Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Shortcomings as a Wife...

Here is a little bit of something for you singles (as in not married yet) out there who might be looking for Mr. or Miss Right: get your own house in order first. If you can't even boil water now, you won't magically transform into Rachel Ray after you go through the vows. If your laundry pile has shirts leftover from the summer burried on the bottom, that pile will become twice as big when your household becomes two. I knew this going into marriage, but I also thought I could change as I went. I knew I had areas to tidy up in, but I would deal with them in due time. The only thing I can say is I'm lucky to have such a patient husband! (That's right Jon, you're patient!!!)

I admit my cooking is bland at best. But I'm getting better. And my tidiness is...well...mediocre. But I'm getting better. But the tip-top WORST of my "keeping house" wifey qualities is DUN-DUN-DUN...the fridge. You may laugh, but it's not even funny! For some reason, it's really hard for me to throw food away, and you can imagine what happens after a week, 2 weeks, a month, or (God forbid) "Brenda, WHEN did you make these potatoes?" "Um, when my mom was over." "When was that?" "Um...mid-December?" "'s February."


But the most nauseating event didn't even occur in my refrigerator. It was the Teacher's Lounge fridge at school. One day this past week, I looked in the corner and saw a clear tupperware with a green lid. I thought to myself, hey! That person has tupperware just like me! Till I realized with horror that the tupperware was MINE. Since the tupperware was clear I could see its contents without releasing any lethal gases: it was a chicken hotdish...that I brought for lunch during one of my extended care work days...over Fall Break.


Now, if it was any normal tupperware, I would have trashed the whole kit-n-kaboodle. But this was REAL TUPPERWARE with a cool corrugated bottom to store meat with its juices and little ventilation holes with flip caps (which were thankfully closed). It was a life worth saving! I went into ER mode even donning the rubber gloves and facemask. Jon and I hunched over a double-lined Target bag (because they're thicker and don't have holes in them like the Cub foods bags) and dumped out the contents and sent the tupperware into a sink of super-sudsy water. We tied the bag and Jon went immediately to the dumpster. (see, I told you he was patient! What other man would help his sheepish wifey fix her mistakes??) I went to the sink and said a small prayer as I plunged my hands into the dish water. I scrubbed and scrubbed, then lifted the bowl to my face and mustered my courage to *sniff* PHEW! scrub some more. Scrub scrub scrub "I need more dish soap, STAT!" scrub scrub "where's the green scour scrubby?" scrub scrub. *sniff* hmm...*sniff sniff sniff* "I think we just saved his life."

Now, do you think this story will be enough to teach me a lesson? I hope so. But until the long-term results yeild a change of life-style, I'll continue, by God's grace, to change the day-t0-day stuff. For now, the fridge is mold and fuzzy-free!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Lessons from the Simpsons

As a girl who grew up Lutheran, now attends a charasmatic, non-denominational church, and teaches at a Catholic school, I can say that I've been around the Christian block. And sometimes I'm astonished at how Christians treat each other because they sing from a different songbook or read from a different version of the Bible. (I prefer the New Inernational Version because that's the Bible that has my name embossed on the cover!)

Tonight as I crashed on the sofa with a couple graham crackers and some cream cheese to watch a half hour of the Simpsons, I didn't realize I'd be given fuel for a blog. But lo and behold, from the archives of Season 16 came episode 1621: Father, Son, and Holy Guest-Star. Here's a brief synopsis of the story as given by

Enraged at being cast as the village idiot and having livestock disrupt his yard at the school's Medieval festival, Groundskeeper Willie sabotages the event and leaves Bart to take the blame. As a result, Bart's expulsion lands him in an affordable Catholic private school where Father Sean, an Eminem quoting Priest, uses graphic stories and comic books to turn Bart on to the cooler parts of Catholicism. Bart's increased interest in the religion alarms his parents and drives Homer to visit the church to put an end to the nonsense. Father Sean lures Homer to the religion over a beer and pancake dinner and closes the deal over a game of bingo. After a marathon confession session, Homer returns to a dismayed Marge who later enlists Reverend Lovejoy and Ned's aid in springing Bart from communion class. Set on bringing Bart back to Catholicism, Homer and Father Sean chase the gang to a Protestant Youth Festival where Marge and the prospect of playing paintball lure Bart back. After a heated public debate, all members agree to disagree under the banner of Christianity and Homer decides he'd rather return to the Protestant Church rather than divide the family.

