After I got dressed yesterday, I realized that in my jeans, fitted T-shirt, and green Converse high tops I looked like a high schooler (at best, a young college student). Since I am on a perpetual quest to make myself actually look my age I thought about changing my clothes. After considering that option, I realized that I didn’t have anywhere to go, nor was I seeing anyone that day. Why not rock the teenager look? I certainly won’t be able to do so in a few more years (I hope). Plus, that T-shirt was really comfortable.
The last couple of weeks I have discovered a section of the library I’ve never utilized before: The non-fiction section. For years I’ve avoided this part of libraries because I felt non-fiction literature was boring and difficult to read. However, with this recent move leaving me feeling physically and mentally useless, I decided to spend some time this year reading up on subjects that interest me. Below are some of the books I’ve read in the last week few weeks.
by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
This book is a first person account about a woman’s life inside the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints and how she managed to escape the cult. While the prose of the book is quiet simple (at times almost juvenile), the story of this woman’s life is interesting and intense enough to keep the reader engaged.
The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers Are Going Broke
by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi
This books examines why more and more families are going bankrupt despite the rise in dual income households. I do question the how representative the statistics discussed in the book are since the studies were preformed before the most recent recession (especially since the authors talk about things like credit limits, banks, and housing prices). However, the book does present unusual reasons about why two incomes aren’t cutting it with many families. Likewise, it also provides some insights on how families can avoid the “two-income trap” on both a personal and societal level.
The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us
by Jeffrey Kluger
This book takes an in-depth look at the relationships we will have the longest in this lifetime. Almost anything relating to sibling bonds is discussed between the covers, from sibling rivalry to alloparenting. The author also uses a variety writing styles including personal narrative and journalistic reporting. This is my favorite read out of the three books.
The LWML Zone Rally is being hosted by my husband’s vicarage congregation and I have been asked several times in the last two weeks if I plan to attend. Not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, I kept responding with, “I’m not sure.” But I am sure; I don’t want to go.
Nobody has demanded that I go, nobody has even asked me to help host. I don’t have anything better to do this Saturday (and my husband is going to the rally, so it’s not like I will be spending time with him). I simply don’t want to go because I don’t want to spend an entire Saturday with strangers. I’m tired of spending time with strangers, I keep having to spend time with strangers because everyone is a stranger here. I don’t want to meet more strangers and play nicely with them.
Consequently, I am in hiding this week. It is admittedly sad that I am hiding from older Lutheran ladies–they’re not exactly a formidable enemy–but as long as I stay out of everyone’s sight until Sunday morning I won’t have to tell anyone the reason why I don’t want to attend the rally.
My husband loves pizza. He thinks it’s one of the greatest foods in the world and if were up to him he would happily eat it at least once a week for the rest of his life. Unfortunately for him, he married me. I only tolerate pizza and I could pretty easily remain happy without ever eating a slice of pizza. Consequently, we don’t buy pizza (it’s expensive) and we don’t order pizza (it’s expensive and I don’t really like it).
Last night I thought I would try to compromise our I-love-pizza–I-don’t-like-pizza perspectives by making pizza from scratch. I bought some pizza crust yeast, pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni and set about trying to make an acceptable pizza. Well, things were a little more complicated than I expected and I for some reason needed to use over twice the amount of flour the recipe required. I also couldn’t get the dough to shape into a circle. However, every once in awhile my culinary skills don’t completely backfire on me and the final product was an edible, albeit misshapen, pepperoni/pineapple ham pizza.
This week marks two months since my husband and I arrived at the vicarage house. The good news is that my husband is doing well with his work. He’s starting to connect with people and he’s continually learning about the day-to-day work of a pastor. The bad news is that my acclimation to our new home has plateaued. While I wouldn’t say that things are just as bad as when we first moved here (after all, I know where to buy groceries and have a valid driver’s license), I also wouldn’t say that I have found peace with this newest transition. My part time job is a little too part-time and I’m having difficulty figuring out how to fill my days. Likewise, developing friendships is going poorly. Don’t get me wrong, everyone at the church is very friendly but I miss having someone to chat with over a cup of coffee.
Consequently, I have decided that I have a bad case of homesickness. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure which home I am longing for. Is it home in Indiana where I had an identity of a working adult and a few people I would call friends? Is it home at college where I was a successful student and had a church home that I loved? Or is it the home where I grew up and have family and friends (you know, people who actually know me beyond being the vicar’s wife)?
Wherever it is, it’s not here. But hey, it’s only ten more months, I can
be miserable live here for ten months.
You know you are living in a parsonage when your reading is disrupted at 8:00 am by a strange man lurking on the front deck for several minutes. It turns out it’s one of the church’s trustees examining the deck because he’s going to weather-proof it this week. That afternoon, your husband finally remembers to warn you that the trustee might be stopping by the house.
Guess who will be making sure that she is showered and dressed earlier from now on?
When I arrived at work bright and early (okay, it was still very dark outside) I realized that I had left my purse at home. My purse that had my wallet, planner, directions to the boys’ school, and my cell phone. After a brief moment of panic, I realized I could just call my husband later in the morning and ask him to drop off my purse. I was trying to calm myself down by going over this new plan when I realized that I didn’t have my husband’s cell phone number memorized–I have always relied on the cell phone to keep track of the number. I started feeling the waves of panic coming back when I remembered that I had thought of this issue a few years ago and wrote down the number in a couple of places in case I ever forgot/broke my phone.
