Wednesday, January 26, 2011

“ I will submit my thoughts to the authority of Jesus”.......

“ I will submit my thoughts to the authority of Jesus”.......these are the words I read yesterday morning.  They have been rolling around in my mind ever since; they resonated in a deep place with me.  Wouldn’t it be nice to put this to practice?  To surrender my thoughts to God, to think of only what he wants me to think of.  To dispel all the harsh words for myself and others, the worry, the angst, the endless tapes of self-deprecation that constantly swirl around in my mind and cause sleepless nights.  I know this is a gift I can claim and I know God wants this for his followers.  It is my new mantra.

Friday, January 21, 2011

He Eats the 'Gus

My husband, never ceases to amaze me. He is nothing if not unpredictable.  I think I have well documented the fact that he is the worst eater I've ever known.  His PALATE (proving I am teachable) stopped developing around age 8.  He gives no consideration to his nutritional needs in his daily food intake.  He has a mantra, "if it's green it's trouble, if it's fried order double" and seriously people, these are words he lives by.  He is an unapologetic and proud white Wonder bread, American cheese, Miracle Whip poster child.  Gourmet eating for him is canned chili on top of corn chips topped with aforementioned American cheese. His dinner request for his 49th birthday was McDonalds.  His breakfast 7 days a week are Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk.  He looks at me in disgust when I serve salad or add vegetables to anything.  His entrails must be glued together by all the processed food he eats and I dare not query about his elimination habits.  Therefore, it has come as a shock and 8th wonder of the world when, in the last couple of weeks he has developed a fondness for......ASPARAGUS!  It happens to be one vegetable I detest.  I remember my mom growing her first asparagus patch.  My dad grew every vegetable there was but he didn't care for asparagus either so that veggie didn't make the cut.  My mom talked about her asparagus all summer long and finally it was ready to harvest.  She gave me a bite to try uncooked and it was okay but when she served the cooked version I seriously almost threw up at the smell.   But I digress.  Chris bought a bunch of asparagus one day when he was at the store and it sat in fridge for several weeks.  One night I was making dinner and he prompted me to cook it so I roasted it.  He quite liked it.  Then the next time we were at the Safeway they were out so he put a can of it in our cart.  He has yet to test that theory but in the meantime I made a special trip to the store one morning to see if they had fresh asparagus and they did so every night when he gets home from work he nibbles on a few raw spears.  Tonight I heard the words I never thought would pass his lips, "I really love the asparagus."  What?  Who is this man and what has he done with my husband??

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Scrabble followup.....

Exon, kea, quais, pya, qi, za, raj, coz........these are all words I keep on a list in my notes on my Iphone because they are acceptable scrabble words that spell check doesn’t recognize and either do I.  Sometimes I get very aggravated and frustrated with Scrabble...I wonder why I put myself through this self-inflicted agony. It seems as though it's more a contest of playing words no one has ever heard of than using legitimate words.  It takes these crazy words such as are listed above yet not words that are used in our normal vernacular.  I hereby reject it’s rule about not accepting proper nouns....I can understand it not accepting first names (since they can range from common to crazyland) but names of states or countries? Or mountains or rivers? That just annoys me.  Sometimes I can go from game to game and find great words to play except I’m missing one critical letter...or I can’t find any place to play it.  Or I can play a 7 or 8 letter word for 6 points or make one 2-letter words that means nothing (see above) and make 20 points.  I’m pretty sure the object of the game was to make words!! REAL WORDS.  Like people who are always trying to discern what the framers of the constitution had in mind, I am trying to get into the heads of the scrabble game inventors. And I’m pretty sure they meant for me to least once! 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside......

I do cold really well.  When I lived alone I kept my apartment frigid, mostly because I didn't want to pay the electric that would warm it.  I love to dress in layers and I love to sit with my Ipad under a blanket and read or watch TV.  I don't even mind walking it in.  Usually once you are dressed to go and get underway it gets quite comfortable in a hurry regardless of the temperature.  I generally love the cold, clear, sunny days that come with winter.  I discovered this week that one reason I can say that is because I have a warm garage to keep my car in.  It is zero fun to run outside and pry your car doors open and wait 20 minutes before it is drivable.  This week the cold became rather miserable.  It was into the single digits and that's not too bad but the Taku winds were howling at gusts clocked up to 88 mph.  One night the police report 15 cars with their windows blown out and a satellite dish at the radio station was blown over.  Many people had the usual frozen pipes and reluctant vehicles but there was a lot of cracked windows in houses as well due to the seal being blown out.  At my job we are in charge of the state owned and leased facilities and those old state buildings do not bear up well under these conditions.  The building that houses all the state archives took the worst hit.  There were never ending calls all week long that employees were cold.  And it was true - I don't think anyone got comfortably warm all week but that's what layers are for.  At home we keep our thermostat set at 60 degrees (we can make a 600 gallon tank of oil last over a year) at the pellet stove runs constantly but this week the warmest it got in the living room was 72 and down the hallway was probably more like 63.  Even when we slept the blankets and flannel sheets kept us snugly and warm but my ears and nose would be frozen.  So I hereby surrender.  Please Lord, would you warm us up??

