Friday, February 26

Silly Australian TV

You know those emails that go around and ask random questions. You are supposed to answer all the questions and then forward the email on so that all of your friends will know all about you. Every once in awhile I receive them and every once in awhile I will complete them.

For several years, my Dutch friends have been telling me (through the email questionnaries) that their favorite show was McLeod's Daughters, which is an Australian show that happens to also be shown in Holland. When I last visited them (May 2009), it came up again. So I asked them "what is this show? I've never heard of it..." This inquiry prompted them to immediately start Season 1 for my entertainment. I think in the 7 days I was there, we watched the entire 1st season and I think we started the 2nd season. They warned me that I will get hooked.

When I left Holland, I wasn't sure I was hooked but I was interested. So I went to and bought season 2 so that I could finish what I started and oh hey...season 5 is super cheap...might as well buy that too. Before I knew it, I became the proud owner of all 8 seasons of McLeod's Daughters.

Why? I'm not sure. I'm planning on selling them all once I'm done but I guess I would now be classified as hooked. I want to know what is going to happen to all those silly characters.

I have cried over them, laughed with them, and been frustrated with them and I only just finished season 3. This show is an Australian "soap opera" about life and drama on a cattle ranch. The McLeod ranch is ran by all females and of course, their neighbors are these sweet good-looking Australian men, not to mention the adorable male vet that comes visiting.

I am eager to start season 4...hopefully this weekend.
What will happen next???

Wednesday, February 24

Random Me

I like fixing things. I like the sense of accomplishment. I am generally good with projects that require my hands or a bit of creativity, which is why I like to try anything related to cooking, art, gardening, etc. But when it comes to my car, I am pretty clueless. I (really) dislike walking into an auto parts store looking like another clueless woman. I know it's all about my ego but I don't care. Therefore, I usually walk in trying to appear confident...that I know what I want and how to fix it. So yesterday, when I fixed my rear brake light, I was proud of myself. I did it, without help, and generally managed to appear that I knew what I was doing...I think. I know...changing a brake light isn't the most impressive thing but let me have this one, okay?

The food show that I've mentioned before was last night. Always an interesting experience. I've mentioned that my job is all computer/phone oriented. This food show is the one time I get to see people. The one opportunity I get to put faces to the people I've been chatting with over the previous year. It's a funny experience when you meet someone for the first time. I could close my eyes and know their voice instantly. But when I open my eyes and see the person that matches that voice, I often have to refrain from chuckling. It's not because they are funny looking or anything but because how they look doesn't match the visual image I've created in my head, based on their voice. Trying to reconcile the real face to the voice is an amusing process.

It rained yesterday.
The cute flat shoes that I bought for the food show are not water proof/resistant.
Note to self, wear only on non-rainy days.

For my Master's degree, I have to write a thesis paper. On Monday, I worked on the proposal that I have to submit before I start researching. Yesterday, I emailed a professor, that I haven't met, to see if he would be my paper's advisor. He agreed! So now I just need to submit the proposal and once I get the green light, then start my research. Eek! I'm both excited and daunted by this task of writing a thesis paper. I have this idea that it should be a long grand paper...60 pages is my goal. But 60 pages is enormous...I've never written anything larger than 20 pages. One step at a time, I guess. It helps that I am excited about the topic...that's a good thing, right?

Monday, February 22

Apartment Estate Sale

An estate sale is basically like an open-house to speak...for a deceased person typically. Well, I am definitely not deceased and I definitely don't have an estate. But I do have a little 550 square foot apartment that is full of stuff.

Whenever I think about moving, whether it is to just moving to share an apartment with my sister or moving overseas, I always feel slightly overwhelmed and burdened by the thought of packing/moving/sorting through my stuff. Honestly, there is very little that I have that I wouldn't part with. The rest, I could do without. Some of the rest would be hard or sentimental to part with but the thought of carting them around makes me want to plop on my couch in fatigue before I even get started.

I might be moving in April/May to find an apartment with my sister and then it will probably be another year after that before I either move overseas or move further than just to another apartment complex in the same city.

The thing that keeps rolling around in my head is to have an open-apartment garage sale. Come. Walk around my apartment. Make an offer on anything you see. Take it out of my life and good riddance.

But the question that begs to be answered is if all this stuff feels weighty then why oh why do I keep buying more stuff?

Saturday, February 20


I have learned one thing about myself over the last years.

I hate it when people are fluttering around me when they are stressed. You know those people?

When they get stressed by a list of things to do, they power-walk from one place to the next. You can feel the stress oozing off of them as they fly by. "Will I get everything done? Will I miss something? What will I forget if I don't take care of it now?"...zoom...zoom....zoom...flutter...flutter...flutter...

That stresses me out.

