Wednesday, November 30, 2005

visiting France

I'm Feeling: motivated to get some things done
Background Noise: Hitchin' A Ride by Vanity Fare

Yesterday morning, the familiar envelope appeared in the corner of my computer screen, indicating that I had a new email. When things are slow in the office (like they were yesterday), I pounce on any new information or request that may take up even 30 seconds of my time. I was pleasantly surprised to find an email informing me that I had been chosen to receive the Academic Advisor Study Abroad Site Visit Grant for which I had applied about a month ago. This means that in May, I get to spend a week, all expenses paid, in southern France, with one of MSU's study abroad programs while it is in session. How stinking cool is that?? I'm pumped - I've only been to Paris for a day (never ventured anywhere else in France), and now I get to go for a week, and someone else will plan my trip and pay for it! Plus, the program is called The Ecology, Culture and Politics of Food - we get to study vineyards and farms and markets. How cool - not only do these students get to go to one of the most beautiful parts of France, but they get to study food while they're there. I'm going to have to start learning to speak some French!

Already got a little Christmas shopping done yesterday, which rocks. I got my sister-in-law Melissa's present taken care of - she's fun to shop for because she likes clothes and jewelry and girly things, and she usually likes what I pick out for her. It's always more fun to shop for people who like the things you buy them.

How is your Christmas shopping coming along?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

internal heat

I'm Feeling: shivery
Background Noise: Dream by Roy Orbison

As I sit in my office, trying to regain feeling in my fingertips, I must draw the conclusion that I have a problem with my internal heating system. I'm freezing! And it's not that cold in here (or outside, for that matter). The picture only half-accurately depicts how I feel right now, because the ice cube is melting, which would indicate that things are getting warmer. Not the case here.

Another slow day in South Kedzie Hall. Don't know what all my students are up to these days, but hopefully, it's not a bad thing that they're not coming in to see me as much right now.

Good thing: Mark and I get to chaperone the 8th grade dance this Friday night at Mason Middle School.
Bad thing: We have to miss a pretty big chunk of YL leadership to be there on time. Bummer.

Started making a list of Christmas ideas for my friends/family last night - I like getting/making gifts for people - but it feels like the list gets bigger every year. There are so many people to whom I'd like to give a Christmas present... hopefully I can get everything done in good time!

Happy Tuesday, All!

Monday, November 28, 2005

i love long weekends!

I'm Feeling: chilly
Background Noise: humming radiator (no music on right now)

Today is Buy Nothing Day... as appealing as that sounds, I think I'll have to cave in, since I didn't bring a lunch to work, and I generally like to eat my meals. Although I suppose I could try to steal lunch today... probably not a great idea to commit a crime just for the sake of following the random calendar I got off the internet.

Had a really good weekend - we went to Chicago to see my family, ate lots of delicious food, played Trivial Pursuit. Came home, and got to take part in Mason's tree-lighting parade - the snow was falling lightly - it was a perfect Christmas-season kick-off. (I'm a Christmas junkie - I just love this time of year, fireplaces, candles, pretty lights... it's the only part of winter when I can handle the snow). Visited Mark's family, watched The Polar Express, and yesterday I laid around the house because I was debilitated by a nasty headache. But at least I had the ability to lay around when I needed to. Our house is mostly decorated for Christmas already (we don't have a whole lot to put up) - we still need to do the outside lights, but that can wait.

I think every other weekend should be 4 or 5 days long - it just does wonders for your energy and your spirit to have some time to recuperate. I feel like a new woman today!

How was your holiday weekend?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

when it rains...

I'm Feeling: scratchy-throated from talking
Background Noise: laughing & chatter from the main office

Lately, my appointments haven't been filling up like they usually would - fall is a slower time for advising, but it normally picks up closer to the end of the semester. Apparently, they all decided to come in today. I saw nine students today (more than I've seen in one day for all of November), and it was fun. Very busy, a little hectic, but my day has just flown right by and I feel like I got things done.

Last night I got to help my friend Alison with her math homework (she's in 9th grade) - and I was reminded of how much I like math. I really need to take a class again. I know it's twisted and nerdy, but it's really fun for me to figure out those problems. It makes me feel like I'm using my brain again (my current job doesn't tend to stretch my intellectual capabilities too often).

