February 28, 2015

Cell Post

I was reflecting today about how much of our time can be spent tethered to our cell phones and I'm a little unhappy with how much I've become addicted to using my phone.  I'm worried about missing calls from work so I keep it on me all the time, but I never used to be that way.  There was a time when we didn't have these things and we didn't worry about missing calls.  We would let answering machines get it and return calls later.  I can only remember a few times when I was worried I'd miss a call, honestly.

Have we really become so used to instant gratification that we can't wait anymore?  I'm going to cut back on my cell phone usage and start treating it like a regular phone again.  I don't like how dependent I've become, nor do I like prioritizing myself around a gadget.  I know that all this started because I used to substitute teach and missing a phone call meant missing work.  However, I'm not doing that anymore, and I don't think I like the habit that was formed as a result of that.  We'll see how this goes!

Come to think of it "cell phone" does sound like something from a prison.  I think in this instance, that is a bit ironic.

February 27, 2015


I made the mistake of trying to nap today.  I guess it would have been better if I didn't sleep and just laid in bed for a while but I fell asleep and then was woken up before I was ready.  When will I learn?  Maybe I should try napping on the couch.  It's much easier to get off a couch than a comfy bed.  Plus I'm less likely to fall asleep. 

I haven't blogged this late in a long time.  Usually my deadline is before Bishop goes to bed because this is my time with John.  He's waiting on the couch for me right now to watch Game of Thrones.  We're almost done with season 3.  It's been a crazy ride.  I did learn something about myself.  I don't care about spoilers.  I've known a lot of different things that were going to happen in the show and I still enjoy watching it.  I wasn't sure because John told me a bunch of stuff about Lost and I lost interest in the show.  I made it to the early episodes of season 2.  I was never sure if I didn't like it because of the spoilers or if I just didn't like it.  I think this proves that I just don't like Lost.  It's kinda weird because I loved Fringe and I just assume everything J.J. Abrams does is awesome but whatever.  He can't win me all the time.  I also liked Almost Human and it got cancelled.  We'll never find out what was beyond the wall!  Why do you do this to me TV?  Why?! 

Okay, I'm gonna go see if Jaime Lannister gets home yet.  Longest trip ever. 

Thrift Store Find

I had settled on a couple of topics for today's post, but I don't really seem to like either of them.  So instead I'm going to talk about this awesome book I found during the week:  Sea Queens.  It's a children's book about female pirates.  It's totally awesome too!  It has stories of different pirate women, most of whom were also said to be nobility initially, and what made them so awesome.  Even though it's a children's book, I've been enjoying reading a few pages every night instead of blowing through it all at once.

I like this book because it deviates from the norms:  it's a historic adventure book for children about women in a role typically dominated by masculine figures.  Now before this starts turning into a feminist argument, let me explain why I love that.  Girls like me who grew up as Tomboys don't have a lot of a female role models who aren't damsels in distress or completely unlikeable.  I don't know what it is about female characters in fantasy, but if they aren't falling all over themselves needing to be saved all the damn time, they're complete jerks who need the love of a man to become likeable.  I hate that dichotomy.  Every once in a while you get someone like Daenerys Targaryen or Arya Stark, and I suspect even Lyanna Stark to a degree from the bits and pieces I've picked up on here and there, who are just completely amazing female characters.  Sensible, vulnerable, deep, capable of taking care of themselves; pretty much the kind of character you find with most males in fantasy novels.  They feel real, they're likable, you want them to win.  Yet this is so rare that almost all of my examples have come from just one series.  I think I would also put Cara from The Sword of Truth series here, but she was such a two-dimensional character at times that I'm not sure she entirely qualifies.

Now I'm not saying there are no other good female characters in the genre, but I haven't seen many which emulate the same kinds of qualities I admire in male characters growing up.  It also didn't escape me that I didn't see many such characters growing up either.  I know I spent a lot of my childhood re-enacting roles traditionally thought of as masculine because action/adventure/fantasy has always captured my interest.  I wish I would have had more access to books like Sea Queens growing up.

I also wish that there was less of the female objectification/sexualization in the "geek" culture, and I think more books like this one would help with that.  I have amazing friends, truly.  I have never felt outcast or objectified by any of them.  I grew up with an awesome neighbor who loved video games and adventure/fantasy things the same way I did, and who still shares this passion with me when we are able to get together.  I grew up very privileged to be accepted by my guy friends who enjoyed the same things I did, and to be a woman in (at times) an all male group and not feel stigmatized.  Until the end of last year, I hadn't even really run into the kind of people who make women feel uncomfortable for being interested in this genre (which was a startling experience for me, to be honest).  I think one of the downfalls of our culture becoming popular is the elitist attitude which has started to arise; in the merchandise espousing that only people who grew up with certain games are 'real' gamers, or only people who like certain shows are 'real' geeks/nerds.  Women are sometimes viewed as side-kicks or hangers-on because there are so few good female role models who aren't just the good looking sexy side-kick/character there to fulfill the desires of the male lead.

