Monday, December 24, 2007
They force me to slow down, to think one word at a time, to follow a linear path, to catch my breath and present what I am aching for neatly to the Father that looks after me. He understands my jumbled cries just as well as my organized ones but I need to calm down.
And I have read over my last year of prayers, prayers for safety, for guidance, for travel, for love, for patience, for the children I work with, for my relationship, for my family, for school, for finances, for a continuing relationship with the Devine, for a good friendship with him, for reverence and dignity. And...
I have been given all these things.
It is Christmas and one of the things that I thought about is how God has come to Romance the world, but also to tenderly restore dignity to all of us broken people. There is no dignity without right, and God has come to bring the right and the light.
While we are scurrying from place to place. While we are forgetting that we are loved intensely and deeply. While we are stumbling around blindly, listening to siren songs posted on billboards, found in the media, handed to us in the grocery store, whispered to us by people who we think we love, we are being held by a loving and just God that wants to give us the dignity to stand up, the dignity to care, and the integrity to follow right.
And in all of my darkest hours, the angels sing. My pleas are answered. My God does not hide. He restores my dignity. He is faithful to me.
Merry Christmas. God is Faithful.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Good things –
Starting the day wrapped up in your boyfriends cozy sweater.
Making lunches with dark chocolate squares in them
Applying for graduation.
Handing in a final project and getting a job offer from your professor because of your workmanship
Getting another two job offers that day from places you’ve applied to.
Cupcakes at work left over from yesterdays going away party
Plotting your next sewing project already.
Okay, so let me explain – The last few weeks have been very difficult. I’ve been trying to finish up school and this semester was particularity difficult. I had two group projects with uncooperative groups that were relatively difficult to finish because of missing group members. What happens with group projects is that since I actually care about my grades, I end up doing all the work. Well, I wasn’t going to do that this time, and lo and behold no one else is either. So things didn’t get done, I had to play “mean mommy” and kick people out for not showing up and I hate that sort of confrontational thing…but it has to be done.
Anyways, I finished my two group projects – one, a dance performance, went really well, and the second, a presentation went not so well (we got a B), took two exams, and then spent the rest of the time sewing furiously for my Shakespeare final.
The project was to create a costume for a Shakespeare character that was “nonstandard” and present it to the class. I chose to do a civil war dress (go figure) for Gertrude from Hamlet. Of course, I can’t just do a rendition of one, I have to stick to my usual piped-everything, hook and bar, collared, natural fiber, blah blah blah hours of research standards.
The only way I can get myself to start a new civil war dress is to trick myself into thinking it’s going to take way less time than it is, so I say “Oh, it won’t take too long” but I’m actually sewing up until five minutes before class started. I didn’t actually finish a collar. Oops. And one of the under sleeves is safety pinned on. Double oops.
But I went there and presented my dress and after class my professor came up to me and said “I don’t believe you sewed that dress yourself.”
And I said “what!? Of course I did!”
“I’m just kidding,” he said. “I don’t suppose you’re interested, but my wife runs a theater company and we are looking for a costumer. Would you want to do something like that?”
And I said “Oh! Well…I’ll have to think about it.”
And that was the strong finish to my semester.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Now, I only cook for myself and occasionally entertain people at my house, so I can make a meal and it lasts for two or three days. For this purpose, I usually go with soups. I'll make a soup, eat what I want and put the rest into jars (I prefer to store in glass) in the fridge. I then take a jar a day to work and eat the contents for lunch, and pull one for dinner. If you are someone who gets annoyed eating the same thing over and over for a day or two then this system might not work for you unless you freeze things and pull them later, but I find it works great, and I have something to go at a moments notice since I am very busy.
I cook twice a week, pretty much, on the days I don't have a lot to do: Sundays (or Saturdays, depending on my weekends) and Wednesdays. Sundays are my long days because I also bake two loaves of bread for myself for the week, and Wednesdays I usually just throw together a soup and let it simmer while I ride my bike.
