Monday, January 30, 2006

blasted technology

here's a little fact about me. in some cases i'm really particular about details and making everything "just right," i.e. stuff at work. then, in other cases i couldn't care less about perfection, i.e. stuff with technology.

you may have noticed i've added a few links to the right of my blog. but my blog does some funny thing (it may have bothered you in the past) where it likes to just randomly add extra lines with bullets wherever it likes (eventhough the code is the same on each line). it now seems to want to be really obnoxious (look to your right now). if it bothers you you can either A) tell me how to fix it or B) suck it up.

i really don't care that much about it so i'm opting to B) suck it up (at least for tonight).

the trio is complete

check out my sister here. i can't promise it'll be grammatically correct, but she's a hoot!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

weekend on

i wouldn't necessarily say we had a whole weekend on. but saturday chris and i spent 12 hours and 9 hours respectively roofing a house. we were volunteering with homeworks, a non-profit organization that does repairs on homes (kind of like habitat). it's always fun to get back into the saddle again, as they say. unless you end up like this:



and this is just the sunburn. you can't imagine how our arms, legs, hands, toes, EVERYTHING feels today. ouch! but good work was done. we should do it more often (once we recuperate).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

eye of the tiger plays here

this is a little belated.

eye of the tiger

but contrats to kaiser for being a bad-ass! here's a marathon runner if i've ever seen one! that's 26.2 miles of pure running, for those not in the know. all for a good cause.

way to go, dude!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

trip to the country

chris's nutz
chris's nutz,
originally uploaded by Waldie's World.
chris and i went to south georgia this weekend to visit my grandparents who spend their winters down there. my parents were also visiting, so it was a double bonus.

it was good to be out in the quiet of the country and hear nothing but birds chirping (and dogs barking). we picked pecans! now we just have to find a place to get the cracked (anyone in columbia know of a place??). and we picked fresh turnips. i cooked them tonight at home. delicious!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

i can't repost it

so i just sat here for like an hour and drafted this long post about chris's drug-induced recovery from his colonoscopy and how upsetting it was to see my husband so vulnerable. but before i could actually publish the post netscape crashed and i lost the whole post. it was really emotional for me to write and i just can't write it again.

i'll just leave it at this: i love my husband. it was heartwrenching for me to see his mind so altered. the image will be permanently engraved in my mind. i hope that we never have to deal with that permanently. life is delicate.

Monday, January 16, 2006

mom and bo, one night only!

Jim and Diana

as chris referenced, he and i made the treck to good ol' "hot-lanta" in the cold season to visit the parents.

Mart-Long shot

mom helps out some friends with their wholesale business once a year at the americasmart. this place was crazy! the picture, of course, doesn't do it justice. this was just one of the buildings and the floors just go up and up.

Family Picture

one highlight, among many, was visiting with our favorite band (and cousins) a-fir-ju-well, redubbed for the weekend el-fir-ju-well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

a small rant

chris and i were all jazzed up to go to the georgia aquarium this weekend in atlanta. that is, until we realized it would be close to 50 bucks for us both to get in! that's right. $23 per ticket! that's crazy. so, needless to say, we won't be seeing the whale shark this weekend, not because he's not worth it, but because we can't afford it. :(

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sunday, January 08, 2006

An Epiphany on the Epiphany

I have suddenly realized something. And it’s not so much that I just now suddenly realized it. Because, truly, it’s a thought I’ve had all along during this process, but the reality of what it means has come to light for me and Chris during the past few days and I feel it’s worthy of a mention.

Many years ago Chris and I decided that we were going to Africa to be missionaries. It was a decision that the two of us made with much deliberation and much discussion between he and I . During the process, we have never gone to our family and friends and asked their permission to do this. We have asked advice. We have asked for blessings. But, like people do in major life decisions (marriages, moves, pregnancies), we just made a choice and moved forward with our plans.

Today (or over the course of the past couple of days, actually) I think Chris and I really started to understand the sacrifice that our friends and family are going to be making when we finally do go abroad. As I said, Chris and I made this decision about our life, but in so many ways, we made a major decision on behalf of everyone who cares for us. Because while we are gone in Africa, we are not at home with them. I know this may not translate to the blogosphere so well. But what I mean is that our friends and family will miss out on having us as a major part of their lives for the 2 years that we’re gone. We will not be there for holidays, celebrations, funerals (God forbid), accomplishments, etc. It is not simply that WE will miss these occasions, but we will not be there for THEM during these times. And in most cases, (as much as it may baffle me:) they seem to want us there. I don’t mean to sound egotistical or anything here. Bear with me.

My sister went to Italy for a year in college. Even all these years later, I still remember the Christmas she was gone as one that just was not right. It was like a piece of me was gone because she was not there. I was so used to her being around on holidays that I did not realize how much of ME resides with HER and how much of that comes out when we are together.

THAT is the sacrifice that we are asking our families to make. And that, in many cases, is a huge sacrifice for them. A sacrifice that they had no say in.

Now, I must say for the record that ultimately I don’t think that we should have asked anyone’s permission. And I am not necessarily apologizing for the decision that we have made to be missionaries. I am not apologizing because in many ways I think that the feelings of loss that some might actually have a purpose.