I guess the point of all of this is to say I would have loved some better stories focusing on women when I was younger and I'm glad for finds like this.  It's a reminder that there are opportunities in literature that aren't being explored terribly well.

February 26, 2015

Dance Walking

I think I've been working too much lately because I've noticed myself double-scheduling things without realizing it.  I've also felt pretty air-brained and disconnected.  Which is apparently pretty good news for my creative side of my brain.  Only, I've noticed that I keep adding the letter g to the end of words, especially brain.  For some reason, my brain keeps wanting to spell its name as braing.

I can only assume that I'm descending into madness, because I was thinking about how cool life would be if we randomly broke into musical numbers.  Choreographed song and dance with authentic music sounds really fun.  I guess the best I can hope to achieve is to randomly get other people to dance down the street with me in a busy city.  I know it's already been done, but it sounds like a lot of fun.  You know what, I want to make this happen...

Let's make Dance Walking a thing!

Edit:  Oh my!  I found the backpack I need to make this happen.


20 Months

Well, my little guy is officially 20 months old today.  I thought I might take some time to talk about being a mom.  I mean, just some time cause I've NEVER talked about it before *winky face*.  In case you can't tell from my Tuesday post, I'm exposed to a lot of children's television and literature.  I have whole books memorized now.  I just read Bishop a story before nap time and I only glanced at the words once.  It's not really that difficult because everything rhymes.  I think I could write a kids book.  I've already thought about writing a song that I can use as a lullaby in the future.  There was one time when Bishop woke up in the middle of the night in the recent months (I think he was cutting a molar) and I picked him up and started singing.  He stopped crying right away.  I felt like I had magical powers.  Before I became a mother, I fantasized about picking up my crying infant (like only months old) and singing to calm him down.  It didn't really work like that in real life.  I'm sure singing to him helped but it didn't quiet him right away.  So it made me feel really good when it did finally happen. 

Before I put Bishop down for nap, I told him that he was a cutie and a charmer and very smart and that he will unstoppable just like Leslie Knope.  I'm so proud of him already. 

Here's some pics of him playing in the yard the other day. 

February 25, 2015

I'm Not Even Sure What This Is

So, before I wrote my blog post today, I decided to watch A Fault in Our Stars because it seemed like a good idea.  Maybe it was, but now all I can think about is how short life is and how we never know how much time we have.

At first I was in that after drama state of mind where everything seems hopeless and sad, but kind of sweet at the same time.  Now I'm just looking at my life thinking that I have way too much time on my hands and I'm not doing enough with it.  Unfortunately we also have very short memories and I will probably forget all about this in a few weeks.  That's kind of a bummer and anti-climatic.

This post really started getting some momentum and then I killed.  You know what else kills things?  Cancer.  THANKS A FAULT IN OUR STARS FOR THE REMINDER.  But also thank you for the reminder that we don't have a lot of time.  And further, thanks for the reminder that even if we try to do something really amazing with our lives, we're more likely to fall short, because that's just wonderful uplifting stuff.  But really, and less sarcastically, thanks for reminding me that sometimes it's the small things in life that matter more than the bigger ones.  And always it's the people that matter more than anything else.

I really need to spend more time with my friends.

I love you guys.

I'm rambling now.

<3 Kris

Time hop

There's been a lot of lent posts coming in my time hop recently because *surprise!* lent is around the same time every year.  If you've never seen or used time hop, its just an app that tells you what you posted on this day in the past years.  The post from 3 years ago was about getting married because it was the day after I got married.  The post from 2 years ago was about our anniversary dinner and finding out that Bishop was a boy.  The post from 7 years ago was Brandi with chocolate on her face.  That picture always makes me smile.  That picture wasn't in my blog cause I hadn't started it yet, it was just on facebook.  There were no posts from last year.  I guess there was nothing to talk about.  Most days my time hop is pretty sparse.  Then the little dinosaur at the bottom talks about what a monumental day I had.  When there's literally no posts on the feed, those comments sound super sarcastic.  I wonder if they do that on purpose.  Like why doesn't the dinosaur just say "Omg, you're a boring fucking person" and then I'll be like "shut up, dinosaur, I was doing more important stuff than posting a bunch of bullshit on facebook" and then he reminds me of some super important event that changed the world and I feel small and insignificant.  Stupid dinosaur. 

This post got really ranty.  Meh, whatever.  At least I beat Kris today! 

February 24, 2015

This One's for Angela

I was kind of hoping something would inspire me today, but nothing really did.  I've been converting data into charts and graphs for most of the day.  This is all exciting, I know.

So instead, I asked Angela to give me a topic and she gave me the topic of kitties:

I don't currently have a kitty, but I do like kitties.  They're fuzzy and full of fluff.  Where did that yarn thing come from?  I've never seen a cat go after a roll of yarn.  Maybe that's because I've never had a ball of yarn to throw at a kitty and see how she reacted.