At one point, Bart says to everyone at the Protestant Youth Festival, "Aren't we all Christians? Can't we forget about the small stupid differences and focus on all the huge stupid things we have in common?" Do we agree that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead 3 days later to give us new life? Do we agree that the Bible is God's word and we should do what it says? Do we agree that God loves his children and wants us to grow more like Him? Do we agree that God loves good and hates evil? This is so basic, but isn't this the HUGE stuff we have in common? Don't you think the Christian Church would get SO much more accomplished on this Earth if we could look past the tiny details about HOW we should take communion, HOW pastors/priests/reverends should dress for church, HOW MANY songs we sing for worship, and WHY we have WHAT KIND of liturgy WHERE?! I think Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, "10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." 13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?" We are to be the united body of Christ. But instead we are divided, quarrelling, and prejudiced. This is why the Church is impotent, dying, and lifeless.

This is my soapbox rant for the evening. I'm just so disheartened when I hear friends from my church tsk-tsk the "horrible Mary-worship of the Catholic church" or when my Catholic co-workers talk about those "crazy Spirit people who hoop and holler and fall on the floor." We're so focused on tearing each other down that we don't realize we're partaking in the destruction of God's holy temple. Let's stop shooting ourselves in the foot and start standing as one, as a body with many different parts who all depend on each other, to go out and do the work God has called us all to do: to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded us. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Monday, February 5, 2007

Cold 'nuff for ya?

Too bad there's no "It's freakin' freezing outside!" on the thermometer. But here's a way to waste some time...maybe you can make enough snow to build a snowfort!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

What nerds do on their night off...

Maybe a year ago, I asked my soulmate what his favorite store in all the world was. I mean men aren't ones for shopping, but there must be some store where he could forget the time and heck, forget the day of the week once he began roaming its delightful aisles of splendor. After a little thought he guessed maybe Office Max would be his shopping haven. Sure I could see that. Especially if he found himself in the pen aisle.
Today he changed his mind without even visiting the store. It's called Latitudes: The Map and Travel Store on Excelsior Blvd in St Louis Park. We found it online and when he saw the wall maps of the world displayed in his favorite projections (the Robinson, the Winkel, and the Eckert IV), he knew he was in love. As we continued to scroll down the page, we came across an item that not only made Jon drool, but leap in ecstasy! It was a 600-piece puzzle of the world where the puzzle pieces were the actual shapes of the countries! It included all 192 countries, all 50 states of the US, all 13 provinces and territories of Canada, PLUS fun facts about the world!!! I hadn't seen him that giddy since he brought home a book written in ancient Saxon with a preface in Latin which he'd gotten at the Linguistics Department book give-away.
"Please can I have it now? I want it now! I can't wait! Let's go get it! I've wanted this all my life!" he grabbed my arm as he continued to jump up and down and drag me toward the door. It was like Christmas morning!! So while he drove a friend to the Doctor's office, I drove down to Jon's new favorite store and bought the puzzle. We then spent the next 3 hours trying to decifer whether this yellow piece belonged to Antarctica or Russia, this green piece belonged to China or Brazil, and whether this orange piece was part of Australia's border or Greenland's. Little by little we pieced together all the tiny Oceania islands, the unfamiliar central African countries, and the ambiguous shapes of the great oceans. When we finally looked up it was 8:30 and we hadn't eaten dinner. We stood back from our masterpiece with a great satifsying sigh and kissed. It was Saturday night and we had conquered the world, piece by piece! I wonder what we'll do Sunday...