Yes, I’m brilliant, I thought to myself. Then I tried to remember where I wrote the number down. Hmm. . .it’s on a card in my wallet. . . which is in my purse. Okay, okay scratch that. Other place was. . .in my planner! Which is in my purse. Oh no, oh no, oh no! After a few minutes, I came up with a new plan. I would call my parents! Surely they had my husband’s number and I did have my childhood phone number memorized. Problem solved.
By this time my employer was getting ready to leave, so I embarrassingly told him that I had forgotten my purse, didn’t know my husband’s number, and would need to use the land line to call my parents. He was confused about why I didn’t know my husband’s phone number but readily agreed to let me use the land line and have my husband drop off my purse. After that I waited for a decent hour to arrive so I could call my parents.
At 6:30, I tried to call my parents’ house number. Much to my frustration, the call wouldn’t go through. I tried again, still nothing. I tried again, nothing. Again, nothing. Again, nothing. Oh nooooo, why won’t it go through?! I started pacing around the house while thinking of yet another solution to my ridiculous dilemma. After another couple of minutes I decided I would find the church’s number in the phone book because there was some sort of forwarding system that might take me to my husband’s cell phone. I quickly found the number for the church and dialed it. Much to my dismay, instead of getting my husband’s voicemail, I got the voicemail for the church. I hung up the phone and started pacing again. After another couple of minutes, a horrible, terrible, incredibly humiliating solution came to me–I could call the church later and get my husband’s number from Pastor. Of course, that would mean explaining that I didn’t have my husband’s number memorized, which was starting sound more and more idiotic as the morning went on.
I sat down as I resigned myself to my terrible fate. Oh, the humiliation of having to go to my husband’s boss to reach my husband. Why, oh why, didn’t I memorize my husband’s phone number when I had the chance? I continued to go down my mental list of phone numbers I had memorized. My parents’ number–already tried. My number–unlikely that my husband would answer my phone, especially since I didn’t have the house phone saved on it. My former employers’ home number–um, that would be weird and I don’t think anyone there would have my husband’s number. 911–wait, no, not a big enough emergency. Think, think, think!
Then I started to think about my brother. He’s had the same number for almost ten years. I remembered that every time I looked at his number I would realize that it was really simple. I had just told my husband the number a couple of weeks ago. I knew his number! I just had to remember it! Breaking down his number, I dug deep into the murky recesses of my phone number memory. The area code was easy enough, it was the same as mine. The last four digits had some sort of repetition. . . something, something, something, something. Then I remembered the pattern. As for the first three digits, the best I could do was come up with a combination of numbers that sounded right and hoped for the best. I dialed the number and listened to the rings.
Hahahahah, success! My brother’s voicemail came through! I left a message quickly explaining my situation and he called me back within a half hour to give me my husband’s phone number (even better, he didn’t make fun of me and admitted that he didn’t have his fiancee’s number memorized either). I finally got through to my husband and he delivered my purse in time for me to get the boys’ to school. The day was saved! I also learned that no matter how many places I store/write down a phone number, it’s still best to just memorize it. I think I now have my husband’s number stored in my memory–it has only taken me four years to do so.
I hate, hate, HATE cleaning the bathroom. I don’t know what it is about cleaning that area of the house, but I spend more time in the week avoiding cleaning the bathroom than it does to actually clean the stupid room. I had difficulty last year keeping one bathroom clean. Our home this year has two bathrooms (one is also the laundry room) which makes me doubly procrastinate on the chore. I know I should be thankful for running water and sanitary toilets, but man, I hate cleaning that room.
To add to my predicament, I also clean once a week at my employer’s home. His house has two full bathrooms that need to be cleaned weekly. That means there are four bathrooms a week that I need to scrub. To be fair, my boss doesn’t demand that I clean the bathrooms; he just thought I could use some extra hours of work and he appreciates not having to clean them himself. Likewise, there is always an aspect of a job that doesn’t make me super excited and the bathrooms are it for this newest gig. However, by the time I clean those two bathrooms I’m even more unwilling to start cleaning the bathrooms in my own home (plus I get paid to clean the bathrooms at my boss’ house. I know, I know, I make a terrible housewife).
At any rate, I was somewhat good this week and knocked out the chores in one the bathrooms yesterday. However, since I’ve now cleaned three bathrooms this week I’m struggling to find the motivation to clean the final bathroom. I know it will only take 20 minutes, tops. I know that I’m procrastinating and could be done with it by now. I know that there are worse tasks in life. Yet when I envision scrubbing another toilet, I want to scream out, “I never wanted to be a homemaker! I never wanted to be solely responsible for these chores! One stipulation I had about potentially becoming a stay at home mom was that I wouldn’t be a homemaker, that is, do housewifey things before there were any children! One thing, that’s all! And now look where I am! Scrubbing the stinkin’ toilets for the fourth time this week! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”
I know some of you might be hoping for something inspirational to come from my bathroom angst. I’ve seen those books about finding joy in your vocation, about serving God in whatever role He gives you, that it’s a great privilege for me to serve my husband in a way I never imagined. I can see how I can twist this situation into a life lesson–Look where God has lead me, I serve Jesus while mopping the floor, I can find joy in keeping house, it’s my highest calling to support my husband in this way–but mostly I’m just bitter about that fourth bathroom.
Sometimes I’m completely appalled by my immaturity.
On Sunday morning I was really excited to see that one of the communion hymns was “Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart.” However, I learned the hymn using The Lutheran Service Book (LSB) and we were singing from The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH). No biggie, right? Wrong. Apparently the two settings (tunes?) are just different enough to have me become completely lost while singing. To make matters worse, the congregation hadn’t sang the hymn very often so they got lost as well. Our joyful noise to the Lord was more of a confused mumble.