Apparently my rain also defaults to kitties as being "shes" even though my first kitty was a boy.  And he was the most awesome cat ever.  I remember that he used to let us dress him up in baby doll clothes and push him around in a stroller.  I don't know whether he really liked it or just put up with it.

Angela would give me the topic of kitties.  She can't resist them.  Every time we left the house in college, if there was a cat, you can bet Angela would not only find it, but touch it.  She also is currently cultivating a house of cats.  She's probably hugged every cat in the world, too.  Don't believe me?  Let's ask Dwight:

Journey to Winterfell

It was a cold, misty morning.  The fog lay softly on the ground, waiting for the suns rays to break through the blanket of clouds and heat the grass growing patiently in the damp earth.  A single raven glided through the air, tired from his journey but pressed on, sensing that his destination was near.  A small scroll of parchment was affixed firmly to his leg.  The words hastily scrawled and concealed in the tight roll had the power to bring the reader to his knees.  The simple ink on the plain page would be the beginning of something of great magnitude.  The news would ripple through the countryside, creating waves throughout the entire land of Westeros. 

In the distance, the castle came into view.  The bird flapped his wings to speed up, knowing food awaited him at his destination.  He entered the aviary where Maester Luwin was already waiting for him.  The expression on Maester Luwins face barely changed as he retrieved the scroll from the ravens leg, expecting news of the routine sort.  He carefully spread the scroll expecting to read a request or perhaps a bit of social correspondence.  His eyes slowly widened as they darted across the page and he clutched the parchment to his chest when the words ended.  His breathing got heavy and his eyes darted around the room as his brain worked furiously to accommodate this new information.  He sat, the page still tight in his fingers. 

"I... Robb..." he muttered between breaths as a quick burst of adrenaline radiated from his chest and he quickly stood up and left the room.  He found his master in the dining room conversing with his mother, Lady Catelyn.  "An urgent message, my lord," he said trying to push the panic out of his voice.  Robb Stark furrowed his brow in concern seeing that Maester Luwin was visibly upset.  He grabbed the page quickly and looked down.  His lips parted slightly, breaking the grimace on his face.  He stared at the page long after the words entered his mind.  Lady Catelyn waited, worried and curious, afraid to break the silence.  She could tell the news was life changing and chose to stay in ignorance for a few more precious moments.  Finally, the silence was broken. 

"It's the Lannisters..." said Robb, his voice quavering audibly, "they've taken..." he swallowed as the words caught in his throat.  He drew in a deep breath to summon his courage back into his chest.  "They've taken all the squares."  The lids on Lady Catelyn's eyes disappeared as her eyes widened with horror.  She couldn't live in a world without squares.  A rage radiated from her bones to her skin, consuming her. 

Robb crumpled the parchment in his fist.  "Maester Luwin," he said, his eyes fixing on the old man, his whole body filling with determination, awakening every sense he possessed, "Send a raven to Elmo."  His eyes moved to his shaking mother, "I will not rest..." anger vibrated his vocal chords like they never had before "...until every side and every angle has been counted and the squares are safely returned to us." 

February 23, 2015

Borrowed Topic: Wounds & Healing

I don't usually read Angela's posts before I make my own, but I found a certain resonance with her topic today.  I was thinking about some of my own 'wounds' while I was driving home tonight.  Since she was brave enough to open up about some of her's, I think I'll take tonight to talk about two of mine.  This might be one of the most somber days of posting ever, incidentally.

Clinical depression runs in our family, and I suspect anxiety disorder, if some of what I've heard from my siblings is correct.  I've been dealing with this practically since grade school and definitely since junior high.  In the best of circumstances, this has meant that I'll worry about anything that could possibly go wrong in any given situation.  In the worst, it means that not only do I convince myself that the worst is going to happen in any given situation, but that I'd also rather die than go through it.  I've had days driving to certain jobs where I catch myself thinking "that tree" or "that telephone pole and it's done."  I get physically ill when the slightest thing goes wrong because I'm sure somehow it's going to be the end of the world.  But the worst are the combination depression and panic attacks.

If you've never had a panic attack, imagine a feeling of overwhelming fear and depression.  Now imagine it times 1,000 and you might be close.  It's oppressive, hard to breathe, you can't think.  You're certain that something is wrong and it may not even be anything specific.  At least when it's specific, you can focus in on that and worry about it.  When it's not specific, you wander around lost convinced that something really, really, really bad has either happened or is going to happen and nothing anyone says is going to change your mind.  The only thing that occupies your mind is how awful you feel and that you're quite likely never going to be okay.  No one else feels this way, you're sure, and you have no idea how anyone could ever understand the magnitude of what is happening, nor do you think there is any relief.  And this can last for hours or go on and off for days.

