In the name of God, here's looking forward to a single, unified Orthodox Church of the United States.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Love Yarn

Yesterday, I went to lunch with the Priest's wife and we found the cutest little yarn shop! It's the kind that has all the wonderful specialty wool, like hand-spun alpaca, a skein of which I just happened to buy. =)

I kind of embarrassed myself though, because I addressed a question to woman who turned out to be another customer, not an employee. (>.<) She looked knowledgeable!

But I'm happy, because, if I ever have a question about anything, I can just drive to this shop and ask away.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hypocrite

Okay, when I see something like this, I may be willing to compromise on part of my smaller floor plan. (>.>)

I don't even own enough books to fill up a place like that, it's just ... *drools*

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

School is Up and Running!

Whoodathunk I'd be happy to be taking a class again? I went today to enroll and register and, because I'm considered a visiting student with the school on base, I was basically given an automatic in. The price is reasonable, nothing we can't afford, which is good because I've been scouring the internet for grants and it looks like I'm too late for pretty much everything. It's doubly confusing, because I'm still considered a student of Hillsdale and the school doesn't accept any federal or state funding - everything has to be privately donated in order to allow the school to teach what they want to teach and not what the state mandates. I love that, but I really wish my parents had forced me to search for at least some of my own funding in previous years so I'd be better prepared to do it now and would know my options. However, as it is, they didn't and I'm not, so I'm confused and trying to understand if I even have options.

And I know I've probably said this with every post I've made on the subject, but I'm so glad to finally be putting this all behind me (well ... God willing ... it hasn't actually happened yet). To finally hold that diploma in my hands, slip it into its cover, and then put it on my bookshelf will be HEAVEN. The only thing I'll have to worry about after that is paying my student loan, which is annoying, but, compared to many, fairly reasonable.

And, completely off topic, but when will things cool down around here? It's almost the end of September and, while we did have a week or so of nice weather, it's now back up to the high 80s/low 90s, with close to 100% humidity. UGH!!! Add to that the fact that our air conditioning konked out and can only run for about three hours at a time, with about three hours in between, and we're kind of running around our apartment half-naked, trying to keep cool (oh, was that TMI?). Hmm, I should probably get off before I share more things you don't want to know.

Beginning a Prayer Rule

Ever since my Midnight Adventure I've been on edge, very jumpy and, every time EJ leaves, I can't lay down without feeling like I should double check the locks, load the gun, close the bedroom door, and then worry about someone coming through the window. This morning it was particularly bad and I couldn't go back to sleep, even though I knew EJ would be back in less than an hour. I think part of the reason is my relationship with Jesus has been very lax on my end lately; I haven't been keeping up with regular prayer, my reasoning being that, because my life is fine right now, I don't need God's help, so, thus, I don't really need God. (wow, just typing that drove home how selfish and foolish I've been). I finally realized what should have been obvious all along - that my separation from God has allowed the spirit of fear to infect my life and control my emotions.

Something must be done.

Since I have no control over the features of my apartment, the only thing I can physically do is make sure the door is locked and my gun is nearby - not very comforting. However, spiritually, I can pray ... and pray and pray and read the Bible and rekindle my relationship with God. Just because I finally got all my icons out of storage and up on the wall doesn't mean they'll magically protect us. So, to start, today I went through and made the sign of the Cross over each area of the apartment, along with the door, and asked God to keep it safe. From now on, I will make an effort to pray before bed and when I wake up, even if it's just a quick prayer before the icons. I can't afford not to.

Ultimately, this isn't just for EJ's and my protection, but for our salvation. God said he will spit the lukewarm out of his mouth - I do not want to be that lukewarm person. Eternal damnation just doesn't sit well with me, if you know what I mean. So, I ask for some of your prayers for help with this. I've never been a very motivated or structured person. Beginning a prayer rule, a real prayer rule, will be difficult; I won't lie. However, I've sit on the sidelines long enough. Pray God He brings me onto the playing field.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thoughts

Last week I went to Barnes & Noble (one of my most favoritest stores) and randomly picked up a book with a very interesting title: The Not So Big House. I sat down in one of those comfy chairs they have and proceeded to be blown away. It was like all these disjointed ideas and feelings I've had floating around in my subconscious suddenly floated to the surface and clicked together into a cohesive whole: I like small places.

