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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just curious...

Got a question for fellow Christians out there.

How do you interpret what Jesus said here?

Primarily...

If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

As literal as it seems? Any context (past and/or present) we should consider?

I know I can consult the hundreds of commentaries right next door to my desk, but I was curious to get your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

If You Can't Be With the Car You Love...


...love the car you're with...

And we do {so far}!

It's a 2009 white Kia Spectra. We didn't have any experience with Kias, so they weren't even on our list. But, while we were waiting to see a Corolla, the dealer showed us this. We drove it and loved it, researched it and were impressed with what we found.

Because I like to name my vehicles, we decided to call this one Kamsahamnida. It means "Thank you" in Korean. Appropriate since we've grown close to the {surprisingly large} SWBTS Korean community ("thank you" was the first Korean phrase we learned), since Kias are made in Korea, and since we are incredibly thankful to have a car again.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Journal Winner!

Congrats to Ann from Cozy in Texas for winning the reading journal! Just email me your address, and I'll get it on the way to you.

Meanwhile, I can't let Dory and her Mama go without a note of thanks for stopping by my blog from Freddy's (his is infinitely more popular than mine). So, if you'll send us your address as well, Fred will be glad to send along something special for you as a thank-you for stopping by!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Further Kitchen Catastrophes

I almost spelled catastrophes with a "k" just to be cutesy...until I remembered that kind of thing is one of the things I hate most.

This is one of my favorite books about that very thing, in fact.

Moving on...

I left my water mug too close to the stove a couple of nights ago, and it grew a belly button...An outie...
It makes me giggle every time I look at it. Still functions OK, though.

Oh, and I know it's an Ole Miss mug. I have two of them and no Alabama ones. (Travesty, no?)The nice folks of Oxford were giving them out at a football game I went to there in college, and they are the perfect size--drinking two/day gets in all of the water I need. If any of you Tuscaloosa folks want to send me a Bama mug, however, it will be most welcome.

One final note, Amanda reminded me that I had not passed along some previous good news. :)

Jason and I are both going back to school this fall! He'll be continuing on here at SWBTS to get his PhD in Education, and I'll be starting at UNT to get mine in Information Sciences. {And I tested out of one of my leveling classes, which was what that earlier post referenced. Whew.}

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Leaky Cantaloupe

I bought a cantaloupe at the grocery over the weekend. It looked a little green, but I thought it might ripen over the next day or two. We got home yesterday to find...

It was leaking...

Little white foam bubbling out of various spots, and juice coming out of all its...pores?

We thought it might be about to hatch! But when we cut it open, it just sort of popped and smelled pretty stinky.

Anyone ever encountered this with a cantaloupe before?
{and, yes, I'm aware that I am a nablopomo failure. blame it on the car situation, which is still not resolved. boo.}

Monday, April 19, 2010

Read, Remember, Recommend: Review & Giveaway

Read, Remember, Recommend by Rachelle Rogers Knight

What {if anything} do you use to journal, remember or just chart what you read?

I have an ancient Harry Potter journal whose pages never seem to run out {kind of reminds me of the Room of Requirement}. I jot down pages of quotes I want to highlight, the titles, dates, etc. That's what I use.

This is what I should be using...

Whether we're naturally organized or we need someone else's help keeping us in line, this journal is what all we readers should be using.

Knight has handy tabs, plenty of white space for note-taking, a place to chart where your books are going if you're brave enough to loan them out, recommendations from her and the experts {a.k.a. awards lists} and even an index. Spiral-bound, small enough to fit in most purses (mine anyway) but not as tiny as most journals, and brightly-colored.

This is my favorite reading journal ever.

And I'm giving it away. {sniff}

I'm tempted to enter myself, but I won't. Because I do still have good ol' Harry Potter and because I love my readers!

So, to win, just enter a comment before this Friday at 5 p.m., when I'll select a winner.

I'll throw in some other goodies with the journal, but that will be the highlight.

If you want more information, check out Knight's website, a fun little find itself.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Arrividerci, Don Vito Corleone

So, our car is totaled.

I feel like Marshall on How I Met Your Mother when his Fiero died.

Leon {as I call him} was my college graduation present. My first brand-new car. Sleek and black, sun roof, cd player and tape deck. ;) A great little car that we fully expected to carry us through the next round of school.

He drove me to Cracker Barrel and back as I waitressed the summer after college while searching for a journalism job. He drove me to my first grown-up apartment, drove me home for my mother's funeral, sitting stoically while I cried on his steering wheel. He drove me out of a yucky break-up and into a great relationship. He drove us to Connecticut, to Texas and back and forth to Alabama, letting us spill coffee on his floormats and allowing Fred to eat ice cream in his backseat cupholders.

He was a good car. A great car.

And now we say goodbye. And get another car. And I'm not gonna lie--I'm sad about it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Smileys

We're still dealing with car stresses, so I'm kinda burned out...got nothin much to say right now.

But...nablopomo.