I thank God that I can say that I've started to heal from this wound, and that I did so without medication (which, ironically, caused me a great deal of anxiety worrying about the medication I might have to take).  After some research, I discovered that there's a potential link between depression and high fructose corn syrup.  I used to drink and eat a lot of things that had this in it.  Sure enough, once I started cutting that out, I felt a lot better.  I also learned that there was a correlation between depression and diet.  When I started eating better, I started feeling better.  I also began to take Tai Chi classes, which teaches you meditation in motion and how to relax (you need to be relaxed for Tai Chi to be effective as a martial art).  Even with all of these changes, and despite how well I was doing, I would still suffer from depression and anxiety.  There were still weeks when I'd be eying those trees on my way to work.

A few months ago, our parish had an exhibit with a number of relics.  Amongst these was one of the largest remaining pieces of what is believed to be the cross Jesus was crucified on.  I prayed for healing and I firmly believe that God is in the process of healing me of these things.  About three days after that event, I remember driving to work and finally feeling the weight of oppression lifting off of me.  I felt genuine joy in the knowledge that I don't have to worry anymore, because God is taking care of me.  I still have some bad days, but they aren't close to the "tree" days.  More than this, I can feel that part inside of me that used to be twisted up in anxiety and depression, and instead I'm finding myself being filled with actual joy and peace.

As I said earlier, I was thinking about these things on the drive home today and I realized that this year, I feel at peace in God for the first time.  I've felt very content, but more than that I've been filled with true joy in a way I never knew before.  Oddly enough, my greatest comfort comes from the crucifix and the story of the resurrection:  Jesus was wounder and Jesus kept his wounds even after His resurrection.  He showed them as proof of His divinity to His disciples when He appeared to them, and He keeps them as a reminder of the price paid for our salvation.  I continue to pray for healing because this is a pretty messed up world, and I think we could all benefit from being healed from the wounds we receive here by God who seeks to heal and reconcile his creation.  And don't worry, I pray for all of you too.   He's big enough to heal the world.

Doubling back

Bishops napping.  I finally have enough time to think properly.  However, there's been something on my mind lately that I think falls under the category of my wounds so instead of thinking about new questions, I'm going to expand on the previous one about blessings and wounds. 

To begin, I need to say that I've been taking antibiotics since last Wednesday.  I got a call from the doctor last week (not my doctor, I'm pretty sure she's on vacation right now, which is off topic its just kind of a weird feeling to get a medical call from someone you don't know who knows all your business) about my routine yearly check up to let me know that I had an infection.  So he gave me the strong meds cause I told him I'm not breastfeeding anymore.  I kinda wish I'd lied about that cause the stuff he gave me is terrible and some less harsh meds could have done the same job.  Anyway, the side effects make me feel kinda sick sometimes, tired all the time, and there's a terrible taste in my mouth most of the time (like whenever I'm not eating or drinking something).  John bought me some gum for that. 

I feel like I've been typing forever and I haven't even gotten to the point yet.  So, with all those symptoms mixed together, it was making me feel kind of depressed.  Specifically one night, I was feeling very depressed.  I suddenly felt very bad about my weight.  That's hard for me to say.  That's probably why I spent so much time explaining my meds cause part of me wants people to get bored reading and never make it this far to find out that I'm self conscious about it.  I just don't wanna be one of those girls who talks about how fat she is all the time.  But I was feeling really bad about it.  I'm just bigger than I used to be and it's hard not to wish for my old body back and wish that I fit into my old clothes.  And I was thinking that those thoughts aren't like me and it's weird that I was even having them but I realized that I do think those thoughts at other times and try to just push them aside because I don't like to waste my time being negative.  I try to think about how it just doesn't matter.  It's not an unhealthy amount of weight and I'm happy with the food choices I make and while its not a bad idea to actively try to lose weight, I do not want how I look to control how I perceive myself.  I want to be happy with my body right now, regardless of what might change in the future. 

I think this issue is doubly hurtful because I never thought that I would care about it.  It was easy for me to accept my body when I was smaller and it was easy to think that women should accept their size no matter what.  Now it's hard. 

February 22, 2015

The Story of Mr. Morton

Public Transit was out in full force, busing travelers from one place to another.  Like a great beast, the city inhaled its inhabitants and exhaled the workers who would be returning in the morning the following day.  The early afternoon sun beat down on the pavement and asphalt.  A neighbor chased his kid across the yard, but otherwise the neighborhood was business as usual.

Mr. Morton walked down the street.  He walked so as not to attract attention from everyone else going about their day.  A shaky hand reached into the pocket of his yellow jacket to retrieve a handkerchief which he dabbed at the sweat beading across his forehead.  His beady eyes followed the people he passed on the street, watching for the telltale signs of one of themThey were always watching.  Sudden movement in the bushes caught his attention.  He froze, paralyzed to the spot, and held his breath.  An orange and black striped tabby cat darted out of the leaves, leapt up on top of his mailbox, and sat upon it.