No no, not small places as in claustrophobia on an elevator - I hate those - rather small places such as historic English cottages and the cutesy Southern homes I've come to enjoy looking at on my days out. Having lived in a dorm room (one that actually had some character) for two years and now kicking back in our 770 sq ft apartment, I find that I really love the cozy feel of a small place. There's something so homey and inviting about it.

One thing the book emphasized was building smarter. I love how creative you can be (or, more realistically, have to be) in a small place. For instance, if you have a smaller house, you most likely paid less money for it (unless you live in San Fransisco), this means you can put more of your resources into fabulous details, truly making it your own: built ins, cupboard, rope stair rails, anything you can think of, really. And I love the ideas the authoress gives for making the spaces work - such as an "away room" for adults only, which, for me, would mean a library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, comfy window seats, a few chairs, and no television. That would be my space and EJ could have his longed-for shed out back for a man cave. The children would have to share bedrooms - smaller bedrooms - but that's really no big deal. There's no reason they couldn't have great kiddie spaces within a slightly smaller square footage. =)

I really want to buy a fixer-upper and implement some of the ideas that finally gelled in my mind after reading that book. Unfortunately, I know nothing about remodeling, construction, or ... anything along those lines, so we'll probably have to settle for less than ideal. *sigh*

As usual, when I go off on one of my tangents about how I want to have a homestead, an adorable house with a yellow-and-white kitchen, lots o' kids, etc., EJ's eyes kind of glaze over and I can tell he's thinking I'm totally cracked. However, I think as long as he gets his man cave and a king-size bed, he'll be happy.

Hmm, if I really do want to build smaller, that bed may be the only thing able to fit in our bedroom. But, then again, I suppose that's where the smarter part comes into play. =P

Whoo-Hoo!!

I found this in my inbox today:
Dear Rin,

The course you propose, HST 433 The United States in the 19th Century, worth 3 credits, will fulfill your final 3 hours of required history elective for the Hillsdale history major.

Once you have completed the course, be sure to have an official transcript sent to the Hillsdale College registrar's office so that your work can be counted toward your Hillsdale degree.

Best wishes for good success

~
Huzzah! I can finally get this finished and out of the way!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

*holysmoke* What an excellent post by the ever-persistent Coffee Catholic!

Do We Owe the Poor Our Support?

I've often wondered about how we, as Christians, are to treat those who simply do not want to pick themselves up out of their personal mire.

On the flip side, having worked in an ER and seen all the people who simply use it as their regular provider - many of whom were on Medicaid or some form of Government handouts - regardless of the rooms they took up at the expense of those who actually needed them, and the money and services they used, then refused to pay back (and there are payment options for those who need it, you could have paid as little as $5 a month on your bill and not been turned over to a collection agency), I noticed that most don't even know they're stuck. Mothers give birth to children without fathers, those children are raised to believe they are perpetual victims and society owes them simply for being poor, thus the vicious cycle continues (and I personally have experienced the absolutely devastating effects of drug addiction on a family - what are we to do with the husband who refuses to clean up his act despite the fact he has three children and a wife living in the ghetto?). With that scenario in mind, the question then becomes are we, as Christians, called to break them out of that? Or is that simply another way of phrasing the title of the article?

No matter what, I think CC hit the nail on the head here.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Le Knit?

Last week, inspired by Alana, I rewatched the first part of the knitting DVD I purchased ... what, last year? ... and began knitting a scarf! Garter stitch all the way, nothing fancy, (and, I'll be honest, it's starting to get rather monotonous), but we've all got to start somewhere and I'm SO glad I finally just bit the bullet, bought some yarn, and began knitting!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

=P

Upon reviewing some of my past posts, I've come to the realization that I really like the word "cripes!".

How Davie Crockett Learned His Lesson

Not Yours To Give

It's easy to forget (at least it is for me) that David Crockett was not only known for being the backwoods-y type, but was also a well known congressman. This is a wonderful story of how he had some sense knocked into him after letting the powers not appointed him and his colleagues get the better of them all.

This is the last paragraph of the story:
There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay [to help the war widow]. There are in that House many very wealthy men - men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased - a debt which could not be paid by money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it. ~ David Crockett
Some things never change.

Credit due to Liberty For Kids.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I just discovered this site...

