Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Today, I got up and tried to get some school work done in the house. Of course that didn't work. It usually never does. So, I got myself ready and left early for class so that I would have two extra hours on campus to sit and research. So, here I am one hour before class starts and no research is done....imagine that. I am however, caught up on facebook, I've been to Starbucks and I did finally submit a poem to a local zine to try and get it published (for some reason, I've been terrified to submit it....its scary!) However, I have to say it was worth coming up. It's snowing up here. Big, fluffy, wonderful, flakes. Everyone hates it. Normally I would be with them, talking about how it is actually officially spring and so really, all this snow nonsense should stop. Somehow, and I have no idea how, I've changed. I think I like winter. I'm not saying I like it more than summer. Maybe I've just learned to accept it. I remember when I worked at Gradall for 3 months when I very first moved back to Ohio. I worked there January through March, and my job was to go down to the dock pit and dig through giant boxes of greasy parts, retrieve the part numbers and enter them into the new computer system. Anytime the word "pit" is in your job description, that should be a dead giveaway that its going to be awful--and it was. It was cold and greasy and I worked for the meanest man in the world. Really really, he was so, so mean. It was really the most miserable job ever. While I worked there I met a man name Harry. Harry had a cubicle beside me, and he smoked. So, anytime I wasn't in the cold awful pit, and Harry had just returned from a smoke break ,he would give me a weather report. Most of the time it contained snow and I would sigh, and complain, and talk about how I missed the California sunshine. Harry usually just laughed. But one day, he stuck his head over the ugly cubicle wall and said, "Al" that's what he called me, "Winter is a season of rest. Use it." One would never expect such sage advice to come from Gradall, the land of welders, steel, part numbers, freezing cold dock pits, and mean mean bosses, but somehow this advice made its way permanently into my mind. Rest is such a hard thing for us to learn. For me to learn. What Harry reminded me of, is that each season brings with it some benefit. Big or small, easy to find or difficult, its there, you just have to find. After hearing Harry's words, I learned to embrace winter. I began to use it as a time to settle in and read or watch a movie. Then I learned to knit. I finally got some sensible boots and stopped trying to wear flip flops in January. Now, I might even prefer my boots. What I am taking forever to say, is that I think I've grown to not only accept winter, but to actually enjoy it. I've learned to accept what is, and find joy in it. Rest has been a theme in life lately for me. I am happy for today and one of the final days of snow and of a season made for resting.

Note: Sorry this is all one big long paragraph, thats not how I wrote it and I've tried to fix it. Everytime I hit "publish" this is what I get.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

fillING the empty space

Life has been quiet. I don't know why, but it just has.

Quietness is rare.

Lately I've had a chance to "catch up" with a lot of far away friends on the phone. Their lives are so eventful and I've found myself saying over and over "Well, not much is going on here. Just the usual, you know, school and everything." Many of my friends are moving or having babies or raising babies or working a million hours or some combination of all of those. Many have big and exciting things going on in life.

At this current season in my life I just....don't.

At first I fought it. I was restless. I felt like I should be doing more. Maybe I'm not walking with God like I should. Maybe I should join a new ministry, be more outgoing, maybe I should be moving or having babies (don't worry Babe, I don't really want one right now). Maybe, I should be filling the empty space...with something....anything. Finally I realized,

quietness is rare

and we need it.
My life won't always be this way. Someday there may be kids, or a move, or a ministry (again, I have no current plans for any of these things), and I know there will be more work hours. I look forward to any or all of those things. For now though, I've decided to embrace it. I've decided to embrace the normalcy, and the quietness. This time of just Dave and I, in our quiet house, doing simple things like dishes and laundry and petting the cat.

It's funny, even as I say this, I have that little voice in the back of my mind saying "There should be more going on. Go! Do more! Change something!" It's that feeling that something spectacular should be going on. I'm a little bit of a change-o-holic. Be it good change or bad change, sometimes change feels more normal than routine.

But still, I know that this quiet time, this time of routine, this time to breathe in and out is ok, even needed. So I've just decided to let it be, for I know it won't last forever, and that someday when life is busy and full of change again, I'll wish I hadn't wasted it trying to fill it up.