He laughed to himself as he tucked his handkerchief back into his jacket pocket.  "Hello cat.  You look good!"  Mr. Morton often talked to his cat as part of their routine.  The cat yawned lazily and waited for him to walk by on his way to their home.  He mused at the fright the little fellow had given him and went through the motions of checking his mailbox.  As expected, it was empty.  Mr. Morton was a lonely man.  Mr. Morton walked up and opened the door of his house.  His cat followed him inside, quite likely expecting dinner to follow.  Being inside their home was his only relief anymore.  He knew that they were still watching him.  They were always watching him, always controlling him.  They watched everyone, subjected everyone to their will.  Yet in his house, he could forget that they existed, forget everyone existed.  Well, almost everyone.

He moved up the stairs to the window which overlooked his neighbor's home.  Mr. Morton knew only one girl, his next-door neighbor Pearl, although he had not been able to work up the nerve to speak with her as of yet.  Mr. Morton grew the yellow daisies in his flower box for her, and dreamed of the day when they would bloom.  On that day, he would gather up a handful of flowers, march over to Pearl's house, knock on her door, and ask her to be his.  He would be courageous on that day!  Only...that day had come at the beginning of the week, most of the daisies were in full bloom now, and he still had yet to speak with her.  He leaned out the window with his watering can to water the flowers, and glanced over at the neighboring window.  There she was!  Beautiful Pearl!  Pearl with her soft brown hair and glittering eyes.  As she always did whenever she noticed him at the window, she waved and smiled at him.  Her smiles were like sunshine parting through rain clouds.  Mr. Morton blushed beat red and retreat from the window.  Mr. Morton was very shy.

How could he ever be brave enough to talk to Pearl?  How could he ever tell her about those things which terrified him everyday?  Did she know that they were being controlled too?  Would she think him strange or dangerous?  Would she even speak with him to begin with?  He wasn't the best looking man to be certain.  He opened his closet door and stood in front of the mirror to better evaluate his reflected physique.  He was a robust man, far from fit, with not a trace of muscle on his figure. He was also completely bald.  Such a man would never be right for beautiful, perfect Pearl.  When she had first moved in, he had determined to start running in order to get into shape.  However, the very idea of her watching him struggle to catch his breath and toddle down the street was far too mortifying for him to bear.  He had given that up almost immediately after the first day she had spotted him.

Heaving a sigh of resignation, he left his mirror and sat in front of his typewriter.  He poked halfheartedly at the keys.  First he struck a word or two, but the longer he sat there, the more he began to really let fly.  The typewrite clicked and clacked like mad as he let loose his heart upon the page.  Before too long, Mr. Morton had finished a poem about Pearl.  He looked over the words, each one perfectly arranged to describe his passion for the gorgeous woman who lived next door.  His heart swelled and soared within his chest as he read and reread the words!  Perhaps, perhaps if she should only read it, then she would see something of interest in him?  He turned to see if there was still a glimpse of Pearl through the window, but as he looked outside, his heart sank like a stone.

When he was inside the safety of his home, it was easy to forget about them.  Now that he had written his feelings for Pearl, they would know.  Once she saw it, what would happen then?  What would they make her do?  Run away, most likely.  Who could ever make Pearl love him?  She was so perfect!  On impulse, he turned the poem into a paper airplane and sent it gliding out of the window.  He wanted it out of his house and hoped that the wind would carry it far, far away.  It would be nothing but a dream now.  He would never have to face her rejection or, worse, her ridicule.  His cat stretched lazily across the floor and then leapt nimbly out the window, since he wasn't paying it the least bit of attention.

All this worry about what might happen now that they knew about his feelings for Pearl had made Mr. Morton nervous.  He began to pace back and forth across the room.  He was still at his pacing some time later when the orange and black cat returned with a note in his mouth.  So surprised was he to see the cat with a letter, that he couldn't possibly imagine where it might have come from.  Perhaps he had overlooked it in the mailbox?  That certainly seemed reasonable.  Upon retrieving the note and realizing that it had not been sent through the mail, he began to tremble and sweat profusely.  It was a reply from Pearl!  This could only mean that somehow, somehow Pearl knew.  It had to be them.  He was sure of it.  He carefully opened the letter and began to read...and then Mr. Morton fainted.

It was nightfall by the time he came to.  The cat was nowhere to be seen, but the window had been left open and he could see the lights from Pearl's house next-door.  He trembled at the thought of what he had to do, but he had to know.  He had to know for certain if it was them.  He had to know if Pearl knew that she was subject to their will, that she couldn't help herself.  Gathering his courage, he rose from the floor, cut a handful of the daisies from his window box, and left his house.  Before he was completely aware of it, he was standing on her porch.  Mr. Morton knocked on the door several times.  The delay made Mr. Morton nervous and begin to sweat again, so he sat down on the rocking chair that Pearl kept on her porch and idly rocked back and forth while he waited.  The minutes stretched on into eternity and it felt like he had all the time in the world to sit and think and reconsider what he was doing.  Just why had he come?  What would he say?  Surely Pearl would laugh at him.  Surely this was a mistake!