Gonna go home and work out tonight - I've been lazy lately, and I'm starting to see/feel the effects... and with my favorite meal of the year coming up in 2 days, I want to be able to indulge, guilt-free! Plus, it's just a good idea to take care of the body God blessed me with - I want it to last a long time!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

world hello day

I'm Feeling: thirsty
Background Noise: loud humming radiator, and snip-its of Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter

Today is World Hello Day - not really sure what that means, but here is a site that can tell you how to say "hello" in over 800 different languages/dialects. Wild.

Busy weekend - what with "Game Night 1985" at Riverview and Big Club for Wyldlife at Mason Middle School and Harry Potter last night... one thing is sure - I know how to keep the days full and flying by. Tonight we have DIG for Wyldlife (our weekly meeting) and I'm excited about that. Despite popular opinion - I think it's really fun to hang out with middle schoolers - they're funny and honest and open. And funny - did I mention that? :)

This is a short work-week though - thank goodness for Thanksgiving!! Mark and I will be heading to Chicago on Wednesday for Turkey Day itself, and back to MI on Friday (hopefully avoiding traffic on the way home). What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Friday, November 18, 2005

game night 1985

I'm Feeling: kinda wiped out
Background Noise: Walkin on Sunshine by Katrina & the Waves

Tonight at our church, Riverview, the couples' ministry is hosting Game Night 1985. I'm on the planning committee, so I'll be there all evening, with bells on (translation - pink sneakers, legwarmers, off-the-shoulder shirt and blue eyeshadow). I've complied almost four and a half hours of classic 80s music - we'll be playing games like tag, dodgeball, Atari/Nintendo, Trivial Pursuit and Clue. Should be a really good time - if you're part of a dating, engaged or married couple... come on over!

Bummer News: the cold Mark has been battling for over a week (although he has been away from home 6 of the past 8 days) has settled upon me as its next victim. I feel fuzzy today... and I have a really busy weekend - it's just an inconvient time to feel crummy (don't know when it's a particularly good time to feel crummy, but hey).

Still no critter-evidence, which makes it a lot more fun to enter my office in the morning. I don't get that creepy-crawly feeling all over when I open my desk drawers anymore.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

time on my hands

I'm Feeling: a little bored
Background Noise: Let's Hear It for the Boy by Deniece Williams

I went to see Shopgirl this weekend (to the movies, by myself - a first for Katie, and I must say I kind of enjoyed it). It was funny - I hadn't heard anything about it really, which is unusual for me, and I had a good time in the squishy stadium seats, eating my popcorn.

I have some time on my hands tonight as well, and my friend Katie and I are going to head out to Eaton Rapids (armed with Starbucks, hopefully) to watch the Mason HS girls play some basketball. Should be fun. Mark is in MN today, then from there he heads to WV, and then back home finally on Sunday. He's a busy guy - I think the traveling is getting to him a little - keep him in your prayers for his health (he's battling a head cold) and that his conferences would run really smoothly!

I hate to disappoint, but at this time I am unable to post a picture of my potentially-mullet-ish haircut (not because I'm afraid you'll laugh at the business in front, party in the back hairdo, but because I simply don't have a picture of myself available). I'll work on it though - never fear.

Still no sign of rodents in my office. Katie - 1, Mice - 0.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

tuesday means pilates...

I'm Feeling: like playing hooky
Background Noise: Kiss by Prince

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a free pilates class through MSU (once a week, during lunch hour) - I thought that sounded like fun. I've learned that I either don't like pilates, or I don't like the lady who's teaching us (probably a little of both, but mostly the latter). I don't want to go today - but I know it's good for me.

1. No sign of mice for a few weeks (although that could be due to the recently balmy weather - we'll see what happens in the upcoming chilly nights). Hopefully I've rid myself of my critter-visitors for awhile.
2. I went to Michael's this weekend and got some crafty stuff - haven't really touched it yet, but hopefully it's a step in the right direction!
3. My hair is growing out (I chopped it off severely in August) and I'm excited about it getting longer, but I'm feeling a little like I'm sporting a mullet... hopefully it's not as bad as I think it is! :)

Monday, November 14, 2005

pickle day

I'm Feeling: accomplished
Background Noise: Mister Cellophane from the Chicago Soundtrack

Today is Pickle Day - which I find pretty darn exciting, in honor of my blog's recently changed name. AND - next Sunday is the day of the long-awaited Annual PickleFest in Rosendale, NY. Here are some of my thoughts on pickles:
1. Pickle is a funny word to say.
2. I like pickles (both dill and sweet, but not bread&butter)
3. Pickles are rich in vitamin C - which helps fight scurvy.