This basically reaffirms what we already knew, but still, it's good to have solid data backing your claims.

From FamilyFact.org: Top 10 Research Findings on Daycare and Children's Well-Being

German Language Fail

Cripes! I've forgotten so much German since leaving school that it's not even funny! If I want my kids to be bilingual, I've got to find a way to keep my skillz up - not that they were super great to begin with, but, really, I can't even remember the word for "choose" on my own. That bothers me.

I don't want to teach it to them the way it was taught to me - that is, wait until they're older and give classes on it. I'd really like to just speak it to them from birth. Dad could be the English speaker and mom can be the crazy German lady. That way, if the gub'mint does ever force me to place them in a school building, they might just experience a Sarah Crewe moment with their teachers or administrators (although I hope things don't turn out quite the way they did with Miss Crewe).

We shall see. To the internetz!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A New Blog Link - Cripes, I hate writing things that might offend others

I'm adding A Conservative Teacher to my blog-roll. The author teaches at a public school "near a major city in Michigan" and seems to have a pretty good grasp of the state's political and economic scene. I'm particularly interested in this site because I'm still considered a resident of Michigan (at least, I think I am) and so need to keep abreast of the goings on for elections and what-not and the site provides good general information (I use my mom for the more specific tid-bits =P ).

What I really like about the site is that - and I know I'm repeating myself here - the author is a conservative teacher at a public school. *shock*gasp*awe!* I admire his/her efforts. It takes guts to stick to your beliefs in the face of the open hostility fostered by the public school system (being the only Christian among E.J.'s atheist/agnostic group of friends helps me empathize) and the nation wouldn't be in such dire straights right now if there were more people like him/her in our schools. However, the site has doubly reinforced my desire to homeschool, not wanting to put anything more than I have to into such a broken system.

That being said, I have to admit that I don't think the idea behind the technical aspects of our current school system is necessarily bad ("necessary" in the philosophical sense). After all, not everyone can homeschool; it's a blessing when they can, but illiterate Afghani parents who know nothing about the world beyond their village except wars and rumors of wars are not going to be able to provide even a basic education for their children - and, almost by definition, a personal tutor is out of the question. In those cases, I can see merit based schools being set up, in which the same basic architecture as our buildings is used, but children are promoted based on merit rather than age - thus eliminating the need to cater to the lowest common denominator - in fact, I think that is actually the case in parts of Afghanistan. It wouldn't solve all of the problems, of course, but it might provide enough of a foundation to allow some of the next generation to take a more active role in their children's eduction.

And some don't think most lawmakers are in the pockets of Big Business?

Oh wait, in hindsight, maybe this wasn't such a good freaking idea.

Congress Playing with Toymakers' Livelihoods

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's nice to see there are at least a few people still willing to put their money (and actions) where their mouth is. =)

From London, comes this report of how common sense governing is good politics. According to the Daily Mail's Robert Hardman: "To the shock and dismay of many local councillors and MPs, most of Westminster and the entire Government," a local mayor "has just become on of the most powerful politicians in Britain."

Why? Well, Mayor Peter Davies of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, has defunded "Gay pride" festivities ("I don't see why taxpayers should pay to celebrate anyone's sexuality"), ended politically correct non-jobs such as "community cohesion officers" (that would be akin to ACORN on the government dole stateside), got rid of the mayoral limousine, and even cut his own salary from £73,000 to £30,000. He plans to reduce taxes and will scrap Doncaster's "Twin City" links to five cities around the world because it's a program "just for people to fly off and have a binge at the council's expense."

Can we identify - or elect - 50, 25, or even 10 mayors like this in the good old USA? Do you know of any in office now?
The article I quoted is from Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty and I also found the article it quoted from the Daily Mail: Why Can't Dave and Gordon Learn a Few Lessons from Britain's Most Goriously un-PC Supermayer?