"Time’s this priceless currency and only the slow spend it wise enough to be rich."
- Ann Voskamp

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

on beING a woman

Sometimes I feel like I live in these two contradicting, at-odds, worlds.

On the one side I have a typically somewhat conservative "church" world. It's almost hard to write about this because I'm not trying to criticize. I love it.

On the other side I have this typically more liberal, "school" world. Again, I'm not trying to criticize.

These two sides seem to hate eachother, and I can't understand why.

Both of these worlds have their views on women. They vary from mild views, to extreme. Mostly I'm writing about the extremes. They have been popping up everywhere lately.

Let me start with school. Here, sometimes I feel like I'm almost supposed to be mad about being woman. Like its some kind of curse, brought on by men, or religion, or ignorant women or some mix of all three. Once during a discussion on Virginia Woolf I suggested that although her writings were probably appropriate for the historical context, perhaps they don't apply to us as modern women who can

work (if we want),

go to college (if we want),

get married (if we want),

get divorced (if we want),

have a baby (if we want)

or not have a baby (if we want)

I don't support abortion, but for the purpose of discussing women's rights...there it is. The point is, I don't really feel all that oppressed or angry for that matter. I feel like a free-thinking, choice-making woman. This isn't to say that in some cultures there is still not oppression, but I found it ironic that a bunch of women sitting in a college classroom, many of them working on their doctorates, wanted to apply A Room of One's Own to themselves.

From the reaction I got, one would have thought I had suggested that I think women ought to still be oppressed, and it would be best if we were kept underground as breeding stock and baby-raisers. One lady looked on me with pity, "Poor oppressed soul", another with indignation "How dare she!", another with a blank look of shock that I'm not sure what it meant. To me it seemed....odd? It was just a suggestion, not a statement against women everywhere.

On the other side, I have my church experience. Much of this thinking isn't explicitly stated, but subtle, and much of it isn't around so much anymore, but in some circles, it is.

Church is a funny place sometimes.

I know people whose marriages are nothing I could ever want. Husbands who talk to their wives like she couldn't possibly solve a problem on her own. Wives who think I'm crazy for considering working and having kids. I haven't decided yet, and I don't think I need to.
Men who feel "usurped" in everyday conversation because a women (very politely) suggests a way of thinking different than his own.
There is the thinking that its more spiritual to married, and the thinking that it is more spiritual to be single. Ugh! What a mess!

It's almost suffocating to sit in between these two opinions and hear them yell back forth (figuratively and literally at times). You want to yell for everyone to just "BE QUIET!" just for one minute so you can think and process all of this.

Where is the line between giving your life to your family and being so consumed by your kids you really have neglected your own identity to unhealthy level? Is it possible to work and to give your kids what they need? What does the Bible really say about women's roles in life and what does that look like played out? (Both "sides" of the tension I'm speaking of have horrifying views in my opinion as to what the Bible says about women). What about being a woman without kids and without a husband? Is that less valuable if you are a Christian and more if you are sitting in a classroom in a public University?

My. Head. Is. Spinning.

Mostly, I would just like to feel free to just be a woman. Not someone lost in the battle, or overtaken by any particular side. Not a slave to anger or to ignorance. Just...a woman.

More on this later.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

sleepING and not....mostly not

So lately...I don't sleep. Ok, maybe a little. Maybe four hours a night. Two on a bad night. Six on a good ("good night" occurring maybe two or three times in a month). It's awful. I don't mean to complain. I swore to myself I wouldn't use this blog as platform for complaint, but I really haven't been doING much worth blogging. I've been trying to slog through each day in a tired haze.

I've tried so many things. Warm milk, stretching, reading, counting sheep, reading about sheep (which is actually interesting to me, so I realized that wouldn't work for me). I pray. Which has been good actually. I've cut out caffeine completely, although I never drank much to begin with. I've tried not napping, but gave up. It didn't help. I still didn't sleep. I decided that if I could get some sleep during the day, it was still better then none all day. I even took a pregnancy test to make sure that wasn't the cause. Big sigh of is not.