The last month or two, our house has been teetering on the edge of a full-blown tornado zone. The table in between our kitchen and living room was piled high with unopened mail and books of assorted sizes and uses. The floor in our bedroom was lost under about 2 feet of laundry (a mix of both clean and unclean). The pile of games and VHS tapes by our TV was threatening to overtake the loveseat. My car was overflowing with junk mail, shoes, bottles of water, blankets, and various other items. Now... stuff like this always drives me crazy, but my motivation to do anything about it comes and goes like the ocean waves. Let's just say, the tide has been LOOOOWW for a long time now. This weekend, it came in with a fury.

This weekend, I:
- bought and set up a new bookcase, eliminating part of the game/VHS problem in our living room
- washed & waxed and vacuumed my car
- put away all my laundry, some of Mark's, and washed basically everything that needed it
- organized the plastic containers in one of our cupboards (if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about)
- re-potted 3 houseplants
- went to see ShopGirl by myself (not nearly as un-fun as it sounds)
- vacuumed the house
- bought and set up a new phone/answering machine
- got my butt downstairs and made use of the elliptical machine I bought 10 months ago
- cheered for MSU's hockey team while we got rocked by UNO on Friday night

I can't describe how much better I feel to have some of that stuff taken care of. Although I spent most of the weekend by myself, I had a great time getting things done - it was nice to have so much energy and motivation - and, 300 mph winds aside, it was a gorgeous weekend!

Friday, November 11, 2005

friday is sundae-day!

I'm Feeling: ready for the weekend!
Background Noise: Come What May by Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman

I'm on my own again this weekend, and I'm trying to work out some things to keep me busy (I have a huuuuge list, it's just a matter of narrowing it down at this point). I have an MSU hockey game tonight, which will be fun, as usual. But I pretty much have all day Saturday and Sunday wide open. Here are some of the things on my list:

Go to the movies
Sleep in!
Go to JoAnn or Michael's & stock up for Christmas presents
Put away the laundry
Clean the house
Re-pot some houseplants
Clean up the living room (the walls are creeping in on us!)
Start putting together Mark's quilt
Make an ice cream sundae (in honor of Sundae Day today)
Go out for coffee and some quiet time

I'm sure there's more... maybe I'll be able to check everything off! (Not likely, but I can dream!) The greater Lansing YoungLife crew is off to Timber Wolf Lake again this weekend - Mark will be going to help out with Mason HS's guys. It's cool to know that he's about to go have an awesome weekend, and that there are over 200 kids from our area heading up to hear the gospel - some for the first time! I pray that their hearts will be open, and that each one will have power together with all the saints, to grasp how high and wide and deep and long is the love of Christ!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I'm Feeling: like there are other things I could be doing right now
Background Noise: to-do list running through my head

There's a professor in my department (he's about 26 or so) who has told me 2 or 3 times now that I look "just like" the girl on NBC's The Office which apparently was on TV last night. So I looked her up, and this is what I found. I don't know... I just don't see it. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

around and around

I'm Feeling: compelled to do something
Background Noise: A Whole New World from the Aladdin soundtrack

When I was a kid, I used to really like the merry-go-round... I'd always try to find the horse/dragon/mythical beast that would rise highest in the air (didn't understand that they were all really basically the same) and was also the prettiest. I liked that it felt as though you were moving somewhere, but you were completely safe the entire time. Granted, I did start to lose interest in seeing the same view 10 times as we completed round after round... do you ever get the feeling that as time passes, your life gravitates back to that merry-go-round?

I'm not trying to be cynical or "Would you like some cheese with that whine?" but I've been feeling a little like that lately. Seems like I'm going places, but hey - I recognize that tree... If we're not careful, days can just slip by. Got to take the time for the things that are important - not just the things we are obligated to do(school, work, etc...). I want to love the people around me in a compelling and genuine way. I want to keep in touch with people I love that are far away right now. I want to use the gifts God gave me, so that when I come to the end of my life, He will say "Well done, good and faithful servant."