A Bit of Silliness

"The God Gene"



With thank to the illustrious Father Stephen.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Midnight Adventure

I went to bed around 1:00 a.m. Sunday night (EJ is on swing shift, so I maintain his schedule). At about 4:30, I wake up with the cold, demonic fear in the pit of my stomach indicating there are Others attacking me - it is, unfortunately, not uncommon. I try to go back to sleep, but then realize I'm hearing more noises than usual and begin to think my mind is playing tricks on me above and beyond what the demons normally do. I have to use the restroom and decide it will be the perfect way to clear my head. As I get up, the noises to do not go away - weird noises unlike apartment complex babble. As I near our bedroom door, the light in the hallway flicks on, seemingly by itself. The fear grows stronger and colder, and it dawns on me that this may not be the work of demons, but of an actual intruder. My heart beats faster and I take a step closer to the hallway, just one step more and I'll be through the door.

Suddenly, I see a shadow moving on the carpet and my heart jumps into my throat. There is someone in my home. In a panic, I slam the door shut and jump on EJ's side of the bed to warn him -he's not there. My fear-crazed mind, however, can't process this fact so I reach for the shotgun under our bed. I don't know if it's loaded or not; EJ has shown me how to check before, but I can't seem to muster enough strength at the moment to pull back the fore-grip. I pray that it is loaded and settle myself on top of the covers facing the door, shotgun in hand, ready to scare the living almighty out of anyone unlucky enough to walk through it.

Meanwhile, nothing happens, no one bursts in and my panicked mind begins to calm down enough to restart limited functionality. "EJ is not in bed" + "There is someone in the dining room" = "It's probably him out there". However, there is still just enough fear pumping through my veins that I maintain my grip on the shotgun until such time as someone should come through the door, I just don't point muzzle in that direction. I don't have long to wait, thankfully; the door soon opens and there's EJ, cell phone in one hand (from whence came the strange noises I heard earlier), doorknob in the other, standing stock-still as he tries to process the fact that his wife is sitting on the bed with a shotgun at the ready and a crazed look upon her face.

My vision blurs a little in relief and the first thing out of my mouth is, "Don't you ever f***ing do that again!!" What it is he's not supposed to do -walk about it his own home? / try out the new ringtones on his phone? - is never fully clarified, because the first thing out of his bemusedly upturned mouth happens to be, "Is that thing loaded?"

Turns out, no, it never was.

And, with that, my midnight adventure came to an end, I began shaking uncontrollable and EJ had to hold me for a few seconds until I regained my composure. Thank you, Lord, that it turned out the way it did.

The next day, EJ reminded where he keeps the shells and how to properly load the gun. Turns out, it was a good thing he did, because just this morning he left early and I fell back to sleep, not expecting him back for a good while, so when I woke up to someone opening the front door only an hour later, I pulled out the shotgun again (I guess I'm still a bit jumpy) and this time managed to open the chamber and hold a shell over it, ready to drop it in should the need arise.

Yes, it was EJ, and, yes, he was simply home early. >.<

Monday, September 7, 2009

Movie Recomendation: "Gran Torino"

Wow. I don't usually recommend contemporary films because, even if I like the story, they're usually so full of filth as far as language and morals go, that the rest of their contents don't justify their existence. However, I have to make an exception for the movie Gran Torino, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. I just finished watching it with EJ and I'm still crying. This movie, while peppered with"adult" language and certainly not family friendly, was so powerful, it left me - well, as I just mentioned - in tears. It makes you think; it actually uplifts manhood; and Clint Eastwood's character and his protégé are wonderfully acted...

I just can't recommend this movie enough for those mature enough to appreciate it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Going back to my roots

I don't remember when the last time was that I actually posted on something fun-for-me, like hair covering/length, modesty, etc. So I have a short little blurb (or maybe rant).

I've changed so much in the past two years. Unbelievable, almost, considering where I came from and where I am now. I went from being the unhappy and unwilling femin-ish, to the legalistic and judgmental "fundamentalist" (I know, that's a loaded term; no offense meant) and now I think I've finally lightened up and have realized there's more to loving God than what I look like on the outside, though that part shouldn't be ignored.

To whit: I want to cut my hair. Like, I want to chop it off Halle Berry style. I am so sick of my über long locks. It just hangs there, frizzy and limp, and I simply want it gone. However, EJ has threatened me with divorce* if I so much as snip a strand with the intent to continue. He loves my long hair and couldn't bear to see it gone. So, this is one area where I submit to him and try to make the best of the situation. I have checked out several hair-styling websites, but I seem to get worse the more often I do a particular style. Any suggestions?

*No, not really, but things would be pretty tense for quite a while if I did disobey him.