The door opened and Mr. Morton, tormented by his thoughts, ran from Pearl's porch, dropping the makeshift bouquet of daisies at her feet in his flight.  By the time he was back inside of his house, he had managed to regain his senses.  Why had he run away?  Mr. Morton climbed his stairs and returned to the room with the window which overlooked Pearl's home.  Why didn't he just say hello?  Mr. Morton began to type on his typewriter, making silly little rhymes as he mentally rebuffed himself for his cowardice.  Pearl could never love him.  It must have themThey were playing with him, toying with him the way they always did.  He was nothing but a subject to their whim.  He was angry!  He was heartbroken!  He was ashamed!  And Mr. Morton was lonely, so very, very lonely.

The creaking of floorboards caught his attention.  He turned in his chair to discover Pearl standing there in his writing room.  She was as resplendent as ever; beaming at him with that radiant, warm smile of her's and holding out a single red rose to him.  Mr. Morton was so happy to see her, but he couldn't understand how she was here.  What was she doing?  Why had she come?  He stood up to embrace her, her whom he loved so dearly from afar.  Yet, all he could do was stand there and stare, transfixed by her presence.  Pearl only smiled all the wider, her eyes glittering with secret delight.  She opened her mouth to speak in her perfect angelic voice.  They were married.  They were happy, so was the cat.  Everything happened so fast!  They were packed and ready to go on their honeymoon, a bus was waiting outside to carry them away.  It was everything, everything he ever wanted, so Mr. Morton never questioned it.  He never questioned one word from Pearl.  He never suspected she might be one of them; he never even thought to ask because, Mr. Morton is the Subject and what the Predicates say, he does.

Inspired by School House Rock:

February 21, 2015

Beer Makes Kris Something...Something...

I had planned to blog about something in particular today, but then I had a beer and now I've completely forgotten what it was I meant to talk about.  I don't think it was actually the beer, but I'm going to blame the beer anyway, because the beer can't defend itself.

We had the Rite of Election today, which means I got to take all of the catechumens from our group up to the cathedral to be accepted by the Bishop to enter the Church on the Easter Vigil.  The cathedral is so pretty, I always regret not living closer so that I could go more often.  I actually get to go twice this year, which is really neat!  I intend to do a blog about that one in the future, because I get to go up for a ceremony I have never been to before or heard of before yesterday.

I've been really enjoying the time that I've been finding for prayer.  Today I showed up to the church early and discovered that there was adoration going on in the morning, so I got to enjoy morning prayer in the presence of our Lord!  I was thinking about how the Tabernacle, the monstrance, the crucifix, and the picture of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus were all tied together and it just made everything seem really amazing when all together in the same room.

At this juncture, I totally remembered what my other blog was going to be about, but I feel like I've come to far to go back now.  I'm just going to do as Angela did and leave this here:

Newlywed game

I'm just gonna be upfront right now, I'm not getting back to those questions until Monday.  I just don't want to rush through them and there's too many distractions today.  Right now I'm trying to write while listening to the newlywed game.  One of the questions was, if your husband was a millionaire, what would he collect?  Johns would definitely be swords.  He would collect every sword from Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and every light saber from Star Wars.  If I ever want to get him an expensive gift, I have so many options.  He's too easy to buy for.  I like watching to the newlywed game cause it's a good conversation starter.  It's also funny to see the wives slap their husbands when they get a question wrong.  The husband is always the one that's wrong, even if the question is about him and his interests.  There's also a lot of creative euphemisms that sometimes make zero sense. 

I know I posted this on facebook recently but I'm just gonna leave this right here cause I want to. 

February 20, 2015

Secret stuff

Well I'm pretty much in the same position I was yesterday, not blogging during my designated quiet thinking time.  Except I didn't nap today, I was working on a super secret project that was so close to be done that I decided to finish it instead of taking time for a thoughtful blog.  I've been working on this project off and on for weeks now and it's finally finished!  I'll post pictures later when it's not a secret anymore.  Also I'm still feeling very sluggish because I'm on antibiotics right now.  They make me feel kind of tired all the time and my mouth tastes bad all the time.  I asked John to pick up some gum on the way home so hopefully that will help with that. 

Our anniversary is next week.  John and I are going to a fancy restaurant tomorrow to celebrate.  Grandma will be watching our cutie while we have fun.  It's been 3 years already.  I remember when we had been dating for a month and that felt like forever.  Now it just feels like time is flying by.  In September, it will be 5 years since we started dating.  That's half a decade!  Well they say time flies when you're happy.  It definitely has. 

My blog will probably be short tomorrow as well since we will be busy having aforementioned fun.  Here's my cutie in the meantime. 

Don't worry, it held up

Day Two, Already Making Adjustments...