So, in the spirit of being positive {and in an effort to cheer myself up}, here are four things putting a big smile on my face lately...
We're relatively new to the show, but we're about midway through season five and laughing ourselves right off the couch. And you'd better believe we're pairing up fictional characters with real-life ones. hehhehheh {except i think i'm most like michael scott. ouch}

FANtastic music here. One recent discovery is Wanda Johnson. Can't find a direct link to Finally Home, but you can listen to a preview here. Shakin' the blues away.

Walking
One positive side effect of the whole car thing is that we've been walking to our neighborhood places--Blockbuster, restaurants, Walgreens, and the grocery store...
It was so strange having a buggy in the middle of the living room.

You tweeting? I'm @MrsMcBookworm. My tweet peeps keep me laughing all day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Big Headache

This car thing is turning out to be just a giant mess. I don't even want to go into all the issues, so let's just say it's been a discouraging period in the life of Leon.

However, I know that there are others who would be grateful just to have a car and still others who are facing much bigger fights than we are.

I also know that I do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ms. Dixie

I was so sad to see that Dixie Carter passed away. What an actress!

I was fortunate to be able to see her on stage in Thoroughly Modern Millie several years ago. {That's her on the far right. Image via Deseret News} But we all probably best remember her as Julia Sugarbaker.

When I was growing up, my mom and I were faithful watchers of Designing Women. She and her two best girlfriends used to joke that they were a lot like Charlene, Mary Jo and Suzanne {and they really were}, but they kindly included me and let me "play" Julia.

I used to be a bit sharper-tongued than I am today, so there might have been a slight resemblance. ;) But I could only wish--then and now--to be as eloquent and on-point as she was!

So, I did a little digging, and here are some of my favorite Julia zingers...
  • In general, it has been the men who have done the raping and the robbing and the killing and the war-mongering for the last 2,000 years...and it's been the men who have done the pillaging and the beheading and the subjugating of whole races into slavery. It has been the men who have done the law making and the money making and most of the mischief making! So, if the world isn't quite what you had in mind, you have only yourselves to thank!

  • You're the guy who is always wherever women gather or try to be alone. You want to eat with us when we're dining in hotels, you want to know if the book we're reading is any good, or if you can keep us company on the plane. And I want to thank you, Ray Don, on behalf of all the women in the world, for your unfailing attention and concern. But read my lips, and remember, as hard as it is to believe, sometimes we like talking just to each other, and sometimes we like just being alone.

  • If God was giving out sexually transmitted diseases to people as a punishment for sinning, then you would be at the free clinic all the time! And so would the rest of us!

And I loved her just as much when she wasn't on her high horse--getting her head stuck in that banister, threatening to hunt down Charlene when she was responsible for getting Julia sequestered for jury duty and fighting in a mud bath over a Trivial Pursuit game.

Good times. So, RIP, Ms. Dixie. Thanks for everything.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big oops

We got some good news re: previous post yesterday, and I got so excited that I completely forgot to blog! More details to come. :)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Relief

My test...
Done

Jason's interview with the PhD committee...
Done

Big relief(s) heading into the weekend. I foresee some time at this place...

And now, of course, the waiting begins.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Big Test

I'm taking an exam tonight to see if I can "test out" of a leveling class that is required for the doctoral program I'm starting this fall.

I'm nervous.

Prayers and good thoughts much appreciated. :)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Gary Morgenstein

This is the best time of year to read a book like Take Me Out to the Ballgame, with Opening Day celebrations going on across the country earlier this week.

{Go Braves and Rangers, btw!}

The novel tells the story of the sad, struggling professional baseball team, the Buffalo Matadors and their sad, struggling fans. Their image begins to change, however, thanks to flamboyant new owner Harry Witowski and his publicity crew, who try every publicity stunt from paying mortgages to bringing in cheerleaders, to make the franchise successful.

And it works. To a degree.

The team improves. The games begin to sell out. The fans begin to take pride in their team. Then they (one, in particular) begin to take a little too much pride and become violent, obsessed and murderous. How far can things get out of hand before Harry stops the insanity?

Morgenstein does a good job of capturing much of middle class America's current disgruntled tone, but the entire book comes off sounding quite disgruntled because of it. Not a light-hearted read. It's also quite heavy on baseball terminology and play-by-play, so it's hard to follow if you're not a big sports fan. Making it equally hard to follow is his habit of referring to characters by both their first and last names (sometimes it would be Harry...other times Witowsky, for example). And the plot is confusing through the first half but gets better as the book progresses.

I also found it tough to really latch on to a main character. Whose story is this? Harry, the manager? Jerry, the veteran reporter? Cal, the psychotic fan? The unlikely hero in the end? The team itself? I wasn't sure. And none of them were likable. (Harry is Michael Scott without the lovable bits.) This isn't always a necessary component of a book, but it often helps.

So, it's a timely, somewhat engaging book but perhaps not one for the Hall of Fame.

Little Library, Big Rewards

I've been helping out at my church library on Wednesday nights...

{This is actually me at work, but I don't have a picture of our church library yet.}

Anyway, as typical of most church libraries, it's on the small side with only a few thousand volumes. But the librarian there retired from a career in the public library system, so she knows what she's doing in terms of acquisitions. I'm always impressed by the selection.