Today, is actually a rare extra extra good day. I slept from 1:30am-7am and I fell back asleep for another hour or two. This is the best I've had for awhile. I'm hoping its the beginning of the end. I really really really hope its the beginning of the end.

Not sleeping is miserable. My whole body hurts sometimes because I'm just so tired. I'm sorry for anyone who has had season's of no sleep. Be it mom's, or other insomniacs like myself, or nightshift/swingshing workers.

It's taken over my life. I've skipped a class or two on bad days, for fear of falling asleep behind the wheel. My house is a mess. I fall asleep while reading for school. I feel so unproductive.I feel grumpy over silly things like facebook statuses, other drivers on the road, the fact that mail hasn't come yet. It's not an excuse for grumpiness, but it sure amplifies it.

I've had so many opinions about this given to me. "You must be stressed." You're right, I am...I haven't slept for a month or longer (I've lost track)...wouldn't you be? "Just wait until you have don't know what tired is..." Maybe. But for some reason, I think I do know what it is. I don't mean this disrespectfully. Sometimes I wish I wasn't sleeping because of kids. At least there would be a reason. I know that I am lucky in some regards, because at least my schedule is such that if I can fall asleep for a few minutes during the day, its ok. I can move my own schedule around with the exception of class times.

Again, I'm so sorry for using this for a platform to complain. It's just that this has been my life. I'm just ready to sleep again.

Next week is spring break. I'm going to try Motrin PM to get me back into a normal sleep rhythm. I think over the weekend, I will let myself rest and sleep as much as I can to "catch up". Then during the week I will try the PMs. I wait until break to try this because typically drowsy medicine makes me sleep much longer than the average person. If that doesn't work, its time to see the doctor I suppose. I'm also going to start running again. That should help...right?

Thanks for listening. I promise...this will be one of very very few complaining posts. I know that I'm blessed with a warm bed to at least try to sleep in, and a man I love sleeping beside me. I just know I would feel a whole lot better, if I could just sleep.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


In the spirit of up and coming St. Patrick's Day, I've decided to tell you about one of my favorite, very Irish, incredibly cozy, and rather local places to eat--Mulligan's Restaurant and Pub in Canton Ohio. It's right off the Whipple exit and it's more than worth your time (and gas money!)

It's nestled into an unlikely place, a strip mall...I know, I know. But before you judge, step inside. You'll first walk into an old Irish pub-like enviroment. Surrounded by brick work, wainscoting, stained glass windows, and beautiful woodworking and copper working around the very cozy bar--a bar that makes you want to walk up and order an Irish ale. This is the room with a more casual sports bar atmosphere (without losing it's charm), there are TV's with sports running. The last fun part about this room is it's running, year-round, second by second, countdown to St. Patty's Day.

If this isn't charming enough, venture a little further in. To your left you'll find the Victorian room. Here, you'll find a gigantic beautiful fireplace, that was actually featured in the movie The Haunting. This room has a much more formal feel, and no TV's.It has a very "it was a dark and stormy night", feel. Typically it's reserved for banquets, but sometimes it's available for regular seating.

Finally (yes there's more) to your right you will find the library. Here you'll find another beautiful fireplace, lovely wainscoting, tapestries hanging from the walls, and a wall of books. It feels like the library of some olde (with an "e") lord. Typically, you have to call ahead to sit in the library for dinner.

Now, if environment alone hasn't compelled you to immediately race on over in time for a St. Patty's Day celebration, I am pleased to tell you that the food is....wonderful! I've never (ever, ever, ever) had a bad meal there. Among my favorites are the reuben, French onion soup (best I've ever had, perfect of the cozy surroundings), Mulligan's fried mushrooms (they are HUGE), fish and get the idea...everything! They also have great steaks, and ribs.

It should also be mentioned that they will serve your drink to you in a gigantic, bowl-sized, two-hander, glass goblet. Seriously, these goblets are like the size of your face. If you order a beer, it comes in a frosty one. This only adds to the lovely, olde world feel.

If you've never been there...go. Sit at the bar, or a cozy booth, or the library...just get your Irish on, and go. :)