Yesterday, I was introduced to a calorie counter which made me realize something:  I'm very lucky I monitored myself during Lent last year when I was fasting.  My caloric intake was less than half of what's recommended, and while I was trying to choose items that would be healthy, give me energy, and help me make it through the day, I realized I don't really have a baseline for my eating habits, and I should probably start there.  As such, I have decided to change my Lent fast into something a bit more productive (and also wanted to own up to it).  I'm going to monitor what I eat, and try to stay towards the minimum requirements for a days' caloric intake, as well as supplement with exercise.

I'm actually quite excited about this.  It's been really interesting putting everything I ate into this calculator all day.  I've learned that practically every undoctored doesn't add a thing.  I also learned some surprising facts about some of the things I've been eating, like peanut butter and a glass of milk.  Having something at my fingertips which calculates what I'm going to eat has also helped me to rethink what I might have eaten/drunk too, or when I'll eat.  It's a lot easier to want to forgo snacking on something when it's on hand and you can see exactly how much it skews those numbers.

I'm also looking forward to using this website to gauge what my homemade recipes are like.  I've never really taken the time to see how healthy the meals I prepare are, even though when I cook I try to make things that are healthier than what I would get if I ate out.

Yeah...maybe I'm a little too excited about this, but it's nice to have such a tool at my disposal.  Sometimes the 'future' is really handy.

February 19, 2015

It's a cranky day

I'm going to take a short break from the questions today.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to write during my designated writing time (Bishops nap time).  It's the perfect time cause there's no toddler screaming at me while I'm writing because he wants me to stop and come play with him.  I ended up taking a shower during nap time and then I fell asleep and Bishop woke me up way before my body was ready to wake up.  It's a very disorienting way to nap.  I don't recommend it. 

Anyway, my brain is still fuzzy and my baby is still crabby for some reason so I'll keep it short.  Our new baby gate arrived today.  It's a swinging gate so we don't have to keep taking it down.  I'm just waiting for John to get home and install it because it requires screwing things into the wall.  I guess I am physically capable of doing it, but I don't want to deprive John of doing the manly work around the house.  It's his favorite. 

I have to go tend to my cranky toddler now.  He needs more friends.  Me and the cats aren't cutting it I guess. 

Sympathy for the Brain

I don't know why, but I was feeling a lot of anxiety about today.  Maybe it was all the left over nervousness from everything I've been doing over the last two days, and all the obligations I have for this week?  I had a round of nightmares last night that were pretty wild.  The only thing I really remember from them was that I was fighting something (demons or undead or something) and I kept seeing the cross I wear and my priest randomly cropping up.  Fighting undead with a priest beside you would be pretty badass.

I don't feel like I accomplished much today.  I've started my Lent things, though.  For some reason, having done the fasting thing last year, I have this memory of it being "not so bad".  My brain was all "Nah man, we did this last year.  We got this!"  My body, however is like "You monster!  You monster!  You don't even know what it's like!"  This is obviously to my brain, because my brain likes to think it's cooler than the rest of my body and hold itself aloof from everything else, just because it's "more intelligent".  At the very least, I have a jump start from last year.  I'm feeling the effects of day five on day two because I had been sick since Sunday and unable to each much until yesterday...when I couldn't eat much.  Woo.  Hopefully midweek next week will be better, if I keep on track.

I feel like I should have more things to talk about, but this head cold is preventing me from being witty.  I did have a nice rant in mind for today, but I either lack the wherewithal to give it justice, or I'm feeling a bit lethargic and not in the mood for ranting, because when I sat down to write it out my interest waned.  Hopefully I'll have more to write about tomorrow.  I didn't get a nifty letter in my bulletin giving me ideas to talk about, so I'll have to drum up something else!

Also, I'm leaving this here because I think I had a huge oversight yesterday.  I should have titled it "Krangela's Ashes" and written something else.  Next year...next year.

February 18, 2015

No Ashes For Me

I'll kick off this lent with a confession.  I did not receive my ashes this Wednesday.  The service at our church today was at 7am.  Yesterday Me was all ready to get up early and go to service but 6am Me wanted another 2 hours of sleep.  I never really fell back asleep, however, between alarms going off and John getting ready for work and then Bishop decided to get up at 7am.  He must have known church was happening without him.  Bishop doesn't like to miss his social events. 

Anyway, on a more serious note, we were given an assignment in church (on Sunday) to write a letter to someone addressing a number of questions outlined in the bulletin.  I'm going to address a few of those questions today and then finish the list throughout the rest of the week.  Today I'm going to talk about my story, my blessings and wounds, and describe what is precious to me. 

I was born into a big family, the youngest of 6 kids.  We didn't have a lot of money but we always had everything we needed.  I did well in school and went to college and got my bachelors degree.  I spent 2 years living at home during the first years of college and then transferred to a 4 year college in Illinois for the remaining years.  It was a private christian college and I think my faith developed the most while I was there.  I spent 4 summers working at Sequoia national park, the first 2 years I was doing ministry and the last 2 I just went to make some money and have adventures.  I started dating my husband in late 2010, we got married in 2012 and had our son, Bishop, in 2013.  We lived in 2 different apartments and then bought our first house last year.  John works as a drafter and I stay home and raise our son.  Our arrangement feels very 50's traditional which is ironic because our house was built in 1951 and still has the original kitchen sink with no room for a dishwasher. 

