Thursday, February 25, 2010

feeling better is a blessing

i have been sick for about two weeks.  again.

complete with major nasal congestion, headaches, low grade fevers, hoarseness, a very large and painful cold sore, along with feelings of having been hit by a truck.  i self medicated with lots of kleenex, vitamin water, zicam, tylenol cold sinus, chicken noodle soup and toast. 

this time i went to the doctor early on and got antibiotics.  i'm on day four of the antibiotics and i already feel so much better.  it's amazing and i'm so thankful. 

i wasn't looking forward to another four weeks of misery, which is what happened last november, because i couldn't get into the doctor early enough.  as a result i got bronchitis and was even more miserable.  and this was all after i got my first flu shot in about three years.  ha.

the short of it is, i'm very thankful for feeling so much better. 
what a blessing it is.

and i really can relate to calvin.

comic strip from:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

more on making change

This is one of the posts I rescued from the cancellation of my MySpace account.  I'm not sure what inspired me to write this, but I seem to recall watching the movie Stranger Than Fiction, around the time I wrote this.  I believe I had also been reading too much Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Jasper Fforde, thus accounting for the use of big words and the somewhat uppity tone of the writing.

Written at some point during 2007:

It may be the unexpected moment that in a flash of inspiration forces a change of perspective, a change of character or a change of direction. However, the moment, the inspiration, the catalyst for change can only happen when searching for something or if not searching, at least being open to newness. Moments of wanting something different, something new in life can often be the maker of change, but wanting is not enough. Wanting is passive, inactive, sedentary. Personal transformation is not any of this nor does it happen while sitting around.

It usually does not happen overnight or in a moment. That is not to say that certain catastrophic events don't have the capacity to alter life's course in an instant, but more often it's a deep seated desire for something more, something better. However, in human beings this kind of change of character or change of heart, does not typically occur in an instant. Profound personal transformation requires sustained effort, not sporadic half attempts. The momentum of effort nurtures the ability of change in character and heart. It is effort, hard, not easy, not simple, not halfway, that brings change about. It's a series of instances of actions, assertiveness and passion. A person must go out on a limb, and take risks.

What is the moment of inspiration, of desire for something different that spurs the such a metamorphisis? It is unique to each individual, who will recognize when it comes to knock. In spite of the difficulty, the possibility of amelioration often is motivation enough for the person who wants it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

i ♥ c & h

calvin and hobbes is one of my favoritest things in the whole wide world.

calvin helps me keep my life in context.  it could always be so much worse.

i always laugh. a lot.

did i mention that i laugh a lot?

calvin is also very existential.  he tries to figure out the meaning of life.

he believes in living life to its fullest and finest, and sharing it all with his best-est friend.

i've often wondered the same thing.

there are days when i so can relate to calvin. 
that's why i love him so.

i really do ♥ calvin & hobbes.

all cartoon strips from here:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

that feeling of something coming

I wrote the following post just over two years ago.  Little did I know that about six months later I would be heading to Afghanistan and giving up a year of my life to that endeavour.  Something amazing was coming, I just had no idea what it was going to be. I love that from time to time God lets me in on His plan.  Well, at least He gives me a heads up.  I've been feeling that way again.  It's making me a little nervous, but excited.

Here's another of the posts I saved from MySpace, written on 16 March 2007:

When you least expect it something happens and all of a sudden you're willing to take some risks. That's where I'm at right now. I'm ready to take some risks. I'm ready to make a move and make some major changes in my life.

I have this sense of anticipation that something really amazing is coming my way and I need to be ready, 'cause it's gonna be life changing. It's exciting and I like it. But..., I've had this feeling before and it was a total let down. Sometimes I think God has a sense of humor and just likes to play with me. But then I think it's just life and my undying optimism that good things are always gonna come my way.

A couple of months ago I was robbed at gunpoint less than a block away from my home. It scared the hell out of me! That was a wake up call, and it really shook me up for a couple of days. I still get nervous when people walk behind me on the street. This made me sit up and start thinking about what I wanted in my life and how much power I have.

I decided that I refused to give that man anymore power in my life, and that I would move forward. Essentially that is what risk does, it forces us to move forward. Risk compels a decision that has been put off for fear of something not working or getting hurt.

Wow! I can't think of anything else to write right now. It's past midnight and I'm a little delirious for lack of sleep. I'm getting old. Sleep is now a major necessity in my life. Ciao for now.