She's had me doing things like covering books, inventory, searching, actually dealing with books, which is something I don't do as much at my real job anymore now that I primarily work with people {who work with books}.

And I absolutely love it!

I come straight from work and get in the zone for an hour or so. Keeping my hands busy and listening.

Listening? Is the part I think I like best.

She and the other ladies who volunteer there {and many of the patrons} are senior adults, and they like to talk. They chat about life, gently joke about husbands and friends, and share struggles. Through their attitudes and indirect teaching, I am learning more about how to live as a person who is following Jesus.

And they thought I was just doing inventory. :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Big Brothers

I was struggling to come up with a "big" blog today when I got an unexpected email from my big brother.

Ah...inspiration. :)

So, here are five of my favorite things about him...

  • He's just a few years older than I am (basically, our parents raised him; then they took on the challenge of me). Besides the opportunity to tease him about his age, this also means I grew up with a protector. I knew he always had my back. And still does.
  • Funniest guy I know. Seriously, he is freakin' hilarious. When Jason and I hang out with him, we laugh all the time.
  • He is an amazing dad. If I could guarantee that my kids would be as awesome as his kids, I wouldn't be so scared to have kids. ha And I think they're as awesome as they are mostly because of the parenting skills he and my sister-in-law have.
  • He is not at all judgmental of my insatiable sweet tooth. Because he, too, grew up with our mother's good cooking and bad influence. {Dessert for breakfast, anyone?} :)
  • He can answer any sports question I might ever have. And can often get me tickets to fun events. {Super Bowl 2011? Here's hoping!}


And aren't genetics fun? He's tall, dark and thin. I'm short, pale and somewhat round. Nice.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Kindnesses of Others

So, the transmission fixing is going to be the expensiver option.

Yikes.

We are car-less for a week, expected to pay money that we just don't have and worried about how long our car will last even after this is fixed.

BUT...

Our generous families are helping with the cost. We have friends who are kindly carting us around all week. And...as far as the life of Leon goes...that's in God's hands, and we trust his timing and provision.

Having a support system. That's big.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Big God

Today was all about celebrating Easter. Here's why I celebrate it {in a nutshell because I'm typing this on my iPod}.

There is one God who created everything. A man, Jesus Christ, that lived about 2,000 years ago was God's son. He died to save the world from sin but came back to life three days later. My faith hinges on this belief.

Because Jesus lives now and will live forever, I have a purpose for life now and the hope of eternal life in heaven with him.

There's a lot more to my spiritual beliefs, but that's, for me, the basic reason for the Easter season. Have questions? I'm happy to chat.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Big Car

OK, so I actually don't have a big car. I drive a little-mid-sized Honda Accord.

Road trip

2002 model, and it's pushing 140,000 miles.

I love Hondas because, kind of like Macs, they typically just don't have problems. You don't hear about many Honda lemons. But Leon (Don Vita Corleone if we're being formal) is getting older, piling up the miles, and he's starting to get cranky.

The AC went out in December, a door handle broke, and we've had a few other minor problems with it recently. Invested a chunk of the tax return to fix those things.

Now it appears the transmission is acting up. So we're at Starbucks waiting to hear whether it's going to be expensive or expensiver to fix. I'm thankful we've found a good mechanic here. :)

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Big D

A lot of people think of Dallas-Fort Worth as one giant city. And it sort of is. It's referred to here as the Metroplex. But, actually, the two cities are about as far apart as Tuscaloosa and Birmingham...but also with Montgomery in between.

Dallas and Fort Worth are two quite different cities, too. We love to visit Dallas. They have awesome shops, the place where I get my hair cut now, a giant Half-Price Books and, the best thing, my college roommate and her hubbie are there. :)

But our hearts are in Fort Worth. We love it here. Dallas is bigger, faster and very urban. Fort Worth feels like a small town, even though it's pretty large. But everything moves at a slower pace, a pace we've become comfortable with. I don't think any city can beat Sundance Square (our downtown area), and it's typical to pass by a field of cows on your way to get dinner.

So, this is home now. But it's nice having the Big D just down the road. Sometimes you've gotta branch out for a greater selection of books and coffee...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Big Ol' Kick in the Blogging Tail

I'm signing up for NaBloPoMo again. (Where you blog every day for a month.)

I do OK keeping up with my literary blog and Fred's, but, here at Tiff's Thoughts, I've just been in kind of a blogging funk lately. I'm hoping this will help get me through it.

I think it partly has to do with being in one of the waiting places in life: waiting to start my classes in the fall, waiting to see if Jason will get into the PhD program here, waiting to see if we'll be able to buy a house, waiting to expand our family {partly because of the afore-mentioned waitings}. Just trying to live purposefully day-to-day amidst a lot of overall waiting (and in the midst of our crazy schedules).

So.

This month's theme is "big." When I've done this in the past, I've had at least a few posts in mind to go along with the theme. But this time I've got nothin'. We'll just have to see where it goes.

In the meantime, enjoy a Happy Easter picture from a couple of years ago...
Poor Fred. :)

Read from the beginning...