I feel like before John and I got together, one of my wounds was an emptiness in my life and a fear that I would never find a person to share my life with.  Now that emptiness feels like a blessing because I appreciate the fullness so much more.  I think if God had not allowed me to feel the loneliness, I wouldn't have understood the hugeness of this blessing.  Of course Bishop is a blessing as well.  Being a mom has opened my heart in ways I never knew were possible.  However, having my heart open this way creates a new kind of fear that I've never known.  I can't say that it's a wound because nothing bad has happened but I just fear for his life in a way that I've never feared for my own life. 

In a more general sense, I think most of the wounds in my past have revolved around me not speaking up when I need to.  I often had difficultly expressing my feelings or even knowing what I was feeling.  I felt very wounded when I would get frustrated with life or a situation and not know who to talk to or how to put my feelings into words. 

The most precious thing to me is my people.  John is my number 1 person, Bishop is (and always will be) my baby.  When I think about life and the world at large, people are the only thing that really matter. 

Well, I'm glad I stuck to the first few questions.  I feel like I've been writing forever.  Kept in mind that when I write, I spend about 75% of my time thinking.  I don't like editing; I want my sentences to be perfect the first time I write it. 

Here's a cute picture....

Ashes to Ashes and Stones to Soup

I can't help but love Ash Wednesday services.  They always remind me of when I first realized the fullness that Catholicism has to offer.  At the same time as people are waiting to receive ashes and the Eucharist, there are always people in the back of church waiting for reconciliation through confession.  It is, in every respects, a reminder that we receive salvation through Christ in the forgiveness of sins and the grace of the sacraments.  The ashes spread across the forehead always remind me of my mortality in this world and my eternal rest in God's kingdom; spread across the same place as where I received the confirmation chrism oil when I entered the Church two years ago.  As much as I love the Easter Rites and the Christmas Celebration, I think it's Ash Wednesday that I love the most.

This year, I am gifted with the ability to spend the entire day at my parish.  Having taken over coordination for RCIA, I'm in charge of distributing our traditional Stone Soup meal after masses.  This has given me time in between to spend in quiet reflection of mass, in reading scripture, and in prayer.  I have had plenty of time for prayer today too!  In fact, even though I had decided upon spending time in prayer as part of Lent, I have found so many opportunities to do it which I have completely overlooked, that it's almost embarrassing to admit I tend to regulate myself to structured times during the day.

After all the things I came to discover last year during Lent, I'm looking forward to this year with renewed vigor.  I think we prefer not to be uncomfortable, but we forget that discomfort and trials give way to more growth than comfort and accommodation.  I think we also prefer not to participate in acts of self-denial as a natural tendency in our culture to equate restraint with a lack of freedom.  I wish I could remember these things more often when it isn't just this time of the year.

February 17, 2015

Chewing the Fat on Tuesday

I know tomorrow is the beginning of Lent, but I thought I'd jump the gun a bit and start getting back in the habit of posting daily.  I haven't been doing much in the way of writing lately, I'm afraid.  Months have gone by and I've no more touched a pencil than a keyboard on anything substantial or interesting, most unfortunately.  At the very least, I wish I would have kept a journal better.  I feel like I've grown substantially in my faith over the last year; but then, upon reflection, I think I say that a lot.

I've never been the type of person who believes we are the sum of our parts and nothing more, and I quite enjoy reflecting upon all the ways that I've changed and developed over time.  This version of me is quite different than last year's and will most likely be different than next year's, and that tempering process is quite interesting to consider.  At least for me.  I think a lot of the things I've transitioned through have been for the better and I hope to strive for better things in the future.

It is with this in mind that I've decided on three things for Lent this year:

1) Lent Blog
2) Fasting (which is coupled with eating healthier things and more exercise)
3) More Prayer

As if in anticipation of tomorrow, I happened to come down with a head cold which has completely neutralized by appetite.  I've been subsisting on broth and bread for the last couple of days and it's all I really have a desire for today too.  Which is good, considering tomorrow is a day of fasting and abstinence.  I just can't believe how fast Ash Wednesday has approached.  Only a few more weeks until Easter!

February 2, 2015

Get Ready for an Epic Adventure...

In 2012, two women determined to make and keep Lenten resolutions...


In 2013, they reunited once again in mutual Lenten resoluteness....

It's why we do this blog

In 2014, they made it clear their resolve for Lent was irresolute...
 He sees what I did there

This year....FEBRUARY 18TH....Lent gets....resolutional...
 Hey...making up words works for Colbert

2015 LENT BLOG.....
It's coming