For one, that sense of loss that will be felt by our family is a microcosm for the loss and pain that the people we’ll be helping feel every day of their lives. Certainly I don’t mean this in terms of family and friends, because I am sure that they will have that. I mean in terms of equality, justice, sanitary conditions, basic human needs. The people in the part of the world that we look to serve are missing a whole lot more than we can ever imagine and I think that it is important for people to think about loss on a global scale, as well as a personal scale.

A second way that I think the feelings of loss can serve a purpose is in that it shows how connected our world is. When we speak of our world in terms of its global scale, we often think in terms of technology or environment. But I like to think of it this way. As I mentioned previously, while we are gone small pieces of our loved ones will also be gone with us. But we will be bringing those pieces of our friends and family with us to Africa. That piece of you that may be missing on Christmas when I am not there…that piece will be with me when I am in Africa as I am telling my story to those I meet. So even though our friends and family may not physically be present with us while we are gone, you will be there. And you will contribute to our service in a very real way. And when we come home, we will be bringing pieces of Africa with us to share with you. We will be bringing the world closer together as we try to make this planet more livable. It is an amazing way that you all will be sharing in our service.

I know you all did not ask to share in our service. But you will. What greater sacrifice can there be than to give of one’s own? And, essentially, without a choice. I cannot think of any greater sacrifice. And so to our family and friends, I say thank you.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

extolling the virtues of the avocado

ethnicly sheek
ethnicly sheek,
originally uploaded by Waldie's World.
our friend, ian was so thoughtful as to give us for christmas the BEST cookbook EVER! (no offense to any other cookbook anyone has ever given me in the past). it's written by angela shelf medearis who writes children's books, aparently. but that's neither here nor there.

i've only been home from vacation about 1 week and i've already made 4 recipes from this book. it's just totally cool. the best so far?

check this out (wow is it good!):
avocado, grapefruit, and spinach salad

1 large, firm avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 large pink grapefruit, peeled, seeded and divided into sections
6 c. baby spinach leaves
1/4 c. grapefruit juice
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 c. olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper

combine avocado and grapefruit and chill for 30 minutes.

mix all the remaining ingredients together (except spinach) with a wisk. dish out the spinach onto plates. cover with avocado and grapefruit and pour over dressing.

(the dressing itself is sooooo good. very refreshing!)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

CRS update

chris and i had a "telephone discussion" today with catholic relief services. the point of the conversation was simply for them (gerald lambert, in this case) to tell us the process of applying and for us to ask him any questions we had at this point. we talked for about an hour and he really clarified a lot of info for us. basically we're at the very beginning of the process.

we've done steps 1A (initial application) and 1B (phone call), next is 1C, followed by 2A-C and 3 A & B. he's mailing us a mental health questionnaire which will, apparently, determine if we're crazy (yikes!) and then we actually apply (step 2A), which is like 20 pages long. so, we've got a long way to go, folks. but we told gerald that we were really excited about the program and that we were interested in continuing with the process.

some intersting points about crs: although the volunteer program is new (it's currently in its first year), crs is very well established and has programs in 99 countries around the world. of those, there are basically like 55 potential countries that crs would think of placing volunteers. this gives them the ability to be fairly flexible in their placements according to volunteers skills and knowledge, as well as their intersts. also, the volunteers serve 16 months abroad and then 6 months in the us basically spreading the word about international needs and global issues (cool!). they are expecting to accept only about 13 volunteers this year (out of a pool of around 100-150).

Monday, January 02, 2006

goodbye vacation

it's been so nice having you around. i look forward to the next time our paths cross...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

new year's resolutions

new year's day is traditionally celebrated by the catholic church as the world day of peace. i can't think of a better way to start the new year.

as such, our priest's sermon this morning was about peace. he quoted some thoughts by ron rolheiser which i thought were especially poignant. i don't know what specific piece of writing father tim was inspired by but i did a little internet searching and found this article.

in the article, ron rolheiser is speaking about working toward peace and how, quite simply, we need to be the change we wish to see in the world. he further states (and i wholehearted connect to this) that we often get overwhelmed with the lack of peace in our world and the seemingly impenetrable amount of destruction and inequality that we often just think that we can't really do anything about them. but, he says:

"Large, global issues notwithstanding, issues of personal integrity are generally what make or break our happiness, not to mention our character and our intimate relationships. In the end, they aren't petty concerns at all. They shape the big things. Social morality is simply a reflection of private morality. What we see in the global picture is simply a magnification of the human heart."

in other words, ron rolheiser is asking: how can we build a just world without first dealing with these issues in the inner recesses of our hearts? how often do i snap back at someone with a hurtful witticism, or lay someone off with a passive-aggressive response? how often do i harbor my own feelings of destruction and inequality which inevitably taint my actions?

ron rolheiser asks: "How are we to build a just, loving world, if we cannot, first of all, tame selfishness inside us?"

holy smokes! how can that be legal?

despite the fact that i've lived in south carolina for 2 1/2 years and have celebrated 3 new years eves here, last night i experienced my first true "south carolina" new years. we went to some friends' house out in the boonies to hang out, play some games* and light fireworks . it was unbelievable! i've never really seen "non-professional" fireworks, having grown up in a state (surrounded by other states) where fireworks were illegal. all i could say was "holy smokes!" they scared the crap out me. they were like real fireworks that, like, went up in the air and let off spays of color(s). it was totally crazy. i kept wishing mom was there because the booms were really loud and i know she likes those. fun times, but definitely a dangerous sport.

*as an aside, chris kicked butt on dance dance revolution (but not on karaoke revolution).