I can feel the tension building in me. I start to feel snappy. I want to say "Calm down. It will all work out. You don't need to do everything right now." But I know if I say anything it will probably sound critical and induce a peaceful effect. And so, whenever this situation presents itself, I find myself compensating for the tension by physically and emotionally slowing down.

I work slower. I move slower. I kind of dull my emotions and try to mentally focus on one specific thing, doing my best to ignore the fluttering around me.

The problem is then I feel unproductive because of my "slowing down" when people are still buzzing around me. It's all rather irritating. Thankfully the fluttering only lasts for a "short" amount of time.

Friday, February 19

Another Grandparent Story

On another visit to see my grandma, the four of us were sitting around a table. My grandma was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and was getting cold. So I offered to run to her room and look for a sweater.

Now there's two things about my grandma that she always does. She always sit with her legs crossed and she is always humming.

So when I returned with the sweater, we put it on her and then I sat down. Immediately after, I heard her humming so I leaned over and asked, "What are you humming Grandma?"

Both my grandpa and sister started laughing because evidently my sister had just asked my grandma the same thing while I was retrieving the sweater.

My grandma chuckled and said, "I'm humming...I'm just humming." To which my grandpa replied, "you're just my little hummingbird, aren't you?" and grandma agreed!

Thursday, February 18

My Cute Grandparents

I have cute grandparents.

My grandparents are from Illinois and grew up on farms. They left the farms with three babes to try to make a life out in California, which they did. Anyhow during our visit, my sister and I wanted to hear more about their life back in Illinois...their life growing up and how they met.

As a side note, my grandma lives apart from my grandpa...she lives in a nursing home down the street because her health got to be more than my grandpa could manage.

According to my grandpa, back in the day he was driving around town with a friend and they happened to spot my grandma walking down the street. My grandpa said, "someone should be dating that cute red might as well be me!" And so he did and 63 years later, they still adore one another.

The same day we heard this story, we all went to visit grandma and we told her about how grandpa thought she was a cute red head. She chuckled. Then when we got to the part where my grandpa had asked her out, he said to her, "aren't you glad I did?" To which she responded, after not clearly hearing the story or question, "No."

Amy and I started laughing and laughing. It was a funny moment and was beautifully delivered. Although I would wager that even if my grandma had heard the story clearly, she is just sassy enough to have still answered in a way to have made us laugh.

Wednesday, February 17

Ideas and Suggestions

Dear NBC executives--

Good afternoon. First I want to thank you and commend you for doing a good job, even though I don't really know what it is that you do. I know that one common thought is that the only thing that is important to executives is money...making more money. Whether or not it is true at NBC is besides the point. Overall, I'm pleased with your channel even though the whole Leno/Conan thing was weird...which is again, besides the point.

The point of this little letter is about the Olympics which you have the sole privilege of broadcasting. I think it is good when sport events and other major activities are aired on one specific channel. It allows that broadcast to be the "top dog," so to speak which brings more money for you all. So kudos on getting the Olympics. Granted there are lot of things about your line of work that I don't understand but as the a valuable customer...I have one complaint about your broadcasting on the Olympics.

It sucks. Yes, I said "sucks" in a letter which is very unprofessional. So now, let me apologize for my language. With that out of the way, let me explain why I think the coverage sucks.

1. Granted, I am at work from 8am-5pm, what I'm missing, I don't know. But what I do know is that from 5:30pm-8pm, there is nothing about the Olympics besides some occasional meaningless updates. Then from 8-11pm or so, NBC crams in the days worth of competitions.

2. What point #1 means is that since a days worth of competition is then crammed into 3 or so hours, the valued customers end up only seeing fragmented clips of what happened that day, never getting the chance to see any sport coverage in detail.

3. What point #2 means is that since we only get to see fragmented clips, the only athletes we hear about are the American althetes or those who are anticipated to provide stronger competition to our American althetes. If you are not considered to be in either of those categories, than we shall never hear of them.

4. What point #1 also means is I can go online and find out who won what long before it even gets aired on NBC, which was amusing the first time but kind of pathetic afterwards, in my honest opinion.

I'm sure NBC gets gobs of money from sole Olympic advertisements and from sole Olympic coverage. Is there a reason you could not block out most of your daytime TV shows, for the two weeks, just so that you could cover the Olympics live? I get that it would be somewhat early for the East Coast. But for me on the West Coast, in the same time zone as Vancouver, it seems like the Olympics could be covered more on-time, more in-depth and just all around more. After all, this exciting event only happens every 4 years, unlike the annual Super Bowl (and the many preceeding games) which is always covered in depth.

While I don't desire to resort to threats, let me be honest in saying that the frustrating coverage has left me wanting I've sought more from other stations (mainly Canadian stations)...anything but NBC. Anyhow, I think that is about it. Thank you for sharing in my venting.

