I Promise I’m Going to Clean The Bathroom Today

The bathroom here is trashed–the tub needs to be scrubbed, the sink needs to be wiped, and the toilet needs to be cleaned.  Honestly, it’s the top of my to-do list today.

I was going to do it bright and early today but the bed was so warm and comfy I didn’t get up until almost 8:00.  By that point, I needed time to feed the cats, make coffee, and eat breakfast.  I decided I would clean the bathroom after breakfast.

By the time I finished breakfast, I realized I wanted more coffee and everyone knows that you can’t drink coffee and clean the bathroom at the same time.  So instead I wrote a thank you note.  Then I remembered that I needed to set up dentist appoints for my husband and me (after all, it’s been over two years since either one of us has seen the dentist, so obviously this was something that needed to be done TODAY), so I called the dentist’s office.  I decided I would clean the bathroom after that.

When I got off the phone with the dentist, I realized that I had shopping that I wanted to get done today and I hate shopping in the afternoon.  So I brushed my teeth and took a shower, making myself generally decent for the outside world.  I even put the towels in the wash before heading out.

When I got back, it was almost time for lunch and everyone knows that you can’t clean the bathroom on an empty stomach.  I decided that I would clean the bathroom after eating but then I remembered that I needed to call the bank and pay some bills–things like that just can’t be put off forever.  After that I realized that the dishes hadn’t been since last night (oh my goodness!), but before I could do that I needed to empty the fridge of old food and sort the recycling.  Once I finished washing the dishes, I realized that now would be a good time to prepare dinner.  This way I wouldn’t be trying to cook on an empty stomach.  I decided I would clean the bathroom after preparing dinner.

Now I have dinner prepared and I’m thinking about everything I have done today.  It seems to me that it has already been a productive day off and I’m getting a little tired.  Perhaps the bathroom will wait for another day.


The Seminarian’s Wife’s Wardrobe

I’m sure you’re all highly interested in this but I’m going to write about it anyway.

I’ve never been a fashionable person.  In high school I bought a grand total of two dresses–one for the Sadie Hawkins Dance and the other for Prom.  I spent most of college convincing myself that I could spend the rest of my life wearing t-shirts and jeans and avoiding color of any sort.  I wasn’t goth, mind you, just had an overwhelming amount of black t-shirts stuffed into my drawers.  However, I slowly began to realize my senior year that I wanted to look like an adult and in order to do so I needed to ditch the look I had worn for most of my life.  So I added a couple of dresses in honor of special occasions and my mom bought me a couple of nicer shirts–I think she was happy that I was ditching the black look.

But then I got married to a seminarian and out went any sort of money for clothes.  Alas, what was a young woman on the cusp of the fashion world supposed to do?  The answer came from three locations:  Co-op, Goodwill, and extreme sales at Kohl’s.

The Co-op is great because it is free (for those of you not in the Seminary community, please remember that we are able to use the Co-op because my husband is paying thousands of dollars to go into a field that will not have great monetary returns).  Sometimes the clothes I get there are obviously used but hey, you get what you pay for.  Likewise, I pull things off the racks that don’t stick to some of my usual clothes criteria–I now have a rather large collection of shirts that are hand-wash only.  A good day at the Co-op is when you find something brand-new.

If a certain clothes item is immediately needed and cannot be scrounged for at the Co-op, the next stop is Goodwill.  Again, the clothes are used but we actually pay for these things.  I’m a little bit picker when it comes to these clothes because I’ve actually have to hand over some money to take the clothes home.  No hand-wash only items or things I’m not entirely convinced I look somewhat normal in.

Finally, after we’ve exhausted the Co-op and Goodwill options, it’s time to head to fancy stores where the clothes are actually new.  Unfortunately, when we get to this point it’s frustrating because one item can easily wipe out our minuscule clothing budget.  My store of choice is Kohl’s:  the clothing quality is a little bit better than Walmart and Target and they can have some surprisingly awesome deals.  Every once in a while we’ll receive a $10 voucher (obviously sent to us in hopes that we’ll spend more) and I make it my personal mission to find something we need for $10 or less.  My favorite find was when my husband found a black sweater that was 90% off, originally priced at $80.

By utilizing this shopping method, my husband has been able to maintain his wardrobe and I’ve managed to add some more grown-up looking clothes to mine.  Likewise, then we’re able to save our small budget for items like shoes that we know we’ll most likely have to by new and at the original price.  And when all else fails, there’s always Christmas and Birthdays.  It’s starting to look like a new pair of Converse shoes will be on my wish-list this year. . .     