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Preparing For Those Golden Years

The other day Chris and I attended a “Prepare for Retirement” seminar.  One thing I learned is it going to be more complicated than I ever thought!   But this was for people 10 years or less from retirement so you could make the right choices now to ensure your needs are taken care of.  Of course, it all depends on the market so anyway you look at it it’s a crapshoot.  In the state retirement system we have SBS (Supplemental Benefits System) and PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) but these are both defined contribution plans.  Every pay period a certain amount is taken from your gross pay, to go towards both these plans and the employee has no input regarding the amounts contributed.  Then we have the Deferred Compensation plan that you voluntarily sign up for, also pretax.  You can put a lot of money into deferred comp and you can withdraw from it before age 59 ½ without penalty as long as you are retired.  There are all these calculators online to help you figure out what amount you need and all these choices that will need to be made.  It can really stress a person out and in the one really knows for sure.  You could die the day after you retire or you could live to be 105.  You could spend 20 years in a care facility or you die at 105 walking under your own steam.  The market could dive or it could go through the roof.  I know people who have done everything right, saved diligently, lived within their means, and made good investments only to run out of money in the midst of their “golden” years.  Bottom line, retirement requires a good deal of faith and prayer besides money! God help us all.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pet Peeve....Again!

Seriously, are the days of having someone’s undivided attention just plain over?  Call waiting used to be a huge pet peeve of mine.  You’d call someone and be in the middle of a conversation and they’d say “oh that’s my beep, I’ve got to get that” or else you’d call someone and they’d answer and say “sorry I’m on the other line.”  I can’t tell you how much I hated that.  But it’s worse now, MUCH worse! It obviously has much to do with the age demographic of the person you are trying to converse with but the other night a friend came over to our house and was there for maybe half an hour and the whole time she is texting other people.  She is only half paying attention to anything we talked about because she is trying to multi-task and carry on several conversations at once.  Is it just me or is that about the rudest thing ever? I just want to say for all you texters out there, if you can’t go 30 minutes without responding to other people when you are visiting someone else then stay home!   And that concludes my rant for the day!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Homer the Blind Wonder Cat

I have just finished this book and I'm here to tell you I have never been so in love with an animal I've only read about before.  This is an incredible tale of a cat that had his eyes removed when he was just a couple weeks old due to an infection.  He was adopted by Gwen Cooper and the lessons he taught her about life, and taking chances and fearlessness and love are simply amazing.  I did not want this book to end and I want a Homer of my own!! He was a cat that loved everyone.....except for one night when there was an intruder in Gwen's bedroom and she woke to the sound of Homer growling.  Homer chased the intruder out of the house and Gwen was afraid he was going to seriously injure the man.  He only weighed 3 pounds.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who believes in the miracles of animals and their ability to affect our lives.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy 49th

Today is Chris' 49th birthday.  We usually celebrate with our friends, Ralph &  Carole because it's their daughter's birthday as well but this year besides getting her license they have other plans with her today so we're all going out to dinner this weekend.  Since that left our evening open I asked Chris if he wanted to go out to tonight and do you know what his dinner request was?  McDonalds.  I'm pretty sure his palate quit maturing at age 8. But hey, as someone pointed out, he could want to go to the Baranoff for a fancy, expensive dinner with a fancy, expensive bottle of wine so I'm getting off easy.  Happy Birthday sweetheart...after this it's all down hill.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Scrabble Addiction

Okay, I admit it -- I have an addiction and it is Scrabble.  I think I mentioned Santa brought me an Ipad and then I downloaded the Scrabble app and now I am playing with Facebook friends and strangers alike.  I'm not that good though, actually I SUCK at it and I have yet to win a game.  I don't really understand that because I read all the time and I play the Merriam Webster language game every day and I love words!!  I'm great at where you have to know the definitions of words so why can I not put them together in a way that wins me points??? The other day I was trying to start a new game with my friend Susan and somehow out there in cyberland a total stranger started a game with me.  Her first word was QUIZ for 44 points.  Really???  How come I never get those kinds of letters?? Of course her second word was QUITS working off her previously played "Q" (for 30 points) and you know what I had?? ALL consonants!  I played two 3-letter words using her vowels and have less than 20 points.  That's as far as we've gotten, I'm sure she is really impressed.  I've come to the conclusion I'm not that good of sport either...when I play against the computer there is a feature called 'teacher 'that will come up with the best word you can use and I'm not above using that.  I was disappointed when I was unable to use it against my FB friends.  The other night I was unable to sleep....tossing and turning all night long. Every time I got remotely close to slumber my mind was busy trying to form words.  I woke up today and decided I need to find the nearest program I can find.  Hi, my name is Kathy and I'm a Scrabbleholic............