Tuesday, February 16

Where are they from?

My sister and I watched the Olympic's opening ceremony together. We had heard that it would start at 7:30pm but in actuality, it didn't start until 9pm (even though by then it was already over and we are in the same time zone as Vancouver...what's up with that?).

Anyhow, from 7:30-9pm they had some feature stories about the Olympics, about Vancouver and Canada, and about some of the players. It was somewhat interesting.

At one point this lady came on to talk about being a part of the passing of torch. Her little section was in the frozen lands of Nunavut. She commented about how friendly the Inuits were during her stay in the village where she ran. Upon which, my sister mentioned that she knew an Inuit.

Me: "From Capernwray?" (a Bible school both of us went to at different points of time)

Amy: "Yep...she was nice but a bit different. She definitely looked like an Eskimo. She was from Ninevah."

Upon which, I started laughing and laughing. Inuits from Ninevah??? A bit far away, methinks! She realised her mistake immediate but I still informed her that the correct territorial name was Nunavut.
Good times with my sister.

Saturday, February 13

A Valentine Poem

You and I
We aren't so different
You might be loud
I might be quiet
You might be passive
I might be aggressive
You might be liberal
I might be conservative
But I think we could be friends

You and I
We could get along
If you say something funny
I could laugh with you
If I cook a yummy dish
I would share with you
If you drink tea or coffee
Let's have a cup or two
But I think we could be friends

No matter where you live
No matter who you are
Valentines is here
A day of love and cheer
You and I are not so different
I think we should be friends

Will you be my
friend and Valentine?
Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11

An interesting vacation...of sorts

My silence is due entirely to the fact that I am on vacation and at my grandparents' house. My grandparents do not have internet at their house. Or a DVD player. Or an answering machine. Or a coffee machine.

That's right...a vacation without coffee...
I want to say that it hasn't been affecting me but even as I write this, I'm wondering if that is true.

(As for the internet, we have to log into an unsecure internet connection from one of the neighbors, which means that I could lose at any time...which means that the longest I've had connection since being here has been a total of 30 minutes approximately. Lovely!)

Overall, my time with my grandparents has been good. My grandpa and grandma are my only remaining grandparents and are good for conversation...they're cute people. Plus, while their house may lack some elements that seem "normal" to me, the state of California, abounds in good eats, like In-N-Out Burgers and El Pollo Loco. In fact, my sister jokes that the only reasons to come down here is to eat and see my grandparents.

In addition to seeing my grandparents, my sister arranged a girls-family-dinner with my two aunts, three of my cousins, and one of my cousin's kids. It was nice. My family has always been somewhat disconnected, it feels, from our California family. I haven't grown up close to any of my relatives and that saddens I enjoyed the time we got to spend it laughing and chatting as adults and as family because it doesn't happen enough.

The only slump to this whole trip has been my internal system. I don't think it got the memo that I am going on vacation and this is a chance to relax. If anything it seems to think that it needs to get all high-maintenance on me, which hasn't been so great. On Tuesday, I was presented with diarhhea and vomiting. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and today, I have had migranes. And lastly, yesterday and today...constipation. I know this falls under "too much information" and I apologize for just putting it out there. But seriously! Either my body is out of whack from the lack of coffee, hormonal-girl issues, or too much sunlight and not enough grey clouds. Regardless, this isn't normal and not how I wanted to enjoy my vacation.

Thankfully, besides Tuesday, my body hasn't limited me from too much of the low-key excitement going on around here.

Well, I made it this far...I better not push my luck since my internet is bound to cut out sooner or later. I'll post again when coffee is flowing in my veins once more.

Friday, February 5

Time on my hands

I just looked at my last post where I talked about doing Beth Moore's book club thing because "I will have time on my hands."

Oh geez...

I suppose it's all relative but between yesterday and today, I no longer believe that I'll have time on my hands. None. Whatsoever.

I will indeed be out of school until the middle of May and then that class goes until the beginning of July. Then I will be out of class from then until the end of August. The rest of the year, I'll be finishing up my Master's degree...woohoo!

However, during my non-school times, I have many great ideas and plans on what to do with my time.
  1. In August my class will be all for my thesis I want to get a head start on it so that come December, I'll be done. So I have 10 books to read, that's I've already purchased, and will need to figure out some way to categorize my research.
  2. Red Cross Disaster Training...I have no idea how long this training might be but it is something I would very much like to do and something that could benefit me in almost any country or situation.
  3. TESOL certification...I found this online place which sounds credible. It's a work-at-your-own-pace situation. Again this would be good in almost any future country or situation. I could easily do this program but the good time for me to start would be immediately and finish before my next class in May. My "conflict" is that this time would be a good time to start my thesis.
  4. Plus, I signed up to do some extra teaching at my youth group and for another youth group. So I'm already committed here.
The last thing I want to do is overextend myself. And at this moment I haven't started any of the three options but what do I do? I suppose I could try to do the TESOL and thesis paper at the same time. Disaster training can wait, I guess...