Here is my meal plan for the next two weeks:
12/15 - Saturday: Bake Bread, Corn Bread and Black Bean Soup
12/16 - Sunday: Black Bean Soup and Corn Bread
12/17 - Monday: Black Bean Soup and Corn Bread
12/18 - Tuesday: Black Bean Soup and Corn Bread
12/19 - Wednesday: Cajun Beans and Rice (I LOVE Cajun Food...It's just under Thai food in order of favorites)
12/20 - Thursday: Beans and Rice
12/21 - Friday: Beans and Rice
12/22 - Saturday: Curried Cauliflower Soup and Bake Bread
12/23 - Sunday: Curried Cauliflower Soup and Bread
12/24 - Monday: Christmas Eve
12/25 - Tuesday: Christmas Day
12/26 - Wednesday: Minestrone Soup
12/27 - Thursday: Minestrone Soup
12/28 - Friday: Minestrone Soup
After I compile my meal plan, I write down the recipes under the schedule so they are in one neat place (or note if they are from a cookbook. Most of my recipes come from people or message boards though - I like things that are "tried and true") and then write out a grocery list of everything on the recipes. Then I go through my fridge, freezer and cubboard and cross off what I already have and then go grocery shopping. I go to a few different grocery stores - the expensive natural foods store for bulk flour, rice, and beans and certain produce and ingredients and the normal grocery store for everything else.
This process sounds really exhaustive but it isn't really - I only shop once every two weeks, which takes a saturday morning, and I have food for a half a month. I also find that the money and time saved in the long run is worth it.
Friday, December 07, 2007
I have a pretty sweet deal - My ex-racer boyfriend quit the sport about the same time I started so I’ve inherited everything I need to race – wheels, glasses, heart rate monitors, trainer, and well, almost decade and a half of racing experience to bank on. J has been coaching me and it’s been a blessing, but really,it’s a lot of work.
This is my first year road racing, so we are working on pretty much no experience, and are building a base right now. J takes care of the planning aspect, and I do the work. We have a deal set up where he will continue to coach as long as I continue to work, so I contue to work so I can get coached. Without that coaching I would be mindlessly riding my bike, but with it, I can actually see a linear path to the start of the road season. I haven’t looked much farther than that, though, because I’ve never done an actual bike race. I’ve raced my bike in the context of triathlons but you get…a seven food radius in any direction to do what you please. No drafting.
Every week, I get a training plan that lists, Monday through Sunday what I’m supposed to do, and then the total hours spent. Next weeks hours total thirteen, which is huge for me – it’s almost like having a part time job. I will be riding an hour and 45 minutes to night, one on Saturday (with weights at the gym) and three on Sunday. I have off days on Tuesdays and I do a lot of homework in between school, work, and sleeping. Sometimes I eat, too.
When I try something I usually don’t attack it with the same sort of zeal I’m putting into cycling – usually I putter along, but I think I’ll be okay come spring if I continue this training. My goal is to not embarrass myself.
Unsurprisingly (but still, for some reason, taking me by shock) the weather has turned cold, it’s slippery and slushy out and I feel uncomfortable taking my car, much less my road bike out on the roads for a training ride so I’ve been on the trainer, which is a machine you can put your bike on and just pedal, in front of the TV or while reading a book. I anticipate being on that machine for quite some time because I don’t really do well in the cold. Aparently numb feet are part of the Wisconsin cycling deal, but I refuse to concede.
One of the aspects of cycling that is a little off-putting to me is the marketing. I suppose people will sell anything that they can to make a buck, but there is an entire consumer culture built up around cycling that can become all consuming. I met with my cycling team last night for a social get together, and we talked about bike parts more than about biking itself. It’s like the shopping has replaced the training for some people. I don’t get the cult of expensive parts equaling a better cyclist. Jason, a guy on Team Pegasus, has done incredibly well this cross season on a converted 70s Schwinn.
Anyways, I’ll let you know how the rest of the season goes!