Laugh-Out-Loud Politics

I am proud to declare myself as an independent voter.  I have no affiliation with any political party and refuse to base my voting in relation to Democrats and Republicans.  Granted, I don’t really care for politics and usually find myself out of the loop of the happenings on Capitol Hill but recently I’ve been listening to NPR on my way to work (say what you will about their liberal tendencies, they’re a lot less biased than my other news source:  Facebook).  Because of this new habit I’ve been a little more in the know about the sad state of the economy, Greece’s debt crisis, and the beginnings of next year’s presidential election.

Today’s election news was about the words being exchanged between two Republican hopefuls:  Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.  I would assume the two men are having meaningful debates that are really bringing out the complexities of issues as well as various solutions for said issues.  Oh wait, this is politics.  Apparently they are mudslinging:  Romney is demanding that Perry fully explain his claims that Social Security is unconstitutional and a Perry spokesman has accused Romney as sounding like, “a Democrat trying to scare senior citizens” (see link below).  Seriously?!  
As an dependent, I don’t care if you call yourself a Republican or a Democrat.  Heck, I don’t even care if you label yourself as liberal or conservative.  What I care about is the stupid arguments ending and parties to stop going, “Blah, blah, blah, Democrats are socialists and are evil,” and “Blah, blah, blah, Republicans hate poor people and are evil.”  What I want are for people to stop blaming others for the problems and start presenting reasonable solutions for the problems that this country has.  
I suppose while I’m daydreaming about what I want, I would also like a pony.
http://www.npr.org/2011/09/22/140680894/former-gop-front-runner-romney-seeks-opening

Waiting for Vicarage

Well, today’s the day of the vicarage informational meeting, kicking off the vicarage placement processes and opening up the opportunity for a whole lot of worry about the future.  My husband and I actually started the process last year, so I feel adequately prepared to ask my husband the right anxiety-filled questions:. When is the placement service?  How much will the congregation help with the moving expenses?  What will happen to our things if we receive a furnished vicarage?  Will the congregation help me find a job?  What will I do all day if I can’t find a job?  What happens if I can’t make any friends?  What if  I dislike the congregation?  What if the congregation dislikes me?  What if the church basement ladies invite me to a craft night and I admit that I don’t craft and don’t really care to learn and they go tell the supervising pastor that the vicar’s wife is snobbish and uppity in her ways and therefore the pastor shouldn’t pass the vicar because he wouldn’t make a good pastor with a wife like that?  How many more questions can I bombard you with before my neurotic tendencies drive you completely crazy?

Next, my husband will spend the next several weeks trying to convince me that the vicarage placement is fun.  “We can be placed anywhere in country and if we don’t like it, we’ll come back at the end of the year.  It’s a chance for an adventure,” he’ll say.

I’ll reply with, “I don’t want to go anywhere in the country and I don’t want an adventure.”

“We could go to Florida.”

“I don’t want to live in Florida.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s Florida.”

“Texas?”

“No.”

“Canada?”

“NO!”

And then he’ll try to tell me that vicarage is meant to be a learning experience and stretch our comfort zone.  I’ll tell him that I think getting married and moving to different towns four times in five years will be enough of a learning experience without trying to get placed in Timbuktu and the last time I stretched my comfort zone I completely snapped.

Finally, when the wives get together the topic of vicarage placement and calls will inevitably come up and many wives will be like me, fretting and worrying.  However, there will always be that person telling us that we shouldn’t worry about the future because God is taking care of us and fretting about what will happen won’t help anything.  Then I get to deal with guilt about not having enough faith on top of fretting and worrying about what will happen next year.

So you see, I have this whole second-year wife thing all ready to go.  I should take notes this year on how to be a fourth-year wife so I’ll be set when we come back from vicarage.


Explaining the Unthinkable

A couple of days ago the little boy I watch told me, “Airplanes knocked some skyscrapers down.”

“You mean in New York City?” I asked.  
He nodded.  “Yes, some people flew them into the skyscrapers and they came down.”  He thought for a moment, his face scrunching up with concentration, and then continued, “People got hurt.  Why did those men do that?”
I sighed and looked out the window while I tried to think of the best way to explain the unthinkable tragedy of September 11 to a four-year old.  How do you explain terrorism and religious extremists, the hatred those men felt towards America, and the confusion that came as the news spread across the country.  How do you explain the thousands of people who died, the deep sorrow the country felt as it mourned in the following days, and the even deeper fear it felt in the months after?  How do you explain the post-9/11 world to a kid born post-9/11?
My explanation went like this, “Those men were bad and they didn’t like us very much, so they wanted to hurt us.”
The little boy replied, “But it wasn’t nice.”
“No, it wasn’t and they were bad men,” I said.  
He thought about it again and nodded with four-year old certainty; that explanation was enough for him.  He then added, “I wouldn’t do that.”
“No,” I agreed, “You most certainly wouldn’t.”