I know it's okay to be frustrated with situations and even people in my life - but it's not okay to let that interfere with the way I treat others. I'm going to try that today - if you run into me any time soon, let me know how I'm doing.

Friday, November 04, 2005


I'm Feeling: antsy (like I've been staring at a brick wall all day)
Background Noise: Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton

Today has been a Very Boring Day at work. I've seen three students so far, and am expecting one more. That's it. Jane isn't in today, so there's no one across the hall to talk to, and it's Friday, which generally means a lower-key atmosphere anyway. This is okay, since there is bountiful sunshine pouring in my window (which is open) and I got to take a nice long walk at lunch today and buy funny cards to send to people I love. Yahoo!

I'm a single gal this weekend - Mark will be up at Timber Wolf Lake with a bunch of YoungLifers... so I'm going to an MSU hockey game, a cider mill, the mall, out to eat - and probably doing laundry and going grocery shopping to boot. WonderWoman - look out! It should be really fun - I just want to laugh and relax and feel like I had a weekend (so often we're so busy that I'm more tired on Sunday night than I was on Friday night... not the way it should be).

I've decided I need to make time to get back into my crafty-ness... one of the guest rooms in our house is basically filled with fabric, yarn, paint, paintbrushes, and all kinds of other notions you find at JoAnn's or Michael's. I haven't touched most of them in over a year. Very sad - that needs to be rectified. I'm still working on how to do that, but at least I've moved forward and now can say with confidence that "I am working on it." Ha. I'll let you know how it goes!

Have a lovely weekend!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


It's been a long time since I posted any of my original poems/songs...
Here is a new one, inspired by a conversation I had with some friends on Sunday night.

My Favorite Things
(to be sung/hummed to the tune of My Favorite Things, from The Sound of Music)

Dry roasted peanuts and hot apple cider,
Marshmallows cooked o'er a raging campfire,
Soft lullabies that the ocean waves bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Red leaves on the trees as we move into autumn,
The Yukon's seat warmers that heat up my bottom,
Great big loud thunderstorms and fierce lightning,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the traffic jams, when the alarm rings,
When I'm feeling stressed...
I simply remember my favorite things,
And they help me feel my best.

Mashed potatoes and gravy piled high like a boulder,
Resting my head on a comforting shoulder,
The first glistening snowfall that each winter brings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Deviled Egg Day

I'm Feeling: chilly
Background Noise: To Make You Feel My Love by Garth Brooks

Deviled Egg Day is, in my opinion, one of the yuckier "days" on my Fun Holiday calendar. I like deviled eggs as much as the next person (not sure that is saying much...), but I'm not sure they deserve an entire day. Forgive me if I pass on eating a pile of them in celebration...

I've been mouse-proofing my office the past couple days... everything that I think a mouse might want to try snacking on has been safely sealed away in plastic containers. So unless my NIMH rodents grow opposable thumbs in the next few months, they should lose interest in my office fairly quickly. I hope I hope. This morning... there was no mouse evidence at all! That's the first time in a few weeks.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

who's an adult?

I'm Feeling: a little headache-y, actually
Background Noise: inane office sounds

Well, I celebrated my 25th birthday by dressing up like Barney. (That's not me in the picture, although I'm certain the costume was that good - thanks to Katie MC's mom!). Who says I have to be an adult?

I had my first little "eek" moment yesterday - I was filling out some form, and the age category that I had to check was 25-34... dun dun DUN. I've finally been bumped up out of the early-twenties/college age group. I have to say, it was a little weird, but I kinda liked it, too. Now Mark and I are in the same age group, and (for me at least) it gets a little wearisome to always have people commenting on how young you are. This past week, news spread around work that my b-day was coming... and I had SO many people telling me what a "baby" I was, or how 25 is "still a child." Why do people say things like that?? I certainly don't pretend to be full of experience and wisdom, and I don't need anyone telling me what a grown-up I am... I just wonder if those are things that just fall out of people's mouths and then they think "why the heck did I just say that??"