Thursday, 31 January 2008

Lobby Day!

I'm sort of a geek in the sense that I love to visit State Capitol buildings. Well, yesterday was my first time in the NM Capitol building (even though I've been to Santa Fe several times) and not only was it a cool building but I was working for the American Cancer Society- Caner Action Network! I was with a bunch of other volunteers who visited our Representatives and Senators, asking them to add a little more money onto HB2 for early cancer detection for people without health insurance (the basic description) and to add money to help tobacco prevention--money that already comes out of the tobacco settlement with the big companies and the state. There is more to it but that's about the extent you're going to get in this post.
It was my first Lobby Day and I really had a great time. I did volunteer a bit with Equality New Mexico for the domestic partnership bill so I hope that goes through too. Time will tell.
As for now, I'm back home and wondering if I should be paying more attention to what's happening in politics. I think I could keep this lobby gig up for a bit. I wonder how that works with moving out of the country?

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Our visit to Salt Lake City

So Victor and I decided to buy a car in Salt Lake City because it was a great deal but we (ok, I) severely underestimated the mileage. Ok, the Toyota website said that it was 478mi away from Albuquerque but mapquest said it was 580mi away. YIKES! But we already committed to the car and only had two days to travel.
However, not all was lost. Thanks to the internet I reconnected with my good friend from high school, Melissa Heath! While in town we were able to meet up and have breakfast together. It was so fun to see her again after 10 years and I just might be able to travel back before we move for another visit to see her perform in Candid-- She's an opera singer!
We also got to hang out with Vic's friend from high school Zach, even though he was quite tired from working an all night shift at the hospital--he's a resident!
All in all it was a great visit, beautiful drive and successful car buying trip!

Monday, 28 January 2008

Saving the world, one hybrid at a time

So I'm getting over myself and have decided to let everyone know that Vic and I bought a hybrid. Our reasons are 1) we're moving to England and gas is expensive! 2) we have been watching Heroes and think that this is our power to save the world since we don't really know too many cheerleaders.
Here are a few photos of our trip back from Salt Lake City where were found a Prius with some nice features, good price and LOW mileage. We stopped in the middle of Utah for a lunch break
I think our trip was around 700+ miles (I wanted to stop at four corners...funny story) and our average MPG was around 47. We filled up the tank before we left and then one more time on the road. And when we arrived home it was at about 3/4 full. Good times.

Avoiding the temptation

I drove the Prius to work (church) today and when I got home Vic asked if I showed it off to anyone. Of course not... I thought. I told him that I didn't want to look like I was showing off. But then he asked me, "well, don't you want more people to know what they're like so they are encouraged to buy one?" Yes, of course I want more people to buy hybrid cars...but where do I draw the line? I'm still feeling the weirdness (I won't use the word guilt..thanks Debbie) of owning an expensive car.

So, do you gals and guys want to see a photo or would I be showing off?

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Movin' on up

Tomorrow Vic and I will be driving a long distance to pick up the car we have been looking to buy for quite some time. Soon we will be the proud owners of a Toyta Prius. With this great decision and some other things that have been happening to me, I have realized something very confusing to my self identity: I am now officially part of the upper middle class. Yes, it's true that you could say I grew up in this class but I had no concept of what it meant because I didn't understand the implications of status. As children, we were provided for and never were in need of things but we also were not spoiled with luxuries.
But I started to realize the power of money when I began to have less and less. While I was in seminary we were all poor grad students who sacrificed much in order to earn our degrees. Once again, the life was not uncomfortable and I learned that MANY things in life are not necessary. As a student body we suffered together with our crappy health insurance in the hopes that one day we would become pastors or professionals and then rid of this headache.
Now, however, I am no longer part of that crowd. Yes, we still have debt and expenses but there is something inside of me that holds on to a bit of guilt. Now, if you know me then you know that I have ALWAYS had a guilty conscience but now that I am married I have to think of Victor's conscience too.
Now the purchase of our newest member of the family has made me think about these things all over again. Do I let go of my guilt or do I use it in a positive way to create change in the system? What do people do when they have power that they did not necessarily ask for or want?

At least we didn't buy a hummer... I would rather throw myself into a den of lions.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008


Last night at my knitting group someone was telling a story about a big canoe trip. It sounded like so much fun! And then someone else commented that there is not enough still water where we live. While the Albuquerque section of the Rio Grande is still, it's not that easy to canoe and if you went on a trip you would have to bring your own boat.
I grew up in a place where water was not an issue. We had rivers and lakes enough to spend every day of the summer on the water. It seems that every placed I have lived, water was everywhere, except here. Of course I could have done without the rain in Washington and the river I lived on in Idaho was a little shallow (although one of the best fishing rivers in the state). The ocean was great to live near in California but here in my little space of New Mexico it is all high desert. However, I will have to say, the rain here smells the sweetest of any place I have ever lived.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Heroes

Ok, so I have become addicted to Heroes season one on DVD. Is that possible? Even now I want to get off the computer and go watch another episode. It's so much nicer to watch TV without commercials!

