the gospel in our lives?

Ps. 30:9-10 - What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.

Am I fulfilling my role as a praiser of God? Do I proclaim God's faithfulness? Not often enough.

Friday, August 11, 2006


We are mid-conference now and it is go go go, from classes to evening events. They have an internet kiosk set up here, but there is always a line, so I'm not able to share a lot of thoughts. Just thought I would let you all know that I'm alive and still having fun. :o)

Sunday, August 06, 2006


That's right! I'm off again. This time, I'm heading to LA for the national conference of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. I'm going along with my boss and one of my coworkers and we leave tomorrow morning at 7. Yikes! Fortunately, our airport here is small, so I only have to be there an hour early.

I'm looking forward to the conference. It lasts 4 days and there will be all sorts of topics covered, from tips for using insulin and other medications to teaching strategies. My boss wants us to attend two classes about participative teaching strategies because she wants us as a team to switch to this type of teaching in our group classes. We had an inservice about it this past week. It's an exciting change. I did some participative teaching on my trips to India and it is really fun and productive.

We are going to be in LA two days early because the conference doesn't start until Wednesday. We didn't have the full schedule until after we made the reservations. So I have chosen two half-days worth of sightseeing to do. One day I will be with my boss, Debbe, and the other day with my coworker, Val for fun. Debbe and I are going to go to the ethnic centers of the downtown area to shop, explore and eat. Val and I are going to the Getty Museum, which was the most recommended thing to do on Yahoo's travel pages. It sounds like an impressive place and it is free! We just have to figure out exactly how we are going to get there. Today I looked at the bus maps and I think I've got our route planned out.

The bad news is that the dress code is business casual for the conference. Ugh! I have had to buy all new clothes for work since I started this job a year ago. Before that I always worked in the hospital where I could just wear scrubs. I still don't have a very extensive business wardrobe, so I'm packing just about all my work clothes and then some shorts for the play days. I also packed one dress outfit in case there will be some sort of semi-formal event. I'm just not sure what to expect.

I can't believe that I'm leaving tomorrow!

Friday, August 04, 2006


I've done every devotional, been every place emotional
Trying to hear a new word from God, and I think it's very odd
That while I attempt to help myself, my Bible sits upon my shelf
with every promise I could ever need

People are getting fit for truth like they're buying a new tailored suit.
Does it fit across the shoulders, does it fade when it gets older?
We throw ideas that aren't in style in the Salvation Army pile
and search for something more to meet our needs.

And the Word was, and the Word is, and the Word will be

I think it's time I rediscover all the ground that I have covered,
like - seek ye first - what a verse.
We are pressed but not crushed, perplexed but don't despair,
we are persecuted but not abandoned.
We are no longer slaves, we are daughters and sons,
and when we are weak we are very strong.
And neither death nor life nor present nor future nor depth nor height
can keep us from the love of Christ.
And the Word I need is the Word that was who put on flesh to dwell with us.
In the beginning...

And the Word was, and the Word is and the Word will be.

This Journey is My Own

When I stand before the Lord, I'll be standing alone.
Still I want man's advice, and I need man's approval,
but this journey is my own.

So much of what I do is to make a good impression.
So much of what I say is to make myself look better.
This journey is my own.

Why would I want to live for man and pay the highest price?
What would it mean to gain the world, only to lose my life?

I have never felt relief like I feel it right now.
Cause trying to please the world, it was breaking me down,
it was breaking me down.

Now I live and I breathe for an audience of One,
now I live and I breathe for an audience of One.
Cause I know, this journey is my own.

You can live for someone else, and it will only bring you pain.
I can't even judge myself. Only the Lord can say, "Well done."