Monday, February 15, 2010

a glimpse of the past: terra cotta warriors

just over two years ago, i was planning a trip.  it was to be the trip of a lifetime, to a place i'd long dreamt of seeing.  it was not meant to be.  instead i deployed to afghanistan and that was the closest i got.  this weekend i got a little closer.

i caught a glimpse of what that trip would have been as i spent an hour wandering among a few of the curiosities of the Qin empire, which were on display here in dc.  the terra cotta warrior exhibit was small, but fascinating.  there were only about a dozen actual terra cotta warriors and horses on display, along with weapons, tools, and recreations of the creative process for the warriors and horses.

no photographs were allowed inside the exhibit, but we were allowed to photograph a replica.

i've always been curious about these lifesize replicas of an army frozen in perfect military formation, surrounding the first emperor's tomb.  i remember reading about the terra cotta warriors in the national geographic magazine, and since then i have wanted to see them and the great wall.  well, at least if i never make there in person, i can now say that i saw some of them.

i learned a lot.  for instance, emperor Qin was about 13 years old when he began construction on his tomb.  he commanded that each soldier and horse be distinct with their own markings and faces.  there was also a model of a palace, which when it caught fire burned for three months.  this palace had been deemed unworthy by the emperor before it caught fire, and construction on a new palace had begun.  actually, the emperor had several palaces because he was paranoid of being assassinated.  rightfully so, as there was at least one attempt on his life. 

fascinating stuff.  there's loads more to read online, and NG has some of the best here.
enjoy!  i did.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

i love my family

happy valentine's day family.

i like it best when we are all together as well. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

hope when you need it comes in small packages

a friend found this story and shared it on her blog.
i wanted to share it as well.

consider it an early valentine, because it's a love story. 
i read it, wept, fell in love and felt hope.

happy valentine's day

much love and a hug from me to you.

more snow from snowpacolypse 2 again

Okay, okay.  I'm sure you are tired of looking at photos of snow.  Hopefully, there won't be many more of them to come.  I'm hoping that we won't receive much more snow, even though more has been forecasted for Monday.

From yesterday during the blizzard, while I was outside shoveling out my door again.

I'm not sure how hard it was snowing.
I think the wind was blowing more snow than was actually falling.

The remains of the gutter above my door.
I believe there was an ice dam on the edge of the roof,
because there were some BIG ice junks that I had to remove with my hands.
I'm just glad my door windows didn't get taken out when they fell.

From today:

Now there's a sight I haven't seen for a few days, the sun and clear wet pavement in the street.
The snow plows have obviously been out working.
Also, you can see some of the drifting that happened in my front yard.
The snow on the sidewalk was pretty much even with the raised front yard.

Look at that blue, blue sky!
My car hasn't moved, and it's not likely to in the next few days.
I'm considering hiring the YM from church to dig it out.
My friend T's car is in worse shape than mine, but at least her street was plowed.
Photos here.
Look closely, and you will see a large branch that fell into this tree. 
It's in the middle of the photo and covered with snow.
It's about 15 feet long and about 4-6 inches wide.

If it falls, it will take out the fence and half the tree.
Hopefully, the city comes to take it out soon.

The breakfast of this snow shovel champion:
Homemade whole wheat, cinnamon waffles with raspberries
and maple syrup with bacon on the side.
The cinnamon, raspberries and maple syrup combined
for an absolutely divine burst of complimentary flavors.

photos by me

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

snowpacolypse 2... again

I walked over to my friends, the B's, for dinner this evening.
It was snowing pretty hard already, and I knew I would be walking in the street at times.
So, I pulled out my reflective belt
so that I would be more visible to the crazies who were driving in the snow.
(Thanks KGB.)

The snow coming down isn't really visible in this photo,
but it's really pretty.

Lots of snow.

More snow!

This is how the fire hydrants were marked near the middle school.

The Fox News truck canvassing the neighborhood for snow news.

My stairs were clear of snow earlier today.
This is all we received since about 5PM today.

I had close to half an inch of snow on my head when I got home.

It's coming down out there!

photos by me

in between the next snowpacolypse

Thankfully, there was a break in the snow today.  But it has started snowing again.  There is a light dusting already on my steps and the path I shoveled earlier.  More to come...

I most of today out and about.  I needed to be out of my house for a while, and I needed to be around other humans.  I walked down to the Eastern Market area, and got my nails done, went to the library and CVS, got some lunch at Le Pain Quotidien (yum), and went grocery shopping at Eastern Market.  There were no lines there, and I always feel like the prices are better.  Plus, it's the only place I know where I can buy only four strips of bacon at a time, and instead of change at the produce stands they give oranges.  Yay for Eastern Market!

There is an igloo in Lincoln Park today!
Everyone was out enjoying the break in the weather,
including exhausted parents with stir crazy kids.

The route around the inside of the park is ice from all the kids with sleds going round and round.
I almost fell several times, and started walking on the snow instead.

A snowy view of the Library of Congress dome.

My treat from bakery at Eastern Market.
A Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting.  Yum!

Let it snow.  Let it snow.  Let it sn...
Enough already for this city.

photos by me

Monday, February 8, 2010

snowpacolypse 2 - the day after the day after and more to come tomorrow




Seriously, 10 to 20 MORE inches.  Where are we going to put it?!?!?!  The news is saying the city is dumping snow at the old hospital grounds.  That's just up the street from me.  But seriously, 10 to 20 more inches... uh, okay.  I'm waiting to see if Metro will be running before I decide if I'm going into work tomorrow--no word yet.