I think they should have made all of the Harry Potter books into TV series rather than movies. In a series you can do so much more with character development and plot. A three hour movie for one book does not make sense when you could do two books in one season and still have HOURS left over for details. I should have pitched this years ago! I could have been rich.


Saturday, 19 January 2008

Old Photos

This is a photo Vic took while in college and it has to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I hope it brings you a little chuckle too.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Missing out

While I love living in New Mexico there are things that I regret missing out on. I was looking at my cousin Molly's (above on the left) facebook and saw this photo of her and my nephew Curtis (above on the right). They were at the Cleveland Browns season closer this year and since I decided to spend my New Year's somewhere other than with my family, I didn't get to go. Not that I was really bummed to miss out on the game but how much fun would it be to go to an NFL game with my little nephew?
This year was strange because my traditions were all out of whack. Usually I'm in Beavercreek for Christmas and then up to Orrville for New Year's. But I found myself with my mom's family on Christmas and their tradition of going over to Aunt Lauri's house all day was something new for me. However, this year Tara (Molly's little sister) was serving at church on Christmas morning and was very worried that we would all show up at her house before she got home. We had to promise that we would not be there until church was over. Her concern was that we would be making Christmas memories without her.
As corny as this sounds, I know exactly how she feels.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Mittens!


I finished my first pair of mittens last night at Stitch n Bitch with the help of Paula. I think they are totally fun and now that I have the basic idea, the next pair should look a little better. However, I don't usually keep my projects and I'm wondering what to do with these new creations.

What do you think?

It's only a minute...if you can stand it

video
The Saturday late night activities included a "dance". It was all I dreamed it would be.
Here is Rachel and Erin rockin' out to Journey. Good times.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Home again, home again, jig-a-di-jig

I feel like I'm always coming home again. Maybe it's because I am. I think that at least once a month I am traveling for some reason and it doesn't end. In February I'll be going to LA and I'm sure I'll find somewhere to go in March and April (maybe house hunting in England?) May is all about Ohio and Montana and June could be our last month in the country. Where has the time gone?

As for this weekend, it was really fun! The kids were great and some of the most respectful of the 11oo. I was very proud of the way they treated others and handled themselves in a large group. We only had one evening of teenage drama which was worked out very well and a few upset stomachs which I'm blaming on altitude, exhaustion and crazy schedules.

I did bring my knitting and was very excited to work on the mittens I just started...however, I forgot the pattern at home!! So I did what I could and moved on to another project. Nothing got finished but the bus ride was still enjoyable. I played a few rounds of UNO with Erin, Steve and Peter. I was very unlucky in my win ratio but all in all it was really fun.

It was also fun to see some friends from seminary at the gathering. But being at these things sort of does something to me. Don't get me wrong, I love my job at All Saints and working with the kids but I can't help but get a little frustrated with my situation in the Church. Since I never got a straight answer from my Candidacy Committee about what I'm lacking to be approved for ordination, I still feel that there is something ultimately wrong with my ministry. And even though people have reaffirmed my call through support and encouragement, when I get around a bunch of people from the ELCA, I can't help but to feel a little inadequate. I never had this problem before and I find it interesting that it is people in the Church who have affected me in this way. At least I'm learning early that the Church has the potential to crucify it's own leaders.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Out of town AGAIN!

Tomorrow I'm heading up to Colorado AGAIN! I think I've gone at least once a month for the past three months. So if you don't hear from me for a few days, that's why.

Now I'm just wondering what to do on a bus for seven hours with a bunch of middle school kids! I guess I'll just bring my knitting! I'm almost done with my first mitten (thanks to Paula!) and I can start on a scarf for Vic too. We'll see if I survive the weekend.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Gooooooooooooooooooogling

Have you ever Googled your last name? You should try it sometime, it really is interesting. Well, it is for me because I have an obscure last name. Today I searched in Google images for my last name and the first image that pops up is above.
What is it?
You might ask.
Not only is my last name interesting but so is my dad. I mean who would have thought to build a contraption to make cooling an airplane at the gate any easier than it already is? But wait! Cooling an airplane at the gate isn't very easy! So therefore my dad came up with a system to prevent the waste of fuel and energy.
The next time you are sitting on the airplane and it's really uncomfortably hot, then you know why this invention is necessary from the consumer's point of view.
What a smart guy...I taught him everything he knows...uh, or maybe that's the other way around.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

The King was born today



And I'm not talking about Jesus. Today is the birthday of Elvis! When ever I think about Elvis I remember my great grandma Gladys. She LOVED Elvis...along with Lawrence Welk.