Life keeps moving.

Thursday, February 4

I went in for one and came out with three

I went to the bookstore after work today
to buy this:

Beth Moore just released this book yesterday and will be doing an online book club type of thing with any sisters that want to join. Basically I have nine weeks to read the book, during which time there will be online discussions. At the end (April 24th) Ms. Beth is going to do a simulcast online (I think) to wrap everything up.

I don't think I have a huge problem with insecurity but I know it does affect certain elements of my life, especially in regards to future career plans. At any rate, I thought it would be good to read and to participate in this book club thing since I'll have the time off of school.

So on my way to the checkout, my eyes found two more must haves:

Jane Eyre by Ms. Bronte...the story I formerly disliked...isn't this an awful cover though?

And lastly:

Pride and Prejudice by Ms. Austin....a story I love. I was tempted to also buy Sense and Senseability since my sister likes this book as much as P&P...but I figured I should hang onto a little bit of money.

Needless to say, I spent a little more than I planned.

Tuesday, February 2

A German Memory (in English)

There are a fair number of people who want to see me get married as much as I would like to be married. I love their support and am touched when they share their wishes and prayers for me.

When I served in Germany, I worked with approximately 14 middle school students who, God bless them all, wanted me to get married. They tried to encourage me to "hook up" with another single younger guy there. They talked about their distance single relatives. I smiled, I laughed, I rolled my eyes. Until one day...

One day, someone brought up that Aunt Mindy (which is what everyone called me) should join a dating site online. So a number of those blessed teens ran over to the computer and went to Yahoo's or MSN's dating page (I think) and started filling out a profile. I was nearby so that I could make sure they wouldn't hit the "submit" button or see inappropriate profiles. The little dears filled in the information they knew about me and made up what they didn't know. Then, they got to the page where you can choose what qualities or features you want or like in the opposite gender.

Would you believe that my kiddos found the one trait that nobody on this dating site had ever yet chosen...they decided I had to have a man who's best feature was a "hot bellybutton." Yes, it's true...under best features was a "bellybutton" option. We all started laughing hysterically.

Sad to say, there were zero options.

Monday, February 1

Bruises, Blessings & Busyness

Have I ever written about the two years I spent in Germany? If I have, it was probably in regards to my kids there or my travels and nothing more. I worked at a boarding school. My role was to take care of the kids while they attended the school...I did all the things that parents would for their kids: cook, clean, help them with homework, tuck them in at night, drive them to school, play, discipline, and love them! I loved my ministry. It was the best job I've ever had thus far! It was also the hardest two years of my life.

I'm not going to get into details. But I came home from my two years feeling quite bruised. My church dropped the ball in receiving me home and so, besides my immediate family, I felt I had nobody and became emotionally withdrawn.

I've been home from Germany for 4 years now and I feel that over the last year and half, life has been breathed into me once again. It has been a lot harder to "re-open" myself up than it was to withdrawl. The process of "re-opening" myself has made me feel more emotionally spastic.

Anyhow, this past week at my church was mission's week. One of our guest missionaries was the dad of one of my Germany kids. It was wonderful to see him again and to catch up with his family. What I did not expect was last night.

Last night, I was hanging out with my friends, Brian and Erin, and Mark, the missionary. At one point during the night, Mark looked at me and said he had a big question for me. He proceeded to ask me to talk about my two years in Germany and asking specific questions about how I felt about this or how I reacted to that. **inhale, exhale** I talked and talked and talked. He listened, encouraged, and breathed a blessing over me.

I went home (and woke up this morning) thinking over and over how much of a blessing that was to me. It is one thing to share the bruises with those who didn't see that part of my life but it is another thing to share with someone who understands. I am still basking in the unexpected blessing. But having talked/relived those experiences has also left my heart feeling bruised again.

I expect those bruises will always be imprinted on my heart, to some degree.

One message I have been hearing this week, both from the missionaries and from God, is that God has a plan for me. I have a phone call scheduled with the a key person next Friday, the 12th. My last couple conversations didn't go so well, in my opinion, so I want to make sure that I am ready. I want to spend some time early next week, thinking through who I am, how God has made and equipped me, and what I can offer in ministry. I have some work to do. But first I need to get through this busy homework rest for the least not until Saturday, the last day of class.

**Today starts my February challenge: walking or running 4 times a week. I did really good with January's challenge except for this past weekend. I forgot to take home my water bottle and just didn't drink enough water.