Snow day today--the first of this year and the second for this winter which have been declared by the Federal Government.  As a federal employee, I'm thankful I didn't have to try and get to work today.  My car is still buried. I didn't even try to dig it out, because there's no way I'm going to be driving on these streets.

I went for a walk around the neighborhood, because I needed to get out and get some fresh air.  I helped push out two cars that were stuck on A Street NE, where not one snow plow had passed by.  One Honda was high-centered on the snow and it took four passers-by and the two women in the car to dig out the snow and then push it out.  Fun stuff!

Maybe there was a snow plow that came through this street.

On the roads where the snow plows did their job,
this is what it takes to dig your car out.

Here's what the car above probably looked before it was dug out.
Imagine 10 to 20 more inches on top of this!

Digging out is a neighborhood affair.  This guy hired the neighbor boys to dig his car out.
The owner of the car talked to me as I went by, and said he needed to get to Baltimore tonight.
Okay, sure.  Be stupid and drive--good luck and be safe.

This is A Street NE where dug out the Honda.
Amazing that this street hasn't been plowed yet.

Cross country skier going through the intersection.
I should order some skis, it would be easiest way to get around the neighborhood and get to work.
Plus, my thighs and butt would look AWESOME.

Looking down East Capitol Street, I can finally see pavement
and the Capitol in the distance.

Lots of trees in the neighborhood have storm damage from the weight of the snow.
I'm just glad none of the big trees around my house have had problems.

My friend CSB said the streets near the schools have been plowed in her neighborhood.
But this street is right next to the middle school, and only two blocks away from me.
As you can see, no snow plow.

Well, Mother Nature is showing her great power this week.
I really hope the storm tomorrow rolls right by without dumping on us.

Other friends from church have also been blogging about the storm.
Check out their new puppy in the snow here.  Very cute and fun!

photos by me

Sunday, February 7, 2010

snowpacolypse - the day after

Church was cancelled today, again.
That's two weeks in a row. 
It now seems silly by comparision that last week we only had
six inches of snow, and church was cancelled.

I didn't make it to the potluck brunch this morning.
I didn't sleep well last night, and so at 0330 I cancelled my alarm for this morning.
I slept until I woke up on my own at 1130.
I love sleeping in.

Thankfully, I am not one of the 200K people without power or heat.
I am almost caught up with laundry as well.
Did I mention that I got a new washer!

The Hallmark Channel is showing 48 hours of I Love Lucy re-runs.
I think Lucy is the perfect antidote for the Superbowl.
Plus, I have the whole Jeeves and Wooster series on DVD, which was a Christmas gift from a friend.
Another perfect antidote for the Superbowl.

I did venture out to do some shovelling.
My back is in rebellion now.

As I was shoveling, this guy came down 19th Street.
He lifted the bucket to go through intersection.
I'm glad to finally see my un-represented tax dollars hard at work.

I think my car is a hopeless cause today.

Yep, it's hopeless.
I'm parked around the corner, and we haven't had a snow plow pass by there yet.
Lots of tire tracks from other cars, but no plows.
See my wind shield wipers poking up from the snow on the front window.
It keeps them from freezing to the window.

I have cleared a place to walk.
I even did part of the public sidewalk.
My back won't take any more this afternoon.

One of my neighbors borrowed my weapon of choice to clear their steps,
the back patio and do part of the sidewalk.
I might go out in a few more minutes to help out.
But in the meantime, I have a hot date with Lucy and my heating pad.

My friend T has been posting about the storm too.
Click here to see her photos.

photos by me

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowpacolypse 2 on Saturday - ii

This is an awesome snowstorm.  I'm amazed at how much snow there is out there, but I'm always amazed at the great snowstorms.  I'm even from northern Utah and I've seen snowstorms. 

The walk to Eastern Market for lunch was fun.  It was easiest to walk in the street, as there were indications that at some point a snow plow had passed through.

Supposedly a snow plow passed by here.

Lincoln Park in the snow.

The masses out for the snowball fight and walking their dogs.

Too, too cute.

The neighborhood around Eastern Market.
We didn't recognize where we were until we stopped to think about it.

So beautiful.  Look how high the snow is on the fence.

7th Street SE in the snow.  Eastern Market on the left.

On the way home from Stadium Armory Metro.
The metro was so quiet.  There were only 6 people on the platform.
Very surreal.

Yep, we're snowed in.

If you read the top sign, you'll see the street I live on is designated as a
This means that residents are not allowed to park on the street during a
The City is supposed to plow this street to keep it open
as one of major routes in and out of the city.

Personally, I think if you're going to designate a street as a
and tell the residents they can't park on the street during a
then snow plows should be going up and down the street regularly instead of once a day.

Yep, it's deep.  The snow hits just above my knees here.

photos by me