Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Five: 2/27

1. What tastes best covered in chocolate?

My new favorite is the Trader Joe's spiced mango chocolate. It's got mango on the inside, and hot pepper on the outside. Sounds weird, but it's so good!

2. Why do you eat chocolate the way you do (or don't)?

Because it's yummy. And the dark stuff has all the antioxidants, oh yes. That's why I try to include enough of it in my diet. Plus red wine.

3. Do you know how chocolate is made?

I had to read the book Like Water for Chocolate in CORE class my freshman year at Valpo. I know it's a long process involving things having to be exactly the right temperature. So, to answer the question, no, I don't.

4. If you knew you would live 5 years longer if you never ate any chocolate again, would you give it up?

If someone could prove to me that chocolate will lead to my demise over a five-year period, I would give it up. Otherwise, I reject this question on the grounds that it is stupid.

5. Have you ever had carob?

Not on purpose.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Prayers Needed

Dear blogland: Please keep the Magness family in your prayers (Phillip at Fine Tuning and Cheryl at A Round Unvarnish'd Tale).

Phillip's father has been struggling recently with back problems, and his diagnosis was confirmed yesterday: multiple myeloma. He was given weeks to live. Sadly, the Lord saw fit to call him home around midnight last night. The family is on their way down to Houston right now to make arrangements and also to be by Phillip's mother's side. She is scheduled for major heart surgery tomorrow, and in her frail state, her family does not hold high hopes of her survival.

Unfortunately, at times like these, normal life must trot along at a steady pace. Phillip is my church's Cantor, and we have to make do with his absence. And Cheryl and their son Trevor each have to give up some commitments as well: in addition to the chess tournament Trevor is forced to withdraw from, they both play piano, and we are in the heart of contest season. I am doing what I can to help out, and could use some prayers for strength in the next week or so.

As the church's Associate Cantor, or as I like to say, "Cantor In Case of Emergency," I have been called upon to fill at least part of the gaping hole left by Phillip. I had to play organ for tonight's Ash Wednesday service on just a few hours' notice. I will trek across the suburbs tomorrow early in the morning to rehearse with a choir Cheryl was supposed to accompany for contest this Saturday. I will have to play this weekend's services, as well as the following Wednesday Lenten services and day school chapel. I may have to squeeze in an appearance accompanying our day school's elementary musical in between a Tuesday filled with rehearsals and piano lessons, which Trevor was scheduled to do.

I realize this is only a taste of what our Cantor handles each week, but he also happens to be about ten times more capable than me. I'm feeling the burden of what I must take on. Beyond anything, I am pleased to be able to help a grieving family in whatever way I can. I pray for the strength to do everything to the best of my ability.

I Should Travel

So, Erich and I are having one of those conversations where we talk about everything, and he suddenly comes up with this idea that sometime, I should leave town for a night or two. See, he leaves for a night or two all the time for work. Each of us is used to sleeping alone now and then, but Erich is never home without me. It would be a good exercise for him to be home alone once and see what it's like for me. Anything to stave off me becoming just another piece of furniture, right?

After he mentioned this, I took the idea and ran with it. "Maybe over spring break week I could go to Galena!" I said. His face fell into a pitiful pout and he whined, "Don't leave me!" I proceeded to LOL. It was his idea, but the more he thought about it, the less he liked contemplating spending a night at home alone. And the more he accepted the reality of that thought, the more I LOVED the idea.

So there you have it: I need a short trip away from home on my own or with girlfriends. I am officially taking ideas!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The 800lb Me in the Room

You may remember a while ago, when I talked a little bit about my new resolve to lose weight. I promised to come back a few weeks later and let you know how it was going.

Well, I was doing well for about a week and a half, but then I started struggling. The numbers on the scale stagnated then started creeping up a little, 0.2 lbs at a time until I was back where I started. Since then, I have committed more thoroughly to weight loss. I have to stop letting it be this little thing I do on the side but try to ignore most of the time. And now, in the past few weeks, I really have turned over a new leaf. This isn't the kind of enthusiasm that comes from subscribing to someone else's ideas--I am truly, finally, changing the way I think about things. I feel at peace and delighted about the body I WILL get back.

Anyway, I started a new blog as a journal in my weight loss journey. I just wanted to mention that to anyone who might be interested. It's a secret blog--it's not private, but it is fairly unfindable. I don't want the whole world to be able to read it. However, I think the things I'm learning might be helpful to those with similar goals. If you would like to subscribe to my new blog, leave a comment to that effect and I will email you the link.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My V-Day

Have I ever told you about how great my husband is? Well, he's great.

I really wasn't expecting anything for Valentine's Day. We haven't done much beyond a nice dinner out (not on the actual day, of course) in the past. And last year, V-Day was ruined by our first miscarriage. Furthermore, we had discussed going to see a local production of Miss Saigon, but Erich was totally leaving it up to me to figure out when and get tickets. I thought that if Valentine's Day was going to be a thing, it was going to be up to me. And I really don't want to be the one demanding that Valentine's Day be assigned some special love meaning when it's really just a made-up greeting card holiday. Oh, the inner conflict!

My husband is a manly man, by which I mean he is too practical to buy me flowers (which are pretty and nice to have around) or jewelry, which doesn't have to be expensive at all--I would just like to wear something meaningful from my husband. Like, besides my rings.... :)

I'm reeeeally not complaining. He's perfect in every other way, so it's only natural that it's taken me this long to find something I would tweak ever so slightly if I could. That is, I would have until today.

Late last night, after getting home from a night out, Erich dragged me upstairs to his closet to have me open something. It was a small box in a paper bag. Jewelry! What kind?? Diamond earrings! I was beyond a good way.

Then this afternoon, after we had been at church all day, I had to stay even longer to play organ for the evening service. Erich thought he might like to go out to eat, so he decided to see if we could possibly get into a restaurant, even without reservations. Since I never got a text message, I had to wait and see when I got home if we were going out.

When I walked in the door, I was greeted by a wonderful smell. Pot roast! Butternut squash soup! Asparagus! Rioja Reserve red wine! Fresh bread! Dark chocolate for desert! Fresh flowers in a vase!

An impromptu home-cooked fancy yet simple meal. And I was so glad we weren't going out anyway because I'm totally beat.

Okay, I'll stop before you all break your monitors out of jealousy. This was, quite possibly, the best Valentimes ever!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Five: 2/6

Hodge Podge!

1. What activity can you not believe you survived in your childhood?

My family's favorite story is how I almost got mowed over by a car on a mountain road while on vacation in CO when I was five. I LIVED, get over it. :)

2. What activity can you not believe kids get away with today?

The insane amount of texting they do, including all those skanky kids texting naked photos of themselves around their high schools.

3. If you could be anyone else in the world live or dead, who would you choose to be?

Just a better version of myself. I'm getting pretty good at it, so I wouldn't want to throw that away.

4. A lot of people think they've been in love at 15 or 16 years old, do you think you now look back and think you were a stupid kid or do you believe that you were old enough to know what love is?

Ha, this sounds like it was written by a college student or something. When I was in my mid-teens, I was a stupid kid and I knew it. Therefore, I felt brilliant and superior for my knowledge of my stupidity. I never once fancied myself in love. I knew love meant getting married and all that, and I couldn't imagine marrying anyone in high school.

5. Do you think it is possible to remain in love with someone you once loved, but haven't seen in a year? (sic)

I wouldn't know. I suppose it would depend on the kind of year that passed. Otherwise, n/a.

Headed to Galena this weekend!