She had this Elvis poster rolled up behind her piano and every now and then she would kiss it. And I don't mean a little peck on the cheek and the party's over. She would get out her lipstick, doll herself up, and give the King a big smack! For some reason I never thought this was strange but looking back on it, I can see where my family gets some of its weirdness.

So thanks to Elvis' mom for giving birth to him on this day in 1912. Her name happened to be Gladys.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Last year while we were visiting family in Ohio, Victor took the advice of my brother in law Ben and purchased this Off Road game on eBay. While it is a nice novelty, this time has come to once again put this thing on the market.

And yes, it is sitting in the corner of our living room. Let's hope these impulse buys are out of Vic's system. Unless, of course, he's planning on buying me the Adam's Family pinball machine.

A tribute to Debbie who is on the prowl for a job


This is Debbie. Two years and six months ago we finished Clinical Pastoral Education together in Kettering Ohio. She went on to graduate seminary and continue gathering more CPE experience to qualify her for ministry with Hospice patients.

Debbie is one of the funniest people I have ever met and she sends the BEST email forwards. I still have one from about two years ago and I'll email it to you if you give me your address.

She also rocks out on her 12 string guitar (more soft rock than hard rock) which is a blessing in a time when people are suffering.

So, here's to Debbie! Hip Hip Hooray!!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Flashback to 2001


This is my nephew Curtis. He's a bit older now but I thought we'd take a trip to the past. I lived with my sister after graduating from college in 2001. Curtis was about 18mo old and Amy was preggers with Callie too. It was a great time for me and Curtis. We hung out all the time and I was always there for the big steps in his life. This first photo is an example of how I taught him to use Chapstick. Genius!





And if he ever lost his way at night or in a dark cave, his headlamp skills surpassed all other 1 year olds in his class. I was so helpful for those developing years. Where has the time gone. And now he's seven years old and fully capable of learning new things on his own.


But those were some of the best days of my life.

Friday, 4 January 2008

I love this photo

Don't you think this could win a photo contest in the ELCA?

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Here's to getting kicked out of the Church!



On this day in 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Leo X. I think the fact that Luther was a heretic is ironic considering the Lutheran Church today. Sometimes it makes me wonder if we are beyond needing pastors. We have moved into the realm of prophet.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

What I did over Christmas Vacation

Visit Ohio for Christmas
It was a long and interesting trip. Vic and I started off our vacation by flying to Ohio on Dec 19. We spent four days in Beavercreek and three days in Orrville...give or take a few days...
It was full of visiting family and friends, playing board games, and eating TONS of food. It was also a special time because Vic pinned on Major and my dad read him the oath. I don't have any photos of it because I think my camera was MIA. But it really did happen and now he's a major pain. Yes, I think I'm funny.




By the time we got to Orrville we were ready to play some board games! Christmas day consisted of hanging out at my Aunt Lauri's house and playing games all day! Mom and Carl got me Harry Potter Scene It for Christmas and my team dominated...are you surprised? Good times!






When my sister drove up the day after Christmas she brought the kids but more importantly she brought their new Wii. Let me tell you, we had some fun with that! The next day my arm hurt pretty bad too!



Cramped in Colorado for New Year's
We flew back to Albuquerque on the 27th and drove up to Colorado on the 28th. It was a LONG drive but not we didn't go too crazy. The condo where all 13 of us stayed was in Silverthrone, about 60mi West of Denver. The weather was crazy and for about two days you couldn't see much of anything outside due to snow and clouds.
But we still had some fun in Breckenridge one day with the Worms (last name, not creature). I taught Janelle how to knit and we created a felted wine bottle cover. It was an adventure in knitting.



I was sick on Dec 31st and went to bed around 11pm with my earplugs in! The party was pretty loud downstairs but I slept soundly on my oh-so-comfortable air mattress upstairs.




On our way home we stopped at the Royal George in Colorado and crossed the highest suspension bridge at 1,053ft above the Arkansas river. It was very cold but a great side trip! At one point in my life I would have been terrified to cross such a bridge (you could see through the planks!) but for some reason I wasn't too freaked out!

All in a
ll the trip was fun but I think I could have done without the little space and large number of people. Next time I say we get a bigger place!






Got Married
Yup, that's right. Vic and I got married on December 27th. Really, we just signed the certificate but we still had to have someone official perform the ceremony. So we called up our pastor and a few friends for witnesses...at the last minute of course...and said "I do". It was really nice even though we didn't plan anything.
All this really means is that I'm changing my name legally, Vic gets a pay raise, we get our paperwork out of the way before we move to England, I can make doctor's appointments along with other technical aspects we need to get done before we leave the country. However, we are not counting this as our wedding date. I'm not going to use his name in my everyday life. We're not wearing rings. We both agree that our marriage officially begins when we stand before our family and friends to proclaim our promise to each other.

So that's what I did on my Christmas Vacation.