Here Kitty!

I love pets, especially cats.  Unfortunately, owning an actual pet is not really an option at the moment.  First off, we can’t really afford to properly take care of another creature.  Secondly, so many vicarages don’t allow pets that it would be irresponsible and selfish of us to get a pet we cannot take with us or oust another family with a pet they’ve had for years from a vicarage that would allow their furry companion to come with them.  So we’re patiently waiting for fourth year with the hopes of being able to take care of a pet by then (my husband wants a dog and I’m trying to convince him that a cat would be so much better).

On the positive side, the house we moved into has a couple of farm cats that like to hang around.  One is easily frightened and very unwilling to be held (we named her O.C.) but the other is extremely loving and cuddly (we named this one D.S.).  I’ve found myself already deeply concerned about the welfare of these cats–they get fed every morning, sometimes I give them table scraps at night, and I’ve even made on of our precious moving boxes into a little kitty bed to sit on the porch.  Yup, I’ve pretty much fallen in love with these felines.

So this morning when D.S. didn’t show up for breakfast I was mildly concerned.  When she didn’t show up when my husband left for class I started getting worried.  When she didn’t show up by 9:30 I started envisioning her little body on the road, demolished by a speeding car.  So I started walking around the yard calling, “Here D.S.!  Heeeeeeere kitty, kitty, kitty!”

After calling for about two minutes I saw a flash of white come scampering out of one of the barns, tail flicking back and forth.  She trotted up on the porch and I immediately scooped her up.  She then gave me the “I’m hungry so feed me already” meow.  She didn’t seem too upset by the fact that she was over three hours late.  She certainly wasn’t upset that she had worried me by her tardiness.  I went to get food for the little ingrate.

Such is the life of loving a cat.


Spittin’ Mad

I will admit to being an irritable person.  Many things make me frustrated, upset, and even a little angry–slow traffic, vague plans, and people who play their ipods loud enough for everyone to hear are just a few examples.  So to say that I saw something the other day that made me angry isn’t really strong enough.  I would probably categorize it as pissed-off, seeing-red, blood-pressure-up angry.  I saw something that made me spittin’ mad.

It was a sign in front of a church.  One of those signs that churches like to put catchy phrases on to draw people’s attention.  I can’t remember what the church was called or its denomination (we drove past it too quickly), but the black letters of those words are burned in my memory, “Too Blessed To Be Depressed.”

I would like to ask the pastor of that church just exactly what he was thinking when he put those letters up.  Has he read anything about medical findings in relation to depression?  Has he bother to find out that depression is a very real mental illness?  Was he thinking about those Christians out there who struggle with the many forms of depression?  Did he honestly think that stating something like that was a cutesy way of proclaiming the loving Gospel of Christ to those who face this personal darkness?

This sign wasn’t funny, it wasn’t catchy, and it certainly wasn’t loving.  At best it was a message from an ignoramus without the basic knowledge of psychology.  At worst it was the talk of Satan trying to drive away God’s children who face a very real illness from the place that should provide them the comforting knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness no matter what trials and hardships life sends our way.  

Unfortunately I don’t have my Bible with me and I’m a bad Lutheran who didn’t memorize my confirmation memory verses very thoroughly, so I don’t have any verses off the top of my head that prove my claims.  What I do know is God’s unfaltering love for His children, His mercy shown by Christ’s death on the cross, and the steadfastness of his forgiveness that was given in baptism.  God promises to take care of us no matter what and that includes all illnesses, both physical and mental.

To blessed to be depressed my butt.  May those poor folks who attend that church still be shown God’s amazing love, mercy, and forgiveness.

For a better understanding of depression and Christianity, check out the book I Trust When Dark My Road.  You can download a copy from this link: http://lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=726&DocID=721


Internet Nomads

Well, once again my husband and I are internetless and we are out and about using the various public internet access spots.  There are places like the seminary and the library that would be free, but not having internet at home finally gives me an excuse to to go to coffee shops again.  

I love coffee shops; they were my favorite study spots in college.  Going to a shop and settling down with a caffeinated beverage gave me the routine I needed to get my work done.  Of course, that was pre-budget days when I was living as a carefree, loan incurring student and my drink of choice was usually a mocha.  Fast forward to today where we are a frugal, loan incurring seminary family that actually has a coffee budget and a mocha every coffee shop trip is no longer financially practical.
I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop.  I really wanted an iced mocha (decaffeinated, I’ve given up drinking coffee after dinner) but that didn’t seem like a wise choice since we need to stretch our budgeted money for the entire month.  So I bought a cookie that cost a dollar instead.  Albeit the cookie was good, but didn’t quite quench the craving for chocolaty-coffee goodness.      
*Sigh*  Being an adult is so rough.